The first ever Real-Time Strategy (RTS) machinima series will cease production by the end of the year but will have its story wrapped up in the process. Originally intended to be a three-season, thirteen-episode-per-season plus pilot serial, Age of Nations (AoN) will instead have one fourteen-episode season and three featurettes to its credit along with numerous specials including ongoing promos and commentaries. Complemented with some 'live action', AoN is set in the Rise of Nations environment. An RTS developed by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios, RoN was released in 2003 and prior to AoN no known machinima had even been attempted in it let alone published.
"Wrapping two whole seasons into just two episodes provides a rollercoaster ride of plot cruising at breakneck speed for viewers of [AoN", comments Co-Executive Producer DarkCloud. "Be prepared to watch stunning scenery, thrilling plot exposition, and chilling battle scenes as the series rockets to a startling close."
"I have enjoyed working on the series despite a couple of inherent problems, and it has aroused an interest in movies and videos", reflects Director Stan "stankarp" Karpinski. "As a result I am now studying movie making full-time with a view to making historical documentaries."
Series Creator/Producer Daniel "DanQ" Quick came to this decision following consultation with fellow AoN team several other interested staff members on Apolyton Civilization Site which owns, produces, markets and distributes the show. He readily cites a number of primary factors that has led to this moment including staffing availability and considerable production overhead; however, the number one and number two reasons on the list are lack of feedback from AoN's audience and the fact that the audience as measured itself remains too small.
"We knew it was going to be a slow start given the production obstacles to overcome, settling into the story arcs and marketing the unique nature of this endeavour", says Quick who is also ACS' Chief Owner/Administrator. "Machinima's presence in the strategy genre is minimal and despite our best efforts to change this at least within Apolyton's community, we have failed to do so after more than a year of ongoing attempts. With other demands and interests taking up my and fellow team members' time, we feel we must make this change."
The third AoN featurette, conceived and written by Co-Executive Producer Gordon "Illuminatus" Smith, will be a stand-alone production that follows a 'what if' scenario with characters in situations that could have been had the writers gone in a different direction. It is to be released in between the first and third featurette which will conclude the storyline which began with the series pilot released in December 2005. In addition to outstanding first season commentaries, Quick assures audience members that featurette commentaries and several other special productions will surface too though some may not be released until early 2008.
The official AoN website can be found at http://aon.apolyton.net.