Brad Wardell's Blog

GalCiv IV BETA v1.9 localization

Published on Wednesday, September 27, 2023 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv IV Localization


Our localization teams are hard at work across the world.   And the community has done some great work too.

However it is clear that we are not going to get all 185,000 words fully translated in time for release.  It takes about 60 days for the linguists we work with to edit and translate.

That said, we are fairly far along.   Stay tuned!

GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #26 - The Animals of AI

Published on Monday, September 25, 2023 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

When utilizing Stardock's AlienGPT, one might naturally ponder the question: which animals are the most sought-after choices for building a civilization around? Well, here's the answer.



Nearly 40% of users opt for cats, followed by foxes, fish, dogs, snakes, and more.

Animal Number of Mentions Percentage (%)
cat 1445 30.90
fox 331 7.08
fish 320 6.84
dog 319 6.82
snake 258 5.52
bird 251 5.37
tiger 219 4.68
wolf 190 4.06
rabbit 170 3.63
monkey 151 3.23
bear 139 2.97
elephant 133 2.84
shark 125 2.67
lion 102 2.18
giraffe 102 2.18
turtle 97 2.07
horse 84 1.80
sheep 83 1.77
dolphin 82 1.75
whale 76 1.62


Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Dev Journals

Weekend at Frogboy's Sept 2023

Published on Sunday, September 24, 2023 By Brad Wardell In Galactic Civilizations IV

Lots of cool stuff going in this weekend.

Lots of new planetary improvements

New executive orders


Let's go over it.

In no particular order..

  • Drath homeworld gets a backdrop

  • Removed references to empires in flavor text, replaced with civilizations.

New Executive Orders:

  • Mitosis

  • Swarm

  • Planetary Clairvoyance

New updated Planetary Improvements:

  • Colonial Generator now called Planetary Generator. Can be built on homeworld.

Unique improvements for Ammonia based species:

  • Network Nexus

  • Irradiated Foundry

  • Contagion Source

  • Golgi

  • Amoebic Incubator

  • Knowledge Melding Hub

Unique improvements for insectroid (consuming) species:

  • Work Instruction Chamber

  • Cerebral Chamber

  • Harmonious Antennae

  • Hatchery

  • Work Hive

  • Mother Hive

Planetary Improvement Updates

  • Many improvements are no longer available to insectoids or Amoebas.

  • Updated graphics for Planetary Generator and Industrial Center

  • Civilization capital no longer auto-placed. 

  • Resource income from planetary mines (like Thulium mines) greatly increased at level 2 and 3.

  • Level up bonus for districts generally reduced from 2% to 1%.

  • Possibility Engine icon replaced and cost increased while research bonus reduced from 100% to 50% (yea this was seriously OP)

Leader Backstory changes:

  • Ammonia (Amoebas) get their own backstories

  • Insectoids (like Festron) get their own backstories

  • Synthetic (like Yor) get their own backstories

  • Amoebas no longer have ridiculous backstories like arranged marriages

  • Insectoids (like Festron) no longer get ridiculous backstories like missing twin

  • Silicon based civs no longer get ridiculous backstories like wanting to be a chef

New late game flavor text for asking for peace and such.

  • AI speech to you changes more based on the current status of the galaxy.

Cultural Progression Tree:

  • Approval boost from Eureka is temporary and reduced to 5%.

  • Sovereign Identity stat buff reduced from 200% to 50%.

  • Big Brother stat buff removed.

  • Big Brother diligence buff set to 100%.

  • Legacy citizen stat buffs removed

  • Legacy provides a 200% buff to resolve

  • Utopia citizen stat buffs removed

  • Utopia buffs Social stat by 200%

  • Singularity trait stat buffs removed

  • Singularity trait doubles Intelligence of citizens

  • Sanctuary trait buffs reduced from 300% (4X) to 25%

  • Terror Star trait buffs removed. (just unlocks the Terror Star tech to research)

  • Hive Miind buff reduced like the Sanctuary ones.


  • Synthetic Species get their own technologies

  • Aggressive civs get their own technologies

  • Ammonia (like Cosmic Contaminate) get their own technologies

  • Greedy civs get their own technologies

  • Radiated civs get their own technologies

Ship Components

  • Sensor ranges for high end sensors reduced slightly

Word on the street:

  • Different species now get different word on the street summaries on their planets.

Star names:

  • Took out some goofy star names (hat tip: Astasia)

Research costs

  • Tech Inflation multplier further increased from 2.5% to 5%

  • Specific tech tree research cost now given a slight exponential growth (^1.02 power).

Map Generation:

  • Slightly more stars on occasional and abundant and common settings

  • Planet balancing for more satisfying starts.

Planets and Stars:

  • Festron home world planet class increased from 20 to 24, Resources on it reduced

  • Contaminate home star system now comes with 3 high quality planets since everyone else is gonna hate them.


  • Festron and Contaminate civs (and similar) blocked from various policies


  • Balance pass on the conversion between citizen stats and their output.

  • Workers no longer provide research benefits.

  • Ammonia based species base stats reduced because they basically amoebas. They make it up in quantity.

  • Various events that don't make any sense for a particular species not blocked. (The Yor do not mutate)


  • The Fleet Commander AI will not counter the Primary Strategic AI’s order to leave for battle against a distant foe if it doesn’t believe its fleet is ready. (stop sending out tiny fleets!)

  • Balance pass on AI shipyard manufacturing priorities.

Various Bug fixes:

  • Lots of small bug fixes

  • Fixed bug where trading screen wouldn’t recognize you already have the tech

  • Fixed bug where techs wouldn’t always show what they unlock



  • Distance between star systems reduced from 4 to 3 to speed up relative movement.
  • Rebalanced star count settings (now that they're working as designed)
  • Fusion Power Plant tech cost increased from 50 to 100
  • Life Support tech AI priority greatly increased
  • Tiny map size increased from 36 to 48 tiles radius.
  • Reduced the turtling the AI does when it's not at war
  • Fixed the buggy Siege ship behaivor
  • AI is much more likely to target their primary enemy units
  • Further reduce AI nagging for stuff
  • AI less likely to construct siege ships
  • Balance pass on AI research choices
  • Fixed map geneator bug that was resulting in inconsistent star quantities (note this may increase map generation time some)

and lastly

  • Pacing pass on tech speeds to make it more consistent on different map sizes.

GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #25 - A Galaxy for Everyone

Published on Thursday, September 14, 2023 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv IV Dev Journals


We are coming to the finish line for GalCiv IV: Supernova!

Our once reasonable scope has, of course, exploded over the Summer as we got our hands into making this the best space 4X game we've ever made!

The next major BETA update, 1.90 will be focusing on making the game more appealing to a much wider group of people.


Galactapedia Image 1

Galactapedia Image 2

Galactapedia Image 3


This feature is expected to expand significantly in the coming weeks. We're excited about its potential and are hopeful to integrate capabilities allowing modders to add their own entries.



Speaking of modders...

Modding Image 1

Modding Image 2


We are gearing up to unveil the GalCiv Workshop. It will start by supporting uploads of civs and ships.


Workshop Image


Design your ship, hit a button, and upload. The same goes for your custom civilizations. Moreover, in various places, you'll have the option to pick from a range of ships. In beta 1.9, we're interested in your feedback on where additional integration points could be located.

Stay tuned for updates on code modding!


Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Dev Journals

Help us localize GalCiv IV to more languages

Published on Wednesday, September 6, 2023 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv IV Localization

GalCiv III Language Support and Translation


For those of you who played GalCiv III, you might recall that its language support was somewhat limited. Given the sheer volume of text in the game, coupled with our small studio size in America, our linguistic reach was a bit put it mildly.

With GalCiv IV, we want to try to make sure we can get to as many people as possible and for that, we need your help.

Languages We Aim to Support for the Next Release:

  • German
  • French
  • Russian
  • Polish
  • Brazilian Portuguese
  • Italian
  • Spanish
  • Simplified Chinese
  • Japanese
  • Korean

Translation Resources:
For the community and anyone interested in the localization process, check out our Github repository:
GalCiv IV Localization Repository[]

File Importance Ranking:
We would like to guide the translators and enthusiasts on the most crucial files for the game:

  • AbilityStatText.xml
  • AbilityText.xml
  • AdvisorRecommendationText.XML
  • FactionText.xml
  • UIText.xml

Please note: We first update the English version and swiftly move to the translations.

Translation Process Overview:

  • First Pass - Automated AI Translation
  • Second Pass - AI Proofreading
  • Third Pass - Human Translators

Bear in mind, while human translators ensure quality, they might not always be aficionados of space strategy games.

Thanks for your support! Also, for those looking for contract work on this, we are looking for more translators. For volunteers who are interested in helping here and there, we will be looking at the checkins to add people to the game's credits.


GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #24 - AIs Drinking Coffee on Planets

Published on Monday, August 28, 2023 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

Generally speaking, in GalCiv games there has been three types of players:

The first player is the relatively new or casual player who finds the AI ridiculously hard and will post "The AI is cheating" (the AI doesn't cheat unless you make the settings super high).  They say this because the AI is able to expand fairly quickly because it is quite good at scouting (the AI tends to build a lot more scouts than players) and finding planets. It has no idea where the planets are.

The second player plays the game fairly normally and is eventually able to win at levels up to and including the "Bright" difficulty where the AI is given a bit of help in the form of a slight money boost.  These are people who tend to like the game the most because they see the AI playing fairly intelligently and each game is quite different.

The last player is the player who has figured out all the tricks with their Civ setup.  They know which traits to pick and will make their custom civilization pretty amazing.  They also know every weakness the AI has and can exploit that.  These players can crush the AI even on Godlike.

Now, for the first type of player, we are doing more to slow down the AI on expanding on lower difficulty levels.  They can't, for instance, rush starship construction.

For this discussion, it's the second and third type of player we want to discuss.  And for that, we have to get into the sausage factory that is how terrible the AI is at managing planets. 

WHY is the AI so bad at managing planets?  The answer has been because of performance.  Turn times.  We've always had to really be careful on how sophisticated we make the AI's planet work (like we can't let it look ahead because that's an N^2 algorithm). 

We've stuck with the same basic AI algorithms for planet stuff since GalCiv II.  

BUT not anymore.  It's 2023 and there's enough CPU power (and we've gotten enough time back thanks to other optimizations we're working on) that we could totally rewrite it.  This will show up in 1.8.

Let's take a look at the old AI.  Here is earth after 130 turns.

You will see a lot of obvious issues here (and we're not even counting the bad citizen setup which we'll have to get into later).

Look in particular at the terrible Shipyard production. 

Now let's look at the new AI:

So what has changed?

A few things.

  1. The AI is now quite good at destroying an existing district or low performing improvement and putting a new one on it.
  2. The AI is quite good at terraforming.
  3. The AI is now good at measuring not what the native qualities of a region on a planet are but also the effects of the other buildings (a very expensive operation).  So the AI will happily ignore a +1 to wealth if  the civilization needs food or if it's going to get a big research bonus by putting something there.
  4. The AI is now much more intelligent about when to upgrade its districts. 

Thus, in this example:

  • Shipyard production jumps from 37 to 90.  
  • Manufacturing levels have gone from level 1 to level 3
  • The AI has destroyed some districts to for in high end buildings (look at all the unbuilt special improvements in the top right in the top right)
  • The AI is willing to build housing and food as its needs require it.
  • Look at the the placement of the Starport? That's a level 5 Starport versus not building one at all because it didn't want to destroy any existing tiles to build it.
  • It built a prison and a recycling center because the planet needed to reduce crime and pollution.

The knock on effects of this remain to be seen.  But this will be available shortly.



Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Dev Journals


GalCiv Translations: WE NEED YOUR HELP

Published on Sunday, August 20, 2023 By Brad Wardell In Galactic Civilizations IV


So if you look back at GalCiv III you'll notice it wasn't translated into that many languages. There's just a ton of text in this game and being a small American studio we don't really have ready access to a lot of people who speak a lot of languages.

Here are the languages we are just about to put out into the Insider's build:
German (improved over what is there now)
Brazilian Portuguese

However, the quality of these translations are not necessarily...great.

We also want to get
Simplified Chinese

What we are looking for help on (and we're willing to pay for your time) is to improve the quality of these translations.

The text is located in the directory Data subdirectory. You'll see the name of the language there and the files. It's fairly straight forward.

It's mostly editing work as often times, 95% of the text will be fine. But it'll be some translation where it doesn't make sense in a sci-fi setting.

If there is some other language you'd like us to support, let us know.

GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #23 - A Weekend of Polishing

Published on Monday, July 31, 2023 By Brad Wardell In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #23 - A Weekend of Polishing

GalCiv IV Beta 1.66 Test Game

So what did you do on your Summer sunny day? Oh, you know, I um…played GalCiv and made tweaks!

Let’s see how it worked out.

Play Test Time

I created a custom civ of explorers. Humans.

Change #1: We spell out that the survey modules came from a Precursor dig. That’s why you can’t just crank these out.

Change #2: Planet screen gets better fonts.

Statistically, you reading this have OCD. I should know because we’re all the same guy playing this game. So you probably find a lot of the font stuff in this game annoying. I know I do. So if you look closely, you’ll see some headers given their own sizes instead of everything being the same bloody size.

Also, moved up the citizens area so we can have at least two rows until those bums at Stardock put a proper scrollbar to get to that third row…hint hint.

Pro tip: You can destroy your capital and move it. It’s a population improvement so see the little house icon? You can put the civ capital there.

Change 3: Better descriptions for planets

I was watching World Ddraig on YouTube and really noticed how bad the game was at explaining why you might want to colonize a low quality planet. So we updated the descriptions of planet types to explain them a lot better.

I’m writing this from Northern Michigan.

Change #4: Constructor Area of Effect is easier to see

We read the forums and saw this request and agreed. Here it is.

Change #5: Planets can build starbase modules too

While a bit more expensive to build on the surface of a planet, starbase modules can now be built there as well.

Just a few examples of the polish for this weekend.


Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Dev Journals


AlientGPT: Your Art Requests put here

Published on Thursday, July 20, 2023 By Brad Wardell In Galactic Civilizations IV

AlienGPT in GalCiv IV focuses on the text generation for the game but also picks out alien images that were pre-generated based on previous inputs.

So while the text generation is real-time, the art is not.

The way it works is as follows:

  1. You enter a description for your alien race "A species of space cats seeking domination"
  2. You choose the traits for your civ (to the right of the description entry).
  3. You hit Generate
  4. Text is generated on our TachyonAI servers and sent back.
  5. Your description is parsed for nouns and verbs and adjectives and 9 pre-generated alien portraits are selected (3 random, 3 rough guesses and 3 best guesses) and sent back.
  6. the nouns and verbs are stored and used to generate new art.
  7. The art generation AI uses Stardock's existing art portfolio (30 years of art) for training. 
  8. New images are generated and put into the alien portraits library.

So post your wishes below.  I'll get it started:

A race of sentient grasshoppers

A species sentient lawn chairs

A civilization of exotic space slime

A race of aphids 

A race of praying mantises

A race of sentient bipedal ladybugs


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