Brad Wardell's site for talking about the customization of Windows.

One of the challenges we have in setting up maps is the question of how quickly should players be meeting other civilizations in the game?  How quickly should things show up? How much should the game direct you?

I decided to take a hard look at GalCiv II and GalCiv III to see how different those first 20 turns worked out.

GalCiv II: First 20 turns

Turn 1:

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  • No on-screen direction but the UI is pretty clean and My ship is already selected to move.
  • Selected ship has an automate button visible so I press that.

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  • There is an anomaly right away so I get to see what it does.

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Ooh money.

  • There is a second one nearby that gives me money.
  • The Stellar Miner has an automate button too so I press that.
  • I send the colony ship out to explore
  • There is no guidance that I should do something on my planet.
  • I click on the planet and press the view button.

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  • Because available projects is blank I am clued in to click on the green tiles.
  • List of things to build are very clear:

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  • The build ship part is not easy to find.

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  • It has a very large colored bar telling me how long it will take to build. Because it’s 29 weeks it’s orange which makes it stick out. This makes me look for other buttons like Purchase.

 

Ship build list comparison:

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Way less screen dirt and simple explanations.

There is a button that says purchase on the screen:

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So I press that. I notice this versus the tiny buy button in the queue in GalCiv III which I didn’t notice because ther’es only a few buttons on this screen to notice.

The first turn also gave me a bunch of money which trained me to think that money must matter.

Survey ship has a lot of moves:

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We are still on turn 1.

  • Got a bunch of money
  • Got a new ship
  • Very obvious benefits

News announcement:

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Turn 2:

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Loading ship.

I send my ship to Mars.

I am asked to name it.

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Text is pretty terrible but it’s pretty.

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Mars sucks.

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Got my third planet (on turn 2)

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Ugly ugly text. But Good, Neutral and Evil are pretty clearly spelled out along with funny text.

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I choose evil.

This bit of personality helps with engagement.

Survey ship finds more stuff.

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This sort of text is engaging.

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Research screen has the tree and the list on the same screen. The benefit of each one is pretty obvious.

 

Turn 3:

I meet an alien on turn 3.

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Survey ship finds more neat little stuff.

 

Turn 4:

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Turn 5:

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Turn 6:

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I definitely want Universal translators now

 

Turn 7:

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Second alien:

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I like that I can see how long it will take the ship to build from this screen.

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Turn 8:

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  • This is cool because it means early game there are 1 per galaxy things that are another thing players might want to build instead of other things. GalCiv III has nothing like this.

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  • Survey ships get 5 moves
  • Colony ships get 4 so things get around a lot faster

Turn 9:

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Turn 10:

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I choose warfare next.

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Minor civ:

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Strategic map is clean looking.

 

Turn 11:

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I am feeling collective pressure.

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Humans are diplomats so they start with the ability to get good techs.

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I’m getting fun trades right out of the gate.

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Turn 12:

Nothing

 

Turn 13:

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Look how noticeable the mines on the asteroids are? I also like that there is a ship going around building these.

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Turn 14:

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Another colony:

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Turn 15:

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All this money helps me jump start my planets.

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Espionage?

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Turn 16:

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Takes 20 weeks to build a ship unless you rush it. But I get a bunch of money from plentiful anomalies which I’m scooping up fast because so is everyone else.

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Turn 17:

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Yay us!

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Turn 18:

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Turn 19:

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Turn 20:

Nothing.

 

Conclusions

There’s a reason this game is considered the best space 4X game of all time by many. Clean UI. Great pacing. Obvious gameplay (especially for the time).

My ratings for GalCiv II:

  • Engagement: 5/5. Great flavor text. Stuff is making my civ improve quickly.
  • Intuitiveness: 4/5. It’s usually obvious what to do because there isn’t a million things happening on the screen. But no Shafer button and no tooltips.
  • Pacing: 5/5. Within a few turns there’s other civs, lots of interactions, and a feeling that things are building up.
  • Desire to keep playing: 4/5. The game doesn’t fully hold up ove time. But I still want to play it.
  • Overall: 4/5. Was easily the best 4X space game of its time. These days it would be in the top rung.

Now, let’s look at GalCiv III.

GalCiv III first 20 turns

I realize I’m pretty critical here, but this is so that we can make sure GalCiv IV is better.

Turn 1:

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  • No on-screen direction on what I should do.
  • No on-screen explanation on how to move anything.
  • No on-screen explanation on what the ships do.
  • No anomalies or other things for my survey ship to interact with so I just move it.
  • I order constructor to build a starbase. No hint on that it affects things in range.

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  • Starbase is off centered by default.
  • No on-screen direction on what I should do.
  • I construct an ascension ring and an economic lab.

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  • Research screen pretty decent.
  • Choose artificial gravity.

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  • No direction on what I am supposed to do here.

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  • No direction on what I am supposed to do here.
  • Pretty terrible UI.
  • No guidance that I should rush building something so I don’t.

Turn 2:

Nothing

Turn 3:

Nothing

Turn 4:

Nothing

Turn 5:

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  • I next choose space elevators.
  • By Survey ship has reached its destination so I send it to another star system.

Turn 6:

  • Colony ship built. I load it up and send it to another star system.
  • Earth has built the improvements.
  • I really wish I could see how fast the ships being built in the shipyard were being built based on my choices here.
  • I order another colony ship to be built. I wish he game gave me direction on what I might want to do.

Turn 7:

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This is nice. But it would be cooler if this was presented as a cut-scene. Meanwhile..blah blah.

And then this came up. This UI is really ugly and hard to read.

I take the free ship.

Turn 8:

Nothing. Ships move.

Turn 9:

My survey ship is attacked.

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Super ugly confirmation screen. I’d rather the game camera panned to the action and showed me the battle.

Turn 10:

More pirates attack.

I wish my survey ship leveled up and got goodies.

  • Colony ship built. I order it to another system.
  • Space elevators researched
  • Choose military tech since I’m dealing with pirates.
  • I order a constructor to be built.

Turn 11:

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  • Would be cool if this allowed me to customize my Civilization in some random way giving me 3 choices.
  • Also first new colony:

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So ugly. There’s no tooltips to even explain what benevolent and such means. What does +10% influence mean?

I choose the malevolent one because +10% research sounds best.

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  • I order a space elevator to be built.

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No direction on what I should do here.

I choose the one that gives me a ship.

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No suggestions given. The thing on the right should be a tooltip. I choose the scientist.

Turn 12:

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I choose weapons.

  • Constructor built. I build another.

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Turn 13:

Nothing

 

Turn 14:

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  • Constructors being built pretty fast. So I build a colony ship. Which will only take 2 turns. This feels unearned.

 

Turn 15:

Colonized another planet.

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These bonuses mean nothing to me. I choose the benevolent one since it’s just plain better.

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I choose the tech which gives me stuff.

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There are 9 players on this map and I still haven’t met any.

Finally!

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Turn 16:

Colony ship built. I send it to one of the good planets I’ve found. The strategic zoom UI is really good making it easy to manage my empire.

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I don’t feel like I’ve earned being able to crank these ships out in 2 turns.

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Now I choose universal translator.

I think faster moving scouts (and the AI making them aggressively) would really help. But a scout takes 2 turns just like a colony ship!

Turn 17:

Nothing

Turn 18:

Nothing

 

Turn 19:

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Earth is fully built up in 19 turns!

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Rex has a shipyard too. Planet is barely developed but can crank out a colony ship in 4 turns!

  • Colonized another planet.

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Pretty.

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Got another culture point.

 

Turn 20:

I want to build military ships but they are hidden:

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So I wouldn’t notice them.

Conclusions

It’s still a good game despite my complaints.  But the pacing and UX needs work.

My ratings:

  • Engagement: 3/5: It’s OK but I’m not very invested in my civilization. It feels a lot like work. The UI is very sterile.
  • Intuitiveness: 2/5: Pretty bad. No sort of guidance given.
  • Pacing: 3/5: Stuff is happening but every ship costs 2 turns basically which reduces choices. Took way too long to meet anyone else. And I never had any interactions.
  • Desire to keep playing: 4/5: Yes, it has that one more turn feeling which saves it.

Applying Lessons

The most recent GalCiv III update coming out (v4.2) includes some improvements in these areas.  But again, how quickly do people want to meet new players? IMO, this is where minor civilizations might be interesting as a middle step.

As a player, how would you like to see your setup screen improved (specific options) to help cater to your personal pacing preferences?

________________________________________________________

All GalCiv IV Journals


Comments (Page 1)
2 Pages1 2 
on Jul 26, 2021

The most recent GalCiv III update coming out (v4.2) includes some improvements in these areas.  But again, how quickly do people want to meet new players? IMO, this is where minor civilizations might be interesting as a middle step.
I prefer not saying others major civilizations too fast (for me finding one in 20 turn is too fast ).

But I really like minor civ at different science advancement and with interactions with them (help them, enslave them, destroy them, be god to them and influence them to be benevolent or violent). So I do hope a lot of possibilities for them.

on Jul 26, 2021


...

The most recent GalCiv III update coming out (v4.2) includes some improvements in these areas.  But again, how quickly do people want to meet new players? IMO, this is where minor civilizations might be interesting as a middle step.

As a player, how would you like to see your setup screen improved (specific options) to help cater to your personal pacing preferences?

I'd prefer to not meet other empires in the first 10 turns.

I for sure would like a setup screen that lets me select the number (0-4) of other empires starting in my Sector, because 4 is for sure way too mamy and that's what I keep getting when I set the Sector size to Huge and play with all other empires.

I definitely would prefer that if I'm sharing my home sector with other empires that they be somewhat more of a challenge on Normal difficulty rather than the absolute cakewalk conquering them all would be.  I actually have taken to trying to maintain positive relations with all 4 neighbors as that's somewhat more challenging than using my military might to smush them like the annoying gnats they are.

Also, their order in the setup screen shouldn't determine which empires start with me in my Sector.  Current build (0.45.188742) without changing the order in 4 different restarts I got the exact same 4 other empires in my home Sector each time.

on Jul 26, 2021

Yes. GalCiv 2 is a great game. I would really like it if you guys could keep making updates for it. A shame that its now hard to program for. I have a list of bugs of things that I'd like fixed or improved.

As for GalCiv 3, it did miss some special magic. I'm not sure how to say this, but it seemed like the various parts didn't work together that well.

on Jul 27, 2021

caboose_corsair


Quoting ,

...





I'd prefer to not meet other empires in the first 10 turns.

I for sure would like a setup screen that lets me select the number (0-4) of other empires starting in my Sector, because 4 is for sure way too mamy and that's what I keep getting when I set the Sector size to Huge and play with all other empires.


It is worse than you think I have set it to 5 enemies and get 4 in home sector and the patch notes state they have lessened the number that will show up in the latest versions were I never got more than 2. So in every game I have to kill off 80% of my opponents before I can explore the Galaxy. Because if I do not they surely will gang up on me.

on Jul 27, 2021

In short, I think if players want to play Tall, that would be more acheivable if their Starting Twenty Turns gave them one of:

One decent - ie PQ 10 or better - planet nearby.

One or two Artefacts in the first couple of planets, whatever PQ those planets are.

A bunch of Resources On-Planet and Off-Planet nearby. 3 Resources sounds about right - they don't all have to be Elerium or whatever, but 3 Resources at any rate. Incidentally, in the GalCiv3 forum I suggested changing the resources required for any Tech/Weapon/Shield to change from being, say, 1 Antimatter to make a missile to being 1 Second Most Common Resource In The Galaxy to make a missile. I thought that would get rid of the "well, I can't build that decent Missile Thrower ship I designed because because it needs Antimatter and there is no Antimatter in the Galaxy!" feeling. My post wasn't met with hundreds of Huzzah!s, however, so maybe that's not too popular...

I'm not a huge fan of seeing the Drengin knock-knock-knocking on my door early but I'd be fine if a Minor Civilization spawned in my sector. But that MC needs to have something special that makes me want to be nice to them (they have plenty of money/plenty of resources or an Artefact or a Tech - unique to that MC ie Only Artefact/Tech In The Galaxy rare - they'd like to give me or sell me, but only after I've been oh so nice and polite with the flowers and wine for a while and I mean quite a while), not exploit them from the Turn we meet and then 15-20 Turns later, "Oh, so sorry, Mr/Miss Minor Civilization, but I like your Home Planet. Time to die."

Maybe have an Option where you can pick Sector Size and that determines - at least in part - how many other Civilizations are in your Starting Sector. As caboose_corsair points out, you definitely shouldn't get the same dang Civilizations meeting you in your Sector every time, but how would it work to pick a Large Sector Size and know (RNG etc aside) that you'll most likely have 3-4 Civilizations in your Starting Sector?

As for Tooltips, I think those could be fleshed out more. What do I get for doing Option A rather than Option B, both once the Option's finished/built and what it might lead me to doing or cut me off from doing further on? If there is no Option B for whatever reason, then, yes, highlight the Option I have so I'm not tossing up choices that I actually don't have. My approach being I'm Boss Man, not Expert Man, so give me the info and then stand back and watch me, Your Great Leader screw it up with all the information at his fingertips rather than screw it up with guesswork.

on Jul 27, 2021

aw man you got me digging out my old Galciv2 Ultimate CD off the shelf and installing it!   Trying to find the patches now ... not easy to find? 

on Jul 27, 2021

This is a good write up. With the change on how maps are laid out and the use of Sectors, I can see the need to have an alien interaction in the sector the player starts out with. On Large sectors this has taken me about 15 turns to meet a civ within my sector. 

If there were no aliens in my sector I would be lonely and not have any trade or interaction diplomatically until I researched both technologies needed to see streams and cross them.  This would go from meeting an alien in the first 20 turns to far longer. Some players reporting that they did not cross into a new sector until after 100 or even 200 turns. This would make a boring game. 

So the need to have aliens in your starting sector is needed. Some discussion on Discord has quite a few suggestions. 

Myself and a few have advocated for an option to dictate how many aliens start in your players sector. 

Other suggestions have been to allow the player to choose which races will start nearby. I personally don't like this option as surprise makes the game more engaging but players play how they want. 

I think the tool tip advisor we have now is good but can be improved. 

I like the idea of seeing how long ships take to build within the planetary build screen. 

I look forward to what comes next in Galactic Civilizations IV!

on Jul 27, 2021

Agree with Larsenex on selecting # of majors in home sector. An option for there being at least one unoccupied sector if possible, with the Human Player being first would be perfect for me.

I do not wish to trade with you, speak to you or listen to your whiney voice AI go away.

That's another option I would like an AI no contact with me option. Say 3, 6, 9,or 12 months and a when the AI is ready to die it can declare war option.

I know some decisions are based on game balance. So I am ok with not getting credit for some achievements if I chose some of the options mentioned that " unbalance " the game, however it should be my choice. The reason most people play games is for fun, some play in competitions, some play because they do not have a life, or like me who play for fun because I don't have a life.  

 

on Jul 27, 2021

I love minor civs! I really think Age of Wonders 3 is a great example of pacing for meeting both major and minor civs. Maybe because it's a rectangular map and everyone starts equidistant. If you could have options for where to spawn civs when loading a new map, maybe that would help.

on Jul 29, 2021

Hello,

 

I find you're unfair with GalCiv 3 ,even if it's "so that we can make sure GalCiv IV is better", in comparaison with GC 2.

I don't know on wich version of GC3 you played for your example, but it's certainly not the 4.1 because main part of your critics are false.

I've never played GC2  so I can give you my first impression based on your screenshots.

 

Turn 1:

 

GC2 _ "the UI is pretty clean" with two-thirds of buttons and information' cells hiding map with empty space, with an buttom bar almost empty with several obscur icons with exception for the graph and the tech buttons. All first information are packed on the buttom where it's more unconfortable to maintain your look and where it's the last screen's area where I'll have a look because I grew up in Europe where we learn to read from top left to buttom right. I guess it's the same in US.

 

GC3 _ "No on-screen direction on what I should do". The first thing I see starting a new game is my planet selected with my hovering cursor instantly opening a pop-up window with "queue empty"  as a boundary between two sorts of information' layout. Exploring further the first view, I find a top-left rectangle with "not researching". Maybe there is something to do there. To be sure, there's a reminder "research" on the buttom right preventing you to pass your turn before selecting a tech to research.

 

GC3 _ "No on-screen explanation on what the ships do". Just maybe their names: colony ship, constructor, survey ship, scout. Do we really need more to understand what's the purpose of these ships?

 

GC3 _ "No anomalies (...) for my survey ship (...) so I just move it". Because "automate" is more visible or obvious than "command" button to give order to your ship to act by it self? We could replace them by a "be yourself" button   or "live your own life" (a little bit too long).

 

GC3 _ "No hint on that it affects things in range". So you click on a constructor and discover an hex centred around (what you don't have with any other ship) but you don't understand that there'll be an effects area inside these edges? I'm not Sherlock Holmes, but I directly understood that first time I used a constructor in GC3. For sure I'm not alone.

 

Here are first points of turn 1. I won't go further because I should pass my day on it and also this topic is not a debate between GC2 and 3.

 

Then I'll answer to your question about setup screen to improve my personal pacing preferences as player:

1. Don't add unwelcome pop-up advices or flickering edges coming on every 10 sec or followed by 5 others in a row disturbing me from my game. Many games now take players for dummies stopping game or polluting screen to "explain" how to play. Let me play in peace, please, and discover the game by myself. It doesn't mean "do not give any information" but "give me information when I ask for it with a direct access to it" what I already encounter pretty well in GC3 with pop-up when I stay with my cursor over something I want to know more about.

2. Continue to use transparency to let me see what stay in background and don't have a hard break between current map and information windows.

3. Simplify minimap. I can only make out influence areas and star points. Ships, planets, anomalies, rally points (these ones, I can also see other players' ones what is unfair and useless, polluting my minimap) are undistinguishable without having to zoom in a lot. For that, I'd better do to watch directly on main map. I use minimap to have an overwiew and easly pan the camera on great distance. For boths aspects, I need to quickly and easily be able to discern wanted locations.

Edited 30/07: Replace minimap by a large strategic map called/closed by pressing a key as we can find in fps games on which we could easily spot information and plot markers.

4. A suggestion about starbase: when you select a module to construct (before to start construction) maybe it could be interesting to have affected things colorised with an overlay so you could directly see if there is an benefit to choose this one. Same idea with constructor travelling through hexs with potential affected things colorised.

5. About color, colorising text and use pictos to easily identify possibilities with idiologic dilemma could be a nice step back to GC2, but with the new idiology system (what is a feature I really hope lots of improvement in game fun and deep relations between civs) and 14 different idiologies it could be hard in practice to memorise refered color and picto for each idiology.

6. An enhanced mix of GC2 and GC3 building list. In GC2, buildings have a second string explaining what brings this last, reuse it but replacing text by the direct value of given bonus (e.g. +10% (approval picto)). In GC3, there are filters to sort buildings by types but they keep all buildings in the list. Set these filters as real filters removing all non relevant buildings so selecting research filter only show buildings improving research basically sorted by biggest bonus value on top with possibility to sort them by turns cost to complete.

So we'd had on left building's icon | in centre two strings with name above and given bonus beneath | a number followed by a hourglass on right.

I don't know how many icons there're with the new drag and drop system to build but if there're a lot I fear it becomes a mess of multiple icons.

7. Give possibility to minimize "summarize", "planets", "fleets"... windows and minimap and hold them minimized until I request them.

8. Use filters or pop-up icons to avoid to have to scroll through 30 listed things or to have to open 1, 2 or more windows before to get what I want. E.g., in GC3, if I discovered 40 planets colonised by me or available to colonisation, I have to scroll a lot to find information about one specific. Also in GC3, if I want to open United Planets window, I have to open Diplomatic one first then seek the button to open U.P. window. In GC4, I could hover the cursor on diplomatic icon what open above it icons to open U.P. or Treaties. Also we could use flags to determinate role of fleets or planets. In GC3, to more easily find back a specific planet I have to rename them based on their role (Food 1, Money 1, Tech 1, etc.). In place, we could have to just attribute a flag (the best would be to allow player to customise them) used in a filters' system.

9. In GC3, population max cap is determinated by planet's class, it would be nice to see this piece of information directly shown in-game hovering planet class value for example.

 

About game tempo now:

1. As a GC3 player, I find early and mid game have already a good tempo because it's a run to achieve most interesting galactic wonders before AI, a run to find ressources (antimatter for Hyperspace Project, Artocarpus, Arnor, Monsatium, Techapod...), a run to find best planets with high class value. Even if you don't meet other civs, you're form start engaged in this run to set up a more favourable position. In my games, tempo slows down in late game when AI persist to build 7 hexs move speed ships and take 20 turns to build a big ship when I build a full fleet in 4 turns with ships able to cross 165 hexs a turn. Even giving all best techs to my ennemies and waiting tens of turns to let them integrate these techs, it's what make me feel the game is running on dead slow in late game.

Edited 30/07: We could even speak about "non met yet"/ ship range pressure. Personally, I don't mind to meet béni-oui-oui civs in 5, 10, 20 or 100 turns, they're all birds for the cat. The stress comes with agressive civs that will declare war on you as soon as they can reach your planets with their ships

2. Another point is the number of planets to colonise, to conquer, the mountain of little useless fleets to crush and others painful tasks are so many things making me feel spending my turns to complete the same repetitive and boring action. I know that the new core world/ colonies system should solve a part of that, but not for me. I already use a similar system in my games. I colonise few very good planets (15 max) and let AI's colonise all the rest, granting me ressources and wealth via friendly deals, galactic market or peace deal. I fear to be obligated to spend my time in a boring wide colonisation with this core worlds system.

3. I have a request for GC4 and to maintain a longer threat from AI, add an option in new game setups to let computer choose a random number of opponents. This way, until far late game I would never be sure that an ennemy is not suddenly coming in my back.

4. Add rare and mighty galactic disasters that affects alsmost every players and reshuffles a stagnant situation, forcing to adapt and rebuild your bases (I know it could disgust some players to lose a lot without being able to prevent it)

I don't know for you but for me, the most funny phase of a game is the early game when everything waits to be done.

 

To summarise, as player, I'd like to have needed information easily, shortly (concise form) and quickly available when I request them, in addition with customised management allowing automatisation (learn to delegate) to prevent repetitive actions, all that to help me to stay focus on the developement of my civ through long term events and evolving relations with other civs.

on Jul 29, 2021

One thing I loved about GalCiv3 was the ability to change game pacing and research rate.  I've always felt that while exploring and researching and building is fun I want my game to be full of challenges, domestic or external.  I like to meet Alien races early.  In GalCiv3 it was usually at that point where I pivoted my strategy to "oh shit, its time to build military ships" and without that its too easy to go crazy with optimizing colonizing tech.

 

Colony building is fun, but there needs to be sense of purpose. Not letting my colonies starve, missions( a refreshing idea, but they so far feel like an array of side quests that mean nothing), and fighting aliens for survival/supremacy is what always made the game fun for me.

 

I'm not sure if this will be adopted in GalCiv4 but the idea of the Galactic Bazar was a cool idea.  It let you know there was more life out there without threatening you.  The problem with the Bazar was that you could buy super OP ships that allowed you to steamroll enemy fleets or massively increase production.  If its brought back those would need to be toned down.  Perhaps you could roll the bazar into missions.

 

Also, I haven't made it past turn 20 or 30 in my games so far in 4 but is the Galactic Council still a thing?  Always liked that aspect as it reminds me of Politics from Twilight Imperium.  In fact, the more like Twilight Imperium in general the better.  I love that board game.

on Jul 30, 2021

Hm...

This journal is really meh.

 

I fairly agree with Twinping's post. GC3 thing is over exaggerated for no point. The game really tells you what to do, and we have that in GC4 as well, it is in Civs too - the turn button telling you to do all this and that before you can even do next turn. You literally HAVE to do all of the things or you can't even play. 

Meeting Aliens too early is just bad. The universe should be BIG, and GalCiv always catered to have huge maps, so there is no real reason to find everyone just in direct neighbourhood so it gives you artificial early challenge. It should take long time before you meet others.
BUT it should not clear you from early struggles. There were talks about GC4 having sub-races, that will be automatically generated and such. That should be applied for this. Your initial sector should NOT ever have Drengins or Arceans when you play as Terran. It should have Terran Resistance, it should have Alpha Centauri Human Rebels, or maybe just Russians doing their own colonization and not obeying the American. 
The diplomatic and military struggle in your own sector should be with factions that have mutual racial base (e.q. also humans). That way you will retain early challenge, but will get rid of artificial "smallness" of the universe, as there will be more sectors to find and each of them will have new and interesting aliens. 
Maybe that means you have to double the amount of races that will be there on release - so each race has the domestic split, and the other race is forever tied to each other with common roots. But is that bad? I don't think so at all.

The culmination of such split in starting sector can be done in multiple ways. You already have event system that is great for this. You can make events that give you multiples of choices, and splitting outcomes. Do you want to unite with the other race and make permanent alliance? Do you want to conquer them? Or maybe just not talk to each other? Those should be there, and if you don't wipe them off, they should be the most active faction cooperating with you. Make it feel as if you played coop with some other human if you choose to ally with them. Don't make them the typical whiny aliens that contact you every third turn asking for money, because their economy is trash.


The tooltips are though indeed missing. We were talking on this with Derek already, and I hope that all ideology choices will indeed have current information on what you are actually choosing. Though, this is an issue in long term - in all GC games, you can't just press "let me consult my advisors" button to check stats. AI contacts you with a deal? Can't postpone. Event happening? Can't look anywhere, not even on the affected planet. Literally everything is "choose now lol", with only current text on screen to help you make a choice. Informed choice? Only if you really remember whole state of the game. I personally have fairly good memory on this, but it still sucks and makes the game's choices just feel bad. Can't even imagine someone who has bad memory. Do they take notes on paper to even be able to play the game????? For this it would be great upgrade to actually get the 2 monitors support, so you can have 2 active windows, where you could peek into all the infoscreens on one of them, while locked to event in the other.

I still consider GC3 as upgrade to GC2 in practically all areas. Don't ruin GC4 by going backwards where it is not warranted. 

on Jul 30, 2021

Yeah I like meeting aliens a little later also ... adds to the "mystery" and "awe" of meeting a new race for the first time.

 

Feedback: some of the survey relics in GC4 introduce new species i.e. Yor colinists even before you have met the first race ... there probably should either be certain timings for relics like this, or perhaps there could be a bigger story wrapped around who these Yor colonists are and how your race responds to them.

on Jul 31, 2021

NelsMonsterX2

I love minor civs! I really think Age of Wonders 3 is a great example of pacing for meeting both major and minor civs. Maybe because it's a rectangular map and everyone starts equidistant. If you could have options for where to spawn civs when loading a new map, maybe that would help.

I'd love to see some form of a client state system implemented in GC4.  This could allow for some meaningful early interactions that help the starting sector to not need so many major powers in order to keep early gameplay compelling.  The system can also be more flushed out to eventually earn enough loyalty that the minor power becomes a sort of protectorate, exchanging a small but meaningful bonus in return for protection/completion of quests.  The event quest system might work well for this, though perhaps having a quest screen  or minors diplomacy tab accessed through the icon row at the bottom rather than clumping them in the notification area would be a better way to manage this.

Ultimately, this system could add features like "colonization rights" whereby permanently ceding control of a Colony world would give a slight increase to the static bonus given by that minor race, or gift a one-time boost in resources, a ship, research points, food production, etc.  This would not only make minor powers a more compelling addition to the gameplay, but could also add some interesting choices to expansion gameplay, rather than simply defaulting to a race to gain the capacity to feed the most colony worlds.

It would also provide a lever by which devs can better balance some gameplay/resource generation issues (like 9 of 10 starts not getting any nearby techapods despite them being mandatory for Economic starbases).  If certain techs are favored as early gifts/quest rewards, this system would also provide a way to soften the risk that the RNG behind tech card picks seal a player in their sector for too long by denying them Subspace Streaming.

on Aug 03, 2021

I also like meeting aliens a little later... or even much later in the game

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