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Neolithic Clothing in the Game?

Neolithic clothing was rather complex and diverse. Clothing
ranged from simple leather garments to extremely complex woven
cloth. Whole panels of cloth were woven using weighted looms
allowing for the creation of more sophisticated clothing, such as
shawls, skirts, and perhaps even rudimentary dresses. The amount of
time required to make even a single square meter of cloth could be
quite extreme, as was the amount of time needed to grow the plants
which made the fibers used in the cloth. As a result, good quality
clothing would be worth a significant value in trade.

It has been suggested that the clothing will be added as development continues and will change during game play due to new player discoveries/advancement. It is important to capture all of the common forms of Neolithic clothing, not just the basic leather tunic.

Some common items:
Sandals
Leather shoes
Leather boots
Loincloth
Breech-cloth
Leggings
Wrap (leather, felt, bast[flax,cotton])
String skirt
Fur/leather/reed cape
Fur hat/mittens
Fur coat
Leather vest
Leather shirt
Leather apron
Headdress (feathers, beads, etc)

Also, the clothing will change heavily due to the time of year. Whereas a simple leather wrap and sandals might be fine for anyone in the summer, boots, fur leggings, breech-cloth, long leather shirt, fur coat, fur mittens and fur hat might be worn in the cold of winter.

It is also likely these items would be colored with paints, decorated with shells and beads, and generally not that bland (people like to decorate things).

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Very interesting. I see you have alot of info to give, that’s awesome learning so many new things

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Ty! Neolithic clothing is quite neat stuff. I’ve made reproductions of some of it by hand and I can say for sure that it was VERY tough to make :slight_smile:

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How much time you would say for a full suit?

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The most fun thing to make was the flax string skirt. That took me about 6-8 hours. I had to turn raw flax fiber into string (spinning) and then tie each piece. My hands hurt so badly afterword lol

Well, given the materials and using ONLY period tools, here are some estimates of these items. Most of the time is involved in stitching. You have to make the thread by hand. This requires a bone awl and a bone needle. These times DO NOT count tanning the leather lol Also, remember that real Neolithic folk were likely MUCH better at this than me, as they did it all of the time.

Sandals - 8 hours
Leather shoes - 16 hours
Leather boots - 32 hours
Loincloth - 2 hour
Breech-cloth 3 hours
Leggings - 24 hours
Wrap (leather, felt, bast[flax,cotton]) - 1 hour
String skirt - 8 hours
Fur/leather/reed cape - 1-4 hour
Fur hat/mittens - 30 hours
Fur coat - 30+ hours
Leather vest - 16 hours
Leather shirt - 24 hours
Leather apron - 4 hours
Headdress (feathers, beads, etc) - 1+ (based on complexity)

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Yes! Someone else shares my hopes! :smiley:

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All too often, prehistoric folk are shown wearing basic leather or even unrealistic outfits. Men wear drab leather without design and women wear full body dresses (this is done to accommodate modern modesty as the upper body would likely be uncovered in the warmer seasons).

Real neolithic clothing was likely much more ornate and beautiful. We can infer this by looking at some of the nifty designs found in subsequent bronze age clothing and extrapolating design potential. Additionally, looking at more recent tribal society suggests that paint might have been an extension of clothing and possibly served a very important role.

hand made neolithic string skirt. I made from flax fiber, hand spun using only period tools.
Neolithic Flax String Skirt Reproduction

(Nice reproduction. This isn’t actually neolithic, but similar to early neolithic cothing)

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I’ve been wondering how best to inform the player of environmental systems through gameplay. Maybe there can be cues, such as clothing to indicate ambient temperature and seasons; animal migrations, crop growth, and solstice rituals to indicate time of year; lighting for time of day; etc. I hope a lot of this can be communicated in-game, rather than with immersion breaking overlays and HUD (or at least have an option to turn it off).

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Some possible options.

Spring - Leggings, breechcloth, leather shirt or perhaps a linen tunic with belt, and leather shoes.
Summer - Loincloth, string skirt, leather wrap with shoes or sandals.
Fall - Leggings, breechcloth, leather or felt shirt, linen tunic with belt, and leather shoes or boots.
Winter - Leggings, breechcloth, leather or felt shirt, linen tunic with belt, and leather boots, fur hat and mittens, fur coat, fur cape. Extra fur bits can be wrapped around arms and legs for extra warmth. *

Rain/Snow: Reed cape or reed woven (like a basket) hat to block the elements, over clothing.

  • For cold seasons, much of this would be shed within a dwelling as they were actually quite warm inside due to their construction.
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It took many viewings to pick out this detail, but in the gameplay trailer it does appear that women are presented topless occasionally. If this is true, I’m grateful to see the developers adherence to historical accuracy instead of political correctness and modesty.

Ancient Cities | Trailer

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Actually in the final release we have to adhiere to political correctness, not only because we know that many people nowadays can be offended by a naked body, but also because this legal thing with ratings.
The solution we have in mind is a cheap dlc rated for adults only that unlocks all what is historical but not political correct in our world. We still have to decide about this solution though.

Even so, there are things we don’t think we can do, like showing naked kids running around like it probably was, and still can be seen today in many tribal societies, in some aspects less sick than our civilized world.

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I have always found being PC to be silly, but I totally understand.
My own book characters would not be PC for their the covers, so I have them illustrated with hair blocking certain parts. In short, I have the same rules to deal with. No idea why our society has to link the body with being bad or wrong, but many seem to. :frowning:

I was just pointing out what people would have worn (both male and female). If you do make a realism DLC with, that would be fun. I think depicting people as they really were is very human and valid.

But, even if you give them little tops, they can still wear authentic clothing, otherwise. :slight_smile:

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@UncasualGames I appreciate the fine line you are trying to walk here and expected this would cause some difficulty with regional ratings, hence my surprise. I agree that the complex simulation that you are developing is more important to get right than challenging our collective sensibilities. It’s encouraging to hear this topic is at least being discussed and considered, instead of ignored outright. Even if it’s not officially feasible, there’s always modding I suppose :wink:

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Yes, I agree!

It is a very important topic. In our modern day, our society tends to sexualize the body. In tribal societies thus observed, this does not seem to be the case. Breasts are for nursing children and a symbol of the female form. It’s really quite odd that we allow men to wear not shirts in video games (often with absurd muscles and a physique few could achieve), but we ban all female upper bodies as though they were innately sexual, though this is merely something our modern society has created. We are mammals, named for our very mammary glands =/ (a good argument for a DLC)

Anyhow, AC’s need to adhere to rules is totally valid and makes sense.

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While leather, fur, flet, reed, grasses and other simple materials were used to make clothing, one of the really neat things which came out of the Neolithic were textiles!


Bast fibers such as flax, cotton or nettle, can be grown or simple collected and converted into yarn. The yarn can be be woven into cloth or strings.

  1. Flax is grown in fields, then picked by hand.
  2. Bundles are allowed to decay in the field or tossed into a retting pond to decay.
  3. The flax is allowed to dry.
  4. The outer material of the flax is removed by beating with a wooden club.
  5. The inner fibers are combed and now ready to be spun into yarn.

    This sample was made with jute fiber.

    I went ahead and recreated these techniques with some flax I bought from Etsy. It was easy to make string by hand. After I had plenty of it, I then made a panel of linen cloth using a simple weighted loom.

    (Yes, the “beater” is a plastic comb. No time to make one from bone)

If linen is too much trouble (it is…) you can also make a string skirt. I made a tiny one for a doll, just like the large one I posted before. :slight_smile:

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Also: Wool is something that should be develop-able towards the end of the game. Sheep and Goat are notoriously difficult to distinguish in the archaeological record (mostly because their bones are so very similar) but heavy wool coats are an adaptation that appeared after their domestication, I seem to recall most theories point towards the end of the Neolithic or the Eneolithic, but I might be wrong on that. Anyway until “woolly sheep” appeared with wool long enough to be spun into threads, people had to use the short(er) hairs on “non-woolly sheep” to make felt.

I have to say reading your list Lotus, I’m glad I’ve never had to be out on a cold, wet, european day in neolithic clothing, XD having a wool cloak and tunic makes so much of a difference.

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As a history and archeology educated person myself (uni dropout woo!) I would say start very very basicly with not much more then animal skins, sharp rocks and sea shells.

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Lol that’s what the reed cloak is for. But yeah, these clothes are not fun. I’ve made reproductions of most of them and spent a day/night camping with just these clothes.

They are really breezy and feel epic when the wind is warm. But add humidity or rain and it gets bad, fast. The leathee chafes and feels wretched on the skin in the rain or humidity. They are warm enough, but keeping your feet dry is really tough.

On a cold wet day, id suggest staying in the hut.
Only a warm wet day, going out is fine, just wear as little as possible due to the icky feeling and the damage water does to leather. =/

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I know, I used to do a fair amount of medieval reenactment leather and linen are common (especially linen since wool can be horribly scratchy and leather chafes, so you wear linen next to the skin and wool outside). Just that extra layer of wool makes so much difference on a wet and rainy day, you can sit there warm, dry (lanolin is somewhat water repellent) and comfy for hours, and when it gets too hot you can strip down to your nice and breezy linens :D.

I did see someone wearing a leather tunic, hoes and cloak once and was like “oh my god that looks horrific to wear.”

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Good to hear you also experimented with the clothing. The only way to really get a feel for things is to uss them. Make a bow, fletch an arrow, make paints, cook Neolithic food, make and wear the clothing. It’s also fun! \o/

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