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My daddy loves his Civ more than he loves me
October 26, 2005 9:38 AM   Subscribe

We believe that a power greater than Sid Meier can restore us to sanity. Yeah, World of Warcraft may currently be ruining your life, but I'd bet good money that over the long haul Civilization and other games by Sid Meier have ruined more lives than that upstart. Don't give in! NO MORE TURNS!
posted by WolfDaddy (78 comments total)

 
This post is backed by NUCLEAR WEAPONS!
posted by davros42 at 9:51 AM on October 26, 2005


Civil unrest in Curleygrad!
posted by Mayor Curley at 9:55 AM on October 26, 2005


Civ I probably the most addictive game ever.

I still remembering entering the computer lab the day before an exam or paper was due and seeing half my classmates sitting there, mesmerized, not by their research, but by Civ.

Wasn't crazy about Civ II or Civ III (culture, bah), though. Liked Alpha Centauri. And yeah, mucho wasted time.

Hey, quiet down ya mob, or I'll have the lot of you nerve stapled!
posted by dreamsign at 9:56 AM on October 26, 2005


I see your nuclear weapon and raise you a PLANET BUSTER.

(Alpha Centauri is still the apex of the Civilization series, IMO.)
posted by ToasT at 9:56 AM on October 26, 2005


My name is Mr. Pointy and I'm aCivaholic.

I've been clean for six months, and vow to stay clean forever.*

(*Just so long as they don't make a smokeable form and call it Civ IV... Then all bets are off)
posted by Mr Pointy at 10:01 AM on October 26, 2005


Good thing I got all my Civving out before I became a parent. Many, many all-night sessions were spent back with the original, the second truly seminal PC game in my life (next to Zork, of course).
posted by RKB at 10:02 AM on October 26, 2005


Double Post.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 10:05 AM on October 26, 2005


Methinks this is a repost. But I don't care because CIVILIZATION OWNS ME!!!!

They're going to have to nail my coffin shut as my zombie corpse self keeps chanting "One...more...turn..."
posted by briank at 10:06 AM on October 26, 2005


Just one more turn and I'll head down to the pub to get drunk with the rest of my alkie friends...just one more turn...one. more.turn...shit! I'm being invaded again...
posted by jsavimbi at 10:06 AM on October 26, 2005


Waste of time compared to what? Drinking, smoking, gambling, party chit-chat, pointless visits with relatives you don't like that drone on monotonously, watching organized sports on television, soap operas, bad opera, re-runs, drag racing, don't get me started on NASCAR, trips to national monuments, trips to the video store where you stand for hours trying to find something you haven't seen among the rows of movies you don't want to see, lifetime movies, medieval reenactment, fairs, carnivals, amusement parks, arboretums, zoos of animals that smell bad in small cages, museums of dead things or things no one wants anymore or bad paints of fat people, trampolines, high fat six course meals of overly seasoned food, tennis, bowling, playing the tuba...
posted by ewkpates at 10:06 AM on October 26, 2005 [1 favorite]


Alpha Centauri is still the apex of the Civilization series, IMO.

I wholeheartedly agree. But since it sounds like Civ IV has adopted some of the gameplay ideas from SMAC (a more appropriate acronym never existed) -- and Leonard Nimoy will read to us relevant quotes for each tech advance in his mellifluous voice -- I have a strong suspicion that many civaholics will be falling off the settler's wagon tonight.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:06 AM on October 26, 2005


I have a strong suspicion that many civaholics will be falling off the settler's wagon tonight.

We Mac users will be waiting a bit longer to fall, as usual.
posted by ToasT at 10:13 AM on October 26, 2005


Oh, god, they should just make Alpha Centauri 2 finally. SMAC was glorious. Though I wouldn't call it a time waster at all as it sharpens my tactical and strategic mind. And I can still hear Chairman Yang read off quotes in my head: "Technology is an inherently iterative process. . ."

*sigh* Good times.
posted by Lord Chancellor at 10:15 AM on October 26, 2005


I've been refreshing the page for the "in stock" options at both the local CompUSA and Best Buy stores since early this morning. *sigh*
posted by thanotopsis at 10:17 AM on October 26, 2005


Oh, by the way, if you haven't played Civ3: Conquests with the "Rise and Rule" mod, you haven't really played that game.
posted by thanotopsis at 10:17 AM on October 26, 2005


Oh . . . for the SMAC-heads out there, news is doubleplusgood: work has already begun on a SMAC conversion for Civ IV.
posted by ToasT at 10:17 AM on October 26, 2005


Well, it's been nice knowing you all. My copy was preordered months ago and I just got the call. I'll log back in in a few months to let you know what I think.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:21 AM on October 26, 2005


I'm so happy for you Pollomacho! You're getting the cal!

[/SportsNight]
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:31 AM on October 26, 2005


call, even. Dammit. Sorry, Sorkin.
posted by WolfDaddy at 10:32 AM on October 26, 2005


I can still hear Chairman Yang read off quotes in my head
*Resources exist to be consumed, and consumed they
will be, if not by us, then by some future generation.
*He held his arm too stiffly, and so was thrown back repeatedly, until at last I seized his forearm and snapped it against itself.
These are from memory, and I could go on. And on.

...

may god have mercy on my soul
posted by boo_radley at 10:34 AM on October 26, 2005


Waste of time compared to what?

Everything that is not fucking or designed to lead to fucking is a waste of time.
posted by spicynuts at 10:36 AM on October 26, 2005


All the SMAC quotes are here. I loved the way that they mixed fictional quotes from the charactors with ones from Plato and Kierkegaard and such.
posted by octothorpe at 10:57 AM on October 26, 2005


spicynuts writes "Everything that is not fucking or designed to lead to fucking is a waste of time."

Well Diedre Skye gets me randy so I guess SMAC counts.
posted by OmieWise at 10:58 AM on October 26, 2005


Well Diedre Skye gets me randy so I guess SMAC counts.

Except her voice is absolutely atrocious. Ugh! She's hot as long as she doesn't say anything.
posted by RockBandit at 11:14 AM on October 26, 2005


We Mac users will be waiting a bit longer to fall, as usual.

The day this comes out for the Mac is the day that my thesis advisor will cease to hear from me, or receive any work, ever.
posted by generichuman at 11:16 AM on October 26, 2005


Did the Lady actually speak her own quotations? I always thought it was someone else quoting each faction leader's words, come to think of it. Are you going to make me install the game? Just to, y'know, see for myself? And maybe play a game while I wait for FedEx? Just a quick game?
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:17 AM on October 26, 2005


I think the voices were supposed to actually represent their characters
posted by RockBandit at 11:25 AM on October 26, 2005


Civ IV does have online play and we Mefites do happen to be online a lot...
posted by robocop is bleeding at 11:25 AM on October 26, 2005


Did the Lady actually speak her own quotations? I always thought it was someone else quoting each faction leader's words, come to think of it.

S'posed to be them. Pretty sure. The voice for Miriam is so snotty, it couldn't possibly come from anyone else but that pinched, bitter, evil little face.

(Sidenote: I made a set of custom factions for SMAC, but I never got around to doing original .wav quotations. 'Cuz it would've sounded a little strange . . . me, doing seven different voices . . . )
posted by ToasT at 11:27 AM on October 26, 2005


I have been playing City of Heroes obsessively for a month. City of Villains just shipped today.

I will remove them immediatly from my hard drive so that I won't be distracted from Civ4. Oh, I'll also be removing all other programs including web browsers. Nothing must keep me from conquering the French. Nothing.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:38 AM on October 26, 2005


Huh. That's odd, because each quote is "signed off" by the faction leader's name and the relevant "work" that's being quoted. "Lady Diedre Skye (pause) 'The Early Years'" for example. If it's each faction leader speaking, why the tagline?

On preview: some people who got the special "pre-order" version in the US are reporting their printed tech tree map is in French. Nuke 'em!
posted by WolfDaddy at 11:41 AM on October 26, 2005


If it's each faction leader speaking, why the tagline?

Perhaps Audible.com is still doing a brisk business in M.Y. 2100.
posted by ToasT at 11:51 AM on October 26, 2005


I don't understand. I know Sid's been around longer but hasn't Blizzard got a better handle on addictive games? I lost three years of my life to Starcraft alone ... I guess I never had a good enough computer back in the day to play Civ ... closest I ever got was Master of Orion II, and while that game kicked ass it paled in comparison to nuking someone's base in Starcraft.
posted by Happydaz at 12:01 PM on October 26, 2005


It's here; goodbye.

(also ... addictive <> FUN!)
posted by WolfDaddy at 12:10 PM on October 26, 2005


I tried WoW and found I have no patience for running endlessly (or for waiting on hold to cancel the account by phone -- I think forcing people to cancel by non-automated phone call is painfully sleazy, and going forward I'm researching this aspect of -anything- I sign up for...if they have to make cancellation difficult to keep members, how good could it be?)

Sorry. Tangent.

Anyway, despite not having patience for WoW-style stuff, nor for Civ-style stuff, I have burned so many hours playing Chris Sawyer's Roller Coaster Tycoon and Locomotion that I can safely call myself an addict.
posted by davejay at 12:26 PM on October 26, 2005


WHEN IS THE MAC VERSION??!!

</desperate>
posted by xmutex at 12:36 PM on October 26, 2005


Those of you who have received it (WolfDaddy?) please let us know your early thoughts. I'd like to hope it's everything I want froma Civ game and more...especially the online PBEM gametype.
posted by NationalKato at 12:41 PM on October 26, 2005


WHEN IS THE MAC VERSION??!!

Not yet confirmed. So when we know if, we'll get around to answering when.
posted by ToasT at 12:44 PM on October 26, 2005


I can still hear Chairman Yang read off quotes in my head

It is every citizen's final doo-ty to go into the tanks; and become one, with all, da people.
Chairman Shen-Zhi Yang: Ethics, for Tomorrow.
posted by Aknaton at 1:06 PM on October 26, 2005


On noes! I only purchased Civ III 6 months ago, and only quit when I bought Half-Life (the first one). I'm doomed to be lost for much longer now.

Yes, I'm aware that I'm years behind the gaming curve. By the time I get around to buying them they're way cheap, and I never waste my money on games that suck. My computer is old and slow anyways. I can't afford to be on the cutting edge.
posted by raedyn at 1:13 PM on October 26, 2005


davejay: I think forcing people to cancel by non-automated phone call is painfully sleazy...

You can cancel your subscription through their account management system on the website. They even have a text box for you to explain why you're cancelling.

Mine said "Your game is too fun/addicting/immersive for me to lead a productive life. So long and thanks for all the Oily Blackmouth."
posted by OpinioNate at 1:14 PM on October 26, 2005


This is an amusing underground way of promoting the latest in the Civilisation series. CivAnon? LOL - more like Civ pushers.

This is similar to the "Autonomous Robot" hoax used by BMW when promoting the new mini cooper
posted by crocos at 1:25 PM on October 26, 2005


ToasT writes "Alpha Centauri is still the apex of the Civilization series, IMO"

Sid should be a remake with better AI and more of them. It would be great if there was a few dozen different AI profiles that could get rendomly assigned to each of the factions.
posted by Mitheral at 1:44 PM on October 26, 2005


We grow tired of your insolence. Prepare for WAR!
posted by danb at 1:51 PM on October 26, 2005


It would be great if there was a few dozen different AI profiles that could get randomly assigned to each of the factions.

Oh I dunno, it was somehow comforting to know that every time I played as the University, Miriam and her flock would be uniformly hostile to me from the get go and would attack at the earliest opportunity if I fell behind the military curve. Or that the Morganites would be friendly to my face but send probe team after probe team to liberate some of my knowledge (usually getting neutralized by the Hunter-Seeker Algorithm). And that the Peacekeepers will always be a joke, likely to get wiped out early in the game.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 1:52 PM on October 26, 2005


Holy mindworm! I had no idea that there was a Civ IV coming out. Let's hope it doesn't continue the trend away from the original -- if it truly has SMAC features, it might be alright.

*I'm ok; you're a drone*
posted by dreamsign at 1:53 PM on October 26, 2005


Maybe we should start a MeFi PBEM game?
posted by NationalKato at 1:58 PM on October 26, 2005


Did anyone see the Sid Meier cameo in the quicktime movie? I haven't played computer games much since I had children, but the previews in the movie make it hard not to salivate. Nice bit of viral marketing.

I'll take it for granted that they won't actually release a Linux version, so I might be able to resist temptation... unless Cedega gets it working under Wine. Ugh, I'm starting to feel the old "one more turn" urge again. Civ might well be the undoing of civilization.
posted by Loudmax at 2:13 PM on October 26, 2005


Maybe there should be a MeTa thread re: PBEM. I'd be interested in that maybe.
posted by tittergrrl at 2:15 PM on October 26, 2005


Maybe we should start a MeFi PBEM game?

Sounds good to me.
posted by octothorpe at 2:37 PM on October 26, 2005


I don't have time to look it up, but I'm pretty sure Sid Meier had very little to do with SMAC (or Civ 2) both of which I still play. They're Brian Reynolds' creations.

I've also suspected that his departure was why Civ 3 was so disappointing. I'm quite ready to have Civ 4 prove me wrong, but I'm afraid Sid Meier has slipped into my personal Academy of the Overrated.
posted by mojohand at 2:39 PM on October 26, 2005


I wouldn't say Sid Meier's overrated -- his name is just used on a bunch of stuff he didn't have that much to do with (including Civ 4, which I'm sure will nevertheless consume my life for several months), which, so to speak, dilutes the brand.

Then, too, there's the fact that nothing will ever be as entertaining as the original iteration of a series played when you're 12.
posted by Tlogmer at 2:47 PM on October 26, 2005


davejay, you don't have to call to cancel a WoW account... you just remove your credit card from the billing info. When the next cycle comes around, they can't charge your card and you can't log in anymore. That's how it's designed to work.

The only reason you'd have to call is if you want it cancelled RIGHT NOW, instead of at the end of your billing cycle... and there's no real reason to do that, because they don't refund partial months anyway. Just remove your credit card and uninstall the game.... voila, cancelled!
posted by Malor at 2:51 PM on October 26, 2005


"The day this comes out for the Mac is the day that my thesis advisor will cease to hear from me, or receive any work, ever."

Me too, which is why I am going to be very patient and not complain if the Mac version doesn't come out for a while.

However, when that thesis is done, I want to sit down for an all night Civ IV-fest. So they better get a Mac version out by then!
posted by litlnemo at 2:54 PM on October 26, 2005


BTW, folks, if you like expand/explore games with strong AI, check out Galactic Civilizations by Stardock.

The story and prose are only midlevel (which is how I perceived SMAC as well, for what it's worth), but acceptable. The game doesn't have the logarithmic power expansion curve thing... technology doesn't rule that game in the same way it does most space games. But the AI is very, very good, and it doesn't cheat, unless you go to the super-hard levels.

Overall, I've never liked GalCiv as much as Civ or Moo or SMAC, but it's a very solid game and worth checking out. You can find it here.
posted by Malor at 2:59 PM on October 26, 2005


Da wife and I are both truly addicted to CIV III; it was the first one we played. It's funny to hear it's a big step backwards. Sure glad I didn't get into the first ones at the time.
posted by hackly_fracture at 3:12 PM on October 26, 2005


Galactic Civ...the reason I bought OS/2 back in college.

I was so happy when they finally ported to win32.
posted by nomisxid at 3:20 PM on October 26, 2005


I liked Civ III and totally understand how addictive it is. Now I'm playing Age of Empires III, which is also quite good, but it is starting to eat up my time...

SO! When a game is eating up too much of my time, and the addiction is too strong to break, I get the cheat codes. Makes for different gameplay, and obviously I can win and get to the end much faster. And finish! Monkey, off!
posted by zardoz at 4:09 PM on October 26, 2005


too funny this gets posted when I'm in a CIV III renaissance at the moment. I had forgotten how much of the "just one more turn" sucks up your life .. I'd post more, but I have to quell some riots ...
posted by forforf at 4:50 PM on October 26, 2005


Man, the biggest thing I miss about Civ 2 is the ability to play as any civilization I could think of! It's superficial, but the importation of specific faction personalities from SMAC (where it worked really well because that was what the game was about) made it a lot harder for me to enjoy Civ 3 and I dunno about 4.
posted by furiousthought at 5:15 PM on October 26, 2005


I don't have time to look it up, but I'm pretty sure Sid Meier had very little to do with SMAC (or Civ 2) both of which I still play. They're Brian Reynolds' creations.

I've also suspected that his departure was why Civ 3 was so disappointing. I'm quite ready to have Civ 4 prove me wrong, but I'm afraid Sid Meier has slipped into my personal Academy of the Overrated.


I believe you're thinking of Civ II: Call to Power, in which there was no Sid involvement (hence the lack of Sid Meier's name in the front). When Sid founded Firaxis, they got the rights for the Civilization name, and did Sid Meier's Civ III. I don't think Civ III was a total disappointment, though the lack of video advisors bugged me a bit. Overall the game improved.
posted by bugmuncher at 5:49 PM on October 26, 2005


An insanely detailed civ4 introduction/walkthrough from one of the developers who worked on it.
posted by Tlogmer at 6:55 PM on October 26, 2005


CIV 4 DURING ACTION REPORT (AND NOTE I'M REALLY NOT PAYING ATTENTION TO THE WORLD SERIES!)

Yeah, um ... this is not your father's Civilization. It's not that the concepts have changed but the execution certainly has, and playing through the tutorial won't tell a Civ veteran what they need to know. I think I might *gasp* actually have to read the manual!

I read Sulla's walkthrough, which Tlogmer linked above, last night. It probably will mean a whole lot more now.

Good: The new graphics engine is crisp and really brings your world--WHICH YOU WILL CRUSH UNDERNEATH YOUR BOOT--to life. The music is amazing, and still has strains of music going back to Civ I. The interface is amazingly informational without being cluttered. A rendered Sid Meier walks you through the tutorial. The civics tweaks in the game seem to be mix'n'match like in SMAC. There are now multiple paths to many key techs.

Iffy: The movies that play when you complete a wonder seem to be playing off the cd-rom drive, and they're awfully choppy, but that's probably something I need to tweak on my end. Nimoy's not a mellifluous as I thought he would be. I haven't gotten a handle on how religion works yet ... I've moved from Hinduism to Christianity pretty fast and I haven't absorbed the ramifications of how religion "communicates" itself to your other cities via your road network. The game frequently doesn't unload itself fully from memory when I quit the game (SimCity 4 did this frequently too, again may be my rig) forcing me to end it via Task Manager before starting a new game.

Bad: Um, no. Not so far.
posted by WolfDaddy at 7:13 PM on October 26, 2005


I'd post something insightful, but I have to go. Apparently Ghandi wants to propose a non aggression pact and a trade of technology. Or, as I like to call it, "ask me to invade them."
posted by shmegegge at 7:41 PM on October 26, 2005


Mine hasn't even shipped from Amazon yet, why did I even buy it from Amazon? :(
posted by TwelveTwo at 8:31 PM on October 26, 2005


I liked SMAC and all, but my apex of game playing still occured with Master of Magic. I've wasted, and still do, way too many hours on that game!
posted by jmd82 at 8:53 PM on October 26, 2005


Everything that is not fucking or designed to lead to fucking is a waste of time.

Sure, if you're a chimp.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:24 AM on October 27, 2005


Yeah, for me Master of Magic was the successor to Civilization. I still play it.

I bought the original Civilization computer game only days after it was released, just by coming across it at the store. And, yes, my very first game session lasted something like 18 hours.

I was in college at the time. So I had played it for a few days, then gave a copy to a classmate. Saw him the next morning before the class we had together, and I asked him what he thought. He hadn't slept, he'd been playing from the time he'd installed the game. This is such a common story.

Civilization got the learning curve just right. It's perfect, actually, an example that all other game designers should stand in awe of.
posted by Ethereal Bligh at 1:00 AM on October 27, 2005


Methinks this is a repost.

Of course it's a repost. You do realize that civanon.com is owned by Take 2 Games, don't you? And, as sveskemus noted in the other thread that post was essentially just viral advertising. Repetition is very important when marketing a product.
posted by moonbiter at 3:53 AM on October 27, 2005


*pockets his gold-plated DVD copy of Civ IV, laughs at moonbiter, realizes his work here is done*
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:39 AM on October 27, 2005


But since it sounds like Civ IV has adopted some of the gameplay ideas from SMAC...

Drone riots have ended. Golden age begun!
posted by Foosnark at 8:59 AM on October 27, 2005


I wonder what ever happened to Sid Meier's vaporware game "Dinosaurs." I mean, I know it was canceled, but what was it going to be like?
posted by johngoren at 11:02 AM on October 27, 2005


I hope Civ IV cuts down on all the ship artillery bombardment that seems to take over my games in Civ III around the Renaissance.
posted by johngoren at 11:12 AM on October 27, 2005


The fact that Spock reads all the quotes is fantastic.

...particularly when you get to the quote from Sputnik.
posted by thanotopsis at 11:53 AM on October 27, 2005


I just finished my first game--won via space race, though the other factions united to try and get Louis XVI to win via the UN, I cranked my culture up to 100% and stole several key cities, giving me the time to build my space ship--and I'm mightily impressed. The graphics, especially, are great, and give instantaneous yet almost subliminal feedback as to the state of your nation.

Also really really really like the "civics" where you can mix'n'match various elements to create a government.

Played on a 4-player pangaea map. I was able to keep everyone (except for the Malinese!) friendly for the longest time just by getting Hinduism first and then spamming enemy cities with missionaries. Neat.

And yes, when you hit the modern age, your great artists look like Elvis. The "great person" system is a really cool way to be sneaky--a great prophet will allow you to build a "shrine" to any religion you've founded, giving you +1 gold for every city that has that religion in it. By the time you adopt the Free Religion civic, and if you've got a ton of shrines, you'll be raking in the gold. Great engineers will hurry production--you can't do this for gold anymore, you've either got to get the Slavery civic, in which case you hurry production at the cost of population points, or the Universal Suffrage civic (late-game) in which case you can use gold. Great merchants can be sent off to a distant city on "trade missions" that will result in a hefty stash'o'cash. Great scientists will greatly increase your research points.

I used great artists the most, though. You can send them into a city to create a "great work" that will immediately give that city a 4000 point bump to its culture level. This was crucial in both the early and late game.

THIS GAME IS TEH FUN!
posted by WolfDaddy at 2:33 PM on October 27, 2005


For you Mac folks, you have to wait until next year.

Aspyr to publish Civilization III and IV
posted by octothorpe at 3:43 PM on October 27, 2005


Dammit, I had stopped playing, but since this thread my past two days have disappeared to SMAC.
posted by OmieWise at 11:25 AM on October 28, 2005


I'm glad to see I'm not alone, OmieWise.
posted by painquale at 3:23 AM on October 29, 2005


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