Europa Universalis IV - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Oliver Milne)

Big, slow, sweeping strategy games expose their rules in a way no other game does. Call of Duty doesn t have floating numbers above enemy heads, telling you their movement speed, for example. But in most 4X and grand strategy games, there is no attempt to hide exactly how everything works: the stats, their interactions, are all laid out and plain to see. Yet these games are utterly dependent on their ability to evoke a sense of place, scale, and history they have to be much more than just a fancy chessboard, they have to feel alive, or they re just not much fun. How can these games survive and thrive under such conflicting pressures? I spoke to three of the world s top strategy game designers, from Firaxis, Paradox and Amplitude, to find out. … [visit site to read more]

Left 4 Dead 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

The Steam summer sale is in full blaze. For a while it even blazed so hot that the servers went on fire and all the price stickers peeled off the games. Either that or the store just got swamped with cheapskates looking for the best bargains. Cheapskates like you! Well, don t worry. We ve rounded up some recommendations – both general tips and some newly added staff choices.

Here are the things you should consider owning in your endless consumeristic lust for a happiness which always seems beyond reach. You’re welcome.

… [visit site to read more]

Left 4 Dead 2 - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Brendan Caldwell)

The Steam summer sale is in full blaze. For a while it even blazed so hot that the servers went on fire and all the price stickers peeled off the games. Either that or the store just got swamped with cheapskates looking for the best bargains. Cheapskates like you! Well, don t worry. We ve rounded up some recommendations – both general tips and some specific staff choices.

Here are the things you should consider owning in your endless consumeristic lust for a happiness which always seems beyond reach. You’re welcome.

… [visit site to read more]

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI

The Civilization series' endless modability is one of the reasons many of us are still playing it today. In a game all about replayability, being able to inject some user made variety into your world-dominating conquests can keep the game feeling fresh after hundreds of hours. From simple gameplay changes to total conversions, the best Civ mods around are truly things to behold.

And then there's the other guys. While some players mod in snubbed historical figures or their favorite videogame characters as new playable leaders and nations, other modders take a different route. We dove deep into the Steam Workshops for both Civ 5 and Civ 6—the latter of which only has one representative on this list as official modding tools and Workshop support just arrived at the end of February—and found the weirdest custom civs players have inexplicably decided need to be in the game. 

Guy Fieri of Flavortown

Steam workshop page

The spikey-haired host of the television show Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives gets to rule his very own country. Guy Fieri tops this list because it's a mod that goes all out in its unrelenting lunacy. It has custom graphics and text all throughout, and even has a synopsis and history at least five paragraphs long in the civilopedia. It also shouldn't be a surprise that all his unique abilities and buildings center around boosting both culture and food.

Antarctica 

Steam Workshop page

An Antarctica civ doesn't sound so crazy on the surface, but modder Methodialexis decided to take it in a very strange direction. A continent with essentially no human life, the leader is instead a "genetically enhanced Penguin named Pengu that is not only smarter than humans by a long shot, but has gained mastery over human mind control, and is seeking world domination." All of its Workers are replaced with human slaves, and the Granary is replaced with a 'Human Farm', because if you are going to make a civ of penguins why not really lean into the absurdity of it? 

I AM A MOD (Kanye Civilization)

Steam Workshop page

Not going to lie, half the reason this is on the list is because the name is just brilliant. The other half is because how on earth has Kanye West ended up as a civ mod? The civ also comes with Beyonce as a Great Musician, a Kim Kardashian unit, and a religion called Kanyeism. I also love that according to the Steam page, his first city is just 'Kanye', while the second is the also brilliant name of 'Westville'.  

KORAIL - KTX-Mini

Steam Workshop page

This may be my favorite of the entire list, and I have no idea why. Someone, for some utterly incomprehensible reason, has turned the Korean national railroad company into a playable civ. As you might expect, the entire mod is in Korean, but I'm not sure I'd really understand what was going on even if it was in English. Also as you might expect, KORAIL doesn't have to pay maintenance on Roads or Railroads and has improved Great Engineers.

Empire of Microsoft

Steam Workshop page

Lead, of course, by Bill Gates, the Empire of Microsoft is pretty much a reskin of the American civ with some small differences. The biggest being they generate Great Scientists and Generals faster, for which the rationale on the Workshop page is "so that Microsoft can invade other companies and recreate their products with their scientists faster I guess…" Bombers become 'Flight Simulators' and Walls become 'Windows Vista Defenders', which is sure to scare opponents away. 

Shia Labeouf

Steam Workshop page

Our only representative from Civ 6 on this list, Shia Labeouf is an alternate leader for the American civ. I was pretty disappointed to see how slim Civ 6's Workshop page still is, but I suppose Civ 5 is still the more-played game and has a longer lineage of weird mods to pull from. Shia's ability is 'Just Do It', which gives Builders more charges and improves your Theater Squares. 

John Madden's Moonbase Alpha

Steam Workshop page

It was upon finding this civ that I knew my hunt was not in vain. John Madden's Moonbase Alpha is a custom civ built around the incredible videos spurred by free-to-play game Moonbase Alpha's text-to-speech feature—for those out of the loop, this is essential viewing. John Madden leads the lunar-themed civ, which is complete with its own 'Singing Astronauts' instead of Great Musicians, and the unique ability 'Aeiou'. This mod is a gift.  

Boss Key Productions

Steam Workshop page

Why someone would want to play Civ 5 by controlling a nation themed after Lawbreakers developer Boss Key Productions wasn't entirely clear to me, but it was the story behind this mod that earned it a spot onto the list. Apparently modder Angeflo made it as part of their portfolio while applying for an Engineering Intern position at the studio back in 2015. The real kicker: four days after posting it Angeflo commented on the Workshop page saying he had been turned down, and the mod was never updated again. Pour one out for Angeflo, but at least now we can all play Civ as Cliffy B. 

Patrick Bateman's Civilization 

Steam Workshop page

"We salute you with a finger pointed squarely at the two-o'clock position," the intro for the great nation of 'Pierce & Pierce Mergers and Acquisitions' begins. A civ based on Christian Bale's character in the movie American Psycho is hardly the strangest one here, but I'm left wondering all the same how someone was struck with the idea to do this. Still, their attention to detail is admirable, with lines from the movie scattered throughout trade deals and dialogue options.  

Pootopia

Steam Workshop page

The only civ on this list with a content warning on the Workshop page, saying "DO NOT install this mod if you are likely to be offended. This mod contains mild bad language, sexual references and toilet humour." Basically, it's bunch of poo jokes, with the poo emoji itself as the symbol of the civ. It also has bonuses built around cows and sheep, and a 'Sewage Plant' that increases food and culture. I'm not sure why anyone would want to spend the duration of a civ game playing as poo, but to each their own. 

MUGEN

Steam Workshop page

Right up there with KORAIL in terms of confusing theme choices, someone went ahead and made a civ based on the fighting game engine MUGEN. The leader of the civ is developer Elecbyte, and all of its unique units and abilities are fighting game themes with a focus on military bonuses. Modder nomercyjeffc has at least a dozen other custom civs ranging from Minecraft to Markiplier, so I guess they just threw topics at a wall to see what stuck.  

Arnold Schwarzenegger Civilization

Steam Workshop page

This civ is essntially a bad montage of any and every movie Schwarzenegger has been in, pulling quotes and images from Conan, Mr. Freeze, Total Recall, and lots more. Arnold Schwarzenegger leads the land of Schwarzeneggeria, a predictably barbarous country that gets bonuses for pillaging and Great Generals. Similar to the Guy Fieri mod, just a little bit too much work has gone into making this civ, which may be why it still has nearly 10,000 subscribers three years after releasing. 

Sid Meier's Civilization® V - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Adam Smith)

Jon Shafer was 21 years old when he became lead designer of Civilization V. Now working at Paradox on an unannounced project and on his own historical strategy game At The Gates in his spare time, he says he’s learning from the likes of Spelunky along with the more obvious strategic influences. We spoke about how the second half of every Civ sucks, the part the series played in his life, the perils of boredom in strategy design, how much we love maps, and what the future holds for both Shafer and Paradox.

I began by asking how he ended up sitting at the Paradox Convention, in Stockholm, the city that has now been his home for two weeks: “It’s quite a long story, actually.”

That story begins in Denver, around 2003.

… [visit site to read more]

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

The ‘Digital Deluxe Edition’ of Civilization 6 [official site] is to receive some extra little DLC packs for free, publishers 2K announced today, which is jolly surprising given that the game has been out for six months. 2K say that it wasn’t good enough value, so they’re making it better. And yup, folks who’ve already bought the Digital Deluxe Edition will get ’em too. Digital Deluxe Editions of games tend to strike me as cheeky ways to exploit fandom, offering trinkets and baubles in exchange for an extra 10 or 20, so it’s weird to see a publisher actually care about whether one is good value or not. … [visit site to read more]

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - Valve
Sid Meier ™s Civilization ® VI is on sale now at 33% off*!

* Offer ends Thursday, May 11th.

Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - Hinkle2K

2K and Firaxis are excited to announce the inclusion of all-new content for the Civilization VI Digital Deluxe edition, enhancing its value to deliver both strong savings and countless turns for fans of the award-winning Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise.

It’s important to us that wherever Civilization fans live around the world, that the Digital Deluxe edition provides a great value. We saw that prices with certain currencies didn’t live up to the savings we’re looking to deliver, and so we are excited to offer this new content at no additional charge to those who purchase, or already own, the Civilization VI Digital Deluxe edition.

In the coming months, we’ll be releasing two additional Civilization & Scenario Packs for Civilization VI that will introduce three new leaders representing civilizations from Africa and Southeast Asia. This content will appear automatically for purchasers of the Civilization VI Digital Deluxe edition upon release.

Follow the conversation on social media by using the hashtag #OneMoreTurn, and be sure to follow the Civilization franchise on social media to keep up to date with the latest news and information on Sid Meier’s Civilization VI.

         
Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - Aspyr_Lucy


The next update in the award-winning Sid Meier’s Civilization franchise is live for Mac and Linux on Steam! This update includes a number of balance changes, AI adjustments, multiplayer changes, and bug fixes. There is also a new premium DLC available for purchase!

Persia and Macedon Civilization & Scenario Pack

Persia, led by Cyrus, is perfect for players who want to build a rich empire, and who aren’t afraid to launch a sudden, unexpected military strike. Macedon, led by Alexander the Great, is a powerhouse conquering civ, with special units and abilities that let Macedon bring the world under its control from early in the game.

The DLC pack also includes two new Wonders and a new Scenario: The Conquests of Alexander. Can you conquer the known world before your time runs out?

For the full set of changes to the Steam Mac/Linux version, see below:

Civilization VI Mac/Linux – 1.0.0.129

[BALANCE CHANGES]

• Harbors now give a major adjacency bonus with the City Center, +1 Food to all Coast tiles when the Lighthouse is built, and +2 Gold to all Coast tiles when the Seaport is built.

• Australia now gets +1 for Charming/+3 for Breathtaking on the four affected
districts (had been +2/+4) to compensate for the Harbor boost above

• Royal Navy Dockyard now always provides +1 Trade Route capacity, even if the city already has a Commercial Hub. This makes it more useful, even when
England builds it on its home continent.

• Added “Future Civic” to the end of the Civics Tree, a repeatable Civic to research and add to the player score.

• Bomber units are now more effective against cities.

• Swordsman are now reduced to 36 combat strength.

• Damages now remain on City and Encampments when a city is traded.

• Siege units with bonus movement (e.g. from Great Generals or Persian surprise war) can still shoot after moving as long as they still have 2 MP.

• Adjusted Warmonger penalties for Diplomatic status:

o When applying a warmonger diplomatic penalty for EITHER declaring war or capturing a city, reduce that penalty if you are enemies with the target of that warmongering as follows:

-20% warmongering if this is against a player you have denounced

-40% warmongering if this is against a player you are at war with

o NOTE: This is not used in situations where you are fighting a Joint War
against the target power or when Sumeria joins as ally in war (in both those cases the penalty is still zero).

o EXAMPLE: Macedon is at war with Persia. If India goes to war with Persia
sometime in the middle of this Macedonian/Persian War and captures a
Persian city, Macedon will reduce its warmonger penalty against India by
40%.

• Adjusted Warmonger penalties for City Population:

o When applying a warmonger diplomatic penalty for capturing a city, reduce that penalty if the city is smaller than the average city in the game as follows:

If the city’s population after conquest is below the average population of all
the cities in the game, reduce the warmonger penalty by the percentage that city’s population is below the average.

o EXAMPLE: Persepolis is conquered and its population after conquest is 6.
But the average size of a city in the game is 8. So this city is 2 / 8 = 25%
below the size of the average city in the game. Therefore the warmonger
penalty is reduced by 25%.

[AI TUNING]

• Improved coordination for multiple attacking units.

• Ranged units better understand how to capture civilian units.

• AI should now generally accept embassies when neutral, and reject when
unfriendly.

• When asking an AI to equalize a deal that has elements on both sides of the
deal, it will consider a gold-only change before looking at other possibilities.

• Increased AI’s desire to repair pillaged Districts and Buildings.

• Minor civs will no longer go after policies that give them extra influence they can never use.

• Made it easier to meet the positive side of the environmentalist agenda

• AI will now build multiple Neighborhoods.

[BUG FIXES]

• The Great Works tooltip in the deal now shows extended information.

• Melee units can no longer attack embarked units.

• Pillaged improvements no longer provide Pantheon bonuses.

• Fixed double-counting of Appeal from Improvements.

• Fixed broken gossip message about Seaside Resorts that made them always mention a "lost city".

• John Curtin is now referred to as “Prime Minister” and not “President” in the
Outback Tycoon scenario.

• Fixed an issue where previously constructed buildings were not showing up
properly on the Production Chooser.

• The World Tracker now keeps its open/closed state between turns.

• Additional bug fixes.

[MULTIPLAYER]

• Updating Global Thermonuclear War scenario's Proxy War victory condition to support team play.

• Expanded internet games list to show results from additional regions

• Games list was frequently not showing all available games due to UI bug.

[MISC]

• Added more civs to the True Start Location Earth map.

• Separated war/peace notifications into major civs vs. city-state.

• Added additional information to Defeat/Victory screens, so players will be clearer on why they have lost the game.

• Added "special ability" stars to techs and civics that unlock new functionality.

• Added invasion warnings to Poland scenario

• Added new Capabilities data base table to disable select game systems for
scenarios and mods.

• Added text labels differentiating Official and Community content in the Lobby
screen.

[ADDITONAL CONTENT]

• Fixed issues in the Additional Content menu with mods that contained very long strings.

• The "ImportFiles" modding action now works as a Frontend action.

• The "UpdateIcons" action now supports SQL files in addition to XML files.

• Multiple files can now be specified in the "AddGameplayScripts" Ingame action.

• Added a "DoNothing" Frontend action and Ingame action. This action is useful as a placeholder or as a container that includes other actions.

• The localization database is now written out to the cache folder.
Sid Meier’s Civilization® VI - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

The march of progress is slow in civilisation and hey, Civilization can take time too. Civilization 6 [official site] developers Firaxis today launched the 4X strategy game’s Spring Update, bring changes and fixes that may not be mega-huge but are certainly welcome. Warmonger penalties are reworked so your people are no longer forever cursed with the mark of Cain just for twatting your neighbour with a ruler, for starters, and the AI is fixed-up a little too. The patch is a 1GB download now percolating through the pipes so fire up Steam and let’s have a look. … [visit site to read more]

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