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Published on March 12, 2021 By Frogboy In GalCiv III Dev Journals

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 have been on our mind:

How to have big maps and play tall. You're going to hear this concept a lot: A map of maps.   

More player actions. We really liked the artifacts as a concept because they let the player actively do things in the world.  We are looking at expanding on that.

Crazy big tech tree without it being a mess to manage. Like every GalCiv game we've ever done, we are going to be trying a lot of different new ways of managing techs.   What I can say is that we would really like to have a much, much larger tech tree in the future.

Invasions. We don't like the invasions in GalCiv III.  It's...fine.  But I feel like I'm popping balloons rather than engaging in some titanic battle for control of an entire planet.

Combat. We would like to see combat move away from being an all or nothing thing in a single turn.

Citizens++. Citizens were introduced in Crusade.  But we would really like the entire game revolve around citizens to the point where population = citizens and it is all about what you do with them.

Much, much, much bigger empires. In 4X games, including GalCiv, I think we've been approaching colonies backwards.  We always default to forcing players to micromanage their cities, planets, whatever and then add some sort of AI manager system to try to automate planets.  As a result, the game designs always try to discourage/punish players for having too many colonies which I find off-putting.

Instead, why not encourage players to have as many colonies as they want but by default, they are just simple resource generators? That is, they provide money, resources, research to their sponsor world.  Then, when you find a particularly interesting world, you flip the concept of a "governor" on its head and assign a citizen to govern the planet which means THEN you manage the planet.   And in doing so, we make sure that consuming a citizen to become a governor is a pretty big deal since that citizen could be doing something else important.  So imagine a game where you have 400 colonies of which say you directly manage your best few yourself?

Because in GalCiv III, we basically made class 1 through 10 planets rare because who wants to manage these worlds? This was a missed opportunity.  Now we can have lots of meh planets that simply act as the raw resource providers to their sponsor world which in turn you are managing to do super awesome stuff (think of the min-maxing going on there!).

Vastly bigger map differentiation.  The smallest maps in the future will probably feel roughly the same as they currently do.  But the largest sized maps will make the maps in GalCiv III look piddly with a lot more strategic depth to it as well.

We want multiplayer to be viable. Putting aside that most people don't play 4X games multiplayer, we would like there to be gameplay modes that you could play with a total stranger in less than an hour if you'd like.  These special modes would be available for single player too.

NO CAMPAIGNS. All the story and special scripting would instead be integrated into the game as events and such to help make the sandbox game more interesting.  

So that's just some thoughts.  We'll be talking more about it in the future.

 


Comments (Page 4)
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on Mar 30, 2021

Seabrook

It's been a few years since I played Galciv3.

I posted something back in April 2015 after playing the beta. I'm not sure if things changed. After playing Galciv3 for a few months I made a list of 100+ improvements.

1. "A better tech tree interface/UI - Similar to Endless Space or Civilization: Beyond Earth. Their tech tree is a web going in four directions, left, right, up and down, that means you get to see all techs on the same screen at once, no more clicking/scrolling back and forth between screens in each tech category. Players can zoom out and zoom in, filter by tech, name, search, queue research, etc. The tech interface in GC3 might be good 10 years ago for GC2."

A. As posted before I also like the idea of the next available research being random. Can research multiple techs at once? The tech web will only show techs already researched or is currently being research, all techs on web are blank. Unlimited repeatable techs at end game that can increase everything.

B. I would like to see a religious/spiritualist race/faction that can build shrines and temples that increase research instead of research labs. With enough insight they can get free techs for free once in a while.

C. If faction is a corporation and traders they can purchase techs with money in addition to their own research.

D. Scavengers ability-They can go thru enemy ship debris after battle with a survey ship. If faction doesn't have the tech, the tech pops up on a list ready to be researched.

Just a few different ways that each faction can obtain techs.

E. "After building or researching some structures/techs for the first time. Civilization event pop up with two to four options to receive a one time boost or permanently increase the stats of the structure/tech. I got this idea from playing Civilization: Beyond Earth."

 

2. No more edge of the galaxy! - Example: When your cursor is at the right middle edge of the galaxy, you can scroll across the edge of the map, it will go to the left middle edge of the map. Likewise if my ships are in the top right corner and I moved them pass the top right corner, my ships will starts to appear in the lower left corner of the galaxy! If I move my ships from the bottom of the map further, they will start appearing at the top of the map. Now every race will be surrounded by other races, no more starting off in a corner of the galaxy.

 

3. "New intro loading screens. We've been looking at the same Altarian and Drengin one since April 2015. The Crusade expansion intro loading screen only had "Crusade" added to it."

 

4. "Can create trade routes within your own civilization. If you're at war and playing on smaller maps with few civilizations, players are losing income by not being able to trade."

 

5. Event log-I really missed the event log from GC2. "The X civilization colonized planet X in year X (turn 10)"

 

"X civilization declared war on the x civilization in year X (turn 50). If you play Total War: Warhammer 2 you know what I'm talking about.

 

6. Pirates: Each pirate faction should have their own unique name. They usually spawn bases in asteroids. During mid game two or more of the pirate factions can decide to form a new faction with a new name and start to conquer and invade other factions. This turns into a mid game crisis.

 

7. "Influence as a currency- influence generated by planets and structures are now used for diplomacy options such as tech trading and declaring war, etc. Civilizations can trade and conduct diplomacy with each other anytime instead of waiting X amount of turns. Players must now make the decision on what to use the influence points on. No more civilization A meeting B and C early game and immediately trading 25 techs between the three civilizations. Influence points can also be used to affect the United Planets. I usually skip influence structures in my games, this change would make influence structures more useful." If faction is a diplomatic race such as humans, they can use influence to buy ships and/or technology.

 

8. "Combat-We would like to see combat move away from being an all or nothing thing in a single turn"

Maybe combat similar to Endless Legend would work if combat is going to be turn based. Combat ends in 4 or 5 turns in Endless Legend, if no side is victorious it ends up being a draw. If combat is real time maybe something similar to Endless Space 2.

9. Mid game or advanced start- mid game start off with about 50% of the galaxy colonized, advanced start 90%? This is for players who like to get to the thick of things. After so many games the early game colonizing phase seems boring.

10. New space bound race and ability - allows race to build starbases (habitats) and live in them similar to planets. They might be able to colonize planets but have penalties. An alternative is they start off in their special capital planet and expand thru starbases only. Or maybe a nomadic ship bound race where they can build structures on their ships.

11. Survey ships - In addition to endless spawning of anomalies, survey ships should be able to survey everything. Surveying asteroids might give you random loot or credits, black holes research, planets random features on tiles or planets, moons artifacts left behind from an ancient race, etc. The explore phase lasts much longer.

12. "Civilization/Colony capitals- I think I heard this 9 months ago in a dev steam, they were going to do something about this. Starting a new game or sending my colony ship to colonize a planet the capital gets randomly place on a planet tile, usually in a corner with no other adjacent tiles or capital is stuck right in the middle of 6 tiles. If you go into your home planet after a new game, pop up will ask where you want to place the civilization capital. Pop up after player newly colonized a planet to select colony capital placement. Maybe an ability to move capital or rebuild capital to another tile."

Colony capitals should be just buildings on a planet where you can upgrade them and not take a tile on the planet.

13. "UI scaling" up to 8k - 0.5 up to 2.0 (4k) or 4.0 (8k?)

14. New race mechanics (ability) for silicon - Slow pop growth. Building structures on planets or ships requires population. Their ships and structures have a much lower maintenance as a result.

15. Structures at edge of map don't get adjacency bonuses. Is it possible for them to get bonus. Maps are flat.
Can move planet screen, map left and right.

16. Wormholes - They required tech to explore once explored, players can travel thru them. Wormholes were a one time travel.

17. New cloning race - Their population grows only by cloning. They are bred for war, can't be at peace.

18. New victory type - find another galaxy, be first one to scout/explore and colonize it or send x amount of military ships to new galaxy. Maybe a new end game crisis with invaders from another galaxy.

19. Hive minds and Synthetic races - They have no need for credits or money.

20. Mega structures - Such as ones from Stellaris.

21. "Exterminator" ability - cannot engage in diplomacy unless it's to insult other races or declare war.

22. ASDW etc  for camera movement

1. I never thought that endless space had a better tech tree than galactic civilization, but it is really moot for me, so go for it. 
A. Please if your going to randomize tech tree either make it one civilization, or make it an option I can shut it off. This would ruin the game for me. 
B. The Krynn are the closest, so you could modify them for this. I would like to add the Oynx where they subside off of stealing techs after they meat someone. 
C. Would be the Iridium. I like this idea. 
2. I like the idea of either a never ending galaxy, or wrap around instead of a flat map. I like this idea. 
3. I agree can we have something new. 
4. would be nice; maybe, a penalty(less credits) for not building a route to someone else. I’m saying less credits than you would get otherwise, not minus from your weekly income. 
7. similar to how they did it in two.

10. space bound civilization I like the idea.

11. Moot ok with it. I would like to see where things explored changes into late game stuff after day about 400 turns. 
12. It would be nice to select our colony capital placement. 
15. wrap around. I think this is the colony screen. 
17. cool new options. 

on Apr 01, 2021

Seabrook

2. No more edge of the galaxy! - Example: When your cursor is at the right middle edge of the galaxy, you can scroll across the edge of the map, it will go to the left middle edge of the map. Likewise if my ships are in the top right corner and I moved them pass the top right corner, my ships will starts to appear in the lower left corner of the galaxy! If I move my ships from the bottom of the map further, they will start appearing at the top of the map. Now every race will be surrounded by other races, no more starting off in a corner of the galaxy.

Galaxies are not a sphere like a planet, there are edges to the galaxy.  I'd rather just have it be open space with a soft border of nothing beyond than this suggestion, as it just doesn't make sense in a logical sense.  Games based on planets this makes sense.  In space it doesn't.

Seabrook

15. Structures at edge of map don't get adjacency bonuses. Is it possible for them to get bonus. Maps are flat.
Can move planet screen, map left and right.

Now this would make sense for your edge wrap idea.  Have the structures at the edges get adjacency with the other edges ect...  As planets are not flat but round.  Or change the planetary maps to a sphere with 20 tiles in the middle but only a few at the poles.

 

on Apr 01, 2021

Seilore

Galaxies are not a sphere like a planet, there are edges to the galaxy.  I'd rather just have it be open space with a soft border of nothing beyond than this suggestion, as it just doesn't make sense in a logical sense.  Games based on planets this makes sense.  In space it doesn't. 

What if it is a Donut shaped universe? Mmmm....DONUT....

on Apr 02, 2021

Transbot9

What if it is a Donut shaped universe? Mmmm....DONUT....

Still not Spherical, I agree the galaxy is not flat, if they could do a 3D galaxy with depth, that would be amazing, I think it would be very tricky to get it user friendly.  You would have to hide objects depending on your zoom level, get rid of tiles and just have the game tell you how many moves to x object ect... A whole new game.  But not edge looping.

on Apr 02, 2021

Seilore
(...) if they could do a 3D galaxy with depth, that would be amazing,(...)

So then, design the game with also Virtual Reality : navigating in 3D would be superb...

on Apr 02, 2021

Transbot9
What if it is a Donut shaped universe? Mmmm....DONUT....

 

Hhhhhhmmmmmmmmm I am kinda hungry... DONUT it is!!!

on Apr 02, 2021

AWESOME news.  I think I played GC3 to death.

Is there a time frame for possible release?   

on Apr 03, 2021

The galaxies are big I don’t know if adding depth is going to be manageable. The largest maps already stress some impressive systems. I don’t think adding another dimension should really be what they focus resources on. 

Also I would be against wrap around galaxies. It doesn’t make sense for a logically not that a video game has too but I am opposed.

 

I am in favor of an extremely late game tech called worm hole founding technology that requires you to finish the entire tech tree with some stupid expensive research at the end that would let us build targeted worm holes so we can mop up large map games a little faster. I don’t want this to influence games unless the game is already over.

I don’t need to play an extra 180 turns once I’ve won. Yes I could turn on surrenders but damnit the Iconians surrendered to the Yor and I turned it off permanently after that.

on Apr 03, 2021

ForgottenSlayer

Yes I could turn on surrenders but damnit the Iconians surrendered to the Yor and I turned it off permanently after that.

Same thing happened to me. If GC4 has surrenders, don't let an AI surrender to another AI that it's not at war with.

on Apr 03, 2021

So, I've been watching YouTube videos of ship combat from other 4X games, and they look suitably epic for space settings with massive fleets on both sides being visible in the same frame. By contrast, GalCiv3's battle viewer feels like it pales in comparison.

Part of it is because the battle viewer may have various camera options, but none that's centred around the midpoint of the ongoing battle at a 45° angle. The best you can do with it is the "Top Down" view - which makes both fleets look like pieces on a chess board more than anything - or the "Free" view, which is finicky to control at best.

For GC4, you guys should take a leaf from - yes, gonna have to go there - Stellaris. Take a look at this to see what I mean:

I know, the battle itself looks like a right tangled mess, but you gotta admit the angle of the camera is better than the one we currently get with GC3.

Hell, we don't even have to go that far afield; you can look closer to home, and take a leaf from Sins of a Solar Empire instead:

GC4 ship combat should hopefully look more similar to these.


On another note, please overhaul the entire Trade mechanic.

Currently in order to build a Trade route, I have to design and build a freighter ship that I would otherwise not have cause to build very often at all.

In fact, my freighter may not have enough range to get to the planet of the other race that I want to trade with. Which means I have to research Support modules and build Starbases to extend the range sufficiently such that my freighter can reach its destination.

Also, which planet in my empire should I build my freighter from, and which planet on the other side should I choose to send it to? It's not at all clear how the choice of one planet or another affects how much profit I can stand to make from the trade route.

Lastly, once the trade route is established, I get... what's practically peanuts compared with my other sources of income, such as Wealth buildings and (especially) Tourism.

It's a helluva lot of effort for not much in terms of payoff, is what I'm saying.

For GC4:

How about simplifying the whole thing by folding it into Diplomacy?

You could research a tech that allows you to set up a Trade Treaty with another race, much like the other types like Exploration, Non-aggression etc. etc.

Once you set up a Trade Treaty with another race, it could be represented by a trade route linking the Capitals of both races.

You could then make it such that freighters are automatically produced and controlled to move back and forth along the route, just like it worked in GC2.

Or to make it more interactive, you could allow players the option to build Freighters from any of their Shipyards, which would then automatically move along the trade route as well. How much you profit from the trade route is based on how many Freighters you can build and send on it, and it gives you a reason to build a Hypergate lane across the trade route so your Freighters can benefit from it as well.

It also gives more possible options on the Diplomacy front. For example, you could make Trade Sanctions a thing that players can use.

 

on Apr 04, 2021

I almost never watch the battles. So I’m indifferent except the thought that updating and changing this will cost development time and then if implemented will consume PC resources. 

I don’t think trade needs to be changed how it works. I think it works well. 
I wholeheartedly agree trade routes need to be readjusted their income is beyond pitiful normal trade routes shouldn’t be something you can just straight ignore with every empire. It should be a meaningful part of the game.

It would be nice if lifted a page from Civ and tell you how much each trade route would be worth although I not a programmer and I am aware there are a lot of possible trade routes so this might consume an over abundance of resources, there aren’t that many cities in civ. Maybe a tool that lets you get estimates for a trade route so you can get an idea before you send the freighter.

on Apr 04, 2021

ForgottenSlayer

I almost never watch the battles. So I’m indifferent except the thought that updating and changing this will cost development time and then if implemented will consume PC resources.

If this is about changing the battle viewer in GC3 to feature improved graphics, then sure, I'd agree. No point wasting development time updating GC3 any further at this point in time.

But we're talking about a brand new GC4 here. If you're making a brand new game, in a genre where there's now competition in the likes of Stellaris... well, it could help with the marketing, you know? Might as well take the chance to do it once, and get it right the first time.

on Apr 04, 2021

Well about the battle viewer you picked two games that don’t really work. Call it what you want they are not turn based. You forgot distant worlds. Why is this important. When you simulate battles like in endless space you have to remake everything on screen. In a rts like scenario you don’t do that everything is just there. If you don’t simulate the battle everything is there. What is the difference between the two? Resources and time it takes longer to recreate the whole thing. Another problem I thought spins did better was made bigger fleets. 
what was never mentioned. I am more concerned about is the fact that in sins, stellaris, and I’m going to say it(now i by no means like this game, the forgot to make this into a game) spore had mor three dementional looking planets. Distant worlds did too, but it didn’t look that good. 
what I wouldn’t take from this is phase lanes, and rts. That would hurt the game. 
I’m not saying the battle viewer couldn’t be made better. What I’m saying is to be on par with a rts it would take longer to recreate the screen. I would compare less stelaris, and more endless space. Rts vs. turn based. 

on Apr 04, 2021

Now as far as trade goes. I think it that trade routes should be worth more money. Since I’ve been playing they are always the least amount of money you get from anything that you are trying to make more money. Maybe different kind of routes. When establishing a route I wish they could be faster..

here’s what is going to happen if f we try to just make trade routes more money, and that’s it. Anybody remember adjacencies, or trade. I do I’ve been here since Dark Avatar. Trade 1,000,000 credits per week. I liked the manufacturing in galactic civilizations two. Now let’s describe three in the beginning. Adjancies were introduced that enhanced the manufacturing above two. They kept lowering this to balance this, and the hey swapped hub bonuses for improvement bonuses. Adjancencies eventually were made pointless for improvements. 
my point is if They increase trade, they need to lower some other economic thing to balance it, so there won’t be a lot of complaints to change it. If there s they won’t stop when it’s balanced. They will keep going. 

on Apr 04, 2021

Trade certainly needs an overhaul.  Tourism used to be really unbalanced (first not enough, then too much, now it is pretty ok) and I think that establishing trade routes should get the same sort of attention.  

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