Old World (pka Ten Crowns) from Soren Johnson

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.

Would it be helpful at all to do something similar in reverse? Take a screenshot and circle a few items where you’re unsure what it means or stuff that’s contributed to the overload? I’d be happy to walk through the various elements as best I can.

You have my word that we will improve. I am taking everything said here and will do something with it. Tom is someone we listen to closely as well, we would be fools not to, and hopefully, as you know us by now, we will improve the experience for the players.
It is not like the frustrations expressed here were things we do not think we should work on, we are actually right now on an open thread on our internal chat, Slack, discussing these exact issues.
Thank you for taking the time to elaborate and tag us for these issues, and also for trusting that we are here and we are listening, and trusting that we care. My fear is not being able to do all the things possible because they might not be possible for us to do, but if they were consider them done.

There’s a phrase that gets used a lot on my team. “This software/feature/whatever would be so much better if we never had to ship it!”. That is, as software developers we would just iterate and polish and iterate again to try to get it perfect but unfortunately reality means we’ve got to shove it out the door at some point. :) I don’t know if there’s a single feature where someone doesn’t wish they had more time to work on or think about ways they might do it differently in hindsight.

That’s my long way of saying: I feel you! I hope you don’t stress too much about it, the game is in great shape especially for 1.0.

That’s my long way of saying: I feel you! I hope you don’t stress too much about it, the game is in great shape especially for 1.0.

Thank you:) Yes, 1.0 is a good excuse to hide behind. :)
There are things we can improve, and what is being discussed here is something we are working on improving.
Offworld offered the player a good tutorial and I think we’ll be able to focus this coming month on doing something similar for Old World (but Offworld is my favorite game, so understandably, it has all the things it needs, lol) It would be counter intuitive to our philosophy, which is we want to learn from players to improve our games. The call I hear here is that people are having a hard time learning the game, and we need to do a better job on that.

Some folks. It’s not really that hard. It’s considered, and different and what you’re hearing is the effect of the difference. People will object but I think Tom’s review is really “Manual please” and not much else.

The big difference between a Paradox and a traditional 4X game is that a Paradox game will run even if you do nothing - you can set your nation to run and get a drink, and if a pop up doesn’t cause the game to pause, go out for years of in-game time with possibly little input from your part. So in a sense the game is always running while you’re learning it. In a turn based game (yes, Paradox games are in reality turn based, but there are so many turns it’s effectively real time) if you don’t elect to do something, than nothing happens. So the gap of knowledge means the “gears” causing the game to run don’t move unless you push them.

You probably know this, so I’m just being persnickety about words, but that was definitely NOT intended as a review of Old World. The game diaries are more like off-the-cuff observations.


For sure, but it was still unfortunate how many folks around here refunded or took a pass on a purchase based entirely on what you wrote yesterday. Maybe that was the right call for them, and you did them a service of course, but still - kind of a bummer.

I’m pretty sure that number is zero, because @justaguy2 makes a career out of passing on games. :) Otherwise, I’ll bet you dollars to donuts everyone in the thread has made their decision based on a number of factors, and not just my frustration with Old World’s new user experience.

At any rate, it’s not my concern one way or the other, but I can pretty much guarantee that my enthusiasm is going to end up far outweighing my frustration in terms of being a cheerleader for Old World. I’m pretty head-over-heel smitten with this thing.