Today is Sunday.
Day before yesterday, Friday the 21st, I received delivery of my copy of Civilization VI. I played it that afternoon and evening, and again yesterday and last night, and again this morning, Sunday the 23rd.
There are significant differences between this new version and those which came before. After my first ten or twenty hours of play, I am beginning to understand these changes, to appreciate them, and to manipulate them, as well as to look back with fondness toward certain classic touches which have been left behind, as well as to look forward, already, toward future versions, and to wonder where the Civilization franchise will take us, next time, and beyond.
Perhaps the biggest change, the one that most people were talking about in previews and comments I was reading (mostly at yutub) even before I got my game package, is the new use of “districts” – where certain city buildings can be built outside of the original city location, but still within its zone of immediate control. Military, religious, and several different cultural districts can be dedicated and constructed and certain specialized buildings can then be added to those districts: e.g. either a barracks or a stable can be built in the military encampment (which so far looks like an ancient Roman legion camp); a library and then a university can be built on the educational campus; a shrine and temple, on the holy site; and there are also theater and entertainment districts, economic and industrial, etcetera.
Certain requirements and benefits are associated with the physical siting of the districts. For example, today I began to build a campus (education/science district) near my capital city of Kyoto, and after reviewing the possible sites, chose one with mountains on three sides of the hexagon (the world map is constructed as a matrix of joined hexagonal tiles), because each neighboring mountain raises the basic science output by one point.
I must confess, however, that it feels good to step away from the machine, and just sit down and write for a little while. In a few minutes I am going to go watch TV, or, if I find nothing good to watch, maybe read some more of a book I have studying recently, about religious practices in the Roman empire.
My mother, meanwhile, is playing solitaire on the desktop machine while I am using my less powerful laptop to write, and upload, this small text.
More to come later or tomorrow.