Stolen Pixels

Stolen Pixels #232: The History of Civilization, Part 3



In Civilization V you sometimes have “great people” born in one of your cities. You can use them to start a golden age, which will boost the output of your empire for several turns. But it also consumes the person in the process. I find myself not wanting to do this when I get a really cool one. If I get da Vinci or Sun Tzu I want to hang onto them because hey, this guy is cool. Eventually I have a little menagerie of famous people crowded around my capital city. I realize this is childish but… screw you. Don’t make fun of me or I’ll have my Mark Twain write a book about what a jerkface you are.

The gameworld spawns barbarians in unclaimed areas of the map. These guys roughly scale up in tech with everyone else. I understand why it does this from a gameplay perspective, but it looks ridiculous. Near the endgame you have these little wooden forts that churn out infantrymen with automatic weapons and modern battleships. The automatic weapons I can sort of understand, but I don’t know how they’re building 9,000 ton warships when they don’t even have houses to live in. The rest of this game is a simulation of acquiring new technology and establishing the infrastructure required to build it. So it’s really asinine that they sweep all of that aside and have “barbarians” pull advanced hardware out of their asses.

I laugh every time I talk to Emperor Askia. He’s always depicted with this burning city behind him. I realize the idea is that he’s supposed to be conquering stuff and gloating over a sacked city is kind of his thing, but whenever I call him up I can’t help but think, “Dude. Is your city on fire again? Have I called at a bad time? I don’t know how you manage to set fire to a city of stone but you really need to invent a fire extinguisher or something.”

Shamus Young is the guy behind Twenty Sided, DM of the Rings, and Stolen Pixels, Shamus Plays, and Spoiler Warning. And none of that is his day job.

About the author