- Oct 5, 2001
What is the "GOTM"?
The GOTM is the "Game Of The Month". It started over 4 years ago with the Civilization 2 GOTM - which is still running. A Civilization 3 GOTM started a few months later and now also run a Civ3 Conquests version as well. In this tradition, we're now running a Civ4 version.
The Game Of The Month is a friendly single-player competition. A starting save file is posted, and players download and play it. They post write-ups describing how their games progressed, the strategies they used, what they learnt and what they felt they did well. This is a great way for new players to ask questions and lern strategies to improve their games.
How do I join?
To join, all you need is a copy of Civ4, patched to the latest version, and a Civilization Fanatics Center membership (login) account. Once the competition is up-and-running, save files will be posted on or around the first of each month. Download it, play it, and be sure to submit it before the end of the month.
What are the rules?
The rules are fairly simple: Play fairly.
This means that you play within the spirit of the competition. As it is a friendly competition, we like to believe that there is no real incentive to cheat - but unfortunately, people do. Any persons found to be cheating will have their games removed, and there is a strong possibility that they will be banned from participating in the future.
Cheating includes (and is not limited to):
- Playing the game multiple times and submitting the best effort (or even playing to get knowledge of the map, the replaying then starting the game again).
- Using any sort of programs to edit the game or save files.
- Altering the XML or using other mods that give you an unfair advantage.
- Reloading an earlier save-file and replaying turns in a different way. The only time you may reload a save file is to start a new play session, and you must use the save file from the end of your previous session.
Please note that some people believe that reloading (in particular) isn't serious cheating. We, however, consider it to be and have zero tolerance on it. Please also be aware that if you do it, we can detect it, and we will act on it.
Also, if in doubt, ask. If you think you have found a new loop-hole or exploit, then we strongly suggest that you ask as to its legallity before you use it. The aim of the competition is not to see who can exploit the rules, and as such, we reserve the right to disqualify submissions based on exploits that are discovered later.
So - how is it run?
The actual format will vary over time as we get feedback from the players. But the basic format is as follows:
- Pre-game Discussion Thread: A few days before the end of the month, the starting screenshot is posted, along with the map script details, difficulty etc. This allows people to discuss strategies based onthe initial information.
- Game release: On or around the first of the month, the game is released. At this point, people are allowed to download and play it, but once they've started playing it, they should not post any info on it anywhere except the Spoiler Threads ....
- Spoiler Threads: A number of spoiler threads are normally opened in which people discuss what happened in their games - strategies, other civs, resources, game play and the like. The spoilers are spread to cover different periods of the game. The rason for this is so that people can contribute throughout the month - people who have completed the early part of the game can still contribute without having to worry that in reading the thread they'll see where the mordern-age resources are (for example). The first spoiler is normally opened on or around the 5th of the month.
- Results: We aim to have the results posted within 7-10 days following the completion of the game (the end of the month).
What are we playing for?
Generally, you are playing for your own enjoyment, and perhaps to improve your game. In the Civ3 GOTM, we offer 'medals' for first, second and third place; awards for the fastest finish in each particular victory type, as well as recognition for the lowest scores in each victory type (and a couple of consolation awards for the highest & lowest scoring defeats).
We also maintain a 'global ranking'. This is effectively a ranking over a number of games, with a decay figure so that your most recent games count for more - its similar to rankings in tennis or golf. This will be developed over the next few months so taht we get the weightings right.
Are there any other activities?
In the Civ3 GOTM, we also run "Quick Games" and the "Quick Start Challenge".
Quick games are short scenarios, often based on events from actual players' Game Of the Month entries. They have a short, specific goal - be it to research a certain tech as fast as possible, to defeat a certain AI in the fewest turns, to explore the map the fastest or even to get the best value out of trades. We may run these for C-IV as well; perhaps offering some small recognition for the best performer.
The "Quick Start Challenge" in Civ3 was aimed at seeing who could provide the best foundation for their empire up to 1000 BC (first 80 turns of the game). Scoring was weighted on such factors as number of cities, units, gold, food, buildings, technologies etc - and was by no means perfect. If there is enough interest in a similar event for CIV (and we can agree on a scoring methodology! ) then we may run one of these in a few months time as well.