Sundays are for, I hope, rolling around on the living room floor with the kid and watching the olympics out of the corner of your eye. Let's spend Friday rounding up the week's best writing about videogames to increase the chances of that happening. A short this one this week, not because I'm rushed but because I didn't read much I liked this week and I hate padding this out.
At Paste, Leif Johnson writes about the unintended educational potential of Civilization VI:
The Civ series is a little like that, and Civilization VI particularly so. The newest game allows players to build their cities’ districts over multiples tiles on the gridded map rather than a single one as in Civ V, and figuring out which districts to place by which imparts some basic knowledge of city planning through gameplay alone. Knowledge of how to interact with the surrounding world thus becomes more important. Cities thrive near fresh water sources; away from them, they wither. The sprawl of cities encourages the use of natural barriers like mountains to keep invaders away from prized districts. In a masterful stroke, the preview event itself subtly hammered home these lessons. Held in an atrium overlooking Central Park and Broadway, a mere look out the window encouraged contemplation of how Gotham’s residential and commercial districts interacted with each other.
At PC Gamer, Brendan Caldwell stopped writing about RimWorld for us long enough to write about RimWorld for them. He tells the tale of Corpse Town, a scenario about cannibals that you can download for yourself from the game's Steam Workshop:
It was the day of the Great Hunt. The refrigeration chamber of Corpse Town, usually stocked with fresh meat, was empty. So all ten residents of the town got up and went to the plains where deer and boar roamed in huge numbers. There they killed as many of the animals as possible. Until the deer, furious at their mistreatment, rose up against their masters in a vast rebellion and began goring everyone to death with their hooves and antlers. And then the pirate attacked. But the town would still eat tonight.
Tyson O'Ham at The Stoned Gamer - christ - interviews the Adams brothers about ten years of Dwarf Fortress development. I could read Tarn talk about Dwarf Fortress all day:
Pretty soon, we're going to add creation myth generation to the game, and I suspect that'll give rise to a bit more fun on the world generation side, though I'm not sure it'd qualify as a mode. The same goes for editors for site maps and so on. Adventure mode just got cabin building, and that has the potential to morph into some sort of dwarf/adventure mode hybrid. I suspect we'll see more line-blurring like that -- fortress dwarves will be able to go off-map in the next release. Our larger plans had stricter ideas for different modes, playing dragons and deities and human towns and so forth, but I'm not sure how it'll play out, versus the natural evolution of existing modes to other styles of play.
Also at PC Gamer, Tom Senior writes about why he loves multi-classing in RPGs, and why specialising causes problems:
Multi-classing means that you have the option to spread your resources around a little, to create contradictory builds that are quirky and fun. Grim Dawn is good at this. It's a dark action RPG from Crate Entertainment. I start out as an occultist. That gives me a couple of nice summons (crackling lightning bird and weak exploding fire dog). He can also suck away enemy life force with a glyph, and throw poisonous eyeballs around. He's a wizard gone bad, but can also swing around a double-handed sword quite ably. At level 10, I realise that I enjoy the big melee weapons more than ranged attacks, so I select 'soldier' as my second class and create a hybrid mage-o-warrior, and then use my occult ability to imbue melee weapons with psychic oomph. Synergy!
This week's music is Too Many Zooz' Brasshouse Vol 7 No 69, and probably the rest of the album, too.