Phaedrus' Street Crew
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Everything posted by Codicier

  1. There was something about the current look of your globe that had been bugging me but that I couldn't quite place. Finally its my brain clicked into gear hat what it reminds me of is wooden board game pieces, there's something about the conical shapes of the tree's and the hex terrain reminds me of them. Which is weird because obviously that's not how your version is generated at all, it must just come from the primitive geometry. I think because of them it resonates with that same feeling I get when I look at a wooden game piece of being able to sense how it was crafted, of how someone has took a series of basic shapes and combined them into a iconic representation of something. All in all I kinda like looking at that globe and imaging it peopled with meeples
  2. I think these two points are most likely connected sclpls. In my experience the most successful environmental storytelling tends to be in games that give me slow drip drip of information, rather than in those that throw big chunks story and exposition at a me in one go. To paraphrase a couple of famous screen writing maxims: I think the best games show me how their world works, not tell me about it with big chunks of text. Equally the actions of a race's units define the character I perceive them to have. I think this style of storytelling's main advantage is it makes me feel smart, because of instead of being told “this is what happened” it allows me to slowly (perhaps even subconsciously) piece together a story until the eureka moment when everything clicks. I think if you looking at what some of the other guys say you can see some of that sentiment reflected: Obviously though this can makes it difficult for people talking about it to pinpoint one specific thing that caused a impression, and equally gives a advantage to longer running series since there's often enough information out with older franchises for players to make connections and draw conclusion that the designers didn't foresee but still reinforce the richness of the world.
  3. Like the idea of a true globe map, are there any challenges that's going to give you that Civ, Warlock etc sidestep with having their traditional maps with impassable polar regions?
  4. Episode 175: Gods and Kings

    I'm going to drop this link because I think it might interest both of you guys, while it may not be exactly be as in depth as riadsala might want Soren Johnson's talk is pretty fascinating look at his thoughts about designing the Civ AI and how it wasn't purely designed to win.
  5. Still digesting this podcast but people are already saying some interesting things I think your bang on about this riadsala BUT i also think that that statement only really works when all your protagonists are human. Unlike Civ most 4x's do not start from the prehistoric beginings of each race(Now of course there is one game which did do this & indeed did it to a even more extreme extent and that's Spore, which received a decidedly mixed reception.), instead each race appears on the galactic scene already having reached a high level of evolution and technology. I think i would be strange to assume that multiple entirely different races could develop over millions of year and end up identical. Now I've read, watched, and played a crap load of Hard Sci-Fi & Space Opera's, and one of the most interesting conceits that get used is the idea that your evolution changes they way you think. That a species evolved from carnivores will think completely differently from a species developed from herbivores for example. Mass Effect despite it's many flaws did a pretty good job with this as do Starcraft and DoW. Which leads me to my own little hunch about 40k's success, I think Julian was very close but would differ slightly. It's not quite that they build the game they want to play, its that they build races to fit tactics that their players want to use. A minor difference i know but i think it's one which has served them incredibly well over the years. Every single 40k race doesn't just convey theme through meaning it does it through the way it fights. As Troy brings up just like music that resonance between theme and mechanics is key (which is why Ork's are totally punk rock ).
  6. Ouya: Ooooh Yeah!

    On a completely separate point reading it again i find it a bit strange they are name drop LoL & TF2. Obviously they are great examples of F2P gaming but when they have no commitment to them ever appearing on their platform, it just seems a like it could so easily lead to misconceptions about what might come to the platform.
  7. Ouya: Ooooh Yeah!

    Best of luck to them, personally not interested in it but its great that someone tried something interesting and it seems to have worked out for them. The impact of the sheer size of the Android market should be interesting. With 900,000+ devices activated a day a 200,000 (that's my probably optimistic estimate) or so user base is tiny proportion of the market. In that climate i'm unsure that i can see anyone really developing directly unless it is incredibly easy to port something to it from existing android platform, I hope they can make it work but when you hear about studios getting shutdown because they only sell 1million copies of a AAA game it makes me wonder how many they will need to sell to be seen as a viable market. 200,000? 500,000? 1,000,000? That said i don't think it will turn people off Kickstarter, its still not a bad price for a nice looking media box device.
  8. Episode 175: Gods and Kings

    I wonder if steam could also provide the answer to this problem, if the changes you disliked were mainly balance ones shouldn't it be comparatively easy for someone to create a mod that balances them again and put it on the steam workshop? I'm with Troy on this stacks of doom always felt deeply unsatisfying to me.
  9. Books, books, books...

    I was more referring to how rare it is to have two political figures who both make a huge historic impact in their own right, who's rivalry defined their country's political climates as direct opponents more than a direct 1:1 match between the two pairs, though certainly there are similarities.
  10. Episode 175: Gods and Kings

    True but I think Firaxis's lawyers must write NDA's that could tie the devil himself in knots because I don't think I've seen much specifically about the Civ's they worked on from either him or Soren Johnson(after they finished working on them), despite them both being very talented writers as well as designers(alternatively they just don't want to chat about em, who knows). Think perhaps after what everyone been chatting about I could do with giving Soren's Theme is Not Meaning post a proper re-read and then re-listen to 3MA Ep93 again because that's one of my favourite old episodes. Anyway I still hope one of these days I'm going to hit play and hear " Good evening you are listening to the Three Moves Ahead, and tonight our guest are Sid Meier, Brian Reynolds, Soren Johnson and John Shafer" because dear god that would be the show to end all shows.
  11. Books, books, books...

    Just finished off The Lion and the Unicorn:Gladstone vs Disraeli, which although quite anecdote heavy gave a pretty good overview what was Victorian Britain's big political rivalry. Perhaps the the best way I can explain these two gentlemen's importance to someone not familiar with their names is that they were Britian's Kennedy and Nixon. Except instead of having a brief but important rivalry they were at it for just short of half a century, To me the most interesting part is not how they won elections, but how they reacted to loosing elections. In modern politics it seems to be expected that if you loose a election you slink off into political obscurity(Nixon being a notable exception), in contrast both Gladstone and Disraeli seem to be as one of their contemporaries puts it 'at their most dangerous on the rebound'. I'm torn over whether I can recommend it or not to anyone who doesn't already have a basic knowledge of the era. For while the author does a excellent job of getting into the minds of the protagonists and understanding their personality's, it seems to lead to him occasionally forgetting to explain the importance of what they are fighting over.
  12. @Tanukitsune Hmm i'm confused I was thinking that the games you said have worked for you the best seem mainly to be ones that are turn based, and which focus mostly on economy over combat, and then you go & talk about warlock which although it does have city management is a bit of a combat slug fest. Have you tried out any of the Kings Bounty series?
  13. Just to clear up any misunderstanding, I was basically agreeing with what you say here. That people do tend to look as sports games differently I remember listing to a podcast (not sure if it was 3MA or No High Scores) where Bill Abner talked about how one of the OOTP baseball series was aparantly in the top 10 games on metacritic, but was constantly getting criticised because it was a 'glorified spreadsheet'. I think it's probably something that any 'Sim' has to deal with. That there's a implied limitation to the direction it's gameplay can take because it has to stay faithful to it's source material.
  14. <puts on his grumpy old man voice> Now I've said it before & I'll say it again, I think Championship Manager belongs firmly inside any 'top X' list of strategy games. While Civ was the 1st game I ever bought for my Amiga, and Dune 2 was probably the game which wowed me more than any other at the time, but I sank more hours into Champ Man than any other game by a huge margin. Now I'm aware Chris is more specifically talking about games like Madden or FIFA and with those games I'm sure as soggybagel says a certain part of that disdain comes from a weird sense of misplaced tribal rivalry that the gaming community seems to posses about them, in the same way that quite often self labelled 'hardcore gamers' seem to criticise casual games without having ever played them.
  15. Episode 175: Gods and Kings

    It's one of the things I most hate & love about video gaming. The industry seem so hesitant to let us see what's behind, the curtain that so often the conversation around the game often goes off in wild directions. From a academic viewpoint that's probably a terrible thing to be happening,but as someone just on the edge reading and listening to the discussion sometimes a idea that i know in my heart may be wrong is just as fascinating as the more prosaic likely explanation. I'm sure in this case it's probably 6 of one & half a dozen of another,and in the end the only person who really know is Sid Meier & he's keeping quiet
  16. Episode 175: Gods and Kings

    I know Routine, i might even prefer it to Civ. I find that concept of war within a greater empire is a fascinating one, which never fails to feel really dramatic (the Rome Total War civil war is a example I really enjoyed). But I do feel Civ's early game (& maybe the whole 4x genre) owe something to the whole mythology of manifest destiny.
  17. Episode 175: Gods and Kings

    Yes we do play a 6000 year time line in Civ, and yes Civ really does a terrible job of representing the organic way human civilisation really developed in that time. But that’s only a problem if you think that human civilisation is what Civ is really about. Imagine you take the history of America and its growth towards being the only superpower and stretch it out with all your might so its relatively short development now spans the entirety of human history. In this context how would you capture the beginnings of the American superpower civilisation begin? Id argue is actually pretty damn close. (although perhaps that should really say Jamestown).
  18. Episode 175: Gods and Kings

    I think you are very very close to hitting the nail on the head here Procyon, but I think the problem is what you are saying is based on world view we have now, but id argue in the unipolar world of the early 1990's the popular consensus would not only have not predicted a return to multi-polar world. In fact I think they would would have considered that with the Soviet Union gone there was now nothing stopping the American interpretations of democracy and capitalism from going on and effectively “conquering” the world (for their own good of course). The American cultural, military, and in particular economic ascendancy(perhaps even near hegemony) was seen by some as a Fait accompli. Let me throw out a quote from a book written in 1992 called The End of History and the Last Man All there was left to do was sit back and reap the benefits, as we in the UK were told in 1997 “things could only get better”.
  19. Episode 175: Gods and Kings

    Never mind I've evidently had too much coffee, so lets do this! The Short Version: To me looking back original Civ was the product of a time where Americas ascendancy in world affairs seemed unchallenged. After the Berlin wall fell it wasn't just a Superpower it was the only superpower, or to put it another way, America was the only empire that had stood the test of time. The Long Version: Here I'm going have to do something I normally hate doing & refer you to a blog post I finished off today but which has been brewing since January of this year. Life, Liberty, and Civilization I did consider just posting it here direct into the forum but I worried people might feel its a bit TLDR, so I've tried put a quick relevant summary here and leave the link there for anyone who wants a fuller explanation of my reasoning so they can decide for themselves whether I am barking up the wrong tree. Anyway for better or worse 3MA and the discussion in here got me thinking about it again, and perhaps I can get a bit of useful feedback from you guys might help me improve.
  20. Episode 175: Gods and Kings

    This is a possibility I've given a fair amount of thought Gwardinen, and i feel if true it in turn says something else important about Civ. But I'm too tired to go into it fully right away (perhaps tomorrow).
  21. Episode 175: Gods and Kings

    Now I've got my little anecdote out, onto the meat of the discussion! Fundamentally I don't think Civ has always been a representation of our world not a simulation, and one that presents a very specific view of the world. Its focuses on the idea of what it means to be a civilisation not the nitty grity (that's where paradox has carved out more of a niche it seems). To me through Civ I-IV that view stayed relatively constant, it was a world of superpowers (depicted from the view point of what was the worlds only superpower). There was no limit to what you could achieve these superpower nations, they were by their very nature capable of anything. Sometimes a civ could just completely break the system in a radical way, they could even break the world itself with global warming. In Civ V It just feels to me there are far more checks & balances in place to stop that happening. In addition there is a feels like there is a far greater interdependency on other nations thanks to the introduction of city states and the way resources are now far more limited. To put it simply in when I play Civ5 I no longer fell I am controlling a superpower. So I personally don’t think the statement Gormongous made went far enough. To me the recurrent theme of Civs I -IV was the growth of superpower civilisation, and while this still is present in Civ V I feel the picture it paints it is a strangely neutered version of a superpowers. Just look at the stories people are telling. In PatientPylon's story I don't think there can be any doubt that that Dutch civ was a superpower, but the same can't be said for many of the Civ V stories.
  22. Episode 175: Gods and Kings

    I think there are two kinds of Civ story those that remind us of history & those that create a fantastical new one. My own most memorable Civ 5 story was when I formed my own eastern block. Playing as the Russians I expanded across my continent bumping early on into the Germans who constantly threatened me and attempted raids on my borders. This forced me into switching to a military economy and I slowly pushed them back until eventually I rolled into their capital. I found myself pondering what to do next. Foremost in my mind was that for a long time the German’s had had me on the back foot & had come close to doing my civ considerable harm. So what did I do now, I made damn sure it wouldn't happen again. I took my anti German force and kept on pushing until I ran into the Aztec, American and Iroquois nations. The Aztecs were a spent force protected mainly from their mighty American neighbour by a mountain range with very few passes. The Americans and the Iroquois were at war with each other with the American's in the ascendancy. With one look I decided that I couldn't take the risk that when they were done slaughtering the Iroquois they would turn on me. I stormed into the Aztec lands crushing them easily, the natural barrier which had for centuries protected them from their enemies to the south was no defence for my northern assault. My attentions now turned to the war to the south west. The Iroquois were down to their last few cities by now I had to act fast. I rushed through the mountain pass into the Americans territory, city after city fell to me. The American were helpless, years of peace with their weak Aztec neighbours and their war with the Iroquois had left them out of position to deal with my flood or angry Russians. I kept pushing until I started running into American cities with Iroquois names, I didn’t rest until the American didn't hold a single Iroquois city. Then slowly but surely I began handing city after city to the Iroquois, until I had built a wall of grey on the map between me & a now exhausted American nation. My safety now assured I began to covert my military might fullyto science. Then a few decades after the final battle of my great war a Russian spaceship sailed into the sky .
  23. Relaxing Strategy Game Suggestions

    Personally I ended up grabbing the Zeus + Poseidon deal on GoG working on the logic that the later games in the series would have worked out any UI or AI kinks that might have still been kicking around in earlier iteration Impressions produced(idk if this is actually true it's just a assumption I generally work on with most series). So far I'm enjoying tending my little greek zen garden. @Orvidos Was Ceaser 3 was a more 'pure' design than the later re-workings? I'm sort of getting that sense from some of the things I've seen people say about it. On a side note: Any of you ladies & gents given Endless space any time yet? it looks pretty mesmerising and there's a lot of good sounds being made about it on my twitter feed.(although if i end up buying it before I get Sins:Reb part of me if going to feel dirty for cheating on a beloved series)
  24. Feminism

    @DanJW Damn it was just about to post that one myself! (particularly love the little "nice guy" touch) It's been a really interesting run of comics to follow as he seems to be genuinely trying to get to grips with what is a incredibly slippery subject ,while also being aware that he by definition may never quite get it. It's been very hit & miss but when its scroed a hit with strips like that one, or this one, it's been great comedy (in other words it made me think & laugh). I think the form he's working in (daily comic strips) has worked to the benefit of Ishida as he tried to approach this, it lets him iterate quickly just throwing ideas out and see what works. To have the freedom to be able to mentally work through a issue in your work is a wonderful luxury to have, but I get the impression (perhaps wrongly) its not the sort of thing that traditional video game production typically allows its creators to engage in.
  25. Episode 174: For I Have Sinned

    @jmh42 I should clarify a little. My dilemma comes from the fact I have already played the Sins franchise a fair amount (between the different iterations I've put in easily 100+ hours played time), this may be the best expansion ever, improving the game in every way, making the game richer, smoother & prettier. But... its still Sins, I feel it is still going to be the same core experience but refined, and I wonder if I'm missing out on some totally new experience by sticking with it. It's not that I don't feel sins isn't worth its price, in fact if a friend who'd never played the series asked me if they if they should try this release it I'd answer with a unreserved yes. Its just In the past going for a new release from a great company who'd produced games I loved was a easy choice, the risk of taking a chance on a new release from a company I didn't know about felt so much higher in part because games stayed full price so much longer. But now look at games like Warlock, it went from release to a 50% sale in just over a month! It doesn't feel a risk at that price. It's like choosing between ordering your favourite flavour ice cream with a new special sauce, or trying a new flavour which sounds good for half the price. I'd love to do both, but that's not a option for me time wise or cash wise for em at the moment. In the end though choosing between a old favourite and the new and unknown is a great problem for consumers to have.