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About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Galactic Civilization' - BonusPack Revealed

by Rainier on March 20, 2003 @ 7:31 p.m. PST

Galactic Civilizations is a turn-based single player game, however players who play on Stardock.net will be able to play as part of a “metaverse” where victories, defeats and campaigns can be recorded. We already had a featured story on the Stardock Central which is a program that consolidates software updates, message boards, chat, documentation updates, and more into a single easy-to-use program. Now Strategy First/Starddock announced that they will release a Galactic Civilizations Bonus Pack, a free set of game enhancements, in conjunction with the games release. The bonus pack will offer some extra features that players will appreciate including additional game session options, enhanced civilization customization interface, the ability to use your own MP3s in the game, two additional ships, and more galactic resolutions.

Overview

The BonusPak is a collection of free additional features available for download to all Galactic Civilizations players on the day of release. It is Stardock's way of thanking users for purchasing the game.

What's in it

The BonusPak includes new features to Galactic Civilizations itself, game play tweaks to the game to make it more fun for new users and more challenging for expert players, additional technologies, random events, starships, starbase modules, and more.

Examples

An enhanced setup screen allows players to customize their galaxies, control their victory conditions, and provides a cleaner interface for customizing your civilization.

The enhanced civilization customization interface allows players to tweak any of the 30 or so civilization abilities. Since not all abilities are equally important, the cost of improving them is different. This gives players an unmatched ability to make each game truly a unique experience.

While the manual goes over the victory conditions, hitting escape brings up the options menu but also displays how the player is progressing towards the various victory conditions. Additionally, players can use their own MP3 music in place of the game's sound track in the game.

Ships, Events, Resolutions, Etc.

Two new ships are included in the BonusPak.

The first one is the Excalibur ship. It is a capital ship so powerful that a single one could wipe out fleets of battleships. It comes very late into the game and is designed to reward the player who has managed to get vastly ahead technologically. It is an incredibly expensive unit.

The second ship is a new type of ship entirely. It is an Anti-matter missile. Once used, it itself is destroyed. But it causes immense damage to the target it hits as well as to nearby enemy units. However, if intercepted it is destroyed harmlessly. It is a great unit for destroying star bases and entrenched defenders. It requires Dreadnaught technology.

A host of additional moral dilemmas have been added that requires the player to make some tough moral choices.

The new series of United Planets resolutions involves allowing players to vote as to whether they will take a percentage of the money from the leading civilization and distribute it to the rest of the civilizations for a set number of years.

Additionally, there are a host of just small tweaks and enhancements throughout the game. Features that are just handy such as showing the ship range to subtle such as making trade routes bring in slightly more money.

The MP3 player

No matter how good the music is in a game, eventually it can get tiresome. To that end, Stardock has made it so that users can replace the background music in GalCiv easily. It does this by integrating an MP3 player into the game. When enabled, players specify a directory that contains MP3s and GalCiv can play them all. Or you can make an MP3 player list via Winamp or any other standard MP3 player and have GalCiv load that instead.

Obtaining the BonusPak

The BonusPak will be available via Stardock Central. Every GalCiv CD comes with a serial number that can be entered into Stardock Central. Once that is done, the player has an account on Stardock.net which enables them to get updates to Galactic Civilizations which includes updates to the game, the BonusPak, a windowed version, and more.

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