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Monday, August 22, 2005
Civilization IV Q&A, New Screenshots
9:02 AM | Cord Kruse | Comment on this story

Gamespot recently interviewed Barry Caudill, Firaxis' senior producer for the upcoming strategy game Civilization IV. The interview focuses on changes made to deal with issues which have annoyed players in past incarnations of the series. Firaxis has taken steps to adjust such things as computer artificial intelligence, unit balance, resource distribution, and certain overused exploits.

GS: What about the cutthroat, ruthless AI that came after you like you had insulted its mother and that knew everything about you, including the location of your every city and military unit? You'd have a huge lead, then suddenly, the AIs would gang up and come after you with a vengeance, even if you had been the most peaceful of neighbors. Have you addressed that in Civ IV?

BC: We have addressed this in several ways. We have given attributes to the leaders instead of to the civilization. That means that some are more warlike, peaceful, trustworthy, etc. than others. Leaders will appreciate other leaders that share their traits and civic or religious choices, and they will tend to form blocs. If you find leaders that share your tendencies, it will be possible to form lasting (even permanent) alliances. Of course, you won't be able to make everyone happy, so you will have to choose your friends wisely. In addition, our beta testers from the Civ community have been helping us balance things for quite a while now, and they are incredibly thorough in their game testing. Finally, Soren is now at the point where he is totally focused on tweaking the AI, and that's a good thing.

Civilization IV is scheduled for release in November on the PC. No word is yet available of a Mac version, but it seems like a possibility, given the series' history with the platform. For the entire interview and a few new screenshots click the links below.

Gamespot: Nitpicker's Q&A Civ IV
Gamespot: Civ IV Screenshots
Firaxis Games

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