Utopia is an interactive game unlike any other on the web. The experience is entirely what you make it. Whether it's simply a way to spend a few minutes a day or an escape from the hassles of the real-world, Utopia affects different people in different ways. In total, our users have spent well over 50 million hours playing our games over the last several years. During that time, our games have impacted lives in amazing and fantastic ways. Whether it's bringing families together or creating friendships across the world, our users' stories are unique, intriguing, and amazing.
It won the People's Voice Webby Award for Gaming Site of the Year twice (2002 and 2003). Utopia is free to play; the game is supported by revenue from banner and pop-up advertising. Players can either pay a small fee for each Age or a one-time fee permanently for some minor in-game bonuses and removal of all advertising in the game.
Gameplay is divided into periods called "Ages," with each Age lasting between three to four months. At the end of an Age, all accounts are reset to their initial states to give players a fresh start, any new balance and Gameplay changes are put into effect, and the competition begins again. On January 26th, 2008 the game entered its 37th age, which is called the Age of Angels.
Utopia has a real-time gaming environment. A player's province continues to grow, produce resources, and recruit soldiers even when he or she is not logged on. This also means that a province may be attacked even while its player is not logged in.
Upon selecting a server and creating an account, players are given a choice of Race (Human, Elf, Dwarf, Orc, Gnome, Dark Elves), and Personalities (Merchant, Shepherd, Sage, Rogue, Mystic, War Hero, Warrior, and Freak). Each Personality and Race has its own strengths and weaknesses; some have access to unique spells, some have bonuses to offense or resource production, and so on. In addition, each Race has access to a unique military unit called an Elite, and, until the most recent age on both the main server and the experimental server, each Personality used to have a bonus related to the number of Elite units.
Players' provinces are grouped into Kingdoms; each Kingdom is a team of up to 25 provinces. Provinces within the same kingdom can send resources to each other, have a private forum for discussion, and can elect the leader of one province to become a Monarch. The Monarch is elected by a vote among the provinces in a Kingdom, where players with higher levels of Honour (see below) have more than one vote. The Monarchy is also automatically given to any province obtaining over half of the combined Networth (see below) of the Kingdom. This Monarch can then decide whether or not any of the other provinces should get Monarchy instead.
A Monarch has total control on political issues such as declaring wars on other kingdoms and moderating the kingdom forums, but otherwise does not have any direct power over other players. The Monarch also has certain bonuses in resource production and defense during hostilities.
In the interval between the end of an Age and the beginning of another, players are able to log in to their accounts and interact in the forums in order to plan ahead. However, no actual gameplay takes place, and although players may issue commands to their province, no changes will happen until the game officially begins. Once the Age proper has begun, players are given 72 real-time hours of protection, some land and a fixed amount of resources to develop their province before military attacks are allowed. New players joining later in the game also receive the 72 hours of protection, but start with more resources and land than they would have been given at the start of the Age.
One Utopian day (the smallest in-game unit of time) is equivalent to 1 real-time hour. One Utopian month is 24 Utopian days (or one real time day; 24 real time hours). One Utopian year is 7 Utopian months, January through July (or one real time week; 7 real-time days; 168 real-time hours). The year begins on January 1 (Sunday, 12:00am), and progresses so forth. This system allows for easier coordination within the kingdom, due to the fact that players from across the world exist in the same kingdoms and using standard chronology of GMT would be too complicated. The days of the Genesis server 'ticks' at the half hour, to reduce stress on the servers.