Forum Lobby

Indo-Europeans

First of all, I want to thank the developers for their hard and ingenuous work. I have been looking for a game like this for years!

I don’t know if this was already discussed, but I didn’t find anything.

Are there any plans to include the Indo-European migrations into the game (probably more suitable for an expansion)? I study Biology and Indo-European linguistics, so this is kind of my favourite topic. The material on it spans several fields and is often quite difficult, but it’s extremely interesting and fits well into the game’s period of time. It was (and is) a very controversial and speculative topic, but the fog seems to clear since a few years. In short: Probably 5000 years ago nomadic pastoralists migrated into Europe in huge numbers, introduced the languages most Europeans speak today and mixed with and replaced most of the agricultural society present before. These people were probably the first to domesticate the horse and used wheels early on.

As I said, it most certainly should not play a role in the base game, but it happened before the transition to the bronze age, so I think it would be an extremely interesting and dynamic element to have in a future expansion.

7 Likes

Maybe those Indo-European could be an idea for the end-game? I remember having read on the forum a plea for an end-game event, like a disaster or something similar.

If we imagine that those Indo-Europeans could be represented as a random event, it could be either small migrations (farmers, craftsmen, traders…) and/or invasion (something like “mercenaries” trying to rob the land or a Mongol-like, brutal invasion), or even both of them depending depending on the year.
For the players, it would be a final test, trying to manage the arrival of new elements in their settlement, either to integrate them, or on the contrary resist they move forward, dealing with politics, diplomacy, trade, etc. until the proper entrance in the Bronze Age.

4 Likes

It would be neat to see the indo-European people arriving. We might see exogamy, trade groups, traveling groups, and more.

During this time, you would have early Neolithic folk, later Neolithic indo-Europeans, and hold-out Mesolithic tribes here and there, all living in concert.

3 Likes

And I think if we manage to have real social representations, it would make the game damn interesting.

Having to deal in your own settlement with migrants and refugees, competing power structures, different naming systems, different traditions (e.g. rites or gods), that could create issues to stability or be progressively assimilated would allow to see your Early Neolithic/Mesolithic tribe slowly evolve, trying sometimes to resist new influences, sometimes accepting them.

That’d be far, far more than a basic city builder, as after the first steps totally about survival this would allow for different concerns – and I think it would give a real soul to the whole project.

4 Likes

I just love the idea of Neolithic people meeting with and trading with Mesolithic people. I guess the same would be true for their interactions with indo-europeans. I liked the idea so much that it’s the theme if two of my book LOL it really adds a lot to a story, and consequently it should add a lot to a game. I would think Mesolithic people and Indo-European people could simply be retextured meshes with some slight differences in Behavioral parameters and a few extra animations, programmatically speaking

1 Like

Would not this be amazing?

2 Likes

Maybe, asking very, very nicely to the extremely talented devs of the game… :smirk:

2 Likes

One of the pivotal factors in Indo-European dominance may have been, as you pointed out, their domestication of the horse and I’ll add, the chariot. Chariot warfare was an integral part of warfare up until the end of the Bronze Age (and was used even up until the late Iron Age in some areas). So its effect upon horseless, chariot-less Neolithic peoples would have been brutal indeed.

That could be a sort of “final challenge of the Neolithic”

Though, I’d be very impressed if battle was not necessarily inevitable. An idea could be that the Indo-Europeans arrive on the peripheries of your land. First with the intention to trade and later with the intention to dominate. And you, the player will have to navigate the changing diplomatic situation. Fail to understand the current situation and they may attack. That would be the ideal “Indo-European Expansion” imo

1 Like

I didn’t even think about that, that’s an awesome idea! Not only would it fit perfectly into the game’s mechanics, but it would also add a lot of challenge to the end of the game AND tell the actual story at the same time!

Though, I’d be very impressed if battle was not necessarily inevitable.

Well, if you make the game follow history, you would have to “convert” to Indo-European culture at the very least (Unless you’re Basque)

Another way I would like them to be introduced would be the player taking controll of a Yamnaya tribe and migrating /expanding into new lands. Because they migrated to so many parts of the world. it would also be the perfect opportunity for new regions and Biomes: The Eurasian steppes, the Balkan, Greece, Italy, the Baltics, Armenia, India,ancient Iran, and even Western China! The possibilities are endless. And as the Ice Age stretch goal shows, the devs are probably not too opposed to nomadism :wink:

1 Like

Well, I was not the first to put the idea forward, I just made the link between your ideas and @Orlanth ones.
As I’ve found back the link, he spoke about it here then later here. Hopefully he may intervene here also now.

3 Likes

Then thanks to @Orlanth as well :slight_smile:

How about this:
Neolithic endgame: Indo-European migrations
Bronze age endgame: Bronze age collapse

3 Likes

I think this could be a possible plan, but I fear the BA collapse can’t make it for the first release. I just checked the expected DLCs if all goes well in the coming months/years, on the current Funding page here and earlier on the Indiegogo campaign page (under “current goals”).

At most, what we may expect for the release scheduled at the end of the year may be Neolithic Middle East – though I suspect the devs will release that later as a patch of a DLC, as this involves utterly different climates and fauna.

After that is scheduled the Atlantic Europe Bronze Age DLC, but as far as I know there was not such an equivalent as what happened in the East there; then this will be expanded eastwards with the Mesopotamian Bronze Age DLC, where it may finally be used.

All in all, that’s lot of “if”, so the Indo-Europeans as “final boss”/“last stage” seems to be much more promising :slight_smile:

1 Like

To be frank, I don’t expect anything in the first release than the pure base game. If I understood the devs correctly, every stretch goal, including the non-exp ones, will come in form of later updates. So Indo-Europeans could be an update as well. You’re absolutely right about the BA collapse, as the BA expansions are not even funded and will be years away from now, so this is pure speculation. In the end, I think it’s better for everyone if every bit of the game is developed at an appropriate pace.

1 Like

First release will end with the start of Bronze Age. Bronze age itself will be an expansion.

That’s right. Probably only some of the goals will be included -or partially included- for release.
We have the funds, so the work is going to be done, but funds are not extra time -unless we manage to reach that extra programmer goal!-
But we will be glad is the release time include a solid base game to continue building up features.

5 Likes

Keep posting advertisements on Twitter for that programmer goal.
Maybe a quick video clip showing some hunting or maybe the popular spear fisher woman could help.

I’ll keep RT’ing them

2 Likes

Well, I was not the first to put the idea forward, I just made the link between your ideas and @Orlanth ones. As I’ve found back the link, he spoke about it here then later here. Hopefully he may intervene here also now.

Not a lot more to add frankly, (edit - ok but then I started typing) but some clarity on my emphasis could be helpful.

Adding an endgame challenge is only half the benefit. It is directly historical in relation to a city game based in the Bronze age, or continuing through to same, because such was the fate of the cultures in the Levant and surrounding area. We also know some cities survived, even isolated ones. So the Bronze Age collapse was not universal and thus by skill the player could ensure their city weathers the collapse.

On a game design point we dont know how bad the Bronze age collapse was, so there is a lot of leeway for a slider, we do not know what it consisted of, but we do know that waves of invaders were a part of it, as was a drought (likely brought on by climatic changes caused by Thera). The devs have enormous leeway to implement the catastrophe directly and indirectly.

It is also cheap to code. Presumably the game will already include natural disasters and drought, if the game cant handle drought the game will suck. So I will assume they can, there is no excuse for non implementation at launch for Bronze age expansion because at a very minimum the game can process a long drought and simultaneously turn off the trade function - blaming Sea Peoples.
There is no need to render a single Sea People or tsunami and can still feature the Bronze age Collapse. Hopefully we can have more later.

Now for an end game disaster to overcome for the purely neolithic period we can have same. There is less evidence as we dont have an event to go by. The transition to th Bronze age was slow and not marked by any transitional event. Indo Europeans will have been arriving for a while, it will not be sudden. There is nothing stopping an end game event being scheduled for the players city though.

My suggestion here is that in the final time of the game a natural disaster is scheduled, triggering an incursion. Exactly what could be randomised. Natural disasters should happen during play anyway, and they should be unforeseen and random. Just have a big one at the end. he disaster need not even happen to the player city. You could for instance as an end game event have an earthquake the damages the city walls which is followed by an opportunistic attack (like Troy 6). Or another city could be leveled by an earthquake and the survivors decided to encroach.

What we know about larger disasters is that they compound, have lots of dead you get disease, have damaged cities from earthquakes you also get disease, or exploitation or loss of trade. The list goes on. If the devs have done their job well by release they will already have the tools to craft a late game challenge. The only difference between that and the Bronze Age collapse is that is is local and a-historical (but based on the realities of the age).

Now an end game event has two purposes. The first is the ‘boss’ challenge, which is obvious enough. Rack up the difficulty right at the end as a finale. for Bronze age games this should be frankly mandatory as surviving the Collapse is the event you are preparing for all the time of play, and marks whether the player has the chops to make a lasting Ancient City.

Every other setting should have the same, utilising whatever historical disasters we know of as flavour, but just ramping up the general misfortune otherwise. In addition to making a challenge it should also alter the city this second point is important.

Games of this nature tend to stagnate, the streets you build in early turns as the same as later turns just with upgraded buildings on them, having a truly evolving city should be encouraged, and that naturally involves decay. Look at the maps of medieval city and you can trace the modern streets, on most, because they endured. Troy however was rebuilt time and again, and the different levels of the city had little relation to the plan of former cities.
Transitional disasters clear or partly clear the map for new growth. In the best cases you should see parts of earlier iterations of the same city in the game map as it evolves. Only disasters properly allow this. It is a good habit for the game.

A word of caution here, when Sid Meier’s Civilization was first developed there were periods of stagnation included, but when players encountered them and were setback they restarted the game and very few games were continued to completion that way, so the idea was dropped. However we can learn from this, an end game event doesn’t have that dynamic,you build your society with the purpose of facing same as the player and the setbacks are easier to swallow. Secondly Sid Meier’s Civilization was a very much simplified god game, which didn’t have much interaction between game elements. Each unit and city was a piece on a game board, while Ancient Cities has the dynamics of a sim, and thus can develop personality.

Back to the end game catastrophe though… The second main reason to include one is to answer the players question of ‘what next’. Most games of this genre have option to play on post victory, and few do as there is nothing to really do. Lets take Sid Meier’s Civilization as an example, once you have conquered the world or got to Alpha Centauri there is nothing left to do. So when someone did play on to the year 3000 and found the world would naturally stagnate to a radioactive ecologically devastated wasteland it made the news.
Players play to the finish line then end.

So you need a finish line. But more than that by having the Collapse to weather, or a localised end game disaster complete with external and internal devastation you naturally have post endgame play option. In most games a winning position naturally surrounds having a maxed out game position. All critical buildings maintained, positive economy, tech tree complete etc etc. However a Collapse scenario doesnt result in that, in a Collapse you lose many buildings, your population degrade, skills are lost etc. Winning the game involves exheeding a survival timer to the finish line as the situation gets worse and worse. It will be hectic, it will be novel, it will be unique in games of this genre.

Instead of having multiple barracks and granaries, you get to choose whether to save either your last barracks or your last granary as much of your progress turns to ash around you as you try and make do and outlast the catastrophe.
Unlike Sid Meier’s Civilization where a setback meant a player reset, the playerbase knows that all they need do is hold on for a number or turns/game time/generations to win.

But there is more, when the finishing line is crossed the very nature of the endgame opens up additional play without any additional content required, because post victory a player can choose to rebuild those granaries, temples and barracks. Restore their city and they can choose of themselves when to actually say they are done playing and end the game.
Furthermore this wil be different in the Collapse scenario. With localised disaster endgame play can return to normal post endgame. For the Collapse things will be different, the Sea Peoples may be gone, but the trade network is gone too. You can rebuild, but you will have to scavenge materials you would have imported pre-Collapse. As a game feature scavaging will work as a city with no tin with no mean to import tin can scavenge tin from ruined civilisations.
You could have a whole section on post Collapse gameplay naturally evolving from the Collapse scenario.

In a nutshell an end game disaster would not only act as a capstone to play and a climax to the story but will also open up different styles of play as and of itself. Longer time games with multiple calamity scenarios become possible and neatly transition the game and act as hurdles to progress far beyond looking at a pretty city and thinking you have done well, looking at a scared rebuilt and scarred again city will mean so much more.

3 Likes

Regarding your analysis of endgame challenges I don’t have anything to add, well written!

On this point, I beg to differ. It is true, that within Europe the transition between Chalkolithic and Bronze Age was quite smooth, however that between Neolithic and Chalkolithic was not. The Corded Ware people in central Europe 2800 BC share 75% of their genome with earlier Yamna people from the Steppes, so there was a massive and fast replacement of populations going on. The cultural centre of Neolithic Europe in Southeast Europe got burned down (although this happened thousand years earlier, Steppe migrants may also be at work here). All over Europe, the agricultural way of life of the Neolithic got replaced by nomadic pastoralism. A lot of even today’s European culture has to got back to Indo-European times, as the same traces were left in other parts of the world by Indo-Europeans. This includes, but is not limited to, a patrilinear, patrilocal society (Neolithic Europe was probably matriarchal), strong hierarchy of power (which most of Neolithic Europe didn’t have), battle axes and probably chariots, an intricate and far developed art of poetry, a law system knowing judges, witnesses and contracts, a widespread use of animal products (termed by some the secondary product revolution) including wool, milk and honey, highly developed textile products and a pantheon of gods standing at the border between animism and polytheism.

The whole point is, this was the most dramatic change between the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, and mor dramatic than any other since then, so it would be the perfect endgame.

Sorry about that rant, your post was fun to read and an awesome analysis of endgames’ purposes.

2 Likes

Ok Tim, possibly you know far more about the Chalkolithic transition than I do. However was this transition so sudden? I always believed it was a trend to which we see the two end states but not the lapsed time between.

Nevermind, if it was or wasn’t is not relevant it could be for localised people groups. A cultural incursion creeping accross Europe over several centuries can come upon an isolated settlement quickly.

Look at the Reconquista, it lasted some six hundred years, nine hundred by some accounts, but it was studded with individual flashpoints, some of which were resolved quickly or suddenly.

There is room for an endgame event revolving around a cultural clash if the devs want it. My main question is whether they do, different cultures mean more models, more skins, and while these can be covered in content of further expansions we have to first inform ourselves that they are.

Would the cultural opposition you envisage duplicate graphics used for play in a future expansion. If yes, no problems, if no it might be too much work.

This is the problem with a small studio and Sea Peoples, they look every distinctive, and would require a lot of graphics modelling, for a game element that is only transientory. Uncasual is not Creative Assembly, they might struggle with the graphics workload. However the effects of ea People incursions can be left third hand and the Collapse coded into the game at launch, with Sea People DLC being a possibility later when funding for same is possible.

The Neolithic lacks the detailed trade routes to save that the Bronze Age had. It is harder to implement a catastrophe based around a foreign cultural incursion without showing the barbarians at the gates.

We need to have a better idea of what Uncasual can achieve in terms of graphics inclusion before implementing an end game catastrophe along the lines you mention.

We can hope though, and it would be awesome challenge to face early chariots with your tribe endgame.

2 Likes

@Orlanth Honestly, I don’t think you should worry about the BA collapse now. It has been clearly stated today (here) that it won’t happen with the base game. I understand this may be disappointing for you, but this may also be seen as a good thing, far various reasons:

  • this would involve a lot more work than purely working on the collapse itself: this needs also a proper representation of the Eastern landscapes, of the proper city-states and kingdoms of the time, with their administrations, their buildings, their social hierarchies, etc. This would not seem reasonable, as you perfectly stated, so this will allow to work more in details about the graphics, the gameplay depiction, etc.
  • another point is the fact that the BA collapse is only a devastating event, but there were a lot being quite similar, sometimes involving some similar aspects (an invasion, a growing vacuum of power, economical crisis, drought, etc.). This means that when you’ll first test the BA collapse, after a few DLCs have been released, you’ll have something probably far more polished and far more enthralling than if tentatively done for the end of 2018.

For the Neolithic era only, we may see lot of troubles and issues that may rely on a lot of work to keep our cities in a safe state, meaning there will be also periods of splendor and periods of a (relative) decline:

  • the transition from social inequalities showed by individual, monumental burials to collective burials depicting social moves inside the societies in the time, and probably social tensions;
  • the growing hierarchy between settlements, with probably some centers becoming more important than others, either for religious, political, demographic, geographical, “military” reasons (that’s the case for instance with the enclosures in Neolithic France, where some settlements obviously managed to prevail over others, becoming then important religious centers, possibly also later(?) real political centers of power. That’s also the case with such an important site as Stonehenge, which may have relied forcibly or voluntarily on the population of numerous settlements in the whole area to raise to this highness, or with the area under the Ness of Brodgar in Orkney);
  • expanding the topic to Neolithic Middle East, we may also think of such events as the first real towns being left by a part of their inhabitants, that went then to colonize the surrounding regions, and the same scheme was repeated a great number of times in Europe when the LBK culture went westwards, if I remember correctly what I’ve read on LBK in Central Europe and Germany. This may be due partly to social issues that such population centers were responsible for (be it illness, lack of resources, political or social tensions, etc.). For later eras, always in the Middle East, we may think to the Intermediate Periods in Egypt, or the fall of the empire or Ur, with their population movements, their conquests and falls.

So, all in all, I think that after all those features will have created a succession of such “small” crisis for the longest part of the game, from Neolithic to the Bronze Age – until the Bronze Age collapse.

3 Likes

Honestly, I don’t think you should worry about the BA collapse now. It has been clearly stated today (here) that it won’t happen with the base game.

I am not worriting over anything, just preparing for the future. The time to influence development is now.

Also you misread the devs. Bronze age Collapse will not be in the initial release because the Bronze age wont either. However I strongly argue that when the Bronze age expansion is released the Collapse should be included at release of that expansion. It is too important to leave out.

At that point I have my suggestions on how it should be implemented, and again, its best to air those now so Uncasual has time to decide if they wan to go that direction or not.

Bronze Age Collapse will make excellent DLC with sea Peoples to fight and disaster graphics. But thst is a lot of work and likely a saleable product too. However a Collapse era long drought plus unrest, plus no trade should in my opinion be implemented from release of the Bronze Age expansion and it should not involve heavy coding to implement this.

1 Like