The game is a sci-fi 4X strategy game with a focus on empire building. It’s set in the distant future, where humanity has expanded beyond Earth to colonize other worlds.
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So, a project I’ve been working on for a while* has been to compile a “canon” list of empires for games like GalCiv or Civilizations, in order to ensure better consistency across playthroughs. The project’s scope has shrunk over time (I initially intended to build one empire for each unique name list, but I soon ran into issues with multi-species beginnings), but I’ve now finished and created a draft I’m happy to share with others. I was also hoping for some assistance in double-checking that I had properly read and comprehended the AI personality weights. The following were the final design criteria I used:
- Each fanatic ethic has its own empire.
- There will be no civic duplication (an exception was made for Slaver Guilds since Slaving Despots and Decadent Hierarchy both require it)
- There is no duplication of origin.
- There are no duplicate AI personalities.
- Duplication of AI advisors
- Try to make each Empire stand out (a building, a job, mechanical difference, etc.)
- Keep the government descriptions (Direct Democracy, Purity Order, and so on) as distinct as possible.
I don’t have whole backstories for all of them, but I believe the mechanical narrative telling does a sufficient job.
Without further ado, here are my top 19 contenders:
- Avarrian is the name of the species.
- Avar Prime, Savanna World is Avar’s homeworld.
- Avar, Avar, Avar, Avar, Avar, Avar, Avar, Avar, Avar,
- Purifiers, Purifiers, Purifiers, Purifiers, Purifiers, Purifiers, Purifiers
- Xenophobe, AI Advisor
- Avian 4 is in the list of names.
- Author Notes: This is probably the Empire that will see the most changes, since I’m not convinced on the Avarrian trait spread or the Meritocracy civic, but the idea of “egalitarianism for me, purification for thee” is amusing.
- Yldar is the name of the species.
- Yldar, Ring World is Yldar’s homeworld.
- Yliant, Shattered Ring (Star)
- Xenophobic Isolationists are AI personalities.
- Spiritualist, AI Advisor
- Humanoid 3 is in the list of names.
- Notes from the Author: Space elves! And what better way to portray Elves than as a bunch of arrogant jerks who believe in their own superiority? Because I like to opt for more Asian style for elves in my fantasy world-building, and the Celestial Bureaucracy was the medieval Chinese version of heaven, the Efficient Bureaucracy civic is a very, very vague joke/reference to the Celestial Bureaucracy.
- Cithin, Cithin, Cithin, Cithin, Cithin, Cithin, Cithin,
- Orbital Habitat: Izk Center, Home World
- Izk, the Void Dwellers’ star
- Peaceful Traders is an AI personality.
- Slick Corporation is an AI advisor.
- Arthropoid 1 is in the list of names.
- Notes from the Author: There isn’t much to say about these people. I’ve gone back and forth on whether they’re Void Dwellers or a Lost Colony, since a long-lost corporate colony makes a lot of narrative sense. Because the Empire that ended up with the Lost Colony origin makes sense as a Void Dwelling empire as well, they may be swapped around again.
- Name of Species: Human
- Earth is the homeworld, and the continents are the continents.
- Sol, Sol System is a star.
- Federation Builders have a unique AI personality.
- Egalitarian AI Advisor
- Humans are on the list (UNE)
- NO, I DID NOT JUST GLUE THE UNITED NATIONS AND THE COMMONWEALTH OF MAN TOGETHER! At least not on purpose. I thought I was simply making a subtle joke about special interest organizations covertly controlling a representative democracy (which I nailed, obviously). There’s also a hilarious interplay with the Common Ground origin when beginning in the Sol system. Beginning in the Sol System, your assured habitable planets are always in the Alpha Centauri and Barnard’s Star systems, while starting in the Sol System implies your guaranteed habitable worlds are always in the Alpha Centauri and Barnard’s Star systems. As a result, you wind up with an Alien species naming their star after a Human astronomer.
- Vissari is the name of the species.
- Viss, Tundra World is the homeworld.
- Visslok, Random Unary II (Star)
- Migratory Flock AI Personality
- Xenophile is an AI advisor.
- Avian 1 is in the list of names.
- Author’s Notes: Did you get it? Is it a Migratory Flock? They’re bird people, right? My sense of humor is seriously afflicted.
- Hann’Felir is the name of the species.
- Conn’Aramis, Ocean World is Conn’Aramis’ home world.
- Connthor, Random Trinary I (Star)
- Spiritual Seekers AI Personality
- The Diplomat is an AI advisor.
- Molluscoid 3 (the one with all the planets’ names ending in Naff’xxxxx)
- Notes from the Author: The concept of Fanatic Spiritualists with a Scion ancestor was what sparked my desire to create another empire list. Because the default Leader title for that government is “High Inquisitor,” which doesn’t conjure up a pleasant, peaceful empire, they’re employing the general Theocratic Dictatorship government rather than the Exalted Priesthood particular Oligarchic government (Holy Tribunal). Because of this phrase from the Spiritual Seekers description, “They will seek peaceful collaboration with other civilizations in the hopes of understanding their link to the holy,” these people also receive the Diplomatic Corp civic and the Diplomat AI voice.
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- Cydran is the scientific name for this species.
- Jara, Jara, Jara, Jara, Jara, Jara, Jara, Jara
- Jenisa is the star of the film.
- Machine Intelligence Personality: AI Personality
- Original AI Advisor
- Machine 2 is in the name list.
- Notes from the Author: The general thought process was to figure out how to get the teeth out of the Doomsday origin. I also like the idea of Machine Memorialists and a non-genocidal machine empire, like the evil guys in a Doctor Who episode.
- Azanti is the name of the species.
- Bis’ashet, the Desert World, is Bis’ashet’s homeworld.
- Netteth (Random Binary II) is a star.
- Evangelizing Zealots with AI Personality
- Necroid, Necroid, Necroid, Necroid, Necroid
- Necroid 2 is in the list of names (The faux-Ancient Egyptian one)
- Species of secondary importance:
- Panuri is Panuri’s given name.
- HP #7 Humanoid Appearance (The purple eyeless dudes)
- Rapid Breeder, Traditional, and Fleeting are some of the traits of this creature.
- Notes from the Author: What is the polar opposite of a Fanatic Egalitarian society, in which all intelligent beings are treated equally and all views are heard? A society in which the powerful prey on the poor and the lone governing voice is revered as a GOD. The ancient Egyptian motif arose from the resemblance of “Pharaohs being revered as gods,” and they were given Reanimated troops as a nod to Tomb Kings. In addition, the Necroid metropolis on the desert planet seems to be SWEET.
- Belmacosa is the scientific name for this species.
- Belmacosa Prima, Gaia World is Belmacosa Prima’s home world.
- Belm, Random Binary I is a star.
- Harmonious Collective AI Personality
- The AI Advisor is a pacifist.
- Plantoid 4 is in the list of names.
- Author’s Notes: There’s not much else to say. The Plantoid name sets aren’t my favorite, therefore these are the only Plantoid species on the list.
- Estwani estwani estwani estwani estwani estwani estwani estwan
- Estwant to, Alpine World is Estwant to’s homeworld.
- I’m Wani, Random Unary I’m Wani, Random Unary I’m Wani, Random
- Erudite Explorers is an AI personality.
- Materialist AI Advisor
- Mammalian 1 is in the list of names.
- Notes from the Author: “The Estwani had known for a long time that they were not alone. Since Estwani astronomers first discovered the Wani Gateway centuries ago, these daring explorers have been linked by a passion for and a desire to learn the mysteries of the galaxy.” For any of these civilizations, this is the only actual background I’ve written. What makes them Egalitarian rather than Xenophile? I was attempting to increase the number of Egalitarian empires by using the Idealistic Foundation, which is restricted to Egalitarian.
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- Nagyari is the name of the species.
- Nagyaria, Nagyaria, Nagyaria, Nagyaria, Nagyaria, Nagyaria, Nagyaria (Arctic Preference)
- Nagyar, Irregular Trinary Irregular Trinary Irregular Trinary I
- Despotic Slavers is the AI personality.
- Authoritarian AI Advisor
- Humanoid 2 is in the list of names.
- Author’s Notes: It’s over with the generic Sci-Fi villains! The idea of a formerly powerful (and terrible) empire rising from the ashes to once again threaten the galaxy isn’t the most original, but it’s a cool one. Also, it’s difficult to see, but that flag has two distinct colors.
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- Orassian is the name of the species.
- Orassia, Arid World is Orassia’s homeworld.
- Random Binary I, Orass, Orass, Orass, Orass, Oras
- Decadent Hierarchy in AI Personality
- The Technocrat as AI Advisor
- Mammalian 2 is in the list of names.
- Notes from the Author: These people were based almost completely on the description of the administration of the Totalitarian Regime. In lieu of Byzantine bureaucracy, the Covée System was virtually the other Civic.
- Akkano is the name of the species.
- Velutaria Prime, Continental World is Velutaria Prime’s homeworld.
- Velutaria, Random Unary I is a star.
- Democratic Crusaders AI Personality
- The Worker is an AI Advisor.
- Mammalian 3 is in the list of names.
- Author’s Notes: I experimented with a few different builds before settling on the Democratic Crusaders. My favorite alternative take was on a Post-Apocalyptic, Spiritual Seeking, Communist Death Cult, but for some reason I opted with the easier choice instead.
- Hydari is the scientific name for this species.
- Hydax, Arid World is Hydax’s homeworld.
- Hydor, Unary I, Hydor, Hydor, Hydor, Hydor, Hydor
- Characteristics of Artificial Intelligence: Cruel Capitalists
- Artificial Intelligence Advisor: A ruthless conglomerate
- Reptilian 2 is in the list of names.
- Species that aren’t native to the area
- Adeex is a brand name for a company.
- Reptilian Massive #15 (the Dragon-like guys with a split jaw)
- Serviles, Very Strong, Fleeting, Slow Learners are some of their characteristics.
- Notes from the Author: There’s not much to say about these people either. Oh, wait, there’s a Prophets/Profits pun! Classic.
- Rak-Rak is the name of the species.
- Ruk-Rak, Ruk-Rak, Ruk-Rak, Ruk-Rak, Ruk-Rak
- Ruk, Irrational Trinary Irrational Trinary Irrational Trinary Irration
- Swarm Devouring AI Personality
- Lithoid is an AI advisor.
- Hive Mind 1 is in the list of names.
- Notes from the Author: Lavos is insanely amazing. Rak-Rak.
- Reyubb is the name of the species.
- Reyubb Ofe, Reyubb Ofe, Reyubb Ofe, Reyubb Ofe, Reyubb Ofe
- Ze’Zebb is the main character.
- Hive Mind’s AI Personality
- Hive Mind is an AI advisor.
- Fungoid 4 is in the list of names.
- Author’s Notes: There’s also the bio-hive mind of the “good guy.” Isn’t it meant to be some kind of meat-moss or something?
- Synthoid, Synthoid, Synthoid, Synthoid, Syntho
- Main Facility, Machine World, and Home World
- En-14421, Random Trinary II, En-14421, En-14421, En-14421, En-14421,
- Driven Assimilators are a kind of AI personality.
- Machine Intelligence Advisor:
- Machine 1 is in the list of names.
- Species of secondary importance:
- Ethir is Ethir’s given name.
- Arthropoid Slender #03 (Appearance)
- Cybernetic, docile, gifted, and weak
- The Ethir were previously Bio-Hive Mind Drones who had their link cut but survived and attempted to reassemble themselves into an artificial hive, according to the rough notion I had for this empire.
- Ziiran is the name of the species.
- Ne’Ziira, Ne’Ziira, Ne’Ziira, Ne’Ziira, Ne
- Ziira, Random Binary II, Ziira, Ziira, Ziira, Ziir
- Hegemonic Imperialists as AI Personality
- The Soldier’s AI Advisor
- Reptilian 1 is in the list of names.
- Author’s Notes: Those helmets in the backdrop were made just for these men, and it would take a lot of money to persuade me differently. They’ve even included their frowny expressions in the design! And it’s the same color as the armor/clothing! Also, Imperial Hegemonists receive the Hegemon origin, which gets the double-headed eagle in contrast to the single-headed eagle in the Common Ground origin, and it’s a bit strange that Aristocratic Elite and Citizens Service aren’t somehow exclusive to one another, but mostly the helmet thing.
- Oklarr is the name of the species.
- Koros, Tomb World is Koros’ homeworld.
- Korinth, Random Binary I is a star.
- Honorbound Warriors AI Personality
- Militarist AI Advisor
- Mammalian 4 is in the list of names (the X, son of Y name list)
- Notes from the Author: Why in the name of God would Barbaric Despoiler offer Hegemonic Imperialists +1000 weight? I’m not sure what you’re talking about. I had to settle with Space-Orc Vikings instead of Barbaric Despoiler Orc Metalheads. It irritates me.
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