In the comments section of my last post, José asked a question about why we didn’t incorporated either the commodity-based economy from Colonization or the Unit Workshop from Alpha Centauri into the core Civ franchise. It’s a very valid question as a number of ideas from these spin-offs have made their way back into the original series; for example, the civics system in Civ 4 is quite obviously an adaption of Social Engineering from SMAC. In the case of Colonization, its commodity system is simply too complex to match the simplicity of the other sub-systems in Civ. A detailed commodity system fits Colonization because that game streamlined many other aspects of the standard Civ model, such as technology or even military. As for the Unit Workshop – well, that is a very interesting question indeed. To many fans, this system was one of the highlights of SMAC, a unique feature that put Alpha Centauri in a class by itself for turn-based strategy games. However, it may surprise people to know that – by and large – the Unit Workshop was not seen as a success inside of Firaxis. I’m curious if anyone can guess what was the fatal flaw of this feature?