The following piece is the story of how Age of Empires II mod Forgotten Empires was made, written by its lead designer and manager, Cysion. It concludes with a brand new interview conducted following the release of Age of Empires II HD, covered recently in a Port Report.
How it all began
In the summer of 2011, whilst having my day off from bar tending I was once again wondering if it would be somehow possible add a new civilization to Age of Empires II. I had my mind set on a submission from 2009 in the archives at aok.heavengames.com where a Taiwanese guy under the name of kdpp6512 submitted a guide to add a 19th civilization to the game. With limited possibilities though, only 1 extra civ was possible, no working tech tree and would only be usable in single player. On top of that the documentation came with a language barrier. He attempted to translate it into English but the screenshots of the software he used all came in Chinese. Two years went over this post and judging from the comments section nobody seemed to have figured out this “Holy Grail” of modding. But the Taiwanese dude managed to do it, so I knew it was possible. Armed with Google translate and a good portion of time to spend on trial & error, I started messing around with my newly acquired Chinese software.