With the other developers making comments on the game design and code
explanations, I'm going to use this time to give a synopsis of GalCiv2's
progress in a Visual Segment I'd like to call "Best GalCiv2 Week
Ever!", where I pick the top 5 images that best show how Galactic
Civilizations 2 is progressed this week.
#5 - This ship is a test of the "Component" system we've worked up for
creating Custom Ships in GalCiv2. Here we have a fighter Hull Equipped
with Phaser Weapons in the front, Engines in the back, and Stinger Missles Mark
IV on the underside.
#4 - A (Quick) Concept Sketch for a Drengin Fighter Hull, this image shows how
far I have to go on my ship concept art. What's with the "Hershey
Kiss" thing on the Tail-Fin?! Time for this fool to pick up some books on
#3 - All of the races from the original GalCiv will be back and better than
ever! Here we have a Work In Progress of the Arcean Leader, one of the key
players in the "Dreadlords" campaign.
#2 - Another race that makes a reappearance in the game is the 'Drath', a
mythical race that was imprisoned by Draginol to make room for his creation, the
Altarians. I've gone back to the drawing board with their design, trying
to make them look more spiritualistic, and less like cavemen.
And now, for the #1 GalCiv2 image from this week...
#1 - While under-whelming at first appearance,
this innocent scribble paves the path to a fun little game play feature that
will prove useful throughout the game. But first, A little intro...
One of the major additions to GalCIv2 is an advanced Planetary
Management model, where players will have a number of usable spaces on a
planetary grid, of which they can fill with any number of social
improvements. Let say the player has landed on a new world with a Class
value of 10. In the original GalCiv, this would mean the planet will fill
with unhappy citizens and only crank out a percentage of what a Class 15 planet
would. In GC2, the Class value indicates the number of CURRENT usable slots to
place planetary improvements (ex. A Class 10 could hold 10 planetary
However, using Soil Enhancement, most planets can be
Terraformed to a higher class of planet. This only works on grid slots
that have upgradeable terrain (ex. A swampy region could be upgraded to
Grassland, where a deep ocean is stuck as a deep ocean) meaning the maximum
possible Planet Class is also set from the moment the terrain is
generated. A Class 10 planet with 5 swampy regions, 2 desert regions, and
5 deep ocean regions could be terraformed to a Class 17 planet, for
instance. This makes initially unusable spaces useful to players that plan
This is all well and good, but we didn't want to spell out for
the user "This is a Class 12 planet but it can be upgraded to a class
19", but we also didn't want to be too cryptic "This is a class 12 and
you'll just have to wait and see if it have upgradeable spaces". What
we came up with was a new tool at the players disposal...a Planetary
Scanner. This would give them some information about the planet, but only pieces,
based on the type of Scanning Mode you use.
At first, players would only have the "Atmospheric"
scan, that displays the Planet Surface in normal mode but is partially obscured
by the cloud cover, and the "Thermal" mode, that only shows you the
land vs. ocean readout. Then, as you get new technology, you can actually
work up you sensors, until midway though the game most players will get the
"Environmental" Scan mode, that let's them see everything right away,
making planet scanning easier once the initial colony rush is done.
Later in the game, Once players start to build up espionage
power against other races, they'll be able to use the scanner to view the
planetary surfaces of enemy worlds and get a clear view of what's being built on
what planets. This way better preparation can be made for planets with
strong defenses, ect.
While not COMPLETELY fleshed out, the use of a Planetary
Scanner would help the player both in the beginning stages of the game, as well
as in the later stages. When colonizing, you may want to pick up that
Class 6 planet if it can be upgraded to a class 20. And when you're spying
on your neighbors, you may want to know that they're building up their military
capabilities behind you back. And we believe this would be a fun, unique,
and interactive way to display this info to the player.