I was a big fan of the original Galactic Civilizations. It was everything that Masters of Orion 3 wanted to be, and was an amazing example of how gameplay is more important than graphics. In the 3D-everything era, GalCiv was using sprites, but it didn’t matter because the game was so good.
There has been a bit of a story on digg today (here and here) about the publisher’s decision to not protect their game with any DRM. I would just like to take this opportunity to thank them personally for it. I’m a paying customer, and it infuriates me when the company I patronize treats me as a criminal. It happened to me with Half-Life 2, and I won’t be playing any more Valve games because of it.
It is very clear from their forum post that Stardock gets it. Software gets stolen, and there isn’t much you can do about it. Rather than annoy your customers and lose sales, reward them for purchasing your work with updates and content. On top of that, the GalCiv2 license is wonderfully fair, allowing users to install the software on multiple machines for convenience. As the author says, “How many sales are lost because people want to have a game on their laptop and desktop and don’t want to drag CDs around so choose not to buy the game?”
Oh, and this game is crack. I have stayed up until 4:00 a couple of times already because I simply lost track of time.