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PBEM: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri - The Zotmeister

solving the puzzle of life one entry at a time

Feb. 6th, 2006

03:47 pm - PBEM: Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri

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Puzzles are easy to publish here. However, I am just as much - if not moreso - into gaming as puzzles. I don't know how common an occurance this sort of thing is via LiveJournal, but then that's never stopped me: I am hereby posting a public invite to a play-by-email game of Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri with me.

Hopefully, what lies below answers any and all questions one would have about the administration of this; if not, post your question here as a comment and I'll look into it.



Requirements: The game to be played is Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (I don't own the expansion, and have you seen how much it sells for these days?), PC edition, version 4.0, 2000/XP-compatibility patch installed. Double-check that last one - it's important. Of course, you also need to be able to send and receive email, including attachments.

Players: The game always runs with exactly seven players, whether the players are human or computer-driven. Sadly, the game's seven factions must each always be present for every game, meaning no players may duplicate factions. I will be taking the signup forms I receive and trying to divvy up the factions as best I can to suit player preferences. I may well run multiple games if that proves beneficial.

Set-up: By default, we will play on The Map of Planet under Standard Rules and Librarian difficulty. If any player would like to alter this, e may note that during signup (see below); if a majority of players want to see a change, I will ask the rest if they are willing to accept the change, and will change it as requested if no player objects.

Signup: To reserve a seat in the game, send an email to ztm@cox.net, with the subject line SMAC Signup (do NOT edit the subject line!), with the following info:
  • A listing of your faction preference. Example: "I'd really like to play the University above all. Failing that, I wouldn't mind Morgan or Gaian; Spartans, okay; Peacekeepers, only if I had to. I'd just as soon not play if I had to be The Hive or Believers." (This is my own preference list, incidentally.)

  • Any changes to the Standard Rules you'd like to see implemented in this game. Example: "I desperately want Blind Research turned off, I kind of need Spoils of War on, and I'd like Do or Die turned on to make the early game that much more interesting. Oh, and if you don't have Accelerated Start on, I'd be surprised." (This is not necessarily my own preference list.)

  • The times it would be easiest for you to take your turns, especially any schedulable segments. (I will use this info to try to determine the turn order of the players that leads to the fastest turnarounds.)
  • The name you would like to be referred to as in any game-related communications I may publish.

    Please submit your signup form on or before Monday, February 13, Eastern Standard Time. At that time, I'll take all the signups and do my best to put the game(s) together with optimal preferences. I may well use randomizers, RPS matches, or outright fiat to make decisions; by submitting your signup sheet, you accept that I have final say in game composition (hey, it's not like I'm stopping you from running your own game with your own rules). The official game composition(s) should be determined within a week and a half, giving players one week before commencement to get to know the other players and/or make any pre-game agreements.

    Timeframe: The game should commence on March 1, barring any extensive player- or rules-sorting. Once the game commences, I would like to see a turn completion rate no larger than 24 hours - that is, once you get your turn file emailed to you, you should have your turn taken and sent to the next player within a day. Also, realize that this will take awhile to finish - probably over a year, if not two (at 24 hours a turn, the game could last as long as 300 weeks, but I'm hoping we'll finish it this decade). Please do not join if you do not feel you can be committed to completing it.

    Privacy note: If you are selected to play, your email address WILL be shared with the other players. I will not share your address with any other parties, but I can't vouch for what other players will do with it.

    Communication: I am expressly permitting all means of interplayer communication. As everyone will have everyone else's email address, that avenue of communication will always be available. In case you didn't know this, all human players apparently have contact with all other human players right from the game's onset, regardless of their planetary location - so trades and alliances can be formed right off the bat if so desired. Note, of course, that absolutely no agreement made by anybody outside the game engine is binding in any way, shape, or form.

    Status reports: I expect to post game updates here to my journal, for the amusement of readers. I may well fictionalize some of the events, turning the game into a story. Or not. I don't know yet.



    If you'd rather just keep solving puzzles, I should have another up by Wednesday. Note that Puzzle 30 is coming up soon, and you know what that means... - ZM

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