Civ 5 and Unity!


Two new videos today:  A new episode of Civ 5, and a new Unity programming tutorial (sound and music) on my second channel:



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Civ 5 Expansion Coming!



Fans of Civilization V have been begging me for an answer to this question for quite some time: will Civilization V get an expansion pack?

Today I am extremely excited to tell you all that yes, it will! Sid Meier’s Civilization V: Gods & Kings is currently slated for a late Spring 2012 release.

It will come as no surprise to those of you who are familar with expansion packs for previous Civilization games that Gods & Kings will add more techs, units, buildings, Wonders, and playable Civilizations. But what about the big brand new game elements that will change the way you conquer the world? Let me lay it out for you:

Tons of New Stuff. I know I just mentioned it, but I want to draw attention to just how many new things we’ve got here: 27 new units, 13 new buildings, 9 new wonders, and 9 new playable civilizations. Among the new civilizations are the Netherlands (William I, Prince of Orange), the Celts (Boudicca), and the Mayans (Pacal the Great).

Religion. That’s right; quite possibly the most requested major addition to the game is coming in the Gods & Kings expansion. Using the new “Faith” resource, you’ll be able to found your own religion and grow it from a simple Pantheon of the Gods to a world-spanning fully-customized religion.

Reworked Combat System. The expansion has a reworked combat system along with an AI that places more emphasis on balanced army composition. Among the changes to the combat system is the addition of melee naval units, which will force you to really rethink the way you execute your naval assaults.

Enhanced Diplomacy, with Espionage. In addition to being able to establish embassies with your rival civilizations, spies will now be an important part of how you conduct your foreign affairs. Surveilling foreign cities, stealing advanced techs, and garnering influence with city-states are some of the things you’ll be able to do with this new powerful mechanic.

New City-States. With religion being added to the game, it only made sense to introduce Religious city-states which will interact with your religion in special ways. In addition, Mercantile city-states will be attractive for those of you who love to grow your civilization’s treasury. All city-states will use the greatly expanded quest system, making city-states more dynamic and diplomatic victories more challenging, while decreasing the importance of gold when dealing with city-states.

New Scenarios. Three new scenarios will be coming in Civilization V: Gods & Kings. Experience the fall of Rome, explore the medieval era, and my personal favorite: a unique scenario in a Victorian science-fiction setting.

Additional information:

“The nature of diplomacy is going to change as you progress through the ages,” explained Beach. In the early ages, religion will be one of the crucial factors in how other civilizations respond to you. Later in the game, those religious prejudices will give way to ideology preferences. When a civilization commits to the freedom, order, or autocracy culture tree, it will become the new driving force behind international relations.”

“When pressed, Beach noted that the Celts have the ability to gain additional faith when their cities are settled against a forest, while the Byzantines can purchase a bonus, sixth belief. Some of the original civilization abilities are also being tweaked to accommodate the changes coming in Gods and Kings.”

“This expansion is targeted for a late spring release this year in stores or through Steam for $29.99.”



I’m especially excited about religion and improved diplomacy.  The thing that made diplomacy work so well in Civ 4 is the fact that religion creates groups of friends and enemies.  It made it possible to have real, true friends while also guaranteeing that some people hate you and give you action.  It also forced you to make decisions: Do I side with X and Y in the Christian block, or with A and B in the Buddhist block?  Decisions make games interesting.  In Civ 5, there’s not currently a good way to make reliable friends, so you basically need to consider everyone your enemy.  If they made it easier to be friendly, there’d be the risk of not having ANY enemies, which isn’t good gameplay either.

Religion makes diplomacy interesting.




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Civ 4 Flubs and Diablo


I recorded a session of Civilization 4: Caveman to Cosmos last night, but partway through I realized that I misclicked when changing my civics.  Somehow I failed to lock in “Fascism”, and it turns out you generate crippling levels of war weariness when you nuke someone…

So I’m going to have to restart from the last save and basically redo the recording.  Which I’m fine with.  ‘Cuz…nukes.

It does mean no video this morning though. :(


In other news, the Diablo 2 ladder reset yesterday, and while I don’t compete on the ladder it’s a heck of an excuse to make a new character.  I’ve been playing Diablo 2 since it was released a decade ago, but strangely enough I have never once made an Assassin character.  I’ve never even looked at the skill trees!  So I’m going to be playing a hardcore-mode Assassin a little bit and I’ll record as I go.  It’s not going to be a long-term LP (especially not on hardcore!), but it’s a fun little distraction for a while.

Update snippets: Civ and D&D


Civ 4: Caveman 2 Cosmos LP should be coming online any minute now! It has a lot of the stuff that Rise of Mankind has, but takes it to yet another level.  Very fun to play so far!

Another episode of the D&D 4th Edition should also be coming online today.

Finally, I’ve been working on my own character for D&D. After this adventure is over, Mordius (a.k.a. Erevan) will be taking over the DM seat and will be running an adventure of his own making.  I hope he’s not mad about me killing him that one time.

Right now I have both a Leader and a “Striker” (actually a Druid) ready to go. Just need to confirm who I’m playing and finish fine-tuning, then I will post the PDF.

Sid Meier’s Civilization 4: Beyond the Sword: Rise of Mankind: A New Dawn


Longest game title ever?

So, I finally got a reply on the CivFanatics forum regarding my problem with getting my Rise of Mankind saves to load:

you picked RoM 2.92

Yup, sure did! I always make sure that I have the most up-to-date version of stuff.

which is/was a mistake

Wait, what?

RoM 2.92 has KNOWN CTD [crash to desktop] bugs

Known by WHOM?  Not known by me!  Well, at least not when I downloaded it. I sure as hell know now. So, when can we expect these bugs to be fixed?

the developer is gone


In fact, the mod has been dead for over 6 months, I’m surprised anyone even plays it.

HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KNOW THIS? It’s not like there’s a warning on the download page or anything. All I know is that people keep talking about how awesome RoM is, so I naturally assumed that it was, you know, awesome.

Well, as it turns out, what people mean is that they are actually playing Rise of Mankind: A New Dawn, which is a mod of the mod. Gods dammit. I was trying to keep things simpler and less crash-prone by NOT using this modmod. So that was a mistake.

Alright, so where does that leave us?

The Civ 4:RoM LP as Egypt is definitely 100% dead. Since this comes on the heels of the broken Civ 5 LP as England, I’m feeling pretty shitty.

So my plan this weekend is to play a non-stop marathon game of Civ 4:RAND (as Egypt). I will autosave and save at important checkpoints, but I will NOT exit the game if I can help it, just to make damn sure that I don’t get screwed by a save/load bug. Hopefully my voice can hold up over several hours of play.


Tabletop D&D Campaign Update


I had planned on doing a Civ 4:RoM video last night, but I actually got heavily involved in some Syzygy programming until later in the evening, at which point a lot of people were online and goofing around in DDO sounded like more fun.  I’m going to try to record a short session of Civ 4 tonight instead, before some company arrives.

We are rapidly moving forward in our planing to have a game of “real” Dungeons and Dragons using a virtual tabletop. There are more than enough interested parties.

Here’s the plan so far, though nothing is set in stone yet:

  • The list of players is not yet official, but enough people have replied to fill a standard 5-person party. I would like to have backups, however, so please sign up anyway if you are interested. People on stand by are absolutely invited to join in the session as we play live and spectate, ready to take over if someone drops out. (To stop us from crashing the internet, people other than players/stand-ins will not be invited to join in the live call, but we will of course record the whole thing.)
  • We will likely play on a Saturday (or Sunday). I haven’t figured out the time yet, but one of the very interested players is in Australia, and while he’s indicated a great degree of flexibility I’d rather not have him try to stay awake at 2:00 am. Fiddling with some numbers, I feel like a start time of 3:00 pm my local time (EDT a.k.a. GMT -4) would be ideal for everyone. If we ballpark 4 hours for our session, the timing should be reasonable for everyone (even if we run long).
  • GMT My Time (GMT -4) West Coast Time (GMT -7) Australian Time (Varies, but Approx GMT -9)
    19:00 15:00 12:00 10:00
    23:00 19:00 16:00 14:00
  • All players should set aside a block of 4 hours to play.
  • All players need to have Skype, Ventrilo, and TeamSpeak installed.Yes, three voice programs. We may need to go through more than one before we find one that works well for everyone, and we need backups in case there’s a technical problem. A microphone is not required, but is preferred. However, you should mute your mic when not talking (or use a Push-To-Talk configuration).
  • All players need to have MapTool installed, and all our versions need to match. The latest version at this time is 1.3.b86, and that’s what we’ll use even if new versions are released, unless there’s a problem bug or something.
  • Not having any experience and not owning the books is okay, however you must be prepared to ROLE PLAY. This means getting into your character and talking as him/her when appropriate. Bring life to your character — they are supposed to be a real person! We are going to be doing this for an audience, after all.
  • All players will need a 1st-level, 4th Edition D&D character. Please stand by for details on exactly how we are going to go about creating these. Don’t worry if you don’t know how to make a character — I will get you setup. No evil characters.


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Civilization 4: Rise of Mankind


So last night I wasn’t quite in the mood to play an action game (New Vegas, Amnesia, HoN, LoL), nor was I quite in the mood to play Alpha Centauri, so I’ve decided to play some Civ 4 instead.  And if I’m going to play, I’m usually going to record — so we have yet another game being played!

The mod I’m playing with, Rise of Mankind, is one I’ve never tried before but that comes very highly recommended.  The mod has a fully dedicated forum over at CivFanatics — it even has mods for the mod!

RoM Forum:

RoM Download page:

As indicated in my video, I am playing on a ridiculously large map with a ridiculously long time scale. There’s a very good chance that some gameplay with be skipped — especiallly boring bits where there’s not any conflict or anything.


Other videos still active:

  • Fallout: New Vegas – I really want to finish this
  • Amnesia: The Dark Descent – I really want to burn this and shoot the ashes into space. But I need to finish it for closure.
  • Alpha Centauri – I really need to find a way to win the war vs the Believers
  • Heroes of Newerth – I intend to do a dual-commentary of a game I played with jjones1226

Plus expect lots of random stuff, as usual.

Mid-May Update


Heya folks!

So, the new Japan Civ 5 LP is feeling extremely fun.  It’s interesting to have such a singular, focused goal: Kill my one opponent. Feels very different from a typical game, and I like the unique experience.

I am hoping to continue Alpha Centauri — I’m just feeling like I’m a bit stuck in that game, because my rustiness with the combat system has lead me to have a really unproductive war against the Believers.  Hopefully I can motivate myself to get back to it soon and see if I can find a solution.

Fallout: New Vegas is still definitely going to continue, since I want to finish the game in general (it’s my first and only playthrough). That being said, I may focus on finishing Amnesia first.

So yeah, right now I’m thinking that the two games most likely to see videos short-term are Civ 5 and Amnesia.


I’m also thinking of making some videos for some of my non-game-playing activities. This would be on a separate channel, for a variety of reasons. Short-term, I’m thinking this might be related to computer game programming.  Would this interest anyone?

Basically, like many, many computer programmers, I have a graveyard full of unfinished games sitting on my computer.  There’s one game in particular that I’ve wanted to make since I was a teenager that I’ve never gotten around to doing — but a few months ago I finally got started on it, and it was going really well and I think it’s got a lot of potential.  However, just like with all my other projects, I stopped working on it at some point and so it sits half-finished on my harddrive.

So what I’m wondering is if I turn it into a bit of a “How to make games” video series, it’ll give me the extra motivation I need to keep working on it and to finally finish the game.

I know that many of my subscribers won’t be interested, and there may be people interested in this that aren’t interested in the game commentary videos, hence the reason to do it on another channel.

I believe this will be the channel here:

There’s nothing there now, and there might not be anything for a little while yet, but “soon” there will be.

Geez, at this rate the only thing I do on my computer that won’t be recorded is looking at porn…

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