Facebook Civilization should debut 'this summer'

Sid Meier tells CNN that Civilization World's debut is just weeks away, offers details about gameplay mechanics, design.

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With critical darling Civilization V having been out since last September, Sid Meier has been focusing on his next effort: Civilization for Facebook. Now, nearly four months after the start of the alpha test for the title, called Civilization World, the legendary game designer has offered cable news network CNN some details on both its progress and its game design.

Facebook gamers will be able to enter Civ World this summer.
Facebook gamers will be able to enter Civ World this summer.

Of foremost importance to those wanting to play Civilization World, Meier said he expects the game to launch sometime this summer, a year and a half after the project was first announced. He said the long development cycle stemmed from having to combine the turn-based gameplay mechanic of a standard Civilization game with the more gradual pace of a Facebook title.

Having various players contribute to a game at different times "fundamentally changes the mechanics of the game because if you are not there at the same time as other players, there needs to be ways of leaving messages, ways of communicating. Things have to happen at a pace where everybody can be included."

Civilization World's hybrid nature will also require some adjustment from traditional Civ players. Each game's world will consist of 200 people, with individual players trying to win victory in one of the previous game's spheres of influence: military, science, economy, or culture. However, the game will also ask players to cooperate with one another to advance in the game.

"You have your own city to manage and you can do all kinds of stuff [solo]," Meier said. "However, the most successful players will be those that can also work together with other players."

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