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Monograph

Monday, February 09, 2004

Online Strategy Games

Some friends of mine from Oxford have just launched Red Emperor, an online strategy game company.

First game out is called Empires, and its a civilisation style game of diplomacy, conquest and development. The game works by sticking more or less to recorded history. The ancients period that is available at the moment is played over six ages each lasting seven turns. In a given age new empires rise up and are assigned to players. The players then guide their empire to the end of the age at which point it will either collapse, decline or continue. If your empire does anything other than continue you get one of the new ones appearing that age.

Hopefully the result will be that the map always looks vaguely plausible, and even if my current incarnation as ruler of Egypt were to see me enslave the mediteranean world by the end of age 3 the empire will be dust, swept away by those arriving in ages 2 and 3. I meanwhile will have abandoned Egypt for one of the upstart nations. Its a neat idea, but slightly weird. I played a playtest of a game which was a forerunner to this many many years ago, that was fun. This could be a lot of fun.

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