GDC 2010: Sid Meier's: My Five Bads

Sid Meier's: My Five Bads

In an excerpt from his GDC Keynote Sid Meier five things he's done wrong. Sorry, but the audio is a little off because of technical glitches at GDC.

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I was really hoping that the removal of firepower (the Civ 2 hidden stat) from future versions which allowed men with sticks to reliably defeat a tank would show up in there.

I think that's a little worse than a few mistakes from Civ 1 that no one saw or remembered. Though the randomized tech advances were frustrating, to be sure...

Not all those were bad ideas. The randomness and Gold giving were great ideas I thought.

The randomness would help break up the monotony of the games and keep you on your toes.

And for the gold thing, people would give gold to others. They would probably just have to ask.

Eudaemonian:
I was really hoping that the removal of firepower (the Civ 2 hidden stat) from future versions which allowed men with sticks to reliably defeat a tank would show up in there.

I think that's a little worse than a few mistakes from Civ 1 that no one saw or remembered. Though the randomized tech advances were frustrating, to be sure...

"What do you mean a maceman took down my helicopter?!"

Huh, i never heard about any dino game and i'm a pretty big fan of Sid Meier's. : /
Guess that i haven't done my homework's :P

addeB:
Huh, i never heard about any dino game and i'm a pretty big fan of Sid Meier's. : /
Guess that i haven't done my homework's :P

If so your not only one, lol.

At least he is pretty upfront about it all. Its nice to see him seeing whats wrong, and means he can improve upon it!

Irridium:
Not all those were bad ideas. The randomness and Gold giving were great ideas I thought.

The randomness would help break up the monotony of the games and keep you on your toes.

And for the gold thing, people would give gold to others. They would probably just have to ask.

Yeah, I was surprised about the gold giving. It's a pretty important part of diplomacy in the single-player game, so it seems odd that it wouldn't work in multi-player. One would hope that at least the diplomatic trading options of the previous games would be available in newer versions.

Rise and Fall... there's a very popular mod for Civ III and IV called "Rhye's and Fall of Civilization" which is mostly about more historic accuracy and civilizations rising and falling. In fact, it's so popular (and well made) that it was included in Civ IV and I'm not sure, but I think they hired Rhye, the developer, to help with Civ IV.

So I'm a little surprised about that bad.

Actually, I don't agree much with Sid at all (which borders on heresy, I know). There are real time games, like the whole Settlers franchise, that do very well and part of the appeal is being the observer, watching your people work and do stuff. It simply depends on what you want your game to be, but that doesn't mean that it's generally a mistake. I can imagine a real-time Civ that could be quite fun. After all, Age of Empires and Rise of Nations where like a mix of Civ and C&C and very fun to play.

And random events, which were reintroduced in Civ IV with the Beyond the Sword expansion, can add alot of flavor to the game. Sure, the hardcore strategists may be put off, but I think most players will find the extra challenges and variety engaging.

Perhaps Sid is spending too much time on civilization forums, listening to the hardcore players. The problem is that those strongly voicing their opinions will most likely be hardcore players whereas the happy masses of civ-fans wont feel strong enough about things to go and complain about it.

@Team Holliwood: thanks for the vid, but I found the enbedded cutscenes of civ-games rather distracting, especially when text appears. Half of my brain tries to read the text and enjoy the visuals while the other half is trying to listen to Sid talk.

I'm sad about him not including the rise and fall mechanic. It's one of my favourite types of plotline. Clawing your way back up from nigh-extinction.

Do you know what your biggest mistake was, Sid?

Alpha Centauri 2. And the fact that it has not happened yet.

I'm sorry to sound like a broken record, but I WANT MORE CHARON!

Was fun to hear him, I really wanted to go to GDC just to hear him talk. Civilization is my favorite game franchise of all time. I absolutly love it.

That's my dawg Sid, yo. The master of strategy. A fairly interesting talk as well.

On a more related note, I would totally purchase another Alpha Centauri game if it came out. Definitely one of my favorite strategy games of all time.

That was always a problem, in Alpha Centauri factions would always restart and make you put up a second war effort.

Why was there music playing while he was having a presentation? Isn't that a bit disrespectful, to play music while someone talks?

Gah, he skipped the Covert Action point; I've always loved Covert Action and I hate that it's always considered a major miss.

Namewithheld:
Do you know what your biggest mistake was, Sid?

Alpha Centauri 2. And the fact that it has not happened yet.

I'm sorry to sound like a broken record, but I WANT MORE CHARON!

Then convince EA to release the license to it. Firaxis doesn't own the Alpha Centauri name anymore.

And while you're at it, convince Brian Reynolds to give up the company he founded (Big Huge Games, makers of Rise of Nations, Rise of Legends, and the Asian Dynasties add-on for Age of Empires 3) and come back to Firaxis since Reynolds, not Meier, was the creative mind behind the #2 greatest game of all time (behind Rome: Total War.)

Giving gold to other players sounds more like normal gameplay mechanic to me...but somehow the word "goldseller" creeped it's way into my mind. imagine that in a Civ game...

*shudders*

kind of neat to see some of the scrapped ideas!

Query; was it really necessary to put music in the background?

what about the pirates remake's dance part? it was a mistake, which completely ruined the nostalgia for me.

SimuLord:

Namewithheld:
Do you know what your biggest mistake was, Sid?

Alpha Centauri 2. And the fact that it has not happened yet.

I'm sorry to sound like a broken record, but I WANT MORE CHARON!

Then convince EA to release the license to it. Firaxis doesn't own the Alpha Centauri name anymore.

And while you're at it, convince Brian Reynolds to give up the company he founded (Big Huge Games, makers of Rise of Nations, Rise of Legends, and the Asian Dynasties add-on for Age of Empires 3) and come back to Firaxis since Reynolds, not Meier, was the creative mind behind the #2 greatest game of all time (behind Rome: Total War.)

I'll get the rope, you get the car battery and the jumper cables.

Tiamat666:
Perhaps Sid is spending too much time on civilization forums, listening to the hardcore players. The problem is that those strongly voicing their opinions will most likely be hardcore players whereas the happy masses of civ-fans wont feel strong enough about things to go and complain about it.

True and strangely the one thing that eventually turned me off of the Civilization series was not there--it takes so long early on to build up your civilization to where you can do anything.

Another thing that annoyed the blazes out of me was how wonders became obsolete due to some invention of a civilization that you had not even come into contact with.

zeroReactivity:
Not all those were bad ideas. The randomness and Gold giving were great ideas I thought.

The randomness would help break up the monotony of the games and keep you on your toes.

Actually, high impact randomness like that is one of the biggest sins of game design. Like he mentioned in the speech, small level randomness can make a game more interesting if it's used correctly, but if you make it too big a factor in the game it completely ruins the point of interactivity.

zeroReactivity:
And for the gold thing, people would give gold to others. They would probably just have to ask.

Irridium:
Yeah, I was surprised about the gold giving. It's a pretty important part of diplomacy in the single-player game, so it seems odd that it wouldn't work in multi-player. One would hope that at least the diplomatic trading options of the previous games would be available in newer versions.

My guess is the gold thing didn't work out because the players didn't have a clear idea of how it could benefit them. IE If you just have a "give gold to player X button" of course it's never going to be pressed. On the other hand, if you implement a diplomacy or trade interface people are going to be much more likely to give gold to each other.

Namewithheld:
Do you know what your biggest mistake was, Sid?

Alpha Centauri 2. And the fact that it has not happened yet.

I'm sorry to sound like a broken record, but I WANT MORE CHARON!

Still playing that damn game, 11 years on, and still put Sister Miriam in every game just to wipe her off the face of Planet...

i know you guys want a alpha centuri 2 and it might not happen ... for a while (think fallout series)

but how many of you played the x-pack alien crossfire 8 new fractiuons + more go check it out.

Now im off to play Sid Meier's Alien Crossfire SMAC ^^ laters foolz

I'm disappointed that he skipped Covert Action rule, I would really have wanted to hear what it is. Covert Action is IMO a great game, one that would definitely deserve a remake, there are just so many aspects of the game that are already really good and with little work could be really great.

I just hope the Covert Action rule was not something that means there will never be a new Covert Action game.

edit:: Thought about it for a while, I think the Covert Action rule is something to the lines of "never mix several games into one". I hope it's not, cause that kind of mixing can work, it's hard to make it work, but it's possible.

boholikeu:

zeroReactivity:
Not all those were bad ideas. The randomness and Gold giving were great ideas I thought.

The randomness would help break up the monotony of the games and keep you on your toes.

Actually, high impact randomness like that is one of the biggest sins of game design. Like he mentioned in the speech, small level randomness can make a game more interesting if it's used correctly, but if you make it too big a factor in the game it completely ruins the point of interactivity.

True. To say it in other words. For example in Diablo 2 you have a randomness system that works perfect. Since all it does is creating random corridors and random loot in the areas.
Now imagine yourself that the game is completely random along the storyline. So you get to a low level dungeon and since the game is random you end up getting killed by a high level monster who appeared there since he was allowed to. Full randomness while it might be a cool mechanic when you think about it usually ends up just as being annoying and frustrating. Some games (that names I sadly completely cant remember now >_<) had full randomness and for me they ended up completely unplayable.
+ I completely agree with Sid about the "paranoia" factor of such solution. I always start thinking "Hey! My computer did that on purpose!" when something unexpected that completely owns me happens. That includes random game crashes in most important moments xP.

PS. I would absolutely want to see the "rise and fall" mechanic in one of Civ games. I always like it when something like that happens in the game since it creates additional challenge in the phase of the game in which you can basically whale on everything. Your enemies, your economy (you are so rich you don't even care) etc. etc.
Plus it would force you to invest in those little cities you created in the late stage of the game and that basically got forgotten...

I'm terribly sorry for double post :-<.
My internet is stupid...

Wait, wasn't that six bads?

MadeinHell:

boholikeu:

zeroReactivity:
Not all those were bad ideas. The randomness and Gold giving were great ideas I thought.

The randomness would help break up the monotony of the games and keep you on your toes.

Actually, high impact randomness like that is one of the biggest sins of game design. Like he mentioned in the speech, small level randomness can make a game more interesting if it's used correctly, but if you make it too big a factor in the game it completely ruins the point of interactivity.

True. To say it in other words. For example in Diablo 2 you have a randomness system that works perfect. Since all it does is creating random corridors and random loot in the areas.
Now imagine yourself that the game is completely random along the storyline. So you get to a low level dungeon and since the game is random you end up getting killed by a high level monster who appeared there since he was allowed to. Full randomness while it might be a cool mechanic when you think about it usually ends up just as being annoying and frustrating. Some games (that names I sadly completely cant remember now >_<) had full randomness and for me they ended up completely unplayable.
+ I completely agree with Sid about the "paranoia" factor of such solution. I always start thinking "Hey! My computer did that on purpose!" when something unexpected that completely owns me happens. That includes random game crashes in most important moments xP.

PS. I would absolutely want to see the "rise and fall" mechanic in one of Civ games. I always like it when something like that happens in the game since it creates additional challenge in the phase of the game in which you can basically whale on everything. Your enemies, your economy (you are so rich you don't even care) etc. etc.
Plus it would force you to invest in those little cities you created in the late stage of the game and that basically got forgotten...

I love 'fully' random games (they're never totally fully random, anyway). But yeah, you can still learn ways to control and limit the randomness in any finished product. It makes games more difficult, more entertaining. I just like it.

 

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