Tilted Mill Community
Tilted Mill / Medieval Mayor /Nile Online / Mosby's Confederacy / Hinterland / Children of the Nile / SimCity Societies / Caesar IV


Go Back   Tilted Mill Community > Caesar IV - Official Forums > Suggestions

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 08-22-2005, 09:21 AM
balint balint is offline
Vagrant
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 6
Default City Planning in the Roman Empire

Hello,

I'm a historian and during my studies I not only studied ancient city planning but also was a big fan of Caesar III. As a gamer, I really loved CIII for its interface, economics concept and the soundtrack - even the graphics at the time were very satisfactory. But as a historian, having studied with some of the world's most respected romanists and graecists, I thought that some cultural aspects could be more detailed.

1. the overly simplified use of the gods in the game. In Roman culture every action by humans was linked to religion and every major decision had to be accepted by the gods. In addition, oracles were rather a Greek phenomenon; instead, Romans did birdwatching or looked at livers of slaughtered animals.
Game suggestion: Gods must be involved in selecting the town site, the siting of important buildings, before a fight with enemies etc.

2. especially, the rite for founding a town and the setting of boundaries was highly important. No other ancient culture put so much importance into the invulnerability of boundaries. That's why in the legend of Romulus and Remus, Romulus kills his brother, because Remus jumps over the sacred wall of that first so called pomerium, the city limitation, of Rome.
Game suggestion: the setting of boundaries has to be done initially, before building the first house. With every expansion of the city, the limitation has to be adapted.

3. In Roman culture, there's the urbs/colonia/vicus (depending on the legal status of the settlement) and the ager. Though in CIII, especially in dangerous territory, it was very practical to build walls around the city centre AND the farmland, in reality this would never happen! Therefore, the idea to have a limited area to build houses on, like a castrum - anyway one of the basic colonial city shapes -, seems very favorable to me.
Game suggestion: The price of a piece of a wall has to be high enough, so that big areas inside the walls are not achieved easily.

4. Orientation. In science, there has been a big discussion about how in antiquity, planned cities were oriented. There are two major methods in the Roman world for the orientation of rectangular cities: 1. orientation after the main directions, i.e. East-West, then North-South. 2. orientation after pre-existing man-made (streets) or topographic (rivers, hillsides) conditions.
Game suggestion: if included in the software structure, a compass should be shown during building the streets.

5. City grid. The planned Roman city - also of the later Republican age, but mainly of the Empire - has a purely rectangular city grid, determined by two major axises, the Decumanus (E-W) and the Cardo (N-S). Here, the announcement for C IV, to include diagonal streets, steps away of archaeological reality. While older, "grown" cities may have diagonal streets, in planned cities this is highly improbable.
Game suggestion: remove diagonal streets. Requirement to draw two major perpendicular streets where carriages can run. Lanes would be too narrow to let carriages run through them.

These are only a few ideas from a scientific point of view. If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me or post your replies.

best, Balint
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-22-2005, 09:37 AM
Dog of the Sun's Avatar
Dog of the Sun Dog of the Sun is offline
Overseer
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: A house
Posts: 467
Default

Very Interesting stuff, I think it would make a great addition to CIV
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-22-2005, 09:42 AM
arcan's Avatar
arcan arcan is offline
Luminary
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: France
Posts: 808
Default

nice things to know. But some of them have to be forgotten for the sake of the game.
for example, the diagonal streets : The 3D features allows to build a city for the looks of it. And such streets allow many more possibilities.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-22-2005, 10:20 AM
balint balint is offline
Vagrant
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 6
Default Re:

1. I forgot to say how excited I am that Caesar IV is actually going to happen.

2. I just saw that broad and narrow roads are possible. Excellent.

3. I saw the link list on the CIV website which includes a link to Vitruvius' work "de architectura". Vitruvius might be our only Roman literary source for architecture, but his own sources are mostly greek writers, which is why his work can't be taken as a precise reflection of actual Roman cities or buildings. It's true that the Greeks had a major influence on Roman culture in general, but there are Roman particularities that can't be neglected.

4. @arcan: Of course, the diagonals will stay, as they probably already are part of the game concept. Still, they clearly do not reflect Roman grid techniques.

5. More Gods: The location of the temples is highly important. Some gods had to have their temples outside the city walls, because it was unfavorable to have them inside... etc. etc.

b.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-22-2005, 10:23 AM
Svip Svip is offline
Villager
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Copenhagen, Denmark
Posts: 28
Default

Speaking of gods, who are we going to have, and should they keep their blessings/curses?

I mean, I would love to see Jupiter at least.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-22-2005, 10:25 AM
arcan's Avatar
arcan arcan is offline
Luminary
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: France
Posts: 808
Default

please, no blessings nor curses. I much prefer the more realistic approch of CotN.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-22-2005, 11:10 AM
Rubicon's Avatar
Rubicon Rubicon is offline
Shopkeeper
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Manchester, NH USA
Posts: 188
Default

* gasp *
Heresy!! There would be many disapointed gamers in this case. Still, your point is well taken (and appreciated). Maybe it would be interesting to allow diagonal streets, but somehow invoke a penalty for using them, like reduced Favorability?
Quote:
Originally Posted by balint
Game suggestion: remove diagonal streets. Requirement to draw two major perpendicular streets where carriages can run. Lanes would be too narrow to let carriages run through them.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-22-2005, 01:29 PM
Nero Would Nero Would is offline
Craftsman
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 145
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rubicon
* gasp *
Heresy!! There would be many disapointed gamers in this case. Still, your point is well taken (and appreciated). Maybe it would be interesting to allow diagonal streets, but somehow invoke a penalty for using them, like reduced Favorability?
I suspect that there might be a small penalty inherent in using diagonal roads in the city centre. I think they are likely to reduce the number of buildings you can pack into a given area, which could result in a less efficient city.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-22-2005, 01:35 PM
Rubicon's Avatar
Rubicon Rubicon is offline
Shopkeeper
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Manchester, NH USA
Posts: 188
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nero Would
I suspect that there might be a small penalty inherent in using diagonal roads in the city centre. I think they are likely to reduce the number of buildings you can pack into a given area, which could result in a less efficient city.
Excellent point.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-22-2005, 04:25 PM
imhotep3147's Avatar
imhotep3147 imhotep3147 is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 820
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nero Would
I suspect that there might be a small penalty inherent in using diagonal roads in the city centre. I think they are likely to reduce the number of buildings you can pack into a given area, which could result in a less efficient city.

Not necessarily (sp?). In CotN you can place biuldings on the 45 so I'm hoping they'll carry this over to C4.
please oh please oh please
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-22-2005, 04:48 PM
MarkDuffy MarkDuffy is offline
Noble
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 9,232
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by imhotep3147
Not necessarily (sp?). In CotN you can place biuldings on the 45 so I'm hoping they'll carry this over to C4.
please oh please oh please
Looks like you win! See the "shrines" upper right corner? Also, statues (left), ampitheater (close to shrines) & a building on the upper right diagonal.

http://www.caesariv.com/us/gallery/s...ots.php?ssid=2

Last edited by MarkDuffy; 08-22-2005 at 04:57 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-22-2005, 05:09 PM
Keith's Avatar
Keith Keith is offline
Luminary
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 10,102
Default

The problem would be with most of balint's points is how would they be implemented in a game that would not bring the play to a screeching halt. There is much that the developers have to leave out for the sake of playability otherwise we'd all be sitting there debating on where to place our boundaries and first house. These might be good for a for simulation, but they would probably prove to be a drag on the play of a game.

Have more gods, yes. Leave out the punishment and curses or blessings. I don't think boundary setting is practical in a game or worth the effort to include it. Wall building should be difficult and construction projects and not some drop and drag function of the mouse tool. Building walls should take time, effort, and resources at the expense of other things that might be done instead, such as other construction, farming, etc. until it is done.

Most players are not going to be historians and they aren't going to see the need to limit their city's orientation or shape. They won't like it. History in this case will probably have to be sacrificed to the will of the masses.

Last edited by Keith; 08-23-2005 at 07:12 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-22-2005, 07:34 PM
imhotep3147's Avatar
imhotep3147 imhotep3147 is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 820
Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by MarkDuffy
Looks like you win!
Yay! I'll take my golden scepter and medal of excellence now please.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-22-2005, 08:27 PM
sitearm's Avatar
sitearm sitearm is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,432
Send a message via Skype™ to sitearm
Default

I used everything "on the 45" degree angle while building a great pyramid in Keeping it green in Thebes. I really admire Max-1's creative and effective use of 45's in The royal realm of Tjemhu. There was a bit of a trick to keep track where the clear space between buildings was, but it was soon easy to get the hang of it.

(I know others used the 45's too and I'm just mentioning these examples because they're current in my mind.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by imhotep3147
... In CotN you can place biuldings on the 45...
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-22-2005, 09:15 PM
Nero Would Nero Would is offline
Craftsman
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: USA
Posts: 145
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by imhotep3147
Not necessarily (sp?). In CotN you can place biuldings on the 45 so I'm hoping they'll carry this over to C4.
please oh please oh please
Yes, I assume you will be able to place buildings at 45 degrees, but the diagonal across a square grid is about 40% longer than the side of the square. That is why I think buildings on the diagonal will waste space (a 1x1 building is taking up a 1.4x1.4 space).

An interesting solution to this would be for there to be buildings that actually require a 1.4x1.4 space. These buildings would fit perfectly on diagonal roads, but would waste space on non-diagonal roads. That would tend to even out the advantages and disadvantages. It might also be nice if we had small buildings (perhaps statues or other decorations) that would fit in the triangular lots where a diagonal road meets a non-diagonal road.
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 08-23-2005, 05:40 AM
vic_4's Avatar
vic_4 vic_4 is offline
Scribe
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Rome Italy
Posts: 2,359
Default

While I don't care much about diagonal buildings, I think diagonal roads should be very important on saving on walking distance. I found very disturbing in previous CBs the long L shaped roads between districts.
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 08-23-2005, 06:26 AM
balint balint is offline
Vagrant
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 6
Default Re:

Thanks for all your replies. I understand all the concerns as far as gameplay, and I totally agree that a game should be fun to play. Nonetheless, I think it would also be fun with some historical accuracy.

Here I just offer a radically different view, as I do not consider myself a hardcore gamer, and so I'm well aware that my suggestions won't be always common sense for the game community, as I am primarily interested in the topic of the Roman Empire, its culture etc.

After all (not talking in gamer terms!), Caesar is a simulation of a historical event, namely the founding and the administration of a town or colony in the Roman Empire, whether it is more "city planning", or "strategy" or "simulation" or whatever... So, if it's not as historically accurate as possible, it's just Sim City with a nice Roman-style face lift and some Gods (which, yes, is why I liked CIII, but now it's 8 years later, right?).

1. The pomerium (city limitation) would be interesting because it could be well connected with the gods. e.g. houses outside the pomerium would be more easily destroyed by an enemy or bad weather. Also, the strength of the walls around the pomerium could be slightly improved if a sacrifice was given to the city's divine patron in case of war. Setting a limitation shouldn't be a long process, you just select a square or a rectangle in the area and that's it.

2. Diagonal streets, again … (ggg) A correct application would be that diagonal streets are possible outside the pomerium (see above), but not inside of it -- but only in the moment you build them, i.e. once you expand the pomerium, the diagonal streets that are newly included can stay.

Again, thanks for all the replies. I'll stay tuned.
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 08-23-2005, 03:38 PM
MarkDuffy MarkDuffy is offline
Noble
 
Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: San Diego, California
Posts: 9,232
Default

Simple solution. Don't like diagonal roads? Don't use them.

No need to thank me!
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 08-23-2005, 03:59 PM
sitearm's Avatar
sitearm sitearm is offline
Commander
 
Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 1,432
Send a message via Skype™ to sitearm
Default Old Rome city major roads... angled intersections...

I found two online maps of old Rome city major roads and, as I thought I'd remembered, there were a great deal of angled intersections.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg old rome city major roads 2.jpg (114.4 KB, 105 views)
File Type: jpg old rome city major roads.jpg (57.9 KB, 122 views)
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 08-24-2005, 02:25 AM
balint balint is offline
Vagrant
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Switzerland
Posts: 6
Default Re:

Hey, Mark, thank you so much for your deep thought!

@sitearm: Yes, of course, but we're talking about founding, planning cities from scratch, and in this case, in the Roman Emp. after ca. 400 B.C., orthogonal planning was the absolute standard. Any grown city could include random angled intersections en masse. And Rome was the grown city par excellence, with first settlements in the VIII. century BC and urbanisation starting only in the VI./V. cent. BC.

What would be cool to have in this regard are old, grown centres of historical cities, based more or less (as far as possible) on the archaeological facts as templates. (We have many well preserved and documented plans of old cities.) Then Caesar gives you the order to expand the city for, say, 5000 settlers within 1 year or so... That'd be quite realistic… And yes, in the end of one's career it would be cool to take over Rome in, say 14 AD and then you'd get the accurate template of the city at that time. That would be fantastic though it would require a lot of computing power as the population at that time was between 250000 and half a million.

Last edited by balint; 08-24-2005 at 02:38 AM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:34 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.