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Religious Fundamentalism. The Believers are a theocratic faction who draw strength from their single-minded commitment to their faith. Their tenacious belief creates a skepticism of technology which retards their scientific progress. They believe the planet is their promised land. Their strong conviction gives them a bonus when attacking enemies and makes them an extremely aggressive opponent in single-player games. They have slow research rates and may not conduct any research in the early years. They may not make the Knowledge social choice. Freemarket Capitalism.

The Morganites possess a strong belief in laissez-faire economics.

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

The Morganite society is a corporate plutocracy where no clear distinction can be drawn between government and industry. Profit is pursued above all else, even at the expense of Planet itself. The Morganites are masters of the energy market and have increased energy rates and trade advantages. However, the divide between the haves and have-nots in their society can lead to great social unrest resulting in frequent drone riots.

The Morganites may not use Planned Economics. Commerce bonus increases value of treaties, pacts, loans Begins with extra energy credits. Need Hab Complexes for bases to exceed size4 creature comforts at a premium. May not use Planned Economics. Democratic Humanitarianism. The Peacekeepers seek to defend the ideals of the United Nations of Earth in the unforgiving and often hostile environment of Chiron. The faction attracts an intellectual elite due to this idealistic goal and their leader possesses great knowledge of diplomatic strategies.

The faction receives double votes for their population in Planetary Council meetings and has extra talents at their bases. However, U. Their passionate belief in Democracy means that the Peacekeepers cannot make the Police State social choice.

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Frontier Survivalism. The Spartan Federation is, like the greek state, a militaristic faction which shuns creature comforts in favor of raw power and military supremacy. The Spartans dogged pursuit of strong offensive capabilities means that other areas such as their economy are put under great pressure. Due to their military knowledge the Spartans do not have to pay extra to develop prototype units.

They have extremely high unit morale as a result of their military culture and training. The Spartans cannot make the Wealth social engineering choice due to their perpetual wartime economy. Unfettered Knowledge. The University faction places great importance on scientific research and believes that all social and political problems can be addressed as technological challenges. They focus on research above all else, including at times, social harmony.

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The University have a high rate of research and begin the game with bonus technologies and network nodes. However, as a result of their knowledge-based society they are vulnerable to attacks by probe teams. Due to their constant inquiry they may not make the Fundamentalist social choice. Juicy, ripe grenade fruits may look appealing, but a mouthful of organonitrates will certainly change your mind in a hurry. Chiron features several native lifeforms which act as the planet's immune system and are extremely hostile to all foreign life.

Any increase in pollution will be seen as a threat by Planet which will lead to an increase in the proliferation of these native creatures. Throughout her time on Planet, Lady Deirdre Skye documents her research into the abundant flaura and fauna which exists on the planet. The higher a unit's moral is the more likely it will be able to withstand an attack by a native lifeform.

During the early turns native life is usually quite small and hatchlings are most frequently encountered.

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As the game progresses the size of the lifeforms increases up to Demon Boil status. As battles against these creatures take place psychically an elite spear unit would stand a better chance against a demon boil than a rookie plasma hover tank. Use your flame guns! It is well known that the Mind Worm Boil uses psychic terror to paralyze its prey, and then carefully implants ravenous larvae in the brains of its still-conscious victims.

Even with the best weapons, only the most disciplined troops can resist this horrific attack.

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Over its lifetime certain tubules secrete a tough, gluelike substance which hardens to form the characteristic shell that floats the colony and creates the appearance of a rogue island. But when, once every hundred million years or so, the neural net at last achieves the critical mass necessary to become sentient, the final metamorphosis kills off most of the other life on the planet. It is possible that we humans can help to break this tragic cycle. In Firaxis released Gettysburg , a real time strategy game, but despite that game's success Brian Reynolds and Sid Meier still believed that there was a large audience for turn-based strategy.

The name also pays homage to James P. Hogan's space opera novel Voyage from Yesteryear , in which a human colony is artificially planted by an automatic probe on a planet later named by colonists as Chiron. In the game, Chiron has two moons, named after the centaurs Nessus and Pholus , with the combined tidal force of Earth's Moon , and is the second planet out from Alpha Centauri A, the innermost planet being the Mercury -like planet named after the centaur Eurytion.

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Alpha Centauri B is also dubbed Hercules , a reference to him killing several centaurs in mythology, and the second star preventing the formation of larger planets. The arrival on Chiron is referred to as "Planetfall", which is a term used in many science fiction novels, including Robert A. Heinlein 's Future History series, and Infocom 's celebrated comic interactive fiction adventure Planetfall. Vernor Vinge 's concept of technological singularity is the origin of the Transcendence concept. The game's cutscenes use montages of live-action video, CGI, or both; most of the former is from the experimental documentary Baraka.

Reynolds felt that smart computer opponents are an integral part of a classic computer game, and considered it a challenge to make them so. Reynolds said that the most important principle of game design is for the designer to play the game as it is developed; [54] Reynolds claimed that this was how a good artificial intelligence AI was built. To this end, he would track the decisions he made and why he made them as he played the game. Doug Kaufman, a co-designer of Civilization II , was invited to join development as a game balancer.

Around the summer of , the staff began research on the scientific realities involved in interstellar travel. In the latter half of , the team produced a polished and integrated interface, wrote the game manual and foreign language translations, painted the faction leader portraits and terrain, built the 3D vehicles and vehicle parts, and created the music.

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There were a lot of "firsts" for our team in the making of Alpha Centauri. We had never done a public beta test before Alpha Centauri , and this was also the first time we released a demo before the game was out. Since we'd not done one before, we didn't know exactly what to expect when we released it, but it turned out to fit right in with Firaxis' iterative design method. The design team started with a very simple playable game.

Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

Finally, Brian Reynolds discussed the use of the demo in the development process. The team considered several ideas, including a return to a post-apocalyptic earth and the conquest of another planet in the Alpha Centauri system, before deciding to keep the new title on Planet.

The premise allowed them to mix and match old and new characters and delve into the mysteries of the monoliths and alien artifacts. Train wanted to improve the "build" aspects, feeling that the god-game genre had always been heavily slanted towards the "Conquer" end of the spectrum. The team had several goals: Upon completion, the team felt that Alien Crossfire was somewhere between an expansion and a full-blown sequel. Arrival , introducing the Alien Crossfire factions.

Alpha Centauri received wide critical acclaim upon its release, [89] [90] with reviewers voicing respect for the game's pedigree, especially that of Reynolds and Meier. The game showed well at the Electronic Entertainment Expo E3. Alpha Centauri's turn-based gameplay, including the technology trees and factional warfare, was commonly compared to Civilization and Civilization II. Although the comparison is inevitable because of the lineage, it is still short-sighted. But it is its great similarity that also does it the most detriment.