Galactic Civilizations III Unveils First Screenshots

Galactic Civilizations III Unveils First Screenshots

Galactic Civ III Screen 1

Stardock has released new art and screenshots for its in-development strategy title Galactic Civilizations III.

Strategy games aren't lacking for titles based around the idea of interstellar conquest. That being the case, there was always something special about the Galactic Civilizations games. Perhaps it was the depth of options afforded to players, or maybe it was just the fact that the ship builder in Galactic Civilizations II offered customization the likes of which few other games have even attempted.

Whatever it was about the series that won gamers over in years past, its developers at Stardock are aiming to top it with Galactic Civilizations III. With promises for the game already including an improved ship builder, new map features, deeper political intrigue and, for the first time, online multiplayer, Galactic Civilizations III could very well shape up into one of the premier 4X turn-based strategy titles of the near future.

All of that said, franchise fans haven't had much of the game to look at up to this point. Happily, Stardock has just released a smorgasbord of new screenshots, concept art and renders to wet the appetite of strategy fans eager for a look at the work in progress. The captures themselves show off a diplomacy screen, a pair of starships and a map screen. The remainder of the images, in turn, include concept art for a trio of races named the Drengin, Iconians and the Thalan. While we admittedly still haven't been shown much yet, we will admit to still being impressed and excited by the new offerings. Take a look at the screens yourself and let us know if you agree.

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HALLELUJAH!

The one true king has returned. This is possibly the best thing to happen all week. And I've gotta admit, those updated ship bits look sexy as hell.

My body is not ready for this and it never will be! I'm far too excited for a new universe to rule, explore and obliterate!

Am I the only one that thought they were going to make the play board 3d in the third entry? I don't know, it seemed like it would have made sense. XD

HOLY SHIT!!!!!

Gal Civ 2 is probably my all time favorite game ever. Of all time.

This... this just leaves me speechless.

I do love me some space conquest games, but I'm sorry, that map is ridiculous. Planets sitting in a grid and the situation with that black hole is dumb. Do not like.

The problem with 4x space games is, in my opinion, a fundamental lack of innovation in core conceptual gameplay. Just because everyone liked MoO2 does not mean every game has got to be designed around that formula.

Luckily, as of YESTERDAY, I, Thiosk, son of Gragnar of Ilgathorn, have become an indie game developer, and we are now building our first 4x space game prototypes.

To infinity and beyond.

thiosk:
I do love me some space conquest games, but I'm sorry, that map is ridiculous. Planets sitting in a grid and the situation with that black hole is dumb. Do not like.

The problem with 4x space games is, in my opinion, a fundamental lack of innovation in core conceptual gameplay. Just because everyone liked MoO2 does not mean every game has got to be designed around that formula.

Luckily, as of YESTERDAY, I, Thiosk, son of Gragnar of Ilgathorn, have become an indie game developer, and we are now building our first 4x space game prototypes.

To infinity and beyond.

as long as i get to go death star on planets ill be interested in your game :)

Please Don't End Up Like MOO3. Please Don't End Up Like MOO3. Please Don't End Up Like MOO3.

But, seriously?
My favorite 4X game (GalCiv2:EU) is getting a sequel?!?!
WOOHOO!

Please Don't End Up Like MOO3.

I really can't wait. Galactic Civ II is my favorite strategy game of all time.

For those interested Star Dock is offering "Founders" Editions. $100 gives you Alpha Access and all expansions (Stardock expansions are BIG). $40 gives you Beta Access and is $10 cheaper than getting the game upon release will be.

After a solid 5 minutes consideration I went with the $100 one, because, screw it, GalCiv2 is my favorite game of all time and I love Stardock.

I just hope they do a physical release.

Their boxes have always been really cool, with maps and good manuals and shortcut stuff, and...

I need to know if it will have turn based tactical combat like Master of Orion 2. That was the one thing I felt was missing from GalCiv II.

Colt47:
Am I the only one that thought they were going to make the play board 3d in the third entry? I don't know, it seemed like it would have made sense. XD

Yes, you probably are. Such a feature would add nothing useful to the gameplay while likely being a giant pain in the ass.

Tanis:
I just hope they do a physical release.

Their boxes have always been really cool, with maps and good manuals and shortcut stuff, and...

Me to, I still have my gal civ II limited edition with the metal case and it looks awesome to this day.

I never played the previous ones, please don't hurt me, but I love 4x strategy. I recently picked up Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion which is made by these guys. But this is turn based right? That means I should love this more, is the second one still worth a look? Has it aged well?

Colt47:
Am I the only one that thought they were going to make the play board 3d in the third entry? I don't know, it seemed like it would have made sense. XD

I was hoping they would make it "system" based at least rather than "planet" based on the galactic map. It shouldn't take you a few turns or years to move between planets in the same system - the distance between them relative to other systems is highly disproportionate.

A 3D map would also have been an improvement but I guess we can't have everything about space reflected as accurately as possible.

chozo_hybrid:
is the second one still worth a look? Has it aged well?

Definitely on both accounts. It still even looks amazing (well, except for the cinematics, but you rarely see those). Though I do recommend the Ultimate Edition, the Changes made in the Twilight of the Arnor expansion add a lot to the game. Only $20 on Steam too.

While I do plan on purchasing this product their extended preorder page was completely underwhelming. They could have had screenshots, gameplay or at least a video of someone saying what they were planning.

However they did not.

Jadak:

Colt47:
Am I the only one that thought they were going to make the play board 3d in the third entry? I don't know, it seemed like it would have made sense. XD

Yes, you probably are. Such a feature would add nothing useful to the gameplay while likely being a giant pain in the ass.

Yeah it seems like a natural evolution but I really wonder if a 3d environment would actually be detrimental in a 4x turn based strategy game. The map could feel disorientating, or have to become enlarged to accommodate, and makes it a lot trickier placing your ships. The 'board game view' has simply always worked, and I'm sure the folks at Stardock considered 3d but decided on 2d being best.

I really liked GalCiv 2, all the way up until the Dread Lords expansion. After that, they messed up horrifically with the research cost inflation system, and broke the game permanently. As far as I know, to this day there's still no fix for this "feature" that basically caused the AI to stall and your campaign grind to a screeching halt unless you'd prepared for this since turn 1.
Yes, I'm a still a bit bitter about it.

This next installment might not make the same mistake, or at the very least properly balance it. Here's to hoping...

Man, I love this game's aesthetics. They nailed it.
Here's hoping for a decent AI.

Ah GalCiv....the series I should love and has all the features I like in a game. But for some unfathomable reason always leave me feeling bored out of my skull. I can never put down a reason why it is so...but I hope that its not like that this turn around because the promise of 4X is likely to draw me in again.

I don't know about Star Dock these days. It used to be one of my favorite publishers but lately it's been a little... confused perhaps? I'm not sure, I just don't like it. Something smells funky so I'm holding off until I get a better picture.

I still find myself playing more MOO2 then Gal Civ 2, and I found the defining issue with GC2 was the combat. Until I see what they've done with the combat system I'm certainly not preordering. I'll end up getting it eventually, that's almost a given unless it goes total MOO3 fiasco. I can't see things getting that desperate. I just... I won't be happy unless they do something to make the game's combat more exciting. Adding another person to watch the cinematic with isn't more exciting, Star Dock!

I'm also curious to know how they plan on implementing multiplayer in a game where past iterations could go on for thirty hours and up. Have they got a hot seat system, some sort of servers, what? And more over, does this mean that games of GC3 won't have the same epic scope as 2 did, or is it an entirely different sort of game between single and multiplayer? Oh, and the most horrific fear of all, what if they were to scrap the skirmish/free play mode and have only campaign and multiplayer? Until I get clarification on all these weighty issues of state of game, I can not commit my financial support to this colossal undertaking.

Namehere:
I don't know about Star Dock these days. It used to be one of my favorite publishers but lately it's been a little... confused perhaps? I'm not sure, I just don't like it. Something smells funky so I'm holding off until I get a better picture.

I still find myself playing more MOO2 then Gal Civ 2, and I found the defining issue with GC2 was the combat. Until I see what they've done with the combat system I'm certainly not preordering. I'll end up getting it eventually, that's almost a given unless it goes total MOO3 fiasco. I can't see things getting that desperate. I just... I won't be happy unless they do something to make the game's combat more exciting. Adding another person to watch the cinematic with isn't more exciting, Star Dock!

I'm also curious to know how they plan on implementing multiplayer in a game where past iterations could go on for thirty hours and up. Have they got a hot seat system, some sort of servers, what? And more over, does this mean that games of GC3 won't have the same epic scope as 2 did, or is it an entirely different sort of game between single and multiplayer? Oh, and the most horrific fear of all, what if they were to scrap the skirmish/free play mode and have only campaign and multiplayer? Until I get clarification on all these weighty issues of state of game, I can not commit my financial support to this colossal undertaking.

As to how MP is going to be handled, they haven't said much yet. What they have said is that it will secondary to the single player experience. They're more concerned with making a good Single player game than a multiplayer one.

One thing that means (I assume) is they won't sacrifice gameplay that makes single player fun for the sake of facilitating MP.

Demandred20:
Ah GalCiv....the series I should love and has all the features I like in a game. But for some unfathomable reason always leave me feeling bored out of my skull. I can never put down a reason why it is so...but I hope that its not like that this turn around because the promise of 4X is likely to draw me in again.

I feel the same way.

Gal Civ 2's biggest problem is that it just feels so bland and generic. From a game mechanics point of view it is good, but it just feels so soulless somehow. These screenshots however look much more interesting.

I strongly suggest people check out the Distant Worlds series if people want an epic space 4x game. Its not known to that many because it isn't on STEAM, but its viewed by many of those who have played it as one of the best 4x space games ever made.

I loved these games growing up but looking back I feel like 4x are less about strategy and more about optimization. And in that respect the only reason you can ever win is if the computer is intentionally made stupid since it has all of the information for perfect optimization and you don't.

But I'm happy for the genre. If this game has asynchronous multiplayer I'll totally pick it up and have some grand "play by email" games that go on forever with my friends across the country.

I wonder if this will mark the return of the The Bongolian Deathcrab.

...

Obligatory link for those who don't know the reference.

I hope that the release of this game will bring my long quest for a satisfying 4x space strategy game from this decade to an end.

I really tried to like the series, but the bulls*** moral choice system just didn't sit right with me in a 4X game, much less a space based one. Hoping this one won't have them but more than likely "deeper political intrigue" means more of it.

Why the hell did they rip off Star Controls storyline???

The Ur-Qu- erm, Drengin overrunning the galaxy with Mankind holding on trapped behind a planetary shield?

This is being generous to them and ignoring the whole Precursor type civilization BS (which is in far, far, FAR too many Sci-Fi games).

This wouldn't normally bother me, games like GalCiv aren't played for their storyline, but it's a fricking Sci-Fi game! Why not explore different ideas and opportunities instead of doing what too much of fantasy does with Tolkien?

I loved these games growing up but looking back I feel like 4x are less about strategy and more about optimization. And in that respect the only reason you can ever win is if the computer is intentionally made stupid since it has all of the information for perfect optimization and you don't.

This is why I quickly stopped playing GalCiv2 with later expansions. It's one thing to have the AI not be stupid, it's another for it to have an immediate check for whatever you're doing as you're doing it.

It's not a challenge, it's frustrating. I play these kinds of games on the fly without doing much planning or thinking because I like to see how they develop and it drives me nuts when I have to plan and micromanage so much.

And the person who talked about combat sucking, I fully agree. Why is it that games that let you design your own ships seem to have the most generic and boring combat?

I mean, Birth of the Federation had a dirt simple combat system, but it felt fun doing it and it felt meaty and visceral for a cheap little game, something I never felt with GalCiv2s combat.

 

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