Author Topic: Galactic Civilizations IV  (Read 1114 times)

Martok

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on: May 11, 2021, 01:32:11 AM
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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... 



"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart


Anguille

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Reply #1 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.



Martok

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Reply #2 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. 



"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart


Anguille

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Reply #3 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.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2021, 04:31:29 AM by Anguille »



bbmike

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Reply #4 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:

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Martok

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Reply #5 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.  :) 



"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart


Martok

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Reply #6 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.  ;) 


« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 07:29:46 PM by Martok »

"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart


bbmike

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Reply #7 on: May 12, 2021, 07:45:24 AM

"My life is spent in one long effort to escape from the commonplace of existence."
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Steelgrave

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Reply #8 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.

Somewhere, somehow, I woke up in the wrong timeline. I'm pretty sure this isn't even my dimension.


Anguille

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Reply #9 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.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2021, 09:35:13 AM by Anguille »



Martok

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Reply #10 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. 



"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart


Martok

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Reply #11 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. 







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. 



"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart


Anguille

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Reply #12 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.



bbmike

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Reply #13 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.

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Martok

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Reply #14 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. 






"I like big maps and I cannot lie." - Barthheart