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Inside Soren's Presentation (Some Real Gems!)

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Kull, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. Kull

    Kull Chieftain

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    One of the useful Powerpoint features is the ability to add "presenter notes" (usually visible in a small window at the bottom of the screen). So here's what you missed if you only looked at the slides:

    1) Mod Making features (my heart danced after reading this......): :crazyeye:

    Fan content: we are keeping all game data in xml which will ensure that almost nothing will be hard-coded. Further, we are integrating Python into the code-base so that the more algorithmic parts of the game (map generation, combat, triggers/events, AI, etc.) can be scripted by the modding community.

    2) Built-from-the-Ground Multiplayer:

    Multiplayer: we have a working mp system already and have been playing 4+ hour games after work

    3) Regarding the "Official" Fan Suggestion List:

    200,000 words is about 600 pages…
    By comparison, the New Testament is about 175,000 words…


    4) The Civ3 Development Cycle:

    Choosing a specific goal can help you set priorities and make cuts if necessary… Civ3 had a pretty rocky development cycle. We lost all of our leads after about a year and we also had almost 100% turnover within the programming department. I really believe that we saved that product by picking the right area to focus on – the one that our users cared the most about…

    There's a few other goodies in there, so by all means check it out:

    http://www.gdconf.com/archives/2004/johnson_soren.zip

    For those who don't have have Powerpoint, go here to download the free viewer.
     
  2. Commander Bello

    Commander Bello Say No 2 Net Validations

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    #1 really sounds good....
     
  3. Gogf

    Gogf Indescribable

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    I can't wait for #1.
     
  4. GeZe

    GeZe elmo knows where you live

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    is there some way to view the presentation without owning powerpoint?
     
  5. Commander Bello

    Commander Bello Say No 2 Net Validations

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    Star Office (open source) should do... or, if somebody would have the PP-viewer at hand (I'm currently not at work)
     
  6. Evie

    Evie Pronounced like Eevee

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    Same with me on #1

    Though I still hope they don't blow up the fan content thing by making graphic editing hell instead.

    Or at the very least - make adding a unit (with new graphic) NOT require rifling through seventy five separate files to edit twice that many line of codes.

    The ability to add more a bit more stuff, not just edit what's already there, is one of the best thing about Civ unit editing.
     
  7. Chieftess

    Chieftess Moderator Retired Moderator

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    yeah, I think it would make common sense to split the unit graphics. That way, you don't have computer illiterate users messing up their unit32 icons file. I got a few users in the chatroom confused on that issue.
     
  8. Kull

    Kull Chieftain

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    There is a free powerpoint viewer, to which I added a link in the opening post.
     
  9. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    I knew the developers were a lot more balanced than people were giving them credit:

    I quote, from the presentation notes:

    "Cynicism is a dangerous – and very real – threat."

    They're genuinely worried about releasing the same game. The question is will they change things and make it more popular, or make it less popular.

    What shocks me is that he even eluded to "jumping genres" as an issue. I'm not sure if even the biggest cynic or most creative mind wants anything this drastic.

    He definitely approaches it from a similar UI standpoint, and offers that as one of the most important consistencies between sequals, even if you make big jumps into 3D and such. He even quantifies unit counts and proportions as something that needs to be consistent, to some degree.

    The two things I'm gonna be aware of are "simplify" and "lose un-fun elements". Lose unfun elements is something I'd like to see more of, but replacing them with more complex things will only make that worse. Corruption and maintenence are a *****, but then what determines your bottom line in your economy?

    A lot of food for thought.
     
  10. Commander Bello

    Commander Bello Say No 2 Net Validations

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    Thanks for adding the link to the viewer, Kull! (as always, the best solutions are just that simple!)
    Having browsed very quickly through the presentation, it seems that they have learned some lessons.
    What really confuses me is the slide #59: "Drop the unfun legacy" (pollution, rioting, maintenance, corruption/waste) and the "continuous, immersive 3-D-world"

    I hope, they translate "drop" with improve massively.
    And about the 3d-aspects, I'm still very unsure until I've seen the first examples.
     
  11. Aussie_Lurker

    Aussie_Lurker Deity

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    I'm REALLY pleased to hear about #1 too, mostly because of scripting, which will allow people to create MUCH better Scenarios but, also, because the removal of hard-coding will allow for much, MUCH better mods and scenarios-because we can finally take the 'gloves off'. I know that I, for one, have wanted to bring a number of improvements and small wonders into the game, but couldn't because (a) you couldn't have -'ve research, production and/or maintainance costs, (b) you couldn't have a building that produced corruption and (c), you couldn't have Small Wonders that counted as improvement X in every city, or which doubled the happiness of improvement X (though this last one you COULD work around-thanks to Warpstorms advice :) ;))!!

    Yours,
    Aussie_Lurker.
     
  12. Plexus

    Plexus Architeuthidae puericomedentis

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    Woot! No hard coding!
     
  13. Warman17

    Warman17 NES Grandpa

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    "1/3 old, 1/3 improved, 1/3 new"

    Also it talked about how not all of us will like the new product, i like the circles >_>
     
  14. Archer 007

    Archer 007 Rebirth

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    This sounds great.
     
  15. Singularity

    Singularity Infinite Density

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    @dh epic

    I don't think CivIV will jump genres. He clearly showed what a bad example that can be with the slide showing X-com tactical team game jump to fps. 1/3 innovation with borrowed elements from other genres will mean a big change though.

    What did he mean with Civics though?? The term is unknown to me, and sounds allmost like smaller civs. Perhaps more evolved versions of Barbarian tribes?

    I couldn't see any emphasis on AI though, and that's a bit sad. In the growing arena of multiplayer market the AI seem to be left behind as a novelty for the shrinking singleplayer market...
     
  16. polypheus

    polypheus Prince

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    The key to making Civ 4 work and not become burdensome and unplayable is to introduce key concepts and improvements that are as streamlined as possible. It is also the case that you want to introduce concepts that actually add to gameplay rather than add more tedious work which has little gameplay value.

    Civ 3 did a good job of that. The culture/nationality and lux/resources concepts were totally new yet were very much streamlined and required very little, if any, additional mircromanagement and work to master over and above Civ 2.

    OTOH, some of Civ 2's supposed "improvements" were nothing but additional tedious work. Remember when Civ 2 added the "concept" of farmland so you could double-irrigate land? What really was achieved in this implementation? Good thinking that Soren junked this idea in Civ 3.

    As far as pollution is concerned, I think that in and of itself, it is not a bad concept. However, the way it is IMPLEMENTED is terrible. You end up with many polluted squares that you have to then micro-manage many workers to clean up. But it isn't "strategic gameplay" value to implement pollution this way. Rather it is just mindless, tedious work. But if it were implemented a DIFFERENT way, it could easily be a much better.

    The thing is that it is very possible and relatively "easy" in many cases to implement features and concepts that take the game to a new level yet is still very much playable unlike what happened with MoO3 if you do it the right way and with the right approach.
     
  17. warpstorm

    warpstorm Yumbo? Yumbo!

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    My Civics classes taught what and how our government worked.
     
  18. ainwood

    ainwood Consultant. Administrator

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    It will be interesting to see whether this refers to no hard coding of modifiers, or no hard coding at all. For example, if its no hard coding at all, this would allow players to experiment with creating their own combat systems. If its no hard-coded modifiers, they can still play with and tweak it, but they can't fundamentally change how the combat system works.
     
  19. Commander Bello

    Commander Bello Say No 2 Net Validations

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    As I've stated earlier, algorithms should be hardcoded, yet parameters should be modifyable.
    You just cannot change the name of a variable, which might be used for some good or bad reason at three other places in the coding, since the game just will crash, whilst you may very well change it's internal values.
     
  20. dh_epic

    dh_epic Cold War Veteran

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    Yeah, I don't think Civ is going to jump genres either. I think it was mostly brought up to illustrate a point -- that some other franchises have done it because they recognize the dangers of cynicism.

    Civ 4 will be a change. It probably won't incorporate everyone's ideas, let alone any one's (emphasis on the one) ideas. I think in some sense, the question of balancing new features with the old game people love is trivial -- this is something they know they have to do and they will do. The hard question is now balancing change with keeping the game simple, or simplifying other concepts to make room for new concepts?
     

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