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Civilization VII, later or other project.

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Naokaukodem, Aug 26, 2019.

  1. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    [EDIT]I have had the confirmation this is an impossible mod for Civ6, so let's say instead it's for Civ7/x or a new project[/EDIT]

    Here is the format all civs would tie in :

    Population sparsed on the map : no more cities by default, here every pop point is more or less independant and can be fixed anywhere on the map, although you can form up to 5 pop points stacks in Antiquity. (more with buildings)

    1. How do we earn new pop points ?

    Population grows with excedent food, representing favourable conditions in order to maintain a bigger tribe. However, while your first excedent food goes to your first pop point, creating a pool that will reinitiate after a while and increase your population (provided you work a tile with 3 food or more (each pop point costs 2 food)), you couldn't go beyond size 2 and producing things in the same time, (you don't have a city center that gives you free food) unless you find very favourable spots. [Actually no, you could still grow and produce at size 2, for example by working a 3 food farm and a 2 food+1 production plain.]By the way, your population will be limited even with very good spots, which you could however look for in order to play a tribe rather than a civ, for a while or after a collapse.

    2. If there is first no city, to which pop point goes the excedent food ?

    The excedent food goes first to the pop producing the excedent, making another pop point popping near or on top of it after a while if you get actual excedent. When you have multiple pop points, the excedent goes to whatever pop point produces less than 2 food first, in a range of three tiles in Antiquity. Then, it goes to the nearest pop point in a range of three tiles in Antiquity, beginning by itself (stacking or popping near if maximum stack and no other pop point three tiles away).

    3. What if [forgot]

    4. Here is how pop points allocation works :

    Pop points usually produce things working the land, like food, production, gold or other things. (culture ? Tourism ? Faith ? Science ?)

    Each tile has a capacity of working pop of 3. It is to say, you can put 5 pop points in a single tile in Antiquity, but you can make the land worked in that single tile only by 3. The 2 left could work other places or build things.

    The 2 left could be instantaneously dispatched in lands around 3 tiles away, provided there is more than 1 pop point in that tile. Indeed, you can dispatch pop point around 3 tiles away a given center as long as they are at least 2, like in a city center. Note : you cannot merge pop points the same way, to avoid an "infinite jump travel" exploit.

    So, a tile can be worked 3 times at the same time. It can be 3 times of food, or 2 times of food and a time of gold, or 1 time of food, 1 time of production and 1 time of gold for example. But it can be also 3 times of production, or 3 times of gold, provided the tile has the resources for that. (3 levels of abundance for special resources) [No, stop me here. This is bullsh*t. The output system works as always, with for example 2food 1prod, but multiplicated by the number of pop points up to 3 in the same tile]

    5. Further developments.

    * Like this, you can control population but out of a state, it is to say barbarians or tribes. Indeed, first you have no state, you have to discover Agriculture AND find some cereals.
    * You can sell (rent ?) pop points (military units ?) for a good lump of gold to other civizations, tribes or barbarians, although the two last might not do / be able to do it. (lack of gold/need)
    * States formed little by little even before Antiquity, and by jolts, meaning they formed & collapsed for many reasons. Those reasons were apparently hard to identify, understand and prevent, but occasionnally people ruling learned to play with them. That's why I propose the introduction of a new currency : Coercion points.
    Coercion points will represent a challenge, or more precisely an "effort", for or from the player in order to maintain his state, or a collapse will happen. Because this way, the player would have the choice to make this effort (like allocating pop point(s) to them, losing other opportunities early), in order to play a state, or give it up in order to play a tribe, barbarians, hunters-gatherers or pastoralists. It's kind of an encouragement to play differently, or an incentive more exactly, because not all players are attracted by easyness, which by the way would be all relative as it may not be that obvious how to play barbarians first for example. Not sure as of now if you need Coercion points in order to create a state on top of agriculture and cereals, but you need it for sure to maintain one. As I see it, it would work like era points in civ6 GS, with maybe "eras" way shorter. (the first "era" would occur on turn 10 after you create a state for example) We could make so a certain number of Coercion points are needed each turns and that's all, but it would be very tricky especially if this number changes from a turn to another. Could be interresting though. Please keep in mind that a collapse is not the end of times, and may even be wanted by the player in some circumstances.
    * Collapses are represented by the loss of solidness of your frontiers, the burst of your population in many directions, some loss of population, your cities abandonned (that can be re-inhabited later, depending on your plans and the environment or possible new opportunities), etc. and many much more. Here is the basic idea to make the duality barbarians/states work : as a state, you can make a lot of gold and buy slaves to barbarians, hunter-gatherers, tribes and other pastoralists. You can also generate a lot of science. As a barbarians, you are more flexible but can still steal technologies by pillaging science districts, steal dogmas by pillaging theater squares, gold with market places on top of selling population out of your slaves farms for a very good price (states have plenty gold) or hire your soldiers for gold too. Meanwhile, you can explore more efficiently, more rapidly, secure territory of all kinds, until the times all Earth is filled with states and there is no room for barbarians left.
    * Etc. etc.

    Note : "5. Further developments" is just a vague and possible consequence of the system I tried to figure above. I'm conscious there's many more to add, especially regarding balance and other consequences like micromanaging or even about the system itself, what it can allow. Feel free to discuss and add / substract anything you see fit. Thank you !
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2020
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  2. Lazy sweeper

    Lazy sweeper Warlord

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    This is visionary. I like it.
     
  3. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    Thanks for your interest and your understanding Lazy sweeper. However you seem to be the only one who really understood how far that could lead the game. Maybe the OP lacks an explanation of what it would change in the game, rather than a flat description of the mechanism.

    Boris Gudenuf could you try to explain it for me, I'm not very good in English. :D (would edit the OP to incorporate your explanation)

    By the way I've thought about a domain I didn't explained very well : production. Well it would work a little like food, except each pop point would not work for itself but for a center. Let's say a camp. Camps would basically be cities without being cities. They would have a 3 tiles range to harvest production around. You can found a camp in one turn with any pop point. Camps can touch each others. They are different from cities in what they don't have the infrastructure of a city, which has to be built. Camps can become cities instantaneously occasionally when they have been populated a long time, or have been the center of some trade or trading route.

    Military units are simply pop points converted to warriors with production. In Antiquity, you can stack 5 warriors in the same tile. They need food, that's to say they can't go through deserts without losing health (20 per turn with no food, 10 per turn with 1 food only). As they need food and would most probably rely on themselves, they can hunt, but only "harvest" crops. (not cultivate them) When they harvest a crop tile, there's a passive unit that creates itself and follow the army automatically. They can pillage enemy farm to feed themselves also. Each time they kill a unit, you earn some part of gold. (the other part going to soldiers) When an army stays a long time in the same place, it can create a city automatically.

    But keep in mind cities =/= state. Without a state your frontiers are permeable and you don't have the benefits of a state. (like +50 gold per turn, or at least depending on your population, policy cards, etc.) You can however build wonders like Stonehenge without a state.
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2019
  4. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    While i'm at it, let's rethink a little bit my first and second posts in this thread : the first suggests a totally free population, but the second is already putting them back in sorts of cities, called "camps"... that's not trying hard in my opinion, and I apologize.

    So how could we handle production without camps ? How would it work ?

    In fact, my idea started to suck in post #1, when i talked about being able to work a tile 3 times. Because already, I had production in mind. My "reasoning" was that it would be more convenient to have 3x3 hammers to begin a wonder for example than only 3, in a single tile and for that single tile. So basically 1 production tiles were screwed with only 3 hammers per turn maxi, not to mention single population ones. Single population tiles with only 1 hammer would basically be good at nothing, IF the production is kept extremely local (0 tile range). That's why I invented this 3 pop stack, to make single production tiles more useful. But it doesn't solve anything, or rather created the embryo of "camps" with this story of pop potential excedent, which is the negation of that need to have several pop point working 1 tile ! Silly me.

    So, we have as far as I can see 3 solutions to handle production : very local (1 tile), local (3 tiles range, need camps to focus prod on any particular tile like wonders or districts), or global, like gold.

    - Very local : it would limit production to the production output of this tile, which could be 3 or 3 x whatever how many workers we can stack in one tile. This would give weird production outputs like 1, 2, 3 no more, or with stacking max 9 with 3 pop points stacked (and the hill "mined" in Antiquity)

    - Local : we could make so the production of a tile goes to a production center 3 tiles ranged. While with food this would be entirely automatic, we face here a problem where an action by the player would be needed : for example, in which tile to send the production in the case we produce a wonder and train a unit in the same time ? Building or setting up cities embryos would be the simplest way to put it, but at the same time it would put up the basis of cities which I don't like, because remember that I want to liberate civilizations of cities totally, at least potentially and on early/mid time basis. What would you suggest ?

    - Global : this seems the simpliest way to deal with this without denaturing my initial idea. It could work for the beginning of the game where we don't have that much production, especially without "city centers" that give additionnal yields, and with specialists that do not create any food or production and might be needed to create things like states or science/religion, etc., not counting that even miners are considered specialists. However, while this would fit more with a State type of civilization (centralized production...), I hardly see the use of cities anymore, quite contradictorily... apart for regions and territory centers that could be conquered. And, again, specilists centers. Would that be enough ? Maybe... Like, any district would be an actual city in fact. We could build districts near each others to extend that city. A district two tiles away would form another new city. Thing is, we could build a third disttrict between the first two later, and that... would become complicated. Any suggestion ?

    - *** Or, we could make production Local without a State, and Global with a State. What's nice with global production is that you can allocate it to different projects, for example if you have 400 production in your State, you can create two units that cost 100 production units each, and the rest (200) for a wonder. There's no loss, and it encourages you to build wonders, projects and the like instead of totally ignoring them, considering there would be limited or no overflow.

    What is your opinion about all this, if only you care ? More importantly, what are your suggestions ? Thx for reading and having an happy new year. :)
     
  5. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    I sincerely hope that something like this is what the people at Amplitude Studios mean when they talked about a Neolithic Start without cities, in which some kind of representation of your 'Civ' wandered as Nomads for the first X turns of their new Humankind game.
    In fact, that started me looking into the 'Pre-Civ' Era of human settlement (prior to 4000 BCE), and got some interesting results, some of which directly contradict the traditional Civ game concept of the Start of the Game.

    First, the timing of the 'early game' will have to be figured much differently from the 'normal' game: the first indications of agriculture date back to almost 10,0000 BCE, people were colonizing Aegean Islands in 8000 BCE (Boating Tech), Cattle, Sheep, Pigs, and Goats were all domesticated prior to 6000 BCE, horses were hunted, then rounded up and kept in pastures for meat, milk and as draft animals by 4000 BCE, and the earliest bows have been found in bogs and dated back to 6000 BCE and cave paintings show men shooting arrows at other men (archery in warfare) dating back to 9000 BCE. In other words, a lot of 'technology' pre-dates cities by thousands of years.

    Second, agriculture is the basis for many cities, but not all. In places where there were high concentrations of food - fish-filled rivers and coasts, terrain with lots of animals to hunt and/or 'wild' plants to gather, some pretty good-sized settlements could be maintained without actual cultivation of plants. In almost all cases, the development of early agriculture only supplemented traditional food sources, especially hunting and fishing, for centuries.

    Parenthetically, we will need a new definition of City. I suggest that a possible definition is a settlement of at least a hundred or more separate families (or about 1000 people) living together with some indication of Hierarchy - somebody in charge who is above the simple Oldest Family Member in the individual families.

    Therefore, and using that definition, there are 'cities' dating back to 7000 BCE in Mesopotamia, China, Europe, South America, and North Africa at least. Those every earliest cities had some common denominators:
    1. In every case early agriculture was only one, and sometimes not even the most important, source of Food. Fishing and hunting remained very important everywhere. There are also lots of indications of early Domesticated Animals - cattle, sheep, pigs, poultry primarily, horses by no later than 4000 BCE, and by 6000 BCE or so some animals (cattle, goats) are being kept for milk and cheese as well as meat, so the Animal-Based food supply gets much more reliable and regular - the foods can be stored throughout the year.
    2. In every case there is evidence of early trade. Settlements on the modern coast of Israel/Palestine traded with Anatolia for Obsidian (source for sharp edged tools and decoration), traded decorative sea shells with other settlements inland and in Egypt. Early Chinese and South American settlements traded extensively between inland and coastal sites. Isolation except by extreme distance and terrain was Exceptional, not Normal.
    3. The open Ocean was a barrier, but not coastal waters. People populated all the islands of the Mediterranean by 6000 BCE and earlier, with their domestic animals up to cattle - so whatever they were traveling in was not a simple raft or dug-out canoe, it was big enough to haul Tonnage.
    4. Early Settlements were extremely fragile, and a great deal of the fragile nature came from Climate Change - it's not a 'new' phenomena. A few changes in water levels at the coast, excessive or lack of rainfall, and settlements, even entire regions, could be abandoned for centuries. Evidence of depopulation after an early settlement pattern are Common, not exceptional. Some of these can be linked to specific Events, like the Lake Ojibwey Collapse in 6200 BCE: others we cannot put a Cause to (yet), but can be so wide-spread that they affect continental regions - like the drying up of the Sahara Savannah between 7000 and 5000 BCE: at least 4 different cultures that had flourished from modern Morocco to Mali to Sudan disappeared as a result of fairly sudden 'aridification'

    So, how to add all this to the game.
    First, Food is paramount, and I suggest that the basic Food Output per tile is the denominator to use: from the beginning (10,000 BCE?) people can exploit rivers, coasts, and all sorts of terrain and every plant, fish, shell fish and animal resource on them for food. One point of food supports one 'Tribe'. IF the Tribe moves through a tile with more than 1 point of food, it 'accumulates' the extra until at some point (10, 15, 20 points?) it generates a second Tribe. IF the Tribe settles down, it changes into a stationary Settlement/early City. That requires 2 Food to maintain, because you have a lot of early wastage from poor storage throughout the year, even with primitive pottery (although an early 'Tech' might be Storage, because some early sites have stone-lined underground 'granaries' holding tons of harvested grain and food) BUT it can have a 'radius' of other tiles around it that it can harvest. Given the slow start of many cities, that original radius might only be 1 - 3 tiles instead of all 6 adjacent. That Settlement can also generate Production and Science 'points', because it is precisely the concentration of population that starts to generate Innovation in the form of decorated fired pottery for trade, weaving, use of bone, horn, feathers, obsidian, sea shells, etc for Personal Ornament, and the beginnings of (relatively) long distance trade.

    I suggest that instead of a separate mechanism of Coercion, the growth of Civil Structure could be related to what are now called Civics (but may need a new title, since they pre-date Cities). One early Civic, for example, would be Hierarchy: the idea that someone is in charge and gives orders and someone else takes orders. That implies some loyalty beyond the family, and also that if A gives orders to C he can also give orders to B who in turn gives orders to C, which results in Governors, Administrators, Ministers, and the idea that B can be in an entirely differ3ent Settlement from A and so the idea of Empire is born. Craft Specialization is another 'concept' that results in goods being made for Trade within the settlement or to other settlements, and in turn an Economy - barter at first - develops.
    As you develop your Civic Culture you would also develop the capability to connect more than one Settlement/City and conquer other Cities or Settlements - it takes more than just an army, which can conquer a place or area but cannot really put it to use - that requires a different concept of non-military organization of the society.

    Whew! Sorry to ramble on, but your concept touches on something that I've wanted in Civ for a long time: the Nomadic Start, and also something that has recently grabbed my interest: the Neolithic Civ or 'Pre-Civ' human settlement patterns. There was simply an amazingly large number of things happening technologically and culturally before the Civ Start date of 4000 BCE, and it is a crying shame that the game ignores it all. Especially since for most of the In-Game 'Civs', the Civ-type Settle Your First City start date is not 4000 BCE, but much, much later, so the start of the game is, for them, completely artificial and fantasy.
     
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  6. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    Interesting ideas Boris, as always. Didn't catched them all, i've been a little bit confused by your post, I read them 3 times already but will need more. If any, the beginning of traditional Civs in -4000 is quite outdated and conservateur, History made huge progress in the last 30 or 20 years. (2000 AD is not THAT far for an old guy like me, but it's still 20 years, History is very dynamic those last years). I think that beginning in -15000 would be needed, provided we add a range of techs before agriculture, which is not the first tech as Civ5 and Civ6 suggest. That way, we could streamline agriculture and get it quite early, like in -10000 or even before (because we are bold and avant-gardistes), or if we do not prioritize it for some reasons, we could get it much later, that not meaning we would make it the center of our civ as soon yet. Because, if you consider the date of start of Civs, -4000, with agriculture since the start like in the last two iterations, it could still be relevant for a streamlining purpose : at this date, ALL civs on Earth may have agriculture already. That's defendable, but I don't want streamlining, I want details that make the series evolve. Civ6 has plenty details don't get me wrong, but they are not nearly going anywhere clar, have no goal. My goal, would be to liberate the series of cities, at least potentially, in order to be able to play fluently and smoothly any kind of civilization, which is a goal I'm looking for for quite a bit now. I also got passionate, like you, for pre-civ eras by the past. And that's all the fault of Civilization game. Heck, I'm reading History essays, treaties, for the sole purpose to understand the real world better and translate it into game terms. I was sleeping at History lessons back in my 10th year, heck if only i have had Civ in the hands earlier ! I totally agree with those masters that make their pupils play Civ.

    The last History book i read was about the formation of States, it's very interesting and brings some precise answers, it's called in English "Against the Grain. A Deep History of the Earliest States" by James C. Scott, and I think it could interest you also a lot. (is called "Homo Domesticus. Une histoire profonde des Etats." in French)
     
  7. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Thank you for the recommendation: Scott's Against the Grain is available for my e-reader, where it can join Norwich's Cities That Shaped the Ancient World and Jean Manco's Ancestral Journeys, my other recent pre-history/early history acquisitions.

    I would be tempted right now to backdate the game start to about 10,000 BCE. That puts it at the very beginning of effective agriculture (there are some traces of earlier plant domestication, but they are pretty controversial so far) and the earliest domestication of some of the Resource Animals, like cattle and sheep (and goats). It gives a player or AI the chance to start with Pottery, which can either be expressed as Food Storage, but storage that requires you to be less mobile (pots break when you move them a lot), or you can use the technology for votive objects, as was done all the way from China to the Balkans in Europe, and so could be an in-game way to enhance Culture/Religion.
    Among the technologies that could be 'placed' in a Tech Tree in the period 10,000 - 4000 BCE then, are:
    Agriculture
    Animal Domestication/Husbandry
    Weaving
    Archery
    Pottery
    Boating (moving Scouts or Settlers across coastal waters, establishing Trade Routes across the same waters, but not quite able to move major military Units like Infantry or Cavalry/Chariots)

    A 10,000 BCE start also gives you the option of settling down right away - if you have a start position or near-start position with enough food (big river, coast, marshes), but then you take the risk that you start developing Agriculture, your population starts to rise dramatically, and then a Climactic Event like Lake Ojibway or the Sahara Cycle (apparently there's a 9000-year cycle of wind patterns that is hypothesized to increase rainfall in that region so that the Sahara Desert becomes the Sahara Savannah or Sahara Steppe, as it did before about 4000 BCE - and, supposedly, will get wetter again in about another 3000 years or so) suddenly produces starvation and you lose population and have to return to a nomadic existence.

    If, for example, we use a 100 or 80 year interval (80 being about twice the interval the current game uses for the Ancient Era on 'regular' speed) that would give 40 - 50 turns to start advancing from nomadic to settled existence, start exploring the coastal waters or building cities or developing the domestication of horses to become Raiders and Herders. selecting from several possible paths of development before entering the earliest Historical Eras.

    The trick, I think, and it is the weakness of the several Prehistoric Start Mods for both Civ V and Civ VI, is to keep the Early Era interesting. If it becomes merely wandering the map hunting relics, 'goodie huts' (which really shouldn't exist yet - where would they come from in 10,000 BCE - Neanderthals?) or Wonders, then it will be a pretty dull X turns. IF, instead, you have real decisions to make - based on the terrain situation, I would think - and developments which will be fundamentally important to your civ development in the Ancient and Classical Eras (and later), then the Early Game will be a fascinating addition to the entire game.
     
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  8. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    Maybe -15000 was a bit of a stretch, maybe -12000, but remember that arriving to agriculture, if there are other techs before or aside it, takes time and turns. So by the time we get agriculture we could be around -10000 effectively. So the game should start not in -10000 but a bit sooner.

    Trust me, with my system early game would be nearly too thick : if all kinds of civilizations are represented by tribes and population points, this means that barbarians, goody huts and the like would be actual civilizations (rather tribes) with pop points all around you, and you would have many ways to treat with them, depending on your wishes, starting position or their own nature :

    * Exploring the land may be more tricky.
    * If you have no State, you are a barbarian, hunter-gatherer or pastoralist, and act in consequences : building slave farm to trade with nearby actual States, training pop points into soldiers in order to raid nearby states of fight with other tribes, hire your soldiers to rich States around you, trade with whoever you see fit your hardly acquire monopole, etc... those being basic barbarian duties, but there can be others like special victory conditions for hunter-gatherers and herding for pastoralists that could take exploration, time and resources.
    * If you are a state, you have to maintain it if you will, let it collapse or see it collapse for a return to a "barbarian" type of life. But if you want to maintain your state it takes smartness, and more importantly experience : it's unlikely you will be able to keep your first State alive indefinitely, you even may have to collapse to gain some 'policy cards' that might help you in your next try, like "council of the ancients", "kabbale" or simply the equivalent of "coercion" but at different levels. (I, II, III...)
    * Interactions between barbs and civs are mostly trade, pop trades or "trades" (capture, slaving), war, etc... but they live in symbiosis : barbs are stronger but civs are more focused on oligarchy. (couple people being massively rich and powerful) Personnally, I think that religion plays a large role in States also : it is about creating myths of progress (science might be implied also, since the dicovery of fire, actually) and the like and imposing them to all your subjects. Because belief is one major characteritic of Homo Sapiens. (the one who permited him to unit and beat the strong and clever Neandertal to speak fast)
    * Low yields especially food would make development more tricky BUT the land around can solve your problems, not to mention the people around, hence a fight or a collaboration to grab them.
    * If you are a State, you may face internal problems as well as external problems. Internal problems have been grossely simulated since Civ1 (rebellions...), but could be polished with Coercion points or an equivalent.
    *...
     
  9. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    In the past month or so of reading, I have so far counted over 40 archeological or culture-groups from before 5000 BCE that have been identified by archeologists/anthopologists. Interestingly, NONE of them show a direct relationship to any of the 'historical' cultures or civilizations that are more familiar from 4000 BCE and later.
    That means the Early Starting Tribes, Barbarians, 'Civs' or whatever they are called can all start as virtually identical wandering groups, and which ones develop into Chinese, Egyptian, Sumerian, Harappan, Norte Chico, Minoan, etc, Civs or a City State or remain a 'Barbarian' tribe depends on the in-game situation: terrain, climate, starting point, technological development (or lack of it!) and Cultural/civic/religious development.

    In addition to the Techs mentioned in the previous posts, there are several very important cultural/civic advances that date from this period as well:
    Hierarchy - somebody has to be in charge, and it doesn't matter at the beginning whether he selects himself, is elected, born to it, gets the authority temporarily or permanently. The important thing is the principle that someone outside of the immediate family can give orders and hey will be obeyed (mostly).
    Specialization - somebody learns how to make something so well that he can trade it to someone else, which in turn means that not everyone in a community has to make everything for themselves. Skills can be distributed and become very highly polished.
    Crafts - people start making tools which allow them to make things faster or better and specialize in making those things which can be traded - sometimes outside the local group, so that 'international' trade can develop (Obsidian, useful for both tools and decoration, was traded from Italy and Sicily all the way to Mesopotamia from 5 - 6000 BCE, indicating both long distance trade and trade traveling by Water Before the wheel.)
    Graven Image - those fired clay votive objects/statuary mentioned in the earlier post were matched by Megaliths: enormous stone structures that were erected all over Europe from 10,000 BCE and later: everything from Standing Stones to stone tombs, stone walls, stone circles, Guardian Stones - this represents a lot of combined activity in pursuit of some kind of Permanent Reminder that a group or individual once existed. Europe may simply be where these stones have survived in recognizable form: Gobekli Tepi site in Anatolia shows that some serious stone monuments were being erected elsewhere, too.
     
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  10. Imaus

    Imaus King

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    None of them? Really. Huh.
     
  11. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    I was surprised too, but think for a moment. The earliest 'historical' civilizations don't start until Sumer (Uruk Period) in about 4000 BCE. But the archeological sites showing early agricultural and pre-agricultural settlements and 'prototype-towns' start appearing at 10,000 BCE - 6000 years earlier, or as long as Civilization, starting in 4000 BCE (or the start of Civ VI!) has lasted. In fact, the Natufian in the modern Levant, starts showing up in 12,000 BCE, and its sites disappear around 9500 BCE - 4500 years before Uruk appears. That's plenty of time for any possible cultural - or even linguistic - connections to disappear.

    Another problem is that a lot of the early Prehistorical groups were very transient. For instance, from about 8000 BCE to 3000 BCE there are over a dozen archeological 'cultures' in the area of north and central China. Not one of them lasted more than 2000 years, and over half less than 1000 years. By the time the first Dynasty of China comes along, the Xia - which is in fact semi-mythical and not really 'historical' yet - it's 2000 BCE, and all those Neolithic cultures have been gone for 1000 to 6000 years. The 'historical' Chinese are still growing rice and millet, like the Neolithics did, but we don't even know for sure that the earlier groups were speaking anything resembling Chinese or worshiping anything recognizable as a Chinese Diety: what makes China a particular Civilization simply cannot be traced back to them.

    Finally, there's the little problem that many of the 'historical' Civs moved into their 'historical' Homelands after the nominal start of the Civ games in 4000 BCE. For a 'classic' example, there are several cultural groups in Italy 4000 - 2400 BCE, but none of them have the remotest connection to Romans, because Indo-European-speaking 'Romans' didn't arrive in Italy until about 1000 years later. Likewise, there has been a settlement on top of the Acropolis named Athens since at least 3000 BCE - but it wasn't Greek. The Greek-speaking people didn't arrive until 1500 years later, along with Chariots and advanced Bronze weaponry (Footnote: Athens is not a Greek word or, originally, a Greek city. Neither is Argos, another Pre-Greek city with a Pre-Greek name in modern Greece)

    All of which, to me, makes a possible 'Neolithic Era' before the Standard Civ Start of 4000 BCE a potentially very interesting addition to the game - if it's done right.
     
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  12. TyrannusRex

    TyrannusRex Warlord

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    When I saw this post, I was thinking of technological advancements instead of actual gameplay, so I'mma go ahead and put this out there:
    A VR civ game that will let me punch Gandhi/Montezuma/Genghis/(your problem leader here) in his smug face.
     
  13. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    Boris, the problem is that Uruk and the like doesn't seem to be linked with 'traditional' civs either. It's just that we know them better than their ancestors because of one technology : Writing. (which makes them 'historical') But remember that all civs don't have Writing since the beginning of the game, we have to research it. So there's no real disruption between pre-writing civs and post-writing civs except in the state of our knowledge : even with writing, 'historical' cultures hardly look like modern ones. Cultures evolve, that the way it is, and they still evolve.

    Now Amplitude seems to have been interested by the question, as I did by the past, but honestly what they have announced so far seems very gamey : you can switch from a cuture block to another block, keeping bonuses and the like.

    What I would prefer is a truly evolving culture, in its nature, not like in Civ3 where you had multiple cultures into different type of citizens, forming your own mixed culture, but like if citizens looking itself would change over time. That's nearly impossible to achieve if your not dedicating a good part of the development into an specific cultural engine that will mix every various elements of the game. But that's not the topic of this thread.

    I think that the key here is technology advancement and knowledge of the ancients. (civics ? Coercion points ?) We could indeed replace coercion point by civics, mimicing the fact that the ambitious ones would fail and learn, that being kept by traditional oral tales. That's a good point. But we have to keep barbarian style of life attracting. I would make their gameplay more easy to play, and possibly more immediately rewarding too, but I really want to simulate the symbiosis between 'traditional civs' and barbarians.

    In fact, the whole point of getting rid of cities is to be able to play all types of factions encountered in the franchise in various forms. I'm working on that since a long time, and I think that his time I hit something.

    And yes, I could totally see the player not choosing a boring civilization at the start.

    Here is a topic where I was trying but not totally succeeding : https://forums.civfanatics.com/thre...ne-your-type-of-faction.479211/#post-11952041
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2020
  14. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    The real problem with a 'Free Form' cultural/Civ in a historical game is that the more we think we know, the more it appears that the specifics of how a given culture/Civ developed depends a great deal or possibly almost entirely on factors completely beyond the control of a potential player.

    Jared Diamond and others argue that Geography is paramount: having the right climate/terrain/resources is absolutely essential to developing a competitive civilization, and keeping it from 'dying out'.

    Recent scientific analysis is revealing more and more Catastrophic Events and climactic variations that had huge effects on development (or lack of it) from at least Neolithic times to the near Present (see Geoffrey Parker's Global Crisis for a 900-page analysis of Climate Effects on the 17th century CE world: a whole new view of 'conventional' history!)

    Without embracing wholeheartedly either of these sets of ideas, we can definitely see the interaction between the Game Map and potential Civ development as the Civ franchise games have determined it:
    1. Civs starting in the middle of a continent will not be great naval powers: Desert England will be a far cry from Historical England, and there is simply no way around it. Terrain in a historical game, simply must have a defining effect on the technological and other development of a Civ. For a specific of what I mean, without the development of extensive sea-based Trade routes, England never would have had the mass of experienced sailors and sailing masters and sea captains upon which to build a navy, and without sea access and a strong naval tradition, a world-circling Empire cannot be sustained (try to dominate early colonization the New World in the game Europa Universalis from a central Germany start: it ain't happening, because the game explicitly shows the problems with supporting overseas colonies without a massive expenditure of resources on Naval development, which a central European land power simply cannot afford the way a peninsular (Spain, Portugal) or Island (England) state can.
    2. The neighbors make a difference. Modern France is not gong to happen without Rome, Modern England/Britain does not happen without Normans (and Anglo-Saxons, Vikings, and Romans), and Normans don't happen without a combination of Medieval French and Norse Vikings. While modern studies of ancient DNA show some remarkable continuities in the race of people in a given area over 1000s of years, their Culture, and therefore the Civ they will produce, is hugely affected by who came and went in that period: immigrants, traders, invaders, slaves, and what culture and technology they brought with them made a formative difference.
    3. Blind Bloody Chance makes a difference. Great People do change history, and the 'development' of Great People is as close to Random as anything in History. Philip of Macedon was a shrewd diplomat and good general, but his one son was feeble-minded and nobody could have predicted that his other son was going to be Alexander the Great. And in Alexander the Great's time there were also commanders like Jason of Thessaly who was considered a Great Person by his contemporaries but is utterly unknown today to anyone but an old classics grad student like me.

    All of which means that if someone wants to play something (Civ, Faction, Tribe) that will turn into Great Britain complete with Tower Bridge, the British Museum and HMS Victory, the path is going to have to Pre-Ordained or the chance of getting from Start of Game circa 10,000 or 4000 BCE to the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2001 CE is only slightly better than your chance of getting hit by lightening in a submarine.
     
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  15. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    Yes, but again my point was that there's no separation between historical and earlier civs. Thus, you can make the game start in -10000 as well as in -15000 or -12000. Even historical civilizations felt occasionnally, so the mechanisms of starting civs and later civs should remain the same. The only thing here is that barbarians would tend to disappear as the whole Earth is fulfilled with countries, even if their mode of life is still more less "barbarian" (primitive). (Mongolia, Amazonia which is a region in Brazil...)

    And nobody has still come up with wether the production should be Very Local, Local or Global. Please give ideas of what you think.
     
  16. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    "Production" depends on the amount of cooperation that is possible over X distance. Therefore, the same factors will apply to Production that apply to Food Supply, since both require moving tonnage of raw materials. IF a group of cities are connected by water routes, then they can share almost any amount of required raw materials, foodstuffs, or finished goods among themselves, since water-borne transportation is so much more efficient than carts trundling along roads and paths. So, from near start of game (by 4000 BCE anyway) any cities on the same coast or same river/coast combination can 'share' production and food. At that point, they are sharing Locally, cities without water connections are Very Local or Individual.

    Once you get steam-driven ships and railroads, any cities connected by seaports or railroads can share food and production in virtually any required quantities. Add Containerization starting in the late 1950s (Atomic Era) and Air Freight, and virtually any city anywhere can share production, but food (required in 100s or 1000s of tons) will still require a seaport or railroad. So by the Industrial - Atomic Eras, most food and production will be near-Global.
    The limitations after railroads and steam become more political and economic than physical: local procurement of resources is still marginally cheaper and more efficient than shipping them in, and National Boundaries can become genuine barriers to sharing resources, food and production. Therefore, while internally, with railroads and ports, you have Global amongst all your own connected cities, Completely Global (International) will depend on the political situation and economic factors which, frankly, Civ doesn't model at all yet.

    And I suggest that if we want to model economic factors, it would be best if the mechanisms are as Invisible as possible. I remember the old Sliders in a previous Civ, as you tried to semi-micromanage costs in your Empire, and it was a Royal Pain. Far better if the game simply shows you the results of all the Micro and Macro Economics and gives you some limited ways of dealing with them, like Tariffs and other Trade Restrictions Short of War to 'protect' your own Production (or Food Supply, as in the political Farmer's Block so powerful in many European states) or depressing your currency to stimulate Trade, which has other side effects that may not be desirable.
     
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  17. Naokaukodem

    Naokaukodem Millenary King

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    Thx.

    So you suggest a combination of the 3. But :

    Remember that there are no city at start. That's the whole problem of my system. Where to allocate production ? There's no question when it's Very Local, but when it's just Local, one could ask thyself the question. Let's say, production goes to 3 tiles away whereever something is being built, like wonders or training pop points into soldiers. If there are several productions projects ongoing within 3 tiles range, where goes the production without a human intervention ?

    At least, what is cool is that the question doesn't pose itself when it's Global either. (you should just have a concise menu to dispatch your total production) What would be cool is to mobilize your production in times of war, in the form of support projects : either "producting" food and equipment in ancient times, and / or ammunitions in modern times. That should help your troops going better / heal more rapidly / heal in the first place / being stronger ? But of course the investments would be huge and Global. (as said Sun Tsu : it's immensely better to live on enemy stocks than sending our own from our land)
     
  18. AsH2

    AsH2 Prince

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    I'd like to see a wider use of the Grievances mechanic - not only about diplomatic relations between civilizations, but also to handle such internal problems (mentioned here) between different levels in Hierarchy.
     
  19. AsH2

    AsH2 Prince

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    I think that would be of Mesolithic or Upper Palaeolithic hunter-gatherer cultures - ie (early) modern human.
    Sure, but that would need some fundamental game mechanics changes or some fantasy aspects in this game (interactions are often just one-way without any real reaction - the crowd control is not realistic) would be even more disturbing (atleast to me).
    Simple "Resource collecting Bucket systems" is not good (interesting) enough to me.
    I think they better make ordinary turns Strategically oriented only and executed simultaneously (no first move advantages). Then in-between turns could happen to take care of tactically interactions (eg combats in all 4 seasons).
     
    Last edited: Jan 7, 2020
  20. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    What is interesting about an 'early' Era in Civ is that there is evidence for incipient agriculture as far back as 10,000 BCE, the beginning of the Neolithic, but no evidence of 'city building' until at least 5000 years later. On the other hand, in that long interval, there are numerous 'smaller than city' settlements in really lucrative locations. so there is a set of legitimate alternative strategies to pursue, not just a Wander the Map Interminably Era.
    There is also considerable evidence that these settlements could develop some very different 'technologies' - like the ones along the Mediterranean coast of modern Israel, who were building stone walls to protect against a rising sea before anybody else was building anything in stone, or the settlements in Egypt and Palestine that were trading all the way to Anatolia for Obsidian for early tools. Things like that give us enough reason to have some 'settlements' on the map not represented as Civs/Barbarians/City States but as Sources for 'Goodies' - a mechanism which has been part of Civ since at least Civ II and shouldn't be abandoned without making every effort to justify keeping it.

    Neither modern studies of 'stone age' cultures in South America and New Guinea nor archeological evidence points to wide spread 'warfare' among humans. Violence, yes, and even use of archery against other people, but no wide-spread settlement-sacking and battlefields. On the other hand, there is increasing evidence of abandonment of settlements and even some of the earliest cities, and outright depopulation of large areas for centuries. The mechanism seems to be climactic variations. When agriculture was primitive, even a slight variation in growing season or rainfall (droughts or floods or both) could cause agriculture to be abandoned and people return to nomadic hunter-gathering, or move to a place with a better climate. Some of these 'climate shifts' could be Huge: between about 12,500 BCE and 3900 BCE the Sahara was not a desert, but a savannah-grassland, and at least 4 culture groups were exploiting it to herd cattle or sheep/goats, plant crops, and develop permanent settlements along lakes and rivers. After 3900 BCE the 'African Humid Period' ended and the Sahara became desert, and every group that had been exploiting the area disappeared - some may have moved into the Nile valley or Ethiopian highlands, others apparently died out.

    That means, the first 'Era' of the game (largely) Before Cities could be a conflict not with other cultures as much as combating the Planet - climate variations causing you to have to shift back and forth between Food Strategies, chasing herds when the local climate was unfavorable, settling down when it became possible to maintain crops.
    There is also a lot of scope for Technological development in this period: Archery, Animal Husbandry/Domestication, Agriculture, Pottery, Boating, Weaving, and the most primitive metal-working in annealing or cold working Copper, Silver, Gold, and Lead, as well as Wine Making and Net Fishing.
    A lot of those technologies are related to the surroundings, like being in a place where the (potential) Wine grapes grew wild or along a major river or seacoast where the fish were abundant enough to provoke development of boats and nets to go after them in bulk.

    Finally, there is a lot of Monument (Wonder?) building in this period. Aside from places like Gobekli Tepe from 9000 BCE+, there are megalithic monuments of various kinds all over Europe and the Middle East (and probably other places if we could find them under all the subsequent human construction), including Henges of earth, wood or stone that predate Stonehenge by several 1000s of years, Earthworks, stone-lined Mega-Tombs complete with grave goods, Barrows, Kurgans, Tumuli, Dolmens, Rondels, Menhirs - you can keep very busy before ever building a city trying to find other ays of 'making your mark' on the map.
     

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