The original idea for Civ Rev 2 included zombie and alien civilizations
"Someday, maybe we'll bring it back to life."
Civilization Revolution 2 released in 2014, offering an even slimmer, stripped-back take on the Civ formula than its predecessor. It was reasonably well-received, but unlike that first game, it seemed content to play things safe. The difficult second revolution, I guess.
However! The original pitch for Civ Rev 2, as Sid Meier explained in a recent podcast with Civ 4 designer Soren Johnson, was going to be drastically different.
"Civ Rev 2. That was going to be cool because we were going to have a lot of civs you'd never find in a normal Civ game," said Meier. "We were going to have the Amazons, Atlantis, zombies and an alien [civilization]."
To this day, the civilizations of Civilization have always been based on real, historical examples.
"That was the idea of Civ Rev 2. To push it a little," said Meier. "It felt like we could do that with Civ Rev because it had separated itself from Civ in terms of looking somewhat towards a different audience and being on a different platform, where we could take some chances with that. It was always the fun part of trying to come up with unique abilities, or unique civs, or unique things that hadn't been done before."
One unique ability being playtested, for example, was allowing the zombies to take control of the units they defeated in battle.
These plans were eventually put on ice as the studio began to shift its attention to bigger projects, namely XCOM and Civilization 5. By the time the team returned to Civ Rev 2, some years later, the design team had changed, and with it, the desire to shake up the list of civilizations being used.
"Someday, maybe we'll bring it back to life," said Meier.
You can (and should) listen to the full interview over at Idle Thumbs. It's part of a podcast series called Designer Notes, in which Johnson chats with some of the best and brightest game designers in the business about how they work.