Galactic Civilizations II: Would you purchase a multiplayer expansion?

Poll results

By on May 17, 2006 4:58:46 PM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums

Frogboy

Join Date 03/2001
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The question we asked was, would you purchase a multiplayer only expansion pack that was $20.

Multiplayer expansion are nothing new.  Civilization III had one. Even the original Civilization had a multiplayer expansion. 

My own thoughts on a multiplayer expansion pack are ambiguous. Unlike an EA or Take 2 or any number of big publishers, Stardock's ability to get widespread retail space for an expansion pack for Galactic Civilizations II is a real challenge.

Hence, future expansion packs for Galactic Civilizations II are likely to be digital-only.  This way, the retail version of Galactic Civilizations II can hold on to its space as long as we can and people who want more can come here to get it.

Which brings us back to what exactly should be in an expansion pack.  We plan to make multiple expansion packs. One of the mistakes we made with the first GalCiv was that we only made one and users made it clear to us that they would have liked to have seen more.  So this time we will make sure we do that.

The first expansion pack would come out this Fall.  The second one next year. It would be that second expansion pack that we have to finalize what features for that could potentially be mostly about multiplayer.

When one thinks of an expansion pack, think of is like designing a ship in GalCiv II.  We have 5 slots. Multiplayer would eat up at least 3 of those slots, more likely 4 slots.

So the question really boils down to, are there OTHER features you would prefer to have instead of multiplayer.  This multiplayer poll won't be the last one on the subject.  But the results make it clear that there isn't a huge outcry for a multiplayer expansion.

I think most people are of the opinion that they'd happily by an expansion pack that included multiplayer if it had lots of other features. But that's not how these things work out. Multiplayer is a huge feature so other features would have to be taken out.

Once the first expansion pack comes out, we can then look at what might go into a second expansion pack (including multiplayer) and put the question up as to which features would people want the most.

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May 18, 2006 1:16:09 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I have zero interest in multiplayer. Take the number of hours required to play a game of GalCiv2. Multiply that by three or more. Then try and coordinate that much time with other people. Um, no.

What I WOULD like to see (very very much and in this order) :

1. A map editor, for those of us who have zero coding ability. A comprehensive editor even, one that allows the non-coding public the ability to edit the tech tree, the races, the planet tile bonuses, the rules of engagement, and all of that.

2. More racial distinction. Race-only techs. Perhaps a race ability that makes uninhabitable planet habitable, but makes habitable planets uninhabitable. You trade racial bonuses for less competition. It could have a 10pt brother that makes all planets on the map habitable. Things that break symmetry. MOO II had dozens of these, that you could look at for ideas. And while I'm on the subject of symmetry breakers, expand the ethical alignment bonuses and maybe add penalties for being good or evil or neutral. I love the ethical alignment thing. It adds a lot to the game.

3. Diversity of Government Types. Let me have Technocracy, with a research bonus. Let me have Fundamentalism, with a military and morale bonus. Let me have Star Fascism, with production bonuses. Let me have a government which bonuses something besides my Economy. Let me have appropriately evil governments, like Fascism.

4. How about certain weapon/defensive systems requiring certain resources before they can be built (somewhat like Civ 3.) You can then trade for these resources or find them...possibly on those useless uninhabitable planets. You could then establish outposts or mining colonies to secure those resources etc. This would provide another level of strategy.

5. More Diplomacy and Espionage. Specific Alliance types (research or economic alliances, for instance), and reasonable trading. When I have a 160% diplomacy advantage, I don't think the AI should demand all 20 techs I have that he doesn't in exchange for Enhanced Logistics. Presently it will on intelligent. Espionage with more options, like sabotage etc. Espionage tech. Espionage victories, even.


6. More jewelry and more portraits. Much more. Jewelry and ship sets for each individual race would be ideal.

7. AI improvements. Anything that makes the AI more "human" would rock. Like... taking advantage of bonus tiles.
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May 18, 2006 1:18:51 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I play a free game called [link=http://www.wesnoth.org]Battle for Wesnoth">Link It is a TBS game that has fantastic multiplayer. But it is a very different sort of game. There is only one resouce and no micro management at all. Its all about moving your units around and exploiting the enemys weaknesses. GalCiv on the other hand has huge scope and the turns are much slower. I don't think it would make for an entertaining multiplayer experience. What I'd like to see is a more intricate ship designer, more jewlery, random events, races, technolgies etc. and a better battle visualiser.

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May 18, 2006 1:22:44 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I would never even consider buying a multiplayer addon for this game, what I think would be better would be MORE... By more I mean more EVERYTHING!!! I love playing the game all the time, but with the small number of techs it's easy to get bored with the tech race, I don't know how you'ds implement it because if you just added a ton more techs people just new to the game would get overloaded, I don't know how it'd work out but MORE TECH!!!

Another thing mentioned previously the EYE CANDY!!! The planets look beautiful, the ships are gorgeous, it's all great, but there just isn't enough pretty stuff to catch the players eye over a long period of time. In huge galaxies with a ton of races I find myself playing in the zoomed out view because the beauty of the close up shots just isn't enough to make me sacrifice efficiency for eye candy. I would love to see asteroid belts comets in orbits around suns and out of control asteroids zooming about the galaxy.

More random events, more things to RIP the player out of the mindset of trying to get the best out of his planets... I get stuck in a mode where I'm making war or I'm trying to make the most peaceful trade friendly government.. More random events!!!! I want more then just pirates and found ancient space crafts, make something that can challenge how the player has the idea of his government set up.

More ship parts, the shipyard is like a gift, almost a game in itself! I know it would be hard but more eye candy for the ships, more interesting hull choices..

Heck, I'd pay $40 even $50 for just an expansion pack if it would just expand what the game has already put down, I could see it like a foundation that you could build a monumentous game. I already love it..but with more options more races more eye candy more extras...THE EXTRAS are what expansion packs are about!!!
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May 18, 2006 1:35:06 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
An espionage victory is a nice idea. You'd win because you've managed to make yourself the Stasi of the universe. No one makes anything without you knowing and anyone can be kidnapped at anytime.
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May 18, 2006 2:45:25 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I`d Love to have Multiplayer. My awnser is yes, get on with it, please! I`d pay 20 bucks and more to have some fun with friends in Coop- or PvP.
My 2 cents...

Paendrag
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May 18, 2006 3:14:41 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Good work Frogboy. I'll look forward to news about the new features later. I haven't followed the news about a game's development so closely for a long long time.

PS: lol @ the trolls. It's fun to watch people get teasy when they don't get what they want. Aww, too bad.
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May 18, 2006 3:37:31 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
An expansion with editors for all (well, most ) aspects of the game including as many aspects of the AI as manageable could be a good idea. It'd be a must-buy for me.
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May 18, 2006 3:51:00 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
My opinion in this poll is a bit mixed...

I voted "no", because this is the kind of game people play in SP way more than in MP. Playing a turn-based game over the email or internet takes AGES, since often you'll only be able to do one turn a day unless you're like online all day long. A game in a large galaxy could easily take more than a year to complete if you always have to wait for another person to take his/her turn, and that increases exponentially if more players are added. Because of the inconvenience of MP, I believe the focus should be on enriching and enhancing the SP experience. Simple things like more hulls and jewelry, and more complex things like new Tech branches, expanded espionage/diplomacy, and all other kinds of cool things that Devs and/or fans may come up with, as well as improved 'modability' of the game, would do so much more for me than a MP expansion.

On the other hand, there's HotSeat and LAN. If you play one of those, you're basically playing with multiple people in the same location, at the same time. This means that you won't have to wait several days for the other guy to take his turn. Sure, it's still slow, but nowhere near as slow as playing against someone who may be in a completely different timezone, or at least can't always be playing as much as you are, or can't be playing at the same time you are.

So, if restricting multiplayer to LAN and HotSeat would make those 4/5 slots into like 2/5 slots, my answer changfes to "yes". If not... I'd still prefer SP content to MP.
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May 18, 2006 4:08:11 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I don't know what kind of business school Frogboy went to but it seems perfectly obvious to me that if the poll trend of 33% extends to the customers that brought the game and they say we want a multiplayer expansion, then you'd be a fool not to release one. Think of it this way, the likelihood of any game getting ANYWHERE near the original sales with an expansion pack is pure insanity. The most you could ever hope for is about 50% if that, if Stardock can get 33% of their original releases sale number at $20s then I think thats worth the investment.

So 33% of say 100,000 copies sold todate, thats 33,333 @ $20s minus costs is a lot of potential money.

Frogboy I think you need to leave your feels on the subject at the door, you're running a business and figures like this can't be ignored. Now if research and development costs would heavily eat into any possible profits then, by all means just state that and we'll all understand. But using the attitude of I not going to do this because I'm the CEO and I don't feel like it, is frankly a bit silly now isn't it?

I meant no offence by any of my comments its just how the current situation comes across. I have long since stop playing the game in hopes that something new will be added to it that would tempt me back, but alas, there is nothing so far, but a MP pack just might do it for me personally. Hence why I voted Yes on the poll.

Any how goodluck.

-J
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May 18, 2006 4:46:15 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Hi Brad,

you asked for things we would like to see in an expansion, here are some things I miss in GC2 and I would like to see in an expansion:

Terrain
This means something like asteroids, nebulas, junk and such. Simply things in space effecting the travelspeed. Think of nebulas or supernovas of twilight empire, they can effect your strategy in different ways.

Espionage
I would like to see a ImperiumGalactica2-like spyingsystem. I don't know if you know the system, but you get spies (from different races) and you can send them on missions, if they succeed they gain experiencepoints. These exp can be distributed for special skills like "sabotage" or "spying" so you get specialized spies after some missions and you really feel the pain if one gets down.

Specialized Techs
This idea is stolen of SE4, there you can select a special tech at the beginning, this techtree is only accessable for races selected this tech, this contains special bonuses and special weapons. Using this idea would make the races much more different.

Racedependend interfaces
It would be great if the interface would change depending on which raceslook&feel you choose. So the terrans "normal" the drengin more warlike and so on.

Terraforming
Please give the ability to colonize uninhabitable planets, it should cost much, but sometimes it is strategically usefull to have a supportcolony (instead of a starbase)

Spaceminers
This could be used together with "terrain", I mean real mines not only this spacestations there are at the moment, I think of some huge ship (Homeworld-like) you could send to asteroids/nebulas and then gain supplies from there.

Spacemines
What about placing mines in space?

Supergates
Ability to build a limited number of gates (maybe galaxysize+1) in order to shorten the ship-supply-ways. These gates should work like the stargates, so transport a ship immediately from one gate to another. Maybe ignoreing who the game built?

Real pirates
Having real pirates like in ImperiumGalactica2 would be nice, simply a minorrace with several planets and hostile to everyone.

Greetings

Torsten
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May 18, 2006 5:25:57 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I don't know what kind of business school Frogboy went to but it seems perfectly obvious to me that if the poll trend of 33% extends to the customers that brought the game and they say we want a multiplayer expansion, then you'd be a fool not to release one. Think of it this way, the likelihood of any game getting ANYWHERE near the original sales with an expansion pack is pure insanity. The most you could ever hope for is about 50% if that, if Stardock can get 33% of their original releases sale number at $20s then I think thats worth the investment.

So 33% of say 100,000 copies sold todate, thats 33,333 @ $20s minus costs is a lot of potential money.

Frogboy I think you need to leave your feels on the subject at the door, you're running a business and figures like this can't be ignored. Now if research and development costs would heavily eat into any possible profits then, by all means just state that and we'll all understand. But using the attitude of I not going to do this because I'm the CEO and I don't feel like it, is frankly a bit silly now isn't it?

I meant no offence by any of my comments its just how the current situation comes across. I have long since stop playing the game in hopes that something new will be added to it that would tempt me back, but alas, there is nothing so far, but a MP pack just might do it for me personally. Hence why I voted Yes on the poll.

Any how goodluck.


Fair points, but remember that they could have other plans besides a multiplayer pack. It's more a question of what they're going to release, not whether they release anything.
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May 18, 2006 5:34:38 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
The most you could ever hope for is about 50% if that, if Stardock can get 33% of their original releases sale number at $20s then I think thats worth the investment.

So 33% of say 100,000 copies sold todate, thats 33,333 @ $20s minus costs is a lot of potential money.


Hmm, are we twisting numbers now? You say that they would do good to sale an expansion to 50% of the 100K copies sold and then you try to turn around and say that 33,333 of the 50,000 would buy an expansion with MP. While MP is great, it isn't the end all of features that (according to this poll) the majority here want from a turn based game. So using your logic the actual number of folks that MIGHT purchase an MP expansion would be closer to 15K.

You then further state...


I have long since stop playing the game in hopes that something new will be added to it that would tempt me back, but alas, there is nothing so far, but a MP pack just might do it for me personally.


"Might" is the magic word in the above. You have stopped playing the game, which is your choice, and you MIGHT purchase an expansion if it had MP. Then there is the 66% of those that responded NO to the poll and if it acaully represents 66% of the 100k players (if only half of those are still playing) then there is your 33K audience and they are telling SD they want more content over the choice of MP.

Saying that Brad has no idea what he is doing running a business is bit of a stretch isn't it? He has gone against the "norm" with the NO copy protection and yet still sold over 75K copies. Just because the vocal minority says that the game sucks without MP does not make it true nor does it mean that Brad doesn't know what he is doing. No matter if we want MP or not, try to keep your opinion to how you feel the game should go and not start throwing around insults if you think you are not going to get your way.

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May 18, 2006 6:05:21 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
1. Civ style science "advisor" on what to research next.

2. CONVINIENT Galactopedia accesible not only by F1 and such but everywhere from "links" in every window.

3. Tactical combat as an option (I know this will not happen but thats what I wish for).

4. Bugs , bugs and bugs ...

5. New compain story , this time make it longer and with better connected (interesting) story , not like in current one where you can't make head and tails on what going on when progressing from mission to mission.

6. Option in ship designer to upgrade ship to latest components.

The multiplayer would be very good if it comes as a part of the expansion but to pay $20 just for it and may be new compain - NO WAY !

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May 18, 2006 6:05:24 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
My buddy & I use to play BOTF for a month, an hour here & there.... It was great fun & they are almost the exact same game..

Each person has turn timers, that you agree to set the time on.. we did 5 minutes & then it would turn automaticly.. Connected by IP & it went perfectly.. Its the SAME GAME!! So i know MP can work..

GREAT FUN.

I voted yes.
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May 18, 2006 6:26:26 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Not interested in multi-player, I just want more depth to the game than exists now, so more features is good, but real integral features, not eye candy stuff. I want more tech options, I want diplomacy not tech trading, I want more civs with real differences between them, I want a deeper ground war, I want carriers and the ability to capture, I want to bombard planets from orbit with all the repercussions that brings (class 0, considered an evil act, etc.) and so on.

Depth, depth and more depth please.
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May 18, 2006 6:52:29 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Whilst i too am looking forward to an expansion pack for this game i would prefer it if you could get the UI 'bugs' rectified first please

You will by now know one of my 'pet hates' at present is the non-working 'Set Homeworld' button Heck i may even resort to bribery to get this looked at sometime soon, as i have only been complaining about it since the game was released (the beta of the game had this feature working fully!!)

Still love the work you guys are doing over there

DG

PS Multiplayer =
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May 18, 2006 6:58:05 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Thanks to the poor single player mode which still can't captures many of the Stars! & SE fans' heart. It have lot of improvement to make on the single player mode still. First, fix most of the obvious bugs. Then learn from Stars! and SE. As for campaign, look at C&C or Blizzard ways of doing a campaign. Bucks up or be lost in interest soon....

[B}SO THIS IS DEFINITLY NOT A CASE THAT PEOPLE LOVE ITS SINGLE PLAYER MODE AND WANT MORE OR PEOPLE DON"T WANT TO PAY FOR MULTIPLAYER. IT IS A CASE THAT PEOPLE DON'T LIKE IT AND CAN'T BE BOTHER WITH THE MULTIPLAYER MODE!

Stardock still can't understand or know how to do a multiplayer mode with all single player features, fairness & fun intact to achieve more challenges and thrill from which the Multiplayers provide. Learn & grow up please!
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May 18, 2006 7:19:42 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I would like Hotseat and PBEM MP only, as either patch material (this is the easier form of MP to implement), or part of 1st expansion (which is full of other things).

So I'm not for sole MP expansion.
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May 18, 2006 8:15:52 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Pardon me if I am parroting an earlier message but much more than multiplayer or espionage elements, I would like an expansion to beef up the diplomacy/interaction between the player and the AI. Without a human adversary, the only source of contact is the computer and there should be far more diplomacy options: options to complain, threaten, whine, schmooze, option to negotiate about upcoming political events (and have the voting actually be more meaningful), options to plot and scheme against a third party and even options to simply call up and say "hi" and exchange cookie recipes.

Please make the AI diplomacy more robust!
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May 18, 2006 8:20:30 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Frogboy, I knew from the moment Stardock said "we'll add multiplayer if you guys want it" that you weren't going to do it. Maybe you fooled some other people, but you never fooled me.You started out with a teasing, tentative promise and then you guys spent the first few months of release prepping the user community by touting your success at developing a game soooo good it doesn't need multiplayer. Then came the poll, which is garbage in terms of market research, and I knew immediately what the result was going to be and that you'd jump on this opportunity to say "See? No one wants multiplayer?" And then, to make it worse, you don't kill the idea of multiplayer entirely, you just drag the tentative promise of it out into some far distant month, long after all but the most rabid of single-player cultists have stopped checking your web site every day.

Here's why your poll is garbage.
1. The only ones who voted in it are already part of the user community cult. They made the decision long ago to buy the game despite multiplayer, and the fact they still get on the web site at all is because they're part of the metaverse and spend sizeable amounts of time on the forums. Those people are valuable, absolutely. But ask yourself how many copies you sold of the game and compare that with the number of people who participated in that poll. I'll bet you good money for every 1 person who voted Yes in that poll there are 20 people who bought your game, enjoyed it, got tired of playing it single-player, and moved on to some other game. They have no reason to keep coming back to your web site. They did not vote in your poll. This is the same reason why you don't gauge how well the President is doing his job by his numbers on the Fox News website poll.
2. As jpf190279 said, even with the sample size being as small as it is & heavily weighted with "cultists," 33% of them would pay you $20 for a multiplayer expansion. That's 33% of the people still playing the game heavily enough to frequent your website, which is a sizeable sum. Even if you don't think so, what does that percentage balloon to when you include GalCiv2 players who are not single-player fanatics? Add to that the fact that practically every single critic who reviewed your game listed no multiplayer as a con. It seems pretty possible to me that of the people who have played and enjoyed your game, the percentage of people who want multiplayer can be as high or higher than 50%. But you aren't asking those people.

Here's what I think. You guys don't want to do multiplayer. You don't want to write it, and you don't want to support it. I doubt you even have coders who are capable of it. You do not intend to do it, now or ever. You don't want people to not buy your game, and you didn't want critics to slice you up in reviews for your arrogance. So you've decided to make that a "maybe" and scramble to find a way to justify yourself to the customers, knowing it was never going to happen. And for a company that so sanctimoniously pats itself on the back for having the guts to buck conventions like copy protection, it's ironic you don't have the guts to tell your users the truth and trust it's a decision they can understand and live with.

Come clean, Frogboy. You're not doing multiplayer. It'll be AI tweaks, ship designs, and starbase models from here on out. Just say it, and quit jerking the rest of us around.
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May 18, 2006 8:24:13 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Anyway, I would not go for MP only expansion, since I would only play Hotseat which is smallest part in developement sesne (lets say 5$ per consumer).

So I would rather want real expansion with Hotseat (and PBEM since it's similar) added with it.
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May 18, 2006 9:07:33 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
Multiplayer is a very dangerous road to go down.

People bought this game for single player and would like see the resources put to improving the single player experience.
To put alot of resources into multiplayer, you risk pissing off the majority of your customer base. Not a good thing to do!

The smart thing to do (If you go down that road) would be to treat multiplayer as a separate game AND a separate development team. The sales of the multiplayer game would pay for this new development team.


Now, to keep the current game alive for some time, there are lots of great ideas that keep coming out.

I'm already at the point where the game is starting to feel stale.
Here are some things to consider...

1 - More Diplomacy and character depth for the races. This would make the races seem more real and life like than just playing the "AI." You gotta give them "LIFE" This would help people get drawn into the game more.

2 - Updated graphics would also help freshen the game. The blurry stills in the game takes you out of the game,
Clear futuristic stills would draw you deeper into the GalCiv world.

3 - And finally the cheesy planet battle invasions gotta go.
Give me a few cool futuristic battle stills any day.

Good luck
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May 18, 2006 9:16:30 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I play lots of multiplayer games and I would absolutely not spend $20 for a multiplayer only expansion to GalCiv2. I would gladly spend that for an expansion woth more content though.
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May 18, 2006 9:38:23 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
I must admit when this poll was on i voted on "No" becouse i still was a "newbie" and was fascinated with the good AI shipbuilder etc. so i wanted the game to improve in that. But after i started to win vs a masochistic AI the game just stopped being fun ... i think your first expansion should have multiplayer this way more ppl like me wont just leave the game on the shelf and wait 1.5 year for the multiplayer ... now i would vote for "Yes" since the only challenge that i can get from this game is another human being im sure some of the people changed their mind like me so please before you decide if youre going to make a multiplayer exp or not put up another poll with some more options
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May 18, 2006 9:43:51 AM from GalCiv II Forums GalCiv II Forums
To clarify some of my points:
I would pay for Hotseat MP addon, if it was 5$.
But I would rather prefer if it was part of some bigger expansion, with more SP content.
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