"Civilization" was first published in 1991, and it was rated as a masterpiece by the major media as soon as it was launched.
Time magazine has selected the 50 best video games in history, and Civilization 4 ranked 11th, second only to World of Warcraft.
In 2017, Civilization publisher Take Two announced that the cumulative sales of the "Civilization" series were nearly 40 million, with cumulative revenue of more than 2.4 billion US dollars.
To this day, Steam still has more than 60, 000 players playing the "Civilization" series every day, making it one of the top 10 players on the list.
According to the statistics of Steam distribution platform and community platform, the players of the "Civilization" series have invested more than 1 billion hours.
The most famous phrase among "civilized" players is "One more turn". Even playing "civilized" games for a long time will be called "One more turn" disease. The symptom of this "disease" is that those players face a pile of extremely complex maps, interfaces, tables and data on the computer screen, while still muttering unfathomable words about economy, science and technology, culture, politics, religion, military, society and so on.
Then the most common thing they do is press enter or space.
One round, the next round...
And then it was dawn.
Therefore, many players say that this game is like drug abuse and magic, and it can't be stopped as soon as it is played, so how does "civilization" achieve such "addiction" or "magic" in game design?
First of all, let's talk about his creator: Sid Meier.
Sid Meier is a programmer and designer of strategic computer games in Canada.
What is most amazing about him is that he alone has completed almost all the program development and design work of the "civilization" 1st generation, and even some art work.
He distilled, condensed and edited the development of mankind since the agricultural era into such a 3MB-only IBM PC computer game, and achieved amazing results, which is why many critics regard him as one of the greatest game designers in history, known as the godfather of video games.
The Pearl in the History of Game Design: 4X Framework.
What special designs did Sid Meier bring to Civilization?
This requires mentioning the famous 4X framework:
In 1993, journalist and game designer Alan Emrich first defined this concept:
These four words all begin with EX and pronounce X, so they are called 4X.
What does this 4X framework do?
It has many addictive elements.
Adam Alter, a famous doctor of psychology, lists six addictive design techniques in his book Irresistible, all of which are fully reflected in 4X games:
1. Seductive and in-depth goals:
the goals of the 4X game are the most indispensable. In Civilization, players will find new targets in each round, and these goals are inextricably linked to each other, allowing players to indulge in them.
2. Easy progress:
the elements of 4X games are interrelated.
From the first step of exploring and finding new areas, players naturally begin to expand, and the new resources acquired by expansion can be used for development, enhance their strength through development, and be reflected through conquest. At the same time, expansion, development and conquest drive players to carry out a new round of exploration.
This gradual, continuous design that turns big goals into multiple small goals makes it easy for players to enjoy growth and achievement, and then cycle round after round.
3. High-profile feedback:
the 4X game system is complex, and the feedback caused by a large number of actions made by players and AI is all reflected after the player clicks on the next round, and each feedback is meaningful and valuable.
The impact of a large amount of information feedback gives players a great sense of satisfaction and great expectations for the next round.
4. Escalating challenges: 4X games well mimic real-world wars and battlefields, and the challenges for players continue to rise. This escalating and just-in-time challenge allows players to create a "flow" experience, immerse themselves in it, and lose track of time.
5. Unforeseen suspense: each game of 4X game map and opponent AI are different, different opponents AI choice of civilization, each other's geographical distribution, the game of the turn, players and opponents AI interaction between the behavior and so on, this complex randomness produced complex game changes, this sense of pending expectations fascinated players.
6. Obsessive social interaction: although the early 4X games were stand-alone games, and the social activities in the games were between people and computers, the game's distinctive and moderately difficult AI opponents can still be talked about by players.
When you get stronger, people will praise you or even succumb to you,
but when you get weaker, they will laugh, provoke and even attack you, which gives players a great sense of substitution.
The 4X design framework is probably one of the best in the history of strategy games, covering almost all the core SLG games in a narrow sense, and Civilization is one of the earliest SLG games that fit this concept.
Follow-up similar games basically use this framework as development indicators and evaluation criteria, and have been in use until now.
The online version of the Civilization series has been tried many times during the development of the "Civilization" series, but it has not caused much good response.
On the one hand, the return system of the game led to the warring parties waiting time is too long, on the other hand, the depth of the game process also led to a single game too long, so that players can find a common chunk of time to play together undoubtedly raised the threshold.
Therefore, simply replacing AI opponents in stand-alone SLG with real players is not a good SLG networking solution.
Aren't there a lot of strategy games in board games?
Isn't it all a multi-player system?
Yes, in fact, Civilization first made reference to a similar board game, but this board game is not successful, and for the same reason, to put it bluntly, one round is too long, and the feedback is too slow. Fun is far less effective than video games.