1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Civilization IV Opening Strategy Walkthrough

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Strategy & Tips' started by tks2103, Nov 5, 2009.

  1. TheMeInTeam

    TheMeInTeam Top Logic

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    25,711
    Voicing over involves some extra work though, and it does lose some authenticity on the whole "let's play" angle which first attracted me.

    Anyway, I'll be able to do it on deity if I get good enough to beat deity generally.

    Also, I'm almost done with my new set of recordings, and the end might be a surprise to my viewers compared to previous games!

    @tks

    IMO you should finish that game...the viewers want it :p.
     
  2. tks2103

    tks2103 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    24
    This is also something I'm really looking for with these playthroughs. A lot of players have told me I am not using Monuments (Totem Poles) and the protective trait well. That could definitely be the case, and I'm glad some of the more experienced players are showing me a thing or two!
     
  3. AthenaMaria

    AthenaMaria Chieftain

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2006
    Messages:
    52
    Location:
    Britannia
    Could it be .... not a UN victory? ;) I don't mind anyway but I know some have commented on the victory type :)

    I'm very much looking forward to your next series of videos. :thanx:
     
  4. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,384
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    This is great.

    I'm a Noble player and I took alot of good stuff out of the Walkthrough (still not done watching).

    A few comments/questions:

    1. One thing you made me realize is the idea of delaying Slavery. Once I get Bronze Working, I always switch to Slavery and the funny thing is I chop rush more than whip rush. So I don't leverage slavery as much as I should and yet I get caught with the random slave revolt event. That's something I'll definatly change in my game.

    2. Using Libraries to pop the borders: Is this something common among higher level players? Once I settle a new city, I build a monument (if I am not creative) as soon as possible to pop my borders. Am I wasting hammers on building something that is not as important?

    3. Binary Research. I've been ready a little on it but with your walkthrough, it's the first time I've seen it in action. How many turns do you estimate you shaved off Iron Working by doing binary research (when you waited for the Libraries to be built)? How often would you say during a game you use binary research? I noticed you used it again in the 4th segment.

    4. I particularly like the fog busting/how barbs spawn segment. Never paid much attention to it.

    I'm sure I'll have more questions later. ;)

    EDIT: Ok, I finished watching the rest. One thing that made me feel better about my game was that after a 115 turns, you had only 3 cities. After reading some of the strategy articles, they seem to imply that if I don't have 6 cities by 1AD, I am doing something wrong and I seem to panic.

    Also, I liked how quickly you amassed your army with 3 cities. For me, it seems like it takes me longer to get the desired number of units. Is it safe to say that when preparing for war, you whip, chop and starve the cities? I whip and I chop, but I don't starve the city.

    Anyways, your thoughts (or anyone else) on my questions would be welcomed. This was the first time I watched a walkthrough and enjoyed it.
     
  5. Negator_UK

    Negator_UK King

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    758
    Just watching the first video now, (its hung up streaming atm)

    I definitely like the early runthrough of the strategic chioces/priorities, although there audio play issues like whistles that other videos (Hi TMIT) don't have, maybe you should reposition your mic away from hard surfaces, or play with a towel on your head.

    Watching other people play this game is soooo much more relaxing than playing it myself, so I welcome any new Civ channel TV :D

    Many thanks & keep 'em coming......
     
  6. Negator_UK

    Negator_UK King

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    758
    It didn't hang, it was finished.

    Watched em all, excellent. I like the pace and the level of explanation.

    You can play the game through or make another 100 turner, Its even money with me.

    One point - like TMIT you indicate stuff on the screen that you are reading, expecting us to follow - but we can't read it :D - I would have liked a more constant audible of what turn you are at to compare progress with my own games.

    But thats just a small point of improvement - overall, cracking stuff.
     
  7. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    2,301
    Location:
    Settle in place
    You lose to a cheesy late AI AP diplo win? :p

    Good video, really liked it. :goodjob:

    Edit: totem poles boost crossbows as well, right? Early crossbows can be a scary sight when they start out upgraded on the drill line...
     
  8. vicawoo

    vicawoo Chieftain

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2007
    Messages:
    3,226
    By the way, livestreaming allows the option of saving/archiving your video, so you get a no effort youtube as a bonus.


    Siggboy,
    livestreaming is a slightly different niche than youtube type tutorials. Some of the times you may be providing audio commentary, but often people tune in just because they want to see you play and offer real time advice. For the broadcaster, it's basically a no cost service to the community to just turn it on when they are playing.
    You wouldn't believe how unbelievably fast you learn just by watching someone live in ever varying scenarios.
    Like being able to watch the 2nd best foreigner in the world playing starcraft is unbelievable, in terms of decision making and ability. It's like watching sports on tv.
     
  9. mjg5591

    mjg5591 Prince

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    400
    Really liked this walthrough. Very educational for people wanting to improve thier game. Really liked the detailed explantions of what you were doing.

    This video and TMIT's help us players struggling to understand some mechanics of the game. Sometimes seeing and hearing it is easier then reading it.

    Thanks to both you for for helping us players make the jumps to the next level.

    Mike
     
  10. tks2103

    tks2103 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    24
    I'd love to finish this game, but a couple things.

    First, I'd like to focus the strategy discussion. I think playing through full games can make it difficult to isolate what's working and what's not working in a strategy.

    Second, my computer has trouble recording as the game goes on. I can record, but the quality drops a bit. I'll be upgrading my computer soon, so it will be better to wait.

    I think I'll return to the game if I decide to do a mid-game strategy series, which is definitely possible!

    THANKS FOR ALL YOUR FEEDBACK GUYS! YOU ROCK!

    Oh, and uh, I have segment 1 of another playthrough up! Link: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=341523
     
  11. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,384
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Just watching one of the walkthroughs from TheMeInTeam. One thing I noticed in the level of play between this level of player and a Noble player like myself is how quickly the units are built once the plan of action is decided.

    Example: With Mehmet, it was decided a Chariot rush was going to happen. In what seemed like no time, 10 or 11 chariots were built through chopping and simply simply organizing the tiles for production. That's one of my biggest issues. Is the governor used to maximize production or are the times manually changed? Would you starve the city to point before it's about to lose a citizen?

    Anyways, these Youtube walkthroughs are pretty good.
     
  12. siggboy

    siggboy Monarch/Epic

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    493
    Location:
    Saarbruecken, Germany
    Yeah the walkthroughs are great, it's a shame I've discovered them only now. If you guys get a decent audio quality sorted out I'll be a super happy camper!

    Here's another suggestion: right now we have the walkthrough approach ("play as you go") as well as the tutorial approach (explaining things more in detail). It seems that tks is leaning more to the latter and TMIT more to the former.

    Maybe it would be a good idea to be even more systematic about this. For example by producing a few shorter videos explaining a specific aspect in greater detail; e.g. city placement, an early rush, blocking land, some wonder gambit and especially warfare would be cool (like how exactly to compose stacks and how to split them effectively to take as many cities as possible in a short amount of time). I think that at least TMIT would be great at explaining that.

    Don't get me wrong, I really like the "play as you go" approach, but of course it's impossible to learn about an explicit aspect of the game without watching through all of the segments and picking up what you can.

    Keep those vids coming guys, highly appreciated!
     
  13. Negator_UK

    Negator_UK King

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    758
    Agreed, the strategy discussion during the game was very good.

    The quality of the production didn't affect my enjoyment of it (but I do suggest you should sort out the sound). You just need to be aware of the limits of the quality you can do while during your commentary.

    As for future productions, my request would be same format different starts since you indicated that there were broadly 4 possible routes you could have chosen.

    Alternatively I have a map I'm trying to figure out at the moment, if you're taking requests :D.

    Hurrah - can someone organise a sticky index for these, like the ALCs ?? or maybe I just volunteered.....
     
  14. tks2103

    tks2103 Chieftain

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2009
    Messages:
    24
    Some people have mentioned issues with the sound. What problems are people having? The sound is very clear when I hear it on my computer. Can people point out specific parts where the sound is lackluster, or be more specific about the problem with the sound?

    Also, if anyone does more professional sound recording and could give some advice that would be great. I took a look at Railscasts, which seem interesting. Any other background would be great as well.

    I want to fix any quality issues if I can. More feedback here would be great!
     
  15. Negator_UK

    Negator_UK King

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2007
    Messages:
    758
    The sound is quite audible, its just that certain frequencies in your voice echo more than others, meaning that some peoples voices sound strange when played back, you have this problem a bit (I remember having it a lot) - TMIT doesn't.

    The problem can be reduced by making sure your sound source (ie, your mouth) and your mic are located in a location free from echos. Locating the mic away from walls is one thing you can do, and home music recording enthusiasts really do sing with a blanket on their head (with the mic and mouth both inside) to minimise echos off walls :D

    I have an old copy of the CoolEdit sound editor and would be quite happy to try my sound engineering hand, but I can't process video so I'd need (and give back) an MP3 of the sound track and you'd need to work out how to get the edited version back into your video.

    But these are minor comments, not complaints - overall the vids are good !!!
     
  16. NonPrayinMantis

    NonPrayinMantis Warlord

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Messages:
    221
    Location:
    Roanoke
    Binary research has two main advantages, 1) Like TKS said in the video, it allows you to build up money while you build science multipliers and then use the multipliers when you have enough money to research. 2) Binary research avoids round-off losses. When the computer multiplies the tax rate by the trade amount generated, it creates fractional numbers which are rounded down. When you set your tax rate to anything but 100% or 0%, you can get more round-off losses to your reasearch, sometimes as much as a few beakers per turn. This doesn't sound like much on normal speed, but on the slower speeds it makes a bigger difference.

    The only other option besides binary research is to continually lower the research percent as your empire grows and research steadily.

    NPM
     
  17. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2004
    Messages:
    2,301
    Location:
    Settle in place
    ONe more comment on the sound... I take it your mouth was rather close to the mic. At several points the volume of your voice was such that the microphone simply could not pick up any more intensity, so you reach the limit of what the mic will pick up. Might I suggest sittin a bit further away from the mic? It will reduce the cracking of the sound.

    Overall though I did not have a problem with the sound as long as my volume was not crancked up. It was a good video in all aspects. :)
     
  18. yanner39

    yanner39 Emperor

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2008
    Messages:
    1,384
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Thanks for this. So is it best to use it when you are running a at a research rate of less than 100% and you might as well bringing it down to 0%, build up the treasury, and crank it up to 100% once you have enough funds?

    What if you are currently running 100% research? Start building Libraries, reduce the slider to 0%, and once the libraries are built put it back up to 100%?
     
  19. siggboy

    siggboy Monarch/Epic

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    493
    Location:
    Saarbruecken, Germany
    My issue with the sound, and I don't think I'm nitpicking, is that you've encoded it with too low a bitrate. So you'd actually have to listen to the video as it's being played back from YouTube to hear the actual quality (not sure from your comment if you've done that). You basically sound a bit like a robot in the video, just the typical heavy compression artefacts one does get at low bitrates. Just listen through a headphone to the video and you'll see (hear) what I mean.

    I have not actually downloaded your vids to inspect how high the bitrate is or what codec you've used for the audio, but here are some typical settings for different audio codecs that should yield decent quality:
    • First and foremost, don't encode in stereo. Mono is just as good for pure voice content, and you're not recording with a stereo mic anyway I guess. Using mono greatly increases the effective bitrate (since you're not encoding a second, basically redundant, channel).
    • Use variable bitrate encoding, not average bitrate or fixed. Modern codecs (AAC or Vorbis) default to this, with MP3 you might have to select it explicitly.
    • MP3 needs at least 96 kpbs, preferably 128 kpbs on average
    • Vorbis is fine with 64 kbps already; I'm not sure if that's even an option for YouTube compatible videos though.
    • About AAC I'm not sure, 80-100 should be enough. I think that's the standard codec for MP4s so it's probably what you should be using.

    TMIT's recordings seem to have a good audio bitrate (I didn't hear a lot of artefacts at all), but he does have a huge amount of noise from interference in his computer.

    You don't need a studio mic like the Railscast guy uses. A decent headset is good enough (I have a Sennheiser PC 151 and I can only recommend it; it's not very expensive, comfortable to wear for hours, does have great earphones and a very good microphone).

    Just make a few test recordings and make sure you set the input (recording) level just right, so your voice is loud and clear without clipping.

    I recommend using a USB sound adapter (just buy a cheap one for $15 or so, it doesn't matter), because they greatly reduce the amount of noise you get. The sound hardware typically found in desktop PCs and most cheap soundcards produce horrible noise from picking up all the interference inside your PC. If you listen to TMITs recordings with a headphone you can hear the fan inside his PC spinning up :). This might not be an issue for you though, you can easily find out by making a test recording.

    Also, making sure you got the right recording level set up reduces noise because the signal to noise ratio will be better.

    I'm not an expert on these matters, but the above is easy to follow advice and by investing an hour or so in figuring it out you will greatly improve the quality of your videos.

    I don't think that echo is really the problem here, to me it sounds a lot more like encoding artefacts. Of course you could be right about this as well -- using a good headset, with a noise cancelling microphone that is in a fixed position from your mouth should eliminate any echo problems though. You will also not have any feedback from your speakers since you're listening through the earphones.

    You should not record the game sound through the microphone anyway. That will only sound bad and give you feedback problems. I don't know how fraps works in that regard (I've never used it), probably it does the required mixing of game sound and voice already.

    If not, just record the voice over into a separate file and then mix it with the game sound at an appropriate level afterwards. How you do that depends on what software you're using.

    I hope I'm not stepping on your feet with my complaints about the sound quality, guys. I really like those videos and I'm learning a lot from them.
     
  20. siggboy

    siggboy Monarch/Epic

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    493
    Location:
    Saarbruecken, Germany
    By the way, it might be worth checking out alternatives to YouTube for the video hosting, to get rid of the pesky 10 minute limitation.

    Blip.TV and Vimeo are both very good, and I think they don't have the limitation. (They're popular for technical talks because they usually last an hour or so.)
     

Share This Page