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Developer Diary | Art of the Ages

Hi! I’m Robert Hutson, with the C Prompt art team behind Millennia. Welcome to our first dev diary focused on the Art of Millennia.

As stated in previous entries, Millennia is a huge game. There are hundreds of military or strategic unit types, and even more buildings, abilities, and resources that span the multitude of possible ages across the game’s possible timelines. Today we’ll look at some of the types of art from the first few ages that players are most likely to discover.

Defining the Age

Every age has a visual foundation defined by landscape paintings, which give a quick snapshot of what to expect from each age. These captivating images were painted by the artist, Erik Ehoff. They really are the cornerstone for the art of each age.


Unlocking technologies available within each age is a way of accessing unique features and units. There are several different techs per age, each pulling from ideas of what technology would be available during an age that may contribute to shaping a nation. We represent each Technology with a painting to give a visual feel for what to expect from it.


Millennia brings an astounding number of units that can move around the map and participate in diplomacy, combat, or other strategies. While access to all the different units comes from a variety of different features throughout the game, many are accessed directly from the Ages or Techs of an Age. Units were modeled to be representative of the mechanics or attributes they enable. They also share an aesthetic from whatever age they originate in. Each Unit is represented in multiple ways: its 3D Model, its Portrait and its Unit Icon. Units of a similar type share an Icon to help players know what to expect.

Improvements & Resource Art

Nations are largely shaped by the structures and resources within them. Whether they support defenses, the production of goods, trade management, or something else… There are hundreds of unique buildings, resources, and types of improvements unlocked throughout Millennia. Many buildings change appearance over time as ages progress, while others can be updated by choice if a new age offers an upgrade. Similarly, some resources become newly available as time goes on. Like the games’ units, buildings and other resources are represented by a variety of 3d models, portraits, and icons.

Age World Art

Lastly, the world itself also reflects changes across the different ages as previewed below.

I hope this brief look into some of the art pillars for early ages gives a little insight into what you can expect when Millennia releases next week!
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The art is generally nice in it's 2d state and does a good job of reflecting what you're seeing to reflect. I'm unsure if the 3D battles really work though, visually. From previews they seem to be the least aesthetic thing. I can see them conveying the increased power of a battle as time goes on, but I wonder how important that is. The post Civ 5 model of fewer but more significant battles may not be the best trend.

As well after watching some streams on it I have to agree that combat is really, really powerful for it's investment. Given AI's limitations in managing combat in most games like this it would make sense to tune it down significantly.
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sincerly i have huge hope in this game , first because it is a hisstorical game and that what Paradox does at best , and second because i love all what Paradox do , at least 90% of it games =) sooo please make this jewel be GOTY !!!!
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I will use this opportunity to repeat one of my suggestions

The art is cool but ui is not
I have both experienced and seen confusion from unlocking those from tech or spirits.

There is no easy way to differentiate at a glance what is unlocked, whether it's a unit, building or improvement. It is even more confusing when it's a domain power, free instant bonus or passive buff.
So please make a distinction for the icons with a clear different border or wathever is best
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Do you make any use of AI art?

I ask not out of distaste, quite the opposite. I've noticed that there's some reused art in places (e.g. every natural wonder discovery event uses the Great Pyramid as its art - not even a natural thing). Which is perfectly understandable in an indie game that's tight on budget, but nowadays AI art can cheaply fill those gaps.
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