Thursday, August 03, 2006


As I'm fleshing out PocketCiv, I've started a mental debate about adding something along the lines of what could be called Dictator Points. In typical Civs, you are more or less trying to create this wonderful, benevolent society as more of a peaceful overlord. But never a despotic tyrant who's skimming of the top of the till, building lavish palaces for himself, constructing grand 24k gold statues of himself (or herself) that are 500 feet tall, etc. Selfish things.

Aside from always wanting to do this, it creates an interesting alternative path for players, and makes for things like Civil Unrest more tangible, instead of simply drawing an event called Civil Unrest for no reason at all. Now, Civil Unrest would let you check to see how many Dictator Points you've piled up, and with too many, you've got a full blown situation in your hands, assuming you don't have the Military to control it.

Of course, the other aspect of this is that you are really sort of driving a Civilization over the course of many, many eons; one little Dictator along the way probably doesn't harm it in the long run. I think.

But I really want to build those Toweriing Gilded Statues of Myself Wonders!!!!

In other news, I've found it very interesting in trying to keep my Advances "ology" specific. For example, I wanted an Advance to enable you to start creating trading partners with visiting Empires, otherwise they will be pillagers. The first approach to this was simply calling the "Trading Houses." But this is something that is built, not an ideology that is developed over time in order to understand and control your environment better. In the course of the game, since you are effectively turning "bad guys" (pillagers and barbarian hordes) to your favor, Diplomacy became good "ology" to use in this situation, and becomes a learned skill, not a place that can be burned down. Civ Advances should be skillsets, not simply places.

"Food Warehouse" became "Meteorology" along these, even though the analogy isn't quite as good. I could still argue that understanding weather patterns better allows you to know when to store food for the winter, when to harvest, etc. Likewise, "Supply Warehouse" became the sort-of-generic "Management" skill.

Naturally, most of the Advances have been borrowed from the classic,Advanced Civilization. But I'm also doing some slight borrowing from Culture and Conquest, which itself borrows heavily from Adv. Civ.


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