Archive for 05/03/2010

Le Trône de Fer, la série

Alors que Dance with Dragons, le tome 6 de la saga med-fan de George R. R. Martin se fait toujours attendre (5 ans depuis Feast for Crows et toujours pas de date de sortie prévue), la série télévisée devrait voir le jour sous peu. Le pilote présenté à la production a plu et l’accord a été donné pour une première saison de 10 épisodes. Vu la qualité des séries produites par HBO (Les Soprano, Six Feet Under, Rome…) on peut s’attendre à du bon. Seule une image a jusqu’ici transpiré :

Où l’on voit quelques wildlings faire une petite sieste dans la neige.

Pour en revenir au bouquin, j’ai laissé tomber l’idée de me remettre dedans et ne compte pas acheter Dance with Dragons, s’il sort un jour, parce que je n’ai pas envie de me retaper les 5 volumes précédents pour me rappeler de ce qu’il se passe. D’ailleurs je compte m’en séparer prochainement, ça fera des heureux chez le bouquiniste du coin. Plus de cinq ans pour une suite c’est du foutage de gueule, même Proust a pas mis autant de temps entre les différentes parties d’À la recherche du temps perdu (bon en fait si entre Du côté de chez Swann (premier tome) et À l’ombre des jeunes filles en fleur (second tome) il s’est écoulé 6 ans, mais le cycle total de la Recherche a été publié en l’espace de 14 ans).

Civilization 5 : des news !

Les nouvelles se succèdent à rythme soutenu, ce qui témoigne de l’état avancé de préparation du jeu. Vivement la présentation officielle du 11 mars.

The March-edition of Swedish PC Gamer has a 6-pages preview of Civilization 5. I suspect that most of the info has already been presented on this forum, but since several here have asked me to summarize the article, I will try to give an overview. I guess hearing the same information with some new words may easen your Civ 5-addiction…

About Civ 5:

About 50 persons are currently working on the game, which has been in development for over two years, but is now reaching the final phases.

About Sid Meier:

PC Gamer talks a little with Sid Meier. He said: « It is always a challenge trying to find new ways to improve Civilization and at the same time keeping what made the game addictive and fun in the first place. It has always been our philosophy to listen to the players and follow what happens in the modding community and then merge them with our own ideas and even if we are working on console- and Facebook-versions of the Civilization-franchise so has always Civilization 5 been a return to the heart and soul of the franchise. »


The game has a new engine composed of a hexagons. Jon Shafer thinks this change is good, since it gives you lesser options of movement but each option is therefore more important. It also means that for example mountains and forests can have a more natural pattern.


The graphics will have a completely new style- Art-deco, inspired by games like Grim Fandango. It is designed by Russel Vaccaro. The environments, like forests and oceans, will be a lot more animated than in Civ 4.


The game will have an advanced sound-engine, which will change sounds depending on if you are in the hills, the forests or on the ocean. It will also have a large soundtrack.

Panzer General:

The new hexagonal change is specifically useful in the new, improved combat system. Now you may only have a maximum of one unit in a hexagon. This includes the cities. Shafer says that Panzer General was the main inspiration for this change into a more tactical battlefield. The new system forces your units out of the cities and out into the terrain, forming natural frontlines and taking advantage of good defensive positions.


Some units may attack other units more than one hex away, for example archers.


Hills give defensive advantages. Your units can see and shoot farther there.


You will now see leaders in full view. They also talk in their native language. Firaxis has resurrected the extinct language of quechua (used by Inca). However, all leaders will have their lines subtitled in English.

City states:

These are small, AI-controlled civilizations. They never grow big and don´t desire to win. The player must choose if he is to be friendly, indifferent or hostile towards a city state. The attitude you has towards a particular city state will have a big effect on diplomacy. If for example your units is approaching a city state that have friendly relations with another civilization, he will warn you, and if you ignore them, there will be consequences.


The barbarians originate from a barbarian city and will get more advanced units later in the game. You need to wipe out all barbarian cities to get rid of the barbarian hordes.

City expansion:

Borders does no longer expand in large areas, but one hex at a time. Remote hexes like marshes, forests and mountains will be harder to acquire.


You can invest money in your neighboring hexagons, for example trying to acquire an important resource before your opponent.


You can also sign a research-deal with another civilization. This way, both civs will cooperate to reach the new technology and both will gain it when the discovery is made. This was included to encourage cooperation between civilizations.


The civilizations will have an all-new advanced AI. All opponents will have fixed characteristics. Based on this unique personality, every AI-player will have their own agenda, which the AI will use to plan how to best play to win the game. But there will also be a certain randomness to avoid having the AI be too easy to predict.


PC Gamer was impressed with what they saw. They think the new graphics was a real facelift for the franchise, and the interface is greatly improved. They also thought the soundtrack was brilliant. They conclude:

« Judging from the gameplay-sequences we saw, Civilization 5 will make no fan of the franchise disappointed. »


Computer Bild Spiele is a German computer gaming magazine (which gave the first massive informations about Civ 4). Now this magazine gave some informations about Civ 5 (but not as massive as some years ago for Civ 4).

1. Tech trading is abolished.
2. Alliances give special boni (per example the possibility for a quicker research of a technology)
3. Cut-out of religions as known in Civ 4 confirmed
4. Cities can grow bigger than in former versions of the civ series as they there are 3 tiles for a city in every direction to be worked on.
5. New leader Wu Zeitan ( approximately for China)
6. New « Civilisation tree »: This tree has a lot of astles, called « Social Policies ». These astles contain certain paths, one of them is the path of « Tradition ». Each of these astles gives a civ a certain advantage (per example special units). A civ can follow one of these paths strictly and make a deep progress in that tree on that path, but the civ can also follow parallel several different paths but doesn´t make such a deep progress in each of these paths.
7. New battle system one unit per tile confirmed:

a) New troops must leave a city at once, as there is only one unit per tile
b) Distance fighters (archers, artillery and so on) can shoot over the front units, lakes and other tiles
c) One philosophy is to form front lines for battles far away from the cities.

8. City States confirmed.


GamePro (April 2010) has a great preview of Civ. A few things they mention:

– (Germany) German leader: Otto von Bismark
– (China) China leader: Wu Zeitein/Zetein (two spellings in the article; SHOULD be Wu Zetian) (Mao and other previous Chinese leaders are out)
– (America) American leader: Washington (Lincoln and FDR are out)
– (Japan) Japanese leader: Oba Nobunaga (Tokugawa is out)
– (Arabia) Arabian leader: Harun al-Rashid (Xerxes and Saladin are out)
– Other confirmed leaders mentioned in the article (Genghis Khan, Washington, Caesar, Napolean, Gandhi)

Looks like one leader per civ a la Civilization Revolution? There also seems to be more diplomats than warmongers among the new leaders.

– City-states: Can provide gifts of gold, bonuses; only one city but borders can grow. Confirmed is Singapore.

– Hills provide defensive and line-of-site advantages
– Attacks over rivers are affected
– Wounded units can hide in trees and recover

– Basic military units move two tiles in combat instead of one.