Space Glee! Galactic Civilizations III Announced!

By Alec Meer on October 15th, 2013 at 5:00 pm.

The great tragedy about Galactic Civilizations III being announced today is knowing how unlikely it is that Tom Francis will write a book-length diary about it, as he so marvellously did for GalCiv2, what with him off being a highly talented indie developer now. At least we get the game, at long last. It is, as the name might suggest, a sweeping, interstellar strategy colossus rife with potential for epic victories and epic disasters. And it is announced, as a somewhat Mass Effecty trailer reveals. Interestingly, it’s going to be “exclusive to 64-bit PCs.” So if you’ve only got a 63-bit one, I’m afraid it’s time to upgrade.

The aforementioned 64-bittiness is explained thusly: “The move to 64-bit architecture heralds a new era of game development at Stardock,” said Derek Paxton, vice president of Stardock Entertainment. “The technology allows players to experience a level of graphical detail and on-screen activity unprecedented in large-scale strategy PC games. It dramatically increases the size and scope of the maps, and opens the door for modders to add a virtually unlimited amount of new content to the game.”

Look here, it’s either unlimited or it isn’t, none of this virtually business thank you very much.

Also promised are black holes and a much-expanded ship-builder. These sound like good things to me.

No release date as yet, but Stardock are offering alpha and beta access when relevant builds are available, for $100 and $40 pre-orders respectively. I know what we all think about pre-orders, please don’t shoot the messenger.

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154 Comments »

  1. Premium User Badge

    deadfolk says:

    I only have a 60-bit computer. Where do I buy the other 4 bits?

    Edit: Also, according to the link that should be $99.99 and $39.99.

    Another edit: Preordering from Stardock? What could possibly go wrong?

    • Tei says:

      If you don’t trust preorders, just wait for the first previews and lets play videos on youtube.

    • mPriyank says:

      Just upgraded to 68 bits. You can have the four I trim off :)

    • gwathdring says:

      None of this rounding business! It’s an insult to the numerically inclined!

  2. Lightningproof says:

    Gaaaah, really want to play another GalCiv, but really don’t want to give money to noted piece of shit Brad Wardell.

    What to do!?

    • Grygus says:

      Why is he a noted piece of shit?

      • Premium User Badge

        RedViv says:

        Sexist practices at their office being “excused” with “But we all love Family Guy here so you know what we’re like and shouldn’t be surprised!” and such.

        • Grygus says:

          Hmm, hadn’t heard about that. I will adjust my Google terms, thanks.

          *Edit* The suit was dropped and the lady in question issued a letter of apology. Supposedly no money changed hands, so she wasn’t paid off… this seems like a bit of a shaky rumor to me.

        • RuySan says:

          Even though he was cleared of the charges and it was proved that she stole company property, it’s great to see so many people banging on the same key.

          • Premium User Badge

            RedViv says:

            Sources, please. I was unable to find more than the initial rather heavy reports.
            €: Ah, nevermind. Was found below, and apparently several search engines only find it interesting enough for about the sixth or seventh page of results.

            Yeah, I don’t see anything proven there. Just a settlement out of court, with a one-sided note apologising for bringing this to court. That leaves a rather weird taste.

          • Grygus says:

            Nothing was proved either way. There were two suits: one was her sexual harassment suit, one was Stardock’s accusation of her malfeasance. They agreed to drop both suits in exchange for a (somewhat vague) letter of apology from her.

            Source: http://kotaku.com/stardock-lawsuits-dropped-ex-employee-apologizes-1377925759

          • Baines says:

            As Wardell’s theft and sabotage suit was only filed after a judge refused to throw out Miseta’s sexual harassment suit, a settlement out of court still doesn’t paint Wardell in a positive light.

            Wardell was suing for more than $1 million in damages, blaming Miseta for sabotaging Elemental’s release, but settles out of court for dropped charges and an apology?

            Wardell’s suit stank from the start. The timing was wrong to be anything other than a way to threaten Miseta into dropping her own suit. The claims came out of nowhere, with Wardell never even mentioning missing materials previously when trying to explain away Elemental’s issues. Wardell’s supporting evidence came from family members, while other employees largely seemed non-committal or somewhat questioning of Wardell’s claims.

            I’m not saying Miseta was completely innocent of blame, but it does sound quite a bit like someone bullied into dropping their suit.

          • killias2 says:

            The thing is Baines, is that you’re basically justifying your dislike of Wardell backwards by assuming things you can’t possibly know to be true.

            Was there sexual harassment? Maybe. Maybe not. Was the countersuit purely tactical? Maybe. Maybe not.

            I just can’t imagine how you summon such strong opinions about this person based on a number of things that simply can’t be conclusively argued one way or the other.

            For example, here’s an comparatively innocent reading of the whole thing:
            1. Woman quits, deletes files
            2. Brad just decides to move on, despite having some material destroyed on the eve of a major release.
            3. Woman then sues him for sexual harassment.
            4. Brad decides that, if things are going to get messy, he may as well seek restitution for lost property.

            In this situation, there’s still a tactical element to it, but it’s hard to assume he’s just a nasty piece of shit. The fact that he waited to seek compensation for his grievances until -after- she sued him COULD be as much about him wishing to avoid conflict as it COULD be about him tactically trying to undercut her argument. In any case, if he hard no argument with the lost/stolen/destroyed property, then why would it even strengthen his hand in the other case? It only makes a difference if there is some truth to it.

            Heck, maybe NEITHER is in the wrong(!) Maybe the woman felt sexually harassed, made some poor decisions when initially responding, but then decided to clarify matters in court. Brad may have felt that “dirty humor” was not the same as sexual harassment (and, legally, there is a blurry line here), ignored her decisions when she left, but then responded more forcefully once he was dragged into court.

            Imagine a world of gray instead of black and white! Imagine a world where you shouldn’t make strong judgments on situations you have no real knowledge of!

          • MobileAssaultDuck says:

            Baines, you appear to be exhibiting symptoms of a dangerous mental disorder known as faith.

            Null hypothesis dude. If the positive hypothesis (Dude committed sexual harassment) fails to be proven, the null hypothesis (dude did not commit sexual harassment) wins by default.

            How something smells, or appears, is irrelevant. Only evidence matters.

            There is absolutely no reason to not apply the scientific method to all human interaction.

            Hence, as the null hypothesis is currently ascendant, it should be the accepted hypothesis until the other hypothesis provides more evidence to elevate it above the null hypothesis.

          • Reapy says:

            Have you ever seen wardell speak or just how he carries himself? He is one of those sort of awkward and slightly creepy guys that people put up with because he is the boss. Now I’m not saying he is a malicious dushebag, and honestly to come across creepy you generally have to not be aware of how creepy you are coming across, but you can really see hes kind of like the nerd that nerds make fun of.

            I had a boss like this that pretty much made horribly offensive racist and sexual jokes all the time, yet everyone is all like ‘ha ha haaa….” because he was the boss, and the jokes came from an ‘innocent’ place, meaning the intent wasn’t from a place to do harm, but just being… well a wierdo, but still if you had documented everything the guy said it would have been an easy lawsuit.

            Wardell gave me really similar vibes when watching him talk about elemental very early on at some conference (just from watching a video), and when the harassment suit came a while after it didn’t shock me in the slightest. Again I don’t think hes a person out there to like be a jerk, I think he’s just inherently creepy and makes pretty bad jokes and can’t deliver them in a way that would make other people welcome them.

            I always hesitate on stardock because of wardell, but really the property of his that steers me away is that he is generally pretty protective of his ideas and designs, even when they don’t work out *cough*elemental*cough*. Yet on the other hand, he seems to calm down after some time and take the right path in correcting it, hence a free fallen enchantress and bringing on a new game designer (paxton) to rectify it.

            While elemental was something that made me upset in my preorder, fallen enchantress was a neat game, although I still didn’t spend much time with it, it was more the game I was expecting delivered from all the elemental talk.

            I guess he is at neutral at the moment, but damn me that man’s personality is challenging.

          • Premium User Badge

            Gap Gen says:

            I don’t have any additional evidence, but it’s worth pointing out that people do sometimes settle not because they’re in the wrong, but because they can’t financially afford the small risk that they may lose the case. I know someone who worked for a small company whose rivals used software stolen from them by an ex-employee. They had ample evidence that they were robbed, but in the small chance that for technical reasons they should lose, the legal fees would sink the company, so they didn’t sue.

          • Baines says:

            killias2, Elemental was enough of a mess at launch, damaging both Stardock’s and Wardell’s reputation. Wardell went through various damage control modes before and after release, finding places to put the blame.

            For two years, none of this blame fell on either a disgruntled employee or missing/deleted material. (At first, Wardell defended the game, despite a wealth of unaddressed beta tester complaints and warnings. Later Wardell switched to saying that he was too close to the project.)

            Two years later, and less than three weeks after a judge refused Wardell’s request to dismiss Miseta’s sexual harassment lawsuit against him, Wardell files suit against Miseta. Wardell’s suit claims Miseta quit without notice, deleting all the marketing work, analytics, and trade show information for Elemental three weeks before the game’s release. Wardell claims Stardock lost over $1,000,000 in profits due to Miseta’s actions and even blames Elemental’s state at release on Miseta’s actions (as programming and debugging was interrupted for those final three weeks while Stardock tried to recreate the destroyed information.)

            Wardell described deliberate sabotage that cost his company millions and damaged both his company’s reputation as well as his own. You don’t just write that off. But Wardell never even touched on it previously, even when trying to explain away Elemental’s state at release. He wouldn’t even have to mention Miseta’s name; he could have just said something like “We lost a large chunk of important data in the last month, and had to work to recreate it instead of spending that time polishing the game.” No, Miseta’s departure only ever became an issue when Wardell saw that Miseta was going to have him in court, and the evidence public at the time implied Wardell had a real chance of losing that case.

        • airmikee99 says:

          Since Ms. Miseta dropped her suit, and wrote a letter of apology to Stardock, are you sure Brad is in the wrong?

          • WrenBoy says:

            If you have any doubts you shouldnt have.

            She had actual emails he sent her. They included these gems.

            I am an inappropriate, sexist, vulgar, and embarrassing person and I’m not inclined to change my behavior. If this is a problem, you will need to find another job

            I own the company. It, and your job there, exist to suit my purposes, not vice versa.

            Seems pretty clear cut to me but given that they settled out of court lets assume that these emails are fabrications.

            Oh no, wait, here he is online admitting that he wrote just that.

            The incident that started this happened back in 2010. Myself, Alexandra, and a few others were at a pub while waiting to go to the Qt3 dinner that Lloyd case had set up.

            While there, Alexandra got teased and got mad. At the time, i didn’t realize she was so upset about it. So we went to the Qt3 get together (that some here may have even been at) and that.

            She later emailed me telling me she was mad about the incident – to which I apologized for hurting her feeligs but also insisted that I watch what jokes I tell around the office. (To understand the context, we’re a relaxed software company, lots of Family guy jokes, Simpsons references, Robot Chicken references, etc.). To which I responded, admittedly, very very harshly to.

            Now, you can argue that I was a jerk in how I responded to her…

            http://www.quartertothree.com/game-talk/showthread.php?70349-Stardock-Sues-Former-Employee-for-1-000-000-for-Elemental-s-commercial-failure&s=be897f50c36123ecb9e9b72efa6dbfd7&p=3211297#post3211297

          • airmikee99 says:

            Unfortunately, none of what you just posted is actionable in court. If she had so much evidence that he harassed her, she wouldn’t have dropped the suit, and she wouldn’t have sent an apology letter. Victims don’t do that, ya see?

          • WrenBoy says:

            If you click on the link I posted or even read the extract you will see him freely admitting to every single thing I quoted and more besides.

            So what is your point exactly?

            Edit : Regarding the out of court settlement though, a shit ton of money is the only incentive I can imagine motivating the victim to settle given that he was happy to repeatedly and publicly describe himself as sexist in writing.

          • airmikee99 says:

            You seem to be combining two things into one.

            He admits to being sexist.
            He did not admit to sexually harassing this woman.

            So…

            He admits to being something that is not actionable in court, being a sexist is not illegal, and there is no recourse for someone to sue over someone being a sexist.
            Unless he sexually harassed someone at work, which he does not admit to doing.

            I did read what you posted, I did click on the link, so the problem is that if you think those things are illegal, then YOU need to do more research.

          • WrenBoy says:

            My apologies, I glossed over the word actionable in your last post.

            That being said, that is an insane position to hold. He admitted to “teasing” her and telling her that if she didn’t like the fact that he was sexist in the workplace that she should get a new job.

            I am guessing you are not a lawyer?

            Edit: He freely admits, publicly and in writing, that the culture of his company is based around “Family Guy” style jokes and verbally assaults the woman who asked him to change this. Come on.

          • airmikee99 says:

            If it’s as simple and clear cut as you’re claiming, WHY DID SHE DROP HER SUIT AND APOLOGIZE?

            If she was wronged with so much ample evidence to support her case, why did she drop her suit and apologize?

            If he really is so sexist and inappropriate at work, why has no one else brought a suit against him?

            I’m not saying Brad is a model citizen that everyone must look up towards as a way of life, I’m saying based on the results, he didn’t do anything illegal.

            No, I am not a lawyer, but I have a fairly decent understanding of the law. From the EEOC’s website: “Although the law doesn’t prohibit simple teasing, offhand comments, or isolated incidents that are not very serious” Nothing described crosses the threshold of simple teasing, especially if it’s a pop culture reference

            So again, my claim is that he did nothing illegal. He may be a jerk but he’s not a sexual harasser, at least not according to any regulatory agency that could take action against him. Did you even read her apology letter? No victim in the history of sexual harassment laws has ever agreed to say, “I wish both you and Stardock the best going forward and hope that this letter serves as a beginning to a more amicable relationship.” A victim may have had to write a letter like that before the government had their back, but not in this day and age.

            After it was all resolved Brad had the gall to say, “Hopefully, when people read something ugly about someone in the Internet they’ll be a bit more likely to reserve judgment.” Guess he’s just living in some fantasyland, eh?

          • WrenBoy says:

            Because money.

            It wasn’t simple teasing he touched her hair and insulted her boyfriend. He admits this in writing.

            It wasn’t a once off it was continuous. He admits this in writing when he angrily refuses to stop telling lewd jokes at work.

            Continually telling lewd jokes even when asked to stop is clear cut sexual harassment and he happily admits it in public and in writing.

            Edit: I am judging him on his own words which he doesn’t deny and which he cannot deny since they are preserved online. Which you don’t deny either and which you admit show him to be everything I claim him to be with the exception of crossing the legal threshold of sexual harassment.

          • jalf says:

            If it’s as simple and clear cut as you’re claiming, WHY DID SHE DROP HER SUIT AND APOLOGIZE?

            Why does *anyone* settle out of court?

            A few ideas:

            - she couldn’t afford a lawyer for a drawn-out court battle
            - while everything did happen as she described it, she did not have sufficient evidence to sway a court
            - Wardell paid her a ton of money to shut up

            Heck, a counterquestion: if it is as simple and clear cut as you are hysterically and desperately claiming, why did Wardell agree to settle out of court? Why not drag the bitch through the legal system and let it deal with her false accusations?

            If he really is so sexist and inappropriate at work, why has no one else brought a suit against him?

            Seriously? So your argument is “if only one person sues you then your actions are not illegal”?
            That’s a new one.

            A lot of sexual harrassment goes unreported for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from fear of repercussions to lack of proof to shame, and a wide range of others.

            Despite what you seem to think, not being thrown in jail is not proof that you are innocent.

            Did you even read her apology letter? No victim in the history of sexual harassment laws has ever agreed to say, “I wish both you and Stardock the best going forward and hope that this letter serves as a beginning to a more amicable relationship.”

            You don’t know many victims of sexual harrassment, do you?

            A victim may have had to write a letter like that before the government had their back, but not in this day and age.

            lol?

          • airmikee99 says:

            How much money was involved in the settlement? Oh.. no one outside the settlement knows that? Then you don’t get to use that argument, otherwise I can make up plenty of shit to lend credence to my arguments, fortunately for you, I prefer to use facts to support my opinion, not things I make up.

            She dropped the lawsuit, she apologized, he has continued to be himself apparently based on his own admissions that you can find. Using only information available to the public, he is not a sexual harasser, and he did not sexually harass her.

            Now go back to my comment that started this, when I asked, since she dropped the suit, and apologized, are you sure Brad is the one in the wrong here, and please, detail to me how he can possibly be in the wrong IF SHE DROPPED HER LAWSUIT AGAINST HIM AND APOLOGIZED FOR BRINGING IT.

            edit: RE: jalf Hysterical and desperate? I’ll just go ahead and block you now so I don’t have to read the bullshit you spew online in the future.

          • Baines says:

            Miseta publicly apologized and dropped her harassment suit and Wardell dropped his million dollar plus sabotage suit.

            It wasn’t just that Miseta decided she was wrong. Winning her harassment suit would net her money and sting Wardell. Losing the sabotage suit would likely destroy her career. If she won the harassment suit and lost the sabotage suit, she could lose everything that she’d previously won. If she lost the harassment suit and lost the sabotage suit, she’d be broken. The sabotage suit just by existing could damage her harassment suit even if it was pure fiction created by Wardell, and the more truth that might be in the sabotage suit, the more damage it could do (and the higher risk of her losing that suit.)

            I’m not saying Miseta was right. I’m saying that the settlement and (settlement required) public apology doesn’t mean that she was wrong. And that Wardell filed suit in retaliation and as leverage, but that part is pretty obvious to anyone.

          • WrenBoy says:

            Every single thing I’ve said I’ve backed up with a link to comments written by the man himself. There are so many such comments in the linked thread I haven’t even yet had to link to the dreadful sexual purity test he admits was sent to her from his email account.

            There was an out of court settlement and part of this was a written non apology where the victim never suggests that her allegations were false. You asked me for a reason why a victim with so much evidence might settle out of court in this way. I gave you the most obvious and your only point appears to be that ALL CAPS are more convincing.

            Do you still seriously not think that touching someone’s hair and continuously making unwanted lewd jokes doesn’t constitute sexual harassment?

          • WrenBoy says:

            @Baines
            He stated that he was responsible for the games failure not her. He also stated that he is only claiming that she was the difference between a bad game and a very bad game. This was during the case.

            Meanwhile she was reported as having emails from him congratulating the marketing team on a job well done after her alleged sabotage.

            It’s inconceivable to me that she didn’t get a generous settlement.

          • airmikee99 says:

            “It’s inconceivable to me that she didn’t get a generous settlement.”

            That’s because you’ve got a grudge against Wardell for some reason and you’re not looking at this with unbiased, objective eyes.

            I couldn’t care less about Miseta or Wardell, I never head about this situation until yesterday, so I’ve been able to view it from a neutral standpoint.

            As I’ve said a few times, I’m not claiming Wardell is some uber nice guy that was wronged by a vindictive former employee. I’ve said that based on her words, her actions, and his words, and his actions, she wronged him with a lawsuit that could not be proved, she stole from the company, and he has a sense of humor that she did not enjoy.

            There are comments below that state Wardell claims no money changed hands in the settlement, further destroying your claim that money caused her to drop the suit. Since you find it so easy to assume she dropped her suit only because of money, why don’t you find it so easy to assume that she only brought her suit because of money? You’re making assumptions that clearly favor one side over the other, no wonder you find it inconceivable that she didn’t get a huge cash payout.

          • hotmaildidntwork says:

            If this is your neutrality, watching you champion something must be positively hilarious.

      • frightlever says:

        Frogboy was an asshole long before the suit and counter-suit. I don’t see that as a barrier to buying the game.

        Anyway, specific to the recent furore:

        http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/posts.php?discussion=13471015440A91920100

        This isn’t rumour or accusation, this is an email he sent. Be sure not to miss this little zinger right at the end:

        “I maintain my view that as the primary shareholder of the corporation that I am free to do what I choose so long as it does not violate the rights of others. Hence, if I “jokingly” (quote-marks his) touched Alexandra’s hair or teased her about her fiancee, I respect her request that this should cease. However, my general obnoxiousness is not subject to change and I would terminate the corporation and all jobs within it if I felt my rights were being curtailed.”

    • goodgimp says:

      As opposed to the scholarly gentlemen serving as CEOs for Activision, EA, etc? They’re all douchebags, he just tends to be more visible presence since he communicates directly with the community.

      • Lightningproof says:

        If I refused to purchase anything produced by companies controlled by predatory sociopaths, I’d probably struggle to feed myself. I can, however, not buy things from creepy misogynist sexual harassers.

        • FriarZero says:

          I think you’re going to run into the same problem.

        • Grey Poupon says:

          Considering there’s a lot of crap that never reaches the press, he’s most likely not even the worst of them and as such I’d rather pay for a product I like and leave the rest to the employees and their lawyers. They’re grown up adults mostly so I’d expect them to be able to take care of themselves. Bad internal practices usually lead to having subpar employees and/or lawsuits which’ll translate to worse products and less profit. I usually use these kinds of things as a tiebreaker at most.

      • jalf says:

        I’m not aware of those “gentlemen” being guilty of anything worse than running beloved franchises into the ground and being too obsessive about money. Am I missing anything important? Any sexual harrassment, say? Do they boycott companies which speak out against FOX news?

        • goodgimp says:

          How about the whole EA Spouse thing, remember that? If not, Google it. How about being overworked and underpaid, frequent and massive layoffs, that sort of thing that is routine with the big boys of the industry? How about Bobby Kotick bragging to investors about how he’s instilling a “culture of fear” at Activision? I’m not excusing any behavior on Brad Wardell’s part, but I don’t routinely hear about Stardock employees losing their livelihood like clockwork. These laid off workers are people with bills, obligations, and oftentimes families to support and they get chewed up and spit out so frequently in this industry that it is the established norm.

          • jalf says:

            True. My point is that from what I’ve seen, the bosses at EA and Activision are just your “typical” quasi-psychotic CEO types who think that money > people. That is deeply unpleasant, but there seems to be nothing personal in it.

            Whereas the controversies Wardell has been involved in paints a picture of someone who is a deeply unpleasant man at a personal level. (He might be a better, more humane CEO though, I won’t rule that out)

        • WrenBoy says:

          Dont forget that Wardell followed up that stunt by reminding any would be boycotters of Stardock that if their boycott worked that he would decide which employee to lay off based on their political orientation.

        • Panda Powered says:

          The reason you don’t see it is because they have a buffer of PR people between their mouths and our ears filtering every word. Brad talks directly with the community and customers and it often proves why it’s a good idea to have that filter.

        • MacTheGeek says:

          Am I missing anything important? Any sexual harrassment, say?

          Bobby Kotick not only lost over half a million dollars settling a sexual harassment lawsuit, he then lost another $1.3 million in a followup lawsuit stemming from his refusal to pay his (female) lawyer.

          http://kotaku.com/5602981/activision-boss-loses-legal-battle-over-sex-discrimination-case

          If you’re gonna judge a company by the behavior of its CEO, Stardock still beats ATVI by a country mile.

    • Ozion says:

      Are you referring to Wardell being falsely accused of sexual harassment where the woman was forced to write a public apology after having her case thrown out of court? http://img.gawkerassets.com/img/1915wh5f3vbb5png/ku-xlarge.png

      • Humppakummitus says:

        Yep, that would be the one. Here’s some more background. I especially like Brad Wardell’s letter here, I really feel like I know him after reading it:
        http://kotaku.com/5940401/pc-gaming-studio-said-she-ruined-their-game-but-only-after-she-sued-the-boss-for-sexual-harassment

      • killias2 says:

        Wow, I didn’t see this. Interesting. This is why I don’t overreact just because I hear there is some legal controversy about major figures. If Brad came out, like the Earthworm Jim guy, and told us all about how me he hates gays, okay, I’d probably avoid his games. However, when there is an untested legal situation going on, I think about the worst thing we can do is overreact and jump to conclusions.

        And you know what.. this goes for the woman involved too! Just because she lost and had to write this apology doesn’t mean something shitty didn’t happen. We should maybe.. admit our ignorance here and move on. But, of course, people need to have -strong- opinions on things they literally couldn’t know anything about.

      • jalf says:

        Wikipedia says she wrote that as part of a settlement. Unless you know the exact terms of that settlement, then describing it as her “being forced” to do anything, or having her case “thrown out of court” sounds a bit… overzealous, doesn’t it?

        Doesn’t exactly prove much, does it? What if, for example, Wardell paid her X amount of dollars in return for her shutting up, writing a public “apology” so he could put a lid on the bad publicity?

        I’m not saying that’s what happened, because I don’t know. But unless I’m mistaken, neither do you.

        • killias2 says:

          Wardell says no money exchanged hands, but you’re right that we can’t really know anything.

          Still, I’m happy it was posted. It’s a nice corrective to the language used elsewhere here. Maybe we can move on and.. talk about videogames?

      • Baines says:

        Falsely accused?

        She wrote that apology as part of a settlement involving the million-dollar sabotage suit that Wardell filed against her in retaliation when the judge refused to dismiss Miseta’s sexual harassment suit.

        Rather than “falsely accused,” it is more like “used legal threats to crush”.

        • MobileAssaultDuck says:

          And what evidence do you have of your hypothesis?

          Please ensure it is testable and falsifiable (meaning that if the test fails to do what you said it would do, it proves you wrong. It’s a fundamental aspect of testing hypothesis, there must be a way for it to fail, else the test serves no purpose.)

          • jalf says:

            … because the other claim, that she falsely accused him, is a testable and falsifiable claim?

            That seems to be an odd requirement to make.

            But apart from the last line, what he said is pretty factual. Wardell did file a big countersuit.

            And I think that, while this is not provable, it is pretty reasonable to assume that this may have put some pressure on Miseta.

            Now please do tell us all the testable and falsifiable evidence you have that Wardell did nothing wrong and she instead actively sabotaged him and the company.

          • Nick says:

            How about doing some research and, say, reading the man’s own words reguarding emails (oh and those emails themselves) he sent her?

          • MobileAssaultDuck says:

            I disagree, it is never reasonable to assume.

            Either there is evidence or there is no evidence. Anything less is worthless.

            We live in a world built on evidence in a legal system built on evidence.

            Or shall we just start accepting faith in courts of law?

      • WrenBoy says:

        “Thrown out of court” is an unlikely typo for “came to a mutually agreed settlement for unspecified conditions”.

    • Premium User Badge

      Don Reba says:

      Who cares about some Galactic Civilizations, when we might get to play Witch Hunt? Pull out yer pitchforks and torches!

    • MadTinkerer says:

      Lightningproof, that’s fine and all, but you should double-check that you haven’t bought an Activision product since 2010 or you’re just a hypocrite. In fact, you probably just shouldn’t buy any videogames other than maybe Minecraft, just to be sure.

    • Stromko says:

      I don’t think my game purchases or lack thereof can cure sexism, and if they can, I’d probably start by only buying games that aren’t packed with overly sexualized or powerless depictions of women.

      There wouldn’t be that many games I could actually buy, then, the game industry is chockablock with perverts or those who think their customers are perverts. Is that good? No. Is it neutral? No. It’s bad but I rather like games and I need to buy some. Space 4X games tend to be pretty liberated in terms of gender politics compared to say, anything in the action genre, even if they do almost universally have all their empires led by men except for one token matriarchal or all-female alien species.

    • Panda Powered says:

      Trillion-comments chain on these things every frikken time Stardock is mentioned. On the next episode of predictable: Notch tricked me into buying a Minecraft!

  3. Jams O'Donnell says:

    I think all I can say is that it’s about $%!&* time!

  4. Baltech says:

    It increases the size and scope of the maps… in GalCiv? Mind, consider yourself boggled.

    • Panda Powered says:

      Perhaps they added several galactics to civilize now.

  5. Soulstrider says:

    GalvCiv 2 was a great game albeit a bit too micro-management heavy, specially in the late game. I should by all rights be happy with this but I am having doubts about the current Stardock’s capacity to deliver.

    Also I hope they make smaller ships viable in this game instead of bigger the better. I like to make fleets with all kinds of ships but GalCiv forced us to build only large capital ships once we had the tech.

    • Panda Powered says:

      Small cheap specialized ships with the right loadout to exploit enemy weaknesses worked pretty well to support the bigger ones IMO.

  6. Premium User Badge

    drewski says:

    Is anyone really taking the inference that 64 bits is the key technology for scale and modding seriously?

    • Premium User Badge

      mrwonko says:

      Well, they’re talking about modding limits. And whenever memory is the limit, 64 bit solves that, since without it you only have 4GB at best. So I can see how this gives everyone more options. And just about any PC you can buy nowadays is probably 64 bit, so I don’t think it’s unreasonable.

      • Premium User Badge

        drewski says:

        I don’t find it unreasonable, just fanciful. People have been making huge games and big mods for years without magical 64 bits.

        If they’d just said “this engine is amazing, we wrote it for 64-bit machines, and almost nobody has 32-bit systems any more, so it’s easier to just support one version” then it would be completely understandable.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Yes, this.

          I don’t think it’s unreasonable to only target 64-bit for a modern game now.
          I do think it’s unreasonable to try to justify that with garbage marketing fluff.

          • ulix says:

            People have also made huge games with 16, or even 8 bit. They’ve made huge games that are moddable fit onto floppy-disks with less than 1MB. Most SNES games are less than 1MB…

            Doesn’t mean it’s still feasible today. Especially if you’re running dozens of mods. Skyrim regularly runs into problems because of this, if you’re running 30+ mods.

          • Panda Powered says:

            I run into problems with the 32 bit limitations when using a lot of visual mods for Fallout 3 and New Vegas.
            The game itself starts to struggle long before the hardware.

      • Apocalypse says:

        Not 4gb but 2gb at best. 32-Bit applications in windows are limited to 2gb.

        • jalf says:

          Not on a 64-bit system. You can get a full 4GB then (assuming the executable is compiled with the /LARGEADDRESSAWARE flag)

          • KDR_11k says:

            Does it get the full 4GB or does that include memory mapped devices?

          • jalf says:

            It gets a full 4GB address space, for whatever purposes it decides to use it. That does include anything memory-mapped into the process’ own address space, yes.

          • LionsPhil says:

            AIUI memory-mapped devices will be entirely within the kernel area, which shunts off into the high end of the (64-bit) address space, leaving the 32-bit process with a mostly-clear 4GB area to play with. I’m a bit fuzzy on the details, but from what I can find 64-bit processors don’t drop all the way into legacy 32-bit mode to run 32-bit code, but instead can keep hold of 64-bit addressing while running it given a 64-bit aware OS. (OSDevWiki is sadly very quiet on this topic.)

            Edit: As jalf says, anything the process memory-maps itself will natch carve out of that 4GB.

          • Premium User Badge

            mechtroid says:

            But then you have a 64-bit system, so you can run the 64 bit application, right? So for the purposes of supporting 32 bit systems, you can’t use large address aware.

          • jalf says:

            On a 32-bit system, a 32-bit executable compiled with /LARGEADDRESSAWARE indicates that it can cope with using more than 2GB of its address space. So *if* the OS is booted with the /3GB flag (or its nearest equivalent. I believe it had a different name in some Windows versions), then the application will get 3GB instead of 2GB.

            On a 64-bit system, a 32-bit executable compiled with /LARGEADDRESSAWARE will get a full 4GB address space to itself. All the OS/kernel stuff that normally resides in the upper half of the address space, will be placed above the 4GB threshold, where the application can’t see/address it, but the OS can.

          • LionsPhil says:

            Yes, LARGEADDRESSAWARE is only even meaningful for 32-bit processes (be they running under 32 or 64-bit Windows). 64-bit ones are always assumed to not play silly buggers with their pointers or otherwise die of fright when encountering addresses past the 2GB limit. (As usual, Windows is only complicated here because it has to work around bad applications, else it’ll get the blame.)

            I’m sure someone out there has started storing “something clever” in the high bits of a 64-bit pointer, though. I mean, we’ll never have that much memory, right?

    • killias2 says:

      As a big Stardock fan, I’ve seen this process develop. Earlier this year, there was this big thread over there aboute 64 vs 32 bit. Brad also asked everyone what their setup was, etc. Basically, he was afraid of doing certain things with game design if a large proportion of his fanbase still couldn’t use more than 4 gb of RAM. This seems to indicate that he felt the tradeoff was worth it.

      Personally, I’m cool with it. Almost any relatively modern PC is 64-bit, and that will be even more true when this comes out (GalCiv3: Fallen Enchantress: Legendary SpaceHeroes coming 2016!).

      • Premium User Badge

        drewski says:

        I’m fine with the decision, I just find the published rationale pretty patronising.

      • Stardreamer says:

        Even my Mum has a 64-bit PC now. Game Devs, you may safely begin coding for them.

        (64-bit PCs, that is. Not Mothers. I dread to think what games for my mother would be.)

    • jalf says:

      It doesn’t bother me one bit. There aren’t many 32-bit systems around these days, especially among gamers.

      But what a nonsensical rationale for the move. They could just say “well, targeting 64-bit exclusively is simpler for us, so yay, that’s what we’re going to do”, without all the mumbo-jumbo about how many more graphics you can get on a 64-bit system, which is, well, rubbish.

  7. LionsPhil says:

    The technology allows players to experience a level of graphical detail and on-screen activity unprecedented in large-scale strategy PC games. It dramatically increases the size and scope of the maps, and opens the door for modders to add a virtually unlimited amount of new content to the game.

    The only thing I can think of getting near the 3GB* limit for a 4X game would be texture (and I guess model?) memory. Any game state would be surely be dominated by design complexity constraints (“a map this big is too slow and boring”) before memory ones.

    (* Since I know people will say “don’t you mean 2 or 4?”: modern WinXP SP2 and up will have PAE on by default, which implies the /3GB flag, so there’s a maximum 3GB address space available to a 32-bit process (with the other GB mapped to the kernel). This assumes the process is marked safe for large memory, else it only gets 2GB due to Windows having to assume that you’re being an idiot with pointers, because people were idiots with pointers.)

    (Anyway, seems a pretty bunkum explanation really. I suspect the truth is something more like “we can’t be bothered to set up a 32-bit build and test the results of it because any gaming machine will be 64-bit anyway”.)

    • Moraven says:

      Yah, you would think being a niche developer with probably a more technical fanbase they would explain it in more detail. Tell us what advantage 64 bit code brings us to the game vs 32 bit code. What does it allow you to do that you could not in 32bit?

      Give a couple real examples and it would satisfy the fans.

      • jalf says:

        It doesn’t “allow them” to do anything new, really. It just makes a number of things easier, and might improve performance a bit here and there.

        (Which they could have just said)

    • Artfunkel says:

      There’s more to it than that. x64 gives you twice the number of CPU registers as x86, each with double the capacity, which I can see a high-bandwidth simulation like GalCiv benefiting from.

      Couldn’t tell you if that would be enough of a boost to justify Starkdock’s marketing hype though.

      • LionsPhil says:

        In real terms, though, I believe the impact of that is not huge, and is balanced by other costs, like increased instruction and data sizes meaning less fits in the processor cache. From some admittedly very cursory googling, it didn’t have much measureable effect for Crysis, for example, and that’s something that’s going to be doing more real-time numbercrunching (physics) than I would expect a 4X game to (“being a big spreadsheet underneath” is not really the same thing).

        (This is not to say that 64-bit has no gains, just that I don’t think it has some great sea-change of gains that makes the formerly-impossible possible, unless your formerly-impossible was something of the magnitude of “hold a whole planet’s worth of Minecraft voxels in memory at once”. Or, well, textures and other such “make it pretty” resources.)

        Edit: To be fair, I now remember the original, non-Forged-Alliance Supreme Commander not being LARGEADDRESSAWARE, and it would actually hit the 2GB barrier and crash on large matches. Somehow. So it’s not necessarily that far away.

    • killias2 says:

      http://forums.sinsofasolarempire.com/443406 – Here is one post where Brad talks about the benefits of 64 bit. It’s not the only one, as he’s clearly been building towards this for a while.

      In general, it’s pretty much what you say. Within the constraints of a 32 bit OS, you either need to limit what you can do graphically with each particular thing or you limit the number of things on-screen at a given time. 64 bit more-or-less solves this problem.

      Honestly, I think it’s high time we went 64 bit. The only reason it took this long is because of the console generation. With PS4 and XBone coming out, 64 bit is going to dominate the gaming landscape.

      • Faxmachinen says:

        It’s still utter bullshido though. You don’t keep your textures in system RAM unless you’re an incompetent idiot. Hint: The 4 GB on your graphics card are not for storing dialogue trees.

        • killias2 says:

          You graphics card has 4 gb? Wow. Impressive. I’m sure you.. really use that memory a lot.

          So the solution isn’t to require gamers to have a modern OS. Instead, it’s to force them into having a nonsensically bloated video card. **rolleyes**

        • jalf says:

          Er, you actually do typically store textures in system memory. And if you don’t, then OpenGL/Direct3D typically does it for you.

  8. Moraven says:

    Paxton has turned around Elemental since he has been on board. Not having played GalCiv II yet but only hearing great things about it, I am optimistic it will be a solid release, if they get the AI right again.

  9. Moraven says:

    $100 includes all future DLC, alpha access and you get to name a Star in the game. (And forum badge if you really care about that)

  10. BTAxis says:

    I really wasn’t too impressed with GalCiv 2 – rock paper scissors combat model and a tedious/pointless ship building minigame were the things that put me off it. I’m all for seeing more space strategy games and I’ll certainly be keeping an eye on this one, but I haven’t heard anything so far that get me excited for it.

    • Grygus says:

      Your criticisms match my experience pretty well, but I liked it anyway. The AI was pretty good without (obviously) cheating; you can’t say that about most of these games. It was also pretty. One of the expansions added different tech trees for each faction. The game also got a lot of good press because it released with absolutely no DRM. That’s all I remember.

    • Panda Powered says:

      The ship building was one of the things that put me on GalCiv2. :O
      You could always just use the pre-built ships and just change the weapons and armor/shield modules when you research them.

  11. jonahcutter says:

    Pre-orders aren’t inherently evil. A fair deal is a fair deal. Alpha/beta access, or even unimportant bells and whistles like skins or other goodies. Or when you really trust the developer and want to reward them for an earlier stellar product (though that attitude burned me for Payday 2).

    It’s when they start locking off content, levels, modes, etc that it gets crass and manipulative. When you can’t get essentially the full release game without pre-ordering is when I personally start getting into “Well, fuck off then, waiting for the sale now” mode.

  12. Kemuel says:

    Oh wow. I’m still busy enjoying GalCiv II, I hadn’t even considered the fact that they might go and make a sequel.

  13. Vinraith says:

    6 years ago I’d have been throwing money at the screen, but these days I’ve lost all faith in and affection for Stardock. It’s a damn shame, really.

  14. Tsarcastic says:

    Oh. My. Glob.

  15. Premium User Badge

    Bluerps says:

    Strange. I’m pretty sure that Mr Francis has written two GalCiv diaries, the one that is linked on his page and another one that he did some time after that. If I remember correctly, in that second diary his intention was to play as peaceful as possible, and he ended up building a huge fleet of Death Stars and blowing up half the galaxy.

  16. razzafazza says:

    I didnt play Elemental / Fallen Enchantress but Legendary Heroes is a pretty good fantasy 4x. Not as good as Master of Magic / Age of Wonders but good nonetheless. I also enjoyed Warlock quite alot but Legendary Heroes certainly has more depth / replay value than that.

    As far as i m concerned there hasnt been a single great space 4x since MoO 2 so i really look forward to Gal Civ 3 ( Gal Civ 2 was a good game but very soulless – something i believe Stardocks newly hired talent – Derek Paxton – can fix ). especially after the endless disappointment that was endless space.

    What i m trying to say is: Hello Gal Civ 3, welcome on my MOST WANTED List only slightly below Age of Wonders 3 – please be good please be good please be good please be good etc. etc.

    • Panda Powered says:

      Indeed. I can’t explain why but in some ways it does feel more like “software” rather than a game. It’s still lovely though. I felt the same way with Elemental.

  17. Loyal_Viggo says:

    This is inconsequential.

    All a company needs to do is ‘tart up’ some graphics and remake Master of Orion 2 for modern machines.

    Then, reap huge profits!

    • squareking says:

      Except this is pretty much what most space 4x games have done in the past decade or so, right? I mean, not really direct clones, but so close to the MoO formula that it may as well be the same thing.

      • Sidewinder says:

        Not hardly. They’ve aped the basic formula, changing just enough to set themselves apart- usually lessening the nigh-overwhelming micromanagement or the time-consuming tactical combat, and it usually doesn’t work, since those were the heart of the game. For all of Moo2′s difficulties and problems, the control it gave you let you succeed or fail pretty much on your own merits- something none of its successors have done nearly as well. As a consequence, they play very differently. The experience is nowhere near the same thing.

        • squareking says:

          I think what I’m getting at is this: We should stop trying to emulate what made MoO2 so great, because it’s its own thing. The biggest departures from MoO in the genre in recent memory are Sins and GalCiv; most of the others feel like they attempted (there’s the word I missed) to get close with just enough changed to feel different, but since it’s hardly ever for the better, why bother. Maybe I’m just jaded from listening to the Lost in Space episode of Three Moves Ahead.

          But with all of this said, space glee! I am super pumped for a new GalCiv, even though I’m still poking around in 2. They’re adding hexes! And multiplayer! And 64 Bits for the Bit God!

          (Somewhat related: allow me to plug Starbase Orion for mobile devices. If you want MoO2 on the go, this is it.)

      • Loyal_Viggo says:

        The word you are missing is ‘attempted’, most have ‘attempted’ to imitate MOO2 but all have failed. Each may try one aspect of MOO2 and perform that function well, but none have achieved the majesty that was MOO2 when all those aspects worked in harmony.

        I can’t name a single 4x that can compete with MOO2. It’s like the original XCOM, nothing comes close to that still either.

        Both at the pinnacle of their genre way before their time.

        • Stardreamer says:

          Why?

          Explain this. Please. I’ve been hearing MoO praise for decades now and I just don’t get it, especially not as I keep bouncing off the damn game every time I try to play it.

          What the hell does it do that’s so special?

          • dE says:

            It’s hard to say. Personally, I always get all happy about 4x Spacegames and everytime I play them, I find them lacking in one or another department. It’s always easier for me to say what other 4x games lacked, that MoO2 did better for me.
            I guess if you look at it from a fact checking spreadsheet, many games trump MoO2 by now. But there’s always that one aspect that was more fun in MoO2 and suddenly it doesn’t matter anymore if the graphics have more shinies or the tech tree is much larger or the fleetbattles are more interesting. It’s that one poorly implemented feature that spoils it. That said, in almost all cases, this feature is atmosphere and character. The many races are barely discernible and rarely have their own personality. Sure they get huge background stories – but it doesn’t show in how they act and talk. Stardrive did that well – and failed at other parts.

        • El_Duderino says:

          MOO 2 was actually surpassed before it was even released. I went from Amiga to PC just around the time Moo 2 was released, and I did love and play it to bits. A few years later I played the first game for the first time and fell in love again. I sometimes *still* play Moo 1, since the incredibly tight design have made it age with grace, everything just fits together and is there for a reason, and the game mechanics are spot on. The same can’t be said for Moo 2 unfortunately. While it was a great game for its age time ran past it. The UI is extremely cumbersome, it’s too easy to exploit the race designer and ship design, the AI is nothing to write home about, and the planet improvement just feels like they welded the boring parts of Civilization onto it. It was a great game, and I wish I could still love it, but I just don’t feel it is a great game any more. In my eyes it has been surpassed multiple times by games like Space Empires IV, SotS 1, and Distant Worlds, but I know I am in a minority.

          TLDR: If you’re gonna base a game from MOO, base it on MOO 1 and think long and hard about what features to add and still do a well designed game.

          • Rusty says:

            I agree. I’ve probably spent more hours playing MoO 1 than any other single game (although I did lose that summer to Harpoon in college; hmm…).

    • LionsPhil says:

      I’m still waiting for either Stars! to become open source (because magic pixies, that’s why), or to get the long-abandoned sequel resurrected.

      • nimbulan says:

        Stars Supernova is the only thing that’s going to save space 4x games. Stars! is still by far the best space 4x game I have ever played, despite having almost no graphics, being 20 years old, and having terrible AI and exploits that made multiplayer unplayable if you didn’t want to use them. Master of Orion was pretty good as well, though it never felt like it had the longevity of Stars!. More recently Endless Space tried really hard to bring the genre back but the battle system is so bad (which I believe was essentially copied from Gal Civ 2,) it ruins the whole game.

        I tried Gal Civ 2 a few years based on how many good things I heard about it, and after one short session I couldn’t be bothered to pick it up again. What is it that people see in this game? For me it just had that usual low quality feel that Stardock games always seem to have.

        • LionsPhil says:

          Stars! really was utterly brilliant.

          I also liked how much good automation you could set up, so it didn’t bog down into micromanagement as your empire grew, without just being a “play the game for me” governor-button—it was still up to your decisions to set up the routes and queues you wanted. And the message filtering.

          And, frankly, I’m sure there are many who went “eww, the Interface just looks like normal Windows, gross”, but I liked that. It’s aged brilliantly because none of it looks actively ugly, just plain, and it’s mostly standard, intuitive pieces. Flexible, too, with those little info panels; scales great to resolutions way beyond its era, given its era included 640×480 as an entirely feasible desktop resolution.

      • jalf says:

        I only ever played a demo version of it, but I looooved it. I’ve occasionally thought about the game and wondered if it was possible to get hold of it anywhere (and if it would actually still run these days).

        • LionsPhil says:

          It’s a 16-bit Windows application, so you need Windows 3.1 in DOSBox or a 32-bit Windows VM or old box, but it basically has no demands beyond that and I’m pretty sure I’ve run it fine under XP. A not-quite-last-version (the Stars wiki has a changelog for what that misses, I think) can be found in dubious grey places. There’s some weird arrangement where supposedly Some Guy has a keygen for the last version ordained by the devs, but he gives out keys only for donations to his game hosting service. :/

          It was also resold on some budget CD label quite some years back, which is where mine came from. Probably long out of stock, though.

  18. derbefrier says:

    Hmmm I wonder if they have figured out how to do multiplayer yet. Still I will be looking forward to this.

    • Premium User Badge

      tikey says:

      From their announcement:

      “And, of course, Galactic Civilizations III has fully featured online multiplayer. Yes, we heard you on that one.”

      YESSSS!

    • Zenicetus says:

      Lord, I hope not. Multiplayer “balance” is the death of interesting strategy games. GalCiv2 had factions with very different tech trees and economies in the final expansion. The AI was equally capable at running any faction because it was designed that way, but from the human player’s perspective, there were factions that were much harder than others to get your head around. That meant it wasn’t “balanced” at all, and that was one reason why it’s considered a classic strategy game. It had great replay value, because you could try one of the more difficult factions when you got bored with the easy ones, or just wanted to try a completely different strategy.

      I think one reason why Endless Space has a reputation of being somewhat bland, is that the tech trees are too similar between factions. That makes for good multiplayer, but it reduces interest as a singleplayer game.

      • Premium User Badge

        FriendlyFire says:

        You can make asymmetrical factions balanced, it’s just harder. I think Stardock have the ability to pull it off.

  19. Zenicetus says:

    My enjoyment of GalCiv2 and disgust at what happened to Elemental puts me in the “Cautiously optimistic and definitely won’t pre-order” category.

    GalCiv2 had a solid AI, a good random map generator, and different tech trees (and therefore strategies) for each race in the final expansion. That last feature is something I really miss in games like Civ, and Endless Space. The combat in GalCiv2 was too heavily weighted towards Rock/Paper/Scissors, but at least the different tech trees influenced your economic and expansion strategies. The ship designer was meaningless in the game, but I admit to spending hours coming up with cool-looking ships anyway. It personalized the game.

    So I’ll keep an eye on version 3, but no way I’ll pre-order after Elemental (which I didn’t buy either, based on early reports). The important thing will be to keep Brad away from writing the back story this time, or else we’ll get something as hilariously bad as that racist “novel” he wrote as a side project for Elemental. Keep him shackled to a computer writing the AI algorithm design, which is the one thing he’s good at.

    • killias2 says:

      On the upside, I get the sense that Stardock is in a stronger position than they were when they released Elemental. Also, if you haven’t played them, Fallen Enchantress and its expandalone Legendary Heroes are both quite good. It’s sad that they’ve been mostly overlooked, as FE:LH really is a must for fans of Fantasy 4x.

      However, yeah, I certainly don’t blame you. Outside of Kickstarter campaigns, I really don’t preorder games. It’s usually wiser to wait and see.

    • Moraven says:

      Which after hiring Paxton and others, along with selling Impulse seems to be what he is more focused on. Hope it stays that way.

  20. serioussgtstu says:

    Welcome back Alec! Your recent lack of words has been noted by The Hivemind and a strongly worded glob of ant pheromones is on it’s way to you.

  21. Awesumo says:

    Gal Civ 2 had a bad case of feature creep that diluted the core gameplay of Gal civ 1 .

    • LionsPhil says:

      (Quietly mumbles something about that also holding true for Master of Orion in his opinion.)

    • Stromko says:

      I think I had more tolerance for the feature creep than others since I never really got into GalCiv 1, thus I had a different bar set for strategic purity. Right around Twilight of the Arnor I checked out, though. Too many systems interacting or running parallel, from asteroid mines to ever-more-crucial starbases to a dozen other things I can’t even remember, made it a very different game.

      I probably spent 80+ hours on base GalCiv II, 40 on the first expansion, 10 on the last two, even though with investment bias I really WANTED to get stuck in with the new expansions after buying them they just pushed me away.

  22. DatonKallandor says:

    “Also promised are black holes and a much-expanded ship-builder.”

    Hey maybe the ship builder will have an actual gameplay impact and not just be visual-only-legos.
    Edit: Actually saying it was visual-only is giving it too much credit. The placement of weapons and defenses didn’t even have a visual impact in combat. It was just the laziest “deep” “ship builder” possible.
    And maybe there’ll be an actual combat system instead of the ugliest rock-paper-scissors ever made.

    • RanDomino says:

      Also the way that ships get targeted one at a time in combat. It might be the tactically sensible thing for them to do, but it’s incredibly immersion-breaking. I shouldn’t have three ships destroyed, one damaged, and three in pristine shape. Would it have been that hard for ships to target a random enemy in range? Or even have firing arcs? Or just import the combat into Gratuitous Space Battles?

  23. Lemming says:

    Soooooooo, how come we aren’t all making fun of that god-awful trailer? How on earth would anyone know it’s a strategy game? AAA titles get ripped for it, so why not this?

    • Zenicetus says:

      Maybe because trailers for established game series get more slack than new IP’s?

      We already have a rough idea of what the game will be like, based on the previous versions. It’s different with a fresh IP like Dead Island, when we don’t know what the actual game will be like, and the first trailer ends up being nothing at all like the final game.

      Another reason for cutting it some slack is that this is probably either cut-scene animation for faction intros, or from a tutorial campaign. So it’s technically “in” the game, it’s just not the 4X strategy sandbox UI you’ll be spending most of your time looking at, which isn’t ready to show yet. Most strategy games include fluff like this in their trailers, like the launch trailer for Endless Space: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PsIpKcDiKkY

  24. Solidstate89 says:

    Now here’s hoping that if we’re ever graced with a Sins of a Solar Empire II, that it too will always be 64-bit, because that game because nigh unplayable in late-game large matches where you can have thousands of ships on screen at any given moment. The frame rate just slows to a crawl, regardless of your hardware because the game is just choking on the lack of RAM.

  25. dE says:

    Oddly enough, the trailer made me think of Advent Rising. Maybe it’s the tone of alien races being scared enough of humans to warrant their extinction. Or just the general tone of it, or the weird alien prophecies thing.

    • Premium User Badge

      Gap Gen says:

      Ha, I remember I played that rather strange game in one go and then wrote a very sleep deprived review on the PC Gamer forums that made its way into the magazine’s user review section. I still have no idea if the game ever gave you any indication as to why you suddenly got superpowers.

      • dE says:

        This is going to be spoiler territory for everyone that never played Advent Rising, yet still intends to. That should be about 5 people. Be warned, there be spoilers.

        And more spoilers.
        Yep spoilers. Disappear out of the textbox at the side please.

        Alright:
        As far as I can recall, the powers were a genetric trait that some of the humans had. They’ve had it since millenia. It’s essentially the reason you see the Seekers scanning the human brains and then deporting some, while killing just about everyone else. Those with the trait are turned into those weird floaty human things you see in the beginning. Probably mind control? This was never explained, I reckon it was meant for later parts of the now never to be finished trilogy.

        It seems to be a rather common trait, given that the seekers deport quite a few of the humans. The human you play is one of those with the trait and is trained by the spiritual oddball aquatic race on whose coat the seekers rode into town.
        The superpowers are the reasons humans are essentially treated as gods. While some races (like the aquathingies) can use it to some degree, with a lot of training, humans use it naturally and are simply much, much, muuuuuuch better at it once they’re shown the way and unlock it fully. My guess is, this requires intense emotions of some sort – or drugs, since everytime something is going south, Ethan unlocks a new handy deus ex machina power just in time to save the day.

    • Stardreamer says:

      Ahhh, Advent Rising. Loved that game. Mass Effect without the money. Shame it didn’t sell well enough to warrant its sequels. I’d have loved to have seen where the story went next.

  26. abremms says:

    hope they show off the ship designer, I logged more hours in GalCiv2 designing ships than I ever did on the game proper.

  27. SuicideKing says:

    What Mass Effecty thing do you see here? This has obvious bits of FreeSpace (the space parts) and Halo (the city and bridge parts)! Music was a mix of both.

    Only that alien on a terran bridge was sort of like Mass Effect.

    EDIT: About time we made a mainstream transition to 64-bit games. Long overdue.

    • SuicideKing says:

      To elaborate, the aliens look like Vasudans, so do their ships, but the way they’re shown around the planet reminds of the Battle of Deneb shown in the intro to FS2.

      And the “crusade” part, there’s this main supercapital (like the GTVA Colossus) surrounded by a ton of escorts (again, the Intro cutscene to FS2), firing beams (that look like the TerSlash versions of AAA beams).

      Although the shock jump was more Shivan style.

      The bridge parts reminded me of Admiral Bosch’s cutscenes, and various “Captain Keys” moments from Halo (1/2/3/4)…plus on the ground it was more or less like Halo Reach and ODST.

      Seriously, i haven’t played Wing Commander, but it feels like almost every space game either follows the Star Wars narrative or the FreeSpace narrative, and i think the FreeSpace plot model is way more common. Mass Effect mixed both.

      It’s all, Humans meet Alien race, fight war with them, there’s this Ancient civilization that’s extinct because of some other force, unknown and dangerous, and then that force returns to the Galaxy, following which there’s an human-alien alliance that fights the Great Destroyers.

      • Zenicetus says:

        For the record, Wing Commander was a more straightforward us-vs.-aliens scenario, without the Ancient Big Bad. It borrowed the cat-like Kzinti warriors from the Larry Niven novels as an enemy. It was just us vs. the evil aliens, on the same technological level. There was an ancient Big Bad lurking in the background of the Niven novels — a dead race with psychic control powers. But that didn’t factor into the Wing Commander game series.

        I get a little tired of seeing all the permutations of “the Ancient Big Bad” in space games, but on the other hand, it’s useful if you’re going to be scattering around things like star gates and ancient artifacts in the game.

        • SuicideKing says:

          Interesting…i guess it was FreeSpace contemporary so didn’t have much influence on that front.

          Yeah “Ancient Big Bad”, as you call it, is starting to bore me a bit. I’m more interested in something like Stae Citizen or Battlefront 3 at the moment. Another Star Wars game would be nice.

          But FS3, oh please, before i die.

  28. SkittleDiddler says:

    I’m pretty excited for a new GalCiv, but given Stardock’s more recent habit of releasing broken games and charging customers for patches in the form of follow-up releases, I’m not convinced a new GalCiv is necessarily a good thing.

    • Stromko says:

      I haven’t been charged for a new Elemental game in years, I keep getting these new ones and all I ever did was pre-order Elemental: War of Magic. Those who didn’t pre-order should really have read reviews and known what an unfinished mess they were walking into by buying it.

      Now in objective terms, yes, they did screw people over, but I’m pretty darn sure they never set out with the intention to disappoint people and with all they did to try to make it right I think confirms that emphatically. Now compare it to the rest of the gaming industry: “Really disappointed in your pre-order, huh? Well that’s why we spent a quarter of our budget on marketing! Get out.”

      • SkittleDiddler says:

        Sure, they never intentionally set out to screw their customers over, but that’s what happens when you “fix” a broken game by releasing that fix as a standalone product with a slight discount. Free copies for the lucky few aside, they should not have been charging for that shit.

  29. botd says:

    Let’s just ignore whether Brad Wardell is an unsavory sort or not. What really should make you question buying this game is that Stardock has a pretty spotty history. Galactic Civilizations is a MoO clone through and through and it is debatable whether they actually improved the game they were copying. Then we have the whole debacle of the Elemental franchise that took three games to finally turn up something good, though I would argue still not great. The only bright spot in their resume is Sins of a Solar Empire, which they just published.

    So yeah, wait and see on this one.

    • airmikee99 says:

      And MoO was just a ripoff of Star Control. Most games are simply clones of earlier games, so what?

      • Arren says:

        As a devotee of both StarCon and MOO, this is just laughably wrong.

        Ship-scale real-time arcade combat with a sweeping comedic narrative, vs. empire-scale turn-based 4X with elliptical touches of narrative.

        Yeah: not the same.

  30. BlueTemplar says:

    I don’t know why, I’ve got the feeling that this will just be Civilization 5 in space… a pretty, but ultimately forgettable game compared to the classics (Alpha Centauri / Civ 4 for Civ 5, MOO2 for GalCiv 3).
    I would like to think Stardock will prove me wrong, but considering that I’ve found GalCiv2 boring, I don’t have much hope…
    Meanwhile, I’m going back to Sword of the Stars 1, where the first beta for a new, huge, mod was recently released :
    Mod description :
    http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=50698
    Link to the beta :
    http://www.kerberos-productions.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=521117#p521117

  31. Shadowcat says:

    They all laughed when I bought 60 4-bit PCs. Well who’s laughing now?

  32. Josh W says:

    I used to love gal civ 2, but then I realised that I was actually playing it like a sort of facebook game; all these loops of activities I was setting up for 3 turns in advance, where I would then tweak the tax sliders again, sell tech to the non-spacefairing races etc. I was playing the game too, but I started to wish that these nested loops of little tasks were automated.

    Actually, that doesn’t sound much like a facebook game, but it felt like it, like what a facebook game does to your day, with a game in between that you play for most of that day. I left it with this feeling that the game was slightly more compulsive than it was good, even though it really was good, and that’s not a position I wanted to be in.