Civilization Part 4: Tall Play

By Shamus Posted Thursday Jul 2, 2020

Filed under: Retrospectives 37 comments

Like I said at the start of this series, Civilization VI frustrated me by deliberately working against my preferred playstyle. So let’s talk about where it all went wrong.

Broadly speaking, there are two main approaches to building your empire in these games: You can build tall, or build wide. Building wide means expanding rapidly and covering as much of the map as possible with small cities. In contrast, building tall means focusing on a small number of cities and making them as large and as sophisticated as possible. 

These two strategies can have an enormous impact on your power level, your city development, and even how long it takes to play the game. 

Go Tall or Go Home

I've got just 6 cities in my half of the continent. The AI would probably cram about 15 cities into this same space.
I've got just 6 cities in my half of the continent. The AI would probably cram about 15 cities into this same space.

As many people already guessed in the comments, I am a huge fan of the tall playstyle. In fact, I think that’s the central appeal of the series for me. I obsess over making sure my cities are placed far apart so they have lots of breathing room and don’t crowd each other in the late game. I enjoy having lots of workers buzzing around my cities, improving tiles and laying down roads. I’ll obsess over tile improvements and look for ways to optimize land usage to make my cities flourish.

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Civilization Part 4: Tall Play”

 


 

The New Place

By Shamus Posted Tuesday Jun 30, 2020

Filed under: Personal 75 comments

I know this is ostensibly a tabletop gaming blog about programming and video games, but sometimes we get distracted by real-world concerns and I end up talking about myself. Since I’m preoccupied with moving and since a few people are curious about it, here’s what’s going on…

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “The New Place”

 


 

Diecast #306: Better News

By Shamus Posted Monday Jun 29, 2020

Filed under: Diecast 105 comments

We didn’t talk about it on the show, but yes, I’ve seen the new trailer and gameplay videos for Cyberpunk 2077 that surfaced while I was busy schlepping my worldly possessions to a new home. It’s all very impressive, but it doesn’t change much. I was already 100% sold on this game.



Hosts: Paul, Shamus. Episode edited by Issac.
Diecast306


Link (YouTube)

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Diecast #306: Better News”

 


 

The Other Kind of MMO: Space Ethics

By Bob Case Posted Saturday Jun 27, 2020

Filed under: Video Games 43 comments

I fixed the splash! I was late emailing it to Shamus, so it might not load right away, but it’s fixed.

Before I launched my career in space crime, I needed to grapple with the ethics of it.

That’s not usually something one does while playing a computer game, but here it seemed necessary. After all, I was going to be tricking people into giving me money. Fake money, yes, but it represents real effort and time invested. Losing can lead to real frustration. Is it right to do such a thing? I concluded that it was, and not just because I wanted the money either. To me, EVE is something like poker: lying is part of the game.

A citadel or 'upwell' structure, one of the biggest things players can build. I had mostly stopped playing by the time these things got added to the game, but from what I've heard they make sov warfare even worse.
A citadel or 'upwell' structure, one of the biggest things players can build. I had mostly stopped playing by the time these things got added to the game, but from what I've heard they make sov warfare even worse.

In poker there’s a concept called “table stakes.” It says that any money you put on the table is, in a way, not yours anymore – it belongs to the game,Incidentally, if you’re ever watching a movie or something and someone pulls money out of their pocket to bet it, they’re violating poker etiquette. and you only get it back when you cash out. I decided the same was true here: if you had in-game money, and even more so if you were involved in nullsec, your money isn’t really yours. And, for that matter, neither is mine mine.

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Moving Day 2020

By Shamus Posted Friday Jun 26, 2020

Filed under: Random 69 comments

Like I said on Monday, this week is moving week. Was that really only five days ago? It feels like a month. It’s amazing how slowly time passes when you disrupt the daily routine.

The move is over now. Well, we’re sleeping at the new place. We’re nowhere near done when it comes to moving stuff around. The old place needs to be cleaned, we’re still living out of boxes at the new place, and about half our stuff is in storage.

This was actually an easy move by the standards of this sort of thing. A hard move is when you go to a new city. Then you’ve got this complicated dependency chain where you have to somehow empty out and clean the old place before driving hundreds of miles to colonize the new, and it has to be done in a single go. I did that back in 1998, and it sucked. This move has been much more gradual. We put some stuff in storageHeather’s dad has a massive garage that could hold three fire engines, and we can use that for free. and then we moved the critical stuffThe computers, beds, and coffeemaker. on moving day. The new and old are only 1.4 miles apart2.2Km, so we could do the move in many small trips instead of one massive same-day operation.

Last week someone asked for moving advice. I’m not going to repeat all the usual advice about packing and planning, carrying and cleaning. You can get that advice in lots of places. Instead, I’ve compiled a list of details that I think get overlooked. This won’t be useful to everyone. A wealthy retired couple moving from one New York apartment to another are going to face very different problems than a cash-strapped young couple moving their four children + dog across the hilly Appalachian mountains to a newly-built split-level home. Moving is complicated, situations vary, and we all face different problems arising from our physical fitness / financial situation / organization skills / family size.

Anyway, below are the things that come to mind here on a Friday morning as I drink my coffee and wait for the painkillers to kick in…

Continue reading ⟩⟩ “Moving Day 2020”