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In late 2000 / early 2001 me and Dire_Wolf met up via the AOK forums at heavengames, both of us with an interest in modding Age of Empires 2.. We messed about a little bit, never really did much but eventually decided to form Wildfire Studios as a simple modding group, similar to dozens that were around at the time.

After forming Wildfire Studios nothing special happened for a while, nothing much happened at all.. We had a few members join up and leave etc etc then Dire_Wolf recruited Wijitmaker (AKA Jason) who pretty much stepped right up and reformed nearly every aspect of Wildfire for the better. He recruited new and talented members such as Agamemnon, BullsWool, Sud Commander, Topknot and Icewyvern to name a few.. And in march 2001 we began work on Rome at War... there Was even a trailer created for the Rome at War mod at the end of march 2001 (check the bottom of the page) :P.

It was about here that I started sinking backwards into the shadows at WFS, I was more a spectator than anything else but continued to watch from the inside all the progress that was being made.. lending a hand every now in then in terms of ideas and discussion and web design..

Eventually RAW was released, after huge community hype it was and STILL IS (I believe it is fair to say) the most successful mod for AOK ever. With over 16,000 downloads from aok.heavengames.com alone and many more from wesites all around the internet, it was something that was never predicted. It was such a success that RAW was even featured in magazines such as PC Powerplay and Gamestar.

For me, now to look back to when WFS was first founded, it was never ever EVER predicted that WFS would ever raise to such heights..

After the unbelievable success of the Rome at War mod, the members of WFS decided to create a new modpack this time under the code name of 0AD, with the aims of brining barbarians etc to the world of Age of Empires 2.. After large amounts of work and time spent on creating this modpack, with a large community following and also the formation of the team dedicated to creating The Last Alliance modpack it was finally decided that the teams were too limited with the mod capabilities of AOK and AOC and that for the mods to be successful they would have to look elsewear..

The exact date is unknown to me but in late 2002 / early 2003 the difficult decision was made by the members of WFS to embark upon the task of creating, not just one game.. But two.. Simultaneously it was decided that TLA and 0AD would be created together, along with this decision was also the decision to change the team name to Wildfire Games and also ( I believe? ) the purchase of domain name www.wildfiregames.com.

And thus work on 0AD began, with Wijitmaker keeping the game on track and keeping a completely professional front. By now I had become less and less a regular visitor to this site.. But still remembering to stop by at least once in a while, to check the progress.. I have watched the forums grow and the games progress from the very beginning, but as of late I find myself coming back here more and more often, this game is beginning to become for me, more of a reality than the dream I once thought it would only ever be.

Seeing the new screenshots posted for 0AD in the last few days have created a sense of emotion within me that is somewhat hard to explain. It is a sense of achievement as well as a sense of pride that I was at some stage associated with the team which has been able to create what to me seems like a masterpiece of work.

I believe that if there is one person to thank for all that has been achieved over the 5 or 6 years since the formation of WFG that, that one person is Jason "Wijitmaker" Bishop. I know for a fact, that without him in the team from the beginning that WFG would never be where it is today, Rome at War may well have been released but our soon to be greatest achievement would certainly not be the impending reality that it is today. Jason has been responsible for keeping WFG going and giving us that kick start that was needed right from the beginning. Although I beleive Jason to be the key to WFG, it definately would not have ever been possible without the outstanding contributions from all the dedicated team members and community that have been a part of this great team over the years.

THANK YOU :) everybody for supporting Wildfire Games over the years and thank you for making my dream (and im sure the dream of many others) a reality. I'm sure one day, i'll be able to look back on 0AD parts 1, part 2 and perhaps part 3 and be overwhelmed with the same emotion that I am today.

p.s if anyone wants to view that old 0AD trailer (dating around december 2002) you can view it here.

and the Rome at War trailer from 2001 can be viewed here.

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