FAQ: Electronic Games
Catan - Cities & Knights for PC/MAC
Originally, we had thought about integrating another, “higher” level of difficulty. Due to comments from players, we have now dropped this idea. A separate, higher level of difficulty seemed not to be of great interest; instead, many players wished for an easier level. We thus have implemented an Easy Campaign instead of a more difficult Campaign, to make things easier for newcomers. But the pros also benefited: we used many of our ideas for a high-difficulty level to improve the “Normal” mode, which is why the “Normal” mode should remain challenging for advanced players too.
The program Catan – Cities & Knights is only suitable for play against computer opponents. It doesn’t possess its own online mode.
Particularly when things are not going well and the robber comes exactly in the worst moment, players are sometimes quick to allege that the random number generator is flawed or manipulated. However, it has been proven in extensive tests that this is definitely not the case.
Because two dice are used, the numbers rolled in each game basically follow a triangular distribution, meaning that, for example, a “12” occurs less frequently than a “6.” One has to keep in mind, however, that we are dealing with statistical probabilities. It is therefore possible – although not very likely – that a “7” is rolled 7 times in a row. In a normal Catan game with approximately 60 dice rolls in total, the number of rolls is too small to always result in a perfect Gaussian distribution. Certain anomalies may well occur, and it could happen that the “6” is rolled more often than the “8,” even though the expected probability for these numbers to be rolled is the same. But all this doesn’t mean that the random number generator is flawed or manipulated – it’s simply in the nature of things and wouldn’t be different when you play at the table.
In order to make the dice roll results as random as possible, the routine used for the random number generator is the renowned Mersenne Twister method. Among experts, this routine is considered as the ideal combination of speed and performance (in this case, randomness)
More information about the method can be found here.
To move the game board, drag the mouse while holding down the right mouse key.
We received some comments from players who perceived the computer opponents’ behavior in the game as unfair. Well, the computer opponents may play tough, but they never play unfair or against the rules. It was our goal to create a strong artificial intelligence that poses a challenge even after having played several games, which makes the situation a little more difficult for newcomers. This is why we subsequently added a Campaign for newcomers where the computer opponents play in a more “amiable” fashion.
Klaus Teuber also wrote a blog post on this topic.
In “Catan – The First Island,” the first adaptation of the board game for PC, the computer opponents accompanied the situations occurring during the game with spoken comments. This was one of the most frequently mentioned points of criticism about the game at that time. People perceived the comments as annoying and distracting. We therefore decided to not include spoken comments in “Catan – Cities & Knights” but to loosen up the Campaign with spoken comments during the story sequences in between the individual scenarios instead.
“Catan – The First Island” was a successful program, but it is 10 years old now. The former team of programmers no longer exists as such, and further development would not have been possible. Reprogramming had thus become inevitable. In late 2007, when we decided to develop a new Catan PC program, it was obvious that – unlike “Catan – The First Island” – this program had to contain not only the Settlers of Catan base game and Seafarers but also the “Cities & Knights” expansion. We analyzed the comments about “Catan – The First Island” that had reached us back then, and as a result designed a new concept that was supposed to focus on the essentials: varied scenarios and competent computer opponents.
In addition, unlike “Catan – The First Island,” we didn’t want to publish “Catan – Cities & Knights” as a regular-priced game but offer it at a more favorable price. This is why we refrained from including diverse optical gimmickry. But “Catan – Cities & Knights” is still quite comprehensive. It includes not only the complex “Cities & Knights” expansion – as yet never adapted to PC/Mac – but also a Campaign consisting of 20 scenarios.
Experience with other projects had shown that this mode is not used very frequently. In addition to that, we had to focus on the users’ most essential requests, to avoid creating a budget overrun. We therefore decided to do without a hotseat mode and put more effort into the Campaign and the computer opponents instead – something that many comments about the first PC game “Catan – The First Island” had regarded as important.
Questions Regarding Purchase
No, it is currently not projected to release the English version of Catan - Cities and Knights on CD. The English version is only available for download.
When entering the license code, please pay attention to the following:
- Exact spelling is important – that includes case sensitivity!
- Carefully recheck the information you entered upon purchase. Maybe a typo occurred. It is important that the information you provided when purchasing the program (name and e-mail address) match the information you enter in the program.
- If you checked the information you provided and still are unable to activate the software, please contact out service team indicating your name and the e-mail address you provided when purchasing the program.
If you have purchased the download version via this website and encounter payment or billing problems, please contact our partner Share-it. Share-it is also the party you enter into the purchase agreement with.
In case of purely technical questions, please contact our service team. Unfortunately, though, we cannot answer billing questions via this address.
Please use the latest installer 1.231. This version only requires admin privileges upon installation.
The old “Catan - Cities & Knights” installer requires write access to the entire installation directory at all times.
As a result of this, the program will request administrator privileges when running on Windows Vista or Windows 7. Please click here to read more about running C&K without administrator privileges on Windows.
Running C&K without administrator privileges works fine if you are using Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger” or 10.5 “Leopard.” However, if you are using Mac OS X 10.6 “Snow Leopard,” you have to take certain precautions. Please click here to read more about running C&K without administrator privileges on Mac OS 10.6 “Snow Leopard”.
Catan – Cities & Knights was developed and tested on Windows Vista and XP systems. Therefore, we cannot guarantee proper functioning of the program in other versions of Windows. There is some possibility that Catan – Cities & Knights will also run smoothly on an older system if Java 1.6 or higher is available for it. In this case, you should try to run the free demo version on the system. In principle, however, we do not provide support for Windows versions other than Vista and XP.
Please go to the Catan - Cities & Knights installation folder:
Depending on the Windows version you are using, you will find the files in the following folder:
- Old Installer (up to and including 1.230):
C:\Program Files\Catan\Catan - Cities and Knights\Client\
or alternatively in C:\Program Files (x86)\
- New installer (1.231 or newer):
- Windows XP:
C:\Documents and Settings\Username\Applicatan Data\CatanSuR\Client\
- Windows Vista / Windows 7:
- Windows XP:
To access this folder, open the Windows Explorer via the start menu (Start / (All) Programs / Accessories) or by simultaneously pressing Win-E (the Windows key on the lower left of your keyboard together with the letter E). The “Catan - Cities & Knights” program folder in the Windows start menu also contains a shortcut.
Mac OS X:
Please switch to your home directory by pressing Cmd-Shift-H in the Finder. In it you will find your personal “Applications” folder containing the “Catan” folder, which, in turn, contains the “Catan - Cities & Knights” application icon. Right-click on this icon (or click on it while holding down the Ctrl key) and select “Show package content.” From there, go to /Contents/Resources/CSR/Client.
The saved games can be found in two folders:
The entire content of both folders has to be saved, otherwise the saved games cannot be restored.
- Old Installer (up to and including 1.230):
After the release of Mac OS X 10.8 “Mountain Lion” in late July 2012, we have dropped official support for Mac OS X 10.4 “Tiger,” which at the time was already 7 years old. To use our software on older Macs, you should have at least Mac OS X 10.5 “Leopard.”
However, there is an unofficial method to install the most recent program version under “Tiger” and operate it in compatibility mode using Java 1.5. Please proceed as follows:
- Download and install the program “Pacifist” by CharlesSoft. The free trial version will suffice.
- Download the latest download archive (e.g., catan_cak_231d_eng_Mac-Universal.dmg), then double-click for activation.
- Open the installation package (e.g., “Catan - Cities & Knights V1.231d”) with Pacifist. For this purpose, simply drag the package icon onto the Pacifist application icon.
- In the Pacifist window, please open the icons one by one. Deep inside you will find a file called “payload.tar.” Drag this file from the Pacifist window to your desktop.
- Double-click “payload.tar” to unpack the archive. This will create the game “Catan - Cities & Knights.”
- To run it on “Tiger,” you have to activate the compatibility mode in our software.
(In a nutshell: right-click on the “Catan - Cities & Knights” application icon, “Show Package Contents,” double-click on “Compatibility_mode_on.command.”)
- Afterwards, you can move the application to any folder for which you have write permission at all times during run time, so it can keep itself up-to-date using the automatic update mechanism integrated into the program.