Earlier today, Stardock announced Galactic Civilizations 4: a new 4X space strategy game in the series that’s been around since the early ’90s. The full release is planned for next year, but an alpha version is scheduled to be out this June.

GalCiv 4 will elaborate on GalCiv 3’s interstellar empire building in some pretty significant ways. Put briefly(ish), with quotes from Stardock CEO Brad Wardell:

  • The standard GalCiv star map has been improved with “genuine coherent solar systems.” But the bigger thing is that each map is now a “sector,” and when you zoom out, you see a bunch of sectors connected by “subspace streams.” In other words, the scale of each game has been upped by a conceptual level. There’s a “map of maps.” (Though you can customize the size of games and just play in just one sector.)
  • Planets are no longer equal. There are core worlds which are supported by colonies.
  • To keep micromanagement down, colonies operate independently, feeding their core world with resources automatically.
  • However, a core world can’t effectively govern an unlimited number of colonies. Crime will begin to interfere. The answer: Send a governor to a colony to turn it into a core world.
  • This effectively “flips” the typical strategy game dynamic. Rather than recruiting AI leaders to automate governing, the player recruits AI leaders to add to the number of worlds that they can personally govern.
  • However, players may find themselves at odds with their own governors; “It’s been interesting to see how much insolence play testers have taken from an AI leader if that character provides really good perks to their civilization,” said Wardell.
  • Rather than a campaign, hidden conditions can trigger story events that can potentially result in a new story-driven event. These events are “very, very infrequent.” 

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