News Archive: November 2001

Thursday, November 29
JoyStick101: Helplessly Addicted to Civ3
posted by Thunderfall at 1:32 PM

JoyStick101's jongoodwin posted a pretty interesting article about his gaming addiction. Here is a snippet:

For me, it's too late - I'm hooked. Just like when I discovered Alpha Centauri. What makes this type of game so entrancing is the open nature. You start by making your own rules. The planet size, the conditions of victory, even the terrain is up for grabs. This sense of openness only increases once the game starts. You can try to develop peacefully - or ravage your enemies as you see fit. Bicker over trading resources or technologies - you could literally spend years with this game without exploring every aspect of it.

>> Read the full article


Mac Civilization III Hits Beta
posted by Thunderfall at 12:58 PM

Westlake Interactive annouced yesterday on their website that the Mac port of Civilization III has hit beta! Mac Civilization III is currently scheduled to ship in February and will be published by MacSoft. The initial release will incorporate the first patch Firaxis is working on and probably will not include the editor. Here is a quote from the post:

The beta period for Civ3 is very nearly over - we've finished most of our testing at this point. We've integrated Quartz text rendering for OS X users, so most all of the text in Civ3 is very easy to read, particularly on iBooks and LCD displays.

At this point, we're waiting for the final patch code from Firaxis for the first Civ3 PC patch so that we can integrate that into the initial Mac release. We've also added in a few bug fixes as well that have been passed back to the Firaxis guys.

We'll soon be starting work on the Civ3 editor. No timeline yet on when it'll be done, but it probably won't ship in the box. The editor will run under OS X and most likely OS 8/9 as well.


Prima vs. Hurricane Gaming
posted by Thunderfall at 11:51 AM

In another round of lawsuits relating to Civilization III, Prima Games, the company behind the official Civ3 strategy guide, has forced Hurricane Gaming to remove a strategy guide for the game posted on the latter's website on threat of legal action. Hurricane Gaming posted the following message on their website explaining the removal of the guide:

Wow! Our harmless venture into the world of providing PDF versions of strategy guides had met an unexpected hurdle yesterday when we were contacted by Random House publishing, parent company of Primagames. Unfortunately, our Civ 3 strategy guide was in violation of Prima's exclusive agreement with Infogrames and it had to be removed from the website.

The 32 page tactics guide which sold for $2.50 apparently contained too much helpful information and infringed on Prima's rights to the game. We at Hurricanegaming.com would never have posted a guide for a game in which there was known to be an exclusive agreement between a developer and strategy guide publisher. However, neither Primagames.com nor Civ3.com had any mention of the guide nor any exclusivity that existed.

Although this is an upsetting setback that greatly disappoints us, we also see this as confirmation that our content is of the highest quality.

For the record: Hurricanegaming.com receives less than 500 visitors per day; less than 2 percent of which had actually downloaded our Civ 3 strategy guide since its posting on November 10.

Thanks to DanQ of Apolyton for this news tip.


Sid Meier QA @ Gamers.com
posted by Thunderfall at 11:32 AM

There is a new Questions & Answers with Sid Meier on Gamers.com. The QA is not about any of Sid's games in particular. It covered how he got into the game business, his single biggest influence, when he first realized Civilization had something special, his favorite games, and deciding between making a game real-time and turn-based.

Thanks HomeLan Fed for this new tip.


Frictionless Insight: Buy Civ3!
posted by Thunderfall at 11:25 AM

Frictionless Insight's staff members Enkidu and Wrathful both recommended Civilization III in their review posted this Tuesday.

Here is an excerpt from Enkidu's review:
Civilization III, while making no world-shattering departures from its predecessors, improves the game enough to be a wholly worthwhile purchase. Some changes are minor, some are deceptively simple but radically influence gameplay. All enhance the fun this series has always delivered.

Wrathful's comments on the improved AI:
One other factor makes Civilization III feel like a totally new game, set apart from it's predecessors: enemy AI. Simply put, Firaxis has spent some time analyzing the strategies we players used to beat Civilization II and has attempted to thwart them. For many of the reasons Enkidu has already mentioned, Firaxis has succeeded.

Thanks to BluesNews for this new tip.


GameOver's Civ3 Review: 92/100
posted by Thunderfall at 11:16 AM

GameOver awarded Civilization III their Gamers' Choice Award and gave the game a 92 Percent rating in their review. The reveiwers praised the new advanced resource management system, the modern look of the game, and the vastly improved AI. Here is a quote:

The AIs are as dirty and underhanded as I am, wisely pressing the advantage if they have it, and trying to acquiesce to stronger opponents with a minimum of damage. Diplomacy has been expanded to allow trading of technology, cash, cities, and other stuff.


Wednesday, November 28
Forum is back online!
posted by Thunderfall at 8:39 PM

Our forum is back online after a brief downtime (7 PM - 8:50 PM EST). Click here to enter the forum!

IntelliGamer: Civ2 better than Civ3
posted by Thunderfall at 8:26 PM

IntelliGamer has done a review of Civilziation III. Reviewer Christian Schock said the game's graphics and sound are substantially better than previous Civilziation games. "Unit animation is strong, and each has nice movement and attack sequences. [...] Sound effects are as you might expect, primarily battle sounds. They are well done and perhaps a touch better than in previous games".

He said Civilization III is a fun game with a lot to offer, but it failed to make the Civilization II game experience better. "Sure there are improvements but they are balanced, in my opinion, with important problems that make the game less enjoyable. The bottom line is that serious Civilization fans will buy Civilization III no matter what I say and most likely enjoy playing it. But for my money, Civilization II is still the better game". He gave the game 4 out of 5 stars rating.

Thanks to Paul Morris for this news tip.


Infogrames Dominates PC Games Sales Charts
posted by Thunderfall at 2:34 AM

For the week ended November 10, 2001, Infogrames dominated the PC games sales charts, with four of its titles -- Backyard BasketballT, Sid Meier's Civilization® III, Backyard FootballT 2002 and Roller-Coaster Tycoon® -- ranking #1, #2, #4 and #5, respectively, according to NPD INTELECT. In addition, three other Infogrames titles - Roller-Coaster Tycoon Loopy Landscapes, Backyard BaseballT 2001 and the Thomas & FriendsT Railway Adventures CD_ROM Playset - were positioned in the Top 20, making Infogrames the week's dominant publisher of Top 20 PC games.

Source: Infogrames


Tuesday, November 27
TechTV's Civ3 Review: 4 out of 5 Stars
posted by Thunderfall at 3:56 PM

We just received words from TechTV that TechTV's Extended Play feature has reviewed Civ III. The review will air in this week's episode premiering Friday, November 30th at 8:30 PM EST on TechTV. The full review is already up on their website. The review talks about the many brilliant changes Firaxis made to the series as well as some small annoying problems. They gaved Civ3 4 out of 5 Stars rating.

Our thanks to Leticia Caparaz, web producer for Extended Play, for the notice.


Voodoo Extreme's Civ3 Review: 95/100
posted by Thunderfall at 3:39 PM

Voodoo Extreme posted an overwhelmingly positive Civ3 review last Thursday. The reviewer Manveer "Eidolon" Heir boldly declared "Civilization III is one of the finest turn-based strategy games ever created - period" and that he feared the departure of his loved ones. :) The rating he gave was 95 Percent. You can read the full review here.

Civilization III is just a flat out brilliant game - it seems the only person who can outdo Sid Meier, is Sid Meier himself. This is another addicting game that you very well could lose sleep and miss work over (I should know, I've done both). Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go bomb the Chinese - they broke our peace treaty.

Thanks to Apolyton for this news tip.


Ferrago UK's Civ3 Review: 93/100
posted by Thunderfall at 3:03 PM

Ferrago UK has just posted a very positive review of Civilization III. They awarded the game a rating of 93 Percent. You can read the full review here.

To conclude then, whilst Civ III may be something of a daunting prospect initially; it is however a hugely involving and vastly immersive game, that deserves a chance. I'm concerned it may be rather too slow for the action-orientated preference of modern gamers, however Civ III offers a far deeper experience than most real-time strategy titles. Epic, immersive, clever, addictive and ultimately brilliant.

Thanks to Luke Guttridge, Ferrago's Managing Editor, for informing us.


FLICster v0.1.2Beta Released
posted by Thunderfall at 1:18 PM

Moeniir has released FLICster v0.1.2beta with improved palette support. If you already have the previous version, you only need to download a small update patch for the program. The patch can be downloaded here.

PCGames.de's Civ3 Review: 85/100
posted by Thunderfall at 12:56 PM

German PC Games magazine has posted a Civilization 3 review on their website. The reviewer gave Civ3 a decent score of 85 Percent. Here is an excerpt of the review translated by BaBelFish:

Civilization 3 is as attractive as Cher in the morning after the OSCAR award. A few of my favourite films deliver with their Special Effects from the black-and-white era also no more good figure. I watch it nevertheless gladly and the same case with Civilization 3: I simply cannot stop playing.....The innovations are sufficient to let the old craze revive again. Here still another world miracle, there a new city and besides Montezuma shown that revenge not always which with failure to do have must.


Civilization III Reference
posted by Thunderfall at 2:14 AM

Our Civilization III Reference section is also online! The following reference files are available at launch:
  1. Frequently Asked Questions
  2. Civilization III Complete Reference File
  3. Informative Tech Tree
  4. Keyboard Shortcut Spreadsheet
  5. Hidden Info from the Rules
  6. Combat System Explained
  7. Combat Calculator (HTML)
  8. Combat Calculator (XLS)
  9. Details of Combat Odd Calculation
  10. Modmakers' Tutorial
  11. How to Create a Buildable Leader
  12. FLC Format Info

>> Enter Civilization III Reference


Civilization III War Academy
posted by Thunderfall at 1:02 AM

After some delay, the Civilziation III War Academy is officially open for business! We have gathered more than 20 good strategy articles that will undoubtedly help you improve your Civ3 skill. Here are the initial list of strategy articles in the Academy:
  1. Corruption Solutions
  2. War Strategies: some good advice on how to wage wars.
  3. Massive Despot Rush Strategy
  4. D-Day Recipes
  5. Culture Rush Strategy
  6. Deity Level Strategy
  7. Civilization III FAQ/Strategy Guide
  8. Railroad Madness
  9. Revisiting the Maginot Line
  10. City Trading Strategy
  11. Crippling the AI's Research Capability
  12. Capitol Isolating War-strategy
  13. Punishment Strategy
  14. Invading AI Continent in Modern Age
  15. The Best Wonders
  16. How to Earn More Money
  17. Revised Strategy for Emperor & Deity Level
  18. Initial Build Strategy
  19. Five Pillars for Success
  20. When to Sign Mutual Protection Pact
  21. The Perfect Strategy
  22. Short Tips
  23. Sneaky Tactics During Peace

Enjoy reading this fine collection of Civ3 strategies. :) If you see any good strategy article, let us know and we'll add it to the Academy.

>> Enter the War Academy!


Monday, November 26
Saved Game Editor v0.73.5 Released
posted by Thunderfall at 8:38 PM

Gramphos has released v0.73.5 of his Saved Game Editor. This new version has the ability to change difficulty levels of saved games and repair corrupt SAVs that generate the error "DATA IO Operating System Error: CITY" after the last Settler of a civ has been killed at sea.

Cool Civ3 Utilities!
posted by Thunderfall at 11:36 AM

Erik Tan has released a Civ3 Savegame Editor v0.22 Beta that can edit game date and technologies! We now have two different saved game editors (the other editor can edit unit starting positions). :)

And for those who missed this important news post posted yesterday...

Moeniir has created a tool that converts Civ3 Unit FLC files into STANDARD FLCs that can be edited with tools like Jasc Animation Shop, and then converts them back. We finally can make custom Civ3 units!!! You can download this great tool here!


Infogrames Serves Civ3 Fans With Cease and Desist
posted by Thunderfall at 2:37 AM

According to multiple articles on heise online (German only), the leader of an effort to localize Civilization III for Germany, Kai Fiebach, has been slapped with a cease and desist letter, including $500 lawyer bill from Infogrames Germany. A grassroots effort to help Kai and tell Infogrames off is forming.

"Background: Most European versions of Civ3 are late. With a slated release for March 2002, Kai and a group of Civ3 fans decided to translate portions of Civ3 to German and to make the result available as a set of files to be applied to the US on time for Christmas. Kai informed Infogrames of his effort and even offered to join forces with their localization team if only the game would be released sooner. Sadly, Infogrames reacted by sending Kai a cease and desist letter, alleging copyright infringement. The home page of the translation effort has already been taken down."

The reason for Infogrames' reaction seems to be that Infogrames Germany doesn't make a single penny on the US version of the game sold through Amazon Germany and other vendors.

Source: SlashDot

Thanks to Or Inanc and Shane Courtrille for the news tip.


New Civ3 Modpacks
posted by Thunderfall at 0:41 AM

Several new Civ3 modpacks are available for download:
  1. Minor tweaks to the rules [created by depresion]
    Tax Collectors now require Currency and make people in the city unhappy, Scientists require Literature, and both now produce 2 of the corisponding bonus. Adding to these are 3 new Citizen types: Radio Comics, and Economists.
  2. Triple your Governments mod BETA [created by ComradeRed]
    This mod changes the names of 2 governments, deletes one, and adds 11.
  3. Another Governments Patch [created by mercurycrusader]
    The Governments patch adds the following three governments: Fascism, Theocracy, and Socialism. It also replaces the tech "Communism" with "Collective Ownership", that will enable both Socialism and Communism.
  4. Population heads with larger Mood Badges [created by EvanCiv]
    Similiar to the previous Mood Badges but larger (15x15 vs. 8x8).
  5. Labels on Resources [created by Pggar]
    Strategic resources are labeled with shields and luxury resources are labeled with smliles on the main map.

Sunday, November 25
New Civ3 Strategy Forum
posted by Thunderfall at 11:38 PM

We created a sub-forum titled "Civ3 Strategy Articles" inside the Civ3 - Strategy & Tips forum yesterday. The purpose of this new forum is to organize strategy articles better and to act as a convenient place for new strategy article submissions. So if you have written a strategy article for Civ3, feel free to post it there. We encourage you to write strategy articles if you have some good strategies or advice. We will consider adding the strategy articles posted there to the Civilization III War Academy, which should be up soon.

The Strategy Articles forum currently has 3 articles:


Long Winded Changes v0.6 Released
posted by Thunderfall at 10:54 PM

Plutarck has released version 0.6 of the Long Winded Changes (LWC) mod. According to the author, this release fixes all known bugs and errors in version 0.5, in which was introduced 17 new units, 2 new resources, 3 new improvements, 3 new technologys, 2 new governments, 1 new wonder, and hordes of changes (not counting the 70+ changes in the original LWC mod). It also comes with an Installer and Updater. You can download this updated modpack here.

Swedish Civ3 Review
posted by Thunderfall at 10:09 PM

Computer Sweden, one of Sweden's biggest computer magazines, has posted a new Civ3 review today on their website. The review is titled "Civilization III - loved and hated" and is in Swedish. Here are some excerpts translated by Håkan Eriksson:

Sid Meier's Civilization III is back like in it's palmy days. But shine even more if you could play it over the Internet..... brings me back to my old patterns. The first day I played until three o'clock in the morning."

Thanks to Håkan Eriksson for this news tip.


MAKE YOUR OWN UNITS: FLICster 0.1.1 Beta
posted by Thunderfall at 9:56 PM

Moeniir has created a tool that converts Civ3 Unit FLC files into STANDARD FLCs that can be edited with tools like Jasc Animation Shop, and then converts them back. We finally can make custom Civ3 units!!! You can download this great tool in this thread in our Civ3 Utilities forum.

The FLC format discussion in this thread contributed to the creation of this program.


Friday, November 23
Guardian's Civ3 Review
posted by Thunderfall at 9:27 PM

British newspaper Guardian has a review of Civilization 3 in yesterday's issue (November 22). They seemed to agree with most reviewers as to the good and bad points of Civ 3 and awarded the game 4 out of 5 stars. duke o' york, one of our forum posters, has sent us the full text of the review:

The Civilization series has sold more than 4m copies since the original game first appeared over 10 years ago. The turn-based strategy action, mixed with an epic historical setting, has forced many gamers to forego sleep with its "just one more go" addictiveness. The latest installment is, on the surface, similar to its forefathers. As before, you begin at 4000BC, with little to start with and everything to play for. Competing against the other civilisations, your aim is to develop technologies, nurture communities and expand your empire so that, by 2050, you'll be flying to the stars. The game proceeds with each competitor making their move consecutively. Fans of real-time strategy games will find the pace slow.

However, given the complexity and attention to detail of the latter stages, the chance to weigh up options will be welcomed. None the less, initial impressions are slightly disappointing. Sure, the graphics have been tarted up a bit, but little else seems to have changed. However, start playing and the improvements become apparent. Culture, rather than brute force, is now important for expanding and developing your civilisations - build a library and university and you'll be annexing Philistine backwaters in no time. Elsewhere, combat-enhancing unique units, national borders and a living map have been added, while the menu system has been streamlined. Unfortunately the style of Civ 3 means the same elements that appeal to the fans will put others off. For example, the extensive micro-management necessary even in the early stages can be overwhelming while those with slower PCs will face delays as opponents make their move. And disappointingly, there is no multiplayer included. Despite this Civilization 3, with its subtle improvements, is a worthy update.

Many thanks to duke o' york for taking the time to type the review!


Brazilian Civ3 Review
posted by Thunderfall at 8:55 PM

Brazilian website Portal Terra has posted a review of Civilization III in Portuguese, giving it a perfect 5/5 "pac man" score. Below are some excerpts of the review, as translated by BabelFish:

The effort of the Firaxis producer was considerable -- Civ III bring an enormous amount of new developments in relation to the other games of the series. [..]

Exactly thus, [Civ III] obtains to capture the attention of the player with constant and diversified challenges, and will make many fans of the strategy games to promise to diverse same times itself that they will only play ' plus a turn '...

Our thanks to Mauricio Gibrin and Apolyton for this news tip.


GameSpot Instant Poll
posted by Thunderfall at 8:05 PM

GameSpot wants to know which recent PC game you are most thankful for in this Thanksgiving in their Instant Poll. The available choices are Aliens vs. Predator 2, Civilization III, Dark Age of Camelot, Flight Simulator 2002, Return to Castle Wolfenstein, The Sims: Hot Date, and Wizardry 8. Civilization III is currently in second place with 21 Percent or 2192 votes. Return to Castle Wolfenstein is in the lead with 31 Percent. Go vote for Civ3!

Italian Civ3 Review
posted by Thunderfall at 6:41 PM

Italian gaming site NextGame.IT has posted a Civilization III review. The review is in Italian, but you can use an online translator such as AltaVista's BabelFish to translate it into English. Here is an imperfect translation of part of the review:

With the units all animated, to the end turn out pleasant and for null annoying. Always good the sonorous effects, optimal instead the music that introduces numerous pieces from the known airs, plus some new truly optimal ones, between which it completely detaches a piece of pianoforte truly fantastic and adapted to was (that modern one) in which we will feel it. The interface customer is decidedly comfortable and allows to execute all is through mouse that through keyboard and adapted to the style of anyone. The version from we tried was that one in English, but the game will be translate in Italian like always. The handbook is like always complete, but still better it is the Civilopedia, true symbol of Civilization and main source of information care all the aspects of the game, obviously consultabile from the inside of the same one and with perfectly organized ipertestuale structure.

Thanks to Voyager's Site for the news tip.


Thursday, November 22
Forum is back online!
posted by Thunderfall at 11:10 PM

Hi everyone! It seems our forum's worst downtime is finally over. It was a very frustrating experience for all of us. I would like to thank you for your patience and Matrix for his help in handling the "crisis" while I was away. Let's hope it doesn't happen again anytime soon...

>> Visit the forum


Forum unavailable
posted by Matrix at 11:35 AM

As you probably noticed, our forum has been unavailable for almost a day. We don't know what the problem is, but we've informed our host, Telefragged, and asked to correct the problem as soon as possible. All we can do is wait.

Wednesday, November 21
New Civ2 Scenario: Fight for Freedom
posted by Thunderfall at 3:54 AM

Fight for Freedom is a very new scenario created by John Valdez (just received it an hour ago!). John Valdez created this scenario "in honor of our great country. It's a tribute to our war efforts and a way for civers to bomb bin Laden into oblivion." You can download this scenario here.

By the way, I am going home for Thanksgiving later today. The site will not be updated much for the rest of the week. I also won't be able to reply to emails. If you need to contact me, please use the forum's private messaging system. I wish all of you a great Thanksgiving, and don't forget that we still have other turkeys to shoot! :)


New Civ2 Utility Program: Pollution Calculator
posted by Thunderfall at 3:14 AM

Civ2 Pollution Calculator is a Microsoft Excel Spreadsheet designed for use in Civilization 2 to calculate the number of pollution icons that will appear in a city and the probability per turn that this city will pollute the map. This utility was created and submitted by Conditional Zenith.

>> Download this utility!


New Civ2 Scenario: Feudal Japan: The Way of the Samurai
posted by Thunderfall at 2:48 AM

Feudal Japan: The Way of the Samurai is a new Fantastic World scenario designed by Chris Wilcox. Your objective in this scenario is to lead one of the clans and unify feudal Japan, which was splitted into various factions (clans) after the Japanese defeated the Mongol invaders. The clans included The Hojo, The Uesugi, The Oda, The Mori, The Takeda, The Shimatzu, and The Imagaw. Can you become Shogun of Japan?

>> Download this scenario!
>> Related forum thread


New Civ2 TOT Scenario: Battle World War 2
posted by Thunderfall at 2:15 AM

Battle World War 2 is a new Test of Time scenario created by Curt Sibling. There are plenty of WW2 scenarios for Civ2, but very few of them are made exclusively for the Test of Time version. This is what makes this scenario so unique. If you have Test of Time, be sure to check out this scenario.

Five screenshots are available for your viewing pleasure: screen#1 screen#2 screen#3 screen#4 screen#5

>> Download this scenario!


New Civ2 Units
posted by Thunderfall at 2:08 AM

48 World War II units created by Kobayashi have been added to the Civ2 Unit Graphics Collection.

New Civ2 Reference: Custom Tech Tree Design
posted by Thunderfall at 1:28 AM

Kobayashi has written an useful document on how to design custom tech tree for Civ2 scenarios. It is added to our Civilziation II Reference section.

>> Read this guide


Tuesday, November 20
Civ3 on Newspapers
posted by Thunderfall at 9:26 PM

Aftonbladet, Sweden's biggest newspaper, gave Civilization III 5 out of 5 stars in a recent issue of the newspaper. Here are some short excerpts.

A fantastic journey through histroy....... Civ3 has all the things Civ2 had and more...... If you're going to buy one game this year, buy Civilization III!

The Danish newspaper Politiken also awarded Civilization III 5 out of 5 stars in their November 8th issue. They also had an article about Sid Meier, calling him the Father of Computer Gaming.

Our thanks to CivCenter for these two news tips.


Civ3CopyTool v0.65 Available
posted by Thunderfall at 7:29 PM

Gramphos has posted a new version (v0.65) of his Civ3CopyTool program today.

New Civ3 Maps
posted by Thunderfall at 6:38 PM

Several new Civ3 maps are available for download in our User-created Maps forum:
  1. Final Earth Map [made by Marla_Singer]
    A very nice looking map based on Miller's projection of the earth.
  2. Map of France + Surrounding Area [made by LouLong]
    Planned to be used as a base for French medieval scenario. Requires early trading (some roads built) and might be difficult for some starting points.
  3. Huge Earth Map v1.1 [made by Zeb_Fisher]
    A custom map of Earth to replace the map that came with the game. It is a 180 x 180 map. You will find that Europe is more formed as well as Asia and the Pacific.
  4. World map w/correct starting position for the English [made by KittenOfChaos]
    A custom map of Earth based on satyajedi's world map, with correct starting position for the English.
Our Civ3 Files section now has 57 files! If you have created something for Civ3, you can post it to the Completed Files forums.

New Civ3 Utility: Save Game Editor v1.01
posted by Thunderfall at 5:52 PM

Jimmyh has created a utility program that lets you change unit positions on the map. You will be able to create a world map with correct starting positions on the map using this program! Update: Now you can also edit the year of a saved game.

>> Download this program


Civ3 TV Commercial
posted by Thunderfall at 5:38 PM

In addition to running print ads in non-gaming magaines, Civ3 has invaded the History Channel! This is from an email I received from madrigal61:

I was watching a special about Ancient Egypt on the History Channel last night. What blew me away is that CIV3 was extensively advertised during the two hour special. It had Cleopatra and Joan of Arc talking in the diplomacy screen... It was the first time I've seen a game advertised on TV. :)

What's next? Civ3 commercial on radios!? :D


MFO's Civ3 Review: 5 Star & a Classic!
posted by Thunderfall at 5:16 PM

MrFixItOnline has posted an insightful review of Civilization III. In this review, the reviewer is able to see the game in both gamers' and developer's perspective and provides thoughtful analysis for each of the shortcomings or improvements in Civ3. This is one of the best Civ3 reviews IMO. Here is an excerpt:

It is this late game boredom that Civilization III has tried to address, and for the most part has been very successful. It encourages a smaller civilization by rewarding tightly knit empires, and punishing sprawling expansive ones. The game is now much more about macromanagement, than micromanagement; less cities means less pointless clicking.

Thanks to MFO's news editor Tim Partlett for the notice.


GamePen's Civ3 Review
posted by Thunderfall at 3:15 PM

GamePen has posted a pretty thorough review of Civilization 3 today. The review is 4-page long and is written by Brian Rubin. Rubin only had 2 minor gripes about the odd AI behavior (such as building city in every empty spot) and the lengthy turns later in the game. He declared Civ3 will undoubtedly delight old and new fans alike and wholeheartedly recommended the game. The GamePen review is also one of the few Civ3 reviews that touched the humor aspect of the game. :) GamePen awarded Civ3 a 4.5 out of 5 stars rating and also labeled it "Editor's Choice".

Suffice it to say, Civilization III is a fantastic game, that, while not without it's small share of problems, will undoubtedly delight old and new fans alike. Its combination of depth, detail, longevity, and fun, will ensure that it'll be on its fans hard drives for some times. While there are some problems, as mentioned before, they could probably fixed with a patch or two.

Thanks to GamePen's Jonah Falcon for informing us.


Monday, November 19
Freelancer's Civ3 Review
posted by Thunderfall at 11:37 PM

Freelancer has posted their Civ3 review a few days ago. The author claimed he has played the game thoroughly, but at the same time he said things like the game ends in year 2250 repeatedly. He gave Civ3 a low rating of 7.4/10. Despite the low rating, he said Civ3 is definitely worth buying. Here are some quotes from the review and my response:

In the game you can play up to the year 2250, but there will be no terra-forming, no sea plantations, no possibility to found a sea settlement.... the level of technologies of the year 2250 will just slightly surpass that of the humankind nowadays: the starship will be sent to Alpha for the third time though...

The game ends in year 2050. Just 49 years from now. :)

"For how long are the developers going to send the very same, just slightly redrawn, starship to space?" I should say that this question knocks me out. It's true...

I am surprised some people still don't see how much the game is changed. Just look at the new culture system, national borders, resource model, new combat model (including new combat system for air units), the new barter table in diplomacy, armies, unique units, new pathfinding system, better AI, 3 levels of waters, improved city governor, small wonders, etc. All these changes are significant changes from Civ2. The game is NOT just a facelift.

One needs a big hint book, otherwise he is fated to guess which key to press to perform some action.

All actions a unit can perform are listed at the middle-bottom of the screen. You don't need to guess which key to press. ;)


Conquer the World in 20 Turns?
posted by Thunderfall at 9:31 PM

GameSpot's Trey Walker, who preached non-violent approach to win games in Civilization 3 last week, is back with a follow-up article in this week's GameSpotting. Trey Walker managed to stay peaceful for 6030 years, from 4000 BC to 2030 AD. However, in 2030 AD, he could not resist his desire to conquer the world and started to invade the Iroquois, his former ally. This deviation from his peaceful approach left him "with an empire filled with starvation and civil unrest and a world filled with new enemies". The lesson: Don't start a war in the last minute! Here is an excerpt:

It wasn't only the enemy that didn't cooperate either. It turns out democracies don't like war. Almost as soon as I had changed the production orders on my cities, riots popped up across the map and war production ground to a halt. Didn't these people realize I had a world to conquer, and only 20 turns left to do it?

>> Read the article


Civ3 on New Scientist Magazine
posted by Thunderfall at 7:59 PM

The current issue of the New Scientist magazine, which doesn't usually advertise computer games, has a half-page ad for Civ3. Gerry Quinn described how Infogrames attempts to civililize readers of the New Scientist magazine in a PC.Strategic newsgroup post:

The only large image, taking up half the ad, is two huge chimneys pumping black smoke into a yellow polluted sky. The headline reads:
[Giant letters] IN YOUR WORLD
[Large letters] IS PROFIT THE PRIORITY?

The text, in its entirety, reads:

Civ III requires the careful and efficient utilisation of natural resources, which can yield significant income and strategic advantage. To succeed you must master production, which if uncontrolled can be catastrophic, resulting in pollution, causing Global Warming and climate change. Crucial economic and environmental decisions will be yours in Civ III - the game that tests your worldly judgement.

That's it folks. No screenshots. No mention of cities, armies or technologies. Maybe it's a subtle ploy to inveigle hippie types into the joys of world domination! Although why they think a science magazine has a readership so environmentally obsessed I don't know. If I saw an ad like that for a game I didn't know anything about, it would turn me right off it...

I bet Infogrames must be running ads like that in magazines related to history, trade, military, politics, space science, or any other field. :D


PC Gamer Civ3 Review
posted by Thunderfall at 7:30 PM

The holiday edition of the PC Gamer magazine has a review of Civilziation III. Civ3 was made one of the "Editor's Choice" and scored a 92 Percent. The next issue of PC Gamer will include some Civ3 tips.

Our thanks to Becka for this news tip.


CivFanatics Forum Rules v2.0
posted by Thunderfall at 4:49 PM

Our forum rules page is finally updated! You can read it here.

Notice: Our forum is currently down (since 5:11 PM EST). We have notified our host about the problem. Sorry for the inconvenience...

UPDATE: The forum is back online after 4 hours of downtime.


Sunday, November 18
New Civ3 Modpack: Build Queue w/Easy to Understand Info
posted by Thunderfall at 9:58 AM

Nemo has created a variation of Il Mafioso's Usability Modpack. Instead of using bars to show the maintenance cost, culture produced, and # of units a unit can transport, this modpack uses a music symbol to represent culture, an up-arrow to represent upgradability, and a money symbol to represent cost.

To make your life even easier, Nemo has included an auto-install and auto-uninstall program for this mod. Just extract the mod to your Civilization III folder, double click install, and play!

>> Download this modpack


Saturday, November 17
Civ of the Week: The Germans
posted by Thunderfall at 3:18 PM

The Germans are this week's Civ of the Week at Civ3.com.

Friday, November 16
Bush & Clinton Leader Images for Civ3
posted by Thunderfall at 5:50 PM

thecrazyroach, the same guy who created the Taliban custom civ, has posted 2 sets of animated leader images of Bill Clinton and George Bush for use with Civ3. You can fire Lincoln and let Bush or Clinton lead the American civ. :D

Dutch Mod v2.5 Released
posted by Thunderfall at 5:35 PM

dgerards has released version 2.5 of the Dutch custom Civ modpack for Civ3.

Civ3 Modmakers Tutorial
posted by Thunderfall at 5:15 PM

Plutarck has written a comprehensive tutorial on how to add new units, improvements, Wonders, technologies, and resources to Civilziation III. The tutorial takes you through the process with step-by-step instructions and gives several concrete examples.

Thursday, November 15
Massive Civ3 Screenshots Section Update
posted by Thunderfall at 11:36 PM

Our Civ3 screenshots section has been completely revamped! The old development screenshots are replaced by 153 brand new full screenshots covering every aspect of the game. Also, we now use an automated gallery system for the section. You will find it much easier to view the screenshots. Check it out!

Gamitopia's Civ3 Review
posted by Thunderfall at 2:51 PM

Gamitopia's Civiliation 3 review is online. The reviewer seemed to enjoy the game on his 450 MHZ machine and gave it a high score of 93. Here is an excerpt:

Civilization III is a game that is for sure to please Civilization fans, especially those looking for some updated and improved gameplay. If you haven't played any of the Civilization games yet then this game is definitely something you should look into. Just make sure you are ready for a few days without sleep.

Thanks to BluesNews.


Civilization 3 the Best-Selling Game
posted by Thunderfall at 2:23 PM

Strategy ruled the PC gaming charts the week of October 28-November 3, but the action genre showed it still has bite. It is no surprise that Infogrames' Civilization 3 and Civilization 3 Collector's Edition landed the top two spots following its release on October 30. Microsoft's new Zoo Tycoon animal park sim also performed well, selling enough copies to place third. Aliens vs. Predator 2 showed action games still have legs -- as well as teeth and claws -- by appearing in the number nine spot following its release. Here are the top ten selling PC titles for the week:
  1. Civilization 3 from Infogrames Entertainment
  2. Cilization 3 Collector's Ed from Infogrames Entertainment
  3. Zoo Tycoon from Microsoft
  4. The Sims from Electronic Arts
  5. Dark Age of Camelot from Vivendi Universal Publishing
  6. Stronghold from Gathering of Developers
  7. Command & Conquer: Red Alert 2 Yuri's Revenge from Electronic Arts
  8. Flight Simulator 2002 Pro from Microsoft
  9. Aliens vs. Predator 2 from Vivendi Universal Publishing
  10. MS Asheron's Call: Dark Majesty from Microsoft
Source: Avault

Wednesday, November 14
New Civ3 Files of the Day
posted by Thunderfall at 9:54 PM

Lots of new Civ3 modpacks are available in our Completed Modpacks forums:
  1. RK's Historical Still Leader Images Mod v0.5
    This mod allows you to replace all animated and still images of the leaders in Civ3 with historical or otherwise well-known still images of the same leaders. The pack also includes a few alternative leaders for the included civs (Napoleon, Henry V, FDR).
  2. EvanCiv's Population heads with tiny mood badges
    This mod adds little smily images to the original Civ3 citizen icons so you can see which citizen is happy, content, or unhappy at a glance.
  3. MonkSpider's Balancer Modpack v1.0
    This mod changes the rules of the game signficantly to make the game more "balanced". The complete list of changes are listed in the thread.
  4. el presidente's Ultra-Super-Max-Plus-Xtreme Civ 3 Patch
    This mod adds 4 new governments: Feudalism, Fascism, Fundamentalism and New World Order. Rules for naval units, city walls, resource, and unit upgrade have been modified.
  5. dutcheese's Air Superiority Work Around
    To get around the Air Superiority BUG Air Power was disabled. This means no one can build the following Units: Fighter, Bomber, Jet Fighter, Stealth Fighter and Bomber, F-15.
  6. Qelebex's Government Mod v0.91
    Communism is made immune to technology theft, Democracy is replaced by Capitalism, Fundamentalism , Fascism, and Social Democracy are added.
  7. thecrazyroach's Taliban Civ with Graphics
    This mod adds the civilization 'Taliban' to the game. It replaces the Iriquois. Take your agressions out on Osama Bin Laden!
  8. thecrazyroach's New Terrorist Unit
    Adds a unit called terrorist to the game. The unit has all worker abilities, looks like the modern worker. On attack (bombard), runs like a worker, explodes and dies like a cruise missile. 1 shot attack. is stealth and nationality is hidden.
As always, be sure to backup the original files before you install a mod so you can go back easily if you don't like the changes.

>> Civ3 Creation & Customization forum


Forum Login Problem?
posted by Thunderfall at 11:54 AM

If you have problem logging into the forum, please read this thread in the Site Feedback forum for possible solutions.

New Civ2 Scenario Reviews
posted by Thunderfall at 11:36 AM

The Scenario Reviews section has been updated with two new reviews: Thanks to willemvanoranje and Kobayashi for the reviews. If any of you would like to submit your own scenario reviews, you can use this standard review form as a guide. We welcome review submissions from players.

>> Enter Scenario Reviews


Five New Civ3 Reviews
posted by Thunderfall at 3:45 AM

If you are still not convinced that Civilziation III is a great game, the following overwhelmingly positive reviews should persuade you. Resistance is futile! :)
  • GameVision's Civ3 Review: 98/100 [FUN]
    "Sporting an entirely new look and feel, an updated AI system, and some incredible new tactics which can be employed, Civilization III is most definitely the finest turn-based strategy game to grace the PC, and will likely remain that way for some time."
  • TFH Gaming's Civ3 Review: 94.0/100
    "Sid Meier and the Firaxis team have again created the epitome of excellent strategy gaming with Civilization III. It's a must-buy for any strategy fan, war gamer, or micromanagement aficionado. Thanks to its substantial depth, brilliant design, fun animations, and infinite replayability, it will also certainly captivate almost anyone (why build a mere roller coaster, when you can build the Great Wall?)"
  • Happy Hippo's Civ3 Review: 5 out of 5 Stars
    "I think that Sid Meier and his team succeeded at this not only once but twice - Civilization 3 is even better than Civilization 2 was. The game has (among other things) gained the good innovations of Alpha Centauri, and some annoying unnecessary overhead has been removed from the game. Just one advice when you buy this game: take a week (or more) off, you won't do anything else but play this!" (Source: ToTheGame)
  • Entertainment Depot's Civ3 Review: 9/10
    "With vast improvements in almost every possible area, Sid Meier's long-running series has definitely found a worthy heir within Civilization III...... Civilization III is just as good as any of its classic predecessors, becoming a classic all its own. Close the blinds and prepare your favorite source of caffeine: those sleepless nights full of "just one more turn" Civilization games are back." (Source: BluesNews)
  • ActionTrip's Civ3 Review: 92/100 [Editor's Choice]
    "Civilization III is, simply put, a fantastic game which preserved all the good qualities of its predecessors and introduced many innovative features. Once you install the game, you can expect to have many a sleepless night before you finally win and dominate your opponents." (Source: BluesNews)

Tuesday, November 13
Games Domain Civ3 Review
posted by Thunderfall at 3:13 PM

Games Domain posted their review of Civilization III yesterday. The reviewer recognized the improvements made in the interface and graphics, and he praised the replay feature, Civ-specific units, and the new resource system. Despite these improvements, the reviewer felt that the progress made is not enough. He gave Civ3 4 out of 5 stars.

The progress made in this installment is a little disappointing, but that said, Civ III does continue the franchise's tradition of delivering the very best that the genre has to offer, making it worthy of a hearty recommendation to newcomers and even devoted Civ fans who simply must have the latest and greatest. Perhaps the inevitable expansion pack will deliver the goods for the rest of us.


Editing FLC Files in Civ3
posted by Thunderfall at 12:40 PM

As you probably know already, the unit animations in Civ3 are saved in a non-standard FLC format. Programs such as Jasc Animation Shop that can read or edit standard FLC files can't read the FLC files in Civ3. Firaxian Dan Magaha provided more info about Civ3's FLC format and some tips on how to edit the units in a forum post:

Most programs that can write FLC files out can create FLCs which will work for leader animations. Units are a different beast, because we store special information in the FLC header which tells the game how many directions the animation has, what the x and y offset of the animation are, and so on.

Check out Pro Motion. You can download it for free (30 day trial) and it should read all of our FLCs. You can use it to create leader animations as well. I am hopeful that we'll have a solution for allowing you guys to create unit FLCs in the near future, but nothing is set in stone.

As for palette, the units are indeed palettized. It's how we do team colors. The easiest way I can think to get the palette is to load a single frame of a FLC, save the palette out, and then re-palettize the frames your new animation using that palette. DeBabelizer works wonders with repalettizing. IIRC, the leader animations are not palettized so you've got more freedom there. Hope this clears up some confusion.

Thanks Dan for the info.

>> Related discussion thread


Monday, November 12
Civ3CopyTool v0.61
posted by Thunderfall at 10:41 PM

Gramphos has released v0.61 of the Civ3CopyTool program. This new version adds the ability to export or import units.

New Civ3 Map: Improved North America Map
posted by Thunderfall at 10:36 PM

RangerOne314 has released an improved version of the North America 100x100 map. The rivers have been edited to make them look better and resources are now placed realistically on the map.

New Civ3 Map: Greatly Improved World Map
posted by Thunderfall at 10:29 PM

satyajedi has released a new 256 x 256 World Map to correct some of the glaring failures of the origional map that shipped with Civ3.
  • Japan is now in East Asia, as opposed to South East Asia, and is now four islands rather than two.
  • Hawaii and Alaska have been greatly reduced in size.
  • New Zealand exists, as does Taiwan.
  • The Arabian pennisula is now well defined.
  • Europe is far larger, with room for several major powers, and is also much better defined.
  • The Milddle East is completely reworked.
  • South Africa, which before had a bizarrely sharpened edge to the contininent, is now appropriately round.
There are many other changes in addition to the ones listed above. You can view the complete list and download this much improved world map here.

New Custom Civ: Swedish Civilization
posted by Thunderfall at 10:20 PM

A new custom civilization, the Swedish, is available for download in our Completed Modpacks forum. Here are some info about the civ:
  • Modified Civ: The Germans
  • Leader: King Gustav II Adolf
  • Capital: stockholm
  • Abilities: Industrious & Scientific
  • Special Unit: Light Artillery (a cannon with one +1 move and +1 bombard)
  • Great Leaders: Karl X, Karl XII, Oxenstierna, Gustav Vasa, Torstensson.
You can download this custom Civ here.

New Civ3 Modpack: Long Winded Changes beta v0.1
posted by Thunderfall at 10:03 PM

Plutarck has released beta v0.1 of his Civ3 modpack titled Long Winded Changes. This modpack has well over 50 rules changes spanning all the ages, as well as general game settings and alterations. Here are some of the key chnages:
  • Balances and improves Naval warfare throughout the ages.
  • Balances and improves some Ground units, Special Units, and Air units.
  • Gives Jungles the same resource output as Forests, making them usable but not as good as Forests.
  • Notably reduces corruption in various ways. It still isn't a pushover, but it's more managable now.
  • Introduces a small amount of "negative culture" for some industrial buildings.
  • Makes Cruise Missles and Privateers actually usable!
  • Alleviates some amount of strategic resource dependence in the late game by various means.
The complete list of changes can be found in the mod's ReadMe.

>> Download this modpack


Special Offer for CivFanatics Visitors
posted by Thunderfall at 7:55 PM

To celebrate the release of Civilization III in Europe this week, we have teamed up with Gamer UK, one of Europe's fastest growing computer games retailer, to offer our visitors Civilisation 3 for a special price of £19.99.

Shipping to any country in Europe is free and shipping to countries outside Europe cost £4.

Click here to order Civ3 at the discounted price!


GameSpotting
posted by Thunderfall at 6:39 PM

There is a fun mention of Civilziation III in the latest edition of GameSpotting on GameSpot. Trey Walker, PC News Editor and a die-hard TBS fan, discusses the non-violent cultural approach to win Civilization III and how it has made him a better person.

Thanks to Adam Wallock for the news tip.


Civ3 Font Bug Fix
posted by Thunderfall at 5:05 PM

A lot of users have experienced a strange font problem in Civilziation III where the fonts are blocky and ugly and the spacing is wrong. There is a quick fix to this problem: all you need to do is uninstall or delete the Windows version of Lucida Sans Regular located at c:\windows\fonts\lucidasansregular.ttf if you use Windows 98.

More info about this bug are available in the following forum threads:


Sunday, November 11
Sid Meier on Defeating the Taliban
posted by Thunderfall at 2:42 PM

Independent journalist site Ink Syndicate posted an article about the war on Afghanistan yesterday that only Civers can understand. ;) The article attempts to answer the question "What can a beleaguered President do to win this war -- and keep his job?" by using Sid Meier's concept of Civilization. You will see Bush has numerous options, including switching the government to Monarchy and bribing the enemy, in this funny article.

Lots of New Civ2 Scenarios!
posted by Thunderfall at 1:13 PM

It will be months before we see the first Civ3 scenario. In the mean time, why not indulge yourself in some Civ2 scenarios? We have an interesting variety of scenarios in this update. Whatever your taste, you surely will enjoy some of these scenarios:
  • Greek Colony [created by Goingonit]
    This is a scenario of the Greek colonization of the Mediterranean from roughly 700-500 B.C.
  • The Odyssey [created by Paul Cullivan]
    The Odyssey is an adventure scenario based upon Homer's epic Bronze Age tale. The scenario opens as the final events of the Trojan War unfold. Among the Greek besiegers is Odysseus of Ithaca, and this is the story of his incredible, adventure-filled journey home.
  • Seeds of Greatness [created by Paul Cullivan]
    This scenario recaptures that "Start from Scratch" thrill! The Tech Tree, Units, Wonders, and City Improvements are all new and historically appropriate to the world of the Ancient Near East. As a special bonus, each of the Seven Civilizations has it's own customized Event file, so no game will ever be the same!
  • Das Dritte Reich [created by INSURGENT]
    A very detailed scenario about World War II in Europe.
  • Mobile Suit Gundam [created by Timothy Fowlkes]
    This is a revamping of the Rbotech scenario. This scenario covers the One Year War as seen in the Japanese anime TV show Mobile Suit Gundam. Your job as the Earth Federation is to drive back the Zeon forces. As the Principality Of Zeon, to conquer Earth.
  • One Week Battle [created by Timothy Fowlkes]
    This scenario depicts the One Week Battle spoken of in the Japanese anime series Mobile Suit Gundam.
  • The World of 1600 [created by GeeForce]
    The Spanish Empire is now the largest the world has seen since the Mongol empire of Asia. The British and French Struggle to set up colonies along side their Spanish counterpart while the Russians explore Siberia. The Ottoman Empire is stronger than ever and ready to take the Safavid Empire to the east. Further east the Chinese and Japanese wage endless war. Can you change the course of history?
  • World War II in Eurasia [created by Peter Gilyen]
    This scenario is based upon the standard European WW2 scenario that comes along with Civ2. The map was extended so that it includes Easter Siberia, China and Japan as well. The Spanish, Turkish and Neutral players were united into one Neutral player in order to make place for a Japanese and a Chinese one.

Have fun playing these scenarios. Scenario Authors: If you submitted your scenario but don't see it posted, please re-send it to us.

>> Civilization II Downloads Collection


Icedan(Sn00py)'s Terrain Graphics Modpack
posted by Thunderfall at 9:58 AM

Icedan (aka Sn00py)'s complete terrain graphics modpack is complete! This modpack is composed of five smaller mods, some of them were released earlier.
  1. New graphics for irrigation
  2. Rocky Mountain & Hills
  3. Rivers
  4. Distinct looking trees and forests
  5. Blue water, greener grassland, and raised land
You can download these modpacks in one convenient file, or you can download them separately. Thanks to Icedan for making this beautiful modpack.

>> Download this modpack!


Saturday, November 10
Civ3.com Updates
posted by Thunderfall at 7:38 PM

I was too busy playing Civ3 yesterday and forgot to post about the new Civ of the Week and other updates on the official site. The following sections on Civ3.com were updated:
  • The French are this week's Civ of the Week!
  • The Screenshot of the Week shows the screen after the Spaceship win.
  • A new Ask the Civ3 team mailbag has been posted. This latest edition answered questions on mobilization, canceling of existing agreements, army, embassy creation, railroads, color-blind patch, and finally corruption.
BTW, if you have suggestions for Civ3, you can submit them to Firaxis via this feedback form.

Unofficial Civ3 FAQ
posted by Thunderfall at 7:22 PM

Meneer Popken has compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQ) in our Civ3 forum. The FAQ answers many questions regarding city growth, embassies, espionage, railroads, etc. You should read the FAQ first before opening new help threads in the forum. Thanks to Meneer for making this helpful FAQ.

Upcoming Updates
posted by Thunderfall at 7:09 PM

More than a dozen new Civ2 files will be added by tomorrow. We have some new scenarios, maps, and unit graphics. Stay tuned!

GamesDomain Civ3 Contest
posted by Thunderfall at 6:50 PM

GamesDomain is giving away 5 FREE copies of Civilziation III in a contest opened to UK residents only. You only need to answer 1 easy question to enter the contest. Visit this page for more info and enter the contest.

New Civ3 Modpacks
posted by Thunderfall at 4:09 PM

Lots of NEW Civ3 modpacks are available for download in our Completed Modpacks forum:
  1. Dutch Mod: Play as the Dutch! (created by dgerards)
  2. Well rounded mod (created by lion575)
  3. Civ 3 Fundamentalism Govt Patch (created by Kino)
  4. Spanish Civilization + Fascism + Fundamentalism mod (created by valrond)
  5. Smiley People - a Fun and useful Graphic Mod (created by Il Mafioso)
  6. Civ3 Citizens Downgrade to Civ1 Citizens (created by Morten Blaabjerg)
  7. Corruption/Resources Mod (created by Flak)
You can download these modpacks here. Thanks everyone for sharing these mods. Keep them coming! :)

Forum is back online!
posted by Thunderfall at 2:18 PM

The forum problem is fixed! Click here to enter the forum.

Forum is down :(
posted by Thunderfall at 1:35 PM

Our forum has been down since 11:45 AM EST. This is the first time the forum is down since we moved the forum to a new server nearly 3 weeks ago. We have informed our host about the problem...hopefully they can fix the problem soon. We'll let you know as soon as the forum is back online.

Two New Civ3 Reviews
posted by Thunderfall at 12:13 PM

It's interesting that people have very different opinion for the same game. Some people are helplessly addicted to the latest game in the series, but a few other people are so disappointed that they had returned the game to the store.

Positive review first: In a review posted at Corona's Lost Hours website today, reviewer Rob "Dingo" Mineault gave the game a very high rating: 9.5/10. Here are just some of his praises for Civ3:

This new version of the game takes the basic concepts and game play elements of the original and improves upon them, creating a faithful and damnably-addicting reinvention that proves to be more intuitive and balanced than ever before. Good news for gamers, bad news for gamers' loved ones. ...... The important aspect to this isn't so much the host of changes, but the fact that every single change benefits game play. Sure there will be people who will be upset with certain omissions and changes, but the game benefits in the long run and makes a strong game even stronger.

DrunkGamers's buzby was not impressed by the game. In a review posted yesterday, he called Civ3 a huge disappointment and that Civ3 offers nothing new. He said he can't help but feel that he played this game 10 years ago.

And that's where Civ 3 falls short. It adds nothing new. It's essentially the same game I played in 1993 but with better graphics. Reminds me of my high school reunion. I was expecting a great time, but when I got there everything was the exact same it was a decade ago, but everyone has a little more meat on them. Don't get me wrong, the game is still great. It's just not any better that any other strategy game on the market today.

Thanks to P. Kucharski and gfunk for the news tip.

>> Read Corona's Lost Hours's Civ3 Review
>> Read DrunkGamers's Civ3 Review


Thursday, November 8
Civilization III Wonders Reference
posted by Thunderfall at 9:03 PM

Our reference pages for Civ3 Wonders are now online. The Wonders section is consisted of two pages: page 1 is for Great Wonders and page 2 is for Small Wonders. Check out the new section.

Six New Civ3 Maps!
posted by Thunderfall at 9:04 AM

The following new Civ3 maps are available for download in our map database:
  • Map of Europe 100x100 v1.0, created by RangerOne314
  • Map of Africa 100x100 v1.0, created by RangerOne314
  • Pacific Map v1.0 100x100, created by RangerOne314
  • Island Map, created by qslack
  • A better World Map, created by npburg
  • Lakeland, created by Snapcase.
Thanks everyone for creating & sharing the maps! You can download these maps in the User-Created Maps forum.

Two New Civ3 Reviews
posted by Thunderfall at 0:47 AM

There are two new Civ3 reviews at AllOutGames and Invisible Dream. Thanks to BluesNews.

Wednesday, November 7
Civ3 Resources
posted by Thunderfall at 8:23 PM

Our reference page for the resources in Civ3 is up. Check it out!

New Civ3 Modpack: Fascist Patch
posted by Thunderfall at 4:54 PM

Good news! Steven Strayer, the creator of the popular Fascist Patch for Civ2, has released a Fascists patch for Civ3 a few days ago. The patch can be downloaded at the Fascist Modpack Homepage. A link to the modpack is provided in our Civ3 Completed Modpacks forum.

Tuesday, November 6
GeekRated: The Oil will Flow!
posted by Thunderfall at 5:22 PM

GeekRated, a new geek site, has posted a new review of Civilziation 3. The review is quiet unique. It begins with an interesting (long) story that describes Joan of Arc's quest to find more oil for her empire. Here is an exerpt from the story:

"Saint our oil has run out!" says the disheveled domestic advisor. "Damn it, that's our only source! None of the other nations know what its good for and have not set up the industry to process it." Saint Joan of Arc responds. After a few tense moments General Napoleon stands ups on his chair to look Joan in the eye and with an unfaltering voice declares "Let me handle this one. I have had my people look at the maps of the other nations and have located a source deep in China's territory that we have confirmed contains two untapped oil fields.

The reviewer then talks about the new things in the game and lists a few minor gripes. He gave Civ3 4.5/5 stars rating.

Thanks to Shane Hennessy for the news tip.


New Civ3 Modpack: Less Yellow Modpack
posted by Thunderfall at 3:59 PM

After looking thru all the graphics files in the Civ3 folder last night, I decided to change the color balance of the terrain files so they appear more "fresh". The result is this modpack which I called "Less Yellow Modpack".

This modpack makes the game brighter and more pleasant to the eyes by reducing the amount of yellow color in the game's terrain graphics. There is also greater contrast between terrain and terrain objects such as goodyhuts and cities. It is a graphics modpack and doesn't change the rules of the game.

Screenshot: Before After

You can download this modpack here.


Game of the Month IX Results
posted by Matrix at 2:13 PM

The results of the GOTM IX (for Civ II) are posted! As everyone tried to let America dominate the world as good and fast as possible, Smash appeared to be best in it. He is followed by chofritz and Duke of Markbrough in the ranking. Congratulations. ;)

Though this was a tough game, 61 people participated in it. It seems the GOTM feature keeps on growing.

>> Civ II Game of the Month IX results
>> Civ II Game of the Month section


New Civ3 Map: North America
posted by Thunderfall at 10:10 AM

RangerOne314 has posted a North America map to the User-created Maps forum. The dimension of the map is 100x100 and was converted and scaled from a 75x120 Civ2 map.

You can download this map here. If you have created a map for Civ3, feel free to post it in the User-created Maps forum.


14635 Uniques
posted by Thunderfall at 0:22 AM

Since the release of Civilization III, we have been seeing a record number of visitors to the site. We crossed the 10,000 daily unqiues threshold on November 2nd. And according to HitBox, more than 14,630 unqiue visitors visited the site yesterday (5th), with a total of 95,573 page views!

Our forum is also experiencing dramatic growth. For the past several days, we have been getting 100+ new members a day. The total number of members is 3750 at the time of writing. We should reach 4000 members and 100,000 total posts in no time. :)

Thanks everyone for supporting CivFanatics! You can expect a major update of the Civ3 section tomorrow. Stay tuned!


Monday, November 5
New Civ3 Modpack: Civ3 Usability Pack 1.0
posted by Thunderfall at 10:30 PM

Alessandro, the same guy who brought you the Improved Wonder Pics modpack and the Elvis modpack, is back with a new modpack called "Civ3 Usability Pack"! Without altering the game's rules, this mod provides new images for the icons in the production roster (the panel that shows all the things you can build in a city). The new images provide you with essential info such as unit's upgradability, maintenance cost of city improvememnts, transport capacity, # of culture points, etc. This mod can facilitate your gameplay greatly!

Download this modpack!


m3dia: History of Civilization
posted by Thunderfall at 9:53 PM

m3dia online has posted a pretty good editorial article about the history of the Civilziation series. This article was posted on the 29th, before Civ3 was released. Here is a quote from the article:

Ah yes. Civilization. The word alone can make any experienced gamer fall back in a nostalgia so strong, that even a doctor would be unable to wake them from the coma. But there isn't only Civilization, oh no. We can also add a 2 to it (That would be Civilization 2, for the cerebrally challenged) and hopefully soon a 3. But let's start with the simple Civilization.

Thanks to Peter Wilkinson for the news tip.


Other New Civ3 Files of the Day
posted by Thunderfall at 8:49 PM

Here are other new Civ3 files released today:
  1. All Special Units mod: Every civ can create every special unit, at a bit higher cost than normal.
  2. Cure for Curruption: This modpack reduces corruption in Civ3.
  3. Elvis Advisor v2.0 is released.
  4. New Civilization - Quebecois: This mod adds a new Civ called Quebec to the game.
These files can be downloaded in the Civ3 Completed Modpacks forum.

Civilization III Combat Calculator
posted by Thunderfall at 8:21 PM

There have been lots of talks in the forum about the return of the "killer phalanx". Some people complained that their armor got killed when they attack a city guarded by a single pikeman. I have not encountered this kind of bizar outcome in my game so far. My Persian Immortals can kill units such as spearman and archer in my GOTM game with ease! :)

If you want to know the probability of a unit winning a combat under different circumstances, you can check out the Combat Calculators in this thread. The calculators are created by Valant2, Xerxes314, and FortyJ. Valant2 formulated the formula to calculate combat odds, Xerxes314 incorporated the formula into his combat odd program, and FortyJ takes the program one step further by adding all the units to the program so all you need to do is select the attacker, defender and the appropriate modifiers (such as whether the defender is inside a city).


Download Problem Fixed
posted by Thunderfall at 6:03 PM

Our file server experienced some problems and was down for many hours today. The problem is fixed now. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Tribes for Civilization 2!
posted by Woke at 12:23 PM

Civ fanatics ladder is proud to present tribes for civilization 2! So if you are fed up with playing civ3 already, pay us a visit and start playing Civilization 2 in teams for the the tribal ladder

What is a tribe? A tribe is like a clan, a group of players, mostly friends, that play in a team against other teams/tribes. This feature gives you the opportunity to learn a whole new concept of civ2. You do not necessarily have to be a very good player to win a tribe game. Good coordination, trading and joint tactics are vital to win a tribe game.


New Civ3 Modpack: Civ2 Style City Icons
posted by Thunderfall at 12:04 PM

Morten Blaabjerg has created a modpack that changes the icons on the Civ3 city screen to Civ2 style icons.

  • Culture icon replaced by bible-icon, which makes more sense to me, since libraries and temples hardly produce any music.
  • Smiley replaced by elvis, with and without shades, for content and happy citizen.
  • All other icons changed to civ2 MGE style, shields, coins, trade, corruption/waste etc.
You can download this modpack here.

Sunday, November 4
Hacked Civ III Editor
posted by Thunderfall at 10:56 AM

Donarumo managed to hack the Civ3 Editor to reveal the DELETE and RENAME buttons for many of the Editor windows! Firaxis programmmer Mike Breitkreutz explained why those buttons are hidden:

Clearly, this functionality was needed during the creation of the game. However, we did not feel it received adequate testing to make it available in the released version of the game. In addition, in yesterday's chat I made mention of some graphical glitches that were discovered that make it difficult to modify some of the art and thus support for additional art was not implemented in the editor. Without the ability to add art, the ability to add units, for example, is pointless, so I disabled the feature temporarily. I did not, however, remove the functionality completely as I intend to fix these limitations. Be aware, though, that some of the items were never intended to have add/delete support and are only in there for development purposes. In other words, use these hacks at your own risk.

So use it with caution...

This hack was originally posted at Apolyton. Thanks to Donarumo for letting us add the hack to our database.

>> Download this modpack here!


Elvis is back!!!
posted by Thunderfall at 9:46 AM

Alessandro (aka Il Mafioso), the same person who created he Improved Wonder Pics mod, has released a new modpack that makes the King as your domestic advisor!

I dunno about you, but I was kind of pissed that CivIII's domestic advisor wasn't Elvis. So I told Mary Blandish (my name for the former domestic advisor) to take a hike, and hired the King.

This Mod will NOT affect the game in any way other than stated

You will find The King as your domestic advisor. I provided him with appropriate attire for the 4 eras, and of course, just like the built-in advisors Elvis can be Happy, Mad, Sad or Surprised.

Of course Elvis also has his little head on the bar on the left of the advisor screens. Basically after you install these two files, it will be as if The King had come with the game to begin with.

Download this cool modpack here!


Slashdot: Civilization III Rocks
posted by Thunderfall at 0:28 AM

Slashdot has posted a Civ3 review written by ruebarb. ruebarb praised the game's realistic border and cultural systems. He only had a minor complaint about the interface and recommended the game to the slashdot community.

First off, this game is a major change in structure and feel to the Civ. series. Quite honestly, this is probably a good thing.
......
I have a couple of minor issues....most of the menus are relocated and are kinda hard to find. And I never liked those advisors in the first couple of games..and now they're intergrated...but overall, it's been a long time since I've been pleased with a game like this...This is the game you feel like telling the /. community is worth buying a copy of Win98 for.

>> Read the full review


Saturday, November 3
Joystick101: Stocking up on sleep
posted by Thunderfall at 11:59 PM

Joystick101.org posted a pretty good Civ3 review written Kurt Squire (co-founder of Joystick101) a few days ago. In addition to an amusing story about his encounter at a local Electronics Boutique, he has some pertinent things to say about the game. I found myself agreeing with much of what he wrote in the review.

First, let me say that after 8-10 hours, I can say it's good, but it's different -- far more different than I anticipated. I was expecting pretty much a cosmetic make-over with the "culture" bit thrown in, but the new gameplay mechanisms create a different different gameplay -- I'm finding many of my old tried-and-true strategies don't work.
......
Kudos to Firaxis for trying something different with one of the most successful franchises in gaming. Will it live up to the legacy of the original Civ or Civ2? It will take more than 1 or 2 days (and nights) of gaming to answer that one. Part of what makes this series great is its immense replayability. At first glance, this sequel loooks like a worthy successor.l

>> Read the full review


Ask sk0tie
posted by Thunderfall at 9:52 PM

It seems Infogrames has "moved" their base of operation for Civ3 tech support to our Civ3 Problems & Help forum. :) sk0tie, who works for Infogrames Tech Support, has been actively helping players resolving problems and has offered some concret advice on how to fix problems. If you have problem running Civ3 on your PC, visit this thread and ask sk0tie!

Our thanks to sk0tie for taking the time to help players.


New Civ3 Utility: Civ3CopyTool
posted by Thunderfall at 8:27 PM

Civ3CopyTool is a very useful utility program written by Gramphos. It lets you add five more civs to the Player Setup screen, effectively increasing the number of available civs to 21.

However, you can't play the game with 21 civs at the same time because there is a limit of 16 civs in one game. This tool simply allows you to have a wider selection of Civs, or add new Civs (such as the Canadians) without sacrificing existing ones.

>> Download the program in this thread


List of Great Leaders in Civ3
posted by Thunderfall at 7:47 PM

JBearIt has compiled an interesting list of all the Great Leaders in Civ3. As the list shows, not every civ has the same number of Great Leader names in the game. Some civs such as the Romans have 8 GL names, while other Civs such as the Persians and the Japanese have only 3 GL names. The good news is that additional GL names can be added quiet easily.

Another Civ3 Trainer
posted by Thunderfall at 7:05 PM

GameGuru has posted another Civ3 trainer that can increase your city cultural score, production, food supply, and complete research. Thanks to rmsharpe for the news tip.

Note: Sorry for posting this news post 3 times. The news updater was not working properly. It won't let me delete previous two posts. :(

>> Related forum thread


Another Civ3 Trainer
posted by at 7:04 PM

GameGuru has posted another Civ3 trainer that can increase your city cultural score, production, food supply, and complete research.

Trainer Features:


Another Civ3 Trainer
posted by at 7:04 PM

GameGuru has posted another Civ3 trainer that can increase your city cultural score, production, food supply, and complete research.

Trainer Features:


New Civ3 Modpack: Colored Population Heads
posted by Thunderfall at 6:12 PM

One of the complaints from players is that the mood of the citizens icons in Civ3 are very hard to distinguish. Tenaku in our forum has released a modpack titled "Colored Popualtion Heads" to address this problem. The Colored Pop Head modpack adds a colored outline to the citizens icons to make it easier to see a citizen's mood:

Green = happy
Blue = content
Yellow = unhappy
Red = rebelling

You can download this mod here. If you have created a modpack, you can post it in the Completed Modpacks forum


New Civ3 Modpack: Civ III Pre-Patch mod v1.0
posted by Thunderfall at 2:30 PM

Anunikoba has created a modpack titled "Civ III Pre-Patch Mod". This mod has changed some unit stats to make them more balanced, as well as some rules modifications. Here are some of the changes:
  • Changed harvested-forest bonus shields from 10 up to 20.
  • Changed Wealth shields-to-gold ratio down to 4:1 from the default 8:1.
  • Paratrooper now has a drop range of 6. 4 was too small, especially since the helicopter could drop units this far anyhow.
  • Catapult's bombard strenth has been raised from 4 to 5. This isn't much, but helps make catapults a more consistent weapon.
  • Privateers have an attack of 2, defense of 1, and move at 4. This, along with them having no 'nationality markings', makes them able to deal with the contemporary and equally expensive Galleon and Frigate.
There are many other small changes. You can see a complete listing in this forum thread.

>> Download this modpack


Finished Files Forums
posted by Thunderfall at 1:24 PM

I've opened three sub-forums titled "Completed Modpacks", "User-created Maps", and "Utility Programs" inside the Civ3 Creation & Customization forum.

These sub-forum are good for several things:

  • Scenario, modpack, and map makers can post their work directly to those sub-forums.
  • Users can post feedback and ask for help in the same threads.
  • The thread ratings feature is enabled in those forums so people can rate the files.
  • The finished files forums make it easy for people to find the files by showing all the threads posted there. You won't find a file buried on page 15 of the forum anymore. ;) This translates into more publicity for the files.
The completed files forums will always be around, even after we open the Civ3 downloads section. We will have a "Completed Scenarios" sub-forum" when it's possible to make scenarios.

Note: The current attachment size limit is 500 KB. If your file is too big, you can email it to me.

>> Civ3 Creation & Customization forum


New Modpack: Improved Civ3 Wonder Screens
posted by Thunderfall at 11:09 AM

Alessandro has edited the Wonder info screens that pop-up when you finish building the Wonders. These improved Wonder screens show the benefits of Wonders, the amount of culture points they generate, and their characteristics in a civ3 style window.

Explanation of the interface: Bottom right circle, blue number indicates CULTURE POINTS, Bottom left circles indicate which civilizations could get a golden age.... the letters:

C stands for commercial, E stands for expansionist, I stands for industrious, M stands for militaristic, R stands for religious, S stands for scientific.

The final zip also includes a modified Wonder screen (the display that the picture shows up in) which includes two legends, one that reminds you what the initials stand for, and the second one that remind you what traits each civ has.

You can download this mod here. Be sure to backup the existing Wonder pics first! More info about the modpack is available in this forum thread.

BTW, we'll open our Civ3 Downloads section later today.. Stay tuned!


Civ3 Tech Tree Update
posted by Thunderfall at 8:42 AM

The Civilziation 3 Online Tech Tree has been updated with the tech trees in the final version of the game. The old tech tree contained some placeholder images.

Friday, November 2
Civ of the Week: The English
posted by Thunderfall at 10:57 PM

The English are the Civ of the Week at the Official Civ3 Site.

Civ III Units Section Updated
posted by Thunderfall at 9:51 PM

The Civilziation III Units section has been completely revamped! It now lists the important info for all the units in the game in addition to the unit graphics. Check it out!

BTW, all the Civ3 units have been added to our forum's avatar list. Avatars are small images that you can put below your user name in posts.


Civilization III Reference File
posted by Thunderfall at 11:20 AM

LoneWolf5050 has created an Excel file containing all the units, terrains, wonders, and city improvements data taken directly from the Civ3 Civilopedia. You can download the file in this forum thread. Thanks to LoneWolf for this excellent reference file!

Thursday, November 1
First Custom Civilization: Canada
posted by Thunderfall at 4:42 PM

LoneWolf5050 has posted the first custom civilization, the Canadians, for Civ3 in our forum. The name of civ (Canadians), name of leader (Pearson), city names, leader names, and civ-specific unit are all customized. Instead of F-15s, the Canadians get the Avro Arrow.

The Arrow has the following attributes:

A/D: 9/4
B/R/F: 2/6/2

The Arrow is the best interceptor in the game (9 instead of 8). It only bombards as well as a standard jet fighter though, but it does have an improved rate of fire: 2 instead of 1.

>> Visit the forum thread & download the mod


Civ3 Trainer
posted by Thunderfall at 2:27 PM

A Civ3 trainer created by "CyberMan" appeared on the web the same day Civ3 was released. The trainer gives the player 10000 Gold at start.

I don't recommend using this trainer because it's a bad way to learn the game and spoils the fun. It's much more satisfying by winning the game without cheating. If you need any help playing the game, you can ask for advice in our Strategy forum.

Source: Blues News


GamePro Civ III Review
posted by Thunderfall at 11:25 AM

GamePro has posted their Civilization III review today. The review gave a rating of 3.5/5 on the graphics, sound, and fun factor areas of the game, and a 4/5 for control (interface). The reviewer wrote "Civilization III is more like a new faceplate for your cell phone than a brand-new phone. The big improvements are all superficial". Let me tell you this is false (got a copy of the game from a friend today! :) I haven't played much, but the changes are certainly not superficial and will take some time to get used to...

Source: Blues News


Civ2 GOTM #10 is also here!
posted by Thunderfall at 1:34 AM

Here are the parameters for GOTM #10:
  • King Level
  • Normal Size Map
  • 7 Civs
  • Raging Horde
  • Bloodlust
  • Restart Civ is OFF
  • Civilization: Carthaginians
  • Starting Tech: Horseback Riding
Download Links:

Let's see how many people can finish BOTH Civ2 and Civ3 GOTMs in one month!

>> Civ2 GOTM section
>> Civ2 GOTM Forum


Civ III GOTM #1 is here!
posted by Thunderfall at 0:26 AM

We are pleased to announce that the Game of the Month feature for Civilization III officially starts today (Nov 1, 2001)! The rules for the Civ3 GOTM are the same as Civ2 GOTM. If you are not familiar with the GOTM concept, you should read the introduction page first in the new Civ III GOTM section.

The saved game for this GOTM is created by Cornmaster because both Matrix and I don't have Civ3 yet. We decided to use a small map for this game because we want people who get Civ3 in the middle of November to be able to play and finish the game. Here are the Game Parameters:

- Civilization: Persians
- Leader: Xerxes
- Difficulty Level: Regent (Prince)
- Map Size: Small
- Number of Civs: 5
- Weather: Temperate
- Earth: 4 billion years
- Barbarians: Restless

Download Links:

- ZIP format (21 KB)
- SAV format (714 KB)

Submissions:
- Saved games are due December 2nd, 2001.
- Be sure to save at 0 AD, 1000 AD, and at the end of your game.

Go ahead and start the game if you already have Civ3! Be sure to discuss your progress with your fellow GOTMers in the GOTM forum. Discussion is an important and very fun part of GOTM. Happy civing and good luck!

>> Civ III Game of the Month section
>> Civ3 Game of the Month forum