Developed by many of the team that created Pharaoh, the strategy title Children of the Nile is set in the evocative land of ancient Egypt. The game relies on an economic and cultural gameplay system built specifically around a realistic AI engine where players must treat and work with citizens as people instead of the typical "units" of past strategy titles. As their leader, you must build a place in which they can live and work, establishing a relationship of trust and cooperation which you then leverage to build a lasting civilization, and bring it to its cultural peak.
Pharaoh did pretty well for itself back in the day. Impressions continued with their style of city planning and made it better, enough so to capture my heart and attention for hours and hours and hours. Regardless of how great the game actually was, it still had its share of problems and begged to be improved. It happens that a bunch of the guys from Impressions picked up shop and moved on to other things... sort of. In fact, they picked up to form another company called Tilted Mill in order to make another game much like the old Impressions city builders. This time, the object was to create a more accurate simulation of life in ancient Egypt by centering on the people instead of the buildings. Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile certainly succeeded in some ways that I enjoyed, but faltered in others. I had fun with Tilted Mills' first title as a team, but it's missing enough to keep it from being great.
On the superficial surface, Children of the Nile's 3D engine (Empire Earth) and graphics are part of that simultaneous steps forward and backward. The engine, while a tad bit dated, is still decent, allowing for a lot of motion and people on screen at the same time. Seeing a bunch of people scamper out to the fields like ants to the harvest is very cool. Lighting and shadow also makes the game look pretty good when zoomed out to a decent point of view.
The problem doesn't seem to be with the engine as much as the art style which is a little bit stale compared to Pharaoh. There's not as much personality, detail, or fun in any of the new textures compared to the old 2D isometric view as well as some ugly things such as the strange gigantic square quarries, lack of blending between roads and paths, and the short draw distance that creates an ugly thick fog at the edge of vision. The attention to detail just isn't as fulfilling as it has been. Just take a look at the two images below for comparison between the two games and see if you don't agree. On the left we have Pharaoh's temple complex and on the right is the new cult temple in Children of the Nile.
While I may not be as appreciate from an artistic standpoint, the technological change to 3D does allow you to zoom down into your city to get a view at street level. It doesn't do anything for the actual gameplay, but it's pretty cool to get down there and check all of actions of your citizens. You can watch the different crafters create their goods, farmers tend the fields, and the horrible battle animations between raiders and your city guard. Okay, so not everything about the zoom feature is great... but after you've helped your city grow to an acceptable size, tilting the camera down the ground in order to get a nice view of the city can lead to some impressive views of your pyramids off in the background. It's a neat feature that I really wish hadn't come at the expense of detail and style.
The gameplay also turned up confused. There are a lot of great ideas going into Children of the Nile that I am still really excited about. At the top of the list is the move from the old style of housing to the new style. In the past everyone simply lived in housing complexes that had to be within a certain distance of work for them to be employed. The way Children of the Nile works is a bit more realistic and fun. Each household is of a certain type and holds one family unit. That entire family will help the residence run smoothly. The men will usually go out and do the manual labor (planting, hauling, harvesting) while the women will be the ones to go and shop for other goods that the house needs to survive. The kids will lend a hand where it's needed such as out in the field at harvest time or will even go to school in order to become an educated worker later on.
Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile Game Walkthrough
Unofficial "Children of the Nile" Orientation FAQ
A work in progress by Michael "Cironir" Vondung
(Version of November 10th, 2004)
This document offers answers to frequently asked questions about Tilted Mill's
new release, "Children of the Nile" (CotN). As of writing the present version
of this FAQ, the game has just hit the shelves, and there are many questions
from players that do not know the game, but would like to learn more about it.
The purpose of this FAQ is to give you an overview of the game, its features
and its gameplay options. This is an unofficial document and does not
necessarily reflect Tilted Mill's opinions; all information within is subject
to change, and there is no guarantee that all answers are accurate. Please do
not distribute the document without permission. No one would benefit from
different, outdated versions of a resource that is meant to be useful. For
suggestions, corrections, or questions, please leave a message at the official
forum at http://www.tiltedmill.com/forums/ or drop me an email at
email@example.com. It is likely that there will be several revisions of this
FAQ.sp check back frequently. Until then, I hope it provides useful insights
to one of the most interesting games in recent years.
A revision history can be found at the bottom of the document.
* What is Children of the Nile?
* What is Immortal Cities?
* When will Children of the Nile be released?
* Who developed Children of the Nile?
* Who publishes and distributes Children of the Nile?
* Where can I download a demo version?
* Will there be a Macintosh or a Linux version?
* Was there a pre-order bonus for Children of the Nile?
* How much does it cost?
* What does the game's box look like?
* Is there a printed manual included?
* Are there fan sites for Children of the Nile?
* Is there a fan kit for Children of the Nile?
* What are "Luminaries"?
* Where can I download CotN wallpapers for my desktop?
* Does Children of the Nile come with an editor?
* Can I create only scenarios or even campaigns?
* Can I download additional scenarios?
* Is there a sandbox mode?
* Is there a random map generator?
* What engine does Children of the Nile use?
* Is Children of the Nile "modable"?
* Does CotN have a day/night cycle?
* Are there weather effects in the game?
* Is there a multiplayer mode?
* Does the game have a tutorial?
* What screen resolutions are supported?
* What is my role in Children of the Nile?
* Can my Pharaoh die? What happens if he does?
* These virtual people, are they like The Sims?
* So, I don't have to pamper my citizens?
* You mentioned families. Are there children?
* Are there many different professions?
* How do the citizens choose their profession?
* I read that people have "needs". What are they?
* How do people satisfy their needs?
* What happens if needs are not satisfied?
* How do people get money in the game?
* How do people get bread and other food?
* What happens if someone doesn't have bread?
* How are trade routes established?
* If there is no money, is building free?
* Does it matter where I build something?
* Do I have to connect everything with roads?
* Does it take long to erect monuments?
* What kind of monuments can I build?
* Do monuments make my people happier?
* What is the significance of prestige?
* How does one obtain prestige?
* Are there gods in Children of the Nile?
* What role do the gods play?
* Can you tell me more about the military?
D. Technical Stuff and Bugs
* What kind of computer do I need for CotN?
* What is meant by a "DirectX 9-compliant 32 MB video card"?
* Can you give me a list of video cards that are supported?
* Uh, how can I tell what video card I have?
* What are the best drivers for my video card?
* Can I run the game on a LCD display?
* What screen resolutions are supported?
* Which copy protection system does CotN use?
* Should I prepare my computer by updating drivers?
* I need technical help. Who can I contact?
* Web Forums (official and unofficial)
* Fan Sites (English and German)
* Media (music, videos, screenshots, fan kit)
* Miscellaneous (designer notes, interviews, previews)
Q: What is Children of the Nile?
A: Children of the Nile (CotN) is a strategy game. This is pretty broad,
though, and could mean just about everything from a puzzle to a real-time war
game. So, let's take a closer look! CotN is a city-builder in the rich
tradition of such legendary titles as Caesar 3, Pharaoh and Zeus, but also
SimCity and similar games. Unlike these games, however, CotN is far more
focused on the actual citizens in the player's realm: the society. This
doesn't mean that it is a game like The Sims, though, and you won't actually
have to micromanage the every day life of your virtual people. This innovative
twist to the city building genre will be discussed in more detail later in
this FAQ (in the Gameplay section). If you liked any of the aforementioned
games, you are very likely to love Children of the Nile. And if you have never
built a vibrant city inside your computer, Children of the Nile will gently
introduce you to this exciting type of video game.
Q: What is Immortal Cities?
A: The full name of the game is "Immortal Cities: Children of the Nile". Some
players are thrown off by this when they look for the game, but can't find it
listed in the "C" section of a catalogue or an index. While this is only a
guess at this time, it seems likely that Tilted Mill plans to release more
games in the "Immortal Cities" series that are set in different epochs of
Q: When will Children of the Nile be released?
A: Children of the Nile was released in North-America on November 8th, 2004.
The game is expected to hit European shelves in late January next year. The
European publisher decided that a later release would allow for more time to
promote the game in the European market. Various language versions are planned
for the release in Europe (English, German, French, and Spanish). There may be
support for other languages, too. though this has not yet been confirmed. A
release date for Australia has not been mentioned so far, but there is little
doubt that the game will be available there also.
Q: Who developed Children of the Nile?
A: Children of the Nile is developed by Tilted Mill Entertainment. If you have
never heard of this studio, don't worry about it! Granted, this is the first
game developed by Tilted Mill, but the people on the team are far from unknown
or new. In fact, a large number of them are former members of Impressions
Games. Sound familiar? Yes! This was the very studio that brought you classic
city-builders like Caesar 3, Pharaoh and Zeus. This is also why the press (and
certainly many gamers) think of Children of the Nile as a 3D version of the
popular Pharaoh title. This is only true insofar that Children of the Nile is
the spiritual successor of the city-builders of old, but the concept is
entirely new. As the designers put it, CotN is what city-builders always
should have been.
Q: Who publishes and distributes Children of the Nile?
A: In North-America (United States and Canada), Children of the Nile is
distributed by Myelin Media. The European publisher is SEGA. Distributors for
Australia, Asia and Africa are not yet known.
Q: Where can I download a demo of the game?
A: No demo version has been released so far, though there are numerous
gameplay videos, partly commented by the developers. Check the "Resources"
section of this FAQ for links.
Q: Will there be a Macintosh or Linux version?
A: No, there are no plans to port the game to the Macintosh or Linux platforms
at this point in time. Children of the Nile will run on most MS Windows (98SE
through XP). Note that Windows 98FE is not supported.
Q: Was there a pre-order bonus for Children of the Nile?
A: Yes, there was. Players who pre-ordered the game received a bonus CD with
ten strategy guide videos, the music archive in MP3 format, calendar
wallpapers for 2005, and concept artwork. The videos are especially cool:
While you watch in-game footage, you can hear the designers talk about the
game and its unique concept! More information can be found here:
Q: How much does it cost?
A: This depends on where you order Children of the Nile, but most large game
dealers ask 39,99 US dollars. The price in Europe will be about 40 Euro. Check
some stores for good prices. If you are European and want to support the game
and help to get it on the shelves, consider pre-ordering it.
Q: What does the game's box look like?
A: Here is a photo of the CotN box including the pre-order bonus CD:
http://www.similarities.org/images/cotnbox.jpg. The European packaging will
most likely differ, but I don't have any photos or further information.
Q: Is there a printed manual included?
A: Good news! Yes, a printed manual is included. While it is smaller than the
300 pages compendiums of the old days, it does contain everything you need to
know to get started. For those players who prefer an electronic manual, there
is also be an identical PDF version included. Children of the Nile features a
sophisticated, context-sensitive, hypertext online help system that allows
players to look up relevant information and tips in every situation. If you've
played Civilization III and liked its help system, CotN's online help will not
Q: Are there fan sites for Children of the Nile?
A: Yes, there are quite a few, even international ones. Please scroll down to
the "Resources" section of this document. You can find a list there. Tilted
Mill is supportive of player-run sites and encourages enthusiastic fans to
create pages and sites dedicated to Children of the Nile and the Immortal
Q: Is there a fan kit for Children of the Nile?
A: Yes, there is a fan kit for players who would like to create a fan site for
Children of the Nile. The 3.25 MB small package can be downloaded at
http://www.immortalcities.com/cotn/.../fansitekit.php. It contains logos,
screenshots, animations and assorted information.
Q: What are "Luminaries"?
A: Luminaries are a small group of volunteers who were chosen by Tilted Mill
to work closely with the development team and the community. They are sort of
"go betweens" and frequently "release" bits and pieces of new information to
players. If you have questions about the game, they make excellent contacts.
There's an official page with a description of the Luminaries and their tasks:
http://www.immortalcities.com/cotn/luminaries/about.php. Here's a list of the
current Luminaries: Afterburner, Angelisis, Bugsy, Caesar Alan, Cironir,
Dgsavoie, Dsmith, EmperorJay, GillB, Granite Q, Ineti, Jaguar, Jayhawk, Keith,
Koppi, Miut, Pecunia, Tobing, Triggercut, Vovan. These are their names on the
official TM boards (http://www.tiltedmill.com/forums/) where you can contact
them via the private messaging system.
Q: Can I download CotN wallpapers for my desktop?
A: Yes, there are various wallpapers available in different sizes. Check out
the collection at http://www.immortalcities.com/cotn/...s/wallpaper.php.
Q: Does Children of the Nile come with an editor?
A: Yes, the game will ship with a fully featured editor.
Q: Can I create only scenarios or even campaigns?
A: Yes to both. It's been confirmed that the editor will be suited for making
stand-alone scenarios as well as entire campaigns.
Q: Can I download additional scenarios?
A: It is very likely, almost certain, that many fan sites will offer
player-made scenarios for download. Heavengames.com, for instance, has done
this for previous city-building games, so this is definitely a good place to
start your search at. Please take a look at the "Resources" section of this
FAQ for more fan sites.
Q: Is there a sandbox mode?
A: Kind of. That wasn't very helpful, was it? Okay, to be more accurate, there
are so-called "sandbox scenarios". These are maps that are not goal-oriented.
You can build your city as you see fit, without the game expecting you to meet
specific aims in order to win the scenario. There will still be random events
such as exceptional and poor floods, but no scripted events. For all practical
purposes, these scenarios work exactly like the sandbox in many other games.
Q: Is there a random map generator?
A: Unfortunately no, there is no random map generator. This actually isn't as
bad as it may sound, since the above mentioned sandbox scenarios offer quite a
bit freedom. Maps in Children of the Nile are actually fairly large, so there
are numerous ways to "populate" a map.
Q: What engine does Children of the Nile use?
A: CotN uses the Empire Earth engine, though it has been heavily modified and
enhanced by Tilted Mill. It's important to note that this does not mean that
CotN resembles Empire Earth in any way or shape -- it does not. It is an
entirely different game.
Q: Is Children of the Nile "modable"?
A: This is another "kind of" answer. When asked about this topic, Jeff Fiske,
CotN's Design Director, said: "With a little creativity, 'moding' the game
will not be too difficult, either." This pretty much means "yes", but no
details are available yet, the game is still new. Check the official forums
and the fan sites for more information.
Q: Does CotN have a day/night cycle?
A: Yes, it does, and the time of the day actually has an effect on the
behaviour of your inhabitants of your city: they go home during night, and
they come back out of their houses in the morning. At least they do this most
of the time and when it "makes sense". If your jeweler's child is on his way
to a far-away location of quartz, he will not turn around and go home when it
gets dark; otherwise he'd never make it to his destination. Graphically, the
day/night cycle is beautifully implemented, with realistic lightning, shadows
and colours. Dawn and sunset are especially impressive.
Q: Are there weather effects in the game?
A: No, in the "vanilla" game there won't be weather effects. Well, that's not
entirely true! If you're unlucky (or just neglected something!), you might
experience an entirely too "good" flood that drowns half your city. But there
is no rain or wind, at least not in the initial release.
Q: Is there a multiplayer mode?
A: No, and there are no plans to add one. Children of the Nile is a pure
single-player game. That doesn't mean that there isn't a community, though.
Check out the fan sites (listed in the Resource section of this FAQ) and the
official forum at http://www.tiltedmill.com/forums/ -- these are great places
to meet other CotN fans and discuss the game.
Q: Does the game have a tutorial?
A: Children of the Nile comes with a dedicated tutorial campaign that covers
everything from the very basics of society building right up to advanced
methods of design and management of a complex, magnificent city worthy of a
Pharaoh. My estimate is that finishing the entire tutorial will take you a few
Q: What screen resolutions are supported?
A: The game supports just about any resolution that you could ever want.
Specific resolutions for LCD monitors and notebooks are also available. The
minimum resolution is 800x600. The setting menu will only display resolutions
that can be handled by your monitor, so that the hardware won't get damaged by
overly adventurous players.
Q: What is my role in Children of the Nile?
A: This is a loaded question! The short answer is: You're the Pharaoh! Now,
this means everything and nothing, so let me try to explain this in more
detail. As has been mentioned in various places (including this FAQ), the
inhabitants of a city in CotN are individuals, not just numbers. They not only
have individual names, but also individual minds. Similar types of NPCs (Non
Player Characters) do behave similarly, but there are also plenty of
differences that depend on individual circumstances. We'll talk more about
people further down in this document. For now let's just remember that they
are individuals. You, the Pharaoh's current incarnation, only have indirect
control over them. Your chief tasks are to allocate land to specific purposes
(for instance: areas for farm houses, shops, etcetera), give orders for the
construction of non-trivial buildings and structures, manage the "global"
trade, instruct the military, and sometimes issue edicts. Sound simple? The
tasks by themselves are easy indeed, and there is no tedious micromanagement
involved, but maintaining balance, building the "right" structures, and
generally making wise decisions is not quite as easy. In fact, the game's
depth is incredible and will challenge the strategic (and creative) portion of
your mind in refreshingly new ways.
Q: Can my Pharaoh die? What happens if he does?
A: Yes, a Pharaoh only lives for a limited period of time. The game isn't over
then, though. You'll keep playing as the Pharaoh's offspring. One thing you
should not neglect during a Pharaoh's life time is the funeral preparation. If
a Pharaoh deceases without there being a suited burial place for him, the
royal family will not be thrilled.
Q: These virtual people, are they like The Sims?
A: No, fortunately not! They don't need to be told when to pee, for one. In
fact, they don't need to be told anything, and even if you wanted, you
couldn't control individual citizens of your city (but you can follow them
around!), except in very specific cases. Your influence on the population is
almost always indirect. If you think about it, this is much like how things
work in "real life". The government doesn't usually tell you what to exactly
do, but "manipulates" every day life with regulations and decisions. Here's an
example: Let's say your city council decides to build a swimming hall in your
area. They make the decision, they provide the money for its construction, and
they hire someone to build it. While all of this is done by the mayor and his
people, and not by you, it still affects you indirectly: you now have a
recreation building near you that you can visit whenever you like! There is
also a negative impact: Since the city spent quite a bit of money on the
swimming hall, their budget may be exhausted now and they can't build a
kindergarten that might have been more important to other people. There are no
swimming halls and kindergartens in Children of the Nile, but the principle is
the same. Just like your home town's mayor doesn't control you directly, but
still influences your life with his or her actions, you, the Pharaoh,
determine the well-being or the misery of your virtual citizens by making
Q: So, I don't have to pamper my citizens?
A: That's right, you don't and you can't (there are very few exceptions to
this rule). They have minds of their own, and they decide what to do, when to
do it, and in some ways even how to do it. You can attach a camera to an
individual citizen (they all have names, too) and follow her or him around,
watch what they do, and even listen to them. They often talk, and it can pay
off to listen to what they have to say. It is easy to see what citizens are
doing, and whether or not they are happy. The worst that can happen is that a
family moves away, because they have lost faith in your city and your
rulership. (Okay, this isn't entirely true, the really worst is that you get
kicked out for incompetence, but this isn't a frequent occurrence.)
Q: You mentioned families. Are there children?
A: Yes, there are husbands, wives and children, or in short: households. Each
household lives in their own house, though not all have children (most do).
Q: Are there many different professions?
A: Yes. there is quite a number of professions that your citizens can have,
ranging from farmer to overseer. It is also possible for a member of a
specific profession to specialize further. For instance, a priest can choose
between teaching, tending a temple, and a variety of other tasks. This is
something you, the player and Pharaoh, can decide, though you can't "create" a
priest directly. You have to "hope" that one wants to work in your city, build
a home for him, and then you can tell him what you want him to do. Pretty much
the same applies to overseers, scribes and military commanders.
Q: How do the citizens choose their profession?
A: When you start a new city, there will only be villagers. Once you've built
some farm houses, a number of these villagers might decide to become farmers.
You can't "make" them to want to become farmers, but chances are that they
will not miss the opportunity to live a better life. Then later, when you
decide to allocate some land for shops, some of your farmers may wish to climb
the social ladder a bit further and move into the vacant shopkeeper houses. By
the way, you can either allocate land for one specific type of store (for
example, a pottery), or just leave this open, in which case a "random" family
will claim the shop for themselves and start to produce goods of their own
Q: I read that people have "needs". What are they?
A: They have the same needs as people today. They need food, basic goods,
medical care, a place to worship, security, sometimes luxury items, resources
for their trade, and so on. Not all citizens have the same needs, however.
This isn't so different from how things were in the classic city-builders.
What is different, though, is how the citizens of your city get what they
need. In fact, this is perhaps the most important aspect of the game, so let
me put this in a separate question!
Q: How do people satisfy their needs?
A: This is perhaps the biggest, most significant difference between Children
of the Nile and other city-building games you may have played in the past. In
CotN, people go to places to get what they need! If you have never played one
of the previous city-building games from Impressions Games, this will not seem
unusual or noteworthy to you, because this is how the "real world" works, too.
But you see, in those previous games, goods basically came to the people. The
market sent out a "walker" who automatically supplied all invisible, anonymous
people living in houses that the "walker" passed by. In CotN, there are shops
that make and sell certain items, and the citizens walk there when they are
looking for something. They will not only go to the nearest shop and then give
up, but will try different ones on their quest for goods. There are other
types of needs, too, such as wanting a place to worship, or the desire to live
in a safe city. The former is satisfied by walking to a temple or a hospital,
the latter is indirectly satisfied if the Pharaoh hires some city guards (or
rules wisely so that there is very little crime plaguing the city).
Q: What happens if needs are not satisfied?
A: This isn't easy to answer. Obviously, people who do not get the item(s) or
the service(s) they "need" won't be happy campers. But then again, how many
real people do you know who are always satisfied? Probably few to none. It's
the same with your virtual citizens. It is common that they can't get
everything they want, so they might be a bit disgruntled, but that's not
really the end of the world. It's more problematic if multiple needs are not
satisfied over a period of time, or if the lack of a specific good/service
becomes permanent. If a family becomes too dissatisfied, they might pack their
stuff and leave your city. While this should make you think about how to
improve your city, it's not a catastrophe. There are other people who might be
happy to give your city a try. Still, the goal is to design and build a city
with a low level of dissatisfaction. The goal isn't to prevent any
dissatisfaction, which would be an unrealistic aim, but balance is crucial.
Q: How do people get money in the game?
A: There is no actual money. The virtual inhabitants of your ancient city
trade food (more specific: bread and vegetables) for finished goods. They can
also be eaten. It is not the only type of food that your citizens can consume,
but it's the only bread and vegetables that can be used for trading. Foraged
food (Dates/pomegranates/fish/fowl) can not be used in trade.
Q: How do people get bread and other food?
A: Everyone likes to eat fresh bread, but if there is none available, people
will forage for food in the wilderness. They do this automatically, you don't
have to instruct them to search or hunt for edible things. The downside is
that if they are out foraging food, they aren't working. If they aren't
working, they won't plant, harvest, make or sell goods, or provide services to
other people. Bread is obtained in different ways. Some people, such as
farmers, bake their own bread with their share of crops form the fields they
tend. Nobles do the same, though they have personnel doing the baking for
them. Shopkeepers can only get bread if they trade their finished goods for
it. Lastly, there are government employees (people who work for you, the
Pharaoh). They get their bread from state-owned bakeries.
Q: What happens if someone doesn't have bread?
A: If a household doesn't have bread, the family will grow dissatisfied. While
a shortage of other goods or services only dissatisfy a person in one way, the
effects of not having bread are more severe. Without bread, a household cannot
trade for other goods, which will further increase the level of
dissatisfaction. A lack of bread also lowers the productivity of a household,
since the members of the family have to forage food so that they don't starve.
Q: How do craftsmen and shopkeeper get raw materials?
A: Most resources are located in different areas on a map. Craftsmen and
shopkeepers requiring a raw material to produce finished goods will know where
to find what they need. They, as well as their children, will quite literally
walk to the source and gather clay, quartz, henna, kohl, and so on. If they
have to travel a long way, they will produce fewer wares, which may put them
at an economical disadvantage. There are some more valuable resources that
need to be imported and be made available (via an exchange) to shopkeepers and
craftsmen. Establishing trade routes, hiring personnel who operate the
exchange, making sure there are docks, etcetera are all tasks for you, the
Q: How are trade routes established?
A: Children of the Nile has two "modes": the city level and the world level.
The world level is a strategical map where you can perform global actions such
as sending an expedition to far away destinations. The world map is also where
you set up trade routes with other cities or locations. In addition, you'll
need to construct docks and drop-off spots in your city (on the city level).
Q: If there is no money, is building free?
A: Good observation, and a good question. The answer is a vague "depends". In
essence, building is indeed free. That said, there are some types of buildings
and structures that require raw materials. Small farm houses, roads,
decorative items and other "low level" objects can just be placed, as often as
you want (allocating land for fifty farm houses doesn't necessary mean that
all of them will be built and inhabited, though!). Advanced buildings will
require a number of bricks and need to be constructed by professionals (the
bricklayers). Bricks are made by brickmakers who gather clay and then produce
these useful building materials. In addition to the raw material requirement,
there is also a time factor: the bricklayers have to move the bricks to the
construction site, and then erect the building. This takes time. Monuments
can't be built just with bricks -- for those you'll need different raw
materials, such as limestone. Some of these luxury building materials can be
quarried by your own workers, others need to be imported from foreign
locations. In short, while you don't have to pay for any building or
structure, you need to have the required materials and the infrastructure.
Q: Does it matter where I build something?
A: Yes, but in different ways than in the classic city-builders. In those
games, a building had a "radius of effect", and if a household was outside of
this radius, it was simply not supplied with goods or services. This is
different in Children of the Nile, since the people will go to the needed
facilities. While you have a lot more freedom when building your city, the
locations of buildings is still not insignificant. If your potterer has to
walk half a day to gather clay, the shop's productivity will be fairly low.
Likewise, if your priest has to tend two temples, but they are a day's walk
apart from each other, both temples will be closed to the public inefficiently
often. So, while your people won't necessarily be without supply if they are a
longer distance away from a source of a good or a service, making sure that
the ways are short is quite important.
Q: Do I have to connect everything with roads?
A: No, roads or pathways are not required, but if you build them, your
citizens will use them.
Q: Does it take long to erect monuments?
A: This depends on the type of the monument. A large pyramid will require a
lot of effort on the government's end and won't be built in a day. A small
obelisk can be completed much faster. Obelisks, for instance, can be built in
memory of a great event (think "propaganda" here). If you manage to build an
actually, truly "great pyramid", you'll feel like you really accomplished
something! Don't expect it to be an easy or quick task, though.
Q: What kind of monuments can I build?
A: There is a large selection of available monuments that fall into three
different categories: tombs, propaganda and statues. To give you a better
idea: there are five different types of pyramids alone, three differently
sized mastabas, a dozen of statues, various sizes of Sphinx statues, small and
large obelisks, and a couple of steles. Impressive, neh? By the way, a "great
pyramid" really is great! Even small ones seem fairly big.
Q: Do monuments make my people happier?
A: No, they don't directly affect satisfaction at all, except as a secondary
effect of allowing more educated workers to provide more services to the
Q: What is the significance of prestige?
A: Prestige is important. For instance, the number of educated
workers/employees you can have dependings on your prestige. Not many elite
class members will want to work for a meaningless Pharaoh. If you wish to
employee a small army of priests, scribes, overseers or military commanders,
you'll need to work on your prestige. If you want to build a large pyramid,
but your reputation isn't high enough to employ the required number of
overseers, you can't erect the pyramid. Prestige, by the way, decays over time.
Q: How does one obtain prestige?
A: Prestige is gained from monuments and remarkable achievements. The more
elaborate your palace, the greater the magnificence of your pyramids, the
higher your Pharaoh's prestige raises, and the more educated workers will
offer you their service. Prestige is not a static matter, however. Your
people's fascination with that beautiful obelisk in memory of your sweeping
victory over an enemy will slowly wear off. They just get used to it, and the
memory of the event slowly fades -- and so does the prestige you get from the
obelisk. The decay isn't fast, and you won't have to constantly impress your
population, but you also can't rest on yesterday's laurels (yes, I know that
Pharaoh's did not wear laurel wreaths!).
Q: Are there gods in Children of the Nile?
A: There are no less than a whopping fourteen gods and goddesses in the game.
When you build temples or shrines, you can dedicate the religious building to
one of them -- or leave them unspecified. The following gods and goddesses are
in CotN: Osiris, Isis, Horus, Ra, Hathor, Amun, Ptah, Thoth, Anubis, Bast,
Sobek, Ma'at, Set, and Hapi.
Q: What role do the gods play?
A: The role of the gods in Children of the Nile is of a passive and indirect
nature. Unlike in Zeus, they do not make physical appearances in your city.
Nonetheless, they are very important to the people of your realm. If the
citizens are worried about something, they will want to visit a shrine or a
temple dedicated to the appropriate deity. People frequently want to worship
their preferred god or goddess, too. For instance, the sculptor, whose patron
is Ptah, will be much happier if there is a shrine or a temple dedicated to
his god where he can make offerings. A list and descriptions of the gods and
goddesses in Children of the Nile can be found here:
Q: Can you tell me more about the military?
A: Children of the Nile is chiefly a city-building game with a strong emphasis
on society development and social interaction, but there is also a military
aspect. Don't expect the depth of a dedicated war game here, though. You can
hire different types of soldiers, including city militia, and use your army to
defend your realm. You can also send your men out on expeditions. Combat is
fairly simple, and won't turn off players who only really want to build a city
and tend the society. You will, however, need to hire commanders, assign tasks
to them, train men, and employ weapon makers as well as armourers. This aspect
is well implemented into the game and does not feel alien or out of place.
D. Technical Stuff
Q: What kind of computer do I need for CotN?
A: Here is the official word on the minimum requirements: Pentium III or
Athlon 800 MHz processor or higher, Windows 98/2000/ME/XP operating system,
128 MB of RAM (256 MB required for Windows XP), 1.1 GB uncompressed free hard
drive space, DirectX 9.0b, 100% DirectX 9-compliant true 16 bit sound card and
drivers, 100% DirectX 9-compliant 32 MB video card and drivers, CD-ROM drive
and drivers. This may change when the game is released. A faster CPU, more RAM
and a decent video card will benefit Children of the Nile. The video card
should also be able to support hardware T&L. Recommended specifications:
Pentium 4 or Athlon 2.0 GHz processor, 512 MB of RAM, 64 MB video card.
Q: What is meant by a "DirectX 9-compliant 32 MB video card"?
A: What it does not mean is that you must have one of the latest DX9 video
cards (such as the X800 or 6800GT). It merely means that you need a card that
is supported by DirectX 9, which is to say "most every video card sold in the
past few years". It just needs to support hardware T&L. 32 MB is really the
very minimum, though. 64 MB will serve you much better, and a GeForce 4
Ti-4200 with that amount of RAM can be had for very little money.
Q: Can you give me a list of video cards that are supported?
A: This is not an official list, but below are all video cards that are
DX9-compatible and support hardware T&L:
- ATI Radeon 7200, 7500, 8500, All-In-Wonder 8500, 9000, 9200, 9500, 9600,
9700, 9800, X300, X600, X700, X800.
- Nvidia QuadroTM series: Quadro, Quadro2, Quadro4.
- Nvidia Geforce series: GeForce2, GeForce3, 3 Ti, GeForce4, 4Ti, MX 420, 440,
GeForce FX 5200, 5600, 5700, 5800, 5900, 5950, GeForce 6600, 6800.
An educated guess is that these non-T&L cards will also work if you have a
processor with at least 2.0 Ghz: ATI Radeon 7000/VE series, Intel Extreme
Graphics 82845, 82865, 82915.
Q: Uh, how can I tell what video card I have?
A: No worries, you don't need to open your computer case to find out. The
easiest way is to look up the information in DXDIAG, a utility that comes
together with DirectX. Follow these steps: Click on the "Start" button, select
"Run ..." and type in "dxdiag" (minus the quotation marks). Wait a few moments
while the program analyzes your computer. When it is done, go to the "Display"
tab in DXDIAG. Here you should see what video card you have. If you want to
know even more about your computer, I warmly recommend AIDA32 to you. It's a
nifty and entirely free program that provides more information about your
computer than you ever dreamed of. It can be downloaded at
Q: What are the best drivers for my video card?
A: As a rule of thumb, you should visit the manufacturer's web site and
download the latest version of the driver for your card. If you have a GeForce
card, head over to http://www.nvidia.com. If you have an ATI/Radeon card,
check out http://www.ati.com. Experienced users may also want to look at the
unofficial "Omega" drivers at http://www.omegadrivers.net. These are
unsupported and tweaked, but they often offer more performance than the
official releases. Please only consider these if you know what you're doing.
In no event should you use the drivers that Windows attempts to install
automatically. Bluntly put, they "suck" badly, and many games will be nearly
Q: What screen resolutions are supported?
A: The game supports just about any resolution that you could ever want.
Specific resolutions for LCD monitors and notebooks are also available. The
minimum resolution is 800x600. The setting menu will only display resolutions
that can be handled by your monitor, so that the hardware won't get damaged by
overly adventurous players.
Q: Can I run the game on a LCD display?
A: Children of the Nile isn't an "ego shooter", so you won't need a fast LCD
display with a TN panel. It will run perfectly fine and without smearing
effects on LCDs with S-IPS panels (and is very beautiful to look at!). While
I've not tested this, I see no reason why it should not also work on the
displays with slower panel technologies such as MVA and PVA. CotN supports a
number of different screen resolutions. For 17", 18" and 19" LCD displays, you
get the best quality in 1280x1024. If you have a 15" or 16" LCD monitor,
1024x768 is recommended for you. Users of 20" or 21" displays will get great
results in 1600x1200.
Q: Which copy protection system does CotN use?
A: It uses SecuROM.
Q: Should I prepare my computer by updating drivers?
A: This may not be necessary, but in general it's not a bad idea to keep the
drivers for your hardware properly updated. This can make your system more
stable and may increase the performance. Below I have listed a number of URLs
of hardware manufacturers. Please check the sites below for new versions of
drivers or firmware for your devices and components, if you would like to
update your computer. Please always read any available documentation (such as
readme files) and instructions carefully before installing new drivers.
WARNING: Only "flash" new firmware if you know what you're doing. If you do
not know what you're doing, you can damage or completely destroy a hardware
component. Please ask for assistance if you are unsure how to go about
updating the firmware of a device. I cannot give any guarantees, and whatever
changes you make, you make them at your own risk.
nVidia (i.e.TNT2 and GeForce) -- http://www.nvidia.com
ATI (i.e. Radeon) -- http://www.ati.com
PowerVR (Kyro I / II) -- http://www.powervr.com
Matrox -- http://www.matrox.com
SIS -- http://www.sis.com
Intel -- http://www.intel.com
SIS -- http://www.sis.com
Via -- http://www.viaarena.com
nVidia -- http://www.nvidia.com
Creative Labs (Soundblaster) -- http://www.creative.com
Terratec -- http://www.terratec.com
Q: I need technical help. Who can I contact?
A: Since the game hasn't been released yet, there is no technical support
available for it. If you have general questions, such as concerns whether your
computer can run the game, you could try the official forum at
http://www.tiltedmill.com/forums/. Please do not email me directly with
questions of this kind. You're likely to get much better (and faster!)
information if you use the forum.
This final section of the Unofficial Children of the Nile Orientation FAQ
offers a collection of useful links to CotN sites, both official and
unofficial. If you run a fan site or a forum, and your URL isn't listed below,
please drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org (please put "CotN" somewhere in
the subject line). Please also check the links listing at the official CotN
site (http://www.immortalcities.com/cotn/community/links.php), and let Tilted
Mill know if you have a fan site that isn't yet listed (the email link is on
the links page).
Official Tilted Mill Community Forum
Heaven Games CotN Forum
Staedtebauen Forum (German)
The Pharaoh's Forum
Children of the Nile / Saet.de (German)
Children of the Nile Heaven
Rnett's CotN Fan Site
Satsui's Immortal Cities
The Oasis of Knowledge
The Pharaoh's Forum Fansite
Official Screenshots Gallery
Official Music Archive (MP3)
Official Movies Collection
Commented Strategy Videos
Children of the Nile Fan Kit
Interviews with the Designers
* 2004-11-10, 1.01: Revised version, changed wording to reflect US release.
* 2004-11-04, 1.00: Initial release of the FAQ.
* 2004-10-23, 0.9b: Draft.
* 2004-10-19, 0.00: Project start.
A big "Thank you!" to everyone who has contributed to this FAQ! You guys (and
gals) are the greatest!
(Edited and compiled by Michael Vondung, aka Cironir. Contact:
email@example.com. You may not distribute this document without permission.