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    • Welcome one and all to the topic for Simulation Games! Games in the Genre where you can run a city, starfleet, farms, or even an entire planet! So for those who have experience with this genre of any kind, welcome aboard to talk about upcoming games as well as your experiences for these games. -------

      I'd actually like to start us off with one I played somewhat recently, an old one called SimEarth.

      This is an old one from back in 1990 after the success of SimCity. The game itself is based around the Gaia Hypothesis proposed by James Lovelock who actually assisted in this game's design and wrote the introduction to the game's manual. (To read more on what this Hypothesis is about, click the link here. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gaia_hypothesis) So regarding the game you have a few set scenarios such as a version of James Lovelock's Daisyworld (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daisyworld) to terraforming Mars and Venus. You also have the Cambodia Period of Earth and Modern Earth circa 1990. Of course you can start off with your own custom world which you can name and select which period you want to start off with from the dawn of time to a civilized era.

      This game has so much you can do on a technical level it's staggering despite it's age. You have a lot of types of life forms that'll rise from your planet, although aside from scenarios there's no real goal in a sense aside from what you want to choose and go about this. However generally the goal if you can call it that is so that your civilization survives long enough to reach an advanced level where they go on a Mass Exodus off the planet to live in outer space, from there you can repeat the process all over again until the planet hits the 10 Billion year mark where the Sun goes Supernova and everything ends. You can alter the entire planet's Eco system to your liking  which will effect what the air quality is on the planet as well as the sea level and what biomes the world will have. You must be careful though as you could end up boiling the ocean off and turn the world into a scorched fireball, or even freeze it over into a new ice age. If starting off in the more earlier points of the game you must have it so that life develops on your planet to the point where many different types of life forms can develop sentience. Mammals will give you Humans of course, but the planet could also end up developing other sentient beings like Avians, Insects, Reptiles, Dinosaurs, even Canifers and that's not all either. In the easy difficulty or sandbox mode you can even develop a Monolith of 2001 fame and give it to a being and give out sentience that way to what sort of dominant life form you want to have. The game is very evolution based as you'd expect, but funny enough if you don't do anything in the beginning at all it's a rare shot for you to get anything at all especially in the early game from my experience with it. So you gotta alter things in order for anything to get started.

      The game has so much for you to cover that the manual it came with for the PC version was actually over 200 pages long, yet I decided to play the game on a whim after watching the LGR review of the game. What could possibly go wrong?

      First time playing it I had no idea what I was doing, second time around I decided to start on Modern Earth and that's where I learned myself on how to balance things out in a sense. First successful game was from that 2nd go around and Mankind ended up alright, granted the polar ice caps melted but as it turned out Antarctica had some fruitful land underneath all that ice! The future was interesting to say the least on how I ran the world with Dinosaurs making a comeback and Antarctica becoming populated, eventually mankind left the planet as they advanced so much I guess they had nothing else better to do.

      Afterwards Avians became sentient and the Bird Empire began. I mean things started off pretty well but once society hit the atomic age it did not go too well. They started to run out of atomic energy and a Nuclear War started because of it, I wasn't fast enough (as I set the time speed on fast) and the world ended up having a Nuclear Winter. I managed to stop the war by not having them use Atomic Energy but the damage was done. Actually it got worse as the Ocean was also starting to boil over too. I had to balance the planet out as a Nuclear Winter was happening while the Ocean was Boiling off at the same time, it was pretty insane as changing the Eco system to make up for that was insane. I finally managed to do it via throwing Ice Meteors into the ocean but by that time most of the Avian Race died off not necessarily by the nukes themselves but rather how completely wrecked the planet's ecology became. All the central nations became mostly desert and rock with some pockets of civilization left on the edges of our old continents, except for Antarctica. Turns out in the far future it's the bastion and saving grace for mankind as they were the only ones who (despite them getting nuked in one spot) survived with their biome intact. They managed to rebuild , although once I gave them a bit of atomic energy to advance they started another Nuclear War, I think it happened two more times and I had to step in every time before they could destroy the world again. Avians do not give a crap, if you cross them you'll get nuked and damn the consequences. Eventually they managed to survive and went on their own Exodus, funny enough they were the Second Avian Race I had on that playthrough as the First Avian Society I evolved via the Monolith, but those guys advanced so fast with how small their society was they ended up going on their Exodus in less than five minutes.

      Funny enough Dinosaurs were a thing during the Avian Era along with Fish. I'd image Dinosaurs were like pets and such to the Avians of that time, possibly some even for food. Which was funny as I chose via the Monolith that the Dinosaurs would be the dominant species of the next era. They were much more calm than the Avians but complained quite a lot in the Reports you can read about your civilization. Coming off the heels of the Avian Empire I was not happy about them not liking the quality of life on my world, heck they even started a Nuclear War but I helped stop that, unlike the Avians though they didn't have more than one from what I can remember. Still hurt the planet though but not to the extent from last time. Although the planet did end up flooding which washed away more than half of Antarctica, that was the major problem this era had, but they too left the planet and survived. Afterwards I decided to end my run by turning the planet into a literal Scorched Rock, three different Avian civilizations tried rise but each of them fell and rose in succession. That freaked me out on just how dangerous and resilient they truly were. But yeah that's how my main playthrough of our world's possible future went. I like to think that in the Dinosaur Era they ate Birds, just irony right there. Funny enough that Era had the most Mammals out of all of them aside from Humanity's time.

      I had another playthrough several days ago where Califern became sentient by my own hand (via the Monolith) and that was quite interesting. It was in that game where I figured out how to monitor the Eco System's Sea Level and Temperature. Neotera was what I called the planet as I started it off in the Cambodia Period. It was quite interesting as I wanted to see how Plant People would fair, turns out they were not as crazy as the Avians, but still pretty nuts. They ended up having their own Nuclear War, but unlike last time I didn't interfere up until the end as I wanted to see if they could survive on their own, I did help in ending the war but the planet almost froze over. Eventually I got bored of them and decided to enact the easter egg which gives you robots who multiply like crazy and essentially became the dominant life form despite them not being sentient at the time. Funny enough this was not the robot apocalypse as I had though, as it turns out my Planet People thought that things became a lot better now because of it and eventually advanced enough to go on their Exodus. Machines took over after that and became sentient, they advanced quite fast afterwards and from that point it became an endless cycle of Robot Eras. I tried to boil then freeze the planet over to wipe them out but that didn't work so that run ended with a frozen world run by machines, whoops. Also Whales and Dolphins during that time were the only sea life in the oceans of that playthrough until the machines came along, so I had the odd image in my head of Plant People eating Whales and Dolphins...I should never have this much power ever again...

      Those who like Simulation games I can say it's one of the best I've played, my own complaint being that there isn't a real sequel to it. I heard of SimLife but I don't think that's the same, and Spore is quite different from it and isn't as deep as this game is despite it being a successor of it in a sense. This concept despite it's Darwinist premise could be expanded even further with more different types of animals and such that could end up gaining sentience. Humans were the only Mammals that could gain sentience in this game, which is pretty disappointing to be honest. Also you apparently can have more than one sentient society but I have no idea how to trigger that, I wanted my Avian-Dinosaur People War Dang it. :c

      So yeah that's my most recent Sim game experience, do any of you have such tales of having far too much power than you actually should? Let us know and tell us how that went.
    • https://youtu.be/4M9iCeB1vtA Truly, the most insidious SCP. 
    • That is a very valid concern, Red. And as far as VPNs go, free browser-based VPNs exist. Opera has a free one built in:   Source: How to set up a VPN in 10 minutes for free (and why you urgently need one)
    • I'd strongly disagree with that, there's a TON that could be done for the F-Zero Series and we so need a new entry. Heck I'd like to see a collection of F-Zero X DD and F-Zero GX & AX so they can gauge interest back in the series, or at least so they can see that there IS interest in the series. It should and needs to come back, regarding the absolutely insane storyline of F-Zero (as little as there is) you have more than enough ground to cover. That's not to say I don't like Mario Kart, but really that series needs a break and have F-Zero make a comeback. Heck regarding the world of F-Zero we have Clones, Black Magic, Eldrich so-called "creators" of the universe, and Time Travel. All of that alone is in the back story of several racers in the game. With the popularity of Captain Falcon in Smash you already got more than enough to have a massive comeback and I'd hope they finally do so.

      On a side note, while there are a lot of series that have been dormant for so long (most infamously Sega), Nintendo is also guilty of this for as many entries in series they keep alive there are just as many that fell to the wayside like F-Zero and Star Fox.

      Back on track of Racing Games, I'd like to share one that was prominent in my childhood as one of the first bunch of games I ever played. This is my first Racing Game, Super Monaco GP.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_IL7z7P7b0 I'm gonna save space here and just have the link to the version of it I played it on, being in a Sega CD Complation with four other games I grew up with on my own personal Genesis (The Sega CDX). It's an F1 Racer where you try to race in the Monaco GP, a very famous Grand Prix. I don't know much about racing in real life, but this game peppered me with an affinity to Racing Games such as F-Zero from that day on. Granted as a kid I was not good at all, but still it was really fun. Love the tracks you here along with the sound design and first person view while you race, really gives you the feel of being an F1 Racer despite it being a 2D game. It's actually a port of the arcade version, but it had it's own carrier mode over the Arcade Version, thus giving you far more to work with. It may not look impressive to those who play say the latest Grand Turismo and other Sim Racing games but it's the first one I ever played and it still is a really good game.

      There is one other F1 Sim Racing game I'd like to talk about, a rather obscure one that is really good with an incredible soundtrack called Overtake. It's for the Sharp X68000 so bust out an emulator for it as unless you live in Japan or import it for who knows how much it'll be the only way for you to play it.
        It's also got an incredible intro, one of the best I've ever seen in a racing game! Seriously though the soundtrack is amazing for this little known gem of a racer. I mean there are other incredible soundtracks for other games in the genre but it still stand out to me. I'll leave a link down below.

      I've got a few choice stories of racing games, not to mention some F-Zero X Stories I'll have to share later. Needless to say I still haven't driven @TheRedStranger off the road yet, but I will... 😈  
    • https://youtu.be/sBbTD2swkN8 So apparently to the creator of F-Zero, and Nintendo, they don’t see anything new for the franchise. This famous series has been on a long sabbatical, and it’s main character has been relegated to punching in Smash more than racing. Do you think he is wrong? What are new things that could be done with the famous thousand-kilo, gravity-bending sci-fi racer? And should a franchise have to necessarily radically innovate on game mechanics constantly rather than just expanding on graphics, vehicles, ect? After all, the last one we were playing was on a CRTV...could use at least an HD remix with fully fleshed modern CGI FMV campaign-stories. To fans, F-Zero is more than a tech demo, it had a story, a lore, and world with characters fans want to enjoy again. Is Nintendo missing something here?
    • I mean it's not like you can use the VMU for a Chao Adventure like it was in the Original game. An app to connect the game with it would be great. You could kinda do it like Go in a way or maybe just expand upon what we had in Advance.
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