Rise of Nations is a real-time strategy computer game, developed by Big Huge Games and published by Microsoft Game Studios on May 20, 2003. The development of the game was led by veteran game designer Brian Reynolds, of Civilization II and Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri. The game has taken several concepts from turn-based strategy games such as territories and attrition warfare.Rise of Nations features 18 civilizations, playable through 8 ages of world history.
On April 28, 2004, Big Huge Games released Rise of Nations: Thrones and Patriots, an expansion pack. Later that year, a Gold edition of Rise of Nations was released, which included both the original and the expansion.
In May 2006, Big Huge Games released Rise of Nations: Rise of Legends, a fantasy-themed spin-off with similar gameplay.
Rise of Nations: Tactics, a game for the iOS was in development at Big Huge Games but was cancelled.
Rise of Nations: Extended Edition is a re-release of the main game and the expansion on Steam, released on June 12, 2014. Graphical changes to the game include updated textures, lighting and water. Other changes to the game include Steamworks integration which will add cloud saves, Steam Trading Cards, achievements, Twitch integration and multiplayer with Elo ranked matches to the game. Extended Edition is developed by SkyBox Labs.
There are more than 100 different units in Rise of Nations, ranging from the Ancient Age Hoplite to the Information Age Stealth Bomber. Military units are created at certain structures: the Barracks, Stable/Auto Plant, Siege Factory/Factory, Dock/Shipyard/Anchorage, Airbase, Missile silo, and Fort/Castle/Fortress/Redoubt.
Gameplay focuses heavily on creating a balance between offense, defense, and economy. Generalship is also needed in this game like most RTS games; this includes a knowledge of the troops and what they are good at fighting. For example pikemen are better than cannon at killing cavalry. Terrain plays a major part in this game and knowing the terrain is an important asset in battle. Generals can also be created from a fort to aid an army.