The Great Wall
The Great Wall is the very first fan-site for the newest game in the City Building Series: Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom.
"Sierra Studios and Impressions Games today (September 10, 2002) announced that their new city-building game, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom™, has shipped to retail stores nationwide. Developed by Breakaway Games, Emperor: Rise of the Middle Kingdom takes aspiring city governors to ancient China, adding several revolutionary features, including local area network (LAN) and Internet multiplayer gameplay, a first in the city-building genre."
May 30, 2017 - A slightly new look
So.... a lot has happened in the last 15 years. We've seen the release of Emperor, the fall of Impressions Games and Sierra, the rise and dusk of Tilted Mill Entertainment (by former Impressions Games staff), the coming and going of various websites, a couple of server moves for this website and here we are, in 2017.
A few months ago, Emperor was released on Good Old Games, a cheap way to get the game. Hopefully some old players and a few new players will continue to enjoy this 'golden oldie' game.
Since I've seen that more and more traffic comes from mobile devices, I dragged the site through a small technical redesign to make it easier to browse on mobile/tablet. Enjoy the new look!
November 11, 2004 - Finally an "update"
It's been a while since I posted an update to this site, mainly because I didn't have anything to add to the site, as it's currently as finished as it's ever going to get. However, there are a few things that happened recently that I'd like to bring to your attention.
First of all, Children of the Nile has been released in the US. Children of the Nile is a next-generation citybuilder, 100% in 3D. It's made by Tilted Mill, a company formed by former Impressions Games employees, the same people who made the citybuilder games like Caesar3, Pharaoh and Zeus. If you like Emperor, you might like Children of the Nile, so give it a look. Personally, I'm hooked.
Secondly, this week, FireFox 1.0 has been released. For those who don't know yet, FireFox is a program to browse the web, just like Internet Explorer. However, it has many more features than Internet Explorer, and on top of that it doesn't have any known security holes. Best of all: it's open source and all free. If you haven't already, give it a try.
Last but not least, last week, the counter on this site indicated that "The Great Wall" has served 100,000 visitors since its launch in March 2002!
March 21, 2004 - Impressions cup, and new Citybuilder announced
First something I should have posted a month ago: CityBuildingContests.net is having 12 contests for the first half of the so-called "Impressions cup": who is the best citybuilder? Compete and find out! You still have a month to submit your entries, two contests are for Emperor.
Onwards to the more exciting news: Tilted Mill, a new game company founded by former Impressions Games employees, today announced their first game: Children of the Nile. An excerpt from the announcement:
Set in the evocative land of ancient Egypt, it is the first and only strategy game where citizens who behave like real people are your primary resource. As their leader, you must build a place in which they can live and work, establishing a relationship of trust and cooperation which you then leverage to build a lasting civilization, and bring it to its cultural peak.
This sure looks interesting! There's also a three-page interview with Chris Beatrice at Gamespy.
September 20, 2003 - Taxes article
I almost forgot that I still had an unreleased article on taxes lying around. Well, it's up now, so you can calculate how much tax income you'll get when you have xx Luxurious Apartments and x Heavenly Compounds, if you want ;)
August 7, 2003 - The patch is finally here!
After waiting months and months, the patch has finally been released. The English version is 19.9 MB, while all other language versions are 20.6 MB. Be sure to download the right version!
The patch fixes various bugs, but also includes quite a few new multiplayer campaigns, and the Emperor Jin-Wudi campaign that was earlier available as a separate download.
On a sidenote, I'll be on holiday from now till August 23rd, so any emails I will get won't be answered until I get back. Sinuhe will be taking care of the site, so any important news updates can be sent to him.
July 25, 2003 - the PATCH is finally getting closer
Gobi Bear posted at the Sierra forums that the patch is out of localisation, and is going through a few last tests now, so it's release is probably only a few days away. He also posted the complete readme of the patch, which lists all of the enhancements/bug fixes made.
July 5, 2003 - Guestbook is finally working again
Finally I got around making a guestbook script since StrategyPlanet decided to ditch the one I was using. The thing's been not working for half a year or so, but now it works again :)
I also updated the spies article with some minor details.
March 25, 2003 - Updated housing models and most of the 'Spies' article
I updated the housing model data: the columns "crime risk" and "health risk" are split in 5 columns to reflect their values at the different difficulty levels.
And today, I'm doing something that I haven't ever done: putting a page on the web that isn't really finished yet ... the Spies page is finally online, but the multiplayer information is missing and I haven't done any research on the effects of 2 types of sabotaging in single player yet either. I hope to be able to find some time to do that this weekend, but in the meantime, if you have any information to share, please send it, it will be much appreciated :)
Sidenote: I found out today that the guestbook isn't working, and it's probably been this way for a month or two.. sorry for that, it will be working again soon (I hope)
February 25, 2003 - Gifts & Requests page and printer-friendly pages
I eleminated another 'coming soon' label by writing the Gifts & Requests article, and threw some more time away by updating every single page to allow easy printing in the most recent browsers (IE5+, Netscape 6+, Mozilla or Opera 6+; earlier versions may work but I didn't test them)
To print a page, just click the printer icon at the top of the page and a 'clean' black-and-white version without left navigation, top bar and banner will roll out of your printer.
February 19, 2003 - Emperor for sale at GoGamer
Thunderfall sent me an interesting link: GoGamer is selling Emperor for only $7.90 instead of the regular $19.90, so if you've been hesitating to buy Emperor, now is the chance to get it for cheap! The offer lasts only 48 hours, and at the time of writing this news update, there are only 29 hours left...
Update: the 48 hour madness is over for Emperor, but the price has permanently dropped from $19.90 to $14.90.
February 15, 2003 - Trade article & updated FAQ
I finally found some time to write an article about trade and thus eliminate one 'coming soon' label. Still 2 to go though..
I also finally 'updated' the FAQ: I divided them over a few pages instead of one big page: that will make it somewhat easier to update.
February 1, 2003 - Happy New Year and a big update, very big update
For those who didn't realize: today the Chinese New Year starts: the year of the sheep/goat/ram, so: happy new year!
I have overhauled the navigation system on the left so much that almost every page is updated in some way. I divided the pages in categories (which was a big task already), then made the nav. system, tweaked that.. until finally this design looked just right to me. The other 'major' difference is that I took the 'old' version of the site offline. Below you'll find a log of what I've done in the past month:
January 13-17 - While taking a course in webdesign (obligatory course at the university) I began thinking about a redesign of the navigation. I started to think about ways to improve my site while on the train to and from the university, made some notes, made more notes and would start to work out my final thoughts in the weekend.
January 18-19 - Redesign of the navigation, dividing pages into categories, making screenshots from the game for new little pictures. The new navigation is still primitive and restricted to a few pages, but it works.
January 21 - All pages updated to adapt the new navigation. Looks OK but needs some tweaking still. I made the City Favor page, and the various 'section' pages.
January 25 - I just took a look at my site with Netscape 4, and it was terrible.. I cleaned up some code so the pages will now display reasonable in Netscape 4. I also updated the navigation once more. This will be the final result... I hope. 3 new pages were added: monuments in the campaigns, and 2 of the 12 new hero pages. A start was made with the rest of the heroes.
January 26 - I continued with the hero pages, now all I need is a screenshot of 10 of them. I also made the site even more Netscape 4-friendly: it now looks almost the same as in Netscape 6 and IE. I split the Feng Shui page in 3 separate pages: the original page was starting to be a trash bin for all things feng shui. Third: I started (and finished) with putting the campaign briefings in html. You can access them through the campaign pages.
After hearing from a few people that the new navigation is lovely, I will keep it like this for sure.
January 27 - After an interesting email from MarvL, I did some more tests on Feng Shui, and updated the FS in detail page accordingly. I also put some more notes on the Feng Shui basics page. Further, I added a new line in the Zodiac Table for the New Year. I made another
(2 3 4 5)6 hero images, now 'only' 3 remain... I hope to get everything ready before Feb 1: the Chinese new year.
January 28 - I finished the heroes, finally.. next thing on the 'to do'-list is splitting the FAQ page and some other things, which, together with the university stuff, will keep me more than busy for the next few days. Oh yea, and I gotta finish the sitemap.. right now it's a mess ;)
January 31 - February the 1st draws closer and I still haven't done the things on my 'to-do' list. I think most of it will have to wait till next week. Update: I found some time to work out the sitemap, but don't have any time to do more. The FAQ page remains unchanged (but with a few new questions added) and there are 3 pages which still have a 'coming soon' label.
January 4, 2003 - Patch news
First of all: I wish everyone a happy 2003, may you never run out of time to play games!
Gobi Bear posted information on the patch on the Sierra forums:
Okay, I give in. One more post on patch news and then I go back into silence on the subject again.
Rest assured that everything in the posts in this thread (including monuments in Open Play) will be addressed in the patch. The only exception I see is the boats proximity to the shore line. That's still the same (its a basic property of how the game engine routes units).
The patch includes a lot of other minor items not on this list. And it includes everything mentioned over at Emperor Heaven. And a bunch of new multiplayer scenarios.
The bottom line is that we are trying to put out one update that addresses everything found since the game was released rather than a series of patches. (...) In fact it has enough new minor features and scenarios it will probably be called an Enhancement Pack instead of a patch. Not sure yet.
Timeframe? Not any time soon. The patch still has to go through Sierra QA and localization into all the languages before it is released anywhere. We don't have any estimates for how long that is going to take.
Third: I updated the Feng Shui page with yet another table: how many buildings you need to place harmoniously to get a certain Feng Shui rating :)
December 21, 2002 - Monument screenshots
A suggestion from Kiril led to a new page: monument screenshots. How does a monument look like when it's finished? You can see it there.
Also, I decided to bring the site in a winter-style; Merry Christmas all and many thanks to JuliaSet for adding snow to the dragons!
December 5, 2002 - New contest at ICU
I'm a bit late with adding this news, but ICU is holding yet another Emperor contest this month: Leantimes:
As the mighty river constantly changes its course, so does the population fluctuate up and down. For many years you were able to farm these lands and gather great quantities of resources. The riches of this land are still available to the daring, but many workers have long since given up on farming this area because the markets are no longer readily staffed. So much food has gone to waste, and now you must try to provide for all of your citizens with the few skilled market and mill workers left.
A population contest: try to stuff as many people, living in high-quality housing, on the map, but that won't be easy... Check the rules & download the map here. The contest runs until December 31.
November 2, 2002 - Few more pages added
Again a few new pages:
Industry Production Rates - what each industry building can produce per year
Workers & Wages - how many workers you get when you set the wages to any level
Religion - general information about religion
Zodiac - I split the old page in 2 pages, to make it more clear (I hope) and added some pictures