How About India??

Anything relating to our company that doesn't fit elsewhere
Kiya
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Postby Kiya » Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:30 pm

reachrishikh wrote:Er.. Shoudn't the game be called Immortal Cities: Children of the Indus/Ganges, or if you want a legacy name - Maharaja?


You shouldn't be asking me - you're the boss now. ;) :D (That was just the initial campaign name. ;) )

King Faticus
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Postby King Faticus » Tue Nov 21, 2006 8:54 pm

no it should only carry the series name Immortal cities

children of the nile was mearly the name of the game within the immortal cities series ;)

for example the name of a popular literary series is "Harry potter" and the name of a perticular book within the series is "And the goblet of fire"

same thing for immortal cities :cool:

bexgames
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Postby bexgames » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:29 pm

Kiya wrote:Thank you, Private Reachrishikh. You are hereby promoted to the Leader of this campaign Go East, Go India - Next in the series of Immortal Cities. :)

HEYYYYYY! what happened to my mesoamerica game??? :confused:

MarkDuffy
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Postby MarkDuffy » Tue Nov 21, 2006 10:32 pm

bexgames wrote:HEYYYYYY! what happened to my mesoamerica game??? :confused:


We're still here, Bex, but people are trying to outsource it...

Spearthrower
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Postby Spearthrower » Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:21 pm

reachrishikh wrote:They HAD? They HAVE!
Okay, the city states have vanished now, but they did so only around 50 or so years ago, and so did the wars (I'm referring tp the internal wars).


:D

Yes indeed they did reachrishikh - I am talking of Indus to Vedic - so mostly northern India.

So if you are the boss, you better hire me as the researcher! :p

What they (you) have now is irrelevent to creating an excellent ancient city builder! :p

reachrishikh
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Postby reachrishikh » Tue Nov 21, 2006 11:51 pm

Okay spearthrower, You are hereby appointed to your post as the official researcher and historian for the Immortal Cities: Children of the Indus/Ganges (Working Title) project. You will have to report all your research documents, findings, etc. on this thread, in the form of that wondeful, informative post you made earlier.
(Just make sure to get the tense correct this time when reporting on the achievements and socio-cultural aspects of my culture. :D
Most of the ancient stuff survives even today, and our religion and customs are probably the oldest surviving ones in the world.)

Spearthrower
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Postby Spearthrower » Wed Nov 22, 2006 9:53 am

reachrishikh wrote:Okay spearthrower, You are hereby appointed to your post as the official researcher and historian for the Immortal Cities: Children of the Indus/Ganges (Working Title) project. You will have to report all your research documents, findings, etc. on this thread, in the form of that wondeful, informative post you made earlier.
(Just make sure to get the tense correct this time when reporting on the achievements and socio-cultural aspects of my culture. :D
Most of the ancient stuff survives even today, and our religion and customs are probably the oldest surviving ones in the world.)


:p

Forgive me if I am way off the mark here, but given that you are from Chennai, I would have thought that you wouldn't have attached yourself historically to the ancient northern cultures. As you said - India as a culturally and politically united entity is only 50 something years old. I often found that people in the south didn't feel much attachment to customs and peoples of the north! Historically speaking, the southern people of India are the "true" Indian peoples and the further north you get, the more of upstart invaders they become! :D (of course, we are talking way back to Aryan invasion times!!!)

My usage of the past tense was not to indicate a lack of continuity :p , but to highlight that ancient India was special in that it is 1 of only 3 truly ancient world civilisations that have continued to this day (Egypt, India, China) - and I mean that word in the truest sense of the form. It achieved a high water mark of culture while Greeks were still scrabbling through their alpha, beta, gammas, yet we in the West trace our intellectual inheritance from them. Ancient Sanskrit and the languages leading to Ancient Greek actually bear a lot of resemblance and you can even trace similarities into modern European languages if you look hard enough! The most famous work on this is to do with the "rt" syllables which have a direct correlation in both sanskrit based languages and latin based languages - that of correctness, moral righteousness (in fact both those words have the rt correlation). The fact that India *still* has the things I listed in the earlier post is nowhere near as astounding as the fact that they had them while my people were still mostly impressed with how to poke a large beast with a stick and tieing bits of bone together to make magical wards against the sky god.

Beware!!! OH BEWARE!!! See... this is what happens - just dont let me get onto this kind of subject or I will waffle off into far and distant realms of thought and leave the topic way behind! :D

Chronicler Spearthrower signing on! ;)

reachrishikh
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Postby reachrishikh » Wed Nov 22, 2006 10:43 am

Hey Man! I'm not from Chennai, I'm from Mumbai. Look again. And I never recall mentioning that I'm a South Indian, my community comes from the North. (Mumbai is totally made up of immigrants from all over the country).


Spearthrower wrote:I often found that people in the south didn't feel much attachment to customs and peoples of the north!

Most of them still don't.


Spearthrower wrote:Historically speaking, the southern people of India are the "true" Indian peoples and the further north you get, the more of upstart invaders they become! :D (of course, we are talking way back to Aryan invasion times!!!)

Your observation here is correct. They are the 'true' peoples of India. The northern people are all actually invaders from the Caucasian Ranges.
But I think if they make the game, it would be based more on the post-Aryan invasion period. The Dravidians were not really great city-builders, it was the Harappan civilization that started it. So you could have the game play a bit like Emperor (stretches across different dynasties in Chinese history), and have it stretch from the Harappan Civilization, upto the time of the invasion of Islam, leading to a real diverse gameplay. Not to mention the diverse range of buildings you'd have. Or you could eliminate the Islamic infuence altogether, and focus on the India uptill 900 A.D. That would be the real ancient Indian city-building civilization.


Spearthrower wrote:it is 1 of only 3 truly ancient world civilisations that have continued to this day (Egypt, India, China)

Yes but they have mostly forgotten their ancient religions and customs, with the Egyptians having turned to Islam, and the Chinese having embraced either Christianity or Confucianism/Buddhism. Neither of these adopted religions were the true ancient religions of these civilizations. The religions themselves are not so ancient either. So India/Hinduism is the only one that has survived through the ages. :)

(Okay - a clarification note here - I'm not a religious/pious person myself, I don't believe in any religion, and certainly am not one who follows traditions/customs, or any such things just because they are being done a certain way for ages. I also regularly get into trouble with the elders in my family over my non-believing ways. So I am not preaching my religion here, lest someone tries to accuse me of that. I am only trying to bring my heritage to light in the face of the general ignorance about it among most outsiders.)


Spearthrower wrote:Ancient Sanskrit and the languages leading to Ancient Greek actually bear a lot of resemblance and you can even trace similarities into modern European languages if you look hard enough! The most famous work on this is to do with the "rt" syllables which have a direct correlation in both sanskrit based languages and latin based languages - that of correctness, moral righteousness (in fact both those words have the rt correlation).

That's why they're called the Indo-European Language Family. :)


Spearthrower wrote:Beware!!! OH BEWARE!!! See... this is what happens - just dont let me get onto this kind of subject or I will waffle off into far and distant realms of thought and leave the topic way behind! :D

Oh! No! No! You're actually doing quite well in your job of delving into ancient Indian history. Everyone is going to get new insights into the topic from this.
Not many people know much about ancient Indian history. When the West thinks India, they see only the Islamic influence, and spires and mosques, and turbaned snake charmers, all of which started appearing here only after 900 A.D., which is pretty recent. They don't know much about the ancient history and the culture that goes way back than that.

Spearthrower
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Postby Spearthrower » Wed Nov 22, 2006 6:39 pm

Well, I've spent over a year in India all told... so it's not surprising that I picked some stuff up along the way! ;) Add to that the fact that I am a student (forever!) of Anthropology and ancient civilisation... add a cherry of me asking *everyone* in your country a million questions and I think you get the rest of the picture :D

I agree with all your observations regarding the importance of ancient India which is why I always find it extremely strange how it is not a popular theme for this kind of genre of gaming.

Sorry - I dont know where I got you being from Chennai from.... my mistake! ;)

My basic idea would be to stick to the ancient world... so I was thinking of Harrapan through to Vedic times - so focusing on the pre modern era / b.c. in Christian clock / archaic to classical period of mediterranean civs / or to look at it another way - very early Bronze to late Iron age. While the later Middle Kingdoms were pretty fascinating for the interstate warfare and the Islamic Sultanates again bring a new twist and flavour.... I am personally much more interested in ancient societies - don't know about other folks though! :)

JuliaSet
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Postby JuliaSet » Thu Nov 23, 2006 6:47 am

It is pretty interesting and similar till the Mogul period.

I have been reading about India for the past two years. They had a very early code of laws, part of the religious teaching. Libraries, temples... courts, coinage, measurements. All appeared very early!

The only limits were the military units, which would not go beyond ancient cavalry..
There were no basic warriors. The basic military unit was the (short bow) archer... and led to the longbow.

Other units were macemen, catapults, siege defense, swordsmen. The most common units were chariots and archers. Elephants appear as military trained units 600 BC.

The chariots might have the possibility of adding an extra horse. The grandest ones had 4 or more horses! The King would ride a chariot, and the general would ride an elephant. It seems that a large part of the armies required more horses than the subcontinent could provide. Most of the horses were traded from the North, and later the West.

Link for Classical Era India Information:
http://www.fanaticus.org/DBA/armies/dba21a.html
"Painting. This may be one of the easiest armies to paint. All common wear only a white kilt and carry a scabbard made of hide. Shields are hide and hair is black. Generals/nobles will wear more colorful clothing and possibly armor. In addition, nobles would occasionally dye their beards bright colors, such as green or blue. One can have a lot of fun painting a general¹s elephant or chariot, using gaudy colors, some gold trim and perhaps some tiger-skins."


Buildings:

Gateway: The town's main gateway was a building in itself, with massive towers flanking and overlooking the actual gates... Inside were arranged various official apartments, including those of the toll-collectors; the windows of the offices were furnished with balconies and fitted with latticework or finely cut wooden screens. Interior stairways let to the upper storys: the municipal granary was on the top floor and light was provided by gable-windows whose carved beams were decorated with painting. The vaulted roofs were either thatched or covered with roughly baked curved tiles; the joists were curve and painted; the crest of the roof was ornamented with a line of tapering, rounded projections fashioned from wood or terra-cotta; the doorway and fore-part of the building were embellished with statues. Early period.

City Walls:

Warrior Assembly:


During the Mauryan Period the outer walls consisted of a colossal palisade made of huge tree trunk embedded deep in the ground. There were also thick walls of sun dried brick and later, walls of unmortared bricks. These ramparts were topped by serrated parapets, backed by flights of steps, and had a huge gateway. The ramparts were ringed by a series of moats serving as main sewers. A bridge crossed the moat at each entrance. Some cities had numerous rings of walls and moats.

The main entrance was high enough to allow entry to elephants carrying palanquins. At night the entrance was closed by heavy wooden doors, reinforced by iron bars. There were two smaller gates for foot traffic. Curfew was fixed for midnight. Secret passages in the country, were constructed, so that spies might ply their trade, and those in power make a quick getaway when needed.

Moat: Early

Permanent Siege Weapons: Fixed to city walls and projected missles to those assaulting the walls.

Temple:
Reliquary of Buddhist Saints, Stupa
Hindu Temples, robust buildings made from timbers, brick and stone, had interior courtyards paved with gravel surfaces, decorated with garlands of flowers and greenery. Gongs, clarinets, conches and cymbals were used by the sacred orchestra.

Granary:

Herbalist Medicine Hospital:
There were 2 kinds of physician: independent doctors called into consultation privately and responsible financially if convicted of error; and official practitioners in hospitals subsidized by pious or royal foundations, where medical assistance was free.

Intellectual Academies: Middle time period

Trade Schools: early time period

Coin Press:

Market/Guildhall: arrives with Buddhism
Every important town a great expanse of ground reserved for the daily markets at which the peasants from the surrounding countryside sold their produce and products. The various guilds also possesed hedquarters in the same district. The stalls lining the streets were separated from the living quarters by a courtyard, and were fronted by a veranda, as they are today

Palace Art Gallery: These served as the city art galleries and were open to the public and frequented more often in the autumn.

Dance and Music Academy: Mid era

Palace Entertainment Hall. used for musical, dance and theatrical perfomances.. NO special theatre was used.
acrobats, animal shows, wrestling shows, magic shows, mimes.

Gaming hall:
Very important to the era, and part of the Mahabharata epic.
Although games of chance were condemned by the Brahmanic code of conduct, where were played in all classes of society and chess was enormously popular. Chess was invented in India as a means to work out military strategy. It was played by four players who used two dice, four figures (king elephant, horse, and chariot or ship), the traditional units of the army. Young nobles met together daily to play several sessions of the game. Chess was played on specially designed boards or on a table with precious inlays.
Dicing existed in various forms. They were made of gilded shells. Die were the size of a hazel nut and had five facets. Dice were played on the floor. This game entailed taking a handful of dice from a heap on any one of 24 premitted manners, at the same time announcing aloud the number of dice being thrown and the number remaining in the heap. The winner was the one who threw the number he had announced, at his first attempt; the rules demanding, in addition, that this number must be a multiple of four.

Gaming dens seemed to have abounded. They were subject to strict control by the State and contributed large sums to the treasury in the form of taxation, the hiring of premises and the dice themselves, since the players wer not allowed to make use nor own their own dice.

Bank:

Court House:

Palace:

University:

Murals/ Rock Carvings

Aurvedic Hospital

Palace Library

Barracks/Arsenal]

The state managed the manufacturing of arms. It was under control of the war department, directed by a superintendent.
Horse and Elephant Academies. Mahout training.

Forge: Makes Weapons and goods for the market.
Royal Stables:
City Monument:
Near the main gateway, facing east, there was always to be found a tall column standing by itself. Made of stone, wood or iron, and topped by a sculpted ..... or by a wheel resting on a bill-shaped capital, recalling similar columns in Persepolis. This was a most important monument in the eyes of the Indians, a symbol of victory and hospitality, endowed with both imperial and cosmological significance, and forming part of the soverigns 'regalia'. They were often engraved with edicts, or indicated that the city enjoyed royal protection.

I know that the cities were also set up with astronomical alignments, so there could be an astronomical observatory as a special building.

Hope you can find more!
Last edited by JuliaSet on Thu Nov 23, 2006 6:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

Azeem
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Postby Azeem » Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:02 am

reachrishikh wrote:the Chinese having embraced either Christianity or Confucianism/Buddhism. Neither of these adopted religions were the true ancient religions of these civilizations.


You're way off the mark here. Confucianism IS a native traditional thought of China and still survives since its formation in the Warring States Period. Christianity exists in China, but was and still is not a truly major religion in China; the vast majority of Chinese that practice a religion follow traditional folk religion, which integrates Confucian thought, Daoist religion, and Buddhism. Chinese religion is syncretic and not exclusivistic. The Chinese didn't just embrace one religion or another; they practically embrace whatever comes their way and integrate it into their culture. Confucianism (which is not really a religion, but a code of ethical thought and theory) has been a "state ideology" since the Han Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty and though there are quite a number of Chinese Buddhists, Muslims, and Christians, Confucian thought is still an integral part of everyday life. The "foreign" religions of Buddhism, Islam, Christianity were never state religions. Chinese dynasties or monarchs adopting a "state religion" is fairly uncommon (with a few exceptions such as Empress Wu Zetian throwing her full support behind Buddhism).

You are right, however, when you say that Hinduism is one of the oldest surviving traditions. But be careful about using labels; "Hinduism" is not truly a unified entity as you likely are already aware. Westerners typically think "Hinduism" is "Hinduism", forgetting its immense diversity and colorful traditions. :)
Last edited by Azeem on Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

reachrishikh
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Postby reachrishikh » Thu Nov 23, 2006 10:51 am

Azeem wrote:You're way off the mark here. Confucianism IS a native traditional thought of China and still survives since its formation in the Warring States Period.

Alright, I will admit, I didn't know much about Chinese history and religion, and most of my perceptions have been shaped by the way China is depicted in our media, though they never expressly mentioned any such thing. Although you seem to have answered a question that's been nagging at the back of my mind for long - What was the religion that they practiced before Taoism and Buddhism were introduced, and what do most of them practice now. So it is as you said, they do not practice any structured/organised religion at all.


And Juliaset, as for archers being the basic military unit, I believe you are mistaken. Atleast in the vedic times, knowledge of archery was highly prized, and only given out to the royalty and the nobility (the kshatriya class). The common soldiers had to fight with swords, axes, maces and spears, but they were never given bows and arrows, and neither were they taught how to use it.

Education was imparted thus - The children (at a suitable age) left their homes and went to stay in the ashrams of the rishis (or sages) who would then instruct them in various topics, including warfare and the wielding of various arms. As far as I can recall, higher levels of knowledge of warfare and arms, especially archery, was limited to the royalty during vedic times. The children would stay with their teachers and learn till they became adults and would later return to their normal lives.
So this was infact, a precedent to your boarding school system.
But all those years they would rarely communicate with the outside world, much less with their families. There was no such thing as going home for the summer vacations. :D

Your mention of those siege weapons sounds funny. They sound more European. Because in all the History and Mythology that I've read about, I've never once found mention of any such siege weapons, catapults, etc. I don't think we had any siege weapons back then, not till the medieval times atleast. They must have been introduced here by the Europeans, in the late Mughal period.
Siege weapons were mostly introduced in Europe during feudal times, because most of their warfare involved laying siege to fortresses and castles. Whereas most of our warfare consisted of meeting the opposing army head-on on the battlefield, in the open, away from the cities, and under strict rules of engagement. Consequently, the cities were rarely designed as fortresses meant for defense, because they never required defending. They might have had some rudimentary defenses such as walls and gates, and sometimes moats, but I think most of such defenses would have been more for show, as opposed to having any practical signifiance. The fate of the city was always decided on the battlefield, the winning side would obviously get the rule of the city, so there didn't arise any need to assault the city itself, and so, they didn't need to defend it.
Besides, it also sounds logical. If you want to rule a place, why destroy it and make it all messy, when you can decide the rule of the place in the open, away from the place. Who would want to rule over ruins anyway? Wouldn't they like to rule over a beautiful city, complete with its monuments and structures and the citizens to do all the work? Most of it would be destroyed by laying siege.
If I recall correctly, sieges and fortifications did become common during the Mauryan period, and during the time of Asoka the Great. He did lay siege to a large number of kingdoms. Those were pretty violent times. But apart from that, I don't remember much on the topic of sieges in Indian history.


To anyone here who wants to know about the basic structure of society during the vedic times in a nutshell, I would recomment reading the Mahabharata. Also try and read the Ramayana. These are the great Indian epics and they are very similar to the Greek epics, and the story of the siege of Troy, but you will learn much about ancient India through them.

Azeem
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Postby Azeem » Thu Nov 23, 2006 1:04 pm

I'd guess that siege weapons possibly came from Central Asians. The Mongols and Turkic peoples adopted and used Chinese cannons and trebuchets (the European trebuchet itself possibly was introduced into Europe by Central Asian peoples who used them). The Indian subcontinent faced attacks from Central Asia in later periods. If I recall correctly, in a documentary, it was mentioned that the Mughals used firearms of Western, Turkish, and Chinese origin.

The people of the Indian subcontinent in the classical periods were quite excellent warriors, though. They successfully fought off Alexander the Great's successors, after all. :)
Last edited by Azeem on Thu Nov 23, 2006 1:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

JuliaSet
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Postby JuliaSet » Thu Nov 23, 2006 7:37 pm

Online material is not easily picked out.

Here is my reading list.
"Daily Life in Ancient India, from 200BC to 700 AD", by Jeannine Auboyer
"The Art of War in Ancient India," by P.C.Chakravarti (hard to find)
India, A History, by John Keay. This book is easy to find.. used ones at Amazon run about 8 bucks, a nice value for 600+ pages.
Time Life has published a few books which would give the flavour and philosopy of the eras.
"An Historical Atlas of the Indian Peninsula" by Oxford Uni Press, written by C. Colin Davies, written in 1959, is full of wonderful black and white maps... its a resource for kingdoms, cities and lakes. There are only 100 pages in this book. The only one I could find was a cover-less, yellowed package of pages.
For further philosophical reading of the area/era, you might read Joseph Campbell's, "Oriental Mythology-The Masks of God"

Gordon Farrell
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Postby Gordon Farrell » Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:38 pm

I may be going out on a limb here, but if Vivendi Universal produces TM's next citybuilder, it probably won't be under the "Immortal Cities" brand name. VU owns the Sierra City Builder Series brand, so that would in all likelihood be the name attached to any cb they publish. I'm not sure if TM or Mytelin owns the "Immortal Cities" IP.

So if TMs next publisher wanted to continue with the Immortal Cities label, "Immortal Cities: Children of the Indus" would be a great title.

But if it's VU and they want to continue to build up their own brand name (undoubtedly they would!), then maybe:

"TAJ MAHAL"

would be a title that would register with casual gamers faster than

"MAHARAJA"
Last edited by Gordon Farrell on Fri Nov 24, 2006 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

reachrishikh
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Postby reachrishikh » Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:12 pm

Maybe the people in other parts of the world would identify the word 'Taj Mahal' faster than 'Maharaja', but if VUG publishes the game, then going by their past naming conventions, they would prefer 'Maharaja', because after all, they did use the names of the rulers in their respective languages for the names of all games.

Caesar - Roman Title.

Pharaoh - Egyptian word for the ruler/king.

Zeus - Alright, they probably didn't have any specific name for the kings of the city states, and even if they did, it wouldn't have been a name the general public would have identified with. (And I've heard Greek is a tough language to speak, as it is, so the greek word for 'king' wouldn't have stuck). So Zeus, as the ruler of the heavens in Greek mythology worked fine, it was pretty well known as well, and signified the meaning 'ruler' in any case.

Emperor - Again, chinese is a very tough language to speak and learn, so the chinese word for 'Emperor' wouldn't have worked. (Most of the people wouldn't have found out how to pronounce it in the first place, because in the oriental languages, words with the same spelling, and seemingly same pronunciation have different meanings, because the are spoken with different intonations. So that makes it even more tough to get the word.) And the rest of the english speaking word already knew the chinese rulers by the title of 'Emperor' (and not by the chinese name for it), which was popularised by the media and english-dubbed movies coming from there.

But the Taj Mahal is just a monument. It's a symbol of love, and does not even signify the rule of a king in any way. But if there was some monument as popular, and the significance of which was the rule of the king who built it, the title would have been acceptable.

And anyway, the game might focus on the ancient era (as we have been discussing), a time long before the advent of Islam in India, so the Taj Mahal would not even exist in the game, so putting it in the title would be foolish if it were to not appear in the game. :)

reachrishikh
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Postby reachrishikh » Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:19 pm

Say, JuliaSet, is any of that online reading list you mentioned available as a free ebook (sort of project gutenberg style free)?
If so, could you please give me links to it/them?
I have been studying about the history of the rest of the world for too long, I think it's finally time to come back to my own roots and start delving into my own past again. The last I did that was when I was in school, and we had history as a compulsary subject. (Not that I disliked it, or disliked history in general, in fact I loved the subject).

Ahmed Ebrahim
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Postby Ahmed Ebrahim » Fri Nov 24, 2006 7:21 pm

That as a great idea. I like ancient and modern India (Hind)

JuliaSet
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Postby JuliaSet » Fri Nov 24, 2006 8:11 pm

A lot depends on the funding. If VU funds a project as a CB.. then they call the shots. If TM has private funds for it, then they can add to the Immortal Cities series.

I found the books used on amazon.com. They were cheap enough. I ordered another set of the top two books as I'd given my original ones to a programmer friend who was working on a civ mod with me. Real life changed our plans tho.

I paid around 6.00 USD for each of the top two books. Original reading revealed lots of details useful for creating a realistic game design. I see there are a few others out there at this time. LOL all it takes is money.

J

reachrishikh
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Postby reachrishikh » Fri Nov 24, 2006 10:57 pm

Amazon huh? Well then I guess I'm out of luck. One, I ain't got no credit card, and two, they don't ship knowledge (read books) to India. I once wanted to buy an item from them badly, and even arranged for the mode of payment, only to get a nice long letter from them explaining that they cannot export certain items outside the US due to some trade restrictions. And the list included pretty much everything that they deal in.
That's why I only scrounge the net for the free stuff, like on project guttenberg. No online purchases for me. I'll try the local bookdealers though, and see if I can come up with something.


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