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Chatting With Creators – Stardock Talks Galactic Civilizations III


Stardock is famous for being one of the largest and longest lasting independent game developers in the world. They create some very great, and quite useful, pieces of software as well as being the producer of some very fine 4X and real-time strategy games on the PC.

Recently a new expansion pack to Galactic Civilizations III titled Revenge of the Snathi was released, as was a pretty substantial update. So we had a chat with Brad Wardell, the CEO of Stardock Corporation to talk a little bit about Galactic Civilizations II, where it's headed and what we can expect from the future of one of the most intriguing, highly engaging and very well done 4X strategy games of all time.

The Future of Galactic Civilizations III looks rather bright.

  • 4X Strategy games are making a sweeping comeback with many great new titles, do you think they're becoming more accessible to more people?
  • Definitely. One of the reasons they've come back is for the most mundane of reasons: Screen resolution.  The evolution of useful, friendly tooltips to explain what items in the game are for has helped make these games far more approachable. But attractive, friendly tooltiops require a lot of pixels to do right and it's really only in the last few years that 1920x1080 has become mainstream.


  • With the inclusion of the somewhat forgettable yet adorable Snathi, are there plans to make any of the other minor factions playable? The Exis Empire might make for a hilarious storyline by themselves.
  • Ha. Yea, one of the investments we made with the GalCiv III engine is the campaign system. It was expensive to do for us but it allows us to introduce players to lots of new alien civilizations with their own engaging stories.


  • Speaking of story. Side quests have been phenomenal in Sorcerer King, could that concept be brought into Galactic Civilization III?
  • Absolutely. I think over the next few years, you're going to see a lot of those kinds of ideas make their way to GalCiv III.


  • A fantastic part of any sci-fi space-based game is taking over planets themselves, are there any plans for letting us control the invasions on the ground themselves?
  • We actually had that in the Beta but it didn't really come together. I don't know when we'll get around to that. It's something we want to do but we're going to want a long period of time with it in beta so our community can give us feedback on how they want it to work.


  • Clearly, ship design is a major focus, with a lot of control offered. Are there any plans to have massive super-weapons added in the future?
  • Yes. But I can't say more on that. 🙂


  • DX12 is definitely a controversial topic these days. Are there plans to add support for DX12 and include support for Asynchronous compute engines?  
  • Eventually. Right now, DirectX 11 is still such a big boost for us.  Virtually every other strategy game on the market right now other than GalCiv III is still a 32-bit, DirectX 9 game. DirectX 11, 64-bit gives GalCiv a lot of room to grow still.


  • With that in mind, are there any particular ways in which you are able to do asynchronous compute on NVIDIA's Maxwell? How does that compare to AMD?
  • For Ashes of the Singularity, it's a pretty big deal. But as good as Maxwell is, Pascal is going to have some really interesting features that will have a pretty big impact on the transition of games being rendered like, well games to games having engines that work more like the way movie CGI works.


  • It might not be the most powerful platform, but do you think that consoles could be place to bring 4X strategy games and Galactic Civilizations III to in the future?
  • A year ago I would have said no way.  But one interesting development has been the Xbox support in Windows 10. Right now, I still would say no, we' re a PC games developer. But in the future, I think there will be a place for them. We do plan to support consoles with some of our upcoming projects including Star Control.

Thank you for taking the time to answer a few of our questions, and we look forward to seeing the evolution of Galactic Civilizations III.