Posted by: seanmalstrom | October 19, 2016

Sid Meir talks about Civilization series

This is a good interview with Sid, and it is interesting to hear about his one-third rule in about Civilization.

I have ceased playing new Civilization games. Why did the series lose me as a customer? Several reasons.

Civilization reminds me of the survey classes of history at college. You start in the stone age and end up in modern times. Civilization was also a type of dynamic history, and it depended on historical things. For example, a government of a republic will be much more effective at trade and science than a government of dictators. This is true in real life. Do making coliseums and cathedrals make the masses happy? We clearly see it happen in the real world too.

The ‘every game a new story’ is true, but it is also true it is ‘every game the same story’. Civilization is a game of motion, of growth. Civilization is not about a THING, it is about the growth process. The absurdity of your battleship encountering sailboats or riflemen meeting stone age legions is hilarious and never gets old.

Civilization ceased to be fun to me when it became historically absurd (like mixing and matching different types of civics to make a frankenstien government…. it doesn’t happen). Also, there are less cities and more management of those cities. I prefer more cities and less management of those cities. It is why I prefer Master of Orion 1 over Master of Orion 2, for example. In the real world, a civilization has many cities. I think many of these issues was responding to the ‘stack of doom’. But we only had the ‘stack of doom’ in Civilization 3. Early civilization games had units that couldn’t stack except in cities (I believe).

Also, Civilization 1 and 2 could be completed in a day. One big, big problem with Civilization 3 onward was voiced by a friend who taught at University of Texas (had a doctorate in physics, he helped me design and test a game too). He said, “I can’t spend a week playing one game,” responding to Civilization 3. He was right.

I very much disagree with many of the new Civilization design choices. I dislike the hexagon fetish (Civ V was less complex than Civ IV). I really dislike the putting of city improvements outside the city square.

The problem with the video above is that it makes you think Civilization existed in a vacuum. It didn’t. There was intense competition. Today, there is no competition because the general IQ of the PC gamers (and overall public) has gone down. I love watching the Civilization V player, who thinks he is super smart because ‘he plays a strategy game on the PC’ go and play a REAL strategy game such as Crusader Kings. “Aw man, this game is more complicated than I thought! It’s like I have to read the manual or something!” Derp derp derp.

I bought Civilization 1 THE DAY IT CAME OUT from Best Buy. I still have the box complete to this day.

Image result for civilization 1 box

Above: Look! China is nuking America!


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