A programmer’s perspective on Civ VI

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Hescumeth, Nov 2, 2016.

  1. OranHarken

    OranHarken Warlord

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    Actually I am completely sick of Firaxis at this point, most of the triple A industry in general. BE should have taught me to know better but I gave them another chance due to BE being experimental in the first place but IMO they have now screwed the main franchise. Making a game the AI is not smart enough to meaningfully play when that game is primarily single player is the top of my list for that, all of these secondary issues like bugs,crappy build times and the creators political views injected into the game mechanics are just that, secondary annoyances.

    And yes, saying his perspective is invalid because you discredit his experience working on software as relevant is ad hominem. In the end as far as I can tell both of you can very realistically be lying 15 year olds, I have no reason so trust YOUR experience as a programmer over his so pointing out that **** is nothing more than a personal attack unless you can prove your credentials are more valid than his.
     
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  2. Gorbles

    Gorbles Load Balanced

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    I never asked you to trust my experience.

    And no, that is not what an ad hominem is. An ad hominem is a type of fallacy that involves discredit someone's argument based on a personal attack. Criticising their understanding of software is not a personal attack. Calling them stupid would be a personal attack. Telling someone that the sky is unlikely to be green is not a personal attack.

    Unrelatedly, it is funny that you complain about the creators' political views, instead preferring your own to be inserted. Your views are not neutral, I think. Nobody's are.
     
  3. OranHarken

    OranHarken Warlord

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    "Criticising their understanding of software is not a personal attack."

    Yes it is when you can't prove to anyone else that you know better than OP on these issues.

    This is because it is equally unsubstantiated as simply calling them dumb when you cannot prove you know any better.
     
  4. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

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    Moderator Action: Enough! All you are doing is changing the topic of the thread. Cease discussing each other and discuss the issue of the thread. You are just repeating yourselves, no one wants to hear it really.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
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  5. UWHabs

    UWHabs Deity

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    It's perfectly fair to be upset at Firaxis/2K, to not like the design decisions, or to not like the game. Nobody is saying that everybody must like the game - there was certainly backlash when civ5 came out as a more "dumbed-down" version, and then the flaws that were BE (when most of us would have been ecstatic if they literally just remade Alpha Centauri but brought in some new features to it), I'm not going to get upset at anyone who is turned off, or who doesn't enjoy every version.

    The complaints come when people try to project onto things they can't know, as in, knowing the state of development. Everyone agrees that the game is not 100% perfect, but it's simply the reality of modern systems that stuff is too complex to make perfect. And because it's so simply to patch, yeah, it means developers/studios get "lazy" and can certainly live with more bugs. When your old NES games came out, it was virtually impossible to apply a fix to them, so you gotta be damn sure that everything works. When civ can basically have one guy push a button and suddenly everyone gets a new version of the game, it's a lot easier to live with missing UI panels and broken features. But on just knowing the state of the initial release, and even knowing the bugs that exist, it's impossible for anyone who doesn't work in their office to know the exact state that the code/development team behind the game is in.

    And this pseudo-beta model sucks - if not for the simple fact that when I play a game, I have to think, "hmm, should I play as XXX now, or do I think that I need to wait for the next patch to see if they get rebalanced to something I will like better." And in that respect, yeah, we're basically all beta testers for now. And really, if anyone is not comfortable with that, then definitely do not buy a game on day 1 of release - wait until after it's gotten a patch or two. It is really annoying - I mean, I definitely don't want to go out to watch Doctor Strange this weekend only for them to re-cut it and release it again in a few weeks. And ideally we should demand more of the gaming industry overall. But it also means we have to wait a much longer time for each version, and overall, I think it's better to get the early version, live through the bugs and issues for 6 months, and then after that point you can feel reasonably safe that the version is complete. If you don't want to live through this, then go ahead, wait to play/buy until the first few patches are out. Heck, you're even more likely to be able to grab it on a Steam sale in the meantime.
     
  6. AlpsStranger

    AlpsStranger Jump jump on the tiger!

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    Your alternative to defending them?

    I mean a tenable alternative, not some bizarre fantasy scenario where every game is $30, totally bug free, awesome, comes out on time and needs no DLC.
     
  7. Synth

    Synth Comrade

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    You know, guys, I don' have any backgroung in programming, but I do have a degree in Communications. And my experience tells me you guys are not being very efficient at communicating. :lol:
    Now, I think the main issue with Civ VI shouldnt be looked at from a programmers point of view. I think it should be examined with an industry lens, as some people in this thread have been doing. OP has said that the devs appeared to be too worried about putting every system we'e seen in Civ V in the game instead of making a bare-bones version that actually works. And I completely agree with that statement! I understand, however, why this choice was made. Playing Civ VI, I can see its potential. It feels like an unfinished game, but underneath the bugs and the stupid AI and the terrible, terribl UI, I can see something that might become the best game in the franchise. I wouldnt necessairly see that if they released a version that lacks so many layers previous civs had.
    Were I a reviewer, I would, like many are actually doing, give Civ VI a positive review, noting all the huge problems it has, but being swayed by how much it can accomplish once it addresses this mistakes. If Civ VI had been a bare-bones version, theres a huge chance I, and other reviewers, would feel it is lacking in many ways and give it a lower score, even though it actually works better. And you guys know how it goes: positive reviews help the game sell more and yadda yadda yadda.

    tl;dr: an unfinished game with potential gets better reviews than a polished game that feels lacking, so thats what they did.
     
  8. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

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  9. OranHarken

    OranHarken Warlord

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    Moderator Action: Feel the need to discuss a moderator action, please do so via a private conversation. We do not allow this discussion in public as it change the topic of the thread. leif
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  10. Sogno di Volare

    Sogno di Volare Chieftain

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    If anyone is capable enough to be really bothered by the state of the industry then you knew going in what buying a game near release time is like.

    The game is plenty playable. At some point you made the choice to buy knowing how finished gamers are or aren't and it's your responsibility for buying it.

    The rest seems some weird fantasy world that's not really gonna happen anytime soon and a lot of energy wasted rather than having fun playing video games.
     
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  11. Zuizgond

    Zuizgond King

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    Not accepting beta version at release?

    But I agree that games are pretty cheap these days compared to what they used to be in the past (I'm talking about 15+ years ago). And I am ready to pay more if they guarantee to release games in better state.
     
  12. Photi

    Photi Governor

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    whose bronze age, what dates, and where did global trade stop? if one region or another declined, please substantiate that it was due to hostile ideologies, and not actually militaries or paramilitaries who may or may not have been acting behind the facade of ideology, or other such possibilities contributing to the decline of civilization (like lead poisoning) and/or global trade. memories of bad events that lead to isolationist policies die out quickly with the new generations, the impetus to global trade is instinctual and generally means more wealth for the elite of any given society, "isolationism" cannot maintain for long in societies with the capacity to reach beyond their borders. the history i am familiar with is a long arc leading to globalization from the time of antiquity, reductive comments on civfanatics notwithstanding.
     
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  13. LDiCesare

    LDiCesare Deity

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    I wanted to add a few things.
    I think form the OP's list, (d) is unacceptable for most players and in terms of algorithmics, I can't understand how one can still write code that does that, nor how this gets past QA.
    Otherwise, I understand the bugs listed aren't showstoppers.
    I met just one showstopper in 91h of play: Rivers not showing on the map. I guess this one slipped through QA because it doesn't always happen, is not totally obvious, and seems related to one particular map script.

    Overall, the product plays well and can proivde a lot of fun to anyone playing it less than 100 hours, which is good enough for most people I believe.

    But as a programmer and modder, I looked at the code that IS available. Mostly the map scripts.
    I find it not beautiful, to say the least.
    It shows in some places lack of familiarity with the language used (some file has semicolons all over the place, in lua!)
    It shows some bad design/coding techniques, in code that seems old, making it very brittle and hard to reuse.
    The lack of familiarity with the language also shows in some constructs used (iterating on ipairs is slower than iterating on i = 1,#table for instance, which is also used, sometimes, but it's inconsistent)

    The API exposed for map generation is rather poor. It's worse than Civ IV and V on release, less well documented.
    It has some basic errors (like using global variables when it seems obvious they want local ones) which may cause the whole program to go down if they change a line somewhere else in the program.

    For instance look at ResourceGenerator.lua line 398. score is a global variable. Yuck. Let's hope it'snot used anywhere else.
    Loops: Compare lines 594 and 614. Why ipairs sometimes and1,N other times?
    Or look at line 637 and despair about what "row" is. It's used as an index a few lines above, and then it's a global to which a table is assigned.

    The code works. But it's ugly as hell, not half as efficient as it could be, and clearly in demand of some kind of code review and cleaning.
    Just the fact they use a global instead of a local means the access to the variable is about 10 times slower than it should be.
    Map generation does not seem to be that slow, but a good code review and/or someone who knew lua would probably speed the process by an order of magnitude, for the end-user.

    Regarding the code we can't see (yet?):
    From my point of view, the engine works mostly well. I do wonder if there was any point not using Unity. Endless Legend works fine with it, it's the same kind of game, was a new engine really needed?
    Wouldn't have the money spent on making the engine be better spent polishing the game? I know Unity, as other engines, has bugs, so using their own engine gave control over these, but I think it's a strange decision.

    Finally, I think most of the issues with the game are design issues. The UI is just plain bad in many places. It's not that bad when you are discovering the game, but it is really really bad if you want to use a lot of the features, due to bad design. It wouldn't have been harder to code a table instead of a list to compare scores for instance, but the player would have seen everything at a glance without having to scroll...
    The AI is a bit of a separate problem. It's a design issue in the sense 1UPT + city protection make it difficult to efficiently attack a city after classical era, but it was also possible to fix. Suiciding 8 units against a city is better than letting the city snipe them one after the other. They might even take the city, whatever the cost. So this one looks like a lack of interest for the AI itself. I have problems placing why they tolerate that. It's really immersion breaking, but you have to "lose" to see it, and keep fighting against bad odds. I guess most people don't do that, hence why it wasn't fixed?
     
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  14. AltarofScience

    AltarofScience The Brain

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    Its not reductive, its literally what you said multiple times and many people have that interpretation. If you fail at communicating that's on you, its not everyone else's fault you can't get your intended point across.

    As for your "point", whatever it is, of course I disagree. I don't have to know every line of code to know if they messed it up. The bugs we are seeing should never be happening. I forgive them for some bugs. For instance, there are graphical issues using maps modded to go above huge size. That's fine, I chose to alter game files in a non-recommended manner. But this thread has plenty of listed bugs that no competent team, especially one with the financial and dev heft of Firaxis, should have had in the first place, regardless of comments about "priorities".
     
  15. OranHarken

    OranHarken Warlord

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    I am not going to sit here and give you the Bronze age collapse 101. Also on the line "and not actually militaries or paramilitaries who may or may not have been acting behind the facade of ideology" tells you you are going to OTD nitpick anything I say to death anyway when you have that way of rejecting generalizations and want to act like exceptions are the norm.
     
  16. juanpavo

    juanpavo Warlord

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    Thank you for your post, perhaps the best in this thread.
     
  17. AltarofScience

    AltarofScience The Brain

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    I agree, that post was immensely helpful. I wonder if we can extrapolate the quality of the map gen code to that of the rest of the game? Or maybe it was low priority and we really can't.
     
  18. Kimurae

    Kimurae Chieftain

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    How similar is Lua to Perl?

    Edit: Maybe that's a joke other people won't get :(

    Suffice to say, undocumented, poorly written at stupid-thrity ductape code... is very common on the internet. I feel your pain, but at the same time; I also feel we shouldn't judge Firaxis so harshly.

    Take a moment to remember Toyota's bug: http://www.edn.com/design/automotiv...ler-firmware--Bad-design-and-its-consequences
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2016
  19. Photi

    Photi Governor

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    no, you made an indefensible statement, and now you are backing away.
     
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  20. OranHarken

    OranHarken Warlord

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    • Please do not attack other users
    Moderator Action: Rude personal attack removed. Please discuss the topic in a civil manner - Camikaze.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
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