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What Gamers Want

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There's a very informative new geeklist on BGG that lists the holy grails of game design.

Interestingly, the first item in the list is the desire for a playable civ game. Hmmm... Looks like Sands of Time has an audience ready and waiting for when it's finished!

Joined: 10/16/2008
Interesting List

I agree wholeheartedly about having a better civ game! Although New England might fall into that category, and I really like that one...

I always get a chuckle when people say they've designed a "better Chess" game. Assuming that it would be possible to make a game that provides basically the same experience as Chess - only better - why would anyone buy it? Chess players enjoy Chess. The target market would be the subset of Chess players who don't want to play Chess.

Joined: 12/31/1969
What Gamers Want

SiskNY wrote:
Interestingly, the first item in the list is the desire for a playable civ game.

Not to sound dumb or anything but, what is a civ game exactly?

I know that it has to do with resources, and building things (I think) But why is it defined as a civ game?

Also is there any difference between a lite civ game, and a civ game?


What Gamers Want

There's a lot of good discussion of civ games in the geeklist linked at the top. Essentially it is a civilization building game where players start with a group of peopl eunder their control. Each player tries to develop their people technologically, intellectually, and socially while growing and developing the region in which the people live.

The starting and ending points are set by the specific game. It can be as sweeping as caveman to spaceman, or as focused as the late Rennaissance.

The main goal is the advancement of the people. I would contrast this with a game in which the main focus is the advancement of the land or regions in which the people live. Such a game would be more of an empire building game than a civ building game.

Hope this helps a little.

Joined: 08/03/2008
What Gamers Want


I think zaiga started a thread a while back on the subject of "holy grails" of game design.

There's no question that a playable Civ is the "holy grail" of game design, and it's no coincidence that Sands of Time is aimed at that genre. That's not to say I expect to cash in on it -- indeed, I suspect it will be tough to publish since such games have a lot of components and are thus expensive -- so much as that I wanted to try to see if I could design something that would "solve" this design challenge.

My feeling is that Sands of Time, even were it to gain widespread exposure, might not garner the appelation of "Civ lite", simply because it lacks the strong trading mechanics that are so essential to Civ. Having only 2 resource types pretty much precludes an important trade element, and while I've tried to incorporate peaceful interaction in other ways, there isn't an explicit trade mechanic like in Civ. (and, some of the "interactivity" mechanics, eg cities/markets, are potentially on the chopping block).

The rest of that BGG thread was interesting, and I also was amused by someone trying to make a "better" Chess. You can't out-chess Chess! Or maybe you can; the problem I have with Chess is that it presents a very broad decision matrix to me every turn, and it takes me a long time to consider all the permutations and ramifications of moves. A game that had as much depth but easier decision making might be interesting. But I don't have a mind for such things, so I'll leave that grail to someone else!


sedjtroll's picture
Joined: 07/21/2008
What Gamers Want

Does Tigris & Euphrates count as a Civ game? Cause that's probably the best we're likely to get as far as a civ game playable in less than 2 hours. It has just about all the parts you'd expect to see in a civ game- political conflict and military conflict, balancing the different aspets of your civ, combat, etc.

- Seth

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