1. We have added a Gift Upgrades feature that allows you to gift an account upgrade to another member, just in time for the holiday season. You can see the gift option when going to the Account Upgrades screen, or on any user profile screen.
    Dismiss Notice

Timelines, Dates and Eras

Discussion in 'Civ4 - Caveman 2 Cosmos' started by Praetyre, Jan 20, 2012.

  1. Praetyre

    Praetyre King

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    942
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    NOTE: The plan listed here has since been revised, and is included strictly for legacy purposes. See the actual, current plan in post #30.

    This is a topic I have raised in the past, and one that I feel possesses significant implications for gaming pace and differentiation of gameplay "style" between the eras, as well as providing a sense of historical progress through this mod's labyrinthine tech tree, which eclipses even the glory that was Call to Power II in it's sheer scope and imagination. Prose aside, here's the scoop:

    In my opinion, a roughly equal amount of turns should be allocated to all of the game's eras, irregardless of game speed and irregardless of the actual amount of time each era took up (else one might as well make the Prehistoric thousands of times longer than the Modern) historically. Nonetheless, in the interest of providing the aforementioned sense of historical progress and improving the general atmosphere and realism of the mod, I believe that the differentiations in turn time intervals should correspond to eras and that the amount of time allocated to in-game eras should accurately correspond to some degree with the chronological periods these eras historically covered.

    To start with, we need to establish the periods of time each in-game technological era actually represented, by looking at both the general "feel" and aesthetic of that era and at the representative technologies within it. For instance, the "Modern" era obviously represents the post-WWII world, with it's first branching technologies being Radar and Computers. Others, particularily Ancient, Transhuman and Space, are more ambiguous in their boundaries, but with some discussion and some analysis of authorial intent I think we can ferret out where these eras sit in C2C's chronology of human history.

    After this, we will need to set a baseline length in game and chronological terms for each era (preferably starting with Eternity speed and going downwards from there, due to the nature of this mod and the fact that starting with Normal would force us to go in two directions for our planning), and try to ensure that, on that speed, technological development and population growth (though much of this would necessitate the smoothing out of the agricultural and implementation of the plagues and diseases system DH and Hydro have discussed in the past) proceeds at a speed congruent with these parameters.

    It should be noted that this discussion is entirely seperate from that of Mr. Hydromancerx's project to create "sub-eras" to encompass alternate histories and lost technologies such as steam or cyber-punk. Such eras are neatly bracketed by their point of historical divergence, and as such need no such differentiation.

    Without further ado, here is my "rough draft" concept of what the different eras in C2C represent;

    Prehistoric (200,000 BC-6000 BC)

    Obviously, any given "start" to this era is going to be relatively arbitrary, but I think 200,000 BC is somewhat of a "safe" choice, given that (AFAIK) this is the date to which the earliest anatomically modern humans can be traced, and the sheer uncertainity over the origin (much less the actual date) of language frustrates any attempt to pinpoint this era with even a marginal degree of accuracy. I am also open to 50,000 BC (once my own personal suggestion on the matter due to the Problem of Toba until Thunderbrd persuaded me otherwise) or for ending this era in 12,000 or 10,000 BC instead, a matter I shall discuss more thouroughly in my analysis of the Ancient era.

    With 1000 turns allocated to this era under nearly all of my proposals, that works out to 194 years per turn. A somewhat weird number, but a necessary weirdness given that the Ancient era is going to start 2000 BC at the absolute latest, and 198 is just as assymetrical and nonlinear as 194. You'd actually be pretty surprised how fast this era goes by on my autoplay tests- I'd say that on a GEM with a dozen civs it takes 45-90 minutes at most. Still, I think this baseline gives a pretty good representation of the new features this era brings to the table and hopefully proves to be a solid introduction to the intricacies of nomadic gameplay in future versions.

    Ancient (6000-2000 BC)

    By far the most difficult of the eras to place, this period could variously be described as the Neolithic with it's accompanying agricultural Revolution, the protohistorical Chalcolithic (Copper) Age, ala Empire Earth, the Bronze Age or an admixture thereof. My solution to this chronological conundrum is to "split" this era into two uneven parts, timewise, with the first era lasting 250 turns with each turn covering 16 years (this representing the Copper Age of 6000-2000 BC) and the second era lasting 750 turns, with each turn covering 2 years, representing the Bronze age of 2000-500 BC. Of course, the actual Bronze and Iron Working technologies themselves come right next to each other, but historically many Mesopotamian societies, such as the Assyrians, discovered iron centuries before Europeans did. The term "Bronze Age" is used in more a cultural than a strict technological sense, in much the same way one would not describe Liao Dynasty China as a Renaissance society despite it's utilization of gunpowder, or medieval Korea in the same way for possessing hwacha, one would not and could not count Assyria and the Neo-Chaldean Babylonian Empire as part of the period called "classical antiquity".

    As mentioned above, I am open to the notion of beginning this era in 10 or 12,000 BC, given the kickstarter technologies of megalithic construction and livestock domestication can all be dated reliably to the Neolithic. Part of me is tempted to suggest that the first half of this era be merged into Prehistoric, but it's lacking for technologies as is and I've been told the early eras, particularily the Prehistoric, have been set in stone (no pun intended) already. Part of the problem is that unlike Classical antiquity, much of this era, especially pre-2000 BC, is only known about in general terms (i.e. the Middle Kingdom lasted from XX to YY and had Kings Suchandsuch through XY and XZ) rather than in more specific technological or political terms. At the same time though, this very mysterious nature is a big reason why this era needs differentiation from Classical in the first place. Decisions, decisions...

    Classical (500 BC-500)

    An easy one, and not even that Eurocentric either- the 500s BC were the time of Confucius, Buddha and Lao Tzu as well as Socrates, Aristotle and Plato, while the 500s AD saw the beginning of Japan's Asuka period, the reunification of China under the Sui Dynasty and the Classic Period of the Maya. This period is a simple 1000 turns, 1 year per turn regime. The only snag is the dating of Christianity, but;
    A: I don't see technologies as absolute hard and fast limits in our chronology individually, more like pieces of a greater whole that forms the framework of our historically-based simulation. I can easily handle civs dipping a little ahead in their tech tree at the expense of earlier tech projects, much like the Assyrians with Iron Working or the Chinese with Gunpowder.
    B: Technologies discovery and widespread usage are distinctly different. The theoretical underpinnings of steam power and electricity have existed for centuries, if not millenia, but only very recently were they actually exercised and put into practical applications. You can similarly compare the 15 year time lapse between the completion of the Manhattan Project and the first municipal nuclear power plant, or the various items on the space shuttle that would later go on to become common household items. In this way, "Theology" gives us somewhat of a clue; the formulation of a proper religious coda and body of beliefs. The Bible was not even completed until a centry after the birth of Christ, and it would take many centuries of debate among the early Christian sects and Church Fathers, along with Constantine's legalization and adoption of it, until most Christians could come to an agreement on the basic tenets and principles of their religion.

    I think this dating is solid, and it'd take quite a persuasive argument to sway me otherwise. I'm always open to new ideas though, so don't hesitate to point out any errors I may have made in any of my assessments, historical or otherwise.

    Medieval (500-1500)

    This was the subject of some internal debate, though only over it's end date rather than it's start. I'll go into more detail in my description of Renaissance. Otherwise, this era's dead easy; just like Classical, it'll be 1000 turns, 1 year per turn.

    Renaissance (1500-1850)

    This one is tricky at both ends; a decent case can be made for starting this era anywhere from 1300 (it's start in Italy) to 1600 (the Age of Exploration and all that). It possesses a far more mild form of the Ancient era's problem in encompassing multiple real life time periods; that of the Renaissance, Age of Discovery and Age of Reason. The major differences between those eras are in relation to foreign colonies and social-techs, though, while the fundamental technologies and styles of warfare remain largely the same, simply refining themselves over time. I originally went with 1400 as a compromise, but someone provided me a compelling argument for 1500- the sheer power of the Printing Press as the Internet of it's day, and it's role in the Reformation. That's pushed me over to the 1500-camp for now, but as always, my mental door is ajar.

    Such a time period works out to 1400 turns, 3 months per turn, an attempt of mine to more greatly emphasize the role of seasons and the change of pace to medieval life the new technologies of this era presented. The multiple "suberas" also provide a fairly compelling reason to lengthen this period IMHO. It's also partly a product of the fact that an 1000-turn era doesn't work well for subyear intervals, especially for such an awkward to divise number as 350.

    Industrial (1850-1950)

    I originally had this one starting at 1800, but I guess my somewhat limited knowledge of 19th century history betrayed me on this one. Electricity, Assembly Lines, Marxism... all things that quite firmly had their day post 1850. Again, this era is somewhat split, between that of the Industrial Revolution (not just a Euromerican thing, either- look at the Meiji Restoration in Japan for an analagous adaptation) and that of the Wars to End All Wars. Past this point, Eurocentrism isn't an issue anymore, due to Globalization and whatnot. I feel a fortnight is quite a fair change of pace from a month per turn, and so we get 2600 turns, 2 weeks per turn. The unevenness of the Gregorian calendar (a Metric one would certainly solve this conundrum) forces me to adopt such a dreadfully uneven date. The longest of all the eras (and one of the longest of the paragraphs :p), but like Renaissance, it's covering broad tracts, and what revolutionary and transformative tracts they are!

    An important query: I know the Civ IV engine can handle sub-month turn intervals, but has this or would it be easy to implement this into C2C? I imagine it would be so, given it's cosmetic nature, but for all I know our calendar is bound up in some techno-voodoo that would put the Maya to shame.

    Modern (1950-2000)
    Pretty straightforward as far as eras go; it's scheme is the same as Industrial, but halved, giving us 1300 turns, 2 weeks per turn.

    Transhuman (2000-2050)
    Anything past this point is going to be pretty arbitrary, but 2050 is as good a date as any, and feels reasonably distant in the future, but near enough that you can foresee some of it's technological developments (quantum teleportation, biofuels, cloning) in their early stages already, much like how the cannon of the late Middle Ages foreshadowed the invention of the arquebus. Same time and same intervals as Modern, so; 1300 turns, 2 weeks per turn.

    Space (2050-2150)
    Arbitrary, but it meshes nicely with the previous era's end date. This era is tied with Industrial for length, at 2600 turns, 2 weeks per turn, but I don't see any reason that the pace of life would slow down in this age, and lengthening this era gives the player the ability to fully appreciate it's new features (in future versons, of course).

    That adds up to 11,800 turns. I had originally aimed for 10 or 12,000, but 10,000 runs into problems at the end with Space, and I can't find a good place to fit an extra 200 turns in this timeline. Snail would be 5500 (account for the effects of the fortnight-month switch), with all non-submonthly era lengths halved and intervals doubled, Marathon would be 2250 and so on and so forth. Naturally, the factors in the game speed file would have to be properly scaled to account for this as well.
     
  2. AIAndy

    AIAndy Deity

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,420
    We can control the turn to time conversion. Some easy changes should do the job here.

    Are there too many techs in Industrial that prevent 1300 turns with a month a turn?

    I would suggest to smoothen the transitions between the different turn times which would also allow you to avoid the weird turn time in the prehistoric era by starting higher and ending lower.
     
  3. BlueGenie

    BlueGenie Emperor

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2009
    Messages:
    1,575
    Hi. I like your suggestion, it's well thought-out and comprehensive. I do however not quite agree with Prehistoric's starting date. That the first anatomically modern humans are from 200'000BC is probably right but starting at that date would also mean that all civs start at the same place and split from there.

    If you allow for some years for humanity to diversify and spread out in the world before launching the game it's more realistic to have human tribes all over the world.

    A good date to start I think would be 50'000BC instead (or rather 52'000). Humans will have spread out and diversified a bit and with 50 years/turn (start 52'000, end 2'000BC, 1'000 turns) you get a better number to use as well as following AIAndy's suggestion of smoothing the turn time transitions some.

    Cheers.
     
  4. SouthernKing

    SouthernKing crickety cricket

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Messages:
    6,914
    Location:
    Deva Loka
    I like this, but also feel that Industrial, Transhuman, and Galactic could still be 1300 turns, a month per turn.
     
  5. Dancing Hoskuld

    Dancing Hoskuld Deity

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2004
    Messages:
    23,540
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    Very well thought out. I a not convinced that prehistoric -> classical era technologies are set in stone. I have a few that I would like.

    I don't play with the Advance Economics mod on. It has extra techs. I assume this will affect stuff.
     
  6. ls612

    ls612 Deity Moderator

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2008
    Messages:
    8,072
    Location:
    America
    Thanks for thinking out and posting a detailed reasoning for the new era lengths. That was one of the things I was thinking of working on, but never tried due to laziness. :)

    I am fully in favor of this new era system being implemented, assuming it is as easy as AIAndy makes it out to be.
     
  7. Rasma

    Rasma Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    146
    Personally I hardly pay attention to dates, I use a more abstract approach of just guesstimating the passage of time based on events. It is really hard to get a proper timing in for everything that goes on, for instance, in my latest game, I went from the classical to the medieval era, but it was still taking me about the same amount of time to do things, because statistically nothing increased, it is odd to have the passage of time changed when the variables do not, at least to me, in simpler terms, I find it illogical to say that going from Classical to Medieval would have sped up my research time.
    Though I do like the idea of forcing eras to update after a specific time, I also see a problem if you have new world civs enabled, because being in the era speeds up research if I am not mistaken.
    I would, personally prefer to see it defined by who you know is highest in the tech race, IE you are Aztecs, you are in the classical era, some Spaniards show up and start shooting the place up, it advances you to the age they are in (lets say Renaissance) So then you can catch up to them faster, but it is trying to fill the gap rather then rewarding you for dinking around and not going for the ages. On the other hand, if you rush for the ages, you just make it easier for everyone you know to catch up.
     
  8. Necratoid

    Necratoid Warlord

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2011
    Messages:
    233
    You do realize you just argued that If I run into some random podunk Civ that spammed units until :science: spiraled off into oblivian and hasn't managed to leave the prehistoric era... and I'm in transhuman era... that they should spontaniously jump to the modern era because I looked at them funny?
     
  9. Rasma

    Rasma Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    146
    Not at all, if you read what I posted, all it says is that they would research to catch up to you faster, due to their age change being forced. Do you actually read what I post? Because almost everything you post towards me is hostile, and I do not appreciate it
     
  10. Stormwind

    Stormwind King

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2008
    Messages:
    697
    Tech Diffusion (IIRC its still there) lowers the problem of having a Civ far behind. It doesn't give beakers directly but gives a bonus to research.
     
  11. Rasma

    Rasma Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    146
    Indeed and I am not arguing for or against diffusion, what I am saying is that, the idea for this I like but I would prefer to see it inputted in a different manner, they could work side by side, the changing age should automatically make research in that age and earlier cheaper, if I remember how core civ4 functions, well tech diffusion makes research that others know that you don't cheaper, it would just need to be made sure to be properly balanced out.
     
  12. Praetyre

    Praetyre King

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    942
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    Good to know, thanks. The actual turn-interval job is a very easy one, it's the addition of the "weeks" factor (since even year long turns are reckoned in months in the game speed files) that had me worried. If it can be done without causing C2C's coding to do a Jenga, I'm all for it; there's wider applications such a system could have for, say, specialized historical scenarios.

    That would actually be 1200 turns, due to the less than perfect symmetry of the Gregorian calendar. It has nothing to do with tech volume, which is easily offset by :science: cost adjustments. My earlier plans do have it as 1200 turns; I just felt it would be easier to have a 12k turn plan than a 10k one due to the greater ease in folding multiples of twelves into said calendar.

    Plus, said era was quite an eventful one from a historical perspective, covering the Second Industrial Revolution, the apex of the British Empire, the Wild West, the Meiji Restoration, the fall of the Qing Dynasty with the ensuing Chinese Civil War, the Scramble for Africa and both World Wars. Thus, I figured that this era was practically worth two eras in the sheer breadth of technologies covered, and that it'd be a good place to spend some of my extra 2000 turns.

    I assume you mean in terms of turns per era? A big part of my goals is to give equal gametime to each era, as in my own civ games I often felt somewhat disappointed by how quickly the, say, Classical era flew by in comparison to the Prehistoric. From an absolutist historical perspective that would be accurate, but that doesn't take into account the fact that the pace of life steadily increases with the pace of technology; a century ago, an 80 day global circumnavigation was considered an amazing feat; nowadays, even heavy cargo ships could best that a dozen times over. So, I felt that along with gameplay considerations, there were good realism reasons to equalize era length as well.

    That is a very good point, and I was surprised no one raised it in my initial discussion of the shift in the suggestions thread. I originally had 50,000 BC as the start date because I felt 12,000 would not give proper representation to the Paleolithic and because of the aforementioned Problem of Toba, where a supervolcanic eruption c. 70,000 BC created a bottleneck in human evolution. One could also mention Adam and Eve, but that'd be a tad redundant as far as genealogical argumentation goes.

    One could also suggest that the starting civs represent different hominid species and that C2C follow multiregionalism, but that might be a tad too much on the obscure anthropological side for a cosmetic starting date. Leaving aside that you'd actually need a 56,000 BC starting date for even turn times of that sort to work with my model, I'm not sure turn time "evenness" is that big an issue. Past Prehistoric and the first quarter of Ancient, all the remaining eras have nice round, even and divisible transition times to go with, and the eras depicted by Prehistoric and quarter-Ancient are pre and protohistoric anyway, so dates are largely meaningless in that context.
     
  13. Rasma

    Rasma Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    146
    Honestly I like that idea even if it is not 100% true this is at it's core a work of fiction and things that have a hint or flavor of truth should not be dumped if they can add to the experience.
     
  14. Hydromancerx

    Hydromancerx C2C Modder

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    16,281
    Location:
    California, USA
    I would have to disagree with the multiregionalism. Can't we just say that before you start the game that humans existed and spread to other regions of the map but all originated from the same beginning population?

    I mean once the nomad stuff gets put in this will even me more believable that your one of many nomadic tribes which left their homeland to see a new place to live. Especially if you use the "Culturally Linked Starts" setting that places similar civs near each other.
     
  15. AIAndy

    AIAndy Deity

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2011
    Messages:
    3,420
    That is not what I meant.
    I meant the time that passes in one turn. Example: In prehistoric it is 194 years per turn, in ancient 16 years per turn. That means that when you get to 6000BC, there is a large jump.
    So I suggest to smoothen it. Start with 300 years or more per turn in early prehistoric but get down to maybe 50 turns per year near 6000BC then start with 30 years per turn in ancient and so on. All that without changing the turns per era.
     
  16. Rasma

    Rasma Warlord

    Joined:
    Sep 7, 2007
    Messages:
    146
    That I would agree with, that is why I suggested the abstraction methodology, but if you want to have specific dates to turns Perhaps move the start date up If you move it upto 100,000 bc it is still 94 ypt, Can I ask how you came out to 1000 turns for this era? The only other solution I can think of is to lengthen it the problem is, even starting at 100,000 bc and doing 32 ypt I come to almost 2000 turns, so there needs to be a comprise on start date, turns for the era, or Years Per Turn
    The other option I see is divide it up, perhaps have the early prehistory, and then the Neolithic Revolutions as two parts of prehistory
    You could then do it like this
    200000-100000 bc 250 turns 400 ypt 100000-6000bc 750 turns 125 ypt Then it is exponentially decreasing and it will not seem as odd to see a sudden drop, though I am not sure how aesthetically pleasing it will be
     
  17. Praetyre

    Praetyre King

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    942
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    I came up with 1000 turns partly due to the fact that was the original "default" era length in my timeplan (which was 10k turns) and also because 194 is a very difficult number to factorise- the only possibilities are having Prehistoric be 1 ypt (thus 194,000 turns long), 2 ypt (97,000), 97 (2000) or the present 194 (1000).

    One could always shift Ancient's start back to 10k (as mentioned, it has Neolithic elements in it), which would leave us with 1 ypt (190,000), 2 ypt (95,000), 5 ypt (38,000), 10 ypt (19,000), 19 ypt (10,000), 38 ypt (5000), 95 ypt (2000) or 190 ypt (1000).

    With a 50k BC start date, we either get;
    Ancient 6k: 1 ypt (44,000), 2 ypt (22,000), 4 ypt (11,000), 11 ypt (4000), 22 ypt (2000) or 44 ypt (1000)
    Ancient 10k: 1 ypt (40,000), 2 ypt (20,000), 4 ypt (10,000), 5 ypt (8000), 8 ypt (5000), 10 ypt (4000), 20 ypt (2000) or 40 ypt (1000).

    I'm open to any of these dates (50k is the estimated date of human behavioral modernity, so it doesn't suffer any arbitrariness disadvantages like 100 or 150k would), and I could always trim back Space to 2050-2100 to make room for a double-length Prehistoric. Of course, then you've got to deal with the first quarter of the Ancient era...

    6000 BC: 1 ypt (6000), 2 ypt (3000), 4 ypt (1000), 5 ypt (800), 10 ypt (400) or 16 ypt (250)
    10,000 BC: 1 ypt (8000), 2 ypt (4000), 4 ypt (2000), 5 ypt (1600), 8 ypt (1000), 10 ypt (800), 16 ypt (500), 20 ypt (400), 25 ypt (320) or 32 ypt (250)

    And it gets even better with the other 75% of Ancient, 2000-500 BC;
    1 ypt (1500), 2 ypt (750), 3 ypt (500) and 4 ypt (250), just to name a few. Let's not even go into subyear increments (assuming the bug regarding having them in BC years has been fixed by AIAndy's talented hand).
     
  18. strategyonly

    strategyonly C2C Supreme Commander

    Joined:
    Mar 13, 2006
    Messages:
    20,573
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    MN
    This is a very very very much needed subject, and someone that REALLY knows what is going on and how to correct the impervious display that is now there.:eek:
     
  19. Hydromancerx

    Hydromancerx C2C Modder

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    16,281
    Location:
    California, USA
    One thing I have noticed when playing is one can have various lengths of eras. If you say did every tech row by row in order you will reach the next era much slower than if you beeline through an era. We could force choke points into the game but many of the techs just don't make sense to force you to take before the end of an era, but do make sense to take before another tech later in the tree.
     
  20. Praetyre

    Praetyre King

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2009
    Messages:
    942
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Auckland, New Zealand
    That's a good point, but by era length, I'm not talking strict "how much time does it take to get from Language to Livestock Domestication" here; I'm talking how much time it takes to research all of the techs in an era (excluding a couple "optional" ones like elephant riding or megafauna domestication, of course). That's the point I was making when I referred to the way in which I am using the term Bronze and Iron Age; not to refer in absolute terms (be it in Civ terms or real life ones) to when the first tool was made out of these materials, but as shorthand references for particular historical periods noted by widespread usage of said materials, much like how one might call the Renaissance the "Age of Gunpowder" despite the fact that even the Europeans used cannons for centuries before, let alone the Koreans with their hwacha or the Chinese with their civilian fireworks.
     

Share This Page