Things and stuff and things.
And their leader, Lord Kona
Published on November 11, 2020 By Tatiora In GalCiv III Dev Journals

I think most people are fairly well aware of this fact, but in case you aren't, there's something you need to know about Galactic Civilizations: it's been around for a really long time

The game's development actually started in Stardock CEO Brad Wardell's dorm room at Western Michigan State University back in 1993. It was just a hobby at first, until IBM heard about the game's development and sent Brad better tools and other goodies to work with. Galactic Civilizations was released in 1994, the same time as IBM's OS/2 Warp 3 - and that, as they say, is history.

Galactic Civilizations III released in 2015 and has definitely seen an improvement in graphics and gameplay from the first game that hit shelves (yeah, literally, back when PC games actually sold in retail stores!) over 25 years ago. Not only has the game as a whole seen quite an evolution, but the races within have as well - including one of Brad's favorites: the Drengin.

Brad has written a lot of blogs over the years talking about how the company got started and where certain races in GalCiv originated. Regarding the Drengin, he wrote:

"Many years ago, when I was trying to come up with a villain for what I called, at the time, Earth Space Wars, I wanted an enemy that was brutal, ruthless and most importantly, inhuman. An enemy that would look at our system of ethics, morals and honor and laugh at them as being hopelessly naïve and primitive." And thus, the Drengin were born.

Below are some photos of the Drengin (specifically, Lord Kona) over the years.

This is an early Drengin image from the 90's. On an old website I dug up that contains some GalCiv history, the caption under this photo says it's Kandar the Drengin from the cartoon series "Drengin Heroes" (which I assume is some Drengin propaganda).

This is a Drengin painting from 1995. This actually was hanging in what used to be the streaming room when I first started here, before I knew who the Drengin were or what was going on in this image. Looks like that human there isn't having a great day.

This is Lord Kona from the first Galactic Civilizations game. Most of what humanity knows about the Drengin comes from the Arceans, who have had a long relationship with the Drengin (and an amazingly peaceful one, given that they are both war-driven races). 

This is Lord Kona a few years later, in Galactic Civilizations II. The Drengin race is old - really old. By our standards, they are completely ancient, having already established star colonies while we humans were still living in caves and hunting wild prey. 

This one is pretty neat - it's an early Lord Kona concept from Galactic Civilizations III. You can see he's blended somewhat with concepts for the Korath (which you can read a little more about below).

And at last, we land on Lord Kona's final concept in Galactic Civilizations III - an elderly Drengin who has seen many years, many wars, and many great, um...feasts. 

Above, I talked about how an early concept for Lord Kona blended some aesthetics with the Korath. The Korath, shown above, made an appearance in GalCiv III later. They were bred by the Drengin to be the elite shock troops of the empire. The Korath make no bones about what they're about, either: extermination.


Which GalCiv game was your first and do you like to play as the Drengin? If not, what races do you prefer to play as? Let me know in the comments!


on Nov 11, 2020

My first GC was GalCiv for OS/2.  And while I have played as (and enjoyed) the Drengin in all variants of the game, in GC3 I mostly play custom races.

on Nov 12, 2020

I started with the first Windows GalCiv (2003) after realizing that MOO3 was a piece of garbage.  I love the Drengin as enemies, but prefer a more peaceful/scientific playstyle for my own races.  Generally I create my own, so don't really have a favorite "stock race"

I'd say a large part of GalCiv's initial Windows market was due to the MOO3 disaster.  I'm sure I'm not alone in being so disappointed, that this, the other (and vastly superior) space empire game released around the same time was a breath of fresh air.

on Nov 12, 2020

My first game was Galciv 2 and in GC3, I'm playing either a custom race or humans, they're my favorite for their versatility

on Nov 12, 2020

My first game was GalCiv2.
I play with the standard races, they all have things interesting to explore with their different "cultures", Altarian, Drengin, Torian, Arcean, Korx, Yor, Korath, etc.
And with the modding possibilities, it's always interesting to play with their lore to play the game in a more "asymmetrical" way depending on the race played.
For GalCiv3, I will certainly mod the game, but that will be when all the expansions and DLCs are released in order to start on a more "solid" basis.


Regarding the graphics, I find that the graphic style of the GalCiv2 leaders gives more personality to the different races.

on Nov 12, 2020

I've been on board since the beginning. I remember reading Brad's posts on a gaming BB about the development of the game and couldn't wait for it to be released... I've been hooked ever since and have never looked back!  

on Nov 13, 2020

I bought galactic civilizations 1 the gold edition. This game taught me about serial numbers. Never played it threw the numbers away didn’t know I needed them. Later bought 2 dark avatar. I had loads of fun back then. The Yor, Torian, krynn, and Slyn are my favorite stock races. 

on Nov 13, 2020

It should s fn to play sci-fi. 

on Nov 13, 2020


Hey guys. I'm new here… Is it interesting to play in future?

It is a very detailed and intricate game, and if you are into 4x space empire games, it is certainly worth it.  I've put many,  many hours into the game.  Just know that there are some bugs, generally fairly small, which have never (and likely will never) be addressed.  For the most part, they don't affect game play terribly, but can sometimes be inconvenient.  

on Nov 24, 2020

GalCiv3 was my first GalCiv game. Took me a loong time to get comfortable with the combat, partly because I didn't realize at first that the ship classes don't just affect what ships they target, but also how they move. I thought the ships all just rushed in at each other, making range only useful in marginal cases. Then I started noticing the escorts circling capital ships (as they should) and it started to make sense. Although it would be nice if there was more visibility in what each ship class does, I'm still not sure how a "guardian" compares to either an escort or assault ship, so I have been assuming it is somewhere inbetween. 

Right away I dove straight into custom factions, my first game I actually built my own faction from the minor faction profile with the triangular face and lanky neck. As it so happened that same game used the same profile to generate an actual minor nation. I have a lot of custom factions on my client, some are real franchises (like Mario) for funsies, some use images off Google, and most recently I have commissioned art from a friend of mine that is also an artist. 

Funny thing: because I always used the max universe size (before recommended specs for each were indicated, my computer was waaay underpowered for max settings, even my computer designed for gaming doesn't have, what, 16 cores I think it was?) and custom factions only, I actually thought this game was waay harder than it turned out to be. Only recently when I turned down the size of the universe did I realize that it isn't nearly as hard as it seemed. Also, instead of a completely fictional faction for myself and my own factions / other franchise factions made by me being the entire universe, I have started playing as vanilla humans with all of my purchased factions from Stardock in the game, and the other half of the factions are made up by this entirely new set of factions that I created with the help of my friend's artwork that I commissioned. I can actually compete pretty comfortably now (almost all settings random, a few (like research speed) set to normal).

So yeah, I guess now I mostly play humans now, mostly because of my incredible curiosity at how the AI will play each faction.   

on Dec 31, 2020

GalCiv 2 was not only my first GalCiv experience, but it was my first civ style 4x experience ever and turned me into a 4x mega fan! It took me forever to get into because it was so dense, but something about it just made me want to push through that learning curve and master the gameplay. It had such an impact on me that GalCiv 3 never quite hooked me in the same way, which I think is unfair, but it's like competing with a heavily biased memory rather than an objective comparison. GalCiv3 is probably the better game, but the glory days of GalCiv2 live on in my mind!

Side note: I love the old cartoon Drengin. Looks like something straight from Babylon 5. 90's space opera TV is the best!

on Jan 07, 2021

I miss the days when the SD downloader was called Drengin net...   before the days of Impulse and Steam.

on Feb 01, 2021


I miss the days when the SD downloader was called Drengin net...   before the days of Impulse and Steam.

Yea, that was pretty neat.  Funny story behind that -- client was written by the lead dev on Stellar Frontier.