Two New Beyond the Sword Articles

Firaxis website has posted two short Behind the Scenes articles about Beyond the Sword, the newest expansion pack for Civilization IV.

The first article, titled “Introducing AfterWorld”, is written by Tim McCracken, QA Manager and scenario designer at Firaxis. It gives some background info about the “Afterworld” scenario:


right[/img]Our stage is in the far distant future. In an age where we've accomplished faster-than-light travel, man-made solar systems, and have isolated 'consciousness'. That last feat allows for human robots to work tirelessly, while their persona takes a vacation in a jar somewhere.

As with any story, something goes wrong. Something causes a planet full of the human robots, GoLeMs, to twist into malformed beasts. The universal government sends some scientists to observe what’s going on. Yeah…they’re eaten. So then the big guns (that’s you) are sent in to grab the scientist’s untransmitted research. It’s a squad of five “Gravebringers” vs. a planet full of nightmares.

There are no leaders. No cities. No technologies. It’s not the typical game of Civ. It’s Afterworld.

The second article is titled “Art From Concept to Completion” and is written by Firaxis artist Mike Bates. He talks about the process of creating art asset for games and what each step in the cycle involves. The new spaceship design screen is used as an example. Here is an excerpt:


right[/img]It's fairly easy to research a concept that's based on existing technology; such as a spaceship, vehicle or building. I looked at the current state of spaceship design and technology, then tried to project where it might go in the future. Incorporating what I learned through my research into the design of my spaceship gave the "look and feel" some credibility. One consideration in a ground launch rocket was good aerodynamic properties and tremendously powerful engines in order to breach the atmosphere. If it were built in space and only traveled in space, it could be shaped like a brick. I submitted three rough drawings that I thought captured what we were looking for, and one was chosen. From there, I began to mock up the in-game spaceship building screen where the player can keep track of the construction of their craft (starting with a skeletal frame), and know what is still needed as the game progresses. Again, I used current airframe design as a basis for how the frame of the ship should be built. The end result is a very believable futuristic kick-in-the-pants spaceship.
Thanks to fitchn for posting about it.
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