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Civ: Evolution - YACC

By Eloquence in MLP
Sun Apr 29, 2001 at 03:58:06 AM EST
Tags: Software (all tags)

Civ: Evolution is a clone of the empire simulation Civilization (originally designed in 1991 by Sid Meier, now blessed with many sequels and an open-source multiplayer clone). Unlike Freeciv, however, it does not try to copy Civ's rules with accuracy. Instead, Civ-E, written in Delphi and open source, introduces some radical changes. [Screenshots: 1, 2, 3]

Similar to Alpha Centauri (the only legitimate Civ II sequel), it allows the player to design individual military units with special abilities. Civ-E also changes the effects of many wonders. For example, Leonardo da Vinci's Workshop, which upgraded military units in Civ II, now gives the player three special units: a glider, an underwater capsule and a transport carriage. There are also individual icons for each player, and different icons for the military units, so that the gamefield looks a lot more colorful. Oh, there's also a new government type called "Lybertarianism", which happens to be even more efficient than Democracy, but the programmer denies any personal bias ;-).

Civ-E, unlike many other Civ clones, is actually very playable already, but it still lacks some essential features. Most importantly, winning seems to be impossible (conquering the whole world is not good enough, and you can't build the spaceship to Alpha Centauri which you have to build in Civ I and Civ II), and the AI is very weak. Diplomacy is impossible. The lack of sound and wonder-videos or other surprises also makes it a little boring. There is no Internet multiplayer support (local players can compete by switching places).

But being the work of an individual designer, Civ-E is quite impressive. It also seems to be a good example for the power of Delphi (using Kylix, it may also be possible to port it to Linux). Civ-E players are encouraged to contribute by building their own nations with individual icons. Ebonia, anyone?


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Favorite turn-based empire simulation?
o Sid Meier's Civilization I 12%
o Sid Meier's Civilization II: Test of Time 24%
o Activision's Civilization - Call to Power 3%
o Activision's Call to Power 2 3%
o Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri 24%
o Freeciv 4%
o Other 9%
o Inoshiro's World Domination 2020 17%

Votes: 86
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Civ: Evolution
o clone
o 1
o 2
o 3
o Kylix
o Also by Eloquence

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Civ: Evolution - YACC | 20 comments (14 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
Other: (3.25 / 4) (#1)
by Delirium on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 03:37:07 AM EST

Master of Orion

Definitely one of the best computer games overall of any genre, in my opinion.

--AIM: Delirium4u. Or read my diary.

Pre MOO available (4.00 / 1) (#5)
by DeHans on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 04:57:04 AM EST

If you're a huge fan of MOO (as am I :), you'll probably like Star Lords. Quote from the page: "Yes, before Master of Orion, there was a program that Steve Barcia and SimTex software "pitched" to publishers. This program, Star Lords, can be though of as MOO"0." And now it's yours free for the download, courtesy of Steve Barcia and with a courteous nod from the good folks at MicroProse Software."

This download is from the official MOO3 site, which also looks very promising (Beta testers wanted in Summer/Autmn 2001, no realease date set).

[ Parent ]
Kylix might not help (4.00 / 4) (#3)
by aphrael on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 04:30:07 AM EST

It looks like the app has been in development for a while, which means it depends on the windows class library (VCL: visual component library), which writes directly to the windows API. Kylix and Delphi 6 allow cross-platform stuff through the cross-platform class library (CLX) which writes to QT. In general, the class names are the same, so you might be able to switch it over by just renaming the units you're using, but there are classes in the VCL that have no corresponding class in CLX.

The general rule is that a CLX app will always cross-compile and work, but a VCL app may need more work in porting. I'm a huge civilization fan, so I might sit down with this guy and work on migrating from VCL to CLX with him if I get some time and he seems cool, tho.

Unmasking myself temporarily:I'm a member of the Kylix development team.

What more is it going to take? (4.54 / 24) (#8)
by elenchos on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 05:14:19 AM EST

The truth of libertarianism has already been proven beyond all doubt in fictional works by authors that run the full gamut from Ayn Rand all the way to Robert A. Heinlein. Numerous paintings of imaginary people and scenes (used on the book covers) only add to this ever growing pile of hypothetical evidence. Uncounted country western and indie punk musical recordings, of course, continue to add further fabricated narrative that is so believable that it is almost as if it were straight from real life. Next, one film depiction after another showed in many, many invented versions of the world that libertarianism is the ideal pretend political philosophy.

Still, people refused to believe. But now, the weight of fictional evidence in favor of libertarianism will simply be too much to deny. Libertarianism is even the best form of government in fantasy computer games! Hello? How could anyone not be convinced? Go on with your stubborn denials if you wish, but you are only showing yourself to be an even greater fool if you can't see the made-up facts for what they are.

I mean, if you won't be convinced by a video game then I say there is just no convincing you ever, so the hell with you. I can easily visualize incorrigibles like you being left completely out of all the postulated wealth and mythic prosperity that the rest of us will be confidently dreaming of in hallucinations whose grandeur will far surpass anything in any previous novel, movie and even simulation game. So there.

By the way, it sounds like a really cool game too.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill. --Marcus Aurelius, Med. ii.

L Neil Smith Rules! (3.50 / 2) (#10)
by WinPimp2K on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 10:21:45 AM EST

Lets not forget all those alternate histories where it is also demonstrated that Libertarianism allows cetaceans and dogs to participate as equal member of society.

[ Parent ]
It's true! (4.00 / 2) (#12)
by nurglich on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 10:34:29 AM EST

Judging by recent lawsuits, video games and movies are the most convincing mediums out there. If they can persuade someone to shoot up his school, they've got political conversion down pat.

"There are no bad guys or innocent guys. There's just a bunch of guys!" --Ben Stiller, Zero Effect

[ Parent ]
going postal (none / 0) (#19)
by Sikpup on Sat Apr 28, 2001 at 04:30:41 AM EST

How about postal - run around town and kill everything. I still enjoy the odd game now and again

[ Parent ]
Other compelling evidence (5.00 / 1) (#16)
by Wondertoad on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 04:37:52 PM EST

In SimCity, the only strategy game I know that is actually a government management simulation, you can't win unless you ruthlessly manage and tax your citizenry. Nothing will even happen at all unless you pay public monies to zone, set up utilities, build rail, etc. Once you're an expert you can build your riches by making big fat-cat deals with other local municipalities, and scare industry you want out of town with manipulative laws. The people are unable to even set up little leagues without you funding them. There's no such thing as a volunteer fire department. A bunch of hippies routinely make public policy demands. This is the ideal model of a centrally-controlled anti-libertarian universe.

In The Sims, if you let your little characters do whatever they want, they are generally hopeless. The results vary, but if you allow them free will they will wet themselves, be friendless and jobless, have broken backs from never sitting down, etc. However, they apparently pay no taxes, and get compensation for solving crimes. So this one is a mixed bag.

In Age of Empires/Kings/Conquerors, you simply take all of the resources that your little serfs develop, and you can do whatever you want with them - build, stockpile, or sell (at ridiculous rates) to finance your war efforts. If you don't want your subject to do what you want, you force him into a new profession. The better you are at waging war and controlling the output of your citizens, the better off you are.

But all these games are nothing compared to Rollercoaster Tycoon. On its face, RCT is a perfectly libertarian game. Underneath it all is a seething attack on the school of thought.

In RCT, the business owner controls everything, can buy additional land without real estate transfer taxes, and pays ZERO tax. The rides are inspected by the private sector, but the inspection system is so poor that rides inevitably break down and even kill patrons. If you kill patrons, the only consequence is that people refuse to come to your park for a while. This is a natural, predictable boycott, yet business owners STILL build dangerous deathtraps for rides.

Furthermore, in RCT people vomit all over the place, even in front of food stands, yet there is no health inspector in sight. RCT is a model of the horror of how a libertarian society would actually operate.

Hey man, I'm just trying to help.

[ Parent ]
Simple SimCity strategy (5.00 / 1) (#17)
by error 404 on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 05:04:33 PM EST

Lie about cutting taxes. Set the tax rate minimal 11 months out of the year to maximize growth, crank it up every December (taxes are only collected at the end of the year) to make the revenue. So your sims make all their happy decisions based on no taxes and the economy booms, but they actualy pay the maximum, so you get to do all the fun stuff.

Works for me in the game.

Remember not to spend your tax cut all at once...

Electrical banana is bound to be the very next phase
- Donovan

[ Parent ]

This works IRL too. (5.00 / 2) (#18)
by elenchos on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 05:39:05 PM EST

First, set up a progressive tax schedule. Then let inflation do its thing, which gives your luckier citizens a cost of living increase to maintain their purchasing power against the higher prices they face. The problem is that they have moved into a higher tax bracket, thus finding themselves in perpetual need of tax relief. GOP to the rescue! They get to go in and fight the good fight to "lower" everyone's taxes, and thus win support, even though they are doing nothing but maintaining the status quo. So why haven't the Dems long ago just pegged the tax brackets to inflation? Because fighting back against the evil Republican tax cutters, who want to "gut needed government services" pleases the Democrat constituency. It is a symbiotic win-win situation for the two parties, and the end result is that taxes stay about the same and the same two parties stay in power and each gives the appearance of doing something. Conservatives get to think that they got a tax break and liberals get to think that they saved critical social programs from the axe.

I guess it's all fine: everybody gets something to feel good about from this charade, but to me if you want to just make believe about everything then why not just take drugs? Or play simulation games and read sci-fi. That's what I do.

Say to yourself in the early morning: I shall meet today inquisitive, ungrateful, violent, treacherous, envious, uncharitable men. All these things have come upon them through ignorance of real good and ill. --Marcus Aurelius, Med. ii.

[ Parent ]

IMHO... (3.25 / 4) (#15)
by jd on Thu Apr 26, 2001 at 04:14:29 PM EST

Static Rules-basec "Civilization" games are inherently limited. As are static map games, static sets of technologies, etc.

What's with the static stuff, guys??? Computers can make things dynamic just as easily, and it adds to the flavour of the simulation. (As well as the "realism".)

Also, technologies, skills, etc, tend to be very coarse-grain models. Inventing the aircraft can mean the Wright Brothers or the Boeing 747. Bit of difference, there.

What's needed is a fine-grained, tunable Civilization-style simulation. Now, THAT would be something worthwhile.

(To do it properly, what you'd actually end up with is more of a cross between Civ II, Command & Conquer, Advanced Squad Leader, Empire, Monopoly, and the Weather Channel. It would require a VERY sophisticated set of clients to be able to handle the different scales, and correlate them correctly. On the other hand, if you could pull it off, AND have something playable, it would probably be the best product ever created.)

dynamic => unbalanced (none / 0) (#22)
by Rainy on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 06:35:24 PM EST

These games have to be static to be balanced. That is, if I understood you right. You mean new units, technologies, etc would be created on the fly? Also, much of civ strategy was in trying different paths of developments, i.e. you'd think 'today i'll shoot for cavalry immediately and try to conquer one civ using cavalry, then wait for armors and deal with one more, then wait for howitzers and take out the rest'. In a dynamic game you wouldn't be able to have such strategy, you'd only have short-term tactics, hm?
Rainy "Collect all zero" Day
[ Parent ]
You don't know what you're going to get. (none / 0) (#23)
by AndyL on Wed May 09, 2001 at 07:07:17 PM EST

That would be the whole chalange of the game. Planing contingencies for all the unknowns, like in real-life.

For instance you have a team working on Advanced FooBar which is a pure Science. You don't know what you're going to get out of it. (if anything.) With a large enough tree the randomness would balance out with well-prepared, diversified empires.

This would be a fun way to do a Sci-Fi game. You could have the Tech-Tree randomised at the same time as map-generation. Give both sides the same (unknown) tree and let them go at it.

The tricky bit would be to restrict it so that it makes sense, but stays enherently random. Researching "High Powered Lasers" should not be likely to give you a new type of geneticly enginered potato. But it could give you a wide range of sci-fi weapons or gadgetry.


[ Parent ]

Best Empire simulation ? SE IV, of course ! (none / 0) (#21)
by Joss21 on Mon Apr 30, 2001 at 01:58:02 PM EST

I almost said Master of Orion II, but... I got my hands on a new one... from Malfador Machinations (www.malfador.com).. Space empires IV It comes from a modest company, lacks all of the "bells & whistles" like videos and fancy graphics but from the strategy point of view, its almost flawless... I think its a fair succesor to MOO2 and I don´t really know if MOO3 (when it finally comes) will be at its level. Graphics are just good enough. But variety of play, replayability, number of different configurations... its fantastic ! Its VERY customizable... I recomend it as today´s King of Empire building genre. Joss21
"Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level then beat you with experience."
Civ: Evolution - YACC | 20 comments (14 topical, 6 editorial, 0 hidden)
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