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Elizabeth Sandifer

Elizabeth Sandifer created Eruditorum Press. She’s not really sure why she did that, and she apologizes for the inconvenience. She currently writes Last War in Albion, a history of the magical war between Alan Moore and Grant Morrison. She used to write TARDIS Eruditorum, a history of Britain told through the lens of a ropey sci-fi series. She also wrote Neoreaction a Basilisk, writes comics these days, and has ADHD so will probably just randomly write some other shit sooner or later. Support Elizabeth on Patreon.


  1. Daibhid C
    May 4, 2015 @ 1:22 am

    "Though in the end, little can remove the basic problem that a Super Nintendo controller is an unsatisfying replacement for a mouse when it comes to this sort of game."

    Could be worse. From my own memories of the BBC Micro I suspect most people would be attempting to play it with the arrow keys. And the C64 users would probably be using the joystick which is about the same. (It was possible to get a mouse for both machines; I'm just not sure many people did.)


  2. Scurra
    May 4, 2015 @ 1:23 am

    Wonderful and clever – exactly what I expect without being anything like I expected.

    (It's moderately interesting to me that Peter Molyneux's path onwards from Populus in his experiments exploring the God game idea [through the Theme games, past Black & White and currently stalled at Godus] have largely ended up heading towards being SimCity, which has thus annoyed all the people who liked Populus mainly because it wasn't SimCity… Personally, I don't know why they are complaining because they got the whole of the RTS genre as a reward, but that's a whole different thread of history.)


  3. alwaysaquietone
    May 4, 2015 @ 4:58 am

    In SimCity, the urban planner tells the people what to do, and they do it. In Populous, the player's civilization is utterly at the command of the player (one of the natural disaster options is Armageddon, where all the improvements in the world are destroyed and all people both good and evil converge to duke it out mano a mano). Stimulus, response.

    Only Actraiser's civilization mode acknowledges the creativity and generative power of the populations it directs. Farmers domesticate wheat. Children get lost in the woods trying to help their God. People develop forms of art that are so compelling, they must be transmitted to other settlements. Of course these events are scripted beforehand, but they are completely lacking in the other two games.


  4. sunny photons
    May 4, 2015 @ 6:13 am

    This comment has been removed by the author.


  5. Ice
    May 4, 2015 @ 9:14 am

    Having never played the original SimCity, but being a fan of the recent release, Cities: Skylines, I really, really hope someone comes up with a Bowser mod for that game.

    I didn't realize how much that game needed giant evil turtle destruction until reading this post.

    More on topic, I'm enjoying the Super Nintendo project almost as much as I do The Last War in Albion. I look forward to more! And, though I understand it not at all, I wish you luck in your magical anti-Gamergate ritual.


  6. Alex Antonijevic
    May 4, 2015 @ 11:37 am

    I was a little young for SimCity at the time, but SimCity 2000 was basically the gateway drug that turned me into a gamer. I can still remember the first time I spent an entire saturday sitting at the computer… and being surprised that it was dinner time.


  7. storiteller
    May 4, 2015 @ 4:55 pm

    I was obsessed with SimCity for a while in junior high, although I apparently never read the directions or understood the first thing about city planning. I literally did not realize that you could raise or change the taxes. Instead, I just used the cheat code over and over again until I got the earthquake that was inevitable when you used the cheat code too many times. Then I would put everything out and start over. Although I would have been the most negligent city planner ever, there was something comfortably cyclical about the process.


  8. elvwood
    May 4, 2015 @ 11:26 pm

    Aha! Two games I have played (though not on the SNES). I enjoyed both Populous and Sim City, though the latter had longer-lasting appeal. This was a time before I burnt out on computer games, kind of a golden age for me as a gamer. Well, as a computer gamer – I still retain my love of other forms.

    Since the games we had were mostly shared between all the developers in the office I can't remember if I played these on Amiga or Atari ST, though the latter is more likely. I really can't imagine playing them with a console controller, though – sounds painful. Perhaps if we'd done console development I might have got used to them, but that never happened; nowadays I'm pretty cackhanded when we play on my son's GameCube. And yes, we are that far behind the curve – he got it (and the only two games he wanted to play) very cheap as a result of it being considered obsolete. It does everything he needs that isn't covered by the general-purpose computer, so why spend more?


  9. phuzz
    May 5, 2015 @ 7:04 am

    Populous was the first game I ever bought.
    Well, by 'bought' I mean, 'badgered my parents into buying for me'.
    And it wasn't really the first, that was Populous: the Promised Lands, which was an expansion for Populous. One that required the original game to run. Which meant I now had to badger my parents to give me more money, just so I could play the first game.
    Still, I'll always have a soft spot for it.


  10. Daru
    May 12, 2015 @ 10:19 pm

    "I mean, what are they going to do, call the project completely insane? Of course it is. That’s the point. That and the fact that, because I refuse to actually define what a magickal ritual to destroy Gamergate is, I am in the useful position of simultaneously getting to adjudicate who wins this magical war (since I’m the only one who can be clearly said to understand its rules) and being one side of it."

    Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant.

    I love your intent Phil, especially as the whole world of gaming is ruled by rules, so making the rules on your side obscure and hidden is a beautiful act.

    Never played any of the games but really enjoying this so far.


  11. storiteller
    May 19, 2015 @ 5:25 pm

    Great article in Politico about SimCity and Civilization as games and how they reflect Western political philosophies. Who knew that the rules of SimCity are built to have supply side economics actually work?


  12. Michael
    February 10, 2016 @ 3:07 pm

    Actraiser 2 is actually a very well-regarded action platformer by fans of such things, it just has a steep difficulty curve.


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