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News Archives - March 2008

The Sound of Music
Posted on 3/31/2008 at 9:14 PM by Sir Hugh
Howard Shore has revealed his involvement with The Hobbit film and has been improving upon themes that he has composed since the making of LOTR: The Two Towers. I'm sure we hope his musical score will be as fantastic as his work in sequaling trilogy.

Ian McKellen to Return as Gandalf in The Hobbit?
Posted on 3/26/2008 at 12:12 PM by AtZy
As any LotR fan who hasn't been buried in a cave during the last ten years knows, Ian Mckellen was the superb actor responsible for playing Gandalf in Peter Jacksons Lord of the Rings trilogy.

According to an article on, McKellen was quoted in an interview as saying "Yes I will [play Gandalf], if Peter Jackson and I have anything to do with it, he being the producer and me being, on the whole, a very lucky actor." If that wasn't reason enough to get your hopes up, he also had this to say: "Encouragingly, Peter and Fran Walsh have told me they couldn't imagine The Hobbit without their original Gandalf. Their confidence hasn't yet been confirmed by the director Guillermo del Toro but I am keeping my diary free for 2009!"

I have to agree with Peter and Fran on this one. I couldn't imagine anyone but Ian Mckellen to play our Gandalf.

The article referenced can be found here
Poll Round-Up!
Posted on 3/23/2008 at 3:31 PM by Sir Hugh
In our last poll, we asked: "What aspect of this site should be improved upon the most?"

News (13)
Forums (17)
Scenarios/Modpacks downloads (75)
Recorded games (8)
Strategy articles (81)
Game info articles (18)
Scenario Design/Modding articles (19)
Total votes: 231

It appears that most website visitors would like increased mounts (or better) of strategy articles and a better downloads system for custom scenarios and modpacks.

In our next poll, we ask " Which character would you be most interested in reading a LotR book about?" Old polls can be viewed here and new poll suggestion can be made in this forum thread.
New Collection of Downloads
Posted on 3/22/2008 at 1:56 PM by Sir Hugh
In the time that has passed since the last Downloads Update, there have been several new maps released:

Save the Highlands pack by fiakasgeo (BFME2)
New Mirkwood Realm by {IP}TheNotorius by TheNotorius (ROTWK)
Seimprela by jordan_jjoedn (BFME2 Version)
Seimprela by jordan_jjoedn (ROTWK Version)
Custom Heroes - Hell Unleashed by SupremeGeorge by fiakasgeo (BFME2)

and some ROTWK replays submitted by Evilnemesis.

Thanks to these contributors. Download away!
Battle of the Forums, Round 3!
Posted on 3/16/2008 at 8:48 AM by EnemyofJupitor

Here we go again! We've made it to the final, and it's a fight to the death against Empire Earth Heaven, World in Conquest Heaven and Outside Discussions.

Witness the carnage here.

1v1 Anniversary Tournament at MEC!
Posted on 3/11/2008 at 3:08 PM by Sir Hugh
Middle Earth Center, a fellow fan-site, is hosting a 1 vs. 1 BFME2 tournament sponsored by EA to celebrate the second anniversary of the game. It's a good time to polish your disc and hone your skills to see if you are still sharp!

You can find more information left by Freek in this forum thread.
Battle of the Forums, Round 2!
Posted on 3/9/2008 at 4:09 AM by EnemyofJupitor

After the ninja incident, Zen was amused again. He sent our bruised forummers to hospital to receive medical attention. Many had severe wounds but spirits were high.

That was until everyone realised it was an NHS hospital! The forummers were thrown onto trolleys and left to rot. There was only one nurse in the ward and she couldn't be bothered to help anyone because she was bored. The forummers decided that half of them would have to die to amuse the nurse, while the others got their healthcare, and decided that another ferris wheel type game was in order...

Yes, BFME2H's in Round 2 of Battle of the Forums, squaring off against the mighty Empire Earth Heaven, Halo Wars Heaven, and Rise of Legends Heaven. Cheer us on here!

Height Glitching
Posted on 3/7/2008 at 1:42 PM by AtZy
locomonster1 has come through again, providing us with another strategic glitch.
Using the same method as the Minas Tirith thing, I managed to teleport a single archer hero (Thranduil) to the peak of Orthanc!!!! It took me a kadjillion tries, but he could fire the entire map!
To learn how our ingenious forumer did this, visit his thread in the forums. And keep an eye on our strategy forum...I have a feeling this won't be the last of loco's finds.
The Gollum-bot
Posted on 3/6/2008 at 10:37 AM by EnemyofJupitor

Remember those massive fight scenes in Lord of the Rings that required AI help to configure? The same technology is now being put to use in robots, specifically one called 'Zeno'...

According to its creators, Massive, the AI is now able to mimic a range of human emotions, and has been developed to model everything from panic simulations of people in a burning building to architectural layouts determining how easily groups navigate a floor plan.

Read the full article here. But what's it to do with Gollum?

"The same technology that drove Gollum's movement is now driving Zeno's movement. The benefits are you get a very smooth, very natural action because the instructions you're using are from feature film quality animation."

There you have it. Short people steer clear of robots.

Tip of the Week is back in black!
Posted on 3/5/2008 at 1:50 PM by AtZy
Yes, that's right. Our industrious friend locomonster1 has submitted a new Tip of the Week in hopes of reviving this fun and often enlightening tradition. He shares how to build siege weapons on the previously considered inaccessible third level of Minas Tirith. As loco puts it: You will discover that from that high up, your siege weapons can fire an awe-inspiring distance, and obliterate enemy emplacements within a good radius around Minas Tirith; this forces your foe to stay as far back as possible. Its pretty fun.

Check out our Tip of the Week section for more tips and remember you can always submit your own by either emailing one of the staff here, or posting in the forums.
SOLO: Essays and Commentary on the Art of the Single Player
Posted on 3/3/2008 at 10:44 AM by EnemyofJupitor

"SOLO: Essays and Commentary on the Art of the Single Player Game" debuts at HeavenGames! This new, semi-regular column on the art and theory of designing single player games will highlight important issues in the development of games, asking challenging questions about the nature of gaming, whether games will ever meet the criteria for art, and offering practical pointers on how the best single player experiences are created by designers.

SOLO is written by Gordon Farrell, a long-time professional designer of single player campaigns for AAA games such as Empire Earth and Empires: Dawn of the Modern World. In addition, he has worked on strategy titles such as Caesar IV, Children of the Nile and BreakAway Games' Middle Eastern city builder, Arabian Lords. He is currently Lead Writer for Reverie World Studios' first game, Dawn of Fantasy, due for release in Fall 2008.

HGS regulars will recognize Gordon's work as a staple of our downloadsections, from games as diverse as Age of Empires and Caesar 3, to both Stronghold 1, Stronghold 2 and Age of Kings. In addition to his HGS mods, he has highly-rated Civilization 4 mods uploaded at CivFanatics as well.

Gordon is on the faculty of New York University, where he teaches narrative theory for video games, theory of screenwriting, and advanced studies in dramatic art. He also lectures at Marymount Manhattan College in video games, script analysis, and theatre history. In 2002, Prima Games published his essay, "The Theory of Scenario Design." His extensive professional and academic experience promises an exciting column filled with commentary on the art of games that will be both controversial and thought-provoking.

New Maps!
Posted on 3/1/2008 at 5:57 PM by Sir Hugh
The downloads has two new maps from Leap Year:

thorongil45 has submitted Duck Lake.
Duck Lake resides in a slightly colder region of middle earth by the misty mountains of Gollum and Bilbo Baggins fame. Trolls, goblins and barrow wight lairs are thick in this land; Forests are hard to get through because of this. Ducks of various sizes inhabit the lake and a signal tower from ages past sits near it. Duck Lake was designed from the ground up to be a snow map, so it has snow, and snow textures.

IP Dreamer has submitted his map, Fall of the Iron Crown which he has made trailers for.'ll command the combined armies of Elves and Men to bring justice to the Witch King and his realm of Iron Crown.

Don't miss out!