Why the map looks the way it looks
The map does not scale planets and stars in a way that is realistic in the absolute sense. That's because the basis of interstellar travel rests on folding space. Ships don’t travel that fast in real terms. Instead, propulsion systems such as HyperDrive (the key technology in the background of the GalCiv universe) fold space so that traveling from Point A to Point B is far less in real distance. However, folding space is dramatically interfered with by mass – planets and stars. As a result, the folding of space inside a solar system is far less than how much interstellar space is. Hence, it takes longer to travel from planet to planet than it does to travel in deep space. The game map is hence visually adjusted (much like a flat map of the world distorts the size of countries – Greenland looks huge on a flat map of the Earth) to support this mode of space travel.
The unit of measurement used to describe space travel is the adjusted parsec or just “parsec”. The term parsec we know in the 20th century is called a “true parsec”. But a true parsec has no concept of how folded space operates.
A true parsec is 3.26 light years. An adjusted parsec varies from 1.9 x 10^6 (million) miles to 1.9 x 10^14 miles depending on how much mass is in the area.
Simply put, a GalCiv ship that moves 1 move per turn is moving 1pc (adjusted parsec) per turn. Going from Earth to Jupiter might take 2 moves. Going from Earth to Sirius 8 moves or 8pc. Sirus is 0.8 true parsecs away in the real universe.
Here are the units in the game:
- Sensor range is in adjusted parsecs: pc. How many tiles out a player can see around a given ship.
- Ship range is in sectors (sct). It’s how far away from a friendly planet (or starbase) a ship can travel as measured in sectors.
- Money is in billions of credits (bc). It’s billions because credits by the 23rd century have become the standardize form of galactic currency and no one is going to be building an interstellar cruiser for 120 credits.
Influence is in “ip” (influence points).
The way cultural take overs will work in GalCiv II is that when you click on a planet, there is a floating point number by influence:
23ip (0.45). The floating point represents alien influence versus native influence. If the number is >1 then that means alien influence is greater than native influence. If the number increases beyond 4.0 then that means alien influence is >4 times as much as native influence. That planet may revolt and become part of the civilization they feel more in common with.