How to effectively post a detailed game report?


Aug 23, 2007
After increasing my understanding of Civ 4, I am interested in starting a thread that tracks my progress through a game, kind of like Sisi's ALC games. I will, though, have to be stuck on vanilla since I haven't purchased either expansions yet (hopefully will, though).

So I was wondering what the best way to effectively track a game's progress would be. Below is what I am planning on doing. If there are any better ideas, please reply and I will consider it.

I think that the best way to start is to give an introduction of the leader you are using, as well as unique units and traits. The first screenshot should be a post of the settings (which shows the map size, difficulty, and so on). The second screenshot should then be the starting location, and the first post would likely end there.

Now about images, I know that you just click the "PRINT SCREEN" button, so if you're playing a round of 40 turns, you would click PRINT SCREEN on important scenes, such as capturing of cities, tech trades, etc. After Print Screen, I am not sure what to do. Does clicking the print screen button 10 times in a round save all 10 of the shots, or does clicking the print screen clear the previous image that was print screened?

And after you end your round, I am assuming you close the game (saving it obviously) and go to the files (not sure which file stores the images, though) and then upload them on sites like imageshack (which I will be using, unless there are any better suggestions). Here, again, is another crucial question: what size should the image be? Full screen might be too big, but smaller images will make text harder to read...?

Oh yes, one more thing, saved games! After you start the game (meaning that you haven't even moved your first settler/warrior/scout and ended your turn) you should save it, but how do I post a savegame attachment on the bottom of posts? And should I keep doing that during the end of rounds?

Thank you for anyone who can help.
On pictures: my own preference is to not show what can be reasonbly said in words. Settings can be stated (level, size, speed, climate, sea level, etc). Starting position has to be shown. Likewise tech trades don't always need to be shown (though it does give an opportunity to hover the mouse over the leader's name and get a list of all current diplo modifiers). A screenshot of the current tech situation (who has what, who wants what) can be useful, though if it's simple enough it can be done in words. A shot before a major battle -- select one of the units in your stack and hover over the defending city/stack so we can see both -- is more useful than one celebrating the victory. You should definitely include a shot fairly early of the surrounding terrain with your proposed sites for 2nd-3rd-4th cities. Scroll out with the mouse wheel, select "strategy layer", and you can add lines to show city sites, fat crosses, etc. Likewise include periodic "overview" shots of the empire, so we can see city placements and tile improvements.

If you use "Shift-PrtScrn" to take your screenshot (the only way I know), you'll get a dialog box to name it (annoyingly, the box sometimes appears in the screenshot. I haven't figured out how to reliably avoid this), and it'll appear in My Documents/My Games/Sid Meier/Civilization 4/Screenshots, or something similar. Likewise saved games appear in My Documents/My Games/Sid Meier/Civilization 4/Saves/Single. Unless you have an unreasonable number of screenshots, you can upload them directly with the Easy Upload system -- the red box on the right side of the toolbar -- and insert them into the text of your post by typing {img}http://[i]picture_address[/i]{/img}, with square brackets instead of curly. Use the "Go Advanced" button to create your post, which will give you the option to attach the savegames.

Picture size: I don't mind the fullsize ones, but someone on a dial-up might. Maybe cut them down to half size with Photoshop or some such.

SO if I want to put a file direstly into the message instead of attaching as a thumbnail

edit: Forget this entry. I still cannot figure this out.
As for a picture, if it isn't worth a thousand words, the hell with it.

Ad Reinhardt, quoted by Edward Tufte.

OK, Reinhardt may not be the best authority:

but work with me here.

General stuff

Turn on gridlines.

Turn on resource bubbles.

Consider turning on the FPC display. I usually don't but it does improve the signal of some otherwise ambiguous pictures.

If you are trying to show the map, turn off the interface.

Keep in mind that your audience already plays the game. They already know what most of the splash screens look like.

Don't be afraid to use an image editor to add annotations, or cut apart several images to make a single good one.

Other notes: set the autosave interval to 1 turn. That way you can go back if you discover that you missed a picture.

Edit: oh yeah, and familiarize yourself with the markup language you are using. consult the online help
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