Old World (pka Ten Crowns) from Soren Johnson

When you get used to it it’s excellent. Took me a little while.

I am by no means an expert, but so far the AI has been proving tough. Rome saw I was militarily weak, declared war, and has been very clever in its attack and defense. In particular, it is scarily good at exploiting overextension.

The AI will kick butt, play on lower levels lol

Thing I only learned watching a bit of that Soren stream: Shift to queue actions to your worker units!

Yes. This is the rare 4X game where the AI feels like it knows what it’s doing.

Speaking of the AI, I’m pretty sure it gets some map vision buffs. Either that or its spying on me. In any case, please heed this tip:

If you clear a city site or find one unoccupied, LEAVE A UNIT ON THE SITE if you have any interest in settling there. The AI is a complete and utter bastard at sniping those things from you. You move a unit off to just scout a bit more for one single turn? Zoooooooooooom comes the AI scout to squat on it until it can get a Settler over there. Trust me. The bastard will exploit that mistake each and every time, force marching if it has to it seems like.

Also, the AI is smart enough that it gets upset if you snipe their city sites. Like if they’re clearing out a barbarian or tribe encampment but you swoop in for the killing blow and take it? They know what you did and will hold a grudge against you. Just be forewarned. :)

As I mentioned in my write-up, keys 1 through 6 are used to manage your tasks over the course of the turn. It’s actually pretty brilliant when you get used to it. It lets you work your way through queued up tasks in whatever order you want, and you can even right-click through multiple decisions in each category. Great bit of interface design for how it’s more flexible than the usual drop-down icons piling up on the right side of the screen.

The big glowing “End Turn” button is hidden, but that’s not the button so much as a context sensitive notification. The button slaved to the 6 is always available. If it’s not available, it’s because you have a mandatory decision and a tooltip will tell you so.


Thanks for the thread!

I want to know how players deal psychologically with the overwhelming amount of information that’s on the screen at all times. Doesn’t it make you want to quit and play something less stressful?

(That sounds like shade, so I apologize, but it’s a serious question. I had the same problem with Civ IV, so I’d like to know how to solve it mentally).

No shade at all!

As I mentioned in the other thread, I think it just comes down to different mindsets? It doesn’t bother me if I don’t immediately know what everything does/means when I first fire up a game like this. I guess I find exploring a game’s systems to be part of a new strategy game experience. It doesn’t come across as overwhelming to me, it’s more “Hmm, interesting! Lets see what this does”.

For instance, the first game I played I was coming from a Civilization background and a staple of 4X games like it are hammers/production, but I couldn’t see something similar here. Mines generated metal but where were my hammers? When I opened the City screen, it started to make more sense. I saw that producing different things took a different resource. Settlers took Growth, Warriors took Training, projects/buildings took Civics. Ahh, okay, so there’s no one-size-fits-all “production” stat. Instead, different things pull from different pools.

That sort of thing isn’t offputting to me and doesn’t stress me out, but it seems like it does for a lot of people. I’m the type of person that plays through a game for a bit and then wants to go read the manual/wiki/reference because then things make more sense to me with some context to hook it all to.

So I guess it comes down to whether or not all that info up front is overwhelming or not. It’s not overwhelming to me when I first start a game like this because I feel okay not grokking what everything does, I figure it’ll come with time/experience. I felt like with Old World I could do the basics through the various prompts. Put a city down? Done. What family to choose? Huh, I don’t know. Let’s just go with the Sages and see how I like it! I wonder how I build Warriors faster without “hammers”? Ahhh, that’s what that red shield resource is for. It just flows like that and things start clicking into place as I go. If I do get stuck I just ask a question or hit google, check the reference/documentation, etc.

I’m the same way. Also I don’t have a problem with starting a new game when I learn something new (usually that I fucked up somewhere) within the first few turns.

Right now I’m on my 4th or 5th restart since yesterday.

And @Rock8man - De nada.

Well, if I can figure out the psychological trick not to be bothered by it here, then I can go back and play Civ IV as well. Funny thing is, in this case it’s learning a completely new game with new systems and so forth. In Civ IV, it’s still a Civ game, so I should already know the systems for the most part, but I’m still bothered by the huge amounts of tool tips and numbers being thrown at me at all times. No other Civilization game does except Civ IV.

It does look overwhelming at first, but I’m just playing and figuring things out as I go, and that’s been fine enough for now. I don’t expect to fully understand everything until at least my 4th playthrough, though. ;)

Ha! I guess my question was too general for the Q&A thread and got moved here. :) That’s fair.

It may be tied to the difficulty, but so far every game has started with a second city site within a turn or two of my starting location, clearly visible. I always park one of my scouts there until I can get that first settler cranked out.

Yeah, that’s a useful new player tip! There should always be a nearby “freebie” city site revealed on the map once you settle your first city. I immediately march my starting military unit to squat on it until my first settler is finished, reserving my faster scout for exploring and grabbing goodie huts/harvesting resources. I learned my lesson by not doing that, if one of the AI players is nearby they will likely snag it from you.

I changed the title of the other thread because it made it sound like it was a thread about an interview. :) So I figured it would be good to kind of firewall it as a thread for discussion of gameplay mechanics we need help understanding.


This isn’t a complaint, but just trying to figure something out.

Do the art assets of the map seem slightly blurry to anyone else? Perhaps in the way Braid did since they both have a painterly aesthetic.

I have all settings on High and I have a fairly beefy rig. The UI is really crisp and looks well rendered. I really enjoy the art style here as it looks a bit like Civ IV with modernized art assets. It just looked slightly blurry to me, almost imperceptible where I thought it might strain my eyes a bit. Specifically the map tiles and units. The UI is quite crisp. I cannot tell if I am being too sensitive by starting a game before I had enough coffee or if I need to tweak the settings.

Sorry for the odd aside.

As we used to say back in Brooklyn, good pernt.

What I did was take about an hour and just click through and look at everything without it trying to play. I also spent time just looking at the screen until some elements seemed familiar, which let me notice other elements. (I also learn new graphics and programming tools this way.)

I also recommend restarting your first few games after several to a few dozen turns if you’re not grasping it. Restart each time you have an “ohhh, I get what I should’ve done” moment. They are such quick restarts that it doesn’t feel wasteful, to me, anyway.

Saying this as someone who loved Civ/SMAC type games but has never mastered them.

I do hope there will be more of a manual at some point, too. I thought the Offworld manual was wonderful. At minimum, I’d like to see it for the systems that are more board-game-like, such as technology research. I understand that turning the thousands of event and game state interactions into full prose descriptions is not really possible.

This is a really nice idea. I’ve noticed @Scotch_Lufkin does that, where he’s trying to help someone, he takes a screenshot, and then points at different parts of the screen and helps break it down, and it seems less overwhelming that way. And @KevinC already did something similar upthread where he took shots of different tooltips. Seeing them all on the screen at the same time kind of overwhelms me still, makes me stressed just to look at it. But maybe if get used to it via screenshots first, my brain won’t hit the panic button within the game.

To be fair, I create a lot of end user tip sheets and documentation at the office. I’m glad it works for you!

It works on RPGs and other various games. Whether it will work here (where there’s a different magnitude of information on the screen) is still an open question. It’s a good idea though.