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Other Gaming => 4X Gaming => Topic started by: Martok on May 11, 2021, 01:32:11 AM

Title: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 11, 2021, 01:32:11 AM
Website (https://www.galciv4.com)


FAQ (https://www.galciv4.com/faq)


Dev journal #1 (https://littletinyfrogs.com/article/504735/galciv-iv-dev-journal-1)







I'm really digging Stardock's approach to this one, especially in comparison to the previous games in the series.  The franchise has long needed innovation over iteration for years now, and it looks like it's finally getting it. 

My only real gripe at this point is that GalCiv4 still isn't going to be tactical combat.  :(  Not that it will ultimately keep me from purchasing the game, but I very much doubt I'll be picking it up at release (and I certainly won't be paying to get into the Early-Access version coming in the next month or two). 


Still, there's a lot to like here:  a new model for drastically reducing colony micromanagement, a greater focus on characters (which ties into the aforementioned micromanagement system), lore-based missions and event-chains), plus a revamped & deeper ideology system (which can affect the types of events you get, along with what technologies become available to you for research)...and those are just the things I can think off the top of my head.  Oh yeah -- and epic, stupidly-ginormous maps, using a new "star sector" system.  :) 

If these features work even half as well as advertised, GC4 should be a pretty damn good game.  I'm trying to resist the hype, but man it's difficult... 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Anguille on May 11, 2021, 02:14:07 AM
Looks like a very different take from the previous games and very innovative. I like it.

Not sure if have a computer that can run it, though.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 11, 2021, 03:51:53 AM
Not sure if have a computer that can run it, though.

That is the question, yes.  Hopefully I'll have a new rig by the time it's out of EA and is a full release. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Anguille on May 11, 2021, 04:23:45 AM
Not sure if have a computer that can run it, though.

That is the question, yes.  Hopefully I'll have a new rig by the time it's out of EA and is a full release.
Wonder how management of planets will remain. Looks very much like CK in space with lots of management of the staff and citizens. Could be awesome despite the lack of space battles.

Don't have the time but wonder if i should be part of the alpha in order to give feedback.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: bbmike on May 11, 2021, 08:02:41 AM
That's nice and I'm happy and all but why no Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes II?  :brokenheart:
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 12, 2021, 04:52:39 AM
Brad Wardell wrote up a pretty thorough & in-depth article on his Galactic Civilizations series, and how Stardock got to making the design decisions they did for the newest game: 

https://explorminate.co/brad-wardell-on-the-galactic-civilizations-series/




Wonder how management of planets will remain.


From the website: 

Quote

True Colonies

In previous games, players had to manage every single planet no matter how marginal it was. Players could assign an AI governor to the planet to automate this process but this was rarely satisfying.

GalCiv IV flips the concept of governors on its head: By default, planets aren’t managed at all. They simply provide resources (tech, minerals, wealth, food) to the nearest “core” world. Players can then decide if they want to manage a world by assigning a governor to it, which turns that colony into a core world. The governor doesn’t manage anything but instead provides a series of bonuses to the planet based on their character. Of course, have too many colonies feeding a core world and that governor may decide he or she doesn’t need you anymore and rebel.

Having true colonies is a feature that is so obvious in hindsight that we’re baffled we didn’t come up with it sooner. In 4X games, the late game stall is almost entirely caused by having to micro manage too many planets, cities, whatever. Here, players will tend to only want to manage the top handful of worlds and leave the rest as colonies whose resources supercharge their associated core world.




Looks very much like CK in space with lots of management of the staff and citizens. Could be awesome despite the lack of space battles.

Agreed.  :) 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 12, 2021, 05:02:40 AM
That's nice and I'm happy and all but why no Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes II?  :brokenheart:

Because for all of Stardock's recruitment efforts over the last several years, I'm pretty sure they still don't have enough people to work on more than one major game project at a time (at least where they can go full speed). 

Also:  I'm only guessing here, but I suspect Brad wants to take a personal hand in FE2's development, just like he is with GC4 now.  Given that, we'll necessarily have to wait until after GalCiv4 is out before any sequel to Elemental/Fallen Enchantress/Sorcerer King can happen. 



That being said...Brad *has* said that Stardock's next project after this will be a fantasy 4x game, with it being led by Derek Paxton (current design lead for GalCiv4).  Now whether said game is going to be a sequel to FE:LH, I honestly have no idea -- but we can hope.  ;) 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: bbmike on May 12, 2021, 07:45:24 AM
(https://www.aarcentral.com/emoti/please.gif)
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Steelie on May 12, 2021, 09:09:58 AM

True Colonies

In previous games, players had to manage every single planet no matter how marginal it was. Players could assign an AI governor to the planet to automate this process but this was rarely satisfying.

GalCiv IV flips the concept of governors on its head: By default, planets aren’t managed at all. They simply provide resources (tech, minerals, wealth, food) to the nearest “core” world. Players can then decide if they want to manage a world by assigning a governor to it, which turns that colony into a core world. The governor doesn’t manage anything but instead provides a series of bonuses to the planet based on their character. Of course, have too many colonies feeding a core world and that governor may decide he or she doesn’t need you anymore and rebel.

Having true colonies is a feature that is so obvious in hindsight that we’re baffled we didn’t come up with it sooner. In 4X games, the late game stall is almost entirely caused by having to micro manage too many planets, cities, whatever. Here, players will tend to only want to manage the top handful of worlds and leave the rest as colonies whose resources supercharge their associated core world.


Ok I'm seriously digging this. He's right....it's so simple it's baffling they (or other designers) didn't come up with it sooner.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Anguille on May 12, 2021, 09:29:41 AM

True Colonies

In previous games, players had to manage every single planet no matter how marginal it was. Players could assign an AI governor to the planet to automate this process but this was rarely satisfying.

GalCiv IV flips the concept of governors on its head: By default, planets aren’t managed at all. They simply provide resources (tech, minerals, wealth, food) to the nearest “core” world. Players can then decide if they want to manage a world by assigning a governor to it, which turns that colony into a core world. The governor doesn’t manage anything but instead provides a series of bonuses to the planet based on their character. Of course, have too many colonies feeding a core world and that governor may decide he or she doesn’t need you anymore and rebel.

Having true colonies is a feature that is so obvious in hindsight that we’re baffled we didn’t come up with it sooner. In 4X games, the late game stall is almost entirely caused by having to micro manage too many planets, cities, whatever. Here, players will tend to only want to manage the top handful of worlds and leave the rest as colonies whose resources supercharge their associated core world.


Ok I'm seriously digging this. He's right....it's so simple it's baffling they (or other designers) didn't come up with it sooner.
Some games and designers did have clever ways to reduce micromanagement. For instance Pax Imperia: Eminent Domain in which you barely have anything to do to run your planets. You just have to se a priority in the beginning. Stars in Shadow also has very limited micromanagement. So no, it's not really new. GalCiv2 and 3 are very heavy in terms of micromanagement (too much for my taste). Glad they move to another direction. However, in the beginning of a 4x, we usually like to manage the first colonies ourselves.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 12, 2021, 07:44:39 PM
Colonies in Distant Worlds don't have a lot of micro, either.  There's certainly plenty of other aspects of running your empire that can be micro-managed, of course, but your planets generally don't need it.  (Yet another thing to look forward to in DW2. ;) ) 




However, in the beginning of a 4x, we usually like to manage the first colonies ourselves.

True.  It's going to be interesting to see how that desire plays out in GC4's new colony system.  Can players still be interested and/or enjoy the game if their homeworld is the only planet they can micromanage initially?  (Because I'm guessing that's going to be the case most of the time when starting out.)  I'm guessing the answer is "yes", but obviously only time will tell. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 16, 2021, 10:24:41 PM
Brad posted this screenshot from the alpha (pre-alpha?) over in Discord today.  I imagine at least some aspects of it will change between now and then, but there's still a lot of info that can be gleaned from it. 


(https://i.imgur.com/vFAScZp.png)




Some thoughts & observations (in no particular order): 

*  Aside from that it looks nice, I like how the game remains recognizable as GalCiv overall, yet is still clearly a new game.  No one is going to accuse GC4 of just being a reskinned GalCiv3.  (GC3 is often criticized for looking -- and feeling -- too similar to GC2.) 

*  Hexes are either gone, or at least hidden; i suspect the latter.  Personally, I like this change -- removing hexes improves the aesthetic (and thus immersion) -- but some folks are definitely going to miss them.  Perhaps there will be an option to enable/disable them? 

*  You can see that Earth is a "core world" (a planet assigned to a governor, thus allowing you to manage it directly), with multiple "colonies" feeding resources to it.  Mars is one such colony, with the rest being off-screen. 

*  The 4 main icons above Earth and Mars denote (from left to right):  minerals, research, wealth, and food.  Brad said there will eventually be a 5th icon added, for "culture".  He didn't elaborate, but I suspect that Culture might be what Influence was in GalCiv2 and GalCiv 3. 

*  Although Brad has said he's personally not fond of them, it appears asteroid mining bases are still a thing, based on the blue lines linking the asteroid fields and Earth. 

*  The "Missions" list in the upper-left corner appears to be somewhat similar to Stellaris' situation log (that tracks anomalies, event-chains, etc.).  These are, presumably, some of the story/lore-based content that is finally(!) being incorporated into the sandbox game (instead of always locked away in separate campaigns no one plays) to help give players a sense of story and immersion. 

*  I see the "Notifications" (just below the Missions) from GalCiv3 are back, which is welcome.  However, it would be nice if this time around, clicking (or double-clicking) on them would take us to the relevant location or menu. 

*  The four citizens/leaders on the bottom (at least, that's who I presume they are):  I can't figure out if their character cards sitting there means they're already hired and working for you?  Or if they're still available for hire, but you haven't recruited them yet?  I lean towards the former, but I could easily see that still being the latter as well. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Anguille on May 17, 2021, 05:40:19 AM
Looks nice.

However, I have the feeling that the free travel is going to be skipped this time and will be replaced by a star to star system on a sector level. It would be too much micro to have big GalCiv 3 maps connected with othe GalCiv3 maps in a huge universe.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: bbmike on May 17, 2021, 07:53:15 AM
It may not be "reskinned" but it sure looks like they are using the same lego blocks. Not that it concerns me much, I've no doubt it will be a big change from GalCiv3. Hopefully for the better.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 18, 2021, 08:16:51 PM
The Explorminate guys did a long video interview with Brad.  Lots of good info & tidbits on the game, plus some good discussions on 4x games and the genre in general.  I had fun watching/listening to this. 





Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 18, 2021, 08:21:30 PM
Looks nice.

However, I have the feeling that the free travel is going to be skipped this time and will be replaced by a star to star system on a sector level. It would be too much micro to have big GalCiv 3 maps connected with othe GalCiv3 maps in a huge universe.

Yes, Brad has stated star sectors will be connected via "subspace streams". 


From the FAQ: 

Quote

How are the maps different?

    Galactic Civilizations IV maps are much, much bigger. However, unlike in previous GalCiv games where various star clusters would have a bunch of empty space (which meant a lot of drudgery late game) GalCiv IV introduces the concept of “star sectors”.

    A Galactic Civilizations III tiny, small, or medium map could be considered a single star sector with its normal free-form movement between stars and such. In fact, someone could play GalCiv IV the same as GalCiv III in terms of setting up a single big star sector.

    The most powerful player in a given sector is considered the sector owner and gains various bonuses for owning that sector.

    However, there can now be more than one star sector which are connected by subspace streams. Players do not know where subspace streams are at the start of the game nor can they navigate them (they must be found and then researched). This allows players to effectively travel to other maps (star sectors).

    We plan on also having a late game technology that allows players to bypass the streams entirely (quantum drive), that aren’t quite as fast as using a subspace stream, by allowing them to enter subspace and travel to any part of the edge of a star sector.

    Thus, map travel will have 3 acts:
    Act 1: Star sector travel (just like GalCiv I, II, III)
    Act 2: Subspace stream travel (traveling to new star sectors via a subspace stream)
    Act 3: Quantum tunneling travel (entering subspace and exiting at a specific point)








Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 18, 2021, 09:02:59 PM
It may not be "reskinned" but it sure looks like they are using the same lego blocks.

Oh yes; as I said, it's definitely still recognizable as a GalCiv game.  In comparison, however, a lot of people felt like GalCiv3 was merely GalCiv2 with modestly updated visuals (and changed from tiles to hexes).  At least the difference is more district this time. 



Not that it concerns me much, I've no doubt it will be a big change from GalCiv3. Hopefully for the better.

I suspect it will.  I don't think I've ever seen a game series make such a major change (or so many) before, and/or in such a deliberate fashion in an attempt to address not only its own weaknesses, but (to at least some extent) the genre's as a whole. 

I'm sure that not every idea or feature will pan out, but I love that they're trying. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 20, 2021, 09:12:19 PM
Brad has posted Dev Journal #2, which talks about characters in Galactic Civilizations IV. 


https://forums.galciv4.com/504737/page/1/



The Crusader Kings III influence is obvious (he's cheerfully admitted to having over 600 hours in the game), which I don't think is a bad thing.  One of the most frequent -- and longstanding -- critiques of the GalCiv series has been blandness, and I suspect making GC4 a more character-driven game could help improve that a lot. 


Also, this bit definitely made me cackle: 

Quote
But fear not - while there are thousands of characters out there, you only need to really care about a handful. Which handful you should care about depends on who you give what power to. Put someone in charge of 37 colony worlds and now you should probably care about them. But, some colonist on Backwater world 53 is probably not someone you need to think about…until it turns out that they contracted a parasite that takes over everyone minds and that it has since spread to nearby worlds. Or maybe that scientist on Urara IV whose wife is being held captive by the Drengin Empire and has been supplying them secrets in the hopes of getting her back.  But you know, otherwise - nothing to worry about.

 ;D


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Undercovergeek on May 20, 2021, 09:25:58 PM
If it has these and other narratives built in it sounds like a winner
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 20, 2021, 09:35:56 PM
Meant to add it to the previous post, but here's a screenshot of the current iteration of the research menu. 


(https://i.imgur.com/CqtpzmP.png)



It's definitely a bit like Stellaris, in that instead of being able to see the entire tech tree and plan out your entire research "path", you have to choose between a selection of 4-7 technologies at a time. 


One key difference, however, is an added wrinkle that I really like the concept of:  If you genuinely don't care for any of the technology options currently available to you for research, you'll be able to press an "Inspire" button that essentially re-shuffles the technologies, and presents you with a new (and hopefully better) set of choices.  If you still don't like the new (2nd) set of techs to research, you can click Inspire again, and again, and again, etc., until you get those technologies you *really* want to research. 

To prevent this "inspire" ability from being abused, it comes with a cost:  Every time you press the Inspire button, the price for the new set of technologies increases by an additional 10%, so that they take longer to research.  Although it obviously remains to be seen how well this works in play-testing, it definitely sounds good in theory. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: bbmike on May 21, 2021, 08:13:39 AM
That does sound interesting. It sounds like the standard 'random technology' option but with a twist. The increased cost each time you 'shuffle' is genius.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Anguille on May 21, 2021, 08:57:39 AM
Very disappointed that this is again the traditional "Civilization" type of just one reseach item at a time. Stellaris is slighly better with 3 at the same time but it's still far from the 6 techs in MOO (except New MOO) and 8 in Horizon. Sorry but i think this is so dumb and a real immersion breaker.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 21, 2021, 04:56:25 PM
That does sound interesting. It sounds like the standard 'random technology' option but with a twist. The increased cost each time you 'shuffle' is genius.

Yeah, I think it's a good way to balance between those situations where you're just not interested in any of the current choices presented to you, whilst also preventing the system from massive exploits. 




Very disappointed that this is again the traditional "Civilization" type of just one reseach item at a time. Stellaris is slighly better with 3 at the same time but it's still far from the 6 techs in MOO (except New MOO) and 8 in Horizon. Sorry but i think this is so dumb and a real immersion breaker.

Well then hop on the forums and say so.  Or get in the alpha once it becomes available.  I'm pretty sure this is something that can be changed before release.  :) 


Personally, I'm fairly ambivalent either way.  I don't particularly *like* the "researching only one thing at a time" model (mostly from an immersion/realism standpoint), but I get why it might make sense from the standpoint of gameplay, balance, or both.  Ultimately, however many techs we're allowed to research, I'm sure I'll be okay with it. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 28, 2021, 02:43:06 PM
First Q&A session is up.  Some nice little nuggets of info contained herein. 





Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Undercovergeek on May 28, 2021, 03:42:57 PM
With gaming time limited I reckon Ive got room for one space epic - I have stellaris, dw2 is almost upon us and now this

 :-\
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: ojsdad on May 28, 2021, 03:50:52 PM
Not sure why, but I never jumped on the GalCiv band wagon.  I'll keep watching this and maybe pick it up sometime.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 28, 2021, 05:19:42 PM
With gaming time limited I reckon Ive got room for one space epic - I have stellaris, dw2 is almost upon us and now this

 :-\

Take comfort in the knowledge that GalCiv4 won't come out as a full release until next year.  That at least simplifies your options in the meantime.  ;) 





Not sure why, but I never jumped on the GalCiv band wagon.  I'll keep watching this and maybe pick it up sometime.

My personal experience with the GalCiv games is that they're very solid mechanically, look nice visually, and perform well technically.  However, they are also rather bland, almost generic -- a fairly common criticism, from what I've read elsewhere.  For all the series' strengths, I find the games lack...not necessarily atmosphere or immersion, per se, but...soul. 


Stardock's efforts to really bring the galaxy to life in this coming iteration is why I'm especially (if cautiously) excited for GalCiv4.  Between the new focus on characters (citizens & leaders, ala Crusader Kings III), combined with the inclusion of lore-based missions & events in the sandbox gameplay (ala Stellaris), I suspect/hope that GC4 might finally break free of its predecessors' blandness and truly make its mark.  Fingers crossed! 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Undercovergeek on May 28, 2021, 06:29:14 PM
With gaming time limited I reckon Ive got room for one space epic - I have stellaris, dw2 is almost upon us and now this

 :-\

Take comfort in the knowledge that GalCiv4 won't come out as a full release until next year.  That at least simplifies your options in the meantime.  ;) 

Might be time to get into dw2
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: ojsdad on May 28, 2021, 10:07:59 PM
Not sure why, but I never jumped on the GalCiv band wagon.  I'll keep watching this and maybe pick it up sometime.

My personal experience with the GalCiv games is that they're very solid mechanically, look nice visually, and perform well technically.  However, they are also rather bland, almost generic -- a fairly common criticism, from what I've read elsewhere.  For all the series' strengths, I find the games lack...not necessarily atmosphere or immersion, per se, but...soul. 

Stardock's efforts to really bring the galaxy to life in this coming iteration is why I'm especially (if cautiously) excited for GalCiv4.  Between the new focus on characters (citizens & leaders, ala Crusader Kings III), combined with the inclusion of lore-based missions & events in the sandbox gameplay (ala Stellaris), I suspect/hope that GC4 might finally break free of its predecessors' blandness and truly make its mark.  Fingers crossed! 

I think that may be it.  When I looked at it, there was nothing new that wasn't already being offered or had been offered before.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 28, 2021, 10:41:04 PM
Might be time to get into dw2

Hopefully not too much longer, although we'll see.  Erik Rutins still hasn't said anything about a release date, beyond that one comment from earlier this year about them aiming for a July release.  Personally, I'd be surprised if it didn't slip another month or two, although I am guessing it will at least be out no later than early autumn. 




I think that may be it.  When I looked at it, there was nothing new that wasn't already being offered or had been offered before.

Yep.  Hell, GalCiv3 wasn't even that different -- mechanically or visually -- from GalCiv2.  It was an unimaginative iteration on an already unimaginative game (though it was still enjoyable in its own way). 

(To be fair, I don't think Brad Wardell ever really intended his games to "break the mold", at least when he first started out.  He was just trying to make games he wanted to play.) 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: bbmike on May 29, 2021, 08:57:51 AM
It's not that GalCiv doesn't offer anything new (it really doesn't), it's just that the way the game is presented is extremely dull and bland. I can't quite put my finger on it exactly but every time I start a game I end up several turns in and just not caring about what happens to my empire or the others.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Anguille on June 01, 2021, 08:26:41 AM
Very disappointed that this is again the traditional "Civilization" type of just one reseach item at a time. Stellaris is slighly better with 3 at the same time but it's still far from the 6 techs in MOO (except New MOO) and 8 in Horizon. Sorry but i think this is so dumb and a real immersion breaker.

Well then hop on the forums and say so.  Or get in the alpha once it becomes available.  I'm pretty sure this is something that can be changed before release.  :) 

Personally, I'm fairly ambivalent either way.  I don't particularly *like* the "researching only one thing at a time" model (mostly from an immersion/realism standpoint), but I get why it might make sense from the standpoint of gameplay, balance, or both.  Ultimately, however many techs we're allowed to research, I'm sure I'll be okay with it.
Would love to but:

a) don't really have the time
b) my suggestion will most likely be lost among all the GalCiv fans threads (even if i was one of the first to play the original game for pc in 2003 and a Stardock member Since: 7/18/2002, not as long as Martok though  :)).

But in the end, i guess i can live with that as well. Even if i think it's an inferior design to MOO1-MOO3 games, i've played all the Civilization games and NuMoo even copied that inferior research design from the Civilization games  :face:
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on June 01, 2021, 03:01:06 PM
Fair enough. 


In a moment of madness, I did end up signing up for the alpha (pre-alpha?), so we'll see whether I get in or not.  On the off-chance I do, I'll put in a word about the research system.  :) 

Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: ojsdad on June 01, 2021, 04:50:35 PM
Fair enough. 


In a moment of madness, I did end up signing up for the alpha (pre-alpha?), so we'll see whether I get in or not.  On the off-chance I do, I'll put in a word about the research system.  :)

(https://pics.onsizzle.com/im-shocked-13839250.png)
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on June 02, 2021, 02:59:51 AM



Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Anguille on June 02, 2021, 05:43:44 AM
In a moment of madness, I did end up signing up for the alpha (pre-alpha?), so we'll see whether I get in or not.  On the off-chance I do, I'll put in a word about the research system.  :)
Excellent. Hope you can give lots of inputs. Have started to play GC3 but boy, the translations are terrible and lacking (sometimes there's no text when you have to make a choice between 3 options) and i can't even change the game to english.  Didn't think that a 5 year old game can be so buggy at that level.  :(
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on June 03, 2021, 05:46:56 AM
Uff-da.  That is rough.  :(   

Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on June 07, 2021, 05:06:03 PM
Dev Journal #3 is up (https://www.galciv4.com/article/504739/galciv-iv-dev-journal-3).  Brad gives us a somewhat closer look at Colonies and Core Worlds, and how they'll function in the game. 


I really like the concept that newly-colonized planets will automatically default to "Colony" status -- where you don't personally mange/govern it, but instead it simply feeds resources to the nearest Core World.  I suspect it might take a little getting used to at first, but not overly much. 

Turning a Colony into a Core World is an conscious decision you'll have to deliberately choose to make, and will require you to "sacrifice" one of your precious leaders (in order to turn them into a Governor).  While you "lose" that leader, you've also now gained a Core World that is likely to be far more productive than the Colonies feeding resources to it. 


The player also needs to be careful about not having too many Colonies feeding a single Core World:  While doing so would give that Core World an immense amount of resources, and make it extremely productive (and powerful), it's also going to test your Governor's loyalty.  The more Colonies feeding a Core World, the more likely that Core World's governor is going to be tempted to break away and form their own empire. 

Thus, a balance needs to be maintained:  You still need the vast majority of your planets to remain Colonies, but you don't want too high a ratio of Colonies/Core Worlds, lest you spark rebellion and/or civil war. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Anguille on June 08, 2021, 05:59:52 AM
It sounds interesting.

I do disagree with Brad on the AI governors. If it's well done, it can work more or less like his system. The main difference is that you can decide to take care yourself of a planet when you need to.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on June 10, 2021, 06:46:41 PM
For those who wish to play the alpha version of the game, Galactic Civilizations IV is now available for purchase (https://www.galciv4.com/article/505220/)...as an Epic exclusive.  :( 

Stardock has already stated that when the full game is released next year, it will also be available on Steam.  However, it does appear that GC4 will be tied to the Epic store for the next 12 months while it's in an alpha/beta state. 


I can understand why Stardock went this route, but it's not something I'll be participating in.  At least it simplifies my decision on whether to purchase early to get alpha access. 




In the meantime, Rob from Explorminate has posted a couple videos of the alpha.  He talks about the game's concepts, the various setup screens, and the 2nd video takes you through the first 30 turns of actual gameplay.  I will say, it does look pretty good so far. 






Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on June 10, 2021, 06:51:26 PM
Brad also posted Dev Journal #4 today, which takes a broader overview of the alpha.  It's pretty meaty. 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/505273/galciv-iv-dev-journal-4---a-guided-alpha-tour



I'm especially eager to see how the game works with citizens/leaders/governors, prestige as means for victory, and control as a resource (used for Executive Orders).  I really like how Stardock is throwing in a lot of new concepts into this game, and/or mixing existing concepts in new/interesting ways. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Anguille on June 11, 2021, 03:04:39 AM
Brad also posted Dev Journal #4 today, which takes a broader overview of the alpha.  It's pretty meaty. 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/505273/galciv-iv-dev-journal-4---a-guided-alpha-tour



I'm especially eager to see how the game works with citizens/leaders/governors, prestige as means for victory, and control as a resource (used for Executive Orders).  I really like how Stardock is throwing in a lot of new concepts into this game, and/or mixing existing concepts in new/interesting ways.

It's looking good already. Enjoyed the videos from Rob. And i can understand the logic to go Epic as he mostly wants to have the feedback on a single forum. Will see if i manage to wait.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on June 13, 2021, 10:40:30 PM
Rob shares what he feels could/should be improved, although he emphasizes he's still enjoying himself thus far.  I think his critiques regarding research and diplomacy are particularly spot-on. 






EDIT:  His criticisms aside, I'm already realizing that waiting a year for the Steam release is going to seriously test my willpower.  :waiting: 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on June 14, 2021, 05:36:39 PM
Dev Journal #5 is up (https://forums.galciv4.com/505271/galciv-iv-dev-journal-5). 



Interesting how Brad discusses them removing an already-implemented feature (the "Ideology Compass"), and replacing it with something else.  I'm sure some folks would find that alarming, and/or a sign that a game was in major trouble.  Personally, however, I have a lot of respect for him not only being willing to throw out something that isn't working, but openly discussing it as well. 

I'm looking forward to the Cultural Spectrums, and seeing how they work in its stead. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on August 03, 2021, 06:40:24 PM
I thought this was kinda neat... 


Brad just released another dev journal (albeit a short one) about the Yor.  They're the stereotypical evil (Cylon-like) robots in the Galactic Civilizations universe.  He talks about the Yor's evolution -- both artistically and lore-wise -- over the years, and hints at where they might be heading in GC4. 


https://forums.galciv4.com/506037/galciv-iv-dev-journal-7---the-changing-face-of-space-robots



What stands out for me most -- even more than that the Yor are apparently the 2nd-most-played race (after humans) -- is that Brad wrote their origin story when he was still in high school.  :o  He's mentioned before how he created the lore/backstory for the GalCiv universe, and only afterwards (while in college) created a computer game in order to bring it to life, but it still boggles my mind a little when I think about it. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on September 01, 2021, 11:12:39 PM
Dev Journal #8 is up.  Brad talks a bit about how Citizens work, especially Leaders, and "Commanders" (a new feature) in particular. 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/506674/



I really like this concept.  It's probably my favorite idea/feature other than the Core Worlds & Colonies. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Steelie on September 02, 2021, 11:28:40 AM
Dev Journal #8 is up.  Brad talks a bit about how Citizens work, especially Leaders, and "Commanders" (a new feature) in particular. 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/506674/



I really like this concept.  It's probably my favorite idea/feature other than the Core Worlds & Colonies.

Ohhhhh I like!!!
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on November 09, 2021, 09:03:34 PM
I listened to Stardock's transcript of their 2nd Community Q&A last night, which they did a couple weeks ago to mark (at least in part) GalCiv4 transitioning to beta.  The game's lead designer (and Stardock's VP) Derek Paxton did most of the answering, which was fun; I genuinely enjoy listening to him talk about games. 






Sounds like some interesting/good changes are still coming, including the ability to "queue up" colonies, battles taking place directly on the sector/galactic map, and a lot more.  I'm really looking forward to seeing what the end product looks like. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on December 04, 2021, 02:47:39 AM
Explorminate has taken another look at the game, now that the most recent update (v0.65) is out in the wild: 







Still looking good so far.  There are the usual bugs, and to me it seems the game could use a number of usability/QoL improvements, but overall progress appears to be going well. 

(Also:  Apparently the game is still in alpha and not beta after all.  Sounds like Brad made a last-minute decision to delay moving GC4 into beta status until next year for...reasons, I guess?  Granted, I'd much rather he do that than rush the game out the door too soon; it's just the decision feels rather abrupt.) 


Not for the first time -- and probably not the last -- I find myself thinking that 2022 can't get here soon enough.  I want to get my hands on this one! 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on December 18, 2021, 02:24:57 AM
Brad Wardell has started an AAR on the latest build of the alpha: 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/507256/




I always find it interesting to "watch" him play his games, especially since he's usually doing so with an eye towards finding things that should be fixed and/or improved.  He also tends to inject a bit of dry wit into his AAR's, which I also enjoy.  :hehe: 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Undercovergeek on December 18, 2021, 02:31:31 AM
Definite read
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on March 10, 2022, 06:12:41 PM
Dev Journal #16 looks at the Battle Viewer, which was just added to the beta: 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/510682/



As usual, Brad defends his decision to not have tactical combat in the GalCiv.  Also as usual, his arguments for (not) doing so -- while logical on the face of things -- still feel spurious.  Technically, a lot of games don't have "tactical" combat, yet still manage to have battles that feel engaging and/or meaningful. 




Also, the game has officially moved to Beta 2: 






In addition to the Battle Viewer, multiplayer is now available, and the game has had a bunch of new content added. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: bbmike on March 10, 2022, 06:43:27 PM
Huh. I wonder if multiplayer will include a hotseat mode.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on March 10, 2022, 06:50:05 PM
Good question.  That would be nice. 


I also wonder if they're going to add just a plain "sandbox" mode for MP.  I hope so, as I'm not exactly thrilled about the MP modes currently on offer. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on March 24, 2022, 12:32:54 PM
I also wonder if they're going to add just a plain "sandbox" mode for MP.  I hope so, as I'm not exactly thrilled about the MP modes currently on offer.

Looks like I'm getting my wish.  Derek's patch notes for the (as-yet unreleased) beta version 0.9 include sandbox mode being added to MP: 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/511110/galactic-civilizations-iv-09-update




It looks like the Civilization Creator is at last being added as well. 


Now if they would/could just do something about the useless Battle Viewer.  It appears that -- once again -- combat will be one of the areas where the franchise continues to fall flat.  :( 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Yskonyn on March 28, 2022, 05:25:21 PM
I agree. I’ve tried to make the case on their forums as well; why have such a detailed ship designer to then make your intricate designs reduce to simple rock, paper, scissors in actual gameplay?
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on March 28, 2022, 07:38:36 PM
^  Precisely.  That's always been a baffling design decision to me. 

Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Anguille on March 29, 2022, 04:18:16 AM
I agree. I’ve tried to make the case on their forums as well; why have such a detailed ship designer to then make your intricate designs reduce to simple rock, paper, scissors in actual gameplay?
Yeah. Imho, he should just go with the standard ship set like in GalCiv 1. The ship designer is the main reason why i barely play GalCiv 2 and 3.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on March 31, 2022, 11:42:46 PM
Game has officially entered Beta 3: 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/511120//







In addition to the stuff mentioned in last week's patch notes (https://www.galciv4.com/article/511110/galactic-civilizations-iv-09-update), the Torians and Manti are now playable, and the Leader events/quests look pretty cool.  I find it interesting that in the trailer, it's noted that MP sandbox mode was a highly-requested feature; I'm curious if that's as opposed to other MP modes, or not bothering with MP at all(?). 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on April 01, 2022, 12:03:17 AM
In addition, we finally got a bit of clarification on when -- or even whether -- the game is coming to Steam.  Brad had this bit to say on the matter in Discord a few days ago: 


Quote
It'll eventually be on Steam probably.  But more like 2023. 





It's not exactly a huge (or hugely surprising) revelation, but it does at least confirm a couple things I've long suspected: 

1.)  GalCiv4 will be an Epic exclusive upon release. 
2.)  It will remain so for at least a year after it comes out. 



I have to admit, I've realized I'm fine with this.  I have no shortage of games to keep me occupied in the meantime, especially with Stellaris and Distant Worlds 2 already feeding my space 4x addiction.  And by the time GC4 comes to Steam (presuming it actually does), it will have received numerous patches & updates to make the game that much better by the time I get my hands on it. 

My only real concern at this point, is that Stardock eventually reaches the point where it decides that the money it gets from Epic is good enough to be worth forgoing selling their games on Steam, in which case I'll never get to play any of their games in the future.  But for the time being, there's not much I can do except worry about that further on down the road. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on April 13, 2022, 05:16:51 PM
Galactic Civilzations IV is releasing April 26 on the Epic Games Store: 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/511536

https://cogconnected.com/2022/04/stardock-unveils-galactic-civilizations-iv-release-date-april-26th/






I confess I'm a little surprised by the news, as I wasn't expecting the game to come out until May or June.  Good for them, though. 


Now I just have to wait another year until GC4 is (hopefully) available on Steam/GOG... 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Undercovergeek on April 13, 2022, 06:45:13 PM
I’m enjoying DW2 enough not to need another space 4x
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: bbmike on April 13, 2022, 06:46:54 PM
I’m with you, Martok. I can wait for this to come to Steam.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Yskonyn on April 14, 2022, 02:36:58 AM
I feel they release early too.
The problem of designing ships with an intricate ship designer, to have them only be reduced to rock, paper, scissor combat in the game is still a feature which is dissapointing.
They have done some work to try to prevent tiny / small ship hull spam however.
But I can’t help to think that a proper ship role system would add so much more to the combat in their games.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on April 20, 2022, 06:49:37 PM
Final pre-release dev journal? 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/511557



It's nothing special -- pretty much just screenshots with a bit of commentary from Brad about the game's features.  I always appreciate reading his insights, however, even if I don't always agree with them. 

I'm also digging the visuals, which has clearly received an upgrade (as opposed to GalCiv3, which was accused -- not without cause -- of looking too similar to GalCiv2).  The art design is admittedly starting to feel a bit stale -- I would love to see Stardock do something a little more stylistic, similar to their Fallen Enchantress/Sorcerer King series -- but the art team appears to be doing good work based on the current concept(s). 




I did have to roll my eyes, however, when Brad posted the screenshot of the combat-viewer.  In its current iteration, it displays the battle *after* the results of the fight have already been posted -- and apparently with no way to skip it, at least at the moment.  ::)  :doh:  I'm sure that will change/be improved after release, but it's utterly baffling to me as to why it was ever implemented that way in the first place. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on April 25, 2022, 07:55:53 PM
Video from their pre-release Community Q&A #3 stream is up: 






It was an interesting listen, but I didn't think there was anything particularly surprising or profound answered or discussed.  There's no comment on when (or if) the game is coming to Steam (it was the very first question asked); presumably Stardock is legally barred from discussing the topic during their exclusivity period with Epic. 

On the eve of GalCiv4's release, my impression continues to be that it doesn't appear it will ever come close to topping my "Best 4x Games" list.  However, it does look very good (probably the best entry in the franchise so far), and I'm looking forward to purchasing it next year. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Yskonyn on April 26, 2022, 03:10:48 AM
Same, although I am already in.

The game looks absolutely stunning. The gameplay is classic GalCiv ‘boardgame’ style and the AI is much more on the level of GC1 and GC2 again, which is great.
Planetary development is more interesting this time, which was one of their goals. That succeeded imo.

But like we discussed before, combat still is very generic.
Considering the awesome ship designer in the game I feel its such a waste, but Derek and Brad keep insisting that they want GalCiv to be a strategic game instead of a tactical one.
In my opinion that reduces the ship designer to a ship vanity wardrobe, which is a bummer.

Still,  its not out of the question we might see some less abstraction coming in an expansion.

There is no doubt the foundation of this GalCiv is much better than the previous iteration. Made by a classic GalCiv team.

As a multiplayer game this version is pretty awesome too I feel. Its plays rather snappy.
Perhaps we can whip something up in future.
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on April 26, 2022, 03:38:19 AM
I'll ping you in a year.  :D 

Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on April 26, 2022, 04:24:32 PM
Brad reveals a bit more of the universe's lore, which covers events in both GalCiv3 and GalCiv4.  Whatever I may think of the games, I always enjoy reading these: 


https://littletinyfrogs.com/article/511830/galciv-iv-dev-journal-18---the-dawn-of-the-24th-century


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on April 30, 2022, 03:58:14 AM
Tentative roadmap covering the first few planned updates: 


https://littletinyfrogs.com/article/511922/galciv-iv-dev-journal-19---the-roadmap



A lot of the features listed are things requested by the community, but the team wasn't able to implement in time for the 1.0 version (so they're being added post-launch instead).  It's nice to see Stardock continuing to be responsive to the players. 


One thing that stands out to me, however, is that GalCiv4 currently doesn't have support for any other languages; and that even with v1.3 (which is when other languages will start being added), the game is only going to support French, German, and Russian.  It strongly suggests -- yet again -- that Stardock rushed the game out the door, at least sooner than they might have otherwise.  I have to wonder if that's so they can exit their Epic exclusivity window that much sooner next year(?). 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 27, 2022, 03:32:37 AM
Update 1.03 has dropped.  Alliance victory has been added, a bunch of new events, and players can now share custom civilizations with each other via the workshop. 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/511962/galactic-civilizations-iv-103


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: bob48 on May 27, 2022, 06:22:14 AM
Dunno why, but I just can't seem to get a handle on space 4x type games. Lack of spatial awareness, maybe?
Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on May 27, 2022, 12:51:05 PM
Yes, I'm sure that must be it.  :P 


I think it's fair to say that, quite simply, not all settings within a genre are going to appeal to everyone.  The reasons for why that is may vary from person to person, but it's still true regardless. 


As for myself, I've been fascinated with outer space for as long as I can remember.  I also have fond memories of watching episode re-runs of Star Trek: TOS with my dad in the evenings when he was home, which only further amplified my obsession.  When I later discovered my love for strategy games as a young adult, the combination of these two infatuations -- space 4x games -- had me immediately hooked & enthralled. 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on June 10, 2022, 02:37:41 PM
In this week's dev journal, Derek fires up the game with a preview build of version 1.04, which (among other things) adds a long-requested change: the ability for military starbases to protect planets within their radius from invasion.  He also takes a closer look at the Xeloxi, one of the many new playable races in GC4. 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/512848/




It's fascinating and all, but I confess I'm already getting a bit impatient for Derek to start work on his fantasy 4x game that he's wanted to do for so long.  I want to see what he's got planned for us, dang it! 


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on June 16, 2022, 05:21:39 PM
Version 1.04 is out.  Additional Executive Orders, a powerful new Colony Upgrade, and Military Starbases are finally worth a damn: 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/513001


Title: Re: Galactic Civilizations IV
Post by: Martok on August 18, 2022, 04:41:46 AM
Version 1.05 has dropped (this one sort of snuck up on me): 


https://www.galciv4.com/article/513851/




The big changes are the addition of Survival Mode and Sandbox mode to multiplayer.  I do find it a bit odd that it took this long for sandbox MP to happen. 


Perhaps of greater interest, however, is the fact that apparently Stardock has moved most of their assets away from GalCiv4 (although they are still working on the next patch), and into development on their next major project. 

Fingers crossed it's Derek Paxton's fantasy 4x.  There's some speculation it could take place in his Fall From Heaven "universe", though zero details have been released at this point.