So, when is a global war a competitive, spectator sport? Answer: When it is a computer game, Yes, computer gaming has now become a full blown spectator sport. This global, virtual conflict was even recently featured on PRI’s “The World” radio show. Like the cheering, statistic hungry, and fantasy league fans at a football game, there exists a community of such fans that watch, comment on, cheer on, and produce fan media input to a massive computer game. But, that is not even the more interesting part. The game players themselves are not even human. The game is being played by 61 robots or AI (artificial intelligent) agents. Welcome to/r/civ Battle Royale.
This is actually the second iterations of this concept, so called “mark II”. But, I shall let the site “companion” itself explain:
What is the /r/civ Battle Royale?
The original /r/civ Civilization Battle Royale was an event created by redditor TPangolin. It centred upon a simple concept; One enormous map of the Earth, and 42 AI civilizations located in their approximate historical locations. The Human player does not have any territory, and only exists to observe.
The only victory condition is that of Domination, i.e one civilization needs to capture every other original capital to win the game. All Civilizations were chosen by the denizens of the Civilization subreddit, and included both Modded Historical and Vanilla civilizations alike.
So what happened to the original Battle Royale?
Despite TPang’s best efforts, after 318 turns the save file grew into an unstable, buggy mess that would not even load up on his computer. A cocktail of inherent game flaws and some bugs in the mods used required measures such as the annihilation of cities, just to keep the beast moving. Every time the game was loaded up, it required a great deal of luck, and TPang’s time, to work properly.
Ok, so what’s new in the Battle Royale Mk. II?
For the second iteration, some refinements have been made. A new .DLL file is in use that allows for a greater number of civilizations in a game, taking us to 62, including the elusive Babylonians. A more stable mod list is in use, the quantities of units (including archaeologists) have been toned down, and most significantly TPang is running the game entirely in one session, to work around Civ V’s finicky loading system.
If any of this is still somewhat confusing or if you crave more information, I suggest you start reading from the “companion” site here: The /r/civ/ Civilization Battle Royale Companion