Galactic Civilizations II: Dreadlords Interview (PC)

Si: Hi. Can you please introduce Galactic Civilizations II to our readers for start?
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Stardock: Galactic Civilizations is a space-based strategy game where the player is put in command of an interstellar civilization. The player must explore the galaxy, colonize new worlds, and interact with up to 9 major alien civilizations (and dozens of minor ones). Through economic power, technological strength, military might, or diplomatic skill the player must bring the galaxy under their control to win.
Si: How many races will GC II feature?
Stardock: There are 10 major civilizations to choose from to play, including the human race. Plus there are approximately 25 "minor" alien races that players will run into in various circumstances.
Si: Does it feature any story driven campaigns, missions? If so, please describe any.
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Stardock: Yes. The game starts out in the year 2225 and the galaxy is on the verge of civil war between the Coalition (led by the humans) and the Empire (led by the Drengin Empire). As the war heats up, the Drengin Empire discover, and accidentally unleash and ancient evil into the galaxy -- the dread lords. The Dread lords are an ancient race of super beings who had disappeared for thousands of years. Now there is a three-way war. The game also has a very surprise ending for the player.
Si: Since every race will have its pros and cons, tell us how are we Humans standing?
Stardock: The humans are the diplomats but under the surface, they're quite effective at war. As a famous human from Galactic Civilizations I put it, "We've been killing each other for thousands of years, do you really want to join this party?" The humans in the 23rd century are united, more or less, though players still have to deal with the political issues from time to time.
Si: What kind of tech tree will it have? How many technologies will we be able to research?
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Stardock: There are roughly 200 different technologies to research, ranging from biology to weaponry to communications to computing. A LOT of our effort has been in having technologies that make sense and don't get too much into "Technobabble".
Si: How many buildings and units are available for creation?
Stardock: Players design their own ships so there's an infinite number of different kinds of units one might build. As for buildings, there's approximately 50 different types of structures players can build in their colonies.
Si: Will we have any "Galaxy Wonders" to build? If so please give a few examples.
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Stardock: We have a handful of galactic wonders. A few examples are: 1) Eyes of the Universe. This wonder unhide the entire galaxy's fog of war. (i.e. explores it all). 2) The Galactic Bazarre. This wonder increases that planet's cultural influence by 5X and increases your overall influence by 25%. 3) The Microcombobulator. This wonder will shrink all non-military components down in half giving you more space to load up your ships.
Si: What about random events? Few examples please.
Stardock: We have a ton of really cool random events that are far more involved than one typically sees in strategy games. Many of these are similar to what was in the first Galactic Civilizations such as: 1) A terrorist civilization comes into being and starts carrying out terrorist acts across the galaxy. You have to find who these guys are and conquer their planet. 2) A religious faction is questing to open a dimensional gateway to bring back their "Death god" (a very nasty alien creature from another dimension). The player must find the religious faction's ship before it reaches the place it's going to activate their gateway or else you'll have to deal with the nasty alien creature. 3) A coup has occurred on "alien X"'s home world that is causing the moral alignment of the civilization to switch poles. (Aliens have a setting of behaviour between good and evil that determines how they behave). Such an event can completely alter the way a civilization behaves. 4) A minor race has found a Precursor Artifact that improves their racial abilities by 1% per turn. If left alone, eventually this minor race will conquer the galaxy. You must eliminate them before it's too late.
Si: When will the game be released?
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Stardock: We are targeting Q1 2006.
Si: Minimum specs and full specs?
Stardock: Minimum specs would be a Geforce 3 level video card on a Pentium III 800Mhz with 128M of total ram. I'd recommend playing it on an ATI 9800 Pro (or equivalent) with 256MB of RAM and a 2 Ghz processor.
Si: Thank you for taking your time to answer our questions!
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Stardock: Thanks!