A trip through the fantasy worlds I enjoy


We are hard at work creating the next Galactic Civilizations III beta and we will have a lot of fun things for you to play with. But I wanted to talk about one of my favorites, Custom Races.

First off there are 2 ways to create custom races. First you can add them as a mod (but more about that in a future post). For this post I wanted to talk about everything you can do in the in game tool to create a wide variety of unique, interesting and weird species to populate your universes.

First off you will notice that we have a new choose civilization window. The last one did a really good job of allowing you to select 1 of the 8 base factions, but we wanted space for more, so that players would feel free to create their own and wouldn’t have to scroll to get to them. Don’t mind the brown and gold UI colors, I was playing as my custom faction, the Marauders, and those are their UI colors.

You may notice that the Iconian and the Thalan are enabled now, and I’ve created 5 new customer factions, the Cult of Cinder, the Jade Council, the Marauders, the Quantum Core and the Hive.

Creating a new faction is pretty easy, click create custom race and you have a lot of options to choose from. The above is where I set the name, picked the logo and filled in some detail. You can also see a floating “FG Image” button that appears to have escaped from the window it belongs on.

This is my favorite window. Our artists are really amazing and I love this model in particular. Creating the way he looks involves selecting a character image and a background image. These can be animated binks or still images and you can mix and match them if you want to use this guy but put in science lab, the Drengin war room or an organic chamber that looks like he’s flying around inside someone spleen.


This is where the magic happens. I want my Maurders to be restless pirates so they get an approval penalty (Content -2), but they are very effective at both invading and defending planets (Brutal +2 and Courageous +2) as well as having a high range (Adventuresome +2) and speed (Fast +2) so they can get into trouble. I also made all the other factions dislike them a bit (Likeable -1). They aren’t as bad as being a neighbor with the Yor, but they aren’t much better.

As for abilities I gave them Starfaring so they are immune to Nebula effects and they get their first Starbase module for free and Prolific so they get double the population provided by colony ships when they found a colony (they must throw a heck of a party when they land).

Personality may not mean tons when you are playing them, but it means everything when the AI is playing them. Character traits is used by the AI to evaluate a wide range of decisions, from which way to vote on a UP proposal to when and if it should trade or declare war. Priorities are used to make decisions about which Tech to research or Improvement to build.

This way even if two races have similar stats they can be played by the AI very differently.

Which brings us to one of the best reasons to create custom factions. Even if you don’t play as them it’s a great way to fill your universe with opponents to defeat and to make sure every game of Galactic Civilizations III is a new experience.

Next up: Modding http://forums.galciv3.com/461766/page/1/

Comments (Page 3)
on Feb 25, 2015


I am not a fan of mods in general (I'm more of a purist), however . . . holy crap do the possibilities seem endless for modding GalCiv3! I can't wait to see all of my favorite sci-fi IPs sneak their way into this game!



  How well the game can be modded generally will tell you how good the game "can" be. The Gal Civ series has always been Mod friendly and to be honest in most cases a modded game is FAR better than the base one. What is telling here is that the base game is turning out to be so fun that it will be a while before I try out mods unless it is to add factions or ship styles to the game. Mods like Babylon 5, Star Trek, Star Wars, just add so much flavor to what is already a solid fun game!

on Feb 25, 2015


A fee things i was just wondering. Are there going to be penalties,  if so the custom races should.probsbly have them too. I noticed we couldn't get abilities like the krynn, korath, torian,  or yor had. Having a super breeder of the krynn eould be nice. Im talking about customising not modding. At least as far as opponents it would have been nice to be able to make a dreadblord style opponent. It would also have the same chance to start out with the same technologies ie thalans.

 i like the idea of being able to pick diffetent tech paths on a custom tech tree. Under customisation not modfing. You would have all the generic and specialised tech paths to choose from. First you would have to select the minimum tech paths like farming, morale, economics,  weapons,  defenses,  starbases,  logistics,  terraforming, and hulls or something like that,  then youwould select other tech trees. 

Something i didnt like about the in game editor was it didn't have a way to add premade techs, and buildings to import to other races. 

I like the idea of having multiple leaders for each race, but can't we devide up the abilities between races, and leaders.

All of the traits you see on the trait list that have 4 steps are because there are 2 positive versions, and 2 negative versions (giving a negative trait gives you points to buy more positive traits). In my example if gave the Marauders a minor negative trait for Likeable (meaning they get an attitiude penalty from other players) and a big negative trait on Content (meaning they suffer a significant approval penalty).

Also on that screen you can see all the Abilities (what GalCiv2 called super-abilities) for things like Prolific which have larger effects.

on Feb 25, 2015

Pleasetell us the next beta is up soon? This looks like it will be a fun part of the game.

on Mar 01, 2015

I see five separate additions to the race portraits in your screenshots. Will the game have some or all of those portraits for use with custom races?


on Mar 01, 2015

Looks good!

on Apr 02, 2015

Before I start I know this can be done through modding,  but we are talking about customizing. Someone else came up eith this idea I've backed is to have an option in the customization screen is to create your own tech tree by selecting a limited number of paths from all the paths. This can be regulated by grouping different kind of paths in groups so you don't accidently nerf you,  by not picking essential paths. Then when you pick a minimum number of paths. Tjen there is no reason you need to limit howvyou pick others than by maximum number of techs or paths. Except in one per planet,  trafe goods,  galactic achievements,  or super projects.  If you reach a maximum this can be managed different ways. Letting you to deselect wonders when they hit to many. When they hit maximum not including others after the limit. You can also make comparable lists of wonders where only one is allowed letting thr player to decide which one not to use. You could randomely deselect from the list. You could prefer specialised wonders over generic ones. Another solution would be not to include these things untill you are done,  and no matter. What techs selected the same wonders would be used added after the fact. If going with the last option you could have different choices based on type of faction.

on Apr 06, 2015

Does any know what the prefer format and size for the  Race Foreground is?

I read some where it was 1920x1080 but the image always turn out distorted and stretched out

on Apr 06, 2015

0.81 Lots of C2D/game freeze problems when using custom factions in multiplayer. Hard to load, start game and get past 3 or 4 turns even with both players having all the relevant files.

on Jun 10, 2015

Where should I put the files?

on Aug 20, 2015

Really interesting read, and this thread actually convinced me to join the fun, as I saw what is possible in GalCiv3. Very honest dev blog, kudos.

I have only two questions regarding this also considering future implementations:

Will we be able to design shipstyles / shipstyle groups for the ai civs, to be usable without mods, to ensure fair custom civing for multiplayer?

Generally the ship designer being accessible for a race (even out of running game without cheat console), would be great; saving a "template" of ships for a race - at least visual templates - would allow vanilla custom factions to be used in mp more fluidly.

And the second is regarding the tech tree discussion, it would be nice if the wiki had a comparable view of the global tech tree, and which techs are unique in kind of an overview thing, to see which tech tree fits the race best. While mods can add their own tech trees, releasing some custom tech trees for custom races, like there are planet systems, would also be awesome.

On a personal final note, which does not need any comment...

These customization options go a long way I think, in popularity, especially since other games lack that for multiplayer; and never before have I enjoyed hour long sessions of playing round based games with strangers before in such scales, as nowadays.

Regarding DLCs i would be happy if they only give new stuff you can use and play against, but while non-owners might not be able to use it as playable race without owning said dlcs, they can still participate in the games with other civs, or play against them as AI. Nothing turns down more than DLCs which are forced to be bought just to join games, while the other way around, you always see it as an investment you personally choose to give, to be able to have more options.

In this regard also kudos to the free dlc, even if the @ bug quite makes it tricky to do so.

on Aug 20, 2015

I'm also really curious to hear if custom ship styles are still planned to be officially supported in 2015. 





on Aug 20, 2015


on Aug 20, 2015

What is?