First Impressions on the demo

Everything Caesar IV that doesn't fit elsewhere
kach
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Postby kach » Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:18 pm

For me, I love the humour in the demo. The prefects and engineers have some wonderful lines. And the accents! It seems true to C3 in this area.

MumSuNamun
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Tweaking the Graphics

Postby MumSuNamun » Wed Aug 23, 2006 9:30 pm

I was able to come up with a compromise between graphics and performance that is acceptible to make playing the game enjoyable. It wasn't easy, but I did it! LOL! Worth giving it another chance, at any rate.

Ares
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Postby Ares » Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:52 am

This game totally freezes on my machine, which runs other Roman city building games of this generation completely well. That is, I am not going to buy it, and I am quitting.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:10 am

Well, Caesar IV is more demanding of your system than other Roman era games out there.

If you post your dxdiag.txt file we can see what's going on with your system.

Nimlot
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Postby Nimlot » Thu Aug 24, 2006 6:52 am

MumSuNamun wrote:I was able to come up with a compromise between graphics and performance that is acceptible to make playing the game enjoyable. It wasn't easy, but I did it! LOL! Worth giving it another chance, at any rate.


Wanna share please ??

So far I am playing on "best performance" to prevent freezing.

Strange, cause I was able to play COTN on "best graphics" without any problems :confused:

Toreyn
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Postby Toreyn » Thu Aug 24, 2006 10:22 am

[QUOTE=LynnStrauch]I have not played the Pharaoh games, but now that I am so very disappointed with the Caesar IV demo release, I may buy Pharaoh instead.
I have taken a look on ebay for it, and it seems there are a few versions out there. Which in your opinion is the best one?
/QUOTE]

Get Great Empires II. Includes expansion pack for Pharaoh, and also Zeus, along with its expansion pack. I really liked Zeus! I enjoyed the campaign, and then had fun with the user-made adventures - Zeus had a great community, and the files are still out there.

Don't give up on C4, though. We won't know what its going to be at retail until it arrives. :)

pheeph
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Postby pheeph » Thu Aug 24, 2006 5:15 pm

I just played this yesterday (after putting a 6200 into my PC). I originally thought some of the building mechanics were going to be along the lines of CotN, but I guess not... I thought the citizens of a Roman city would go to the designated spot to build the house. Remember those building sequences in CotN? I actually liked the way those people were building the houses from the ground up. I was hoping the citizens in Caesar IV would do the same. Anyway I hope people walk more properly down the roads. These people are actually moving faster than the speed of their walking.

MumSuNamun
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Happy to Help Nimlot

Postby MumSuNamun » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:42 pm

Nimlot- I don’t mind sharing at all! LOL!

Like you, I have no problems using “Best Graphics” on CotN, and as a matter of fact, I don’t think I’ve ever had a single PC game that I was not able to run on “Best Graphics” before. That’s probably why I didn’t even think about trying to “tweak” graphics to help performance until it was suggested in the Forum to me. As I mentioned, I don’t have only the minimum recommended system, but I paid big bucks for a PC system that is designed specifically for gaming purposes (as that is my main use for my PC), and C4 is the only game I’ve ever had a problem with. And I run heavyweight games like Civilization IV on it with no problem. That’s what makes me wonder about C4.

Anyway, I think this is what I did, step by step.

I had the “Best Graphics” setting on, so I moved up one button above it and clicked on it. This moved the several “slider controls” down slightly in the right-hand area of the advanced settings screen, and the “Custom Graphics Setting” light underneath the “Best Graphics” light then lit up automatically.

I also did some hand tweaking of switching off some things… I turned off the day and night cycle (as I found this very annoying to live with LOL!), I turned off reflection (as I thought I could live without it), and I turned off shadows (ditto).

Texture detail I set to medium, water detail to medium, filtering to medium, and anti aliasing to 2x multi…

I left the audio and interface alone.

This combo works for me, so I’m giving the game another chance. As I mentioned, I probably should not have gotten my hopes up that Tilted Mill could reproduce the stunning graphic effects of CotN, but on the other hand, there are many reasons to play city building games, and many people who play for assorted reasons. Vive la difference!

Amris
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Postby Amris » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:44 pm

I'm sure that by now, no one is really reading, but I'm going to give a few comments that I so far missed (I apologize if I just didn't see it):

The interface is clunky. I turned my resolution up to 1280 X 968 (or whatever, forget exact numbers) and still... my play area is 75% interface. I have to scroll around to find an empty spot to put things down on the larger menus. And I can't get rid of them, either, or I lose what I have on cursor. This is made worse by the huge "tips" screen.

The interface is easily interrupted. I really hate when I'm trying to adjust settings on the warehouses/granaries, and suddenly I'm kicked out of the instructions menu, and have to click to go back into it. And god forbid someone else comes along a minute later. VERY annoying after only a few times of it happening. I was, in fact, appalled that this got past Beta... I surely can't be the only one annoyed by that?

I hope this is not a tutorial. It doesn't walk you through anything, you just start putting down things, and if you're lucky, you figure out why that reservoir isn't working, why that building isn't doing anything (I won't say how long it took me to realize a building wasn't doing anything, but... yeah).

It is not what's advertised. "The demo includes both a tutorial and scenario level." It includes a single scenario, which is, if it's supposed to be a tutorial combination, the worst tutorial I've ever seen. This statement is highly misleading. A tutorial should not be a simple informational slide that makes me do something before it gives me partial and incomplete information.

At this time, the interface is so incredibly obnoxious that I would not buy the game. Make the interface less interruptable, more user-friendly, and not so much IN THE WAY, and I will return to being as eager to buy it as I was yesterday before I tried the demo. Oh, and change the wording of what is supposedly in the demo, because frankly you destroy trust with it.

Mack the Knife
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Postby Mack the Knife » Thu Aug 24, 2006 7:59 pm

Thanks for all the info about tweaking the graphics Keith

keith cited a readme, but the info he listed is also available as in-game "tool tips" when you hover the mouse over the particular graphics option...(if you didn't already know this...)

King Faticus
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Postby King Faticus » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:38 pm

Amris wrote:I'm sure that by now, no one is really reading, but I'm going to give a few comments that I so far missed (I apologize if I just didn't see it):

The interface is clunky. I turned my resolution up to 1280 X 968 (or whatever, forget exact numbers) and still... my play area is 75% interface. I have to scroll around to find an empty spot to put things down on the larger menus. And I can't get rid of them, either, or I lose what I have on cursor. This is made worse by the huge "tips" screen.

The interface is easily interrupted. I really hate when I'm trying to adjust settings on the warehouses/granaries, and suddenly I'm kicked out of the instructions menu, and have to click to go back into it. And god forbid someone else comes along a minute later. VERY annoying after only a few times of it happening. I was, in fact, appalled that this got past Beta... I surely can't be the only one annoyed by that?

I hope this is not a tutorial. It doesn't walk you through anything, you just start putting down things, and if you're lucky, you figure out why that reservoir isn't working, why that building isn't doing anything (I won't say how long it took me to realize a building wasn't doing anything, but... yeah).

It is not what's advertised. "The demo includes both a tutorial and scenario level." It includes a single scenario, which is, if it's supposed to be a tutorial combination, the worst tutorial I've ever seen. This statement is highly misleading. A tutorial should not be a simple informational slide that makes me do something before it gives me partial and incomplete information.

At this time, the interface is so incredibly obnoxious that I would not buy the game. Make the interface less interruptable, more user-friendly, and not so much IN THE WAY, and I will return to being as eager to buy it as I was yesterday before I tried the demo. Oh, and change the wording of what is supposedly in the demo, because frankly you destroy trust with it.

I saw several posts by tm about some of these issues and was looking for them to give you a link... but things are so busy they got buried and I cannot find them. I remember reading that there are going to be real tutorials in the full game, actually I think I remember reading that there already are just not in the demo.

The interface is still being tweaked too I heard so that is good news aswell.

Im glad Im not the only one that was annoyed by the misleading discription. I remember it sayed it includes the tutorial and a scenario aswell.... so far I got no response at all about this... :(


actually here is a quote

Sierra wrote:Build a Living City with the Caesar® IV Single-Player Demo
Experience the rebirth of the best-selling classical city-building series.

Los Angeles, CA - 08/16/2006 - Hail Caesar! The Conqueror has returned with the world premiere of the Caesar® IV demo. The demo includes both a tutorial and scenario level. Download the demo today and build the glory for yourself. Caesar IV will be instore September 2006 complete with over 30 scenarios, over 75 buildings, and online multiplay.

Both\and implies two seperate maps....
Last edited by King Faticus on Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Amris
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Postby Amris » Thu Aug 24, 2006 8:50 pm

King Faticus wrote:I saw several posts by tm about some of these issues and was looking for them to give you a link... but things are so busy they got buried and I cannot find them. I remember reading that there are going to be real tutorials in the full game, actually I think I remember reading that there already are just not in the demo.

The interface is still being tweaked too I heard so that is good news aswell.

Im glad Im not the only one that was annoyed by the misleading discription. I remember it sayed it includes the tutorial and a scenario aswell.... so far I got no response at all about this... :(


actually here is a quote


Both\and implies two seperate maps....


I apologize for going over the same stuff then.

Yes, the statement is misleading. I know it was covered that there is only one scenario, but I really wanted to point out that it borders on false advertising and is highly misleading.

I thought I was bugged, to be honest, until I read here and saw that others couldn't get a second scenario, either.

doublenerds
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Postby doublenerds » Fri Aug 25, 2006 10:36 am

I am not saying anything new here, but just wanted to add my voice to those who have commented on the interace.

First of all, I'm so glad this game is being made. The Sierra city builders are pretty much my favorite single player games to play, and I play them repeatedly over the years. I am looking forward to playing a finished version of this game. However, the interface might be a game-stopper for me. Here's my wish list:

  • Please, please, please move the build options off the gameplay screen. It makes it difficult to place buildings without significant micromanagement.
  • I think most of us who play these games with enthusiasm make very heavy use of the advisors and city statistics. Zeus did this so well, with the ability to quickly toggle beteen detail and summary views with the push of a button. Accessing information never prevented me from keeping an eye on my city. The current advisor system is TERRIBLE. The information is nice, but I have to take a 3 minute break from playing the game just to load the appropriate screens.


I am very interested to take a closer look at this game, but at present the interface makes me feel very "meh" about the demo.

Apoplexia
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Postby Apoplexia » Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:10 pm

I have never played a cb before in my life, and my one and only pc game is rtw:bi. Although I experienced many of the minor glitches and annoyances that others have described, I don't care because a demo is surely just that - a broad-brush indication of things to come. If I pass a restaurant and like the aroma, that's enough to tell me I might like to eat there. I do not expect my nostrils to tell me each last detail of the service and the menu.

I found the demo an absolute delight, and it must have taken me a dozen hours before I won on hard without squandering my own personal fortune on a bauble for a despot. That I earned about the same as the price of a hedge was rather humbling, but I concede that in the first few attempts at least, even the macdonalds wage that Caesar had me on was probably more than I was worth.

Something tells me I'm going to enjoy this game as much or maybe even more than the forthcoming mtw2, which itself is clearly going to be stunning. I'm sufficiently ancient to find most pc games ugly and crass, however clever their graphics and gameplay might be, so I'm delighted to have accidentally stumbled across another company in TM which, like CA, adds wit and style and subtlety of thought to the mix. That there is a competitive element as well is even better, and I don't intend to be a lowly noob for very long!

PhilL
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Postby PhilL » Fri Sep 15, 2006 9:43 pm

Apoplexia wrote:I have never played a cb before in my life, and my one and only pc game is rtw:bi. Although I experienced many of the minor glitches and annoyances that others have described, I don't care because a demo is surely just that - a broad-brush indication of things to come. If I pass a restaurant and like the aroma, that's enough to tell me I might like to eat there. I do not expect my nostrils to tell me each last detail of the service and the menu.

I found the demo an absolute delight, and it must have taken me a dozen hours before I won on hard without squandering my own personal fortune on a bauble for a despot. That I earned about the same as the price of a hedge was rather humbling, but I concede that in the first few attempts at least, even the macdonalds wage that Caesar had me on was probably more than I was worth.

Something tells me I'm going to enjoy this game as much or maybe even more than the forthcoming mtw2, which itself is clearly going to be stunning. I'm sufficiently ancient to find most pc games ugly and crass, however clever their graphics and gameplay might be, so I'm delighted to have accidentally stumbled across another company in TM which, like CA, adds wit and style and subtlety of thought to the mix. That there is a competitive element as well is even better, and I don't intend to be a lowly noob for very long!


Welcome to the forums :D I like your style. Yes TM is a premier company. I wish you many hours of enjoyment with the game and the forums.

chazsi
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Postby chazsi » Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:09 pm

Welcome Apoplexia

Sounds like you're already beyond noob.

Glad you love "our game."

Finding Tilted Mill will turn out to be one of your greatest "finds" ever. Great games. Great people.

And the greatest people here on our forum as well

Again WELCOME to all of it. :D

PhilL
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Postby PhilL » Fri Sep 15, 2006 10:12 pm

And chazsi brings laughing gas to the parties. :p

MarkDuffy
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Postby MarkDuffy » Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:00 am

Amris, your points.

Interface, especially with the double-wide Raw Materials Build Menu open is definitely too large. With the Tips also, the map totally disappears except for the upper part of the map. However, you do not need to keep both open. You can close the tips & later hit the instructions button to restore the tips. The rest of the build buttons are not double-wide & not that bad.

You are over-stating the problem a bit. It is what we get with an interface on the side of the screen. We lived with it in the Classic CBs & we can live with it now. I prefer the COTN/AOE3 interface, but we got a different one.

The game also pauses when you go to the Advisor screen & the pause is not that long for me. Seconds & not minutes. People who have lag problems are gettiing this. I have no lag.

Warehouse/Granary/Trade Depot Adjustment screen closes when a cartpusher arrives & possibly at other times also. Not sure what all does it. Definitely a problem. :)
Last edited by MarkDuffy on Sat Sep 16, 2006 12:14 am, edited 1 time in total.

Targa
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Postby Targa » Fri Sep 22, 2006 11:38 pm

My personal impression on the demo: I hate to say it, but "not impressed" would be about all that comes to mind. Like many of you, I've played countless great games over the years - titles like Civ4, Command and Conquer, Rome: Total War, and the list goes on...all the way back to before Rollercoaster Tycoon (heck, I started playing games on a Commodore 64).

Normally, I can get a "gut feeling" right away about a great game. Great games draw you in and fascinate you, and before you know it, it's way past time for bed. One of the most amusing "tips" I've ever seen for game addicts is that one that pops up occasionally in Civ4, "Snacks are good in moderation...", lol! Playing the demo for C4, I found it quite easy to press the "quit" button. There's so many things non-captivating and disappointing about it that I don't even know where to start. A worse sequel than Thief: Deadly Shadows was for Thief: The Metal Age (and that's saying something). It reminds me also of that PS2 game (I can't recall the name right now, and don't feel like going to dig it up)... you were a sort of "bionic" agent, and could use implants to enhance yourself. Great game... then the sequel was moved to a different studio and Warren Specter (IIRC) was in charge of the project. The release was a huge failure in comparison to the original, and spelled the death knell for that game.

At any rate, not meaning any disrespect to the folks at TM, or to those that are actually enjoying the demo, but I predict about a 7.5 rating for this game at most review sites, and it's certainly not going to win any GOTY awards. I also predict this will be the death of the Caesar series of games, due to poor sales. Yep, I'm being a gloomy Gus, but as I said, it just doesn't "grab hold of you and not let you go" like I've felt with so many other awesome games. It's certainly not going to stack up to the impact that C3 had at the time of its release, by any means.

Keith
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Postby Keith » Sat Sep 23, 2006 12:17 am

Well, part of the problem I see is that you don't list any other citybuilder games in your examples. I'm guessing that this might be your first game in this genre. These are not like the combat strategy games that you seem to have played listed above. Fighting is secondary to the main focus of the game which is to build a functioning city and overcoming the problems presented in each scenario. Most first time citybuilder players have a hard time relating to the genre.

Even though many people try to clump games like Civilization or Age of Empires into the CB genre, they are not CB games. Personally, I don't see the appeal of Civilization and found it quite boring.

There are a number of people here that originally thought Children of the Nile was terrible, but now love the game now that they have played it more. The demo of Caesar IV was incomplete, had some bugs, and because it wasn't optimized it had some performance issues.

As for your predictions, we'll see. I think you are quite wrong.


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