PROTOTYPING` LECTURE REPORT: IGN

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Tom McNamara reports for IGN PC on the "Prototyping Civilization IV" lecture held at Game Developers Conference 2006 earlier this week in San Jose, California. CivIV Lead Designer Soren Johnson and Lead Animator Dorian Newcomb gave a talk on how they put [the game] together... and the design process isn`t quite what you`d probably expect. Below is an excerpt from the full write-up: Unlike previous installments, CivIV was built from scratch, although it retains "look and feel" similarities to [Civilization III and Civilization IV]. [Developer Firaxis Games] also started with multiplayer first, as Johnson says A[rtifical] I[ntelligence] can be difficult to tune, and they wanted to focus on just making the game fun before implementing artificial intelligence. Doing lots of multiplayer early on also builds what Johnson calls "early team buy-in". People play the game together and thereby share the experience. This tends to generate faster word-of-mouth, which can get the whole office interested in the game. McNamara clearly came away impressed with the approach and execution of this discussion attended by hundreds. It`s a rare treat to get such a detailed behind-the-scenes glimpse at a game. Usually they talk but don`t show, yet the team apparently wasn`t afraid to show... its relatively ungainly early ideas.
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