Some quotes are slightly edited for compactness/clarity. Brad Wardell:
We developed a new engine for the game so that we could have prettier visuals and support bigger galaxies and that.
SteamWorks is what’s making the multiplayer possible.
Ship design in GalCiv III is probably the part that's most upgraded. We’re making an advanced mode for the people who are really hardcore, and then the normal mode for everyone else. In the hardcore ship designer, you can import your models direct from Maya! You can select your material, you can select all kinds of tools so that you can make the ship you want. With the high-resolution textures, you can make whatever you want and it looks beautiful. Like something you’d see in a movie. Players can do all kinds of things that we’d only have dreamt of back in 2006.
It’s a single-player game first. 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. 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! 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.
The GalCiv games have had this nebulous Good vs. Evil thing. We've replaced that with what we call ‘Ideologies’ instead. Having Ideologies has more flexibility. It makes the game much more interesting.
Diplomacy is about achieving your ends through non-violent means, and it doesn't have to be like “give me four rocks for three space diamonds”, how about “I’ll help you do this, so I can influence that, so we both benefit”. I could help some guy fight some insurgency on some planet, in exchange for him allowing my cultural goods into his empire, which spreads my culture. There can be many instances where you’re getting your goals through other people.
We expect to be in public beta for like a year before release.
The Alpha and Beta will be playable when they come out, but they’ll be pretty rough. The gameplay will be rough. Most art assets won’t be in by that point. Certainly the AI will be rudimentary.
We don’t have retailers, and we don’t have shareholders telling us what to do. We’re free to indulge ourselves this time around. I remember back with GalCiv II, we had to ship by February 2006 or we were screwed. Now though it’s like ‘eh’.
The screenshots will start coming out by December. I was looking at the early Galactic Civilization II artwork, and it’s amazing how much better the artwork overall has gotten. I think that’s one of the things people are going to be surprised by.