The Civ VI Team
The collective mentality behind creating Colonialist Legacies civs is to essentially present them in a way that makes our community take a deep breathe think "Wow, this should actual1ly have been included in the base game". Anecdotally speaking, I (Jett) grew up in the era of early Civ and Age of Empires and it was these mediums made a young Pangolin want to learn about all about history and mythology. Some of these Civs and Cultures that you learn about, that you don't learn about throughout the education system makes you inquire as to whether or not you should be learning about them. As a kid, you think those smarties that write the curriculum MUST be right - they're the gods of our school after all. Unfortunately what they fail to teach you in school is the thirst humanity should have to understand the land that birthed us, how we as a people braved an unforgiving hostile landscape (both politically and geographically) and what lessons we can learn from them. To distil it: The idea behind these civs to to represent peoples in a light that makes them feel legitimate alongside civs such as China or England or Russia.
By presenting them in a light where they're just as or more interesting and dynamic than their vanilla counterparts, the effect is that people end up taking these cultures and peoples a lot more seriously. We essentially try to tell the stories worth telling, regardless if history has forgotten them, or has judged their actions as unjust or noble.
Colonialism gives us a really, really broad scope to deal with. It allows for a look into how a culture is defined when they come into contact with another culture. Or in essence, it takes a look at how culture defines themselves when confronted with the reality that an alien species similar to them wants to take their land, money and resources and how a culture would develop if given a better starting location.
Making these civs has emulated the best aspects of what I loved about playing historical games a kid, and the knowledge that we're potentially bringing to light issues and peoples that are not covered in educational syllabi is somewhat heartening. The world is infinitely complex, diverse and nuanced - so we here at CL try to tell these stories that are unequivocally worth telling.