Civ 7: Multiplayer ideas (Teams and Alternates)


Nov 1, 2019
I can't approach this idea from a technological viewpoint. I don't know if it is feasible. It is just a rough idea.

First off they would have to allow spectators for multiplayer games. Moves and game events would be transmitted in real time to the audience. So if Player 1 moves a unit, that move gets broadcasted to the audience immediately. A multiplayer game can have a public audience or a private audience that requires a passcode.

The idea is, that a larger group of people could become involved in a single game and a team of people could play for each civilization.

People could also develop official guilds or clans or something like that. This would allow for a game to continue as team members swap in and out of control of the civilization. I have used the terms guild, clan, and team interchangeably throughout this post, but essential I just mean "team". I don't know what they would be called or if they even need a name.

Therefore, you would also be able to create a game that designates guilds or clans as the "player" for a civilization.

Something like:
Alexander: played by Guild 1 (alternate is computer)
Victoria: played by Guild 2 (no alternates, game is saved and paused when not available)
Trajan: played by Guild 3 (Alternate is the Public or the computer)
and so on...

additionally the game setup could allow:
Abraham Lincoln: played by the Public (alternate is computer)

Spectators can designate themselves as alternates or they can just be there to watch. Alternatively, spectators are by default only watching and must press a button to assume control of the civilization. Assuming control would happen next turn if the computer was currently in control. The computer always gives up control. If a team member was assuming control from a member of an alternate group such as the Public, then it would change control next turn because the team member has higher priority than the alternate. If a team member wanted to assume control from another team member then it would happen the next turn unless the active team member vetoes. The number of vetoes per team member, per game can be an option in the game setup. These mechanics would have to be well thought out. For example, what if multiple people want to play the next turn. Does it create a queue?

The host and creator of the game can setup what is possible for the game. Who can play and who can be alternates. The software that hosts a game is separate from the clients (players) that connect to the game. So you would go into the multiplayer menu and choose "setup the game" and then a different app would popup as the hosting server app. You would setup the game, make it public or private, and start it. Once it is running as a separate application, you would then connect to the game by going into the multiplayer menu and choosing "connect to a game" and then the list of games would popup. You would search for your server name and connect to it. Everyone participating in the game would connect the same way.

If it was setup to be played by guilds, then if you belonged to that guild you would either be an audience to that particular civilization or the player in control of it. Your visibility would be limited to your guild's civilization even while spectating. The mechanics by which a team member is in control of the civilization could be something like...whenever the current controlling member is ready to give up control, they just hit a button and become a spectator. Then each guild or team could make their own rules about who plays the next turn. So a team could change control every turn or each era. Whatever makes sense to them.

As for how the guilds work? I think that a guild should have its own private password that it shares among their members. During the setup of the game, you just type in the name of the team and the password. Then anyone with the password can join that team. They spectate together and chat together by default, but there can options to chat to the world. Maybe only the active players can do so. I don't know. I guess the host would open a game and someone would join and type the team name and password in themselves and then chat with their own members through their own social platforms what the game name is. Then they would go into their own game software, go into multiplayer, connect to a game, search for the game name, and connect. Type the password and join the civilization's team space.

It would be cool if you could join a guild officially through something that 2K does. Then your account could be associated with a guild and then you could join any game that your guild or guilds are in and you wouldn't need a password. That would require something more from 2k though.

The whole idea is an approach to making multiplayer more attractive. For one, you can just watch and chat. You might see famous players in there or you might become famous yourself by playing or chatting. Second, when someone loses connection to the game, the game isn't completely ruined. If a team is playing, then another team member can take over. If the public is a player then that civilization is like a pickup group in an MMO. They could be good players or bad players. Who knows? If the computer takes over as an alternate, then if a team member comes back, then they can retake control. So the game doesn't have to stop from disconnections unless it is setup to do so. All of this applies to single players too. If you get disconnected, then the computer can take over, but if the player rejoins, then they can retake control. The difficulty of the computer can be setup during game creation. Some hosts might set it very low to avoid exploiting it. However, if it was a game is between famous, highly skilled players, then they might set it at a high difficulty, because the players are still as good or better than the computer.

Well, the idea would need to be thought out and deliberated over.
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It seems rather over-complicated, explained like this. Adding rules like this is not sure to make multiplayer more attractive.

However, I have a better idea : what if several players could control the same civ, at the same time ? There would be the need to have layers of controls, so the game should be designed for it even in single player : a sort of pyramide that allocate responsabilities to different entities. (governors, generals, dukes, tax collectors, patrons, artists, privates, etc.) That would be another game than Civ I believe, unless the devs decide to take that route.
However, I have a better idea : what if several players could control the same civ, at the same time ?
That would be awesome and a much needed arrangement if AI ever gets to be too much for one player to beat. Then perhaps a team could compete.

How? Is it a division of responsibilities? How would that help a civilization? If one player can make the best decisions for everything, how could additional players help him? What if the player could assign a role to another player, and is appointed over some aspect of the civilization. It could be a city or some units. Something else maybe. Maybe the roles could be customizable within the game, and/or predesigned with the roles you envisioned.
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