Jon Shafer on pushing the 4X genre forward

Today I have an interview with Civilization V designer, Jon Shafer. Jon’s an experienced 4X strategy game player and creator, and I wanted to talk to him about the design issues these kinds of games tend to face. Here’s a few subjects we talk about:

  • Diplomacy systems
  • Lack of dynamics in the late (and often mid) game
  • How combat should be resolved, if it exists at all
  • Match length
  • Victory conditions

… just to name a few. Jon is currently working on the successfully Kickstarted At the Gates, which you can play an early access version of here.

Note: Jon’s audio is a little bit spotty in the first 10 minutes of the interview, but it clears up! Enjoy!


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