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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 5)
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on Apr 05, 2021

Good morning (for me) Brad,

I love a lot of these ideas, especially the 'sponsor' world idea. Have you thought (yet) about competing 'sponsor' mechanisms. Taking a page from from one of my favorite military sci-fi authors there might be several paths of sponsorship available to a world/child world.

  • Government - directly sponsored/colonized via a Bureau of Colonization (BuCol) in which the government gets all of the generated resources, but at a lower efficiency. However this could be offset by the ability to directly manage the planet (and it's children) via the 'Citizen' mechanism.

  • Corporations - which can be managed indirectly via economic or regulatory pressure from the government but not directly. This might be a mechanism whereby corporations actually are competing with the BuCol to colonize worlds, and in which the government only receives partial tax/research etc.

    In this scenario there are also a variety (IMO) of potential event paths leading to government getting direct control - rebellion, corruption rising to the level of government intervention, revolution, change of forms of government, etc.

    This could also require players to put more thought into what government policies and/or research paths they select as super powerful corporations might just decide to break away or simply stop paying taxes/resources if they really don't like the government policies.

  • Private citizens - auction off rights to entire planets (depending on your form of government maybe?), or allow individual non-corporate groups to colonize planets subject to certain charters (right of free movement, minimum/maximum taxation, etc.)

  • Institutional - Universities and/or schools might colonize an entire planet for any number of reasons. Medical treatments for rare diseases, specific types of research (growth, warfare, engineering, etc.).

    This could play into things like decisions regarding regulations - turn a blind eye to what we're doing and we'll double our output but you might have a huge PR scandal down the road affecting your next election

    Or perhaps subsidies traded for increased returns - fund us with 100bc for 15 years and you'll probably get a quantum leap in laser technology....but the CEO might wind up in prison for fraud and you get nothing but a headache, a toxic waste planet to clean up, and now you HAVE to directly govern the planet for a couple decades.

    A planetary 'Center for Galactic Medical Studies' might require a huge amount of funding but could generate influence across the entire galaxy as it might treat diseases for all carbon/silicon species and advance your own civ growth rate and health at the same time. But it might carry the risk of a virulent disease outbreak. A single species outbreak might trigger a war with another race with whom you already have tenuous relations, or perhaps a cross-species outbreak might trigger everyone to cut off trade with you and possibly collapse your economy.

I'd also love to see templates for planet development paths. The ship templates work so well for me in GC III that I rarely customize ships. But being able to define a template along the lines of 'build two of the best factories available, then build a market, then two of the best research generators, then a spaceport, etc.' would be really helpful.

Every culture has blind spots. It would be interesting if there were 'cultural' dead ends in the tech trees that pseudo-randomly developed. For example assume that in any particular game the Terrans never got the 'lightbulb' for hyperlanes. So they might acquire the base tech elsewhere, but perhaps they can never develop the downstream on their own, or maybe they can at an increased but depreciating penalty compared to other civs. But in another game the 'no hyperlane lightbulb' applies to all but one other civ. So hyperlanes have to be acquired via espionage or trade.

And what if tech trees changed slightly from game to game in that a particular branch of technology might come from different parent(s)? If this was coupled with a 'fog-of-war' limiting the tech-tree view to maybe only the next level or two it would make research choices MUCH more critical and 'play these tech trees to win the game' strategies nearly obsolete.

It seems like it could also be entertaining if there were some direct cultural/approval ramifications to entire paths of research such as we see regarding stem cell research, animal testing, fission power, or biowarfare. Simply funding R&D in that path might impact approval negatively (or positively).

on Apr 05, 2021

Gal Civ is a strategic Turn based game. 

Xcom & Xcom2 are tactical turn based games. 

Why cant we have both? Big map, Civ 6 like galactic empire building.

Got a fleet battle? Go to the Xcom viewer and position your ships according to Xcom like rules and ships have specific roles and flavor. Battle it out. Positioning and tech/equipment can make the difference. Granted Xcom is more narrow in what you can bring to the table.

on Apr 06, 2021

Well I would be ok with make my tactical battles an option. 
i never thought research paths failed. It wasn’t a good idea to l t you research every path in the beta, and then take it away. A path needs to be a path, not a tech. If you choose a path it doesn’t recombine like it never happened.

still a fan of civ four style civics we could have tech paths. There would end up being 25+ options instead of three. 
this time let’s have more than three ideologies. This looks to much like alignments. Even civilization had five. Let’s name them better than what still sounds like good vs evil. 
still liked my idea about civs combining research. 
I like the idea of different civilizations having different play styles. Galactic civilization 2 had an editor in the ultimate let’s make a better one. 

on Apr 06, 2021

Hey I’m f there was some way for you to hire me. I would need training.

on Apr 11, 2021

I'm not sure if this has been asked somewhere else, but will we have an opportunity to buy a Founder's package similar to what we did in the beginning of GalCivIII?  I'd be interested in one.

on Apr 11, 2021

MottiKhan

I'm not sure if this has been asked somewhere else, but will we have an opportunity to buy a Founder's package similar to what we did in the beginning of GalCivIII?  I'd be interested in one.

Typically Stardock offers this option with their games.  Unless something has changed which I have not seen.  This is one reason I love Stardock, no nickel and diming option.

on Apr 12, 2021

Your best bet right now is the flgold edition.

on Apr 13, 2021

Seilore


Quoting MottiKhan,

I'm not sure if this has been asked somewhere else, but will we have an opportunity to buy a Founder's package similar to what we did in the beginning of GalCivIII?  I'd be interested in one.



Typically Stardock offers this option with their games.  Unless something has changed which I have not seen.  This is one reason I love Stardock, no nickel and diming option.

Is the founder's option worth it, in terms of ROI? Or is it more of a "Here's a donation, and I get some cool goodies back"?

on Apr 13, 2021

Linklite


Quoting Seilore,






Quoting MottiKhan,



I'm not sure if this has been asked somewhere else, but will we have an opportunity to buy a Founder's package similar to what we did in the beginning of GalCivIII?  I'd be interested in one.



Typically Stardock offers this option with their games.  Unless something has changed which I have not seen.  This is one reason I love Stardock, no nickel and diming option.



Is the founder's option worth it, in terms of ROI? Or is it more of a "Here's a donation, and I get some cool goodies back"?

 

Very much worth it. For one payment, which, if it's like the Founder Edition of Galactic Civilizations III, will be $100.00USD, you get access from Day 1, all DLCs and all Expansions. You also got to name a star (which explains all the non Sci-fi or Scientific or Serious star names out there!) and some cool art and founders-only cool looking goodies.

One Large Word Of Warning: If you invest in the Founders Edition, you will have an Alpha game, which Stardock went out of their way to tell us Founders would not be fun for a while. Some Founders ignored this message, which would show up on the GalCivIII Alpha Load Screen and so was kind of hard to ignore. So they'd get upset about the lack of wild fun to be had. Some even asked for refunds. I don't know if that ended well...

You trade your fun for making suggestions as to further refinements, improvement, nerfs, removals etc etc. Obviously, you aren't going to end up with a game entirely made how you'd like it as there's a lot of people's different/clashing ideas to take into account (as well as Stardock's own plans/wishes, natch!), but for all that, I really think being a Founder for III was well worth it.

 

on Apr 13, 2021

Linklite

Is the founder's option worth it, in terms of ROI? Or is it more of a "Here's a donation, and I get some cool goodies back"?

Getting all of the expansions and DLC's make it worth it.  let's say you purchase the game at release on sale for $39.99/you then purchase 3 expansions at 19.99 ea, and say 6 DLC's for 9.99 ea, that is already $159.89.  Easily got your money's worth purchasing the $100 founders edition, and that's if you just wait to play the game at release.  

I personally like having the input, naming a star, being included in the credits, and all of the other stuff.

on Apr 14, 2021

The last two post said it right. What’s ROI. I very satisfactorily got the game I visualized that galactic could be. 

on Apr 14, 2021

For GC4.  Besides the obvious, space battles, invasions, better graphics etc.  Two more things hope GC4 improves upon.  Game doesn't gets boring once you gain upper hand (mop up of remaining civs).  Increasing difficulty levels doesn't just gives AI start ahead of the player.

on Apr 15, 2021

I love Founder's Editions but there probably won't be one for GC4.  We might do something after release where people can get a lifetime upgrade so they get everything we plan to make.

 

on Apr 15, 2021

Frogboy

 there probably won't be one for GC4.

 

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on Apr 15, 2021

Frogboy

there probably won't be one for GC4.

 

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