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Tag: Nostalgia

[Com] Time for Nostalgia: a trip through history – part 2

When we last time concluded with “this has just been a small fraction of the stories”, that wasn’t just a saying. And as you noticed, we didn’t even touch on the other parts of the series yet! So grab yourself a cup of coffee or tea, let’s dive back into the year 2001 when The Settlers IV was released.

It wasn’t a massive of a step as between The Settlers II and III, but brought along a few improvements and changes as well as several entirely new races. KeepCalmCarry92 remembers:

A really great and funny addition was the Dark Tribe with its 15 singleplayer missions including trading, exploring and fighting. And again beautiful intro videos, with this guy – I think he was called Morpheus – who was exiled to Earth even though being used to only walking on dark ground. This became my favourite game, even if only by a fraction compared to The Settlers III.

And with it being the early 2000s and the rising popularity of the internet, one thing became more and more a people-connecting feature: The building of online communities. Multiplayer via the internet of course already was a thing back then, even if nowhere near to the extent it is today. But the internet also primarily is a place for communicating, for discussing your hobbies and asking for help or advice. PennyUK told us this story about the Settlers IV:

After a few days I had an issue with the game and had no idea how to solve it; my only hope was to go online and find a fix for the bug. The internet was a turning point for me, my family will probably agree but for different reasons 😉

I stumbled across BBGC (Blue Byte Game Channel) and found a community of likeminded people. I really didn’t know these multiplayer games existed, let alone chatrooms for the actual games. Wow, I had so much to learn, and learn I did over the next few years. I spent day and night in BBGC just chatting to others from around the globe, and over time became confident enough to play against others.

And by reading a lot of the comments and replies, the suggestions for the new The Settlers and the excitement regarding the History Collection it’s pretty clear she’s not alone with that.

The Settlers alone lead to several small gaming groups in various languages long before the time of Social Media and Discord. Community websites started appearing, presenting the collective knowledge of the Settlers community to the whole internet. With games like The Settlers III also featuring a map editor more websites and forums appeared, more knowledge was shared.

KeepCalmCarry92: Finally I want to thank the community who later published countless self-created maps, varying in difficulty and allowing a great deal of different settings. I’m speaking about one of my all-time favourite maps like the 6-player map Metzel […] and Einherjer and the race specific missions Athos, Athene, Cleopatra, Caesar which really were a challenge. Thank you so much for these amazing maps and the great time I had while playing them!

From the fourth game of the series, let’s move on to part 5 which meant quite a step in a different direction when looking at various mechanics: Far more direct control over your Settlers, the introduction of heroes and a story-heavy singleplayer campaign. Also in regards to the artstyle “Heritage of Kings” went for a grimmer, realistic style. For many veterans this was considered a massive break with the series’ origins and DNA, so to say, but in exchange for that it found new fans like Melon:

I did have some amazing memories. For example the mission Folkung, it was a bit strange since you didn’t need to do anything to defend the castle but after you built a strong army and charged into the opponents – that was amazing.

And of course the quotes when recruiting soldiers are always hilarious: “How am I supposed to concentrate when you are tickling me!” or the “I swear, I just saw an elephant up there in the tree.” We also had the badass missions from the expansion pack, mainly the one with the sharpshooters in it. The mission was to defend your keep against waves and waves of enemy monsters, I failed so many times just because of a fat wave coming in and it made me really mad but it was one of the best missions I’ve played.

Two years later “Rise of an Empire” was released, taking placing many years after the events from “Heritage of Kings”. You again controlled heroes, but otherwise it brought back some of the ”bustling” the series was so well-known for – or, as Mopster put it: “Settlers 6 was a step back in the right direction but the small sectors required some getting used to.”
Splitting the map into sectors would be something The Settlers 7 also picked up on in 2010 but more about that in a bit. The Settlers 6 brought back something from the very early games, even though in a slightly different fashion: roads! Building roads drastically improved the speed in which your Settlers moved around and upgraded buildings additionally allowed the use of handcarts, for example.

Another difference probably was the overall settlement approach: The first instalments, true to their name, made you feel like a colonist, the settlements were built from ground up and had a feeling of creating a make-shift outpost to continue your travels or your mission.

In “Rise of an Empire” for the first time you started creating a full city, were able to build a wall around it and this way had a clear distinction between basic production buildings (woodcutter, hunter, miner) which were outside the city and further production, or processing buildings like the cheese dairy, weaver etc.

The Settlers 7 now picked up the sectors from part 6 and added different victory methods. This also led to an active multiplayer scene around this title, in some cases highly competitive, as muGGeSTuTz experienced:

I was brave and joined a 2vs2 multiplayer match, not really expecting anything unusual. Everyone is chatting in English, but that’s fine and we’re setting up the teams.  After what felt like 5 or 10 minutes my team mate writes me: “Send me beer!!!” And I reply: “Guinness or Blonde? Cheers!” with a smiley. I mean, I didn’t even have a brewery at this early point in the game.

Only now I started realising I joined a session with some ultimate hardcore Settlers players. They of course relied on massive cooperation, each team member focusing on certain aspects of the economy etc – but I’ve never played like this before.

No “everyone builds their own settlement”, instead “industrial revolution” and “globalisation” was going on – I guess 😛

And well, that certainly was a short match since I had no idea how to play this way, how to organise and “push” each other like that. Since then I usually play…ehm…normal matches.

For many of you, that much has become clear over the last weeks, The Settlers is a relatively calm build-up strategy game; you can take your time and don’t need to rush like in other games. But at the same time, for those wanting a faster and more competitive experience, the series also clearly offered opportunities.

With this glance at the The Settlers 7 multiplayer, we’re already coming to the end of our short nostalgia-trip. As we discovered, there are positive memories connected to all games of the The Settlers series, even though there have been some undeniable changes over the course of the years which made people pick different favourites.

Thank you all for sharing your stories with us and your great enthusiasm about the History Collection and the new The Settlers we announced. We’re looking forward to discussing even more “Settlers stuff” with you over the coming weeks and months and maybe even have a multiplayer match or two.

What did you think about this little nostalgia trip? Are you already enjoying the History Collection?

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Interview: Keralis

We sat down with Keralis, a strategy and build-up games focused YouTuber and The Settlers fan, and asked him a lot of questions about his channel and his personal history with The Settlers. We let him do his own introduction, so let’s jump right into the interview!

Hello Keralis, hope you’re well. It’s an honor to have you around for an interview today. It’s probably best to start with the “standard questions” for the people who don’t know you yet: Who are you and what’s this whole YouTube thing about?

My name is “Keralis” and I am a 37 year old YouTube content creator from Sweden but with roots in Poland. I do play a huge variety of games but my passion are creative, strategy, city builders and simulation games. Like Anno, Cities Skylines, Planet Coaster, Tropico just to mention a few.

“This whole YouTube thing” it’s a crazy way of sharing something with others, building a community and even making a living of it. Many of my friends have a very hard time understanding why someone would sit and watch other play video games and even getting paid for it. Explaining this is hard but I guess many are just tired of mainstream media and both YouTube and Twitch are great for “two way communication”. They feel involved in something which TV channels doesn’t very often allow them to.

When did you start creating content on YouTube? How did it start?

I started creating YouTube videos about 7 years ago without any intention of growing the channel or getting an audience to watch my videos. All was a happy little mistake.

The story began when the Battlefield clan which I was part of bought a Minecraft server for the community and many of the players went from playing this intense and adult first person shooter to building with blocks in a peaceful world. I was very sceptic in the beginning but since I always have had a passion for Lego I gave in and joined the others. I’ve built this huge Minecraft hotel and wanted to share it on the community forums so I recorded a video, uploaded it to YouTube and posted the link on the community forums. A few months later I was browsing YouTube and noticed that my “Minecraft hotel” video had over 100.000 views and so it began! I saw a possibility in playing video games and sharing it with an audience. I’ve never dreamt of making it a living but it has been exactly that for the last 6 years.

Looking at your channel right now, you’re mostly playing strategy, build-up and simulation games. You did make videos about games like The Witcher 3 or Sniper Elite 4 in the past. Did you actively decide to feature different content or is it more something of a “mood” thing?

Sharing a huge variety of games is my dream, however, it is hard since you build a community around certain game genres. I have always been quite creative and I have been sharing this side with my community in form of tutorial videos or just appealing creations made in different games. So going from making a realistic city in Cities Skylines to showing a kill montage in Sniper Elite 4 is quite contrary but at the end of the day I post what makes me happy.

And, following up on that: Are there any games you play in private without featuring them on your channel? Or do you even keep whole genres (like…racing games, for example) for private play sessions only?

Indeed, I play a bunch of games without sharing them with my audience. You did mention Witcher 3 in the previous question. This was one of those games which I thought if I should or shouldn’t make into a series. The game is so deep and there is so much backstory inform in-game books.

Reading everything for your audience would bore them to death but for me all that lore is magical. So I did a YouTube friendly series then I played the game myself “off-camera” and spent 4 times longer just reading everything. I also have a weird thing for football manager games, I remember playing those on my Amiga 500 and it has just continued.

Your content is largely single player focused, so to say. How important is multiplayer in a (build-up) strategy game for you? Are you playing any of the game you’re creating videos about in multiplayer?

Yes, most of my content is single player focused but multiplayer is indeed important or at least fun! How can I forget all those LAN parties growing up with Age of Empires and Warcraft? However I have not played much of those in my recent time and the last multiplayer series I did were ARK: Survival Evolved and Conan Exiles and I did those mainly for creative base building. I would however love to be part of a build-up strategy series with other YouTubers like doing Anno 1404 in multiplayer would be amazing!

As you probably already expected, we can hardly avoid talking about The Settlers here 😉

So to start with the most obvious question: Which The Settlers game was your first?

I got my first The Settlers game as a Christmas present in 1993 for the Amiga 500! The following year we bought our first PC and The Settlers was one of the first games for it! This really brings back memories, growing up as an only child meant many hours in-front of the computer playing games!

Considering you’re quite a bit familiar with the series, if you were to name 3 things which are “The Settlers” for you, which would those be?

  1. YEP! How could you forgot the YEP’S, amazing medieval soundtrack & bird chirps!? (Settlers 1993)
  2. The cutest armies which have roamed the gaming world! Especially the Romans in Settlers 3!
  3. City-Building!

Since we announced a new title in the series only a few months ago, which aspect of the new The Settlers would you like to know more about or which aspect interests you the most?

I can’t pinpoint one thing which interest me the most since the whole game looks stunning after watching the GamesCom trailer and the pre-alpha gameplay footage. I WANT THE GAME NOW! Please don’t make me wait, it hurts! PS. This includes ANNO 1800!

Thank you very much for taking the time for this interview Keralis. We are very happy to have you here 🙂

And if you, dear fans, want to watch this wonderful man play some video games, The Settlers 1 in particular, check out his channel and show him some love:

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