gaming since 1997

Galactic Civilizations

1. Who are you and what is your work in the development of Galactic Civilizations ?

I am Brad Wardell, Project Manager of Galactic Civilizations over at Stardock.

2. Where did the idea for the game come from ?

Years ago, we made an OS/2 version. What inspired us to make it was that we wanted to make a strategy game in which the computer players would play very much like real people would.

3. Can you give us some insight in the 23rd century ? How has humanity evolved ?

By the 23rd century mankind has come together. About half a century before the game begins, humans are contacted by an alien race called the Arcean Empire. It creates an incentive for mankind to get its act together to prepare itself for the next phase in human existence.

4. What are the differences between the races that inhabit the universe ?

There are up to 36 different races in the galaxy but only 6 major powers (including the humans). Each major race has its own custom built AI engine behind it so that they play differently.

5. The gameplay is focused around freedom to choose between working together, doing research, or conquering. On the other hand there are several events that will happen in the course of the game. How do you combine this freedom with fixed events ?

There aren’t “fixed” events in the game, rather, the game has hundreds of random events in which a handful are pulled each game to help make each game a different experience. For instance, a religious cult might take over one of the major civilizations, breaking into two new civilizations that now vie for supremacy. Most of the time the events are very slight or are pretty tame like a recession and such.

6. Why was the choice made to create Galactic Civilizations a turn-based strategy game in a time where real-time seems to rule the scene ?

I think the real time strategists have had plenty of games to choose from. There is a considerable market for people who want to play games with a great deal of strategic depth. Real time games, by their nature, have to remain fairly simple in their mechanics. We wanted to make a strategy game with an immense amount of depth that is still fairly easy to play.

7. If there’s one thing you could name of the main strong point of the game, what would it be and why ?

The computer AI. It thinks while you are making your move which allows it to form much more complex strategies than usually seen. We have also put a lot of effort to try to make the different difficulty levels feel like different levels of play. Usually, difficulty levels just mean that the AI is given more or less free money and such. In GalCiv, the AI plays more intelligently as you increase the difficulty. So at low levels it’ll do things like mindlessly throw ships against a fortified target or leave transports unescorted. At higher levels the AI actually plays a lot more like an expert player would.

8. Which were the most difficult parts in the development of the title ?

Probably balancing the influence system. In GalCiv, you can win by cultural influence. But it was really a challenge to balance out how much influence it should take to actually cause a star system to switch over.

9. How will the multiplayer part of the game be like ? What can players expect from it ?

There is no multiplayer in GalCiv. Instead, we have the Metaverse in which players can compete indirectly, form empires together, and see who the top players are. But we don’t have nor do we plan to add in game multiplayer. In turn based games, it just doesn’t tend to work out and it would have required too many design limitations on the single player experience.

10. Release date is scheduled for March 26th. Will we be seeing a demo released before then ?

A demo will be released in April.

related game: Galactic Civilizations
posted in: Specials
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