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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!