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My take on why Civ 6 will be a bad game, a 3 pt. podcast

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Bibor, Aug 15, 2016.

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  1. Staler87

    Staler87 Warlord

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    I just started listening to the podcast, after posting on this thread for a while:rolleyes:, I did read the article, and holy crap you sound just like the man in your profile picture.
     
  2. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    No, you are not. From all the programmers I know, including myself, 90+% is the opposite of what you say. Memorizing solutions in programming would be like memorizing formulas to be an excellent engineer... yeah, sure.
     
  3. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    You start with architecture. Good architecture is those consisting from Patterns. Not only you save time thinking about problems already solved, but also using common pattern names makes architecture way more readable. With the amount of patterns available by now, inventing new ones is extremely rare situation.

    Once you have good architecture, you normally have quite small methods, fulfilling a single operation. The situations where you need to actually invent new algorithms are very few - in most cases for anything complex you just add library or, in rare cases, implement some algorithm from a book. If you have to invent algorithms often, it's highly possible you're just unable to find it already implemented and from management standpoint that's ineffective.

    I don't know which sphere you're working on, but I've working in large area of applications development (more as manager than programmer) and the most hard tasks were either finding the best solution from existing ones or fighting problems with 3rd party software/hardware.

    There are some creative areas, like projecting real-life to models, but that's not generally "problem solving".
     
  4. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    OK, I know what you mean now, but still, the use of patterns has nothing to do with memorization. Of course nobody in their right mind (besides Shafer) tries to reinvent the wheel, but you would never memorize patterns; you will know that they exist for a range of scenarios, and then you will find the one that serves your purpose. That is not problem solving, that is in fact the development/implementation of the solution you already found to a problem.

    Perhaps I am thinking more like an engineer (my core background), where problem solving comes first, and implementation of solution comes second. No room for memorization there, unless you want to be a really mediocre engineer (of the type you would find leading a Ministry of Infrastructure ;) ).

    Anyways, we are drifting now... better stop here before a mod comes lashing down.
     
  5. LDiCesare

    LDiCesare Deity

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    Is a code discussion drifting here? I don't think so.

    Look at Civ V map script code and compare it with Civ IV from a software engineering perspective.
    It's strictly worse.
    IV was designed to handle input from xml and scripts, clearly separating data (xml) and algorithms, making the algorithms data-driven and able to cope with vastly different amounts of data. Civ V put everything in hte same lua basket, therefore making it impossible to tune data without changing the program itself, impossible to add resources that a thirs party map script could place on the map, thereby severly harming modding capabilities.
    The problem here comes bad architecture, changing something that worked well for no reason (the same result coudl have ben achieved with IV'scripts' architecture, only better). You can even read Sirian's comments in the code where he apologises and tries to defend the new approach, but he didn't decide what was put in xml files.

    Here we had a coder/game designer who thought the game had to be played one way, and implemented it in an inferior, closed way, that actually hurt people who wanted to play it differently. In the same way, Civ IV world editor could be used in-game. That ment that you could box your enemies or you own civ for centuries, let barbarians thrive in open lands but unable to reach anyone, and suddenly you could breach the peak ranges you ahd built in-game and have interaction between previously isolated civs. This allowed for a lot of sandbox and creativity.
    Civ V decided to use an external world editor, which was great for people who created maps, but whichhurt those who created map scripts, and which totally killed the sandbox capability I just described. The result was, again, a choice in software architecture which led to a poorer game.

    Software engineering is 99% design. If you don't know that, don't program. The average productivity of professional, mature soiftware written in C++ is 30 (thirty) linesof code per DAY. This is IBM research, and I confirmed it on various large-scale projects.
    If you give any coder a well-defined task to do in C++, they will likely get hundreds of linesof code in one day. But the software engineer work is about finding how to do things, and search skills, analysis skills, are very much required and require intelligence. Problems have been solved, yes, but maybe not in your language, not in a way you can reuse. Basic algorithms (sorting...) can be found in libraries. Basic structures sometimes can't (lru...) so even when you find some code, you have to check it, then if you're performance-driven, you have to measure it. (Is an lru even needed? What is the size? Is it going to be faster than using a stupid list and checking each element? What is the size at which a bigger structure becomes relevant? In my domain, what is the most common size? Should I cater for most common case or for worst case?)

    What we got with the map code was an example of a programmer that wanted the simplest implementation for him, his own use cases, without looking at what people could do with it.

    The set of choices proposed, of strategies available, is becoming more limited. OCC was invented by chance because civ 1 & 2 allowed it if you played a certain way. Finding new, creative ways of playing the game has become much more difficult with Civ V, because verything has become constrained, developpers are trying to bake strategies for you before the game is even out (play France for culture, play Scythia for war, don't complain if your idea of one civ is different from the developpers, you just won't be able to play it that way unless you mod the game).
     
  6. mbbcam

    mbbcam Prince

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    At the risk of taking things off topic again, I feel bound to say that the situation is more complex than it appears from that article. Intelligence is a cultural construct, and our notions of what it is, and how to measure it (if that is possible or desirable) are influenced by our culture. I treasure the story of the Western psychologists who tried to administer intelligence tests to some Pacific islanders, who took the tests away and filled them in *together*, as a group. Since they came from a collectivist culture, the idea of *individual* intelligence was quite alien to them. Rather belatedly, Western psychology began to realise that it was important to recognise that human beings actually do rather a lot of things in groups and not alone, and that Western individualism is not the only way.

    Have a look at these:

    http://web.mit.edu/6.969/www/readings/culture_thought.pdf

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Distributed_cognition

    http://www.cell.com/neuron/fulltext/S0896-6273(12)00584-3

    There is also a vast literature on problem-solving and decision-making, if you care to search on Google Scholar!
     
  7. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    I disagree, but perhaps our definitions of problem solving differ. Every shape or form of human action includes both past knowledge and known methods, but offers new challenges and requires problem solving. If there isn't a problem that needs to be solved, a machine can easily do it.

    A plumber who is about to connect your sink to the wall bought a set of tools and pipes of different shapes that are usually adequate for the job. But what if that specific sink is so unusually placed that it presents a problem. That's where problem solving kicks in. Once he solves it, the new solution is added to his repertoire. On to the next sink.

    It's been that way from the moment we were chains of carbon molecules.

    I'll talk to my friend programmer to see his take on the subject, now I'm very interested :)

    To put this into Civ perspective, this is exactly why Civfanatics was founded. Here we combine our our individual intelligence and problem solving and then we do it as a group. Compared to Civ5 section of the forums, the Civ4 section is visibly more abundant in this regard, even if comparing the same timeframe. I'm not glorifying Civ4, but it was a peak. The fact that future iterations of these games haven't peaked it is neither from our lack of interest nor our lack experience on the subject. People who shifted to Civ5 suddenly found themselves basically with nothing (or very little) to discuss. No wonder most of us went back to previous games, if anything, to feel the power of the collective once more.
     
  8. stealth_nsk

    stealth_nsk Deity

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    Yes, it's question of definition, of course.

    I've started programming before I had access to Internet and before the Gang of Four written their first book of patterns. I had a lot of creative problem solving these days. From modern standpoint, my development was very ineffective and the code was bad.

    We've accumulated a lot of knowledge and Internet is the biggest leap in sharing it since Printing or even Writing.
     
  9. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Yet direct access to all knowledge, experience and tradition of innovation did not prevent the US military to produce a tragically inferior weapon to AK-47 for use in Vietnamese climate. US soldiers used problem solving (condoms) to at least partially relieve their misery. Not all great things come from shared knowledge. That's why The Borg can't win ;)
     
  10. leif erikson

    leif erikson Game of the Month Fanatic Administrator Supporter GOTM Staff

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  11. Bibor

    Bibor Doomsday Machine

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    Could this video be relevant also regarding the Civ franchise? Somehow I feel the frustration is very similar. I know its a different genre. She's much more eloquent than I am: Comicbookgirl19 on the psychology of Hollywood remakes, reboots etc.

    She's talking about globalization, emerging markets (for movies, but same can be said for games as well), and the fact that its hard to balance the expectations of well established, developed consumers with profits. Again, she's saying it much better than I am :)


    Link to video.
     
  12. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    No, the game has simply developed into a direction that you personally don't like while large parts of the Civ-Community are looking forward to it.

    That's all there is.
     
  13. Browd

    Browd Dilettante Administrator

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    Moderator Action: Three trolling and off-topic posts deleted. If you can't discuss this thread's topic in a civil manner, or even stay on topic, please don't post in this thread.
    Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
     
  14. Aristos

    Aristos Lightseeker

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    Any "argumentation" that closes with "That's all there is" is self-defeating and does not merit any valuable response.

    Apart from pointing out the fallacious characteristic of such statement, that is. ;)
     
  15. Ryika

    Ryika Lazy Wannabe Artista

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    What kind of a nonsensical statement is that? "That's all there is." is merely a closing statement, it does not have any merit on the argument that was made.

    Not that there was any argument in my post to begin with, I merely repeated what had already been concluded. Why? Because the video he linked literally doesn't have anything to do with anything, it's just another step down the road of nonsense so he doesn't have to admit the obvious - that Civ VI is, if we ignore the graphics-debate, highly anticipated in the western audience but has lost what made older Civs interesting for him personally somewhere down the line.

    Not fallacious, but dismissive, yes. When the discussion has already been had but one side of the debate goes on to bring in evermore ridiculous arguments instead of just accepting that there's no "greater argument" to be had and that it's just their personal preference that isn't being catered to while most people seem quite happy with what they see there comes a point where any real response just doesn't have a place anymore, because you just know that no matter how reasonable and well thought-out of a counter-point you present the op will just move onto the next level of bs to continue the spiel.
     
  16. Haig

    Haig Deity

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    I agree with Ryika, majority of civ fans are looking forward to the game and think it looks promising.

    This thread at this moment feels like an egotrip project for the op, I think his arguments are very shaky.
     
  17. Lucius_

    Lucius_ King

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    The sad thing is, I think we've been at that point since page 2.
     
  18. joncnunn

    joncnunn Senior Java Wizard Moderator

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