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[Civ2] Civ2 article - "Sequels in Strategy Gaming, Part 1: Civilization II"


CFC Mod Archivist & Social Media Helper
Sep 24, 2016
Jimmy Maher of The Digital Antiquarian has written an interesting article on the emergence of game sequels breaking them down into two categories, the fiction-driven and the systems-driven, using Sid Meier's Civilization II as a good example of the later. Jim then deep dives into telling the story of how Bryan Reynolds created Civilization 2 and how he overhauled each core aspect of the original Civ1 game such as combat mechanics, AI behavior, significantly increased techs/units/buildings/govs, as well as adding new features such as scenario support, the cheat system, and the live action video high council. He also discusses Civ2's legacy and how it lives on today as some peoples favourite Civ game still, the famous "Eternal War" savegame that went viral a few years back, and how you can still run Civ2 on modern systems in any resolution you want.

Was a good read and I also read the comments and noticed a lot of people telling Jim to try SMAC as the more natural successor to Civ2 than Civ3 which was interesting as it shows there's still a lot of love for SMAC out there to this day heh. Oh and I also loved the bit about Sid Meier playing Master of Magic, as a huge MoM fan its cool to hear he played it, enjoyed it and found inspiration from it (even if the idea didn't work out lol).

I also posted my own comment there disagreeing with his suggestions to avoid MGE and use older versions as the AI bug has since been corrected by FoxAhead's Civ2UIA patch tool and also let him know about similar developments with ToT thanks to TheNamelessOne's ToTPP patch tool and that a lot of the Civ2 modding community prefers ToT now, and I gave him some links. EDIT: He's updated the article to include my info! :)

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This immediately called to mind the Kim Justice vid:

Civ II holds the definitive spot as the nexus of a particular mid-90s nostalgia in my life. I played the hell out of the original, and I still return to it from time to time out of a fondness for the old DOS aesthetic, but after popping that CD I never looked back for at least a year. The old 3.1 rig was so redlined that I didn't even know the game had sound effects, and I benefitted from a peculiar error that never flagged the Game End properly, so I could pass 2020 and Defeat All Civs and reach Alpha Centauri and it would tally the score separately each time. Back before I was even aware they'd released expansion packs, I remember downloading scenarios from CFC's original incarnation, not knowing they employed custom assets and mentally handwaving why Medieval knights were running around a "WWI" battlefield. :p

I latched onto Civ3 pretty quick, and once I finally figured out how the Stack of Doom meta worked while helping with a friend's mod I started playing Civ4 more often than a couple times a month, but in terms of total hours logged, Civ2 is far and away the bedrock, and I've had some version of it on every computer I've ever owned. I remember seeing ToT in stores and, not realizing what it changed under the hood, passed it up as a scenario pack in the vein of CiC and FW; back in the mid-2000s when "digital distribution" was used copies circulating through eBay, ToT was trading at over $100 USD a unit, and I figured I'd catastrophically missed the bus. I virtually never visited Apolyton, so it wasn't until the SLeague migrated back here that I learned it had become the industry standard for Civ2 modding; fortunately around 2011 I finally managed to find a copy selling at a price that wouldn't break the bank, and a whole new world opened up. Four, in fact. :yeah:

SMAC/X's another title that I always swing back to, and it's probably the most immersive setting ever made for a strategy game (it even got a novelization!)—but the UI definitely betrays its age, and the game plays perhaps the most top-heavy of any in the series. It's interesting because I can see SMAC as the precursor to both Civ3 and Civ4, the former in expanded diplomacy and civ specialization, the latter specifically in the Faction Ethics system (an all-'round improvement to the Whig History governments carried on in 3). It's a damn disgrace EA will sit on the copyright ad infinitum and prevent an official sequel: Beyond Earth simply can't compare, and after Civ1 it's the least mod-friendly in the series so UI cleanups in the vein of Civ2UIA/ToTPP remain pure speculation.

Gratz on getting an official shout-out, but based on what I've seen of Maher I wouldn't expect anything less. :thumbsup: Side note, but the discussion of ludologists in the Covert Action piece is an incredibly insightful explanation of the current philosophical quandary regarding AI-generated content. Next time I'm wading through a flood of AI-gen images on DeviantArt, I'll blame Sid. :mischief:
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