Civilization: Beyond Earth - Where Will You Take Humanity?

Civilization: Beyond Earth - Where Will You Take Humanity?

The new game from Firaxis Studios will cease depending on history - Civilization: Beyond Earth will go into space.

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I scanned this article looking for reference to Alpha-Centauri... only when I had found it and the cruddy little excuses slurped from the dev's mouth did I go back and read the whole thing BECAUSE they are building a game with the same mechanics in the same genre and comparison is a very legitimate form of measuring its worth.

I do not want to see their mealy mouthed excuses; I want to see what lessons they have learned from their predecessor and how they plan to surpass it. When your product is the best you welcome comparison and I have no time for their insecure cowardice. Embrace the comparison and make it work for you because if they really threw away all that made that previous game great then they deserve to fail.

The diplomatic system, faction affiliations and orbital additions are interesting concepts but what made Alpha-Centauri great was the narrative and flavor of the alien world and how the different factions reacted and related to one and another. Simplifying the diplomacy into quantifiable favours has the danger of robbing the AI of their personality and all their mentions of interesting alien life and isometric game play factions sounded almost like a checklist. I want to understand how they have realised their world and created a cohesive and coherent game I can be immersed in. Every element and gameplay choice should be made in a manner which strengthens and enhances all the others and not because it is interesting or just different.

I was somewhat exicited and apprehensive to hear of the initial release... now I am neither. They wanted me not to compare and have gotten their wish, I will require cold hard evidence of a good game to even consider purchasing post launch... and without that excitement, even then, I will probably wait until its 50% or 75% off sale.

They don't want to be compared to ACAX... because they're selfish by their own admission. They want all the credit, even though they *are* already starting post ACAX.

zvate:
I was somewhat exicited and apprehensive to hear of the initial release... now I am neither. They wanted me not to compare and have gotten their wish, I will require cold hard evidence of a good game to even consider purchasing post launch... and without that excitement, even then, I will probably wait until its 50% or 75% off sale.

Pretty much this.

Hey guys, I was at first disappointed by the departure from AC too, but I'd much rather see a new Game that entices me in different and exciting ways.

I didn't touch on the personalities or depth of the techweb in this preview but there's a lot of narrative and story to get immersed in beyond earth. Don't write it off yet!

What I don't get is people are writing it off because they chose to TITLE IT something other than Alpha Centauri. Don't get me wrong, Alpha Centauri is great but people are getting this upset over a name change? Because this isn't a sequel to a classic?

"You aren't making the specific game we want you to make so that means whatever game you are making now is shit." That's a non sequiter if I ever heard one.

The mere mention of orbital units has my interest peaked quite a lot

Still, since it's building on Civ 5 it clearly wont hold up to the glory that still is Alpha Centauri.

...I'll probably get it and play it anyway :)

This could be so great, I really hope my computer can play this.

zvate:

Well said!

After civ 5, firaxis has lost some good will. The lack of documentation and some seriously flawed design choices made that game a dissapointing play of "wait for the point buckets to fill, pick a bonus".

Civ IV was good, but if you care about gameplay, there really hasn't been anything better than alpha centauri.

Now, kudos for them for not making a sequel to AC, but instead branch it off CIV.

But the reluctance to compare it to alpha centauri worries me: there are so many lessons to learn from that game, things it did well, things it did badly. You'd think it was a required play.

As for unity / purity / supremecy paths... It sounds superficial and worrying. It's a common pitfall of Scifi in games (and tv), that instead of taking the time to build the world and underlying logic, you come up with shit as you go along. That's not scifi, that's fantasy and it tends to be less impactful, because as a observer/consumer, you take the backseat in looking at this world because "anything can happen". The only solution left then is a prophecy and you're in the worst storytelling tier.

The game will probably be fun for an afternoon or two.

But I keep hoping for a game that I'll play a few hours a week for years. Like AC.

Greg Tito:
Hey guys, I was at first disappointed by the departure from AC too, but I'd much rather see a new Game that entices me in different and exciting ways.

I didn't touch on the personalities or depth of the techweb in this preview but there's a lot of narrative and story to get immersed in beyond earth. Don't write it off yet!

I think you'll find people that loved AC a little more patient and giving things time to think about and opportunities for new information than the average gamer.

The reluctance to being compared is a little disingenious though; I'm sure it can be good for the design process, but you gotta study the classics man.

Greg Tito:
Hey guys, I was at first disappointed by the departure from AC too, but I'd much rather see a new Game that entices me in different and exciting ways.

I didn't touch on the personalities or depth of the techweb in this preview but there's a lot of narrative and story to get immersed in beyond earth. Don't write it off yet!

Fair enough Mr. Tito but let me ask you... Was what you played more fun and immersive than Alpha-Centauri? Because the more I think about the term 'on its own merits' the more convinced I am that there should be no such thing. The game itself is based on Civ 5 for a start and it, like all games are derivitive and part of a vast pedegree we have every right and reason to remeber. How did you think it stacked up and will it be worth my money? Because the comparison does matter and I do want to know...

(I know this puts you on the spot and I apologize for that since the studio you wish to remain on good terms with does not want that question asked but if what you do is more than hype other peoples games then it remains the question most relevant to your coverage.)

I actually got AC off GOG once I saw this game was coming out. My old CDs of the game had long since been broken. Playing a while, I did as I usually did, and messed around as a science focused guy. Went back to Civ 5 a few hours later and played that.

What all of that, reading this interview, and checking up on BE's website tells me... is that I'm rather excited for this. Civ 5'ed AC could be a really good game, and writing it off now, because it's not blowing AC hard enough is short sighted. AC had a labrythine system of managment, with a ton of frankly useless buildings. You didn't have much to worry about with terraforming (Besides loosing said formers), your military was pretty much going to win if you had the higher tech...

Favors sounds like an interesting way to shape faction's actions in diplomacy (Which was perplexingly simplistic in most all Civ games I've ever played), the aliens being a force to be reckoned with will be a nice change, the upgrade system sounds like it could be interesting... Play the bloody game before you write this stuff off.

ash12181987:
AC had a labrythine system of managment, with a ton of frankly useless buildings. You didn't have much to worry about with terraforming (Besides loosing said formers), your military was pretty much going to win if you had the higher tech...

No argument from me, Alpha-Centauri had a lot of problems even in addition to that laborious amount of micro-management by the end game. Customization was fun at first but the interface was clunky and the balance issues you mention didn't help... But the FLAVOUR, good lord that was great, that opening cinematic remains one of my favorites of all time (right up their with Dungeon Keeper and Mech Warrior 2) and I loved how even all that future tech you discovered remained grounded within our past with interesting real world quotes and information. It was a really good sci-fi novel wrapped up in a history lesson and served as a game... Even if the new Dev's aren't interested in making something the same as that it certainly remains the standard I will be judging it against.

Put simply I will take humanity to war. That is how these games go.

Clearly the Great Mistake was that someone let Ghandi have Uranium.

That aside, really looking forward to this game, I've enjoyed Civ 5 a great deal, and this looks like it'll feed my hankering for more future technology, was a little sad the game would just end once I launched my spaceship.

I don't know why people are upset, I thought that CIv 5 from Brave New World was pretty great.

And since they're building off that, it means that Beyond Earth will have all the experience and knowledge of problems with Civ games built in the current style as well as a predecessor to take inspiration from.

One of my personal annoyances was that every Civ eventually ended up very similar, each race bonus having little effect. Now you'll end up fighting over how the planet and your people will look the further along you get. Awesome.

Civ was good enough that I'm willing to trust them, and they're not asking for 40 for the game pre-order, so I ended up grabbing two copies (for me and my girlfriend) to play as soon as it comes out

zvate:
Fair enough Mr. Tito but let me ask you... Was what you played more fun and immersive than Alpha-Centauri? Because the more I think about the term 'on its own merits' the more convinced I am that there should be no such thing. The game itself is based on Civ 5 for a start and it, like all games are derivitive and part of a vast pedegree we have every right and reason to remeber. How did you think it stacked up and will it be worth my money? Because the comparison does matter and I do want to know...

(I know this puts you on the spot and I apologize for that since the studio you wish to remain on good terms with does not want that question asked but if what you do is more than hype other peoples games then it remains the question most relevant to your coverage.)

Hey I'm not saying it's not a bad idea to be skeptical. I tried to cover as much as I could in this preview, but I need a lot more time with the factions and the characters to give you an opinion on that. The specific things you mention are there though. There's lots of narrative and visual design that went into the faction leaders.

One thing I can tell you, the evocative audio descriptions of future technologies are still present, and the techs are all different from AC.

The dev compared the 3 affinities system to colours in magic the gathering...

First of all, most magic players I know have a favorite colour, mine is blue with white a close 2nd. So way to lose points with me right off the bat.

Then it made me wonder if we can mix and match beliefs? Like say... Purity(adapting the human superiority point of view) and diluting it with more tolerant Harmony to better represent your civs beliefs instead of it being hardlocked to one of 3? Yeah you'd miss out on goodies if you go purely one way but if these are magic colours then it should be my choice to mix and match instead of being forced to choose between red, blue and black (in which case screw what dev says, i'd go blue every time).

Honestly if this isn't the case then I find the magic colour comparison to be silly.

Speaking of silly... So you want to avoid being compared to Alpha Centauri and seem to want to pretend it doesn't exist yet get insecure about comparisons to...STARCRAFT? Wtf?
What kinda person looks at a sci fi 4x game and goes "oh yeah that's sooo starcraft!"?
I..gaah! Yeh overall this interview did more to dampen my enthusiasm then excite it despite some cool tidbits.

I'm also reminded I wasn't particularly fond of civ5 so between this being a deriative of that game and those comments I find silly, I'm now suspicious towards this game. Will see what the next previews bring as the overall concept appeals to me still though.

Cool. Sounds like this could be a good title. I like how they're getting all meta about the world generation. Not sure about these 'favours' just yet - my experience of Civ AI leads me to suspect that the computer will spam you with requests for gold and tech in return for favours, and when you try to cash them in later they will want to gouge you senseless.

dunam:

After civ 5, firaxis has lost some good will. The lack of documentation and some seriously flawed design choices made that game a dissapointing play of "wait for the point buckets to fill, pick a bonus".

I like some of the subtle improvements to Civ 5, but I agree with this. There's really not enough trade-offs you have to make, the whole game simply comes down to opportunity costs. It sounds like this game, from its more narrow structure, might actually have more trade-offs to consider.

zvate:

I do not want to see their mealy mouthed excuses; I want to see what lessons they have learned from their predecessor and how they plan to surpass it. When your product is the best you welcome comparison and I have no time for their insecure cowardice. Embrace the comparison and make it work for you because if they really threw away all that made that previous game great then they deserve to fail.

Was it your intention to channel Sister Miriam in this post?

I never played Alpha Centauri so any comparisons to that are redundant for me. I have however played the crap out of Civ V, so I'm eagerly anticipating this title. Can't wait!

It's also nice to hear the Firaxis guys are pretty good people. They are one of my favourite developers right now, Civ and XCOM have won them a lot of love.

I can't wait to play this and research Space Pottery, Xeno Husbandry and the Antigrav Wheel

The real question we should be asking... will they bring back the most loved feature of the high council from civilization 2?

I think the Alpha Centauri title is a moot point because Firaxis doesn't own the rights. While the spirit of AC can live on through Beyond Earth, the devs can take it in a new fresh direction. I am absolutely stoked to play at launch no matter the cost (Well $50.. maybe $60).

http://www.ign.com/articles/2014/04/12/firaxis-revisits-alpha-centauri-territory-with-civilization-beyond-earth

The new game from Firaxis Studios will cease depending on history - Civilization: Beyond Earth will go into space.

The new game will cease?

Can someone explain this sentence to me please?

DSK-:

The new game from Firaxis Studios will cease depending on history - Civilization: Beyond Earth will go into space.

The new game will cease?

Can someone explain this sentence to me please?

That is pretty loosely written. The subject and the verb don't really agree. He means something like: "With their new game, Firaxis Studios will cease depending on history - Civilization: Beyond Earth will go into space." (Although that's still a bit convoluted for my tastes.)

There seems to be a generally rushed feeling to most Escapist articles recently - even the short ones will have half a dozen typos and punctuation errors. I'm biased because I'm an editor, but I find it very distracting.

EDIT: Sorry, that may not have answered your question if you're reading "will cease depending on history" as "will cease, depending on history".

Hopefully this is clearer: "Firaxis Studios are no longer depending on history. Their new game, Civilization: Beyond Earth, is going into space."

Greg Tito:

Hey I'm not saying it's not a bad idea to be skeptical. I tried to cover as much as I could in this preview, but I need a lot more time with the factions and the characters to give you an opinion on that. The specific things you mention are there though. There's lots of narrative and visual design that went into the faction leaders.

One thing I can tell you, the evocative audio descriptions of future technologies are still present, and the techs are all different from AC.

Well that at least sounds a bit reasuring... thanks for the responce

Shamanic Rhythm:

Was it your intention to channel Sister Miriam in this post?

Didn't use nearly enough kindeling for that;) besides Morganson, the Tech guy and the Spartans were almost always my picks of choice...

dunam:
The real question we should be asking... will they bring back the most loved feature of the high council from civilization 2?

Darnit I can't beleive I'd forotten about that... now I've got a smile stuck on my face that will probably stick around all day...their bickering was fun and also probably the first digital capture of real people I'd ever seen on my computer. That takes me back:)

SoManyCrimes:

DSK-:

The new game from Firaxis Studios will cease depending on history - Civilization: Beyond Earth will go into space.

The new game will cease?

Can someone explain this sentence to me please?

That is pretty loosely written. The subject and the verb don't really agree. He means something like: "With their new game, Firaxis Studios will cease depending on history - Civilization: Beyond Earth will go into space." (Although that's still a bit convoluted for my tastes.)

There seems to be a generally rushed feeling to most Escapist articles recently - even the short ones will have half a dozen typos and punctuation errors. I'm biased because I'm an editor, but I find it very distracting.

EDIT: Sorry, that may not have answered your question if you're reading "will cease depending on history" as "will cease, depending on history".

Hopefully this is clearer: "Firaxis Studios are no longer depending on history. Their new game, Civilization: Beyond Earth, is going into space."

Thankies! That's what I thought, something along the lines of "Firaxis Studios' new game will cease to follow conventional human history. Their new game, Civilization: Beyond Earth, is going into SPAAAAAAACCCCCEEEE!"

Glad to see I wasn't the only one to think that was a bit of a puzzle.

zvate:

Darnit I can't beleive I'd forotten about that... now I've got a smile stuck on my face that will probably stick around all day...their bickering was fun and also probably the first digital capture of real people I'd ever seen on my computer. That takes me back:)

I know man, it's so strange now. It's one of those things they did to make you feel you were the ruler of that country. Like the throne room.

image

It's a pretty hard thing. Just like creating a fictional tech tree. Most games solve it by having very specific functional paths, like master of orion: a science boost path, an engine path, a planet improvement path etc.

Yet our own tech path, of our culture and civilizations, it's nothing like this. It's much more erratic. How does one create a fictional history of the future to make a tech tree?

There are many game design challenges I have posed myself and was able to tackle, but this one I've never yet managed to satisfactorily tackle.

 

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