Developer Diary | Art of the Ages

PDX Firefly

Nov 1, 2023
Hi! I’m Robert Hutson, with the C Prompt art team behind Millennia. Welcome to our first dev diary focused on the Art of Millennia.

As stated in previous entries, Millennia is a huge game. There are hundreds of military or strategic unit types, and even more buildings, abilities, and resources that span the multitude of possible ages across the game’s possible timelines. Today we’ll look at some of the types of art from the first few ages that players are most likely to discover.

Defining the Age

Every age has a visual foundation defined by landscape paintings, which give a quick snapshot of what to expect from each age. These captivating images were painted by the artist, Erik Ehoff. They really are the cornerstone for the art of each age.


Unlocking technologies available within each age is a way of accessing unique features and units. There are several different techs per age, each pulling from ideas of what technology would be available during an age that may contribute to shaping a nation. We represent each Technology with a painting to give a visual feel for what to expect from it.


Millennia brings an astounding number of units that can move around the map and participate in diplomacy, combat, or other strategies. While access to all the different units comes from a variety of different features throughout the game, many are accessed directly from the Ages or Techs of an Age. Units were modeled to be representative of the mechanics or attributes they enable. They also share an aesthetic from whatever age they originate in. Each Unit is represented in multiple ways: its 3D Model, its Portrait and its Unit Icon. Units of a similar type share an Icon to help players know what to expect.

Improvements & Resource Art

Nations are largely shaped by the structures and resources within them. Whether they support defenses, the production of goods, trade management, or something else… There are hundreds of unique buildings, resources, and types of improvements unlocked throughout Millennia. Many buildings change appearance over time as ages progress, while others can be updated by choice if a new age offers an upgrade. Similarly, some resources become newly available as time goes on. Like the games’ units, buildings and other resources are represented by a variety of 3d models, portraits, and icons.

Age World Art

Lastly, the world itself also reflects changes across the different ages as previewed below.

I hope this brief look into some of the art pillars for early ages gives a little insight into what you can expect when Millennia releases next week!

If you've like what you've seen you can Pre-Purchase here.
I don't pretend to be familiar with a huge variety of games, even of historical strategy/combat games, but it appears that Millenia is the result of a trend in recent games I am familiar with: really good still art.

While Civ goes 'all in' with fully animated voice-acted Leader portraits, other games like Old World, Humankind, and now Millenia in the same genre are producing some really fine still art showing off their people, Leaders, improvements, buildings, cities, etc. While Civ has reduced Tech Tree and Unit art almost to mere icons, I first noticed that Humankind provided some real artwork to show off each Tech available and each Unit you could build, quite apart from the animated units on the map.

Millenia seems to be traveling this same route, an I find it refreshing. Comparatively it cannot be anywhere near as expensive and resource-heavy as the animated Leaders, and yoiu are likely to be looking at the artwork for units, techs, buildings and improvements far more often than you will be listening to Trajan's comments in Civ VI . . .
Actually this unit is not historically accurate.
the name is 'Catapult Bireme'. Years of discussions here and I finally concluded that C Promt did have problems with Medit naval history.

Bireme is too small to mount catapult and remain steady. actually the smallest polyreme that could mount catapults and remain steady is Quinquereme. and it is considerably bigger. (though actual dimensions aren't what made known since actual detailed schematics are losts. but surely it is about 10 meters longer and some meters wider than Olympias Trireme. (Which itself is shown in this game as 'Galley'. I'm sure of it) and clearer details is that it has significantly deeper draught.

This galley is in fact Helenic Navy Olympias. ^ can't miss it. Also the biggest lifesize working replicas of polyremes built and still standing.
I really appreciate the art work for this game, it gives the whole game more flavour and adds to the immersiveness, especially the age depictions.
What I find could be improved is that early improvement art often take up the whole hex with lots of streets while the building itself sits lonesome in the middle. I understand that the streets are placeholders for the later, larger improvement updates but that way the early sorrounding of a city looks very cluttered early in the game. I would appreciate if the early improvements are smaller in size and the updates grow in size, so that the progress through the ages can be seen by size.
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