Report article RSS Feed Rome: It Wasn't Built in a Day

Just a news piece on the mapping progress of Rome, and an explanation of some of the building templates to be expected.

Posted by Azkanan on Jan 22nd, 2012

Howdy folks, here's a news piece on how the creation of Rome will be planned out. Hopefully it will go smoothly.

First of all, let's get this out of the way: The city won't be historically correct. Not completely, at least. I need to find a balance between making the game historically correct, feasible by time allowed and the space it consumes and by how usable the city itself is for players.
As much as I'd love the city to be 100% accurate, it's just not possible. Sorry Super Rome Fans. :(


So, dev-side, we have an image that is 5000x5000 pixels big. We've modelled it to the size of an in-game Region, which is 5000x5000 tiles. As a result, one tile = one pixel.

By using this, we can draw out a rough idea of how the city will plan out, which helps, considering how packed it is... being one tile off in-game can turn out pretty messy. Mapping has a tendency for a Snowball affect in situations like this.

Here is the city of Rome, as planned. (Click Here)

Key
Red Lines: Roads

Orange: Commercial Buildings (Retail and Process locations)
Pink - Purple: Housing; the darker it is, the larger the building.
Brown: Warehouses.
Blue: "Guild Housing".
Rainbow: Baths

Red: Senate
Violet-purple: Temples/Rostra

Here are some base building templates. (Click Here)

Commercial Buildings
These are where players and NPCs process supplier's goods or sell them as a retailer. The Ancients' economy goes by the basic principle of "Supply, Process, Retail". The large orange block in the center is an indoor market.
Commercial Buildings with a smaller block inside in the corner is a Restaurant, whilst all others are general stores.

Housing
Most housing are Insulae, as found around and near the indoor marketplace, the small pink blocks. These also double up as more store space, albeit small. Insulae housing itself is pretty much just a bed to sleep in.
Meanwhile, the larger pink blocks (Most of which are crammed next to each other) are Domus, which I've crafted into four varying sizes. The smallest is what I guess you can call a Bachelor's Pad; it has one bedroom, dining room, kitchen, two spare rooms, an Atrium (A hole in the ceiling with a pool under it; rainwater gathers here) and a Garden (Like an Atrium, but a grass/dirt area surrounded by pillars. These can be used for setting up Training or growing herbs).

Houses then expand in size and content from here, up till the largest Domus, which offers five spare rooms, the Atrium, a dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms, a garden room and an indoor Garden.

All Domii have the possibility to also have attached stores to their front which the house-owner can rent out.

Warehouses
In most MMOs when you want to store things safely, you put all the items into your backpack and head off to the local Community Warehouse that is always crammed. You then throw your backpacks contents onto the counter and they safely disappear.
In The Ancients, there are a few differences;
- You can't chuck as much as you can carry into your backpack. You can't fit a halberd into your backpack, but you can fit it in your hand.
- Buildings have capacities. You can't just shovel it all in one location.

So, if you want to store something in The Ancients, you'll have to purchase some place to hide your things or hide them some place. This is where warehouses come into use; large, empty buildings waiting for your goodies. In addition to this, if you wanted to shift a large number of goods from one location to another, you'd need to hire, own or build a Cart or other type of vehicle.
Also, if you were a shopkeeper, you'd likely want a warehouse for your goods to be delivered to if your shop is too small. Although, the larger shops have large spaces out back for your goods to be stored in.

Guild Housing
Players need to buy one of these in the Collegia Founding process. This system is still on the table of design, but the idea is that you need to send off an Application Form with at least three signaturees to the Senate, where the Senate then discuss if the application should be passed or not. From there, the Senators agree on a "Collegia Founding Fund" that is used by the applicants on buying a Collegia.
Established Collegia emit an "Influence" around them. Each influence on a tile has a strength. People who's housing or stores are within this influence then have a chance to come to the guild and request for goods to be made by that Collegia. Collegia must specialise in a Major and Minor skill.
When the goods are then accomplished and delivered, the Collegia is rewarded with a financial payment and an "Influence Bump". The better quality the goods delivered, the bigger "Bump". This then expands the Influence.

As I said, this is still in the discussion phase, but this is what we are aiming for; a working, fully-rotating reputation and taxable system.

Baths
The design of the Baths was so complex, for what it is, that I had to colour-code it!

The green room is the entrance and where bathers would strip and leave their items. Romans were encouraged to use the bathroom before going any further into the baths, which is what the brown room is.
The purple room is simply a corridor. Romans would then have the choice of going for a Bath or going to the Steam room, which is alike to our Saunas. In the case of the Sauna, which is the gold room, players can simply relax, socialise and let the steam do all the work.
Otherwise, players can advance to the yellow room. In here, the temperature is kept quite warm. Slaves or servants would oil the Roman down and then scrape it the oil off; bringing out any dirt and muck from the pores. After this, they would advance to the main baths to relax and clean off any last bits, the Red room.
After either Sauna or bathing, the player advanced to the "Cold Plunge" room, which is a cold tub of water. This is used to close the pores of the skin. Then they return to the room where they undressed, dress and leave.

Senate
The Senate is where senators gather to discuss city and national topics. We hope to create a system where players can also become senators and therefore, affecting these discussions; possibly affecting taxes, the construction and expansion of buildings, national funds and war-matters.

Rostra
The Rostra is where people gather to hear from the Town Crier on the results of the Senate discussions. The Rostra was historically a round depression into the ground with steps for Romans to city and listen to the Town Crier from a raised platform.
However, due to our top-down game, we've had to reform this to be rectangular.

Temples
The temples are places for people to worship and offer sacrifices to the gods, although, people mainly did this at home at their personal shrine.

Atrium Vestae
The Atrium Vestae is the Temple and Home of the Vestal Virgins. The Vestal Virgins were women who pledged themselves to Chastity and to worship the goddess, Vesta.
They played a number of roles. Their most important role was to keep the Hearth of Vesta alit at all times, as it was thought that as long as the fire was alight, the city of Rome was safe from any danger.
Not only that, but it was their duty to store and keep artifacts of Rome in prime condition, as well as to store important documents related to Senators and other high-end citizens.

So, that's my introduction to the City of Rome.


As for the actual mapping itself, I'm still using test areas before going into actual mapping, to tweak my tiles;

Props to Lightning for how quickly he's responded to bugs with the Map Editor.


Once I start mapping the city, I just want to get the basic structure of the City built. From there, I can tweak details in.
If I were to detail every sector to it's perfection from the get-go, and I found an inconsistency with the layout later on, I'd have to rebuild the city! That would be bad for my Psyche and sleeping pattern.

Post comment Comments
Urch
Urch Jan 22 2012, 9:41pm says:

Hot Damn I'll take four, this is looking more epic by the day. Myself, the travelling salesman extraordinaire with my awesome pack donkey, Dobbinarius (or Dobbins for short), is looking forward to traversing these steps and to see the hustle and bustle of Rome and the Glory of the trade. Great Work (this is Fyrdrinc by the way)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Azkanan
Azkanan Jan 23 2012, 6:18am replied:

Oh! Hi Fyrdrinc, haven't seen you for a while </3.

And, thanks. I'm currently working up the city walls which I was up till 2am doing last night, should finish and post them within the hour.

+1 vote     reply to comment
boxer77
boxer77 Jan 23 2012, 10:44am says:

Wow! Azk (and Lighting) Great work! Sorry that I ask, but do you have any ETA on the Alpha?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Azkanan
Azkanan Jan 23 2012, 11:56am replied:

'fraid not Boxer. ASAP. :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Krej
Krej Jan 23 2012, 11:18am says:

looks p cool this game ye boi

+2 votes     reply to comment
hagamablabla
hagamablabla Jan 23 2012, 9:59pm says: Online

The senate idea sort of reminds me of erepublik. For the love of everything, please don't let this degenerate into that (ie No seperate currency, no daily incentive to play, etc)

+1 vote     reply to comment
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