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Take-Two to Publish Next Civilization Game 363

An anonymous reader writes "Take Two Interactive announced today that they have acquired the rights to the Civilization franchise. They also announced Civ 4, saying that "Civilization IV will also set a new standard for user-modification, allowing gamers to create their own add-ons using the standard Python and XML scripting languages." Okay, so XML's not a scripting language. But it's nice to see open source tech in a major PC game!" Civ IV will be released under the new 2K Publishing Label we reported on yesterday.
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Take-Two to Publish Next Civilization Game

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  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:04PM (#11484060)
    Being able to program the game is geeky and all, but I buy games primarily for the gameplay, so I hope they intend to improve on the game in more ways than just adding a scripting language.
    • Perhaps they opened it up in hopes that we will improve it for them?
    • by Nevita ( 841283 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:09PM (#11484121)
      Sid Meyer is known to be taking more of a lead role in the design and development of this version, as opposed to the previous Civ game. Given that, I would bet that gameplay will be greatly improved over Civ 3.
      • Bah... unless they get a level of unit detail like in Wesnoth [wesnoth.org], I don't think it could peak my interest. :)

        Hmm... it looks like there's now an X-com style game for Linux ( [happypenguin.org]), and it's gotten some really impressive ratings. I never even knew - I was wishing someone would make a game like that just the other day ;)
    • by Bander ( 2001 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:10PM (#11484122) Homepage
      There's a long list of other improvements, but it's the Python scripting that I'm most interested in. Not because I'm planning on making a Lord Of The Rings mod or anything like that, but because other people with more time on their hands will be able to do so. Depending on how deep the scripting engine is, we could wind up with a nigh-infinitely extendable turn-based game, which would be a Very Good Thing.

      Plus, the more exposure Python gets, the more likely it is that I'll be able to make money hacking in Python, which would be an Even Better Thing.

      -- Bander
    • by delta_avi_delta ( 813412 ) <<moc.liamg> <ta> <yhprum.evad>> on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:18PM (#11484212)
      Actually, the industry is very interested in "utilising" the recent professional-level modding community. I wouldn't be surprised if they release the game in a rough-and-ready format, and let the community polish it up, or take it in directions the team could never have envisaged. Civ has a large following, espeically amongst the type of people likely to use the coding facility, it makes sense.
    • by cryptochrome ( 303529 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:23PM (#11484265) Journal
      Automatic deployment of units would be a nice start. Micromanaging is fine in the early game but it really drags towards the end.

      Making it run in real time would be interesting as well, so long as you control the pace of time. Balancing law enforcement (with the scientists and workers and tax collectors, etc) would be a nice touch that would help with controlling corruption.
      • by Rei ( 128717 )
        Or instead of realtime you could use, for lack of a better term, "partial realtime". I.e., it's realtime until some sort of significant event happens, in which it "freeze frames" and allows you to tell it what to do (which may be just simply to continue onward). I.e., you can issue commands at any point, but if a unit reaches its destination, gets attacked, gets its health reduced to critical, a new enemy shows up past the fog of war, etc, time stops to allow you to react to it. Additionally, you can cha
      • Granted it's not quite the same, but Rise of Nations [microsoft.com] does a very good job of Civ like gameplay in an RTS.
  • Take-2 vs. EA? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:06PM (#11484076)
    Take 2 and EA seem like they're in a huge arms race for control of the Western video game industry, now...

    Remember what happened with Radio? Don't people realize all this consolidation is bad for the industry? Better play as many video games as you still can, they're gonna get a lot more bland in subsequent years.
    • Re:Take-2 vs. EA? (Score:3, Informative)

      by Bodhammer ( 559311 )
      I don't think it is bad, it is just a natural part of the business cycle. Successful companies grow. Sooner or later they get big and slow and unable to respond to changes in the market and young upstarts fill the emerging niches. Microsoft did it to IBM, Linux is doing it to Microsoft, etc.

      EA has already experienced some of it. The Jane's series was a great franchise and had some great programmers. EA screwed it up with bad business decisions.. Hungry russian programmers developed IL-2 and Lomac

  • Just to note... (Score:5, Informative)

    by DragonMagic ( 170846 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:06PM (#11484079) Homepage
    Firaxis still owns Civilization, and Sid Meier's still the director on the game. Take Two is just taking over the role of Atari/Infogrames and it sounds like they wish to do more with the title than just make PC games.

    Civ IV is scheduled to be out in late 2005. Hopefully, it will be.
  • AI (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fembots ( 753724 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:07PM (#11484093) Homepage
    One interesting (and new) moddable feature is the computer AI, I'm sure reading Artificial Intelligence for Computer Games: An Introduction [slashdot.org] will help.

    This is certainly not the first time XML data files are used in games, Ghost Recon has that too if I remember correctly, and players are able to change the wind, bullet speed and whatnot in the game.

    Is this going to be the trend in the future? Players pay $49 to license the game engine, and create their own game?
    • by Zeebs ( 577100 )
      Mods are not new, people edited the hell out of the Dooms, I even had a kill barney(damn puple dinosaur) mod for wolf 3d. If your interested in a low cost high quality game engine you can make your own games with take a look at Garage Games [garagegames.com] You can license the Tribes 2 engine, known as Torque, for next to nothing and make commercial games with it even.
    • Re:AI (Score:5, Informative)

      by DrXym ( 126579 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @05:31PM (#11485047)
      Yeah but XML is simply a format for structuring data and quite a heavy one at that. Previous versions of Civ & countless other games allowed you change various settings through a plain .ini style text file.

      Switching to XML might make the data more structured but at the expense of loading speed, readability, editability and sensitivity to parsing errors.

  • Maybe this will give me the kick in the pants I've needed to go learn Python.
  • Waiting for Civ 4 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by iMaple ( 769378 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:08PM (#11484108)
    Civilization is my favorite strategy game and I still like to play Civ 3 fo rlong periods of time. My wishlist for Civ 4:
    1)Good multiplayer
    2)More diplomacy and humor

    Ican't just think of any other way they could improve an already fantastic game. (apart from of course putting in super fancy graphice so that I will have to skip food for a month and get a new graphics card)
    • Re:Waiting for Civ 4 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by eln ( 21727 )
      Those are like the exact opposite of what I liked about Civ. Personally, I really got into the military conquest part of the game, with the various military units and global expansion by force. I also really got into the technologies you could learn.

      Leaving aside what that says about my psychological state, I was a little disappointed that the newer games moved so much more into diplomacy and "power politics," and made it almost completely impossible to win with tech and military strategy alone. Are the
      • Re:Waiting for Civ 4 (Score:3, Informative)

        by Txiasaeia ( 581598 )
        "Are there any civ-like games out there that put more emphasis on that part of the game?"

        Alpha Centauri. You get to make your own military units, for crying out loud ;)

        • The weird thing is that I like Apha Centauri for the power politics side of things ... for the first year of playing it (has it been that long since the Loki days? Sigh.) I almost always used Lal and won through world peace or being voted in as supreme leader.

          I now favour Santiago and win through technology along with bullying anyone who's closer to finishing a Wonder than I am ;-)

          A very moldable game, it seems to be different things to different people.
      • Re:Waiting for Civ 4 (Score:3, Interesting)

        by saintp ( 595331 )
        Try "Rome: Total War." For the first campaign, they mollycoddle you with power politics, but after that, it's pure military might. And it's very highly replayable.
      • The new Hearts of Iron II.. It is the state of the art in military conquest games. It is almost a war-game, but abstract enough to still be fun.
    • by Surak_Prime ( 160061 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @06:49PM (#11485896)
      Hmm...a short list off the top of my head:
      1. 'Recording' Civilization Advance - allows for construction of the Movie Theater improvement. (A humorous metagame side-effect could be that it opens up a new game menu for playing your own MP3s as background music.) Allows profession:artists to be considered productive for trade in addition to making citizens happy. In combination with Radio, allows construction of Big Three Networks wonder, that makes it harder for citizens to stay mad.
      2. A physical layer for the communications that can be damaged, and without a connection from an area to your capital, you can't see what units on the border are doing (until maybe a couple of turns later?) Layer is made irrelevant with invention of Radio advance.
      3. Time tightens to months with the invention of radio, weeks with the invention of the Internet, but doesn't speed up actual progress for civs that don't have them. (Better have spies/diplomats in place, to acquire them quickly! Or maybe capturing any unit from a civ with it in your territory would have a chance of giving you Internet, and capturing a city automatically would?)
      4. The ability to attack foreign units in your country without your permission, without it automatically being an act of war! (If anything, THEY should be smoothing things over after that, most of the time. One of the most unrealistic aspects of Civ, IMHO.)
      5. Railroads upgrade to Interstates, which can be used for emergency aircraft landing sites, but aircraft landed there must have fuel brought to them by another unit.
      6. Future Tech that is more than a name, but is reasonably extrapolated from current trends - anti-matter weapons, matter fabricators, etc. - with actual game effects.
      7. MANY more detailed units, military and otherwise, and many more trade goods.

      As you can see, I want Civ to have so much detail that it can take a month to play a game. ;)
  • Alpha Centauri (Score:5, Informative)

    by floppy ears ( 470810 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:08PM (#11484110) Homepage
    If you love Civ 2 but have never played Alpha Centauri, be sure to give it a shot. I still play it occasionally even today, but I don't play anything in the Civ series any longer. The modifiable military units are great.

    Never did like Civ 3 myself. Too many boring bombing runs ...
    • I agree, Alpha Centauri is the primary game that I play to this day. The diplomancy is better than many other Civ-style games, the "modify everything" attitude is great, and the multiple ways to win are more fun than yet another take-over-the-world Pinky and the Brain scenario.

      Damn you for going under, Loki, damn you all to heck! ;-)
    • Somewhat off-topic, but my copy of Alpha Centauri won't run on my newer computers (with 2.8 GHz processors and Windows XP) -- it claims my processor isn't supported. Any ideas?
      • Which processor? I only have an athlon xp 2500+ but it runs fine here. Have you installed all the patches?
      • yeah, the truth is it is very tricky to get it to run on modern processors. even with the latest patch, i had to edit the config file with some jargon i found on a messageboard just to get it to run. i'm at work, otherwise i'd paste the config file here. sorry!
      • There are 2 separate patches. One for WinXP and one for Pentium 4 chips. You'll need both to run it. I think they're both on EA's support page. You could also check Apolyton.Net for the patches as well, as they're a pretty decent Civ/SMAC/RoN/GalCiv community.
      • Re:Alpha Centauri (Score:3, Informative)

        by Atmchicago ( 555403 )
        The trick is to edit one line in one of the configuration files. I don't have the game with me, but I believe it is the following:

        I believe that goes into your alphacentauri.ini file.

        I have a MSN Community at: http://groups.msn.com/sidmeiersaliencrossfire [msn.com]. About all I do with it anymore is allow people to join occasionally since I don't have the time for anything else.
    • Re:Alpha Centauri (Score:5, Informative)

      by pezpunk ( 205653 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:27PM (#11484312) Homepage
      i agree with this also. even though the landscape is pretty ugly (everything is pretty much a shade of red), the game itself is fantastic. it's a perfected version of civ2.

      totally customizable units, functional and relatively deep diplomacy, fantastic story and brilliant characters (in a civ game?!?!), multiple paths to victory (victory by diplomacy, victory by economic domination, victory by Transcendent technology, or of course the good old victory by genocide) and an unceasing number options and worlds to play around with.

      my favorite feature, though, is the wonderfully clever quotes or movies you get every time you discover a new tech or wonder of the world. they really give one a sense of not only accomplishment, but wonder at this new, exciting technology your society has just produced.
      • Re:Alpha Centauri (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Feanturi ( 99866 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @05:55PM (#11485337)
        My 2 cents on Alpha Centauri: Definitely a great game, especially for fans of Civ2. But what really stood out for me was how the story and situation seemed so very much like a set of Frank Herbert books, which I think are referred to as the Void cycle. 'Destination: Void' was the original story, that led to the writing of three more books that he co-authored with someone whose name escapes me: The Jesus Incident, The Lazarus Effect, and The Ascension factor. The last one was completed by his co-author after Herbert's death. Alpha Centauri makes me think of those three books, particularly the hostile environment of Pandora, the world where Ship brought the characters in the very first book. It's so familiar, you almost want to wonder if there was a copyright-infringement suit dancing in some lawyer's mind at some point. The star system was Tau Ceti if I remember right, but close enough. A good read, not as well-known as Dune but similar to it, chock full of philosophy, religion, and ecology. If you like Frank Herbert but haven't heard of this, try to find it, it's cool.
    • Are you serious? I played Alpha Centauri once and thought it was cool - however it never had the staying power. ie I would never play it again.

      Now Colonization, *That's* another story. If anyone liked the civ series, and has never played Colonization, you MUST. I've met a few other people that also agree that Colonization is one of the best. This game was made in 96 I believe, and I still pull it up and play once a year!
      • Totally serious. Given the different characters you can play and the different units you can create, it's got great replayability.

        But I like Colonization too. It gets a little tedious dealing with the micromanagement of all of the wagon trains and warehouses, but somehow it's fun. I have played it within the last year myself.
    • I'd like to second this one - Alpha Centauri is great...and don't forget to throw the Alien Crossfire add-on into the mix. It actually does add quite a bit of replay value to the game. (The game isn't lacking any in the first place.)
    • I should have also mentioned that I recently discovered the expansion pack for this game, called Alien Crossfire. It's a pretty good expansion, with a new storyline, seven new factions and a bunch of other stuff that you might expect to see an an expansion. Not revoluationary, but recommended if you are an AC addict.
    • ... was the quote voices with accents and everything.

      Einstein would turn over in his grave. Not only does God play dice, the dice are loaded.
      Chairman Sheng-ji Yang
      "Looking God in the Eye


      A brave little theory, and actually quite coherent for a system of five or seven dimensions--if only we lived in one.
      Academician Prokhor Zakharov
      "Now We Are Alone"

      Thats was the #1 disappointment I had with Civ3.
      • My favorite, at least in a way, for the Punishment Sphere (no drones in the city you build it in, production drops 50% (think rebels if you haven't play SMAC)):

        It is not uncommon to see patients undergo permanent psychological trauma in the presence of the Sphere, before the nerve stapler has even been strapped into position. Its effect on the general consciousness of the culture is profound: husbands have seen wives go inside, and mothers their children. Dr. Xynan left the surface of the sphere semitranslu

  • Game moves? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Jpunkroman ( 851438 )
    Is it just me or have there been a way above normal level of announcements and agreements and settlements and movements amongst the gaming companies? Makes you wonder what is going on in the boardrooms of these companies, must be pretty buzy.
  • open source tech? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by geoffspear ( 692508 ) * on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:08PM (#11484114) Homepage
    If they don't give me the source to the program, I don't see what "open source tech" has to do with anything. Windows has open source tech in it too, from BSD, but that's hardly a selling point.
    • That depends on your point of view. From a GNU perspective, Free Software is about making sure all software comes with source code and a set of rights associated with that code. From the BSD perspective it's about making sure that everyone has access to the best solution to a technological problem. I tend towards the second viewpoint, so from my point of view incorporating open source code is a good thing, even in Windows.
  • reaction (Score:4, Insightful)

    by greechneb ( 574646 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:09PM (#11484115) Journal
    Looks like wallstreet likes the decision. Right now it looks like they are up nearly 5%. Should help them bring another profitable game into their portfolio. GTA keeps doing good, but they needed something else.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:09PM (#11484118)
    This is proof that good ideas never die - if you know you have a viable concept, as long as you don't mess with the guts of it too much, you can keep it alive as long as you want. Kudos to the developers for taking their cues from the community in general and realizing that people like making mods for games, so to see one that's mod-friendly (and I'm sure there are others out there - I play a couple of games, but I'm not a big gamer) is a welcome change of pace.
  • Neat-o (Score:5, Funny)

    by cryptochrome ( 303529 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:11PM (#11484137) Journal
    Potentially this could allow for people to make more representative/interesting sets of civilization advances and benefits.

    For instance: photography (+sci +happy) allows porn (+happy, opens Jenna Jameson wonder)
    • Re:Neat-o (Score:5, Funny)

      by Michael Woodhams ( 112247 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @05:51PM (#11485292) Journal
      How long do you really think it takes for your scientists to figure out "porn" once you have photography?

      This reminds me of a friend's comments on the original Civilization computer game:

      "It's just taken my scientists 200 years to figure out the secret of 'horseback riding'. What were they doing in that time? 'Hm, we're researching "horseback riding". Lets spend a few years trying to ride the tails of sheep - maybe that is it.'"
      • Re:Neat-o (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Greyfox ( 87712 )
        That's an interesting question. How long was it from the development of photography in the 1800's (If memory serves me correctly) to the first documented photograph of a vagina?

        Would the porn discovery be required for the invention of the Internet?

  • Freeciv (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:13PM (#11484159)
    Freeciv [freeciv.org] already has all this, and a lot more. And the upcoming release 2.0.0 will blow your minds!
    • Re:Freeciv (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      Freeciv has a lot to offer, sure. It's free software. It's immensely customisable. It's multiplayer. It's literally packed with features. I've had a lot of fun with it.

      Unfortunately they forgot to include modern graphics and addictive single-player gameplay, so it's not going to catch on outside the geek niche that values customisability over eye-candy.
    • Re:Freeciv (Score:5, Informative)

      by drinkypoo ( 153816 ) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:49PM (#11484542) Homepage Journal
      I sure hope so, because the current release makes me want to blow my brains out. I thought the original Civ and Civ 2 had a craptacular interface, but then I played freeciv.
    • C-Evo (Score:3, Informative)

      If you want to try another good freeware version of Civilization, there's C-Evo [c-evo.org]. It's a bit different in gameplay from other Civilization games, but I prefer it to Freeciv.
    • Bleah (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ucblockhead ( 63650 )
      As long as it maintains its "everyone moves all at once" thing, it's not for me. I play Civ games because I want to sit and think. If I wanted to worry about reaction speed, I'd play an RTS game.
  • Civ 3 issues (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Raul654 ( 453029 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:13PM (#11484160) Homepage
    I was a big fan of Civ II and I absolutely loved Alpha Centauri, but I did not like Civ III. Why? The waste and corruption was just far too high. (The patches moderated this slightly, but still not to my satisfaction). It ruined the game, IMHO. I hope Civ IV will improve upon this.
    • by FauxPasIII ( 75900 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:25PM (#11484288)
      You have to bring Democracy to the people. Modern history tells us the most expeditious way to do this is to invade and occupy them.
    • Re:Civ 3 issues (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Freedom Bug ( 86180 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:46PM (#11484522) Homepage
      The rule is "the first civ you really get into is the best".

      For me, I much preferred Civ 1 over Civ 2. Civ 2 just added a whole bunch of new units, technologies and wonders, without adding anything distinctive to the game. They turned a nice 8 hour game into an exhausting 16 hour game.

      Civ 3, on the other hand, added depth to the game. Culture is awesome, and those strategic resources really opened up the diplomatic and trading game.

      Waste, corruption and unhappiness are crucial to the game. Without it, however gets the most cities planted early wins. Only the game before 2000BC matters, after, it's just tedium. You may hate it, because it's what's holding you back on your preferred strategy, but without it, it'd be a much inferior game.
      • Re:Civ 3 issues (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Michael Woodhams ( 112247 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @06:06PM (#11485454) Journal
        Without [corruption/unhappiness]... only the game before 2000BC matters, after, it's just tedium.

        This is my biggest problem with the 4X game genre - there is a point where you know you are doing well enough that you are going to win, but this point is often well under half of the way through the game (in real world time.)

        I'd like to see an option where you can give up most of your empire to a new computer player (call it a civil war or something) and get a big bonus on your score for doing so. That way you can spend the whole game struggling against superior foes, which is when it is interesting, racking up a huge score if you can split your empire multiple times and still come back.

        Another thing I'd like to see is variable techs - in this game, artilliary isn't so useful, so you'll need to adjust your tactics to account for it. In the next game, tunnelling is so effective you get the option for a normally unavailable tech, "underground cities". Etc. The closer you get to aquiring a tech, the more information you get on how effective it will be.
    • This was a clear-cut case of a game designer deciding he wanted people to "play well" (in this case, build smallish, advanced nations instead of conquering everything in sight), instead of listening to what his customers wanted.
      However, I found some efficient patches for it early on that neatly solved the problem for me. I can't remember what they were though...
    • Civilization "Call to Power" was awful.

      I love Alpha Centauri too, and was hoping a new civ would build on it which is why I bought Call to Power. Call to Power has truly awful and I was sorry I wasted money on it. The tech research paths are awful and it just wasn't much fun to play compared to Alpha Centauri.

      I dearly wish they would do an Alpha Centauri II, keep the best of it in tact, build on it, fix the AI's and reopen some servers for online play.

      Only problem in Alpha Centauriy is the AI's in it a
  • by Kenja ( 541830 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:17PM (#11484202)
    "Civilization IV will also set a new standard for user-modification"

    In other words, there will be no game included and they hope that we, the consumer, will finish their prodcut for them.

    • Ever since NWN went this route, it seems to me that more and more companies are doing this - heck, id has been doing it for years now with Doom and Quake! Anyway, I'm not quite as cynical as you, but I still can't find a decent game that replicates the Civ2 w/Mars scenario feeling - maybe this will be it?
  • Not the First Time (Score:4, Informative)

    by lavaforge ( 245529 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:17PM (#11484209)
    This isn't the first time that Python has shown up in a major commercial game. Vampire the Masquerade: Bloodlines uses python 2.2 (could be wrong on the minor revision number) to handle almost all of its in-game actions. It's interesting to read the scripts and see how the game works, even if it can spoil things a bit.
    • Another good example of python use in a game is Eve.

      However lua [lua.org] has firmly taken the industry now. World of warcraft comes with a huge xml/lua based UI and tons of mods exist.
      Painkiller, Massive assault, Monkey islands are all prominently putting lua symbols in their games.

  • Documentation (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Fr05t ( 69968 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:21PM (#11484242)
    World of Warcraft allows users to make their own UI mods and addons using a combination of XML and LUA. The only problem (not blaming Blizz because they don't "offically support" it) is good and complete documentation is pretty much impossible to find.

    There are plently of places with fragmented documentation but it's still a lot of trial and error/guessing. It also seems mod developers who started in the begining of the beta do not want to share their knowledge.

    My advice to Take-Two is this: If you are going to talk it up make sure you document the damn thing.
  • Hmmm, Take Two is also the pubisher behind Rockstar games. Maybe they could spice things up by making a cross-over between the Civ franchise and the GTA series. Think of it, you could lead you army in first person into your opponents capital, storm his palace, and kill him in one-to-one combat with a spear, and then jack his chariot for a triumphant entry back to your safe house / palace. The only problem with this plan is that the in game leader would have more of a life then I currently do.
  • Okay, so XML's not a scripting language.

    Right, but a scripting language could be represented in XML.

    <for var="i" test="i &lt; 10" mod="i++">
    <drop object="nuke[i]" on="civ[i]" />
    <clean object="pollution" nearobject="nuke[i]" />
  • Take Two or EA (yeah yeah, I know) to apply for and receive a patent for "Using a computer or other electronic instrument for the purpose of providing entertainment using sound, visual images or a combination thereof".

  • by HungWeiLo ( 250320 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:25PM (#11484285)
    Looks like Take-Two and Sid Meier will be personally responsible for decreasing America's GDP for the 3rd and 4th fiscal quarters of 2005...
  • by MoralHazard ( 447833 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:25PM (#11484287)
    Since when does "extensible" mean the same thing as "open source"? For all we know, they could claim ownership of any derivatives works of their product, making any user-contributed code the property of the game manufacturer. Even if they don't intend to at first, who's to say they're not reserving the right for later? This is more like the "Anti-OSS", if anything: no guaranteed rights.

    And I didn't see a reference anywhere to the license that covers mods. Maybe if someone did see it, they can point that out to me.

    How did previous mod communities deal with this? Did modders just not care, or did the fact that the game manufacturer didn't claim rights over derivative works from the beginning save it?

    Help enlighten us--maybe I'm being too harsh.
  • by getusout ( 827221 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:28PM (#11484327)
    Okay, so XML's not a scripting language

    You sure about that? :) It's been done before. See the stax project: http://staf.sf.net/ [sf.net]
  • Mac Version (Score:3, Interesting)

    by NardofDoom ( 821951 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:35PM (#11484399)
    Civ III is one of my favorite games, but they've pretty much stopped producing Mac versions of it. The last patch to Civ III was put out 8/13/2002. 2002!

    So while the PC version will be out late 2005, the Mac version will be out two years later, running on hacked-together code that requires a 5Ghz G5 and 512MB of VRAM just to run. Slowly.

  • by StefanJ ( 88986 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:38PM (#11484430) Homepage Journal
    God damn. I forsee many months of lost productivity ahead.

    Anyone in the Portland, OR area want to put together a Twelve Step group for Civilization addicts?

    "Hello, my name is Bill."

    "Hi Bill!"

    "I would like to tell you about the time I wore Depends and stewed in my own filth for twelve hours while playing as the Mongols in King mode."

    "We've all been there Bill! Go on!"

    • the scary thing is that's not even an exageration.

      Too many times I've sat down to play Civ III at 4 in the afternoon, remembered to blink at midnight, and only moved when I realised it's 7am and light outside...

      just....one.....more.....turn..... ...well, maybe the Depends thing is an exageration - I've trained my body to shut down all non Civ essential functions, so it's never come to that for me.....
  • Is Take Two dedicated to the cross platform capabilities of Civ IV?

    As a Mac user, I was put off that Civ III came out for the Mac but no expansions did and even the patches stopped at 1.21f while the PC version went to 1.29g (and no, the 1.29 patch was not PC only bug fixes).

    Any information on the support of non-Windows OS's?
  • Civ 3, Civ 2, Civ 1, and all the Alpha Centauri titles are basically the exact same game. There are small changes, tweaks, graphical updates etc, but when it comes down to it they all have nearly the same gameplay.

    Civ was such an amazing, addictive, and replayable game to begin with that everytime they release a new Civ everyone starts playing it again, remembers how good the game style is, and likes the new version. However, I'm not convinced that buying and playing Civ X is a significantly different or b
  • I have an 8 year old son that likes Civilization. What I like about this is that he might learn python to make changes to a favorite game.
  • From an Avid Fan.... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Himring ( 646324 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:52PM (#11484597) Homepage Journal
    Here is my take. Correct anything you wish as I enjoy learning especially about one of my all-time and long lasting games: Civilization.

    Let me say here that I do indeed hope that they don't fix what isn't broke:

    I am an avid Civ fan. I bought the hard-boxed, big mannualed CivI -- that came with all sorts of goodies -- from Radio shack in the early 90s and fell in love. I also went into a coma and nearly caused myself and my cousin to flunk college.

    CivI: This game set the stage. It built upon the basis of railroad tycoon and the way in which is incorporated butter and bullets (which many games get lop-sided) set it apart as a turn-based game. A player could focus on military might or cultural growth or both.

    What it lacked: it lacked a more advanced combat system. The ol' "phalanx takes out battleship" is the prime example.

    CivII: This game was a vast improvement over CivI and was a needed addition. An advanced combat system was now in place, technologies were added filling in gaps and wonders of the world were expanded. A true gem that brought the dynasty into its own. I thoroughly even enjoyed the video clips of the advisors -- actors -- who would discuss with you your decision-makings.

    What it lacked: not much -- that we knew of, but CivIII would show us what would make the Civs even better than ever....

    CivCTP: "Call To Power" was a travesty. I tried diligently to play this game and like it, but they did exactly what SSI did with the 1st Panzer General and that is they fixed what wasn't broken. Suddenly, all pieces had different movement commands, a different system of controlling settlers, etc. Nothing fit. It was an entirely new game and it flunked horribly. I don't ever wanna see it or talk to it again -- I DIVORCE IT!!!

    What it lacked: EVERYTHING!!!

    CivNet: K, of course, the one thing you ALWAYS wanted from Civ was the ability to trash your buddies. CivNet comes out -- woohoo!!! Wtf POS was this? Talk about crashing! It wasn't worth it. And patches? Not many. It was based on CivI too (am I missing something?)

    What it lacked: um, the ability to not crash while in a networked game after 5 minutes of play....

    CivIII: Finally, another improvement -- or was it? CivIII came out and my first impression was "ah!" thank goodness they didn't rework the commands or controls. Good, good, good -- I can use the number pad to move settlers and stuff. Nice. Wait! What's this!!! Cultural boundaries!!!!!! (orgasm). Yes! I first saw it in Black and White. The best two things about B&W were the cultural boundaries and the king room (rest pretty much sucked). Finally, something that added to the mystique of playing a turn-based god-game. As your culture grows, it only makes sense that a natural boundary and influense would exude from it. Excellent. Ah, the wonders are about the same -- technologies. My goodness. They took CivII, they added mo' betta graphics and also cultural boundaries! I love them! (SSI!!! Pay Attention!!! -- yes, yes, I know all about SSI).

    What it lacked: Wait a minute. Some ... thing ... isn't ... right. I, I, wtf are the Chinese planting cities are pure ice! Wtf are the Romans putting cities are pure rock! Wtf? I gotta keep planting cities like a madman? Um, why is Civ dragging down my honking system? CivIII was promising and nearly became my Civ to keep playing, but the way the AI built cities forever and always at a maddenning pace, the way the game chugged after much growth -- it was too much. I grew to not like it. Why should I have to wait 5 minutes between turns while the AI catches up as the math is hammered out?

    Conclusion: today, right now, I play CivToT all the time. It's like an on-going chess game for me. I play it on my old P2 laptop and it runs like a champ. It is excellent. CivToT (Civilization II Test of Time) is my Civ of choice and will remain so until someone
    • Note that Civ Call to Power (and the sequel) aren't part of the Civilization franchise, it's not made under the same license and I think there were even some lawsuits at the time if I remember correctly. It was made by a completely different company and published by Activision.

      I personally like Alpha Centauri the most, it's got all of the best parts of Civilization II plus borders and the ability to create your own units. If you haven't tried it yet, I highly recommend it. It's a Firaxis game (Sid's compan
    • Civ II was played endlessly at home, on the plane, on vacation...the ultimate time-passer (and waster). I have lost track of all the city name themes we would come up with...Trek, Lewis Carroll, Bab5, Sixties TV, you name it....

      But when Civ II came out, it promised to improve all those things which Civ II lacked. We bought it the day it was available, played it for weeks, and gave up in annoyance, frustration and disappointment.

      What was wrong?
      • The game was slow. Dog slow. 'Nuff said. I could have live

    • What it lacked: Wait a minute. Some ... thing ... isn't ... right. I, I, wtf are the Chinese planting cities are pure ice! Wtf are the Romans putting cities are pure rock! Wtf? I gotta keep planting cities like a madman? Um, why is Civ dragging down my honking system? CivIII was promising and nearly became my Civ to keep playing, but the way the AI built cities forever and always at a maddenning pace, the way the game chugged after much growth -- it was too much. I grew to not like it. Why should I have to
  • by exp(pi*sqrt(163)) ( 613870 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @04:52PM (#11484599) Journal
    ...is simply a function of whether or not there is an interpreter for it. Presumably this game would ship with such an interpreter making a fine and dandy scripting language.
  • Woo hoo! (Score:4, Funny)

    by Alsee ( 515537 ) on Wednesday January 26, 2005 @05:13PM (#11484829) Homepage
    I can't wait to watch my tanks pop trying to kill spearmen again!

    P.S. obligatory:
    Your civilization has built the Internet (+2sci)! This obsoletes the Hollywood wonder (+1hap).


The intelligence of any discussion diminishes with the square of the number of participants. -- Adam Walinsky