Old World designer notes #10: Soren Johnson on diplomacy

By | October 8, 2021

Soren Johnson has published another blog post about the development of Old World, this time discussing diplomacy.

He talks about how the systems in Civ3 and Civ4 were independently flawed: In Civ3 the AIs would simply trade techs with each other no matter what, letting them get ahead of the player. In Civ4, this was fixed, but your best strategy would be to contact the AIs every turn to get whatever you wanted out of them, making the whole interaction feel not very diplomatic. To fix this in Old World, they didn’t incorporate a bargaining table to exchange items, but let instead events take this task, and gave a cost for diplomacy, leading to more careful planing of your diplomacy. The whole blog post is very well worth a read.

An excerpt:

“Fortunately, Old World had a system in place that could do all of those things easily – namely, the event system, which is both inherently unpredictable yet also reactive to the current game state. The event system became more flexible and robust the longer we worked on it, and we already used it for both the tutorial system (teaching you about harvesting the first time your Scout steps onto a neutral resource) and the mission system (every assassination has a small chance of triggering an event which can spin the game off in unpredictable directions). Using events to manage all diplomatic interactions between the human and the AI was perhaps a risky decision – players had gotten so used to the bargaining table that leaving it out could come across as a step backwards – but it would make diplomacy more dynamic and also force us to expand the event system to include more diplomatic triggers, requirements, and effects, which could pay off in the long run for scenarios.”

Read the whole blog post here: https://www.designer-notes.com/?p=1742

Discuss this blog post in our forum here: https://forums.civfanatics.com/threads/old-world-designer-notes-10-soren-johnson-on-diplomacy.673613/