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Old Feb 16, 2013, 04:20 PM   #1
DanQ
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Happy PolyCast Episode 166: "Left to Their Own Devices"

Image Cringe at the thought. The one-hundred-and-sixty-sixth episode of PolyCast, "Left to Their Own Devices", features regular co-hosts Daniel "DanQ" Quick, "Makahlua", Philip "TheMeInTeam" Bellew and "MadDjinn" with first-time guest co-host Christopher "blauerfackel" with a runtime of 59m59s. The summary of topics is as follows:

- 01m14s | News
Civilization V Lead Designer Jon Shafer leaves Stardock Corporation's games division to start his own development studio, Conifer Games, with its first-to-be title At the Gates getting a kickstart and what this may or may not mean for computer strategy gaming; then, an apparent realization that a Gold Edition for CivV is just around the corner that is to include all previously released content for the game (20m57s).
- 26m53s | Senate
Do's and don'ts for dealing with the Plains terrain in CivV in the context of improving one recounted bogged down game in particular.
- 33m25s | Open Mic
Responding first to specific feedback from Episode 161 and then more general feedback in response to Episode 164 (41m42s).
- 48m08s | Miscellaneous
Civilization II Lead Designer Brian Reynolds departs from Zynga while speaking candidly about his reasoning for doing so, including his outlook on computer strategy gaming.

- Intro/Outro | Miscellaneous
Segue bluntness and comments to-wit or not-to-wit.

Recording live before a listening audience every other Saturday, PolyCast is a bi-weekly audio production in an ongoing effort to give the Civ community an interactive voice on game strategy; listeners are encouraged to follow the show on Twitter, and check out the YouTube channel for caption capability. Sibling show RevCast focuses on Civilization: Revolution, ModCast on Civ modding, SCivCast on Civ social gaming and TurnCast on Civ multiplay.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 12:10 PM   #2
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Just to clarify about Jon Shafer. I read from his blog that he is the only one working full time on At The Gates, and the other two have other full time jobs. They are all living in the same house, and the programmer, Jonathon, has extensive programming experience in the business field (this is offering him a more creative outlet). They are friends and have been for a while. Conifer is Jon's company. Perhaps this helps out with the whole "40k seems a bit low."

It seems Jon is doing the proverbial 2 guys in a garage to start his own company except a woman is tagging along as well.
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 02:30 PM   #3
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I wasn't the biggest fan of Civ5, but sounds like you guys would actually be happy if Shafer and At the Gates failed. Maybe it's time to move on?
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Old Feb 17, 2013, 07:19 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueGoop View Post
Just to clarify about Jon Shafer. I read from his blog that he is the only one working full time on At The Gates, and the other two have other full time jobs. They are all living in the same house, and the programmer, Jonathon, has extensive programming experience in the business field (this is offering him a more creative outlet). They are friends and have been for a while. Conifer is Jon's company. Perhaps this helps out with the whole "40k seems a bit low."

It seems Jon is doing the proverbial 2 guys in a garage to start his own company except a woman is tagging along as well.
Appreciate the addendum, BG -- hope you enjoyed the show.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vael View Post
I wasn't the biggest fan of Civ5, but sounds like you guys would actually be happy if Shafer and At the Gates failed. Maybe it's time to move on?
There was no "you guys"' judgment on Shafer's efforts here: there were varying opinions expressed about At the Gates such as it is known during this episode including some positive and some negative. That said, I don't believe even those who expressed the most negative views would welcome this project failing. Speaking for myself, I had/have some concerns as noted and that's the extent of it.
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 03:35 AM   #5
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So. Are we going to hear Jon on the show anytime in the near future?
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Old Feb 18, 2013, 07:11 AM   #6
Vael
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanQ View Post
There was no "you guys"' judgment on Shafer's efforts here: there were varying opinions expressed about At the Gates such as it is known during this episode including some positive and some negative. That said, I don't believe even those who expressed the most negative views would welcome this project failing. Speaking for myself, I had/have some concerns as noted and that's the extent of it.
Fair point Dan, you were pretty measured in your criticism.

Based on many of the concerns voiced though it was clear that some of your panel hadn't even read anything about the game, and the show had an uncomfortable "we don't like this guy" vibe it. You're all smart people and I enjoy hearing your opinions, but some of the comments just felt a little petty to me.

Anyways, just my 2 cents.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 11:38 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DanQ View Post
Appreciate the addendum, BG -- hope you enjoyed the show.

I have been looking forward to not the next Saturday but the following for a while now Dan. I enjoy your show and appreciate the effort you all put into it.

As almost a response to people's concerns, Jon just posted in his blog a comparison of At the Gates and Civilization V. He explains his thoughts for his design on Civ5 as well as acknowledges some of the faults of this design. It is an excellent read. I recommend it. You can view it here.
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Old Feb 19, 2013, 06:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Camikaze View Post
So. Are we going to hear Jon on the show anytime in the near future?
Unlikely...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Vael View Post
Fair point Dan, you were pretty measured in your criticism.

Based on many of the concerns voiced though it was clear that some of your panel hadn't even read anything about the game, and the show had an uncomfortable "we don't like this guy" vibe it. You're all smart people and I enjoy hearing your opinions, but some of the comments just felt a little petty to me.

Anyways, just my 2 cents.
In case they haven't otherwise read them, I will pass along your concerns to my fellow panelists this Saturday when we are set to record the next episode (and otherwise to our guest for this one).

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueGoop View Post
I have been looking forward to not the next Saturday but the following for a while now Dan. I enjoy your show and appreciate the effort you all put into it.


Quote:
As almost a response to people's concerns, Jon just posted in his blog a comparison of At the Gates and Civilization V. He explains his thoughts for his design on Civ5 as well as acknowledges some of the faults of this design. It is an excellent read. I recommend it. You can view it here.
As it so happens, I already have this article down as a topic for discussion on Episode 167.
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