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Archive for November 24th, 2008

Pursuant to my comment over here, and following Zubon’s idea, I wanted to take a nostalgic look at Master of Magic, and with any luck, discern some game design principles that might be useful for designers today.

Ah, the MicroProse days.  Master of Orion was one of the first games I spent a lot of time in.  (The other being Star Control 2, another brilliant game that I’ll write about another time.)  Later, XCom: Terror from the Deep was fantastic (difficult and frustrating at times, but the core concept and gameplay were excellent).

At its heart, Master of Magic is a 4X game, an expansive strategy game based on the 4 “X”s: — eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, and eXterminate.  It borrows themes from Magic: The Gathering and gameplay mechanics from Master of Orion, throwing in a fair bit of Civilization and shades of D&D.  In other words, it uses time-honored gameplay and fantasy world elements.  There were no earth shatteringly new concepts in MOM, but the game pulled elements together into a very enjoyable whole. (more…)

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