The PitBoss is a unique application allowing the epic nature of Civilization to finally be easily integrated into the multiplayer realm. It is a lightweight application with a simple interface. While running, players will be able to log in and continue their progress in a game at any time. Once satisfied, players are welcome to log out and continue later.
Participating in a Pitboss Game:
Participating in a PitBoss game is simple. Join the game like you would any other; select a PitBoss game in the LAN or Internet lobby, or connect directly to a known IP Address. Aside from the indication in the 'PB' column of the lobbies, the fact that the game is being run by The PitBoss should be completely invisible to you when joining.
Once you are in the game, however, Civilization IV may play a bit differently from classic multiplayer games. If all participants are currently logged into the game, it will play exactly the same as a classic Civilization IV multiplayer game. You are free to move as soon as it is your turn, you are free to chat to the other players, you are free to conquer the world! However, the most important difference when playing a PitBoss game is that all other participants may not always be logged in.
If you are engaged in a PitBoss game, and another player logs out, you are free to make your move if it is your turn. Afterwards, the game is on hold until that player logs back in and makes his move. You are free to study the map. You can even manage cities and change technologies. But you cannot move your units until all other players finish their turns, and your turn is again active.
If the PitBoss has been set up to do so, you are free to register for alert E-mails that you will receive when your turn is made available. This is accomplished by entering your E-mail address in the player details screen (Alt-D). Also, the PitBoss may be set up to run a turn timer. You may have a limited time (typically 24 hours or so) to make your move. Make sure you recognize when a timer is being used since not moving within this time will result in passing on your turn!
Setting up a PitBoss game:
The PitBoss game options are chosen through a simple setup wizard interface
Step 1: Choose a mod
The administrator is free to choose available Civilization IV mods. If a different mod is chosen, the PitBoss will automatically load this mod and restart.
Step 2: Enter SMTP information
The PitBoss will send out reminder emails to registered players using this information to interact with your SMTP server. The SMTP host (either an IP address or DNS name) is required. Depending on your E-mail provider, you may be required to provide authentication using Login and Password, as well as a return address. You are not required to enter any information if you do not wish to enable the PitBoss to send alert E-mails.
Step 3: Select the network type
This page will determine how to broadcast your PitBoss game. DirectIP games will not be broadcasted and will require all participants to manually specify the PitBoss IP Address. Private PitBoss games can be hosted and broadcasted on your LAN. Publicly available PitBoss games can be hosted and broadcasted on the Internet lobby. Due to the involved nature of PitBoss games, it is recommended that the DirectIP method is used.
Step 4: Log into the internet lobby (optional)
If you chose to host an Internet game, the Pitboss must log into the Internet Lobby. If you plan to also participate in the Pitboss game, the Pitboss must use a separate account from the participant.
Step 5: Select the game type
This page allows you to specify whether you'd like to start a new game using a random map, start a new scenario, or load a saved multiplayer game. Note that the PitBoss is able to load other types of multiplayer games, not just former PitBoss games! Depending on your choice, you will either be asked to provide a game name (for new games) or to choose a game to load (for saved games). For new games that are publicly available, you will be asked for a password. If provided, this password will be required by all joining participants. When loading a game, you may be prompted for a password as well.
Step 6: Choose a scenario (optional)
If you chose to host a scenario, this page presents you with all scenarios available for play.
Step 7: Staging Room (optional)
If you are hosting a new game or new scenario, you will be presented with a master setup room. This staging room is similar to the staging room in normal multiplayer games. You are given to option to change settings and options for the game and different players in the game. Additionally, participants are able to join the game at this time.
There are a few important differences with the PitBoss staging room. The Admin Password, if provided, gives the administrator access to any participating civilization, even if the player has enabled password protection. Additionally, if the Admin Password is provided, it will be required when loading a save game from the session.
There is also a new player status type, "Human". This indicates that this civilization is to be controlled by a human player but has not yet been claimed. As the administrator, you are free to launch the game before all Human slots have been claimed. However, the game turns cannot advance until all Human slots have been claimed and the participants have taken their turn. This allows administrators to launch games before all participants are ready and allows players to start playing as soon as they log in.
Also, the PitBoss turn timer is handled a bit differently from typical multiplayer games. Rather than the quick, dynamic timer of normal multiplayer games, the PitBoss turn timer does not change from turn to turn. Also, the PitBoss turn time will always be a matter of hours rather than minutes. It is up to the administrator to set the number of hours each turn is allowed.
The staging room marks the end of the setup interface wizard. Once "Finish" is clicked, the wizard will disappear and the game will launch. Once the game has finished launching, the administrator is presented with an Admin screen.
The PitBoss Admin screen:
The Admin screen provides game status information and limited administrative capabilities to the host.
The Player Panel:
Each player participating in the game is listed within the player panel. Their connectivity status is listed in the 'Ping' column. This will display the ping time of connected players, the claimed status of unconnected players (either Unclaimed or Disconnected), or will indicate if the player is an AI. Each player's score is also displayed, along with a 'Kick' button. If the civilization is claimed, the Kick button will be enabled. The administrator is free to reject a claim on a civilization by kicking the player from the game. If the player is ejected, the AI will claim their civilization.
The Message Panel:
The Message of the Day will be displayed to participants as soon as they log into the game. Click the 'Change MotD' button to change the message, and display it by enabling the check box. The administrator can also dynamically chat with participants using the Chat Dialog.
The administrator is also free to save the game, or to exit the game. If the administrator chooses to exit the game, all connected players will be returned to the Civilization IV main menu.
We at Firaxis sincerely hope you enjoy The PitBoss and the exciting new method of epic multiplayer play it provides for Civilization IV!