The Golden Ages - designer's diary

Something about "The Golden Ages". A designer's point of view, in a very bad english.
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Luigi Ferrini
Castagneto Carducci
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Do you want your civilization is filthy rich? Well, you need to know that the main engine (but not the only one) to produce wealth in the game is the acquisition of resources. In order to take full advantage, it is necessary that you have developed the appropriate technology: with the right technological apparatus, you’ll be able to get more money when you take control of a resource, or when you found a city. The downside is that to get these technologies you will have to spend money: it will be necessary to carefully plan your expansion, keeping in mind also the fact that resources, once acquired, will not give money any more. Then, if you want to “specialize” in acquisition of one single kind of resource, you’ll need to move a lot around the map (and to do so, needless to say, you will need other technologies). And when you will found the right resource… maybe you’ll need to fight for them!
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Let’s give a look at the tech tree as it appears at the beginning of the game, with all the technologies yet to be developed; in the picture above, the “lightened” technologies are those involved in the exploitation of resources or those that give points according to their control (little squares in the technologies of the last column).

There are four different kind of resources, and each has its own peculiarities: the Game (deer picture) provides a gold since the beginning of the game and there is no way to improve his income. On the Continent tiles, the Game is present in the first round and rarest in the following: the purpose is to make it easier to make money in the beginning without influencing the different strategies.

Wheat and Rocks are virtually identical in their effects and in their exploitation: each of them is on a different technological line, at the end of which you can make points based on the resources of that type that you control. In the second round may come into play some Civilization that derive additional benefits if the player takes control of wheat and rocks symbols. In the third round, two wonders grant victory points for the control of these two resources.

Different story with regard to the Gems: they start to appear on the continents from the second round and some most advanced technology is needed to exploit them; in addition, the civilization who benefit from the Gems are three and may come into play from the second to the last round; the last round have also a wonder that convert the Gems control in victory points. The main difference with Wheat and Rocks, however, is that the technology of the last column that gives points for the Gems is located at the end of a different technological line, the one related to the movement! Gems earn many more points of other resources (3x instead of 2x) but the required effort is greater because it requires the development of two different tech lines. Moreover, it often happens that towards the end of the game the control of Gems triggers a certain amount of competition between the players making the conquest of Gems rather risky.

And of course you can always fight for getting resources away from your opponents… but we’ll talk more about that in the next post!
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