Saturday, December 11, 2010

Civilization 5: The Quest for a Board Game Adaption

Civilization 5 has gained another fan! Sid Meier’s Civilization 5 for PC is incredibly fun and addicting. After hearing endless praise and recommendation, the release of Civilization 5 provided a great opportunity to finally break into the Civilization series (having never played any of the previous Civilization games). It took about 2 minutes of playing before I was hooked.

Though the single player mode was more than sufficient for me to fully enjoy the game, I needed to get my friends in on the civilization 5 experience. The bad news is: Civilization 5 doesn’t have a multiplayer hotseat feature; players can only LAN or play online. This forces each player to own a computer good enough to meet the game's hefty graphics requirements (which is not the case with my group of friends). There's a fleeting rumor that hotseat will be added in a future patch, but my hopes are not high.

In an effort to quench my thirst for multiplayer Civilization 5 action I began brainstorming ways to create a board game that could mimic the gameplay experience of Civilization 5. My ultimate goal is to create a board game adaption which captures the same fun experience of PC game on a smaller and simplified scale. This idea bloomed and became another one of my crazy side projects.

I later learned that there already exists an official Sid Meier’s Civilization: The Board Game; however, that board game was published in 2002 and is designed to mirror earlier version of Civilization. Though the rules of Civilization 5 are mostly derivative of its predecessors, there are several key differences (such as a hex grid and city-states) which make the gameplay unique from the other games in the series. I also feel that the official board game over-simplified some aspects of the PC game which, as a result, narrows the strategic variety. It’s likely that my final design will closely resemble Sid Meier's Civilization: The Board Game but with a focus on preserving Civilization 5 specific gameplay.

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