When asked to envisage what ancient Rome would have looked like, we instantly recall such memorable scenes, as seen in the classic movies 'Spartacus', 'Ben-Hur' and most recently 'Gladiator'. The grand architecture of the Imperial Palace, beautifully ornate gardens, bustling market places and the awe inspiring grandeur of the Coliseum, are all what makes ancient Rome so memorable.
Heart of Empire: Rome, allows players to recreate the ancient city, via a 'Tycoon' style of game play. In order to bring about the majesty of Rome, Deep Red's own proprietary graphics engine was used. Over 2 years in development, the Actuality Engine allows the team to recreate Rome's hilly topography, using a system of terraces. These create a realistic looking cityscape of buildings and roads, climbing through the hills and fora (market squares) filling the valleys below.
Hundreds of buildings are able to be created within the game world, across a variety of different types. Each building and construction is a highly detailed, hand-crafted and hand-textured 3D model, based on actual Roman structures; each fulfilling functions that were an authentic part of the Roman way of life. Players will be able to construct the most basic of structures, from simple living apartments and public toilets, to the instantly recognisable public baths and temples, all the way up to grand theatres and Basilica (ornate public halls for business and law).
The Actuality Engine truly demonstrates its immense graphics power, by giving the player a true sense of scale within the Roman capital. The fully 3D engine allows the player to look out upon a vast sea of terracotta roofs, high above amongst the clouds, from an almost God like perspective. Watch barges unload their cargoes at the warehouses alongside the Tiber, or view mighty Gladiators within the Coliseum. Then with one smooth movement, glide down to street level, mingling in the hustle and bustle of street life, as Roman citizens go about their daily lives. Join a Roman couple as they shop for 'bling' in the luxury market place (its not a new concept, the Roman's were very partial to their 'bling'), watch children play in the streets, or Roman Senators study scrolls in the library (often a phrase given to Senators wives, when in fact it was a trip to the brothel).
In creating the map and campaign structure for the game, the team divided the capital up into fourteen regions; a system instituted by the Emperor Augustus. These authentic sized and scaled parts, aided the historical flavour of each region and scenario. The Fifth Region was home to the Esquiline Hill, which was an up-market part of town, with beautiful parks and luxurious urban villas. The corresponding scenario reflects this by having the player create a park and build luxurious homes to attract the wealthiest class of citizen. The other scenarios within the game are similarly themed and flavoured by the historic reality of the ancient city.
Over the course of the project, the designer accumulated a huge amount of reference material and spent hundreds of hours researching the topography of ancient Rome along with its society and culture, all of which feeds into the general design of the game and the feel of the scenarios. An eerie parallel between ancient Roman culture and that of the Modern West became apparent through the research. Fast food, huge, high-rise concrete buildings, a love of violent entertainment, cosmopolitan, multiracial cities, a huge gap between rich and poor, money as the main factor in social status and a profound belief in the superiority of their culture were all part of the Roman way and the game reflects all of this.
- State of the art 3D graphics take you right down into the heart of your Empire.
- 14 huge mission maps unfold before you as you build within ancient Rome.
- Over 100 buildings and structures allows you to grow your city by supplying housing, amenities, commercial outlets & ornamental splendour.
- Keep the different classes within your populace happy by supplying them the right types of food & goods or you'll have a riot on your hands!
- Monitor & control the flow of materials from all four corners of your Empire to keep control of your city's economy.
- Even the best run Empire can be hit by disasters, how well are you prepared to deal with fire, famine & disease?
- Sponsor, organize & watch the drama of chariot racing unfold in the Circus Maximus, or manage your Gladiator battles in the Coliseum.
- Run your city competently to gain favour with the Senate & grasp your ultimate goal, POWER!
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