Galactic Civilizations III is taking shape, with its beta simultaneously evoking its predecessor and something new; something bigger and more detailed. Designer Paul Boyer calls it the GalCiv 2 Stardock always wanted to make.
One of the biggest changes is the switch from 32 bit to 64. This means Stardock can do things that would never have been possible in the previous game, like create a galaxy with 100 factions. And that’s just what Stardock’s Derek Paxton did on the weekend.
Paxton used an early version of beta 2, and modded the game with three xml files: one to add all the factions, one to give them names and one to give them their own colours.
Because it was using beta 2, there were some differences in his game beyond the massive number of players. The Krynn were in place, which Stardock wants to put in along with diplomacy, and the galaxy starts in peace, instead of being at war right out the gate.
Playing in a large map – properly massive ones are on their way – Paxton pretty quickly encounters other races, and within five turns he’s surrounded by alien empires. Normally, it should take quite a bit of time before players encounters other factions, giving them time to grab planets and resources. But normally there aren’t 99 other empires snatching territory.
He only goes up to turn 66, but Paxton’s already declared war so he can keep the resources he’s mining out of enemy hands, and all the local anomalies have been swallowed up by hungry aliens. It’s a busy galaxy when there are so many groups vying for control. He even had to colonise the second planet in his home system – which is always a bit crap – because real estate was vanishing rapidly.
You can take a gander at his Let’s Play over here. 100-player GalCiv 3 is quite an unusual beast.