All The Space You Can Handle: Gal Civ 3 Enters Beta

By Ben Barrett on August 15th, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

You’ve gotta hope space isn’t the final frontier or we’re going to run badly out of places to set games once the current crop are released. Galactic Civilisations III took to Early Access in March in alpha and has now progressed to the beta stage. Along with a star cruiser’s worth of changes and additions, this means it’s come down to a more reasonable price. Space-joy all round. Stardock have put out a surprisingly funny new trailer to celebrate the chunky new patch notes.

More than anything else, I’m really looking forward to what people manage to do with that ship builder. The recreations will be amazing, but the original ship designs might be even more incredible, depending on how powerful the tool is. This one’s a bit of a step above if it allows actual animation, given most creation tools only make static objects.

The full patch notes are over here while the announcement of the beta itself has just the highlights. It looks like there’s been a total rebalance along with the introduction of new resources, tech trees and units. I hadn’t yet jumped in but with the game becoming more fully featured and the price drop to an affordable £26.99 it’ll be difficult to resist much longer.

The full game’s scheduled for April 2015, with a rider to say plans can (and likely will) change. Stardock do livestreams on Twitch every Friday, starting at 9pm Brit-time, showing off the latest changes and what they’re working on.

, , .

29 Comments »

  1. SpiritBoy says:

    I don’t know why, but early access and betas turn me off SO much.
    That being said, I loved GalCiv2 and hope this would be as awesome.

    • BehindYou!!! says:

      A game as complex and deep as Gal Civ requires intense testing by people of various strategies/tactics and needs to be tested on all kind of computers. If the development is lacking in some crucial aspect the beta feedback will allow it to be addressed before release and the final product will be much more polished. Just remember the Total War : Rome II fiasco and how it ruined name of a franchise we all loved. My suggestion to you would be simply ignore the beta and go for final release.

    • Zenicetus says:

      Strategy games like this one are actually one of the best candidates for early access, as long as the game is in good enough shape to be fun, and not too broken. The genre is infinitely replayable (in theory), unlike a story-based RPG where you might not want to repeat early sections or have the story spoiled. That’s why I’ve bought early access on Endless Space and the new Endless Legend games, but I’ve avoided it on Wasteland because I want to play that one straight-through with the full story and content..

      I enjoyed GalCiv2 (especially with the last expansion), but I have too many other games I’m playing right now to jump into another early access, and I want to read some player reviews first. This game may or may not be as good as the first one.

  2. socrate says:

    The price on that was so insane…even if galciv2 was good its pretty much the only one i can recommend from this company and even then to me Master of Orion 2 is still the best 4x by far,galciv2 had a better multiplayer really its all i can think of and a modding community but to tell the truth i never used any mod…the fact that i had tons of trouble with turbine and downloading a pirated copy instead of playing my bought copy brought me less problem was even more of a turn off.

    From what ive “tried” Galciv3 is just better graphic really and a few change that could have been modded in Galciv2…so far its nothing revolutionary,the drengin empire screen is the best looking one,the other one just feel out of place but this is hopefully gonna be polished and is only eye candy(which is still important though)…but yeah even with the feature missing which will of course be added(well i hope) it just feel like a graphic revamp more then anything…the ship combat and customisation is still as dull as before and not really as in-depth as in Master of Orion 2 and the ground combat is also as worst as before…

    But i guess its a common thing now to not get any improvement on old title other then maybe dumbing down and putting better graphic…oh and the ship builder(ala spore) is still really fun but its just a better graphical version of the old one which did the EXACT same thing…although now weight or mass as an impact but its not that big of a deal really since it didn’t seem to have that big of a impact.

    • Malarious says:

      ???

      Galciv 2 doesn’t have multiplayer support, period. Galciv 3 is a huge departure from its predecessor for a few reasons, but the biggest is the truly enormous map sizes. Stardock’s goal is also to allow up to 100 civilizations on a single map, something that would have been impossible on the previous engine.

      Not all of the features are implemented yet (calling it a beta is definitely a mistake on Stardock’s behalf; the combat viewer, one of the biggest draws, is months away from being implemented) but it’ll be possible to do things in Galciv 3 that were out of the question in the last game, thanks to the devs ditching 32bit support entirely.

  3. Zenicetus says:

    The ship creator looks fun, but the art direction for the rest of the game hasn’t moved forward at all, from what I can see. Same ugly UI, and why is space always brown in this series? Like many small studio strategy games, it looks like the UI and game elements were designed by a programmer who knows a little Photoshop on the side, and not by a commercial artist. Maybe I’m spoiled by Endless Space, which was kinda lightweight as a strategy game, but sure looked great.

    • Premium User Badge

      SuddenSight says:

      The endless space devs actually hired a third party to design the user interface layout and art style, plus they devoted months of time from the art team to creating pleasing and consistent art for the UI. It worked so well, I wish more strategy game devs would do that.

    • Premium User Badge

      Vandelay says:

      I really enjoyed Gal Civ 2. All I would really want from Gal Civ 3 is an improved interface and some better graphics, that feature a bit more personality. Watching the beta launch trailer last night, I was shocked to see how horrific it looks. It is still beta and I don’t know how much of a beta it actually is, so it might change with the remaining 6 or so months that is left, but I’m not holding out much hope for the vast improvement it looks like it needs.

    • Nate says:

      Is that ship creator actually any different than the GalCiv2 one? Which was fun to play around with, but ultimately void of significance…

  4. Debe2233 says:

    If you use a laptop with switchable graphics give it a miss for the moment, its unplayable due the game not recognizing the second graphics card. I’m sure it will be fixed but it renders the purchase a bit pointless at this point in time.

    • Premium User Badge

      Philopoemen says:

      Can you force it to use the gfx card via the NVidia control panel (or ATI equiv)? I know that’s what I’ve had to do for quite a few games that are wonky on the second card. And it is hit and miss.

      • Debe2233 says:

        Unfortunately no, its currently not working. There are a few people experienceing the same issues, since april. Stardock say they are waiting on a third party for a resolution. Just fair warning if you do currently use a switchable graphics card machine.

  5. Ejia says:

    I loved GalCiv 2, but when it comes to 4Xes my heart belongs to Space Empires, particularly 3 and 4.

    While it would be nice if the ship builder wasn’t purely aesthetical, perhaps it’s for the best. I tend to make ships I like the look of, and sometimes the guns are mounted in areas that wouldn’t make sense. If it were more realistic I’d probably be blowing up my own ships with the tiny laser cannons attached inside the hull.

    • Quiffle says:

      The world needs more games where you’re able to create ring planets and Dyson spheres.

  6. SandroTheMaster says:

    Gal Civ has carriers now?

    Sorry, wallet, but I gotta yield to my “no-pre-purchase” rule.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Truly, the only way to make spaceships more awesome is to launch them out of bigger spaceships.

      • SandroTheMaster says:

        I believe about 80% of Battlestar Galactica’s success was based on this rule.

        Even the people behind Stargate knew this, that’s why the very first earth design, the Prometheus, was also a carrier, even though it could only launch 2 F-302 strike crafts.

        • WiggumEsquilax says:

          Prometheus design checklist, as follows:
          -Build a giant space battlecruiser. Check.
          -Arm it only with 2 star fighters, and 4 point defense guns which run out of ammo in about 3 1/2 minutes. Check.
          -Star fighters that each only carry 4 missiles, and 2 autocannons. Check.
          -Build a giant space battlecruiser that in total only has 8 space capable sidewinder missiles, and 8 slightly oversized heavy machineguns.

          Earth is saved!

          • Kaeoschassis says:

            As a long-time SHMUP fan, something about this plan resonates deep within my soul.

  7. TheParthenon says:

    “There’s an old saying in Tennessee — I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on, shame on you. Fool me, you can’t get fooled again.”

    Having been one of those fools that pre-ordered Elemental back in 2010, I’ll need to see multiple positive reviews of the final product before I get on board with Gal Civ III.

    That being said: Please be good, please be good, please be good (ad infinitum).

    • Sian says:

      There’s already at least one let’s play out there that can give you a taste of what the game is like right now. Arumba, the guy making these videos, said he’d revisit the game once it’s more complete, so you might want to keep an eye out for that. Here’s the playlist:
      https://www.youtube . com/playlist?list=PLH-huzMEgGWDZDUHOhLQIITjHtjCThtjp

      Edit: I wasn’t aware that posting the link would include a video. Sorry! I’ve edited the post so you’ll have to take out the spaces before and after the dot.

    • Loyal_Viggo says:

      I think the all-knowing, ever-wise, charismatic and not-in-the-least-bit-guilty-of-war-crimes, eminent statesman George W. Bush delivered that particular ‘fool me once’ gem before.

      A clip of the most highly paid cretin delivering flawless nonsense can be found on the interwebz I’m sure.

  8. mtomto says:

    I bought it and played it a bit…. but it seemed boring. The techtree wasn’t easy to understand – I couldn’t spot a tech that I really needed, so it was always just: “mehh, let’s take this one”. The graphics suck, but I can live with that. The UI sucks a bit less and I can live with that too. The lack of immersion and “one-more-turn” kinda kills it.

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Everytime somebody says the phrase “the graphics suck” I die a little inside.
      Goodbye, cruel world.

  9. lePooch says:

    Every time a GalCiv post comes up, I am reminded of what Stardock did with Impulse, their Steam alternative. Originally, it was quite nice, with localized currency settings, decent discounts, and painless install. When Impulse was acquired by Gamestop, they promised that no changes would be made, that no one would get screwed.

    Of course, for anyone who had legitimately bought games on Impulse but happened to live in Asia, this was untrue. I was locked out of my Impulse account because I live on the wrong continent, with nothing more than a terse popup.

    After about two weeks of unanswered emails to customer service, I gave up and vowed to never buy a Stardock game again.

    And while my GalCiv purchases still show up in my account on their website, the third-party games that I had purchased were gone.

    Stardock does not deserve my money, and it does not deserve yours either.

    • Sian says:

      Looks like that is more Gamestop’s fault than Stardock’s, in which case I fully support the notion to not give Gamestop any money, ever. Stardock make decent games, though, and you can buy them on Steam too, if you’re not opposed to that service too.

  10. IceBreaker says:

    I loved both previous GC games and played them for hours at no end. I was very excited about the upcoming GC3 – until I noticed that it is going to be 64bit OS only!

    If 4GB of RAM is not enough for a …turn-based game, what is all that memory going to be used for?
    My guess is nothing and I truly hope they fix this.

    Otherwise this reeks of “Halo-3 only for Windows Vista” all over again.

    • Premium User Badge

      Malibu Stacey says:

      If 4GB of RAM is not enough for a …turn-based game, what is all that memory going to be used for?
      My guess is nothing and I truly hope they fix this.

      What does that even have to do with it being a native 64-bit application? Unless you’re retardedly trying to reference the 32-bit memory limit? Which doesn’t even apply to 32-bit Windows Applications as by default they’re limited to 2 GB of addressable space, half of what you’re whining about.

      There’s a lot more than just memory limits when it comes to 64-bit native code. Perhaps in future I would suggest learning about the subject you’re ranting on before you rant?

      Otherwise this reeks of “Halo-3 only for Windows Vista” all over again.

      Halo 3 has never been released on Windows. Halo 2 was Windows Vista/DirectX 10 exclusive.