How I met my cousin, a game developer and the man behind one of gaming’s greatest stories
My cousin’s name is Marcus and he’s a young game developer by trade.
He grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles and played games like Doom and Doom 2 before becoming an indie developer.
When he left school and started his own studio, he was working on a game that would become the precursor to his next game.
“It was like, ‘What is this?'” he remembers.
“I don’t know what to make of it.
I wanted to do something different.”
Marcus went on to work on the hugely successful indie game, Civilization IV, which sold more than 2.5 million copies.
But it wasn’t long before he met his cousin, who was a budding game developer at the time.
Marcus and his cousin’s game was called Civilization: Beyond Earth.
After years of work, the game was complete and ready for a full release.
Marcus went into the studio, started work on a multiplayer game, and started working on his own game.
By the time the game came out, he and his cousins cousin had created a multiplayer strategy game called Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword.
Marcus spent six months creating the game, which took more than three years to complete, which is why it’s been almost two decades since Civilization IV was released.
Marcus, now a senior software engineer at Facebook, is the lead designer of Beyond the World.
He tells me how his cousin grew up, and how his passion for gaming came from watching his favorite TV show, Battlestar Galactica.
“He watched the show a lot,” Marcus says.
“His favorite was when the characters were in space, and he’d watch Battlestars Galacticas and think, ‘Wow, this is just so cool.
This is a show about space.’
And then he would watch Civilization, and then he’d look at the movies and think: ‘This is cool, but it’s so stupid.'”
Marcus remembers watching Battlestargames episodes and playing them over and over again.
“You know, he would think, I think Battlestard has the coolest ships, I like how they use guns, I liked how they were always doing the same thing,” Marcus said.
“And then I would go back and watch Battles and watch how it was done.
And I’d get so addicted to the show, I’d watch the show over and back and forth, and over and forth.
I would never stop watching Battles.”
The first Civilization game was made by a small team of 20 people.
It was set in the far future, and there were no factions, only one civilization, the AI.
The game was created in 2002, but its popularity grew with the release of the original Civilization IV in 2010.
Today, nearly two decades after its release, Beyond the Game is one of the most popular games of all time, with more than 15 million copies sold worldwide.
“When we were starting the game development, we were a small, scrappy team,” Marcus told me.
“We were working on it on our own, and we were trying to make it something that was really cool.
But we were making it on an old, old laptop, and it was kind of difficult.
It took a lot of time to get it up and running.”
Marcus told his cousin that he was building a new game, something he’d never done before, but that he didn’t want to be an asshole about it.
“Marcus had no idea what he was doing,” Marcus remembers.
Marcus started by making a couple of minor changes to the basic gameplay.
“At the beginning, it was just a bunch of people sitting around,” he said.
Marcus was using an old laptop from a game called “Doom II” and playing it in his spare time.
“So I made a couple changes,” Marcus recalled.
“First of all, I made the AI AI more powerful, and I changed it so it could fight on multiple fronts.”
Marcus said he made the game even more difficult by making the AI’s goal system, called the “tension grid,” harder to beat.
“The tension grid, when you hit a certain amount of points, the enemies will spawn more enemies, and that will make them harder to fight,” Marcus explained.
“Then, the more points you hit, the higher the level of difficulty gets.
“One of the things that the game had to be like, was you had to kill all the enemies at once. “
In order to keep the AI at a certain level of AI complexity, you have to have a certain number of enemies,” Marcus continued.
“One of the things that the game had to be like, was you had to kill all the enemies at once.
And then you had a certain set of tiles, which were called enemies, where you had one tile, and they were all on top of each other, and if you hit one of them, then the enemy would come down.
That was the difficulty level.”