How does the team mix fiction and history to fill these blank eras in the game?
JS: We use as little fiction as possible—it is important to us that the individual bricks of the game are as true to history as possible. That is why, for the Olmec cities, we are forced to use the modern names of the archaeological sites rather than Olmec names. In fact, nobody knows exactly what the Olmec language was like, so we cannot name buildings or units either. It was frustrating, but we decided to go with the modern terms rather than using something that would be approximate but inaccurate, like Nahuatl words.
Everything we reproduce has been researched carefully, to make a recreation for the game that is as accurate as we can make it. It is the decisions of the player and the map that they are playing on that provide the fiction!
On the same note, what is the process for the historians in the team to come up with realistic ways in which these Mesoamerican cultures interact with others from the other side of the world? Something that would not have happened in real life.
BH: In the game, the player can reenact history and arrange everything the way he wants, so in fact, he is the one who decide how he will interact with others, and if he will try to remain close to what we know of the past, or to create an alternate version of history.
Looks like involving Mexican and Latin-American cultures and/or territories in games is becoming a trend, do you see more opportunities for the industry to explore the vast history of the area in more games?
JS: I certainly hope so! Many people in our team have developed a fascination for the area, having traveled there for work or pleasure and subsequently fallen in love with it. I (Jeff) have traveled to Peru, Chile, and Colombia and am eagerly looking forward to coming back.
In terms of both culture and geography it is a rich and vibrant region, full of amazing monuments, artefacts, natural wonders, agriculture, industry, … there is a great deal to discover, and I hope that people across the world will be able to do so through our game.