On a humid and damp Thursday morning, sun high in the sky, I place the last few steps towards the Activision office in Breda. Even before I reach the door a woman with a big smile welcomes me with open arms. Dont you just love these friendly people. Today I get the chance to interview Rick Goodman, the man behind Age of Empires and Empire Earth. Today he will talk about his upcoming RTS game Empires: Dawn of the Modern World. GNL: Good afternoon Mr. Goodman, thank you for taking the time answering these questions. Rick Goodman: No problem whatsoever, thank you for coming over to look at our game. GNL: Since conceiving the idea to build a new RTS game from scratch, how long has Empires been in development? Rick Goodman: As of right now, approximately one and a half years. When the game ships it will have been 2 years since we started. GNL: How many people are currently working on Empires to make your deadline? Rick Goodman: Right now we have about 50 people from Stainless Steal working on Empires, that and 20 people from Activision makes a total of about 70 people. GNL: What will Empires offer the gamers that are not known in RTS games and would like to start playing? Will you offer them a tutorial? Rick Goodman: As of yet there is no tutorial and there are no plans for one. The game will ship with a number of summary cards that will tell the gamer what the biggest economical, military and social advantages to that Civilization are. That and the way the campaigns are build will slowly teach the gamer the aspects of the first Civilization. If the gamer follows the build in campaign structure, starting with the first campaign and going on to the second and so on, the game will, in a way, explain itself to the gamers. GNL: A lot of RTS games announce new gameplay aspects to draw gamers to that particular game. What is the biggest difference/advantage that Empires has as supposed to say Age of Empires? Rick Goodman: When we asked gamers what they missed in RTS games the majority and what they would like to see in a new RTS game, the results were shocking. Most gamers want to play a historical game that is based on historical facts, where the playable civilizations are totally different as supposed to basically the same but with a few unique units. They want a game where you can maintain the balance between economical, military and social management. But the game itself has to be based upon the building an army and using that army to defend or attack. Empires offers gamers all of the above and more.