By PF2K on Oct 30, 2021 at 5:16 PM
  1. PF2K

    PF2K Lead Developer
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    After racing towards Pataliputra this spring, we ran into a slow patch this summer, but we’ve caught our breath and are back in gear.

    Broadly speaking, we have most of our 3D models for buildings and have turned our eyes onto the complex world of units. To give you some perspective, for every Indian building in the game (including Capital City buildings and decorations), we need 59 models and 38 animations. For the Indian Units, however, we need a total of 230 models and 140 animations.

    At this point, no single unit is completely finished. But we do have the basics for many of them and pulled a few off the shelf to show you today. So let’s get at it.

    We will talk far more about the gameplay decisions and design theory of the Indians later (why we gave them the units, buildings, and technologies we did, etc.) and look forward to dissecting cross-sections of the civ at different stages of gameplay (Age 1, Age 2, etc.).

    However, since we are just jumping right into the thick of the civ with two key Age 2 military buildings, the Archery Range and the Stables, we want to give you some context for why we decided on these specific units. So let’s talk about the early game of the Indians, at least from their military perspective.

    Archery Range and Stables
    =========================
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    (PF2K's Personal Note: the Egyptians do not have an Archery Range, and their Stables doubles up as both a regular Stables and an Archery Range. Similarly, the Romans do not have the traditional set of Military Buildings, but for the sake of the blog, we are having the Auxilia Camp next to Archery Ranges and the Praetorium next to other civilizations' Stables)

    The Indian military opens the game with the standard anti-Cav Spearman. As we discussed way back in our Unit Design Blog, there is a rebuttable presumption that any new civ have a single Age 1 Spearman. Certainly there is still room for an AoEO civ to have a more diverse Age 1 military (the Persian Sparabara is heretofore the game’s only deviation), but for reasons that will become more clear as we reveal the rest of the civ this fall and winter, we elected to keep the Spearman in Age 1 for the Indians (they will have other unique features in Age 1).

    That brings us to Age 2, where AoEO civs have great synergy, generally featuring a full set of at least one Infantry, Ranged, and Cavalry unit that somehow combine to also counter each of those three Classes.

    Traditionally Age games are built on a rock-paper-scissors design with melee Infantry countering melee Cavalry who counter Ranged units who counter Infantry. But AoEO’s asymmetric unit design mixes things up while elegantly preserving that balance. For instance, in Age 2 the Egyptians have a Slinger who counters Ranged units and a Camel Rider who counters Cavalry. Similarly, the Babylonian Lancer counters Infantry while their Shield Bearer counters Ranged. This is a how AoEO creates a diverse ecosystem of asymmetric civs. It’s beautiful and the best system across the franchise.

    So in designing the Indians, we were hyper focused on finding a way for them to stand on their own and harmonize with the seven other civs in Age 2. And in analyzing this balance, we realized something: Not one civ in the entire game actually had an Age 1 and Age 2 that perfectly followed that traditional Age of Empires rock-paper-scissors trifecta with an Age 1 Spearman and a Ranged unit countering Infantry and a Melee Cav countering Ranged in Age 2.

    Therefore, we decided to give the Indians the classic, original standard opening of the Age of Empires franchise. They have an Age 1 anti-Cav melee Spearman, an Age 2 anti-Infantry Bowman and Age 2 anti-Ranged Cavalry. (As well as a second Infantry unit in Age 2, the Gada Warrior, who is more of an all-around unit with a slight bonus against Infantry.)

    However, the Indians also have a handful of other Age 2 units giving them the largest Age 2 unit roster in the game. We will discuss all of those units soon enough. But for today, we present to you the anti-Infantry Bowman and the anti-Ranged Turanga.

    Bowman
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    The Bowman is self-explanatory, and we intentionally went with a simple name. The game already has four Bowmen, a Cretan Bowman, and a Toxotes. So Bowman seemed the right move for a standard archer.

    Turanga
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    But every AoEO civ needs some local flavor, and the Indians shall be no different. “Turanga” is the Sanskrit word for “Horse” and was the word used to describe the entire classification of cavalry in their military. This makes the word essentially the Indian equivalent of Asabara, Sarissophoroi, and Eques. It is also easy enough for us English speakers to say (and leagues better than Ulfheðinn and Farbjoðr). We study how language is used in AoEO very carefully, so we handpicked a couple of Indian units to be properly in their language.

    The Turanga is the Indians' answer to Ranged Units in Age II, but once its Champion Upgrade is researched, it will also become effective against Cavalry Units. This is in a way similar to the Egyptian Camel Rider, where it starts out as an Anti-Cavalry Cavalry, but then becomes substantially more effective against Ranged Units upon researching Camel Rider Champion.

    This allows the Indians to transition comfortably into the midgame. They already need to make Turangas in Age II to counter the enemy's Ranged Units, however once players reach Age III and research Turanga Champion, they will be able to establish map control and expand onto the map, since they already have amassed a large number of Turangas.

    Ranger
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    This brings us to Age 3. Back in the Archery Range, the Indians will have the Ranger, which is an anti-Ranged javelin unit — basically their Peltast or Takabara. We chose his name for several reasons. First, “Takabara” literally translate to “Ranger.” Second, the original Devs had once slotted a unit with this name into the Archery Range of the Phoenicians (appearing in their Age 3, no less). We have assembled a vast trove of original designs and concept art and love leaning on it whenever possible. Breathing life into original discarded ideas helps glue our new content back onto the original intent for the game. Details matter. And so “Ranger” is a fittingly perfect name.

    Blade Chariot
    ==============
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    Let’s move back to the Stables, but first a brief history lesson. Unlike the Romans, there are not a lot of primary sources for ancient Indian history. But we have the Arthashastra, a 600 page treatise on military strategy and statecraft authored by Chanakya, who was the advisor to Chandragupta Maurya, the founder and namesake of our Mauryan Empire. Chanakya explains that the Mauryan army consisted of four types of troops -- elephants (Gaja), chariots (Ratha), cavalry (Turanga), and foot soldiers (Pada).

    Therefore, the Indians obviously need a chariot. The only question was where it would fit. And the Stables in Age 3 turned out to be the best spot. While ancient sources and Bollywood often include legendary Indian chariots equipped with massive spinning blades and other mechanical weapons, for gameplay considerations, we shy away from a melee chariot. (Frankly, the Indians needed another ranged unit, particularly in light of their other huge melee units we haven’t discussed yet but you know are coming. Plus a ranged chariot helps distinguish it from the Turanga, which again is the other Stables unit.) So our Blade Chariot will be short range with a ranged, single-unit attack, but high attack speed, making it the perfect unit for players who are able to micro their units on the battlefield effectively.

    In the lategame, players can upgrade their Blade Chariots and turn them into the ultimate late-game harassment unit. While the Blade Chariot doesn't have the highest range of all Chariot units, it is very fast and has a very high attack rate, making it very capable at sneaking behind enemy defenses and tearing the enemy economy to pieces.

    Summary
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    To wrap things up, here's everything we showed to you in this blog:

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    The Indian Military Tech Tree is full of different Buildings and Units, and we we can't wait until we're able to show you more of it soon! The Indian Barracks is next on our list and we hope to have it ready for the next blog, alongside at least one other Military Building. Stay tuned!

    More 2D Artwork
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    We recently brought Natsata aboard as our third 2D artist. He has been invaluable and works incredibly well with us. You will be seeing plenty of his stuff as these blogs continue, but for now, we have some of his Quest Givers to share. Welcome, Natsata!

    Thanks for reading, and we look forward to revealing more of the Indians again shortly as we pick up the pace. Please let us know your thoughts and questions below!

    All current and future content will stay 100% free and accessible to everyone.

    ========
    Thank you so much for reading, and we will see you all next time!

    Project Celeste Development Team

    What do you think about this week's blog? What would you like to see next? Let us know in the comments below!

    ========
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    Project Celeste is completely free and always will be. However, we gladly accept donations for our overhead costs, which are larger than we have budgeted. If you want to support us, you can do so HERE.

    Read every Romans related blog HERE.
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    ========
     
    #1 PF2K, Oct 30, 2021 at 5:16 PM
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2021
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Comments

Discussion in 'Indians' started by PF2K, Oct 30, 2021.

    1. RekiemOne

      RekiemOne Champion

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      Getting more and more real
      So hyped
       
      PF2K and Andy P XIII like this.
    2. Slyrevick

      Slyrevick Berserker

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    3. CrimsonCantab

      CrimsonCantab Champion

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      I'm confused by this...don't Greeks and or Persians have what you're describing?
      Greeks: Spear -> Sari -> Tox -> Spear
      Persians: Spear -> Asa -> Bow -> Spear
       
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    4. PF2K

      PF2K Lead Developer
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      Saris are Ranged and Persian Spearmen are in Age II. I will change that part of the text to be more clear.
       
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    5. Andy P XIII

      Andy P XIII Moderator
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      yeah I wrote that part. my bad
       
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    6. RASPUTINPRIME

      RASPUTINPRIME Champion

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      looks outstanding. One comment - shouldn't the skin tone be darker for some or most of the units? One of the true wonders of South Asia is that it truly is a sub-continent and has an incredible diversity of cultures, languages and - yes - colors.
       
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    7. Andy P XIII

      Andy P XIII Moderator
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      We could do that!
       
    8. indianempire

      indianempire Woad Raider

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      cant wait for more especially the elephants, great work guys
       
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    9. PF2K

      PF2K Lead Developer
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      You haven't seen all of the units just yet! ;)
       
    10. indianempire

      indianempire Woad Raider

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      do you mean skin color then no, because this is not a south Indian empire it is north Indian empire, plus the south Indian kingdoms were vassals and less under the rule. most north indian empire stood away from south Indian cause its was very powerful in itself plus why invade when they can pay tribute and didn't give shit what they did north lol
       
    11. ByFstugan

      ByFstugan Hippikon

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      So much nice work! Really looking forward to see more of this project.

      One thought about this post. I dunno exact why, but I think the idea of a malee-chariot sounds MUCH more appealing to me than a ranged one. If possible - perhaps this isn't out of the window - concider it some turns more?

      Romans had such in AoE1/RoR (called "Scythe Chariot") and that one was a pretty weak Chariot that with it's upgrade got armored and had a splash/area damage added. I want to remember it as if it had one horse first and with upgrade only got two, but not sure about that - if nothing else it could be an idea. But this unit was like a fast, cheap and weak elephant when upgraded since it had the area damage, and to some civs with bad alternatives (wanna remember it as Roman there where such) it was the best unit in last age by far. It was a brutal unit to be raided by. The appearances on them with uppgrade when they suddenly became heavely armored in look (though the biggest difference I think was that they gained area damage) made them really scary compared to their more lame younger self.

      If there really is a history of such and Bollywood spins on it alot I think it might be a loss not to have them with Indians. But in my mind now they would tend to be the best unit for the civ, like the alternative to Norse Berserkers - and I dunno if that role is taken and that Indians can't have another that potentially strong unit. My suggestion isn't much without the area damage, and that's only suitable also with the blades in the wheels. Also - it can still be called a "Blade Chariot" since the blade in the wheels is one of the things doing damage. In my opinion the name would make even more sense then than if they're just decoration.

      Link to read about the AoE1 Scythe Chariots:
      https://ageofempires.fandom.com/wiki/Scythe_Chariot

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      #12 ByFstugan, Oct 30, 2021 at 7:07 PM
      Last edited: Oct 31, 2021
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    12. Mortal Engine

      Mortal Engine Long Swordsman

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      Holy Cow. Really Impressed with Natsata's artwork. Is there anyone who knows what rendering/drawing software he uses? I've been using GIMP for ages but can't get the type of renders he has (granted, its not the optimal drawing software by any means)

      @PF2K Do you onboard beginner level 3D modellers by chance? I did some design work with 0AD making a "horror" themed civ, and a lot of my work was done in blender using animations and props, here is some of my work below:

      Figure 1: This is a radioactive humanoid. Messed up the right hand but it would be an easy fix. For some reason, I can't find the properly fixed one for the life of me!
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      Figure 2: Here is the army with the production building (eyeball) and town center (tentacle building)
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      Figure 3: Some other variants of the same buildings
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      Figure 4: Messing around with mounted (cavalry) props

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      Figure 5: Accompanying "pooch" for the radioactive humanoid
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      Figure 6: Mapping textures for the individual skull head
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      Figure 7: Fire based civ with "flame head" units, crazy strong TC, and chariot salamanders
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      Figure 8: Icons (PF2K will have to teach me how to make better icons, lol)
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      Figure 9: Fire Thrower Barracks:
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    13. Natsata

      Natsata Spearman

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      Glad you like it. I use Photoshop CS6.
       
    14. Mortal Engine

      Mortal Engine Long Swordsman

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      Thanks man! Do you think your work could be achieved in GIMP, or does it not present the tools you need for things like shape development, shading, coloring, etc? Do you use a digital notepad or a device to assist in your workflow? Just curious, as my job actually has me doing a fair bit of 3D modelling and I'd like to get better at it...
       
    15. Natsata

      Natsata Spearman

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      Yes, you can achive it with GIMP. I use tablet Wacom.
       
    16. frogs.poison

      frogs.poison Hippikon

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      To be clear, Indian's will have 2 Archery Range units and 2 Stables units - Bowman/Ranger and Turanga/Blade Chariot?

      It seems that I'll need to craft a Blackened Gorget for that Chariot for sure.

      Can't wait for the Barracks reveal!

      Trying to figure out the gear gaps with what all's been revealed is quite fun ^.^
       
      PF2K likes this.
    17. Andy P XIII

      Andy P XIII Moderator
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      Yes. They have exactly two units in each of those buildings.
       
    18. purpleganja

      purpleganja Champion

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      Beautiful!

      I really like that going back to the roots is what makes them unique! I will feel right at home with such a good roster.

      That Gada warrior sounds very nice too. Can't wait to learn more about it.
       
      PF2K likes this.
    19. CrimsonCantab

      CrimsonCantab Champion

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      Starting the Mace Gear Slot rumors now!!
       
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