Welcome to Dev Game Club, where this week we begin our discussion of the game series beginning in 1991, Civilization, through its 2001 incarnation Civilization III. We talk about it in time, the type of sim it is, some bits about "civilization" and lots of other topics. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
Up to the Medieval Age
Issues covered: choosing your names, looking at the series as a whole, one more turn, the 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) genre, situating the game in two times, additions to the Civilization franchise, needing the manual, the PC as the home of the deeper simulation game (wargames and flight simulations), "a game is a series of interesting decisions," Sid Meier's studio history, game perspective and the God Game, Brett and insomnia and a number of turns, learning through failure and why people bounce off, high highs and low lows, having a hard time making the early decisions, getting a better understanding of the early game by having a good roll, not knowing how far apart to place things, not cracking the manual, not knowing what to do, the difference between Civ and some other styles of Sim game, transparency of numbers and systems, the distinction of toys vs games, limited automation in Civ, digging into the Civilopedia, genre-defining creation of its own choice space, what you read in the Civilopedia, playing against harder AI levels, reading as a min-maxer, applying concepts as relatable, being pushed away from the "realism/historicity," colonialism and Western civilization as the framework, limiting historical tribes as "barbarians," scope and production realities, warping reality, using peoples as pure resources, colonialism and barbarians and their inherent game limitations, layering systems, leveling units against barbarians, limiting what you ask of an old game, being curious about a ruler, finding an essentialism in a representative leader, arguing that different civs might have an opportunity to rule, seeing another Civ pass through a first time, early game tranquility and the end of innocence, creating a story around a single resource, shifting to a new form of government, establishing Pax Romana, the simple power of names, layers of ironic naming, "the past is never dead, it isn't even past," film and games, not being part of the cultural conversation, the mystery of games to people, Oscars and Pulitzers and prizes, marketing and games, proud self-support, staying away from a side-hustle, a couple of well-wishes, Tim's charity walking.
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Metal Gear (series, obliquely), Nintendo, Sonic the Hedgehog, Avalon Hill, Computer Gaming World, Sid Meier, Link to the Past, Super Mario World, Street Fighter II, Monkey Island 2, Metroid (series), Super Castlevania IV, id Software, Bungie, Blizzard/Silicon & Synapse, 3D0 Corporation, SNES, World of Warcraft, Neverwinter Nights, Stormfront Studios, SSI, Gold Box Series, Ico, Final Fantasy IX, Doom (series), Soul Reaver (series), Star Wars: Starfighter, Devil May Cry, Silent Hill 2, Halo: Combat Evolved, Jak & Daxter, Max Payne, Red Faction, Serious Sam, TIE Fighter, MicroProse, Spectrum HoloByte, Hasbro Interactive, Infrogrammes, Firaxis, 2K Games, Take-Two Interactive, SimCity, Populous, Will Wright, Maxis, Peter Molyneux, Bullfrog Productions, Sid Meier's Pirates, Istanbul (not Constantinople), They Might Be Giants, Flood, Soren Johnson, Puerto Rico (board game), UFO: Enemy Unknown, StarCraft, Requiem for a Nun, William Faulkner, Ben "from Iowa" Zaugg, Candy Crush, Fortnite, Lady Gaga, Geoff Keighley, The Economy of Prestige, James English, Alexander, Luke Theriault, The Revenant, Persona 5.
Civ III to the Industrial Age
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