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Published on June 7, 2021 By Frogboy In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

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.

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In previous GalCiv games, you had to manage every single planet you colonized. This is all fun…at first. But by the time you have your 33rd planet, it starts to be a lot of work.

In GalCiv IV you don’t manage worlds by default. They are simply little resource pips for their core world.

Inspired by reality

Let’s say we colonize a moon of Saturn someday.  Are we seriously going to treat that colony the same as we treat Earth in terms of focus?  Of course not. The same is true in GalCiv IV. When you first colonize a world, it’s just a colony.

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So when a planet is first colonized, it’s just a colony, and it sends back 6 raw resources to its core world:

Minerals
Tech
Wealth
Culture
Food
Control

We’ll get into these other resources later. The point being is that core worlds take these resources and do stuff with them. It’s the ultimate min/maxer’s dream.

But before you get excited about having your one super mega world having 130 colonies feeding it, this is where those pesky characters come in.

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As mentioned before, your core worlds are the ones you’ve assigned a leader to govern. You, the player, manage these worlds with the governor providing the world with perks based on their stats.  But technically, it’s the governor who is running the world even if you’re the one calling the shots. The governor’s stats determine what perks get applied to that world, but that character also has a loyalty stat.

I don’t need you

The more worlds under the control of a governor, the more a governor’s loyalty is tested.  After all, if your governor controls all your planets, it’s really his empire - not yours. Why should he keep taking orders from you? Why not just become an independent empire and take those colonies with him?

Thoughts of rebellion can come both from within and without.  It’s one of the ways the player can really screw with other civilizations as well by throwing money and resources at the governors of foreign civilizations to get them to rebel or even join you instead.  Of course, the same thing can be done to you as well.

Finding a balance

So on the one hand, you will have some high quality planets that you want to be able to build improvements on, which means assigning one of your precious governors to it. And on the other hand, you’ll have dozens of low quality planets that you’ll want to have feeding those core worlds.  Finding the right balance of when to make a planet a core world and when to leave it as a colony is a big part of the challenge in GalCiv IV. 

Giving up a leader to turn a colony into a core world is a sacrifice, but the reward is being able to really magnify the production of that core world with resources coming in from its associated colonies.  Just don’t overdo it, or you’ll find your civilization filled with rebellion and crime.

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Comments
on Jun 07, 2021

Am really digging this concept.  However... 

 

Will certain technologies and/or ideology perks increase the number of Colonies we can feed to a Core World without sparking rebellion?  As otherwise, I would imagine that late-game empires on larger maps might still have a lot of Core Worlds to micro-manage. 

 

on Jun 07, 2021

Martok

Am really digging this concept.  However... 

 

Will certain technologies and/or ideology perks increase the number of Colonies we can feed to a Core World without sparking rebellion?  As otherwise, I would imagine that late-game empires on larger maps might still have a lot of Core Worlds to micro-manage. 

 

There is no hard limit.  It has to do with the loyalty of the governor.  There are techs and such that will make people more...ahem...loyal.

 

on Jun 07, 2021

Something like a V-Chip implant?  Point-shoot lobotomy guns?

From what you're saying, Frogboy, do you intend to make it possible to "Demote" Core Worlds and "promote" Colonies given certain circumstances? ie Turn 50 you might want to make Artemis II a Core World, but come Turn 75 Artemis II might have to be benched in favour of it's former colony Jaguar II, to whom it now has to give everything. If so, what does that do for morale/loyalty? 

on Jun 07, 2021

Can we have troublesome governors assassinated?

on Jun 07, 2021

mrblondini

Something like a V-Chip implant?  Point-shoot lobotomy guns?

From what you're saying, Frogboy, do you intend to make it possible to "Demote" Core Worlds and "promote" Colonies given certain circumstances? ie Turn 50 you might want to make Artemis II a Core World, but come Turn 75 Artemis II might have to be benched in favour of it's former colony Jaguar II, to whom it now has to give everything. If so, what does that do for morale/loyalty? 

I think there are a lot of things we can come up with.

on Jun 07, 2021

This sounds really interesting. Especially if, as is implied, benevolent and evil types can have different ways of influencing loyalty, and if espionage techs can be used to flip other civ's governors.

on Jun 08, 2021

I'm happy to see a list of the raw resources a colony can provide.  Decisions about which planets to create as Core, as well as which leaders govern them, makes me already envision the galaxy as "alive".  

Also liking the hints towards a system of espionage which is far superior than anything before.

on Jun 08, 2021

I like what you're saying.


Giving up a leader to turn a colony into a core world is a sacrifice.

Not sure to understand what you mean. The leader is gone or goes into a pool of leader from where you can give him new tasks?

How different are the leaders in GalCiv4 from the ones in Star Dynasties?

PS: Hi Martok   

on Jun 08, 2021

My understanding it’s like a game with only automated governors. Which is a number. The only way to turn off automated governors on a planet is settle a leader on a planet so you can have some control. 
you know I will have to see the game. There are a lot of quality of life improvements they could make like instead. One thing that would help the late game is around turn 400-600 change all the anomalies, colonanization events, and referendums in the galactic council... to late game stuff. 

on Jun 08, 2021

It would be nice having some governors in the mercenaries too. 

on Jun 08, 2021

Martok

Am really digging this concept.  However... 

 

Will certain technologies and/or ideology perks increase the number of Colonies we can feed to a Core World without sparking rebellion?  As otherwise, I would imagine that late-game empires on larger maps might still have a lot of Core Worlds to micro-manage. 

 

My guess is Ideology/Gov. Types will have a big say.

For instance if not loyal you get executed.

on Jun 08, 2021

Frogboy


Quoting Martok,

Am really digging this concept.  However... 

 

Will certain technologies and/or ideology perks increase the number of Colonies we can feed to a Core World without sparking rebellion?  As otherwise, I would imagine that late-game empires on larger maps might still have a lot of Core Worlds to micro-manage. 

 



There is no hard limit.  It has to do with the loyalty of the governor.  There are techs and such that will make people more...ahem...loyal.

 

That works for me.   

 

 

on Jun 13, 2021

In GalCiv 2, I found a few ways to reduce the micromanagement of planets.

I hold off on researching the first terraforming tech until I colonize all the colonies I'm going to get. That way, when I get the first terraforming tech, all my planets get the first terraforming project added to their queue automatically. The remaining terraforming techs I leave till later because they are expensive to research (better saved till later). When I do go after them, I quickly buy an orbital terraformer project because it terraforms all terraforming tiles on all my planets instantly.

The second thing I do is I try to lay out all my buildings in one go. Most of my worlds get a starport, recruiting center, farm, morale building, 2 factories, and the rest are economic planet improvements. If I wanted a research for factory world, I would replace the economic planet improves with factories or labs. Depending on the civ selection, I might change what I add (for instance, if I'm Arcean, I would add weather control centers and navigation centers to my worlds). Later, I can research improved planet improvements and expect my planets to improve without me telling them to do so.

Unfortunately, I couldn't do that for GalCiv 3. Planets got a lot more complex. Terraforming no longer terraforms all available tiles, and where and how you place planet improvements mattered. Placing an orbital elevator, starport, and other stuff (this game had too many versions, its hard to remember what you got) had more impact if placed close to a power plant (gives high adjacency bonuses). Placing terraforming to maximize the number of adjacency tiles to a power plant mattered.