As you read this, the Paradox Development Studio offices in Stockholm are probably much more quiet than usual. Why you ask? Well, tonight is the official Paradox Christmas party and I’m writing this week’s dev diary ahead of time, before the party takes place. Better safe than sorry, you never know what happens at these events…
On to more serious matters: in this week’s developer diary for Europa Universalis IV, I’m going to talk a bit about the colonial regions that form the basis of the colonial nations.
As you probably already know, one of the main features (besides the Native American gameplay and the random new world) in the Conquest of Paradise expansion is the addition of semi-independent colonial nations. Historically, the huge distance between the New World and Europe meant that the American possessions of the European nations had quite a bit of independence. Not to mention the fact that English North America was largely the product of freelance corporations as much as it was the crown. In Europa Universalis IV, however, you could run them just anyway you wanted, only with slightly less income from them. They were, in effect, distant provinces. In the expansion Conquest of Paradise, we have created a new type of dependency called colonial nations. They work similarly to other dependencies (like vassals or unions0 but with quite a few interesting special rules, which I’ll touch on in a later dev diary.
Colonial nations are formed automatically in the New World as Old World nations starts to colonize. To assist in this we have divided up the North and South American continents into Colonial Regions. When a nation amasses more than 5 overseas cities in a single colonial region, those provinces will unite to form a new Colonial Country. The colonial regions are defined via script, and we’ve tried to divide them based both on geography and on historical colonies. Some examples of Colonial Regions are Eastern America, Louisiana and Mexico. As a nation gets more provinces in the New World these cities will automatically be transferred to any existing colonial nation.
As some of you might know, our game has never had these kinds of generated countries before. To assist us in this, we have had to add a system of dynamic country tags that can be used by the game engine to create new countries. On creation, these dynamic countries are given a flag and a name.
The flags are combinations of the mother country’s flag and a color, split in half. This was the best solution that was both reasonably compatible with our current system and also distinct enough to make for easy recognition. The Colonial Nations will have different colors on the map and on the flag. The flags need to be very distinct, but we don’t want to take away from the colonizing nation’s effort to paint the world in its colors. So the flag and border color will be the color assigned to the region, while the map color is a lighter version of the home nations color (but this will change if the Colonial Nation gets independence).
We’ve tried to be a bit more creative with the names of these colonial countries. We have made a system of scripted names for each Colonial Region. These scripts use our regular trigger system so there is really no end to how many names we could have (naturally there is an end to how many names we have time to script for release but…) For example, if Britain colonizes Eastern American you get the Thirteen colonies while a French colony in the same region might be called Nouvelle Flandre for example. We have added quite a few alternatives for likely and not so likely colonizers, with Jadida Granada perhaps not appearing in all our games (even though it did appear in our office MP with Johan playing Morocco )
So, not that much gameplay detail in today’s dev diary but I hope you gained some insight in how we are trying to build a more immersive New World.
Now the Christmas party is drawing near, after an inspirational speech by our CEO.
Morituri te salutant!
So it appears most of us survived after all, a somewhat quieter office today though