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Subject: Has anyone designed a fantasy civ-building game? rss

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M. Shanmugasundaram
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Civ, Through the Ages, Clash of Cultures...

They're all mired in reality, even if some of the outcomes and interactions seem outlandish.

And I'm sure someone's already tackled civ-building that includes sci-fi elements (spacefaring races, hi-tech, etc.) Maybe all the 4x games I hear about?

But has anyone done this for the fantasy genre? A completely fantastical civ-building game?
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'Bernard Wingrave'
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Terra Mystica is in both the Fantasy and Civilization categories. But it may be too euro for you.
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Clinton Coddington
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rumble wrote:
Civ, Through the Ages, Clash of Cultures...

They're all mired in reality, even if some of the outcomes and interactions seem outlandish.

And I'm sure someone's already tackled civ-building that includes sci-fi elements (spacefaring races, hi-tech, etc.) Maybe all the 4x games I hear about?

But has anyone done this for the fantasy genre? A completely fantastical civ-building game?


Terra Mystica is one I am really excited about, it is along those lines of civ/empire building to the best of my knowledge, I don't know anything else but I'm sure others will chime in.

Whoops, ninja'd
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Master of Magic - There ya go!

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Toco
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Runewars?
 
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Niels K.
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I would love to see a civ-building game with a fantasy theme. A mix of Civ, CoC and Runewars:

- 4X game
- dwarfs, elves, humans and orcs
- unique abilities/buildings/units
- fantasy technology deck, with each race having some unique technologies
- modular gameboard
- ...
 
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Chad Ackerman
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Abyad wrote:
I would love to see a civ-building game with a fantasy theme. A mix of Civ, CoC and Runewars:

- 4X game
- dwarfs, elves, humans and orcs
- unique abilities/buildings/units
- fantasy technology deck, with each race having some unique technologies
- modular gameboard
- ...


I think Age of Wonders could make a great board game. I still play that game in my PC. It's fantastic and there is still an active community designing maps for it!
 
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Niels K.
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Evenhope wrote:
Abyad wrote:
I would love to see a civ-building game with a fantasy theme. A mix of Civ, CoC and Runewars:

- 4X game
- dwarfs, elves, humans and orcs
- unique abilities/buildings/units
- fantasy technology deck, with each race having some unique technologies
- modular gameboard
- ...


I think Age of Wonders could make a great board game. I still play that game in my PC. It's fantastic and there is still an active community designing maps for it!


Would make a great board game indeed. 12 different races? I'm in!
 
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Eric Jablow
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I've heard of a role-playing campaign where the players took the rules to Civilization, modified them by adding a Magic category of Civilization cards, changed the Religion cards and added a few, and played out most of a game, recording what happened. This then became the pre-history of the more-conventional campaign.
 
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Shawn Moore
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wytefang wrote:
Master of Magic - There ya go!



You got me excited for a minute. Played the heck out of this game on my powerful 486 in college. If they build this game as a board game I would buy it immediately regardless of cost. You hear that game makers? Immediately!
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Adam Kazimierczak
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I also see this as a vacuum in the board game universe. I like the idea of Clash of Cultures, but vanilla-civ settings just grate on my right brain's nerves with their samey trappings. I got a little excited about the elephants...but alas, they were just for the box cover.

I would love a civ game with unique/non-canon fantasy races to play, preferably allowing for mixing races to create synergies. Terra Mystica is too abstracted: like Small World after a cube enema.

My ideal game for this niche would be like a fantasy version of Twilight Imperium with an epic backstory, arcane research and spells, monster/dragon breeding, an evolving timeline possibly involving the decline of magic and rise of technology, and no deckbuilding.

It's a tall order, and I fully realize that the concept is too ambitious for a designer/publisher to take a risk with so as soon as I'm done with my current projects I'll get right on it.
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Lawrence Lopez
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I posted this same question a few months ago. Here's the discussion: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/780021/fantasy-civ
 
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Shawn Moore
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kaziam wrote:
I also see this as a vacuum in the board game universe. I like the idea of Clash of Cultures, but vanilla-civ settings just grate on my right brain's nerves with their samey trappings. I got a little excited about the elephants...but alas, they were just for the box cover.

I would love a civ game with unique/non-canon fantasy races to play, preferably allowing for mixing races to create synergies. Terra Mystica is too abstracted: like Small World after a cube enema.

My ideal game for this niche would be like a fantasy version of Twilight Imperium with an epic backstory, arcane research and spells, monster/dragon breeding, an evolving timeline possibly involving the decline of magic and rise of technology, and no deckbuilding.

It's a tall order, and I fully realize that the concept is too ambitious for a designer/publisher to take a risk with so as soon as I'm done with my current projects I'll get right on it.


I approve of the game descibed above...and DEMAND you cease whatever it is that you are doing and create it!
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nyn -
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Well, Age of Mythology: The Boardgame seems like the most obvious example..
 
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Wasn't that more of a simpler euro game?
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M. Shanmugasundaram
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Lightstorm wrote:
I posted this same question a few months ago. Here's the discussion: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/780021/fantasy-civ


wow. Not a reflection on you at all, but many of the suggestions in your thread seem way off the mark.

at least for what I'm looking for.
 
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Agreed, Rumble. Basically they were listing a bunch of simplistic Euro games with lame fantasy themes slapped onto them. I've noticed this before with the division between Euro fans and American-style game fans. The Euro fans will consider ANY of their favorite Euro games with slapped on themes to match the suggestion-request in question while missing the larger point that the gameplay needs to also match the theme in places.

It's an odd reflection on the differences between those two infamous game divisions...
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Adam Kazimierczak
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I like Euro games now and then, but the push for "civ-lite" games with shorter playtime, streamlined military units and focus on the economic/VP engine with minimal thematic bells and whistles has diluted the genre with a bunch of simplistic offerings.

It seems that unless you're going for a straight historical simulation (no fantasy of sci fi elements) the will to innovate is minimum. Maybe history buffs are assumed to hold the civ details and minutiae to a higher standard?
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M. Shanmugasundaram
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Agreed. I want simple, but I don't want simplistic. I like Euro games, but if you're gonna fight, have it be a real fight, not just "competing for resources" or "winning auctions."

The thing I hate the most -- games that have the trappings of combat, but eschew it entirely. Lost Valley was the most horrendous example. No way to chase squatters off your mines even though you had a rifle.

But civ building isn't about combat, or territory expansion. It's about BUILDING.

Folks look at me funny when I say Tigris and Euphrates is a civ-building game. But it is.

The focus of the game is "balanced societal development" in the form of getting cubes of every color. Sure, it's abstract, but it's there. You could actually narrate a (hi)story based on how a game plays.

In T&E, you don't NEED conflict. You have conflict because your culture needs to develop in a certain way, and conflict is an expedient way to achieve a particular objective at a particular moment in time. There is no military force in T&E -- only military objectives, and the method you use to achieve those objectives (coup/subversion or manipulation/confrontation). This is something that won't survive the transition to a "genuine" civ-building game, where traditionalists will expect military might to be an actively managed part of a civilization.

In T&E, down is rarely out. In real civilizations, down can mean virtually wiped out (Mayan, Tibetan, Native American cultures). There's a balance to be struck here for gameplay's sake. We don't really want civ-building games to be elimination games.

I guess what I'm saying is that any civ game, and particularly a fanciful one, needs to focus on the basics, which is building up your civilization/society. The society you build needs to be evaluated for both it's status and durability (how long it might survive). Having a civilization that will collapse in moments after a fantastic expansion (Risk, anyone) leaves a horrid taste in my mouth.


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Lawrence Lopez
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rumble wrote:
Lightstorm wrote:
I posted this same question a few months ago. Here's the discussion: http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/780021/fantasy-civ


wow. Not a reflection on you at all, but many of the suggestions in your thread seem way off the mark.

at least for what I'm looking for.


You are right... My question didn't really get answered.
 
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Dave Slaven
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It seems to me that if you want a fantasy/civ game you are faced with a fundamental problem, in that your standard fantasy world has very little in the way of civilization development.

In some of your more famous ones, for example, Frodo Baggins lives 3000 years into the third age of Middle Earth, but the people live no differently than in the first age. And the Starks have been lords of Winterfell castle for thousands of year, I think.

While there are, of course, lots and lots of various fantasy worlds, the type of world that immediately comes to mind when one thinks "fantasy" is a world with a medieval technology and an ancient history. Hence, long game, short technology tree.

Just a thought.

--Dave
 
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M. Shanmugasundaram
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@slaven41, that is an excellent point.

Most fantasy worlds DO stagnate, for the sake of player development.

So I guess the game I'm imagining would be "bucking the norm" in the sense that there would be a definite tech progression.

Alongside normalcy, we might see...
Evolving from no magic to spirit magic to ritual magic.
From herbalism to alchemy to ???
From spoken language to written language to runes of power

The Aeonverse storyline might be a good example of a more sci-fi tech advancement environment which was active in all three stages of its "evolution".
http://www.angelfire.com/rpg/Aeonverse/Reference/Trinity/Sto...

The trick would be to define what would be interesting "adventurable" stages of cultural evolution with a fantasy bent, and then go from there. Even better, perhaps the designer could survey fantasy realm that define a range of cultural evolution, organize their defining characteristics, and then develop the game.

While no one fantasy realm currently exists for this kind of evolution, there are certainly several that blend everything together.
Think Harry Potter or Percy Jackson, maybe.
Think Dresden Files.
Think Shadowrun.

I'm sure there are bunches more I haven't mentioned.

It wouldn't even have to be a civ that built toward a blend of magic and tech. It could be from nothing to magic to tech, where magic becomes obsolete or "burnt out."

Just thinking through the keyboard.

 
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Chris Wood
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I have been sitting on a epic civ game I made two years ago. It had gotten so big I had no way to trim it down. Maybe putting it in a fantasy setting would do the trick!
 
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Adam Kazimierczak
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Fantasy civ building over multiple ages requires change. D&D doesn't just logically evolve into Shadowrun.

The classic trappings of fantasy all decay over time.

Monsters and hostile races will be hunted to extinction.

Old magic in the hands of a few will give way to progress and innovation (technology in the hands of many).

Outdated monarchies will collapse and a new world order will rise.

Of course in order for the setting to remain epic there must be some conflict, some resurgent evil and hero reborn. Fantasy celebrates the indivdual, not the civilization. Age of Conan: The Strategy Board Game tried to inject Conan into an otherwise derivative Hyborean dudes on a map game but as an add on mechanic.

The lifeblood of civs is the tech tree. With it your civ grows and changes. Good and evil magic fuel fantasy. Weave all that together with some heroes and villains and you have a fantasy civ game (or a colossal mess).






 
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