Hello there Celeste players! We are back with another Roman reveal blog.
As we develop the Romans, each week we will be revealing the Romans to you building by building, unit by unit, and technology by technology. We are not just showing you what the Romans will be, but showing you how we are building them, who is building them, and also why we are building them the way that we are.
This week, we are getting deeper into Roman Siege Units by revealing the Onager, which is an Age 4 catapult, and then circling back to our Battering Ram. Finally, we‘ll head back to the Capital City and show you the Advisor Hall.
Onager and Battering Ram AnimationsAs we discussed in our Unit Design Blog, there are two siege units that appear in every civ, an Age 3 ram and an Age 4 trebuchet. We’ve already revealed the Roman versions (Battering Ram and Palintonon, respectively), so now we are finally getting into new territory.
Meanwhile, three civs (Greeks, Egypt, and Persia) have an additional siege unit, which is some version of ranged siege that appears in Age 4 (Ballista, Catapult, and War Wagon, respectively).
Here you can see these units, alongside the Roman Onager and the Sea People's Catapult:
We have always known that the Romans would be siege heavy, so it comes as no surprise to see them with the same thing. But the Romans will have a second Age 3 Siege Unit, as well. That unit will put Roman Siege over the top, and we are saving it for later. It is one of the last units on our list, so it isn’t finished at the moment, either. It's also one of our absolute favorite units of all time. We can’t wait to show it to you.
For today, though, we are super excited to introduce the Onager, which has really grown on us. This powerful unit appears in every draft of the Romans that we found, so we easily slotted it into place without much debate. Though we haven’t balanced it yet, we expect it to be similar to the Egyptian Catapult in execution, if not a touch smaller but more effective in groups. As for the Onager’s model, we had some concept art that gave Happy Smurf and Chaos a head start.
But we think their model makes the unit even better. As the Romans were experts in siege-craft and construction, we hope to convey that theme with the design of their siege weapons. And compared to the Egyptian Catapult, this thing feels like a bulldozer. And while the Egyptian Catapult doesn’t always get much attention, we believe that the Onager will work its way into Roman build orders very quickly. We are also quite excited about its animations. When you see it fire its rock and come crashing back down, you can almost feel how heavy the unit is. It’s these little details that continually put us in awe of our 3D team. (Thank Chaos for this animation, by the way.)
Speaking of animations, we realized that when we revealed the Battering Ram back in Week 11, we only showed it to you with Common gear. Phillus just this week finalized its attack animation, and we thought it would be nice to circle back and show off the Battering Ram in action with some heavier armor to give you a better taste for the unit. Again, we will be working hard to create strategies for the Romans that will involve all four Siege Units. Defending against Rome in the late game will be difficult because they’ll have plenty of tools to throw at you. They are going to be night and day compared to, say, Egypt’s War Elephant spam.
Here's a quick summary of the revealed Roman Siege units:
As you likely well know, the Advisor Hall is the Capital City building where players select Advisors. Every civ has their own version, and the Romans are no different. We had some concept art, but after Happy Smurf brought it to life, we felt that it was lacking a few flourishes, so he set to work to gussy it up a bit.
Specifically, the roof and floor were originally going to be bare white marble. The Romans used a lot of marble, but often painted on top of it. We added the Roman roof color to the stone, center statue, and some other details. All told, the Capital City Buildings are really coming along to bring that classical Roman style to the game.
Here is the Roman Advisor Hall next to the ones from other civilizations:
Finally, we want to update you on playtesting. As we mentioned last week, we are intentionally slowing down development to give our 3d team necessary room to focus on their studies, which are far more important than anything we are doing here. We still have about five or six units totally unfinished and many more units and buildings with all sorts of bugs and choppy animations to be ironed out. (Plus who knows how many issues we haven't even discovered yet that are hiding in the shadows.) However, to get a head start and begin identifying any obvious issues, we brought in our balance playtesters the other day. At this point, they are focusing mostly on Ages 1, 2, and 3, but it’s great to finally have them come on board and start getting familiar with what we are aiming to do with the Romans.
This is especially true since as soon as we told them about the Romans back in May, they have jumped right in and advised us in lots of ways, particularly regarding some as-of-yet unannounced units that really have been giving us fits. (Stay tuned for some future blog posts full of drama, teeth gnashing, dead ends, and break-throughs.) Again, none of us have ever done anything like this before, so we want to make sure we leave lots of room for delays. We are still being careful not to work too quickly, but it is such a relief to tiptoe into the next phase of development, even if we aren't completely ready.
The in-game Romans are just barely roughed in, still have placeholder units everywhere, and are missing tons of comforts of living. It’s kind of like living in a half-framed house. You may be able to stay dry, but you are sleeping in a bag on the cement floor and there’s no water or electricity. Sure it’s gonna be a great house, but you’re not about to invite anyone over for dinner tonight. We’ve gotten lots of requests to help playtest, but we just are in no position to start letting people in. The Romans aren’t close to ready, and we want to make sure even some of our closest friends’ first impressions are of a civ that we can take pride in.
Before we forget, take a look at the 3 revealed Roman Siege units tearing a Celtic Town Center apart:
Thank you so much for your support, everybody, and see you next week.
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!
Missed the Roman Civilization's announcement? Find out about it HERE.
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By PF2K on Sep 21, 2019 at 11:10 AM
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