Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.

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Galactic Civilizations has the distinction of being the longest running strategy game developed by the same company.

Let's take a look at how it has changed.

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Galactic Civilizations OS/2


The game that started it all.  I wrote this game from my dorm room in college. 

 

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Galactic Civilizations for OS/2 (1993)

 

  1. First commercial multithreaded game
  2. First commercial game to use more than 256 colors
  3. First commercial 32-bit game

It was written for IBM's OS/2 instead of DOS or Windows which limited its market but by being natively 32-bit, multithreaded, it could do things that wouldn't be seen in the game market for many years.


Galactic Civilizations for Windows


We didn't get back to Galactic Civilizations again until 2003 -- 10 years after the original.  Stardock moved to Windows around the year 2000 and its business focused on programs like WindowBlinds and IconPackager at the time.

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Galactic Civilizations for Windows (2003)

  1. First game to use Intel Hyperthreading

This was important because it allowed me to divide up the AI's fleet manager and the AI's planet manager which sped up turn times.  It was not a friendly game by today's standards (45% score on Steam). One of these days, I'd like to go back and update this just to make it work on modern computers.  I only recommend this for nostalgia folks now.


Galactic Civilizations II


This is the one people say they love.

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Galactic Civilizations II (2006)

  1. First game to be released digitally and retail on the same day.

GalCiv II was the last Stardock game to not have chicks (smart tooltips).  As a result, I have a hard time enjoying it as much as I could even though I designed this.  At the time of release it received a phenomenal 94 metacritic.  But, like I said, nowadays we expect the user interface, not the manual, to guide us into the game.


Galactic Civilizations III


This is the one that is loved by some and disappoints others.

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Galactic Civilizations III (2015)

  1. First Galactic Civilizations game I didn't design.

Jon Shafer, who designed Civilization V did the initial design for GalCiv III before Paul Boyer took it over.  The user experience of GalCiv III was so much better than GalCiv II.  What I would say its primary weakness has been balance and depth.  But it still has a higher metacritic rating than any other recently released space strategy game and a very positive Steam review average.


Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade


If we still had retail, this would have been a sequel (GalCiv IV).  But in the digital age, we made it an expansion.

 

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Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade (2017)

The UI of Crusade is a bit more like Galactic Civilizations II in that the mini map has been brought back to the bottom right and there's a general emphasis on letting you see how you're doing compared to everyone else (GalCiv II and Crusade both have the power bar).

However, if someone were to ask me what is the fundamental difference between GalCiv III: Crusade and what came before my answer is: Until Crusade, GalCiv has always been about getting your people onto as many planets as possible.  Crusade is about getting your civilization having access to whatever resources it desires/wants.

To learn more about Crusade visit www.galciv3.com/Crusade


Comments
on Apr 23, 2017

Yeah, yeah, that's great. Now release Crusade already.

on Apr 23, 2017

OMG! I forgot the look of the OS2 version seeing it's been so many years that I played that one... Think it was the only game built for OS2 that I bought!

 

@Buckstrider, lol a little impatient? Best to wait for all the issues to be ironed out before you get it otherwise you may not be that happy.

on Apr 23, 2017

Filthy casuals... RTFM! This is why we can't have nice 4x anymore.

on Apr 23, 2017

I have enthusiastically played and supported all but the OS2 version. Now I impatiently wait for Crusade. I have played all in pre-release and I have no problem with the bugs etc. I enjoy finding them as much as I enjoy playing the finished product.

 

on Apr 23, 2017


It was not a friendly game by today's standards (45% score on Steam). One of these days, I'd like to go back and update this just to make it work on modern computers. I only recommend this for nostalgia folks now

Screw Steam users' opinion pole.  I have hundreds of hours in this game, still play it occasionally, and I like it better than GalCivII.  It's simplicity is beautiful.

If you do update it:

  1. Will you add the original ship designer that was scrapped before release?
  2. Will players be able to seek galactic domination as races other than the Terrans?

BTW, there's a game freezing bug in the Steam version that happens after the AI attacks.  Repeatedly reported in the Steam forum.  Can't even close the game in the task manager.  I will submit a ticket if it happens again.  Another players post on the subject here: http://steamcommunity.com/app/214150/discussions/0/405693392908385418/

on Apr 23, 2017

 

This was important because it allowed me to divide up the AI's fleet manager and the AI's planet manager which sped up turn times.  It was not a friendly game by today's standards (45% score on Steam). One of these days, I'd like to go back and update this just to make it work on modern computers.  I only recommend this for nostalgia folks now.

 

I'd like to point out too that GalCiv for Windows was released at an opportune time as fate would have it.  It was right around the time that the aberration that is MOO3 was unleashed upon the world that GalCiv was also released.  And while I admit it didn't take the place the MOO (ship design/tactical combat) it was a superbly entertaining experience and was a bright spot for space 4x in what was otherwise a very disappointing time for the genre.  Most of the online consensus at the time was don't waste money on MOO3, get GalCiv instead.  

on Apr 24, 2017

That completely impulsive bargain bin GalCiv I pickup back in the days, was well worth it, I'd say. When in doubt, go for a dance with chance.  

 

P.S.

Loved the morality approach of the first one. If I remember correctly ( the old brain is getting moldy as time passes on ), the interface actually changed from "good" to "evil". (Where such terms might be subjective, in nature. Oversimplification keeps it shorter though. Apart from all the explaining.)

on Apr 24, 2017

In the OS/2 version, the "science adviser" was a woman who started off neutral, then changed as you chose to move to benevolent or malevolent.  If I remember correctly, as you got more malevolent she dressed in a Nazi style uniform, got a facial scar, and an eye patch.

on Apr 25, 2017

Can't wait for Crusade, I will hole myself up in my room

on Apr 27, 2017

So Frogboy has morphed into Draginol, eh?  Hi, Brad.

I think the OS/2 version was my favorite, though the later versions are so much more impressive graphically.  I think it was the first game I ever bought, and probably still have it somewhere.  (Actually one of the few box games that I ever bought besides the various iterations of Harpoon (R.I.P.))  Wish I could play it but my last OS/2 machine has passed the way of the dodo. 

Have played the heck out of GCII and have recently been involved in the "eventually to be released" "official" mods.  I still play it.  Finally getting to GCIII and boy am I confused...

 

Dennis

 

on Apr 28, 2017


So Frogboy has morphed into Draginol, eh? Hi, Brad.

He'll still use the other account as well. Not sure if there is any rhyme or reason as to which account he uses. My guess is just whichever was logged into a specific computer last.

on Apr 28, 2017

Draginol is just an alter ego that Brad uses on certain forums like the Journals. When he posts of the open forum he will still be Frog.

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