Video game philosophy

Video game philosophy

Postby sunnyside » Tue Feb 16, 2010 10:42 pm

There have been a number of nation building sort sof games. I know the Civilization series (especially Civ II ), and some online browser based games (eRepublik) , but there are many such games out there.

Something I've started doing when having political or philosophical discussions with people who game is to ask them what they do when they're playing.

So far it's nearly inevitable that the secular small military pacifist is a vengeful temple building pre-emptive striker in the game.

And in multiplayer games the strong survive.

Of course those are just games.

What I'm wondering is how some of you play or what your massively multiplayer experiences are, and if you think any games abstractly model reality to a degree where they hint and the best courses for nations if not indaviduals.
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby Coalition » Wed Feb 17, 2010 4:30 am

My stunt has usually been to develop either a scientific or economic powerhouse, to support research and military.

I.e. in Master of Orion 2, I will take 'Creative' to get all the technologies, and use those to build up all my colonies into industrial powerhouses, and my ships equipped with the best defenses, weapons, and computer technology.

Or in Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, I'll prefer the research group, for technological capability. The other option would be the Green faction, to take advantage of recruiting Mind Worms, and sending out Colonizers to grab optimum locations.
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby Atekimogus » Wed Feb 17, 2010 8:50 am

I agree, usually go the heavy research route to have the best units and strongest military.

Altough you should give Civilisation IV a try, which is by far the best one imho. The reason beeing that it is far more difficult there to go the all out conquering military route. In games like previous civs, or Master of Orion II you easily could swallow one empire after the other without any consequences in Civ IV every single city you attempt to conquer must be very carefully planned or you could find yourself in a protracted war you cannot afford while smashing diplomatic relations with everyone else. Going the all out conquering route almost forever damages diplomatic relations with other empires, so while it is quite possible to dominate via military might in Civ IV, contrary to other games you won't be the only nation left on the planet when you finish, which I find rather enjoyable.
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby Sionnach Glic » Wed Feb 17, 2010 12:13 pm

I hardly ever use multiplayer, but in most games I too tend to go the reasearch-heavy route.

At the beginning of the game my strategy is mainly defensive. Secure any useful positions or resources near my starting position, build a small but capable military to defend myself through the effective use of choke-points, and pour the majority of my money into building up an economy and research base.

This strategy usually leaves me with a serious tech advantage over any enemies and a nice big pile of money to use to build up large quantities of my superior forces, at which point it's time to attack the enemy base. Usually I'll send in whatever's left of the initial defensive army to attack the enemy first, using it as a decoy to draw out the enemy army. While the enemy is busy destroying those sacraficial units, I swing around behind him and wipe out his army. Easy enough victory.
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby Tyyr » Wed Feb 17, 2010 5:47 pm

In general when it comes to multi-player vs. single player there's a big difference. In single player the AI is usually such that you can sit back, do research, and really build up. In multi-player you typically have to be an early rusher and long game players lose big time.
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby Captain Seafort » Wed Feb 17, 2010 7:11 pm

This is more "video games" than "philosophy" *punt*
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby sunnyside » Thu Feb 18, 2010 6:40 pm

Captain Seafort wrote:This is more "video games" than "philosophy" *punt*


Wow. Just wow. I mean not a big deal or anything. But wow.

On a whim I decided to check some of the board stats. As a bit of trivia, the current mods/admins account for nearly half the posts this forum has total.

Anyway back on topic. I take it that when you guys are "focusing on research" it means you've got luxuries and whatnot as low as you can keep them yes? However ultimately your citizens wind up the happier. And again with the tendancy towards attack.

The philosophy side of the question is how much do you think the game reality applies to how things are for real nations.


(Also I'd really like to play CIV IV If I had the time. It was just that CIV II was out when I had more free time, and so could develop diety level skills on it. )
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby Coalition » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:54 am

sunnyside wrote:Anyway back on topic. I take it that when you guys are "focusing on research" it means you've got luxuries and whatnot as low as you can keep them yes? However ultimately your citizens wind up the happier. And again with the tendancy towards attack.

The philosophy side of the question is how much do you think the game reality applies to how things are for real nations.


I've tended to go for high technology, as it reduces build costs and provided more income through better items. I.e. instead of building low-level pollution reducers in MoO2, I go ahead and make a Core Waste Dump on a new colony (in MoO2, as you get more industry on a planet, you get a pollution penalty). The Core Waste Dump brings all pollution production to zero, meaning I don't have to build the two lower-tech pollution cleaning technologies on my way up.

For Alpha Centauri, when I go for research, I can deploy better vehicles that allow for terraforming projects to allow for higher population levels in my cities.
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby Monroe » Fri Feb 19, 2010 11:42 pm

In terms of Civ 2 I am Expansive and Militaristic. I used to be, growing up, perfectionist and Militaristic. I don't put a huge emphasis in science. From the start I move out with settlers, colony ships, etc and quickly skip over viable land to a boarder edge from there I begin working my way towards my capital and away.

I build a weak defense unit then settlers and just keep expanding. I might have 30 level 1-3 cities while the computer has 4 level 5 cities. I don't have to worry about science cause my population covers for that. And in time my population can begin pumping out killer military units. I build roads and what not of course to aid in the population boom and the cities towards the middle become only producers of workers or military units.

Science will come from the population so I concentrate on huge expansive policies and a near always state of war. If I see a neighbor I think I can beat I go to war. I don't build up for one massive attack because I can afford early losses and can quickly replace them when my 10x cities or planets switch to war.
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby Sionnach Glic » Sat Feb 20, 2010 12:54 pm

sunnyside wrote:Wow. Just wow. I mean not a big deal or anything. But wow.


Eh? He relocated a thread to a more suitable location. I don't get your reaction. :?
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby McAvoy » Mon Feb 22, 2010 11:41 am

Lately I have been playing Civ II Test of Time on Vista which barely works. Can't rename your cities or leaders etc without it crashing.

Anyway, something I found over the past ten years or so, is that staying away from other civilizations and just building cities and as many as possible even at the cost of everything else gives you a much better edge in the long run against other civilizations. It also will give you a good econmoical and science base from which you can later on start conquering the other civilizations if you want to.

Basically I allow my capital to become large but the other cities around Level 4 or 5 i keep pumping out settlers until I run out of space. Basically making a spider web of cities. I don't let them get big until it becomes uneconmoical to build settlers or engineers to make more cities.

Doing this will allow for a fully constructed spaceship to be completed and landed by the 1920's nad have a population of around 50 million. By that point I am a Fundamentalist with a large army ready to create a World War on anyone.

More or less, in simpler terms defensive at first and then very heavily offensive in the end. Massive attacks on very few cities at a time.

I use this in other empire building games as well.
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby Tyyr » Mon Feb 22, 2010 8:45 pm

That's a strategy that works very well in most single player games of that nature. In MOO2 focusing on research and building up your empire is a sure win. Even on the hardest difficulty levels unless you're plopped down on the map right next to someone like the Sheliak or the Saurons you're fine.

You go to multiplayer, not so much.
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby sunnyside » Mon Feb 22, 2010 10:25 pm

Since it's more of what we're talking about, my personal strategy for Civ II is to have one super city, a number of suport cities (that usually produce trade eventually) and than an ever spreading swarm of smaller cities.

However the clear picture from any number of games is that the key priorities of a nation in nearly any world building game are research and defense. You can win most of the games peacefully, but "peacefully" usually means "My defensive forces wiped them out quickly when they attacked, and I didn't retaliate".

So do you think it's the same for real nations?
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby McAvoy » Tue Feb 23, 2010 6:52 am

Tyyr wrote:That's a strategy that works very well in most single player games of that nature. In MOO2 focusing on research and building up your empire is a sure win. Even on the hardest difficulty levels unless you're plopped down on the map right next to someone like the Sheliak or the Saurons you're fine.

You go to multiplayer, not so much.


I'm not that big on multiplayer. In multiplayer you have to be much more agressive. Pretty much dedicating more than you're probably willing towards your military.

One game I enjoy alot is Empire Earth. Similar to Civilization but pretty much focused one city. If you let your enemies to grow too big, it'll end up being a very long game.
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Re: Video game philosophy

Postby Reliant121 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 9:56 pm

I've always enjoyed empire earth. Never played any civilization game.
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