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Frogboy's Articles In GalCiv III Dev Journals
March 13, 2018 by Frogboy
People don't like to be taxed.  They really don't like to be taxed if they don't have a say in it. The principle cause of the American revolution was not taxation in itself, it was that the colonists didn't have a say in who and what was taxed.

Now, let's imagine how this would be handled when you are talking light years. To understand how distances work in Galactic Civilizations, we need to understand Hyperspace Projection.

I'm the map I'm the map I'm the map! you m...
February 20, 2018 by Frogboy
How will we feed our billions?

In Galactic Civilizations III, we presume that by the time we are colonizing planets, our home world has reached an equilibrium between food production and population.  But let's face it: when we colonize other planets, it'll take many years for those planets to build up sufficient farming infrastructure to produce for the kinds of populations you have on your home world.


Surplus Food

Galactic Civilizations III will be treating food a bit di...
February 14, 2018 by Frogboy
One of the biggest challenges we have faced in developing Galactic Civilizations III has been map sizes and the memory they require.

On a number of occasions, we have tried to reduce the the largest map sizes down to improve performance and shrink memory requirements.  And each time we have attempted to do that, we have ended up with a very vocal outcry of anger.

But large map sizes come with a significant memory cost to be aware of.

Galactic Civilizations, like its inspiration...
February 13, 2018 by Frogboy
Farming I'm not liking the farming mechanic.  It seemed like a good idea on paper but in practice, it's just tedious and exploitive.  Here's how I'd like to see it work: Some planets would have a Arable land tile including all starting planets.  Building on these tiles produces food. The tech tree would have a path for players who want to get the most out of those resources to get a lot of food.  The arable land resource be destructable -- you can destroy it (like you ca...
March 6, 2018 by Frogboy
13 minutes, 48 seconds.  That’s how long it took the Curiosity rover’s signal to reach Earth from Mars - and Mars is in our own solar system.

Intrigue is the name of the upcoming expansion pack to our best-selling space strategy game, Galactic Civilizations III.  It’s not called “Government” or “Politics”. It’s Intrigue.  13 minutes, 48 seconds between responses for radio signals in our own solar system leaves a lot of time for un...
January 28, 2018 by Frogboy
Humans vs. Drengin. 


In September I played (and beat) a genius AI.  Let’s see how well we do now.  This is on the standard game, no CRUSADE. Version 2.8 (not released yet).

A good start

My first move

Having rare earth metals next to Earth’s capital (heh, Siberia in this game) lets me start with a level 4 computer core. This means I get +1 research for the base core plus +4 research for being level 4.  A very nice star...
January 16, 2018 by Frogboy
Happy new year!

This month marks my one-year anniversary of returning to my beloved Galactic Civilizations as its lead designer.  And since then, we've made a lot of changes much to the joy and angst of many galactic conquerors.

Unintended Consequences

With the announcement of the third expansion pack to Galactic Civilizations III imminent, this serves as a good time to look at where we stand today.

For the past year, I've been going through and weeding out improvements, events ...
October 2, 2017 by Frogboy

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,...
September 17, 2017 by Frogboy
The big GalCiv III v2.5 update went out.  Most people like it.  Not everyone of course (it breaks save games).  If you're liking it, you know the drill "Like and Subscribe" as they say on YouTube or in Steam's case, please leave a review.  Even if you've left a review in the past, you can delete your old one and leave a new one which will have the "Recent reviews" which matters a lot (a lot more than it should imo but hopefully Valve will update their algorithms in light of r...
September 10, 2017 by Frogboy
Last week I did a one on one test against the Drengin AI set at Normal. It was on a tiny map in which I rushed for invasion tech and killed them.

This time, let's bump the AI to Genius...

AI at Genius

The 2.5 GalCiv III AI is a lot smarter than previous iterations. It handles fleets better. It researches better. It builds up planets more intelligently.  But it is really difficult, even in human 1 on 1 games, to deal with a rush.

Now, at Genius, the AI starts out with more mo...
September 9, 2017 by Frogboy

Our story so far...

Every once in awhile, Do a 1 on 1 test on a relatively balanced map to see how well the AI is doing.   I play on Normal or Gifted as that puts the AI on roughly equal terms with me.

I choose  the Drengin because they are a vicious, evil civilization that has few redeeming qualities and they play the game very differently than most people do (they are absolutely amoral).  Their strategies aren't always ideal but they do tend to be interestin...
September 3, 2017 by Frogboy
For part 1 go here.

Version 2.5 is easily the biggest update to the base game of GalCiv III since its first release back in 2015.  What makes these updates possible is the continuing sales of DLC and expansions like Crusade.

The much beloved Galactic Civilizations II never got an update like this one.  That is because back then, games were sold at retail and so there was no realistic way to keep updating the base game like we can today for budgetary reasons.  Hence, GalCiv I...
August 31, 2017 by Frogboy
  I'm so excited!

We live in magical times, my friends.

I've talked about the challenge of building a 4th generation game engine over at IGN.  Stardock's first attempt at building a 3rd generation engine failed pretty spectacularly (Elemental). Galactic Civilizations II was arguably a 2nd generation (upgraded) engine.  Its code base could be traced back to 1997.  So by the time it was released, it was almost 10 years old. 

For GalCiv III, we decided to go direct...
August 31, 2017 by Frogboy
This weekend I will be working on the big update to GalCiv III and GalCiv III Crusade.  My work focuses heavily on balance so if you have any particular exploits or balance issues you'd like me to look into...

1. Post here.

2. Share a save game for me to look at.

You can also join me this weekend on Discord:
July 16, 2017 by Frogboy

Microsoft Surface Pro love

I got GalCiv III to run on my Surface Pro 4 by manually updating the video drivers to the latest ones by Intel.  The official drivers from Microsoft are a year old and those drivers claimed to be DirectX 11 capable drivers (they were not) and so the game would crash when trying to do a DirectX 11 specific call.

If you have an embedded Intel video adapter, do yourself a favor and head over to Intel's site and download the drivers.&...