Age of Empires: Definitive Edition

Age of Empires: Definitive Edition

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Mathgun May 15 @ 10:32am
I wish the Old GUI from original Ao1 was available as an option in graphic settings.
Why is it that these days, remasters/remakes of games often, dismantle / delete
the old 90s style GUI (Graphics User Interfaces) !!
I mean, couldn't they preserve it (even if just optional)! There is nostalgia value in GUI art as well...It is not enough to design a new in game graphics and consider your product a "remaster" "DE" whatever you want to call it.
Examples: SC1 did an ok-ish job with this... W3Reforge didn't... AoE2 DE new GUI, the main menu is good but could have as an option to use old-school UI. In AoE2DE at least the new main menu interface respects the old grid style and art. This is not at all the case with AoE1DE.
In the case of AoE1DE the new GUI is awfull... The green florescence buttons... the background... I mean I wouldn't mind it if it wasn't forced upon you too look at it every time you open the game.
I really loved and miss the old art of AoE1 and playing AoE1DE makes me miss it even more. It should have been an option, from release, to have the old GUI from 1997 available in AoE1-DE. As it is currently May 2021 you can't experience with AoE1DE the Intro menu with the old UI art, the in game Interface with the old UI art etc etc (sounds included!). It would give so much nostalgia to the game experience if these were available. I hate the background art of the current Main menu in AoE1 Definitive edition.. Same feeling towards the in game menu... the old one was so much attractive IMO. Strongly dislike those thick borders in-game in AoE1DE.

By forcing you "the gamer" to use their new GUI art the Developers are not only steeling you a product that they sold you 20 years ago, they are also making you pay again to lose something you own and enjoyed. Maybe there is some mod for this and this silly rant is unnecessary. Am I alone in this ?

I reckon most people who play Ao1DE don't care about UI art. There doesn't seem to be a huge pool of players playing multiplayer but who knows.. Given the success of AoE2DE maybe the AoE1DE grows in population and the interest in this RTS is re-kindle. I doubt I'll ever see this happening so maybe I should go back to search for a windows XP machine with a CDRom drive if I want to see the old UI. There are bigger problems these days but complaining about useless stuff is fun. Have a nice day reader.
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You know what? i feel the same. I was getting annoyed with myself for being bugged by what seems trivial but after seeing this post I feel justified in having this view because I'm not the only one.

The UI is not nice at all.

It looks like something straight out of a cheap mobile game. This might sound harsh but I think it really cheapens the experience tbh. It's awful!

Steve Jobs was known to be a complete pain in the butt for being obsessed with attention to detail, every font in MacOS had to be pixel perfect. It would be nice if this level of attention to detail was applied to these remasters that fits with the style of the game, but it seem to be burn and churn, the name sells so that's enough.

It also demonstrates that the same level of passion isn't in making the remaster compared to the original there if the UI looks like this, but to be fair that's probably not the devs fault if there's a tough deadline they probably don't want to get stuck fussing over it. Many would overlook this, but you can tell some plain generic font (maybe Ariel?) has been used and the UI has not had any in depth overhaul.

Also, it would have been nice for the original FMV had been upgraded but that wasn't even included.

And also, the voices. I need to bring this up.

The music seems ok, but the voices seem to have a strange distortion and they seem to have the same digital artefacts as PC classic Broken Sword. Almost like the compression has been maxed out.

I've just started playing the tutorial campaigns and to best of my knowledge the narrator wasn't in the original, so I'm having a hard time understanding what on earth is wrong with the quality of the voice here. I might even try to dig out one of the narration files and analyse them, see if they are using a low bit rate and sample rate. If I do I'll let you know what I discover. But for a HD remaster this is completely unacceptable.

As for the rest of the game, as far as i can tell after playing a few tutorial games it seem nice. It's great to have 60 fps and zoom.

But as you've pointed out, the UI really does ruin and cheapen the experience, at least for some people who've grown to love the original. Perhaps newcomers won't be so bothered by it but it definitely gets under my skin.

I've got a Kellogg's version buried away somewhere, I think I'll fire that up.

If you need a reference to compare this too here's a longplay of the '97 version.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jljjY5yu8i8
Last edited by hypercybermegatron; May 20 @ 4:14am
Ok. Regarding my audio issue I'll create a separate post. I've looked into it and have found out why it sounds bad. The narrations are in MP3 format, but the compression settings are not at properly optimised for voice.

This is unacceptable quality for "Definitive Edition".


General
Complete name : G:\Steam\steamapps\common\AoEDE\Content\Voice Over\en\70043.mp3
Format : MPEG Audio
File size : 161 KiB
Duration : 12 s 904 ms
Overall bit rate mode : Variable
Overall bit rate : 102 kb/s
Writing library : LAME3.99r

Audio
Format : MPEG Audio
Format version : Version 1
Format profile : Layer 3
Format settings : Joint stereo / MS Stereo
Duration : 12 s 904 ms
Bit rate mode : Variable
Bit rate : 102 kb/s
Minimum bit rate : 32.0 kb/s
Channel(s) : 2 channels
Sampling rate : 44.1 kHz
Frame rate : 38.281 FPS (1152 SPF)
Compression mode : Lossy
Stream size : 160 KiB (100%)
Writing library : LAME3.99r
Encoding settings : -m j -V 5 -q 0 -lowpass 17 --vbr-new -b 32


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