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Population, City growth and Social Stratification

Discussion in 'Gedemon's Civilization, a total overhaul project' started by Gedemon, May 7, 2017.

  1. Knasp

    Knasp Chieftain

    Sep 10, 2011
    I have an idea about population growth, city fortifications and spatial hierachy, that I think could work with the mod. I wonder if it is possible to do within the current modding limits? Or if it would drain performance too much?

    What if City walls didn't automatically scale up with growing population?

    Basically when you build a city wall, only the current population and buildings should be housed within the city walls. So if the city is attacked, the buildings outside the wall are burned down. Population living outside the wall would either need to be crammed inside the walls or they would become refugees (migrating to adjacent tiles), or be captured by the enemy (enslaved) and so on.

    In order to protect more of your population/buildings you'd have to build new walls (or expand the current ones) repeatedly, but walls are expensive and require materials. And the greater population the city has, more area will have to be walled in. So the cost of walls should increase with city size (although the old stone wall could potentially be dismantled and the stones reused).
    Instead of expanding/replacing old walls you could allow building additional walls, resulting in outer and inner rings, protecting different structures and demographics depending on when they were constructed. It would be interesting to have the siege mechanic where you have to break through several walls to claim the city, although allowing multiple walls per city would be more complicated in keeping track of.

    In conjunction with this system, you could introduce a spatial hierarchy, where the Upper classes always reside in the city center and will push out the lower classes to make room, if necessary even relocate them outside the wall.
    Additionally, maybe lower class houses should always be built outside the walls (think slums), since that is the cheapest land to acquire and you can use the cheapest materials. Then the player would have to choose whether to build housing within the walls (upper/middle classes) or outside where they are unprotected.
    Another way to alter housing would be to simply reduce the choice to either build "Housing" within the walls or outside. Building within the walls would be more expensive but would bring the benefit of cramming in more people in the same area (i.e. adding floors or erecting taller houses).

    In this hierarchy, important buildings would always be placed within the city walls (Monuments, temples, palaces, upper class housing etc) and if you build one of those then people would be evicted/relocated to make room. If performance drain or coding isn't a problem, you could even keep track of "unused" space within the walls, building walls would leave some room for expansion and deliberate razing of buildings could likewise leave some open space.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2018
    Gedemon likes this.
  2. dunkleosteus

    dunkleosteus Lieutenant Commander

    Aug 17, 2015
    Toronto, Canada
    As far as I'm aware, civilians weren't normally taken prisoner during war. I don't really know about the Bronze age, but at least in the last thousand years or so in Europe, attacking civilians was viewed as against the rules of war. Civilians are not a danger to an opposing army and normally didn't resist them.

    One thing that still sort of bothers me is that we have to build "housing" in our cities. Firaxis decided to use the word "housing" but it was not a good choice for describing the mechanic they wanted to implement. Houses are not built by the thousands in advance, they're constructed on an as-needed basis as population grows. The physical houses that people live in are never the limiting factor in cities. City growth is limited by availability of food and water and most importantly by the spread of disease. Without proper sanitation, plagues and illnesses run rampant. Unfiltered or dirty water are also vectors of transmission. This is what Firaxis was trying to represent and what we should be focusing on if we're working to improve where Firaxis fell short.

    Things that might make more sense instead of building more housing: the existing facilities of the city may fall short as population increases. As was previously mentioned, buildings built after the city walls are completed might exist "outside" of them, leaving those buildings vulnerable. I think it might be fine if the number of houses for each class are still tracked, but I think they should be built automatically as population increases. They can consume resources or production in the city but it should not be a manual process. But to the point I was getting to before, I think it would make sense that certain buildings would only be serviceable for a number of people, and beyond that, they would decrease in effectiveness. Production or resources could be spent to build additional copies of or expand existing infrastructure. For example, a granary might be sufficient for storing food for a smaller city but a larger one might need many more granaries. After the city's walls are built, new housing infrastructure would be built outside of the existing walls, and based on the number of houses that are built outside (and any additional buildings) the cost of expanding the walls would increase. (The cost of building the walls should be based on the size of the city).

    To the point made earlier about cities automating production, I think this is paramount. These are things that are fundamentally not handled by the government (except in some forms of communism...). I expect the AI would have to be doing this automatically as well, so the code to make those decisions should exist anyway, right?
    Gedemon likes this.
  3. Gedemon

    Gedemon Modder Moderator

    Oct 4, 2004
    I agree on some kind of automation, using a governor building and AI coding, that's still planned. (but with some limits, too much automation may remove player's decisions)

    Currently the housing system has two purposes:
    - allow the player to control (a bit, see previous posts !) population growth (to prevent disease, revolutions, etc... when those will be implemented)
    - allow the player to control (even less...) social stratification

    For the first point, I may try to create a setting page in cities using fake buildings, one of those could be "stop city growth" (could be linked to inter-cities migrations mechanisms), it's in my list of things to test.

    For the later, replacement will require the "activity types" to be coded with the rural/urban separation.

    Wall's protection (or lack of) for building is a good concept, but may be a bit complex to code, I'll think about it.
    Knasp likes this.
  4. Knasp

    Knasp Chieftain

    Sep 10, 2011
    Since writing that post I've been reading a book about slavery, so I'll share my thoughts on what I've gathered so far. My short answer would be that civilians captured would generally be enslaved, but that this would depend on which nationalities, cultures and religions involved. The usual exceptions to this would be if the conflict was a civil war or if the warring Civ's share a common religion (that has banned the enslavement of their followers).

    Longer answer
    It appears that slavery is first attested in advanced civilizations like Sumer and ancient Egypt, c.4000-3000 BC. While the most common source of slaves were impoverished/indebted people, the second most common source of slaves were foreigners who were enslaved by force, i.e. civilians taken in raids, as well as prisoners of war. Most slaves throughout history haven't been used as forced labour, in productive enterprises such as agriculture/plantations, mining etc. But rather most slaves were put to work in rich households, as servants to upper class families. In these first few millenia, slaves weren't generally used to construct infrastructure, wonders (like the pyramids), irrigation systems or row galleys. Those labours and public works were instead achieved through State-ordered forced labour of the free citizens (Corvée, Ilkum, etc). In order to have slave labour, the civilization in question needed to import a lot of slaves, either through warfare or by trading.

    In classical Greece, rich Athenians accumulated enough slaves to use them for mining, with examples of private slave-owners leasing their slaves, for this purpose.
    The Roman Republic (c. 500-30 BC) managed, through all their warring, to net a more or less constant influx of slaves, which in turn to reduced the costs enough to keep a lot of slaves and make large plantations profitable, for the emerging class of big land- and slave owners. But most slaves were still used by upper class people as household servants and tutors. In Athens, State-owned Scythian slaves were used as a police force (law enforcement) and later in Imperial Rome, the State-owned slaves were used to run the Empire's bureaucracy and Rome's water supply. Slaves were given similar tasks by Byzantine emperors and Islamic caliphs. The reason for this being that slaves were considered to be more loyal to the ruler, and less corruptible since they didn't have any family ties / relatives that they could benefit. Some islamic caliphates (among others) even started using foreign slaves as soldiers, the Mamluks being the prime example.

    In time, the religious leaders of Christianity and Islam condemned slavery of their own followers, for e.g. Pope John VIII's edict in 873. If we focus on Europe, in the following centuries, the enslavement of other Christian Europeans slowly declined until the late Medieval period. However, the enslavement of people with other religions and/or ethnicities remained for centuries, especially in southern Europe. Enslavement of Muslims and other non-combatants/non-europeans remained acceptable for a long time, even if it wasn't endorsed by the Church.

    An interesting example is Great Britain, where England more or less banned enslavement of Christians in the 1200s, yet it was only in the 1700s that they freed all their remaining slaves (blacks/non-christians) on the British isles. Slavery in the colonies however, remained an important part of the naval empires economy. It wasn't until 1833 that the Slavery Abolition Act was passed, banning slavery in the colonies.

    Then again, if we look at recent history, for e.g. WW2, we can take Germany as an example. The Germans used conquered nations' civilians and POW's as forced labour on a massive scale.

    Game-wise, considering the history, I'd say that captured civilians could be either enslaved, ransomed or freed, depending on the religion, social status of the captives, and other circumstances.
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
    Gedemon and dunkleosteus like this.

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