Jump to content
Sundiata

The Kingdom of Kush: A proper introduction [Illustrated]

Recommended Posts

@Sundiata Just a heads up, I've started making a 1024*1024 Kushite structural texture pack. If there are any dominant surface treatments or building materials I need to know of, now would be a good time to let me know, also the color of local lumber. So far I've been focusing on dry stone treatments and white painted mud-plaster walls

I paint my textures, so it's not a fancy 3D built texture like many of Enrique's, but it'll do. Also if any other artist wants to work in tandem another 1024p can be added to make it a 2048*1024 like the Ptolemies' pack. Just keep communications open so we won't have a messy union of assets.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LordGood Cool! I started an amateuristic texture pack myself, but then I realized you guys actually don't seem to use photo-textures… I don't know if it's anywhere close to usable, but I'll share it for you to get an idea of where I was heading with it. I was careful to use only cc0 licensed images, and 2 pictures of my own (wood). I'm not satisfied with it as a whole, but I do really like the broken white plastered wall with brick base and decorations at the top. Just see what you make of it… I'm just happy you're working on something Kushite-related :) 

Kingdom_of_Kush_texture_2.png

 

[Edit] As far as wood goes, acacia seems like a logical choice. Dark ebony wood was also a major export for the Kushites. I think we can assume they used it themselves as well.  

Spoiler

contemporary-dining-tables.jpg

0096-ebony-dark-wood-fine-texture-seamless-hr.jpg

 

Edited by Sundiata
  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh we do use photo textures, we just end up changing them so much it can be hard to see. 

Wood is one of the tougher things to paint, so those textures are much appreciated :P

I think I like this civilization pitch as much as I do because you're not trying to guilt us into adding it. And of course pitched it well. It's exciting!

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hahaha! Thanks…

It's an open source game, so I don't even understand how some people think they can guilt people in to sacrificing their free time for something they could do themselves, if they're really so passionate about it. I don't believe in guilt-tripping people anyway… Especially not with history. A lot of very bad things happened to Africa, and Africans over the past few centuries, but I highly doubt that any one in the 0AD community is responsible for that. And there really is an underrepresentation of African history, to the point it gets dismissed. But as Africans, we ourselves need to be responsible for that representation, and not angrily demand others to do it for us.

In the past few weeks, intensely scouring the net for reliable sources, I bumped in to so many weird topics you wouldn't even believe… Confronted with the archaeological record of Kush (and the cognitive dissonance that accompanies it), there are really groups of people obsessed with the idea that Nubians were actually white people :huh:. Considerable effort is put in to propagating the idea... On the other side of the spectrum, there are highly questionable Black Nationalist groups dedicated to spreading romanticized re-writes of history, that make any subsaharan civilizations seem superhuman. If you believe them, Taharqa conquered Spain… Oh, and the Greeks were actually black too… :mellow: People are just too much sometimes... 

Anyway, I love the openness and genuine historical interest from the 0AD community. Not just in the Kushites, but the dedication to accurately representing so many civilizations, so often stereotyped (including even the Romans). For me, historical RTS are just as much about learning new things about history (even if it just makes me google a name I haven't heard before, or read a new civ proposal), as it is about playing the game for fun.. 

[By the way, I didn't check the license on the pictures of acacia and ebony wood in the spoiler. I just put them in as examples]

Edited by Sundiata
  • Like 6

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's nice to add more civs but I hope they really are connected historically. How could Chinese be warring against Greeks or these civs battling any civs in the Americas?

Nubians are nice and maybe Mongols, Egyptians. But for now I try to play civs that really have connections historically.  

Edited by Servo
Add more

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 minute ago, Servo said:

It's nice to add more civs but I hope they really are connected historically. How could Chinese be warring against Greeks or these civs battling any civs in the Americas?

I doubt , directly they don't. But trough their neighbors.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Sundiata Right now, one of the most interesting question is: how should the worker woman look like and how should the male units look like? You posted Fig. 101 "A perfect model of a Meroitic gentleman" a brown skinded human model, but many drawings and  Fig. 9 "In a pit, close to Kerma, the broken statues of a number of Napatan Kings" show human with dark black skin.

Modern Sudanese tend to have anything between brown and dark black skin.

What do you think, how should they look like?

Edited by balduin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

here's a first pass, I plan on adding a more structured cut stone for civic buildings where interiors are more visible. For now, I'm trying to get a nice color palette

thoughts?

screenshot0100.png

kush_struct.png

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Because I like pink, and pink sits well in the desert and savanna biomes 'clearly'

texture pack also hasn't been finished yet, I will add lighter plaster later

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LordGood Have a look at fig: 12b "A beautiful example of a temple to Apedemak" and figures 15a-e about the textures. Those buildings are either white or sand brown. If you have a look at figures 31-41 they show a very simple stone architecture. They did not use wood for most of their buildings, most likely because wood burns and is rare savanna/desert regions.

Please:

  • remove the wood sticks and the smaller window over the door
  • use a sand brown / white brick texture for the lower half
  • the door should be in the tower (similar to the Zapotec Tower, figure 12b, figure 15e or figure 36 "narrow entrance gate")

@Sundiata What is your opinion?

Edited by balduin

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LordGood  First of all, WOW! Secondly, thank you! Absolutely magnificent! I’m humbled and amazed at how fast you created that model. I think it looks great, but it could use a few minor alterations.

It does look a little too pinkish… I do understand your reasoning (a kind of desert patina, from all the sand). I also understand it makes the lovely decorations stand out, but I think it should be a little less pronounced. Maybe lighter, or slightly de-saturated.  

Although the 3 rows of supporting wooden beams make sense from an engineering point of view, I haven’t seen any examples of it in Kushite buildings, except for supporting a flat roof or a second story, maybe. It’s a bit too reminiscent of Axumite architecture (they call the protruding wooding beams, monkey-heads). You could leave the highest row in place, as support for the superstructure, but they shouldn’t protrude as much.

As towers are a sort of aggressive building, the dry-stone lower half is good, i.m.o, like the fortress of Gala Abu Ahmed, or Qasr Ibrim. Alternative tightly cut yellowish sandstone is also good. Sandstone is a more prestigious building material though. I kind of like the stone you used.. I also like the little windows above the door. It should just be separated from the door itself with a monolithic slab. 

The doorway could indeed be a little bit narrower, and built with quality cut blocks (and a monolithic slab covering the top) of the same color as the rest of the stones. See examples.

imageproxy.php.jpeg

Monolithic slab

katedra_05.jpg

 

Apart form these pointers, I think it looks amazing! It put a huge smile on my face :)  

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Servo You are right about historical connectivity (in a military context) being important. That is one of the reasons I preferred to advocate for the Kushites, as opposed to other factions (like Axum). (@stanislas69) As for the Chinese, I have an interesting proposal to link them to the greater game. The addition of a mini-civ, called the Yuezhi, would resolve the entire issue. The Yuezhi were an oddly European looking, nomadic steppe people, who first lived in Western China (Tarim basin). They're also known as Tocharians. Their material culture was apparently identical to that of the Xiongnu (a predecessor to the Mongols). After a devastating war with the Xiongnu, they migrated West in enormous numbers, laying waste to the Greco-Bactrian kingdoms and eventually establishing the Kushan Empire by the early 1st century AD. Around Northern India and Bactria. All this occurred during 0AD's timeframe. The addition of this minifaction would connect the Chinese to the Mauryans and Hellenistic world in the Middle East. It's the beginning of the silk road!

@balduin Thank you for your work on the github repository! (https://github.com/Jeeppler/kushites_mod/blob/master/docs/build/specification.pdf) It's looking very promising already! 

About skin-color: Another interesting topic. Essarhadon of Assyria captured some of Taharqa's family, and described them as followed:

“His wives, his sons and [his] daughters [who]se bodies like his, have skins as black as asphalt”

Kush was a multi-ethnic state formed out of many tribes and kingdoms. The Meroities, the ruling class, were definitely very dark (black) in complexion. Other groups, like North Nubians and Beja were slightly lighter skinned, but still darker than the average (North) Egyptian (similar to South Egyptians though). More southern Sudanese are also very dark. The name "Sudan", means black, in Arabic, referring to its people (bilād as-sūdān, the land of the Blacks). The name Ethiopia also comes from the Greek "Αἰθιοπία" (Aethiopia), which means something along the line of "burnt face". 

Fig. 103 The two extremes of the ancient Sudanese phenotype (pre-Arabic). Left are modern Nubians (North Sudan and South Egypt). Notice the naturally flat hair, relatively common (but not ubiquitous) in dark skinned populations of East Africa. On the right is a modern South Sudanese man, with typically black skin (some of the darkest people in all of Africa actually). Their ancestors lived as far north as Southern Egypt in Neolithic times. They looked very similar to the Meroites. Beja also have a mix of kinky and flat hair, sometimes wearing half dreadlocks, half afro's.    

Sudan phenotype.jpg

I don't know if this is possible, or if the game even merits it, but representing the Kushites with two skin-tones would be most accurate. A "lighter", reddish brown for Nubians and Beja, and a very dark complexion for Meroites and Nuba mercenaries. This would also reflect the way Egyptians represented them: 

Fig. 104   Kushites paying tribute to the pharaoh, from the tomb of the viceroy of Kush, Huy. The two skin-tones clearly represented. This image also gives a good idea of what (aristocratic) women looked like in Kush. As well as chariot design. 

AEP81.jpg  

 

Edited by Sundiata
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I already got a little ahead of myself and got rid of the little gallery over the door, but otherwise did a few edits to the pack and model

also put it in context with the savanna environment (should have done this in the first place lol)

Glad you like it :)

screenshot0101.png

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@LordGood Man, that looks so good! Really... Outstanding work! I love the new doorway, as well as the little dome for the roof. The only thing is I think the dome should have the same color as the upper walls.. Apart from that, perfect!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nubians is now my favorite nation when I play multiplayer in RoN. It has merchants and caravan bonus and can trade resources with discounts. Nice to use in team games. Good archers too.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Sundiata said:

I don't know if this is possible, or if the game even merits it, but representing the Kushites with two skin-tones would be most accurate

Easy, just add a new texture variant in the actors

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Can it be made with better base because they look like stick if you don't zoom. Like the Persians they look beautiful but looking like a stick zoom out. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Sundiata said:

As for the Chinese, I have an interesting proposal to link them to the greater game. The addition of a mini-civ, called the Yuezhi, would resolve the entire issue. The Yuezhi were an oddly European looking, nomadic steppe people, who first lived in Western China (Tarim basin). They're also known as Tocharians. Their material culture was apparently identical to that of the Xiongnu (a predecessor to the Mongols). After a devastating war with the Xiongnu, they migrated West in enormous numbers, laying waste to the Greco-Bactrian kingdoms and eventually establishing the Kushan Empire by the early 1st century AD. Around Northern India and Bactria. All this occurred during 0AD's timeframe. The addition of this minifaction would connect the Chinese to the Mauryans and Hellenistic world in the Middle East. It's the beginning of the silk road!

I'd say why not with a solid design doc like the one you provided, with more graphical references if you can. Now I don't see why Hans wouldn't be able to fit by themselves ^^

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, niektb said:

But hey, let's first finish the Kushites ^_^

Haha, yes, of course, I was just brainstorming some ideas for the long term. Mini-factions are a really interesting idea, and could add a lot in terms of depth. They offer a lot of opportunities: historically linking civilizations through mutual neighbors, an alternate source of mercenaries once conquered, an obstruction to expansion and a buffer between you and a more powerful AI. Before dealing with overly aggressive early rushes from the AI, or expanding territory, you'd have to first pacify "the locals".

But yes, let's first finish the Kushites :)   

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Sundiata Thanks for the clarification about their skin color. How, would you describe the body measures/characteristics of Kushite/Sudanese people? Do they tend to be slim, tall etc.?

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Just now, balduin said:

@Sundiata Thanks for the clarification about their skin color. How, would you describe the body measures/characteristics of Kushite/Sudanese people? Do they tend to be slim, tall etc.?

 

Why body charscteristics are important here?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×