Stolen Pixels #232: The History of Civilization, Part 3

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Oct 5, 2010

Filed under: Column 46 comments

NOW it’s the end of history.


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46 thoughts on “Stolen Pixels #232: The History of Civilization, Part 3

  1. Jeremiah says:

    It’s the end of history as we know it?

    1. mumakil says:

      No Its the end of the world as we know it.

      And i feel fine.

      1. Kdansky says:

        Captain “Ham-Fisted” Obvious to the rescue!

  2. Ateius says:

    Speaking of Monty inventing pants, I remember in Civ III the outfits of the various leaders would alter to be appropriate to the era of technology they had achieved (and if it was an era they never actually achieved, like the Aztecs in the Industrial age, they got the Western European style of the time). I miss that.

    1. Irridium says:

      Yeah that was a nice little touch. As was building your palace from a stone heap into a giant mansion.

      Good times.

      1. Daemian Lucifer says:

        I miss those too.As well as having barbarians become guerrillas in civii.

      2. JohnAdams says:

        I fought tooth and claw for those additions to the Palace.

    2. tremor3258 says:

      Didn’t the Council update too, or am I thinking Civ 2 by mistake?

      1. krellen says:

        The council updated in both; I believe Civ III was the one with the animated council, however.

        1. Ringwraith says:

          II was animated, I remember as that was the only Civ game I’d played until recently.

          1. krellen says:

            Animated and voiced? That was II? Dang, II was the best.

            1. Jon Ericson says:

              I got out my copy of Civ II which works great after all these years. (Though my wife immediately asked if it came on floppies since the install screen is so dated.) Then I tried the Civ V demo and it immediately bogged down our not too ancient PC. The inverse of Moore’s Law seems to be that software requirements increase directly proportionally to hardware advances. Kinda like barbarians in Civ V, I guess.

              Civ II seemed an ideal edition of the game and I never really tried the sequels. The only reason I really got interested in the Civ V demo was because they finally added hexes. But none of them could ever match the original for shear number of hours burned.

              1. krellen says:

                Yeah, I remember Civ III being a horrible let down now. Civ IV was a bit better, having incorporated a few more elements of AC in it, but it’s really the Fall from Heaven mod that makes IV for me.

                But AC still rocks.

                “If our society seems more nihilistic than that of previous eras, perhaps this is simply a sign of our maturity as a sentient species. As our collective consciousness expands beyond a crucial point, we are at last ready to accept life’s fundamental truth: that life’s only purpose is life itself.” – Chairman Sheng-ji Yang, “Looking God in the Eye”

                1. Jon Ericson says:

                  My roommate had AC and I had a good time with it, but it never grabbed my imagination for some reason. Perhaps it was because I was busy with MOO and even Starcraft at the time.

                2. Pickly says:

                  Civilization games are kind of strange to me in that the different ones all seem to have elements I really like, but than also have elements I don’t like so much. (Civ 4 had a lot of cool ideas with religion, resources, and such, but I didn’t like the combat at all, alpha Centauri had a great setting, and the workshop and social engineering was nicely done, but tunbalanced things like crawlers and certain terraforming options kind of goof it up, the call to Power series had the future units and combat system, but just didn’t seem to play as easily for some reason.)

                  (4X in general seems to have this issue, actually. Most such games have elements that I really like, comkbined with elements that I don’t like much at all. there are probably a couple 4X’s I’ve played where all the elements feel qell done.)

                  I do agree that Fall From Heaven and Alpha Centauri are quite fun. Fall from Heaven’s probably the best, or one of the best, fantasy 4X’s (and 4x’s in general) that I’ve played.

                  Those two games are also the ones that have pulled me into modding, which has proven to be a fun thing ot do as well.

  3. SolkaTruesilver says:


    This was a good serie. Hilarious, yet again, Shamus!

  4. Integer Man says:

    Awesome. Love the point about the burning cities.

    I’m still ticked that I can’t name my aircraft carriers.

  5. Meredith says:

    I think your city full of famous people sounds awesome.

  6. Riesz says:

    Can’t “barbarian” ships just represent pirates? Granted, a full-sized battlecruisers might be a bit weird, but wooden sailing vessels prowling your shipping lanes sounds appropriate enough.

    1. Pickly says:

      Even some smaller ships might make sense, since the game doesn’t have powerboats and such, so this method is used to represent modern technology.

      Or they represent buying scrap ships, or other old ships.

  7. wererogue says:

    My take on barbarian battleships: the USA sold it to them cheap!

    1. Shamus says:

      Except… I was the only other person in the game who could make battleships. And one ship would take one city 10 turns to build. And I only had three cities. And the pirates had 5x as many battleships as me.

      The biggest, most powerful navy in the world was… barbarians. Something wrong with that.

      1. SolkaTruesilver says:

        Arrrrhh! Are ye be contesting the Mighty Power of der Pirates?

        We can shit battleship out’o ya arsehole! So ye stay put, and gimme your booty!

        (and your asthma pump for Bill the Slaughterer, he’s having trouble breathing when standing watch in the birdnest)

      2. Shinjin says:

        And one ship would take one city 10 turns to build

        Your city really only took 2 turns to build a battleship. Corruption led to blackmarket battleship sales to the barbarians and the books were doctored to only make it look like it took 10 turns for one…

      3. Axle says:

        You should research “Ubisoft” for better anti-piracy….

        1. randy says:

          Definitely not Ubi for better anti-piracy. If anything, better anti-customer stances.

      4. ehlijen says:

        Didn’t you know that battlship tech was cracked and on all the torrents 5 days before the HMS Dreadnaught launched? :P

  8. Andy_Panthro says:

    “Dude, your city is on fire again?”


    I often pick which leader I want to be based solely on how silly they will look in 2000 years time.

  9. Jarenth says:

    Nice history overview and all, but I’m missing the tale of Moscow, Jewel Of The Desert; or ‘the story of how the Russian civilization got started on an island equal parts desert and tundra with pretty much no luxury or strategic resources, and had to scrape by from era to era while other civilizations just sat back and basked in every luxury resource known to man, and as a result, are going to be very hard-pressed to scrape out a meager cultural victory before the Persians decide their AI can handle boats and I the Russians die forever.

    Yes, I started playing Civ V recently. Can you tell?

    1. SolkaTruesilver says:

      One of Us!
      One of Us!

      And you seem to enjoy it as hell! GOOD! :-)

      1. Jarenth says:

        What part of ‘Locked in a basically unwinnable condition, scraping by from day to day, fearing the shadow of Persian-y death around every corner‘ made it sound like I was having fun?

        Oh, yeah. The part where I play up until 3 AM, and then think ‘Well, one more turn can’t hurt.’

  10. Axle says:

    After finally having some time to play more of my CIV V, the game decides to download some updates I don’t really need nor care about and now it’s stuck on 3% for the last 10 minutes….!!!

    AAAARrrrgghhhhh… It’s so Fracking annoying when this crap happens on steam… Can’t they just ask me if it’s a good time to download it?
    Why is it downloading slower than the game itself (and without showing me the download rate)?

    Sorry for my runt.
    But I just had to shout it somewhere without waking the kid…

    Edit: I just reaised you can set the Autoupdate off.
    But it’s too late…

    No Civ for me today…

  11. Heron says:

    I’m having a very difficult time resisting the impulse to buy Civ V. It doesn’t help that you keep bringing it up, nor that Steam always flashes it in my face whenever I log in.

  12. Aldowyn says:

    Lol I love these! :D SO funny!

    That does seem like a glaring issue, though. They should have limits of like half the production capacity of the best city, and be a while behind in technology.

    Hmm, what about a dynamic background based on what your culture has done recently? Kind of like what they do in Civ IV (I believe) “Hey, look at my shiny new XXX!”

  13. Dragomok says:

    Yay, first!

    EDIT: Shamus, I have just noticed that in today’s comic you forgot to put a comma in the date in the first three panels. In Part 1 and the last panel you did.

    1. mumakil says:

      u good sir have just failed

      1. James says:

        No – he was simply the first “first!”

        1. Teldurn says:

          In a way, you’re both right.

    2. Jarenth says:

      Is this comment being shifted downwards or something? I’m fairly certain it already existed before I commented my (currently) above comment.

      1. SteveDJ says:

        I notice the datestamp is much LATER than the comments to his “first”. I’m sure it was altered, due to the fact that Shamus doesn’t like “first” posts…

        …but hey, it still has a “1” in its post number of 10. :)

        1. Jon Ericson says:

          Just who, out of curiosity, does like “first” posts? And more importantly, why?

          1. Taellosse says:

            Presumably, the people that feel compelled to make them. And, if I had to guess at their motivations, because they were dropped on their heads as babies? ;-)

          2. I’m not saying I like seeing them – but people get a buzz out of being the first person to find or read or do something. By getting the first post, you in some way beat everyone else to it, so it’s a quick high.

            Of course, it’s a completely meaningless victory. But the way the brain is wired, a victory is still a victory

    3. Dragomok says:

      I didn’t know that “first posts” are something against Netiquette.

      I’m sorry, I won’t do that again.

  14. Jonathan says:

    Suggestion: Update your tagline at the Escapist from “…and that’s not even his day job” to “…and all this while looking for a “real” job,” or something similar to that.

  15. Ben says:

    It’s been a while since I heard a reference to the Oh-knee-ders.

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