Discussion in 'Humankind by Amplitude' started by Krajzen, May 1, 2020.
Uh, one of the cradles of civilization is obscure?
My biggest fear is the fans only caring about which civilization is in or not instead of interesting, deep mechanics, like what happened with Civ.
Very much. This is one of the reasons I like that HK is not focusing on historical leaders. It draws so much attention in civ VI who’s leading the civ and takes up huge resources in production and discussion of the game. And for me, it‘s a wrong development.
Now, in our defense, the steadily dripping on HK also emphasizes cultures over gameplay so far. I‘m sure we would focus more on the mechanics and the abilities of the cultures instead of their name and look if we would know more about these things.
Definitely. I'm enjoying Old World a lot, and it has a handful of civs and leaders are only for the start, then you get their descendants with great looking portraits. Great mechanics, and the discussions are focused on that. Compared to the new Civ pass, which the meat is two civs which you might or not use, and people complaining about re-using animations... And the mechanics side is gimmicky and quite low effort.
Yeah, but still it's something to watch out for, IMO.
To the vast majority of the population of the Western world, yes.
Probably to the vast majority of the population of the entire world. Whether it deserves to be is another question. Whether games that purport to be about the history of the world should focus on the well known stories of history, the less well known stories of history, or some mix of the two and in what proportions, is still another set of questions.
The abysmal ignorance of the 'vast majority' of ANY population can be taken as A Given Fact - in 1967, after two years of war there, less than 10% of the American people could find Vietnam on a map.
For any 4X Historical Game, then, the decision is whether to provide to the Vast Majority only those groups they may be vaguely familiar with or have heard of somewhere, sometime, or expose them to Strangers from all eras and places. The decision is almost always a compromise, affected as much by what is familiar enough to sell as what is 'important' (by whatever criteria the individual is using) historically or culturally.
My own preference, to be honest, would be to expose the gamer to different cultures and groups by specifically modeling the ways in which they did things differently from what we now think of as 'normal'. Thus, I would expose Igor Gamer to the very different Native American cultivation of forests compared to the 'Old World' open field agriculture, to the difference between what Victor Hansen calls the 'Western Way of War' and the Oriental or Middle Eastern, the Polynesian navigation system versus Everybody Else's, etc.
- And, yes, I would love to find a way to introduce the gamer to Quipu, possibly the most unusual writing/record-keeping system ever used by a Culture/Faction!
Wholeheartedly agreed! I read several books of history a year, but even I’m at a lose for many of the civilizations and cultures and leaders referenced on these forums, which would be educational were it not for fact that the posters referencing them treat the chieftain of every uncontacted tribe along the Amazon as if he were Julius Caesar of Rome. It leads me to suspect that some such posters - while certainly knowledgeable of historical and archeological trivia - nevertheless have a fairly skewed perspective of History.
I would make a comparison to Dinosaurs. No, stay with me for a second.
The image of Dinosaurs has changed a lot over the years, and we are constantly finding out new things. When Jurassic Park - the movies came out, their image was up to date and has solidified pop culture impression. So much that they decided to keep it for "the sake of continuation" even though it now is accepted that most dinosaurs were feathered. I rather think they thought "Big Terror Chicken" wouldn't feel martial or monstery enough. Nevertheless - and that is my point - constant corrections, documentaries, toys and so much more have managed over 20 years to convince people that Dinosaurs were feathered, even though that Hollywood franchise (= Pop culture) says otherwise.
The Steppe Hordes are the Dinosaurs. Pop Culture is what is demanding us to make them a culture excelling in mobility and war. A good depiction would take that up, but add something more to it. Just a little bit more nuance.
Because it is true: Pop Culture is a Translation device. It helps us instinctively by lowering the barriers of understanding. You have to meet those expectations as otherwise you just confuse people. That doesn't mean you have to keep with antiquated ideas like the featherless dinosaurs. It's little steps. So I hope the "Vikings" don't get stronger military, but faster ships. One leads to the other. But I will accept them even if they have Berzerkers instead of Jarls. And I do hope that the Iroquois don't just get +1 food from Forests because as it has been stated: Where do they get that food? Such a bonus just reinforces the idea of the noble savage just being better at Woods. It works with Wood Elves, but the Native Americans were not Wood Elves (mostly.).
As always, it is about striking a balance, and of what we have seen so far, I think Amplitude is doing a fine job. Also, I am always amazed at what a qualitative and eloquent discussion can be had at this forum. And mostly respectful as well.
From 45 know civs on CIV6, Western/Euro regions have 20:
(9) Western European- Dutch, English, French, German, Norwegian, Roman, Scottish, Spanish, Swedish
(6) Eastern European- Georgian, Greek, Hungarian, Macedonian, Polish, Russian
(3) Anglo Colonial- American, Australian, Canadian
(2) LATAM- Brazilian, Gran Colombian
I dont see how with 4/9 of their civs CIV6 is a "occidentophobic" game.
And before anybody point to the lack of obvious options like Portugal and Byzantium we must remember that are confirmed to come some more civs and that "civilizations" like Scotland or Australia came long before them, like Zulu came long before Ethiopia or Cree long before Maya.
This is matter of taste, plus a lot of speculation about what game mechanics would end being on Humankind. But there are some points to guess Humankind would be less about "historical importance" and more about the many histories the world could tell ous (NOTE I said MORE not MOSTLY because is obvious that appeal to the western buyers is still the priority to sell the game).
The game is named HUMANKIND and the playable factions are CULTURES, plus the many dev's comments pointing to diversity.
CIVs civs are kind of absurd when you play Canadian or Cree "civilizations", because when people hear civilization they think about more broad, long lasting and
characterized entities that share some sociopolitical, technological and cultural elements. Western (Christian+GrecoRoman), Eastern (Chinese based), Mesopotamian or Andine are true civilizations, small worlds by themselves.
There is also a traditional notion of civilization about some level of development, that includes cities, highly hierarchical society and some recording system. While culture is a more flexible and less elitist concept.
Other big hint is the lack of civ like leaders, no need for Napoleon or Gilgamesh, so no agendas or leader powers. The cult of personality is more an element from History than from Anthropology, then cultures could be more free from the acts of a specific man/woman. Devs could give each culture their bonus and mechanics based on their traditional ways of life, organization, institutions and beliefs.
The distribution of the Eras is also an interesting point. CIV6 have 8 eras (not counting Future Era) with strong focus in later eras:
- Ancient: Europe is marginal, great powers are all around the crandles of civilization with the focus at the Middle East. The longest time period.
- Classical: Rise of Mediterranean powers, including South Europe, turning Europe relevant but not THE world power.
- Medieval: Europe, Islamic world (North Africa, Middle East and Central Asia), Greater India and Far East were at similar level of power and importance, but just by the location we know their relevance was lesser compared to for example the Islamic world. Most of medieval time christians were lossing space to muslims, basically any interaction of european with Africa, India or Far East was throught muslim land and peoples.
- Renaissance: Finally Europe stand out, new social ideas, naval exploration and a new continent to exploit with the help of deadly diseases. Still Ottomans, Timurid/Mughals or Ming/Qing would be titans to fight.
- Industrial: The true golden era for Europe, almost all the world is on their hands, powerfull weapons and unique production capacity.
- Modern, Atomic and Information: Obviously western nations as a whole have the advantege, but some asiatic nations start to close the gap.
Now beyond the eras the leaders for each era points to an clear focus on later western dominated timeline on CIV6.
Humankind is more proportionate on the distribution, so 3 CIV eras turn to be just one on Humankind. But why?
Some people can say "recent times saw great and fast changes in terms of ideas and technology", and that is true, the last five centuries the world changed really fast. But Humankind is about cultures, cultures that could be easily named (I guess), French are still French at 1534, 1789, 1820, 1939 or 2020.
I am sure the very relevant American history could give ous nice emblematic units, buildings and bonus for Revolution, Civil War, WW1, WW2, Cold War and recent time, but there are not aparent way to have more than industrial and contemporary ones.
The fast changes of the last centuries could be represented on Humankind on a different way from CIV. Science or whatever is named on Humankind could be a more significative element on later eras, with new strutures, politics, ideas and technologies to boost science production, and more upgrades to reach on those eras. Social changes could have their own more organic way to appear and spread.
In fact is easier to split off eras from Ancient, Classical and Medieval eras based on the key element of CULTURE that on later eras. For example you cant role play with being Celtic and later Roman, or Roman and later Gothic because all of them are on the same era. So there is not about X roman emperor, or about the Roman Empire but about new cultures, cultures that rise over others from the edge of the world like Huns, or cultures that born from the maturation of the fusion of others like Brazilians.
An offtopic to that fascinating discussion, but personally I really sighed in disapproval when I have read recent civ6 patch notes including magical Bermuda Triangle teleporting naval units, Fouthain of Youth (lol) and that alternate mode with magical disasters and calling them on enemies.
Yeah yeah it's cool. Definitely. Alas, I hope Humankind advances coolness in the realm of 'history of the world epos' instead of such goddamn fantasy cartoon.
(here input nervous HK devs trying to tell me politely they top have some magical tricks in their game) Oh don't worry, I trust they preserve gravitas and magnificence of the setting much better.
Moderator Action: Please stick to the topic of Humankind in this forum. leif
Please read the forum rules: http://forums.civfanatics.com/showthread.php?t=422889
I am less worried about Creeping Fantasy in Humankind not because of any reassurances, but because the Amplitude team has already done a complete Fantasy Game plus two Science Fiction games in their 'Endless' series. That gives me hope that they got most of the Fantasy/Speculative Fiction bugs out of their system before starting on Humankind.
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