Civilization IV Interview (PC)
Si: Hello. To open the discussion, please tell us what is the difference between past Civilization series and Civilization 4?
2k Games: One of the great things about an epic game like Civ is that there are always new ideas for making it better. On one hand, we are adding lots of great things like units that gain experience and special abilities, customizable governments, an expanded religion and cultural system, and a living 3D world. We are also going to be delivering a great multiplayer experience out of the box and the most extensive modability of any Civ game yet. On the other hand, we are trying to make this a very accessible and playable game so we are eliminating much of the tedious stuff like cleaning up pollution squares and we are trying to eliminate some of the failure states that can frustrate new players.
Si: So the combat system has changed and I was fortunate to see it in action and was quite impressed, please tell us little about it.
2k Games: The first thing you might notice is that there are no longer separate attack and defense values for units. Instead, there is a single Strength indicator to make combat calculations less ambiguous. There is also a countering system built into the units where certain types are naturally stronger against other types. There is also the idea of unit customization through experience-based upgrades. All of these things help to make combat more interesting and strategic than ever before.
Si: Regarding attacks and defenses. Will attacks from an open field to forests or from one side of the river to another result in combat bonuses, penalties? I presume this is still the case but anyway has this been changed in any way in Civilization 4?
2k Games: There are defensive bonuses for certain types of as we have had previously. One interesting difference is that you don’t automatically get the fortify bonus the first turn. Instead, the unit needs to stay fortified to slowly build up its defenses.
Si: How will the city management work now? City boundaries work different in Civilization 4?
2k Games: Another failure state we have eliminated is the “people are revolting” problem. Instead, you will find that cities that are really mad will slow down or even stop production until you deal with the problem. Also, we are trying for a WYSIWYG approach with cities in which you will be able to see what is going on and what has been built from the main map view without having to open the city. People that like to micro-manage can still open the city and “get under the hood” a bit, but it won’t be necessary for more casual city builders. City boundaries are different in two ways from Civ III. First, in Civ III you were guaranteed to get the original 9-square plot for a newly planted city. That is not the case in Civ IV so you can actually find one-square cities that are completely surrounded by the boundaries of another civilization. Second, players (and AI) will have to respect your boundaries or declare war unless you have an open borders treaty.
Si: What about diplomacy? How will we talk and argue with other nations?
2k Games: We’ve upped the ante quite a bit on the visual representation of the leaders in the game. You will be looking at real-time 3D rendered leaders with animations that reflect their personality and the situation. In Civ IV, you will be able to ask Civs to go to war even when you are not at war yourself - you can also broker peace. Other Civs might ask you to switch to their religion or change your government choices.
Si: Release date?
2k Games: Holiday 2005.
Si: What system will the game require in minimum and what in full graphics setting?
2k Games: The current min. spec. is a 1 GHz Pentium 3 with 256 MB Ram and a video card that supports hardware T&L. We haven’t really worked out a recommended spec. yet, but I imagine having 512 MB of Ram, a P4, and a recent graphics card like a Radeon 9800 would probably do the trick.
Si: It’s no secret that we are huge Civilization addicts so we appreciate greatly the next installment in the series and hold our fingers crossed! Thank you for your time.
2k Games: Hey, we are Civ addicts too so it’s a pleasure to talk about our “baby”. :) Check out www.civanon.org for help with your addiction.