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Chat With C:CTP Programmers; October 3rd, 1998

[MarkG] What kind of changes have been made in automation routines?
[MarkG] The go-to routine for example...
[MrOwl] Yeah, that's a good question.
[MrOwl] We sped up gameplay using a lot of different automation techniques.
[MrOwl] You can create, save, and load lists of units/improvements/wonders for a given city to build.
[MrOgre] For Go-to, if you mean pathing, our pathing is perfect, it will always find the shortest 
possible path from source to destination
[MarkG] Yes, I meant pathing....
[MrOgre] We have a unit screen where you can select a unit or group of units and give them all the 
same order, including going to their nearest city or fortification
[MarkG] There has been mentioned a way to have a city focus on trade or sience...
[MarkG] how does this work?
[MrOgre] You can set a city to try and place it's population to most effectively increase trade, science, 
production, or city growth, and it will always try to find the best balance between what you asked for and not 
[MarkG] Speaking of city growth, on what does it depend?
[MrOgre] There are buttons for each of those settings, easily accessed on the control panel...
[MrOgre] growth works mostly like you're used to from Civ2.  There is a more detailed happiness system 
however, which can affect growth indirectly...
[akula] Now lets move on to something else,  what have you worked on in the past
[akula] MrOgre would you like to lead off
[MrOgre] Steve and I survived Close Combat together, I was the network programmer.  After that, I did a 
stint at RealNetworks working on what's now called G2, before coming to Activison to work on Civ.
[akula] what was your last game
[akula] or is this your first?
[MrOgre] (Close Combat being a WWII game published by MS but written by Atomic, for anyone not familiar 
with it)...
[akula] Played it and enjoyed it... now how about you MrOwl
[akula] what have your worked on before this...
[MrOwl] My first game was Close Combat, and I was lead programmer on that project as well as Close 
Combat: A Bridge Too Far.  I also did all of the interface graphics for both games, network shell for ABTF, graphics 
engines, car washing, cleaning floors and windows, etc.
[MrOwl] I moved from Atomic Games to Activision after I shipped ABTF and started development of 
[akula] Have either of you gotten any ideas from close combat and put them into civ?
[MrOwl] I'm an ex-Macintosh platform guy too.
[MrOwl] Living maybe not entirely comfortably in a Microsoft world now.
[MrOgre] Well, if Steve can plug Mac, then I feel obliged to put a plug in for Linux.
[MrOgre] plug...
[akula] SPeaking of Mac's are there any plans for a Mac version of the game
[MrOwl] MrOgre is resident Linux guru.
[akula] or Linux (:
[Patton] we are working on it
[Patton] Mac
[Patton] and possibly linux
[MrOwl] I can't imagine that there wouldn't be a Mac version.
[MarkG] That's good news...
[MrOwl] We want everyone to have a chance to play...
[MarkG] Patton, you didn't tell us about your background...
[Patton] I literally started at the lowest levels of Production at Activison, as production support burning 
the CDs that would be sent to QA. 
[Patton] Then I worked my way into being an Associate Producer and then Producer in Activison's 
Technology group for a couple of years developing various technologies that would be implmented on a number 
of titles, from games in the Mechawarrior 2 series to Dark Reign.
[akula] Have you gotten any inspiration from previous games you have worked on for elements in Call To 
[Patton] It wasn't until Civilization became a reality for us that I decided to move out of Producing for many 
games into Producing for one.
[MrOwl] We borrow some of the realtime strategy graphical elements from games like Close Combat--just 
in terms of the look of the game.
[Patton] Absolutely
[Patton] We all did
[MrOwl] Animating units, many frames of animation, order delivery methods.
[MrOwl] Sound effects, and so forth.
[akula] Ok we shall now unmoderate the channel
[akula] so that everybody can speak up
[MrOwl] Let loose the dogs of war!
[MrOgre] Close Combat taught a couple of things not to do, and has definitely resulted in better networking 
for CTP.
[akula] please dont rush all your questions at once there will be plenty of time
[MarkG] How buggy is the game now??
[akula] There we go
[MrOgre] I should also say Netrek (http://continuum.real-time.com) taught me an awful lot of what I know about
network programming.  It's also a fantastic game, and everyone should try it (it's free!)
[MrOwl] We have one of the most solid alphas in Activision history.
[MrOwl] HAHAAH!!  Nice plug for Netrek, Joe.
[MarkG] It has been said that you are ahead of schedule...
[MrOwl] With a game like this, you're never really ahead of schedule.  ;-)
[traveller]  Do you expect to be able to balance out all of the new features so one or two don't dominate? Will you have time?
[AGM] Will you have an earth map?
[DanQ] One question at a time please!
[MrOwl] Yes.  That's the challenge of a big game like CivCTP.
[Patton] We will have an Earth map
[Dangime] Dangime, a co-owner of CivLeague here. We are going to run leagues and a ladder for Civ2 
multi-player. Any chance we could get  activision's blessing for a CtP League? 
[MrOwl] I'd love to get a CTP ladder up and going!
[Patton] We would love for you to run Civ CTP league
[Mag00] You should include the portuguese
[fjorik] I just heard about Civ CTP about a week ago, and it seems to have come
out of nowhere..I'd like to know what relationship, if any, exists between Microprose, you all developers, and Sid Meier.
[Patton] We are not affiliated with Sid in any way.
[MrOwl] We have a license to produce Civilization Call to Power from Microprose.  We have
profound respect for Sid Meier and his legacy.
[MarkG] About maps: are they bigger than civ2?
[Patton] we will post a list of the civs in the game at a later date
[Patton] watch for it
[DanQ] What about the old Civ2 bug of going around the edge of the world?
[MrOwl] Our maps can wrap or not wrap, your choice.
[MrOwl] You can play on a flat board, a cylinder-shaped world, or a torus.
[Mag00] will the north and south edge of the map be like the one in Civ?
[Mag00] or will it be a real globe?
[MrOgre] A torus is a dougnut shape, it's the shape you get when you have a square map, but
wrapping off the top puts you at the bottom.
[MrOgre] As well as left to right.
[MrOwl] We have settings for whether the map wraps at the top and bottom, or left and right.
[Mag00] What about the space race?
[Rowan] What about aquatic cities?
[MrOwl] I can't comment, or I'll be zapped with Patton's prod.
[MarkG] It seems that all the questions have come up now....
[fjorik] Yeah, a question...are there emails we can sent things to????
[MarkG] civilization@activision.com or the forums
[MrOwl] Our big map will be bigger than the big map in Civ 2.
[akula] Ok everybody the channel is now moderated but Patton has assured us that he will be back
with more of the team to talk to at a later date.
[DanQ] I would like to thank each and everyone of you for participating in today's chat.
[akula] Then we should have more developments.
[akula] Especially those who contibuted questions to us whether asked or not your help is much appreciated.
[MarkG] Well, that was all for tonight folks
[MarkG] The channel will remain open 
[DanQ] Thanks to those who sent us questions and thanks to Activision for agreeing to participate.
[MrOwl] My pleasure.
[DanQ] This chat has been logged and a transcript will be available online from Apolyton shortly.
[MarkG] So, we can hang out here for civ discussions....
[MrOgre] It was fun!
[Patton] My pleasure
[MarkG] Our thanks to Activision....
[Patton] Look for us again soon...we'll be back!
[MarkG] Is that a threat?? (j/k) :)
[DanQ] :-D
[MrOwl] Is there a CTP irc channel anywhere?
[MrOwl] Team members might be able to pop in from time to time and say hello.
[MarkG] I don't think so.
[MarkG] But we plan on keeping this channel .
[DanQ] Yes indeed.
[MarkG] for Civ2 and CtP discussions....
[akula] If you have any questions or suggestions for events that could take place here
[DanQ] And thank you Derek for setting up this IRC channel.
[akula] please contact me Akula (channel founder) at dlande@tinet.ie 
[akula] thanks dan
[DanQ] I can be reached at dan@gamestats.com
[akula] I can be reached at dlande@tinet.ie
[Artifex] MrOgre: how many maximum for multi-player?
[MrOgre] Not decided yet, stay tuned.
[Artifex] Will it be possible, in multi-player, to have both human controlled and AI controlled "civs" in competition/cooperation?
[MrOgre] There will be AI civs in multiplayer, I can't say more than that.
[MrOgre] I'm really not free to talk about multiplayer, we'll be doing an in depth bit on it at a later date.
[eQas] Is there another IRC date planned?
[MrOgre] No date planned, but there will be more, with some other team members.
[MrOgre] Guys, much as I'd love to stay and talk all day (and lord knows I haven't done that on IRC in earlier 
years), the sun is out, it's warm, and I'm going for a bike ride
[traveller] Thanks for coming by Mr Ogre! Hope to talk again soon!
[MrOgre] Thanks for the interest in the game, it's great to see you all so psyched about it already :-)
[Artifex] MrOwl: do "engineer" type units have the ability to "terraform"?
[traveller] they don't have engineers, but there's a new unit that can terraform, i heard
[MrOwl] Terraforming is an option, but the engineers don't have that specific ability.
[MrOwl] I gotta run too, guys.
[Artifex] thanks MrOwl
[MrOwl] Just popping back in to log off.
[RoTTer] Uh!? Settlers wont make roads!?
[MrOwl] Nope.
[MarkG] Thank MrOwl
[traveller] Cities build roads.
[MrOwl] No need.  You can build roads directly.
[RoTTer] ahhh; thats better :)
[MrOwl] I hated the settlers-build-roads thing anyways.
[MrOwl] Ok guys.  Let's talk another time.
[MrOwl] Thanks!

Session Close: Sun Oct 04 00:17:30 1998

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