Galactic Civilizations update

We talk with Stardock to get more details on its space empire game, which Strategy First is slated to publish early next year.

Strategy First has revealed that its upcoming space empire game, Galactic Civilizations, recently hit the beta 3 stage and is on track for release on February 25. Galactic Civilizations is a "4X" space empire game, meaning it has elements--such as exploration, trade, diplomacy, and research--that resemble classic strategy games like Master of Orion and Civilization. The game doesn't have multiplayer or a mission-based campaign, but rather it focuses on randomly generated single-player scenarios, which are often the bread and butter of such games.

We had a chance to talk with Stardock's Brad Wardell about the game's recent progress.

GameSpot: We understand that the game just hit the beta 3 milestone. What sorts of changes are you making to the game at this stage?

Brad Wardell: Right now we're integrating in the finalized graphics, music, and cutscenes. Also, we're focusing on trying to add more depth to the game along with playability features like fleets, terror stars, a galactic encyclopedia, and AI tweaks.

GS: How many people at Stardock are working on the game at this point?

BW: Nine.

GS: That's a good-sized team. What do you think most distinguishes Galactic Civilizations from other space empire games?

BW: Replayability. Many games incorporate various kinds of "campaigns" into them. We're taking the same quantity of content and interspersing it throughout each game in pieces so that each game really feels different. So how the computer players react to you, the things they say and do, will be quite different from game to game. And with so many paths to victory--military, diplomacy, technology, economic--along with being able to play as a good or evil civilization (and anywhere in between), you have a lot of new ways to keep playing the game.

Plus, Stardock will be adding significant features to the game long after release based on player feedback so that we can keep the game experience fresh for our players.

GS: Thanks for your time, Brad.

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