firaxis-games posts

Big Civilization V patch released on Steam

As promised, developer Firaxis Games has released a massive new patch for 2010's turn-based strategy game Civilization V. The patch is now available for automatic download via Steam and the huge patch list is available to check out on the Steam web site.

There's lots of changes and improvements to many of the game's AI features in this new patch along with lots of gameplay changes as well (for example, the game's Stealth Bombers can now get promotions). There's also a boatload of change to the game's user interface and there's also been some bug fixes for mod support, achievements and more.

New Civilization V DLC pack coming next week; massive patch in the works

Two more paid DLC packs for Civilization V are being prepped for released via various download outlets next week, according to Computer and Video Games. One of the DLC packs for Firaxis Games' 2010 turn based strategy game will add the Denmark civilization to the game along with a related new scenario. The other DLC pack will add 10 new maps to the game. Five of the maps will be based on real location while the other five are more scripted map environments.

In addition to the DLC packs, Firaxis is also working on a massive free patch to the game that should be released soon. The game's official message boards has a list of what is currently included in the patch, which will have a large number of AI, UI, graphics and other changes and bug fixes.

Rumor: Civilization dev team at Firaxis working on Unreal Engine 3 game?

Firaxis Games has yet to officially announce its next major retail game release but a clue to the Civilization developer might be found the online resume for one of its former team members. The Twitter page of Superannuation found this LinkedIn resume from former Firaxis Games member Chris Doyle (now with Vigil Games).

Before his current gig, Doyle claims to have worked at Firaxis on an "unannounced Unreal Engine 3 title (PC, Xbox 360, PS3) – in development". That last bit seems to indicate that the game, whatever it was, is still in the works. It would also indicate a big change in the developer's graphics engine needs.


Civilization V gets massive patch update

civilization v
Civilization V players have finally received its promised and massive patch update to 2010's turn-based strategy game. The update, available via Steam's automatic patch updater, has a ton of new features, improvements and bug fixes for the Firaxis Games-developed title.

The new features in the patch include an all new building, the Aqueduct. 40 percent of food is carried over after a new Citizen is born with the new Aqueduct in place. There are numerous balanced changes in this new patch along with bug fixes and "significant turn time improvements" for the game's engine. As we reported earlier this week a new DLC update for Civilization V will be released on Steam this Thursday.

Civilization V to get DLC packs on Thursday including Polynesian civilization

civilization v
It's been a couple of months since the last DLC mini-expansion for Civilization V. Today publisher 2K Games announced plans to released both free and paid DLC for the recent turn-based strategy game from Firaxis Games. Both of them will be released via Steam on Thursday.

The paid expansion will add the Polynesian civilization to the game with you controlling the civ's leader Kamehameha. There's also a new scenario in the $4.99 pack which will let players control one of the four Polynesia kingdoms. In addition players will be able to download a free multiplayer map pack with three maps; the small Skirmish map, and two others (Ring and Ancient Lake).

[Via email press release]

Steam has Civilization IV and V on sale this weekend; new patch notes for V revealed

This week is apparently the 20th anniversary of the release of Civilization, the first game in the centuries spanning turn-based strategy series from "game god" Sid Meier. It remains one of the most respected game franchises of all time. To celebrate, Steam has put the last two games in the series on sale for this weekend. Civilization IV The Complete Edition is now available for just $7.50 while the recently released Civilization V is now on sale for $29.99.

Speaking of Civilization V (and we were) the next major patch for the game is in the works and this week some partial patch notes were posted on the game's official message boards. There will be a bunch of balance changes in this update along with other changes and bug fixes. It should be released sometime in February.

Civilization IV theme music wins Grammy Award

Civilization IV received a great honor on Sunday night. The turn-based strategy game became the first game ever to have part of its music win a Grammy Award. The theme song for the game, Baba Yetu by composer Christopher Tin, won in the "Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists" category.

While the music track was composed first for the game it has since become a live concert favorite including showing up in the concerts for the traveling video game music show Video Games Live. Tin actually won two Grammy Awards on Sunday night; he also won in the Best Classical Crossover Album for his release Calling All Dawns.

Civilization V Mac finally gets paid DLC

Civilization V for the Mac was first released last November by Aspyr Media, about two months after its PC release. Now Mac fans of the turn-based strategy game are finally able to purchase and download all of the paid DLC packs that were released for the PC version of the game.

The web site currently has the DLC packs on sale (although they should show up on Steam soon). It includes the Americas, Asia, the Mediterranean and Mesopotamia map packs for $2.99 each or all four for $9.99. Also available is the Babylon Civilization pack for $4.99 and the Spain and Inca Civilization pack for $7.99. Finally Mac gamers can get the Mongol Civilization pack for free via download.

Civilization Network for Facebook becomes Civilization World; closed alpha starts on Jan. 12

It's been a long, long time since we have heard anything about the status of the Facebook strategy game Civilization Network, a game that was first announced back in October 2009. Today the game's designer and "game god" Sid Meier broke his long silence with a new post on the game's Facebook page. The note announced a title change for the game to Civilization World (or Civ World if you prefer). Meier states that the name change "reflects the main theme of the game"

More importantly Meier states that the closed alpha testing for the game will begin on January 12. Folks can go ahead and sign up to be a part of the alpha test right now. The catch is that for this phase the development team at Firaxis Games want teams of players of between five to 50 people to sign up rather than as individuals (single players can still play the game when it officially launches). Meier states, " ... to win in Civ World, you'll need to collaborate with your friends in order to do well in the game and become ruler of the world, so in our early Alpha testing, we're grouping people together to simulate how the game will work when it's available to the world at large." People who are picked to be in the alpha test will get "a special item that you can proudly display in your throne room."

Exclusive: Civilization V's lead designer hired by Stardock

In a major hiring coup for Stardock, the developer of the Galactic Civilizations series and more recently Elemental: War of Magic has revealed exclusively to Big Download that it has hired Jon Shafer to its team. Shafer recently left Firaxis Games where he served as the lead designer behind the studio's most recent game Civilization V. In his new role, Shafer will be helping with the design and increasing mod support for Elemental. At some point in the future he will also be leading his own team at Stardock on an unnanounced new stand alone game for the developer.

Big Download also got to speak briefly with Shafer over the phone earlier today. He told us that he departed Firaxis Games on good terms and while he got a few offers from other studios he told us that he went to Stardock for a number of reasons. One is that he has been an admirer of Stardock's games for some time as a fan. Another is that he wanted to work wth a company that that the freedom to make the kinds of games he wanted to make. Shafer told us he could give out any info on what his stand alone project will be for the company as Stardock is still concentrating its efforts on updating Elemental, including the release of at least two expansion packs.

Shafer will be working with Stardock CEO Brad Wardell who will continue to work as Executive Producer of all of Stardock's game titles. As we reported back in October, Stardock hired Derek Paxton, the lead designer behind the well known Civilization IV mod Fall From Heaven, to serve as Senior Producer of Elemental. Shafer told us that Stardock has "lots of awesome stuff" planned for the future of Elemental.

After its rocky launch last August, Stardock has continued to update Elemental, including a massive free 1.1 patch that was officially released last December. More patches are in the works as two expansion packs to the game. Wardell has stated on the game's official message board that sales of Elemental have continued to rise in the last three months of 2010. In another message board post he gives a general idea of where Stardock plans to improve and expand the game, adding, "I approved the necessary budget in December to fund Elemental for both 2011 and 2011." In addition he states, "Stardock has some other game projects that start up this year as well and the publishing group is working on some new things as well. So it's going to be a pretty exciting year for Stardock gamers."

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