Not a fan of SimCity's restrictive DRM? Civitas might be the answer


March 9, 2013

Civitas is a DRM-free city planner seeking funds via Kickstarter

Civitas is a DRM-free city planner seeking funds via Kickstarter

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The long-awaited new version of SimCity has finally released, and the launch has been filled with plenty of problems for players. The always-online DRM is causing major server issues, leaving many players facing long waits or unable to play the game at all. With that in mind, a group of gamers have taken to Kickstarter to introduce a project called Civitas – a DRM-free city planning game.

When Civitas first hit Kickstarter, not much information was provided. Plenty of promises were made, and screenshots were added, but no video of gameplay was actually shown. In spite of that, the creators still netted around US$40,000 in funding – a clear indication that gamers are frustrated by SimCity, and willing to take the risk to get a game like it, without all the problems.

Since then, the creators have released a video showing some of how the game works, which you can see on the project's updates page, and proving that a beta of the game does actually exist. While it's early, it does appear that the systems in the game are well done, and the visuals look good for a game in such an early stage of its development cycle.

Like most city planners, SimCity included, players of the proposed game will be zoning a city, building structures, and managing all aspects of the city. One feature that has gamers excited is terraforming – something that hasn't been included in the new SimCity. Gamers will be able to terraform the land, which makes it much more customizable. Everything from lakes to mountains can be added by the player.

Another interesting aspect proposed by the developers is the concept of permits. With this, players will have much more control over the types of buildings that spring from a created zone. If for example, a player creates a residential zone, he or she can issue a permit that only certain kinds of buildings can be built there. So even if a city is small, a player could make it so only nice houses are built.Civitas also promises to be highly moddable, with tools that will allow gamers to create all kinds of things.

The game will be compatible with Mac, Linux and Windows and offer single and multi-player modes. To pick up a first release copy of the game, the minimum backing is $15. For $25, buyers receive a digital copy and access to the beta once it becomes available. Currently, the project has received over $50,000 of its $250,000 goal. Backers will also get their name listed in the game credits.

Source: Kickstarter

About the Author
Dave LeClair Dave is an avid follower of all things mobile, gaming, and any kind of new technology he can get his hands on. Ever since he first played an NES as a child, he's been an absolute tech and gaming junkie. All articles by Dave LeClair

Civitas - 22 hours and $12,000 (from 3:22 PM)

That's right! I am not embellishing or lying about this. When I last checked the numbers yesterday, about 5:00 PM PST, the Kickstarter was at $58,880 and now it is at $71,340!! To be exact that's $12,460 in less than a day for a game that has yet to show nothing more than a few screenies and some promises. What is the key to this rapid success: community focused growth. The game will be touted to have: tools that can help the player create new buildings; a whole new focus/programming developed around realistic planning and city growth; transit systems that will work from day one; a SINGLEPLAYER (SimCity FAIL!!) and multiplayer, both having the same features; multiplayer mode is a battle for citizens so watch out for the tax wars; the most important feature of all: terraforming. Want to know the upside to all this? If you invest now and G.A.M. gets the funding you get the game you pay for ($15 for the game or $25 or more for the game plus BETA access, along with other goodies as the donations go up). If G.A.M. falls short you get your money back. Worried about being scammed? I have tried the Kickstarter method and one becomes legally bound, through Kickstarter, to create the product/project or return the money; there is no room for scamming innocent people. They have my $25!!

Gamez Gamealot

"...a player could make it so only nice houses are built."

Great, just what we 'need'. Sim Home Owners' Association.

Gregg Eshelman

Funding cancelled so the site says

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