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Orda: Severnyi Veter / Horde: The Northern Wind
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 15, 2014 5:50 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Information on the abroad releases of Horde is pretty scant. Buka only has two press releases on file (accessible via the Wayback Machine): on May 05, 2000 is was announced that Halifax would publish Horde in Italy, and another press release from Oct 05, 2000 says that Buka negotiated the release of the game in China, Hog Kong and Taiwan.

There's also a Russian press release, dated June 26, 2000 (listed here), which informs that the developers have completed testing the English version of the game.
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 6:15 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks to Hallfiry's amazing gaming magazine cover disk catalogue I was able to track down the elusive English Windows demo of the game (originally it was available from Buka's website). The demo is uploaded here:
http://www64.zippyshare.com/v/2857790/file.html

Note though that the zip archive is not original, as the demo files that I found are in the unpacked state on the CD Action coverdisk #54.
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2014 10:34 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Cool, nice detective work!
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 09, 2014 10:56 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

The MobyGames entry for the Windows version of Orda has finally been approved, so here it is:
http://www.mobygames.com/game/windows/orda-severnyi-veter

All Windows screenshots courtesy of chanfort Happy
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chanfort
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PostPosted: Thu May 01, 2014 5:37 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a few questions now, which I need to answer for my game version, which I am creating in Unity. So, these would be:

What pathfinding algorithm do you think is used in Horde? It looks quite fast, as it is working with several hundreds units as DOS game from 2000 th's...

How they work out with diplomacy - small scheme how you imagine this would be very grateful.
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sat May 03, 2014 2:56 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

chanfort wrote:
What pathfinding algorithm do you think is used in Horde?

I can only tell ya that the pathfinding in the game is "sorta" decent but certainly nothing above average for a 90s RTS game. You may have noticed that the AI does not use any formations when sending its units against the player, and neither do the player's units keep any kind of formation, or even plan their route in detail. Sometimes if you have lots of units, some of them may get stuck in an endless loop of trying to get around an obstacle, running into more obstacles along the way, going back etc.

I think some of the major RTS games even in mid-90s like Command & Conquer: Red Alert already used more advanced pathfinding algorithms.

chanfort wrote:

How they work out with diplomacy - small scheme how you imagine this would be very grateful.

The diplomatic behaviour of the AI seems very simple. It tries to outnumber human players and force them to become its vassal. If the player has a settlement and the AI continuously attacks it, it will gracefully accept the player's surrender and demand tribute. However, if the player character wanders into an enemy settlement (e.g. when exploring a new map), the AI will declare war and try to kill off all player's units, including the main character, ignoring pleas for mercy.

Sometimes it is possible to lure two or more AI players into a conflict between each other by making an alliance with one of them while being at war with another - this will automatically turn the newfound ally hostile against the other AI. This has very limited use however because most of the time AI players are no threat for each other.

I've noticed that if you are at war with an AI player and propose an alliance, it will agree most of the time, unless the AI is clearly winning against the human player (in which case it will demand surrender instead). Curiously, it is not possible to establish an alliance with an AI that is neutral (you can only declare war upon a neutral AI player).
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chanfort
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 12:41 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey folks, all these months I was making similar game to Horde, which now has a playable version:
https://apps.facebook.com/urts_demo/
This is very simple game, where you have barracks and can spawn knights or archers. And it's 3d and running on web. The similarity to Horde is that it has similarly looking units, I am also going to similar diplomacy system, menus, interfaces, etc.
I am still confused about these true remakes, i.e. how close I can be to horde content to make sure that I am not violating any copyrights?
I was also unable to find any contacts remaining of 7th bit Labs, probably to ask some questions about that. Maybe somebody here found some contacts in past few months?
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 3:28 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

chanfort wrote:
I was also unable to find any contacts remaining of 7th bit Labs, probably to ask some questions about that. Maybe somebody here found some contacts in past few months?

7th Bit Labs dissolved quite a while ago (somewhere in mid-2000s IIRC). Some of the people formed another company called Antitank but it's gone too. Individual developers' contacts (e.g. Marat Gilyazetdinov's) can be still found though.

I have no idea who the current copyright holder of the game and its assets is, probably Buka Entertainment. I don't suppose that they will care much about your game being too similar. You can write them a letter, but I wouldn't expect a (swift) reply.

Could you please post some screenshots or a video of your game? The link you posted requires facebook authorization.
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chanfort
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:44 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Sure, here are some screenshots. Knights:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/248943005/uRTS_Horde_screens/knights.png
castle:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/248943005/uRTS_Horde_screens/castle.png
sawmill and some other similarities:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/248943005/uRTS_Horde_screens/sawmill.png
(not sure how to use html links with keywords here).

P.S. It's a bit strange - shouldn't require facebook authorisation, only Unity web player (which currently works with Safari, Firefox and IE, but not Chrome)...

Thanks, I may try to contact Marat...
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chanfort
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:26 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

Do you guys recognise some Horde nature sounds here:
http://soundbible.com/2090-Night-Time-Storm.html
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 1:22 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, in fact they took some sounds from Warcraft and/or Warcraft II (building construction and/or destruction IIRC) and even Windows 95 (the item pickup sound is some notification sound if I'm not mistaken).

[Edit] I think this topic would be more appropriate in the General Gaming section.
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chanfort
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 08, 2015 8:50 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep, I noticed that. However, I was unable to find out where Horde developers took ambient and nature sounds from, including this wolf howl, which I found on soundbible:
http://soundbible.com/130-Werewolf-Howl.html
There are also some bird, crickets/frogs, wind and some other ambient forest sounds, which I still can't figure out where they are taken from. Are they also taken from Warcraft or created by themselves?
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 7:16 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

chanfort wrote:
There are also some bird, crickets/frogs, wind and some other ambient forest sounds, which I still can't figure out where they are taken from. Are they also taken from Warcraft or created by themselves?

Definitely not from the Warcraft games, as those don't have any ambient nature sounds like this.

The sounds most likely come from one sound library or another. In fact, this was pretty common with video games back then. I think Warcraft, or at least Warcraft II uses some sounds from a library which can be also found in other games (most notably the dragon scream sound).
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chanfort
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:08 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Kind of interesting. What sound libraries could be potential candidates for these 1995 - 2005 period? I.e. I am trying to find out where these nature and ambient sounds in Horde can be coming from Happy
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 12:33 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

I have no idea about what the exact sound libraries might be, as I only heard about this from other people (also some sounds are obviously identical across different games like the dragon roar sound).

For example, here are some folks discussing stock sounds in Duke Nukem 3D:
http://forums.duke4.net/topic/1360-the-supreme-topic-of-miscellaneous-knowledge/page__view__findpost__p__197293

I'm sure if you google a bit you'll find plenty of info on your own. I'm not sure though if anyone ever attempted to track down every single sound from a game. Apparently someone did something like that to get high quality sound effects for Doom.

chanfort wrote:
What sound libraries could be potential candidates for these 1995 - 2005 period?

Horde was released in 1999, and Horde II does not really add a lot more sounds (if any). So you don't need to reach this far forward.
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 1:15 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Funniest stock sound I've run into is the "creaky door". I played Daggerfall for so many hours that the sound was burned into my brain: no problem.

But then I noticed that it shows up on TV and cheap movies ALL THE TIME. THE SAME SOUND! It's use has subsided a bit as time goes on, but I still roll on the floor laughing whenever the distinctive squeaky hinge sound comes up. Especially when it's not on a creaky wooden door, but they used the sound anyway.

So yes, sound library very frequently used across game and video mediums! Much cheaper to buy a stock library than to spend time and money recording and creating your own sounds like the Cyan guys did for Myst.
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chanfort
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 09, 2015 2:39 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

Sounds interesting. Similar story happened to me - I memorised this Windows 95 sound in Horde, used for item pick up. When I hear it somewhere (there was several times in our sport centre), I am thinking "ok, today I am going to play Horde again" Happy

I am very keen to find out these Horde ambient forest sounds now, as they are really encouraging me Happy
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chanfort
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:05 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

It has been over two years. How is Horde play and info finding going? Anything new during these years happened in terms of posts, blogs, etc.? I some time ago found that there were some development of Horde III happening by Miloslav (i.e. https://www.facebook.com/hordecitadel3/) but not sure at which stage they are now.

I was also curious about how units in Horde I and II were made. Can it be that they were made as 3D unit models and only projected as sprites in 2D at that time?
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Quadko
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 4:38 pm     Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know if Horde did it, but lots of games did the 3d model -> 2d sprite render between when expensive workstations could handle 3d and before home computers the games would play on could, so very likely.

I'm pretty sure Starcraft was a AAA example of that, and probably Diablo, too. High poly/resolution models, rendered "overnight" and from multiple angles and positions, and used as sprites into the 2d game engine.

Fun, I can't believe this conversation is that old! I remember it like it was just months ago.
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MrFlibble
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:03 am     Post subject: Reply with quote

chanfort wrote:
I was also curious about how units in Horde I and II were made. Can it be that they were made as 3D unit models and only projected as sprites in 2D at that time?

The unit graphics certainly have a pre-rendered look to them similar to Age of Empires, it's noticeable with the portraits as well. I'm not 100% sure though, if I can find a dev interview I read a while ago there might be info on that.

UPD: Here's the interview (in Russian):
http://www.dailytelefrag.com/articles/read.php?id=45

Or maybe not. I remember some interview mentioning that the graphics were made by graduates from Nizhniy Tagil arts institute (or faculty of arts from some higher education institution).
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