Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Frogboy's Articles
June 14, 2021 by Frogboy
During the development of a game, many ideas will look good on paper only to be found to not work out in practice.  Normally, these ideas get killed off before implementation and even fewer ever get seen by the public. In the case of Galactic Civilizations IV, because we’re going out in ALPHA, you will get to see some ideas fully implemented that we have already decided didn’t work out. Today’s example for discussion: The Ideology compass. Here’s how it wor...
June 10, 2021 by Frogboy
For this entry, we are going to give you a tour of Galactic Civilizations IV as it exists, in alpha state, in June 2021.  We’re very excited. There’s a lot in here but so very much more to do. Note: I’m playing at 5K so I’m smushing my screenshots down so that they’re not quite so huge.   Choosing a Civilization For the Alpha, you can only play as the humans.  This is because we intend to make the civilizations much more distinct than t...
June 7, 2021 by Frogboy
With the benefit of hindsight… Every 4X game I’ve played struggles with the late game.  This is because they tend to become a micromanagement slog where the outcome of the game was known long before.  So how do you address this?  Well, the wrong way to do it is with AI governors or other such “help” from the AI. GalCiv IV flips the concept of governors on its head. In previous GalCiv games, you had to manage every single planet you colonized. ...
May 28, 2021 by Frogboy
So I turn 50 this year.  It's an arbitrary milestone but such milestones gives us an opportunity to take stock in our lives. I wrote on my Facebook page that I get frustrated being a failure.  My friends and family were quite worried and I should have given more context to my feelings which is what I am going to do here. We all have certain personality traits that can get in the way of accomplishing what we want.  Maybe you just want to lose some weight and you just can't...
May 20, 2021 by Frogboy
So how do you make your galactic civilization feel like it’s a living, breathing thing? Put (simulated) living, breathing things in it: characters. We have moved everything that makes sense from being an abstract number to being a character.  Population? Instead of it being 3.2 billion, it's just 3 characters. Every character has stats and background. Every character has a set of skills with numerical values to them.  They also have a backstory and can be interacted wit...
May 11, 2021 by Frogboy
Galactic Civilizations is a 4X space strategy game set in the future right after humans have launched their first colony ship into space.  The popular franchise is well known for combining good AI, free-form ship movement, and a ship designer. The current edition, Galactic Civilizations III, was released in 2015 to much praise from both gamers and reviewers with particular emphasis on its high replay value, extensive technology tree and clever computer opponents. Now, 6 years later, S...
May 10, 2021 by Frogboy
And so it begins… Make sure you check out www.galciv4.com, and in particular the FAQ and Game pages, which will give you a lot of details on what’s coming. A little backgroundBefore we start, I should introduce myself. I’m Brad Wardell. I designed and programmed the very first Galactic Civilizations game back in 1993 for OS/2. I literally programmed it out of my college dorm room after picking up “Teach Yourself C in 21 days”.  While OS/2 didn’t...
May 10, 2021 by Frogboy
I don’t know if this will be my last AAR of Galactic Civilizations III.   As I type this, the game is about to turn 6 years old and is still going strong. We’ve been working on an update for the game for awhile and are hoping to get it released before the anniversary (fingers crossed).  This AAR will kind of act as a retrospect on the game, mention some changes we’ve made and hopefully be entertaining. I am playing as the Terran Empire.  I c...
May 6, 2021 by Frogboy
DeskScapes is a program designed to make it easy to have really cool Windows desktop backgrounds.  It doesn’t just manage wallpapers - it integrates native animated wallpaper support into Windows.  Version 11 includes a bunch of cool new things that make it pretty compelling for every PC user.  Here is a quick tour of some of those features. Part 1: The interfaceOnce installed, you access DeskScapes by right-clicking on your desktop. The interface is designe...
May 4, 2021 by Frogboy
I hope you enjoyed season 1 as much as I did!It's going to be a long time until season 2 so I decided to put together an 8-episode guide prediction which I'll share here.I have no inside knowledge but I have read the comic. This post has changes from the comic that I think make it more compatible with an episodic TV show.Obviously, this isn't how it will actually go down. But it is likely to go down something like this so major spoilers. Stop now if you haven't read the comic book.Spoilers...Spo...
April 15, 2021 by Frogboy
So I keep my Mac and PC next to each other. Broadly speaking, even taking multiple monitors out of the picture, I find the PC more productive.  This is primarily a difference in how Windows and Mac work.  This wasn't always the case but over time, Microsoft has added a lot of nice little short-cuts and tweaks that just don't seem to exist on the Mac. Even little things in the Mac seem needlessly complicated. For instance, on Windows 10, I can hit Windows Key - Shift S to take...
March 30, 2021 by Frogboy
This is really interesting documentary broken up into bite sized chunks. It deals with the transition in games journalism that we saw starting around 2010 with the changes to the underlying business models of the media and in particular the games media. Here is part 1:
March 12, 2021 by Frogboy
We aren't ready to announce anything specifically yet but I wanted to give you a sneak preview of some of the things we have going on around here. First, there probably won't be a lot more journal entries for GalCiv III.  There will be more updates to GalCiv III but they will fall under bug fixing only.  The team has been staffed up (and we're hiring more) to focus on "GalCiv Next". So what are some of the broad strokes?  In no particular order these are the things that ...
February 8, 2021 by Frogboy
Google's streaming game platform, Stadia, has been having a rough time this past year. From Take 2's CEO publicly calling them out to the recent Terraria debacle coming right after Google's decision to close their first-party studios, it's not looking too promising for Stadia these days. The tech Stadia is run on is good.  We were deeply involved during the Yeti project and were very impressed with the potential.  We ported our engine over to Yeti and were ready to move our games...
February 8, 2021 by Frogboy
How does WindowBlinds 10 handle older skins on the latest version of Windows 10? The answer: Inconsistently.  There are some apps, like Notepad, where it always works fine.  Others, like an Explorer window it sometimes works fine.  And then there‚Äôs Edge where it rarely works fine.  Look at the results yourselves. For the next version of WindowBlinds we are looking to either update ...