Here’s an excerpt from the designer’s notes: old world. A historic 4X game set in the classic antiquity, released on July 1, 2021; can be purchased here.
Some mistakes are unavoidable because the ideas behind them are very difficult to resist. When carrying out diplomatic improvement tasks Civilization 3 – As well as Civilization 2 However Alpha Centauri Also, the most obvious decision was to add a negotiation table where players can customize their trades as much as they want. Instead of relying on AI to suggest interesting deals, players can pick what they want. Cities have gold and iron, tech has luxury, and open borders and maps have some gold each turn. combination. It was one of the salient features of Civilization 3 It has become a standard feature of the 4X genre. Unfortunately, that was a big mistake.
The first question that emerged was how quickly AI could exchange skills with each other. Allowing AI to freely trade technology as humans are now free to trade through the negotiating table. The problem is that undisturbed skill trading is always a problem, since the player who “gives” the skill doesn’t actually give anything. The only downside is that rivals have access to the technology. But the general rationale is that if you don’t provide Ironworking to the Babylonians, someone else will do it and you’ll miss out on everything you’ve got. from them. To make matters worse, if you don’t play the tech trading game, the AI will do the trade anyway, and to humans it will appear to be competing with an AI cartel that appears to be all at the same skill level. According to the rules of the game, the AI was playing optimally. The problem is that the rules are wrong.
with Civilization 4, made several changes to improve the negotiation table. Technology trading has been severely limited by AI’s reluctance to trade skills with players they don’t like (or like enough). They also refuse to trade tech with players at the forefront and avoid worst-case overruns as these rules apply equally to humans and AI. The system also avoids trading bulk items per turn, so you no longer have to take a large loan from a neighbor and then declare war to get paid. Players can now ask the AI to fill both sides of a deal, so for optimal play, you don’t have to add 1 gold to either side to see if a deal has crossed the magic threshold.
However, the system was still fundamentally flawed as it gave players too much control over diplomacy. The best strategy has been to contact the AI as often as possible to extract the most lucrative deals. Diplomacy didn’t feel like diplomacy. It seemed to walk to the vending machine and select the best option. Players were ruining the game themselves by playing optimally. Diplomacy has become another part of the economy, a reliable source of gold or technology or resources depending on your needs. Ideally, diplomacy is sometimes unpredictable, still reacts to game state but out of the player’s control, forcing the player to face difficult but opportunistic decisions.
Fortunately, old world There are systems that make it easy to do all of these things: an event system that is inherently unpredictable but reacts to the current state of the game. The event system has become more flexible and powerful as you work, and there is already a tutorial system (which tells the Scout how to harvest the first time they set foot on a neutral resource) and a mission system (events that can turn the game in an unpredictable way for every assassination). small chance to trigger). Using events to manage all diplomatic interactions between humans and AI was probably a risky decision. Players will get so used to the negotiating table that skipping the negotiating table may seem like a step back, but it will make diplomacy more dynamic and powerful. The event system can be extended to include more diplomatic triggers, requirements, and effects to achieve long-term outcomes for your scenario.
The first step was to process all diplomatic changes (war, truce, peace, alliance) through the mission system and trigger events when the mission is completed. Therefore, the event system needs to know the proximity of other nations, their relative strengths, and the current state of the war (who wins how much). Event options should allow you to add memories and relationships to set diplomatic nations, handle trades and tributes, and edit comments. Each of these elements may not be part of the event system unless you’re in charge of diplomacy, but once added they can be used for any event, making the whole system more versatile and powerful. Once all diplomatic elements are in place, the event system can perform all the tasks of a traditional 4X diplomatic system, but with the benefit of all other features of the event, such as testing to see if a spouse is from their own country. If you share a religion or if one of your cities belonged to them.
Diplomacy is now unpredictable, so it was important not to let players ask for something too often. Otherwise, players are encouraged to keep trying (exchanging vending machines for slot machines) until they achieve the desired event. To avoid this problem, we provided civic education or training costs in diplomatic relations (eg peace or trade negotiations), and also limited diplomacy to the duties ambassadors can perform. This has not only brought other characters to the forefront, but has always done a good job. old world, but that meant only one diplomatic envoy could be pursued at a time, and more importantly, that mission would take years to yield results. The latter was important so that players would not be tempted to use the undo system to undo failed diplomatic missions and pay tribute to end the war instead (i.e. to protect the player from themselves). Of course, the most unpredictable aspect of diplomacy is when an ambassador dies during a mission (although we warn players before sending in sick ambassadors asking for a truce).
In fact, since they expected more backlash from players for not having a negotiating table (not being able to find a city anywhere was more controversial), players appreciate that the event system makes diplomacy more dynamic and unpredictable. I hope Unlike many other systems I’ve designed, the health of a diplomatic system depends not only on the quality of its underlying algorithms, but also on the amount of simple diplomatic events its author generates. The author adds new events with every weekly update.