Civilization VI failure

On Sunday I started playing Civilization VI. Today I lost badly and that’s ok because I was learning all the time.

Having played Civ II, IV and V in the past, I was familiar with the fundamental structure of the game. After my first attempt on Sunday afternoon it became clear I needed to go back to basics. I found some good tutorials on YouTube and a play through of a science victory scenario. All made perfect sense, so why today’s thumping?

Civ is a complex game with many related concepts that form part of the gameplay. I missed almost all of them. As I fell behind the A.I. civilisations, I started noting what wasn’t working as expected. That told me which areas I needed to ask about. Asking meant time reading documentation on the points I’d missed and the rest of the game trying what I had learned. For this play through, it was too little, too late. The next will start much stronger.

That’s how learning works. Know what you should do, try it, and when you fail, ask the questions you need answers to. Then try again. Ask more questions, and repeat.

I can take the loss, though I wish the Peter the Great of Russie didn’t denounce me as such a bad ruler time and again.

Fear of missing out

FOMO generates extra dollars for the gaming industry, both PC/console gaming and board/tabletop games.

Two words. DLC and Expansion.

Both represent additions to the base game. The call is strong. After a conversation last night with a friend about this very point I learned there is an expansion to SmallWorld I didn’t know about, and there are some expansions for Civilization VI that I don’t have.

Immediately, I want to buy them. Knowing full well I’ll never use them.

I’m not the only one.

Your friendly local game store

At the edge of your consciousness you may be aware that over the past few years there has been a resurgence in board games, tabletop role-playing games such as Dungeons & Dragons, and tabletop wargaming like Warhammer.

These games, which have always been situated in the home, also take place in public at your friendly local game store. Here you can buy the games themselves, any number of game expansions and accessories, and find other gamers to play with.

Driving back to my hotel today I saw a store I’d missed in the past and to get outside I took a walk.

After visiting the first of two stores today I was struck with how similar the feeling of walking into a local friendly game store that isn’t your own, is like the feeling I get when walking into any place of worship. It’s welcoming, but not necessarily where you belong. Don’t let that put you off. Any question you ask will be answered with genuine assistance and interest. Most stores are not like that at all.

These are the signs you are in a friendly local game store.

  • The manager, usually the store owner, may get up from a table where they are playing games and ask if they can help.
  • There are tables laid out in the centre of the store, with people playing games. All the stereotypes apply. Young to middle-aged males, often with long hair (scalp or beard), and frequently wearing black. If your nose is sensitive, there may be a stale odour in the air too. As I said, all the stereotypes.
  • People will be engaged in animated conversation which makes no sense to you at all.
  • The prices may astound you. It’s a hobby, and all hobbies are expensive.

I aborted my role-playing activities during Covid. Part of that was due to my anxiety running and also part because the weekly Sunday afternoon visit to my friendly local game store were aborted. It may be time to visit again when I get home.

Uncharted Territory

Over the last week I’ve been playing Uncharted – Legacy of Thieves Collection on the PlayStation 5. It has just been remastered for the new console with improved graphics.

The collection consists of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End and a shorter follow-up titled Uncharted: The Lost Legacy.

Both games, as with all in the series, are rollicking adventures full of fun, danger and emotion. Uncharted 4 has a moment that was as emotional and impactful as anything I’ve seen in the best movies. You can view that here on YouTube – warning spoilers.

It makes me sad to think many will never experience what these games can bring, because they are “computer games” and so seen as beneath many people. I wonder if this is because the associate gaming (the biggest entertainment industry on the planet) with the computers they don’t understand.

Not the same at all.