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

GalCiv IV: Supernova Dev Journal #64 - Species Pack Playstyle Ideas

Published on Tuesday, June 25, 2024 By BATTLEMODE In GalCiv IV Dev Journals

We’ve examined the Citizens in Galactic Civilizations IV: Supernova quite a bit recently, and I’m hoping that one important point was made loud and clear: when added to the myriad of other player selectable or customisable game features, Citizens provide you more options in building your own unique playstyle for that particular playthrough.

This week we’ll take a look at the reasoning behind the variation in Species Traits between Core Species, the generic types and some of the new ones we added with the Species Pack, as I did see some questions and comments regarding this since the DLC released.


Let’s take a look at the Altarians. Note they’re fairly vanilla except for a very large Relative Social boost of +6. Compare this to one of the generic Species like the Lizards.


The reason the Altarians have such a striking difference is to balance out their Core Civilization mechanics and fit to their unique lore. The Altarians are masters of culture generation, and are well suited to the “cultural victory” approach to the game, but this huge Social boost is serves that specific purpose, and is balanced by their downsides too.

The generic Species, however, really need to be less focused towards one playstyle and instead let the player’s imagination decide what kind of creature they are. My idea of Lizards might be ravenous velociraptors with powerful combat abilities, while yours might be more in line with chilled scientist iguanas. If we hardcode Lizards to have very powerful Resolve, as with the Korath for example, then we’d have to balance them out in some other way and while that doesn’t lock them into a specific playstyle, it does strongly inform it, which can be immersion breaking.

There should be no doubt in anybody’s mind how the Korath are supposed to play though, and while you can play them peacefully, they’re certainly oriented towards playing aggressively, and that fits their lore and theme.

So with the generic Species, such as Lizards, Humanoids, Cats, Dogs and so on, while we gave them some gentle bonuses and penalties to give them a bit of flavour, they’re not overbalanced in any one area so you can decide what kind of species they are when you play them.


Now, with the Species Pack, if you do really want to make ravenous velociraptors, or chilled iguana scientists, with Species Traits set to support those playstyles, you can!

You don’t need to add your own pictures, simple hit Add Portraits and you’ll see the default Lizard portraits in amongst the others that Stardock have created for the game. Just add those in, and fill out the rest of the details here, including your desired Species Traits.

While we’re on the topic, you might note that some of the newer generic species added in the Species Pack are a little more wild and unusual than the others.


The Conscious Clouds here are really geared towards heavy industry: while their Diligence is low, they thrive in Pollution and have a rapid Growth Rate. This means they’ll be happiest on very heavily polluted industrial worlds full of Industrial Districts and Improvements, and you’ll pack a lot of them in on those worlds too. That Dilligence penalty will be partly offset by their Approval bonus and if you build these worlds right, you’re going to become an industrial powerhouse very quickly!

I’m hoping you’ll see, by way of this one example, how you can build your own Species in a way that supports your own playstyle too.