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Gauging interest in a Grand Strategy Game Project

Discussion in 'Other Civ-Related Games' started by epicivfreak, Feb 1, 2016.

  1. epicivfreak

    epicivfreak Chieftain

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    Visiting Civfanatics again, and especially the Ideas & Suggestions subforum, reminds me that Firaxis is never going to make the game I'd like to play. I'd like to play a Grand Strategy game that covers the entire sweep of human civilization, from domestication to modern day, with high emphasis on historical accuracy and realism, and a great strategic depth. Many other posters here keep requesting the same, and it's been that way for years. Firaxis has not delivered, and that's because they're trying to make a game that appeals to more casual gamers.

    So, rather than keep posting the same ideas that have been posted here for many years, over and over, or new ideas that have no hope of ever being implemented, how about a group of us band together, design and create this game ourselves. It's not an easy task, nor a quick project, obviously, but for those of us that want accuracy, realism and depth, it's the only way we're ever going to get to play the game we want to play.

    What do you folks think? Any interest here at Civfanatics?
     
  2. Rusty Edge

    Rusty Edge Chieftain

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    I'd be a customer.
    I'm worse than nothing when it comes to changing code, because I have dyslexic tendencies.
    I don't have the discretionary income in recent years to invest or donate to such a project, but if my circumstances change I'd consider it.
     
  3. epicivfreak

    epicivfreak Chieftain

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    I probably should have listed my skills and interests as well. I love reading history books, books on various cultures, and historical studies (I've been on an economic study reading spree lately), and often enjoy such books more than fiction books, so much of which is just terrible. 10 years ago, I'd have said I was an AI programming enthusiast/hobbyist, but I haven't coded anything significant in the past 10 years. I was always terrible at the GUI stuff, and so-so at the art stuff - I could get something done eventually, but it's not necessarily going to be pretty or efficient.

    I'm disabled, so I've got no money to throw at this project, but quite a bit of time to throw into it. If I can use this as a launching pad to start a company and attempt to get out of the disability system that way, I'm all for it too, as the US disability system blows.

    So, I'm widely read on all the areas needed for a grand strategy game covering all of human history, and I'm familiar with all the necessary game development disciplines, which is necessary as a Team Lead. I'm also open-minded, willing to listen to all sides and always choose "the best" option, not "my" option. That plus the above paragraph, would seem to make me the ideal Team Lead, IMHO.

    What I'm envisioning is a team of folks made up of a single Team Lead, a single Lead Coder, a single Lead Artist, a number of Programmers and a number of Artists - all of which get voting rights, whenever voting is done. Leads get a greater number of votes and the Team Lead breaks any ties or chooses course when there are multiple good options to choose from. Other folks are welcome to contribute as Designers, but since they're not actually working on implementing the game, they have no voting rights (though there may be an exception for extraordinary expertise, such as genuine Historians and Economists, etc.). Game development cannot be design-by-consensus and totally democratic, I've seen attempts at that fail to get anywhere fast. Once completed, and the game is sold, then all money would go towards creating a company and hiring every contributing member to begin work on expansion.

    Or, at least that's my working theory. :crazyeye:
     
  4. bas1

    bas1 Chieftain

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    I dream of a perfect civ-like game and I truly doubt Firaxis will make it for me. So I certainly have interest in this project and might even be interested in helping out (because sometimes I also think I should make the game by myself)
     
  5. epicivfreak

    epicivfreak Chieftain

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    Everybody's going to have different ideas on what "perfect" means, obviously, but it's gotten to the point where I still love the concept of the game, but hate the actual games that Firaxis puts out. Conceptually, they're essentially the same as Civ1, which was terribly flawed in terms of real-world and historical verisimilitude. I mean, just two things that are fundamental to Civilization, but that are simply terrible, conceptually, and could easily be done differently:

    1. How does having an abundance of food translate into population growth?
    2. Why do the citizens go out to the countryside to work instead of working in the city?

    The first is just silly. Remember Africa, last century? The population was booming despite rampant famines. Every famine? The population still grows. Extra bushels of wheat don't magically turn into babies, if anything, it should be gold that causes the city's population to grow (you fill a bucket with gold instead of food), as historically it was the creation of wealth in the cities that drew people from the countryside to work in the cities. Having abundant food (especially a diversity of foods) should help happiness and health, and thus boost productivity.

    The second is as silly as the first. The citizens of a city should be working within the city itself, not outside of it, as this is what happened historically. Just one possible way to handle this would be to have each tile added to a city's borders worked immediately and fully, making each tile important, and then you assign citizens to buildings in order to get further results or specialized resources that can only be gained by working those buildings. Obviously, a little bit of math would have to be reworked, but it could be done. Some examples (based on Civ5) of working buildings:
    if you assign a citizen to a barracks, instead of +15XP, units get +30XP
    if you assign a citizen to a library, get a 50% boost to the science bonus (or 1.5 per 2 citizens in the city)
    if you assign a citizen to a market, get +1 trade route
    if you assign a citizen to a dye factory, get +1 dye resource (this would be a totally new thing)

    ...and so on. Maybe some buildings only have one slot for a citizen, while others have more than one slot, each time you fill one you'd get a greater or different bonus. Maybe Wonders have slots too.

    I'm not looking for a full-blown history simulator, like Rhye's for Civ 4 or Europa Universalis, which seek to force you down predetermined paths, I'm mostly just looking for something that would make conceptual sense to anyone that's ever picked up a history book, a little bit higher degree of strategic depth, and an AI that doesn't feel like it's randomly stumbling around in the dark.
     
  6. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    What about adapting the well-sold book "Sapiens" by Yuval Noah Harari ? It covers even more than only the sapiens times, because it talks also about the other races of humans, that sapiens just obliterated.

    So either we would call it "Sapiens", with mechanics related to the book (among of them a "belief" mechanic working a little like happiness and spreading from city to city like religions, except that religions would be only a part of this system, read the book if you didn't already), or more prosaicly "Humankind", for this to have a large appeal to audiences, as I'm convinced Civilization, by the example of Civilization 5, keeps having a large audience just with its name, reflecting many centers of interest in one word.

    About babies growing in cabagges (a french expression), I agree. We have though to take into account that food abundance favorizes fertility, in the realm of animals at least but it's true, by a weak margin and not the only one among fertility. Fertility depends on so many factors, like health, medicine, happiness, culture...

    But I think that migrations are more important when it comes to big cities like antiquity capitals.

    Here is how i think things may work : first, you have hunter-gatherers that split because they become too big. The splitted parts go elsewhere. It's how Earth has been colonized. Later, agriculture can grant better yield from earth, so avoiding territory wars between clans that are surrounded by other clans and when anyway the whole Earth is fully populated. Later, cities of non-farmers appear, whereas the majority is parked in villages working the land for the city. As earth work is more annoying than hunting or gathering, a lot of people want to go into cities, provided they have a talent.

    So, here how it should be : Big cities that are composed of specialists and mendiants, surrounded by a whole lot of villages regularly dispatched as the land itself goes, so that a given village has an average population, whereas big cities can grow with no limits. Some geographical aptitudes would make sometimes villages into big specialists cities, like being on the coast or near a river, or on the road of an important trade (cotton), eventhough it would not really depend on the inhabitants, which are poor and will stay poor most of the time, if not slaves.

    Later, hunter-gatherers that have heard of such cities may join them. (if they can find themselves a room, which should be harder and harder) Later, it may be peasants. Talents and expertise should grant them this place, but talents are homogenous on the land except if we inspire people by introducing their domains near the inhabitants. So, the bigger a city is, the wider should be its reputation, the fastest a city could grow. Wether this city be full of talents or scum is a matter a talents domain diffusion : if we do efforts into advertising a talents, art, expertise, deep into the land, or if it shines around, then there is a snowball effect. Talents shine, that inspire more talents to come. We can see draw here the premices of the City-State. (a single city have a name, and the name can travel)
     
  7. epicivfreak

    epicivfreak Chieftain

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    I wouldn't want to base the game on any one person's book, but rather take inspiration from many different books. Years ago there was an attempt to turn Guns, Germs, & Steel into a game, and that one never got anywhere. I suspect part of the problem was the competing goals of wanting to be creative and innovative, while at the same time slavishly adhering to The Book created deadlock and decision paralysis, plus, you know, game development ain't easy. :king:

    I know there's a small group of Civ players that want to go further and further back in time for the start date, but I'm not one of them. I'm fine with the rise of the river-valley empires being the start date or about 3500 BC, because that's when things really started to hit the fan. However, I'm not vehemently opposed to having an earlier starting date, and even have some ideas that would work well if the date were pushed back another one or two thousand years - but I'd certainly be opposed to making a game starting anywhere before 10,000 BC. I just don't see the point, as I've always maintained that Civ is a turn-based, tile-based, empire management game. That's the game I want to play, that's the game I want to make, though it will use this same fundamental concept of Civ, it won't be a civ clone, because the Civ franchise has gone to the casual gamer:
    Build a trade unit, click button, Yay Money! :rolleyes:
     
  8. killmeplease

    killmeplease Mk Z on Steam

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    civ franchase was always about casual gaming
    for nerds there are total war, europe universalis and such ;)
     
  9. epicivfreak

    epicivfreak Chieftain

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    I want something in between those two extremes. ;)
     
  10. Robo-Star

    Robo-Star Chieftain

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    They don't - only specialists are citizens; non-specialists are rural workers and peasants a city claims jurisdiction over.
     
  11. daft

    daft The fargone

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    I could provide you with countless ideas, then we could try and implement them, one by one, at the end, we could have a better product than Firaxis, one that the faithfull civ players could follow, respect and invest in, except, I ain't no programmer and thus whole conept fails.

    However, do not be fooled into thinking Firaxis dev team doesn't read these forums/threads, doesn't copy/modify your ideas for their own gain...
     
  12. algeriangeneral

    algeriangeneral Chieftain

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    Hmmm, guys I think you want to hear this:

    I'm the lead graphics designer in the four forces studio, and we are working on a CIV like game, but with a lot of features already finished, our maps can have Max size of (1000x500 hex) and a full 3d terrain (I mean a fully integrated elevation system) and way more features.

    we began the work on the game since last June,
    If you want guys you can join us, if you are interested please pm me, since I can't post links (maybe the admins will consider it as a spam or something)
    Since I think it's more relevant to work on one big project then working on 2 separate ones that have the same goals and aims.
    BTW, in our game the time line is from 10 000 BC to 2500AD , might be extended .
    All kind of help is appreciate: we need a graphics artists, and we also need suggestions and ideas
    ;-)

    Have a nice day guys BTW
     
  13. Kid R

    Kid R Chieftain

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    I'd contribute coding if I liked the idea. @epicivfreak maybe you could draft a 1 page "elevator pitch" of how the game would play. Hard to tell from your opening post but I suspect you're aiming for something highly epic and detailed where my tastes would be more towards lighter and quicker games. In any case I'd offer encouragement if nothing else :)
     
  14. epicivfreak

    epicivfreak Chieftain

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    Well, I don't have a complete design document at this point, but like I said a few posts above (#9), I'd be shooting for something in between the Civilization series and the Europa Universalis series, or thereabouts. So, saying I'm going for highly epic and highly detailed might be stretching the truth a bit. It would be better to say that I'd shoot for something with more historical correctness and a bit more detail than the Civ series, while not getting too overly specific in representing one particular time period like EU does. I want to do a much better strategic warfare system, and if we can pull that off well, that alone will make the game play faster, as you won't be pushing a million units around the map every single turn. I want to get some genuine mercantile activity going on, since trade has always been terribly weak in Civ, and isn't much better in EU. I want a more detailed diplomacy system with various levels of trade deals, including tariffs, since trade was so often a factor in war. One thing that the Civ series definitely got right though was a high level of player involvement, so I also want that too: to hell with history and realism when it comes to that, I don't want to sit around for an hour watching the game play by itself (like EU).
     
  15. algeriangeneral

    algeriangeneral Chieftain

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    Yeah, you're totally right
    And what's ironic is that what you said is written in our website, I mean that our game is something in between civilization and EU. Furthermore for the player involvement we have removed as much micromanagement as possible, removing the workers so making improvements is done in the city view, and we have introduced the army
    Grouping thing, so you can assign units to a general and then giving this general orders (movement, protection, attacking a city ...)

    Oh and it would be nice if we could speak about that, maybe in Facebook, Kik or Skype
     
  16. DaGubbna

    DaGubbna Chieftain

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    I might be willing to help. I don't have much coding experience but I'm a quick study, and I have some friends who I might be able to get help from. I'm Also pretty good with graphics stuff.

    But, before working on it I would want to make sure that there are enough people to feasibly make the game in a reasonable amount of time. Also I'd like to hear a more in depth idea of what you were thinking. Not quite what Kid R wants because I understand that you would be basing a lot of it off the other collaborators ideas, but just a general framework pitch, so that I know I won't not like the game.
     
  17. algeriangeneral

    algeriangeneral Chieftain

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    The team is pretty big actually, 2 programmers, 3 graphic artists, 1 PR guy and 1 music composer. So finishing the game is totally believable.

    We need more graphic designers tbh, and for your question about the general "direction" of the game, here is the answer:

    So we are thinking about a 4x grand strategy game, from the beginning of human civilization (10000BC) to the really far future (3000AD maybe), we are thinking about less childish (I'm looking at you Firaxis ) adding more realism and depth to the game, but at the same time keeping it simple and manageable by adding an AI that can be activated and will take care of the economy for example a la hearts of iron.

    The map is pretty big, so we added generals that will manage and command your units, we also have extendable cities, so cities will no longer be only one hex big.
    Religions, cultures and ideology are going to be important in our game.

    I hope that we can have a chat, so that I'll be more specific about the game's concept.
    Cheers ;-)
     
  18. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Moderator Action: Moved to Other Civ-Related Games forum.
     
  19. Ikael

    Ikael Chieftain

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    I would absolutely support such project, either as a contributor (marketing / PR / modding / game design) or as a consumer.

    It is not that every game should be Europa Universallis, but I am already quite tired of the appealing to the lowest common denominator (of complexity) and the worring trend of neglecting theoretical game design altogether when it comes to big game companies (Hearthstone comes to mind), so thumbs up to this initiative! :goodjob:
     
  20. Fullerene

    Fullerene Chieftain

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    I checked your web site, and the game sounds interesting. There just wasn't much info about the game mechanics yet. Would be interesting to hear how it's different from Sid Meier's series.
     

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