Portfolio: Empire Earth: The Art of Conquest: HD-Tec-Mod

Modding Project

Empire Earth: HD-Tec Mod

Empire Earth was one of my favorite RTS for a long time. Over the years the graphics obviously aged a lot, so I tried to improve the textures and also started tinkering with some units which resulted in the HD-Tec Mod.

A modification for Empire Earth which increases the resolution for many textures and adds some new units, buildings and abilities.


Key elements I learned from my Empire Earth: HD-Tec Mod

Game balancing

Texture and Sound design


Empire Earth was released by Sierra in 2001. Since then the graphics have obviously suffered a lot. In my mod I used AI-upscaling to increase the resolutions of many textures up to 4 times their original size.

In addition, I added unitts and abilities such as hover tanks or Cyber Ninjas, which were already part of the game, but were only accessible in special missions during the campaign, to the skirmish mode.

These new units also lead to new tactics that will also get used by AI-opponents, making their infantry attacks more dangerous than ever before. To counter this, I added a new building the „Laser-Pillbox“ which is specialized in fighting infantry.

One thing that also bothered me in Empire Earth was the low population limit. It was easy to increase this limit in single-player matches by changing a variable in the config files. Unfortunately, this did not work for multiplayer matches. To counter this, I got the idea to combine this „problem“ with something else I didn’t like about the classical Empire Earth and that was the function of houses. The only thing they offered was a moral bonus for nearby troops, but they would not increase your maximum population despite this being a logical consequence. The only way to increase your population limit are technologies, however they have a big „drawback“: Once they are researched the bonus will stay for the whole match. The solution was to add a „negative“ population value to houses. Since they use an integer to store the population-usage of an object, this was easily possible.

Graphics upgrade


Closeup: old tank factory
Closeup: new tank factory
Graphics upgrade


Old textures
New textures