Civilization Fanatics' Center

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Civilization Fanatics' Center (abbreviated CFC and CivFanatics) is a fan web site for the Civilization series of computer and video games published by a variety of companies (depending on the game), including Atari, Firaxis, and Microprose. It is owned and operated by user Thunderfall, who founded it in 2000. As one of the largest Civilization websites, it is mentioned on the main Civilization IV site.[1] It was voted second best fan web site of 2005 at Voodoo Extreme.[2]

History

In 1998, CivFanatics was created as a small personal homepage hosted by GeoCities. The host was changed to XOOM in 1999. The old site title was Civilization Fanatics' Page, and was part of the Thunderfall Impressions site. After the site was moved to Strategy Gaming Online in March 2000, the site's name was changed to Civilization Fanatics' Center. The current form of the CFC web site took shape after the move to Strategy Game Online, as server resources were no longer an issue, thus being able to offer bulletin boards and file downloads.[3] The forum initially catered to players of Civilization and Civilization II, while later on experiencing the first big influx of new members just prior to and during the release of Civilization III. Subsequent influxes have arrived due to the releases of Civilization IV and Civilization IV: Beyond the Sword.

The site experiences an affair a friendly rivalry with Apolyton. These two sites are the largest Civilization fan sites on the internet.

Games

CFC currently mainly supports the fan communities of the following computer games:

Also the following fan communities are present to a certain degree:

Forums

Forum rules

The forums have a comprehensive list of rules, along with a number of moderators. CFC is "family friendly" and threads which do not conform to the rules have been known to be deleted before even accumulating any replies.[4]

Forum structure

The forum is split into seven main groups, each containing individual forums. Each of these subforums may contain further subforums.

The Civilization subforums were created to facilitate conversations about MicroProse's and Firaxis' games Civilization I, II, III, and IV. Each game has its own subforum group which includes subforums for strategy, ideas and suggestions, creation and customization, multiplayer, and demo games. Along with the forums for the Civilization games are subforums for other games like Galactic Civilizations II, Sid Meier's Pirates!, Rise of Nations and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri.

The Colosseum section contains subforums for topics not covered in other sections of the forum. It includes Off Topic, home to almost a third of all posts at the forum. It is a place where people go to discuss non-Civilization related topics. These topics range from 'light' such as "favorite music style" to 'very heavy' like "Should abortion be legal?" The majority of the topics are either news-items, religious discussions, political discussions, or general interest topics. The Colosseum section also includes subforums for World History, Computer Talk, Sports Talk, Humor and Jokes, and Science and Technology.

There are two other subforum sections; The CivFanatics group is home to the subforum for site feedback and the discussion of front page news. Site feedback allows active member feedback regarding CFC. Forums in the Project & Mod Development are hidden. The forums here consist of mods in the Private Beta Version stage, where only the specific mod-development teams can go to work on their mods away from public criticism and outside ideas. Private forums allow teams the ability to formulate his or her mods without being constantly bombarded with questions and unsolicited help. However, some mods are developed in public, most of which are for Civilization IV.

Other activities

Forum Games

Forum Games is a section of CFC which allows people to play small games, notably Mafia and its popular variant Night of the Werewolves, in which participants try to eliminate hidden enemies while systematically being hunted. Other popular games are progression games in which participants use the previous post to add something to the game (eg. beat the pic above you, Good Wish, Bad Wish.) One recent addition to this Forum is the Rise from Medieval Kingdoms game (or RfMK) introduced by Splime (a CFC Member). Affectionately called Lazy-NES by its participants, in RfMK, players control a kingdom with an economy and army, and engage in warfare and trade with other players. Lastly, In a tradition started by Chandrasekhar (another CFC Member), a whole new range of games has developed, using his game Snakes and Foxes. In Snakes and Foxes, participants fight each other in specialized arenas, and bet money on the outcome. For a while, War at CivFanatics was extremely popular until present time because it has gotten out of hand.

Never Ending Stories

Game of the Month

The "Game Of the Month" (or GOTM) was a concept first started in February 2001, for Civilization II - the Civilization II GOTM. The idea behind this concept is for a number of players to play a game, all using a common starting save file. Players then compare their results and discuss strategies. The competition has now been extended to Civilization III GOTM and Civilization IV GOTM, and most recently to a Civilization (original) GOTM. Medals are given to the highest scorers and awards are given to the fastest finishers for specific victory conditions.[5]

Succession games

Succession games are games played by a team of several players, often with some variant. Each player plays about 10 turns at a time, with discussion between sets. These are commonly played for Civ III and Civ IV. The game of the month and succession game ideas have been combined in Civ III and Civ IV Succession Games of the Month.[5]

Democracy games

The first democracy game (played in Civ II) started in December 2001, just after the release of Sid Meier's Civilization III. CFC has hosted seven Civ III democracy games ("demogames" or "DG"). A Civ IV democracy game began in January 2006.

CFC has participated with its own team in the Civilization III: Play the World Multisite Democracy game (MSDG) and the Civilization III: Conquests Intersite Democracy Game (ISDG). The MSDG consisted of eight teams in a straight fight for the crown, and the ISDG consisted of 2 semifinals of 5 teams, with the first 2 teams eliminated from the semifinal eliminated from the competition. CFC was placed fifth in the overall positioning in the MSDG after the game was abandoned, and was eliminated in the second semifinal in the ISDG finishing fourth in the game of five. The opponents were teams from other Civilization fan web sites, as well as a team formed by Firaxis, the creators of the game. CFC also participates in a 14 fansite Civilization IV Intersite Democracy Game. Due to the number of participating teams there are 2 semi-finals of 7 fansites. The game itself is hosted by a different Civilization fansite: Evolution games.

In addition to competing against other teams, CFC also hosts a Multi-Team Demogame (MTDG) which hosts democracy games with all the teams consisting of CFC members. There is one for Civ III and one for Civ IV.[5]

The first Civ 3 MTDG finished with MIA, playing as the Greeks, being victorious.

Hall of Fame

Through all the releases of Civilization, players have been able to track their conquests, exploits and wins in a personal hall of fame screen. CFC Halls of Fame (HOF) extend on this principle, where single player games are ranked in tables against one another. This started with the II High Score HOF. III HOF originally started as a high score table, but was later enlarged to include tables for each victory condition and mapsize. It's also the home of the QuarterMaster's Challenge, where players must complete every victory condition, win at every difficulty level and play every mapsize. IV-HOF is currently in Beta, as the permanent site is under construction.

Chat room

Civfanatics also has an official IRC chatroom: #civfanatics on irc.irc-chat.net. While the chatroom is intended for Civilization-based conversations, it often strays off topic. The chatroom community is significantly smaller than the forum community, including a number of forum lurkers.

Fiftychat is the most active CFC-related chatroom[citation needed] and the unofficial IRC chatroom of the Off-Topic forum. It is overseen by CFC forumer Fifty, who is the admin and owner of the chatroom. The server is provided by Till. Two of the DYOSers are chatroom operators; CivGeneral and Perfection. FredLC describes going on Fiftychat as a "rite of passage for CFCers", referring to an earlier comment by Padma that "Banning Fifty and Perfection is like a rite of passage for a mod."

Modding community

Modding refers to the art of making modifications for a game. This can involve a change of gamerules, adding new unit, making scenarios or anything else that changes the game. Due to the XML, which acts like a giant database of everything in the game, Python, a scripting language, and the release of most of the game source (the SDK), Civilization IV is incredibly moddable — something which is being exploited to the full by the modding community.

The main purpose of the modding section of the forum is to allow users to change the game to their own specific tastes. There are a whole range of tutorials to help modders to do anything they want with the game, like adding new units or technologies, creating new graphics and many other things. As well as making a lot of minor mods for individual users, some big projects have emerged which completely change the game. The most notable of these were included in patches and expansions made by Firaxis.

Hosted sites

Under its domain, Civfanatics hosts three independent sites, dedicated to the most popular mods for Civilization IV:

Trivia

  • A nod is made to Civilization Fanatics Center in Civilization 3, where the last Viking city name is "Thunderfall", the name of the site's administrator.
  • Both the Civilization Fanatics Center and Apolyton are mentioned in detail by Civ4 lead designer Soren Johnson in a newly-released printed book titled Chronicles of Civilization as part of Sid Meier's Civilization Chronicles. Book excerpt and Amazon.com link.
  • On April 1, 2007, as an April Fools' Day prank, the administrators of CFC and Apolyton announced that the two sites would be merging into a new site called CivJunction.[6] This prompted a massive outcry during which members of the Civilization Fanatics Center jokingly formed their own insurgency, declared independence, and created the Civilization Players Center in protest which later formed into a few actual sites such as CivUnited and CivJunction.

Outages

CFC, like all websites, has gone down from time to time, but it was for a while increasingly plagued by various things that caused it to become inaccessible to most people. The highest periods of these bugs were reported around the time the database crashed and most of Forum Games was deleted in 2009, immediately after Civilization V's release in September 2010, and intermittently throughout the period of about August 2011-April 2012, for unknown server-related reasons. More recently, these problems seem to have (thankfully) disappeared almost entirely, with no reports of significant server shenanigans.

The F***ing Database Errors

That's just our way of encouraging everyone to do something else for a while.
— Turner
F*** the f***ing database errors!!!!


What the f***? Seriously, I've been a member of this bloody forum since 2005 (2002 for me) and for years I've never had to deal with the f***ing Database Errors. Alright, maybe one or two, but that's it. These days the f***ing godforsaken forum failed me once a day on average and I don't log on that often either. And when I do log on the forum is as slow as a turtle riding on a snail. And, y' know what? The forum's actually been less active since 2005, with number of people online and rate of posting at record lows (this is as "statistical" as I'm going to make it sound in this moment of anger) so increasing traffic is not to be blamed for this absolutely dismal situation. Please don't f***ing tell me the server move is responsible for this because it's the same server move that deleted all the DYOS threads and if that is so I'm going to go to hunt down and kill everyone at bloody Atomic Gamer and then I'm going to hunt down and kill Thunderfall and all the mods and I'm going to merge the goddamn forum with f***ing Apolyton! Not IRL of course. Perhaps in a DYOS episode

CFC now stops working for me at least once every day, sometimes as often as every 30 minutes or so. Often the site just won't load up but 30 minutes later it would be temporarily fine again and sometimes you get the official database error message and the site is down for up to hours at a time.

I'm f***ing fed up with this.

GRAWAHHBAAGLEBAWHAUODAGAAHHBSLAH **** you database, just **** you, you **** ****** ** ********* ****. Really.

FFFFFFFFFFFUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Is the database fine for you non-Australians? Because it's been a day or two and I'm still getting an error Stylesrj 11:38, 4 March 2012 (EST)

The F***ing Server is too busy

The servers are too damn busy!
—Jimmy McMillan

Recently (Though it has happened in the past) during the Civilization V release. The forums started seeing an influx of new users that clogs up the CFC servers. Many users have predicted that the large number of users would cause the forums to crash, and many of them were right (well sort of, since the server has gotten clogged instead of full blown crash).

The Servers become quite clogged during morning from around 9:30ish to the afternoon eastern time.

Recently as of 5:48pm EDT for two days since September 9th, 2011, the Forums have yet again experienced a server is too busy message for an unknown reason. Though recently, short spouts of server is too busy message began cropping up between 2-5:00pm EST, yet the admins are blissfully unaware of the issue.

What the #@(*#$!?! It's !@!^(!@& 3:12 am! (Well, 12:12 were I live, but anyway) How can the server possibly be $#%^(& busy? What the deuce!!? It's now happening at 3:17 pm EST!!! RAGE!

  • I thought we were past this CFC Servers! Why are you now busy all of a sudden!? Stylesrj 08:28, 21 January 2011 (UTC)

Total outage

There has been rare cases when the main host of the website, Telefragged.com, which goes down. Causing CFC fo be down as well as well as other sites hosted by Telefragged.

It's suggested not to try your luck asking what happened to the forums when it was down since the moderator staff aren't willing to disclose to there members as to what has happened and hide behind cryptic moderator poems.

See also

References

  1. "Civilization IV". Retrieved 2006-11-01.
  2. Howarth, Robert 'Apache' (2005-12-19). "2005 VE3D PC Game of the Year Awards". Voodoo Extreme. Retrieved 2006-11-01.
  3. "About CivFanatics". 2006-10-28. Retrieved 2006-11-02.
  4. "CivFanatics Forum Rules v4.1". Civilization Fanatics Center. Retrieved 2006-05-27.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Johnson, Soren. "One Civ, Many Worlds. Chronicles of Civilization. 2K Games. Retrieved 2006-11-06.
  6. [1]

External links