Posts Tagged ‘Firaxis’

Big 2.0 Update To Fix ‘Conservative’ Civ Beyond Earth

looking anything like its concept art might have helped, actually

Civilization: Only Very Slightly Beyond Earth, more like. While perfectly serviceable, Firaxis’ sci-fi themed strategy spin-off proved far too reluctant to step out of Civ V’s shadow for my tastes, and I haven’t been at all tempted to go back. Conventional wisdom had it that an add-on might add the verve and variety it needs, but it turns out there’s a 2.0 update planned which may (or may not) get Beyond Earth back into orbit.
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Touch The Sky: Sid Meier’s Starships Release On March 12

In January, Firaxis announced Sid Meier’s Starships [official site], a new, small-scale space game that’s actually designed by the name in its title. Now we know that it’s coming next month on March 12th, which gosh, is only a couple of weeks away. If only all marketing campaigns were so brief.

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Sid Knows Best: Poppa Meier Builds Starships

Pew pew

Do you worry you’d call Sid Meier “dad”? A half-hour stream over the weekend with the Civfather showing off Sid Meier’s Starships (not anyone else’s) has been saved for posterity under the name ‘Sid Meier shows you how to build a Starship’ and I can’t help but imagine you, dear reader, sitting on his knee. “Can we put cannons there?” you ask. He smiles, a knowing twinkle in his eye, and adds some. He sneaks in a stealth system you didn’t ask for, knowing it’ll help turn this ship into a long-range sniper sort of thing, but you’re happy: you wanted lasers and Daddy Sid added some. This is getting awkward. I’m going to embed the video now. Let’s move on.

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Sid Meier Announces Sid Meier’s Starships

There’s few game designers whose names alone perk my interest, but Sid Meier is one of them. He’s the videogame industry’s avuncular Werther’s Original dispenser, popping sugary, plastic-wrapped hexes into the hands of young designers everywhere. I met him once and I can’t remember if he was sat in a rocking chair, but let’s assume that he was.

I am now rocking because Firaxis have announced Sid Meier’s Starships, a new game set after and within the same fiction as the recent Civilization: Beyond Earth. Speaking to Gamespot about the announcement, Meier explained that it would be st in space, would feature “dynamically generated tactical combat”, and that the focus would be “starship design” and “interstellar adventure, diplomacy and exploration.” There’s an animated trailer below.

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Wot I Think: Civilization – Beyond Earth

“They should have sent a poet,” says astronaut Jodie Foster, struck dumb by wonder upon encountering alien intelligence at the end of the film Contact. It’s easy to feel the same way about Civilization: Beyond Earth, the latest iteration of Sid Meier’s venerable and mighty Civilization franchise. C:BE takes the player to the ostensibly virgin soil of a new planet, but it’s not long before one questions exactly how new this new world really is. Just to mix up the out-of-date science fiction references – is that the Statue of Liberty’s head protruding from the hex-grid ahead? You maniacs! It was Civilization V all along!

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Above And Beyond: Rediscovering Alpha Centauri

As we prepare to cast judgement on Civilization: Beyond Earth, Firaxis’ latest voyage into the unknown, we cast out minds back to Alpha Centauri’s treatment of humanity’s future. With a stronger emphasis on narrative, rigid factions and a malleable Planet, Alpha Centauri changed the Civ formula significantly and to great effect. We asked author and Icon deputy editor Will Wiles to examine the impact of future past.

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Civ: Beyond Earth’s Intro Recreates Science Victory

Maybe we're not just awful lumps of meat!

A science victory in Civilization is awfully anti-climatic. Thousands of years of research, exploration, art, diplomacy, trade, war, survival, and human progress, and all you have to show for it is a little spaceship popping out your city then flying off the top of the screen. It’s nice, but lacks drama. That’s where Civilization: Beyond Earth begins, exploring what happens after humanity reaches the stars, so its intro movie offers an extended take on that blastoff. It’s all hope and fear and EMOTIONS. Imagine this next time you win a science victory, and try to hold in those little sobs of pride.

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Civilization Beyond Earth: 200 Turns On The Final Frontier

A whole new world. A new fantastic point of view.

…I’m so sorry.

However, I am pleased to report that sci-fi strategy game Sid Meier’s Civilization: Beyond Earth is not simply Civ V with green face paint on. It has the same hexes and it does have much of the same infrastructure as its historical-themed predecessor, but its transformation into something alien goes far more than miasma-coated skindeep. The essential framework of Civ remains, but the final frontier – for the 200 turns with beta code I’ve spent there – requires a very different sort of thinking.

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Choose Your Own Spaceship – 50 Mins Of Civ: Beyond Earth

It hasn’t quite struck home for me yet that Civilization: Beyond Earth is only two months away, but this video helps. It’s 50 minutes of lead designers Pete Murray and David McDonough playing and talking through civilization creation at the start of the spiritual successor to Alpha Centauri: selecting the sponsors who can fund and define your reason for travelling to the stars, the spaceship you’re flying upon, the cargo you can put onboard, and how those choice and more can affect the faction you end up playing as when the game begins proper.

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Beyond Civilization: Discovering Firaxis

While visiting Firaxis to play Civilization: Beyond Earth, I spent a couple of hours talking to members of the team and learning how the company works. As the current creators and curators of two of my favourite series of games, Firaxis rank among the most interesting studios in existence, and their history is also a large part of the history of PC strategy gaming. With one eye on the future and the other on the past, here are extended thougts on the utilitarian nature of Civilization, the role of Sid Meier and much much more.

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Hands-On: Civilization – Beyond Earth

Last week, I visited Firaxis to talk about the studio’s history and the ongoing evolution of Civilization. We mainly focused on the series of games rather than humanity’s works as a whole, so as to stay on topic, and I spent part of the day playing Beyond Earth. Is it a sci-fi spin-off or a fully fledged sequel? How precisely is it related to the series and to the much-loved Alpha Centauri? Later this week, I’ll share conversations with the development team and more thoughts on the history of the series, but first of all, here are some impressions of the game itself.

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Civilization: Beyond Earth Making Planetfall In October

Hexcellent.

Joking about booking time off work for a video game’s release is awfully hackneyed, but I have known people to do it for two series: Grand Theft Auto and Civ. So, just so you know, Civilization: Beyond Earth now has a release date so WINK you might want to WINK book time off work or WINK consider laying the dramatic groundwork for a WINK illness to strike you on October 24.

The news comes alongside a new video with Beyond Earth’s co-lead designers talking about the kinda-Alpha-Centurai-ish-but-really-more-Civ-y game, over footage that’s mostly cinematics but does give a few tantalising peeks at things including the new web-like tech tree.

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Beyond Seven Minutes Of Civ: Beyond Earth


By which I mean, eight minutes. Yes. I’m not entirely sure of the provenance of this video, and how much of it has or hasn’t been seen before because, y’know, YouTube but in any case I am more than down for a decent stretch of footage’n’chat from Firaxis’ upcoming alterna-Alpha Centauri, Civilization: Beyond Earth.
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