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How did you get to Civ-games ( especially Civ 4 )

Discussion in 'Civ4 - General Discussions' started by citizenofdoom, Aug 21, 2018.

  1. Lennier

    Lennier Chieftain

    Mar 10, 2013
    Orange County, NY
    Nightinggale: Fascinating story, but your videos aren't working (either embedded or the direct link to YouTube.)

    I found Civ2 when I was stationed in Korea in 1996 and a bunch of the soldiers were playing it in the computer room at the rec center. So I bought it and loved it. I tried Civ3. I liked some of the new concepts (culture, great leaders) but really hated how the corruption mechanic punished the player for having a large empire. It would have been tolerable if the AI would have left you alone once you were big enough that if not in Communism a new city would be reduced to one shield and one commerce, but they'd keep declaring war on you so you'd have to raze half the world. (And Communism just sorta averaged out the amount of corruption.) My final straw was when I was dominating the game, but not declaring war on anyone, built the UN, asked for a diplomatic victory, and lost. (I went back to the turn before that, and easily won via space.)

    After that I waited a while to get Civ IV. I got it as a birthday present from my in-laws in 2010. I loved it. I went through the different victory conditions on the easy levels. When I went for diplomatic, I had some trepidation when I put up diplomatic victory for the resolution. I didn't win the vote, but I didn't loose either. I played a little more making my empire a bit bigger and improving relations with some of the AIs and won on my second attempt. I got Warlords and BTS form my birthday present from my in-laws in 2011, and (much to the annoyance of my wife) have been playing since.
  2. plasmacannon

    plasmacannon Chieftain

    May 5, 2010
    Orlando, Florida
    Good to know. The C64 was my first computer and favorite starter computer. The keyboard alone allowed so many options on the keys themselves. It's a shame they way they went under and carved up into so many pieces that it would be nearly impossible to return as a competitor again.
    I received errors on both videos also.
  3. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Chieftain

    Feb 2, 2009
    Fixed. I wrote BB code, which was supposed to work (at least it used to), but it looks like it converted to rich text and back and became... different. I changed the format and now it works (hopefully). At least it works for me after having edited the post.

    Same here and that one too was ground breaking as new. Back in those days there were static RAM (SRAM) and dynamic RAM (DRAM). SRAM was/is very expensive, but DRAM can only remember the data for a certain amount of time after being written, meaning using DRAM would require the CPU to loop through the entire memory, read the data and write it to refresh it. To avoid this, computers used SRAM. The C64 switched to DRAM and could go from 16 kB to 64 kB while lowering costs. There is a custom chip for reading joystick ports or something, which they added a new "chip" to because adding more circuits to a custom chip was nearly cost free in production. This new "chip" had access to the memory and would constantly refresh the memory whenever nothing else used memory, meaning the CPU could use the cheap DRAM without losing cycles to refreshing the memory. Today computers use DRAM with an on-card custom chip to refresh the memory, meaning it was the winning design.

    The sound and graphics design was also very good. Most noteworthy was that they like the Amiga could do stuff without being constantly monitored by the CPU. It had hardware sprites, which were used for games where you had one and the monsters or whatever used the others (there was a fixed amount available). The hardware had collision detection meaning the CPU was informed when the sprites touched each other. It didn't have to figure that out by itself. With this amount of task unloading, the CPU could actually get a lot done despite running at around 1 MHz.

    It might seem obvious today to have such task unloading, but it wasn't as clear back then. The Atari 2600 didn't have a graphics chip. Instead the CPU had to send the color information one pixel at a time, meaning the CPU could do nothing other than sending screen information while a line was being drawn on the screen. It then had the CPU while the screen moved the beam back in position for the next line. As a result, the majority of the CPU power was lost on screen writing alone and this severely reduced the complexity of the games it could run. It actually had black lines in PacMan because it used too much time on moving the ghosts and didn't have time to draw all the pixels.

    Commodore had a new CEO in 1989 and he came up with the idea that they should focus on the next generation computer (32 bit or whatever). Until it arrived they should save costs on product development. This meant the company went 5 years without proper development for future products, only here and now solutions and the next generation computing never arrived because the development department never delivered it. Since Commodore 64 did so well, he decided to make Commodore 65. That's right when they went bust in 1994 (a year before windows 95), they had an 8 bit gaming computer in active development.

    Commodore UK tried to buy Commodore, but Commodore sold to some German company instead, which pulled out all the assets for profit, effectively killing Commodore. It wasn't enough and the Germans went under the following year. Had Commodore UK bought Commodore, they would have renamed themselves to Amiga Computer and their plan for focusing on future Amiga models and newer hardware would likely have paid off and they could still be around. In fact it was viewed as more likely to work than Apple's plan to avoid going under. It's a shame it went under because now we have "fixed package" Apple and then Microsoft. Amiga would deliver real competition to Microsoft and unlike Apple they would have allowed people to do stuff to their hardware. Losing Commodore/Amiga essentially gave us a Microsoft monopoly and like any other monopolies, it's bad for the consumers.
    plasmacannon likes this.

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