Welcome to the Civilization 5 Game of the Month forum This forum is dedicated to the Game of the Month competition, where players compete against each other by playing the same save, and then compare the results. Some of you may already be familiar to the concept since the GOTM competition started 2001, beginning with Civilization 2 GOTM. Then came Civilization 3 GOTM and the Civ3 Conquests version, and Civ4 included the vanilla version, the warlords version and the BtS version. In this tradition, we're now running a Civ5 version. The Game Of The Month is a friendly single-player competition. A starting save file is posted, and players download and play it. Each player then uploads their final save, hopefully a victory, and at the end of the month, the results are compared. Meanwhile, they post write-ups describing how their games progressed, the strategies they used, what they experienced and what they felt they did well. This is a great way for new players to ask questions and learn strategies to improve their games, and for veteran players to further improve their skills. Everyone is welcome to join, both those new to the game and those who think they're experts How to join You need a copy of Civ5 and a Civilization Fanatics Center membership account, which will enable you to write posts and upload your save. Once the competition is up-and-running, save files will be made available on or around the first of each month. Download it, play it, and be sure to submit it before the end of the month. The rules There are two simple rules: Once you play the save, you don't replay any moves. And you don't reveal any information to other players who have not played the save. This means that you play within the spirit of the competition and abide to the unofficial honor system. 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 be disqualified and repeated cheating will lead to a permanent ban. 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, then replaying, then starting the game again). Using any sort of programs to edit the game or save files. Altering any XML file in any way. 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 contact us if your game crashes and you need to reload from an autosave. 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. The reason for this intolerance is that the GOTM competition is based on the no-reload rule. It's a fundamental part of the challenge and the prerequisite for results comparison. 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 legality 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. How GOTM is 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: A few days before the start of a new month, the starting screenshot is posted, along with the map script details, difficulty etc. This allows people to discuss strategies based on the 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 must not post any info on it, apart from the: 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 reason 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 modern-age resources are (for example). The first spoiler is normally opened a few days after game is released. Please post all contributions concerning active games only in spoiler threads. Please do not post anything elsewhere on the site during the month the game is active. Results: We aim to have the results posted within 7-10 days following the completion of the game (the end of the month). What we're playing for Generally, you are playing for your own enjoyment, and perhaps to improve your game. Some players find entertainment in performing better than their competitors and we will offer medals/awards to those worthy of special recognition. 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. Excellent, but when does this all start? Well, we're not yet set for the actual competition. First we need to develop a security mod that detects if the game has been modified. Hopefully we can reuse the mod developed for the Hall of Fame competition. Then we need to learn how to extract the information from the saves, and update the current submission system to support Civ5. With a bit of luck and lots of hard work, we could start before Christmas (this year), but we'll return with a target date once we know the amount of work that needs to be done. There are still a lot of uncertainties. Meanwhile, the Civ4 GOTM will continue. However, since we're all eager to play Civ5, we're happy to announce: The Civ5 GOTM Training Series Once the game is released (and the staff has learned the basic routines), we will start hosting training games. This training series will run until we have a security mod (a variant of HOF/BUFFY) that enables us to run the proper competition. The purpose is for Civ5-fanatics to try out the new features, share experiences, and informally compare games in a friendly environment based on the no-reload concept. The staff will propose objectives related to the new features to allow a more focused discussion, and the games will be provided twice a month. Once the submission website and the security mod are in place, we will start the actual competition. The award system will be designed once we understand the scoring mechanics of the game, and the players will have an important role in this process. We will use the experience from the training series to devise an award system that is fair and encourages players to perform at their best. We will also decide later if we will use adventurer/challenger saves, or if there are other ways to allow for a variety of playing skills.