A trip through the fantasy worlds I enjoy

 

Dropping 32bit support was a huge change for Galactic Civilizations. On the one hand we know that it means that there is a percentage of potential customers that won't be able to play the game. On the other, we are able to do things we could never do before, such as play a game with 100 players, which is exactly what I did this week.  The following is the results.

*** Disclaimer ***

The following if from a super early version of the Beta 2 build. You will see some bugs and partially added features. The most noticeable bug is that the font text looks a little wonky and isn't showing special characters. This is because we are rewriting the font code, some players had issues using DirectWrite (the old solution), and performance was pretty bad. The new font code fixes all of that, but you will see missing character and font alignment issues in the following screenshots.

*** Disclaimer #2 ***

I am a modder and I did this as a mod which required 3 new xml files. One to add all the new factions, one to add names for the factions and one to add new colors for the factions. I didn't go as far as giving the factions all unique planet names, icons, etc. Which would have been cool, but this is really just to put the engine to the test.

 

Starting My Game

Here you sae the first evidence that I am using a very early beta 2 build, the Kyrnn have been enabled.  The reason you see a bunch of Terrans is because the first 20 new factions I added all use the Terran leader graphics (then 20 that use Drengin, 20 Altarian, 20 Iridium and 19 Krynn). That top bar scrolls so I could select any of my new factions, but I'm going with my personal favorite faction, the Iridium (I love their mirror ships and their research bonus).

 

 

I am starting on a Large map (i accidentally started on a Small and that was incredibly crowded). Paul is adding some map sizes above large which will be fun too, but for now I'm going to use Large and enjoy having other players all around me. To support all of these players I've set Star Frequency, Planet Frequency and Habitable Planet Frequency all to Abundant.

 

Here is where I get to pick who I want to play against. 99 opponents have been added. After I took this screenshot I went back and switch the Weeping Angels to Godlike Intelligence just to see if that would be enough to allow them to start conquering the galaxy. Bonus points to anyone who knows where these faction names came from.

 

In the beginning this doesn't look much different than any of my other GalCiv3 games.  I have my starting planet, my shipyard with which to make more and a selection of ships to explore with.  I'm going to assume that if there are other habitable planets out there in the universe then the other 99 players are going to grab them first, so I am going to colonize the one right beside my homeworld even though it isn't ideal.

It also seems like a good time to start researching some weapons technology. Unlike in Beta 1 we start at peace in Beta 2, but how long can that last?

 

 

I love making my 2nd planet into a research planet so that my first can focus on manufacturing and my 2nd planet is ideally suited for it. With this and the Iridium Research bonus I should be getting techs a good rate.

 

 

Only 5 turns in and I already have neighbors on all sides. Here we notice the first bug with running 100 players in one game, the ZoC code (that draws the borders around your empires) is having a problem dealing with that many players. Something we will check out. But the minimap correctly displayed all the owned territories I've seen so far.

My survery ship is pretty awesome for its range and sight, but nearly useless for collecting anomalies. I think I found 1 before these other factions scoured the universe like teenage girls at a Bieber concert (that reference seems dated, what do teenage girls go crazy for now? Kardashian mobile apps? Genetically modified ponies? Eric Estrada?)

 

 

Don't mind me busy neighbors stealing my anomalies, I'm just going to attach some purely decorative missiles to my spaceships.

 

 

Turn 9 and my survey ship has found an Antimatter and Durantium resource close enough together that I could get both with one starbase. It's not exactly close to my home planet but definitly worth it to get a Mining Base up here and working before anyone else does.

 

 

Turn 29. My survey ship hangs out in a dust cloud well within someone else's borders.  I love that the universe is full of all kinds of stuff, but very little of it isn't claimed by someone in this game. While I have been exploring I built and deployed my new Mining Base and have built a few bombers to help clear out the rabble between my home planet and my new Mining Base in some sort of Genocidal version of Manifest Destiny.

 

 

Turn 31, my bombers are ready to launch my first war and take out the shipyards of the neighbors between me and my Mining Base.  I know Paul plans to give Shipyards some defense (so you can't shut down players by wiping their shipyards) but for now they are easy picking and I'm going to take advantage of that.

 

 

No more shipyards for you.  I'll be back when I can invade planets, until then just look up at my bombers in awe.  You are no longer a space exploring people.

 

 

Turn 49 and the more I uncover the more factions I find. I have still only met a fraction to the players in the game (there are entire empires rising and falling that I will probably never meet in this game) as my range limits will only allow me to explore this little corner.  But there is certainly enough to do even within it.

 

 

By Turn 66 my Mining Base is up and working and I'm collecting both the antimatter and Duranthium. I'm not sure if I'm supposed to collect them even though they aren't in my ZoC or not.  I'll have to ask Paul. Either way my fleet of bombers has stared picking on another player and I can see that the Weeping Angels are #3 in the faction power rankings (I'm pretty low on the list) so I'm very worried about what happens when they find me.

 

 

But that is it for now. It's a crazy experiment, but it was fun and it made me so glad we are able to do this in GalCiv3.

There are more crazy experiments to come. And I am looking forward to getting the custom faction stuff in so modders can do what I did and a lot more to make all of the factions more interesting and unique.


Comments (Page 3)
on Sep 04, 2014

A hundread race is quiet a feat... Any way possible that we can get our hands on that modification so we can stress test our own games with a 100 NPC races in game? Or are we still to early in beta for that?

on Sep 04, 2014

Playing as one of hundred races to subjugate other ninety nine races is quite a worthy goal to shoot for.

 

One would say, this is paradise to the drengin. So many enemies to enslave.

on Sep 06, 2014

Ericridge

Playing as one of hundred races to subjugate other ninety nine races is quite a worthy goal to shoot for.

 

One would say, this is paradise to the drengin. So many enemies to enslave.

 

One can never have too many slaves....lol

on Sep 06, 2014

But the Yor are going crazy seeing so many organics.

on Sep 07, 2014

DARCA1213

But the Yor are going crazy seeing so many organics.

Thats probably what sent the Dark Yor over the edge in GC2!   

on Sep 07, 2014

As someone with a 32 bit computer, I have to say I'm not completely happy.

on Sep 07, 2014

jadefire01

As someone with a 32 bit computer, I have to say I'm not completely happy.

Join the club mate,I have a xp desktop and my wife has a vista laptop both are 32 bit and run GC2 Ultimate on them and I'm gonna have to buy a brand new comp just to play GC 3 thats why I'm here to see if its worth it?

But given everythings been overhauled,upgraded and they've proved you can play against 100 opponents I'm eagerly awaiting its release and if I get my compensation earlier I'll be buying into the beta

 

A wise person said - "Patience is a virtue,Sometimes its a lesson in life and sometimes its a lifetime lesson"  I'll wait and see what happens if it bombs it bombs but if it succeeds then it may even knock GC2 off its throne?

on Sep 07, 2014

Echelion


Quoting DARCA1213,

But the Yor are going crazy seeing so many organics.



Thats probably what sent the Dark Yor over the edge in GC2!   

 

I can't help but do this now.

 

on Sep 12, 2014

Ericridge

Quoting Echelion,






Quoting DARCA1213,



But the Yor are going crazy seeing so many organics.



Thats probably what sent the Dark Yor over the edge in GC2!   



 

I can't help but do this now.

 


A new 100 player game that'll make the Yors CPU's explode - 1 yor Vs 99 Iconians lol

on Sep 22, 2014

How many AIs are still alive? 

In fact, that could be the weekly update bump: a 2-digit number, which decreases monotonically.

 

 

 

... it is two digits by now, right?

on Sep 22, 2014

I will have to admit I was disappointed to hear about 8 factions versus the 12 we already have. Then I got excited to find out that we will have 130 factions and that we will be able to mod thr map sizes. That they will make it easy to upload and download custom factions. It would  be nice to have a meter to tell you the system requirements as you modded.

on Sep 23, 2014

jadefire01

As someone with a 32 bit computer, I have to say I'm not completely happy.

 

You don't have 32 bit computer, you have a 32 bit OS. Computer hardware has been 64 bit for many years now. All you'll need to do is upgrade your OS.

on Sep 23, 2014

AuraBoy

Even though I am an Elite Founder - I would be willing to pay for packs of animated aliens that don't necessarily have the rest of the major race treatments. Just unique, cool looking and sometimes bizarre alien animation sets  - that fit in the developers aesthetic of the game - which we can use in the game - especially when we are playing on these massive maps.

I'd certainly agree with you with you on this. Like you, I only used those alien sets that Formis made, they were very well done and they blended in quite nicely with the default races. While I probably won't be playing any 100 race games, though who knows, it would be nice to have as much variety in the ones I encounter as possible. While I realize that creating 100 unique races would be a bit much for Stardock themselves, having a bunch of race animations that we could work with to create our own would be an immense bonus.

on Sep 24, 2014

Belanos


Quoting jadefire01,

As someone with a 32 bit computer, I have to say I'm not completely happy.



 

You don't have 32 bit computer, you have a 32 bit OS. Computer hardware has been 64 bit for many years now. All you'll need to do is upgrade your OS.

 

And XP ceased being sold many years ago.  You have no way of knowing if his computer is 64 bit without him posting the specs.  Atom processors were still 32 bit as recently as a few years ago.

on Sep 24, 2014

Actually, the OS can be 64-bit because the CPU (Pentium or AMD equivalent) supports 64-bit mode.  That means a Pentium internally has 64-bit registers (usually by combining two 32-bit registers, i.e. you have half as many of them available to use), 64-bit datapaths, and its ALU can execute 64-bit operations.  Its floating-point unit probably goes up to 128 bit.  Chip vendors like Intel and AMD are relatively free to add these features whenever they please, so long as they also add a bit of emulation to talk to 32-bit memory buses.

The rest of the hardware (motherboard, i.e. memory bus, off-chip cache, etc.) probably is still based on the old 32-bit standard, because it's hard to get a consensus among competitors to evolve a standard simultaneously.  But that's not a terribly big deal.  The CPU can always fake 64-bit double word accesses just by issuing two accesses for 32-bit words.  It's surely a little slower than a native 64-bit memory bus, but since we don't have a 64-bit platform to compare side-by-side, we never realize what we're missing.

  • It's not much slower because Pentiums thru Core i7 already pre-fetch 16 bytes = 128 bits for every instruction, which completely trumps the 32/64 bit distinction.  This is because Pentium is CISC (complex instruction set computing), with variable-length instructions, and the longest Pentium instruction is 15 bytes(!!).  Hence it always fetches the minimal chunk divisible by 4 that is guaranteed to contain 1 full instruction.  If it actually contains 16 tiny instructions of 1 byte each, well yay, it skips the next 15 fetches.
  • If some of those instructions then demand more data memory accesses -- OK, you pay a slowdown for that subset of fetches.  Even then, your L2/L3 cache kicks in, and their cache block sizes are large enough that they're probably hauling in 64-byte chunks from memory anyways.  So the old 32-bit memory bus might never actually see a bald 32-bit memory request from the CPU -- there's many layers of smarter hardware in between, which has already increased the grain size.  So the extra cost of two 32-bit requests vs. one 64-bit request may be almost nil, amounting to one more cache hit.

Hence, Win 7(?) and Win 8/8.1 come in distinct 32-bit and 64-bit versions, and your same PC will run all of them (but only 1 at a time), regardless of its motherboard architecture.  You can even hot-install a 64-bit Win 8.1 from within 32-bit Win 7 (I did that), since it just copies files under Win 7(32) until the first reboot, then re-awakens in Win 8.1(64).

  • You do need a non-ancient generation of Pentium to support Win 8.1 (either width) because it must provide NX, i.e. chip-level non-execute flagging of every memory page.  This is a modern security feature against buffer overruns and other cracks that rely on sneaking code into your stack segments, then tricking your call stack to return into it.  Microsoft's Windows upgrade checker will test your CPU and tell you the highest version of Windows it can support (which is 8.1 if it has NX, and 7 if it doesn't).

So: upgrade (or cross-grade) to the 64-bit version of your current Windows.  You could also upgrade to 8.1(64) while you're at it, but that's not necessary; Win 7(64) suffices.