GalCiv IV: Supernova - First 10 Turns, May 2023

Published on Wednesday, May 3, 2023 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

GalCiv IV: Supernova - The First 10 Turns

Today we’re going to do a fairly simple game to “smoke test” the AI and general game mechanics. Here we will find bugs, AI issues and balance issues.


I’m playing as the Terran Alliance, the default civ.

Small galaxy, ONE sector. This lets us do an apples and apples comparison with GC3 and GC2.

Only 3 opponents.

In the beginning…

Our home solar system. I wouldn’t mind if Mars was moved so that it was closer.

Month 1: February 2307.

Picking research districts as my first tech:

Choosing Fast Exploration for more moves. I don’t really care about my HP.

Going to rush build my Industrial Center. I got a really good starting spot.



We got some good feedback saying that this sort of seemingly minor change just doesn’t feel very good. Let’s see what happens if we boost the level up bonus on this from 1% per level to 5%:


One idea we’re playing with:

Replace region districts directly with your citizens here. You would drag and drop them onto a region. You could move them around however you want.

This would require a lot of work because we’d need to deal with the fact you need these people to also man your special starships and we woudln’t want to yank them once they were placed or put players in the min/max position of extreme micro management.

We’d also have to deal with the fact that your colony would, mostly, not be building anything. But on the other hand, is that bad? Let us know.

Zooming out

Now, I feel like there should be tooltips for star systems. Something like this:

  1. Yellow Star.

    1. Yellow Stars are the most inviting for most forms of life. Habitable planets are more commonly found around them.

  2. Violet Star.

    1. Purple Stars are rare and are where Promethion can be found. Promethion is used is many advanced technologies.

  3. Red Star.

    1. Red stars tend to be larger and is where Durantium is most commonly found. Durantium is an exotic alloy needed for most mega structure efforts.

  4. Blue Star.

    1. Blue Stars are fairly uncommon. Their unusual gravimetric fields result in Thuilium, a highly dense material used for certain types of weapons can be found.

  5. White Star.

    1. White stars are a wild card. One never knows what htey might find.

 Anyway, still on turn 1.

For leaders, I went with the one that pumps up my tech. Now I almos thtink we have too much going on on turn 1 but I’m not in love with the idea of locking leaders behind a tech. Feel free to share your ideas.

Same thing with Executive orders. I almost think we could make some of these abilities be locked behind the Cultural Progression tree (and have fewer of them) to make these a lot more intersting.

There’s an amazing world not too far away.

So I’m going to draft colonists and send them over there.

For my first shipyard project, I have to go with the colony ship.

So who do I put on the ship? Always the least happy person I’m afraid. That said, this gets back to wanting the professions to be more powerful and varied from the start (And not easily changeable).

And at last, we have finished Month #1.

Month 2

The Endeavor has arrived at Mars. Now, there’s a bit of lore behind why isn’t there a Mars colony by this point?

I only see two possibiltiies:

#1 We will never go to mars as meat humans.


#2 We will not colonize Mars until we have a new type of propulsion.

In GalCiv, we assume #2.

Our flagship, the TAS Discovery is investigating an artifact just outside the solar system.

So we reach Mars and there’s a situation. Depending on the game, I pick different things. In this situation, I’m going to go with minerals because I happen to know it’s a crowded little sector and I want resources coming in quickly.

I’ve nearly doubled my output by the second month.

Our probe has flown near a pre-hyperdrive world. We can’t talk to them yet. This is going to be an area we’ll be expanding on a lot this Summer.

Meanwhile, the Discovery has finished investigating the artifact:

This will be nice for later. Now off to the next anomaly:

Month 3

My colony ship has reached the Malmo system.

This planet used to be a Precursor world that refined Promthion.

It’s an amazing world, so I’m going to assign a governor so we that we can manage it.

It’s funny, people in GalCiv III always said they wanted to place their colony capital. Well here you go!

Month 4:

First contact with another hyperdrive capable civilizations.

I have a good feeling about them.

Month 5

I’ve gotten research districts technology.

Now, I want to make it clear: I have total confidence that we and this “Drengin Empire” are going to be best friends. But I’m still going to research armed shuttles.

Let’s take a look at their world and compare it.

These Drengin don’t have much cultural output (Influence). And their pollution is relay really bad. But who are we to judge?


I have no idea what a Techpod Hive is but I’m going to get it (actually I do know but a new player won’t/shouldn’t).

Month 6

I’m actually pretty torn this time. I want Asteroid Mining and Universal Translator. But they’re so much more expensive than the ones getting a research bonus. I have to go with Space Elevators.

And I am going to get a Constructor to start claiming the shiny resources I’m finding.

Month 7

This doesn’t make me happy. The GNN is now in action and they have heard rumors there are two other civilizations out there. And both of them are better than ours.

Month 8

Artemis, the 9th planet of our solar system (didn’t you know?) is colonized.

And we’re going to sell it to Big Planet.

I also have enough culture points to choose a trait for my civilization.

Cultural Progression

This is an area of the game we are still lookingi at. I feel like it’s too much bread for the butter.

There are 14 different cultural paths here. Let’s assume they average 6 traits each. First off, that’s not many traits and second, even if you only can get half of them due to the balance, that’s still 42 of them. Let’s say you pick one every 10 turns, it would take 420 turns and that’s longer than we expect the average game to take. I’m 45 minutes into this game and I”m on turn 8.

Next, let’s look at the choices available right now:

  1. Self-Governance. Gets me a free leader. That is worthwhile.

  2. Iron Fist. +50 control. That’s worthwile.

  3. Ambition. Leaders cost less to hire. That’s weak.

  4. Fairness. 10% approval boost on my worlds. That’s weak

  5. Sacred History. 1000 influence on your home world. THAT’S HUGE. Ok fine.

  6. Eureka. 30 research. That’s pretty good.

  7. Kindses. +1 Diplomacy. Boo.

  8. Practicality. You get 3 SUpply ships. Ok that’s quite good.

  9. Amiable. +1 Diplomacy. Double boo.

  10. Spycraft. +5 Deception. The game doesn’t explain what that means so it’s worthless.

  11. Independence. -15% decay rate. Meh.

  12. Unification. +50% homeworld influence. This is too powerful.

  13. Intolerance. Citizens of other species don’t care if you’re at war with the homeworld of their species. This is nice but not a good one for the first choice.

  14. Tolerance. Core world start with 1000 influence. HOLY cow that’s OP. We need to take a 0 off that.

So of these I see a few good ones and a lot of weak ones.

Culture Traits should be more like a Loot Box. You get a thing with it. Something right then and there. Not a stat boost. So we’re going to have to revisit.

Month 9

From here I’m going to start really getting into the game and come back later….



Ultimately, I was able to conquer the other AI players pretty well. The issue is that the weapons are just too expensive for them and it messes with the value they put onto other things.

This in return resulted in an update we released to the game on May 2.

A from here we created the 1.6 requirements document. (smile)


GalCiv IV: Supernova First 10 Turns Series