How would you design Indian civilization... or civilizations?

Discussion in 'Civ - Ideas & Suggestions' started by Krajzen, Oct 10, 2021.

  1. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    I have a lot of beef with how India is portrayed in civ series. In general, I have a feeling that India is treated the worst by the modern Western popculture, even worse than Islamic world.

    1) Gandhi has to go, I know it has been introduced to this series because in nineties it was about the only Indian human being known to the white man, but come on it really wouldn't hurt if white man's minds were enlightened by the existence of another Indian leader. Bonus point for that leader not being Mauryan one (Ashoka and Chandra were both Mauryan). Also, at this point the entire Gandhi nuke meme has overshadowed out his entire real personality, moral teachings and dignity, so maybe if fanbase was starved of him for many years that insulting meme would finally die.
    2) India being ridiculously pacifist, to the point of being crippled in AI hands, has to go. I know it happened because of Gandhi (which is stupid anyway because Indian army existed and was powerful and agressive in his era), but it really wouldn't hurt white man's mind if he was enlightened by the country of Kshatriyas and gods of war to be militarily strong, like it was in history.
    3) India constantly revolving about stereotypes of peaceful (lol), passive, spiritual, poor, overpopulated but God forbid being competent in economy, science, industry and military...has to go.
    4) India having always the worst music and among weakest abilities in the game obviously has to go :p


    There's also a separate and much more messy problem of 'India' being always just that one civilization in the sea of like forty, fifty others. India is a very strange case in this regard though. On one hand it doesn't have such straightforward history of China, with some sort of direct political and identity cycle; Indian subcontinent had a ton of separate countries and languages and 'histories' through its history. In another hand though, most of them were very close to each other in terms of religion, philosophy, Sanskrit, social organization, common origins, literary epics and classics, shared popular movements etc so it's not like it was Europe in terms of very divergent cultures and identities.

    So in the end I am not sure if it would be a sensible idea to divide India into smaller entities, in fact Indians themselves could be offended by it, seeing how overhemingly the idea of unity has won in the region. However I think it would make some sense to instead introduce India and
    separate civilizations for Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bengal, Mughals, Delhi Sultanate etc. Sikhs would work too, but their separarism is very problematic topic in Indian past. You could also separate several fairly unique empires from India, such as Maurya, Chola, Maratha, but it would look kind of weird if them and only them were separated.


    So, what would you do?

    I'd mostly like to see India (in whatever incarnation) being economic and intellectual power with decent military, with non - Gandhi and non - Mauryan leader, with good abilities and soundtrack :p
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
  2. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    I do think that the design of India in Civ 6 is a step in the right direction.

    1. I personally don't mind Gandhi being in the game but I agree that if he were to keep on returning it would be alongside another leader, not the only one. I wouldn't mind Ashoka next game personally even though we have had him before.

    2. Well they made India more militaristic with Chandragupta so I don't think that is necessary a problem. Considering the Gandhi nuke meme has been around since the beginning as well it's hard to always think of India being pacifist.

    3. I think as long as religion stays in the game I'm find with them at least having religious bonuses considering they are the home to at least 4 of the major religions of the world (Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, Jainism). Ideally I would want religion to be merged into a culture victory so turning them into a prime culture civ would definitely be something new and interesting. Bollywood anyone? :mischief:

    4. Like I said above make the music and abilities it more Bollywood.

    That being said I also wouldn't mind the Mughals appearing as a separate civ from India. I think that's the most reasonable and easiest one to make if they wanted to. Make Akbar the leader and give him Lahore as his capital. You could also use a different city list from India such as how Agra was known as Akbarabad during the Mughal Empire.
     
  3. Xandinho

    Xandinho Deity

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    I think India should be able to found several religions and get multiple bonuses from them, generate more points from Great Prophets, convert part of the faith generation into culture and make their places of worship give more faith than normal. India would be a versatile civilization that would use religions to its advantage. You could design each religion to focus on something unique (gold, faith, culture, science, military, growth...). That way you could use religions to design India however you wanted.
     
  4. Zaarin

    Zaarin Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari

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    I'm torn because I'd like to see India balkanized, but at the same time, with a finite civ roster, I'm not sure I need a balkanized India. While I understand the reasoning behind proposing splitting off the Mughals from India, I think I'd rather split off the Chola because I want a settled Central Asian civ and I want it to be an Ancient/Classical Iranian civ not the Mughals. :p (I mean, I'll take all the Central Asian civs they'll give me--Medieval Uzbeks, Early Modern Afghans/Pashtuns under Ahmad Shah Durrani--but if I have to pick one I want Sogdia or Kushan/Bactria/Hephthalites.)

    I can't argue with India consistently having weak abilities, but I think their Civ6 music is nice. :p They could certainly do better, though, and India not having a raga as its theme is a crime.

    Sid Meier says that that's hoax, and the first mention of the Gandhi Nuke Meme is 2012.

    If the leader isn't doing a Bollywood song and dance number we riot. :mischief:

    Honestly everyone should be able to found several religions, like in Civ4, and religion in general should be much less centralized.
     
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2021
  5. Xandinho

    Xandinho Deity

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    It's a point, but as long as they limit the number of religions each Civ founds to one, then India could benefit from it by founding several. But if they allow each Civ to found multiple religions, India could still benefit from it with bonuses for building Holy Sites and temples, with places of worship still giving more bonuses than usual. I just think India should be encouraged to build as many places of worship as possible.
     
  6. BuchiTaton

    BuchiTaton Prince

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    What would I like to have? At least the classical Maurya, medieval Chola and modern Gurkani.

    What I expect from Firaxis? Pacifist Gandhi. Devs fear backlash from nationalists if they dare to add something different from the "unity vision" like the case of China. :sad:
     
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  7. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    ...WHAT. That makes me dislike this meme even more - not only it's tired and insulting but also based on fake story!

    Humankind has just introduced four Indian and three Chinese cultures and faced no backslash for it whatsoever. I mean, I get it's more natural idea in its format of "cultures changing through ages", but that's still some measure of acceptance. I also don't think 'India civilizations pack' mod for civ5 faced backslash, rather universal praise, the same with more militarist Chandragupta and Ashoka in civ4 - 6. So the question 'would Indians be angry' is open, but they don't have a big gaming market yet anyway and their government is not insane autocracy. Sikhs and Tamils as separate civs could cause some anger as their secessionist movements were the only ones really big and problematic for modern India for some time. But I don't think that separate Bengal/Bangladesh, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Mughals or Delhi would be very controversial, due to the fact they are either separate states and nationalisms or at least partially 'outsiders' (Mughal and Delhi have very complicated legacy in modern India similar to Moors in Spain, as in 'they did many great things for us and they are part of our history, but they aren't really US').
    So, it depends.


    On a sidenote, actually educating myself in Indian history has actually made me more convinced of some sort of Indian unity through history than before. Sure, there were so many separate states and languages across its history, but they just have so much in common, I'd argue more than many European countries. So far in the period 300 BC - 1200 AD I have no idea what Indian split civs other than Maurya, Gupta and Tamils/Chola I would implement, and what gameplay focus would I give them, because all those other dynasties of this period are kind of similar for the broad scale of game like this. All some kind of kingdoms, similar size, main language being Sanskrit, same subcontinent - wide religious and philosophical movements, similar social structures, similar economic systems, great development of architecture and literature in most of them... Dravidan south and northern Buddhist empires are the most distinctive by far.
     
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  8. Zaarin

    Zaarin Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari

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    That's pretty much how I felt about it as well. It was a tired meme, but it was slightly more palatable when I thought it was an homage to the original game. Now that we know that's made up, I really, really don't want to see Gandhi back in Civ7.

    I feel like Humankind is in a different boat. That being said, I think people also overestimate the amount of political backlash the game will cause--and the effects any backlash will actually have on the game and the parent company. The Cree controversy gets brought up a lot, but is there any evidence that it had any meaningful impact on Civ6 or Firaxis? If anything, it was free publicity.

    This is kind of where I've gradually come with China. I do sometimes play devil's advocate and argue against continuity for China (or India or Persia) because I think challenging preconceptions is intellectually valuable, but I do think at the end of the day Civ is best served by a single Chinese civ--and probably a single Indian civ as well. I'm less certain about Persia, and I could get behind a pre-Islamic Persia (with an Achaemenid and Sassanid leader, but if we have to pick one...choose a Sassanid please--Shapur II gets my vote) and a post-Islamic Iran (where I am out of my league in suggesting leaders). (And yes, I'm fully aware that Persians have always called their country Iran or Ērān(šahr) or Aryānxšaθra; it's just a convenient division of terms.)
     
  9. BuchiTaton

    BuchiTaton Prince

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    Maybe it had an impact, like why there was not a second NA native nation on civ 6? I mean after the Pueblo negative on CIV5 or the complaints and changes to Iroquois and Sioux on AoE3, we dont know what is going behind scenes. What if there is now a general feeling that it not worth to invest development on possible claims of cultural appropriation, stereotypical portrayal or/and attribute them foreign cultural values.

    It is very interesting how the selection of civs is a reflection of the politics of each country. For example, civs like Cree and Maori could be added as a representation of the conquered minorites on what is now mainly Anglo countries even if those minorities do not fit well with the general civ design, meanwhile massive minorities like Tibetans or Tamils with strong historical own empires and even current significative identitatians movements can not bein game because both India and China could view them as questioning their "one nation" politics.

    Now even the Native Nations in Anglo nations could start becoming on a problematic issue because they have better acces to legal and media support, but natives from Latin America are safer because they have literally more important problems to deal with. Even Latin American as a whole are not as sensitive, I still remember the absurd accusations of "cultural appropiation" againts Nintendo because Mario using a sombrero, the ones complaining about it were a very small minority of Americans when the vast majority of Mexicans were happy with it.

    Also we can compare at some degree the relation between Aztecs/Mayans to Mexico with the relation of India to their minorities.
    - Mesoamerican civilization is diverse but share common cultural elements > Indian civilization is also diverse but linked by common cultural elements.
    - The unification of most of Mesoamerica in Mexico was only possible by Spanish occupation and ideological influence > the unificacion of most of Indian subcontinent was possible by British occupation and ideological influence.
    - Both Mexico and India were bigger at independence but broke off their periferic parts precisely by the lack of a real deep unity and the remmants or regional identities.
    - Both countries have a name that in reality is based on a smaller specific region that was the seat of pre-colonial empires.
    - Maya are divided between Mexico and Guatemala and lack their own country > Tamils are divided between India and Sri Lanka and lack their own country

    Even the name and identity of Mexico and Mexicans is a direct claim of the Mexica ("Aztec") legacy, but this was ignored by 19th century foreign scholars despite everybody before used the proper Mexicano instead of "Aztec". So on Mexico we can claim to be offended if devs divide "Aztec" civ from Mexico civ, or could accuse devs of support the separatism of Maya people if Maya have their own civ.
     
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  10. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    It could have. Even so I am under the impression that they also decided that the Mapuche would be the second native "American" nation, besides the usual Aztec, Maya, Inca. Of course they decided to add on to South America and the design of them kind of was similar to the Shoshone as a nomadic horse raiding civ. :dunno:

    It definitely still depends on the tribe. There seems to be no problem depicting the Iroquois in historical 4X games as they have appeared twice in Civilization games as well as the only one in Humankind. And Im pretty sure the Sioux could be considered public domain as much as they've been shown as the token "Native Americans" in media. :lol:
    But maybe we should get back on topic talking about the other kind of Indians. :mischief:

    It all starts back at the original game. Whenever they decided to choose Gandhi as the leader it only made sense for them to have a unified India then. Of course as long as they've decided to keep Gandhi around as a leader it wouldn't make any sense to divide India.
    On the opposite end of the spectrum, because Aztecs were introduced in the original game it did make it to where Aztecs were probably a good substitution of representing "Mexico" without having Mexico actually appear. That at least opened the door to the include the Maya as well. Though like you mentioned the Maya also occupied present-day Guatemala as well as parts of Belize and Honduras.
    That's also one of the reasons I think Zulu keep appearing also, as a representation of "South Africa" without explicitly putting in South Africa as it's own civ.
     
  11. Evie

    Evie Pronounced like Eevee

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    Indian may have been unified thanks to the British, but its ruling classes and culture are not predominantly English. The same cannot be said of Mexico, where hispanic influence and culture are predominant, and even people of clear Mayan or Aztec descent have traditional Spanish Catholic names. The comparison is pretty weak as a result.

    Not to say I would oppose a second indian civ (unlike China, which should not be balkanized), but no more - there's only so many civs in the game, and a lot of world to cover (and the second civ should probably be in a late expansion). In a world where north american natives only ever got two civs in the same game once, India should not have three-four-five.
     
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  12. Zaarin

    Zaarin Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari

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    Perhaps, but I agree with @Alexander's Hetaroi that Firaxis saw the Mapuche as the "second Native American civ." (Though speaking of AoE3, I read an interview with AoE3's Native American advisor, and it's a textbook case of why being a Native American does not make you an expert on Native American studies. A great deal of what he said was flatly wrong and could just as easily come from Jamake Highwater.)

    This happens a lot in my experience: rich white American kids with nothing better to do getting offended on other people's behalf. :rolleyes:

    Disclaimer in advance: I am by no means well-versed in Mexican history or culture after the 16th century, and what I'm saying is based on a paper I read last year in my Atlantic World class. But according to that paper, a lot of 19th century Americans were ashamed of their indigenous heritage and the name "Mexico" was chosen more to claim the glory of a past empire than to claim any kind of common identity with the Mexica. (It contrasted the situation with Peru, where a significant portion of the population still identifies as Quechua.)

    Yeah, the Haudenosaunee and the Sioux are both used to media attention, though Milton Tootoosis's polticial agenda certainly had nothing to do with it either. :mischief: Still, as unfortunate as it is, having had the Pueblo ask not to be included, having had the Haida probably do the same, and then having a Cree headman complain about Civ6, I would expect to see more Anglicized Native Americans like the Haudenosaunee and other Eastern tribes, the Sioux, and so forth in the future--which is a shame.
     
  13. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    If Civ 7 does get closer to about 58 civs I can definitely see another one happening, but yes no more than 2. To me the Mughal Empire could safely co-exist alongside an Indian civ, like Macedon did with Greece. I'd take Tibet along with China too, but that's less likely to happen. And I'd rather only one Persia, sorry @Zaarin. :p

    I'll possibly take a Parthia civ as a compromise or a non-Achaemenid alternate leader though. :)

    I mean I'd rather them do that then none appear at all. The Iroquois becoming recurring is something I could definitely live with.
     
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  14. BuchiTaton

    BuchiTaton Prince

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    That is why I said at "some degree" and talking more about the colonial rule as a catalyst to introduce the modern european concept of nationalism+state, built some of the institutions, administrative and territorial organization.

    Now Mesoamerica suffered from disease at a level that facilitate criollo and mestizos to be more significative groups, the average "elite" of Sinaloa is not the same as the one in Oaxaca.

    British did not have the religious objetives that Spanish had, but you can look to one of the others "India" Pakistan (the one that control most of the Indus valley by the way) most Pakistanis have Islamic names.

    I would very happy if at least we got a Chola (Tamil) civ on CI7. With that there is also the option to have Gurkani as a Central Asia/Afghanistan/Pakistan civ (maybe with Akbar as a leader for both Gurkani and India?), so we have something like 2.5 Indian civs.

    About China depend of what you mean by "balkanized". Tibetans is a popular suggestion, unlikely for political reasons but clearly most people see them as different and worthy. Jurchan/Manchu are less polular but also very significative and since modern Manchus are far less problematic for China goverment they could be possible.
    Another very obscure and complety unlikely option that I would love to have are the Miao, personally I see them justifiable as any main Native American option.

    And talking about Native Americans, the same with the complains about the Cree, Iroquois and Sioux on games like CIV6 and AoE3 and the game mechanics forcing a eurocentric design on their cultures, they said "we do not do that" and a some degree they are right, on CIV you play as urban, centralized and imperealistic nations (they even do not want to be despicted mining). Meanwhile Tamils, Gurkani, Tibetans and Jurchen were imperialistic powers with a way longer recorded history (even Miao are way closer to average civ that NA Natives and more recorded history).

    Finally the civs taking slots are the way more redundant civs like Australia, Canada or Scotland not any from India or China.
     
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  15. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    I mean one could argue that the Iroquois were considered urbanized, well at least non-nomadic, and imperialistic in their own way. The Sioux could also be considered imperialistic as well as the Comanche on the Great Plains. Having a centralized power doesn't mean anything considering the Maya weren't centralized either.

    As interesting as it was I'm not sure about having dual leaders for civs in the future, as in leaders that lead different civs. That being said having Akbar lead India might be controversial anyways, so it's better to have him as leader of his own civ.
     
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  16. Lonecat Nekophrodite

    Lonecat Nekophrodite Emperor

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    What I can think of rightnow.
    A massive Siege Cannon (Which referred to as 'Cannon' made of cast iron and comes with trunions and trailed carriage, and not 'Bombard'
     
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  17. BuchiTaton

    BuchiTaton Prince

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    The Greeks when not under Alexander neither, but that is why is common that people point that CIV design fail to depict Greece of Maya. Most historical NA native nations lack some of even all of the features of CIV's playable civ design.
    The funny part is Akbar not being an Indian leader could also be polemic for another part of Indian population.
     
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  18. Zaarin

    Zaarin Diplomatic Attaché to Londo Mollari

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    I'd be happier with just one Persia if we could get a Sassanid for once. :p

    Yes, I'm fine with the Haudenosaunee becoming a staple. I think it's simply a shame to lose the opportunity to educate people about the diversity of America's indigenous people.

    It depends on which Native Americans we're talking about. The Cree and Sioux were nomadic, but the Haudenosaunee/Iroquois were settled, urbanized, and extremely aggressive in a manner that I don't think is unfair to call imperialist, albeit with a highly decentralized government. However, it would be good if Civ could find a way to better represent nomads, not just for Native Americans but also for civs like the Scythians or other Eurasian steppe horse nomads.

    This. 100% this.

    This is why I think it's important to think of civilizations in Civilization as, well, civilizations and not polities. This is also why Australia and Canada have no business being in the game. A single civilization can span multiple polities, and Australia (and to some extent Canada) are already represented as part of the English civilization. The Greeks and Mayas likewise saw themselves as part of a single civilization, even if they were divided into dozens of polities.
     
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  19. BuchiTaton

    BuchiTaton Prince

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    At some degree but not just because that. From spaniards records we know that the Triple Alliance was commonly named after their de facto leaders with seat on Tenochtitlan, so the Mexicas or (as know by spaniards) Mexicanos. All long colonial time Mexicano was used as synonymous of Naotlaca even if technically they should not since not all Nahuas are Mexicas (neither Aztecas), but still at 19th century both on New Spain and the rest of the world anything related to Tenochtitlan>Mexicas>Aztecas>Nahuas was know as Mexicano. So the name of the pre-hispanic empire was usefull not just because was the previous regional power but for the long history of associacion to the "América Mexicana".
     
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  20. BuchiTaton

    BuchiTaton Prince

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    This can fit as Gurkani (Mughal) UU.

    By the way the great variety of unique weapons and martial arts from India are also an example of all the waste potential of the umbrella India on CIV, that also always got the most generic Elephant UU or "Fast Worker" :cry:
     
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