GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #18 - Should there be a campaign?
Sandbox 4X games generally lack a campaign, but that changed with GalCiv III, which introduced one. Over the past 30 years, a wealth of lore has been created for the GalCiv universe. I started writing the lore that would come to be used for GalCiv when I was in college which is when I wrote the first game.
The question remains: should we include a campaign in the base game or offer it as DLC?
Each GalCiv game has been guided by a central theme, inspired by a backstory that dates back to my college days. Here's a recap:
Long ago, the universe was guarded by beings known as Mithrilar. One Mithrilar, Draginol, was malevolent and twisted, having originated from another universe. The Mithrilar created various beings to aid them, including the Arnor in the Milky Way galaxy. Tasked with guiding sentient races to the stars, the Arnor aimed to prevent any one race from dominating the rest.
The first race to reach the stars was the Iconians. The Arnor fiercely debated how to prevent them from becoming too powerful, leading to a civil war. The losing side, called the Dreadlords, was banished to a pocket universe.
During the war, the Iconians built sentient machines that eventually overthrew them, becoming known as the Yor. Lacking faster-than-light (FTL) travel, the Yor fled to a new world but suffered a significant technological setback, restarting as a pre-industrial civilization.
The Flight of the Precursors
With the Arnor mysteriously gone, their artifacts, junk, and devices were scattered across the galaxy, and their knowledge faded into obscurity. They became known as the Precursors.
The Younger Races
The first races to expand into space were the Drengin and the Arceans. Both races independently constructed Stargates to enable travel at 100x the speed of light. The Drengin discovered and enslaved the minor race of Torians, while the Arceans found humans.
The Arceans had towed a Stargate towards Earth for millennia. By the time they arrived, humans had advanced technologically, populating the solar system with robotic vessels and nuclear weapons. Humans studied the Stargate and developed a portable version called Hyperdrive. Fearing monopoly abuse, human activists shared Hyperdrive technology with other alien species, sparking a great space race.
The Present Day
The stories of the Dread Lords, Crusade, and more are detailed elsewhere. As GalCiv IV: Supernova begins, the Drengin Empire is confined to their home system, monitored by the "benevolent" Terran Alliance.
Fortuitously for the Drengin, they discover a crashed ship belonging to a species called The Navigators. The ship holds technology capable of teleporting to other parts of the galaxy using subspace streams...
Pros and Cons
Now, it’s easy to just say “Oh yea let’s have a campaign” but we only have finite resources. So if we make a campaign for the 1.0 version of Supernova that means other parts of the game won’t get as many features.
So the question is, should we do this as part of the release of Supernova or save it for a DLC?
Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Dev Journals
Dev Journal #47 - The Exiles of Iconia