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Sid Meier's Civilization® V

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Announcement - Valve
Enjoy deals on the entire 2K Games catalog during the 2K Publisher Weekend! Save 50% and up on Civilization V, Borderlands 2, Bioshock Infinite, XCOM: Enemy Unknown along with many other titles.

The 2K Publisher Weekend begins at 10am PDT on Aug 20th and ends at 10am PDT on Aug 25th.







PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Mod of the Week: CivRome, for Civilization V">mod of the week







Rome wasn't built in a day, but now it can be built in a turn. A new mod for Civilization V, called CivRome, lets you play from 323 B.C., the death of Alexander the Great, to 500 A.D., the fall of the Roman Empire. You can play as one of 22 possible civilizations including the Romans (Caesar), the Egyptians (Cleopatra), the Macedonians, the Goths, the Gauls, and even the Huns (led by one Mr. Attila T. Hun). There are new technologies to research, specific attributes for some of the civs, and a beautiful, historically accurate new map to conquer. In other words, it's a toga party, Civilization-style.



I'm a little hesitant to cover this mod, as it's still in development and there are tons of planned features that aren't implemented yet, but I figure getting players involved early to show interest and provide feedback and suggestions can't be a bad thing. Besides, I tried it out for a while this week, and it's highly playable with plenty to keep you occupied even in its unfinished state.



So much to conquer!



There's the map, and it's lovely and accurate, not to mention massive (not my picture, that's from the mod's Steam page). Obviously, you can play the mod on a random map, too, but I think the custom map will let you really get into the frame of mind to mess around in ancient Rome. One important note: the mod requires all of Civ V's DLC and expansions to run.



This! Is! An! Area! Outside! The! Border! Of! Sparta!



Along with the 22 playable civs, you'll be able to interact with a massive slew of familiar city-states. Early in my game, I ran into Jerusalem, Cyrene, Rhodes, Nazareth, and of course, Sparta, though deviating from completely realistic movie history, the Spartans wore more than tiny underpants and capes, and there didn't appear to be exactly 300 of them. Oh well, you can't have everything. On the other hand, I'm playing as Caesar, so I'm still going to try.



Yay. We are so happy! Well. Some of us! The rich ones!



What makes citizens happy in CivRome? Well, researching Happiness technology demonstrated that everybody loves slave labor. In fact, the CivRome mod makes slavery a big part of day-to-day life. The system isn't complete yet, but when it is, slaves will function as a resource, able to be imported and exported, used as labor to boost production, functioning as private tutors to buff science and culture, and increasing the happiness of the citizens who aren't slaves themselves. (The slaves, one presumes, will be pretty damn miserable.)



Okay, Rome is founded. Let's get to work on the vomitorium.



There are some interesting and unique facets to some of the new civs. The Huns, for example, were a nomadic people, so if you play as Attila you won't be able to build settlers to found new cities, though you'll be able to capture settlers from other civs. Their cavalry, naturally, will be top notch. Carthage, meanwhile, begins the game with a whopping five cities, owing to the fact that they were a territorial powerhouse at the time, though their military units will be unable to cross the sea as other civs can.



I'll be remembered through history as... a salad? A friggin' salad? Sigh.



The Romans have their own issues. As they grow an advance, a curious problem will arise among their military: soldiers will become more and more unhappy. It makes sense. If Rome was a remarkable paradise filled with wonders and luxury, who the hell would want to go tromping off to die in some distant war? To boost morale, Rome will need to ratchet up the distractions, devoting a lot of effort into keeping its citizens happy, like holding chariot races in the Circus Maximus and by building the Colosseum. Nothing to take your mind off faraway bloodshed than by watching some local bloodshed.



Darn Vandals. They keep tagging my storefronts.



I'm no ancient history buff, but I can appreciate the efforts being made to reflect this era as accurately as possible, and with such a wide range of civs to choose from, I think this could grow into a really spectacular mod. Again, while playable, this is still largely a work in progress and there's a lot more planned. You can check out the discussion page on the 2K forums here, and there's tons of talk on the mod's Steam Workshop page.



Don't forget, you need all of the Civ V DLC and expansions to run this mod!



Installation: You can subscribe to the mod on the Steam Workshop page I just linked. When you fire up Civ 5, just activate it on the Mods menu, and make sure you choose the CivRome map if you want to use that one specifically (trust me, you do).
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

Hexcellent.

Joking about booking time off work for a video game’s release is awfully hackneyed, but I have known people to do it for two series: Grand Theft Auto and Civ. So, just so you know, Civilization: Beyond Earth now has a release date so WINK you might want to WINK book time off work or WINK consider laying the dramatic groundwork for a WINK illness to strike you on October 24.

The news comes alongside a new video with Beyond Earth’s co-lead designers talking about the kinda-Alpha-Centurai-ish-but-really-more-Civ-y game, over footage that’s mostly cinematics but does give a few tantalising peeks at things including the new web-like tech tree.

… [visit site to read more]

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Graham Smith)

This man represents open source supporters.

Is… Is this E3 news? On day three, I can’t tell anymore. Did Sid Meier swing on a trapeze across the E3 concourse to announce that Civilization 5 was now available on SteamOS and Linux? Did Aspyr gather the world’s press in an art deco theatre to reveal that this was their first Linux port, after years of porting popular games to Mac? Or is it the case that there was a simple post on Civ V’s Steam forum to declare that users of Ubuntu could now begin conquering 4X strategy worlds?

Probably that last one.

… [visit site to read more]

Shacknews - Steve Watts
Of all the times to roll out a video game, the middle of E3 probably threatens to drown it out the most. That makes the announcement of Civilization 5 on Linux and SteamOS a bit odd, but let this serve as your official alert: Civ 5 is now on Linux and SteamOS. And it's on sale to boot.
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Sid Meier’s Civilization V now available for SteamOS and Linux">ss_5dfcd65b611b35a9dc126335dca2d48ef8180106.1920x1080







E3 is in full swing and that means an overload of press events, trailers, interviews and hands-on time with the latest and greatest of upcoming videogames. But I'd like to take a break from all that sound and fury for a moment, if I may, to let you all know that the strategy classic Sid Meier's Civilization V is now available for Linux and SteamOS. (Oh, and it's on sale, too.)



Civilization V has been around for a few years now but this still qualifies as pretty big news for SteamOS and Linux gamers. Developer Aspyr Media said today's release "targets SteamOS on current gen hardware," and it's also looking toward supporting Ubuntu 14.04 and additional video cards in future updates.



To that end, Aspyr is asking for feedback about what works, and what doesn't, in the Steam forums or via its own support channel. Some users are saying that the DLC isn't currently appearing in their Civilization V: Complete Edition packages, but the general consensus seems to be that it's a solid port that runs very well.



And as it occasionally does, Steam is marking the moment with a sale, offering Civ V and its various DLC releases, as well as Civilization IV and III bundles, for up to 75 percent off. The sale ends in a little over 19 hours at the time writing, however, which puts it around 1 pm EDT. Best not to dawdle.
Product Release - Valve
Sid Meier’s Civilization V and all available Expansion Packs and DLC are Now Available on Linux. Additionally, the entire Civilization Franchise is currently on sale for up to 75% off*!

*Offer ends June 11 at 10AM Pacific Time

Community Announcements - Aspyr-Blair
Aspyr Media is pleased to announce our first Linux and SteamOS title, Sid Meier’s Civilization V. The SteamOS release includes all Civilization V DLC and expansion content, including Gods & Kings and Brave New World.

This release targets SteamOS on current gen hardware. Additionally, we're working towards supporting Ubuntu 14.04 as well as additional video cards in future updates.

Here’s where we need your help! To improve Civ V and future AAA games on SteamOS, we're looking for feedback. Tell us below what's working great or what's not working. If you're having any problems, please contact our support directly at http://support.aspyr.com/tickets/new
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to A console gamer asked me what three PC games he should play here’s what I told him">world-of-pc-gaming







One of the pleasant parts of writing about games is just meeting the people who share your weird career. I went to a media dinner at PAX East this year and had the chance to get to know some editors that I hadn t met before. The guy sitting next to me happened to be primarily a console gamer, but that actually ended up being a neat opportunity for us to have a kind of cultural exchange. I got to learn about the state of Kinect games and Halo, and he got to hear me explain the appeal of Arma, a game that inspired me to memorize the NATO alphabet.



I took his business card and emailed him a few of my favorite Arma videos by Dslyecxi and CHKilroy later that night, hoping they would give him a sense of the beautiful coordination that s possible in a systems-driven, moddable, massive-scale multiplayer game. A few days after PAX East, I got a wonderful reply our conversation and the videos I d passed along had inspired him to build his first PC in 15 years.



I love being a PC evangelist. With my colleague s note, though, came a tough question: What are the three PC-only games I missed in the last 15 years that I absolutely have to play?



Daunting, right? These are the games I recommended, pasted verbatim from our email exchange:



//



From: Evan Lahti

Sent: Tuesday, May 5, 2014 4:01 PM

To: James Videogames

Subject: Re: ARMA WONDERS



Hey James,



Late follow-up here, but whoa, how exciting! Let me know if you need a hand with the build. Happy to pitch in or mail along one of our PC building issues.



Glad to hear you re willing to dig through some of PC gaming s wondrous past. Give GOG.com a gander for most of that. Fallout 2 is a must; building a grounded, variously amoral character in that setting holds up well. Deus Ex demands a bit of modding to make comfortably modern, though there are some great guides out there. TLJ is a wonder.



But man, this is a dream question. It s the gaming editor s equivalent of being visited by an alien, then asked to provide the three products of humanity they re most proud of. The approach I ve taken here is to suggest three games that are deeply representative of what there is to love about PC gaming as it exists right now. I don t know if I can say that these are absolutely, individually the best games ever made and I remember you mentioning not being particularly interested in MOBAs, so I ll omit those but as a group I think that these games form some good kindling for what ll hopefully be a passionate relationship with PC gaming going forward.



Play these games:





Civilization V

Civ is two things to me: the best board game in the world (that you can happen to play alone) and history, reverently presented in an elegant, entertaining form. The care with which Firaxis animates its tiny, tiled Earth and digital figurines does so much to make its subject matter vibrant. Beyond that, it s a wonderfully arranged set of rules that sets up meaningful decisions around how you develop your civilization. You have to zero-in on short-term and long-term goals while bumping up against the cultural, political, and territorial ambitions of the other civs in your world; it s one of the few experiences where I can drop a dozen-some hours into a game, lose, and enthusiastically start a new game the next second, certain in my new, improved plan to achieve a science victory.



My best advice, if you aren t big on history, would be to dig up a mod for whatever your favorite fandom might be LOTR, Game of Thrones, The Elder Scrolls Avatar: The Last Airbender? A weird amalgamation of Blizzard properties? My Little Pony? I don t know what you want. Perhaps your lifelong dream was to found a civilization dedicated to Arnold Schwarzenegger. Play as the Geth for all I care.





Papers, Please

A lot of the publishing friction that used to exist for individual and small game creators has been removed over the past few years, and it s a trend that s invited more weird, thoughtful, emotional narrative and systems-driven games. Papers, Please is my favorite from the past year; Lucas Pope takes a depressing setting (a fictionalized stand-in for a post-USSR Europe) and an uncomfortable subject (poverty and totalitarianism) and molds it into dystopian Oregon Trail told through rubber stamps and passport photos.



You play an immigration checkpoint officer, reporting into work each day to check over documents for errors. Each person processed correctly earns you money that goes towards maintaining the survival of your family (expressed as an end-of-day score screen where you pay to heat your squalid apartment, for example), but there s only so much time in each day to earn this money, so there s a real pressure to analyze quickly. Without spoiling anything the mundanity of all that is undercut by a series of moral decisions you have to make; in my review, I described it as the intersection of efficiency and intrigue. The need to focus on paperwork to detect forgeries while weighing your conscience and the need to collect your meager paycheck to support your family. The confluence of all that is brilliant. Another quote: A paperwork sim might sound mundane, but spotting a mislabeled gender or a forged stamp produces real pride, and Papers, Please keeps boredom at bay by gradually introducing incentives for bending or breaking the rules.



When you re done, do Kentucky Route Zero, The Castle Doctrine, The Stanley Parable, Gone Home, and The Swapper.







S.T.A.L.K.E.R.: Call of Pripyat + the CoP Complete mod

Despite being our designated shooter guy, I made the mistake of waiting years to try STALKER. Pripyat is the third expansion, and the Complete mod dials up the production quality of the game s skyboxes, textures, and other assets to modern standards without altering the story or gameplay. Complete is what I d recommend for a first playthrough, but feel free to give Misery a look if you re feeling especially masochistic.



Other than Arma, and with FEAR as a close second, the most memorable firefights I ve had in video games have been in STALKER. Imagine fighting on open terrain, in the dark, with limited ammo, against an unknown number of bandits that are crawling around in some beat-up, abandoned factory. Pripyat prompts you to play with a ton of spontaneity, and that scrappy quality of its firefights distinguishes it from anything else in gaming. The closest approximation might be clearing out a dangerous, random bandit camp in Skyrim, but that s always felt more like an exercise in picking apart an outpost at my own pace rather than being forced to fight on the fly.



STALKER isn't afraid to leave itself unexplained, and you realize how rare the experience of encountering enemies with zero introduction to how they operate is in modern gaming. In other words, without the heavy-handed explanation and focus-tested tutorialization you d get from many Western shooters. That doesn t mean STALKER is tough per se I d describe it more as a game that trusts you enough to feel around in its (haunted, radioactive) world with your arms extended, make mistakes, and learn through that experience. This approach to design is also part of the DNA of DayZ and Arma. Have fun fighting invisible radioactive monstrosities in swamps during a lightning storm!



Mechanically, too, STALKER mixes fidelity with playability in some nice ways; guns degrade and require specific types of ammunition, but every rifle and pistol feels as comfortable as a Call of Duty weapon.



Also:



FTL, the pinnacle of the current roguelike craze. I suppose it s out on iPad, too.



Skyrim + mods, most of which are single-click installs these days through Steam Workshop (http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/browse/?appid=72850&browsesort=toprated)



Something like Skyrim Unbound is especially good for a second playthrough, as it makes how you enter the world selectable from the outset. You can cut the Dragonborn aspect of the game out completely I wanted to play as a completely martial, magicless atheist, so this was especially helpful.

http://www.pcgamer.com/2013/10/27/mod-of-the-week-skyrim-unbound/



Video games,



Evan Lahti

Editor-in-Chief, PC GAMER

evan@pcgamer.com

twitter.com/elahti



//



From: James Videogames

Sent: Tuesday, April 15, 2014 7:01 AM

To: Evan Lahti

Subject: Re: ARMA WONDERS



Heya Evan,



Great catching dinner with you too, man. It's a rare treat to pick someone's brain who's deeply ensconced in granular PC gaming. I know folks who experiment with ArmA and EVE Online, etc. but no one who plays seriously. These videos are fascinating especially the half hour one. I don't necessarily know if I'm tempted to play now, but it's certainly reinforced my fascination.



Your selection of highlights did, however, inspire me to purchase components to build my very first PC since ye olde Packard Bell I had back in '97. Pretty excited about it to be honest. My question for you: What are the three PC-only games I missed in the last 15 years that I absolutely have to play? Archaic mechanics and aesthetics don't frighten me, so don't hold back. Fallout 2, The Longest Journey, and Deus Ex are already at the top of my list.



Best,

James



//



On Fri, Apr 11, 2014 at 10:55 PM, Evan Lahti wrote:

Hey! Great having dinner with you. Here's a few Arma videos that'll give you a sense of why folks get into it:



Some gritty, tough, guerrilla-style PvP

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jI7fxwy0Llo



A sizzle reel of moments

http://youtu.be/iylW68mwYIg



A longer video that shows a large-scale infantry battle with a bunch of new (but relatively experienced) players, basically like a training mission for recruits against AI

http://youtu.be/BguGRjPqCtM?t=5m6s
PC Gamer
rel="bookmark"
title="Permanent Link to Report lists Steam’s most popular (and most untouched) games">Steam graphs







Have you played every single game in your Steam library? No? Neither have I and that accomplishment is apparently just a small sand grain in the over 288 million games in Steam collections that have never felt a press of the Play button. That's a surprising figure from a new report by Ars Technica researching the most active and popular games on Steam straight from the recorded statistics of some of the platform's 75-million-strong community.



Ars' method for its number flood involves sampling registered games and their played hours via profiles and their unique Steam IDs. With the help of a server for computational muscle, Ars randomly polled more than 100,000 profiles daily for two months to pull together an idea of which games see the most time on everyone's monitors. In other words, your Backlog of Shame (don't deny it, everyone has one) probably took part in some SCIENCE at some point. Exciting.



Some caveats exist, though. The data Ars looked at for its research only extends back to 2009, when Steam brought in its "hours played" tracking system. Owned and played/unplayed games are thus slightly skewed to not account for older releases from the early noughties, and any length of time spent in offline mode wouldn't get picked up by Steam either. Still, Ars claims its results deliver a good picture of Steam gaming trends for the past five years albeit with some imperfections.



Predictably, Valve's personal products stack high on the list in terms of ownership and most played hours. Dota 2 takes the crown with an estimated 26 million players who ganked faces at some point in the MOBA, but free-to-play FPS Team Fortress 2 follows closely behind with a little over 20 million users. Counter-Strike: Source rounds out the top three with nearly 9 million players, but it's also collecting dust in over 3 million libraries.



As for non-Valve games, Skyrim wins in activity, barely edging out Counter-Strike: Global Offensive with 5.7 million estimated active owners. Civilization V kept 5.4 million players hooked for Just One More Turn, and Garry's Mod boasts 4.6 million budding physics artists.



Want to know what the most unplayed Steam game is? It's Half-Life 2: Lost Coast, the Source tech demo given free to pretty much everyone on Steam who bought or fired up Half-Life 2. It hasn't been touched by an approximate 10.7 million players. I guess that old fisherman is feeling pretty lonely right now.



My favorite stat is the total of played hours divided by game mode, more specifically the separate multiplayer clients of the Steam versions of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Black Ops. The single-player campaigns for each respective title sits modestly within the mid-20-hour range, but the multiplayer side balloons well into the hundreds of hours. It's a pretty obvious indicator of where the biggest chunk of popularity resides in FPS gaming, but it's not like you wouldn't get weird looks for claiming you play Call of Duty for the story anyway.



See more of Ars' results in both number and pretty orange graph form in its report.
...

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