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Civilizations selection, Historical Spawning Dates, Civil Wars & Revolutions

Discussion in 'Gedemon's Civilization, a total overhaul project' started by Gedemon, Nov 22, 2017.

  1. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    In this thread I'd like to discuss how to implement dynamic civilizations in the mod.

    Here is a first draft for a possible design:

    Before starting a game:
    • for each player select an ethnicity (for the units/city art style and spawning location), a name, a civ icon and a spawning date
    • or select a pre-designed civilization (maybe allowing edition of the name, icon, spawn date/location)
    • "random" would pick a predesigned civilization
    • select the starting and maximum number of player, spawning a new civ would not be possible when the maximum is reached, but splitting should still be possible, up to an absolute limit (which would be around 50 civs, the maximum civs in game is 63, but we need a buffer representing all ethnicities to manage temporary civilizations holding cities during a Revolution)

    Dynamic History:
    • design a kind "Civilization Tree", that would allow for example to start the game as a "Celtic Tribe" and finish as France or England (or any modern nation emerging from European colonization), or start the game as a "Germanic Tribes" and finish as France, England, Germany...
    • the evolutions could happen on selecting a new government, or after a civil/independance war.
    • when a civil/independance war start, allow the player to select which side to play (and make sure his favorite units follow that side)

    Culture Groups:
    • those groups represent each civilization on the map's tiles, using a culture diffusion (or population migration) mechanism from tiles to tiles
    • each group has a global "relation value" with the Civilization owning a tile they're present on (including cities)
    • the Civilization own culture group also have a "relation value"
    • the "relation value" represent the opinion of the Civilization current government, it's change each turn by a value which is calculated from population needs, pondered by policies, and for the foreign groups a "foreign penalty" is added to the base value and is pondered by the current diplomatic relations.
    • there will be a special "Separatists" culture group not linked to any civilization and with a bigger "foreign penalty", Separatists spawn in cities which are far from a Civilization capital (pondered by trade routes efficiency and eras/policies)

    Stability:
    • stability (in a city or map's tiles) is calculated based on the "relation value" and the % of representation of all culture groups at this location
    • when stability fall under some treshold in a city, the following will happen in order: Revolt (production loss, some damage to city or/and nearby units/improvments for a few turns), Rebellion (spawn rebel units around the city) or Revolution (spawn rebel units and the city change ownership to a temporary civilization, with a turn timer)
    • when a city is in Revolution, the nearby cities stability is lowered
    • if other cities join the Revolution before it ends, a civil/independance war can start (independance wars are revolutions on other landmasses than the capital)
    • if the revolution ends before starting a civil/independance war, then the city will chose to join a civilization, based on proximity and relation values (that civilization could be the old owner)
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2017
  2. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Chieftain

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    Some thoughts and Comments on this...

    Let's take a fairly well-known example and follow the branchings/influences:

    Original 'Tribe' - Britons (Stone Age inhabitants of the British Isles)
    1st Influence: Celts - Invaders from Continental Europe
    2nd Influence: Romans - invaders from Continental Europe, replaced Celts in most of the area, brought in advanced Technologies and Civics
    3rd Influence: Germans (Specifically, Angles, Saxons) - invaders from Continental Europe, reduced Civics, added Social Policies
    4th Influence: Scandinavians (Specifically, Norse Vikings) - Invaders from Scandinavia
    5th Influence: Normans (French-Influenced Scandinavian Norse) Invaders from Continental Europe, brought Technologies, changed Civics and Social Policies

    The result of all this is English, which describes both an Ethnic and Linguistic group. They could become part of a larger group called British (a return to the original Stone Age title of the group), but since that designation is specifically Geographic it includes everyone who lives in the British Isles, while British Empire is a Political, not Ethnic or Cultural group.

    Reproducing this sequence of outside influences would be virtually impossible in any given game, so I suggest the 'definitions' would have to be 'broken down': English would be defined as using certain Civics and Social Policies and speaking a language recognizable as having a certain percentage of the real English antecedents: original Briton, Celtic, Latin, and German.

    Modern "France' and 'Germany' could be similarly described. However, both of those countries have strongly-defined Sub-Sets of their Group even today: I have personally experienced the sharp border between the Bavarian 'Culture/Religious/Linguistic' norm and that of the rest of Germany (Prussia was another 'distinct' outlier before it was virtually dissolved by 'ethnically cleansing' East Prussia and forcing most of the 'Prussians' to move out in 1945) and areas of France like Normandy and the area south of Lyon still have distinct linguistic/Social Policy differences from the Parisian/central France 'norm'. I don't think the modern Civ 'results' will, in most cases, be exactly and only the same as modern Nation States, but have to include a number of sub-sets and alternatives.

    Taking that backwards, many of the groups currently identifiable as having separate characteristics within a larger Group started out as independent 'Tribes'. Modern Germany and Germans started, for example, as separate tribes of Suevi, Attacotti, Bavaria (Bavarians), Saxones (Saxons), Tuetones, et al and received significant influences from Romans, Scandinavians (Goths, Vandals, etc) and, much later, modern French and English. Modern 'France' has a set of prior Influences almost as knotty as the Britons.

    - And let's not get started on China and India, neither of which is really a Monolithic State - they include numerous Groups, some of which are so linguistically different they have to use a 'common' language to communicate with the rest of the 'country'.

    The 'Blending' of language, culture, Social Policy and Civics within a Cv composed of various groups accelerates dramatically later in the Game: mass-market publications like newspapers and magazines (Industrial Era), radio and television (Modern-Atomic Era) tend to homogenize Groups that share a political identity, especially if one group is appreciably larger than the others - there should be an Influence Measure, in which some Groups, because of higher Technology, larger numbers, more Universal and Inclusive Social Policies and Civics, tend to eventually 'submerge' others: the original Greek City States all had separate Politics, Social Policies and Civics, but in modern Greece most of the differences have been Ironed Out. Likewise, even with all the various historical Influences, in modern Britain there are few who would identify themselves as citizens of 'Wessex' or 'Kent' of 'Strathclyde' or 'Dal Riada' today: the variations have been submerged in the general English and Scottish identity over the past 800 - 1000 years.
     
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  3. Knasp

    Knasp Chieftain

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    So one option is to have a linear Civ tree and simply change the name of the Culture group at certain stages. Or let the player choose in certain Eras which Civ to become. So you'd start with a generic group (like idk proto-europeans) and then the player can choose which (european) Civ to become.

    Another more difficult way to achieve a dynamic culture for Civs could be to let the player start with some prehistoric group/culture, and then have the Civ "evolve" or even change its culture group during the game due to various influences (like Boris describes above). Similar to weapon upgrades you could have majority culture for your Civ which would determine which "Civ" it currently is, and award unique units, abilities etc. If a neighboring Civ spreads it's culture to you then

    Firstly you need to allow multiculturalism by reducing the current assimilation rate, to hinder all tiles turning into single mono-cultures. And then let 2+ cultures merge or give rise to a new (combined) culture.
    2+ culture groups sharing a tile will (in time) spawn a new culture, that could eventually spread to the entire Civ. Meaning that you're whole Civ could change its culture during the game. The only problem is the question of how to assign ownership of tiles.

    Maybe you could have a fun name mechanic where for e.g. Spanish + Norwegians = Spanish Norwegians or Norwegian Spanish. A silly and terrible example but I think you get the idea. And depending on the mixing and merging (which is influenced by trade/social policies etc) your Civ will change, in regards to language, ethnicity or even unique units etc.

    Another way to have a more dynamic Civ would be to more or less disconnect unique units/buildings from starting/pre-defined Civilizations and instead they can become accessible to the player depending more on culture mixing, settling, trading, warfare etc.

    If for e.g. you start or settle up in the cold north (maybe walking there with your Hunter/Gatherer units) and when you found coastal cities and imorove tiles close to the coast, then your culture could become either Britons, Norwegians etc. After meeting some basic conditions you could gain access to those unique units (maybe through applications/projects). You could develop Longships if your Civ has demand/need of good seafaring vessels and you have neighbors with rich cities, trade network etc. Attacking your neighbors coastal cities/trade routes could award you naval tech pts and allow applications like Longships and Berserkers as well as influence the culture or development of your Civ.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2017
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  4. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Chieftain

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    Count this as the simplest, but also the least interesting, way to do it. For one thing, not all Into-Europeans were alike, and by no means did they all turn into European culture groups: Indo-European is named such because it includes groups that moved into areas from Europe to India, and 'spawned' such different cultures/Civs as Germans, Romans, Greeks, Persians, and most of the Civs/groups in India.

    Not so silly, when you do the research and consider the variations available and that actually happened. In fact, although about 1500 years earlier, the Celts who migrated into northern/central Spain mixed with the native 'Iberians' and spawned the 'Celtiberians' who fought the Romans for several hundred years and from whom the Romans 'borrowed' several of their own 'iconic' weapons: the long "Spanish" sword, the short Gladius, and the heavy throwing javelin, the Pilum.
    'Normans' were 'Northmen' settled in northern France - another 'mixed' group for sure.

    And some Cultures/Civs we think of as Specific are actually mixtures of even earlier Cultures: the Greeks migrated into Greece as Indo-Europeans, and Greek 'Culture' is a combination of Indo-European elements (Sky/Thunder Gods like Apollo and Zeus, battle carts/chariots drawn by horses, a Warrior 'class' that 'elects' the leader, etc.) and elements from the earlier groups living in Greece since the Ice Age (Agricultural Earth Mother Goddess like Hera, megalithic masonry, - even place names like Athens, which is a non-Greek word, linger). There are almost no modern 'Cultures' or Civs that do not have Influences on them from some other Groups, Cultures, Religions, or military and technological 'borrowings'.

    A lot, per your example, depends on Resources Available. Thinking on something like this back in early Civ V days, I hypothesized a 'build your own civ' system in which your Starting Position would have three sets of Basic Resources that governed how you began:
    Water - sources:
    River
    Lake
    Oasis
    Coast
    Food - sources:
    Fish, Shellfish, Whales from rivers, lakes, or coastal seas
    Plants with Gathering or Agriculture: Wheat/Oats/Rye/Barley ("Grains"), Rice, Potato, Maize, Berries (later, "Wine")
    Animals with Hunting or Husbandry: Deer, Cattle, Sheep/Goats, Horses, Bison
    Building Materials - sources:
    Clay
    Timber
    Stone
    (Marsh) Reeds

    Even with the very basic list of Food Sources here, that's potentially over 200 variations of Starting Position Resources, which is more variation in 'Civs' than the game can handle. Add the fact that usually there will be a choice of more than one Basic resource of one or more of the three types, and the potential variations would be enough to handle all possible 'starting cultures'.

    And, a lot of the Unique attributes of various Civs were not the result of resources/situation, but of resources available combined with Resources Absent. The Scandinavians were essentially the same Food From Husbandry and Agriculture group as the rest of northern-central Europe BUT, especially in the north and along the mountainous coast of Norway, agriculture was marginal at best and the animals suitable for Husbandry limited, so the Sea became the primary food source, and it was not a relatively benign set of rivers and lakes but the open, notoriously stormy North Sea - teaming with fish to eat and conditions to kill you quick in a reed boat. To exploit the sea resources, the Norse had to build very sturdy timber boats - and had plenty of timber handy and no real alternative Food Source once the population got past the numbers that limited agricultural land could support.
    Result: "Plowing the Auk's Meadow' in the iconic Norse phrase, in sturdy wooden longships and knorr 'roundships',with Celestial Navigation to bring those fishermen home. Couple that with access to Iron deposits in abundance and lucrative Targets along the North Sea coast in Britain, Ireland, Germany, France, etc. and the well-armed and armored 'Norse Raider' followed ...

    But note, anywhere in the world you have mountains coming right down to the sea, in places as different in other ways as northeastern Spain (Loret-de-Mar), the Dalmatian coast of the Adriatic, or Norway, the result is a 'Pirate Coast' where the local inhabitants make most of their living from the sea by fishing or raiding, and cannot be constrained by any central government on the other side of the coastal mountains...

    Finally, a lot of the Unique Attributes of Buildings, Improvements, and Units are a combination of both Resource/Social/Cultural/Technology combinations AND special needs of the situation for that Civ and Pure Randomness. Classic Example the Roman Legion, which started as a basic Decimal Organization spear-armed phalanx of personally-armed Citizens absolutely indistinguishable from any classical Greek City-State. Turning that into a primarily sword-armed flexibly-organized organization of heavily-armored and extremely well-trained men took an almost-unforeseeable combination of borrowed weaponry, changing Needs and Enemies, (if the first Roman opponents had been Scythians instead of Samnites or Etruscans, you can be pretty sure swordsmen would have never been their military priority, and the 'Legion' would have probably developed into a Byzantine-like organization of light and heavy cavalry with a few infantry auxiliaries) and Social Policy/Cultural peculiarities, a combination not found anywhere else in the world historically.

    I quit playing with the idea because I couldn't see how to recreate the absolutely specific requirements for each Unique and at the same time keep players from 'recreating' those requirements because they were playing as Rome just to get a chance to field Legions, or build early Paved Roads. I'm not so sure it's impossible on further thought, but part of the 'solution', I think, would be to create Classes of Unique (Units/Buildings/Improvements). You might 'select' a Class of Unique Unit to 'achieve', for instance Light Cavalry because you have Scythian/Hun/Hsung-Nu/Commanche neighbors, but within that 'Class' there could be:
    'Tarentine' style (Greek/Roman light cavalry with shields and javelins)
    'Thracian' style (light cavalry with sword, shield and javelins)
    'Bactrian' style (Near Eastern light cavalry with bows and javelins)
    'Persian' style (Persian light cavalry with javelins and thrusting spear)
    Prodromoi (Macedonian light cavalry with long lance)

    - and these are just examples from Classical Era Europe and the Near East, but indicate the variety that could still be introduced with this kind of system. In addition, of course, a common Counter to enemy/barbarian raiding historically was to simply hire as mercenaries some of the same type: the Athenians hired Scythian horse-archers, Alexander the Great incorporated several thousand Scythians into his army, Rome and Byzantium both hired Hunnic Cavalry, the Chinese hired the Hsung-Nu and their successors, and as late as the 19th century CE the US Army hired Apache 'light infantry' to hunt down Apache raiders...
     
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  5. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

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    Thank you both !

    From a coding and design perspective, my opening proposal doesn't seem viable, and I like some of yours, so I'll try to go your way.

    In the main thread, I think there was a quick discussion about civilization unique abilities and how the mod remove all of them because I'd like them to be aquired dynamically

    So we could try to design (amongst other things) how to possibly link unique attibutes (units, buildings, starting techs, ...) to some culture groups, how we could access them based on the representation of those culture groups in your "civilization", and of course how the players could influence the whole mechanism (exploration, combat, capture, settlement, policies...)

    Your Civilization would be fixed in name, with a specific "neutral" culture group (IE without specific abilities)

    It would help to define who "owns" a tile between multi-cultural civilizations (an "affinity" mechanism between your civilization specific "culture groups", and the independant culture groups represented on a tile ? or ignoring independant culture groups and use only % of the civilizations "culture group")

    There will also be the question about how/when to merge some culture groups (maybe with a legacy mechanism)

    About territory, for now this is not a requirement, but, "Dynamic History" being planned since the start, one of the pre-requisite will be to have YnAMP for (relative) TSL for Civilizations (or in the case of the culture groups, TSR, IE True Starting "Region")

    I don't want the mod to be limited to only one map, but it will be limited to a set of map from YnAMP with predefined areas.

    For example the Giant Earth, Greatest Earth and Terra Map from YnAMP share the same "Regions" table which are represented by rectangles of various size delimiting areas of the map.

    Currently it's used for excluded/exclusive resource placement, but we can also use it for placing "culture groups" (barbarian camps and goody hut could be a representation of populated areas)

    After that we can use some mechanisms for culture diffusion / population migration (independantly or linked to what's discussed in the Population thread)

    For example, a "Barbarian Camp" spawning in a certain region could be linked to a culture group of that region, then units spawning from that camp would "diffuse" that culture group on their path (or "convert"/"reduce" passively other culture/population at their location), and the type of spawned units could also depend of that group.

    And if we use "Technology diffusion" from combat, those barbarian units would influence the nearby civilizations research.

    Also, we may get an anouncement soon for a Civ6 Expension, which may include its own revolution/civil wars mechanism base on the recent interviews with Ed Beach, if it's the case, then I'll have to ponder if it would be better to wait to see Firaxis mechanism and if it's possible to hook on it (from my experience in Civ5, new features introduced by G&K and BNW were less modable than vanilla features, I mean without altering the source code, as they were more "hardcoded")
     
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  6. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Chieftain

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    On thing that has to be included somehow is the 'mobility' of culture groups that are 'pre-Urban' during the game period. Just for historical examples, post 4000 BCE you had the second Indo-European movements (the 'Dorian Invasions' of Greek history), the move of the Huns from the borders of China to the borders of Rome, the move of the Apaches from the Canadian/US northeast to the American Southwest, and for a 'micro-example' in northern Britain, the move of the Picts from continental Europe, the Scotti from Ireland, and the Saxons from Germany, all within a 5 - 700 year period. Before they had large permanent installations (cities) cultural/population groups were pretty mobile, and the moves had considerable affect on the cultural/population composition of the places they moved from and the places they moved to.

    I hope Firaxis understands the difference between a Civil War and a Revolution. In a Civil War, the first goal of both sides is to control the original country, so the result of a civil war is almost Never a new country, but simply a changed old one. A Revolution, by contrast, is primarily Against the politics, policies or culture of the original country, so (if successful) almost always results in either a radically changed country or a brand new country or set of countries: Royal France into Republican/Imperial France, the British Colonies into the United States, Imperial Russia into the Soviet Union, and less obviously, when a Civil War turned into the Glorious Revolution, Semi-Absolute Monarchy England became Protectorate England turning into Parliamentary England...
     
  7. Knasp

    Knasp Chieftain

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    I like the idea of growing/developing your own Civ as opposed to having all traits, units and abilities pre-determined, though I agree it makes sense to have historic Civilizations starting at a specific time (Era) for an Earth map. Maybe reducing uniqueness of Civ-specific units is a bad thing, but you could still retain naming and artstyle (at the very least) for the units in question. So a Roman swordsmen would be named and look like Legions even though they aren't that unique ability/stats-wise. I can understand the point that Boris brings up about players not wanting to have to recreate several specific conditions "just" to acquire a unique unit. But in my mind that is what makes the unit unique and also a part of what would keep the game dynamic and interesting. Knowing that you can always get the specific Legion unit just because you chose a certain Civ/Leader in 4000 BC without putting any effort into it, is not what I'd like to see anyway.

    About ownership of tiles, then I'd say that ownership should be determined by a mix of factors, but an overall order/priority list could probably be used. In my mind the player represents the executive branch of a Civilization/State, or in some abstract way the sum of decision makers. So you are ruling a Civ of subjects that are either mostly of one culture or a mix of several (especially if it is an empire). One way to implement multi-cultural Civs is to draft (or randomise) a list of "minor" cultures that exist within each starting Civ (major culture), so that each tile or City would have their own specific culture group(s). These could then merge or diverge during the game, shrink of grow depending on outside influence, policies etc. Each minor culture could possibly represent their own language group, ethnicity, religious independents or smaller variations due to local conditions. In general I would think that you should start out with a lot of different "minor" cultures (in Ancient-Medieval Eras) but during the coarse of the game (history) you'd see many of these merging into a grander nation-state cultures (with centralized authority).

    So how would ownership be determined? If control of tiles represents political influence, then I'd say that the initially the first one having claimed the tile will keep their control. If we could tie the control with the players efficacy of bureaucracy, tax burden, i.e. management then that would make the most sense. Also, and this is speculatory, but I believe that it has been common in history for areas and populations caught between 2 centres of power to want to stay independent and even go their own way. And in general, the further you are from wielding political power (for e.g. being an outer region or City) the more you generally have to gain by seeking independence (or fostering that belief at least). One option then is to have minor cultures compete for control over Cities, and that each culture in your Civ that is dominant in a City will stay loyal (and wish to stay united with the other cities), while minor cultures without dominant % in a City will resist conversion and seek independence.

    So if there's a contested tile that is under influence by 2 cities, or major/minor culture groups, then you could have a priority list for determining ownership each turn. Maybe something like:

    1. The first Civ/City controlling the tile will always keep control so long as they keep a military unit on the tile (military control / internal repression).
    2. If there's a war, then the other Civ gets ownership if they have a military unit on the tile (occupation)
    3. If none of the above, then proximity to adjacent controlled tiles or closest City (district?) can determine control. When calculating proximity it would be beneficial if you could take into account terrain movement cost (rivers, roads, naval routes) and technology level to determine control.
    4. Otherwise (or in combination with above) you can have religious affiliation determine control.
    5. Similarities or differences between the tile in question and neighboring tiles can also be used as a tie breaker. This could be terrain type, features, improvements.
    6. Lastly you could leave the tile uncontrolled, or even spawn an "independent" culture who takes control of the tile (in the scenario above, you'd lose control). All further contested tiles would then prefer the "independent" stance to either sides control.

    Another option (that is easier to implement?) could be defining a generic culture called "Independents" or even more specific ones for each Civ like: "Free Egyptians". These groups would then always be competing with all Civs at the edges of their influence, or between two Civs.

    Regardless of implementation and how we choose to design the cultural aspects, I'd say that players should be warned (notified) when tiles are about to shifting to their neighbors, or when the population is moving towards independence.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2017
  8. Knasp

    Knasp Chieftain

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    Good point, didn't realise more info had been released. I guess we'll have to wait and see what the Great/Dark ages, Loyalty and Governors systems actually consists of. The expanding of diplomacy sounds promising as well. Also, they show a scene in the trailer of a typical plague doctor with the weird mask. I wonder if they'll include some disease mechanic, possibly linked to what they call "emergencies".

    Since we're having populations distributed on tiles, then it would be cool to have diseases spread similar to the migration mechanic. Tiles with a high population density will be more vulnerable.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017

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