Tutorial: Civilization Builder (Part 2) - Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade

Posted on Wednesday, August 23, 2017 By Island Dog

Learn how to use the advanced functions of the Civilization Builder to create a polished custom faction to play as or against. This video covers custom art assets, citizens, dialogue, and more. 

Check out Part 1 here.


Tutorial: Civilization Builder (Part 1) for Galactic Civilizations III: Crusade

Posted on Friday, August 18, 2017 By Island Dog

Learn how to use the in-game Civilization Builder to create a custom faction to play as or against. This video covers names, descriptions, traits, abilities, AI personality, and more. Stay tuned for Part 2.

GalCiv Journal: August 2017 (Convergence)

Posted on Wednesday, August 16, 2017 By Draginol


Summer continues.  Unless you're in Australia or New Zealand. But they're not people. Not really.  I mean, they can't feel heat and cold.  So what's been up? The boring job of architecture update.  We've been spending the past month fixing architectural issues that have slowly built up. This shines through in the form of bug fixes.  It's slow, time consuming but important work. 

We are also working on merging the GalCiv III base game and Crusade core together.  The net effect is that late this Summer, there will be a massive update to GalCiv III (v2.5) that will bring some of the elements of Crusade over to it.  This will mostly be seen as a major improvement in balance, stability, AI, diplomacy, memory use and performance. 

The next DLC: The Dread Lords

This Fall we hope to release the Dread Lords DLC.  This will be accompanied by a number of new features into the game itself (which doesn't require anyone to buy the DLC to benefit from). 


The Dread Lords will bring the backstory of the GalCiv universe up to where GalCiv III started.  This will bring back the Korath.  Because Dread Lords will be combining the events from GalCiv II + Dark Avatar + Twilight there will be some consolidation to keep the gameplay cohesive.

Technical work

I'm happy to report that the latest GalCiv III does work on the Surface Pro 4.  We are working hard to try to reduce the hardware requirements further and increase performance.  That's why you haven't seen a lot of gameplay updates recently.  Making the game run faster and more stable and improve the multiplayer experience (we are close to custom races in multiplayer) is very important.


Speaking of multiplayer.  While very few people play multiplayer, supporting it has a benefit to single player users.  It forces the engine development to be much more disciplined.  So players end up with a much better experience.  In the long-run, we want to make GalCiv III have not just good multiplayer but so compelling of a multiplayer experience that people will want to play it that way.  This will mean adding some new modes to the game (that will work in single player as well) to allow for much shorter games. 

The next expansion

It's far too early to start talking about the next expansion.  What I can say it that it will focus heavily on politics and government. 


One area that Stardock is actively hiring for are C# developers.  Doesn't even have to be full-time.  It's more like we will pay for various tools that we can share with the community.  We are going to be releasing a Flavor Text Editor shortly as well as a Mega Event editor.

It may come as a shock but GalCiv III has supported full-blown quests (as in, extremely sophisticated quests and stories and linked events) since 1.0.  However, there is no tool to create them. You current have to edit XML files in a text editor which is very tedious and time consuming. 

Thus, we are looking for:

  • A campaign editor
  • A tech tree editor
  • An event editor
  • A C# map (separate from the game) map editor

and that's just off the top of my head.  These kinds of editors are basically glorified XML editors since the output is just XML.  But imagine what effect it would have if people could create and share their own campaigns and events.

Now, before anyone starts emailing me or PMing me, bare in mind, one of the reasons we haven't done this is because we don't really have time to walk people through the various XML files and their corresponding .XSD files.  So the short answer is, you make the thing, we will be happy to pay for it if we can use it (and you can even make a prototype that just needs polish and we'll pay and pay more for the polish).

Just look at the XML files and the XSD files and you'll see just how powerful the system is.

Next up

So next month, get ready for GalCiv III v2.5!

GalCiv Journal: July 2017 (Polish and Balance)

Posted on Sunday, July 16, 2017 By Frogboy



Microsoft Surface Pro love


I got GalCiv III to run on my Surface Pro 4 by manually updating the video drivers to the latest ones by Intel.  The official drivers from Microsoft are a year old and those drivers claimed to be DirectX 11 capable drivers (they were not) and so the game would crash when trying to do a DirectX 11 specific call.

If you have an embedded Intel video adapter, do yourself a favor and head over to Intel's site and download the drivers.  I had to download the ZIP file and then extract it and then manually install the driver as it isn't digitally signed.

The biggest issue I have with my Surface Pro 4 is that it throttles. Badly. It would play GalCiv III like a champ if it weren't running at 860Mhz.


Balancing Thoughts

There is no perfect balance because what is balanced is in the eye of the beholder.  That said, we are looking at adding more options (such as disabling espionage) to allow players to customize their game experience further. 

Population is going to be tweaked so that 1 point of population = 1 raw production. This will require some balance changes on morale and farms and such but this is the most elegant way to make population be more powerful.  Planets will tend to start with 1 population.


Ultimate asteroid field: Don't hate the player, hate the game (please don't hate the game!)

Tourism will eventually be tied to your cultural influence. We are starting to keep track of how many tiles you control and how many are congruent to your capital world.

Minor races are going to be getting friskier in the future (as in, provide opportunities for early game limited wars).

AI won't offer to trade with you if they don't like you (results in weird offers)


AI generated offers are awesome when relations are decent.



Cultural conquest is coming along nicely.


Polish Polish Polish

Right now, much of our work is on polishing the UI, making quality of life fixes and fixing bugs that we get reported.  We are also trying to make modding a lot easier so that people can enable subscribe and unsubscribe from mods more easily.



Your Civ's racial abilities will show up on the stats screen


The AI is something we continually update as we get new saved games from players and just play test over and over again.  Each time we play, we see something that we think can be improved on.

I'm in the debugger now.  So more to come. :)

GalCiv III: Lord of the Frogs

Posted on Monday, June 12, 2017 By Frogboy



GalCiv III: Crusade + the GalCiv community = unlimited strategic replayability.

In preparation for v2.3, I'm testing out the various new gameplay features and improvements. And what better way to do that than to put myself up against 9 random civilizations from the Steam workshop...


The land of toads

My aquatic race has risen to the dominant species of the planet Toadling.  Now, we are going to explore the galaxy...


I have no idea what I'll encounter


The planet Toadling in the year 2242.


First move is to build a Central bank and a Shipyard.  That's because Toadling has two special resources that lend themselves to wealth generation.

First Contact


Ah the Vulcans

The First planet


Yea, I want that Bio replicator component.


This shall become my research world.

My first ideology choice


Free constructors!

My First War


To ensure I can get the other planet in the Ribbit system, the Vulcan colony ship had to be destroyed.  It is turn 7.


My first starbase


Each asteroid provides +1 to raw production of a planet (by default, my capital world starts with 2 to give you how big a deal this is). So getting an early starbase around some asteroids and mining them is a huge.


My second starbase


Elerium deposit is now mine! Elerium is used for energy weapons like lasers.

My first citizen

Every 10 turns a citizen is born.



I train him as an Administrator so that I can hopefully get a third colony.

My third colony

And sure enough, on week 10, my colony ship reaches Leaper.  This time, we will take the benevolent path.




This planet will become my manufacturing planet


I have, I believe, a pretty unbeatable start!

Technology strategy

My home world is really good for wealth generation.  So I am going to go and get Xeno Commerce early.



Xeno Commerce gives me access to Market Centers.


Which, when placed around the Central bank that was placed on top of a gold deposit, will make this planet rich! Richer than astronauts!

More aliens


I...have no idea who this is.


Oh dear...god.


Not sure who this is.


Not..sure...Mech race?


Oh I'm sure they'll be friendly...


These seem familiar...

The wild East


If the AI "cheated" and knew where the planets were, it would definitely have gone after these. Sigh.


The United Planets meets


War without consequences


The Vulcans have no wish to fight us. Peace in our time.




My Fleet


Thanks to the community, nearly every imaginable hull design is out there.  The Little tiny Frogs, however, choose the Grasshopper.  Not easy to be green..or to make a ship that looks cool and neon green.

I don't like you



Strategy matters


Take a close look at my home planet.  I have focused on wealth generation which is now generating 66bc per turn.   The default would have been around 14 if I hadn't strategically placed my planetary improvements.  That's a 5X difference.  This is a part of the game that many new players don't recognize as being a big deal.



Over on Ribbit, I have sent two scientists there to help with it along with carefully placing research buildings.  It's not about how many planets you have, it's how you use them.  Some people coming from the base game tried to play the "colony spam" game.  It didn't end well.   It's a fine balance between the quality of your worlds and quantity.


The First REAL war


Ok, I should probably find out who these guys are...

The Etherian Kingdom declared war.  Is that She-Rah? 


It's odd they picked me.  They have a relatively weak military...


Except, crap. They are allied with the Vol who are the top military power in the game.


So I design the "Dart" class ship.  Now, I only put a single Disruptor bank on it (I've been busy researching better weapons) because I only have 5 elerium resources.


The Vol have not yet declared war but it's only a matter of time.

Fortunately, the Vol are really far away.


The Etherians are tending to focus on missile weapons which means I'll want to get some counters to that if this war is going to last awhile.

The first battle


This won't even be close.  The Etherians are just too primitive.


Which isn't to say that their primitive missiles can't damage my first generation fighters (the Grass Hoppers)


But they're no match for the Darts


Not even close


The weak fleets of the Etherians are no match.

I will admit this, their hull technology is better than mine.  But their weapons are pathetic.


If I can destroy them before their ally gets involved, I may have a chance.

The only thing saving me is that the Vol are locked in a war with the Predator civilization (Yautja).


My invasion fleet is on the way.  In Galactic Civilizations, a planet's orbiting defenses must first be destroyed. Then you can land legions to try to conquer the planet.


I'm not evil!


The first planet goes down with almost no loss of life (well, my life.  Lots of them died).

Eventually we reach the Etherian homeworld.


This planet has ten full legions (a massive defense).


The first wave of invading troops is defeated


Second wave is landing on the outskirts of the capital to destroy as much infrastructure as possible.


Still a defeat but they are crippled.


The Etherian become a protectorate of the Vol. How fitting.

Vulcan scum

The Klingons have an idea.


Yes.  I agree.



The minor powers are being absorbed.



The Showdown

So at this stage, you're really entering the main event.  There's only 4 civs left (Jar Jar didn't survive).  From an engineering standpoint, the area I have a real hard time with is dealing with transports.   Transports are very precious and the AI has to handle them very delicately.  Too conservative and the AI never invades.  Too aggressive and it loses valuable legions to destruction.

It is also very challenging to decide how big a fleet the AI needs to build before heading out.  Too small and the ships get picked off piece meal.  Too big and the AI can't respond to opportunities.


Down to 3. Everyone hates each other.


Down to 2.


Not looking good for the Frogs

The War to End All Wars



The battles were becoming bigger


My citizens were very..diverse


From here the final war would begin.  But, that would have to wait until another day. :)


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