GamingNexus: I found myself enthralled with the ship generator, as did many players. What sort of improvements are we going to be seeing here? Will it just be more ship components and ship designs or something else?
Brian Clair: Dark Avatar is going to add a number of new ship components (jewelry) and new hulls. The art team has become very good at creating new elements for ship design, so we think gamers will be quite happy with what they find. The Ship Design screen will also be getting better sorting and other tweaks.
GamingNexus: On to the campaign. The end of the Dread Lords campaign left for some…interesting problems for a certain race. And now we see that the Drengin are going to be the good (or less-bad?) guys. Care to spill any beans about the plot?
Brian Clair: The good guys didn’t end up doing so well at the end of GalCiv II’s campaign and I’m afraid things aren’t going to get much better for them in Dark Avatar. The Drengin now dominate the galaxy and a splinter group, called the Korath, have started to advocate the utter extermination of all non-Drengin in the galaxy. Obviously, the more mainstream Drengin are against this; after all, slave races fufill a need and are tasty too. In Dark Avatar’s campaign, the player will take the role of the Drengin as they try to stop the Korath from exterminating the rest of the galaxy. During the campaign, two races from GalCiv II will be wiped out, but others will take their place.
GamingNexus: And for all those times where I just want some simple wanton destruction…any chance of playing as the Dread Lords in a scenario or two?
Brian Clair: Not in Dark Avatar. The Dread Lords are just too powerful to be play-balanced for this expansion.
GamingNexus: Where does Galactic Civilizations go from here? Are you considering another expansion pack after this or is it on to Gal Civilizations III/new IP?
Brian Clair: We’re considering doing one more GalCiv II expansion pack after Dark Avatar, if sales do well. Past that we’ll be working on a new fantasy strategy game, The Political Machine 2008 and then Galactic Civilizations III
GamingNexus: Stardock is now getting into the game publishing business, what was the impetuous about deciding to publish other titles besides your own? Do you have any titles already in the pipeline or are you just now starting to look for titles to publish?
Brian Clair: One of our big motivations for getting into publishing was our own experiences, as developers, in working with publishers to get onto store shelves. What we want to do is concentrate on a very small number of high-quality titles in order to give them the same kind of attention and focus that we gave to Galactic Civilizations II. We’re always looking for prospective games to publish, so the hunt never ends.
GamingNexus: Are you going to stick with publishing only PC titles or would you consider publishing something for a console or maybe even trying to get a title on Microsoft’s Xbox Live Arcade? Are you looking for any particular type of title or just games that you like and think will have a market?
Brian Clair: Right now we’re planning to stick with PC games only, though we’re not closing the door on consoles for some point in the future. Initially we’re looking to stay in the strategy-game market for retail publishing, but are also looking to expand into role-playing since we think that genre hasn’t gotten much attention by publishers/developers in the past few years (outside of MMOs).
GamingNexus would like to thank Brian for taking the time to answer our questions and Tom for helping to coordinate the interview (and dealing with our constant nagging).
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