Since selling Impulse to GameStop, Wardell and his studio has embraced Steamworks as it lets them do "a lot of interesting things" otherwise unavailable. It's a single-player game first.
Stardock isn't too concerned about balance when it comes to space faring empires either, so if someone's too powerful then "that’s too bad!" It won't interfere with single-player.
"We like it a lot," Brad Wardell when asked about Steam. "We’re constantly adding more SteamWorks features into our games. Our last game, Elemental: Fallen Enchantress Legendary Heroes is SteamWorks, and that allowed us to do a lot of interesting things with it, like having achievements and stuff."
"With GalCiv… well SteamWorks is what’s making the multiplayer possible. If it wasn’t for Steamworks, we wouldn’t be doing multiplayer for GalCiv III," he revealed. It's thanks to the rise of better Internet connections that more data can be sent between players, so a lot more nuanced information can be shared - not just critical instructions.
"We’re not making any promises to have some kind of multiplayer balance or anything like that. If one race is better than the other in multiplayer, well, that’s too bad! We’re not going to sacrifice the single-player. On the other hand I think that being able to get together with some friends, and play co-operatively against an AI player or just have a duel with a couple of friends is still pretty fun… the main reason why we haven’t done it in previous GalCiv is the bandwidth."
"As a turn-based game… with potentially giant Galaxies, there is a lot of data. In something like an RTS game, there’s no that much stuff, but for us, all the details… as far optimization, if you’re trying to make a great experience in turn-based multiplayer, it’s about decreasing the amount of data you’re sending," he said.
"Now though, if everyone has a cable modem, or at least some kind of high-speed connection, it’s not that big of a deal to send over a couple MB’s per turn. That’s nothing, I download JPEG’s now that are bigger than that. Your phone takes pictures bigger than that. But in 2006, the idea that someone would have to download 5MB’s per turn that was like crazy."
Wardell doesn't want to start any nerf wars...
"… some races are better at warfare then the others. If you’re playing as the Drengin Empire, for example, who are basically these military guys, versus someone else, they are going to have technology that leads to a little bit better military. The humans tend to be better at Diplomacy, better at the cultural part of the game, where they are expanding their influence and trying to conquer players through their T-shirts and shoes!"
"You know you’ve won when you see the Drengin youth running around in Blue Jeans."
"I don’t want to ever create a scenario where I’ve got my player base going “Well, you better nerf those Drengin Death Rays because the humans are 15% less likely to win the game because Diplomacy isn’t quite as powerful… “ I don’t want there to be discussion of nerfing races," explained Wardell.
"The races are what they are, they are meant to be unique, and true to what they are, and there will be cases where some of them in certain situations are going to be better than others." Check out with Brad Wardell.
Galactic Civilizations III releases on PC withavailable granting alpha and beta access.