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Is Humankind Civilization VII Under a New Banner?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by AtlantisAuthor, Aug 19, 2019.

  1. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    I think this is what HumanKind is trying to trying to achieve. Only without the preconceived notions that you've built in (Mongols -> Timurids, Hellenes -> Minoans).

    Essentially, you're saying that predecessor empires could only have evolved as they did historically, into one of their actual offshoot empires, and player choice should be limited by what happened in the real world. HK appears to be taking a broader mindset, and allowing for evolutions that didn't historically happen.

    I'm not saying what they're shooting for will work as a game, and I'm certainly not saying that everyone will like it. But it is ambitious.

    And if it encourages Civ 7 to take a different look at the "static culture" mechanic Civ has utilized to date, whether in a form that you've articulated or otherwise, then that may well be a win-win.
     
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  2. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    The most positive thing about Humankind may turn out to be not that it has a better model for Cultural Progression or diversity or that its combat, tech, civics, Wonders, terrain, units or anything else are better than Civ VI or worse than Civ VI.

    It may turn out that the best thing is simply that any or all of them are different from Civ VI, and so we the gamers, and the Mod community, and the population of Game Designers in general are exposed to different approaches to the 'standard' 4X Historical Game. Which has, let's face it, been pretty nearly a Civilization Monopoly for many years. Just by showing alternatives to every 'standard' approach to the 4X components, there is a possibility that it will stimulate better approaches, even if they are not those of either Civ VI (or Civ VII) or Humankind.

    I think that the debate I and @PhoenicianGold had in this very Thread shows that there are potentially serious problems with both Civ VI and Humankind's (so far) approaches to some of the basics of the Historical 4X game. I suspect that the answer to both of our concerns lies somewhere outside of either approach, in the 'dialectic' between them, so to speak, or even in an entirely different path completely, but I think it's obvious by now after years of the Civ Path, that really unique and different answers are not likely to come from building on a single design concept, even if that concept starts out brilliantly (which, in fact, I don't think Civ did, and I'm dubious about Humankind's model, but am willing to be convinced).

    Which, by the way, is why I'm also glad to see a Humankind discussion here in the CivFanatic forum: we need to debate, digest, denigrate, dissect and investigate both games' approaches and design solutions if we are ever going to get the Perfect Historical 4X (which will doubtless be immediately derided as "not as good as Civ IV")
     
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  3. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    They can always do a better model of cultural progression in Humankind 2. For the moment it's important that they do cultural progression at all.
     
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  4. KayAU

    KayAU King

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    I love these ideas. This way the cultures thing becomes similar to a promotion tree...which is not entirely different from Social Policies/Virtues/Traditions/National Ideas in various other games, but in a much more advanced form, where you get to develop your civilization based on what you are actively doing in the game.
     
  5. Trav'ling Canuck

    Trav'ling Canuck Deity

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    This 100x!



    Civ 1 was absolutely brilliant. Incredibly ambitious in scope, it had solid mechanics - many of which it invented - to replicate the progress of the whole of human history. For my tastes, many of those mechanics made for more solid gameplay than the versions that have come since.

    It also had some terrible mechanics when viewed from nearly 30 years on, some of which continue to persist and plague later versions in the series all this time later.

    If HK does nothing else than give game designers ideas on how to re-think how to depict the evolution of human history, I'll be happy to buy a copy of two.
     
  6. FinalDoomsday

    FinalDoomsday Chieftain

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    So there are 60 civilisations in total and 10 for each era meaning we have 6 eras so that will go:
    Bronze Era - Classical/Iron? - Medieval - Early Modern - Industrial - Modern Era

    Seems like a much better spread than having half of the games eras be part of the last 150 years or so that we have in civ 6.


    I'm glad theres no future era, I'd be happy with modern era only going up to end of cold war 1990-2000's so we are only dealing with well established history but we will see.
     
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  7. Cerilis

    Cerilis Not Warlord

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    There's also neolithic era when nobody has a culture yet, I think.
     
  8. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    I've always felt that trying to model anything after the Internet - in other words, the first years of the 21st century - is a very dicey proposition because we still don't know what the full impact of that paradigm shift in information access and retrieval will be. Right now it is already affecting 'civics' (social movements and customs), technology spread, commerce, and politics. So far its effects have been both positive and negative but especially hugely disruptive (like all major technology introductions, I would argue) but what the result will really look like we simply don't know yet. It's a little like watching the founding of the Dutch East India Company in 1602 CE, the world's first 'multi-national' company, and predicting General Motors, Apple and Amazon - and all the consequences.

    At the same time, I am very unhappy with rigid Eras and the titles that they are being (apparently) given in Humankind and have been assigned in Civ:
    Bronze Era/Age saw the rise of great Empires in China and the Middle East, but it occurred long after Agriculture, Animal Domestication, Sailing, the Wheel, Irrigation - a lot of supposedly 'in-game' Technology is already on the board thousands or hundreds of years before that 'Era' even starts, and there were substantial Cities on the map in places from China to India to the Middle East long before anybody anywhere mixed copper and arsenical metals or tin together.
    Classical or Iron Era/Age have even more problems. First, a large part of the globe never went through either a Bronze or Iron Age: three of the six inhabited continents, for instance. Second, you'd be lucky to find three historians who can agree on when the 'Classical' Ea started even in Greece and Rome, or what 'Classical' meant anywhere else in the world other than Greece and Rome.
    Medieval and Renaissance have even more problems: they are utterly Eurocentric and simply do not apply to anywhere else in the world unless you relabel the Renaissance as "Murderously Exploitive By Europeans", which is what it meant to Asia, Africa, and the Americas. The only reason it didn't mean the same thing to Australia is that the Europeans didn't find the kangaroo Country until the Industrial Era was well underway.
    And the Industrial Era started at very different times for different cultures, and therefore had very different effects on them both technologically and culturally: and was hugely disruptive with effects we still see today in Still Industrializing countries in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia (and, I would also argue, in India and China).
     
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  9. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    Which is really, really problematic. The Neolithic is when agriculture, animal domestication of cattle, sheep, goats and pigs occurred, irrigation started, and the horse was domesticated as a draft animal and possibly (still being debated) as a riding animal in a very few groups. All of which is a lot of very important Technology, not to mention those pre-metal Cities I talked about in the previous Post. IF in Humankind the 'Neolithic' is going to be Pre-Culture and. presumably, Pre-City-Building then gamers are being really 'short-changed' in that Pre-Era.
    To be fair, that's been true in Civ Forever. By the nominal 4000 BCE start of the Civ games, there had already been permanent settlements in parts of the world for 6 - 8000 years - longer than the game lasts! And those settlements/proto-cities had agriculture, domestic animals, irrigation in some places, boats, fishing, pottery, weaving, wine-making, beer-making, etc.
    If we were ever to get a really Improved Historical 4X game, the first place i twould have to improve over all the offerings so far would be in how and when the game starts.
    Recognizing that I am speculating on how and with what the 'Neolithic' Pre-Era will start in Humankind. it's possible that in addition to the 'nomad start' that has been revealed as a possibility so far, there will asa be a possibility to settle down in some kind of simplified pre-city or 'settlement' in the Neolithic, which would both be more realistic the Civ 'standard start' and start the game off with Really Important Decisions to be made by the gamer - nev4r a bad thing in a game design.
     
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  10. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    Since we don't know how cities started, that's a bit much to ask. I understand the games Neolithic Era just as a game play way to give you 5 to 20 turns to explore the map. A prelude of sorts.i wouldn't read any more into that.
     
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  11. seasnake

    seasnake Conquistador

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    Right, I hear you, and I think it will be great. But I think that one some are worried about a bit from a gameplay perspective is that if there are no pre-requisites to change culture it may seem forced. You start as Egypt and get a religion and wonders start, then think “I need a better military, better become the Mongols.” The model I suggest means that each civ is still fully unique, so it is closer to Civ VI than Humankind, but there’s room to evolve based on active choices throughout the game not just the needs of the hour.

    Now, of course we know so little about Humankind and there’s so much that could change, it may very well be that there some things you have to have in place before you can jump to a new civ/culture. I’m just positing something different.
     
  12. The googles do nothing

    The googles do nothing Prince

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    How will the different era's effect game play? The mechanics of the game are basically the same at 2000BC as they are in 1900AD. Melee units in civ just have higher strength, etc.
     
  13. mitsho

    mitsho Deity

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    We don't know yet, but I do hope they adapt to the eras. That you play with the same basic type of (Unit) models in the ancient as well as in the modern Era is the main reason for Civs late game micromanagement nightmare. There's a need to simplify stuff as your empire grows.
     
  14. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    We obviously, have no written histories of how the Neolithic cities started, because the societies were all Pre-Literate. But archeology has progressed enormously in the past couple of decades, as I discovered when I started looking back into it recently (my last formal schooling in the subject was a couple of courses in Grad School almost 50 years ago!). They now have over 4000 DNA samples from prehistoric sources, so they can track many of the actual populations: was a city settled by the same people that were there before, or by Migrants? Do the building patterns show any sign of Hierarchy (large ceremonial or communal structures, wide differences in amounts of Grave Goods, for examples) so we can infer a Ruling Class and government? Is the Settlement fortified, meaning that they were amassing enough food and other goods to be worth raiding? Are there signs of Trade - since materials like Obsidian, Amber, and Jade can be tracked microscopically back to their original locations and sources?

    So, yes, we can say quite a lot about how cities got started, and, I think more importantly for Game Design, we can state pretty certainly Why they got started Where they did and what kind of resources were necessary for a semi-nomadic Camp to become more permanent and start developing (some of the) characteristics of a City.

    Of course, there is still considerable debate on what exactly the defining characteristics of a city are and were, so first we'd have to agree (for Game purposes) on a 'minimum City'. I would argue, though, that a concentration of more than 1000 people, or 200 + families, with craft 'technology' sufficiently advanced that they can Trade the craft items to completely different culture/ethnic groups for items that they do not have near the 'city', and the ability to Defend the city and its accumulated resources (evidenced by permanent 'fortifications' like walls, moats, etc) would be a pretty good set of City Definers.

    And there are examples of just such cities from the pre-metal, Neolithic period. For examples:
    Motza (modern name), about 5 km west of modern Jerusalem. Occupied continuously for at least 1500 years, 8500 - 7000 BCE, cored over 100 acres, estimated 2 - 3000 inhabitants at its peak, had large, presumably communal or 'public' buildings and a defined 'urban center', agriculture and animal domestication, stone and bone tools and weapons exclusively - including flint-tipped arrows. Traded with Anatolia and Egypt for materials such as decorative seashells and Obsidian.

    Seskla (modern name) in northern Greece, occupied for almost 3000 years, 7500 to about 4400 BCE, is one of the earliest places where domesticated cattle have been traced (by DNA) to 6300 BCE or so. By 5000 BCE had a population estimated at up to 5000 people, grew wheat and barley, kept cattle, sheep, goats, pigs. Had glazed, decorated and fired pottery and evidence of some kind of wall around the 'city'.

    Mehrgarh (modern name) in Pakistan, started 7000 BCE as a small farming village, got bigger until by 5000 BCE had both agriculture and domestic cattle and goats, mud-brick walls, terra-cotta figurine 'industry' and faience beadwork crafts, traded for lapis lazuli, turquoise and by 4800 BCE had crucibles for smelting copper (among the first sites) and was starting to use the same technology to fire their decorated pottery. This is a site where in the same location the transition from primitive farming and hunting to a heirarchial craft-based trading economy and some of the earliest metal-working can be traced, basically in the same place. After 2500 BCE the area became part of the Indus Civilization ('Harappans')

    There are other sites that pass the 1000 population mark with only stone/bone/horn tools and weapons in north and central China, southern Egypt, Anatolia, eastern Europe, North and South America.

    I'm just saying that we have enough information to come up with a better Game Design for the transition from hunting, gathering and fishing to Cities without having to default to Cities Start The Game as Civ has since the franchise started. My hope is that Humankind with its 'Neolithic Start' will not have that 'pre-Era' be only a nomadic non-City Elongated First Turn, because there is more than enough evidence for a more variable set of starting opportunities before you transition into a recognizable Culture/Faction/Civilization.
    One thing that does make that transition more definable is that in most cases, there is no direct transition from the earliest Neolithic settlements and cities to the earliest recognizable 'States' or Cultures in those areas, so in this one case Humankind's mechanic of choosing some Cultures to start an Era works perfectly: there were half a dozen culture/settlement sites up and down the Nile Valley, but you can't track a direct connection between any one of them and Pre-Dynastic Egypt or the first Dynastic Pharaohs.
     
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  15. AsH2

    AsH2 Warlord

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    I think they (Civ devs and devs of other 4X games) could grow a pair and try (more) to "predict the future" as they already had assume a lot about the past - it's not like they're trying to make a real "sim game".
    Sorry, but I can't help feeling a little bit "offended" when reading sentences containing "Eurocentric" - especially when it's often used in "politically corrected debates".
    We all know the old sentence: "the winners write the history".
    Every Era is focusing on a smaller part of the world just because it's influence is greater (than the rest).
    I do agree those Era titles are not well representing civ progress in fictional world, though they are widely/commonly known for what they do represent.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2019
  16. conorbebe

    conorbebe Prince

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    Although Humankind may not be the most historically accurate way of representing cultural progression, it is still vastly more realistic than anything Civilization has ever attempted. And furthermore, I don’t think it’s handling of it is lazy or regrettable at all. All it does is hand the player more freedom of control over their nation’s identity, history, and traits.

    Should I choose I want to roleplay as a certain region of the world, Humankind (hopefully) allows me to do that by selecting cultures which share a similar geography or lineage. Alternatively, if I just want to create the most varied and mismatched nation possible, or prefer to focus on strategy, I will also not be limited in that regard either.

    I’m honestly surprised to see so much criticism over a system that seems to prioritise player choice.
     
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  17. Boris Gudenuf

    Boris Gudenuf Deity

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    I've been reading Science Fiction since Going to the Moon was Science Fiction and not History, so I wouldn't mind a well-done Science Fiction component to any game, but I can tell you right now that fiction writers have a really bad track record at predicting the future, and that's basically the group game designers fall into. They can select a view of the future and try to 'game' it, but don't expect them to come up with anything that really predicts anything.

    First, be very careful who you try to label Politically Correct. I am a retired US Army First Sergeant, served from Vietnam to the First Gulf War, and am being very, very polite on these Forums because They Got Rules. But in fact I am about as Politically Correct as Attila the Hun but without his forgiving and laid-back nature . . .

    I used the term 'Eurocentric' for a very specific purpose: to indicate that certain Eras in their labeling and commonly accepted meanings refer ONLY to the history of Europe and have a completely different meaning or no meaning at all when referring to the history of Africa, Asia, or any other part of the world not Europe. Politically Correct had nothing to do with it: Historically Factual did.

    And on that note, people think they know what the Era designations represent, but, frankly, what people think and what reality was are rarely the same thing. Just for an example, the Medieval Era/Period had constant Technological Progression, a massive social/political change from Fuedal Monarchies to Divine Right Kings and central administrations, and a military change from feudal retainer knights to largely mercenary armies. Between the 'early Medieval' period of 700 - 1000 CE and the late or High Medieval Era of 1200 - 1400 CE things changed for the average inhabitant of Europe as much or more as they had in the transition from the 'Classical' (400 - 500 CE) to the Medieval.
    And don't get me started on the on-going debates in academia as to when the various Eras started: that Tempest in a Teabag has been going on since I was in college back in the 1960s, and shows no signs of being resolved.

    Which, although I'd prefer to do without them entirely, doesn't mean 'Eras' cannot be used as a Game Mechanic: it's just that the boundaries between them should be kept fluid and possibly even unique to each separate Civilization (based, for example, on heir own technological/social/civic progression) and the Titles given to them should reflect something besides the peculiar situation in Europe if the game is going to attempt to include cultures and civilizations from all over the world.
     
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  18. FinalDoomsday

    FinalDoomsday Chieftain

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    I'm really hoping at the end of the game we can look at our cities and still identify the cultures that have been there like layers of rock. I hope cities that get conquered can also show their history through its visuals as opposed to the architecture suddenly changing to the conquerer like in Civ and Endless Legend.
     
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  19. AsH2

    AsH2 Warlord

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    I don't - just think they (Civ devs and devs of other 4X games) should try harder to add more (relevant) late-game content.

    I did not (and never will) try to label anyone. That was purely a comment on how 'Eurocentric' has and is being used (even in this kindly forum) as if it's a faulty focal that need to be pointed out as much as possible (and changed...to what?).

    Yes, I think they (Civ devs) got things a bit wrong when they changed from the previous Golden Age Game Mechanics - eg 'Era' became a big thing.
     
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  20. Kaan Boztepe

    Kaan Boztepe Warlord

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    'Eurocentric' does not end in europe. the US is not any less 'Eurocentric' than european countries. any country that is so heavily influenced by the roman empire can be categorized as such i believe
    oh by the way firaxis is US based?
     
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