Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.


So the team is starting work on the next major expansion pack.  But we also want to keep an eye on the base game.

Right now, the recent Steam reviews for GalCiv are pretty awful with most of the people reviewing it doing so because they don't like some of the changes in v2.5.  So if there are changes you would like in 2.7 and beyond, this would be the place to ask.

The Steam review system is something I have and will continue to complain about because frankly, it absolutely destroys games.  When it's less than 70, a game might as well not exist.  So I'll be explicit, if you want us to keep working on GalCiv III, please leave a Steam review.  If not, don't. If you already have, thank you!

As many of you know, I am AI biased. But I know I'm in a minority because there is another space strategy game outselling GalCiv III and, suffice to say, AI is not its focus. 

It is clear that narratives in games matter.  GalCiv has a quest system ala Fallen Enchantress/Sorcerer King.  But we have tried to avoid doing that because we don't want the game to be a series of scripted narratives.  We don't plan to change that position in the base game but we are looking at releasing DLC that will do that if players want it. 

Now, the next major expansion pack focuses on politics and government.  So we'll set all that aside for now.  Otherwise, it's all open. What would you like to see?

Comments (Page 1)
on Oct 02, 2017

It is clear that narratives in games matter. 

Looking at my own actions, I have to agree completely.   I'm about replayed out with playing sandbox.   Played every race.  Played all the different galaxy sizes.  Abundant this, rare that....    The only game I lost was the first Snathi Campaign mission (which I lost many times), and that is one of my favorite maps.

If you published DLC with new campaigns, new narratives, I would buy it.  I would immediately finish all the missions, maybe play a few more sandbox games using the latest/greatest balance fixes, maybe leave a positive review, and probably be done (after you got my money, though).   Whatever my opinion is about games needing narratives (and I don't even know how I feel about that), I am just saying that's what my actions would be.   So I guess my real behavior and actual $$$$ say that narratives matter.  If you bring on the campaigns, you would get my money.  Just being honest.

on Oct 02, 2017

I'd like to see a few new Citizen types - such as Doctor or a Bishop.

Tied in with this, insert some random events such as a plague/virus that either your civilization needs one to combat the illness or have to barter/buy/steal medicine from another civilization. And the Bishop could be used to help morale on your planets (although the Celebrity is already there for that, right? So maybe scratch that idea.)

More promotion options for Spies - being able to spread propaganda amongst your own people in times of war, for instance. Which helps keep morale up.

Which makes me think of a further trade "good" - but only between allies/close friends. Being able to loan Citizens for a certain period - you ask for a Worker from the Terran at, say, 1 antimatter and 50bc a turn for an agreed time as set out by the civilization the Citizen is being loaned from. I don't think making the temporary loan a permanent buy is a good idea because that might be a bit too cheesy and exploitable, though.




on Oct 02, 2017

I like the removal of sliders. I HATE the game imbalance.  here are some of the  issues.

Improvements: Never build Factories, Laboratories, or Banks.  Spam Farms and Cities and Colonial Hospitals. Win. 

Citizens: Select Administrators and Leaders, Ignore everything else.

Trade Resources: The scarcity is fine, but everything is either useless or too expensive. For example the 25 Antimatter Manufacturing Capital or 20 Prometheon Civilian Promotions.

on Oct 03, 2017

Asked several times before, I would like to have race´s favourite weapon/defense combo in the surveillance screen, when spying on them.

Also delivering the rework of minor civilisation in some unique way would be nice  

on Oct 03, 2017

I don't mind narratives, I like them actually, but in the games I know they are quite static, so when you played them once and know them, they become boring the next time. A system where stories may have different outcome (randomly and according to player actions) would be great. Also stories could be just like events so that they don't occur in every game and are not tied to a certain place or time.

Apart fro that:

- Rework ground invasion. The current system is a step in the right direction, but stuck halfway (or rather, a tenth of the way) there. I wrote a ground invasion simulation some months ago that I posted here with how I imagine the current system could be enhanced, but not very many people were interested at that time, or at least didn't bother to comment on my proposal. Anyway, there is much room to improve in that area

- I didn't play a lot in the last weeks and months, but my impression is that ship component balance and battle balance ingeneral is still at least "unpolished" (e. g. weapons needing to many resources, higher tier weapons being not better than lower tier ones, ship roles not acting correctly in battle, thruster components useless or too powerful (depending on the posts I read) and so on). That system needs some serious work.

- Mercenaries seem to suffer from the many changes and especially the Crusade transformation so that their abilities and cost are not adjusted to the new game mechanics. That needs some work, too.

- I would like to have new abilities from which new, more unique civilizations (but also the old ones by research or espionage or trade or conquest) could choose: invisible ships, ships that can jump through space instead of moving tile by tile, the ablility to mind-control enemy ships, unique weapons that don't fit in the generic beam-kinetic-missile pattern, ...

So, no time to write more for now. I'm sure I could come up with a lot more ideas, but I'm also sure that 99% of them wouldn't make it into the game because other people have other preferences and the time of the devs is limited. Sigh.

on Oct 03, 2017

I would like to see more focus on "balanced" conquest and diplomacy.

In Games like Europa Universalis or Crusader Kings you can choose war goals and in the aftermath claim a price for your victory. That would help to prevent whole civilizations from being extinguished. I always found it a bit cheesy to weaken all my enemys by taking them planet by planet (the whole game). They never give up so i will be forced to conquer them in the end. On the other hand they will never rise to power again. I like the idea of a living universe even with weaker civilizations. In an endless game mode the should also survive because they maybe have special bonus (for being weak or small or even depending on your traits), while the badguys receive mali for conquering or owning large parts of the universe. Maybe whole alliances form to support a benevolent race from being conquered.

This would a great playhouse for diplomacy, United Planets and Galactic Events (for example: Revolution for a supressed/conquered species (maybe even supported by foreign agents)). Therefore planets of other civilizations should only be annexed like in MOO). A new quest/event system may be useful for forming alliances as well (supporting the superweapon, dismantle existing fleets, help to defeat a huge monster, lure it to your enemys territory, Propaganda during war to push/deafeat morale...)

Diplomacy itself needs a little revamp. The AI should recognize my ranks and abilities, friendship should be more valued and treachery punished by all known partners. Also new techs and abilites help to play more charming like a tribble even to a drengin/Klingon

All in whole i could imagine a more stable universe. Not that i oppose war and conquest but my last tries to conquer a gigantic universe had ended in aborting the games completly bored. So maybe winning the game even as a smaller civilization sounds appealing to me.

Much of these ideas could be realised at this moment but depend on much ai rework and modding. So why not in a new DLC. I would surely buy it




on Oct 03, 2017

I agree, narratives tend to be a bit static, and one-and-done.  Something innovative might be doable by expanding on the ideology events some more.  I tend to view narratives as rewards for winning, so I'm okay with there only being a "winning" narrative.

Even if I play through a game just once, though, because it only has one narrative--I still bought the game.  And don't regret the purchase.  I played through Dragon Age only once, with the exception of the very end, because I wanted to see all the different endings (particularly what happens if the main char sleeps with the sorceress).  Paid $49.95, and don't regret it.


on Oct 03, 2017


I like the removal of sliders. I HATE the game imbalance.  here are some of the  issues.

Improvements: Never build Factories, Laboratories, or Banks.  Spam Farms and Cities and Colonial Hospitals. Win. 

Citizens: Select Administrators and Leaders, Ignore everything else.

Trade Resources: The scarcity is fine, but everything is either useless or too expensive. For example the 25 Antimatter Manufacturing Capital or 20 Prometheon Civilian Promotions.

Some good feedback but it's pretty obvious you are focusing on large galaxies.  

on Oct 03, 2017

Mine is diplomacy with others.

More varied and more what if could be.

on Oct 03, 2017

Yes, it's interesting about the AI. I happen to agree with you that it is VERY important. But there was an interesting discussion regarding AI in the Civ6 forum a while back.

Basically some folks were bemoaning about how bad the AI is in Civ6. And then someone (probably correctly) pointed out that these days, most players don't really WANT to be challenged. They want to move their units around and make some decision and pretend it was a challenge, but in the end they just want to win. 

So putting in a challenging AI has become less and less of a priority (which is lucky for many game developers since they are creating complex games that their AIs couldn't play well anyways). So, one of the main 'selling points' of GC3 as a 4x game is it's AI and the continual improvement of it but unfortunately that is something that it's appearing that many players are not prioritizing. 

As far as what I would like see? I would like to see less radical swings in core game mechanics with each new iteration. Wheel/No Wheel/Square-root Pop production/One for one Pop production/Food is king/+1 buildings are king/etc etc. Each iteration tends to break the game econ and throw things out of balance and requires multiple balance passes to start to get it ‘right’ again. I haven’t played the latest opt-ins yet, but I felt that 2.6 put way too much production back into the game again. Ship costs mattered a lot less than earlier since most ships (early on at least) can be produced in a few turns anyways. So the granularity of production costs has greatly diminished again and building things no longer feels like an ‘accomplishment’. And I don’t bother with the smaller % increase boosts for Ship Production or whatnot anymore since it doesn’t seem to have much overall effect. I still build most ships quickly enough now not to worry about it.

Also, each major iteration requires ‘re-learning’ what to do again. This isn’t ‘strategy’ per se, it’s simply puzzling out the mechanics…again. So my preference on this front is pick a system and balance it out. I guess I was in the minority when it came to the square root population but I thought in its final iteration before switching back to one-to-one, it was in a pretty good place. I wanted pop, but I wanted buildings too. There were some buildings that were ‘too good’ (generally the ones that gave a flat bonus that was boosted by adjacency) that is easily fixed.

Finally, I would still like to see the early game be much less of a ‘race to colonize everything’. I tend to play mostly on Medium maps (and occasionally Large) but both play out mostly the same due to increased race density. I think the Administrators were an attempt to slow that down, but in practice it hasn’t changed at all. You mostly need to spend your opening cash on colony ships to grab whatever you can, whenever you can. Speaking of, why does everyone start with such a huge wad of cash? I think that is probably the biggest contributor to the ‘colony rush’.  

FWIW, I’m not a huge fan of scripts and scripted events because (as happens in Stellaris), once you’ve played through and seen them a few times, you just skip through them anyways. The ‘interesting’ in the game should come from the decision-making in the situations you run into, not scripted events IMO.


Anyways, it’s unfortunate that the Steam reviews are so poor and that people use that to axe-grind over mechanics changes (rather than a discussion forum). I think I have posted a review but I’ll make sure when I get home because while I didn’t greatly enjoy the mechanics the last time I played, I would definitely like to see development continue in hopes of it hitting a sweet spot again.

on Oct 03, 2017

do reviews on GOG help at all?

on Oct 03, 2017

The game definitely plays faster without the wheel. The required use of resources is more challenging. Since 2.6, the AI now fleets up and is more of a challenge. Balance is pretty reasonable now on starbase/shipyard defenses. Good progress there.

The thing is, this a space game. Space is vast, and the emphasis in the game should be on maps sized "Large" or bigger. It's also a 4x game, and the exploration phase shouldn't be eliminated by turn 100. Smaller sizes are cute, but shouldn't be the focus of development. I know that it's a lot easier to play test a small map, but if that's all you do on a regular basis and then set AI strategies on that basis, it doesn't work as well for the larger map sizes. If you have to prioritize dev efforts, please do so for the bigger maps.

Specific things to fix.

  1. As Uncle Joe noted, please stop changing the base values- you're good enough now, and it should be minor tweaks/consistency moving forward
  2. Fix the AI for planet builds- still not recognizing special tiles for improvements very well. It does seem to group better
  3. Fix the AI to use/consider alternate paths to achieve a goal.  For example, if the AI needs more science, it should be able to consider the options, not just one path like just spamming planets with science labs
    1. build more standard labs on many planets
    2. build a special science improvement, like an Brindle's, and put that next to the core
    3. build a base to harvest the science relics out there (and stack these, and research the precursor tree!)
    4. build more population
    5. conquer the guys who do have science planets, or at least, those planets.
  4. Do a full pass on the tech trees to catch the regressions for bldg improvements; I should always see an increase if I build the next bldg version
    1. there are still some bldg paths where the first bldg is a fixed amount and then upgrades are only a percent increase; these should always keep the fixed and then add the percentage

New things

Not sure, you guys are pretty innovative about that. I have to say that while I certainly haven't exhausted the range of sandbox variations, a set of campaign missions for various races in a DLC would appeal to me.


on Oct 03, 2017

I like playing on large maps. My favorite games on GalCiv2 were on the largest map settings - but GalCiv3 from the get-go seems extremely focused on smaller maps. I get it - insane-sized map scenarios are hard to test and very time consuming.

  1. Get rid of races on the other side of the map that can't get to you (or you to them) declaring war on you in the early game.
  2. I still have no idea how "Ripe for Conquest" condition works and every time I think I figure it out I'm wrong.
  3. Minor Civilizations need a major rework with a few more types.
    1. Standard - secluded world interested in trade and not expanding
    2. Fallen Civilization - a cluster of worlds with a faction that receives an advanced start (Age of War) with an appropriate defending navy, but grows slowly in tech compared to player/AI races. Like all minor races, they aren't expansionist.
    3. Minor Civs can randomly become full blow late-game expansionist AIs out of nowhere through a Mega Event.
  4. More Mega Events. Mega Events are awesome and I love the random monkey wrench it throws into gameplay. Well, except when I can't get out of a war with some meathead race on the other side of the galaxy and the precursor drones decide to murder everything I have out of spite.
  5. "Abundant" actually meaning Abundant - pirate count and minor race count keeps getting nerfed.
  6. Challenges for Player and AIs to overcome beyond fighting each other - the game has gotten extremely focused on PvP or PvAI.
  7. Some sort of carrot for those who have bought the DLC - Crusade does a lot of good, but it sidelined much of DLC swag into barely showing up at all (especially the precursor stuff).

Honestly, I like you guys otherwise I wouldn't keep buying nigh everything for this game.

on Oct 03, 2017


Also, each major iteration requires ‘re-learning’ what to do again. This isn’t ‘strategy’ per se, it’s simply puzzling out the mechanics…again.
The worst about it is, that puzzling it out is not even stimulating because it is so easy.


Quoting tungchiawah,

I like the removal of sliders. I HATE the game imbalance.  here are some of the  issues.

Improvements: Never build Factories, Laboratories, or Banks.  Spam Farms and Cities and Colonial Hospitals. Win. 

Citizens: Select Administrators and Leaders, Ignore everything else.

Trade Resources: The scarcity is fine, but everything is either useless or too expensive. For example the 25 Antimatter Manufacturing Capital or 20 Prometheon Civilian Promotions.

Some good feedback but it's pretty obvious you are focusing on large galaxies.  

Because of the citizen comment? ... Big deal, then large galaxies means empires with 5+ planets.

The other two notes have nothing to do with galaxy size. And they are on point.

on Oct 03, 2017

Brad, I have to ask,

Why isn't this GalCiv IV? 

You would have saved yourself a lot of grief, especially in the reviews.  Players (to some extent including me though I left a good review) are upset about changes to a game that they know.  They wouldn't leave a bad review because GC4 is a different game; one would expect it to be different.  And you would have preserved the existing GC3 review base.

Conversely, issuing a new game would seem to generate considerably more attention, especially from those that aren't currently active players.  And of course there are revenue options that don't seem to be there with the current updates.

Perhaps this is still an option?


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