Stardock

3 questions from Stardock to you

By on September 14, 2014 12:45:32 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
+1484

Greetings!

Today I would like to ask you guys some questions about strategy games.

1. What specific features of diplomacy do you traditionally like the most? I want you to be as specific as you can be. Which parts of diplomacy from any game do you like the most? What parts do you remember long after playing the most?

2. Looking back, how many turns do your favorite games last? This is important to know the specific number of turns the game in Question lasted. 

3. Consider all The 4X strategy games that you have ever played. How do you define what is a good strategy game or a bad one? To you what makes one strategy game good fand another one bad? Consider different memories you have of those games can you remember the parts that made you enjoy that game the most?

 

Thanks!

158 Replies
Search this post
Subscription Options


Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 1:06:20 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Ill give your questions my best shot.

 

1) I like a multiple choice set up and I like snappy or unexpected answers. Trying to bully the AI and get a snappy answer will leave me rolling on the floor with laughter. An unexpected answer to a question I thought I knew the answer to is perhaps the funnest part of Diplomacy. Civ V, had this, Gal Civ II had this. Also it would help to have omniscience on where I stand with the AI. Civ 5 kept that info from me. It made it seem like the AI was always willing to stab me in the back when in fact all it wants to do is also win. I like games where if I am at war the diplomacy allows me to acquire and ally or help via diplomacy, either begging for help or trading for assistance. 'Buying' help from the AI is what this is but I always wanted a game where it felt like I really had to ask/beg or plead for help. If the AI agreed to help but made me feel like it was put off would go a long way towards realism....

Voiced answers are not as important to me as a well written answer. Again I can go back to GC II and fondly remember some of the interchanges from the AI when I had fleets on its door step..."Stop,  just please stop you are embarrassing both of us", My goodness I nearly shot coffee out of my nose when I first saw this.... I want more!

 

2) My favorite games can sometimes last weeks or even a real life month or more. 100's of turns. At times I may be at war and save the game and come back and play hours with the ebb and flow of battle. Those were GREAT games! Playing one AI against another and selling arms to both is always a fun game.

 

3) Good strategy games, Civ IV, Civ V, Gal Civ II and Distant Worlds. All have good elements of game play. I did not care for the fixed star paths of Endless Space, it was a real shock to me after years of GC II. Anytime I can predict what the AI will do or react in diplomacy is also not so fun. Civ V was like this until many patches later. Another great game I have always loved was HEROES III and also HEROES IV. Both games had a good game play and the fun of discovering things and gear while a good combat system just added to it. The versions after gave up great play for snappy graphix and because of that, I did really care for HEROES V.

Non Civ type games I really really enjoyed goes back to HOURS and HOURS of game play on Baldur's Gate and Neverwinter Nights. Both had that feel of exploration and not knowing your path on both how to build your character and where to go in the game. I loved both.

 

Sorry Frogboy, I probably did not give answers to help but I did my best.

 

I look forward to diplomacy in October!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 1:38:54 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1.  I like being able to purchase anything that isn't a key strategic resource to the AI for the right price.  It's important that the AI be able to value things well (the GC2 AI undervalued low-population planets, overvalued high-population ones, and greatly overvalued influence points on large maps).  I also like having an AI that is consistent in its dealings - if it has an honorable personality, you can count on your favors leading to a lasting relationship - this is essential to get people to invest in long-term diplomacy, since unreliable AIs just aren't worth the effort.

Another thing the diplomacy system could really use is some way to coordinate efforts in a joint war - for instance, you could put a marker on a fleet requesting allied assistance, and if your allies like you enough, they could send nearby ships to move with it (the AIs could also request that you do the same, and give a relations boost for helping).

Another minor feature I'd like to see it for the AI to track "military effectiveness rating".  Basically, this number would be the ratio of the production cost of the ships you've destroyed over the cost of those you've lost.  It could act to scale your effective military power in terms of how the other AIs look at you, and could also affect the willingness of your allies to send ships whenever you request support.  This would help address the occasional immersion breaking effect of how you can be tearing apart your enemies' forces with your high-tech doom fleet, but they still think their military is "superior" on account of numbers.

2.  I haven't played a GC3 game through to completion, but my GC2 games could definitely last 3+ ingame years.

3.  For me, the most important part of a good 4X was articulated by Sid Meier in his definition of a game as a "series of interesting choices".  Whenever you look at how a feature interacts with the rest of the game, you should always be asking "what options does this feature present the player with?" and "do these options lead to interestingly different results".  An example of weak performance in this category would be an option between +5% damage and +5% defense - this choice would have a negligible effect on the game except in a few extremely specific scenarios, so it is not a interesting choice.  Another example of a non-interesting choice would be to be deciding on the next building for an industrial planet, and to be choosing between an 25% boost to industry, or a 25% boost to things like wealth, research, or other options that are obviously inferior because the planet does not specialize in them.  The correct choice is obvious, so the act of "choosing" amounts to just busywork. 

AI governors are an answer to some of the micromanagement problems that can amount to boring choices in the 4X genre, but I've always avoided them because they frequently make unwanted decisions.  But there is a solution to that - letting players make custom AI governors would provide the benefits of both worlds, while giving players a set of genuinely interesting choices when they set and alter the priorities of their various AI governors.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 2:44:06 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

As for Diplomacy- I like my AI to have a personality, but I also like surprises and sneakiness.

 

As for turns- the most important thing isn't the number of turns, but that the mop-up phase is short.

 

As what for makes a game good-

a) I like my games to have a sense of exploration and randomness- but I expect less of that in a GalCiv game.  LH does the explore part very well, as did FFH.

I like my opposition in these games to not be predictable, and to be competent.  

c) I like the games to run fast, but I tend to play smaller maps and don't like controlling tons of units.

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 5:01:15 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

2. My most favorite Games (Round-based) are all Games of Sid-Meier's Civilization-Series. Civ CTP, Alpha Centauri, GalCiv II, Endless Space, Conquest of the new world. (Real-Time) Z, KKND, Empire Earth I, Warcraft-Series, Starcraft-Series. I also like very much all Tomb-Raider Adventure-Games.

1. Tohron really described it well, I share also his points. What I really didn't like is, when you try to help small Civilizations to regain their cities (when they are attacked by big and military-strong civilizations), sometimes it happens, that those Civilizations even go to war against you, even though you should be able to trade valuable resources with them with good conditions.

When you gain a technology of a other civilization, that is specific to those, you still shouldn't be able to build buildings that they can build.

3. A strategy game is good, when it doesn't have to much features (I don't mean the complexity but sometimes it is to overloaded, for example Civ 5 became to overloaded to me, because you have multiple World Wonders (to much for my taste), and all those other things like Religion, Spy etc.). Thats why I liked GalCiv II very much, because you could "only" bulid a small amount of different Buildings (Factories, Science Labs, etc) and each can be upgraded after researching new technologies. What I didn't like, is, that sometime it didn't pay off to research better technologies, because the upgrades become to cost-effective (to high production costs for better factories).

The productions should even be lower in my opinion, because with higher Tech you should be able to build buildings more efficiently.

I just wanted to say also, that I didn't buy the beta of GalCiv III, so I don't really know, what the differences really are to GalCiv II, but I saw some videos on youtube and it looks good!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 5:27:18 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1) My favourite part of diplomacy is the option to build a solid alliance that lasts throughout the game.  Though if it's too easy (like in Stardrive) it doesn't feel rewarding and can even take the challenge out of the game.

I hated the diplomacy Civ 5 originally had where the AI seemed to have no memory of past events.

 

2) When I play Civ I prefer marathon or epic on huge maps, so ~1000 turns.  I'm definitely going to try to try the biggest game gal civ will let me set up, but I don't know if I'll ever finish it.

 

3) A good strategy game is one I have to "solve" every time I play.  If I can figure out one strategy that wins every time I pretty quickly lose interest.

My worst strategy game memory is being knocked out of a really good (and long running) gal civ game by a random event giving my main production centers to a new faction that was at war with me.  It wasn't something that could be defended against and the random nature of it meant it couldn't even be planed for.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 5:36:41 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

1. What specific features of diplomacy do you traditionally like the most? I want you to be as specific as you can be. Which parts of diplomacy from any game do you like the most? What parts do you remember long after playing the most?

None of it. It's just a annoyance.  They are either friendly or they are not.

2. Looking back, how many turns do your favorite games last? This is important to know the specific number of turns the game in Question lasted. 

As far as I can before the game starts to have problems (well into the hundreds)

3. Consider all The 4X strategy games that you have ever played. How do you define what is a good strategy game or a bad one? To you what makes one strategy game good fand another one bad? Consider different memories you have of those games can you remember the parts that made you enjoy that game the most?

GOOD - Interesting and well thought out tactical as well as strategic game play in equal forms (not mainly one or the other), with a progression that's give you some sense of power.  A personal touch to your main character and heroes, so That you give more than a toss about them.

BAD - Mostly,4x games have become somewhat sterile, they have lost their personality and soul, and become just numbers.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 6:02:59 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1. From distant worlds when you create a free trade agreement, trade between your two empires is boosted by 20%, then when you create a mutual defense pact trade is boosted up to 40%. Allowing mining and refueling rights in one another's territory , im not sure if you would bother to apply this to galciv3.

From Civilization 5 you can make declarations of friendship with another civilization so hostilities towards you will have a negative impact in relation between the hostile nation and your friend. You can also make joint research treaties.

From Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion you can make pacts to joint technologies that increase your ships shields, armor and weapons. You can also agree to share world and ship vision, basically to see what they see.

The more diplomacy options the better in my opinion!

2. My Games usually last hundreds of turns over days.

3.Predictability is terrible, example I meet Drengin who are evil so they will declare war on me, I build starbases at the border and then tailor my weapons and defenses against theirs. They dont adapt their weapons or defenses to me, they declare war when I have a HUGE advantage technologically and sometimes in numbers and they prove to be easily defeated. Next game, same thing. 

A good strategy game has great replay-ability and game play with an intelligent and difficult opponent. Great 4x games, has to have this and a lot more!

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 6:13:05 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Having thought a bit more about my answer to #1

 

A really good mechanic of the Civ 5 diplomacy once they fixed it was how the combined action of friendship declarations (which made the friends of each civ involved like each other) and denouncements (which made the friends of the civ doing the denouncing dislike the civ being denounced) tended to split the world into blocs.  It made for large scale wars and alliances and felt pretty organic.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 7:30:10 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1)    diplomacy- ability to trade/gift/steal/treaties etc. technology/money/research/land/planets/cities etc.

       the a.I. to act in a consistant manner i.e. one turn your allies the next turn they declare war then peace again , these should be built

       up to over a period of time not seemly a reaction to one thing you do or don't do

 

2)    quite happy to go for 100's to 1000's of turns

 

3)    good  games have consistant a.I. ( not predictable a.I. ) i.e. evil acts evil, neutral acts neutral etc.

       that's not to say they shouldn't neccesarily be unable to change in the game but if so it should take a

       long time to gradually change

       games that concentrate more on a living system rather than bigger or more is always better , hidden objects or areas,technologies

       etc,

       random events , surprises etc. but within reason as to how much they affect the overhaul game play i.e.

       empire destroying type events should only occur once maybe twice in a game, not every 20 or 30 turns as some games seem

       to do to try to " spice things up"

       allowing players to change settings to suit their playing style

 

                             

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 7:41:07 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

I'll give this a go.

1) I like the diplomacy in GC2 trading techs,swapping economic and research treaties and alliances and I lked it in Sword of the Stars 2. The worst game for diplomacy was The Lost Empire - Eww! (too restrictive)

2) The longest game I've finished in GC2 was 32yrs 6mths so 1500 turns+ But I had saved games that were just as long till my wifes comp died and wiped 4 years (real time) games play out.

3) Hmmm! I like Sins of a solar empire,Homeworld 2,SW:EaW and FoC,GC1+2Ultimate Ed (mainly play ToA), Stronghold Deluxe+Crusader and Stonghold 2 (but I prefer Crusader),Tropico Gold,Sim city 4,Civ 4,Beachlife. Anyway I find the following aspects of a game if done right make it highly playable:

Camera views/free cam/zooms like sins camera and GC's combat viewer.

User Interface/ease of use if the basics are easy do you can build up to the more complex tasks (which is why I still play GC2 and will till I can get hold of GC 3)

If a game says "Design your own ships" on the cover then when I actually get to play it its pre-designed hulls that I can only put equipment on I get pee'd off (Gal Civ 2 has spoiled me as I love building ships from scratch)

Good tutorials eg Stronghold series and GC2

The music - Often overlooked but Background,Event,Combat - Get this wrong and it can grate on your nerves Best=GC:DL vocal theme song,  Worst=The Lost Empire electronic synth crap I had to turn the sound completely off.

Combat must be enjoyable I like both tactical combat (Sins,SW:EAW) and GC's combat Viewer.What I would say that GC falls down on is the land/planetary invasion screen if we could have a combat viewer version for planetary battles that'll be great!

I like the freighters/mini-freighters in GC2 for trade routes rather just straight trade lines between planets (didnt like this in Sots) also the fact that I can arm them if necessary?

Free travelling ships rather than travel lanes (eg can go everywhere on map) I didnt like this in Sins and SW:EAW and Sword of the Stars but I can live with it.

plenty of different factions to play or create your own custom races/faction? is a must to stop boredom of playing the same race/faction over and over again-variety is the spice of life and games.

 

Sorry for the WoT, Have a on me!

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 9:05:54 AM from Elemental Forums Elemental Forums

My answers will differ from others because I have only really played

  • Age of Wonders
  • AoW II
  • AoW II: Shadow Magic
  • Heroes II
  • Heroes III
  • Heroes V

Quoting ,

Greetings!

Today I would like to ask you guys some questions about strategy games.

1. What specific features of diplomacy do you traditionally like the most? I want you to be as specific as you can be. Which parts of diplomacy from any game do you like the most? What parts do you remember long after playing the most?

Master of Magic when they would not talk to you every single day and diplomacy with heavy restrictions so you can't strip the AI of everything he has.

I actually don't like diplomacy. I see it as an abusive, gamebreaking thing.

The parts I remember best is GalCiv II and Master of Magic things but I only played the campaign in GalCiv II so might not be valid. Also remember Age of Wonders diplomacy but I never used it in custom games since it was extremely exploitable. Broken really.

Quoting ,

2. Looking back, how many turns do your favorite games last? This is important to know the specific number of turns the game in Question lasted. 

As few as possible. I try to win as soon as I can. Games that drag on with gigantic armies are boring and possibly imbalanced (HoMM).

Quoting ,

3. Consider all The 4X strategy games that you have ever played. How do you define what is a good strategy game or a bad one? To you what makes one strategy game good and another one bad? Consider different memories you have of those games can you remember the parts that made you enjoy that game the most?

Good strategy games are ones with solid mechanics, design and an important earlygame!    Taking HoMM as the best example (does it count as 4x?), in the beginning you MUST capture your wood and ore mines quickly or you will fall extremely far behind. You should attack neutrals that you can beat with no losses and you must prepare (upgrade this or that creature, get lvl 2 spells) to assault a special mine that you really need and also calculate if you can accept the losses it will bring.

 

Age of Wonders II: Shadow Magic doesn't really have an earlygame since you tech so quickly.

 

Bad 4x games are ones where nothing ever HAPPENS and have no control over combat. GalCiv II is one of those cause I dislike the design of no tactical combat, building forever and it feels dull.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 9:50:33 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1. What specific features of diplomacy do you traditionally like the most?

Even though it's a given, having some way to quickly balance the two sides of the deal.  So for example, in GC2, the bc needed to make things equal would be picked out.  In Civ, asking 'What will it take to make this deal work?'

I like long-term co-operation with other civs, as opposed to just taking everything by force.  And if the terms of co-operation change through the ages, that's something I can live with.

I think that more than anything, I remember those times when Civs stayed in character and didn't try to stab me in the back.

2. Looking back, how many turns do your favorite games last?

Hundreds.  Close to a thousand for GC2, and in Civ 4 for example I would typically play Marathon from the Ancient age.  With slower tech progression.  And timed victory turned off.

3. Consider all The 4X strategy games that you have ever played. How do you define what is a good strategy game or a bad one?

I guess I would say that the thing which makes a 4X bad is not having the right level of challenge.  The AI opponents or the environment should not be easily beaten or tamed.  I remember thinking that in Alpha Centauri or Civ II, for example, you had a lot of tools to radically alter the environment, which basically meant that at one point or another you would win simply because you were godlike even though you hadn't actually passed any of the victory conditions yet.

Having a challenge doesn't necessarily make a 4X good though, it just means that the player will keep coming back for more.

What makes a 4X good? Um, well I think with a lot of games allowing you to customise (for example GalCiv or Civ, being able to customise your Civ)  I think it's about the player feeling like the timeline of their struggle tells a story of victory (or defeat) and that their choices and actions helped to shape that story.

It's that lucky and memorable discovery of a high-PQ planet or Precursor Library in GalCiv which helped things along.  It's that goodie hut which yielded a much-needed technology or Settler.  It's deciding not to trust a particular AI player and being justified when they try to take over the world - and you're ready for them even if the other players aren't.

You are a storyteller, and a general, and a diplomat, and sometimes a brutal despot who had slaves whipped mercilessly to get results.  You've been there at every step along the way, from that lowly first Archer unit right up until the thermonuclear holocaust which destroyed most of the world.  Oops.  There's continuity, you know, your aptly-named capital city standing the test of time.  Unless someone razes it to the ground, of course, in which case it continues to be ashes until you get a settler in there to rebuild it.

What is good about a 4X is expanding your mind to consider new possibilities, new strategies and different ways of playing.  So for example, in Civ 5 I liked that each civ has different advantages and ways of playing.  In GalCiv 2, the default races gained unique improvements techs, and abilities.

It's not about cranking out generic victory X in the least turns possible, or achieving a million point score.  Well, it may be to some, but not to me.

It's about exploiting your knowledge of relations between the other civs to make yourself appear to be the trustworthy trading partner.

It's about sneaking your spies in to sabotage production (without going complete overkill like in Civ 4 and having so many spies that your opponents can't produce anything).  Or there's intrigue, which was introduced in Civ 5: Brave New World, and allows you to warn players of impending sneak attacks.

I think in a nutshell, 4X games are good because there isn't one cookie-cutter way to win, things happen and you may have to adjust your plans on the fly.

 

Hope this helps!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 10:04:34 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

1. Consistent AI and lots of options ranging from trade to research to alliance and coporation. Oh and funny and unique dialog is great as well.

2. Hard to really calculate. I have ADHD so sometimes my games can last thousands of turns and sometimes it barely reachs 100. Depending on how I am doing.

3. Solid Mechanics and Design can make or break a game IMHO. I've played 4x across the board (Sins(RT4x), SOTS (different racial movment patterns), GalCiv(campaign, combat viewer), MOO(tactical combat)) so I have no preferable game design and/or mechanic just as long as its solid and works.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 10:38:03 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1. Trade agreements (allow trade routes), trade/gift/request specific resources (any resource), military access/open borders, defensive pact, non-aggression, research agreement, form/dissolve alliance, negotiate peace (via any resource available), declare war, request faction go to war/peace with, insult/compliment.  I would love to see the ability to goad two factions into declaring war on each other.

2.  Hard to say.  I've enjoyed short games that take a day, and long games that take 3 months.  Both of these are usually set by the map size and/or speed of the game.  I've never really paid attention to the number of turns, especially since you can really slow some games down (like Civ), just the overall amount of time.

3. Having an interesting, and active, early game in which to lay your foundation is important, as is the ability to shift that focus fairly early on if/when your situation changes.  Having the ability to adapt as different events unfold.  Having a variety of victory conditions is also very welcome, as it encourages different play styles.  My most memorable victories have usually been those that were non-militaristic, one of which I built zero military units.

Two things that always annoys me is when the AI is not consistent, and when they bombard you every other turn (eg: Civ Open Borders).  There should be specific positive and negative reactions to everything you do, and those should add up to determine how the faction reacts to you. Most games already do this. but one of the very few things I liked about Rome 2: Total War (even after a year of patching) was that you could see the breakdown of everything the factions liked/disliked about you, and you could watch as those actions degraded over time.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 10:43:05 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Ok here it goes.

 

1. I like the multiple choice system of previous GalCiv games. I also love it when the AI is witty and clever, like you try to intimidate them and it laughs at you or hits you with a one liner. Same goes for when you park ships near the AIs border and they send you a communication saying they know what you are up to.  I also like AIs where it is actively trying to win and sticks to the preferred method for that race. (Drengin war you, Drath use spying and espionage ect)

Also its nice if there are a lot of options with forming alliances, with vassal nations. It would be great for example if one of the independent races that is near your territory joins you because they fear another race that also borders them or hates them or keeps threatening them. 

 

2. My favourite games can go for many days or weeks with hundreds of turns passing. There is nothing better than playing a long game and suddenly there is an uxexpected twist from the AI that keeps me playing for another three hours when I should be sleeping. 

 

3. To me what makes or breaks a game is often how its presented. Some 4X games like EU VI just pile all  of the game systems (which there are a lot of)  on you without making it fun to learn. Games like Galciv and the Civ series make it fun to learn and keep learning without overwhelming you. Another thing that does bug me though for a lot of strategy games is the amount of straight up cheating the AI does. Make it fun and challenging yes but ifs its way too obvious that the AI is cheating (like Civ V making AI units magically spawn every turn at an enemy city) then its a big turn off. Also spy/espionage spam, don't make the AI do it, it doesn't make it interesting just annoying. 

 

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 10:44:19 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1.  I like the AI (or other players) to be able to negotiate for almost anything, I would love it to notice if a player is just attempting to rip them off constantly, or if one is showing mutual benefits.  I would like to have an AI that could help you out in a war and actually notice there assistance (Such as x player is wiping me out please come to my aid, then you see y player hitting x player hard).  Having an AI notice if you do the last point for them, if you come to their aid have them reward you if they can or if they are calling it quits have them join you.

2.  I love long drawn out games, games that last for weeks or months without getting old.  Something that can adapt and be as interesting to play at turn 10 as it is at turn 1000.  Galactic Civilizations II is this game for the most part, there is some repetitive things that get old at the late turns of the game, however, this is very close to it.   With that being said I also enjoy short basic 4x games that are evenly matched such as moon base commander, not very complex but can fill a half hour of time.  Both examples can be good when need time to fill, I love the long games when I time to sit down and play for hours and then come back to it and continue.  I love the short basic game that can be non-repetitive only last for 30 minutes or so but doesn't get old after you play 50 games, maybe unlocks certain features after x games won or so on.

3.  I kind of pulled #2 into this but, to me the best games out there are games that keep bringing new things into the game, giving you goals to reach for even after a game has lasted for 2000 turns.  The largest killer for any game is a game that you get into and after an hour or two you have reached end game as far as new adventures or new items and the rest of the game, however long it lasts, is just the same thing over and over again.  This is why I love long tech trees in Galactic Civilizations II (wish it was longer or slower to research) or other rewards or special events that exist in other games (none specific).  The largest flaw in games these days is that after a few hours in the game there is nothing new or game play is too small (EA's flop SimCity [2013]).  In my opinion Stardock is thinking large, what can we do and listening to it's players, look at the anticipated mega maps for Galactic Civilizations III and 100 players.  I know a lot of players are very intrigued by this and hope all the bugs get worked out for this to become a reality (which I think you will find a way)  Personally I say why stop there, lets go larger and more players but, I have to be realistic. 

Game types I'd buy jumps outside of the scope of the question and generally adds just games that I'd be interested in...

3a.  4x games that meet the specifications above...

3b.  A tycoon type game similar to Railroad tycoon 2, or Locomotion.  Personally some games in this day have gone away from the basics, keep it simple yet keep the depth, too often (Railroad tycoon 3 or Railroads) try to improve these good games and loose the depth.  Example for those that have played either of these games I would love a tile type game that is huge compared to these games that expand on the depth and game play.  Looking at Railroad Tycoon 2 adding more to the AI, bridges, more depth to the building or city growth or even founding on the map.  Looking at Locomotion and giving you slower city growth and expansion, making it easier to drive the other players bankrupt (as in this game it's nearly impossible)

3c.  A building(tower)/city/planet simulation game (SimTower, SimCity, SimEarth)  EA/Maxis hasn't ever gone back to the basic games that drew the players interest to them with the exception of SimCity.  These three games were great customer builders for Maxis before the merger and EA has lost their focus and depth.  I feel that if a game company out there would revisit these great games they would sell especially if they drew synergy on the other games.  here are some thoughts...  A SimTower type game in a 3D type structure, allow you to build up a tower, very similar to SimTower but allow for one to customize almost anything in the game, such as your condos, offices, hotel rooms, diner's, or any other type of room you could put in the game.  A SimCity type game that takes the great aspects of SimCity4 and expand on it with other ideas such as SimCity2000 network edition, as well as some of the better aspects of the newest SimCity and allowing one to also place the Tower somewhere in your city.  Finally a SimEarth type game where you can build up your planet from a lifeless rock to a thriving planet, again expand on the basic game allow it to grow to a point where you can place your cities into the planet and this gives reward... 

3d.  A tycoon type game similar to Monopoly Tycoon, a more simple game that keeps interest, a game that one can buy properties and build up an empire, looking for more complexity with products and services offered.

All of this being said I'm sure one would have to be very careful not to infringe on copyrights but, these are the games I'm looking for.  I'm very interested in the Trading Company game in which Stardock is associated with in part, however, can't put the budget into it now, and it may need to wait for the release.  Can't wait to see what other adventures Stardock is going to announce in the future.  All the games mentioned above I do have a lot more detail on my thoughts on how these could be great I just painted a basic picture above.  All games I look for are tile based (hex or square) versus free form.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 11:15:28 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1. Nothing specific just as many options and dialog as posible. Make one thing they are talking to a person.

2. Multiplayer games lasted only a few hundred. Playing alone right now I am at 1000+ and dragging the game out as much as I can.

3. IMHO a good stratagy game would make you think. Work requires about 2% of brain power so do this to think and relax.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 11:45:38 AM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

I'm going to mostly answer the question about Diplomacy, because it is something that often gets neglected.

First up I like it when there are multiple states of peace and war.

A lot of games it is either complete peace/alliance or outright war.
I prefer a more scaled approach:

- War: little need for explanation. This is actively seeking your destruction

- 'cold' war: This state automatically starts if a 'neutral' factions territory is trespassed or if their units are attacked in non-owned areas. They won't actively war against you, but they will build up defenses in their owned territory. Some more aggressive factions may skip this and go straight to war.

- neutral: both parties are neither at war nor really at peace. They will avoid each others territory but will attack the others ships if encountered in their own, or disputed territory. AI doesn't go out of it's way to attack and tries to avoid contact where possible.

- Non-Aggression pact/ Peace treaty: a step up from neutral, this is the agreement that each party will stay away from the others territory and won't attack the other parties units/fleets/soldiers. If you enter their territory they will attack and counts as you breaking the deal.

- Defensive Alliance: Both parties will aid each other by going to war against anyone who declares war on either party. If you are the one to declare war, a defensive ally is not obliged to join you.

- Military Alliance: This is the usual alliance, You will join in any wars that the other party is involved in and vice versa.


Then of course you add other treaties like Trade agreements, Open borders, share Intel etc.

 

Another thing I thought was really cool in Space Empires 4, was you could use diplomacy to create 'Federations' which acted like an alliance bloc like NATO.
Member races could attempt to pass 'bills' with things like sharing tech, restricting the use of certain weapons (like biological etc) and so on. It was a pretty cool feature in my opinion.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 11:53:33 AM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1. Traditionally? I like the most human-like(human mean non-npc here) I can find, but traditionally I can't find a lot of that. I'm afraid I can't be specific, the diplomacy has to work within the game balance and add further paths of strategy, it's there to enhance the military and economy aspect, if you have no options left you can always go to diplomacy or spice diplomacy here and there. The lasting aspects of it are the game personalities, I can think of Gandhi for that, strong or humorous leaders.

 

2. About 600 turns, it sucks when you have to micro too many things, early game every move is critical and exciting, end game there is too many moves and they each have much less effect.

 

3. A good strategy game never breaks immersion, thus has no game breaking bug with corrupted saves, that's CRUCIAL when you play and suddenly lose all progress. The game also has good balance, if you become too strong, you lose interest, if the enemy is too dumb, you feel you can just exploit it and it will not push your strategy oriented neurons to the task. A strategy game that is good allow multiple ways of playing it, say on the go or planned. "On the go" way is how most newbies will play the game, which is fine, it consist of doing things as the game goes with no plan, it's more emotional, if an enemy attack you, you will have a grudge against it for the rest of the game for example or choosing things because they look cool. "Planned" way to play is when you carefully play every single move according to a greater plan, there is much less emotions involved as you may partner with hated enemies for the sake of the plan, this way of playing is very satisfying and allow higher level of play, when your plan comes to fruition, then the game becomes memorable. I think a good 4X strategy game allows for both those playstyles, bad ones only have the former, good ones have both an attractive surface and a deep inner working that leaves you wondering how you could miss such a subtle aspect.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 12:05:04 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1. I never liked diplomacy much and that because AI has never been smart enough so far. In CIV 5 like others mentioned AI was a crazy psycho it didn't matter if you were friendly or wary AI had been denouncing me all the time even if we had good relations and he was far away on the map. I'd like either a really smart AI who doesn't act agressively all the time or something very basic for tech trading or other and no spies!

2. 200-300 turns or more and that's because I always play the biggest map I can get even by using mods to get even bigger. Civ strategy games have 2 phases 1st expansion and 2nd domination (with war or any other way).
I want my game to last my empire to grow and I mean really grow controlling many star systems and be really advanced see them becoming something, something I created before I get into a war with some other race.

3. Simply and always MOO2 because it was a game that was taking you really in.. the music was amazing, the starbases, the terraformations, the battles.
I have played countless strategy games good ones and bad ones a good strategy game for me is a good combinations of mechanics and graphics.
When I play a strategy game I don't want to play fast and win, I wanna create something big it will take long time to finnish, ANNO 1503 is a good example it was a great game with nice graphics you had to build and expand your cities something that was taking really long epic long.. but it was rewarding it was live and working machine. Freelancer another game not a strategy one but one of my favs too and that because of the vast universe and freedom of choice to do anything you want and of course a really beautifull space world. Sometimes I wish there was a strategy game that could combine the mechanics of strategy with amazing 3D graphics like in Freelancer or any similar.

Great mechanics that change from detailed to simpler as my empire grows e.g. I control 1 or few planets and I have to control them manually, researching a tech later gives me the option to create a set of rules and things and just choosing what I want for each planet rather building all the same again and again. GC3 perhaps?
Great graphics a big, immersive, vast universe with countless star systems and variety of planets. Incidents big or small unknown possibilities, strange things that can alter the game or not but would definetely enrich the game unlike a set of "random" things.

A game that you create something and you enjoy seeing it becoming really something rather trying to win the game and finnish it.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 12:39:59 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

Quoting ,

Greetings!

Today I would like to ask you guys some questions about strategy games.

1. What specific features of diplomacy do you traditionally like the most? I want you to be as specific as you can be. Which parts of diplomacy from any game do you like the most? What parts do you remember long after playing the most?

If I am to go back and recall from my memory which parts of GalCiv2’s diplomacy stand out the most I would have to say it’s First Contact. To me First Contact was the most memorable and anticipated part of the game. To meet the Drengin, or any of the other races, for the first time (regardless of how many different games I play) was always a treat. I always looked forward to seeing them on the viewscreen and beginning the initial relationship. Once First Contact was established in GalCiv2 the interaction with the races then became numbers and menus with very little to motivate me to interact except in matters of wars, alliance and trade (which I know is the point but it would be nice to have a dialog overlay above the numbers and menus that would enhance immersion and make it more fun). Most of the deals I would try to offer would be shot down and after a while I would just close the viewscreen when they tried to contact me. Simply put - I want to talk to my galactic peers. Civ 5 did this a little better (in terms of the presentation/conversation) but there must be a way to do it even better where each new game/interaction is interesting and makes me feel like I am actually dealing with another alien race and not a single template - cookie cutter text assigned to all races.

I know it does not apply, and I know its not 4X strategy game, but the alien encounters in Star Control 2 have always been seared into my memory. Even when I go back and play Ur-Quan Masters,  the interactions with the races are delightful and fun with culture and back story enriching the experience. If this could somehow be married with the 4X strategy numbers and menus it would be a paradigm shift in diplomacy for 4x games. I know diplomacy at its core is Peace, War and Trade but it is also dealing with another culture and learning how to adapt to their way of thinking (or make them adapt to yours). It would be fun to see how all these alien races would act like in a myriad of different situations.

Also, I might add (and I don’t know why), but in GalCiv2 there was something a little magical about encountering the minor races. It was even more magical when these minor races started doing things that were unexpected and outside their normal behavior.


Quoting ,

2. Looking back, how many turns do your favorite games last? This is important to know the specific number of turns the game in Question lasted.

For me – the longer the better BUT once a game became boring and/or too overwhelming to me I would often stop (not a conscious: “I am going to stop this game now” but more of just not getting back to that particular game in a timely manner and then starting a new one the next time I decide to play.

I will note that Civ 5 had me playing for a long time (I cant remember turn numbers – the game isn’t installed on my pc right now) but I would play a game a few hours a day for 1 – 3 weeks with a few of those days being extended chunks of time 4-6 hours. What kept me going in Civ 5 was the ages and wonders. The fact that units and the map ‘evolved’ as you entered new ages/eras and the artwork changed based on which one you were in really gave a sense that the world was changing around you and you were participating in something grand – I will call this ‘era-morphing’. Even though I like GalCiv2 more than Civ5, the progression in GalCiv2 is more scattered and feels the somewhat the same from beginning to end. Well… save the colony rush, this part of the game is distinctly different and exciting to me. But GC2 (for obvious reasons) doesn’t have that carrot on a stick ‘era-morphing’ that Civ5 had. So, where as in Civ5 - I would often stick around and play those extra few moves to get to the next level/era… GalCiv2 was more ‘even’ and I wouldn’t necessarily play as long. That’s not a criticism in any way as I enjoy GalCiv2 more overall but that carrot on a stick dangling in front of me to encourage me progress forward helps Civ5 keep me playing it on the computer. I like some of that dramatic hoopla and it was exciting to enter the next era and see how things/units dramatically changed (and see how others notably stayed behind).

Quoting ,

3. Consider all The 4X strategy games that you have ever played. How do you define what is a good strategy game or a bad one? To you what makes one strategy game good fand another one bad? Consider different memories you have of those games can you remember the parts that made you enjoy that game the most?

BAD:

  • Busy graphics/UI
  • too many numbers littering the screen in an unorganized manner
  • uninteresting lore
  • oversimplification of map resources
  • no tooltips
  • boring advisors that repeat the same thing over and over
  • unfair AI
  • inconsistent AI
  • cookie cutter and/or lack of interesting civs/opponents
  • bad mouse/camera controls and or lack of hotkeys
  • out of sync music that disrupts immersion
  • overly repetitive music

GOOD:

  • Crisp, polished graphics and memorable cinematics
  • clean UI and colorful maps
  • freedom of camera movement
  • intuitive mouse control
  • engaging interaction with opponents
  • numerous types of different map resources to mine/find the more the better
  • special units and structures for specific civs is always awesome
  • making a BIG deal out of important events (dramatic cinematics for unique wonders as an example)
  • the more civs to choose from and play against the better
  • sense of advancement
  • news ticker/event indicators always on screen
  • clean charts and graphics showing the relationships between key numbers with tooltips revealing the raw data
  • intuitive UI with subtle indicators making complex systems obvious.
  • Unique sound effects for different units and structures when you click on them
  • Catchy music themes you like to hear (and don’t realize your hearing it most of the time)

Then there is the big one for me:

Immersion, immersion, immersion… I hear A LOT of people talking about immersion on these boards. It seems like we have two types of players here. The numbers folk and the immersion folk.

The numbers folk don’t really care (or care less) about immersion as long as the games calculations perform well and the strategy is sound. They want to know the math and use it with precision to dominate the game. Bells and whistles can be superfluous and detract from the strategy of the game. After all, it is a strategy game so why bog it down with things that are not necessary.

The immersion people want to play space emperor or be the Starship Enterprise - They depend on the numbers as they are essential to the game and they do use them when available but they don’t want to be tripped up in a lot of gobbledygook that overcomplicates their ability to manage their empire. The overall experience is key to these players. Bells and whistles (and fireworks) enhance the play time. I, as an immersion player, quite simply get swept up in the game – anything to hold me in and enhance the drama and realism keeps me playing longer – even if I am being crushed by my opponent.

Even though there will be a lot of advancement in the technical evolution of GalCiv3 (which is a great thing) - the way I look at it is:

If GalCiv2 was the perfect 4X strategy game (which will and is being replicated with GalCiv3), the next obvious move is to start delving into the ‘experience’ sphere of the franchise. Making diplomacy, wars, exploration and espionage an ‘experience’ that hooks you and takes you into turn 900 without batting an eye.

Anyway this may or may not have helped answer your question the way you were looking for but I really like what you guys are doing with GalCiv3 and I am playing a lot more than I expected I would be. I am proud to be a Founder and have been spreading the word on how good the game is coming along to my friends and friendly acquaintances (who play games) at my job.

Keep up the good work and I can’t wait to see what is coming next!

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 1:21:12 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1. I like diplomacy when it allows for effective short term negotiations, such as tech trading, as well as enduring and mutually beneficial relationships with other factions. However, this requires that there be more options for long term alliances than just a mutual defense pact and open borders: trade and research agreements, for example. It also requires that your allies not break any agreement within a few turns of making it, despite nothing being done to antagonize them. If these conditions are not met then long-term diplomacy simply isn't worth the time and effort.

2. I'm not sure how many turns my favorite games last, because I almost always quit before they are over. I love playing long-term games on massive maps, but I inevitably hit a point where managing my huge empire becomes too sluggish and inefficient to be fun. By this point I often have a massive advantage over the other factions anyway, so much so that I've essentially already won. Playing out the game and getting the formal victory screen just isn't worth the frustration and boredom. Dealing with this problem would require a method to efficiently manage my empire no matter how large it is (the new "Commands" system seems promising) and AI that can provide a viable threat throughout the entire game.

3. For me, whether or not a 4X game is good or bad is a matter of complexity, efficiency, and personality. Complexity is basically the amount of unique and interesting stuff in the game: factions, techs, armies, spaceships, planets, etc. Without this, the game feels simplistic and boring. Efficiency is how well the complexity is managed: how effectively you can manage your empire and respond to the events of the rest of the game universe. Without efficient UI, the game feels more bureaucratic than fun. Personality is how well the game conveys the atmosphere and style of the its universe, usually done through clever writing and unique design. Without personality, the game feels dry and unremarkable. Having complexity, efficiency, and personality makes for a great game; lacking one or more elements results in a weaker product. Stardock games usually excel in complexity and personality, but, like most 4X games, they struggle with efficiency.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 1:50:22 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

AIs should be consistent. If the description says they are a good races or a cautious/neutral races, they shouldn't be coming out attacking as soon as you meet them. As time progresses, if you have been friendly, have made trades and maybe trade routes, they should become even friendlier, not stabbing you in the back. Small, non-major races should be looking for friends/protectors and trade partners.

I enjoy humorous and sarcastic responses/comments from AIs when appropriate. A big disappointment has always been that when the human player has a chance to make such a comment, the offerings that show up on the screen are anything but.

I agree with the immersion comments. I have no desire to sit down an crunch a bunch of numbers to do anything. I am getting too old for that. I have immutable faith in those that love that sort of thing and know they will let us all know what is what. I play for the flavor and fun. I play for hours, hundreds of turns, over many days, until I get bored. With the beta, I admit I start a new game with each update to see how it has changed.

I don't like AIs that cheat, I do like different difficulties offered in the same game, as that can allow someone who has never played a GC to learn at his/her own pace without getting slaughtered right out the gate. I guess this last kind of wandered off topic a little.

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 1:51:21 PM from Sins of a Solar Empire Forums Sins of a Solar Empire Forums

1)  I really like the war score system of Europa Universalis 4....if you are unfamiliar with it, I highly suggest checking it out...basically, a variety of factors (holding the "war goal", winning/losing battles, blockading ports, occupying provinces, etc.) contribute to the warscore (which ranges from -100% to +100%), which in turn affects what you can bargain for at the peace table...

It makes wars a lot more meaningful in many ways...for starters, the reason you went to war determines the war goal, which allows for the possibility that all wars are not the same (a trade war just won't play out the same way as a conquest war)...along this line, what each item costs at the peace table depends on the cause for war -- if you went to war over trade, it's going to be harder to ask for territory vs. asking for trade power...the system also makes it harder to pick on smaller nations who have big allies, since you have to work your peace through the big ally (and that will require you make headway against them, not just the minor you attacked)...without playing the game, it's hard to appreciate all the qualities of this system but overall I have found it highly enjoyable...

The only thing missing is the ability for both sides to give concessions simultaneously, which I find highly important...

2) The strategy games I have loved the most (Civilization, Total War, Alpha Centauri) tend to have around 200-400 turns...however, a turn in Civ V is a lot shorter than a turn in a Total War game (which may have real time battles during it)....I usually finish my Civ V games (which usually require that you go all the way into the modern era), but not always my Total War games....

3)  Some things that make strategy games good:

  • Depth -- Alpha Centauri was the real master here, the quotes and philosophy and ideology in the game gave a sense of depth that was phenomenal -- you felt attached to the faction leaders, and every single item in the game felt in some way part of a specific ideological order
  • Strong late-game -- Many games become boring once you know that you are going to win...Civ V I think did a really good job at making the mid and late games more interesting through its expansion packs...specifically, 3 of the 4 victory options in Civ V became viable around the same time, and it was really hard to be in a position to win through all of the different ways...if you were going for a space race victory, you weren't really competing against other nations in terms of tech -- you were having to make sure you tech faster than the culture civ was getting influence so that you went to Alpha Centauri before their culture dominated everyone else...it kept you on your toes through out the whole game and made it fun until the very end...
  • Balance & Diversity -- It's really important to me that all factions are equally viable...sure, some may be better at some things or slightly stronger/weaker on certain maps, but on average they should all be equally capable of winning...on the same note, each faction should play different, should feel different, and should not in any way resemble a carbon copy of another faction but with different graphics...this is the primary difference between GC2 before and GC2 after Twilight of the Arnor...before, all the factions basically played the same, but once ToA came out, most of them felt radically different and that was an important element...
Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
September 14, 2014 2:11:58 PM from Galactic Civilizations III Forums Galactic Civilizations III Forums

1). The more ways of diplomacy in the game the better.

2). Number of turns? As long as a game stays interesting the longer I can play a game. 1000 turns? 10,000 turns? 100,000 turns? Sure, as long as it doesn't reach a point of obvious conclusion until near the last few turns, and the difficulty of play is relatively constant throughout the game.

3). Bad? fixed story lines, like Star Craft, Ages of Empires, etc. Simple games like one person shooters,

     Good? Turn based games (for me, since I'm not fast enough to keep up with RTS games). Strategy games, like Civ, Alpha Centauri, GalCiv, Moo II (not I or III).

     Bad features? Games that finish quickly. I loved Sid Meier's Civ II, but Civ III originally allowed only small civs on small maps, After getting beaten up he added larger maps but failed to scale the gameplay to the map size being played, This made large maps almost impossible to play, Civ 4 made some improvements in scaling game play to maps, and Civ 5 made some more improvements. -- Games that start hard and become gradually easier as you play. -- Games that blindside you with completion, even when you win (this is the biggest reason that I turn off some of the optional victory conditions in games).

Reason for Karma (Optional)
Successfully updated karma reason!
Stardock Forums v1.0.0.0    #108433  walnut3   Server Load Time: 00:00:00.0000453   Page Render Time:
Facebook Twitter YouTube Google+