The games covered are Sid Meier's Civilization (I, II, III, IV, Revolution), Sid Meier's Colonization, Sid Meier's Civilization IV: Colonization, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Civilization: Call to Power, Call to Power II, Master of Orion (I, II, III), Galactic Civilizations (I, II) and Rise of Nations. Existing expansions for these games are also covered.
Apolyton also runs a number of "democracy games" for Civilization III, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, and other games. A democracy game is a gathering of people to play the game in an organised manner, electing governments, political party|political parties, etc.
The site has lively forums where thousands of users can discuss topics ranging from game specific to political (in the "Off-Topic" forum only). The forums are also home to the Civilization IV Wishlist.
Apolyton has a very popular "Off Topic" forum for any subject not relating to gaming (such as politics or philosophy) as well as an "Other Games" forum to cover games not officially covered by Apolyton. The "Other Games" forum is also host to a multitude of forum games which are played exclusively by posting on the forum.
It had explosive growth - 6 million hits in the first year, 14 million in the second year, 22 million in the third, and 72 million in the second half of 2002.
After the announcement of Civilization 3, the first of several versions of The List had started to be compiled. The List was a list of fan suggestions for the game larger than the New Testament. This was later be frequently cited by Firaxis as example of the fanaticism of their fan base and the volume of suggestions they get from fans, including by Soren Johnson when he announced Civ4 at GDC04. Years later, a similar list was compiled for Civilization 4.
In late 2006, Markos Giannopoulos stepped down as co-owner. Markos's half of the site was then split between three long time staff members: Locutus, Ming, and Rah. Since then four new staff members have been hired. Also, some changes have made to site including an update of Apolyton's online civilopedia and a return of postcounts to the Off-Topic Forum.
The event was recorded, with videos of a multiplayer session featuring some game designers, a game design workshop and a game modding feature being released, among others.
In 2004, Firaxis had started recruiting prominent Apolytoners as pre-alpha testers for Civ4, some of which had ended up being hired by the company (Jon Shafer, Alex Mantzaris, Robert Thomas). Others had ended up doing freelance scenario design work on the game. (Martin Isaksen, Dale Kent, Wouter Snijders, Gabriele Trovato) Jan van der Crabben had used his experiences to get a job as a designer by Creative Assembly. Apolyton had provided server resources to support game testing, and is listed in the credits of Civilization 4 when the game was released.
When the first patch was released for Civilization IV: Warlords, some updates to the AI were included. All of these updates were developed by Apolyton member "Blake" by himself. He was also responsible for much of the AI in Beyond the Sword.
When Call to Power II was announced, the top CtP1 modders from Apolyton were asked to alpha-test the game. The testers had helped make CtP2 become the most moddable strategy game until Civ4 was released. In fact, Civ4's modding capabilities were based on/inspired by CtP2. Civ2/CtP1 modder Harlan Thompson had done freelance design work for the game to create its Alexander the Great scenario. Apolyton had provided server resources to support the game's testing, and was listed in the credits of the game when it was released.
In 2001, Activision end all support of the CtP series a month after the games release, but had referred customers who were in need of support to Apolyton. In 2003, Activision had released the full source code of CtP2 after months of lobbying by the Apolyton community with the support of the former lead programmer Joe Rumsey, which had lead to headline news on mainstream websites like Slashdot and the BBC.
From 2005 onwards, the Apolytoner Stan Karpinski, with some help from other Apolyton members, had developed an unofficial sequel to CtP2, Ages of Man. He attempted to get it published, but Activision refused to cooperate. The game was then distributed through Apolyton free-of-charge and development continued on Apolyton, which hosts the game's website and forums.
In 2002, Apolyton was granted an exclusive interview/preview with Brian Reynolds at his summer home about Rise of Nations. In 2003 an exclusive preview, (featured on Slashdot) for Master of Orion III was published. As well, the Apolytoner and Rise of Nations modder Kevin Chulski (known as DarthVeda on Apolyton) had joined Big Huge Games as a designer, and worked on Rise of Legends.
In 2005, Apolyton had started Age of Nations, the first-ever machinima series for a strategy game, based on the Rise of Nations engine.
The site has hosted the Apolyton University effort, started in 2002. It is a project that involves students coming together to collaborate and learn over the internet using the Civilization 3 game as a tool to that end. The project has been held up as an example of a means to reform education systems to take advantage of the unique opportunities offered by new technology.