Today we are continuing to reveal various Indian units and buildings as they roll off the conveyor belt.
Civilizations in Age of Empires Online generally have about three brand new buildings that move the civ into its own thematic direction. The Indians will be no different, and we have already revealed to you their Plantation (an oversized Farm) and their Shrine (a resource generating, monkey spawning religious building). Their third major building will be arriving later.
Their Town Center, however, will be fairly standard, though it will train something other than the Villager, which we will discuss in the future.
Today we are revealing how the Town Center looks in the early game.
Age 1 and 2 Town CentersMax and Eamon began working on the Town Center almost immediately, as it is obviously the cornerstone building in any civ. To nail down the entire architectural aesthetic of the Indians, there is no better place to start that with the Town Center. Accordingly, ours went through a few rounds of drafts before we finalized them. Most notably, the roof begins in Age 1 with the fairly flat, blocky roof that you may recall from some other buildings.
Starting in Age 2, the building grows vertically a bit (which will continue in Ages 3 and 4). Decorations also begin to become more pronounced. For instance, in Age 2, it gains a lion statue. Keep your eyes on that spot next time.
Here's a quick line-up of all Age 1 and Age 2 Town Centers for all civilizations:
As our longtime readers will recall, Villagers are one of the game’s four Common Units, which (1) are all hardwired into the game code to be shared by all civs and (2) appear at the same age and from the same building, and have identical statistics (save for the Egyptian Villager’s slow training time which is necessary to offset that civ’s ability to produce Villagers when aging up, as well as the Priestess of Ra having the ability to empower the Town Center and speed up Villager production).
We endeavor to create civs that feel like natural additions to our game, so we tend to follow well-trodden design patterns. Because the Indians do not need a special version of the Villager, they have the standard Villager unit.
But that doesn’t mean theirs is boring. The Villager is the most important and heavily used unit in the game, so we need ours to feel as Indian as possible. But those aspects will be artistic rather than substantive.
Eamon, Max, and Phillus added a few flourishes:
First, we are suckers for good moustaches, and in epic historical films, Bollywood habitually depicts Indians with some amazing facial hair. We are by no means going to limit the civ’s moustaches to the Villager, but the male Vil is definitely strong in that department. Eamon even added a little chest hair, to boot.
Second, you will notice that the female Villager has pants under her dress. This is no accident – that garment is called a Shalwar, and is a traditional part of Indian fashion. Both men and women wear them, and they are frequently worn by women under long dresses.
Third, Phillus provided the Indian Vils with an exclusive animation that allows them to carry their resources in baskets balanced on their heads. Head-carrying is common throughout the world, but generally more in India/Southeast Asia and Africa than in the locations of the existing seven civs. Again, this is a detail that has zero effect on gameplay. However, these tiny details are the kinds of thing that really set AoEO apart from all the other games, and we have so much pride in finding little ways to sprinkle them into our content. To us, it’s worth every extra hour, and we hope it is to you all, as well.
Hans did that amazing portrait of the Villagers, by the way. He cranked out a ton of art for us last summer.
We intend to add some new mechanics to the Indians to differentiate their economy, so we need to give them a standard Villager unit to complement those differences and to allow them to stand out. As for those unique features, we already mentioned how the Shrine will generate resources in an earlier blog. There is also another huge feature to the economy of the Indians, but we are not to going to mention that elephant in the room just yet.
Bowman and Ranger Gear ProgressionThese are the two units available in the Archery Range, and we previously revealed them in an earlier blog. At that time we only had the basic models. Over the last couple of weeks, Eamon has gone back through and completed the many versions necessary for different gear. We think they look phenomenal.
More Capital City DecorationsTo wrap this blog up, here are two more Indian Capital City buildings; the Advisor Hall and the Gear Hall, which are part of the core set of Capital City buildings, available to every civilization.
Thanks for reading, and we look forward to revealing more of the Indians again soon. Please let us know your thoughts and questions below!
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By PF2K on Feb 20, 2022 at 6:27 PM
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