Dear Paul Barnett

I am curious which parts of Civ4 you would describe as “cuckoo-land“? In fact, our overriding goal was not to go down the standard sequel path and overwhelm the player with too many choices. Civ4 actually has fewer technologies in the base game than Civ2 does. We even had a rule-of-thumb – if you put something new in, take something old out. On the other hand, if you haven’t played Civ4, you should give it a go. You might be surprised.

9 thoughts on “Dear Paul Barnett

  1. The one thing has always annoyed me about the civ series is the end of game micromanagement apparently civrev gets rid of most of that.
    OTOH Civ I was just as bad in that respect.. then again I haven’t played civ I for a very long time.

  2. Soren, I wouldn’t worry too much what this chap has to say – reading the other things he says in the same interview, it seems pretty obvious he’s a real-world troll. That one about deliberately hiring super-enthusiastic people of mediocre talent gives it away, for me.

  3. Bah! Civ 4 was just two Civ 2s stuck together with duct tape!

    (If you don’t get the sarcasm, Google “Chris Hecker duct tape”.)

  4. My guess would be Paul hasn’t played Civ 4, since as you said, it was a streamlined/refined version of previous Civs.

    Next time I see him I’ll make sure he doesn’t go anywhere until he plays Fall From Heaven for an hour. (No, really, I will do this. I have it on my laptop and everything.)

  5. If Civ4 is “cuckoo-land” then it is because we Civ-Cukoos asked for it. Streamlined “root” titles like Civ1 and CivRev are great for attracting new players and for having some fast rollercoaster fun. But beyond that the millions of Civ-Cukoos love digging deeper and being captured by a demanding game – that stays on the harddisk for years.

    Currently I am worried what Civ5 might become without Soren. In the best case Firaxis could combine the richness of Civ4 with the personal presentation of CivRev, perhaps even adding some more role-playing elements for emphasizing personality. But it needs a master designer and a lot of passion, time and money to combine such a level of depth, accessibility and fun as Civ4 provided.

  6. I sort of fear that Beyond the Sword is Civ Future: poorly implemented espionage, more overly aggressive Civs, pointless extra end game unit, etc. It’s a good expansion, but there are a lot of bloat symptoms creeping in, too. I can’t envision it going down the console route; those platforms have yet to demonstrate that they can support a strategy audience. It could, however, go down the more is better route that Civ II did. Only more is bigger than it used to be.

    I would argue that Civ 1 is, in fact, a poor choice for newcomers because it is so much a creature of its time – dependent on reading the manual, the AI plays by entirely different rules, a diplomatic model light years behind almost anything on the market today, including Civ Rev (which has a pretty light diplomatic game.)

    I wrote in the comments on my own site that one of the problems here is that Barnett is conflating a lot of terms that don’t necessarily belong together.

  7. Well, he hasn’t played World of Warcraft, even though he is working on a game that is supposed to be its main competitor. He probably doesn’t play any games at all, as they will surely cloud his creative vision or whatnot.

  8. Pingback: Forgotten Lore » Blog Archive » An Idea too good to pass up

  9. Civ4 is almost everything we civ fans wanted it to be and more! I remember asking for something similar to what became the promotion system and we got it! (Not taking any credit :P)

    And the modability is just awesome, I don’t know any other game with the modability of civ4. Those that don’t like the vanilla gameplay *that* much play mods.

    Me, I like both. I love the vanilla gameplay (Beyond the Sword) for it’s streamlined simplicity and it’s almost perfect game design (though you could argue that Civ4 is more perfect than BtS, but BtS is more fun to me). And I love mods like Fall from Heaven 2, and I enjoy modding. Both modding using FfH as base and mods to BtS.

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