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Which buildings would benefit the most from unique cultural graphics?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by ehecatzin, Nov 11, 2019.

  1. ehecatzin

    ehecatzin Emperor

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    I love the game but man, sometimes it feels so generic to look at.

    I think Firaxis reworking the look of monuments to fit different cultures (instead of using just the generic obelisc) was a step in the right direction, it helps a lot with immersion and the new monuments are just plain cool to loook at (IMHO the Roman one being a 10/10). Their work on differentiating each civ palaces is also welcome, as in they going back and revisiting many civs that needed new ones.

    Some people may think It's not necesary, but it seems like Firaxis believes it is, after all we spent most of our time playing civ looking at the map, it better be as immersive and interesting as possible. There are buildings and improvements that could cetrainly get some more love in this regard:

    Walls: I think It's fine to leave ancient walls as they are but, rework medieval and renaissance ones to be cultural, small things like recoloring, and changing the look of towers and gates could go a long way into making a Chinese walled city look way different to It's Egyptian or Aztec counterpart.

    Forts: Man, forts could certainly use a mechanical overhaul (personlly I think we should be able to use build charges on them to upgrade them to castles, but that's another topic.) again, they use just generic graphics and could use cultural ones to not make every civ look like medieval europe.

    City graphics after renaissance: Don't you just hate how how after hitting industrial, all your pretty cities turn into brick and mortar houses? I think they could soften the landing visualy, keep more elements from the renaissance mixed with industrial ones, think Meiji era Japan. Or simply explore architectural styles for civs, France could really use a neoclassic style for industrial for example, Paris shouln't turn into Birminham after discovering steam power.

    For modern and information Era it gets trickier, I would argue that cultural graphics still have it's place, at least give us different arrays of skycrappers, modern Tokio should look different from Mecca and New York. Rise of nations did this very well in that even in modern eras buildings had a distinctive look to them.

    District buildings:

    I think what they did with the Suguba and Cothon districts is awesome, making them feel actually unique by changing the look of all the buildings inside, as well as the layout. Basic districts could at least benefit from cultural buildings even if they are not as flashy as the unique ones, again to avoid the generic look, if at least the pre modern ones. I think It's a great oportunity to showcase different buildings that didn't quite make it to UB...for example, if the Ball court wasn't unique to the Aztecs (and historicaly it wasn't) it would make a perfect cultural arena for all mesoamericans, now imagine the same with a Mayan style observatory replacing the generic university.

    before I forget...this one is small but Bridges, just...bridges.

    District buildings right now come in 2 flavours, generic european and Greco-Roman:


    -Shrines: imagine instead a small Chac Mol, a shrine to Amon-Ra, even a Dolmen., if you want to go the easy route, just change the style of the columns to fit each cultural group.

    -Temples: a small temple piramid, a Shinto style temple, a Monastery, etc.

    -Library: just small architectural differences would be nice.

    -University: again, Mayan style observatory, house of Wisdom, etc. I mean just by the Madraza the Arabian campus looks way better than the Saewon.

    -Government plaza buildings: They all suffer from looking Greco-Roman, maybe just adding some architectural flavour could help a lot in making them culture specific.

    -Commercial district buildings: The Suguba did this quite well, just small changes and it fits the civs, imagine that but for cultural groups.

    -Aqueduct district: Again, just small architectural differences to not make it look so overwhelmingly Roman.

    -Entertainment District: this one is the trickier to me, the thing that bother's me most about it is not the buildings itself but the district housing, in that it looks so much like a renaissance faire, perhaphs toning down the tent style could help in this regard.

    Harbor and Industrial I wouldn't change, Harbour has this nice things in that with each building it "grows", and Industrial well...the brick and mortar thing started there, so the generic look actually doesn't bother me.

    They all look like small changes, but even if they only rework a handfull of those I think it would enhance the unique look of each civ, even if mechanicaly they are the same. a fully upgraded Aztec holy site shouln't feel the same as a Polish one.

    Then finally there's the case for adding unique graphics for generic buildings if that civ makes particular use of it, for example what they did for the Romans getting a mini Trajan's column on every city.

    Other ideas... , Egypt's farms on floodplains having small canals. Georgian forts using Tsihke style graphics, Japanese cities having extra housing graphics to reflect this idea of a compact tall city, Khamer could benefit a lot from having It's Aqueduct actually have a grand Baray.

    any other ideas of things that could be done to keep civs visually unique?
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2019
    Kimiimaro, Karmah, nauberry and 6 others like this.
  2. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    It's more work for the artists but I always felt like settlers themselves could use a more culturally varied look. I really like the idea for aqueducts - they are perhaps one area where civs all look the same in a bad way. Event he bath looks nearly identical to an aqueduct which is too bad. Making some unique or flavored aqueducts (I mean you could have current roman aqueducts for classical civs, europeans could get maybe gothic arches, etc. Lots of stuff) would be the most straightforward one to implement (see below.)

    They have an entire cultural system in place for units so they can look ethnic or whatever.

    But for districts they don't afaik, and until they put that in doing literally anything with district buildings would be a programming nightmare because it's set up so you have to define variations like so:
    -Define what a district looks like for each relevant era (not so bad, an IZ for example has medieval/industrial/modern)
    -Define each level of building in it including variations (workshop, factory, electronics factory, coal/oil/nuke plants)
    -Define every permutation of grouping the buildings: empty, workshop, workshop+factory, workshop+factory+coal plant, workshop+factory+oil plant, workshop+factory+nuke plant, plus four more entries where we replace factory with Electronics factory.
    Those permutations go into more than one spot, which also includes era specific models: there's medieval IZ+workshop, industrial IZ+Workshop, industrial IZ+workshop+factory, etc,
    That's only combinations for a district that has just one unique building. If you had a lot of cultural variants this would become absolutely untenable. There's already about an extra ~70 variations defined for city centers because they added the little dock/canal feature.
     
  3. ehecatzin

    ehecatzin Emperor

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    Yeah that's my worry about graphically distinct districts, I would hold that the one district that could use the work is the Aqueduct, all the other districts start as a layout with slots for buildings, Aqueduct however has well...the massive aqueduct, but in the plus side, the district doesn't have any space for buildings, so in theory it should be easier permutation wise.

    I would also imagine that any visual variation in buildings should occuppy the exact same area in order to not cause too much complexities like with the Canal example.
     
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  4. Pure24

    Pure24 Warlord

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    Neat idea!! If I could 'rank' these changes - and to be clear, by rank I mean the ones I'd prioritize if it were up to me. And also, which ones need a more major overhaul - this is how I'd do it:

    Tier 1: Government Complex. To me, this one is the one with the most urgent need. We're talking about the GOVERNMENT of each Civ. Adding art into the changes would go a long way into making governments feel even more part of the game (and thus important and immersive, compared to the card mini-game that was vanilla Civ 6). This is one of the core aspects of the game, a must-have change.

    Tier 2: City after Renaissance, Walls, and Forts. Changes to city style to enhance flavour would really make sense! I agree that the generic look of cities after Renaissance is a problem. To a lesser degree, walls with unique touches on them would look great!
    As for forts, while I do not necessarily disagree, I have a slight issue with them being changed too much (which I'll go into in the next point)

    Tier 3: district buildings and districts. Make no mistake, I totally agree with your idea. I think it's excellent! This is just speaking of the extent to which I'd like to see some changes.
    That said, I'd prefer really subtle changes to these ones, because I feel they'd lessen the impact of unique districts and their buildings. If EVERYTHING is unique, then nothing actually feels unique. So if they could enhance the flavour, but still leave it looking CLEARLY like a generic district/building, I'd die a happy man. I have not the ability nor the skill to pull it off, but a guy can wish...
    The fort also suffers a similar issue, but not so much and so I'd place it in Tier 2. Making unique forts really unique compared to the generic ones would really make sense for me.

    Overall, an excellent idea - especially for the Govt Plaza and overall city design in general. As for the rest, I'd want to know that I'm looking at a Lavra and not another generic Holy Site. I guess it's an issue of balancing game aesthetics with historical contexts
     
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  5. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    I really liked civ5's interpretation of modern cities for the various culture sets- the euro/american art deco, the Asian "taipei 101" theme, the funky south american skyscrapers. All clearly modern but still distinctly their own culture.

    I think they could, with some code rewriting, make the little "filler" buildings in some districts have cultural variants. See: the Hansa vs the IZ. The Hansa has little high gothic houses and the IZ has little... regular houses? Same concept. They have a setup for units to make them look cultural by essentially letting them have slots for different hats and such. That way there's only 1 archer model for all the civs. (As I mentioned above district buildings are a mess.)
     
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  6. ehecatzin

    ehecatzin Emperor

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    Yeah that'd probably go a long way into diferentiating the districts more, for example Neighborhood graphics could be improved a long way if it used unique housing graphics as opposed to the generic ones it uses now.
     
  7. Sostratus

    Sostratus Emperor

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    For specialty districts, as long as the coloration is the same and the buildings themselves are the same, players can still easily identify what's what, while keeping with the civ's aesthetic.
    Neighborhoods are very strange looking to me. They all have the same weird white and green apartments, and the neighborhood buildings don't really stand out. They could use something even if it's not cultural, because they look quite odd in the context of everything else.
     
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  8. ehecatzin

    ehecatzin Emperor

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    Thats my main gripe with the lack of building diversity, districts are already color coded (I even did it in the main post), no need to keep a "standard" building set on top of that, If they implemented diferent housing styles it would still read fine.
     
  9. Alexander's Hetaroi

    Alexander's Hetaroi Deity

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    I can tell apart most of the unique districts from a regular one, other than the Royal Navy Dockyard in the Modern Era and beyond.

    Here's hoping the Maya could get a unique Holy Site so we do get unique looking shrines and temples, if we don't get cultural graphics for every Civ.
     
  10. Depravo

    Depravo Siring Bastards

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    Not wanting to sound like a broken record but they have a great one at their fingertips: the Egyptian style HS from the Nile scenario.
     
  11. Vandlys

    Vandlys Prince

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    I've posted this as a mod desire ages ago (since before R&F came out) and still wish to see this : ) I would also like the option to turn off district colours. That way we would have a very beautiful landscape indeed.
     
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  12. FinalDoomsday

    FinalDoomsday Chieftain

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    agree with everything you said especially cities in the modern era beyond. One nice thing they did was add another industrial era architecture. They had the English style one that most civs use then another more southern Europe/latin American style one with orange roofs and then they added an African/middle eastern style one with golden domes and other nice details.

    It's a shame the industrial era building set is only used for 1 era you barely see it. I've made a mod for myself that extends the industrial era architecture set into the modern era as I think it much better fits that era and you don't get the skyscrapers until atomic. (Look up cities in the first half of the 20th century that aren't in the USA and see which architecture set fits better!)
     

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