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Civilization computer game

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Civilization is a computer game created by Sid Meier for Microprose[?] in 1991. The game's objective is to develop a great empire from the ground up. The game begins in ancient times and the player attempts to expand and develop his or her empire through the ages until modern and near-future times.

Civilization was originally developed for the DOS operating system running on a PC. It has undergone numerous revisions for various platforms and now exists in several versions. Beginning with Civilization III[?], the game has been published by Firaxis Games[?].

Civilization is a single-player game (though Civilization 2 and 3[?] have multi-player versions). The player takes on the role of the ruler of a civilization starting with nothing but a single Settler unit. The player attempts to build an empire in competition with a number of other civilizations. The game is rigidly turn-based and requires a fair amount of micromanagement[?] (though less than any of the Sim games). Along with the larger tasks of exploration, war and diplomacy, the player has to make decisions about which improvements or units to build in each city, where to build new cities, and how to transform the land surrounding the cities for maximum benefit. Early in the game, the player's towns may be harassed periodically by "barbarians", units with no specific nationality or leader.

Before the game begins, the player chooses which historical civilization to play. Each has its own advantages and disadvantages, which only really affect the very beginning of the game: some civilizations start with the Pottery advancement and some don't, for example. When played by the computer though, certain traits of specific civilizations do come through. The Aztecs are fiercely expansionistic, for example. Other possible civilizations include the Americans, the Mongols, and the Romans. Each civilization is lead by an historical figure.

The scope of the game is huge - larger than most if not all other computer games. When the game begins, the player controls one unit, a Settler, which can found new cities and also alter terrain and build improvements such as mines and roads and, later, railroads. The time at the beginning is 4000 BC, and, if you manage to last so long, the game forces you to retire in the year 2100 AD. As time advances, new technologies are developed; these technologies are the primary way the game changes and grows. Players choose from, at the beginning, advances such as Pottery, the Wheel, and the Alphabet to, at the close of the game, Nuclear weapons and aspects of Space exploration. Players gain a large advantage if their civilization is the first to learn the secrets of flight, for example. Each advance gives access to new units or improvements or derivitive technologies: for example, the Chariot unit becomes available after the Wheel development, and the Granary building becomes available for building after the Pottery development. The whole system of advancements from beginning to end is called the Technology tree, or simply the Tech tree, a concept adopted in many other strategy games.

Sid Meier admits to "borrowing" many of the technology tree ideas from a board game by Avalon Hill also called Civilization. In an ironic twist, there is now a board game based on the video game version of Civilization.

The game can be won either by destroying all other civilizations or by being the first civilization to succeed at space colonization, in this case reaching the star system of Alpha Centauri.

This game has been one of the most popular strategy games of all time, and has a loyal following of fans. This high level of interest has even spawned a free version of the game called freeciv. There were many rip-offs of the basic idea by other developers as well.

Civilization II was released in 1997 and Civilization 3[?] in 2001.

The game Alpha Centauri is also by Sid Meier and is in the same genre.

External Links

  • The official Firaxis Civilization III website: http://www.civ3.com/
  • Apolyton (http://www.apolyton.net/): site about most games in the Civilization genre
  • Civfanatics (http://www.civfanatics.com/): site covering Civ1, Civ2, and Civ3
  • FreeCiv (http://www.freeciv.org/): an open source Civilization-like game
  • Civilization FAQ (http://www.lilback.com/civilization/mp/civfaq1)

All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

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