One of my favourite genres of internet video is “Map of the world being rapidly warped by the rising and falling of civilisations as loud and menacing classical music plays in the background”. I like this one and this one and – ooooo - this one. So when confronted with a video suggestion of the same thing being done in interstellar strategy game Stellaris [official site], my heart was filled with a grubby, map-loving glee. Here you can see Volodymyr Valkiv’s game in which a scary red faction called “Chaos” slowly envelops the galaxy over 200 years. But with the magic of YouTube, it only takes 5 minutes. Come see.
Sure, it's a bit old (from April) and a few of these have been done before (this is the earliest one I’ve found ) but this one caught my eye because there’s something especially compelling about chaos steadily schlepping over everything in existence like a large, crimson puddle. The other ones aren’t as good if, like me, you find it reassuring to know that all things succumb to entropy.
Stellaris recently added multiple playable robot races to its grand space strategy, which I’ve yet to try. Although I did already try out some similar mods, and wrote about my time as a robot dad to the human race, among other slimy species’.
You can sit back and watch empires fight one another yourself by using the console and typing “observe” - but it will take proper hours even at the fastest settings. That's not a timelapse, that's just a lapse of time.