By Soren Johnson
Programmer, Firaxis Games
Fans of the Civilization series have compiled a number of "wish
lists" regarding the direction Civ III should go. We have
taken these requests seriously as our number one goal is to deliver
the very best Civilization experience ever. Near the top of almost
every single list was "expanded diplomacy." With that
goal in mind, we have completely overhauled the diplomacy systems
inherited from Civ I and Civ II. However, the benefits of the
previous systems were their clarity and simplicity. By relying
on a conversational interface, the systems were easy to digest
and quick to learn. Therefore, the ideal diplomacy system for
Civ III would address the need for both depth and accessibility.
Thus, while we have kept the conversational interface for new
users, we have also created a "bargaining table" for
advanced users. This new feature can be used to conduct detailed
negotiations, during which everything is available for trade,
including treaties, gold, goods, technologies, cities, units,
world maps, communication with other civilizations, etc. In other
words, users will be able to mix-and-match deals without any restrictions.
Want to trade your World Map and Bronze Working for a Spearman
and Communications with the Indians? No problem. Want to offer
a Peace Treaty to the Iroquois, but only if they will pay 5 gold
per turn? Just make the demand.
Furthermore, diplomatic relations have been deepened to include
a number of new diplomatic agreements that can be added on top
of a standard peace treaty. For example, your relations with the
Zulus might include a peace treaty as well as a mutual protection
pact, a right of passage agreement, and a trade embargo against
The fine-looking gentlemen you see to the right are just two of
the Civilization leaders you will be able to interact with during
your negotiations. You can move the slider bar around to see their
range of expressions, which will change depending on the types
of deals you try to broker with them!
As with all Firaxis games, fun is first, and we are still working
on the system, keeping some stuff, discarding others, focusing
this, adjusting that. So while the system is playable and fun
already, we are still not ready to put it to bed -- it's still
changing regularly. Stay tuned for more information as we continue
to develop the game.