Since this game is a sequel it doesn't make sense to just suddenly populate the game with crazy non huminoid races like in Ascendancy (I think in that game the only huminoid race was the smart lizard people). They would have to have a plot that explained the extermination of all other races then a sudden populating of the galaxy and fast forwarding to hyper drive capability for all the races.
Well, that's not entirely true is it? Galactic Civilizations spans what... a hundred stars? And these races specifically inhabit THAT part of the galaxy... unless what, you're only ruler of a small portion of their empire? Considering there are hundreds of billions of stars in our galaxy alone, there would seem to be PLENTY of places to encounter new aliens.
Also, logicially, it seems to me that a lot of intelligent life would have to be huminoid in the sense that at least two limbs or so are dedicated to utilizing technology like our arms and hands are. If whales were hyper intelligent, not having arms means they cant build and use advanced computer systems that their minds might be capable of thinking up.
That's a pretty limited imagination. I'm pretty sure a sentient race of robots would not choose to be bipedal, two-armed beings. If you can attach new appendages at will, wouldn't it make more sense to attach a hundred arms? Or tentacles? Flippers? liquid metal globs of nanobots that can form and reform at will, depending on the situation? Sure, humans conquered earth with our brains and thumbs, but it's hard to find ANY area where humans are a perfect form of anatomy - aside from using tools and being sentient, the animal kingdom whoops our asses in every area imaginable! Birds fly better than us, cheetahs run faster than us, dolphins swim faster than us, insects camouflage themselves better than us, hawks see better, penguins can withstand colder temperatures, bears are stronger, bats can hear better (built in sonar, ffs), rats can smell better, turtles have better protection, water bears (tardigrades) can withstand the vacuum of space, I mean, the list goes ON AND ON. There's nothing we excel at that we're not trounced by something better than our two eyes, two arms and two legs and soft, gentle skin. So for that to be the standard for the entire galaxy seems a little silly.
or would you want them to shoot plasma rays from the pseudo ass hole of their living protoplasm space ship?
OMG. That sounds AMAZING. Asshole plasma! I was just thinking about an alien race that IS the ship it flies. Like... the aliens are a race of space-faring vessels! And you go to communicate with them, but they just look like empty vessels, with just these hollow echoing voices droning throughout the squishy, organic halls. And you're so confused until you figure out the SHIP is the creature. See? Even though your response was supposed to be sarcastic, making fun of me, it actually turned out to be a really awesome and creative idea that would expand the mind of the player! People would be talking about it decades later, just like people still talk about the aliens in Star Control II. Come up with some new and different - it doesn't take that much thought.
Where does it end? I think you want completely different tech trees and alternative values.
Completely different tech trees? No, that's too much to figure out. But sure, alternative values, some races might value other life, others might want to destroy it. Gal Civ even includes some of that, but I wish it did a better job at fleshing out WHY they are the way they are. But that's not even really a part of this thread. It wasn't a thread about what I wish GalCiv would be - it's a thread identifying a flaw in GalCiv and hoping/praying it's not repeated when Stardock comes up with AN ENTIRELY NEW CAST OF ALIENS FOR THE STAR CONTROL REBOOT. The prospect is terrifying, and Brad has said he wants as much input as possible, so consider this thread my two cents: PLEASE BE CREATIVE.
1) No human on earth could have an alien thought, the concept is impossible. So everything has to be drawn from some source, even if that source is the imagination, which takes it's own cues from past material, or other stimuli.
This is so very, very, sadly true. Aliens that grew up on an entirely different planet probably won't be EVEN REMOTELY similar to us. Some scientists say we may not even be ABLE to know they EXIST, much less have meaningful contact with them. They may even exist at different wavelengths of light than are visible to the human eye. Who knows?! And that's the point I was trying to make! To wind up with 8 "completely alien" races... that somehow look like us and act like us and have the same physical properties as us and exhibit similar character to humans... is just kind of disappointing. Yeah, there's a blue-human and a monkey-human and an insect human and an 8-eyed human... but they're all generally human. To me, this generally signals a lack of creativity.
But to REITERATE - this is not meant as a critique of Galactic Civilizations, as much as it is a hopeful warning about the future of Star Control. Stardock is creating a WHOLE NEW CAST of intergalactic beings. PLEASE use all that creative brain power to come up with some really amazing, nuanced, out-of-this-world characters this time around!