March 26, 2010

Civ Delivered

Today, everyone (mainly me) got it right and my package was just delivered.

I spent last evening and most of today  working on... a surprise. You'll see it in a few days.

UPDATE: Good grief! The Civ IV package includes four optical disks. I think one of those is a DVD, but the others are all game data! (Man, the original Civilization installed off of floppy disks. If this much data was on floppy disks, it would weigh about 200 pounds.)

UPDATE: The tutorial is excellent. And things are coming back to me.

When the game first runs it goes full screen in 1024*768 mode. However, you can control the resolution, and you can tell it to run in a window. The entire time it is running, the cooling fan in my computer is going hard. I haven't seen the actual CPU loading, but it's obvious a lot is going on. Most of that is animation of things like animals and smoke, and I saw in the config menu that those things can be turned off. Later I might do that, but the graphics are really rather charming now.

Running windowed, the aspect ratio is fine. I think that they scale the graphics to fit the display so that you see the same amount of the world no matter the window size. Using a bigger display gets you better imagery, not more tiles.

A lot of things they didn't tell me but I figured out on my own. The mouse wheel zooms in and out. Clicking with the mouse moves around on the map.

Clicking the "prt src" button brings up an error message saying that the frame grab failed, but (heh heh heh) I had Thumbs Plus running, in its mode where it grabs and stores a copy of anything put into the scratch pad. And that works just fine. So I've got some frame grabs and I'll put some stuff below the fold a little later.


Good thing the keyboard on this notebook computer has a number pad. It would be a pain to play this game if it didn't.

That image is reduced. Here's how it looks full-sized.


Oh noes! Lions are threatening ancient Rome. Quick! Throw some Christians at them and maybe they'll go away! (What? We haven't discovered Christianity yet? Well, then, I guess we'll have to fight them!)

Speaking of religion, it seems rather odd to me that when you get Hinduism it permits you to build the Parthenon wonder. You know, the temple to Athena, who isn't a Hindu deity.

I guess the idea is that Hinduism stands for all polytheistic religions. In the versions of Civilization I've played, government type had an affect on how the people acted, with more advanced government forms producing more, but the people also demanding more. I assume that religion is the same way, with different religions giving you different benefits but also different costs. I'll have to read up on them all. In the tutorial game I've already got three religions available to me. My empire is currently Buddhist but I'll probably want to change that.


My scouts have discovered sheep. When I was zoomed out and that square first appeared, I thought they were ducks.

Elsewhere on the map there are all kinds of different special squares. This being a tutorial game, that's reasonable. So I found grapes, and cows, and elephants, and beavers, and gold, and silver, and stone, and copper. I also have exactly one neighbor, Gandhi, who is peaceful and not doing a very good job developing his nation.


The tutorial world is not a very big place.

By the way, you guys aren't going to spoil this game for me by telling me all sorts of things that I would have had fun finding out for myself, are you? Right? Right? You're not going to do that?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Gaming at 01:19 PM | Comments (12) | Add Comment
Post contains 648 words, total size 4 kb.


Yeah, I thought that was pretty silly.

Had you got the $40 "complete" addition, that came on one DVD. 

Posted by: RickC at March 26, 2010 01:52 PM (chDMG)


It says "Game of the Year Edition". I haven't installed it yet so I can't tell you what's in it. (Gonna take a nap first.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 26, 2010 02:28 PM (+rSRq)

Ahh.  They just put Civ IV, Beyond the Sword, Warlords in the box.  I believe 2 of those disks are the base install, then the other two disks are the expansion packs.

Posted by: Dreamshadow at March 26, 2010 03:13 PM (GJA7G)

4 That does not appear to be the case, since one of the four says it is a DVD with a program dictated by Leonard Nimoy.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 26, 2010 03:33 PM (+rSRq)

5 I guess that should be "narrated" not "dictated".

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 26, 2010 03:46 PM (+rSRq)


The third CD was only about 40 MB. During the installation process, after that disk was in the drive I got asked if I wanted to install something called Xfire, which would enable networked play. (I said "no".)

Looking at it, there's an SDK, and PDF of the manual, and a CAB file which I assume contained Xfire.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 26, 2010 04:02 PM (+rSRq)

7 I think the Game of the Year version is the original game plus videos and stuff, and doesn't have the expansion packs.

It's a fine place to start out, though.  I bought the Gold version (or something) with the expansion packs, and played it for a couple of weeks before I realised that there were three different startup icons and the one I was using didn't actually include either of the expansions...

Posted by: Pixy Misa at March 26, 2010 06:55 PM (PiXy!)

8 Grapes?  Ducks?  Really?

Posted by: Wonderduck at March 26, 2010 09:08 PM (mfPs/)

9 Lips are sealed. Advice will be limited to game interface. ;p

Posted by: Avatar_exADV at March 26, 2010 11:55 PM (mRjOr)

10 'I guess that should be "narrated" not "dictated".'

I read this, and envisioned Mr. Nimoy picking up some pencil-necked game producer by the front of the shirt, and demanding a bonus DVD be made.

Then I envisioned the DVD opening with orders from Mr. Nimoy that the viewer write down everything he says.

Both of these things mean I need more sleep, I think.

Posted by: Mikeski at March 27, 2010 12:33 AM (GbSQF)


My interface tip: "Alt-R" with a worker selected is "Road-to mode". Press Alt-R, then click where you want the road built to. The worker will automate itself building said road, then unautomate at the end. It makes connecting cities and whatnot so much less tedious. It is even more useful when you start upgrading roads to railroads.

It picks the route that can be built the fastest, but isn't smart about not getting to close to enemy territory, so it's mostly useful for building your internal roads.

Posted by: Boviate at March 27, 2010 05:24 PM (PJNgE)

12 Please, no more like that.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste at March 27, 2010 05:28 PM (+rSRq)

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