One of the most powerful things about grand strategy games is their ability to generate amazing stories, even if it's only in your head. Someone with the right drive, creative thinking, and who knows their way around editing software might be able to do something more elaborate with these narratives, which is where the people of the Templin Institute come in.
This group of Youtubers and streamers like to explore science-fiction and fantasy worlds, and one of their projects – Stellaris Invicta – has just wrapped up its second season. This is a faux-documentary show that follows the exploits of the ‘Greater Terran Union’ and other fictional polities, and involves input from community members and collaborations with other artists, as well as using footage from Stellaris itself.
Marc Gerst, one of the Templin Institute’s co-founders, says the response has been better than expected. “I've been really happy with the response,” he tells us. “Even taking into account the natural growth of our channel since the first run of Stellaris Invicta, we've seen a much larger viewership…. Even years later, people still get excited about season 1's Greater Terran Union and it's so gratifying to see that same type of reaction to Season 2. We were definitely worried that Season 2 might not reach the heights of Season 1, but that hasn't been an issue.“
Paradox itself has even helped support the series, with Gerst calling their involvement “amazing.”
“During Season 1 they were kind enough to promote our videos and even commissioned us to create a Stellaris Invicta style mini-series documenting one of their dev-clash events… With Season 2, they kept us apprised on upcoming patches so that we could launch the series on the most stable version of the game possible. They even gave us some advice on creating a few mods that helped enhance our emerging narrative.”
Gerst says he can’t imagine the group not doing a third season, but for the moment they’ve been concentrating on wrapping up season 2 and keeping on top of their other projects. “Stellaris Invicta has the distinction of being the only wholly original series we do, and so for that reason, it occupies a special place within the channel,” he said.
“[But] Stellaris Invicta takes a ton of work and having some space between each season is necessary. I also want to make sure that each season feels like a big event, immediately starting up Season 3 might detract from that.”
You can check out the official Templin Institute website through the link. There are further links to the archives for season 1, as well as some Stellaris mods you can download to play as the polities mentioned in the show. You can view the season 2 playlist here.