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STEVE MARIOTTI INTERVIEW

Can you give us any other examples of different AI behavour?
One AI may play militaristally, one may be expansionist, one may emphasize non-conventional warfare such as enslaving enemy cities to increase its own civilization's population. There will be opponents who do a little of each. They vary in terms of how they run their economy, build their armies, stack their units, and strive for the various victory conditions.

We know that the game engine supports 32 civilizations, but the game will ship with 8. Why is that?
It came down to a choice between 8 really strong AI players who take full advantage of the game system, or 32 more simple-minded players who have limited capability. We found that the game was more fun with fewer, more interesting opponents. Perhaps next year, when the baseline system is a PII Katmai at 500Mhz that we can offer a greater number of really adept opponents.

Is there a chance that we will see a future version of C:CTP with 32 civs?
I dunno, does Intel have a .18 micron fabrication process for their processor cores yet?

Will it be possible for someone to hack(in the good sense!) C:CTP to enable 32 civilizations?
You might be surprised what people are capable of.

How are the hits and the damages in combat calculated? And what happens in the combat of two stacks of units?
Stacked combat is where Call to Power really diverges from previous Civilization games. Stack building is tactically significant. Stacks can be composed of non-military, ranged, and assault units. The combat resolution is done in rounds, with ranged-fire units given the opportunity to plink arrows, fire cannon shells, and artillery barrages from the back ranks, where assault units are protecting them from damage. A properly build stack enables the player to use ranged attack to maximum advantage. Once your tanks are gone, though, your poor little artillery pieces are probably no match for your opponent's machine guns.

Any other improvements from the programming angle? The GoTo routine seemed to be troublesome in Civ2...
There are a lot of subtle enhancements towards making play go more smoothly. We tried everywhere we could to remove a lot of the clerical busy work, and add "auto" functionality where we found we were doing a lot of unnecessary repetition. This applies most directly to the second half of the game where maintaining your civilization is fraught with micromanagement.
We have features in place to allow you to essentially set up your cities and forget about them. These include build queues which can be loaded and saved at will, auto-go-to build options to pull multiple cities together to help build up big armies in a particular location, and improvements that let you put your cities into production for gold and building materials.

Mark Lamia told us in a previous interview that there is a possiblity for a Macintosh, and even a Linux port. How easy will it be to transfer the graphics?
The code base was designed with portability in mind. I'm an old Macintosh programmer, so you can be sure that the code is Mac-portable without too much difficulty. Joe Rumsey, our networking and game system guru, did a test-port to Linux to see how feasible it would be, and he was able to get it working pretty well in a few short weeks. We'll have top-notch Macintosh and Linux porting companies contracted to get those versions out there. We understand that there are Civ fans who aren't Windows users, and we want them to have the opportunity to play Call to Power as well.

So, how far are we from the release?
It'll be done when it's done. Is that expression getting a little hackneyed yet? Yeah, I guess it is. We're honing in on our ship date. I'm not allowed to give any details or people will drag me out of my office and beat me severely. We'll have a very bug-free product when we're done.

What are the team's and yours plans after the release?
My plans are to become the world's foremost authority on bicycle safety while working towards certification as a samurai pastry chef and part time cabinetmaker.
Seriously, though, plans following Call to Power are currently being discussed, and what I hear makes me really excited. I can't divulge more than that, though. Stay tuned to this channel.

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