Further thought on the topic led us to the conclusion that while a
multi-session game worked fine for LAN players, it was completely unacceptable
for many Internet gamers. This stemmed from the fact that if you know
the people you're playing with, scheduling multiple sessions isn't that
tricky. This really played in favor of LAN gamers, who played at work,
home or school. Where this proved more difficult to organize was on
the Internet, where the use of match making services like GameSpy was
necessary to locate opponents. As any Internet gamer can tell you, the
quality of your opponents can be vast. Some are completely comfortable
with a week long game, while others are not aware that they'll need
to get together multiple times to finish a game. Some take joy in the
entirety of the game, while others will quit at the first sign of losing.
With Civilization III: Play the World we wanted to ensure that people
who aren't interested in bringing the 10 plus hour game online, had
a game mode tailored to suit their needs.
The primary reason for the game's sometimes long duration can be attributed
to the victory conditions. Starting in the Stone Age and playing through
to a Space Race victory really couldn't be compressed without taking
great liberties in modifying the gameplay in Civilization III. So, we
provided a few new victory conditions and redefined some old ones. These
"meta-games" or short game modes allow players to compete
using the vocabulary of Civilization III, without having to hunt down
every single city, or accumulate tens of thousands of culture points.
Elimination was an early victory condition we added, which is basically
a variation on the conquest victory. The main difference is that instead
of having to completely eradicate a player to claim victory, you need
only take one of his cities. This leads to some extremely fun, quick
games. Another "meta-game" is Regicide, where the loss of
a single unit (in this case a civilization-specific 'King') leads to
an immediate conquest victory. Quickly a favorite around the office,
this permitted the leaders of a civilization to be pulled out of the
diplomacy screen and actually "live and breathe" on the map.
Hunting down Genghis Khan or Mahatma Gandhi is a very unique and thrilling
experience in the game!
For the first time in a Civilization game, through the use of a "Turnless"
game system, we can offer a much faster paced gaming mode. In Turnless,
each unit and city has its own turn clock. These clocks progress independently
from each other, meaning that a unit that has just moved, can't move
again until its clock has reset. It is impossible for a single player
to hold up the progress of the game (which happens sometimes in turn
based games when played online). With Turnless, they're really only
forfeiting their own moves. In addition we offer speed controls to the
player, which determine how long each of these turn clocks take to reset.
When combined with the dynamic scaling we apply, based on the number
of units and cities each player possesses, the game allows players to
configure the settings and determine their own pacing.
While these innovative features are geared to players interested in
shorter games, we haven't left out those who simply want to take the
total single player experience into the multiplayer arena. We've included
all the classic game modes, such as Turn based and Simultaneous Moves.
These keep the deliberate pacing of single player intact, but are also
tweaked for multiplayer. Customizable turn clocks are included for these
as well, so while each player might take their turns sequentially (in
turn based for instance), they can still have a limit set on how long
they can take. Beyond that, most game functionality is still available,
even when it's not the player's turn (things like production, research
goals, and diplomacy). We've also included Play by Email and Hotseat,
which allow players to enjoy classic turn based games, either all gathered
around a single computer or scattered around the world. A new Administrator
password for PBEM allows the host to eliminate players or replace them
with AI, regardless of whether they password protected their turns or
All in all, our main goal with Civ III: Play the World was to provide
the ultimate Civilization multiplayer experience. This meant taking
what worked from previous incarnations of the series, and mixing them
with new and innovative features. We were committed to providing plenty
of options for players who enjoyed multi-session games, as well as fun
alternatives for gamers who are only able to commit to a 1 to 2 hour
game. Between the short game modes like Regicide, the quick paced Turnless
play style, and the robust menu of features offered across the board,
Play the World is a packed multiplayer expansion. One that we hope satisfies
our customers' desire to reach out and crush players around the world!