Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.
Published on May 20, 2021 By Frogboy In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

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.

image

Every character has a set of skills with numerical values to them.  They also have a backstory and can be interacted with in various ways.  These characters do everything, from acting as your representatives on planets (governors – not AI governors – they don’t make decisions for you, they carry out your will), to managing your technology policies (and again, they don’t make decisions for you, they carry out your will).

image

When a character is put in charge of a planet, their stats provide perks to the planet. But like real people, they have needs and ambitions, and if those needs and ambitions aren’t satisfied bad things can happen, including them going independent and taking their planets with them. We’ll be talking about core worlds vs. colonies in the next journal. Suffice to say, these characters are pretty powerful.

image

On planets, population now grows in whole numbers since each population is now represented by a citizen character with their own intelligence, social stats, etc.

Jobs

Characters are given jobs in the game. All jobs make use of one of the character’s skills. Make someone a scientist, and their bonus to your colony is based on their intelligence. Make them an entertainer, and it’s based on their social skill. Make them a farmer, and their bonus is based on their diligence skill. Make them a soldier, and their resolve stat comes into play.

Similarly, characters that you make into ministers provide global bonuses based on their stats:

image

And of course, every species has pros and cons on these stats.  Humans are, naturally, decent overall but not great in any of them.  Drengin are very high in resolve but very low in social, for instance.

You, as the Emperor/President for Life of your civilization, must herd these cats while simultaneously dealing with guys like this:

image

But fear not - while there are thousands of characters out there, you only need to really care about a handful. Which handful you should care about depends on who you give what power to. Put someone in charge of 37 colony worlds and now you should probably care about them. But, some colonist on Backwater world 53 is probably not someone you need to think about…until it turns out that they contracted a parasite that takes over everyone minds and that it has since spread to nearby worlds. Or maybe that scientist on Urara IV whose wife is being held captive by the Drengin Empire and has been supplying them secrets in the hopes of getting her back.  But you know, otherwise - nothing to worry about.

 

____________________________________________________________

All GalCiv IV Journals


Comments (Page 1)
2 Pages1 2 
on May 20, 2021

Getting some Crusader Kings vibes. This might just be me but for world-building and scale I think it would still be nice to see how many billions of people are on the planets - even if it is buried in a tooltip somewhere - despite having a more abstracted population figure/growth mechanic (which I am a fan of). 

What I find interesting is the comments about characters not being AI governors or otherwise making decisions. Thinking back to something like Crusader Kings the characters you give power to are often interesting because they have the ability to make their own decisions autonomously.

I suppose my question is….when the characters are just an extension of your will what risk do they really pose to us as a player outside of a rebellion mechanic. Crusader Kings works in this regard because you are a character yourself in the world and can be directly impacted by others, in this instance you are ‘Emperor / President for life’ so the interaction is different. I gather they can rebel but I suppose I want to understand with the power structure in the game what role can they play apart from being personified stat boosts or nerfs.

Will all of the different races have their own population characters of their own species? (If so I imagine you are going to have some busy artists). 

Will different species characters enter your population pools over time or as a human will my population always be human?

Could I potentially poach a character from another species if I like the look of their stats?

Could I potentially attack a population character directly or assassinate via espionage?

Apologies for all the questions! Not expecting answers to every little thing as it is perfectly understandable if this becomes clearer to me as more dev diaries are released. 

on May 20, 2021



But fear not - while there are thousands of characters out there, you only need to really care about a handful. Which handful you should care about depends on who you give what power to. Put someone in charge of 37 colony worlds and now you should probably care about them. But, some colonist on Backwater world 53 is probably not someone you need to think about…until it turns out that they contracted a parasite that takes over everyone minds and that it has since spread to nearby worlds. Or maybe that scientist on Urara IV whose wife is being held captive by the Drengin Empire and has been supplying them secrets in the hopes of getting her back.  But you know, otherwise - nothing to worry about.


BWA HA HA HA HA... oooh i hope we have diplomacy/espionage options that might let us sway/turn citizens like that... that would be soooo freaking cool

 

on May 20, 2021

Hey Brad, how much of the Political Machine will influence GalCiv4?

on May 21, 2021

I really like the idea of characters  that have their own agendas, and backstories.  Reminds me a lot of the characters in Shadow Empire (great 4x game btw) , where you have to make sure you keep them an eye on all your leaders and see to their needs before any revolt and start a rebellion.  Great roleplaying potential. Thanks for the update can't wait to play GalCiv4.

Auger

on May 21, 2021

Yes; This will add lots of uniquess for what govenors doing what jobs where they are placed and keeping them happy.

on May 21, 2021

I really like the direction citizens are going. However I too echo the sentiment that it won’t feel that I am shepherding an empire but controlling a bunch of characters. Not having a population feels weird to me. Maybe I am just struck in the past.

on May 21, 2021

ForgottenSlayer

I really like the direction citizens are going. However I too echo the sentiment that it won’t feel that I am shepherding an empire but controlling a bunch of characters. Not having a population feels weird to me. Maybe I am just struck in the past.

 

If you were in control of a country, the only people you'd be interacting with would be various heads of state, department heads, appointed official, commissioned officers, lobbyists, foreign dignitaries, etc, etc.  When's the last time you saw any government high up (or CEO of an F500 company for that matter) actually interact with "the people" honestly?

This isn't to say anything about the specific people in this picture - it's just to point out how terrifying and weird these interactions actually are.  The ruler of a Galactic Empire would be unlikely to ever even find him/herself in the system as most of the planets under rule, let alone actually interact with any of the denizens..

 

Just my thought..

on May 21, 2021

I think you should look at the medieval total war series. They had interesting interactions between leaders. 
I agree it would still be nice to see the population somewhere, even if 1 citizen = 1 billion. I think that colonies should be in the millions not billions like the home planet. 

on May 21, 2021

I always thought the whatever.whateverbillion population number was fine. It was always the "fill your colony ship/transport with 1 billion of the suckers!" thing that felt weird. What, like they'd fold themselves up really really small to fit on the appropriate ship to colonize/invade another planet, on arrival at the planet in question, magically unfold to normal size?!

I really prefer the idea of just interacting with the number of Citizens that planet has based on it's population. It fits nicely with the "You only really interact with your Core Worlds now" concept. No messing about with "now, what's the best thing to put on the last available tile on this really peachy keen PQ4 planet of mine, CharliealpharomeopapaI? And then all the other PQ4 planets need some love, too. Stuff 'em. Just give me your stuff and shuddup!

 

on May 21, 2021

 

Some interesting questions on here. Here are some of mine:

 

So if I've understood correctly, the players interactions with AI characters will be a fundamental part of the GalCiv4 experience and in making the galaxy feel 'Alive'. Does this mean that each game will be its own unique epic emergent story that will really incentivise players to reach its conclusion, no matter how big the map is? That would be amazing if that's the case.

 

 

 

I'm interested to know what you guys think about player interactions with the AI characters in the context of governance. Obviously we're all human (any aliens present that want to reveal themselves? ) so when it comes to manmade structures of governance we come up with either authoritarian or consent of the governed.

 

So far, when discussing GalCiv4 in this context, the player is essentially the GOD EMPEROR OF EARTH! Obviously this means that, somehow, for whatever reason, the people of earth have ended up with a one world globalist authoritarian government. The will of the people is irrelevant, it is the will of the player that matters and the AI characters in the game are there to carry out your will. Do you guys think it would be fun if the AI characters allowed for the following game mechanic:

 

You, the player have expanded your empire and have a number of worlds under your control. A sequence of events occurs that eventually results in a planet governed by one of your AI characters declaring independence. The structure of governance that results will depend on the personality and traits of the AI character. In this example 'consent of the governed' is the structure of governance that results. The people of this planet hold an election and if the original AI character wins, then they continue represent the people until the next elections. If the original AI character loses the election, they will be replaced with a new AI character with their own personality and traits. The original AI character doesn't disappear and will have a chance to win the next election. There's also a chance that authoritarianism will take over at some point, maybe with a helping hand from the player. Or, conversely, if the planet is under authoritarian rule, there's a chance for the people to free themselves from tyranny with the help of the player.

 

The people of this planet, represented by the AI character, will be able to do everything the player can do. They will essentially be their own faction.

 

 

 

 

 

Being the GOD EMPEROR OF EARTH is fun and you, the player, obviously don't have to ever worry about losing an election. Do think there's a fun way for the player to be part of the 'consent of the governed' structure of governance when, even if the player loses an election, they don't lose the game and have a chance to win the next election and continue to lead their faction?

 

 

 

Do you guys think it would be fun if one of the stock civilizations in GalCiv4 started with the 'consent of the governed' structure of governance so that when you, the player, meets them for the first time you interact with their currently elected representatives. However, maybe the current administration looses the next election so that the next time that you, the player, interacts with them, you're interacting with completely new representatives?

 

 

 

Will there be a faction like the Zerg, that are governed by a hive mind in GalCiv4? Are the Yor governed by a single central intelligence? Would AI characters make sense for factions like this? For example, the will of a hive mind would be carried out by drones that have no will of their own. Would rebellion even be a possibility for factions like these?

on May 23, 2021

I also find it weird to have population abstracted into single people instead of millions, billions or what have you. I love the idea of characters, but I'd like to think more than a handful of people live on my planets. 

on May 23, 2021

Brad I ask only that you remember the KISS Principle and not complicate the game, just to put Bells and Whistles in the game. Features that are cosmetic designed to attract new players and do not really accommodate game play are my worse fear.

I look at how Civ 6 has evolved from a game based on History to a half-arse arcade game when it put in Fantasy components aka Vampires and ported to the Xbox and other platforms that cant handle a well designed 4X game.

I hope I can help later as I have no life and would be perfect as a beta tester, or even in alpha. My Threadripper I believe would be perfect for testing Large maps like the ones you mislabel as Gigantic or even bigger.  

 

on May 24, 2021

NelsMonsterX2

I also find it weird to have population abstracted into single people instead of millions, billions or what have you. I love the idea of characters, but I'd like to think more than a handful of people live on my planets. 

 

I mean, you really have to realize that this really is a default form of governance and social relations. 

For example, an English king really didn't do much interacting with the peasants.  He interacted with the nobles, clergy, etc.  When he interacted with the Scots, he didn't interact with the people either - he (or usually his underlings) interacted with the various leaders of the bazillion clans, etc.  Those nobles, clergy or clan leaders represented the people.

Similarly, the president of the United States doesn't come to your house to ask you what you think about food prices (or whatever), he has a meeting with your congressperson, senator, and maybe state governor.  It's simply just not logistically possible to run a large complex society any other way.

In England also, for example.  If the King wanted a bunch of people to fight in a war, he struck deals with nobles, clan heads, etc who would pledge the people they represented for fighting.  So assigning a citizen/leader/whatever to herd a billion cats into a transport really isn't that crazy an idea.

However! - one idea that could be looked at tho might be to have each leader represent a different number of people.  So instead of every leader simply representing 1 billion people, or whatever.  One of the "leader stats" might be how many people are following said leader.  So Leader #3 might represent 700 million people, but Leader #8 is much more popular and she represents 3.4 billion.  That way the gameplay is abstracted to simply leaders that you must manage, but it's clearly obvious that each leader has a cadre of groupies that they hold in sway - ie, the people they are "leading."  Thus a secondary leader mechanic might be that the number of people each leader represents could change over time - depending upon the vagaries of what's going on in your empire (like if Leader #4 keeps getting his dumbass captured by the enemy, less people think he's worthwhile to follow sort of thing)..

Just my 2 cents.  We'll see how the system plays and how the aesthetic works at some point I suppose..

on Jun 07, 2021

Sounds good! Reminds me a bit of tribes from At The Gates 👍.  One thing I'm not clear on is: so pops are now represented by/encapsulated in 'characters'. Are 'characters' able to administer planets separate from the pop they're based on/attached to?
So in the images provided, if Jennifer Azden's pop is on Terra, can she be assigned to Alpha Centauri w/o the whole population going w/ her?

2 Pages1 2