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Ayol

Ptolemaic Egypt's Buildings suggention.

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Hello,

This suggestion is directed towards 0ad's art team, (but specifically regarding the Ptolemaic Civilization).

The Ptolemies in game building models I think reflect Egyptian culture and art very well, however; Ptolemaic Egypt still had heavy greek influence, and I don't think it's adequately reflected. I would look to Alexandria to clues. Or I would (if I was designing this myself), simply imagine a Greek/Egyptian hybrid culture, rather than making an Egyptian civilization and just telling people they're also Greek.

I was told 0ad strives to be as accurate as it can whilst providing acceptable breaks from reality for the sake of gameplay (like farming during winter). I do not believe the changes I'm asking for would hurt either of those goals.

I do however really like the game and all wildfire has been able to do with it. When windows 8 made Empires: Dawn of the Modern World incompatible, I thought I would never get to play a game like it again, but luckily through your work I can play something that mimics it almost exactly in graphics and is arguably better. But since 0ad is still in development, and so subject to change, I hope you can look at this suggestion with a fresh mind.

So thank you, and I hope I didn't seem too critical.

Edited by Ayol
2 spelling errors corrected
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In my very first post on this (awesome) forum, I actually wrote something very similar: 

"I believe the Ptolemaic faction should have more Hellenistic characteristics, and its current ancient Egyptian look, would suit the Kushites better, who copied many ancient Egyptian elements in their culture."

And:

"...Kushites differ from Ptolemies in that they have a much stronger Sub Saharan influence, along with preserving ancient Egyptian culture, styles of building and aesthetics. Ptolemies were really a Hellenistic faction, set in Egypt. That doesn’t make them Egyptian. Alexandria, the capital was a major center of Greek culture, not Egyptian. The housing was predominantly Greek style, as in the other two main centers of Ptolemaic culture, “Neucratis” and “Ptolemais Hermiou”. I think the Ancient Egyptian look should be reserved for the Kushites (with some added Sub-Saharan elements), and the Ptolemies should look much more Greek, with some Egyptian influence (mainly the temple)."

I still stand by what I said, though it is true that most of Egypt under Ptolemaic rule retained an almost purely Egyptian character, the three important centers of Ptolemaic rule were much more Greek in nature. Mixing the building styles would represent this cultural duality, as with the Seleucids.

 

Ancient Alexandria in it's full glory:

59525f6c1ef63_Aerialshotofancientalexandria.thumb.jpg.3c926d34d021f0cff0842b685a451528.jpg

 

More:

Spoiler

Alexandria and it's famous lighthouse.

59525f6d7c7f4_Alexandriaandlighthouse.jpg.21ad604e5dcd71230106a766fca50461.jpg

 

A reconstruction of what the Library of Alexandria might have looked like

alexandria_library2.thumb.jpg.f2f4eff745bd955bf363372c80796bc6.jpg

 

Another artists' impression of the Library of Alexandria 

library-of-alexandria.thumb.jpg.1f152081c92ba23c38b7c9107b0c44b4.jpg

 

A map of Naukratis, the first center of large-scale Greek settlement and culture in Egypt, showing a mix with Ancient Egyptian influences. Featuring sanctuaries of Apollo, Aphrodite, and Hera, but also a massive walled temple complex to Amun-Ra.  

59525f73acf07_mapofnaukratis_orc_fig_1_l.thumb.jpg.6ccd0a2b36f2ba47916c079884c7e8ba.jpg

 

Artists' rendition of an aerial shot of ancient Naukratis. Recent findings have shown the city to be twice as large as previously thought (and depicted here), featuring towering apartment blocks, up to 6 stories high.

egypte-naucratis.jpg.3bf75116114831cfd210de5df01492ec.jpg

 

The Great Temenos wall to the Amun-Re sanctuary in Naukratis. A clear example of Ancient Egyptian culture, still flourishing side by side with Greek culture. This type of wall and entrance gate are identical to the ones built by Kushites in their city centers and around their temple-complexes.

59525f70dd26b_GreattemenoswalloftheAmun-RecomplexinNaukratis.jpg.37ac6ba35651df6b4ad4113f371f01e8.jpg

More info on Naukratis:

http://www.britishmuseum.org/research/online_research_catalogues/ng/naukratis_greeks_in_egypt/topography.aspx

 

Edited by Sundiata
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1 hour ago, WhiteTreePaladin said:

We have many Civs with Greek buildings already though...

I think the style of the colony would work. Half ptol half Greek sounds fair.

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Is the basis that some civilisations have Greek architecture to be one to make the game's aesthetic intentionally historically inaccurate?  The Seleucids have a unique look despite the obvious hellenistic influence, and the other Hellenic cultures could have much more diverse styles.  For that matter, I'm a bit discontent with how uniform the Spartan and Athenian styles are.  Yes, they have different Civic Centres, but that doesn't seem to be enough to me.  Spartans should have a more simplistic, practical set, simply extrapolating from Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus in which he states that Spartans could only use particularly unwieldy tools to construct their houses.  That would be the same as saying that there is a samishness due to them all speaking roughly the same language.  On the contrary, there were distinct dialects with unique phonologies.  I would personally love to see differentiations in these matters since that would give each part of the world a unique sound.

Edited by Thorfinn the Shallow Minded
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10 minutes ago, Thorfinn the Shallow Minded said:

Is the basis that some civilisations have Greek architecture to be one to make the game's aesthetic intentionally historically inaccurate?  The Seleucids have a unique look despite the obvious hellenistic influence, and the other Hellenic cultures could have much more diverse styles.  For that matter, I'm a bit discontent with how uniform the Spartan and Athenian styles are.  Yes, they have different Civic Centres, but that doesn't seem to be enough to me.  Spartans should have a more simplistic, practical set, simply extrapolating from Plutarch's Life of Lycurgus in which he states that Spartans could only use particularly unwieldy tools to construct their houses.  That would be the same as saying that there is a samishness due to them all speaking roughly the same language.  On the contrary, there were distinct dialects with unique phonologies.  I would personally love to see differentiations in these matters since that would give each part of the world a unique sound.

I believe the similarness between the Greek civil is mainly due to the fact they were split after being created and not created independently like the Seleucids now if you provide me sketches I can make new buildings. 

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Just to clarify my point a little further, I actually think the current Ptolemaic faction looks fantastic, and a lot of awesome work has gone into it's development. I don't think anything needs to be removed. I just think the current setup is lacking those typically Greek, Alexandrian elements which make it Ptolemaic Egypt… I really like the lighthouse, but it could be scaled up to represent it's absolute massiveness in real life. The library should also be revamped and scaled up a bit more for the same reason. One of the greatest libraries in human history should look as awe-inspiring as it's reputation. At least one of the regular house variations should be much more Greek looking, and perhaps a sanctuary to Apollo could be a second temple variation. 

Basically, the current building set needs a touch up to include some Alexandrian elements, to accurately portray the Ptolemies as one of the Diadochi.

@stanislas69 It's not a sketch, but it's something: "Plan 4: Gardner’s plan of the sanctuary of Aphrodite, 1885-6. After E.A. Gardner, Naukratis. Part II(Sixth Memoir of the Egypt Exploration Fund), London1888, pl. I."

Spoiler

59555fcab7778_4Aphroditesanctuary1web.jpg.7b2f07ce87fa3e5eb2183ea4bbfe3e88.jpg

 

Edited by Sundiata
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On 6/28/2017 at 0:12 AM, WhiteTreePaladin said:

We have many Civs with Greek buildings already though...

Hope this isn't breaking a rule about replying to old comments, or a dead thread. But when I read your comment just now I couldn't help myself, especially when considering you were once part of 0ad's staff.

So my response to your concern is this: The 0ad game is set in a time period where the Greeks are very prominent. Why forgo historical accuracy just because the Greeks and their architecture are a "been there done that" kind of thing for 0ad's art team, and especially considering the kind of game 0ad is, which is one in ongoing development. Why not make a little more time for the Ptolemaic's.

Thank you for your feedback, and I appreciate your opinion.

Sorry if I offended.

Edited by Ayol
Improved Clarity
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8 hours ago, Ayol said:

The 0ad game is set in a time period where the Greeks are very prominent. Why forgo historical accuracy just because the Greeks and their architecture are a "been there done that" kind of thing for 0ad's art team, and especially considering the kind of game 0ad is, which is one in ongoing development. Why not make a little more time for the Ptolemaic's.

Our Seleucids have Greek inspired structures, but they are unique enough to stand out. I think the Ptolemaic architecture should be unique too. I like the current Ptolemaic buildings and don't feel they need to change, but I also have no issue with a stronger Greek influence. I just don't think we should drop in the current Greek architecture as a replacement.

I guess I view 0 A.D. as primarily a game and a "historical" game will always have compromises. The time period is supposed to be fictional with all the civs at their prime. Yet many of these civs even in their prime would be no match for each other, so we balance things out to make it fair even if some things have to be stretched. There have been many compromises along the way. For example, building footprints are roughly the same size per building type (wonders are the main exception) whether that is accurate for a specific civ or not. I think historical specifics are better served in scenarios and campaigns. I personally prefer gameplay over historically accuracy, but I understand how others would rather give up some gameplay elements for historical reasons. (I tend to view the graphics as part of gameplay experience.) We are quite a bit more accurate than AoK already which is a good thing.

When I first started working on the game, there were only two civs: generic Celts and generic Hellenes. You were supposed to be able to specialize them in one of the later stages by choosing who you wanted them to actually be, but that feature was never implemented. I think eventually one of the artists got impatient after waiting for years and just started implementing them as separate civs and suggested it as a option to the team. It was seen as a decent option and we went with it (considering we had no idea if the other feature would ever get implemented - there was a shortage of programmers at the time). I always viewed it as a compromise and we have worked to try to make them more unique.

The Celts originally both used the same buildings after they were first split to Briton and Gaul. I suggested using the round houses for one and the square houses for the other rather than both house types for both civs. This choice was not based on historical accuracy but gameplay, and was deemed acceptable. The current Gaul civil center was actually one of the later revisions of the market. When I first saw it I thought it would make a good civil center for Gaul because we had assigned them the rectangular structures. (Both Celtic civs were still using the round civil center at that time). You might still be able to see some trace elements from its market days, but I think most have been removed now.

The Greeks haven't fared as well. They have slightly different civil centers now, but that's about it. Perhaps the proper solution would be to create a combined Greek civ again and let them specialize into the specific city states though mutually exclusive technologies. I do want the game to be reasonably accurate, I just feel that if we are considering 3+ civs with the exact same architecture, then we might have made a gameplay error at some point.

Just some thoughts.

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I think there are ways to make the Ptolemy set look more "Hellenistic", while still maintaining some Egyptian flavor and look different from the Macedonians and Seleucids.

 

I would suggest redesigning the library, civic center, and temple to look more Greek structurally, while using the same texture as the rest of the buildings. Take some of the yellow out of the texture to give everything that "new car" smell. Keep the "Egyptian" look for everything else, tying them all together by keeping a unified texture.

Let Terra Magna keep the old Civic Center and Temple models. ;)

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9 minutes ago, wowgetoffyourcellphone said:

Let Terra Magna keep the old Civic Center and Temple models. ;)

I wish some of those other civs would eventually be added to the game directly and not used as a mod showcase. Perhaps someday...

Edited by WhiteTreePaladin
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justus i JUST made that library

though, i must say making greek assets with the ptolemy pack is pretty fun

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On 7/18/2017 at 8:42 AM, WhiteTreePaladin said:

Our Seleucids have Greek inspired structures, but they are unique enough to stand out. I think the Ptolemaic architecture should be unique too. I like the current Ptolemaic buildings and don't feel they need to change, but I also have no issue with a stronger Greek influence. I just don't think we should drop in the current Greek architecture as a replacement.

Hello again White Tree,

I liked your response as a whole, and that was cool of you to mention 0ad's inner workings. However I think I needed to clarify my message to you. Your first paragraph above came off me as that I only want Greek architecture for the Ptolemaics. I of course don't know for sure if my interpretation is accurate, but I just to clarify, I want there to be a blend between the Egyptian and Greek Macedonian cultures reflected the Ptolemaics Egyptians buildings. Right now (I think) the Ptolemaics are currently geared more towards the Egyptian style.

Many people have already mentioned it, but I also really like the Seleucids. I think their architecture is not only attractive but unique, and different.

I want the Ptolemaics to be just like that.

 

Once again I hope didn't offend in any way.

I value anyone's opinions on this thread.

Edited by Ayol
sentence clarity improvement

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