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Galactic Civilizations II


While Galactic Civilizations was a commercial success, its publisher, Strategy First, filed bankruptcy without having paid most of the royalties it owed. Luckily, most of Stardock’s revenue came from its software business and the company was able to fund a sequel without relying on the revenue from the Windows version of Galactic Civilizations.

The sequel, however, would be published by Stardock and move to a full 3D engine.

Like with Galactic Civilizations for Windows, Galactic Civilizations II would have its own set of mockups.

The final game would look like this:

For the main map
On planets
In combat
Our Yor friends again

Galactic Civilizations II was an immense success. Players enjoyed designing their own ships and seeing how they made out against a devious AI.

The ship designer

The game saw two expansions. The first, Dark Avatar, added asteroid fields, mining and numerous other features to the base game. The second expansion, Twilight of the Arnor, overhauled the graphics engine and provided each civilization with its own unique technology tree and ship parts.

The 3D engine was designed to scale with resolution thanks to heavy use of vector graphics within the game assets. As a result, even today on a 4K monitor, Galactic Civilizations II looks stunning.

For example, 2560x1440 was unknown as a gaming resolution during Galactic Civilizations II’s development in 2005. The game’s vector-based UI system (based on Stardock’s own DesktopX technology) could scale to handle it, however. This is most obviously seen with the research tree:


As a result, sales of Galactic Civilizations II have remained high since release, regularly peaking into the Steam top 10 even as recently as 2013.