Recent Articles In GalCiv IV Dev Journals
June 9, 2022 by DerekPaxton on kael
  Today I decided to play a game as the Xeloxi. They are a tough civilization to play - so much so that I almost put a warning on them (as well as a few other civilizations) stating that they weren't a good selection for first-time players. They certainly run a difficulty level harder than the Terran Alliance. I've always loved the Xeloxi's style and the concept of a crime-based civilization. Every Xeloxi citizen is a criminal, meaning that high crime is just a consequence of play...
With Galactic Civilizations IV now generally available it’s time to talk about…THE FUTURE. First, we’re really glad you guys seem to like the game.  Releasing a game, especially one where people have been working on for years, is, as you can imagine, very stressful.  This is doubly true when the game tries out so many new things. Below is a very tentative roadmap of what we expect to release and in what order.  This is all subject to change based on feedba...
By the year 2232, the malevolent Drengin Empire reigned supreme over this area of space.  The once mighty Arcean Empire, that had long kept the Drengin Empire in check, was utterly defeated and their world left in ruin. The home world of the Torian Confederation was occupied with great cruelty.  Even the rising Altarian Republic was brought low and forced to sign an armistice and took on a role known as the Altarian Resistance. Earth was left untouched thanks to a Precursor technolo...
It’s hard to narrow down what screenshots help show off Galactic Civilizations IV the best.  Below I’m going to post some of my favorites, but we’d love to read your opinions and what screenshots you might think better represent the game to strategy gamers. This will come as no surprise to those of you who have been playing the series, but it has always mattered a lot to me that Earth is in the game. Because of that, it makes it really easy to compare how far the se...
You wanted it. We’re giving it to you.  The Battle viewer. Beta 2 of Galactic Civilizations IV brings back the Battle Viewer and a new After Action Report.  It’s pretty basic for Beta 2 and we plant to add a lot more to it. Today, I’m going to talk about what is already in it and what we plan to add. The viewer and the after action report There are really two elements here that players tend to want to see: Their ships in action to see how different desi...
**NEWEST WALKTHROUGH HERE**IntroductionIf you’re coming from Galactic Civilizations III, you’re in for a treat. And if you have never played a Galactic Civilizations game before, then know this: this game is specifically designed to answer to the question, “I want to play a space 4X game, what game should I start with?” Read on to learn what this game is all about, who made it, and why we made it. A little about the teamThe highest rated space strategy game of ...
A million years ago in the 1990s when I was designing the OS/2 versions of Galactic Civilizations I gave the player sliders to adjust what they were spending their resources on.  This system lasted right on through Galactic Civilizations II for Windows. GalCiv I for Windows GalCiv II for WindowsGalCiv III v1.0 for WindowsWhile highly useful for min-maxing a relatively simple economic system, it suffered from being pretty opaque in how it worked and was pretty terrible for immersion....
Pacing in 4X strategy games is crucial.  So I decided to look at GalCiv II, GalCiv III and the GalCiv IV alpha to take a look at how fast things move along.   Turn     GalCiv II (Twilight of the Arnor) GalCiv III (Retribution) GalCiv IV [Alpha] 1 · Researched New Propulsion Techniques [7 turns] · Planet Project: Innovation Complex [16 weeks] · Music: Haunting · Startport: Rush bought Colony ship with monthly p...
The Galactic Civilizations games are known for their ship design features. But ship design occurs before the ship is made.  What about after?  Galactic Civilizations IV will be introducing a new feature for upcoming Beta version (this Winter) called “The Vault”. The Vault is a set of special items the player either produces or, more commonly scavenges across the galaxy.  Destroying the monster ships, pirates, enemy fleets, etc. will result in scavenging thing...
In the previous entry, we discussed whether we needed a battle viewer.  That’s because combat in GalCiv IV works somewhat differently than previous entries. Specifically: Combat on the map can involve multiple (ranged) tiles which complicates things a bit.Combat can take multiple turns which complicates thingsAfter getting a lot of helpful feedback we think we’ve come up with a way to have our cake and eat it too: AAR (After Action Reports).  Whenever combat takes place,...
For many years,  I have put the Galactic Civilizations games through their paces to see how well a given game does at feeling like a story.  I do this to help nitpick things we need to change.  With the beta for GalCiv IV just around the corner, I thought I’d see how well the game stacks up so far. I also will be inserting comments that normally we would have at internal meetings, but for you aspiring game developers I wanted to show some of the feedback the team gets fro...
Starting with Galactic Civilizations II, we allowed players to go and watch their ships fight it out in battle in a separate battle viewer screen.  But, what if we could show the battle on the main screen? That is, what if we could just zoom in on a fleet and rather than it being the leader ship with a number by it, it actually changed to show the entire fleet?  So if you wanted to watch a fleet fight it out, you would just watch it right on the map. Thoughts? ___________________...
The process of getting a new player into your game and making that process an enjoyable experience can be the difference between success and failure for your game.  If you make a game for a publisher, you can assume there will be a milestone that involves the onboarding.  Let’s take a look at how GalCiv IV does it and what has changed since GalCiv III. Title Screen We went through many iterations for the title screen.  How many buttons should there be? Which buttons sh...
“This is just GalCiv II but with better graphics,” was a comment some GalCiv fans made when GalCiv III was first released. That was no more true than saying Civilization V was just Civilization IV with better graphics, but we understood where they were coming from.  There weren’t a lot of big bullet item changes from the previous version. That was because most of our time and budget was spent building a brand new space 4X game engine. As good as GalCiv II was, it was bu...
Somewhere around here I have the original image of the Yor from 1992.  They don’t resemble the modern Yor very much.  When I wrote the Yor origin story back in 1987 (when I was in high school) the Yor followed the common trope of AI servants who rose up against their masters.  Their masters, in this case, were a race of beings known as the Iconians (who are also in the game). The Yor of 1995Yor of 2021As time has gone by, I’ve thought about making the Yor be less Cy...