Tales of the Rampant Coyote

Adventures in Indie Gaming!

Gal Civ III!

Posted by Rampant Coyote on October 16, 2013

Oh, crap.

I can see a month-long end to any and all productivity on the distant horizon.

Galactic Civilizations III has been announced.

Yeah. I still have to be very careful about loading up Gal Civ 2. I can say to myself, “Wow, I want to really sink my teeth into a turn-based strategy game for a couple of hours.” And I start a game. And then I realize it’s four o’clock in the morning, I’m not sure when my family went to bed without me, and I can’t really be sure if I ate dinner or not.

And hey, look, there’s a trailer –

Huh. Yeah, I tend to play humans. And… yes, I admit, I pretty much did that to the galaxy once or twice. But those jerk aliens had it coming!

I think they could completely improve things by hiring Bruce Boxleitner to do the voice of the human leader here, though. Seriously. Doesn’t he look like John Sheridan?

I expect this is one of the ‘canned’ campaigns, which I actually rarely play. I generally go for the free-form sandbox in GC1 and GC2, starting with the scout ship, mining ship, and colony ship, and ending with awesome planet-destroying space stations and giant armadas of ships that could individually take on any three enemy ships of a larger ship class…

Although, most of the time, I end up winning by culturally dominating the galaxy. I love doing that.  One of the hallmarks of the Galactic Civilizations series – even moreso than the Master of Orion series that helped set the precedent – is that there are many paths to victory.  Sure, you can be the last one standing, dominating every planet in your shadow. You can form an alliance and share the victory. You can simply have so much cultural influence that you informally dominate the galaxy. You can even evolve your entire race into beings of pure energy with no further need of the ‘crude matter’ of the physical universe. In the Twilight of the Arnor expansion, there’s also an ‘ascension victory’ where you gather enough points to ascend to a higher plane or something.

The fun part is that all of these victory conditions are in play the whole time (unless you disable them). Whoever achieves *any* of the victory conditions first, wins. So while one race might be militarily dominating the scene, another may be quietly forming alliances to not only defeat them, but to turn that into a complete victory on the other side. And then some races may be sitting on ascension crystals as a fallback plan in spite of going for a diplomatic victory…

Anyway, the website is currently short on details for Galactic Civilizations III, other than it building on the foundation of its predecessors, particularly emphasizing the strengths of the series – multiple victory conditions, massive amounts of ship building and customization (a personal favorite of mine), very powerful AI, and of course a giant sandbox to play in. Like the Twilight of the Arnor expansion for Gal Civ 2, they are giving each race a lot of custom tech tree paths, which definitely made things far more interesting. There are also “Galactic Resources” which are supposed to be new – so I assume that’s not the same as the resource nodes you could harvest with a space station in the previous games.

Also – and this is a big one – MULTIPLAYER! Woot! Although — I hope this supports play by email or something like that, ‘cuz I can’t imagine playing this one “live” with one player taking fifteen minutes for a turn when some of his opponents are just clicking “next turn” to wait for a couple of events to take place. We’ll see how this goes. Back in the day, we tried – TRIED – to play Master of Orion II multiplayer, and it didn’t work out very well. I don’t think we were ever able to finish a game due to bugs and crashes.

Anyway – I’m seriously thrilled. And terrified. But it sounds like the game’s release is still quite a ways off (in internal alpha), so I guess I can wait. Stardock is currently offering “founder’s” packages for pre-orders.

Filed Under: Strategy Games - Comments: 3 Comments to Read

  • groboclown said,

    Maybe it’s just me, but I haven’t been able to get into GalCiv since the *real* Gal Civ, the one that came on diskettes for OS/2.

    All your fancy-pants, sparkly graphics can get off my lawn!

  • LateWhiteRabbit said,

    I have sunk so much time into the sandbox mode of GalCiv2, Like you say, I’d start a “quick” game one night after dinner and look up to find six or seven hours had passed. And that was on the Small maps. I had to be in the mood to play the same save file for a week or more for the Normal and larger maps.

    I could not care less about any of the official campaigns or story for the GalCiv games. I found them boring, overwrought, or just kind of silly. But sandbox – oh, my! That’s my bread and butter. I also loved to mod the game so I had all custom alien races – and was delighted the game let me do that so easily.

    If they maintain all the customization options in GalCiv3 – and it being Stardock I don’t see why they wouldn’t – I’ll be very anxiously awaiting it!

  • Maklak said,

    GalCiv 2 was pretty fun.

    I don’t like the trailer much. It is too heavy on the graphics and explains nothing. Playability in sandbox mode, how well various parts of decision-making interact and the UI are what counts about this game. Graphics matters up to a point, but beyond that it just rises the cost and slows down the game.