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  • AU FAQ

    For everyone who does not know what Apolyton University is, how to start playing, etc.

    Here's a first draft FAQ I wrote up. Feel free to edit, delete, add, or tear up. (Though I hope it's not so bad as to need the latter. )

    I wasn't around the Strat forum for AU's start, so I'm largely ignorant of AU's roots. I looked around the Civ3 AU forum long enough to see that it was formed back in 2002 at the instigation of Theseus and others, but didn't dig much further. If someone is interested in writing an actual detailed history of the institution that would be great, though too long and it should probably be moved down to its own section with a link from the first bit; don't want to swamp newbies with history when they're simply trying to find out about the concept and how to play.


    What is Apolyton University?
    Apolyton University (AU) began as an effort by Civ players to educate each other in Civilization III's strategy. In 2002, Apolyton’s Civilization III Strategy forum was host to the first AU courses as players from across Apolyton, new and old, skilled and beginner, began playing the same games – a scenario (at first a save file) with the same map, civilizations, and starting position. In AU, players take this same starting position and play it their own way, posting accounts of their games and comparing strategies, and teaching each other new ways to play Civilization. A "course" is formed around each game; often, players in a course are encouraged to pursue a general strategy (e.g. a focus on war or on diplomacy) so that the variant strategies of each player will be in the same direction, allowing players greater ability to compare their games.

    Apolyton University has now continued on to Civilization IV. AU is open to all; if it sounds like your kind of fun, join in a course!

    How can I participate in AU?
    First, find a course you want to play. The main threads for the courses can be found throughout the forum; they can be distinguished by simply having a course number and title, without any mention of "DAR" in the title. For example: "AU101 – Holier Than Thou" In the thread you will find a description of the scenario, any special instructions for the course, and a download for the course’s scenario. Download the scenario (click <a href="#scenrun">here</a> for instructions on running Civ4 scenarios), start playing, post your During Action Reports, and discuss the game with others.

    What is a During Action Report, and how should I post one?
    A During Action Report (DAR), and its sibling the After Action Report (AAR), are logs or stories of how a game is turning out and how a game has turned out, respectively. The only difference is that a DAR is written when a game is not yet finished, while an AAR is written after a game has been completed (and thus allows all the hindsight that entails). AU uses DARs set during specific time periods. The first DAR should cover the period from the beginning of the game until approximately the year 1520 BC, the second 1480 BC until the start of the Classical Era of technology, the third the Classical Era, and then so on through each Era up through the Modern Era. As you finish each part of the game, you can post your DAR of that period; while being able to see the whole sweep of games in a course is certainly helpful to discussion, the comparison of games can begin well before the participants have finished!

    Reports can be written any number of ways, from a simple log of events by year, to a description of events oriented around strategic choices, to a story-based account written to entertain as well as inform. Some participants may post many pictures, some may only post the occasional image of a major event or map, and others may post no graphics at all. Each AU participant has their own style, and there is no one correct way to write a report (although you should be sure to mention what you set any customizable settings to, e.g. difficulty).

    If you want to post images with your report but don’t know how to take screenshots in Civ4, or don’t know how to post images on Apolyton, click <a href="#images">here</a>.

    <a name="scenrun">I don’t know how to use scenarios, how do I start playing?</a>
    The scenario will probably be inside a .zip file. Unzip the .Civ4WorldBuilderSave file to My Documents\My Games\Sid Meier’s Civilization 4\Saves\WorldBuilder - the exact path may vary by computer, but you should be able to locate a My Games folder under the My Documents folder and find the proper subdirectories from there.

    Once the scenario file has been placed in the WorldBuilder folder, start Civ4. From the main menu, select Single Player, then Scenario. Select the file for the AU course you’re playing. Choose your difficulty level (and civilization details if you wish) and click OK.

    Some more instructions here would be helpful. The above should provide all a computer literate person needs, but step-by-step instructions would help those who are new not just to Civ4 but to dealing with zips and moving files around on their own.

    <a name="images">How can I take pictures in Civ4? How can I post them on Apolyton?</a>
    Civilization 4 can take in-game screenshots for you; just hit the two keys SHIFT+PrtScr, input the name you want it to give the image file, and it will place the screenshot in the directory My Documents\My Games\Sid Meier’s Civilization 4\ScreenShots (the exact path may vary by computer, but you should be able to locate a My Games folder under the My Documents folder and find the proper subdirectories from there). You can also simply hit the PrtScr key; this will also place a screenshot in the same folder, except it will not prompt you for a file name and will instead use one based on a standardized format. The PrtScr key will also copy the image to the clipboard if you want to use your favored graphics program (PhotoShop, IrFanView, Paint, etc).

    Once you have the image, you can upload it to Apolyton. There are two ways to go about this.

    The first is to attach the image directly to a forum post. When making a post on Apolyton, look just above the row of buttons for Submit/Preview/Spellcheck; you’ll see a text box with a “browse” button next to it. You can click the "Browse" button to navigate to the file you want to upload. Select it, click okay, and submit your post when ready; the file will be attached to your post. If, as in this case, the file is an image, it will automatically be displayed inside your post. There are some downsides to this method, however. The first is that attached images cannot be any wider than 800 pixels, smaller than the smallest size you could possibly be running Civ4 at; so you will have to use an image editor to crop and/or resize your image down to this limit before attaching it to a post. Second, you can only attach one file to a post, which means one image to a post; if you wish to post multiple images with a DAR, you must post the DAR in as many posts as you have images – inconvenient if you have a number of screenshots to share.

    The second way to put screenshots in your DAR is to use the Apolyton upload service. Every member of Apolyton is given a limited amount of space on Apolyton’s server to upload files for use on Apolyton. Go to to access your own control panel for your upload files. The basics are as follows: Use the browse button to find and select the file to upload. A URL for the file will be listed near the bottom of the page you are then taken to (below the image). You an also go back and find links to your uploaded files by clicking “View” on the main upload page. Once your images are uploaded, you can insert them in your post at any point by putting in the following code:
    With "URL" replaced with the appropriate URL from the upload service area.

    For example:

    Produces this:

    And now you know far more about Civ4 screenshots than you ever wanted to. For more details on the Upload service, visit

    AU Archive
    Might as well add this in too. How should this be structured? The opening thread w/ scen download, then misc. threads, then DARs? Or DARs and then other course-related threads?

  • #2
    Hmm, I can't seem to get the vbCode examples to display as actual code; the
    code tag
    doesn't seem to actually stop it from interpreting the tags within. Any way to do that?


    • #3
      Sure, sneak in some "malplaced" do-nothing tags - the code you write should look like this... (i did the trick twice to make it display as it should be written )


      Note: It's the same trick as getting around the profanity filter .


      • #4
        Thanks for bringing this up, Kloreep I would top it, but I have no mod powers here, and I'm really not sure who does...

        I'll check into getting it stickied.
        I make movies. Come check 'em out.


        • #5
          Thanks Blake Works like a charm.

          Didn't know you could get other stuff to display properly too...

          Originally posted by ZargonX
          Thanks for bringing this up, Kloreep I would top it, but I have no mod powers here, and I'm really not sure who does...

          I'll check into getting it stickied.
          Cool. If you're going to top this one, you might want to ask them to edit in a better title as well. Apolyton University Intro & FAQ or somesuch


          • #6
            Ok, I've been given the powers to top things in here, so topped it is!
            I make movies. Come check 'em out.


            • #7
              Cool. Though you might want to change the thread title to something a little more indicative of its FAQtual nature.


              • #8
                Do we have an AU archive...and do we make basic summaryies of what was learned from the game whose stratiges worked whose didn't and why? Would be helpful for us newbies...thanks!
                A university faculty is 500 egoists with a common parking problem


                • #9
                  Saklas, להזמין ש‬ל הזבוב, Trained by Ba'al Zevuv.


                  • #10
                    ok its great.....