Galactic Civilization

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Galactic Civilizations: Altarian Prophecy


Galactic Civilizations I: Ultimate Edition combines the award-winning Galactic Civilizations with the Altarian Prophecy expansion pack to create a stellar adventure.

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Executive Summary

Once upon a time, Galactic Civilizations was released.  And for the year after its release, Stardock released a ton of free updates to the game. 

But in response to user demand, Stardock has created something particularly special, a true expansion pack that adds an immense number of new features to the game.

The key features include:

• Support for custom scenarios including a scenario editor and in-game scenario management.
• Support for campaigns including a campaign editor
• Support for custom maps (previously the game just generated random maps each game) along with a map creation application.
• Two new alien civilizations
• New ships with unique special abilities
• New technologies, game play tweaks, and other changes to make the game more fun.
• A set of customized maps and scenarios
• The campaign: The Altarian Prophecy

Stardock’s hope is that these new features will bring new life to the award-winning game.

The Story: The Altarian Prophecy

The Altarian Prophecy campaign is the included example campaign to help players learn how to create their own. Stardock has set up a library at so that users can share their maps, scenarios, and campaigns with other people.

But the Altarian Prophecy campaign does have a specific story behind it from the Galactic Civilizations background story.  The story of why the Altarian civilization look very similar to humans.

In the late 22nd century, humanity came into contact with 5 major alien civilizations. These civilizations were called, the Drengin Empire, the Torian Confederation, the Arcean Empire, the Yor Collective and the Altarian Republic.  Of these 5, the Altarians were the most curious to us. Not for their cultural traits or their technology but because they happened to look human. How was this possible?

The "Altarian Prophecy" is a campaign that takes the player on a multi-game journey to solve the mystery alluded to in Galactic Civilizations. In doing so, it introduces two new civilizations: The Dominion of the Korx and the Drath. These two civilizations hold the secret to Altaria's past, but worse, they know the Altarian Prophecy that for tells the destruction of the galaxy that is connected to Altaria's past.

The Features

To create this campaign, Galactic Civilizations had to undergo a great deal of development. Development that also happened to add features to Galactic Civilizations itself that will add a great deal of renewed replay ability long after the campaign is complete.

The Map Editor

In Galactic Civilizations, maps are randomly generated each game. Expert players have made good use of the Ctrl-N keyboard combination to regenerate maps until they get one that suits them. Random maps are a must in any game of this kind for replay ability. But they can also be unsatisfying due to the inherent chance of unbalanced playing fields.  This expansion pack introduces both a map editor to create maps and the ability to choose a pre-created map within the game itself. Stardock, who did the maps for the Starcraft add-on Retribution, has considerable experience in creating good strategic maps and that skill will be applied to generate several maps to be included.

The map editor allows the placement of not just stars and planets but of ships as well. Players can thus generate maps that start out with each side already having ships on the map. This combined with the Scenario Editor (we'll talk about that next) will allow for games that resemble Bungie's Myth but in space where each side has set units and must make due with just that.

The Scenario Editor

In Galactic Civilizations all games are "free for all". That is, you start the game on your own side and must fend for yourself. All technologies are on the table and the pace of research, influence, and other factors are hard coded into the game...

Not anymore. With the Scenario Editor, players can create their own environment for GalCiv to exist and and load them from within the game. For example, players can start their games with teams of 2 or 3 or 4 or their own custom teams.

Like maps, players will be able to save their scenarios as their own files and share them with others in GalCiv's Metaverse library. For long time strategy game players and scenario creators, the fact that scenarios are NOT tied to the maps is a major advantage.

The scenario editor also supports triggers. Stardock plans to continue to enhance the scenario editor after release with additional triggers. A trigger is a programmable condition that when met launches another condition.

Moreover, the scenario allows players to customize their starting conditions such as money, what technologies are available in the game, what technologies they start out with, and much more.

Galactic Civilizations itself has undergone a massive number of changes in order to make use of all these new settings.


The Campaign Editor

For players who want to put together a campaign, the Campaign editor allows them to tie scenarios and maps together into a coherent group of missions. Any number of missions can be created in a campaign with each mission starting with a description and its own ending text.

Like scenarios and maps, Stardock is making the campaign editor such that campaigns can be shared with other users. The Metaverse will be enhanced to have the top players of a given campaign listed along with top empires of a given campaign (though at present Stardock only plans to provide Metaverse rankings to sanctioned campaigns whether created by Stardock or players).

New Ships

There are 4 new star ships introduced in the new game that have special powers:

Paladin. Available only good good aligned civilizations, the Paladin in a fairly tough capital ship that has the added ability to restore the hit points of friendly ships in the same sector slightly faster.

Wraith. This evil-only ship causes all enemy ships to take a -1 -10% to their defense rating when in the same sector.

Vamp. This ship, only available to evil civilizations, is not terribly tough but in battle absorbs some of its opponent's shield energy and adds it to its own hit point level during battle.

Sovereign. This ship is the answer to the wraith. All friendly ships get +1 +10% to their defense rating when in the same sector.

Ship abilities don't stack but careful use can make a big difference when determining the fate of the galaxy.

The Custom Scenarios

The Metaverse will be enhanced to support 10 new scenarios. Players will be able to play these scenarios any way they wish in an effort to maximize their score (i.e. choose the galaxy size, which players, etc.). These 10 scenarios will put GalCiv players into a serious challenge.

Good vs. Evil. In this scenario all civilizations are teamed based on their moral alignment. Human players must pick a side or fall victim to one or both teams.

Altarian Alliance. The Humans and the Altarians are teamed up against multiple sets of teams for control of the galaxy.

Twilight of Humanity. Things look grim for the humans as it is everyone versus mankind. Can the humans take on all 7 major alien civilizations at once?

Attrition. No technology research in this scenario, players have equal weapons and technology and must duke it out.

Protection. The humans must win over the galaxy while ensuring the survival of the Altarians who are on your team. If they die, you die.

Diplomacy. The humans must survive a hostile galaxy either through winning via traditional means or somehow getting the Arceans to form an alliance.

Dark Earth. Take on the role as leader of an evil Earth united with the Drengin Empire. Ship costs are vastly reduced in this scenario allowing for the ultimate battle as the good races are united to put an end to the humans.

Acceleration. The technology rate, population growth, and speed of ships is greatly increased over normal levels while influence and ship costs are raised in this battle of logistics.

Influence. The power of influence has been greatly increased in this scenario but will it avail you against the alliance of evil powers?

Hyper Technology. Technology is vastly easier to require but the technology victory condition is disabled.

With custom maps and scenarios now part of the game, players can design their own games, download them from or make use of ones included.

Two new civilizations adds to the dynamics, particularly when combined with the new team and permanent war options. Players can now select intelligence individually or choose a general difficulty level to play at.

The Campaign

The campaign is a series of related missions which enable the player to play through the Altarian Prophecy to conclusion.  During the campaign, players will meet two new civilizations and have to win the game using very different tactics from mission to mission.

Some missions will require the player to avoid going to war with a particular civilization. Others will encourage winning through cultural assimilation. And still others will require good old military power. The maps have been designed by the same team that created the Starcraft: Retribution maps to ensure that the maps are properly balanced and generate a lot of play style possibilities.

The campaign screen takes you through each mission outlining objectives. Players can create their own campaigns with the included campaign creator.

Other features

In addition to the hundreds of features added to support the Campaign Editor, The Scenario Editor, The Map editor and the two new civilizations, Stardock is also adding a great deal of new content in other forms:

  • A host of new technologies, many of which make use of an upcoming new civilization ability called "Logistics".

  • New Galactic Wonders

  • New, cleaner United Planets screen

  • And dozens of small tweaks and changes to enhance the game play further.

Altarian Prophecy integraets all the cool features Stardock has added to Galactic Civilizations over the past year including Way points.

Diplomacy has been enhanced so that teammates are much more likely to trade generously with you.

The new United Planets screen for Altarian Prophecy.

Set way points and control your plants from a single screen.

The new diplomacy screen for handling 7 civilizations at once.

The Korx in action. Each civilization has their own unique dialog and personality along with its own multi-threaded AI engine underneath.

The Galactic Encyclopedia, a feature that wasn't part of GalCiv when released (that should have been but wasn't because we're dumb) in action.

Political parties in action.

New events help create moral dilemas for players.

Managing your economy is still a central part of the game.

The Korx are the principle adversary of the Altarian Prophecy. But there is another civilization pulling their strings later on...

New capital ships enter the fray, the Paladin amongst others have special abilities.

The intelligent status report remains a major part of the feel of the game.

The scenarios include triggered events that allow for specific star systems to be game winning conditions.



Galactic Civilizations: Altarian Prophecy is now available!

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