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Three Moves Ahead Episode 72: Technological Innovation and Strategy Games

July 7th, 2010 by Troy Goodfellow · 12 Comments · Podcast, Three Moves Ahead


This week, hardware expert and long time strategy gamer Loyd Case joins Troy, Julian and Rob in a chat about how various advances and changes in the technological environment have changed how see and approach strategy games.

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12 Comments so far ↓

  • Quasar

    What an awesome episode. I can’t think of a more wide ranging and interesting discussion about gaming on a podcast that I’ve heard in a very very long time.

    And Lloyd really brought a lot to the table. He really needs to be on again.

  • Mauricio

    Great podcast. Concerning iPad / mobile board games, I have gotten my wife hooked on Small World and Carcassonne, much to my own surprise. We have never played the physical versions, but I don’t know that we would at this point: having the machine handle scoring and piece placement has spoiled us.

    By coincidence, the Small World update (with AI opponent) that Loyd mentioned was posted the same day as the podcast. And Carcassonne is an excellent implementation. Even though it is “only” an iPhone app, it looks great on iPad: some text and even graphics are cleanly upscaled to the higher resolution.

  • Jared H.

    Quasar was right, you guys covered a lot of topics. As a college student I will never be able to afford an iPad but its still fun to hear about them.

    I think OnLive is destined to fail based on (what I heard, may be subject to change) the buisness model. I have to pay for the service, I then have to pay for the games, and I don’t get to keep the games for as long as I have the service, it’s like a year long rental. It’s all the worst parts of Steam with almost none of the good stuff. That being said it’s entirely possible that something will change and they offer consumers some concrete benefits.

    As for the DC meet-up, I look forward to it but I will be out of town the first weekend of August so I hope you decide on the second weekend.

  • skshrews

    1. More Lloyd Case

    2. I disagree with Julien, in that AI is the one aspect of “technology” that has failed, badly, to live up to the hype.
    When computers and boardgames came together, everyone assumed that computers would play the way HAL in “2001: A Space Odyssey” played-outsmarting the humans routinely.
    Instead, we have AI’s that require access to all sorts of “cheats” to outplay even moderately talented players. I can’t think of a single time a computer executed a surprising, thoughtful plan.
    The panel is right in saying that online/MMPG’s have allowed game designers to side-step the whole AI issue.

  • Skyrider68

    Always liked reading Loyd’s articles in CGW back in the day–sorry if that comes across as sounding too dated! Hope he can come in and share his views again from time to time.

    Nice that boardgaming got some mention/discussion without derailing the overall theme of the show. Thumbs UP for a boardgaming episode in the not-too-distant future, and again, without wanting a show that is completely bogged down in sappy reminiscence, I would really like to hear some time devoted to what I consider a golden era in strategy gaming. Definitely save a chair for Dr. Bruce on that one, and now that I hear Loyd is also a bit of an classic boardgamer too, save him a seat as well.

    Also on the subject of guests, is Mr. Chick’s prolonged absence a consequence of him trying to refloat his acting career? Are they already casting a sequel for the “A-Team” or something similarly highbrow? Too busy on the podcasting circuit? Coffee machine broken perhaps? :-o

    I for one have found a renewed interest in boardgaming in recent years, partly due to the gradual decline in the type of strategy games I like to play, and partly due to a rediscovery of the enjoyment of sitting around the table with others who enjoy the immersion of a good game and good company–something I feel the electronic medium can never fully duplicate.


  • Mind Elemental

    I was also a bit surprised to hear the proposition that AI has improved that much, but maybe that’s because I tend to play the likes of Dominions 3, Paradox games and the Total War series…

    (Seriously, is there a particular niche of games or developer that is renowned for good AI? For example, I don’t play a lot of RTSes so I wouldn’t know how the AI is in those. On the TBS front, I know Galciv gets a lot of praise but I haven’t played enough Galciv to confirm it for myself.)

  • Troy


    Tom’s absence is entirely related to things in his own life. He is still, as far as I’m concerned, integral to the show and is, in my opinion, a big reason why people started listening to us. At this point we could continue without him, but I would never dump him from the email list.

    Tom is one of us. And should his schedule adjust to fit us, so much the better. I owe few people in the business as much as I owe Tom. And someday I will want a coffee.

  • Mind Elemental

    Troy, you can add me to that list: I began to listen not only because of the subject matter, but also because of Tom’s “star appeal”. (Of course, I stayed a listener because you guys are all great!)

  • Skyrider

    Yes, Troy, I agree. Early on in the podcast, I posted a comment about the show’s instant credibility on account of the panelists. I still believe that, and I hope Tom makes it back on the program soon.

  • rsimmon

    I’m surprised no one mentioned the rise of RTSs as a consequence of improved technology. An Apple 2 or C64 were far more suited to abstract turn-based games than a fast-paced, detailed game. Unfortunately a modern RTS is far more an action game than a strategy game, but I don’t think that’s inherent–I can see a slow RTS with good unit AI that rewards sound tactics more than clicks per minute (have there been any since Kohan?).

    Tell Tom his schedule should be arranged to fit Three Moves Ahead, and not the other way around.

    Are you thinking weekend or weekday for the DC meetup?

  • Tony M

    Love the podcast, listened to every episode. But when you have guests, I wish you guys would let the guests talk more. Maybe you need to reduce the number of regular panelists to 2 when you have guests?

    Your best guest podcast was the one with Soren Johnson. Not just because hes a clever guy, but also because you let him keep talking, and then tried to draw more out.


  • zipdrive

    A very good show all around. Nearly everything I shouted at the iPod got touched on at some point.

    Which of you guys are going to be at GenCon? I’d be happy to meet.