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What Can Civ VII Learn From Humankind and other games?

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I'm putting this here and not on the part of the Forum dedicated to Humankind despite the Amplitude title in the Thread title, because I want to focus on what can be adapted, rejected, modified, stolen or otherwise found useful specifically for Civ VII. And I'm focusing on Civ VII because I don't want the discussion to be constrained by what is possible with the Civ VI mechanics and game engine.

Having played about 6 games of the Humankind Victor Open Dev, I've got a better 'feel' now for what works and what doesn't in that game which prompted this in the first place.

First, I absolutely DO NOT think that Civ should simply copy anything from Humankind. Aside from little matters of legality under copyright/trademark law, the two games have very different basic concepts, and even the most enjoyable part of one game will not translate to the other game without modifications.

Case in point:
Humankind allows you to change Factions up to 6 times in the game, whereas Civ has always had you play One Civ, One Leader from start to finish. Civ has built on this concept of theirs by throwing a massive amount of resources into making the One Leader fully-animated, voice-actored character in its own right, whereas Humankind presents you with 'avatars' that are pretty generic and not tied to the individual Civs/Factions at all.
So, keeping Civs' Leaders, how do we get the chance to modify our Civ in-game to cope with changing in-game conditions? IF I start playing a Civ that is all characteristic (Unique) attributes and units from the Ancient or Classical Eras (Egypt, Sumer, Qin's China) how do I open up my ability to modify that Civ when faced with, say, a Modern Era major war?

Right now, Civ VI provides Uniques that are tied to the Civ and others tied to the Leader - which allows scope for Alternate Leaders, but that doesn't mean you can 'alternate' during a game, you just start out with a slightly different set of Uniques for your Civ. Providing a whole range of Alternate Leaders you can adopt during the game is simply impossible given the amount of resources required for each one.
However -
What if the Leader remains the same, but the Unique attached to that Leader can change during the game? You pick, perhaps, from a set of characteristics provided that are either historically semi-accurate or appropriate to the Ancient/Starting Era, but under certain conditions, you may attach different Uniques to your Leader later in the game. These might replace or augment what you started with (I like the continuity of augmenting rather than replacing, and it makes more sense if we are maintaining the 'Immortal Leader' as at least the figurehead of our Civ)
We might have a historical Attribute for a Leader that is appropriate for his/her time and place in History - Ancient for Hatshepset of Egypt, Renaissance/Early Modern for Phillip of Spain, Modern for Adenauer of Germany, etc. IF the Leader chosen is not contemporary with the start of the game, there could be a set of Uniques available from which to choose that are appropriate for the given Era. Adenauer could start out as a religious megalomaniac Tomb Builder, or Roosevelt as a pastoral tribal raider. The 'generic' Uniques available could be tied to the Leader's later ability or his/her historical character/ability (or what we think we know of it) or they could be completely generic, allowing considerable leeway to the gamer. I personally like the idea of having both: you can embrace the fantasy or the historical at your whim.

That's for a start. Other points of discussion I'd suggest are:

1. Maps: Humankind's are drop-dead gorgeous, but don't show the infrastructure on the map. How can we keep the gorgeous and also keep the on-map visibility of structures and infrastructure that we've come to expect from Civ VI?
2. Combat: In a nutshell, 1UPT, 1UPT modified, or Tactical Battles with stacks and all the trimmings? Humankind's tactical battles are intriguing and open up possibilities for all kinds of 'tactical attributes' for unit types, but no question, they are almost by definition Micromanagement.
3. City Management: Civ's Builders versus Humankind's automatic exploiting of surrounding tiles, regions versus individual tiles, 'generic' or near-generic Districts versus very specific District/Quarter types, etc.
4. Victory Conditions and Types: Civ has lots, Humankind has exactly one, but several ways to get to it. We've batted around Victory types in these forums for ages, maybe it's time to Simplify?
5. Resources: Humankind requires multiple types for some Units, Civ requires 'stockpiles' of amounts to build, both tie resources to Trade but Humankind has a lot of additional benefits from specific resources besides generic Luxury, Gold, Food, etc. How complicated do we like or want it?
6. Tech Tree: Humankind basically goes back to the Civ V and earlier type of 'complex' multi-Tech tree, compared to Civ VI's 'bare bones' tree with Eurekas. Is there a way to get the best of both, or do we think both types suck like a starving leach and want to try something new - we can ring in other games' examples here, like the 'tech bush' of BE or the Blind Tech of SMAC.
7. Civics/Social Policies. Civ VI separates them, Humankind has a lot fewer, but each requires a decision that 'moves' your Faction in one direction or the other. Humankind has a whole bunch of 'triggered' decisions that range from temporary one-city bonuses or maluses to more permanent changes in your Civ/Faction. Again, how complex do we really want to go? The Humankind system reminds me a lot of the EU "Events and Decisions" random events, which was Modded into Civ V and maybe deserves another look for Civ VII in some form.
 
At least for the start of the game it would be cool if each civ was designated to start with something such as a free technology, revealed resource, unit etc. I think that could work even with about 50 to 60 civs as long as they do enough research. At least that's how they did it in Civ Rev. They also got a bonus every two eras but that might be too much.

For example America started off with a free random Great Person, probably to depict how the country was founded by a number of great people, the Founding Fathers.
Other examples:
Greece could start the game with Democracy/Classical Republic as a government type.
China could start the game with niter revealed.
Egypt could start the game with a free builder. In Civ Rev they started with a free Ancient Era world wonder but that might be too much? :mischief:
 
At least for the start of the game it would be cool if each civ was designated to start with something such as a free technology, revealed resource, unit etc. I think that could work even with about 50 to 60 civs as long as they do enough research. At least that's how they did it in Civ Rev. They also got a bonus every two eras but that might be too much.

For example America started off with a free random Great Person, probably to depict how the country was founded by a number of great people, the Founding Fathers.
Other examples:
Greece could start the game with Democracy/Classical Republic as a government type.
China could start the game with niter revealed.
Egypt could start the game with a free builder. In Civ Rev they started with a free Ancient Era world wonder but that might be too much? :mischief:

Assuming we start the game as a Civ and not as a 'pre-Civ' wandering tribe the way Humankind does, a 'starting bonus' could be inherent, earned, or based on your starting position/terrain.
For instance, China might start with Irrigation tech, and the ability to immediately start planting Rice (bonus Food on tiles) along river/river floodplain tiles, representing the riverine basis for early Chinese settlement and the early population growth.
Greece, if it starts on the coast (or reaches it in the first turn(s)) might immediately get a Boating tech that allows their non-military units (Settlers, Builders/Workers) to travel over water to visible islands - representing the fact that the Aegean Islands were settled by people by 7 - 6000 BCE, before the nominal start of game. Another Civ in the same situation might have a choice of getting a Fishing tech to exploit the coastal waters.

Civs might have 'Starting Biases' rather than outright gifts: Egypt a bonus towards Masonry or Stoneworking technologies, for instance.

Personalized Tech Trees would get pretty complex pretty fast. If the game includes, say, a starting 18 Civs, that's 18 complete or at least semi-original different Tech Trees, and, frankly, even one Tech Tree, properly balanced, is tough to design.

On the other hand, the current Civ VI Eurekas system was another of those Great Ideas, Lousy Implementation that Civ VI is full of. Have Eurekas based on starting terrain/climate/geography, interactions with neighbors or all kinds, events and actions actually related to the desired Tech, starting biases inherent or chosen, and each Civ could wind up with a different 'most lucrative line of research' that would be different not only among Civs, but even with the same Civ in a different starting/game situation.
 
Greece, if it starts on the coast (or reaches it in the first turn(s)) might immediately get a Boating tech that allows their non-military units (Settlers, Builders/Workers) to travel over water to visible islands - representing the fact that the Aegean Islands were settled by people by 7 - 6000 BCE, before the nominal start of game. Another Civ in the same situation might have a choice of getting a Fishing tech to exploit the coastal waters.
Maybe is better to save early sea exploration and island colonization to any form of "Indonesian" or "Polynesian" civs. Greece have many others possible designs to use about science and civic eurekas, culture and militar discipline. Personally I would like Greeks to be eurekas civ, even is was already used since others elements would be better options for others civs.

Still Greeks could start with Marble as a resourse to add bonus to both culture and civics. While Egyptians could start with Limestone (faster/cheaper wonders) or Papyrus (bonus for dynastic!? mechanic).
 
Assuming we start the game as a Civ and not as a 'pre-Civ' wandering tribe the way Humankind does, a 'starting bonus' could be inherent, earned, or based on your starting position/terrain.
For instance, China might start with Irrigation tech, and the ability to immediately start planting Rice (bonus Food on tiles) along river/river floodplain tiles, representing the riverine basis for early Chinese settlement and the early population growth.
Greece, if it starts on the coast (or reaches it in the first turn(s)) might immediately get a Boating tech that allows their non-military units (Settlers, Builders/Workers) to travel over water to visible islands - representing the fact that the Aegean Islands were settled by people by 7 - 6000 BCE, before the nominal start of game. Another Civ in the same situation might have a choice of getting a Fishing tech to exploit the coastal waters.
As interesting as that sounds how would that work if say you are England and happen to start in or near a desert or tundra away from the coast? Then again maybe that could be exploited with a bonus that Australia or Canada might get considering they are Anglophone countries. :lol:

Maybe is better to save early sea exploration and island colonization to any form of "Indonesian" or "Polynesian" civs. Greece have many others possible designs to use about science and civic eurekas, culture and militar discipline. Personally I would like Greeks to be eurekas civ, even is was already used since others elements would be better options for others civs.
I'd put Phoenicia/Carthage in the early sea exploration category as well.
 
I think that there should be three types of water tiles: Coastal, Sea, and Deep Ocean. Coastal should be navigable from the start of the game and would represent coastal waters where land is in sight almost constantly and very shallow seas like the Caribbean. Sea should represent more treacherous waters, where land can disappear and storms and rough seas require a more formidable vessel and planning as you will be out to sea for days at a time like the Baltic, Sea of Japan, or Med. Deep Ocean would represent the vary deep waters of the oceans between the continents. You will lose sight of land weeks or months at a time and requires extensive knowledge of navigation to know where you are going. A Polynesia, Maori, or Hawaiian civ should be able to traverse deep ocean from the start while several other sea going civs should have the ability to traverse sea from the beginning like the Norse, Greeks, or Phonecians.
 
I think that there should be three types of water tiles: Coastal, Sea, and Deep Ocean. Coastal should be navigable from the start of the game and would represent coastal waters where land is in sight almost constantly and very shallow seas like the Caribbean. Sea should represent more treacherous waters, where land can disappear and storms and rough seas require a more formidable vessel and planning as you will be out to sea for days at a time like the Baltic, Sea of Japan, or Med. Deep Ocean would represent the vary deep waters of the oceans between the continents. You will lose sight of land weeks or months at a time and requires extensive knowledge of navigation to know where you are going. A Polynesia, Maori, or Hawaiian civ should be able to traverse deep ocean from the start while several other sea going civs should have the ability to traverse sea from the beginning like the Norse, Greeks, or Phonecians.

Humankind, like Civ, only has coastal and deep water tiles, but frequently has Deep Water right next to land. This has been theorized (rationalized!) to represent 'treacherous' waters even close to shore.
On the other hand, we can distinguish between coast/shallow and ocean/deep water as now in Civ but with the additional, very important modifier of having land visible on the other side of X tiles of water: that gives you a boost/Eureka to find technical means to cross that water by whatever means necessary, using visual 'navigation' and disregarding the water depth.

Another point that was discussed in another thread is including Wind/water currents or patterns on the map, like the monsoon winds across the Indian Ocean that aided even open-ocean travel as far back as the Classical Era, or the 'prevailing winds' in other parts of the world that made some ocean navigation relatively easy - and going against them nearly impossible until the technology improved drastically.

As interesting as that sounds how would that work if say you are England and happen to start in or near a desert or tundra away from the coast? Then again maybe that could be exploited with a bonus that Australia or Canada might get considering they are Anglophone countries. :lol:

Any country/Civ in the game should have several potential Uniques from its own history as well as access to 'generic' Uniques - you choose based on the situation, and maybe some never get offered because of the situation.
England in the center of a continent won't get offered any 'naval' or 'sea going' Unique, but possibly an 'English' Unique related to Rule of Law, Billmen, Longbowmen, exploiting forest, marsh, 'fens', or a generic Unique based on desert, stone-working, riverine agriculture, or whatever is appropriate for their starting terrain. And if they get a city on the coast, they may get offered a more 'traditional' English naval Unique. Given that England and the English didn't have any particular affinity for seagoing until after Alfred, that would even be historical'!
 
The one core component of HK (man, every time I write that I think Heckler & Koch) that I have thought would be a good fit for Civilization - even before HK was announced - is making the game eras themselves more central to the game experience.

With R&F, we had a true era system built for the golden age/dark age mechanic. At the time i advocated for the idea that this idea was underutilized; that each era could itself become a minigame of competition against other players and yourself. While HK uses it for fame stars and culture switching, Civilization could certainly utilize mechanics like era score, golden/dark/normal ages, and things like social policies. A civ player might, at the start of a new era, be faced with choosing a challenge for themself - the dedication - and at the close of the era, your achievement from the dedication and overall could grant you some tiers of rewards. IE, maybe everyone picks a "capstone" social policy at the end of the era, or something, and golden age players can pick a better bonus or something. You could even have era specific competitions - the renaissance may look at who researched the most techs, the industrial at who built the most buildings, or something. Or who has the largest bank account at the end of the era.

But I think really honing in on that duality of absolute and relative competition, which is focused within one era, would really make for a more engaging experience. Especially if you need to partly compete against yourself - even if you are a world leader, you can't fall asleep at the wheel and coast to victory.

Just an idea.

I also like that HK limits the ability of the player to research too far ahead, but that's just personal. They use a hard limit, I advocate softer systems.
 
The one core component of HK (man, every time I write that I think Heckler & Koch) that I have thought would be a good fit for Civilization - even before HK was announced - is making the game eras themselves more central to the game experience.

With R&F, we had a true era system built for the golden age/dark age mechanic. At the time i advocated for the idea that this idea was underutilized; that each era could itself become a minigame of competition against other players and yourself. While HK uses it for fame stars and culture switching, Civilization could certainly utilize mechanics like era score, golden/dark/normal ages, and things like social policies. A civ player might, at the start of a new era, be faced with choosing a challenge for themself - the dedication - and at the close of the era, your achievement from the dedication and overall could grant you some tiers of rewards. IE, maybe everyone picks a "capstone" social policy at the end of the era, or something, and golden age players can pick a better bonus or something. You could even have era specific competitions - the renaissance may look at who researched the most techs, the industrial at who built the most buildings, or something. Or who has the largest bank account at the end of the era.

But I think really honing in on that duality of absolute and relative competition, which is focused within one era, would really make for a more engaging experience. Especially if you need to partly compete against yourself - even if you are a world leader, you can't fall asleep at the wheel and coast to victory.

Just an idea.

I also like that HK limits the ability of the player to research too far ahead, but that's just personal. They use a hard limit, I advocate softer systems.

To take the last first, I'm in favor of anything that keeps 'Research' from running away. The fact is, if groups were in contact they learned from each other constantly and it was very difficult for anyone to get substantially ahead in Science: China may have had cast iron tools centuries ahead of Europe, but the technology for forging steel and wrought iron was very nearly identical, and the iron stirrup spread from one end of the Eurasian continental mass in less than 300 years: nobody was meeting armored knights with lances, metal armor and stirrups with unarmored horsemen and javeins, as happens all too often in our games.
I'd suggest two mechanics are required, not just one.
First, researching an Era ahead should require a sharp increase in effort - doubling the Science cost would not be out of line, and would slow down the gamer trying to leap ahead. The other side of that, though, is that researching technologies from an Era behind should see a sharp drop in cost - maybe to half the normal Science cost per tech. Meiji Japan caught up from the late Medieval to the Industrial/Modern Era in less than 60 years: that should be possible in the game if you put in the effort. - and of course, the game should also model the cost in Social and Civic Unrest caused by massively changing the organization of production, coercion by the government, required schooling and new education, and disruption of the 'traditional' way of doing things.

Now as to what I call 'mini-games' within the game itself. I would like to see a system where you can set goals for your Civilization either by Era or more than one Era: things like the United States settling North America from Sea To Sea, building the Transcontinental or Trans-Siberian or Berlin to Baghdad railroad lines, etc.
In the Humankind Victor Open Dev, there are World Events that give you little bonuses: the map is a Terra-type, so first to discover the 'empty' continent gets a splash screen and a World Event. Being first to research Writing or Moveable Typeface (Printing, in Civ-speak) also gets a similar screen and World Event announcement, because those technologies changed the world dramatically. Call them, perhaps, Mini-Achievements, but they could be the basis for a set of Mini-Goals within one to several Eras.
 
What is the distribution of time spent on each of the points when playing Humankind? It's not too often that you spent large amount of time making a decision on each on of the points but your having to make a very large number of choices. I'll have not played Humankind but the video previews look like you spend more time because the decision are more permanent.
 
What is the distribution of time spent on each of the points when playing Humankind? It's not too often that you spent large amount of time making a decision on each on of the points but your having to make a very large number of choices. I'll have not played Humankind but the video previews look like you spend more time because the decision are more permanent.

I would say on average that Humankind presents you with more decisions/turn than Civ VI: on average, I was getting 3 - 8 Notifications each Turn by the middle (Turn 60+) of the Victor Open Dev games - but not all of those required any action on my part. Compared to Civ VI, it can appear a bit overwhelming, but I suspect part of that, for me at least, is the difference between 3200 hours of playing Civ VI and 30 or so hours playing all the Humankind Open Devs - many Civ VI decisions are practically 'automatic' by now, while I not only ponder the Humankind decisions but sometimes am taking notes on them off to the side (compiling, among other things, what are the Civics choices, the bonuses associated with the Resources, etc)

However, the 'permanence' of the decisions are less than they seem. On the one hand, you cannot go back and change any Civic choice, once made. BUT the Civics choices all fall under a few binary axis:
Liberty - Authority
Collectivism - Individualism
Tradition - Progress
Homeland - World
and there are several different individual choices that come up under each one, so that, to some extent, a later choice can 'move' your slider back from where your original choice left it.

In another example, the Factions in Humankind are somewhat more flexible and 'forgiving' than the AI opponents in Civ VI. In a couple of games I beat up one of my neighbors pretty badly at the start of the game, but left him independent. Two Eras later, and we have Trade and Non-Aggression Pacts and are swapping resources like a pair of Ferenghi, and by the late game (Turn 100+) I had Alliances in both cases. In other words, my impression so far is that Diplomatic decisions/choices are much more flexible in Humankind than in Civ.

I happen to think that's a Very Good Thing, given that we are supposedly playing a game of centuries: few nations hold a grudge that long, especially when everything else about the situation between them has changed.
 
Internal Management. Specifically cities and how they look and act.

Both Civ VI and Humankind 'spread out' their cities in Districts/Quarters in multiple tiles on the game map. That allowed Civ VI to also show just about every bit of infrastructure - buildings, monuments, etc - on the map. Humankind doesn't do that, which is a mistake IMHO but probably required because the game has a bewildering variety of constructions within the cities and pretty generic Quarters: I suspect the average gamer could be driven quite Mad trying to figure out where to stuff everything that's thrown at him to build.

Both games have adjacency bonuses to their Districts/Quarters: Civ VI a lot of terrain bonuses, many of which make only marginal sense, most Humankind bonuses are to other Quarters, reinforcing the idea of building a 'solid' city mass on the map.

The biggest fundamental difference is that Civ is based entirely on a flexible City Radius that expands during the game, while Humankind bases a city on a Region which is fixed at the start of game but an be 'merged' with other adjacent regions to make Super-sized Regions and therefore accommodate Supersized Cities.

I think given the trend, it's a pretty safe bet that Civ VII will feature an on-map City Layout of some kind, and I think it's almost as safe a bet that the layout will feature some kind of City Framework on the 'urban' tiles - Districts. Quarters, Neighborhoods, etc.

The Devil, as they say, is in the details.

I confess Civ VI's current system, to my historian/gamer's eye, produces really bad looking cities. They scatter all over the map, independent Districts that are most definable as representing separate towns and suburbs rather than part of a coherent Urban core. That's not a bad way to show a city and its environs, but the 'system' is not coherent or consistent: when you build 'city walls' they go around only the city core and any Encampment District No matter where it is in relation to the city core. Meanwhile, very important Districts (Industrial, Harbor, etc) that are adjacent to the city core remain unwalled and unprotected.
In addition, Civ strictly limits you to one District of a type per city. That, in turn, strictly limits the number of building that you can have in a city and makes meticulous planning of adjacency bonuses virtually the only way to increase the effects, since you cannot add anything to the Districts/map itself.
Humankind, in contrast, encourages massive City Sprawl. There is no limit to the number of Quarters(Districts) in a single city except the physical number of tiles available, and the fact that all but a few special types of Quarters have to be tied to the City Core by adjacency or a string of adjacent Quarters.
That means no matter how big it gets, the city still represents a solid Urban Mass. On the other hand, the late-game (even just in Renaissance) cities can be massive and ungainly creations with 20 or more Quarters, and end-game cities can, apparently, cover most of a continent.

What we want out of all this for a Perfect Compromise will probably never be 'perfect' for everyone. I suspect there are gamers out there thrilled at the idea of building a continent-wide city and others that want no restrictions on where they place a District/Quarter in relation to the rest of the city.

So, I'll just throw out my Ideals as a place to start debate.

1. I prefer the individual City Radius of Civ to the region concept, but with some differences from its current implementation. The radius should be much smaller than it is now in the early game, and should be based on Travel Times per tile rather than a fairly arbitrary X tiles from City Center as now. Your radius - tiles you can exploit for the city - should spread much further up and down rivers, up and down coasts with water transport, and will 'automatically' spread when you build roads (ala Civ VI's Cree UA), canals, railroads, and other transportation structures on tiles. You should have several options for 'rectifying' your borders between cities: forts that seize and hold territory, Villages, Towns, Hamlets, and other 'detached' or separate collections of citizens that nail down territory - and perhaps exploit terrain and resources for the central City.

2. I like the City Coherency of Humankind. Require City Districts to be part of, adjacent to, the rest of the city, and not detached at whim. Some Districts should be detachable, of course: Harbors representing 'port towns' like ancient Ostia, Mining, Farming, Plantation villages exploiting raw materials and sending them to the city. But the city itself will be all together, and so Walls will surround the entire city, and the bigger the city (number of Coherent Districts) the more you will pay to build - and maintain - the walls.

3. Technology will directly effect how big a city can spread out. Before carriages and animal transport for individuals (which really doesn't start until the beginning of the Industrial Era) eve the best road-building doesn't spread a city beyond what a person can walk in a few hours. In addition, the density of a city has technological limits: mud brick walls cannot be built more than about two stories without collapsing, fired brick more than 4, unreinforced cement/concrete more than 5. Until you can build steel-frame skyscrapers, that's as far 'up' as you can go to stack population in your city tiles, and the game should show that - both in the rules and graphically on the game map.

4. All building of things on the map is automatic in Humankind. No Builders or Workers show at all. This makes all Improvements and extractions require city production, or gold/money to buy, and all tiles adjacent to a Quarter are automatically exploited which makes a lot of Improvements in Civ terms automatic. BUT, except in where you place Quarters, it doesn't allow for trhe kind of emphasis you can get in Civ: place your Builders on certain tiles, those are the ones you will exploit while others remain idle. You can aim a city at Food, Production, or other output by what you build, as well as where you build it.
I'd like some of both:
Say, when you place a District, the inhabitants of that District are expected to automatically start working the surrounding tiles - but only some of them, and you pick which ones. IF the District has to be adjacent to another District, that gives you a maximum of 5 choices (assuming a hex tile map), but in t he Ancient/Classical/Medieval Eras the population density only allows you to, say, pick up to 2 tiles - unless you bring in a Builder. The Builder charges represent not only how much they can build in farms, pastures, mines, plantations, etc but also the people to work those. Later in the game, as density/tile increases (skyscrapers, wooden truss framed buildings, reinforced concrete structures, high-rises, etc) each District can automatically 'work' more adjacent tiles - and maybe even non-adjacent tiles as transportation/communication improves.

Basically, I want each city to be nearly infinitely changeable: all buildings subject to being replaced, what tiles around it are being worked subject to change with technology and population. You can automate much of the city growth (specify a Science, Production, Food city perhaps, because with railroads and modern transportation, those outputs will also be available to other connected cities) but if you so desire you can keep right on 'tweaking' your cities to the very end of the game.

5. I've posted my ideas about the Districts several times already: most districts will start as 'generic'. Their specialization (Commercial, Religious, Industrial, etc) will depend on what buildings go into them. Each District can hold 5 Building slots, but some (later) Buildings, like Factories or Universities, may take more than one 'slot'. ALL adjacency bonuses are by Building, not District. Cluster a bunch of Factories, Railroad terminal, Harbor structures together in the same or adjacent Districts, you build a potential Trade and Industry Powerhouse.
Many Wonders will also go inside the city, meaning inside a District: why put a Wonder cathedral, museum or library out in the countryside? Other Wonders, of course, have to go outside the city - It's hard to work traffic around Stonehenge or Maccu Pichu . . .
 
I am quite partial, so far, to the region mechanics of HK. It's a level of abstraction I think is very useful. (Imagine adding a continent system on top of that.. yum!)

The one thing I don't like is that cities get so much from their infrastructure vs the population. This largely derives from the immediate abundance of self-adjacencies. I do appreciate that you have to built out a continuous city, although I think in the Lucy open dev you could also use improved resource tiles as expansion points, and I know in both there is the "hamlet" or whatever they call it that can become a new node for expansion.

I do think some level of restriction that can rein in limitless sprawl early on would be nice - something to encourage actually establishing little hamlets and villages about the region. Thinking about civ, it would be amazing if you had a city center with some core infrastructure around it, some farms centered around "village" districts, slowly growing together... mmm. I also dislike the existence of farming quarters being so powerful if the whole land is covered in them. Like... where are the crops?
Food should probably not be quite so endlessly available. (One could imagine that the early 'hamlet' works the land around it, and is a key source of "housing," but you cannot build off of it. Later "towns" would allow this. This type of model would keep some of the map looking clean in the early-mid game, as your region relies on them to gather food and provide housing, while the city center agglomeration is slowly expanding and providing more advanced services like production and science.)

Many Wonders will also go inside the city, meaning inside a District: why put a Wonder cathedral, museum or library out in the countryside? Other Wonders, of course, have to go outside the city - It's hard to work traffic around Stonehenge or Maccu Pichu .
While in the past i have advocated for this, i think that tiles in general should have layers to handle infrastructure (canals, aqueducts, etc) and slots for both specialty buildings (workshop, factory, etc) and a slot to hold a category of things that would include wonders. You'd need to put a lot of work in the make such a flexible graphical system - what civ6 has is a mess - but it would mean the ultimate flexibility. I see no reason for a wonder to be a whole tile. The Ruhr valley can boost my industrial zone, I can slap the Eiffel tower in a neighborhood, some wonders could have urbanization built around them later...

I do think generally, as well, that economies should go from working land -> districts/buildings -> boosting specialists in terms of drivers of yields, with some yields being more hemmed to certain categories: food from the land, research from specialists. And obviously being able to mix those categories too for good gameplay.

The other thing is I'm not sure all tiles occupied by... a district... need to be specialized. A lot of them would likely just be housing/basic spaces. "This space doesn't do anything but hold workers" is fine.

I also think that one problem of districts is that you want to build them up over time, but this naturally leads to running out of things to do in the late game because you've already built them all. Therefore, I think some districts should be "upgradeable" - you can rebuild them into something both more powerful and with different rules to reshape your economy at key junctures. (Read: the industrial revolution.) This would cause things to look and play much differently.

I haven't worked out all of the math in my head yet but I can see the quantitative model of it all before me working well.
 
We are in general agreement - which is somewhat to be expected, because we've posted about a lot of this before in other contexts.

Agree: early cities should be very small in the 'map footprint' - most of the map should be occupied by single-tile hamlets, villages, small towns, or specialized mining, ranching, plantation centers. Later many of these should start to 'collect' population and grow, just as the cities will, until the landscape becomes in places a solid mass of urban-suburban development.

This is very similar to the Humankind model now, where separate Hamlets, Harbors, 'Extractors' (mines, etc) can also 'work' the tiles around them. The problem with the system is that there is absolutely no limit to the size of the city, even in the earliest part of the game, and that just wasn't true historically. The massive geographical expansion of cities should be impossible until the Industrial Era, and then you should see a huge expansion of size and population as both the ability to transport people and goods explodes and the ability to concentrate population (higher, denser housing) increases dramatically.

Wonders are not all the same size and I should have made that plain. The idea that Ruhr Valley or Angkor Wat, the first of which is an entire region and the second an entire city in its own right, should take up the same space as the Bolshoi Ballet, a single building, is ridiculous.

ALL buildings (except maybe Wonders) in Districts are replaceable and upgradeable. Look at the historical examples: dock area become gentrified housing in London and Baltimore, inner-city industrial lofts in New York City become an artist's district, the line of Renaissance city walls becomes a park or major boulevard artery (Paris, Vienna). You should have plenty to do in your cities right up to Future Tech - which, by the way, will actually be Near Future Tech and include things like Arcologies to build in your cities - the ultimate in High Density population and amenities per District!
 
Agree: early cities should be very small in the 'map footprint' - most of the map should be occupied by single-tile hamlets, villages, small towns, or specialized mining, ranching, plantation centers. Later many of these should start to 'collect' population and grow, just as the cities will, until the landscape becomes in places a solid mass of urban-suburban development.
In HK, the outposts can hold up to 4 pops, but nothing beyond that.
I kind of like that. You can only fit so many people into your containers.

I'm not sure what a good way to limit development, but not feel too artificial, and accommodate the randomness of the map, would be. Sometimes you want players to be able to build Rome or Babylon.

Stability/population limits/ etc are okay, and escalating cost does at least create some time bounded limits, but that only creates the new problem of pre-placement. I will have to think hard about this. It's a shame we couldn't use the industrial era cultures in Victor opendev; I very much wanted to play around with them. But I do think the industrial era should be a massive break in how cities are built and planned, making your empire look and feel different, but not getting to out of control immediately with yield inflation. That was always an issue with something like civ4 - suddenly you have factories with a coal plant and bam +75% production. Civ5's factories are quite tame but give you ideology; civ6 has the coal plant, which is simply unfair, although your IZs have existed for 2 eras+ by then.

I want that feeling of moving villages to make way for coal mines; rezoning neighborhoods for massive urban sprawl, etc. I need to contemplate this.
 
In HK, the outposts can hold up to 4 pops, but nothing beyond that.
I kind of like that. You can only fit so many people into your containers.

I'm not sure what a good way to limit development, but not feel too artificial, and accommodate the randomness of the map, would be. Sometimes you want players to be able to build Rome or Babylon.

Stability/population limits/ etc are okay, and escalating cost does at least create some time bounded limits, but that only creates the new problem of pre-placement. I will have to think hard about this. It's a shame we couldn't use the industrial era cultures in Victor opendev; I very much wanted to play around with them. But I do think the industrial era should be a massive break in how cities are built and planned, making your empire look and feel different, but not getting to out of control immediately with yield inflation. That was always an issue with something like civ4 - suddenly you have factories with a coal plant and bam +75% production. Civ5's factories are quite tame but give you ideology; civ6 has the coal plant, which is simply unfair, although your IZs have existed for 2 eras+ by then.

I want that feeling of moving villages to make way for coal mines; rezoning neighborhoods for massive urban sprawl, etc. I need to contemplate this.

Couple of good points here.

The Non-City 'settlements' on the map should be limited - once they get too big, they become cities or parts of cities: completely different elements from the separate settlements/hamlets/villages they started as.

Building a Babylon, or Rome, or Antioch or any of the Chinese capitals should be possible but require extraordinary effort. One possibility is to use the Civ VI mechanic in which Capitals get extra bonuses, since in fact the Palace and its denizens did attract people from elsewhere - artisans because the Court was their best market for luxury goods, others just looking to be close to the Power Structure.

Add to that Population Growth structures like Aqueduct/water systems, Sewer systems (both Rome and Babylon had those before almost anyone else in Europe or the Middle East) and, of course, sustained Food Supply from river(s) or port or both.

And the Industrial Era should be a major take-off point. The basic thing that I'd like to see added, which is not in either Civ or Humankind (as fas as we know), is that once cities are connected by railroads and/or steamships, Food is no longer local, it can be shared among the cities - essentially extending the city radius to every tile next to a railroad. Individual City Growth then would come from the attractiveness of the individual city: availability of Housing (which would mushroom as steel frame skyscrapers increase the density of housing), Amenities like Schools, Parks, Hospitals/Medical facilities, Museums, Opera, etc, and Jobs - numbers of empty Specialist slots in Factories, Workshops, Harbors, Markets, etc.

Your City Management would become very different from previous Eras, and at the same time powered transportation (horse cabs and wagons and carriages, then steam/electric trolleys and subways, then buses and automobiles) allows the city radius to expand enormously - virtually unlimited, in fact, as the 250 - 300 square kilometer cities like London, Berlin, Paris, New York, etc in the early 20th century indicate.
 
The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of directly achieving victory throughout the game (so basically fame from HK). From a civ perspective that might look like +1 VP per turn you have the largest economy/most religious followers/highest population/most wonders etc.
Unsure how the game ends though, like a target amount of VP, or when a civ gets so far ahead, or just most VP by a certain date.
 
Observing the way Humankind handles victory types, I think it reveals the issue with fixed victory conditions. Civ has such a wide variety of mechanics and resources, but only some of them directly contribute to winning the game. Gold and Food come to mind as examples- you don't get closer to winning the game by stockpiling either, like you would with Science or Culture. What this means is that Civs who are designed to interact with these mechanics for the sake of historical accuracy and gameplay variety (Mali and Inca) have few bonuses to directly winning the game, as they simply don't have boosts to game-winning yields. This constricts leader design a lot of the time and often makes it hard to create a specialized Civ that focuses in a non-essential mechanic (like Trade), as they will often be left weaker than other civs simply because their bonuses do not help them win the game.

But with Humankind's more open approach, it tears down those limitations. No longer do we have to find ways to tie a civ's abilities to our five victory type pillars, but we can instead have them specialize in anything without the risk of it not contributing to winning the game. The Inca can prioritize Food over all else, because it's growing population that can win them the game. Mali can try and accumulate 50 active trade routes if they want, since that pile of gold inches them closer to victory. It's all just a matter of rewarding the correct milestones with points.

It also means that winning is no longer as restrictive. For our Domination-imitation with this new system, if I get points just for capturing cities, then I'm not required to capture every civ's capital. In fact, I don't have to capture their capital at all! Nor do I have to even touch the lands of some civs. It gives you flexibility both from a design standpoint and a player one, as designers no longer have to keep paving new roads to the same destination, and players get a swath of new playstyles and strategies. Unlocking ourselves from this fixed, arbitrary conditions will do wonders.

That's not to mention the mixing of victory types, either! In Civ currently, with our fixed victory conditions, ever Civ is forced to specialize. If you're trying to win a Culture Victory, you must focus on gathering tourism, or you're not going to win (excluding Corporations and Monopolies anyway :shifty:- but I've heard that's been toned down). You aren't allowed to simultaneously devote resources to research or military, because they don't help you win. The victory conditions are often so narrow that it requires you to play the game with your victory in mind from the first couple of eras. The only case where you can easily pivot to any other victory is when you've captured a whole bunch of cities, but with that big of a snowbally advantage and the monumental military specialization required to acquire it I don't really think it counts.

If any aspect of the game helps you win, then Civs can focus on numerous aspects of their empire, rather than a single niche part of it. Civs can play the game more so as a jack-of-all-trades, not required to specialize in any one area since well-rounded strengths actually pay off.

The only critique I have of Humankind's victory system is that it belongs to Humankind. Promising as it seems, I see things from a design standpoint, and while their culture designs aren't bad by any means, they're a little basic, generalist, and bland. I entirely concede my opinion of them is biased- I've been spoiled by the unique playstyles, flavor, and depth of Civ 6's more tightly-designed, hand-crafted civilizations. It also doesn't help I don't entirely understand HK, so for all I know they could exceed Civ 6's civs in terms of flavor and fun :crazyeye:

But I am head over heels at the idea of merging Civ 6's (usually) flavorful, fun, and unique playstyles brought by their tightly-designed civilizations with the player flexibility and design freedom of HK's victory types.:love: Competing games should take notes from one another, and I think this is an aspect Civ should strive to adopt.
 
. . . If any aspect of the game helps you win, then Civs can focus on numerous aspects of their empire, rather than a single niche part of it. Civs can play the game more so as a jack-of-all-trades, not required to specialize in any one area since well-rounded strengths actually pay off.

You make a lot of good points, but this last comment actually points in another direction, I think. Rather than adopt a 'Univeralist' type of Victory like Humankind, Civ VII could redesign their Victory Types to make each more inclusive. For example, a Domination Victory might have a basic requirement to take Cities, but to take and keep those cities from revolting on you, might require a high Cultural domination as well, or a major investment in 'amenity' producing mechanisms not at all directly related to building and maintaining military units. In another example, a 'Religious' Victory not only could require converting X % of all the cities on the map to your Religion, but to keep the little digital people from spurning your religion might also require that you maintain a high standard of living for them - being a starving bunch of religious zealots surrounded by luxuries that your religion doesn't provide starts to make people reconsider their options, so you would wind up having to develop Science to provide advanced goodies and, again, possibly Amenities so that your religious followers keep believing that your God(s) really are favoring them . . .

The only critique I have of Humankind's victory system is that it belongs to Humankind. Promising as it seems, I see things from a design standpoint, and while their culture designs aren't bad by any means, they're a little basic, generalist, and bland. I entirely concede my opinion of them is biased- I've been spoiled by the unique playstyles, flavor, and depth of Civ 6's more tightly-designed, hand-crafted civilizations. It also doesn't help I don't entirely understand HK, so for all I know they could exceed Civ 6's civs in terms of flavor and fun :crazyeye:

Humankind does do two things in regard to their Factions (Cis) that Civ has never managed, though:

1. They have a 'pre-development' Neolithic Age to give you a Jump Start in a specific direction: numbers of people, science boost, even a starting 'bonus' trait. They should, IMHO, have done a lot more with it, because a lot of the technologies and even Civics now relegated to Civ's Ancient Era were actually developed in the Neolithic, and you could have a lot more things going on in the Neolithic to flavor your Civ Soup before laying down your first City.

2. They have two Factions - Huns in the Classical Age, Mongols in the Medieval Age, that are actually very different in concept from all others, and approach a Real Pastoral Faction/Civ Model - something Civ has desperately needed for a long time. With either one, they have a special Emblematic Unit: a horse-archer Horde, which can be built from Outposts rather than cities (and their Outposts cannot be turned into cities the way other Factions' can), require no resources, and are, frankly, very effective in their respective Ages/Eras. That means, effectively, that both of them trade a really effective Emblematic (Unique) Building or Quarter (District) for a powerful military force that 'spawns' without needing the usual Production or Science infrastructure hat other Factions require.

Now if they could just come up with a really workable City State model for a Faction/Civ . . .

But I am head over heels at the idea of merging Civ 6's (usually) flavorful, fun, and unique playstyles brought by their tightly-designed civilizations with the player flexibility and design freedom of HK's victory types.:love: Competing games should take notes from one another, and I think this is an aspect Civ should strive to adopt.

As commented, I think the Humankind model for a Victory Type(s) that require more than monomaniacal specialization can be adopted by redefining and redesigning Civ's multiple Victory types to require a broader focus, without stepping on Humankind's singular 'Fame' system.

I also think that Humankind is hinting at more variety in basic attributes of Civs/Factions in their designs for the Huns and Mongols, and at more variety of starting development in their Neolithic Age. And because I don't think they have explored all the possibilities inherent in either, there is room for Civ VII to take both ideas and run with them - in their own unique Civ way . . .
 
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