Comments on: Civilization V Lead Designer Founds ‘Conifer Games’, Launches Kickstarter Project PC enthusiasts one-stop resource for high-quality reviews, articles and current technology news. Sat, 25 Jul 2015 21:17:00 +0000 hourly 1 By: Marfig Mon, 11 Feb 2013 19:30:00 +0000 Of course I saw it! I saw the video and the have been following his blog for over 2 weeks now.

My point is exactly that while I completely agree with his assessment, I’m skeptical of his solutions. This isn’t the first time the middle-game crisis in grand strategy and 4x games has been discussed, btw. It’s been a major problem to every designer out there. Paradox solutions have been so far the more elegant, in my opinion: they add a whole lot of gaming systems on top of the traditional trade/diplomacy/conquest routine of strategy games. Crusader Kings for instance has a complex rule geneology system and intra-diplomatic events. Hearts of Iron includes a complex army formation and politics system, etc… They then build “strong” AIs that can deal with these.

I’m not rejecting At the Gates, off the bat. I’m merely skeptical and I think I need to see more to start trusting Schafer’s judgment on these matters… and of course, the quality of his development team.

By: Rob Williams Mon, 11 Feb 2013 18:24:00 +0000 Did you happen to watch the video? It explains a lot. I think it might be on the Kickstarter page where it’s mentioned that the game is meant to remain challenging right up until the end, and that “broken-in-the-middle” issue shouldn’t exist. I tend to agree that I am not THAT interested in those 2 X’s later on in the game, but I’m not opposed to the idea, either.

I think the game has good potential. At least it’s trying to do things a little unique in a market that’s filled to the brim with 4X titles.

By: Marfig Mon, 11 Feb 2013 09:42:00 +0000 if John Schafer is at the gates, shouldn’t we let him in?

I say wait for it and in the kickstarter page pressure him to explain exactly what he meant on his Strategy Games are Broken article:

Especially why he failed to realize that strategy games tend to break at the mid game (and that’s very true), not really because we’ve lost 2 of the Xs, but because it’s the game AI that really can’t handle the middle game crisis.

4X games aren’t meant to offer eXploration and eXpansion throughout the whole experience. The term was coined at the onset of Master of Orion and that game clearly removed those two Xs at the middle game. Instead what we have is the constant failure of the AI to deal with the middle game. It doesn’t know what to do. How to keep the game alive from that period on. Civ V suffers from this problem too, but to a lesser extent than many other games on its category if you only play against aggressive civilization. However it becomes clear that the way a civilization advances against you is anything but a sound strategy. It’s a mess.

I’m too very interested in Schafer’s first solo foray into game design. But I’m a bit troubled by his vision of what can capture my interest in the middle game.