Civilization – Thoughts on a Wider Multiplayer Game

Nearly every time I put up a post about our ongoing Civilization V game, I get a note from somebody wanting to join in.  I have, I hope politely, declined to add people to our game, it being made up of a group of Potshot’s long-standing friends.  I went to high school with him back in the dark ages, while Mattman and Loghound were college roommates of his during the time when you could sit down, read pretty much all of Usenet that interested you with your morning coffee and feel like there wasn’t much there.  So it is a bit of a special group of cranky old guys who can all pick on Potshot equally.

Still, there is clearly some interest in multiplayer Civilization V out there.  So I was playing with the idea of how to set up a game that readers and fellow bloggers could join.  Our own closed game has shown that players can jump in and out of a game, with the AI holding down the fort, pretty well.  So it seems like maybe one could create a semi-open regular game that people wander into if they so desired.

So I started on a plan, on which I hope people will comment.  The plan so far:

  • Find somebody to host the game at a regular weekly interval for 2-3 hours.  It doesn’t have to be me, but to keep continuity it probably should be the same person over the course of the match.
  • Find people interested in playing, get all linked up on Steam.
  • Decide on game version and parameters
  • Actually bring it all together
  • Profit… or play… or something

There are clearly some holes in that plan.  Basically, in my mind’s eye, I see one person will launching the game every week, inviting players who are online and ping him via Steam chat, them dropping into the open slots, and the game running… adding late comers if there is room… until the time slot is up, at which point there will be a save which will be used to start the game the following week.

Comedy will no doubt ensue when it comes to picking game parameters, picking a time slot, picking a day of the week, what the AI does with civs when people are away, people not getting the same civ every game, the game being full, timer impatience, client crashes, connection issues, that guy trying to join in on his laptop using WiFi at the Starbucks in Tierra del Fuego, and the usual disparity of skill level when playing against real people.

Chuck Hestonia nuked and open

Oh, and nuclear terror…

But aside from that, what could go wrong?

Anyway, I am looking for input on this idea.  Is it viable?  Should we try?

Oh, and most importantly, we need to call this something.  I have tentatively tagged the post “Summer Civilization,” but am not totally invested in the name.

5 thoughts on “Civilization – Thoughts on a Wider Multiplayer Game

  1. Anonymous

    Love the idea and look forward to reading about the adventures. However, unlikely to join a session myself. (Never had any inclination to play Civ against other people)


  2. Izlain

    I recently was trying to get a NBI centric multiplayer game of Civ V going, but it didn’t drum up as much interest as I would have thought. I did manage to have a small short game with two of the bloggers though. I’d like to participate in one that was larger scale.


  3. Will

    Lets do it, and I’m almost positive I will be the guy on wifi in Starbucks at Kuala Lumpur complaining about the timer but in the end just happy not be the first person out.


  4. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Okay, you know the really strange part about your comment? I pondered what remote location to put in my post, choosing Tierra del Fuego because… hell… it translates as “Land of Fire.” And it is about in a viable time zone for the game. But my second choice was Kuala Lumpur, and I actually swapped that in and out a couple of times.


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