First Public RELEASE: Aevum Obscurum -- Turn-Based Strategy

posted on: Wednesday, 17th of May 2000

The multiplayer strategy game Aevum Obscurum has been released to the public. The game can be played ONLINE against others via a Java Applet in the browser.

Screenshot Gallery

The screenshots for the very original version of the game.

Map View for Aevum Obscurum

Empire Adjustment Screen

Stats Screen

Origins: The Story Behind by Christoph Aschwanden

"It was common for my sister and I to just hang out and play board games, and other self inventive ones also, sometimes all day long. I was 13 and she was just a year younger. One day, in the fall of 1988, as my sister and I were toying with some game ideas, we turned up with a huge map of Europe put together with single pieces of paper that comprised into the size of a large poster. The rough 2D drawings featured numerous provinces and castles of Europe. I came up with the rules of world domination based on strategy tactics of challenging provinces and their allies and conquering it. I called it 'Das Tausendburgenspiel', which in German means 'The Thousand Castles Game' reflecting all the castles depicted on the map. The game was captivating to me, as elementarily designed as it was.

Since then, my academic studies have led me toward computer science. I never stopped playing strategy games. The two that impressed me were Risk and Caesar (Atari). For some reason, I always had the game I invented in the back of my mind, and as I learned of other games, it seemed natural to further develop that game. Musing over it one day, I decided to apply a multiplayer format to it that allows players to interact online from all over the world. It made sense to have players from all over the world as this is a strategy game of world domination. Because the foundational characters of this game dealt with provinces, castles, kings, queens, prince, princesses, knights, peasants and so on, really the whole existing mindset stemmed from the Dark Ages, it seemed logical to call it 'Aevum Obscurum'. Latin for the Dark Ages.

Within couple of months of obtaining the domain name and the launch, over 2000 players registered. But too soon later, the service provider for the domain shut down the site because the game took up virtually almost all of their servers. A year later, I set up the game again at the university I was working and studying at but then the DSN entry for the database broke and forced the server to be offline too many times. Discouraged, I gave up on it. In a little while, I started getting a lot of emails from disappointed players. I was incited to re-start the game and managed to reprogram and set it up all over again. This brings me to year 2006. There is now an established player base with daily new players joining. Aevum Obscurum is proving to be an exciting addicting strategy game, and with continuous updating and enhanced features, I find it more intriguing all the time, as well as my players as they tell me. But now, well into year 2006 and about to enter 2007, my own costs of keeping up with maintaining the game to meet players' demands is starting to weigh heavy. I needed to apply a very reasonable game fee to offset some of these costs. My request is to have players contribute an annual fee toward Aevum Obscurum so that this strategy game can continue to be enjoyed by players from all over the world!"

Update for October 14, 2009: the game has been renamed to "Age of Conquest" (it's the same game, just with a new name).