Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova Galactic Civilizations IV

GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #63 - v2.7 Taxonomy & Species Pack

Published on Tuesday, June 18, 2024 By BATTLEMODE In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

AlienGPT is a remarkable system in terms the technology that runs it, and its ability to rapidly generate a believable custom civilization with minimal input from the player. Given a simple prompt, and tweaking a few extra settings, AlienGPT generates a unique faction to play, with its own name, background lore, selectable leader picture and Civilization Abilities and Traits to match.

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Not so long ago, AlienGPT was updated to include the generation of a unique Citizen name and background, and then a general type selected as a best fit from a fairly large stock of premade Citizen types. Each Core Civilization has its own unique Citizen type that can be repurposed for Custom Civilizations.

Furthermore, we’ve included a fairly wide range of generic sci-fi and fantasy-themed creatures to add to this pool, covering the most popular themes that you guys tend to pick when using AlienGPT.

Vampires, Catgirls, Elves, Dwarfs and various animals are all very popular, but AlienGPT still had to pick one of these pre-made Citizen types regardless of the prompt, and this sometimes resulted in somewhat unsatisfying results as it tried to make a best guess as to what you wanted, but missed the mark due to lack of options.

Our new free update v2.7 titled “Taxonomy” and the Species Pack DLC aim to fix this problem and add some great new gameplay features surrounding a civilization’s Citizens. As always, there’s free content to improve the base-game for everybody, and then the DLC will add even more cool features on top of that, and I’ll make it clear what’s available with each.

The big news for v2.7 is that Citizens and a Civilization’s Biology have been reworked, with the introduction of the concepts of Species and Phenotypes. Citizens are now members of a Species, and each Species has a Phenotype, which in turn is a member of a Biology (as the Citizens were before).

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Species now have their own UI element within the AlienGPT system, with each Species’ various characteristics available for view. Because your ideas can be bigger and more abstract that the GPT tech can keep up with, it’s great to be able to adjust the suggestions made by AlienGPT and giving this system a better interface makes this a lot more fun.

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Here I’ve deliberately done something a little confusing: my prompts asked for humanoids that have an ethereal element that give them extra lives after death. Does AlienGPT pick Humans, or Humanoids? Or Vampires? Zombies? Space Demons?

All of the above are reasonable choices, but here it plumped for Humans and I want to change that to make my critters a bit more interesting.

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Here’s the new Species UI, where you can scroll through the various premade Species on the left and check their in-game statistic modifiers. These range from Stats (Intelligence, Dilligence etc.) to Approval and Expectations, effects of Pollution, Growth rate and Food Consumption. You’ll also see the Citizen and Leader art available when they’re picked.

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You can check their Phenotype and Biology here too. Some of the phenotypes are similar to the generic Human type, but others have some unique gameplay effects.

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For example, the Lizard Species here are part of the Reptilian Phenotype which prefer living on Desert Worlds, and those are Carbon Based (as usual, they’ll need to eat Food and probably won’t like Pollution much).

The Species Pack adds more Species to choose from, and the ability to create your own from scratch, which should greatly expand your ability to customise your Civilization to your tastes!

Following are a few of the new Species on offer if you own the Species Pack:

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The Star Nautiloids Species belong to the Molluscoid Phenotype and are Carbon Based: they’re more Dilligent than your average species, grow very quickly and consume less food. These guys will be great for power-housing Citizen-based manufacturing strategies as you’ll quickly gain a lot of workers, and they’ll work very hard too. They’re more sensitive to Pollution than usual but not excessively so, and so some limited Manufacturing Districts and Improvements will greatly enhance their output.

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If you’re a fan of more abstract life, we’ve got Conscious Clouds to show you! As entities with little substance to them they have no need for Food, instead thriving in Pollution. They’re not so strong in combat and struggle to use tools, but they’re as smart as they come and form strong social networks.

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They’ve also got a very interesting Phenotype.

Perhaps the most exciting feature of this new DLC, for those of you that enjoy making your own content to play with and share, is the custom Species maker.

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“And here’s one I made earlier”, to quote a famous old British kids TV show. These are the Naxari, a name that AlienGPT came up with to match a Custom Civilization, while I added the Species Description. You can add your own Species Traits here too.

You’ll need to add your own Citizen pictures in 128x128 pixel PNG format: I created my own portraits, and cropped them down in Photoshop afterwards. The whole job took me less than 30 minutes to do: small effort, I think, to get your own unique custom Species into the game.

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For those of you who don’t want to go to that effort, you can download and use other custom species shared by other creators on Stardock’s own site for Epic and Steam players, and on the Steam Workshop for Steam users. This feature will dramatically increase the amount of alien species available for you all to play with.

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With the addition of more unique Species and the ability to add your own custom creations too, the Species Pack really allows you to go wild with your imagination and conjure up some truly weird and wonderful Species to add to your GalCiv campaigns.

We’re really excited to see what you guys come up with, so bring it on!