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Enormous v2.5 Update for Galactic Civilizations III and Crusade Expansion Releases Today

Published on Tuesday, September 12, 2017 By Island Dog In GalCiv III News

Enjoy Vast Improvements with this Major Engine Update for
Galactic Civilizations III and Crusade!
 

For a detailed list of updates, view the changelog at the bottom of this post and
check out the two part dev journals (Part 1 and Part 2) from CEO Brad Wardell.

 

Improved UI
The AI is now stronger, better, smarter, faster! It is now especially adept at fleet building and management.

Better Game Balance
Player feedback is the cornerstone of many of our updates. In an effort to continue to make the game more fun, we've re-balanced how population works, adjusted the costs of improvements, improved some ship components, and more.

Faster Turn Times
For players who love enormous maps with lots of action, the sheer amount of ships on the screen and in the game could cause some major wait-time on turns. We've made adjustments so that the turn times are faster, even when the galaxy is crowded with lots of ships.

Increased Performance
As we continue to work on our engine, frame rate and memory useage should improve. We want to make sure that the game runs smoothly for everyone and have made lots of efforts toward that.

UI Adjustments
To make the game easier to navigate, Crusade's summary tab has been added on the right (but sorry, you still don't get citizens!). The tech tree, planet screens, ship screens, and govern screens have been adjusted for a better experience as well. To top it all off, we've added the "word on the street" feature from Crusade so that you can keep tabs on how your people are feeling!

Performance Enhancements
Something that doesn't show well in screen captures is performance. We moved over the AI system in the base game to a core-neutral engine, like what we've done with Crusade.

Economic Changes
Galactic resources now accumulate in the base game, just like they do in Crusade! We think this makes for a better experience overall.

AI Improvements
We've done a lot to the AI in order to improve it for the base game. The most noteable change is the Diplomacy system - we've ported over what's in Crusade to help the AI factions make more informed decisions about trade offers. We've also included the trade bar! In addition, trades, planetary management, and other AI improvements that we made in Crusade have been ported over into the base game.

New UI Updated Economic System Improved Fleet Management
New UI Updated Economic System Improved AI Fleet Management

 

Updated Diplomacy System Improved Map Generator
Updated Diplomacy System Improved Map Generator

 

Don't have Galactic Civilizations III? Get it now on Steam or at Stardock!

Owners, the v2.5 update is ready and waiting for you in your Steam client. 
If you haven't already joined the Crusade, the expansion is available on Steam or at Stardock.

www.galciv3.com | www.galciv3.com/crusade

 

v2.5 Changelog

Important

Save games from earlier versions of the Galactic Civilizations III will not be supported.  Yet, the previous 2.33 build available is a "beta" on steam as "Galactic Civilizations III Classic"

 

Consolidation Detailed Changes

  • Merged Crusade and "base" game code.  There is now only one exe for both products.  Most fixes and improvements will be shared between both games.  

  • The following Crusade specific game play elements are disabled in base game: Citizens, Invasions, Promotions, Espionage.

  • Base game players continue to have following:

    • Use the Production Wheel (instead of Citizens) to adjust your planetary and civilization economy.  Note that we've removed coercion from the game

    • Invasion system 1.0

    • Minor Civilizations 1.0

    • Administration points are tied to galaxy size rather than citizens.

  • Base Game changes from Crusade

    • Crusade and Base game now share a common UI base.  Aside from elements tied to version specific features, the UI looks identical between the two versions.  For base players, this means a cleaner and more functional UI.  

    • Resources system overhaul. Resources accumulate over time, are required for more ships and improvements, and are more valuable in trading.  

    • Starbases are now upgraded using resources, not constructors.  

    • Updated the diplomacy screen window.

    • Improvements to the Diplomacy and trading system to use the new resource system; as well as more intelligent and fun to trade with.

    • Cities/ Food -- you now use food (a resource) to build cities, which determine your colony's population cap.  Food can be traded, just like any other resource.

    • Added "word on the street" -- quick feedback on the status of your planet.

    • Merged down some of the alerts from Crusade

  • Crusade specific elements of civ builder are disabled in base game mode.

    • Race Type and Starting Fleet are hidden outside of Crusade

    • Citizen portraits/names buttons hidden outside of Crusade

    • Flavor Text portion replaced with customizing startup screen outside of Crusade

    • Disabled Fleets tab outside of Crusade

    • Missions

  • Ship designer is now on the main menu

  • Moved game text down to base data files.  This will make future changes much easier.

  • Merged many asset files (music, sounds, special fx)

  • Merged over the improved Crusade version of icons, improvements, and planetary tile thumbnails.  

  • Removed a lot of redundant game data from Crusade and the base game.

  • Updated the base ship design files to use their Crusade versions (which look nicer).  

  • Updated Ship class defs and ship style set defs so that there is only one ship class defs file and the defs say which uses them.

  • Made substantial improvements to the DLC data system that improves stability and speed.

  • Use "-DisableDLC "Crusade" to disable Crusade.  

  • Moved custom data templates to the base game folder and renamed the files to be a little clearer. Changed the Conversation System to use the new location. (Modders!  This might affect you).

  • Moved all the schema from Crusade down into the base schema folder. (Modders!  This will very likely affect you).  

 

Base Game Improvements

Gameplay

  • Major fix/improvement to turn times and stuck turn issue: Only battles on screen and zoomed in will be played out OR if it involves the player.

  • Every unit of population now produces 1 raw production point.

  • Eager bonus reduced from 1 per conquered planet to 0.25

  • Rush cost multiplier increased from 10X to 20X

  • Coercion penalty eliminated

  • Base population growth reduced from 0.2 to 0.1

  • Tech inflation increased from 0.01 to 0.02

  • Asteroid base cost reduced from 500 to 100

  • Base colony production points reduced from 5 to 1

  • Capital world population cap reduced from 10 to 5

  • Default colony population cap reduced from 5 to 3

  • New Improvement: Space Elevator

  • New Improvement: Computer Core

  • New Improvement: City (consumes food to provide population)

  • New Improvement: Administration Center (build to get more administrators, consumes food)

  • General re-balance to planetary improvements to go with the new population model

  • Improvements changed to support the new differentiation between military manufacturing and social manufacturing

  • Various improvements are now set as indestructible to eliminate various cheese strategies

  • Yor can increase population easier but it now costs a Durantium to do it.

  • Improvement maint. generally reduced

  • Eliminated Colonial Hospital Improvement.

  • General balance update of improvements to deal with the new resource system.

  • Economic Stimulus now doubles planet's economy rather than provide a 5% bonus

  • Research Project doubles planet's research.

  • Cultural Festival doubles planet's influence production.

  • Birthing subsidies double planet's birth rate.

  • Planet features (Cataract, etc.) updated to support new social/military manufacturing system.

  • Weapon systems now use some resources: Antimatter for high-end missiles, Elerium for high-end beam and Thulium for high-end kinetic-weapons.

  • General reduction of maint costs for weapons

  • Updated balance of weapons based on feedback

  • Hull costs increased to deal with inchard coded50 to 50

  • Shipyard cost reduced

  • Starbase defenses reduced from 10 to 5

  • Influence starbase modules greatly increased in power.

 

UI

  • The Production Wheel now dynamically resizes to its parent window

  • Removed an ancient camera control window that no longer used.

  • Updated the Title Window to work with both Crusade and Mercenaries.

  • Fixed title of Load Transport Popup Window

  • Removed text for obsolete ships that weren't being used.

  • Reduced AI bonuses at higher difficulty levels since the AI itself is now much smarter.

  • Added special popup message if the player tries to load an older save game

  • Fixed display bug where the base administration displayed in the resource log tooltip wasn't matching the stat

 

Bugs

  • Fixed a potential exploitable blind spot that caused the AI not to attack certain planets when it should.

  • Made the "can't build near starbase" constructor error message use the global defs distance instead of hard coded distance.

  • Added ghosting to data compiler so that the game does not appear to be hung when starting up.  

  • Fixed potential crash in movement phase from trying to using a null pointer.

  • AI won't send colony ships off the map when intentionally missing a distant planet

  • Changed the Influence and Diplomacy system updates to prevent checksum errors in MP.

  • Fixed a GWG bug where the base game administrators didn't show up on the first turn

  • Fixed issue where AI could build multiple starbases in a turn even if they only had one administrator left

  • United Planets actions are now handled by the host (adds stability, and prevents checksum error)

  • If you defy the UP and then go into a "new game", the Defy button will no longer be disabled until you restart GC3.  

  • Updated the Title Window to work with both Crusade and Mercenaries.

  • Fixed issue where Administration tooltip wasn't showing correct available administrators number in base game mode

  • Fixed issue where "Report" button on ship context window did not actually bring up the faction report screen

  • Fixed issue where the social/military manufacturing tokens were not clearing whenever manufacturing was at 0

  • made it so that manufacturing is always split, whether the colony is sponsoring a shipyard or not

  • Fixed issue where when you purchased a mercenary, the rest of the entries would no longer display their resource cost (you were still prevented from buying the merc, but it gave the illusion that all mercs lost their resource cost)

  • On the ship context window, the "Report" button is now disabled for special players (like the Dread Lords)

  • Added error code for transport having no population

  • Re-implemented the error for "Not Enough Administrators" as it was sometimes not showing up at the right time.

  • Added stability to the Influence Border System

  • Fixed issue where the AI could set a ship's destination to a negative y value

  • Fixed issue where using the Asteroid 1 material for your custom faction would cause the rally point to show up as pure black

  • Added new material def for rally points (all rally points now use this material instead of the faction materials)

  • Fixed issue where resource log was showing "shipyards" instead of "starbases" in base game for administrators used by starbases

  • Fixed issue where starbase administration usage was being shown as an additive instead of a subtractor

  • Message box errors on invalid starbases and civs are hidden unless it's running Crusade mode.

  • Added null check to prevent crash when mousing over a fleet in the map editor

  • Fleets are now named using the owning faction's full name, instead of the short name

  • Added build version check between client and host when inviting to an MP lobby (player is now restricted from joining lobbies that have a different build version by invite to match behavior in lobby list)

  • Fixed MP data loading to better handle mismatched DLC.

  • Fixed display bug in mercenary window where it wouldn't properly disable mercenary entries if the player couldn't afford only the credits cost of the merc

  • Fixed issue where mercenaries could be bought by a player when they didn't have enough credits, as long as they had enough of the remaining resources required

 

DLC 4 (Precursor Worlds)

  • Production point bonus from one of the events reduced from 4 to 3

  • Production point bonus from Precursor exploitation reduced from 30 to 3

  • There's a bunch of the above. Insta-win if you got one of these.

 

Expansion 1 (Mercenaries)

  •  Mercenary costs increased substantially
  • Mercenary ships that cost resources cost when you buy them rather than per turn

  • Mercenary tag added to the mercenarydefs.xml

 

Crusade

Gameplay

  • Major fix/improvement to turn times and stuck turn issue: Only battles on screen and zoomed in will be played out OR if it involves the player.

  • Population to raw production now 1 to 1.

  • Starting capital world population reduced from 10 to 5

  • New improvement: Administration Center.  Provides an Administration point

  • Basic laser renamed Enhanced laser as it requires Elerium

  • Starbase default defenses nerfed somewhat

  • Starting credits increased from 2500 to 3000

  • Rush cost multiplier reduced from 25 to 20

  • Tech inflation added. Now to the 1.02 power.

  • Governors more friendly to synthetic populations

  • General balance pass on planetary improvements to go with the new population model

  • Unique planetary improvements can no longer be destroyed

  • Planetary Invasion is now in the Age of Expansion (arrives earlier)

  • Various tweaks to planet features for better pacing

  • Slight reduction in cost for civilian ship components

  • Substantial increase in the cost for military ship components

  • Fixed issue where some improvements would switch their bonus when they upgraded which caused them to be inferior in some cases

  • General balance pass on weapon values based on feedback

  • Shipyard HP increased from 25 to 50

  • Tweaking to various planetary resources to improve pacing.

  • Calculation of player objects moved out of update AI to improve multi-core stability

  • Fixed bug where the human could exploit the AI for free ships if the AI treasury was negative (ya bastards!)

  • AI more risk taking with its colony ships

  • AI now has its own fleet formation function to avoid ships not becoming fleets (safe)

  • Fixed bug that would prevent transports from finding a destination in some cases

  • AI much better about saving up its resources to use with ships

  • AI much MUCH better at building up its planets, using farms, building cities, etc.

  • Fixed issue where the Yor would not build up its planets because it was obsessed with reproducing.

  • AI will replace existing weaker improvements with superior improvements late game.

  • AI much more careful about rushing improvements and ships to keep a decent bank balance so that it can better build up asteroids, hire mercenaries, etc.

  • AI functionality to determine tiles it should replace with newer improvements.

  • AI better at fleet handling.

  • Fixed bug where the AI didn't always recognize the human was trying to culture flip their Planet

  • Default players per map size updated:

    • Tiny: 3 to 2

    • Small: 4 to 3

    • Medium: 8 to 6

    • Large: 12 to 8

    • Huge: 16 to 12

    • Gigantic: 20 to 16

    • Excessive: 30 to 32

  • Crusade owners will now play the base game campaigns using the base game rule set (e.g. without Citizens, Espionage, etc.).  

 

UI

  • Removed an ancient camera control window that no longer used.

  • Updated the Title Window to work with both Crusade and Mercenaries.

  • Removed text for obsolete ships that weren't being used.

  • Made the Administration Center precluded by synthetic and silicon based life for Crusade

  • Base game now has the same (substantially lower) ship maintenance values as Crusade.  

  • Added special popup message if the player tries to load an older save game

  • Fixed display bug where the base administration displayed in the resource log tooltip wasn't matching the stat

 

Bugs

  • Fixed a potential exploitable blind spot that caused the AI not to attack certain planets when it should.

  • Major fix/improvement to turn times and stuck turn issue: Only battles on screen and zoomed in will be played out OR if it involves the player.

  • Fixed issue where AI would destroy improvements that were indestructible.

  • Fixed bug where the approval would get stuck at 100% if certain events triggered

  • fixed Recruit Entrepreneur description text to not say it's recruiting a Scientist

  • Various null pointer crash fixes.

  • Added stability to the Influence Border System

  • Fixed issue where the AI could set a ship's destination to a negative y value

  • Fixed issue where using the Asteroid 1 material for your custom faction would cause the rally point to show up as pure black

  • Added new material def for rally points (all rally points now use this material instead of the faction materials)

  • Fixed issue where resource log was showing "shipyards" instead of "starbases" in base game for administrators used by starbases

  • Fixed issue where starbase administration usage was being shown as an additive instead of a subtractor

  • Fixed issue where AI could build multiple starbases in a turn even if they only had one administrator left

  • United Planets actions are now handled by the host (adds stability, and prevents checksum error)

  • If you defy the UP and then go into a "new game", the Defy button will no longer be disabled until you restart GC3.  

  • Made the "can't build near starbase" constructor error message use the global defs distance instead of hard coded distance.

  • Added ghosting to data compiler so that the game does not appear to be hung when starting up.  

  • Fixed potential crash in movement phase from trying to using a null pointer.

  • AI won't send colony ships off the map when intentionally missing a distant planet

  • Changed the Influence and Diplomacy system updates to prevent checksum errors in MP.

  • Added null check to prevent crash when mousing over a fleet in the map editor

  • Fleets are now named using the owning faction's full name, instead of the short name

  • Added build version check between client and host when inviting to an MP lobby (player is now restricted from joining lobbies that have a different build version by invite to match behavior in lobby list)

  • Added Rally point material to Crusade material defs to so they don't sometimes disappear.  

  •  Fixed MP data loading to better handle mismatched DLC.
  • Fixed display bug in mercenary window where it wouldn't properly disable mercenary entries if the player couldn't afford only the credits cost of the merc

  • Fixed issue where mercenaries could be bought by a player when they didn't have enough credits, as long as they had enough of the remaining resources required

GalCiv III: Drengin/Human Wars VI

Published on Sunday, September 10, 2017 By Frogboy In GalCiv III Dev Journals

Last week I did a one on one test against the Drengin AI set at Normal. It was on a tiny map in which I rushed for invasion tech and killed them.

image

This time, let's bump the AI to Genius...

AI at Genius

The 2.5 GalCiv III AI is a lot smarter than previous iterations. It handles fleets better. It researches better. It builds up planets more intelligently.  But it is really difficult, even in human 1 on 1 games, to deal with a rush.

Now, at Genius, the AI starts out with more money so it's not quite a "fair" game but then again, I'm not playing fair either.  Let's see how it goes.

Continue Reading...

GalCiv III: Drengin/Human Wars V

Published on Saturday, September 9, 2017 By Frogboy In GalCiv III Dev Journals

 

Our story so far...

Every once in awhile, Do a 1 on 1 test on a relatively balanced map to see how well the AI is doing.   I play on Normal or Gifted as that puts the AI on roughly equal terms with me.

I choose  the Drengin because they are a vicious, evil civilization that has few redeeming qualities and they play the game very differently than most people do (they are absolutely amoral).  Their strategies aren't always ideal but they do tend to be interesting.

And so it begins...

image

Both humans and Drengin start with a class 14 world (a very nice planet) as well as two habitable nearby worlds.

Continue Reading...

Explore, expand, exploit, and exterminate in fresh ways with the “Extended 4X Mod” for Sins of a Solar Empire: Rebellion!

Published on Friday, September 8, 2017 By Island Dog In Sins Developer Journals

This mod stays in the universe of the original, but adds hundreds of changes to create new ways to play this much-loved strategy game. You’ll experience new factions, abilities, and strategies in this mod.

Extended 4X comes with special hero units, new and rebalanced planet types, embassies, random encounters, a new ship upgrade system, deeper civic and planet upgrade mechanics, and much more.

Check out the video here!

Venturebeat Interviews Stardock's VP of Entertainment Derek Paxton about Vulkan API

Published on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 By Island Dog In Ashes Dev Journals

“In 2012, Stardock was at a point where we wanted to make games that couldn’t be made with current engines,” Ashes of the Singularity designer Derek Paxton told GamesBeat. “When I first came to Stardock, I said, ‘Hey, listen, let’s quit making a game engine and concentrate on making games. We’re a small company. We don’t have a huge staff. Let’s focus on the part that we’re really passionate about. Let’s make the games.’ [CEO and founder] Brad Wardell said, ‘good luck, go find that engine.'”

Read the rest of the interview here.

 

Take to the Stars Episode Five: Ilana Kamat

Published on Tuesday, September 5, 2017 By Tatiora In Offworld Dev Journals

Ilana Kamat

From the desk of Ilana Kamat
New Meridian Scientist - Lead Research Developer

My current analysis of the situation is - it could be worse.

Sure, it could also be a hell of a lot better, but it definitely could be worse.

They call space the final frontier, but I personally think that it’s only the beginning, a stepping stone to greater things and larger horizons. There are plenty of people who think that this is as far as we’ll ever go, and that’s fine by me - let them think that.

Continue Reading...

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