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Thread: Communication from Paradox Interactive

  1. #1
    High Priestess of Marketing Susana's Avatar
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    Communication from Paradox Interactive

    Dear Diplomacy player,

    A few years back, Paradox Interactive acquired the license to develop Diplomacy, the computer game. Expectations were high in the Paradox development team, among the Paradox gamers and not in the least among the current Diplomacy hobby.

    All things considered, we are basically satisfied with the PC game Diplomacy. Throughout the years, we have come to realize that it's virtually impossible to meet every single expectation raised and that we therefore need to start with our own expectations, goals and ambitions. Sometimes all of these are met, sometimes they are not. The experiences we have gained throughout the development process of Diplomacy are valuable learning points for coming projects.

    I know some of you are wondering what the future holds for Diplomacy and that is the main reason for this official communication. Circumstances that are partly out of our control are preventing us from working further on Diplomacy and opening the game to let others work on it is not an option we can pursue either. Should these circumstances change we will naturally try to accommodate as many suggestions as we can. We have released 3 patches/updates on Diplomacy since its launch, a number we believe is fair even for us who are known for supporting our games.

    Paradox Interactive is currently growing and we have many exciting projects and releases in the pipeline. Our position on the market is enabling us to continue full speed ahead when others are forced to downsize. However, at the same time we are still the small company that constantly has to steer a steady course and ensure we are moving forward in a direction that allows us to continue to be the Paradox we have become known for.

    We look forward to share the many exciting things we have coming your way!

    Yours truly

    Theodore Bergqvist
    CEO Paradox Interactive

  2. #2
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    Dear Forum Members,

    I just received this communication. It does indeed let us know the direction Paradox intends to take with Diplomacy.

    I have expressed my disappointment with the decision, but I understand the business reasoning behind it. There are factors leading to it which appear to be unavoidable. I had advocated for more user involvement in advancing the game, but there does not seem to be either the will or resources, from the player base or Paradox to do so at this time.

    As you react to this news, I would encourage you all to be mature and respectful. There is nothing wrong with sharing your feelings. I would advise you, in order to be constructive, to be specific and present solutions or explain what exactly you like or do not like, without resorting to name calling or personal attacks.


    I have enjoyed working with all of you on this project. It did not exactly turn out as I had hoped, and as I said, I am dissapointed by the news. But at the same time, we will handle this in a responsible manner.

    Thanks you for your support in these forums,

    Heagarty
    Diplomacy Mod
    Last edited by heagarty; 17-03-2006 at 18:46.

  3. #3
    Field Marshal ulmont's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by heagarty
    I would advise you, in order to be constructive, to be specific and present solutions or explain what exactly you like or do not like, without resorting to name calling or personal attacks.
    Here goes. I am a longtime Paradox customer. I own EU, EUII, Victoria, HOI, CK, HOI2, have preordered Doomsday, and plan to buy EUIII.

    I have never played any of the above games multiplayer.

    I had never played Diplomacy before I got the Paradox version, although I was aware of the existence of the board game. I was hoping for a computer conversion that could, at a minimum, beat a human with no experience.

    That's not what I got. I won my 2nd game (restarted after about 15 minutes into the first game). I was playing Turkey, (who I have now learned through reading the forums has a good strategic position) but even so, the computer should have been better than a complete neophyte human.

    In addition, I could not cooperate with the AI in actual Diplomacy.

    In short, the single player experience of the Diplomacy game is severely flawed.

    EDIT: Also, when I bought Diplomacy, I was aware of the reputation of the AI, and I expected that it would be flawed. I was also aware of Paradox's history with patching games from severely flawed AIs up to good ones, and thought that Diplomacy would eventually have a decent AI. Apparently, I was wrong about that one.
    Last edited by ulmont; 17-03-2006 at 21:10. Reason: add a few thoughts about patches.

  4. #4
    Second Lieutenant Stretch33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Susana
    Dear Diplomacy player,

    ...and ensure we are moving forward in a direction that allows us to continue to be the Paradox we have become known for.

    We look forward to share the many exciting things we have coming your way!

    Yours truly

    Theodore Bergqvist
    CEO Paradox Interactive
    Well it is unfortunate, but not suprising.

    The thing that angers me more than anything is the length of time it took to get any communication. This was most unreasonable and not expected from a small company like Paradox, and not typical of their previous games either.

    Their decision is obviously theirs to make. From a marketing point of view it likely makes sense to move on and cut their losses.

    I hope in the future, Paradox will better communicate with their fan base. It is easy to communicate when things are going well with a game and they show this with other games. It takes a little bit more courage and backbone to admit when things are going wrong.

    I think a communication that comes almost 6 months after game release, and serious AI problems identified, is less courages and shows less respect for the fan base.

    I hope that Paradox has gained some experience from the development of this game, although it was not entirely successful.

    1) That AI is core to any and all strategic games, and should not be comprimised by marketing dept pressures. We don't need DeepBlue, but sales will be effected severly for games where your target audience is slightly more mature.

    2) That communication with your fan base is critical. It is important in several ways, but I think primarily it helps keep frustration levels down, and expectations reasonable. I also think it helps to keep the community lively and positive which will translate into sales. Your fan base want to help build on games and develop a community. But without Paradox's interaction it won't happen. That is why EUII was such a success.

    3) Although Paradox may want to be a mainstream gaming company, it is not. It is simply because it does not make mainstream games. I think if the people at Paradox stop and take a close look at themselves, they will discover they don't want to be a mainstream cheap gaming company. It is not the product that appeals to them or excites them. The games that appeal to them give their audience and fans a 'deeper' experience than mainstream.

    I wish them all well, and hope this small setback allows them all to see more clearly. I hope to see a return to previous attitudes with their next release.

    Best Regards
    Jason

  5. #5
    Zen Master of Diplomacy
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    :^(

    I had hopes... Oh well. Another shot at a breakthrough for the Hobby crashes and burns.

    This forum was starting to get quiet. With this announcement, I would expect the stillness to become deafening in short order.
    Last edited by David E. Cohen; 17-03-2006 at 21:40.
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    Well, thank you Paradox for the statement.
    It at least lets us know where we stand. Thank you.

    I am dissappointed by the content, but not really that surprised.
    (I would also like to support the comments made by heagarty and Stretch.)

    I too hope that there were at least some lessons learnt (not in a nasty way).


    Strategy Gamers tend to be thinkers. Johan posted a link to a personality profiler on the boards here about a year ago and the overwhelming majority of us were "intellectual".
    That means we like a challenge and can be difficult to please.
    The new 3D engine has a lot of potential I feel, in the proper application.
    I felt that it worked in Diplomacy (It looks good - and I actually like the Avatars), although it really needs to be accessable to modders to meet the needs / expectations of the sort of gamers attracted by strategy titles.
    I think the comments on this board also show that many people want more features regardless of how they look.

    Paradox has a new title coming out and I am sure it will look fantastic with the new 3D engine. I hope that those looks will be backed up by a seriously challenging game with many features and the ability to be modded in many ways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by David E. Cohen
    ...

    I had hopes... ....
    PBEM still rules?

    So, who's up for a nice relaxing (!!??) game of Maharajah?

    *Runs*

  8. #8
    Paradox Forum Manager Administrator Castellon's Avatar
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    "Circumstances that are partly out of our control are preventing us from working further on Diplomacy ..."

    I would pay close attention to this line.
    It is not for me to discuss or elaborate further since Theo clearly chose not to, but I would give that sentence due consideration.
    I would say though, that those are Circumstances that are not present in the upcoming releases of either Hoi2:DD or EU3.

    And with that I have probably already said too much. So I will shut up now.
    I have been dealt a good hand in life, now I am just looking for a few more cards!

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    Second Lieutenant Stretch33's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castellon
    "Circumstances that are partly out of our control are preventing us from working further on Diplomacy ..."

    I would pay close attention to this line.
    It is not for me to discuss or elaborate further since Theo clearly chose not to, but I would give that sentence due consideration.
    I would say though, that those are Circumstances that are not present in the upcoming releases of either Hoi2D or EU3.

    And with that I have probably already said too much. So I will shut up now.
    Yes, I think we are all noticing that line, and it is why we are as accepting as we are with this communication. It is difficult when corporate arrangements are too tangled.

    For myself, it seems that just saying this 3-4-5months ago would have saved a lot of frustration in this community. People believed that AI patches would come like with other Paradox games. If Paradox knew this was impossible due to 'arrangements', then it would have been something we just would have had to accept and move on.

    one day, Diplomacy will have its day in the sun.

    Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by Castellon
    "Circumstances that are partly out of our control are preventing us from working further on Diplomacy ..."

    I would pay close attention to this line.
    It is not for me to discuss or elaborate further since Theo clearly chose not to, but I would give that sentence due consideration.
    I would say though, that those are Circumstances that are not present in the upcoming releases of either Hoi2D or EU3.

    And with that I have probably already said too much. So I will shut up now.
    I am not Paradox so can guess...

    For those that are interested, MrT said something similar in the EUIII forum.

    IIRC he said something about a contract for a port of standard Diplomacy?

    So, Mods would not be supported (or perhaps even allowed / made possible in that case.

    Unfortunatly it reeks of a Contract with ATARI.
    ATARI does not care about it's games or gamers.

    Lesson: No more contracts with ATARI?

  11. #11
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    Unhappy Mmmm-Hmmmn

    Fair enough. I think we all saw this coming anyway, right?

    If you read between the lines of the statement, however, as previous posters in this thread have already done, it begs the question:

    "If Paradox isn't in the driver's seat at this point, who is?"

    I understand and respect the "circumstances that are partly beyond our control" part. That is a reality of any joint venture or licensed intellectual property.

    For my own part, I promise to stop nagging Paradox for information about design structure, an SDK, opening Diplomacy to third-party improvement, or any of that stuff.

    But seriously.... whom else should I nag? Who IS the stakeholder that can actually say "yes" to any of this?

    Who is this shadowy entity that is conspiring to keep Diplomacy down?
    Corporate meetings -- because none of us is as dumb as all of us.

    Check out my Diplomacy Cold War Mod!

  12. #12
    Oh well, that was a waste on money

    My hopes to join a larger commuity playing the game i love have been dashed.

    Least i have these sexy 3D graphics

  13. #13
    Pacifiste né crash63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Warc
    Oh well, that was a waste on money
    It's a pity but it's true.
    Le nécessaire de survie du joueur paradox (à commencer par les patchs et toutes les infos indispensables) :
    EU3 :Magna Mundi ou MEIOU et le reste.
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  14. #14
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    Yeah, it's a shame about this but what can you do? Better luck next time. I'm uninstalling my copy. Hope future projects fair better, so long everybody.

  15. #15
    Captain Edi's Avatar
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    Smile Larger Community is THERE not just HERE

    [QUOTE=Warc]Oh well, that was a waste on money

    My hopes to join a larger commuity playing the game i love have been dashed.

    /QUOTE]

    There is a much larger community of Diplomacy players on the net and in Face to Face, it is just not here in Paradox's land of Real Time.

    There are other real time text driven sites, as well as thriving PBeM community of thousands of players.
    Go to www.DiplomaticCorps.org to start to see where the mainstream is.

    There is even a face to face group Downunder called DAANZ ((Diplomacy association of Australia and New Zealand) that has its own website.

    you can also write to me
    EdiBirsan at Astound dot Net
    to get information.

    There are projects out there to write a universal A/I that can be applied to the various PBeM formats headed up by David Norman out of the UK called the DAIDE (?) project

    but you have to remember that Diplomacy is a game that is to be played with PEOPLE not with machines.

    While we in the mainstream hobby may be frustrated with result of the PI project, there nevertheless were a group of people introduced to the game and there was some spill over into the mainstream, though probably not more than 200 people at this time. The introduction of the game in different languages, especially Russian will provide at least the start of a core of people in that country that can get the game mainstreamed in that country.

    In short, from a mainstream view, everything helps, this is the third attempt at a commercial PC product and the third that has been closed down. We continue to carry on regardless, that is the power of this game and the strength of the community.
    Edi Birsan
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  16. #16
    Tizona del Cid Ebusitanus's Avatar

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    I feel like falling into a void....

    Been a long time Paradox supporter...bought this morning without a second thought the Spanish version (just released). I trusted Paradox blindly and being it an old Avalon Hill game I could just not suspect anything wrong. Now I find this....Are you telling me I just threw away 49 Euros for nothing?

    Trying to be pragmatic about this...is the Spanish version (just relased) already "patched" to 1.3 or whats the deal?

    I´m feeling VERY bad.....
    Once you know that the Spanish Church is being continually worn down by such a succession of disasters and by so many deaths of the Sons of God as a result of the oppression of the heathens, we believe not one of you will lie low. We urge you...to do your outmost to defend your brothers and liberate the churches. With Apostolic authority and the power divinely bestowed on us we graciously grant to all those fighting firmly on this expedition the same remission of Sins that we conceded to the defenders of the Eastern Church

    Pope Calixtus II proclaming a Crusade in Spain, 2nd April 1123

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bakunin

    But seriously.... whom else should I nag? Who IS the stakeholder that can actually say "yes" to any of this?

    Who is this shadowy entity that is conspiring to keep Diplomacy down?
    I may be sounding as a Paradox fanboy or a Atari hateboy* now.. but I think Atari (And Hasbro, but that's Atari property, I think) are the ones you should be looking at.

    *Let's just say I have more "issues" with Atari...


    @Ebusitanus: If now is the time of first availability in Spain, it probably has been patched to 1.3 (and if not, you can get the patch yourself- though I don't know if it would be available in Spanish.)
    Error in war on error on line 1.

  18. #18
    Paradox Forum Manager Administrator Castellon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ebusitanus
    I feel like falling into a void....

    Been a long time Paradox supporter...bought this morning without a second thought the Spanish version (just released). I trusted Paradox blindly and being it an old Avalon Hill game I could just not suspect anything wrong. Now I find this....Are you telling me I just threw away 49 Euros for nothing?

    Trying to be pragmatic about this...is the Spanish version (just relased) already "patched" to 1.3 or whats the deal?

    I´m feeling VERY bad.....
    You did not throw your money away, You got the game you paid for, And it has had three patches already.
    I have been dealt a good hand in life, now I am just looking for a few more cards!

  19. #19
    Pacifiste né crash63's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Castellon
    You did not throw your money away, You got the game you paid for, And it has had three patches already.
    But not a good game.


    I hope for EU3...
    Le nécessaire de survie du joueur paradox (à commencer par les patchs et toutes les infos indispensables) :
    EU3 :Magna Mundi ou MEIOU et le reste.
    EU Rome Gold : ses mods.
    CK : la traduction de Deus Vult, les modifs graphiques.

    Venez découvrir la fabuleuse histoire du sultanat de Brunei
    Sinon vous pouvez toujours vous rabattre sur ma croisade au Moyen-Orient.

  20. #20
    Captain Edi's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ebusitanus
    I feel like falling into a void....

    Been a long time Paradox supporter...bought this morning without a second thought the Spanish version (just released). I trusted Paradox blindly and being it an old Avalon Hill game I could just not suspect anything wrong....I´m feeling VERY bad.....
    Send me an email and I will see what there is in the way of Spanish players in your area. There is a spanish language website (Redshift) that runs play be mail games (not real time) and we can get you in contact with others of this great board game.
    Edi Birsan
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    EdiBirsan at astound.net
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