Galactic Civilizations requires a Pentium III level computer
running at 600mhz or higher. We recommend a 1Ghz Pentium III level computer or
better for optimal performance.
Galactic Civilizations requires approximately 300 megabytes
of hard disk space for all multimedia features to be installed. However, minus
the multimedia features it can be played with less than 100 megabytes of disk
It requires a display of at least 1024x768 to play.You can receive additional updates to the
game at http://www.galciv1.com.
Galactic Civilizations is a strategy game in which you take
the helm of human civilization in the year 2178. It is a time of great change
for humanity as a new technology, known as hyper-drive, has allowed
civilizations to travel great distances in a short amount of time. This means
that countless planets are now open to colonization and exploration. However,
humans are not alone in the galaxy, several other space faring civilizations
are doing the same thing. It is up to you to decide how humanity will interact
with these other civilizations.
Victory in Galactic Civilizations means survival and success
for the human civilization. This can be done in one of several ways:
If you conquer all of the alien civilizations, you win.
Victory. If you and your alien allies are able to conquer all
opposition you win.
Victory. If humanity can research enough technology that it transcends
to the next level of existence, you win.
Victory. If you dominate 7/8th’s of the sectors culturally,
you win the game via cultural domination.
The year is 2178. But our story really begins fifty years
ago. For this is when humans first came into contact with an alien
civilization. A the faint signals of an Arcean probe were picked up on sensors
It didn’t take long for a very basic level of contact to begin between Earth
and Arcea. It was the beginning of our interstellar education.
For thousands of years, several interstellar civilizations
have been sending probes throughout the galaxy. Transportation between
different outposts was done through star-gates. These star-gates were immense
structures that were obscenely expensive to use and maintain. As a result, the
civilizations actually have had very limited contact with one another (and none
with humans obviously).
Once human scientists understood the concept of star gates
and how they worked, they set on a course to try to improve on them.About a decade before the start of the game,
these scientists introduce to the galaxy a new technology called “Hyper-drive”.
Humans by the 22nd century had concluded that any
civilization capable of interstellar travel must certainly have long since
grown out of their violent militaristic stage and one of the leading scientists
involved with the project shared the design of hyper-drive with all five of the
major alien civilizations. Almost instantly, communication with the other
civilizations came to a halt.
After months of silence, government of United Earth came to
the conclusion that hyper-drive would allow the colonization of the galaxy and
what was likely to occur was a race to claim star systems that contained
inhabitable planets. It was decided that Earth must not fall behind and the
design for a colony ship developed.
This brings us to 2178, the beginning of the era known as
“Galactic Civilizations”. The first colony ship has been created along with a
survey ship to explore the numerous anomalies throughout the galaxy.
Now the race is on to find and colonize unclaimed star
systems with good planets (class 15 or better), find and claim galactic
resources (by building constructors that can then build star bases on them),
and ensure humanity can survive in a potentially hostile galaxy.
Upon loading Galactic Civilizations you are presented with 3
options: Start a new civilization, Load a saved civilization, and Restore your
last civilization.Loading a saved one
will allow you to choose a previously saved game. Restoring will bring back the
most recent auto-save available.
When choosing a new game, Galactic Civilizations will ask
you to create your civilization:
On this screen, you can decide what kind of civilization you
would like to have. Humanity is yours to mold. You can name your civilization
anything you want.
You can select your political party from this screen.Political parties give your civilization
advantages in specific areas. However, they only good when your political party
is in control of your senate. The starting government type, imperial ensures
you will always have control of the senate at the beginning but as more advanced
forms of government come into play, control of the senate becomes more
The political parties available are:
The federalists are big believers in having the government
be somewhat distributed. They tend to be fairly expert in financial matters
internally. Choosing this party will give your civilization a 20% boost in tax
revenue and a 10% boost in industrial production.
The pacifists are strong believers in peace. Any
civilization capable of interstellar travel must be peaceful. Disagreements and
warfare between civilizations is due to misunderstanding.Choosing this party will give your
civilization a 30% bonus to your influence and 30% bonus to your diplomacy
The war party sees the alien races for what they are, vermin
that must be controlled. The best defense is a good offense. The human race has
a manifest destiny to control the entire galaxy. Choosing this party will give
your civilization a 10% bonus to star ship weapons and 50% to hit points your
star ships get and a 10% bonus to the quality of your soldiers.
The progressive party sees things in terms of social
progress. The galaxy is probably too big to be conquered with crude weapons and
ships. The future belongs to the civilization that creates the most powerful
society as a whole and abides by intergalactic laws. This party gets a 50%
bonus to social project manufacturing.
The Mercantiles understand the true power of hyperdrive –
trade. It is through trade that the galaxy will be united under human guidance.
Exporting our goods and culture to other civilizations will make them more
dependent and human prosperity for their own success. The Mercantiles receive a
30% bonus to trade via freighters and the value of human trade goods is
increased by 30%. As an extra bonus, they give a 10% bonus to espionage.
The populists are the party of the people. They care. They
really do. They believe in focusing on the needs and fears of the people and as
a result, they bring a 30% increase to morale and increase our influence by
10%. They also highly encourage humans to be fruitful and multiply which gives
a 10% boost to population growth.
The technologists are the ones who have dominated the
politics of the United Nations for the past few decades. It was their
supporters, after all, who delivered hyperdrive in the first place. That is why
the technologists give an impressive 30% boost research and +3 to sensor range.
The industrialists are the antithesis of the technologists.
Why worry about products of the future when you can focus on the products of
today? The industrialists provide a 5% economic bonus and a 20% industrial
The key to winning is really through a balance of all
factors. Universalists don’t focus on any particular issue but instead moderate
between many views. As a result, Universalists provide a 10% trade bonus, a 10%
research bonus, a 10% bonus to ship defenses, a 10% bonus to ship repair, a 10%
bonus to starship speed. While some argue that these miniscule advantages they
provide are a waste of time, they counter that when combined with other
advantages received in the future that they can make quite a difference.
After choosing your political party, you can add up to 10
ability bonus points to key areas of your civilization.
Each point represents a 10% boost in a particular area. The
categories for boosting are:
The number of moves your starships receive each turn. If a
ship has 5 moves per turn, providing navigation 2 points will increase that
number to 6.
The amount of research each colony does per turn is
increased by the percent you assign.
The amount of espionage or destabilization that you assign
is increased by the percent you assign here.
The sensor range of your star ships is increased by the
number of units you assign here.A
typical star ship has a sensor range of around 3 light years (each move unit is
1 light year). A sector is roughly 12 light years across.
The amount of influence your star systems provide is
increased by the percentage you set here.
The revenue you receive from each trade route is increased
by the percentage you set.
The rate in which your population increases is set by this.
The rate in which your star ships build ships is affected by
The rate in which social projects are built is affected by
The star ship attack and star ship defense is increased by
the percentage set here.
There is also the matter of choosing the size of the galaxy
you would like to play. The size of the galaxy helps determine how long the
game is going to last. A tiny galaxy can be played in an hour or two at
most.A gigantic galaxy may take weeks
or months.The galaxy sizes available
Size in Sectors
3 x 3
4 x 4
5 x 5
8 x 8
10 x 10
12 x 12
You may also choose the likelihood of inhabitable planets.
The options are:
Rare: Inhabitable planets are very unlikely and each
one will have to be fought over.
Uncommon: Nice planets are hard to find but they’re
Occasional: There are nice planets available but not
in large quantity
Common: There are a lot of common planets but don’t
expect every star system to have them.
Once you have set up your civilization and the galaxy you
want to play in, you can also set up how you want other players to behave.
There are five major civilizations in the game. Other
civilizations may appear during the course of the game but they do not affect
the victory conditions. Similarly, minor races do not affect victory conditions
Each civilization can be named to whatever you wish to call
them. You can also set their intelligence and their morality. These will affect
the game dramatically. Each civilization can have intelligence ranging from
“idiot” to “genius”. Warning: Setting to genius should not be done unless you
are an expert. A single “genius” player can dominate the galaxy very
quickly.Morality is a little more
nebulous. It determines the personality of the civilization along with what
technologies are available to it. Alien civilizations make foreign policy
decisions based on the ethical values of other civilizations.
When the game begins, you are first given a progress report
and then taken to the technology policy screen to choose what to research
first. We will discuss the technology screen in detail in “Technology Policy
This is the screen you will see most often. It includes the
main map, the mini map, the graphs screen, the control panel, the star ship
bridge panel and the info net.
Figure 1 The main game screen
Let’s discuss all of these:
The map will display select the USS Discovery, the first
colony created by the human civilization for colonizing another world. It will
be parked just outside the Sol star system where Earth, Mars, Saturn, etc. are
A second ship, the USS Hero, is a survey ship that has been
constructed at great cost to help explore the galaxy.Survey ships are a special class of ship,
they contain equipment and special crews that allow them to seek out strange
things and boldly go where no one has gone before. As you begin to explore the
galaxy, it won’t take you long to find strange things worth investigating. Move
your survey ship into an anomaly and you will discover what benefit, if any, it
provides. Anomalies will continue to appear at various rates throughout the
game. Many of them provide special ship-specific bonuses. As time goes on, your
civilization will research technology that will provide star ships that are
formidable military craft in their own right while also allowing them to
There are a number of keyboard commands that can streamline
your game play.
Moves ships in specificed
Moves ships in specific
direction (check Numlock)
Sentries a ship (ship will
not be called on unless an alien ship comes within sensor range.
Guard mode (ship will not
be called on unless an enemy alien ship comes within sensor range.
Finds the next available
ship with moves remaining.
Currently selected ship
chooses to pass on its turn.
Turns multiple ships on
the same tile into a fleet.
Un-Fleet. Breaks a
selected fleet back into individual units.
Center on currently
Galactic Map Window
Open Planet View for first
planet in civilization
Refresh your sensors
across the galaxy.
Go to next turn
Dismiss a dialog or bring
up the Game options dialog
The mouse also provides a large number of options as well.
Left clicking on a ship selects it. Right clicking on the
map sends it on its destination.Clicking on space and holding down the left mouse button will “grip”
space and allow you to adjust your view.
Holding down the Control key (Ctrl) while left clicking on
multiple ships will allow you to select multiple ships.Holding down the Shift key while left
click-dragging on the map will allow you to also do the same.
Double clicking on a ship, anomaly, resource or star base
will bring up additional information on that object. Double clicking on a star
will bring up the planetary management screen for the first colonized planet
Fog of War
There are two types of fog of war. (1) The unexplored area
of the map and (2) The area that your sensors currently can’t detect.
On the main map there are 5 different types of objects that
may exist there.Ships and stars are
pretty straight forward. Anomalies are special objects that exist on the map
that can only be explored by certain types of star ships (ships with a survey
ability). Resources look similar to anomalies except that if you build a star
base on them that has mining abilities, you gain advantages from them. Star
bases are built and upgraded with constructor ships.
In all these cases you can find out more information on them
by double clicking on the object.
Any race you have diplomatic relations with will appear
here. You can track how well you are doing compared to your interstellar rivals
and friends in terms of population, military might, economy,technology, and manufacturing.
The currently selected ship will be displayed with its name,
that you can change by clicking on the field, the class, the number of
hitpoints it has, the Attack rating, the Defense rating and what level the ship
is. As ships do battle, they gain experience which increases their level. The
higher the level, the more bonuses in attack and defense they receive. If you
are selecting a star ship that carries colonists or troops, the number on board
is displayed instead.
If a ship isn’t selected, then an advisor will appear to
offer advice to you on what you may want to do next.
Events occurring in the galaxy that are of interest to you
will appear on the InfoNet on the bottom right of the screen. Events can
include ships being attacked, new projects completed, new star ships built and
The Find Button
This is equivalent to the TAB key. It will find a ship in
the galaxy that needs to be moved.
As leader of the human race, you have control over the way
humanity develops. To this end, your civilization has twenty abilities as well
as a morality rating that can from change demonic (0) to angelic (100). Humans
start out with a morality rating of neutral (50).
Economics. This ability affects how much income you
derive in taxes from your worlds.
ability can increase the strength of your ships weapons. For instance, if you
have a battle ship with an attack rating of 10 and your weapons ability is at
10% your battle ship’s attack rating would be increased to 11.
Defense. This ability is similar to weapons except it
affects the defense value for your ships.
Navigation. This ability affects how fast your ships
affects your approval rating of your planets. Morale and approval rating are
the same thing. Your morale ability determines how happy your civilization is.
Population Growth. This ability affects how fast your
population grows each month.
Social Production. The ability affects how much
production can be put into social projects. Half of this ability is provided as
bonus production (i.e. production that doesn’t cost any money).
Military Production. Same as above but for military
Research. This ability affects how fast your
civilization researches new technologies. Half of this ability is put towards
free bonus research production and the other half is added to your overall
Influence. This ability affects how much cultural
influence your star systems generate each month.
Trade. This ability affects how much income from
trade you receive each month.
Diplomacy. This effects how well you are able to get your
way in negotiating with other civilizations. The better your diplomacy rating
versus theirs, the harder the bargain you can drive. It also affects your
foreign relations as you will tend to be able to avoid war easier (as well as
come to peaceful terms) with a better Diplomacy ability.
Hitpoints. This ability affects how many extra
hitpoints your starships receive.
Repair. This ability affects how quickly your
starships repair themselves each turn.
Sensors. This ability affects how far your ships can
see in a given sector.
Espionage. This ability affects how quickly you are
able to spy on other players and destabilize them if necessary.
Soldiering. This ability affects how powerful your
ground forces are. This directly affects the outcome of planetary invasions.
Interest Rates. This ability affects your ability to
borrow money to purchase ships and improvements. The better your interest rate
ability, the less you’ll have to pay in leases.
Planet Quality. This ability is particularly powerful
since it affects the quality of a planet. For instance, if your planet quality
ability is 10% that means all of your planets gain a 10% bonus in their planet
class. So a class 20 planet would become a class 22 planet which has massive
impacts on economics and production and morale. Needless to say, this ability
is very hard to increase.
Trade Routes. This ability determines how many trade
routes you can have. Each increase in it adds an additional trade route.
Range. This ability affects how far your ships can
travel from a friendly star system.
What kind of civilization would you like to create? Galactic
Civilizations allows you to travel in either direction.In Galactic Civilizations, good and evil are
very specifically defined (lest we get into endless pointless debates).
During the course of your civilization you will be exposed
to various events that you have to make a moral choice. These choices determine
the course your civilization takes. The choices are not meant to be that
significant in themselves but rather provide you with the a way to choose your
Neither path is better than the other in terms of
advantages. But they are quite different in their particulars.Good civilizations tend to get along with
other civilizations easier. An evil civilization in a galaxy full of good
civilizations is going to have a tough time. On the other hand, evil
civilizations gain advantages as a result of their choices along with receiving
certain technologies available only to evil civilizations.
On the other hand, good civilizations tend to have an easier
time diplomatically but pay a hefty short-term price for their benevolence.
However, they are rewarded with certain technologies that give them special
types of improvements that affect the course of the game.
That said, good and evil is not determined by your in game
actions. For instance, do not equate “goodness” with pacifism. History is
replete with examples of evil that was not externally aggressive. And all it
requires for evil to triumph is for good to be idle. Don’t expect good
civilizations to not declare war on other civilizations or demand tribute.
Galactic Civilizations doesn’t get into the business of
trying to make political statements such as whether imperialism are good or
evil. History is replete with examples of otherwise noble cultures making war
or acquiring territory from other cultures that were equally “good”.To that end, we have made sure that the line
between good and evil is very obvious – the random events in which players can
choose which direction they’re going.
Income and expenses are pretty straight forward concepts.
But what about morale? What about influence? What the heck are these things?
You build all these nice things for your people and they still only give you a
50% approval rating? I should be able to build a gulag and re-educate them to
appreciate my benevolence…
Having a high approval rating is very difficult. That’s
because the nicer your planet, the more people who will want to move to it,
have children and increase the population. This in turn creates the situation
where there’s a lot of people having to share a limited number of planetary
services. Hence your approval declines. The population of a planet will grow as
long as people are happy and as long as the environment (planet class) can
Even the most popular leaders in history rarely enjoyed an
approval rating greater than 60%. But if that doesn’t console you, you can
always take the path of evil and actually build gulags to send the people to learn
to more about your greatness. That’ll improve their approval rating or at least
what they answer to polls. And isn’t that what really counts?
There are other ways to conquer the galaxy than through
weapons. Your cultural influence reflect how much the way you live, the
philosophies you espouse, the clothes you wear, the food you eat, the movies
you watch affect alien cultures.
Different star systems have different base levels of
influence that are generally based on the quality and position of the star
system in the galaxy. This is then enhanced by the population of the planet
along with what social projects you build. You can intentionally try to
increase your cultural influence by building social projects such Cultural
Exchange Centers where alien travelers are more effectively exposed to your way
Whichever civilization has the highest level of influence in
a given sector (above a certain threshold) gets that sector color-coded to
their civilization. If the level of influence exceeds all others by a certain
amount, then a given star system has a chance of defecting to a different
You can magnify your influence in a given sector by building
star bases and upgrading them with constructors to have cultural influence
modules (more on this is in the Star base section).
Being on the receiving end isn’t a lot of fun though. We can
speak from experience when we say that there’s nothing worse than seeing
teenagers running around in native Drengin clothing. Particularly since their
clothing requires the importation of the Kandarian Silk Lice which we won’t get
into here. Suffice to say that this is not a desirable outcome.
So how do you prevent this? Factors that come into play
include looking at how much military might is in orbit of that star system. The
locals on Deneb IV may think that Arcean music is great (and let’s face it,
there is some debate on whether we can even hear all of the chords on a typical
Arcean harp).But the locals aren’t
going to realistically be able to defect if you have enough battle ships parked
in orbit. Another factor is the morale of your planets. Torian blood larva may
be taste great but if the people are happy they’re not going to be nearly as
interested in joining up with the Torians.
The most effective way to combat alien cultural influences
is by building social projects that combat it. Anything that increases your
cultural influence will certainly help. But you can also build things that have
a propaganda value. I.e. you can build news networks and propaganda centers
that will help keep alien culture just that – alien.
This is discussed in more detail with specific numbers in
the chapter on Influence.
Once you have researched Trade, you gain the ability to
build freighters. Freighters are a special unit that once built, can be sent to
a foreign star system to create a trade route. Once this is done, a trade ship
then travels between the source star system and foreign destination star system
and back. The income you receive from trade comes as that trade ship moves each
How much you receive from trade per month varies somewhat as
the trade ship travels. The further along the route, the more the trade route
brings in. For instance, a trade ship may only bring in 1 bc per turn when it
first leaves. But on its way back, it may be bringing in 5 bc per turn.
This has an important implication: The longer the trade
route, the more the trade route is worth. It also means you can create an
effective economic blockade. In essence, you can cripple the economy of an
enemy by keeping trade ships from being able to travel the whole route. If a
particular civilization can’t keep their trade ships safe, outside their
immediate territory then their economy will suffer.
The other factor in determining how much a trade route is
worth is the combined wealth of source star system and destination star system.
Generally speaking, it is best to have your freighters come from your best star
system and go to the best star system in a particular player’s civilization.
Trade has a few side effects as well. First of all, both
civilizations involved in the trade receive equal compensation from trade. So
it’s probably best not to trade with civilizations you later expect to go to
war with.Secondly, such trade
influences diplomatic relations. Since war cuts off trade between the two
warring factions, if your trade represents a sizeable percentage of their
income, they are a lot less likely to want to go to war.
Some star systems are special to a given civilization or
have something special about them in a negative sense. For this reason, there
are several different types of notification icons that are displayed near a
star system. These include:
Civilization capital. The Sol star system, for instance, has the
civilization capital icon by it to represent the fact that it is the capital of
a civilization. Losing your capital due to invasion can have very damaging
results to your civilization (a whole raft of different unpleasant things can
Economic capital. If you build the galactic achievement, “Economic
Capital”, not only does the tax income of that system double but it shows the
economic capital icon by it. However, this also makes it a target for your
enemies since it’s a sure sign that this is a wealthy star system.
Manufacturing capital. The system that has this achievement built
gets the manufacturing capital icon and has twice the manufacturing ability as
other star systems.
Culturally rebellious. Star systems that are becoming dangerously
enthralled with other civilizations will receive this icon. This means that the
people are thinking about defecting and that you need to do something about it.
citizens. If morale gets low enough in a given star system, an unhappy icon
will show up by it. This is a good way of seeing if something is going wrong
with a particular civilization. If they are unhappy long enough, they may break
away and form their own civilization or join the league of non-aligned worlds.
When two enemy ships intersect in space, they do
battle.Battles work as follows:
Attacking ship rolls a number between 0 and its maximum
attack and the defending ship rolls a defense value between 0 and its maximum
defense value. The difference between the two is then subtracted from the
number of hit points.If the defending
ship survives they then reverse positions and the defending ship rolls it
attack value and the attacking ship rolls its defensive value. This is repeated
until one of the two ships has 0 hit points and that ship is destroyed.
Ships with a defense value that is greater than their attack
value get a special bonus – when attacked, half their defense counts as an
attack.A Battle Axe with 3 attack and 6
defense actually gets to roll up to a 6 for its attack roll when it is
A defended star system has a small shield attached to it.
These star systems cannot be invaded. Starships must first take out those
defenses. Those defenses come in the form of star ships orbiting the star
system that have a defense value.Attacking those starships is like attacking any other ship, move your
starship to intersect the star system and it will automatically attack the
first starship in orbit.
When a star system is defenseless, the shield is gone and is
ready to be invaded. To do that, you must construct a transport and load troops
Invading a star system shouldn’t be taken lightly. They can
contain many billions of people and invading them can take billons of troops.
Transports have little defense so those billions of lives should probably be
escorted by starships who can defend them.
When a transport intersects a defenseless star system, the
invasion screen will be displayed. This screen displays the advantages of both
sides. The attacker automatically gets a significant advantage since transports
don’t just come with ground troops but an entire air armada and thousands of
ground support craft. But other factors do come into play such as the
technology difference between the civilizations, general soldier abilities on
both sides and what planetary defenses have been constructed. There is also a
luck factor. The battle will not begin until you have pressed the space bar so
that you can determine how much luck is involved on the invasion (it’s usually
a fairly modest amount but it can make the difference in a close battle).
relatively low level of technology, you'll be able to build a new ship type
called a "Constructor". A Constructor is just a special type of a
ship that you fly to a particular part of space and then click on it to turn it
into a star base.
You can alternatively send it to an existing star base to upgrade the star
base. To do this, you move the constructor on top of a star base and a dialog
will pop up asking you if you want to upgrade the star base. If you select
"Yes" you are given a list of possible upgrades.
What upgrades you can provide will be based on the technologies you research.
The only other limit is the amount of space these upgrades will take on your
star base (however, there will be technologies that lower the space things take
due to miniaturization).
Star bases can perform a wide variety of actions. But because constructors are
going to be VERY expensive to create (they are the true equivalent of a
"settler" people have been looking for) you'll have to make tough
Things star bases have these capabilities:
1) If you build a star base on a resource, you can mine those resources for
additional ability advantages. Controlling and exploiting galactic resources
with star bases can make the difference between victory and defeat.
2) Support of star ships in the sector they are in - i.e. give bonuses to the
weapons, defense, speed, or hit points of friendly ships.
3) Trade bonuses - when a mini-freighter flies through a sector that has a star
base with trade upgrades, it can increase the amount of trade you receive from
that trade route while the mini freighter is in that sector. So a trade empire
might create a whole line of trade star bases that follow its trade routes.
4) Influence bonuses. Star bases that improve your influence in a sector. Your
overall influence determines the likelyhood of a star system rebelling to join
you without you having to conquer it. So put star bases with nfluence upgrades
in sectors that you want to peacefully conquer.
5) You can also upgrade a Star base into a terror star. If
you achieve terror star technology, several new star base modules become
available. Once those modules have been added, the star base becomes a weapon
of mass destruction that can destroy entire star systems!
Figure 2 Terror stars destroy entire
So if you see that Terror Star under construction, you'll have to make some
The galaxy has several different kinds of resources. To utilize these
resources, you must build a star base on them. Star bases can have mining
modules added to them to extract increasing amounts of the galactic resources
which add to your civilization’s abilities.
These resources include:
Morale Resources. These resources contain a
special type of fluid that increases the health of any living thing. The net
result is that the more you mine them, the more of a morale boost your people
will receive (and hencea higher
Resources. These resources contain a type of metal that is extremely valuable
in trade. The net result is that the more of these you mine, the greater your
economic ability is increased.
Resources. These resources contain a special type of energy that magnify your
weapons and shielding on your ships which makes them stronger and more
Resources. These resources can increase your civilization’s cultural ability.
Mining these will be important to any civilization that is hoping to convince
other civilizations to defect to them peacefully.
Resources. These resources are contain a type of crystal useful for vastly
increasing the effectiveness of your existing research computers. The net
effect is that you gain in your ability to research.
Resource. These are very very rare and for good reason. They are crystals that
magnify the life force of any living thing they are near. The net result is
that they improve the quality of your planets.
When you click on a star, the planets within it will be
displayed on the right of the screen.
Information displayed here includes the planet class (red
number). Planet classes range from class 1 to class 20. The higher the number,
the better. There are rumors that planets higher than this can exist but this
has not been verified by our scientists.
Figure 3 When you click on a star
system, the planets within are displayed.
By putting your mouse over a given planet you can get
an idea of what the surface is like.
Figure 4 Typical view of an earth like
Single clicking on a planet will bring up the planet view.
Incidentally, double clicking on the star will bring up the planet view of the
first colonized planet in the star system.
The planet management window displays key information on
Figure 5 from the planet view you can
determine what military and social projects you create.
A planet can construct both a military project and a social
project at the same time. The speed in which these get constructed depends on
your overall spending level as well as what ratio you are spending on military
vs. social vs. research. How many industrial units are being spend per month is
displayed in the form of shields, hammers, and beakers depending on which
category they are going into.
In the display, industrial units are displayed in the form
of (X + Y). For example, your military production might say Military (4 + 1)
for a total of 5 industrial units being spent on military projects. However,
your treasury is only deducted by 4. The +1 represents a bonus production.
Improvements in efficiency, productivity, etc. can provide you with free
The display also shows what planet class it is. The higher
the class, the better the planet. Class 15 and higher are consider desirable.
Morale indicates what your approval rating on that planet
is. Anything over 50% is considered good. Morale affects the productivity of
your population to a slight extent. The happier your people, the harder they
work. Morale can be improved through the building of entertainment related
When you build a ship or a social project, the amount of
time in months is displayed. However, you can instantly build something by
contracting it out to one of the 4 major human sub-contractors. These
sub-contractors will build it for X up front plus Y per month for Z
months.Depending on your current
financial situation, different choices will be appropriate at different times.
These tend to be much more powerful in their effect than a
planetary improvement but they can only be built one time per civilization. A
good example of this would be your various civilization capitals such as
Economic Capital, Manufacturing Capital, Technology Capital, and Political
Trade goods are a different animal all together. Essentially
they represent your civilization “inventing” something. Only one civilization
can own such an invention but that civilization can license it (from the
diplomacy screen) to other civilizations. It is treated much like a galactic
wonder whose effects can be given to other civilizations as well. For that
reason, they are in many ways more powerful than galactic wonders though their
effects tend to be less significant.
By pressing the Details button, you can find additional
information out on the planet as well as assign a governor to the planet. The
details view is mostly for providing additional information and tweaking things
for your planet. For instance, from the details view you can provide propaganda
to your people. This won’t have much affect in making them happier but it can
have some. Where propaganda has a major affect is if you are being destabilized
by a foreign power (we’ll talk more about that shortly).
By pressing the fleet button on the bottom of the main
screen you can list the star ships that are in your civilization.This view can do more than just display
ships. It is designed to allow you to send those ships to the part of the
galaxy that you are currently viewing.To do this, click on the arrow button to the right of the ship read-out
on the list.
The domestic policy screen is designed to allow you to
control all aspects of your government’s home affairs. This includes your tax
rate, your spend rate, how you spend your money (domestically), your form of
government, governor management, trade route management, vital statistics, and
Your tax rate determines what percentage of the income of
your people (and corporations) that you are taking in.The higher the tax rate, the more income you
will generally get from taxes. However, the higher the tax rate, the more
unhappy your people become and you will actually see cases where income will
become lower. That’s because your population will report that it is decreasing.
Your reported population is purely the number of tax paying citizens.As taxes go up, more of them go bankrupt or
simply hide their income from the government resulting in the loss of tax
payers. So there is a sweet spot that you will have to find. Generally it’s
between 20% and 50% depending on your circumstances.
The spend rate is what percentage of your manufacturing and
technological ability you are using. This is heavily influenced by what types
of improvements you have made to your planets.After all, you can put your spend rate to 100% but if you have no
factories and other things to actually do the spending, you may not actually
end up spending that much.
The spending ratios determine where your spending is going
by percentage – roughly. All things being equal it will divide it evenly.However, let’s say you’ve built a research
center on all your planets but no factories, you will find that you don’t need
to put as much emphasis on research to get the same amount of research
resources produces per month.
The sliders are ratios. Therefore, what matters is how they
are related to each other. Put all three sliders to the top and you’ll be
splitting your income 3 ways equally. So to use them properly keep in mind it’s
their relationship to one another that matters, not their absolute slider
Your political party and civilization bonuses require that
you maintain control of the senate. This is done by keeping your people
happy…or at least keeping them happy during an election year.Elections occur every 4 game years.By default, your form of government is
Imperial and hence your party will have 100% control of the Galactic
Senate.It becomes an issue when you
upgrade your form of government. Then the elections will be held and other
parties will vie for control.
Most of your money goes to pay for the production of ships,
planetary improvements, and researching.Over the course of the game, other expenses will arise such as how
expensive ships are to maintain and how expensive social improvements are to
maintain. Ship maintenance is kept in the military category. Maintenance refers
to social projects maintenance costs.
Another source of expense is the GIA – The Galactic
Intelligence Agency. This is money spent spying on other civilizations and
destabilizing them.Additionally, leases
can become a significant expense if you have purchased ships for a small amount
up front but a monthly lease fee.
Your civilization can go into debt. What occurs eventually
is that the longer your civilization is in debt, the more unhappy your people
become. At –500bc (billion credits) spending on planets stops.
By default, your civilization is an Imperial form of
government.However, as time goes on,
other forms of government will come on-line.
These governments come with their own pros and cons.On the one hand, they usually give you an
economic advantage. On the other hand, they require that you control the
galactic senate to make use of your political abilities.
This is where Earth has begun to allow its colonies to have
representatives in the senate. This has the benefit of increasing your economic
power by around 20%. However, if you lose control of the senate, you lose your
political party bonuses.
This is the next step up. This is where each of your
colonies is a quasi-sovereign entity with its own rights. Earth remains the
supreme voice of your civilization. It is harder to maintain control of the
senate but you receive a 40% economic bonus.
Governors are there to reduce micromanagement.Very often in strategy games the game is fun
early on when you are just building up your empire. But during the later parts
of the game, the micro management just sucks all the fun out.
Governors are designed to let you control your planets on a
macro level. There is no artificial intelligence, you remain in complete
control. The difference is that your orders are now carried about in groups
rather than one planet at a time.
When you click on the Details
view on a planet, you can choose a governor. The name of the governor is
meaningless in itself. What matters is what you have assigned those governors
to do from this screen.
On the Governor Management screen you select a governor and
then tell that governor what he is to do. You can direct him to build your
social projects in a specific order. Any planet with that governor will then
automatically build social projects in the given order.
Similarly, on military projects you can tell every planet
that has that governor to build a particular ship at once.
By default, your civilization will be able to have 3 trade
routes.Trade is a very tricky thing
from a political standpoint. Getting alien civilizations to let you have a
cultural and economic presence requires an immense amount of negotiating skill.
Other technologies can provide you with more trade routes (and choosing the
mercantile political party will allow you an additional trade route).
This screen displays what your trade routes are doing:
The key information includes:
What year the trade route began. Older trade routes tend to
provide more revenue than newer ones (i.e. there is a bonus given).
What star system it starts at.
What planet it ends at.
How far away it is in light years (moves).
The current per month income from that trade route.
Additionally, you will also be able to turn on and off trade
embargos. If you don’t want a particular civilization trading with you, then
you can keep them from doing so. When you trade with a particular civilization,
it gains just as much from the trade route as you do.
On the domestic statistics screen you can see everything you
ever wanted to know about your civilization (and then some).You can see what your civilization abilities
are,your economy, your society (are you
good or evil, etc.) along with a run down on your military relations with other
civilizations report. The more often you’re at war with a civilization and the
longer you’re at war with them, the more of a lasting problem relations with
them will be, this will keep an eye on that.
Foreign policy is about managing your relations with other
civilizations. Much of your foreign policy is therefore focused on learning as
much about other civilizations as possible in order to determine the proper
course of action. In Galactic Civilizations, it’s not a matter of having 5
generic alien civilizations and another half dozen minor civilizations that all
act the same. Each one is unique and has dozens of settings (determined at the
outset of a game) that determine their behavior. Therefore, your job as a
diplomat is to find out what makes them tick.
If you are taking the course of a “good” civilization, no
amount of appeasing and reason is going to make an evil civilization behave as
you would like.
The Relations page of foreign policy will outline your
current diplomatic relations with a given major civilization. It ranges from
“at war” to “allied”.If their relations
with you are above Cordial then you are considered to be a “friend”. The better
your relations are with a civilization, the more likely they are to help you
(even covertly) in times of need.
Another key piece of information are treaties. What are the
relations between the various civilizations. Think twice about attacking the
Yor if they are friendly with the Arceans. Even if the Arceans don’t declare
war on you, you may find that the Yor seems to have an endless supply of money
and material to fight you with.
The United Planets passes laws that govern everyone that is
part of it. You don’t have to be part of the United Planets. But without
membership, you cannot trade with other civilizations.This screen will display the various laws
already enacted so that you can keep track of what policies are in place.
The smaller civilizations are only different from major ones
in that they don’t count towards game winning conditions. They are also less
likely to colonize other planets. Other than that, they are identical to the
other civilizations. This screen will allow you to interact with them if you
You can spend money to learn more about a target
civilization (culminating in stealing their technologies) or you can spend
money to destabilize them. Destabilizing is in effect spending money to make
their people unhappy which makes them more inclined to defect to a rival
Espionage is important because often times having enough
intelligence on different civilizations can keep random bad things from happening.
There are terrorist plots, intrigues and other things that are somewhat
intangible that having a reasonable level of intelligence on those
civilizations can protect you from.
Destabilizing is extremely powerful but beware, it can
permanently damage your relations with that civilization. Use destabilization
only as a last resort where you plan to annihilate that civilization.
When you press the “Speak to..” button on the star system
view or in the foreign policy view the diplomacy window is brought up.
Figure 7 If we could talk to the
Other civilizations are not only snappy dressers, they have
very complex personalities behind them. Each civilization has its own unique
strategy engine working behind it and hence how it will react to you may be
slightly to dramatically different than how others would react.
You can trade a wide range of technologies and treaties that
you can negotiate. Your ability to convince them to do what you want is largely
based on your diplomacy ability.
When you begin the game, you are asked to choose a
technology for your researchers to look into. Each of your planets contributes
to this research (shown by the beakers on the planet management screen). Some
technologies take longer to research than others. But technologies are what
give you new abilities, new ships to build, new improvements to build, new
trade goods, etc.
During the course of the game your civilization will have to
deal with unexpected events. These events largely determine the shape of your
civilization from a moral/ethical perspective. When looking back on history, it
is easy to condemn the decisions made by men and women in the past. But when
confronted with difficult choices, the more brutal path may make the difference
between survival and oblivion.
For example, your colonists discover that one of your worlds
is already populated by a pre-industrial society. What should you do? On the
one hand, they were there first. You could only colonize parts of the world not
already in use. But doing so would cut the planet’s productivity in half. On
the other hand, you could enslave them increasing productivity. It’s a harsh
galaxy that isn’t terribly forgiving. What if being nice led to a hostile
empire conquering Earth?
The choices you make in these situation modify your
civilization’s moral rating. Some civilizations are evil. Others are good and
most are somewhere in between. These differences represent the foundation of
their cultures. The way different civilizations behave is highly dependent on
this and how they treat you depends on this relationship. Take the path of evil
and the good civilizations may band together and attempt to conquer you to
force a “regime change”. Take the path of good and you may be weaker but gain
the support of other civilizations in the time of need.
What technologies are available to you is also dependent on
this. Some technologies are only available to good civilizations and some are
only available to evil ones.
Your influence represents how much sway you have in the
United Planets. It also determines how much impact your culture has on other
civilizations. The higher your influence, the more star systems near you likely
to ask to become part of your civilization.
Influence works as follows:
Each star system has an inate amount of influence. A typical
star system has no influence at all on its own. But those with good base
planets may have an influence rating of 2 to 3 points. Once in a great while, a
star system may have been home to the precursors (an ancient race that once
controlled the galaxy thousands of years ago) and those star systems are much
higher in prestige to control and therefore provide much more influence.
This base influence in a star system can be modified through
the building of wonders and planetary improvements. They are also modified by
your civilization’s influence ability which you gain through the research of
Your influence is calculated each turn and builds up until
the United Planets Security Council is in session at which point you can use it
to vote for a particular policy. You can also trade influence like a form of
currency in the diplomacy dialog.
Influence also works on other star systems directly.A given sector has 8 sectors that are
adjacent to it. Your influence on a particular star system is therefore based
on who controls the adjacent star systems.
Your civilization’s influence per turn is 10 and so is the
Let’s say the Drengin Colony Sander II has 2 sectors
adjacent that are owned by the Drengin and 2 that are owned by you.
Influence on Sander II is therefore:
Drengin Influence: 10 X 2 + 10 (for the sector it is in) =
Your influence on Sander II: 10 X 2 = 20
However, if you are pursuing the cultural domination
victory, you can do something about this. You can build star bases in those
adjacent sectors and even in the sector Sander II is in (though it’s risky to
build in a foreign controlled sector). These star bases can be upgraded by
docking a constructor with them to be trade centers (and can keep being
upgraded with more constructors). Trade centers increase the local influence of
So let’s say you have built two star bases and upgraded both
of them to be trade centers which increase your local influence by 50%.
Now your influence is: (10 + (10 x 50%) + 10 + 10X50%) = 30.
Now your influence is 30.Build a third star base that you upgrade to a trade center in that
actual sector and your influence is dramatically increased further and
eventually, if the Drengin don’t take measures, Sander II will join your
The counter to this of course is to build up your local
planetary influence plus build trade centers to counteract your trade centers.
But unless they are pursuing the same strategy as you are, they are likely to
have to fight back through a different path (like attacking your star bases or
trying to get the United Planets to outlaw building star bases in foreign
controlled sectors). Military Might and improvements can also help.
When you research the technology “Diplomacy” you are asked
if you want to become part of the United Planets. If you say YES then you are
subject to its policies (if you say NO, nobody will trade with you).
Generally speaking, the United Planets is a great way to try
to mold the galaxy (and the game) to your liking. Want planetary bombardment
units to soften up the enemy? They’re illegal at the start but maybe that will
come up and you can vote for it.What
about making it illegal to attack freighters during war? Or requiring universal
truces for 10 years?Even wealth
redistribution can be permitted. Use your influence to take from the rich to
give to you.
The amount of votes you have in the United Planets is based
on your influence (which was previously discussed). The United Planets comes up
every 4 years by default (though can be voted to come up even more often).
Galactic Civilizations is a single player turn based
strategy. However, for users who want to compete with other people from around
the world, the Metaverse is provides a close approximation to that level of
competition. When you finish a game, you can submit your score to the
Metaverse.Your score is a form of
currency. The more points you have, the higher ranked you are and the larger
your empire is in the Metaverse. As you gain points, your title increases (peon
up to grand master).
Players can also band together to form empires. The points
of those players are put together into a single imperial score which is
displayed on the galactic map as a single empire. Empires will have their own
statistics on games, strategies, and journals and more.
GalCiv is also capable of downloading strategies
automatically from the net. Submitted scores include basic information on what
strategies were employed (what technologies were researched and in what order,
what ships and improvements you built in what order, your style of playing,
your moral strategy, the type of strategy employed overall, etc.).The GalCiv AI can then download this information
from the Metaverse to improve both the quality of the AI and the humanity of
Eventually, Stardock hopes to allow players to literally
choose a player from the Metaverse to play and simulate that player (roughly
speaking) in a game. The only thing missing would be the time waiting for
others to move and disconnects!
How many points you get on a game is dependent on these
you won, how did you win?
long did it take you to win?
many people were born into your civilization per sector?
much technology did you amass?
version of the game did you use?
These six factors are combined together to generate your
score and submitted to the Metaverse at GalCiv.com.
When you first load Galactic Civilizations you are presented
with the main menu. Choose create a new civilization.The next screen allows you to pick your
political party and your civilization advantages. For your first game, none of
these things matter that much. You will want to pick a tiny or small galaxy,
however for your first try. The next screen allows you to pick your opponents.
Put their intelligence to “idiot” so that you don’t have to worry about being
conquered early in the game.
Once you are in the game, you will be greeted by the status
report screen that gives you an outline on what has occurred. When you are done
there, close that and pick a technology. For starting out, we suggest choosing Communication
Theory since this will lead you to be able to research Universal
Translators which allow you to speak to alien civilizations.
Once you are actually in the game, you will see that you
have two ships. The first one is a survey ship called the USS Hero. This ship
can explore anomalies. Anomalies are the various weird visual elements on the
game screen. These will give your civilization or your ship additional
abilities. LEFT-CLICK on your survey ship and then RIGHT-CLICK where you want
to send him. LEFT-CLICKING will select things and RIGHT-CLICK will send them to
where you want them to go.
On the colony ship, select that and look around for a yellow
star. Yellow stars tend to have higher quality planets in orbit. If you don’t
see any, look on the mini map for a near by sector that has lots of stars in
it. Send it on its way.
Now click on “Sol”. This will bring up the Terran home star
system. Now click on Earth. The early part of Galactic Civilizations is largely
about claiming as many of the good planets as possible. To this end, you will
want to build colony ships quickly. The way to do that is to select a colony
ship and then purchase the ship immediately. Hurrying production will cost a
lot more than waiting for it to be built at a normal pace but time is of the
essence early on.
When you click on the purchase button, you are given four
choices in vendors to provide the ship. Early on it’s more important to keep
your treasury up as opposed to worrying about your monthly lease fees. For that
reason, you will want to choose Mitrosoft as the vendor. Mitrosoft products
tend to be less expensive initially but you end up paying for it later on. Send
these colony ships out as long as there are habitable planets available for
colonizing. But don’t over do it, you don’t want to end up having your
civilization go broke due to leases later on.
Once you research Universal Translator, you may want to
research Diplomacy. Diplomacy will give you the ability to research
Interstellar Trade (“Trade”). When this has been accomplished, you can built
freighters.It’s a good idea to build a
couple of freighters early on so that you can get a financial boost to allow
you to pursue your strategy of galactic dominion. Once the freighter has been
built, send it to a foreign star system that has a high population. This will
initiate the trade route (you’ll see the small trade ship begin flying back and
forth each turn).
At this point, it’s probably a good idea to start thinking
about defense. To get some basic defenses going, research Defense Theory and
then Deflectors. This will make the new Defender class star ship available.
Defenders are…well good at defending planets. You should also keep an eye on
the arms race via the graphs window on the right side of the screen. Choose
military might to make sure the other civilizations aren’t outclassing you too
much militarily. Civilizations you are trading with tend to be friendlier but
it’s all a matter of degree. Defenseless civilizations become prey to the more
You are now moving towards the next phase in the game. Where
the early part of the game is about grabbing as many good planets as you can,
the next step is trying to claim the limited number of galactic resources.
Galactic resources can vastly improve your abilities when exploited by star
bases and upgraded with mining modules. Only constructors can do this.
Constructors are expensive which means you’ll have to make a tough choice –
build up your trading empire? Build up your military? Put your effort into
researching? Put money into social projects? Or build constructors?
If you choose to build constructors, simply send the
finished constructors to resources that do not yet have any star bases on
them.Building more constructors and
sending them to existing star bases will prompt you to upgrade them in various
ways. What path you take here depends on your strategy.
Now you’re ready to compete in a hostile galaxy. Here are
some other tips:
On keeping your people happy
Don’t worry too much about keeping people’s morale terribly
high. Even the most popular leaders have a hard time keeping their approval
rating over 55%. Try to keep it over 50% so that you have a good chance of
On increasing your influence
There are social projects that can build up your influence.
But more importantly, you can add modules to your star bases that will magnify
your influence in a given sector. Remember that new modules become available
when you research new technologies.
On Taxing and Spending
Just remember that your spend rate determines what
percentage of your industrial capacity you are using. Many new players
mistakenly believe that if they put their spend rate to 100% that they should
have a balanced budget. If your industrial capacity is weaker than your
financial power, you can have a 100% spend rate and still make money. That
means you need to build more factories and power plants. Additionally, higher
taxes mean lower morale.
On maintaining relations
If you’re an evil civilization, you’re going to have a hard
time getting along with others no matter what. But otherwise, you can keep your
relations good through trade, gifts, and generous negotiations. The AI
remembers how it’s been treated in diplomatic discussions and bases its
behavior based on that.
Technical support is through Strategy First (www.strategyfirst.com). However,
players are also encouraged to check out the main Galactic Civilizations
website (http://www.galciv1.com) where the
development team is available at and other players can talk to you on the
forums to help you out with problems. Software updates will also be available
on the GalCiv website.
The animation is very choppy when I first load up the
Galactic Civilizations is very multithreaded. This means
that the game multitasks within itself. However, on some systems, the
background loading of the game components slows down the game animation.Once you are in the game, you can open up the
options menu and choose “Turn off background loading”. This will make the game
take somewhat longer to first load but there won’t be background processing
while the game is playing its intro cut scenes and such.
I would like to run Galactic Civilizations on an older
computer. Is there anything I can do to do this?
Yes, most of the hardware requirements of Galactic
Civilizations revolve around the multimedia. You can delete the .BIK files (or
move them somewhere else) and this will remove the videos. Some parts of the
game may look static or strange but it will allow you to play on an older
system. Check the Galactic Civilizations website for other tips (www.galciv1.com).
When I go to the planet screen and some other screens I
hear crackling on my speakers.
Some sound drivers do not properly support multiple
streaming of MP3s within the same process. If you update your sound drivers to
the latest version and make sure you have DirectX 8 or later installed this
should take care of it.
The game keeps returning to desktop unexpectedly.
Makes sure you are not running the debug (or developer
version) of DirectX 8.x. There is a bug that is fixed in the release version of
DirectX 8.x that causes Galactic Civilizations to crash.
Can the game be modified by users?
Yes. In the \DATA directory you will find .SHIP, .EVENT,
.SBMODULE, .TECH, and .IMP files. You can modify these to add more ships,
events, modules, technologies, and more.
Stardock would like to thank the hundreds of
external beta testers who helped out throughout the beta cycle. In particular
we would like to thank:
D Dominic Breeze
Adam R Kelm
Jeffery s Legere
Kris D McCann
Robert F. O'Connor