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m7600

civ: Ethiopians

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The working title for the mod I'm making is "African Empires", for now at least. It's inspired by Age of Empires 2: The African Kingdoms. It will have four civs: Ethiopian Empire, Mali Empire, Marinid Sultanate, and Kingdom of Zimbabwe. The timeline is Medieval / Early Modern, roughly 1000 - 1500. I have almost completed the Malian civ. This thread is for the Ethiopian Empire. It began in the 13th century and lasted until the 20th. Ethiopian architecture changed throughout it's history. For the civ I'm recreating, I will focus mostly on the aesthetic from the Zagwe period (900 to 1270). However, the buildings for the city phase, particularly the fortress, will have a Gondarine style. Some Aksumite architecture can be incorporated, but it should not be the dominant style.
Here is a work in progress of the fortress. It's based on Fasil Ghebbi. Right now it looks very basic, I have to make all of the details and fix the texture.

ethio_fortress.png

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3 minutes ago, m7600 said:

The working title for the mod I'm making is "African Empires", for now at least. It's inspired by Age of Empires 2: The African Kingdoms. It will have four civs: Ethiopian Empire, Mali Empire, Marinid Sultanate, and Kingdom of Zimbabwe. The timeline is Medieval / Early Modern, roughly 1000 - 1500. I have almost completed the Malian civ. This thread is for the Ethiopian Empire. It began in the 13th century and lasted until the 20th. Ethiopian architecture changed throughout it's history. For the civ I'm recreating, I will focus mostly on the aesthetic from the Zagwe period (900 to 1270). However, the buildings for the city phase, particularly the fortress, will have a Gondarine style. Some Aksumite architecture can be incorporated, but it should not be the dominant style.
Here is a work in progress of the fortress. It's based on Fasil Ghebbi. Right now it looks very basic, I have to make all of the details and fix the texture.

ethio_fortress.png

looks very nice maybe the windows were not so black 

Otherwise you inspire others keep it up.

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1 hour ago, m7600 said:

The working title for the mod I'm making is "African Empires", for now at least. It's inspired by Age of Empires 2: The African Kingdoms. It will have four civs: Ethiopian Empire, Mali Empire, Marinid Sultanate, and Kingdom of Zimbabwe. The timeline is Medieval / Early Modern, roughly 1000 - 1500. I have almost completed the Malian civ. This thread is for the Ethiopian Empire. It began in the 13th century and lasted until the 20th. Ethiopian architecture changed throughout it's history. For the civ I'm recreating, I will focus mostly on the aesthetic from the Zagwe period (900 to 1270). However, the buildings for the city phase, particularly the fortress, will have a Gondarine style. Some Aksumite architecture can be incorporated, but it should not be the dominant style.
Here is a work in progress of the fortress. It's based on Fasil Ghebbi. Right now it looks very basic, I have to make all of the details and fix the texture.

ethio_fortress.png

For temple maybe use the Lalibela Church of Saint George.

For wonder you could use the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion (Would require some speculation, to portray how it looked in the middle ages).

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13 minutes ago, Ultimate Aurelian said:

For temple maybe use the Lalibela Church of Saint George.

I had the same idea, I was just about to post this temple WIP based on the Church of Saint George in Lalibela.

ethio_temple.png.a1a94f5e1de86c1be52ba1a8308ef778.png

14 minutes ago, Ultimate Aurelian said:

For wonder you could use the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion (Would require some speculation, to portray how it looked in the middle ages).

That could work. On a side note, there's a scholar who says that one of these churches was originally a fortress (link, it's the last paragraph of the Zagwe section), and that only later it was turned into a church. It's a bold but interesting claim, though I haven't read much more about it.
 

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8 minutes ago, m7600 said:

I had the same idea, I was just about to post this temple WIP based on the Church of Saint George in Lalibela.

ethio_temple.png.a1a94f5e1de86c1be52ba1a8308ef778.png

That could work. On a side note, there's a scholar who says that one of these churches was originally a fortress (link, it's the last paragraph of the Zagwe section), and that only later it was turned into a church. It's a bold but interesting claim, though I haven't read much more about it.
 

Since Rome has Sybiline books, perhaps the Ethiopians could research a Ark of the Covenant tech at wonder. Effect could be giving priests a big boost, or a morale bonus that makes buildings stronger or troops fight harder at home territory (The idea is not that you are using the power of the Ark AOM style, but to portray the importance of religion for Ethiopian identity.)

Not sure on the church having grey walls, i guess it's just a placeholder.

Edited by Ultimate Aurelian
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3 minutes ago, Ultimate Aurelian said:

Not sure on the church having grey walls, i guess it's just a placeholder.

Yep, the final version will have a red/yellowish texture.

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It's mostly an artifact caused by the perspective, I think. It's also making it look like it's slightly tilted to the side. But I'll compare it with the other houses just to be sure.

Here are some questions / design problems. What style should the storehouse, farmstead, blacksmith etc. have? One option is to make them vernacular, with stone walls and thatched roofs. Another option is to make them fully Gondarine, without thatched roofs. And a third option would be to make them Aksumite.

Another question would be: what would the special buildings be for this civ? I could go with Aksumite stelae, but if there are more Late Medieval / Early Modern buildings, that would be more appropriate. 

Finally, unlike the Malians, this civ is probably going to have siege weapons. I'm thinking of a scorpio, battering ram and onager.

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1 hour ago, m7600 said:

It's mostly an artifact caused by the perspective, I think. It's also making it look like it's slightly tilted to the side. But I'll compare it with the other houses just to be sure.

Here are some questions / design problems. What style should the storehouse, farmstead, blacksmith etc. have? One option is to make them vernacular, with stone walls and thatched roofs. Another option is to make them fully Gondarine, without thatched roofs. And a third option would be to make them Aksumite.

Another question would be: what would the special buildings be for this civ? I could go with Aksumite stelae, but if there are more Late Medieval / Early Modern buildings, that would be more appropriate. 

Finally, unlike the Malians, this civ is probably going to have siege weapons. I'm thinking of a scorpio, battering ram and onager.

My idea would be vernacular storehouse, farmstead, blacksmith, corral; while the fortress, tower, walls and CC are gondarine.

Barracks and market could go both ways.

For siege i don't think they used scorpios,  i'd suggest a battering ram (Warriors with a log, upgrades to wheeled ram covered in hide) and arabic traction catapult (reusing the one from Millenium A.D).

Edited by Ultimate Aurelian
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For the civic center, I'm thinking of using as reference either the Royal Archive (first building in the image) or the Chancellery of Yohannes (second building).

800px-ET_Gondar_asv2018-02_img05_Fasil_Ghebbi.jpg

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I started to model the Chancellery of Yohannes. I don't know if I'm going to use for the civic center though. Probably not, I think I'll go with the Royal Archive.

ethio_civic_center.png

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3 hours ago, m7600 said:

I started to model the Chancellery of Yohannes. I don't know if I'm going to use for the civic center though. Probably not, I think I'll go with the Royal Archive.

ethio_civic_center.png

On the archive, do you plan on giving Ethiopians a library building as well or is it going to be a Malian UB ?

Also are the parts in maroon going to be player color ?

Edited by Ultimate Aurelian
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My original plan was that only the Malians would have a library. This would be in line with how the main game handles this issue (among the 12 civs, I think that only 3 of them have access to the library building). 

But my original plan can be changed. As you have already noticed, when I start making a civ, I usually don't have a decision on every topic. Quite the contrary, I start with a very vague idea of what I want to do. I do a little bit of research before starting, but it's not exhaustive, not by a long shot. I continue to research the civ even when I've almost finished making it.

Other people have a different approach to modding, some of them like to begin with a design document. Others prefer to begin with a huge amount of research. I prefer to begin directly with some 3d models, even if they look crude and basic at first. Everything else can be worked out later as the mod develops.

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7 minutes ago, m7600 said:

My original plan was that only the Malians would have a library. This would be in line with how the main game handles this issue (among the 12 civs, I think that only 3 of them have access to the library building). 

 

In the main game all civs in Hellenistic culture have library, maybe all Africans civs who had writing (So Zimbabwe is excluded) could have library.

It is mostly a accuracy vs gameplay question

Gameplay wise i think it would be more interesting if it was unique to Mali.

Historically Mali having a library but not Morocco would be odd (Since Malian scholarship was derived from Islamic tradition brought from North Africa).

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@Ultimate Aurelian Those are some fair points. This is one of those situations in which it is difficult to achieve a balance, as you have correctly diagnosed. I think that the main game treats the library building in a way that perhaps is too severe. For example, Romans in the game do not have a library, but we know that ancient Romans had many of them. Maybe not during the monarchy, but they certainly had them during the Republic and the Empire. Mauryans certainly collected ancient writen documents as well. Britons and Gauls? Perhaps not, but Persians surely.

The only fair solution that I can think of is to make the library more common in the main game, as if it were akin to the storehouse and the blacksmith. It would be less unique, but more historically accurate.

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4 hours ago, m7600 said:

@Ultimate Aurelian Those are some fair points. This is one of those situations in which it is difficult to achieve a balance, as you have correctly diagnosed. I think that the main game treats the library building in a way that perhaps is too severe.

Another thing to consider is gameplay abstractions,   the current vanilla library is also representing the spread of Hellenic culture rather than just the building itself.

 

 

Edited by Ultimate Aurelian
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9 hours ago, m7600 said:

@Ultimate Aurelian Those are some fair points. This is one of those situations in which it is difficult to achieve a balance, as you have correctly diagnosed. I think that the main game treats the library building in a way that perhaps is too severe. For example, Romans in the game do not have a library, but we know that ancient Romans had many of them. Maybe not during the monarchy, but they certainly had them during the Republic and the Empire. Mauryans certainly collected ancient writen documents as well. Britons and Gauls? Perhaps not, but Persians surely.

The only fair solution that I can think of is to make the library more common in the main game, as if it were akin to the storehouse and the blacksmith. It would be less unique, but more historically accurate.

The Persians surely had indeed. The Mauryans very probably, at least with Taxila/Takhkhasila a major center of learning.

However, we should not confuse "library" with the act to store written archives. A lot of Roman libraries were in the hand of private owners. Moreover, other buildings can store archives, like temples. In the case of state affairs like the censors' archive, it was stored in the Atrium Libertatis (House of Freedom).

At my knowledge, the first clear evidence of a private library in Rome is from 168 BC, by Aemilius Paullus after his war against Macedonia where he stole the archives and Perses collection. Probably there were previous private libraries but the evidences are less clear. While the first evidences of public libraries comes from 46 BC with Caesar charging Marcus Varro to make it possible.

Concerning Gauls and Britons, they didn't have a strong written tradition. History and laws were the matter of the Druids (and bards) and were strictly an oral tradition.

Edited by Genava55
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 The discussion about the library is very interesting.

3 hours ago, Genava55 said:

However, we should not confuse "library" with the act to store written archives.

This is an excellent point. I had not thought about it in that way.

On another note, here is a WIP of the defense tower. I'm starting to fix the texture for the buildings as well.

ethio_defense_tower.png

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On 6/2/2020 at 7:11 PM, m7600 said:

 What would the special buildings be for this civ? I could go with Aksumite stelae, but if there are more Late Medieval / Early Modern buildings, that would be more appropriate.

Monasticism was important at the time, maybe a monastery ?

Although it might be a bit redundant with the temple.

Edited by Ultimate Aurelian
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The city of Gondar, where the Fasil Ghebbi is located,  was founded in 1635. As a comparison the city of Qubec was founded in 1608 and New York in 1624.

Fasil Ghebbi, the Royal Archive and Chancellery of Yohannes are influence by the European styles. It looks weird to see the church of Lalibela, as part of an older style next to the buildings from Gondar.

However, I could not find any buildings from the time of the Solomonic dynasty. Maybe somebody else has some references.

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18 minutes ago, Ultimate Aurelian said:

Monasticism was important at the time, maybe a monastery ?

Although it might be a bit redundant with the temple.

It could work, I don't think it would be too difficult to trace a conceptual distinction between them, despite their similarity. Aksumite stelae could be included as well. I would like to have at least a few Aksumite buildings, to reflect the fact that their architectural style was not completely replaced, but rather absorbed.
 

2 minutes ago, balduin said:

The city of Gondar, where the Fasil Ghebbi is located,  was founded in 1635. As a comparison the city of Qubec was founded in 1608 and New York in 1624.

Fasil Ghebbi, the Royal Archive and Chancellery of Yohannes are influence by the European styles. It looks weird to see the church of Lalibela, as part of an older style next to the buildings from Gondar.

True, but my reasoning was that the town phase would represent the aesthetic of Medieval Lalibela, while the city phase would be more Gondarine. I don't know, I still need to think this through.

Here's an update on the fortress. The only thing I did was add the new texture. I need to find a way to make the columns different from the defense tower (they're actually the same model right now).

ethio_fortress_03.png

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