By Jeff Briggs
President, Firaxis Games
Our goal with Civilization III is to provide the most compelling
and fun civilization experience ever! This game isn't simply about
a face-lift or adding more "stuff" to the existing design.
It's not even just about keeping and refining the good, addictive
aspects of Sid Meier's Civilization I and Civilization II and
combining those with what was new and innovative in Alpha Centauri
- though this is a major thrust of our efforts. It's also about
amplifying some previously unexplored areas of gameplay and enhancing
some others in ways that give players more options and fun choices
to build their empires the way they want to.
Of course, it may well be the best-looking turn-based strategy
game ever made, too, but that's part and parcel of providing the
ultimate Civilization experience.
So, let me kick off these updates by giving you a little insight
on some of the new ideas you'll see in combat! And, if there's
something you want us to talk about in these updates, feel free
to email us and let us know. We'll do our best to accommodate
Sid's original Civilization was not intended to be a game about war. The design had combat of course, but it was simple, quick, and to the point, allowing players to pursue "peaceful means" of co-existing with other civs.
Needless to say, Civilization was most often played as a conquer-the-world game. So in Civilization II, we added a few details to the combat system to make it a little more interesting and "realistic."
In Civilization III, we continue to expand the combat system to make it a deeper part of the experience. Civilization III will have a combat system rich in fun choices that enhances the experience of planning and executing military campaigns. Here are just a few examples of how we are achieving this:
Great nations can produce gifted leaders from history, each one capable of leading your civilization to martial glory. Whether helming an army on a distant battlefield or passing their personal experiences onto future generations of soldiers, these towering figures can single-handedly alter the course of history.
Increased technological finesse can be found in Civilization III's reworked Zone of Control rules. No longer can a Phalanx hold a vulnerable pass as effectively as a mechanized infantry regiment. The ability to intervene in surrounding terrain is now determined by mobility and ranged weaponry, rather than the universal privilege of being just any military unit.
In CivIII, ranged weapons such as catapults, artillery and battleships can bombard enemy fortifications such as city walls and fortresses. This allows for a general 'softening' of defenses, which provides a substantial bonus to direct-fire units.
These are just a few of the many new features Civilization III incorporates to make combat a more compelling and fun part of the game.