Galactic Inheritors: A Space 4X From HoI 3 & CK2 Designer

Petting ambassadors is consider a terrible faux pas.

Declaring war is rarely as simple as pressing a big red WAR button. You’ll want your citizens on your side, ideally, though of course propagating a few choice lies can build and exploit prejudice. Space 4X strategy Galactic Inheritors [official site] makes the media an important part of warfare. It’s made by Crispon Games, a studio founded by Chris King, a designer on games including Crusader Kings II and Hearts of Iron III, and fellow former Paradox chap Pontus Åberg. While the only 4X I’ve spent real time with is Castlemaine, I like the sound of some of its ideas.

That media stuff, right? You can get folks to support war by bending a media angle to make them hate or fear another culture, is the idea, and can get a sense of what other cultures are up to by observing their media. Or do the opposite. Make peace. Or fake people out. Or follow some other dastardly plan. Just think: what would (or could) Malcolm Tucker do?

That’s only one part of the game, mind, along with the usual 4X shenanigans of building out and teching up. It’s also a little clever with army-building. It’s outsourced it to a military industrial complex where companies will design ships to your spec and follow feedback, levelling up and producing better designs, but limited production facilities mean it’s risky to become over-reliant on one company.

Anyway! Galactic Inheritors is out for £10.99 right now on Steam Early Access, where Crispon intend to be for about 6 months gathering and acting on feedback before launching. Yes, yes, I know “Early Access this”, “Early Access that”, but as we haven’t covered Galactic Inheritors at all before, you can consider this an announcement post if you’d rather. Have a trailer:

40 Comments

  1. WHS says:

    I guess we’ve just plain run out of coherent game titles, then.

    • Ashrand says:

      As in “our people will inherit the galaxy” no?

      Many actual dictators have used ‘inherit’ in such a euphemistic manner in the past because it sound better than “take their shit”

      • WHS says:

        It’s just a terribly awkward phrase; it feels like a bad translation.

        • x1501 says:

          If they ever need a name for a spin-off or expansion, I hear Destructors of Galactic Inheritors: Electric Boogaloo is still available.

  2. ThatFuzzyTiger says:

    Been watching it with vague curiosity, it’s going to be on my radar for now, but my bar sits at Lords of the Black Sun, The Last Federation and Endless Space, which means it has to really do something new, or it has to present itself genuinely well right out of the gate.

    • Premium User Badge

      bsplines says:

      I ‘ve heard Lords of the black Sun mentioned around. Is it actually any good?

      As for this game, I ‘ll wait and see, I guess. (Name is terrible though, sorry)

      • Behrditz says:

        Well its reviews are sitting at “mostly negative” with over 200 reviews.

      • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

        Lords of the Black Sun isn’t good or bad, it’s just… average. It’s the equivalent of 4X Mac and Cheese. It filled a neat gap but it didn’t really keep me from Endless Space for overlong. A lot of people had crash problems but I seem to be blissfully immune to these (I don’t crash on Lords of the Fallen and that game is -notorious- for crashiness).

    • Kaeoschassis says:

      Oh, you’ve played Last Federation?
      I’ve been REALLY wanting to try that one lately. Care to give me a brief Wot You Think?

      • Thurgret says:

        I only played it at release, and apparently a lot was redone since then. I wouldn’t recommend it, personally, though I’m sure others feel differently. If you want to throw Arcen some money, pick up AI War instead.

        • Kaeoschassis says:

          I already have the whole shebang of AI War, why do you think I want to throw Arcen more money?

      • Yargh says:

        I haven’t played a large number of games yet but I really enjoyed my time with Last Federation so far. The map may be very small but you have a very large number of tools in your arsenal to bribe and coerce the different races to do your bidding.

      • ThatFuzzyTiger says:

        Reverse 4X, you play a singular agent who balances empires as -they- expand, exploit and exterminate, you pick favourites and decide who wins and who loses to a certain extent, attempting to build alliances that will hold together and eventually forging a form of “diplomatic victory”, or failing that, making one race uber-powerful and having them utterly ramsack the place. It’s a great game for diplomats and despots who want to be the power “behind the throne”, typical Arcen, they find a completely different way to look at a game and then go “Let’s try this”. It’s probably the closest thing to a solid hit since A.I. War.

  3. Herbal Space Program says:

    1960 sci-fi writers offered me tales of gazeous sentient life forms, omniscient monoliths, continental hungry paramecium and other esoteric protagonists.
    You can’t expect me to play a game with anthropomorphic animals.

    • Dean478 says:

      Brilliant statement. This is exactly why I haven’t looked at anything since Masters of Orion.

    • cptgone says:

      being an anthropomorphic animal myself, i wish you all the fun in the worlds, with that gazeous ‘continent hungry paramecium fetish – but i’ll have my space aliens zoomorphic, tyvm!

  4. All is Well says:

    While I like the idea of adding a more substantial version of culture and media to a 4x game, it comes off as incredibly bland in that video. Explore the galaxy? Stop your enemies? Look for the opportunities? Be aware of threats?
    And those races. Catwoman, Man-man, Frogperson, Dragonthing and Large Angry Insect? That almost seems like they’re trying to make it uninteresting. If they’re going to be doing the “Like a common animal, but BIGGER and IN SPACE!”-thing, they could at least choose less obvious species. Like, cows or sloths. Or something.

    • FriendlyFire says:

      It should be mandatory for all future 4X designers to take a look at Amplitude’s race design.

      • Kempston Wiggler says:

        The true race-diversity master-class came from Ascendancy.

        That music still haunts me.

        • FriendlyFire says:

          Ascendancy sure seems to have a lot of races, but many of them strike me as being weird for the sake of weird. Also, their names were probably made by letting a cat walk on a keyboard.

          Endless Legend gave us really creative factions like Horatio.

    • mike2R says:

      I think there was an interview about this on the Three Moves Ahead podcast. The media thing seems to be aimed at plugging an AI issue in strategy games IIRC – AIs are really bad at predicting sneak attacks, its just really hard to make one that can assess the situation well enough, so it becomes easy to cheese them. By making it a requirement to build up to war publicly to get your own people on side, you telegraph your aggression to the AI in advance, and it becomes a better opponent. Interesting idea if it works.

      I do agree about dull factions though… I always find 4X games rather dull in the early stages. It isn’t like a Paradox grand strategy game where you have an interesting start setup, the mechanics really don’t start to be that interesting until everyone has bulked up quite a bit. I need *something* to keep up my interest until that point or I’m likely never to reach it.

      • TaylanK says:

        Huh interesting… for me the most interesting part of any 4X game is the initial exploration/expansion phase with the occasional border skirmish. All out war that drags out for hundreds of turns is where it gets bland for me.

        • mike2R says:

          Yeah this is more a personal thing I guess. I really dig 4x games once I’ve got them rolling – not to super-huge micromanagement hell levels, but a few cities up, a few armies in the field, some of the main game systems in play and my empire taking shape. It isn’t that early game doesn’t have interesting choices, its more that I don’t feel like I’ve bonded properly with my empire yet. And if its a new game, I probably don’t know enough yet to appreciate the early game decisions properly.

          I’ve bought, but failed to ever get into more 4X games than I like to think of due to this. One of the reasons I’m such a Paradox fanboy after growing up on Civ and AC – their take on the strategy genre just avoids this whole issue since the context is already there.

    • Lord Custard Smingleigh says:

      Alas, the most interesting animal, the South African redtailed jimmy, has been extinct since 1956.

  5. Turin Turambar says:

    He was also designer of CK2 and EU4, so the HoI3 credit is a bit weird
    link to en.wikipedia.org

  6. SuicideKing says:

    How dangerous can over-sized frogs be?

    • Kempston Wiggler says:

      Ask Badger, Ratty and Mole.

    • Baines says:

      How dangerous can over-sized frogs be? Averaging an inch long and weighing under an ounce, the golden poison dart frog is one of the most toxic animals on Earth. A two-inch golden poison dart frog contains enough venom to kill ten adult humans.

  7. Fiyenyaa says:

    So I’m vaguely interested in this, being a guy who likes to buy lots of 4x games in the hope that another one will eventually click with me, so I was tooling around their site a bit when I found this; http://www.argonautsinteractive.com/diplomacy—media.html

    The choice quote here being “There is no possibility of a Star Trek style federation of aliens living together in piece and harmony without any Arabs.” when talking about how the diplomacy works. I dunno if this is something lost in translation or something (the whole lot of the copy on this site reads to me like it’s been translated from another language) but that just sounds horrendously racist. What on earth?

    • orpheusAI says:

      Hey it’s Orpheus, I’m the Exec Prod of Galactic Inheritors… you were right… this part of the doc was translated and re-reading it with your eyes I can see why you were shocked… and it was never the objective. The idea was to say that there was no arabs on Star Trek while there should have been! So quite the reverse of the way it read without the context. The specific text has been amended!!!

      • Premium User Badge

        Harlander says:

        I’m not sure “insurgent” is a good term for a word you thought translated to “Arab”, to be honest.

      • Fiyenyaa says:

        Hey, glad you changed it and that it wasn’t meant with malice – but I’d have to agree with what Harlander said.
        The new sentence makes more sense to me – you think that the Star Trek style utopia wouldn’t exist without dissenters (insurgents being the word used (although an unimportant sidebar would be to say – yo the Marquis)) which is certainly not a bad viewpoint for a sci-fi paradigm. BUT, what you said to me in your reply was that you meant to say there weren’t any Arabs in Star Trek which is a completely different point.

  8. Behrditz says:

    All the races are animal people. Clearly this is a sequel to Inherit the Earth.

  9. Joshua Northey says:

    I love me some 4x and some paradox games, so hopefully this will be good. If it gets a decent release I will almost certainly buy it. I love the ideas behind military procurement.

  10. Shazbut says:

    Since I’m lazy and clueless, would someone tell me which of all these games is the closest to Star Control 2?

  11. Premium User Badge

    thethomaseffect says:

    >Just think: what would (or could) Malcolm Tucker do?
    I’m so happy a friend introduced me to The Thick of It last month so I know who this is