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Frogboy's Articles In GalCiv III Dev Journals
March 27, 2018 by Frogboy
Intrigue is the third expansion for Stardock's massive-scale space strategy game, Galactic Civilizations III. This expansion changes the game in significant ways to extend playability and introduce new dynamics, adding politics, governments, civilization crises, the GNN, elections, and the Galactic Market to the game. 

We're also updating the base game to version 3.0 with the release of Intrigue; you'll see we've called out areas where changes are made in v3.0.

This will walk you thro...
April 10, 2018 by Frogboy
Remember when you bought a game at the store, took it home, devoured the user manual the first evening, and then played a game that you would slowly master?  Those were the days.

Today, games are much more sophisticated and today's gamers want to see their games evolve and improve based on their feedback.  That brings us to this walk-through of Galactic Civilizations III v3.

For the purposes of this walk-through, I will be using v3.0 with all expansions installed.  Your expe...
April 6, 2018 by Frogboy
The species that are - in essence, talking meat - receive a great deal of attention, despite being an objectively inferior form of life. Today I will attempt to communicate to you humans the advantages of synthetic life.



The days of organic lifeforms are numbered. The wise and benevolent Yor Singularity will have it known that this is not a threat, it is simply a fact of the state of nature.

The Yor, as depicted in the OS/2 version of Galactic Civilizations 20+ years agoFor many ye...
April 3, 2018 by Frogboy
We have previously discussed the perils of running a galactic civilization.  People living hundreds of light years away from their home world will have relatively little interest in the political intrigues of the capital.  That’s where the government types come in.

What is the best type of government for your civilization? There is no right answer.

Let’s work through a scenario and how it might play out.  The star Procyon is 11 light years away from Earth.  ...
March 31, 2018 by Frogboy
The situation is desperate.

The Terran Alliance is slowly losing the war to the Drengin Empire.

Is Earth doomed?



Your friends are doing their best to help, but they cannot directly involve themselves.

Our friends, the Altarians, give us covert aid.The Drengin Empire's military might is vast.The Drengin have long prepared for this day.  We had hoped that trade and diplomacy would stay their hands.  But after having annihilated the Torians, their border touched upon ours....
March 20, 2018 by Frogboy
The premise of Galactic Civilizations is that you have united your homeworld and are now ready to send your first colony ship off into space.  What kind of alien worlds do you think we can settle?The reality is, many worlds are not going to be safe for us.  We'll have to live in environmentally sealed enclosures at first.  Not because they are too cold or lack the right atmospheric conditions (though that is an issue), but rather because many worlds will have microbes that just ar...
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!Space...as 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. 

AI at NORMAL

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
Greetings!

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...