Imperium Galactica is a 4X video game, developed by Digital Reality. The same company would later make its sequel, Imperium Galactica II, in 1999. Imperium Galactica was published and distributed by GT Interactive in 1997. The soundtrack is the work of Tamás Kreiner. Nexus: The Jupiter Incident, developed by the Hungarian-based Mithis Entertainment, was originally planned and designed as "Imperium Galactica 3" but in development renamed and refocussed to a real-time tactics game. The game was re-released in 2016 on GOG.com with support for Windows.
Imperium Galactica is a single-player game developed by Digital Reality and released in 1997. It has both the combat and resource management elements of a real-time strategy game and the vast research tree and colony-building aspects of traditional turn-based 'space-empire-building' 4X (eXpand, eXploit, eXplore, and eXterminate) games such as the Master of Orion series.
The player, in the role of Dante Johnson, begins the game with command of a small capital ship - a Guardian-class Destroyer - and three Raptor-class Fighters (later in the game the player would command up to 28 capital ships and 180 fighters in one fleet), and three colonies, named Achilles, Naxos and San Sterling, unable to move beyond the boundaries of the small sector assigned for him to defend and expand. The story, concerning the Galactic Empire's current status in the 4th millennium, during the 3200's, serves as an entry point, gradually introducing the player to new concepts (planet management, space battles, ground battles, research, component & ship production, diplomatic functions) as he rises through the ranks from Lieutenant to Captain, Commander, Admiral and eventually Grand Admiral (where all functions are unlocked and the player has full control), all the while revealing the character's shrouded past, revealing that Johnson is the Galactic Empire's secret weapon that was created in desperation, an android, through flashbacks.
Regardless of the player's actions, the galaxy outside his or her view continues to take shape even as they are completing the "training" ranks prior to being promoted to Admiral. In this way, a player who quickly defeats his initial enemies at early ranks might enter the larger galaxy before the other races have been too badly hurt by the antagonist species, the Dargslan Kingdom. A player might also take an excessive amount of time in these "training" missions and get promoted to find that the entire galaxy has been conquered, making the situation almost hopeless except by exploiting game bugs.
Research is a little different from the common "produce as many research points to get technology as fast as possible" theme like in most other strategy games; instead, there are five research centers for five categories (Computer, Construction, A.I., Military, Machinery); but on each planet you control you are only allowed one of these five categories, marked by a colored symbol on the system card. Each technology requires a certain amount of research centers in each of these five categories before it can be researched for trade goods or command counters(which required time and money). The player is forced to either demolish and rebuild research centers repeatedly, or gain new planets by either conquest or colonization (the latter becomes available relatively late into the game). A.I. players aren't bound to this limitation, because every A.I. has a fixed technology pool, which does not develop any further during the game. As a special exception, players may find in the beginning a single planet in Garthog space which has two research centers.
The game was generally given moderate to good scores. Critics enjoyed the game's unusual depth, replayability, colony management, and research system but found fault with the monotonous nature of the endgame and several major bugs, such as the ability to force an attacking fleet to retreat even if it is attacked by a single fighter, since the enemy fleet will return to restock missiles before making another attack. Other notable flaws were the 5,000-building limit which would prevent colony expansion late in the game (this was corrected in a patch), and that the game's most powerful ship could not be researched (this was explained as a design decision, as it would make the game too easy).
Despite the game's many flaws and limited distribution, it spawned a sequel, Imperium Galactica II: Alliances. A similar game also from Digital Reality, Haegemonia: Legions of Iron, is regarded by some as being a spiritual successor. A third sequel, known as Imperium Galactica 3: Genesis was in the works, but was later renamed Galaxy Andromeda and again to what is now known as Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. It has little to do with the Imperium Galactica franchise, and is actually a completely different type of game as well - what Mithis calls it a "Tactical Fleet Simulator". After GT Interactive's bankruptcy, the name Imperium Galactica was lost by Digital Reality and another Hungarian development studio called Philos Laboratories, responsible for Theocracy borrowed the title. This was Imperium Galactica 3. Later Philos Laboratories lost the title when the lease expired and renamed the development to Galaxy Andromeda. When the studio went bankrupt its successor, Mithis Entertainment, responsible for Battlestations: Midway continued the development and renamed the project to Nexus: The Jupiter Incident. Although it's considered not to do anything with original franchise, the game tells the story that happened before the original Imperium Galactica title as was planned from the beginning.[original research?]
Imperium Galactica still has a very small but dedicated following, with efforts being made to remake the game in various forms. Most recently, this has been in the form of the Galactic Empire Mod project for the open-source Spring RTS engine. This effort, like several prior attempts, remains mired in "development hell", due to few skilled developers having both the time and interest to work on the project. Another group of fans works on open-ig and was able to achieve the permission of Digital Reality to reuse the original artwork to create an authentic remake.
- "Interview with composer Tamás Kreiner and Ervin Nagy". GSoundtracks. Retrieved 2010-01-26.
- James Yee (2012-10-10). "Nexus 2 Interview". kickstarter-conversations.com. Archived from the original on 2013-11-18. Retrieved 2013-07-26.
Nexus had a long history already before it was published. The game was developed by Mithis, a Hungarian games development studio in Budapest. They had signed the game at the time with German publisher CDV. CDV decided that they wanted a license for the game and they acquired the license for Imperium Galactica. So, the game we know as Nexus would have been Imperium Galactica 3 as far as CDV was concerned.
- open-ig - Open source reimplementation of Imperium Galactica on GitHub