We don't have a formal manual written on the game. You can, however, still make use of the Galactic Civilizations I manual to get some of the basics: https://www.galciv.com/download/gcmanual_pdf.zip
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Setting up a game: Beta 2
In Galactic Civilizations II you start a new game by choosing "New Game":
Most of the other options aren't in though we do have load and save games functioning in theory.
The next step is picking your galaxy size:
This second screen isn't really hooked up other than letting you pick the size of the galaxy.
Then there is picking who to play as. This is a new screen over GalCiv 1. In GalCiv 1, you had to play as the humans. Now you can play as anyone. But it's still pretty primitive and playing as a custom race is untested and probably doesn't work.
The next screen is picking your opponents:
This screen really isn't doing much yet. You can double click on a portrait to select them. This screen will be going under the knife soon.
Once you hit next, you'll get the game creation dialog which can take awhile. There's a LOT more to generate this time than in the first one because your planets are unique for the most part. In GalCiv 1, there were only 21 planets total. Now, there can be thousands of different planets. The bigger your galaxy size, the longer it'll take.
You're in the game..
Once you're in the main game, you should get the background music (let us know if you're not). The default viewing angle is top down. You can switch your viewing angles by hitting the F1, F2, F3, or F4 keys. For example, here's the same thing but having hit F2:
If you have a third mouse button you can mess around with the view by holding it down and dragging around the screen. You can use your mouse wheel to zoom in and out:
If you zoom out enough (mouse wheel or minus key) you will go into Strategic Mode.
You do start out with a single planet that is yours. It's the one with your logo on it:
If you double click on it, it will take you to the planet management screen.
The Planet Manager
On this screen, you can see the USEABLE parts of the planet. This is one of the big changes from the first game. In Galactic Civilizations II, the planet class determines how many useable tiles there are. An earth-like planet is now a class 10 planet (instead of 16 in GalCiv 1).
How you produce things are different now too. Population growth is limited to the amount of food. You have to build farms on the planet. Unfortunately, this part of the screen hasn't been fleshed out in explaining what they do so here's the info:
The basic farm will feed up to 3 million people. The basic factory will provide up to 10 shields of production. The basic research center will produce 5 shields of research. But that's their theoretical maximum. How much they actually produce has to do with your spend rate and what % of that spending is going towards military, social, or research.
So if my spend rate is 50% and 40% of my spending is going towards military spending, then the factory is immediately cut producing 5 shields and then 2 of those shields will go towards military production (building ships).
This screen will be undergoing some changes. Right now, it's a full screen, it may eventually be tweaked so that you can change spend rates and such right from the screen. We're still playing around with this.
When you choose to build something, it goes into the build queue and the selected tile will be changed to an unused one. You can queue up all your building projects right away. As new technologies come up, you will be able to upgrade your buildings to them.
Important note: We are tweaking the numbers and such on this a lot so please don't judge the "fun" level in the game yet as a tweak in build times and make a huge difference in the pacing of the game.
If you have a star port, you will be able to build ships by clicking on the button at the top right.
The Star Port & Ship yard
The star port screen will allow you to choose which type of ship to build. This screen still needs quite a bit of love. But essentially what you do is pick the ship you want and press the build button. You can ignore the purchase buttons as they aren't working quite right yet. Purchase will allow you to spend a bunch of money right away in order to get the ship build immediately.
On this screen there is a Shipyard button. This will take you to a screen where you can design your own ships:
On the Shipyard you can design your own ships or upgrade existing ones. Eventually, what will happen is that if you upgrade ships, existing ships will be upgraded to them as long as they're in your territory but there will be a refit time and cost. Ships not in friendly territory will not be upgraded and will be given a legacy class name based on the previous class.
Let's try building a new ship.
First, you have to decide what size ship you want. By default, most races can only build Tiny, small, and medium ships. Some races can't even build medium ships to start with. This screen will be undergoing quite a bit of changes over the months btw.
Each race gets 3 types of hulls for each category of size. Let's try building a small fighter.
So I have picked a small hull.
Now I'm going to add some "Extras" to it. Extras are essentially eye candy so that you can make your ship look really unique. They don't take up any space, they're just aesthetics. You can add as many as you'd like to any of the "hard points" (the red dots that appear). You can hold down the right mouse button to rotate around the ship to get a good look at things.
Just click on the item you want and move your mouse (you can drag and drop it or just select it and move your mouse over without holding the mouse button down, up to you). If you make a mistake, just go to the list of add-ons and drag it off:
Besides being able to use the right mouse button to rotate the ship (and the mouse wheel to zoom in and out) you also have a control panel to do that:
The next step is to add engines to your ship. At all times you can see the current status of your ship in terms of cost, hit points, speed, range, etc. Engines make your ship go faster. There are various kinds of weapons that affect 3 types of attack: Beam attack, missile attack, and mass driver attack. To counter these types of attacks there are shield defenses, anti-missile defense, and armor. The hull sizes determine how much space the ship has and the things you put on the hull use up that space.
You can also double-click on a component and the game will attempt to intelligent place your part onto the ship.
Make sure you add sensors and some life support to your ship or else it will not be able to see very far and won't be able to go very far from friendly territory.
So I now have a fighter:
Press the Save button and it will bring up a dialog for you to name your ship and from then on it'll appear in your ship list.
Ships with colony modules and colonize new worlds. Players start out with a single colony ship and a single survey ship which can explore anomalies.
You can put your mouse over a planet and a tool-tip will appear to tell you what class planet it is. You can also select the planet and it will also tell you what class planet. Most planets are class 0 which means they cannot be colonized at all. But some planets are class 1 through 9 which means they're pretty awful (i.e. THIS IS SETI ALPHA V!) but you can colonize them at least.
So to recap: Class 0 planets are bad. Class 10 planets are good. Once you colonize, you'll start up with relatively little in resources. You'll want to beef up what the planets do. As you discovery new technologies, you'll find there are all kinds of cool things you can build on your planets. Of course, those cool things are naturally not available in the beta.
Blowing stuff up
Okay, remember the fighter we made? Now it's time to build it and launch it. I just need to wait for the crappy AI (ahem) to build something to blow up.
In Galactic Civilizations II, your weapons are divided into 3 types of attacks and 3 types of defenses. When a ship attacks another ship, each weapon type will fire for a random amount from 0 to its rated value. The defender will then roll between 1 and its rated defense type if it is the corresponding defense (beam weapon vs. shields for instance) plus it will add the other two types of defenses and divide them by 2 and then select a defense value between 0 and that reduced defense value. Eventually the hitpoints on one of the ships will drop below 0 and the ship is destroyed.
Invading new worlds
You can build transports pretty early on. Since the AI doesn't really do anything at this point, invading planets is a fairly straight forward thing. You just take your built transport, send it to a defenseless planet (a planet without a shield in front of it which at this point means any alien planet) and put the transport on it (i.e. right click on the planet).
Over the coming weeks we'll start to flesh out some of the game play, fix bugs, and update these docs.
Participate on the forums here: https://www.galciv2.com/Forums.aspx?ForumID=274 to give us feedback.