Hello and welcome to The Long Game, an attempt at world-building that extends far backwards from the dawn of civilization to include both the evolution of life and the formation of continents themselves, opening everything up to player influence along the way. It will include elements of previous games, notably Alternate Timeline Experiment, NESLife and the abortive IoTerra. Essentially the idea is, what if players not only had a chance to create civilizations, but were able to influence the evolution of intelligent life, as well as shape the continents and the kind of life forms (both plants and animals) that our human-analogues would ultimately have to deal with? I thought this may be, ‘fun’ Disclaimer I fully admit I’ve had a few short-lived or problematic projects ever since my golden years on the NES forum, which just so happened to be before I started working full-time... but, a lot of this has also been caused by my games being too graphics-heavy to sustain. In this game, there will be little more than the world map to go with, and I will concentrate on thinking and writing up the actual events, though I may provide some drawings here and there. The rules will also be very simple. This will hopefully lead to a smoother experience. Further Explanation Over the first part of the game I will be guiding this world towards the evolution of intelligent, human-like life, although player input may result in many strange animals evolving with them - or the existence of surprising survivors from previous eras, whose counterparts are long extinct in our timeline (dinosaurs? giant arthropods?). Basically, the initial trajectory will be set towards the eventual rise of mammals and hominids, but this is not set in stone - if there’s enough *consistent* pushing from players to explore other ideas, even a civilization of non-mammal sentients, I will be willing to go with that. It may also be that we end up with not just one sentient species, but several rival species that survive long enough to be involved in the birth of civilization. The choice, as they say, is yours. Thus we begin with an ‘alternate reality earth’ in what would roughly correspond to the late Devonian era, though the continents are already arranged differently. The Rules In the opening phase of the game, each player receives 2 points per turn, which can be used to: Alter the global climate on either of two axes (hot-cold, wet-dry) Nudge a continent in a certain direction on the map - obviously the poles are cold and the equator is warm, and great mountain ranges will form where continents collide. Boost the evolution of a group of creatures (such as amphibians) or plants/fungi (such as giant fungus, or primitive vascular plants). Summon a global disaster, such as a meteor impact or volcanic upheaval. The more points spent on it, the more disastrous the effects will be (especially if more than one player combines their efforts). Large animals near the top of the food chain tend to suffer most from these events, but life can be affected at all levels. This can of course lead to a situation where player’s actions are contradicting each other, which is actively encouraged; it’s my job as GM to work out these battles - you may see continents splitting apart, climate chaos and other such fun things occuring. As and when human-analogues appear, players will start to lose these abilities, but will instead be able to spend their points on guiding a chosen culture/ethnic group - granting general bonuses to economic, military, social, scientific endeavours, or giving a boost to a specific military campaign, or perhaps influencing the building of a wondrous monument.