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Trade - Exogamy

From Otzi the Iceman to shells from the ocean found thousands of miles inland, there is substantial evidence that trade was both commonplace and sophisticated during the Neolithic period. Trade would likely have existed locally, regionally and inter-regionally (long range). While items would trade through a system of barter, new ideas and perhaps even cultural changes might also have been conveyed by the same early traders.

It might be of greater realism that traders may occasionally encounter the tribe with various materials whose likelihood is related, inversely, to their rarity within a location. And inland tribe, for example, might find a high cost in exchange when trading for shells from the sea, whereas a coastal tribe might find such a trade, cheap.

The game variables might be:
Rarity of items - Difference between item’s typical environmental zone vs. where it is traded.
Proximity to a trade route - Frequency of a trader passing by.

Additionally, we do not know anything about the general marriage practices of Neolithic people, though there is evidence for both exogamy (Marriage outside of your social structure or tribe) and endogamy (Marriage within your social structure or tribe). In addition to traders bringing wears for trade, travelers from other tribes might infrequently appear wishing to join the player’s tribe, i.e. exogamy. Exogamy is a commonplace occurrence in a significant percentage of modern day tribal cultures. Given its benefit to the gene pool, it is probably likely that it occurred during the Neolithic as it did in subsequent recorded periods.


I love the idea of rare items and trade routes, historically such things were major drivers of exploration and discovery ( silk road, marco polo, etc.). Obviously it can also act as a driver for conflict and competition, but either way it would make the game dynamic. The distance involved in the trade route could act as a multiplier of its base value, promoting long distance movement and the development of caravan and naval technologies.


I could imagine long trade roads to be made kind of quests to establish trade relationships with far away people. For example there is evidence for a “amber road” from the Baltic Sea down to the Mediterranean/Egypt in place latest by 1700 BC. Though, as I guess, this might have been already too late for the target time frame the game should be settled in in the beginning.

source amber road:


It may be better to think of established routes between large land marks, rather than more complex routes found later. For example, running into the Rhine river would be easy if you headed north from anywhere in France. Following the river east or west could take you to the next major landmark. This may be a more accurate portrayal of such trade.

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Well the idea of an ‘Amber Road’ is disputed but even the Silk Road’s origins are in the nomadic tribes and agreements made with them.

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Perhaps it would be possible to assign a few villagers to some sort of trading party so, they go and explore, and find other villages and start assessing who trades what and then start setting up local routes for certain resources meaning that rare resources run out far less quickly.


I second this!!!

Sending trade groups away would be a neat way to learn new things and find new resources from remote places. :heart_eyes:


I imagine trading groups would be a good source of weird events - Imagine a landlocked culture finding a sea!


They might consider it a Great Lake or Great River.

Interestingly, Mesolithic and early Neolithic people coexisted. Imagine the fun of their complex interactions. (this is, in fact, a person interest of mine).

Ötzi the Iceman’s Axe Came From Surprisingly Far Away

As you say, there were already extensive trade routes and supply chains for industry around 5,300 BCE.


In relation to trade routes it would be also nice to see some development in language.
So maybe the barter skills with other tribes will increase the more you understand the language, but learning the language is a time consuming process. This forces the player to assign more people to trading and communicating which would lead to specialisation of the tribe. Thus, a single tribe is not able to be good in every profession making it also dependent on environmental conditions such as Trader tribes need easy food sources as they don’t know how to properly till a field in maybe rough terrain or catch more fish in unpopulated rivers.

Going by what the team has said on how tech (IIRC they said that it’ll not be a tech tree but ideas will spread more naturally from outside your settlement) will spread I’d guess some form of trade must be possible, otherwise how would tech spread?

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Trade is probably a guarantee, as with any historical city building game. I’m looking at games like Banished and Total War where trade is a major factor in the game’s overall progression. Even in neolithic times, trade drove the people to expand and gather resources. Hell, the first great Empire (Akkadian) was driven by Sargon and his dynasty’s desire to acquire Iron from Dilmun, Ceader wood and stone from Ebla and Mari, and slaves from the Zagros Tribes (Lullubi). Suffice it to say, local resources were quint-essential pre requisites for expansion.

Total War is now perhaps not a good example. Scarcely building strategy, the focus clearly on money and conquest. No expansion of knowledge by trade. No influence on the quantity of goods.

Think more of Anno, patricians and Caesar III could be considered closer. (It is missing knowledge transfer except a little in Anno 1404) Could also imagine that was rather exchanged, since there was probably no common currency. Trade in the sense of the word.

In any case, the dealers has great importance to (knowledge)
Think also important: not too many different goods, if possible, merchandise groups. Or the dealer really only allow the possible options for buying and selling with the respective village.

Knowledge transfer could be carried out e.g. Depending on the popularity of the settlement or the friendliness of the inhabitants. Of course, knowledge is also a commodity …

you have settlements in TW… settlements which you build up. Settlements that show distinct changes when you upgrade it and are viable on the battlefield. For that reason, I consider TW at least, in some part, a city building game. Or maybe “city-planning game” is a better term? IDK, the essence is still there in that most historical titles have a trading system in place.

I mostly played Amazon Total War (RTW addon) :stuck_out_tongue:

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Atilla is a much better game though lol. How can you have any prehistory stuff without hordes?

Amazon Total War had hordes… just not the same type. It was more fantasy than historical, of course.

interesting, ill have to try it

Yes, and only then. Total War, as the name implies. Love the series and have played them all, except Shogun and Warhammer. But money is at the center. More cities, more money. With money you buy roads, markets, ports, mines, dealers. Result: more money, for armies upgrades etc …
Would not classify this as a construction simulation. But OK…
With few exceptions, gold / money is at the center of most games. Think, that is why Banished is so successful. Survival is the goal.
As far as trade is concerned, “Anno” and “Patrizier” already set standards. “Lord of the Realms” was clever too.