More Civ6 Observations

Aside

I’m playing Civ6 steadily; a distraction from work-life combined with a hobby when the house is quiet. As such my frustrations with Civ-like games has returned a little because:

  • The starting click through movies and “click to continue” screens are horrid. This game’s UX is so bad that you need to click “OK” to get to the starting menu! Who does that!
  • The UX for political interaction is shite too – you click teh bottom left hand buttons to make choices and then close the screen with the top right! That’s UX fail.
  • I hate using and defending Spys. I’d love a mod which removes them from the game.The in-game interface is ugly, constantly re-allocating the is a pain, and I want more detail on what they are doing and their success ratios. I give up trying to promote them.
  • I’m now trying to learn the ins and outs of a Religious victory. Its nonsense at present. I’ll learn the Tourism one after I get the religious one down.
  • The Domination victory is by far the easiest. By far.
  • The starting position, presence of barbarian, and leader choice makes all teh difference. Those three factors are huge levers for success or failure. Yes that makes sense, but it also means some games are just dead from the start.

Anyway, on a lighter note – here is what happens in a sim game – a launch pad is next to sheep. Those poor sheep.

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More impression of Civ6

Civ6 is a punishing (fun) game. I’m playing on the easiest level as a learner and the AI has a naggingly consistent propensity to totally wreck my beautiful plans. 

My biggest gripe is how shit the startup screens are. Huge ego stuffing symbols from the creators, then a single mouse click which you always need to do. 

Hey designers – if I don’t have a choice then just move on. Or allow me to click quickly through. IDGAF about your company name. I care about Civ. /grumble. 

I’ll say I’m generally winning or at least making good in roads but cripes – the AI is sometimes illogical. 

For example:

  • NPC civ plonked a city between two of my cities because there was just a sliver of space. Who does that! Bastards. 
  • Building walls is an almost must do, but they drain so much cash and production early on. Perhaps I need to build in close and not spread so far. 
  • The barbarians appear about 10 turns after your units declare war and swing over the other side of the map. Bastards. 
  • How do I reduce how many other NPC civs are present. So many contenders. Perhaps I need to start on a huge map. 
  • Who in hell knows how to start a religious victory style game? 
  • Why are the penalties for killing and razing a city so nasty in the early game? Isn’t this what civs did?

Good game though. 

More on Adventure Era

I’ll admit to playing this little IOS game too much. So much so that I think I can offer some tips to other players.

  • Plan your login/play times so that you match your expected gapto the work effort of tasks. For example there is no point using an extra worker in a task to get it completed faster if you won’t login till after the longer of the two times. Especially important for research and major upgrades which can take 8-24 hours. Click a long task before bed, and sleep happy.
  • You will need to reshuffle where your units are placed to fit in the new ones when land gets tight. I can see why the game does this (to drive in-game purchases) but so far it can be played without spending real money.
  • Stockpile your gold as a priority, because everything costs gold in the end. I made the mistake of having plenty of resources, and then struggling to pay to open up a new area of land. The next area of land I want is a steep purchase at 200,000 gold, but thankfully I’ve been focusing on gold as well as other resources so I can afford it. Plan to always have around double the gold of your next land purchase, because it seems relative to the cost of each research task  and the cumulative cost of upgrades.
  • Once you open the Trader, check it often. It is a great way to buy resources cheaply. The Trader becomes active a few moments after you login, and seems to be in sync with the gold leprechaun about half the time.
  • Research costs a hell of a lot too, so click through the next items you can see but not research yet, so you have an idea of what is coming.
  • The Pet serves no purpose. I read somewhere that it opens a new area of land at level 12, but mine hasn’t. Meh, disappointing. Perhaps it only opens when your level matched the pet?

Happy clicking.

Casually playing Adventure Era

A nifty little game called Adventura Era by Game Insight & Krivorukoff has me a little distracted (thanks to Tobold’s post). I’m playing enough that my wife first asked “what is that you’re doing” and then “put that down”. It’s a good game, and playing it on my mobile means that I always have it around when I want to, but I can also ignore it I choose.

Nothing really bad happens if you don’t play. Well, ahem, it is frustrating to come back to the game after 3-4 hours and ALWAYS find three monsters attempting to ravish my humble village, but paying off the monsters is part of the resource sink mechanics. It happens every damn time! So now I’ve decided to move almost all of my important buildings away from the areas with the monsters, so that I’m almost unaffected by them. That will take some additional effort and a bit more grinding that I like, but afterward I’ll rarely pay the 15 food, 50 lumber, or 100 stone resources that they need to be shushed and sent away when my cyclops-for-hire yells at them.

Apart from the basic build, expand, research cycle which repeats as your village increases in size and resources there are aspects of the game which I think are clever. The game is all about expanding your resource pool, and deciding when to spend your resources in the various resource sinks. All of the progressive choices are forgone conclusions, where you have to do X to get to Y, so start saving, building, or expanding. I don’t mind that the game is extensibility on rails, as I’m not looking for life changing gameplay. I’m looking for overly simplified entertainment. It allows small choices with almost no side effects, so for me the game’s fun is about efficiently. What worked, what do I need to plan for now, so that I’m not resource locked for too long later.

I also like the way that money really isn’t being begged for at every turn. The game is free and thankfully you can avoid the nag-ware style of other mobile/social games. My Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and other followers have no bloody interest in how many pets or lumber yards I have; just as I don’t give a damn about theirs.This is a casual distraction, not a thing to brag about on social media (but then isn’t most of social media a free casual distraction seeking to commercialise your attention?).

Each advance takes time, and during that time you can be clicking to earn your coins, rather than spending real money. It does not have a long life though, as I’m already seeing the increase in the repetition for grinding money, which is expected but undesirable for me. I can just as easily be entertained by my rss feed, so something that feels like work will have an expiration date.

For now, as the village’s ruler…I kind of pity those small virtual pixel-folk. They’re lucky I’m not give the option for human sacrifice to increase build time. Hmm, maybe something to recommended for v2.

adventure_era_screenshotHappy clicking, TyphoonAndrew

brilliant, a game in only 265 code lines

Doing a dev job elegantly and quickly is wonderful. It is something I rarely see. So when I read that a quasi-3d environment (by PlayfulJS – try the Playfuljs demo) had been built using just 265 lines of code I was impressed. After running around in the demo I was darn impressed. It might not be true 3d at all, but it still a clever emulation. Good enough for a game hack, yup, certainly. More please.

Think for a moment about how little code that actually is. A true credit to the 6-7 folk who put this together. The geeks over at Soylent also think its interesting, which is where I found the article; mind you a few seem to have unbridled hate for javascript too.

Game130lineofJava

You Sir, Yeah, You Are Being Hunted

I picked up Sir, You Are Being Hunted on a sale for a lazy $17, and I kind of like the adhoc short play style of the game.

Death One – shot to death by a random robot patrol on the main island. To my credit I did figure out what the baloon was doing, but I think I didn’t move far enough away. Found one fragment next to the stones, but spend much of mu short life looking at the inventory, trying to understand how food works.

Death Two – ran out of Vitality and starved to death. Interesting that I was trying to play it safe, but as my character stated to really drop I ran everywhere and was spotted a heap of times.

Death Three – Afk and I assume slaughtered by a host of nasty robots.

I’m really enjoying it.