It’s been a while since we discussed how we designed the Indians for water maps, so here is a quick recap:
Fire Ship and Dock Overview
As always, before designing a piece of a new civ, we need to extract the design rules from the existing civilizations.
- First, in addition to every civ having an Age 1 Fishing Boat and an Age 2 Merchant Transport, every civ in the game also features an Age 2 Basic Warship.
- Second, every civ generally has a second warship appearing in Age 3 that is classified as an Anti-Ship Ship (such as a Fire Ship or a Ram Ship). (The Celts are an exception, but this remains a general design rule.)
- Finally, like every other building in the game, Docks never have an age that skips a unit. So no civ has a warship in Age 2, nothing in Age 3, and then an Age 4 ship.
India is huge and has an entire ocean named after it and a fascinating naval and trade history (notably the Chola of southern India trading with the Aksumites and Nubians of eastern Africa, which prominently connected India to Europe by way of Egypt). But our Indians are based on the northern Indians of the Mauryan Empire, who were known more for their expansive land conquests and cultural influences along the Indus and Ganges Rivers.
So for gameplay purposes, our Indians will focus less on their navy so they can focus more on elephants, farming, and religion. However, they still need to hold their own on water. For that reason, the Indians will have two warships – an all-around Age 2 warship (the Vimana) and an Age 3 Fire Ship.
We could have opted to give them an Age 3 Ram Ship instead, but the Fire Ship also ties in nicely to another Indian unit, which we have not yet formally revealed – the Fire Monkey. Both units will be equipped with Fire Pots.
The Indians were also well known for their usage of incendiary weapons, which is yet another reason we decided to give them a Fire Ship, instead of a Ram Ship.
Max and Eamon designed the 3D model of the Fire Ship. Note the use of the Lotus plant design for the fire pot itself – a lovely artful touch to give this unit an Indian feel.
If you would like to refresh yourselves with the Vimana warship, here’s a link to its blog.
Blade Chariot & War Elephant UpdateAs you may recall, the Indian War Elephant is faster, smaller, cheaper albeit weaker than the Egyptian War Elephant. We previously revealed this unit in another blog, but now we can show you the different looks of the unit, as you improve its gear. See below:
It’s been a while since we first announced the Blade Chariot
Since then, Eamon and Max have had a chance to finalize its various models for all gears.
You will recall that ancient India was well known for its chariots, and the Arthashastra, their ancient war treatise, explains that chariots were one of their four military pillars: elephants (Gaja), chariots (Ratha), cavalry (Turanga), and foot soldiers (Pada).
To balance this unit, our Blade Chariot will be available in Age 3 from the Stables and have a high movement speed, high attack rate, short range, single-unit attack, making it the perfect unit for players who are able to micro their units on the battlefield effectively.
Indian Heroic Vanity
Civ-specific vanity is obviously less about nuanced game design and more about expressing the tone of the civ in a playful and artful manner. Pretty much everyone on our team collaborated in some way on this topic.
Heroic Vanity sets are often more complex than other sets, because they have to include three different Shields (one for Infantry and Cavalry, one for Ranged units, and one for Babylonian Shields Bearers) and three different Helmets.
We scoured the internet for flashy Indian weapons and armor and consulted with our resident expert Varadha. Cain drafted up some concept art. Natsata provided the icons. Eamon and Max built the 3D models. These decorative elements are beautiful and look amazing on any unit, and particularly on the Indians.
Just like every other Heroic Vanity Gear, the Indian Heroic Vanity set will be made available in Vanity Island once they are released.
As for an update on the progression of the Indian civilization in general, we are now continuing our animation work and are no longer blocked by the lack of animators on the team. Progress is going forward steadily, and we will be sharing more news as they come along.
Thanks for reading, and we look forward to revealing more of the Indians. Please let us know your thoughts and questions below!
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By PF2K on Aug 26, 2023 at 2:55 PM
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