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Evolution of the Drengin

Published on Wednesday, November 11, 2020 By Tatiora In GalCiv III Dev Journals

I think most people are fairly well aware of this fact, but in case you aren't, there's something you need to know about Galactic Civilizations: it's been around for a really long time

The game's development actually started in Stardock CEO Brad Wardell's dorm room at Western Michigan State University back in 1993. It was just a hobby at first, until IBM heard about the game's development and sent Brad better tools and other goodies to work with. Galactic Civilizations was released in 1994, the same time as IBM's OS/2 Warp 3 - and that, as they say, is history.

Galactic Civilizations III released in 2015 and has definitely seen an improvement in graphics and gameplay from the first game that hit shelves (yeah, literally, back when PC games actually sold in retail stores!) over 25 years ago. Not only has the game as a whole seen quite an evolution, but the races within have as well - including one of Brad's favorites: the Drengin.

Brad has written a lot of blogs over the years talking about how the company got started and where certain races in GalCiv originated. Regarding the Drengin, he wrote:

"Many years ago, when I was trying to come up with a villain for what I called, at the time, Earth Space Wars, I wanted an enemy that was brutal, ruthless and most importantly, inhuman. An enemy that would look at our system of ethics, morals and honor and laugh at them as being hopelessly naïve and primitive." And thus, the Drengin were born.

Below are some photos of the Drengin (specifically, Lord Kona) over the years.

This is an early Drengin image from the 90's. On an old website I dug up that contains some GalCiv history, the caption under this photo says it's Kandar the Drengin from the cartoon series "Drengin Heroes" (which I assume is some Drengin propaganda).

This is a Drengin painting from 1995. This actually was hanging in what used to be the streaming room when I first started here, before I knew who the Drengin were or what was going on in this image. Looks like that human there isn't having a great day.

This is Lord Kona from the first Galactic Civilizations game. Most of what humanity knows about the Drengin comes from the Arceans, who have had a long relationship with the Drengin (and an amazingly peaceful one, given that they are both war-driven races). 

This is Lord Kona a few years later, in Galactic Civilizations II. The Drengin race is old - really old. By our standards, they are completely ancient, having already established star colonies while we humans were still living in caves and hunting wild prey. 

This one is pretty neat - it's an early Lord Kona concept from Galactic Civilizations III. You can see he's blended somewhat with concepts for the Korath (which you can read a little more about below).

And at last, we land on Lord Kona's final concept in Galactic Civilizations III - an elderly Drengin who has seen many years, many wars, and many great, um...feasts. 

Above, I talked about how an early concept for Lord Kona blended some aesthetics with the Korath. The Korath, shown above, made an appearance in GalCiv III later. They were bred by the Drengin to be the elite shock troops of the empire. The Korath make no bones about what they're about, either: extermination.


Which GalCiv game was your first and do you like to play as the Drengin? If not, what races do you prefer to play as? Let me know in the comments!


The Political Machine 2020 v1.4 - The Final Stretch

Published on Thursday, October 29, 2020 By ScottTykoski In Political Machine News

Greetings fellow Political Junkies!

It's almost here - the moment we've all been waiting for - Election Night 2020! 

Of course, being 2020, experts warn that the surge in mail-in ballots may result in an  'Election Month', but...whatever. I know WE'RE pumped! And with early voter numbers being shattered, it looks like most of the electorate is pumped too!

But enough about the horse race - let's talk about v1.4!

Randomization Options: In the Advanced Setting popup, you can now play with the Randomization of Issues and State Data. Want a crazy game where all the state values are scrambled and the big issues are "Banning Soft Drinks" and "Giving Frogs the Right to Vote"? Want a regular game with just small randomization tweaks made to top issues? In v1.4, all those randomization options at your fingertips.

New Achievements: We've doubled the number of available achievements to unlock, giving hardcore players rewards for their mastery of the game! Masochistic wins for Trump, Biden, and several other candidates will give you an official badge of honor for your accomplishments. Wear them proudly!

New & Improved Issues:
Keeping up with the news has been hard the last few weeks, but we've added & boosted several issues that are coming up in the final stretch of campaigning.

  • Investigating Hunter Biden
  • Herd Immunity
  • Saving the Middle Class
  • Court Packing
  • Dangers of Socialism
  • Second Stimulus Package
  • Nation Mask Mandate
  • Election Integrity

We've also updated the Biden and Trump Ideology trees to reflect their 2020 campaign messaging.

And More!

While those are the big things, the whole change log lists bug fixes and stat tweaks that were put into the final update!

Happy Campaigning!



 v1.4 Changelog

  • NEW FEATURE: Issue and State Randomization
    • You can now access Randomization options under the ADVANCED SETTING tab when setting up your game.
    • Issue randomization can result in 'Some Randomization' or a 'Very Random' game, where even the most crazy fringe issues can bubble up in importance.
    • State Data can have Wealth, Electoral Votes, Party Affiliations, or 'All The Above" randomized.
    • Election Night: Updated the '270 to Win' text to be driven by the actual number of electoral votes.
    • Note: This only works in Single Player modes.
    • Trump Train
    • President Joe
    • #YangGang4Ever
    • Tea-Party Triumph
    • Feel the Burn!
    • Obama's 3rd Term
    • Romney 2020
    • A Vote for Extinction
    • A Totally Random Win
    • Beating the Coronavirus
    • There are now a series of 10 achievements, many of which tied to beating the game on Masochistic difficulty with specific candidates.
  • New Issues
    • Investigating Hunter Biden
    • Peaceful Transfer of Power
    • Saving the Middle Class
    • Socialism
    • Election Integrity
    • Herd Immunity
    • Court Packing
    • California Wildfire Assistance
  • Updated Issues
    • Fracking
    • Filling Supreme Court Vacancy
    • Second Stimulus Package
    • Building the Wall
    • Funding Nasa
    • Stopping the Coronavirus
    • National Mask Mandate
    • Defund the Police
    • Prosecuting Rioters
    • Higher Importance
    • Lower Importance
  • Updated State Demographics 
    • Alaska: D +1, R +8, I -9
    • Oklahoma: D - 5, R +3, I +2 
    • Texas: D + 6, R -1, I-5
    • Virginia: D +2, R -2
    • Washington: D +2, I -2
  • Updated Candidates
    • Ideology Tree given several new issues: Saving the Middle Class, The China Virus, and Dangers of Socialism
    • +1 to Minority Appeal
    • Notes: One of the big areas where President Trump is outperforming his 2016 numbers is with Latino voters, so boosting his 'Minority Appeal' stat made sense for this update.
    • Ideology Tree given several new issues: National Mask Mandate, Second Stimulus Package, and Court Packing
    • +1 to Starting Funds
    • +1 to Media Appeal
    • Notes: After some record-breaking fundraising months, we had to give him a boost in funds. We're also seeing the media go pretty easy on the former VP in situations where they'd be tougher on his opponent, so boosting his Media Appeal made sense as well.
    • Donald Trump
    • Joe Biden
  • Fixes
    • When you have a malformed Ideology Tree in the My Games directory, the game will now pop up a message warning you about the problematic XML (This would break the game in earlier versions).
    • John Adam's home state set to Massachusetts
    • Fixed Various Misc Typos


Galactic Civilizations III: What Sets it Apart

Published on Wednesday, October 28, 2020 By Tatiora In GalCiv III Dev Journals

With so many choices in games available these days thanks to digital distribution, it can sometimes be hard to settle upon a choice of what to play when you happen to have an afternoon free to yourself. 4X is an extremely popular genre, and there's no question that there are hundreds of 4X-style games available on Steam and other platforms.

Today, I want to talk a little bit about what sets Galactic Civilizations III (called GalCiv from here on out for brevity) apart from many of the other 4X games on the market right now. Let's get into it!

The Scale

Right off the bat, anyone who opens up a game of GalCiv will notice just how absolutely massive this game is. It is one of the largest space 4X sandbox games ever made, and the game showcases this in more than just map size. The amount of options you have as a player when setting up your game - from number of planets to how many and which races you'll be sharing the galaxy with, and more - is just so vast. 

You can be as particular as you want with your settings. Don't like that victory condition? Turn it off! Tired of your opponents surrendering before you get a chance to crush them beneath your heel? Turn on the option that forces them to fight to the last breath. You can adjust resource frequency, planet frequency, and whether or not pirates are constantly beating down your proverbial door. If you're just starting out, you might find it helpful to adjust the game's pacing and the amount of crises that occur. 

The nice thing about GalCiv III is that you can start a game on a massive map and play across the span of a few days, or play a smaller-sized map just to fill an afternoon. Scale in this case doesn't refer to how large or small a map is, but rather how many options YOU as a player have at your fingertips when sitting down to play.

The Ship Designer

From our earliest games here at Stardock, we have always had our modding community in mind. Many of our developers got their start in games through modding hobbies, and we like to be able to support that within our games. GalCiv III is unique in that it has a ship designer built into the game, allowing players to make changes that are both cosmetic and functional.

Ship designing can make or break a victory. Looking carefully at the types of weapons and defenses that are available and applying them to ships in order to directly counter your opponent's forces will grant you a huge advantage during a game. If you're like me, you'll be exceptionally excited to change your ship's colors into cool, eye-catching combinations. 

If ship design isn't really your thing, don't worry - there are thousands of community-created designs on the Steam Workshop. Trust me, you can get lost browsing the ships for hours, there's just so much there.

The Civilization Designer

This particular feature was added in one of our expansions and then later rolled into the core version of the game. The Civilization Designer lets you create your own civilization from scratch, complete with traits, attributes, logo, leader photo, and more. You can modify existing civilizations to create some for yourself, or just like with the ship designs, you can browse all of the player-created civilizations over on the Steam Workshop. 

The traits that you apply to your civilization will dramatically affect how they play. You'll start with points to spend on positive traits, but if you're willing to take a few negative traits as well, you'll be able to add more points to your pool in order to take more traits. It's a delicate balancing act, and it's really fun to try new combinations of traits and attributes to see what works best!

When you create your civilization, you'll also be prompted to select what ships they'll start the game with. Not only can you choose ship style and designs, but you'll be able to determine if your civilization will start with scouts, or perhaps a colony ship, or maybe even something with more guns. The choice is yours.

My favorite thing about the Civilization Designer is being able to write a description for my civilization. I can add paragraphs of text talking about the civilization's background, origin, play style, and more. If you want to share your civilization with the community, you can upload it to the workshop! You can learn more about the Civilization Builder here and here.


What sets GalCiv III apart for you? Share your thoughts with me!

GalCiv III: Top Fan Favorite Faction Designs

Published on Wednesday, October 21, 2020 By SchismNavigator In GalCiv III Dev Journals

Kzinti Patriarchy by Airmaster

The race of cat-like aliens originally created by Laren Niven and brought to life for GC3 by Airmaster. This faction pack includes the unique race itself and a wide selection of ships to choose from.

The Kzinti, a large canivourous cat-like species from a world known as Kzinhome orbiting star 61 in the Ursae Majoris constellation. Based on the Larry Niven sci-fi novels Man-Kzin Wars.

The Kzinti Race Civ is a full playable custom civilization that already includes ships set style. No need to subscribe to ship models unless you want a ship class that I was not able to add to ship set style. Otherwise ships may be subscibed to and used for other race factions and civs for player personal use only.

Kzinti Patriarchy on Steam Workshop

Microsoftians by Wally Wombat

A tongue in cheek faction made by Wally Wombat. Inspired by the good old Clippy character made by Microsoft to help people use their productivity software.

Would you like me to: Enslave all who oppose us, become an invaluable trade partner to all races, or help everyone come together as one happy family?

Microsoftians on Steam Workshop

Voufan Creator by Seilore

Part of Seilore’s factions pack, the Voufan are not the best with other civs, but are smart and eager to expand their dominion.

Many years ago as the Vimmite were nearing extinction they explored all options on how to save and extend their lifes. After much exhaustion Vimmite scientists developed an empty entity shell. Shortly there after they began experiments to transfer their minds into the new limitless shells. Successfully transferring their consciousness into this creation they started to thrive. Having no limit on lifespan the Voufan began to spred their new idea of life throughout the galaxy.

Voufan Creator on Steam Workshop

Necrons [Warhammer 40,000] by NEXUS

For your consideration,this Hallowen… some undead space Egyptians. Whilst there are many great recreations of the WH40K races for GC3, I have to admit some personal bias when it comes to these grumpy metal mummies.

Order. Unity. Oberdience. We taught the galaxy these things long ago, and we will do so again.

The Necrons are a race of mechanical warriors, created from the Necrontyr. They have lain dormant in their stasis-tombs for sixty million years. They are ancient beyond reckoning, pre-dating even the Eldar. At long last, however, they are beginning to awaken, seeking to reestablish the supremacy of the Necron Dynasties over the Galaxy once more.

Necrons on Steam Workshop

Denvarien Confederacy by Darkurthe

Here we have a very pragmatic race of starfaring people in the Denvariens.

A proud warrior people whose acceptance of outsiders is minimal, the Denvarans are polite, formal and exude violence when not treated either way.

Denvariens on Steam Workshop

Featured Community-Made Ships from GalCiv III

Published on Thursday, October 1, 2020 By MindlessMe In GalCiv III Dev Journals

One of the greatest aspects of having a mod friendly game is seeing the awesome, creative designs our users come up with. Whether it's a design inspired by your favorite universe, or a unique design pulled from your brain - I'm always impressed. From the smallest designs to the insanely detailed, you can find a ship design for any occasion.

Today I'm sharing some of the most popular designs submitted through the Steam Workshop. With all the content for GalCiv it's difficult to narrow it down to just a handful of ships, but I do what I must. If you don't see one of your designs included today be sure to keep an eye on our social media channels. We showcase user created content all of the time.

Without further adieu, I give you the featured ships:

Overlord Battlecruiser (Warhammer 40k) [Download]
Created by [ph7]Ghazef
A powerful Ship of the Line, seen in many Imperial Navy fleets.

As a huge Warhammer 40k fan, I've had my eye on this ship for some time now. The level of detail Ghazef put into this design really helps to bring it to life. You can easily combine this ship with some of the 40k based civilizations and get lost in the Grimdark.

There are a number of Warhammer 40k inspired ships and collections on the Steam Workshop if you want to bring the universe to life in GalCiv. Just remember, there is only war...


Imperial Star Destroyer [Download]
Created by Ya Girl Juniper
A terrifying ship that acts as both a Capital ship and a Carrier. A fleet of these is everything an Empire needs to conquer the Galaxy.

Star Wars is a franchised loved by many, so it's no surprise that people are creating ships and content inspired by the lore. It's difficult to browse the Steam Workshop and not see at least a few designs inspired by the cinematic universe. This particular design from Ya Girl Juniper is one that's been in the workshop for some time now and is still used by many players. The level of detail in this ship makes it a cool one to take a spin around the galaxy, and maybe blow up some rebel scum.


SR2 Normandy [Download]
Created by Omnibus
A powerful Ship of the Line, seen in many Imperial Navy fleets.

Mass Effect has solidified its place as a sci-fi favorite regardless of how you feel about the ending of the trilogy. The detail and accuracy of this design makes it unmistakable as the SR2 Normandy as you are commanding it to move through the galaxy. All we need now is Commander Shepard!

If you like this design from Omnibus you can see more here: Complete Omnibus Collection


Aeon Mothership [Download]
Created by =SM=Guy Incognito
The Aeon Class Mothership serves as the flagship of the Iconian Navy. A vessel of tremendous size, it is the ultimate guarantee against Yor aggression. Normally operating from the heart of a fleet, lone Aeons have been known to act as a sole naval garrison of some systems, with its murderous laser fire and swarms of fighters and attack craft enough to deter enemy aggression.

When you take a minute to look at the intricate design of this ship, it's no surprise that it's so popular on the Steam Workshop. Guy Incognito did a great job of making a ship that looks very formidable in space. Based on the information from the designer, this ship took about 21 hours to complete.

If you want to see some of the other ships that compliment the Aeon Mothership, be sure to check out the collection here: Iconian Fleet Collection


Sovereign Class [Download]
Created by Airmaster
Star Fleet Sovereign Class Heavy Cruiser.

Airmaster is another designer in the community who doesn't really need an introduction. As you can see from the Starfleet ship design, this one is coming in hot from the Star Trek universe. This is one of the many Star Trek designs you can find on the Steam Workshop. There are also a number of civilizations if you are looking to create the entire universe.

You can see more Star Trek designs from Airmaster here: Star Trek Collection


Ships, galaxy maps, civilizations and other mods are at the heart of the GalCiv community. I want to say thank you to all the creators out there who spend time making these designs!

News: Ashes of the Singularity Escalation September 2020

Published on Wednesday, September 30, 2020 By SchismNavigator In Ashes Dev Journals


The v2.93 opt-in continues to receive updates. Over this month we have added some new graphical improvements. But more excitingly we are in the process of a large rebalancing effort. Some of the changes being planned include some alterations to the Substrate to bring them more in line with overall army balancing.

So keep an eye on the opt-in as we continue to work on it in October.

Publisher Sale

We had our publisher sale this month. Among the games on offer was also Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation. We want to welcome our new players who got the game during the sale. Every neophyte is a ne

A good place to go for Ashes is the official discord server. We regularly host community games there and it is where the majority of our active community members hang out.

The Wiki

Work on the wiki rework is ongoing behind the scenes. Most of it has been tidying up what we started with. With the sale now done with and the rebalancing of Ashes in the next patch continuing we are starting to look at wider changes to the wiki.

The most requested updates coming will be for the unit stats. Of course, this is in flux right now so we want to be careful and this will likely be one of the final things we do with the wiki before its official re-launch.

We are also working on some lore background and adding concept art to the wiki. This work should ramp up in October and we hope to have the wiki done with a final pass for unit stats once the in progress patch comes out of opt-in.

Discord Community

The discord community will be receiving a rework along with the rest of our servers this year. There are a few new features that the discord people have added, and we want to make sue of it. Our hope is that after these updates it will make the overall experience easier and more accessible for players wanting to find others and sharing their knowledge, victories, and spectacular losses.

The Political Machine 2020 v1.31 - The Big Issues

Published on Wednesday, September 23, 2020 By ScottTykoski In Political Machine News

Hard to believe there are only 6 weeks until election day! With a new slew of issues on everyone's minds, we thought it would be a good week to make some additions to bring the state of the game in line with the state of the race.

New Issues

  • National Mask Mandate: Should the federal government or regional authorities be in charge of determining the laws of mask wearing during a pandemic?

  • Additional Stimulus Checks: Do you support sending citizens a second stimulus check and risk a ballooning deficit, or does the rebounding stock market mean the economy is doing fine as-is?

  • Defunding the Police: Protesters have called for the dismantling and defunding of Law Enforcement, but opposition points to National Rioting as the exact reason we need that Law Enforcement.

  • Prosecuting Rioters: To protest is American, but what happens when those protests turn ugly?

Updated Issues

  • #BlackLivesMatter: After the death of George Floyd, national protests thrust the #BlackLivesMatter movement back into the spotlight.

  • Filling Supreme Court Vacancy: The death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg last weekend has flipped the 2016 script, with Republicans looking to fill the vacancy during an election year, and Democrats looking to prevent it.


Happy campaigning - it's coming down to the wire!

Most Interesting Political Machine 2020 YouTube Videos

Published on Monday, September 14, 2020 By redskittlesonly In Political Machine News

The Political Machine has always been a game that gets users excited for the upcoming election. It also allows users to make the calls they wish our politicians would make... here are a couple of high viewed, interesting videos from the community.




*The views and opinions expressed in these videos are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of Stardock. Any content provided by bloggers or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.

Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation - August 2020

Published on Tuesday, September 1, 2020 By SchismNavigator In Ashes of the Singularity News

New Patch

This month we have been at work on some re-balancing, graphical improvements, and minor bug fixes in the v2.93 patch for Ashes of the Singularity: Escalation. This patch is still a work in progress and we are keeping it in the oven until we think it is ready.

The Patch notes (not exhaustive of all changes) can be found here when we update the opt-in:

Our regular community games often include having this opt-in enabled so we can test out some of the new changes and ensure it is not causing unforeseen issues for players.

Fan Art

We got some amazing fan-art from Lord Raven on the Ashes discord server.

Also available to share via our twitter:

The Wiki

Finally we have begun work on updating the Ashes wiki. It is still early on as we figure out how we want the layout and presentation to work. Expect updated stats, lore and more as we work on it in the coming weeks!

Cosmic Chaos – 22nd August 2020

Published on Thursday, August 20, 2020 By SchismNavigator In Sins News

Time: 22nd August, 1600 UTC / 12 PM (1200) EST

Lobby Name: Cosmic Chaos

Slots: 6-10

Type: PVP / PVE

This weekend we are playing some simple, plain, unmodded Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion. Our games will be started at the listed time, but will open the lobby a few minutes before start.

We will aim to do a team PVP game running for roughly 2-3 hours at accelerated speeds.

Please be in voice chat on the Sins of a Solar Empire official discord server. The specific channel in discord will be linked when we are ready for players to join.


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