Game Review Random

Restore history? This is precisely the most difficult to do in historical strategy games

A strategy game based on real history has its advantages in player substitution. Do not destroy this substitution.

“Nuclear Peace Messenger” may be one of the most famous stalks in “Civilization 6”: In the game settings, Gandhi is a civilization leader who advocates peace, however, AI players who use this civilization leader in the game are always shutting down the country. After 3000 years of farming, he turned into a war mad and used nuclear bombs frantically to deal with the unsightly neighbors. The huge contrast between this setting and reality allows players to talk about Gandhi, and there is a happy atmosphere in the air.

Gandhi himself probably would n’t have thought that his image among a group of 21st century players would actually be a war madman keen on throwing nuclear bombs. The misalignment of the historical image and the game image shows a dilemma shared by all simulation games or strategy games based on real history: such games need to restore history to enhance the sense of substitution, but to what extent is it appropriate to restore it?

“Atomic forces will dominate future wars, but you haven’t.” –Gandhi, the nuclear messenger

In a history of strategy games, “Civilization 6” is far from the highest level of restoration. Of course, in order to give players the immersion of “controlling the historical direction of human civilization”, it uses famous people who have really existed in history as leaders, and uses unique cultural features unique to different periods, regions or countries in history as civilization-specific The logo uses the familiar human history to control the game flow in stages, but its map is not on the earth. The use of random maps in each game makes it a bit of a Roguelike game, even though the player is playing a civilized leader.

In the “civilization” series, players do not really substitute themselves into a historical context of a real existence. On the side of The Creative Assembly, which developed the “Total Warfare” series, the situation is different.

When the latest series of “Total Warfare: Three Kingdoms” was released, players complained that the game did not restore the history of the Three Kingdoms enough, “no taste.” The production team restored the maps, historical characters, soldiers, cities, and technology of the Three Kingdoms period according to historical records, but the players are still dissatisfied with the randomly generated ordinary generals and events.

This dissatisfaction reached its peak after the release of the first DLC “Chaos of the Eight Kings”. As far as the game is concerned, “The Rebellion of the Eight Kings” is a good “full battle” game, and there are innovations in the design of the strategic stage. However, as a game based on real history, CA Studio made a serious historical mistake in “The Rebellion of the Eight Kings”, which caused players’ indignation and almost ruined the reputation of CA among domestic players. once.

In a strategy game based on real history, historical errors and inaccuracies are particularly unsatisfactory to players, but when you think about it, the existence of such dissatisfaction is actually confusing. Take “Total War: Three Kingdoms” as an example. Although players always complain about various historical facts in the game, when playing, players often do not follow the trajectory of historical facts.

Players with excellent battlefield commanding capabilities may have captured Cao Cao with Liu Bei in the first few rounds of the game, thus traveling westward from Shandong to the Central Plains, or using trade and diplomatic mechanisms to transform food and land out of nothing. The most impressive is the practice of the station B’s host “Let’s Praise Citicav” by constantly offering sacrifices to his husband to keep Zheng Jiang’s super powerful force-which is neither historical nor common sense, but it is really interesting.

“The Rebellion of the Eight Kings” received the “mostly bad review” on the Steam platform

Therefore, a paradox is clearly presented: the design of strategy games with history as the background needs to restore the true history highly, but the players will not follow the true historical trajectory at all. Compared with the tragic reality of Zhuge Liang’s death before Shi Jie in “Three Kingdoms”, players are more willing to let Zhuge Liang realize his unfinished wish in the game. Similarly, compared to the unfortunate destiny of the Byzantine Empire’s demise in the 15th century, players are more willing to let it break through in “European Storm” and restore Rome.

Strategy games need to make the player’s choice and strategy play meaningful, and different choices and strategies should bring different endings. The problem is that once history is used as the background, strictly based on the existing history, the player’s choice is meaningless, because history has no if. The prime minister really died with unfinished wishes, and Byzantium died after all. This is an unchangeable historical reality. But for players to participate meaningfully, the game must open a door for players to give them the opportunity to change history and create a history that matches the player’s wishes.

Therefore, the magic change of history has become an indispensable link in the strategy game with history as the background. Even if it is entirely possible to follow the trajectory of real history, more players are still actively involved in the great cause of history. “P Club Four Moe” can be said to be the best in restoring the true history in the mechanism design, but as long as you search for related game videos on station B, you will find that the most popular is always the magical rewriting of history in the game.

Suddenly, we found that when breaking through the history set by the developer and creating a new situation in history became the most important source of player fun, a magical game between the history-based strategy game and “Goose Play” appeared magically. Similarity. The player in “Goose Play” plays a mischievous goose, delighting in making the garden organized by the gardener messy. At this time, hire a historian to carefully examine every detail in the game to ensure its rationality. The developer is the dedicated gardener. The game is the well-organized courtyard, and the player is the one. Big white goose ramming in the courtyard.

However, if the mechanisms and details designed after these meticulous references can only be exchanged for the player’s praise in the end, and the player’s real fun lies in the magic reform and history creation, the developer’s labor and effort seems unnecessary. In particular, considering that even professional historians dare not say that they can restore history, no matter how hard developers try, they cannot reproduce the real historical environment in the game. So what’s the point of making such a detailed test in the game?

Great White Goose: Order Destroyer, Gardener’s Nightmare

In the “4X” game with exploration, expansion, development, and conquest, the “civilization” series is actually not the most ingenious and exquisite design. As far as design is concerned, both the “Stars” and the “Endless” series, which are rising stars, have quite outstanding designs-the “Stars” event system and the “Endless” series are very recognizable races. In contrast, “Civilization 6” where market sales may be equal to the sum of the two is somewhat mediocre. The problem, however, is that “Civilization 6” is the most popular.

Compared with the “Stars” and “Endless” series, “Civilization 6”, “Full Battle” series, “Three Kingdoms” series, P club four cute and other strategy games, the biggest difference is precisely that they are based on real history background. That ’s right, players are keen to create and modify history, but the characteristic of strategy games is to create history, because after careful thinking, the choice must be meaningful. At this time, the advantage of the strategy game in the context of real history is that it can provide an environment where the player’s imagination “lands” quickly. This is difficult to do in an overhead world. No matter how hard the developers try to design the overhead world, it is difficult for players to think it is “real”, so it can be quickly substituted into the game world.

Therefore, the advantage of strategy games with real history as the background is reflected in the player’s sense of substitution. The interface of a strategy game is more abstract than that of a role-playing game or a first-person shooter. If you add an overhead world, the player’s imagination cannot easily “fall” in the world, creating a gap. At this time, the benefits of the real historical background are revealed: players can quickly enter the world and establish a relatively stable emotional connection with the game.

In a strategy game with history as the background, the player’s fun really comes from making history. However, in all strategy games, players are making history. By creating history, the player’s choice has meaning, but for the player, this meaning must be perceptible. This requires the substitution of the game world and the projection of imagination and emotion into this fictional world. For strategy games where the level of abstraction is naturally high, it is wise to introduce real history, even if players are always stricter with regard to the historical evidence in the game.

To put it bluntly, players need to have Gandhi in the background of the game, but it is up to the player to decide whether Gandhi tosses or not to throw nuclear bombs, and not allow the system to be replaced. This may be a subtlety in historical strategy game design.

Author: Wang on behalf of the
Source: Touch Music
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