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Sid Meier's Civilization IV

11 months ago

Feature: We can rebuild you

The best Civilization games are these total overhaul mods

I’ve been playing Civilization long enough to remember building gaudy palaces that combined Arabic minarets with Ionic columns, and the sight of pixel-drawn Stalin grimacing at me with his retinue of Asiatic advisers. But after 20-something years and untold in-game millennia, I’ve finally begun to feel its insatiable fantasy of empire-building subside. Luckily, total overhaul mods exist.

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12 months ago

Feature: Hit Parade

The 50 best strategy games on PC

An entirely objective ranking of the 50 best PC strategy games ever made, now freshened up to include our favourites from 2017 and 2018. From intricate, global-scale wargames to the tight thrills of guerrilla squads, the broad expanse of the genre contains something for everyone, and we've gathered the best of the best. The vast majority are available to buy digitally, a few are free…

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1 year ago

Feature: Changing history

Soren Johnson on challenging the norms of 4X games

“Sid [Meier] didn’t know he was inventing a genre back in ’91 - if he had he might have been a lot more careful. He was just making it up as he went along.” That’s how genres begin. By mistake. Somebody creates a set of rules and systems for the needs of a particular game, and then either people adopt and adapt those rules. Soren…

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Feature: Culture and colonisation

Cree concerns hammer home why Civ needs to reject its own traditions

In Civilization, civilization is a competition. Land and resources are limited, and even those nations that don't expand through military might are attempting to climb to the top of the league table in other ways. Geography, technology, culture, religion, diplomacy – they're all, to some extent, weapons to be deployed, or at least arenas where an advantage can be gained. Culture and history are the…

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2 years ago

Feature: The Loose Canon

Best PC games of all time

There are more wonderful games being released on PC each month than ever before. In such a time of plenty, it's important that you spend your time as wisely as possible. Thankfully, we're here to help. What follows are our picks for the best PC games ever made.

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Feature: Master of maps

Jon Shafer on designing Civilization 5, joining Paradox and making strategy games better

Jon Shafer was 21 years old when he became lead designer of Civilization V. Now working at Paradox on an unannounced project and on his own historical strategy game At The Gates in his spare time, he says he's learning from the likes of Spelunky along with the more obvious strategic influences. We spoke about how the second half of every Civ sucks, the part…

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Feature: And how they can do it better

How historical games integrate or ignore slavery

Video games always come with an expectation that the player will suspend disbelief to some extent. Genetically engineered super-soldier clones don’t exist, radiation has never and will never work like that, and overweight Italian plumbers could never make that jump. In most cases, if we are unwilling or unable to suspend our disbelief, we may well struggle to enjoy the game and our questioning of…

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3 years ago

Feature: Deep and revolutionary

Civilization VI: Four Hours Of Wars And Wonders

Last month I spent four hours playing Civilization VI on a very hot day in central London. I came away wishing I could play for another four hundred hours, and also wishing that I had an ice cream. Mint and choc chip preferably. Since then, I've spent a lot of time thinking about what Civ VI is doing and how its many systems create a…

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Feature: A series of tubes

A Lament For The LAN Party

Before broadband and the connected world of information, we found different ways to mix our social life and our games. LAN parties. Where our PCs had a big group hug and let us kill one another in peace. Michael Johnson remembers those times. Growing up as a PC gamer in the 90's was a curious experience, the dawn of the internet age was upon us,…

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Feature: Abandon all hope

Lost Worlds: The Saved Games I’ve Abandoned

These are my personal Edwin Droods. Stories that I've failed to finish, for one reason or another, and that are left suspended. In the manner of somebody reversing out of a relationship like a heavy goods vehicle, trundling slowly and beeping nonchalantly, I'd like to say to the games included: “It's not you, it's me.”

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4 years ago

Feature: AI Showdown

Why People Are Making The AI Fight Itself In Civilization

A strange thing happened in the Civilization community r/civ on January 10, 2015. Inspired by similar, smaller-scale offerings by a Twitch.tv livestream and fellow redditor DarkLava (from whom he explicitly sought permission), user Jasper K., aka thenyanmaster, shared the first part of an experiment he was conducting wherein he put 42 computer-controlled civilisations in their real-life locations on a giant model of the Earth and…

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5 years ago

Feature: Mohawks And Martians, Pt 2

Former Civ IV Lead On Strategy’s Future, Making Another Civ

Once upon a time, Soren Johnson was the main brain behind Civilization IV. Now he has a mohawk. An indie mohawk. Also, he's making a game about managing a crazy intricate (yet disarmingly accessible) economy on Mars. Last time around we talked about how a Mars economy simulator even works, boardgames, and the current state of strategy gaming, and today we continue that discussion with…

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Feature: Mohawks And Martians, Pt 1

Former Civilization IV Lead On Mars Game, Revitalizing RTS

Mohawk Games is an excellent name for a company. And so it is that former Civilization IV lead designer and Spore man Soren Johnson approaches me sporting the company haircut. It's a recent trim job for the old headshrub, he tells me, but he wears it well. However, the brain beneath the mohawk - the mind behind some of strategy gaming's greatest greats - is…

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Feature: Now With Special Guests!

A Game And A Chat: RPS BFF GDC Ultra Force Go, Day Two

The GDC War Train of Impossible Enrichment trundles on, and RPS is on the scene with gusto, aplomb, and a stuffed lion. Each day this week, I'll be gathering impromptu panels of colossal brains inside frail (but very handsome) human bodies to dissect the show piece-by-piece. Yesterday, John, Cara, Hayden, and I did so by crawling into bed and talking about our socks. Also games.…

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8 years ago

Civ IV Accidentally Wins A Grammy

Fellow writers of RPS: you have betrayed me. And on this, the day of love? You wound me, sirs, you wound me. The title track from Civilization - aka The Greatest Gaming Moment of 2005 - won a Grammy at the weekend. It is the first piece of music originally recorded for a videogame to ever scoop a Grammy win. We should have celebrated this.…

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9 years ago

Feature:

A Dozen Or So Hours With: Civilization V

'Art Deco' is basically the only school of design I'm at all familiar with. My own approach to design in any regard doesn't go any further than "make most of the colours the same." So when I see something that's Art Deco, I become slightly excited. I recognised a thing that I know! I can sound very vaguely learned! So has it been with Civilization…

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Fall From Heaven Climbs To Heaven

In the grand tradition of mods gone pro, such as Counter-Strike, Killling Floor and that unplayable Doom 2 level with 354 Cacodemons I made back in 1995, fantasy-themed Civilization IV uber-total conversion Fall From Heaven is going standalone. How so? We don't know. With what engine? We don't know. With which publisher? We don't know. WE DON'T KNOW. We know only that it is, in…

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