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Children of the Nile info


Government and the Pharaoh

Early in the game, the role of the player will be that of a local leader before you rise to throne of Egypt. The quotes below are related to (the roles of) the Government and the Pharaoh.


Your PR campaign and prestige

Tuesday, June 22, 2004

From the GameSpy preview in June:

Fiske (one of the developers) emphasized that Children of the Nile is not a SimCity-style "software toy," but a true game with all the goals and time limits that that implies. The player plays an actual character within the game, a Pharaoh with a definite lifespan. The game has a full day/night cycle and each day represents one four-month "season" of the three-season Egyptian year (planting, harvesting, inundation). As time advances in the game, the player will grow old and eventually die, hopefully leaving behind an heir. The death of the Pharaoh causes a huge hit to the player's "prestige," which is accumulated by achieving societal goals such as building massive tombs, conquering new lands, and finishing colossal projects.

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Your PR campaign

Sunday, June 13, 2004

Tony Leier at the Tilted Mill forum, in response to vovan's question "we'll be able to distribute flyers with our faces on them?" regarding 'your personal PR campaign' as Pharaoh:

Not exactly flyers, but I'd say giant statues of yourself thoughout the city, along with obelisks and stele praising your virtues and accomplishments seems a good alternate. It's good to be the Pharaoh.

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Government

Thursday, June 03, 2004

From the IGN E3 preview:

Because the coin has been replaced, the government, that's you the player, now makes money by taking their cut of the food that is produced in a bit of a feudal system. The going rate is about half of the food generated by a farm. The key here, and this is really cool, is that the farm owners will try their damndest to give you only what they want to. They'll actually try to cheat you out of your due return by handing over what they think they can get away with... Now I don't normally like being cheated, but that's a neat little twist.

This can be countered however. Some of the upper crust of society can become more educated. These individuals, of whom there are only a few, will work as the government's lieutenants. These can be used, among other positions, as scribes that will act like tax collectors. If you hire them, they'll go out to the farms and make sure that the correct amount of food is being levied to the government. Placing these well educated workers in the correct positions is a balancing act of its own that should add even more interest to the game.

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You, the player, as Pharaoh

Saturday, March 20, 2004

From the GameSpy interview:

GameSpy:

Are you a disembodied "god" as the player, or are you a character within the game who can be deposed or assassinated?

Chris Beatrice:

Both, really. In this game you are always the most important leader in Egypt, and that means you're almost always Pharaoh. The only time you're really not the Pharaoh is when the civilization is so underdeveloped that there isn't a Pharaoh yet.

As Pharaoh you have sort of a paternal relationship with your subjects, and what they think of you is very important. Ultimately of course you want them to revere you as a god. But if you mess up repeatedly or if bad things just happen and your people don't believe you are doing enough about it, your people will lose faith in you and attempt to overthrow you. One day you're a god, the next you're tossed out on your butt! So yes, you can be deposed.

Another dimension is added to this because your "character" actually dies periodically from natural causes, and you are always trying to complete an appropriate tomb in time for this unavoidable event. So in fact you are really playing the part of a family or dynasty, with each Pharaoh being a separate incarnation of that dynasty. Each time Pharaoh dies, his prestige, your prestige, takes a hit, but this is hopefully offset by a magnificent tomb. This is part of the wonderful circular logic of these ancient cultures ... you inter a guy in a monumental tomb and people are more likely to view him as a god. But once they believe that, if you don't do the same for the next Pharaoh, people will start to worry.

Lastly, you also spend a lot of time enhancing your personal palace, in which the royal family resides. This is, for one thing, just fun and creative, but the opulence of your palace contributes to your prestige as well.

As for whether you, the Pharaoh, will ever actually appear in the game world, the answer is probably once in a while, on important occasions such as your funeral, celebrations, etc.

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Becoming a successful Pharaoh

Saturday, March 20, 2004

From the GameSpy interview:

GameSpy:

How does one go about becoming a successful Pharaoh?

Chris Beatrice:

To become a truly successful leader you need to cultivate personal renown, called "prestige." Your prestige naturally decays over time, so you always have to do more, more, more just to maintain it, and obviously you really want to increase it. To do this you build monuments, achieve military victories, and so on. What's really fun is you can magnify the prestige effects of these real accomplishments via propaganda, in the form of obelisks and stele. With propaganda you turn a modest accomplishment into an earth-shattering event. There's nothing like a little self-promotion to ensure your status as a god-king! Failures on your part also impact prestige, obviously negatively.

Lots of prestige means more and more elite citizens will follow and serve you - and these guys are very important in building and governing an advanced civilization. They are scribes, priests, military commanders, overseers, etc.

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