TGDRT #14 – Civ with Soren Johnson

Episode #14 is now up!

This week Jon and Dirk are joined by Soren Johnson, best known as the designer of Civilization IV. The gang discusses the 4X genre with a particular focus on the Civilization series. They dig into what makes this category of games special, what problems they have yet to solve and what opportunities exist with multiplayer and on mobile platforms.

I’d been looking forward to recording this episode for a while, and it ended up even better than I had hoped! Soren and I really dig into what makes Civ tick along with some of the problems afflicting both it and the 4X genre generally.

Soren even shares what he would do if he were in charge of Civ 6 - so now you have to listen!

- Jon

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2 Comments

  1. Jon, listened to the Ep on the train home tonight. Great chat between the three of you! A lot of what you guys brought up are things I too have been saying for too long. I think for a game like Civ, the biggest problem it faces is that the scope of time is just simply too long. Nearly every single problem discussed would not be an issue if the game focused on shorter time spans.

    The only one that needs separate addressing is victory conditions (I won’t go into MP as I believe architecture issues need to be addressed first before MP gameplay). If you remember for Civ5 I was advocating a new victory structure, where there were six categories (military, research, trade, diplomacy, industrialisation, culture) that kept separate scores through the game. A Civ could earn a minor victory in one category, but to earn the major victory you would have to earn three minor victories in the game.

    I know we didn’t have enough time to overhaul victory conditions in Civ5, so I am going to experiment with this concept in my game. Funnily enough, you mentioned the Imperialism series in the podcast, and that’s exactly where the heart of my game comes from. :)

    Reply
  2. Looking forward to checking out what you come up with Dale! :)

    - Jon

    Reply

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