Some Feedback from an Old Gamer

Dear developers of my favorite game,

I have been playing Age of Empires since the first game was released. When I installed and launched the latest game I was so overwhelmed by nostalgia and memories I cried. I cannot communicate how much I like Age of Empires; it would take forever for me to express my feelings.

Luckily, today, I want to tell you about the aspects of the game that I don’t like. These aspects are not many but then again, they are very disturbing to me and other Turkish players of the game. Fortunately, these issues, I also believe, are very easy for the developer team to fix. I truly appreciate your time and assistance in advance.

Turkish Architecture

As you already know, the civilization of Turks was assigned to the Middle Eastern architecture style since the first edition of the Age of Empires II. Even at the time I was surprised to see how irrelevant this style was to the actual Turkish architecture. I always assumed this was due to the limited number of possible architectural styles and Turks were assigned to their current group because of this limitation. It was very annoying, but we learned to love the game regardless. In the latest version of the game I realized that the Byzantium civilization was shifted to a different and more accurate architectural style. I thank the team for this correction. However, it appears the Turks civilization is still kept as the desert themed architectural style even though the Turkish Seljuk and Ottoman Empires basically replaced Byzantium Empire at the same geographic location. This geography is Anatolia or Asia Minor, which according to Köppen Climate classification is anything but a desert.

The middle eastern architectural style shows flat roofs and mud buildings that never existed in the Ottoman or Seljuk capitals. It is fair to say that some colonies of the Ottoman and Seljuk Empires included structures with these features but so did most of the other empires like the Portuguese, Spanish, or Italian empires. However, they are depicted based on their capitals as they should be.

If you consider the wonder building of the Turks civilization you can see how it differs from the rest of the assigned architecture. The Turks wonder building is a fantastic example of Ottoman architecture which nicely matches real buildings nearby like the iconic Hagia Sophia and gives clues about the climate of the capital city, Constantinople. This city experiences tremendous amounts of rain throughout the year and it is not surprising that the rest of the buildings in the game do not match the wonder building as they appear to be from a desert geography similar to Saudi Arabia or Egypt.

The Byzantium Map

When we look at the Byzantium map, we see that the Anatolian side of the map is depicted as a desert with palm trees. Surely, a lovely tree but again, palm trees cannot be found nowhere in the Anatolian peninsula as part of the natural vegetation. We can even see the climate depiction is changing abruptly from the European side of Constantinople to the Asian side of it, which obviously is not the case. The north western Anatolia, which is one of the rainiest locations in the world is depicted as desert with palm trees while right where the Turkish border ends the vegetation depiction goes back to a forest.

Turkish Music Track

I would also like to bring your attention to the few seconds long civilization music track assigned to the Turks civilization. The Turks introduction music is a perfect example of Arabesque music, which is nowhere close to the Ottoman or the Seljuk Turkic music. I’m not sure how difficult or costly it would be to hire a consultant and come up with a new track to replace this offensive track with a piece of music that can be considered Turkish. However, I know you would make many of your fans happier if you could invest a small amount of money and time into fixing this offensive generalization of all Islamic civilizations into Arabic culture. Please note that in no way, I’m insulting or attacking the amazingly rich and beautiful Arabic civilization or its culture, which arguably is richer than Turkish culture.

Nevertheless, Turkic civilizations are closer to the newly introduced Central Asian civilizations than the Middle Eastern civilizations of Saracens or Persians. Interestingly, both of these new civilizations are Turkic, namely Cumans and Tatars.

I’m not sure if my comments and complains have any value in the eyes of the developers but I believe if you would extend your research into the comments I made, you will most certainly agree with me.

I would like to thank you for reading this.