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Dawn of Man < NOTHING to worry about

Well today I gained access to the dev builds of Dawn of Man… and there is NOTHING to worry about in regards to Ancient Cities and this game clashing, because dawn of man is basically banished with the historic setting theme to AC.

Gameplay / Graphics / Map is nothing like we’ve been shown by the devs during their updates. DoM is quite simplistic, gather/build/grow… then the usual storm. Done

BRING ON AC!

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No! No! No!

Dawn of Man is a great worry and they might drag many players away form Ancient Cities. Therefore the devs have to do their utmost to make Ancient Cities the best game it can be. Competition can be a good thing in this regard. :slight_smile:

That said I do feel there is overlap between both games, if only in setting (Prehistoric/stone age citybuilder), which might make people pass up on one of the titles. So it doesn’t hurt to point out the ways Ancient Cities differs when launch comes closer.

I see it as a blessing and will probably play both games… but don’t let the devs of either game hear that. :wink:

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After and exhaustive 2 week review on this game - it is nothing more then their earlier game planetbase with a shiney new skin, animals are static spawn and wander same 8 patterns they dont migrate the buggy stamina system is the same as PB random ai deaths due to hunger or thirst while standing next to food/water terrible logic digesting of orders with no ability to weight anything in the priorities for the ai. Ancient Cities would have to have one God awful logic system to be this bad. Their big challenge is everything seems to run smooth until about 50 civs in then it starts coming apart. big point for AC make your sims do a distance check before auto assigning them a task, while enroute or passing a storage on their way to a task check available inventory and pick stuff up. Ability to weigh ai logics basic needs, crops, animals, hunting fishing wood collection etc

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OK, I see your point… Agreed competition is a good thing!

There is of course an over lap in setting, but I felt when advancing through the ages in DoM, it was nothing more than having an additional 2 buildings or so… I dont know maybe its too early for the game itself, but very basic. Not made with passion perhaps?

Good shout, and agreed.

I’ve now played four separate villages, the 100 population marker for me seems to set a spiraling set of events that causes half the population to die promptly. Dying of hypothermia when there is PLENTY of clothing each at 100% pop and located within the village.

My advice to AC would be to purely learn from DoM as a… reminder to where not to fail when building such a game

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So I’m just wondering what you guys think of Dawn of Man? What are your feeling and thoughts about DoM and do you feel like it’s a competitor or a rip off of Ancient Cities? Just wanted to start a conversation about this. Sorry if I sound obscure, English isn’t my native tongue.

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I don’t see it as a competitor since I own both games, but it should serve as a good distraction 'till AC are released. :slight_smile:

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Been playing it for a couple of weeks / months, streaming it and making videos for YouTube and I’ve been loving it. This game was more polished in beta than half of the Early Access games 1 year into their early access phase.

Really nicely done game.

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I just got it. My initial impressions are its pretty good, but could use some polish. Managing work areas I find the hardest, as there’s no easy way to spot work areas, or select multiple ones at once. I wish I could just tell them to hunt the nearest animal of a certain difficulty from a certain point. I’m planning to try satellite expansions (walking times are ridiculous back to camp once you hunt/mine out the nearest sources), but I’m not sure how well that will work.

Advice welcome :smiley:

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Sattelite stations do work … the problem is, they need to be self sustaining and defended as soon as possible.

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I bought it. Was fun, but not much content yet. Play on 8x speed and you’ve done pretty much everything you can in not too many hours.

It is going to change tho according to Steam forums where the devs hang. Free patches with new structures, techs, tools, maps and scenarios are in the making

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I checked out the forms and I was absolutely horrified by the absurdity of what was being discussed. People were venturing all kinds of crackpot ideas with absolutely no knowledge of prehistory.

I saw a thread where people were complaining about women defending their village and suggesting that women shouldn’t be allowed to do that. I also saw a thread more people we’re fighting over whether or not women should be nude. Their forum is way too toxic =/

I like ancient cities having a closed forum. I’ve gotten attacked a few times, once pretty badly, but most of the people in here are civil, even if we disagree about things.

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Lmao, what do you think you’re gonna see in the open forums when this game releases?

Aparently uninformed children, it seems. These days, public forums are mostly toxic. This is why I no longer check my YT comments. It’s all toxic. =/

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I bought the game too and have had some fun with it. One problem for me tho is that the people are like robots. I mean they do eat, drink and pray but are pretty much solitary creatures. I mean what’s the point living in a society if you’re going to live like a hermit lol. I wish the game had social interactions between the people, like they could just talk with each other, gather around hearth fire and eat and talk, and form relationships to make babies of course. In DoM the babies just randomly come out of nowhere, like not even the women no who’s the father. I wish Ancient Cities would do better on this aspect. Still a pretty good game.

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I agree completely about the babies. Fertility, maternity and child rearing four major components of prehistoric life, as attested by their art and burial practices. This seems completely glossed over.

I was gifted a copy of that game by family member as my birthday is nigh. I will be posting a detailed review tomorrow in the hope that ancient cities can benefit from lesson learned from their failings

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I have found Dawn of Man, ok. The real lack of natural disasters, people having any kind of personality as said above and the fact that you can not attack anything besides when they raid you gets boring. Now I have only done the normal gameplay through to steel but unless I am missing some pretty big parts of the game. Its 20 bucks for 2-3 days of play or less.
I just cant see myself playing it over and over again as you can only choose from I think 6 starting spots and the game is pretty shallow as in game content goes. I have faith that AC will deliver something leaps and bounds better.

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Dawn of Man

Dawn of Man, herein DoM, was released before Ancient Cities, herein AC, providing a good practice run for the AC developers ( @Uncasual ) . AC can learn from the failures and successes of DoM. It is my goal to discuss a few of them here. Note: I am a prehistoric novelist with 15 years of research into the Neolithic period and professionally a software developer (20 years experience).

The three most critical pros and cons

Pros:

  • Easy interface

  • Runs smoothly

  • Animal part of world feels full of life

Cons:

  • Very Linear Play

  • Human part of world feels lifeless

  • No modding

Historicity – How accurate is the game to the period?

DoM strays heavily from accuracy in both minor and major ways. Normally, games are not held to high historical standards, but when the basis of your game is a depiction of prehistoric life, at least major elements should be mostly accurate. Some of the more blaring prehistoric inaccuracies I noticed were, but not limited to:

  • Wrong skin color. A mix of all skin colors seem to exist, from pale to dark. This may seem “PC” but is actually very incorrect. Light skinned people simply didn’t exist in the Paleolithic through early Neolithic. (Reality: People were very dark skinned until the mid Neolithic)

    [Whitehawk Woman - Brighton Museum]
  • Pottery is the initiating technical achievement of the Mesolithic period (Reality: Mesolithic pottery did exist but was by no means a major association with the period)
  • Clothing is entirely wrong (See special section below)
  • Flint Adze used for the mining of flint. (Reality: hard stone tools would have been used) Seemingly no watercraft (Reality: Boats were used in all periods of the game, to varying complexities from a simple log to a complex boat)
  • Cow domestication depicted during the Copper Age. (Reality: This occurs during the Neolithic)
  • Pottery (oddly) depicted in the Mesolithic was too large and complex for the Mesolithic.
  • Bread and cereal production learned during the Mesolithic. (Reality: Both were known in the Mesolithic, but didn’t become a major aspect of life until the Neolithic.
  • Paleolithic (upper, I suspect) has a sling (not sure of the evidence for this) but no Atlatl?

Clothing (A special topic, given my specific knowledge of this topic)

The clothing is not very accurate. I am understand that the ESRB rating prevents accurate clothing, but there ways to be accurate and compliant. The clothing suffers from the same bland Flintstones look other such games have had. Everyone wears a simple leather tunic of one color or another. I do believe the Paleolithic leather winter clothing is very good and they seem to have done that correctly, but only that. Though you see these simple leather garments, which resemble modern clothing, in books and many prehistoric depictions, it just isn’t accurate and is an outdated and mistaken way of looking at prehistoric clothing (read any modern book or peer reviewed article on the subject).

Instead of a simple tunic, why not have:

  • Dresses (leather, textile [a skirt with a cloth wrap around the upper body])
  • Skirts (cover breasts with hair or lots of necklaces for ESRB, but remaining authentic)

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/378865387402965286/

  • String Skirts
  • Leggings (we found these on Otzi the Iceman)
  • Loincloth (the most important garment ever invented by humanity is omitted. This is the primary basic item nearly everyone in prehistory wore. You can cover the breasts with hair or lots of necklaces for ESRB modesty, or even wear lather or textile shirts in the cooler months.

Art. Clothing in DoM is blank, without artwork. This is entirely inaccurate as prehistoric people decorated their clothing quite extensively.

[I cannot state enough how important this is:]The characters are missing body paint, feathers and jewelry. These were staples of prehistory and should be found all over each character. They require a few simple 3D meshes and some textures, but are otherwise static and easy to make objects (I’ve made them before).

Game Play

The program itself runs quite smoothly and the user interface is very simple, but sufficient. The feedback mechanisms, such as charts and indicators , are easy to access and very intuitive. AC needs to have a similarly simple interface to encourage game play.

I was very please to find that many of the commands could be performed by the keyboard. Carpel tunnel syndrome is very common these days and mouse-intensive programs deter many players.

I am also very pleased to find women being treated equally in the game. I think the ability to change this in some form of cultural setting would make senses as egalitarianism was likely rather varied.

The game play is very linear. There is a simple tech path to follow and nearly no customization of your culture. This is one of the three Achilles heels of the game. Being able to chose matriarchy or patriarchy, war like or passive, and other such variables would bring so much life to the game, but these rich details are simple omitted leaving a very linear and boring product.

The first major issue was the AI for the people. Workers stop working or stare at you blankly. If a group is selected to perform a task, they often appear to ignore the request without reason. Generally, the AI is very good about tribal self sustainment, which was at least well written.

A major frustration early in the game is understanding how to control your tribe. The hot keys seem to not work and selecting tribe members isn’t easy. A “select all” function may exist, but I have yet to find it. As a result, it becomes easy to lose a member of the tribe and hard to keep track of what people are doing. Easy selection tools are a must for AC, given how aggravating they are in DoM.

One big issue which is encountered pretty quickly is the lack of life to the characters. Users quickly lose interest not because of limited content, but because the content feels static. The people have babies but we don’t see them pregnant. The characters have names, but they don’t respond to each other. The world feels a little lifeless. Here are some changes which would help this issue in AC:

  • More sounds from characters (laughter, emotes, screams, crying, etc)
  • See life changes, such as a pregnant stomach or a limping from wound
  • Have an apparent leader figure (perhaps an elder)
  • RITUALS – Having characters simply pray a little to the wooden alter you make isn’t enough. We should have funerals for the dead, marriages, and people praying and dancing for “the spirits” in the fields, each morning, before and after events. This would make the characters feel alive. There should also be a priest or priestess at some point.
  • The ability to wed characters. Select two and have them become a family with children.
  • A history of the tribe with a family tree. This helps build an interest in each character with the player.

Environment

The world is rather larger, but does not have a mini map (that I can find). This makes losing your tribe and spending quite a lot of time hunting for it both likely and annoying.

Animals are numerous in type and quantity, but there are a number of major gaps in the fauna. Birds, shellfish, amphibians, and small game (e.g. rabbits) are omitted , but were a major source of food. In fact, in many tribal societies, these smaller animals can make up a major portion of the “hunted” food.

The land may be just a little too hilly . It becomes difficult to navigate some of the very rough land. More logs, streams, rocks, tress and less hills would help.

Technical

Modding does not seem to exist in any apparent way. Those mods which do exist seem to be from the developers. Worse, the data files are all packaged using mechanisms which make extracting their contents difficult. A strong modding community adds years of life to a game and is perhaps the greatest addition a developer can make to their program.

The game plays pretty smoothly on higher end test systems, and so far it has handled lower end systems (that are above the minimum requirements). Texture rendering and loading do are seamless, lag has not been present on the medium or higher end systems. The lower end system (a Microsoft Surface Pro) ran the game quite well on Medium graphics mode, though the character animations were a tiny bit choppy. One minor gripe was the lack of ouch screen support.

High End Configuration:

I7 Quad Core
16GB RAM
twin nVidia GTX770 SLI Cards
SSD Drive

Mid Level Configuration:

I7 Quad Core
8GB RAM
Single nVidia GTX770 Card
Spindle Drive

Low Level Configuration:

i5 Mobile, single core.
8GB RAM
Intell HD Graphics 620
SSD Drive

Conclusion

The game is enjoyable for a few hours or days, but soon loses interest due to lack of modding, lifeless characters and a very linear progression. The historical problems are significant enough to be potentially problematic for archaeologists and prehistoric enthusiasts, but I don’t think most lay people would notice. A lot of potential was wasted providing a somewhat fun and short lived game where a very fun and long term game could have been made. Hopefully, AC will fill this gap.

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On a side note, my brother purchased this for my birthday (soon) as a gift. He knows how much I love prehistory, but didn’t know I wasn’t going to buy it lol

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Agree with most of this. I bought it a couple of days ago and have been playing it since, and it’s reasonably entertaining. But I never had the expectations for it that I have for AC. In terms of depth, detail and beauty, the two games are not in the same league.

One particular fault in DoM (seems to be a common one with city builders): I’d expect tents/shacks to need flat ground, but once you start building houses with foundations you should be able to place them on hillsides. As long as the doors are at ground level (or above, with steps) then foundations should be deep enough to cope with a slope. There is a picture in the media section of the main AC website that seems to show a bunch of houses rising up a moderate slope - that’s what I want.
And I do hope that AC will be totally gridless, as the main picture on the website appears to show, with buildings at all angles and positions relative to each other.

Anyway, DoM is OK for now, but I doubt I’ll play it again once AC comes out.

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