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Millennia: Free demo from February 5 to 12

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The_J

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From February 5 to 12, you will be able to try out a free demo of Millennia!
The demo will be single player, and you will be able to play at maximum 60 turns up until the 3rd age.
More details are not yet known.

Thanks for @Boris Gudenuf for mentioning this in the video thread.
 
Will definitely try it, but I bear little hope for this game being anything good...
Can't say I completely disagree with you, but let's not regress to the 'nattering nabobs of negativism' invoked by the Spiraling Agnut so many years ago.

Even if the game sucks like the proverbial starving leech, it still has shown some very interesting ideas about Progression and modeling the economic factors in the reveals so far. If this game crashes and burns like Ambrose Bierce's Brick Airplane ("All the details are correct, the only remaining problems are Basic and Fundamental") we still stand to learn some things about different ways of doing the things we've come to expect from historicalish 4X games, and perhaps things that can be applied to future Civ games/Mods/variations.

At the very least, Food for Threads and discussions in the CivFanatics forums . . .
 
Now this has me interested. If only Firaxis would take some hints that releasing information on games occasionally drives interest in them. If not, and if this demo and the eventual full game proves to be fun to play in practice, we might have to rebrand as MillenniaFanatics by the end of the year...
 
If only Firaxis would take some hints that releasing information on games occasionally drives interest in them.
I mean, Firaxis will definitely promote Civ7 when its getting ready to be released but I fail to see the point of doing promotion for something whose release is the in the vague future and not, like, six months in the future.
 
I mean, Firaxis will definitely promote Civ7 when its getting ready to be released but I fail to see the point of doing promotion for something whose release is the in the vague future and not, like, six months in the future.
Because it isn't 2001 anymore. News can be shared easily and quickly online, no need to wait for magazine spreads of a near-finished product or trade shows. Millenia doesn't have a release date either. People are talking about it, adding it to their wishlist, anticipating playing it. The developers are getting feedback on which ideas are generating interest and which ones aren't, and with this demo, they'll also get more detail on things such as which parts of the game and its interface are unintuitive.

I don't expect Civ VII to go full Early Access or anything like that, but it's been over 11 months since Firaxis said "we're developing Civ VII", with nothing at all since then - and essentially nothing then beyond that it was being worked on. I'm not saying they should be running marketing campaigns at this point, but a couple of press releases or trailers or something would help to keep Civ VII on the radar.

Millennia has an opportunity here. If Firaxis were sharing information, I doubt Millennia would be getting as much low-cost attention as they are, but with the 800 pound gorilla AWOL, historical 4X gamers need something else to be excited about - and this could be it.

(Disclaimer: I haven't watched the 2-hour gameplay video yet, probably just going to try the demo instead)
 
Because it isn't 2001 anymore. News can be shared easily and quickly online, no need to wait for magazine spreads of a near-finished product or trade shows.
it's been over 11 months since Firaxis said "we're developing Civ VII", with nothing at all since then - and essentially nothing then beyond that it was being worked on. I'm not saying they should be running marketing campaigns at this point, but a couple of press releases or trailers or something would help to keep Civ VII on the radar.
When Firaxis actually starts marketing Civ7, or whatever the next Civ game is going to be, it will be Big News. They don't need to build up hype, that will happen on its own. Like, the vast majority of game sites will at least have an article about the initial announcement, not to mention all of the streamers and YouTubers who will cover it, a lot of whom will probably have bigger audiences that whatever Millennia's playerbase ends up being. If Firaxis actually has to worry about Civ "falling off the radar" or whatever then the franchise is basically dead.

Millenia doesn't have a release date either. People are talking about it, adding it to their wishlist, anticipating playing it.
Because there is a demo coming out to build up hype because Millennia is new game from a new studio, they can't just count on the game being covered by news sites or streamers. They actively need to work to get coverage and build up hype. Firaxis does not need to.

Millennia has an opportunity here. If Firaxis were sharing information, I doubt Millennia would be getting as much low-cost attention as they are, but with the 800 pound gorilla AWOL, historical 4X gamers need something else to be excited about - and this could be it.
Yeah, people said similar things about Humankind and that ended up mostly being a dud. There are some people who want something different, are tired of waiting for Civ7, don't like the direction Civ6 took, or whatever and they are probably the main audience for Millennia but they are a tiny, tiny minority. Millennia might have some interesting ideas or mechanics but its not going to fundamentally be a competitor to Civ. I doubt the vast majority of Civ players even know the game exists. Civ6 still regularly gets 60-70,000 daily players on Steam so plenty of people still seem excited about Civ6.

(Disclaimer: I haven't watched the 2-hour gameplay video yet, probably just going to try the demo instead)
Spoilers (I guess) but I wouldn't get your hopes up. I only skimmed the stream but very, very few people actually seemed impressed by what they saw.
 
Spoilers (I guess) but I wouldn't get your hopes up. I only skimmed the stream but very, very few people actually seemed impressed by what they saw.
Over on the Discord channel for Millennia the major gripes seem to be that too many people tried comparing it to Civ or complained about the graphics.

Comparing it to Civ, the Giant Gorilla in the Historical 4X Room, is only natural, though: it's the baseline against which all other 4X attempts will be measured, like it or not.

Graphics, the argument goes, is not as important as Game Mechanics. That's true for playing the game, but Graphics is what catches the eye of the potential Buyer of the game, and Millennia does not impress on that score - which, if that alone stifles sales, would be a tragedy, because it does have some new ideas about how to manage things in the 4X genre that should be explored and discussed.

I think what disappointed me the most was the Combat part of the game - not because it's so important, but because we really, really need a viable alternative to 1UPT, SoD or a Pause The Game For A Drop-Down Battlefield ala Humankind. We are all well aware of the drawbacks to those (well, I am, anyway) and there's gotta be a better way - but the examples shown on Millennia are so of-putting as to be embarrassing.
 
Over on the Discord channel for Millennia the major gripes seem to be that too many people tried comparing it to Civ or complained about the graphics.
The (coherent) YouTube comments were mostly a kind of "really, this is it?" opinion about the game.
 
TBH I am a bit surprised about the complaints regarding the graphics. I thought the TBS crowd is more known for being interested in interesting mechanisms and good AI, and less in shiny graphics :hmm:.
Maybe times changed..sure there are still plenty of "us" who care mostly about the things you mentioned.
But a very common reaction while suggesting Civ 4 to peoples who only know 5&6 is: noooo i cannot go back to such graphics etc.

For me that's really funny cos i consider 4 (with BAT or Buffy or anything including blue marble) actually prettier than 5 and especially cartoon6 (oops Civ6).
I have a strong suspicion that mobile plays a big role in how they judge graphics.
 
Because it isn't 2001 anymore. News can be shared easily and quickly online, no need to wait for magazine spreads of a near-finished product or trade shows. Millenia doesn't have a release date either. People are talking about it, adding it to their wishlist, anticipating playing it. The developers are getting feedback on which ideas are generating interest and which ones aren't, and with this demo, they'll also get more detail on things such as which parts of the game and its interface are unintuitive.

I don't expect Civ VII to go full Early Access or anything like that, but it's been over 11 months since Firaxis said "we're developing Civ VII", with nothing at all since then - and essentially nothing then beyond that it was being worked on. I'm not saying they should be running marketing campaigns at this point, but a couple of press releases or trailers or something would help to keep Civ VII on the radar.

Millennia has an opportunity here. If Firaxis were sharing information, I doubt Millennia would be getting as much low-cost attention as they are, but with the 800 pound gorilla AWOL, historical 4X gamers need something else to be excited about - and this could be it.

(Disclaimer: I haven't watched the 2-hour gameplay video yet, probably just going to try the demo instead)
If Firaxis posts development information about civ7 it would be consumed by less than 1% of civ's players. Most civ players are casual players who never visit this forum or the reddit sub or read game news elsewhere. There is little incentive for Firaxis to put out information during development. For a small indie game like Milennia it's different, most of their playerbase will be those 1% so they choose a more interactive approach with the community.
 
I must respectfully disagree that it's a good business strategy to post news so infrequently and to ignore the potential of engaging with the most enthusiastic supporters of a franchise. Yes, Firaxis/2K have large marketing budgets. But why not tap into the benefits that the Internet and fan engagement can provide? And they're really slow with the news. If we reach March with no more news, Civ VII will have tied Duke Nukem Forever for time between announcement and the next slice of news.

But at any rate, the main point of this thread is about the Millennia demo. If the main complaints are graphics and "it's not Civ", I'm cautiously optimistic. Old World initially received a lot of "it's not Civ" or "it's not Crusader Kings II" complaints, and has emerged from that with a steady ship. Graphics? Eh... I'm always on the side of "make sure the gameplay is good first, you can always improve the graphics later." But then I also was play Civ III and Dominions IV this winter, so maybe I'm not the best reference point in that regard (although Dominions continues to sell despite its '90s-era graphics).

Three more days... wish it was available to try this weekend, but I understand not wanting to release it on a Friday!
 
I'm always on the side of "make sure the gameplay is good first, you can always improve the graphics later."
I doubt that will happen if a Demo of the Game is practically released. Games rarely make a Graphics overhaul outside Remastered Versions of them, and Millennia seems to be in its Beta days at least, and "Coming Soon", thus it's pretty unlikely that it will receive any major Graphics overhaul, outside UI changes. Speaking of UI, a lot of it looks not very user friendly, and un-intuitive. Not just the Visuals. Anyway, as people have noted, long gone are the Days where good gameplay mechanics played a bigger role than the graphics. Visuals are part of a Game's Appeal, and should be treated as equally as mechanics, if not greater at first. Because once you spend a Fortune on Graphics, you can hardly go back to them later on and redo everything (except if you're Total War and you just want to reskin a Game to sell it as another). But Overhauling Mechanics is the Bread and Butter of all Game Studios.
 
I'll definitely try the demo but my main complaint so far is that, after a couple gameplay videos, I don't understand what the selling point of the game even is. Where is the advantage over Civ? What innovation is there in Millennia that makes it a good addition to the 4X genre? What existing problem has the design team solved better here?

That's in part on the videos, but in part it's the IMO abysmal marketing surrounding this demo. Why is there no feature or design concept being given marketing attention? Why are there instead only very generic descriptions that could fit any historical 4X? Humankind, in contrast, did that very competently - they really rammed their main selling point (combining cultures) home, from the game description, to official screenshots, to first gameplay reveals. I may not have liked the result, but HK told everyone why they should play it. Millennia, so far, doesn't. The Ages system is the closest it comes, but while the idea of Variant/Crisis Ages is fun, it doesn't seem very different from Civ6's dramatic ages. Maybe it's very different, the demo will show it, but the game's marketing certainly doesn't help it.
 
But then I also was play Civ III and Dominions IV this winter, so maybe I'm not the best reference point in that regard
Here I have respectfully to disagree. Civ 3 in my eyes has the best graphics and optical presentation of the complete Civ series for all civers, who don´t want to look on the map like looking on a toilett brush.
Spoiler :



 
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I'll definitely try the demo but my main complaint so far is that, after a couple gameplay videos, I don't understand what the selling point of the game even is. Where is the advantage over Civ? What innovation is there in Millennia that makes it a good addition to the 4X genre? What existing problem has the design team solved better here?

That's in part on the videos, but in part it's the IMO abysmal marketing surrounding this demo. Why is there no feature or design concept being given marketing attention? Why are there instead only very generic descriptions that could fit any historical 4X? Humankind, in contrast, did that very competently - they really rammed their main selling point (combining cultures) home, from the game description, to official screenshots, to first gameplay reveals. I may not have liked the result, but HK told everyone why they should play it. Millennia, so far, doesn't. The Ages system is the closest it comes, but while the idea of Variant/Crisis Ages is fun, it doesn't seem very different from Civ6's dramatic ages. Maybe it's very different, the demo will show it, but the game's marketing certainly doesn't help it.
And reinforcng this point, there is now more reason than ever to specifically differentiate your 4X historicalish game, because there are several of them on the market or emerging soon. When Civ was the only such game in town, it was pretty easy to make your alternate game stand out:

"It ain't Civ"

Now, the question becomes what makes it better, or at least more interesting to play, than Civ, ARA, Humankind, or even games covering shorter periods like Old World? If the only difference is a multliple Era system and a remake of Call to Power's battle screen, why bother?

I sincerely hope the Open Demo being offered starting tomorrow will show off some more interesting features or aspects of the game, because so far all the output from the game designers has not.
 
I won't be buying this as Paradox is involved. In recent years they've proven themselves to be a toxic employer, toxic to their customers, and toxic to studios they do deals with. Until they change their business practices, I will not buy anything where Paradox is involved.

I did watch some of the gameplay vids out there, and I see no stand out feature to distinguish it from other 4x's. I feel like it's taken some good ideas from other 4x's, and implemented them in the worst way (looking at you specifically battle scene).
 
I did watch some of the gameplay vids out there, and I see no stand out feature to distinguish it from other 4x's. I feel like it's taken some good ideas from other 4x's, and implemented them in the worst way (looking at you specifically battle scene).

Looking at the gameplay vids, I kept getting Call to Power vibrations. Not just because of the separate 'battle scene' (which, amazingly, Millennia manages to do even worse than CtP did 25 years ago!), but because CtP was the first Civish game I played that I felt had so many good ideas in it that were all, almost without exception, badly implemented.
If history repeats itself, note that CtP was ranked the 16th best-selling computer game of 1999 and was nominated for "Most Disappointing Game of the Year" - not exactly the sort of accomplishments to shoot for . . .
 
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