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Last Updated: 02/01/99[SMAC Reference & Resources]Auto-Updated: 03/29/99
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Link Status: All links in Alpha Centauri Heaven were verified on Dec 7, 1998.
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The Story - Episode 31 Released
Tue Dec 22 - Firaxis released Episode 31 of the story today. See all previous episodes.
The DEMO will
be on Gamespot FIRST!
Mon Dec 21 - Gamespot has this announcement up on their home page:
Coming Soon. Alpha Centauri Demo. Be here on December 24 at 12pm PST when Gamespot and ZDNet's Launchpad debut the demo for Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri!
Alpha Centauri DEMO due Dec 24!
Mon Dec 21 - Firaxis has advised us that the DEMO will be available on December 24. Gamespot will be the first site to have it. Here is the official message:
Some people apparently missed this message on the home page message box: the demo has been sent to Origin for final testing and will be up this week. Gamespot will have it first (probably even before this site), and it is currently planned for release on December 24th
Alpha Centauri vs. Call To Power!
Sun Dec 20 - Brian Reynolds of Firaxis responded to a request to compare Alpha Centauri and Call To Power with the following (jump to the original message -- look way down into the thread):
Well, I figure you might as well have my opinion too, as biased as I admittedly am.
When wading through all the marketing hype associated with both games (Alpha Centauri and Call to Power) I would caution you not to mistake "more features" for "better gameplay and balance". As someone who has been there, has written code for these games, and has also seen how the marketing hype game works, I'd suggest taking a "I'll believe it when I see it" approach and wait until you have the game in your hand before drawing your conclusions.
Alpha Centauri will combine fresh new subject matter with the experience of the team which created both of the original Civ products. We know a lot about balancing these kinds of games and creating AI to make them challenging, and we've got a demo coming out this week to prove our point.
Call to Power is being created by an untried team which has never done this kind of game before. I admire them for their ambition, but I've also been down the road they're travelling. They have a lot of interesting and fresh ideas, and they may very well pleasantly surprise everyone by pulling it off, but I'd suggest a "wait and see" approach. From a game design perspective, adding lots of new unit types is a prima facie case for the view that the game balance and AI will be worse, not better.
As an analogy, what if some publishing company managed, through a complex legal settlement, to secure the "rights" to use the words "Star Wars", even though that company was not in any way associated with George Lucas, 20th Century Fox, Industrial Light and Magic, or any of the stars or cast of the original movies. And then that company announced that it was going to produce some "Star Wars Prequels" which would use the official Star Wars label and name, and that George Lucas could do -his- movies but couldn't use the name "Star Wars" any more. Both rival groups move forward with millions of dollars of marketing and hype.
Which movies do you think would be really cool? My answer: possibly both but definitely Lucas'. Of course, run through the scenario above again but imagine that -you're- George Lucas and you'll have a pretty good idea about how -we- feel about all of this.
I openly and freely admit my bias and vested interest in the matter, but I think it is fair for me to make the case that Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri is the game being created by the team which brought you your earlier favorites.
Alpha Centauri Designer
Demo is Completed and will be posted soon!
Sat Dec 19 - Brian Reynolds of Firaxis announced that Demo is final and will be posted soon (jump to the original message -- look at the 3rd posting in the thread):
We sent the demo off to Origin earlier tonight (Friday); I expect they'll test it over the weekend and you should see it up sometime early-to-mid week.
Alpha Centauri Designer
Game is Completed (GOLD) !
Fri Dec 18 - Brian Reynolds of Firaxis announced that the game was completed on Dec 17th and was sent to be duplicated (some refer to this as having gone GOLD). Jump to the original message:
It's finished, folks. Sent it off yesterday.
We're trying to finish the demo today, not sure what that means exactly about ETA for download but it won't be long, obviously.
Once Mike redivides this forum into something a little more organized, I'll be available to answer your questions about the game.
Once the demo is out, we'll allow our public beta testers to speak about their experiences with the full game.
Official Alpha Centauri Forums Division
Fri Dec 18 - Mike Ely of Firaxis announced that the Forums will be divided nicely soon (jump to the original message):
OK, as you probably know by now the SMAC master has been sent off to Origin, which gives us some time to attend to a few neglected areas. One of them is this forum, which will shortly be redivided into manageable areas for the sake of both forum watchers and Firaxians.
Thanks for the understanding!
In another message he asked for ideas on how to divide up the forum (jump to the original message):
Since we got such good advice last time, now is your chance to give thoughts on the forum divisions. I'm thinking:
Discussion of Game and Features
Strategies and Tactics
Science and Technology
Any thoughts? I'll leave the Test forum around for awhile...
Yes, Firaxis staff does read Forum messages
Fri Dec 18 - Chris Pine of Firaxis reminds everyone that yes, they really do read messages posted in the forum (jump to the original message -- read down a ways to get to this):
First off, we do read these forums. We talk about them. Sometimes we are afraid, but intrepidly we read on. It has been very busy lately, as you might imagine, but we are DONE! We could have spent more time telling people where we were these last few weeks, but we had a game to finish. All facets of live gave way to that one primal need...to finish. We didn't sleep. We didn't eat. We didn't go home. We didn't even reply to the forums (which we *still* dutifully read). They were desperate times.
Now...time to SHOP LIKE I'M MASTERING!!!
Does it ever end?
Wow, yet another Firaxis staffer in the Forum
Fri Dec 18 - Dave Inscore of Firaxis seconds Chris's message (jump to the original message -- read down a ways to get to this):
I'll second that emotion Chris!
Yes sportsfans, Alpha Centauri has gone gold! The empty champagne bottles are littered about the office and the demo is right around the corner. We'll definitely be keeping an eye on the forum over the holidays to see your reactions to the demo.
Enjoy the game and have a Happy Holidays,
Sun Tsu's Art of War!
Tue Dec 15 - The DEMO is due to be released any day now, so it is time to review the ART OF WAR. This is a slightly modified version of Sun Tsu's masterpiece! CIV 2 fans will likely remember that the Sun Tsu's War Academy was a WONDER! Find out why by reading the Art of War (it is only 12 web pages, so it won't take you too long to read).
The Story - Episode 30 Released
Mon Dec 14 - Firaxis released Episode 30 of the story today. See all previous episodes.
Jeffery Morris of Firaxis posts a message!
Thur Dec 10 - Firaxis is hard at work on the game. His message is buried way down in the thread (thanks goes to Relkin for pointing it out to me), so to save you time in finding it, here is what he said:
Don't hurt me...
As you all know, we're trying to ship this game. It's insanely busy over here, but myself and many others still take time to review these forums. The problem is that one post is never <just> one post. It's an ongoing conversation with a dozen people that can consume a great deal of time. Hell, if we can't get everything we want done in in the game working 16 hour days, 7 days a week, where are we to find to spend an hour digesting the contents of this forum?
Well, I'm sure none of this is news to you, and rest assured that once we're able to return to quasi-normal hours, Firaxis participation will no doubt increase. Until then, just relax. We're not slighting you, or avoiding the forum because of "non-topicness". When we have time for all our loved ones (of which you all are included), we'll be back.
Brian Reynolds posts some important news!
Tue Dec 8 - Demo Size & Feb Store Release.
Tue Dec 8 - Demo will be 10 days after AC goes GOLD.
Mon Dec 7 - Beta Testers can speak publicly once Demo is released.
Mon Dec 7 - Alpha Centauri going GOLD this week.
(Thanks to Relkin for notice about these postings, followed soon by an EMail from the Alpha Centauri Zone)
The Story - Episode 29 Released
Mon Dec 7 - Firaxis released Episode 29 of the story today. See all previous episodes.
The Story - Episode 28 Released
Mon Nov 30 - Firaxis released Episode 28 of the story today. See all previous episodes.
Fri Nov 27 - Heavenly Webmaster is on vacation in Arizona ... back for site updates about December 7.
Headline News - FINAL GAME release date update!
Fri Nov 27 - Headline News now has an update of the ETA for the FINAL GAME per Computer Gaming World, January 1999 issue page 101 states Release Date of Second Quarter 1999.
Vote in the
Mon Nov 23 - Gamespot is taking a poll ... which game do you think is the true Sequel to Civilization II? Jump to their site before the poll closes!
The Story - Episode 27 Released
Mon Nov 23 - Firaxis released Episode 27 of the story today. See all previous episodes.
The Story - Episode 26 Released
Mon Nov 16 - Firaxis released Episode 26 of the story today. See all previous episodes.
The Story - Episode 25 Released
Mon Nov 9 - Firaxis released Episode 25 of the story today. See all previous episodes.
Play Alpha Centauri on Kali or EA's Net!
Tue Nov 3 - You can play multi-player on Kali using the LAN GAME option (see our Alpha Centauri on Kali info page on this). Firaxis is also arranging with Electronic Arts to have a free internet player matching service similar to www.janescombat.net
Headline News - DEMO and FINAL GAME dates!
Tue Nov 3 - Headline News now has the ETA of the DEMO and FINAL GAME.
The Forum is temporarily back up
Mon Nov 2 - The official Alpha Centauri site's Forums are temporarily back up now. The opening message from Mike Ely, Firaxis:
This is a test forum to see how this new server does. Getting all the posts off of the old server and on to the new server has been a royal pain, and it has taken second priority to finishing game stuff.
The new server is at Origin. This temporary forum is so you guys can talk again, and we'll get the old posts back up ASAP.
Sorry for the inconvenience... Let us know if there are problems with this server. "
The Story - Episode 24 Released
Mon Nov 2 - Firaxis released Episode 24 of the story today. See all previous episodes.
PC Gamer Dec 98 Alpha Centauri column!
Mon Nov 2 - PC Gamer, December 1998, pgs 278-279 is the monthly column by Jason Bates. This one is titled "Alpha Centauri Goes Online." Interesting reading. We will put a summary of it in our Previews page here in Heaven!
The Story - Episode 23 Released
Mon Oct 26 - Firaxis released Episode 23 of the story today. See all previous episodes.
Double News on Official Forum!
Fri Oct 23 - Our Factions Page has been corrected. Jason (the indefatigable webguy from Beyond Alpha Centauri) pointed out an error with a faction logo. This has been corrected (see if you can remember which one was incorrect before). Thanks Jason!
Double News on Official Forum!
Thur Oct 22 - If you are cruising the official Alpha Centauri site and click on FORUMS, this message greets you:
"Hey Everyone, an update: These forums are down because we've completely overloaded our web host with all of your posting! Sincere congratulations from the entire Firaxis team...we've brought them to their knees. We're working on a solution and should be back up pretty soon... Thanks for your understanding. - Firaxis Games"
Now, the interesting part ... if you are suffering from SMAC withdrawl ... you still can access the forums (just don't post anything ... read only!) using the LINK to the forum on our LINKS page!
Over 32,000 Configurations!
Thur Oct 22 - Firaxis ad states: "Design your land, air and sea units to best serve your strategy. With over 32,000 configurations you can build - and conquer on your own terms."
The Story - Episode 22 Released
Mon Oct 19 - Firaxis released Episode 22 of the story today. See all previous episodes.
The Story - Episode 21 Released
Mon Oct 12 - Firaxis released Episode 21 of the story today along with the Bio of Nwabudike Morgan (Morgan Industries Faction). See all previous episodes.
Visitors since October 12, 1998:
Yes, now you can challenge CaptComal to a multiplayer game ... just keep the map tiny or small and settings at NO CLOCK. Contact by ICQ using the number published in the Reliable Alpha Centauri Players site or EMail to CaptComal@hotmail.com
If you find any errors please report them to
they can be corrected. Thanks.
[Official Alpha Centauri Site]
[Image/Sound Effect] from Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri. Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri copyright 1998 Firaxis Games, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Remainder of this site is copyright ©1998 & 1999, Alpha Centauri Heaven. All rights reserved.