Dutch Features, and Revamping Milestone Planning

What should we plan for Dutch?

  • Technology/research

  • City improvements

  • Worker improvements

  • Save support (delay from Carthage)

  • Exploration expansion (delay from Carthage)

  • Borders and culture

  • Treasure and Budget

  • City capture and citizen nationality

  • Happiness

  • City screen

  • Early diplomacy

  • Trade and connecting resources

  • Other (list in thread)

Results are only viewable after voting.


Archiving Civ3 Content
Mar 17, 2007
355 Days ago, the "which features do we want for Carthage?" thread was created. That resulted in 8 items being chosen, which were broken down into 61 tasks (Babylon had 33 by comparison).

Now, yearly a year later, 80 tasks have been released in the Carthage previews, with 3 more done-but-not-yet-released, and a total of 113 tasks being on our Carthage board. We're 73.5% done with what wound up being a lot bigger than we thought it would. Along with the "valley of a lot of things to do to get from shiny exciting prototype to playable game" factor, I think this is part of why momentum has slowed - Carthage seems to be insurmountable.

Part of the problem is a lot of what was originally planned for Dutch (and some of what was planned for Egypt) was pulled into Carthage without other items being pulled out, ballooning the size of Carthage.

A few weeks ago I went through what was left for Carthage and marked 17 tasks as "optional". Most of these are technical back-end tasks, refactoring or proofs-of-concept for the future, a few are minor features or AI improvements. With those as optional, we're at 83.3% done, and 8/13ths of that is in progress. Some of those in-progress items could also be punted, having been idle for some time and not critical from a feature standpoint.

I think we can take some lessons from our Carthage planning, and here is my proposal:

  • At the start of each milestone, we have 5 features. We release the milestone when 3 of them are done. The remaining two roll over (potentially partially completed), and three more are chosen. This keeps milestones a relatively predictable size.
  • Code architecture and AI improvements are "continuous". Anyone can work at them at any time, and we can prioritize them and track them in a milestone, but they won't block its completion.
    • Partial exception: Baseline AI support may be included with new features. E.g. when we add technologies, the AI has to be able to research them. Not necessarily very strategically up front, but it can't stay in the Stone Age forever.
I think this "three of five" strategy would help prevent straggling features from stopping progress on this unpaid project, while making sure things don't completely fall off the radar. We've already somewhat done this with the exploration mechanic, which was originally part of Babylon but was punted to Carthage. It's obviously an important mechanic in a 4X game, but we didn't let it stifle everything else.

With that said, here are my top 3 proposed Dutch features:

  • Technology/research.
  • City improvements
  • Worker improvements
Along with the two main features still pending in Carthage - save support and fleshing out exploration a bit more fully - these would mark a major step forward in game mechanics.

There are a lot of candidates for what the other two Dutch features would be, assuming neither of the remaining Carthage ones is punted. Borders and culture? Treasure and Budget? City capture, perhaps with Citizen Nationality? Happiness? The city screen? Early diplomacy? Trade and connecting resources?


The Great Dictator
Jul 7, 2004
Skaville UK Reputation: 1
Of the options listed above, I think a working city screen is at least a soft requirement for much of them.

On the other hand, the ability to declare war on and make peace with other civs, and to be able to capture their cities, are two features that civ-style gaming is built around; empire management (dealing with happiness, connecting resources, building city improvements) is important to be able to create a sense of balance, but the moment war can be declared and cities can be captured is the moment that this moves to being a playable (and winnable) game.
Top Bottom