What kind of people are you?
I think the biggest reason the Galactic Civilizations series has been so popular over the years has been because each game is your own epic story.
In fact, the biggest request we get is to make the galaxy feel move alive. With this Spring's mega expansion to Galactic Civilizations III, we hope to do just that.
With Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade, we've been able to use the new, 64-bit, multicore game engine to create a much more lively universe as the engine allows us to deal with a lot more entities than what was possible in, say, Galactic Civilizations II.
Today, let's talk about what kind of civilization you might want to create.
Galactic Civilizations has been with me my entire adult life. Since 1992, I've been making this game (GalCiv OS/2, GalCiv I, GalCiv II). I took a break to design Ashes of the Singularity and now I'm back for the Crusade with a re-imagined look at how the economy works.
In Crusade, everything is very, very tight. That is, every resource matters. The numbers across the board are much smaller and this has ramifications everywhere. The result is a massive change to the pacing. It's both faster than the base game (early game) and slower (late game, techs and buildings and cool ships are not a 1-turn affair). Each choice you make is meant to be meaningful.
Let's start from the beginning of a game:
A: Research Resource Exploitation, which gives me access to Kimbrey's Refuge (a Galactic Achievement that produces 4 food, the only early game way of producing global food)
B: Research Planetology, which let's me build Brindle's Observatory, a Galactic Wonder that will discover a nearby Earthlike planet.
Research Interstellar Travel, which speeds up my ships by 1 move per turn
Research Militarization, which will let me build the Strategic Command wonder and award me with a General (super early game invasions)
Xeno Commerce, which lets me start building freighters
Get Universal Translator, which will give me the ability to build the Galactic Intelligence Agency and grant me a spy very early on.
After we pick what technology we want to research, we are brought to the home planet (in this case, Earth) to decide what to build...
A: Basic Factory to build things faster?
B: Research Lab to get new tech faster?
C: Shipyard to be able to build ships?
Wait, what? Yes. I took away your magic shipyard. It's gone. You have to build it.
The shipyard bugged me a lot. Here's why:
From 1992 when I started programming Galactic Civilizations for OS/2 all the way to 2008 when I worked on Galactic Civilizations II: Twilight of the Arnor, it was always with the premise that Turn 1 took place the same day Earth launched its first interstellar ship (and later, whatever alien race you're playing as).
Then suddenly, in GalCiv III you have a shipyard, a Colony ship, a Scout, and a Survey ship? It just felt like we had gotten pretty far away from the idea that we're at the dawn of the galactic age.
Now, I can hear some of you all the way from here saying, "But the early game will be too slow." If we did this in the base game, it would be too slow. But, like I said, numbers and early game is different now.
Crusade is NOT about spamming out colony ships. The idea here is to have lots of interesting viable strategies.
If the early turns of a game are "boring," the answer is to fix that by making your choices more interesting, not throwing more stuff at you to do. The base game of GalCiv III would be too slow if you didn't have all that stuff to do. But Crusade is designed so that each turn matters including the first one and without so much stuff.
Now, getting back to our tough choice. I am going to choose FACTORY because there's a +3 manufacturing bonus tile. And I will rush buy it.
And for my tech choice, I decide to choose Planetology so I can get Brindle's Observatory.
The Survey Ship has a name: the T.A.S. Discovery (for Humans, anyway). The galaxy has a lot of interesting stuff that gradually respawns. This means one economic strategy now is to build survey ships and send them out to go collect stuff.
A: Send the Discovery out to explore?
B: Send it over to the bottom left to get that cargo container?
Yea: I want the cargo container.
The cargo container got my research half way done! Awesome! New choices arrive:
A: Send him to get the two goodie huts below?
B: Send him out to explore?
I choose the goodies.
TURN 2: PLANET CHOICES
I rush build a second factory! Madness!
Still no shipyard!
But I still have 764 credits.
Delayed gratification will pay off.
Awesome. I found 1 Antimatter module, got 18 more credits, and the Discovery leveled up! And I found a Precursor Relic. Now I command the Discovery to explore.
Now I build the Shipyard. And thanks to my delayed gratification, I have a pretty decent economy going. I might feel differently if those wonderful nearby planets get colonized, though...
Turn 3: I can now build ships
I also order a Research Lab to be built.
I design a ship based on a design I downloaded from Steam. I call it "Serenity"
Now, which ship should I build?
A: Serenity (my custom survey ship): Survey ships will go out and collect scattered resources
B: Colony ship (so I can get those sweet planets)
C: A Constructor: So I can lay permanent claim to galactic resources
D: A scout to go out and find stuff faster
I actually choose E: A short range colony ship I designed that is stripped down so that I can build it in 6 turns.
On Turn 3, I encounter an alien automated cargo ship that is carrying a shipment of a material called Durantium. Its engines have failed but it is in the process of self-repairing and will be on its way. What should we do?
A: Help fix the cargo vessel and send it on its way [Benevolent] (Costs 100 credits)
B: Do nothing [Pragmatic]
C: Take the Durantium and destroy the ship [Malevolent] (Gain 5 Durantium)
In Crusade, Durantium matters. A lot. You can't build larger hulled ships without it and you can't build the higher end factories without it. On the other hand, if I steal it, who knows how that might come back to bite me later. And 100 credits is a lot to fix it and it might amount to nothing...
The point being that each turn, there is something meaningful happening and it's all driven by the new economic system. There is a cost and benefit to everything.
And don't forget that planets have lots of strange and interesting resources that are also required for certain rare galactic achievements and components.
Planets will tell you what resources are on them.
And I'm already thinking about my next tech choice because Interstellar Travel will let me build the Eyes of the Universe wonder, but it requires 1 anti-matter resource which, as you may recall, I found!
And so it goes...
Against the backdrop of thoughtfully deciding how to spend your precious finite resources, comes the new Citizen mechanic. You receive a new citizen every 10 turns (barring civ bonuses and events). You train them in a particular field with the number of fields to choose from based on what techs you have.
Economics is the driving force of your civilization. You need stuff to keep your people safe and happy. How you get that stuff depends on your focus: Guns or Butter.
With all the talk of resources and how important they are, the cynical 4X player might be (should be) thinking "Crusade better have a really good diplomacy system!" And the answer is, yes. Yes it does.
The bar in the middle changes to reflect the balance of the trade. As you add/remove resources, it updates.
Trading with other civilizations is now a lot easier. And massively more fun.
One alternative to trade is, of course, conquest.
One of the careers you can choose for your citizens is Commander. When you have Commanders available, you can select any existing fleet in your game and add a Commander to it.
The Commander in his flag ship with his fleet
I renamed my Citizen to be Commander Xander from Canton, Michigan (for my son). Now, the Flagship itself is pretty awesome for a number of reasons.
...And the ship itself is pretty decent in combat as well.
As cool as Commanders are, it's the promotions that make them really interesting.
If you have the right ideology and the right resources, your Commanders can do some awesome stuff.
A few examples of what your Commanders can do if you have the right ideology and the resources:
What is really hard to communicate in a blog like this is just how much more engaged each turn is now. Starting next week, we're going to be streaming Crusade weekly on our Twitch.TV channel. Please do me a favor and SUBSCRIBE to that channel (they're going to take my thumbs if you don't!). So you'll be able to see just how much more engaged each turn is.
The increase engagement is not just because of the new features. It's a top to bottom revisit of the entire game and how the game interacts with you.
Trading resources is very cool
Below are just some, off the top of my head, examples experienced just in this game:
And you notice, I haven't even really gotten into Invasions yet...
NEXT WEEK: INVASIONS!
Every tile you own matters. The entire influence/ZOC system has been redone.
Strategic Zoom has been redone so that everything is cleaner. And since influence isn't just a big blob now, you have a lot more control over what is and isn't in your sphere of influence.
Spies can tell me who they plan to attack, what their internal political issues are and of course, can steal tech, sabotage things, etc.
we will see but I have noticed a big issue with one of their planned minor civs here amoebas , I'm sure the endless space owners will be unhappy with copyright as I'm sure they got all races of their game covered and amoeba , are major race in endless space and in endless space 2 a minor race.
Endless Space featured 8 playable factions at launch, and currently features 12 unique playable factions. Each has their own history and unique traits and bonuses.
The Amoeba are one of the sixteen minor civilizations available in Endless Space 2. They were present in Endless Space as a major civilization and are playable in the Early Access version of the game. all rights are reserved what that means
I don't think Amoeba is a copyrightable word. I don't think that "Harmony", or "Pilgrims" could be considered non-generic enough either, for example. I have troubles imagining anyone making the claim successfully in a copyright court. I am surprised you didn't point out the overlap of "United Empire" and "United Earth.
I can't see it being an issue, let alone a "big" issue. I am sure that people have filed legal action for less, but I don't think they win very much at all.
Amoeba is a very generic word. It is a single cell life form right here on our very own world; there are billions of them all around us. It is a common science/biology term. There really isn't any way anybody could win any kind of copyright infringement lawsuit over using the word in a game. Especially since the Endless Space guys are not the first people to use it...
Endless Space 2 is looking to be a pretty fun game so far though. But they aren't going to get any additional funding from a lawsuit over "Amoeba".
I also disagree with the original post an amoeba does already exist. Thats like saying that only marvel can use thor. Which pre existed long beforenthe super heroe thor.
I had this reply from
Senior Community Developer
Our games are indeed trademarked and copyright protected. The Amoeba faction could be some sort of homage or wink to our games
so it depends how they intend to use amoeba minor faction here
So if Stardock used the same Art as Amplitude then I could see a potential issue. In this case if its just a minor race that is named the same as in another game but uses different art and 'descriptions' I don't think its such an issue. Do we have any copyright lawyers hanging out here on the forums?
I am not sure how the act of notifying one company of a possible legal conflict with another can be interpreted as a helpful action as opposed to stirring up trouble. At the very least, if you were that concerned, a polite letter to Stardock and its lawyers would be in order, allowing them to start any legal discussion on their own terms. I know if I were a corporate lawyer type, I would very politely ask you not to intentionally or unintentionally represent my client in the future.
It sounds like Amplitude has a reasonable attitude, so I think Stardock can breathe easy as long as one celled creatures cannot get together for a class action suit. If that happens then Stardock is in serious danger, regardless of how many lawyers they have on retainer.
Why are even having this discussion? The new amoeba civilization is called Slyne.
"Meet the members of the Terran Resistance, lurk deep within the bowels of the living rock of asteroids as the new Onyx Hive faction, or look down on other primitive races as the cybernetic space amoebas, the Slyne."
Because trolls have to be trolls?
Seriously, pretty much all ideas have been used at one time or another. It is the differences that make a difference.
After all Amplitude isn't the first to use space amoebas either, Star Trek used the concept at least twice (with two different monsters) way back in the 1960s.
I doubt they were the first to use the concept either.
@islanddog , trying to report the above spam but getting this error :/
Can del this post to if you like once the above is gone. just thought I would let you know.
So... when is the next Dev Blog? It has been two weeks now...
I think they switched to weekly Twitch streams only.
This commentary assumes one thing that is not true anymore. There are no Research Labs available at the start of game. However there is the empire unique Computer Core that you can only build one of.
Also building buildings that only give percentage gains such as Factories is not very viable in the early turns. You need buildings that give Raw Production Points, either Social Construction (better) or Ship Construction or All Construction (best) such as the Deep Core Mine and the Space Elevator, and the Star Port (after you build a shipyard). After you have those built, Factories which give level up bonuses to adjacent buildings of the right type are a lot more useful. Also if You have a tile with a +3 manufacturing level bonus put either the Deep Core Mine or the Space Elevator on it, IMMEDIATELY, and RUSH build it. That will increase 1 Raw Point to 4 Raw Points of Construction of the appropiate type.
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