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Galaxial, an Indie 2D Space 4X Strategy Game – New Video

By on March 11th, 2014 12:30 pm

Galaxial - An indie real-time space 4X strategy game

Everything moves in Galaxial. But, things move very gently, like nobody is in a rush. Everything is also quite beautiful in this universe. And, while the game isn’t finished yet, and I still know very little about what exactly are we supposed to do in it, my gut feeling tells me that I should like playing it when it is finished. It’s probably the art style, very slick and clean, or the innovative vibe I get from it. I don’t know. Galaxial is very different from everything else, and I guess that’s its biggest strength.

So, why isn’t Galaxial in the “Can’t Miss Games List” for this year? Well, it was in the 2013’s, however, and this was my call, the lack of a release date (the dev says the game will be released when it’s finished, which I think makes perfect sense) prevents it to be inside the list. For this year, at least. I guess we’re more serious about the dates now. But, it could be there. Developed by a single stellar indie adventurer, this space strategy game, apparently 4X in nature, appears to be slowly but steadily making progress.

Here’s the latest video, showing off parts of the gameplay, mostly space combat scenes during a stress test involving lots of sound effects and weapon firing all over the galaxy. The video accompanies the dev’s latest development update.

Galaxial is an indie real-time space 4X strategy game currently being developed by Stuart Morgan. Sandbox with no set goals seems to be the only game mode planned for now, but further modes seem to be a possibility, but only after the game is released. Multiplayer doesn’t seem to be a top priority and initially the game will be released only for Windows, with ports for Mac and Linux as a possibility after the initial release, says the dev. You can follow Stuart’s work and progress through his twitter feed and blog.

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  1. Gary says:

    Only one planet per star system? Why did the dev do that?

    I hope he’s got a pause button in there.

    • ashbery76 says:

      Is that the planet in the middle of the system.Looks very strange.I thought Plato’s theory was proven false a long time ago.

    • Brant says:

      Abstractions pals…

      • Gary says:

        Actually, abstraction wasn’t his reason. I read through his blog until I found the reason:

        “I’ve been having some design problems with the way ships warp around inside star systems for them to reach jumpgates, so I have decided to make some major changes to the way the galaxy is structured and connected together.

        At each location on the main galaxy map there will now be a single planet or sector instead of an entire star system containing multiple planets. This will remove a zoom level, so it now goes galaxy > sector instead of galaxy > system > sector.”

        However, from reading this reply in the comments, I’m not sure what he’s doing:

        “No its not just one planet. When you zoom in from the galaxy map it now goes straight in to a planet/sector (where you see the ships) instead of the middle star system screen showing each planet and requiring you to zoom in even further.”

        So maybe all planets in the system are listed somewhere in the middle circle?

        Maybe Adam can get the dev over here to answer questions :)

        • Stuart Morgan says:

          Hi, I removed star systems as they became a bit too complicated and was making it difficult to see exactly what was going on without constantly moving between the three zoom levels.

          Each circle you see on the galaxy map now represents a single planet or sector/place of interest.

          Previously the galaxy was structured more like EVE Online, where you can warp around inside a star system to individual planets but use stargates to travel to other systems.

          But now it is more like X3, where every planet/sector is connected with jumpgates and warp travel removed.

        • Mark says:

          @ Stuart,

          So it sounds like you could still fudge having multiple planets per system, at least in some systems.

          Just cluster a few circles around a particular star on the galaxy map to represent planets of interest in that system.

  2. hakkarin says:

    I just don’t get the appeal of having these kinds of huge galaxy scale games play in real-time. What is the benefit? You will just have to pause the game over and over anyways to have any chance of controlling everything. Unless there is lots of AI-control, but then what is the point of playing the game in the first place? I think StarDrive 2 made the right decision to dump its real-time element in favor of a turn-based system. Turn-based is the only way you can have large scale strategy with lots of battles without AI control of some kind.

    • Jeff P says:

      I’m with you regarding real-time for 4X games: too many things happening at once forces the player to automate much of the game, or simply neglect much of what is going on. The graphics bother me as well: the game looks like a less-sophisticated version of Star Ruler.

      • ashbery76 says:

        I don’t really get the moaning.Slow paced games like DW,EU not only move at a slow pace on normal but you can make then even slower during multiple battles.PLus you can pause and order too.

    • Mark says:

      Totally agree with you here. This is also the biggest drawback with Distant Worlds. I would have thought that Devs would eventually get over their relentless obsession with RT at all costs. Especially when RT adds nothing and only ruins or (in DW’s case) cripples the game.

      lol, just watching the video it looks like this game will have the exact same problem as DW. A million important things all happening at once in RT, only a fraction of which you will actually be able to observe and control. Everything else you will miss because you cant be in 20 places at once in a RT game.

  3. Jakub says:

    I heard about that game, and I throught it was dead (no updates on ModDb where I find it). Good to see it’s live and kicking :)

  4. TylerDurden says:

    1 planet per star system?! BAH!

  5. Ermdog says:

    This looks just like SOSE with different art. I would love to see another game like SOSE come out with different concepts and ideas. The video doesn’t tell me much in what the game has to offer, but it looks good. I just hope they have some good ideas, and hopefully not every system has battleships surrounded by smaller ships, lol

  6. Peter says:

    Now guys dont be too harsh, this was clearly a test video for stuff.

    • Gary says:

      Yes, it was. But it shows some choices the dev has made… one planet per system, and real-time battles.

      • Fimbul says:

        i would be fine with realtime battles. i liked SotS one quite a lot, not the one planet thing but in general, yes. but the whole game in realtime is a pain in the ass. so the ships have to endure a tonne of damage and move quite slow that you have a chance to interfere, but that makes battles just boring, annoying and much less gripping.
        in a realtime game you can’t focus and enjoying what you are doing (see like your armada is crushing an enemy or how well your planets are evolving. even with a pause mode it’s not the same.

  7. SQW says:


    Okay, more seriously now.

    So what’s different between this compare to Sins of Solar Empire, the more recent Star Drive and several other games mentioned on this site last year? What’s the key selling point of using real-time?

    • Noldor says:

      Real time is a feature in and of itself that is in high demand.

      It forces decisions in real time, rather than just a boring auto-resolve. You have to move your ships to the right position, decide when to use what abilities, and it has much greater depth on the composition of your fleet.

    • SQW says:

      I like real-time combat + turn based management. That, in my opinion is the best combination.

      This game seems to be pure real-time 4X like Sins or Star Drive.

      Also, big real-time battles rarely offer anything like intricate fleet maneuvers or timely use of abilities. Homeworld did it best but even then, without liberal use of the ‘pause’, larger battles were hardly enjoyable or tactical.

      Who auto-resolves in a 4x game anyway unless you have overwhelming advantages?

  8. Andy K. says:

    Folks, game is not finished yet, video was made during a performance test.
    Since it is a one-man indie developer, I think he’s doing a great job so far.

    Also, if you have any questions, go to, or follow Stuart Morgan (the developer) on Twitter.

    • SQW says:

      One-man (okay, two-man) FTL was great fun due to the tight focus and limited mechanics. One-man building simulation a la Banished was fun but everyone knows it lacks the polish of a game with bigger team.

      Good 4x games are another whole different level of complexity. Endless was a gorgeous 4x game with kiddie-pool level of AI, research tree, empire development options and diplomacy etc etc and even that was with a decent sized team. The less said about other flaming wrecks in recent years the better.

      I’m not saying it’s impossible but we all know a good 4x game requires a large amount of development hours and one man, no matter how talented, will have trouble with this. Either the game takes forever to be released or some features would inevitably be less-than-polished as the deadline approaches.

      • Andy K. says:

        I agree with your comment. Stilll I think the dev can pull this off. Let’s see how far things will come until (and after) release.

  9. Zero says:

    Been following Galaxial for a while. Love the art style, looking forward to seeing what Stuart can do with it.

  10. stormcloud says:

    Another SotSE, Distant World,Star Ruler et al. esque game? Even sardines aren’t packed as tightly in the can. Usually there are two (mutually exclusive) end results. One, sophisticated automation to defray the tasks of managing the realtime aspects i.e. players aren’t octupuses. Two, focused game with certain limitations.

    Each of the above has certain fundamental weakness. Former may suffer from bland disengaging gameplay, the latter may suffer from depth of gameplay (i.e. think casual or “dumbed-down” games) despite being focused. Being aware of the pitfalls, won’t prevent any game from getting dragged into it subconciously. Making a successful game for players to get attached to, is more an ART than anything technical (if that wasn’t already obvious for anyone reading).

    Points to Galaxial’s somewhat unique art/animation which distinguishes it, but I’m not holding my breath where gameplay is concerned. I have disclosure to make. I’m heavily biased towards solo player turn based systems (i.e. turn based management, realtime battles is fine). SotSE et al. wasn’t my idea of fun, infact, tried it for a few days and then binned it. Shallow.

    Conversely, Distant World, I shall have to check it out once they release the final version to wrap up the series. I binned the original DW. It had potential, but it was bad. The fonts they used in the original, omg … to make this sort of wtf design decision. Wtf were they thinking.

  11. Justin says:

    There is still quite a large niche market out there for real time 4x. Distant Worlds proves that and so did the response for the anticipation of Star Drive, I don’t find Distant Worlds dumbed down at all and I never paused. In fact I hated that it paused the game when you were in menus. I prefer how star drive kept running in the back ground.

    Turn based makes it too easy. Allows you to pause and think forever. Removes the intensity of it for me. So it’s just my preference. If you don’t like them, don’t knock them and say it should be X or Y. He’s developing what he wants for who wants it. You want a turn based game and don’t like what is out there then go make your own.

  12. Mirkz says:

    I am with Justin… I love real time strategy and 4x together.

    I find turn based games usually boring to play and not so dynamic like rts are..

    For some reason Turn based strategy games seem so trendy lately and real rts have become childish mobas only.

    • SQW says:

      Probably because the people who grew up playing select-all and attack-move games grew up and decided they want to be generals rather than sergeants? Some people prefer the complexity that require long term thinking rather than twitch reflex and high APM on a mere tactical level.

      4X is about empire building as much as it is fighting; real-time combat is fine but who’s ever heard of intense and dynamic real-time empire management across a decent size map with actual complex mechanics and decision making?

      For the record, SotSE-like games are NOT 4X any more than Conquest: Frontier Wars would’ve been labelled as such back in 2000s.

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