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Chat With C:CTP Designers; December 5th, 1998

Note on the nicknames: in orange are the nicks of the members of the CTP team: William Westwater (Pinkbelly), James Farley (Farside), Jason Feffer (Necro), Brad Santos (Dr No) and Winnie Lee (Lemur). In white are the operators, who asked the questions: MarkG(Markos Giannopoulos), DanQ(Daniel Quick), and the rest of the people who asked questions on the unmoderated part of the chat.
*** MarkG sets mode: +m
[MarkG] The channel is now in moderated mode
[MarkG] This means that only operators and the people from Activision can talk
[MarkG] Please send any questions to me or DanQ
[MarkG] Well, this is the CTP Designers Chat
[MarkG] The participants are William Westwater(Pinkbelly)
[MarkG] James Farley (Farside), Jason Feffer (Necro) and Winnie Lee (Lemur)
[MarkG] Well, welcome...
[Farside] And Dr_No
[Farside] Brad Santos (Dr_No)
[MarkG] Ooops, you're right :)
[MarkG] sorry for that

[MarkG] Let's start with your jobs on the team
[MarkG] You're the designing team, which means....
[Pinkbelly] We're the designing team, which means that we're in charge of making the game fun.
[Pinkbelly] That means balancing the unit, coming up with the idea... you name it.
[Farside] And we get to play lots of Civ:CTP
[Dr_No] A large part of our job involves creating new user interface that is simple and efficient

[MarkG] Sounds fun... what are the main goals of CTP?
[MarkG] What's the new stuff?
[Pinkbelly] Space and sea. The future
[Dr_No] New governments and whole lot of special units
[Pinkbelly] We're also trying to add a whole new unconventional war to the game.
[Pinkbelly] Religious conversion for example.
[Necro] We realized the immense micro-management of Civ2 created many problems. We have spent a great deal of time making the interface and gameplay efficient, to save gamers a lot of time clicking and more time playing.
[Dr_No] Our resource system is differnet from that of Civ1 or 2. We needed to beging balancing from the ground up.

[MarkG] You spoke of the unconventional units...
[MarkG] It's a really hot topic on our forums
[MarkG] It seems that some people don't like the idea
[Pinkbelly] Right from the beginning of the game we give you new ways to attack...
[Pinkbelly] religious converstion and slavery are two big ones
[Lemur] We wanted to add another dimension battle that doesn't depend on brute strength alone
[Pinkbelly] What do you think of conversion, Farside?
[Dr_No] Many of the special units are stealthy...invisble to the enemy
[Farside] Very fun, but limited to only one government type.
[Dr_No] Yes, Theocracy
[Pinkbelly] Only Theocracies can convert the enemy with Clerics.
[Farside] Most governments have some special advantage for that governemtn only
[Dr_No] A government of the ancient age
[Dr_No] Our game is divided into five distinct ages...Ancient, reniassance,modern, genetic, and diamond

[DanQ] What made you decide to divide the game into five stages?
[Pinkbelly] That's a great question. Well the game is about 500 Turns and 100 Turns an Age felt right.
[Dr_No] Each stage has a distinctive feel
[Pinkbelly] Also, the game has five dramatic parts...
[Necro] Different sprites, etc...
[Pinkbelly] Expansion first...
[Pinkbelly] Then sea colonization and basic warfare...
[Pinkbelly] Opppss.. sea exploration...
[DanQ] What's meant by the "diamond" age?
[Pinkbelly] Then, the modern age -- planes -- etc...
[Dr_No] as in the Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
[Pinkbelly] Then the beginning of undersea cities and space colonies (age four)
[Dr_No] ie. Nano-technology
[Pinkbelly] And finally Age Five -- the discovery of Alien life...
[Pinkbelly] So five just seemed right.
[Pinkbelly] As for diamond age -- it is a reference to nanotechnology
[Dr_No] You can do all kinds of wacky things in the Daimond Age....Terraform the earth, Build space Cities, brainwash the worlds population
[DanQ] Are the ages all going to last the same amount of time? (In Civ 2, the modern age had 1yr turns vs. 20yr in ancient times)?
[Farside] Diamond Age is where you start getting the Star Trek type (i.e. Magic) technology
[Dr_No] Each age is 1000 Turns, the number of years varies
[Lemur] 100 turns
[Pinkbelly] Each age is 100 Turns -- the years that pass for each Turn varies.
[Pinkbelly] Years pass quickly near the stone age.
[Pinkbelly] But slow down as you reach the modern age.
[DanQ] A member from our auidence has asked if you can change it so that the turns last all years, instead of it "skiping years".
[Pinkbelly] Well, if you played every single year, you'd have a game that lasted 7000 Turns.
[Pinkbelly] That is going to take a month to play.
[Dr_No] It would require a much bigger map!
[Pinkbelly] But, you could do that (the text files let you)...
[Necro] We thought of making it real-time...each turn lasted 1 year to play, but...
[Lemur] it would be a very slow game, though
[Dr_No] Our game should proabably not take as long to play as Civ 1 or 2. (on average)
[Dr_No] Maybe 10-12 hours

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