I am a history buff. I
love to read about military history in particular. I donít
know how many hours Iíve spent reading about the Civil War,
World War I, World War II, and the cold war.Recounts on the rise of nation states and how culture,
morality, and society impact the survival of a nation state
never cease to interest me.
If you are into these
things too, then you will definitely love Galactic Civilizations
because it is the game, and possibly the only game ever made,
that brings such broad elements to a ďstrategy gameĒ.
Galactic Civilizations is a strategy game. But it is unlike any
strategy game youíve probably ever played. Its first
incarnation was relatively simple and on OS/2 back in 1994 (the
version weíre creating today share the basic ground work and
the name and thatís about it). Some people were unhappy that
the manual did not include charts on the technology tree or the
cost of producing things, or the direct impact units or
structures would have on your planets, star systems, or people
as a whole.
The reason those things
werenít included and wonít be included again is that unlike
most strategy games, Galactic Civilizations changes the rules
depending on your civilization.
Why? Because in reality,
thatís how things work. In World War II, 1 German division
could take out 5 Soviet divisions on the Eastern front despite
having relatively similar technology. In fact, in the later
stages of the war, the Soviet union was vastly out-producing the
Germans and still 1 German division still equated to greater
than 2 Soviet divisions.On
the western front, 2 German divisions could take on 3 Allied
The point being,
depending on the culture, the background and the circumstances
all thing arenít equal.Now,
GalCiv doesnít deal with things quite that subtly as the above
example but you get the idea.
is really a civilization simulator with strategic goals in it. The
technologies, and improvements available to you depend greatly
on your civilization. When you colonize Deleneth IV and find a
race of pre-industrial humanoids already using up 30% of the
surface of the planet, what do you do? We donít constrain the
player, we let them decide what they should do (Slave labor?
Leave the planet alone? Extermination? Resrvation areas for
them?). Your choices will impact the rest of the game in many
subtle ways. Moreover, these choices will bring to the forefront
what other civilizations had to actually go through. Itís
pretty easy to condemn the terrible things that the USA did to
the native inhabitants of North
America in hindsight. But when in a competitive world where
youíre fighting for survival or supremacy or what have you,
such decisions become a lot tougher.
And the depth doesnít
stop with having dynamic cultures. Each game will feel different
because the game includes hundreds of different types of random
events that can completely change the course of the game (from
civil wars to intergalactic invaders to massive plagues to
insane dictators from alien races).
In short, history can be
a fascinating thing to read. But in Galactic Civilizations,
history is a fantastic thing to make.