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Thread: Development Diary #3 - 29nd of October 2008

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    Studio Manager Paradox Dev Team Johan's Avatar
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    Development Diary #3 - 29nd of October 2008

    Hello everybody, and welcome to the 3rd edition of the HoI3 development diaries.

    This last week our development team have been working on various concepts like political interfaces, logistics and diplomacy. We've seen plenty of people stay extra hours just because its such a fun part of the development cycle right now.

    So today, we'll talk about Technology.As ever let’s start with our philosophy, if we look at the evolution of the tech system in Hearts of Iron series we first of had the in-depth technology system of HoI1, which was practically a game in itself. However it did have several weakness, besides being much micromanagement, there also was no differentiation between the abilities of the countries, research was research and as long as you had the IC you could be good at anything.

    With Hearts of Iron 2 we brought in the tech team, this gave us country specialisations; Germany was good at certain things, the US good at others. Which was good, however its weakness was that these were hard coded, Germany could never be good at aircraft carriers no matter how hard it tried, and the US would always be good at aircraft carriers no matter how little effort it put in. Also with the more streamlined system we also lost the ability to differentiate between the technology focuses of countries more. Our goals were three parts, keep the clarity of the Hearts of Iron 2 system, make the system more dynamic in that your technology abilities would evolve and try to bring back in as much of the different units that the Hearts of Iron system offered.

    The sad result is that tech teams could not feature in our new system. We liked them, we really wanted to keep them but just couldn’t find a way to accommodate them in the system. What we have replaced them with are various theory and practical values representing the accumulated research knowledge and practical experience a country has in various fields. These can be defined for a country at the start, thus giving us the initial specialisations that the tech teams in Hearts of Iron 2 offered, but as these values increase and decay according to what a country is doing. Thus we have a system that dynamically evolved according to how you decide to steer the country. As was mentioned in the previous dev dairy practical values are gained from building things while theoretical knowledge is gained from research. In general practical experience gives larger bonuses than theoretical. If take the Soviet Union as an example here, the Soviet union will be set up with it theoretical and practical experience in areas like tanks, with very little in naval. However if the player wishes (foolishly some would say) to turn the Soviet Union into a naval power by putting more production and research focus into ships they are free to do so. The more the do so the better the Soviet Union will become at building and researching ships. But at the cost of steadily loses its abilities in fields like armour.

    As a general rule, there are of course exceptions, theoretical bonuses tend to cover a wide spread of technologies while the practical bonuses are more specific. To give an example we have a broad theory aeronautic engineering, that covers the majority of aircraft techs as a theory, however practical is divided up into 3 narrower categories, single engine (FTR, INT & CAS), twin engine (TAC & NAV) and four engine (STR & TRS). We also have the ability that one technology can give bonuses to as many unit types as we like. So for aircraft, you can have very general techs like aircraft engine that boost all aircraft (yes you can but a Merlin Engine on your Lancaster bomber), practical group techs like single engine airframe (these improve FTR, INT & CAS) and finally highly focuses techs like air launched anti ship weapons that only improve NAV (this tech also gains bonuses for accumulate naval research experience). I think about now I should mention that all these aspects are of course fully modable.

    What should also have noticed here that we no longer have models, instead we have technologies that increase the maximum values a unit can have and if unit can upgrade to these values it will. This allows us to do really nice things like divide up what would be a single technology that gave in a model in Hearts of Iron 2 in several separate techs. So if we take tanks here as example, you can separately research a tank gun, tank engine, tank armour and tank reliability (just for the record reliability effects the ability for the tank unit to withstand damage on the attack, unreliable tanks tend to break down). How we set these values can give a countries tanks brigades with different values with out the straight jacket of the nation specific unit. Take the early war British heavy tank brigade, well armoured, slow, under gunned and prone to breakdowns. We can create this effect through out technology system, but also giving the player the freedom to steer his country the way he wishes.

    There are of course exceptions to the theoretical and practical rules. One of these is land doctrine’s. Here the theory is focuses in on specific doctrine paths, while the practical, which is gained from more general combat, covers all of them. So in the pre-war countries will be at the more efficient researching inside their area of doctrine expertise but you gain new experience from combat continues will able to ‘steal’ doctrine ideas from other countries.

    Finally how is research done? It is no longer tied to IC, nor does it use techteams. Stay tuned next week for how this all ties together.


    Okies, here is a look of the map in terrain mapmode when zoomed out over europe.

    Johan Andersson
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  2. #2
    Captain Shabz's Avatar
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    This sounds like it is going to be more like the RL. More of "hmm that's strange" than "Eureka, I've got it" type of research. I hope it will be as good as it sounds.

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    Countervalue Zwiback's Avatar
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    Great stuff, thanks Johan
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    Looks like a fascinating system & probably the most realistic system yet :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Johan
    we no longer have models, instead we have technologies that increase the maximum values a unit can have and if unit can upgrade to these values it will.
    Does that include naval units, or will something different apply to them to reflect the particular challenges of "upgrading" a battleship?

  5. #5
    Field Marshal
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    The research system sounds very good indeed and I am particularly pleased to see elements of my own ideas in there!
    I just hope you remembered to put in the ability to affect both theoretical knowledge and practical experience by event...

    The map looks nice too, but that is of far less importance to me.

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    Very nice update Johan and it looks like changes are going into the right direction.

    And there are new icons at the top.
    The map looks very flat and 2D, is it maximum zoom-out?

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    I like! thanks. BTW what do the new icon represent?
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    Strategy Cognoscenti Demi Moderator Myth's Avatar
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    Hmm, interesting. The system sounds intriguing, I hope it works out in practice as well as it seems to in theory.
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    sounds great to me, i loved the ability from HOI1 to research different tank guns so i'm betting i'm going to love this even more

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    Shame about the tech teams and models. However, the new way research will work sounds like you've taken the best bits out of H1 and H2 research models. I imagine there will be loads of ways to customise development of technology depending on ones preferences. That can only be a good thing.

    Can anyone tell me why Ive just tried to call up a tooltip over the icon between the HQ (chequered flag) and the IC icons?!

    The islands detail on the map looks great too. Is that Jersey and Guernsey I spy?!
    Last edited by 2Coats; 29-10-2008 at 15:50.
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    Death to your evil cliffhanger .

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    no models...

    So does the absence of models mean that there will be no "upgraded PzIII into PzIV" ?? Will there even be unit names or just "tank division"?! I certainly hope not.

    And what troubles me even more : When using the "tank armor/gun/engine/reliability stats, will this mean that I will be allowed to produce only ONE TYPE of tank? Let´s say I want to divide my tank production 50/50 among heavily armored war beasts and fast reliable mobility focused tanks? Will this be possible?
    Last edited by von Tairach; 29-10-2008 at 15:49.

  13. #13
    *drools*

    It already looks great. The research really seems to get a complete new and quite realistic touch. I like the map as well, giving it a more realistic outlook as well, not the 'gamish' colours used at HoI2. I'm curious to the politics screen.

    Waiting for next week...

  14. #14
    Countervalue Zwiback's Avatar
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    Too bad my RPG-Techteam/Company research model didn't make it in . But heck, the Paradox system sounds excellent and much better then the old ones.

    But yet, I would have loved to research the components (like in the current purposed model) and use tech teams/companies to create new planes/tanks/ships based on the current tech level. This would have solved the old 20/20 hindsight problem of all current WW2 wargames (I know whats good so I research only that stuff).

    One letdown would have been that there would be no "historic" stats of tanks/planes, since they are created by techteams. So maybe not a good idea after all when you take in all those historic accurate nuts .

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    Field Marshal
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    A Question!

    Will there be a system that allows replacing the components of a unit, now that upgrading is done away with?
    For instance, conversion of leg infantry into mechanised units.

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    M.I.A 2Coats's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by von Tairach
    So does the absence of models mean that there will be no "upgraded PzIII into PzIV" ?? Will there even be unit names or just "tank division"?! I certainly hope not.
    As I understand it, techs research will increase/decrease stats. Cant really speculate on anything else - but I cant believe that the changes will be instanteous. Hope not.
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  18. #18
    Studio Manager Paradox Dev Team Johan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Coats
    As I understand it, techs research will increase/decrease stats. Cant really speculate on anything else - but I cant believe that the changes will be instanteous. Hope not.
    they won't..

    and upgrades will of course be per tech affecting each brigade/ship/wing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Coats
    As I understand it, techs research will increase/decrease stats. Cant really speculate on anything else - but I cant believe that the changes will be instanteous. Hope not.
    I would still like to see the models implemented in some way. Let´s say I build PzIII tanks and start pumping up their stats (Guns/armor/ etc.). There should, however, be a stats cap, that prevents the upgraded PzIII from having better armor than let´s say... a Konigstiger. The example is not clear, but I think you´ll know what I´m trying to say

  20. #20
    Time Traveller seboden's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewby
    I like! thanks. BTW what do the new icon represent?
    My guess:
    1. Manpower
    2. Dissent??
    3. Diplomatic influence
    4. Not sure. HQ points/Leadership, maybe??
    5. ??? (Maybe ideological influence? There was some talk about a similar system of ideology as in HoI1 earlier.)

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