What Happened to Civilization World?

Discussion in 'Other Civ-Related Games' started by Hyreon, Jan 29, 2021.

  1. Hyreon

    Hyreon Chieftain

    Feb 22, 2020
    As part of a research phase for a hobby project I came across Civilization World, a massively multiplayer, real-time entry into the Civilization franchise. This was of particular interest since this is the closest I have seen to the game I am designing (although I am expecting much fewer players, of course.)

    I was only able to find one review of the game, which was very vitriolic, citing
    • Connectivity Issues
    • No interesting choices (only one effective style of gameplay, namely hoarding food, then production)
    • Very little action in the first week, and not much significantly after
    • Uninteresting minigames
    After looking into some other posts I was able to find an old Kotaku article complaining about how people left the Roman empire for a bigger, stronger empire, the Americas, so
    • Players would flood into the largest empire, ignoring all other options
    For anyone who played this game on release, what happened?
    • Were the above 5 problems accurate in your experience?
    • Were there any additional, more important problems with the game?
    • Is it accurate to say the game shut down because it wasn't popular?
    • Is there anything noteworthy that the game did right?
    • Are there any other examples of similar games that have succeeded?
    I look forward to hearing what you have to say and will be continuing research regardless.
  2. vorlon_mi

    vorlon_mi Emperor

    Oct 21, 2004
    Chelsea, MI
    I started playing it, back when it released. An interesting concept -- trying to bring a 4X game into the world of Facebook games. Disclaimer: I always play games in the Civ franchise as single-player, not multi-player. My perceptions of a multi-player game are colored by that. Also, it was back in 2011, so a lot has happened since then to make me forget some details.

    One could play Civ World as a quasi-single player, collecting your own resources, researching your own techs, building your own improvements. But "winning" required being part of larger empires, and that wasn't fun for me. I was never overrun by one of the bigger empires, but I didn't find much interesting to do.

    The other aspect -- key to FB games, but alien to me as an offline, Civ player -- was the link to the calendar and the clock. Games / rounds lasted 2 weeks, IIRC. That is, certain counters were reset and victors were declared. Unless one was playing daily, or 2-3x daily, you would miss out on many opportunities to grow your empire. For FB gamers, especially those into online farm simulations, that worked. For me, who was accustomed to being able to load a game exactly where I left it 2 days ago, it was jarring... and not fun. When I play any of the PC versions of Civ now (3, 4, 5, 6, or BERT), I can make a great deal of progress in a 4 hour session over an evening. That just wasn't possible in Civ World.

    In answer to your questions, the presence of large groups of other players -- taking actions that I could not control, influence, or thwart -- made the game less fun. Another unfun aspect was microtransactions; these are common in FB games, but jarring for Civ players. Someone -- or a whole mob of someones -- could pay US$2 and get resources to change the nature of the game.

    Going into the wayback machine ... I remembered seeing a PolyCast episode about CivWorld from back in the day. Went digging for it -- give it a listen https://polycast.civfanatics.com/polycast/season5/focus_civworld.mp3
  3. DanQ

    DanQ Owner, Civilized Communication

    Oct 24, 2000
    Ontario, Canada
    Kudos for the recall and reference to this. :)

    I'll add that there was also a separate, dedicated podcast that began six months afterwards called SCivCast -- it ran for two seasons, ending only when the game itself was cancelled. See http://polycast.civfanatics.com/scivcast
    vorlon_mi likes this.

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