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Imse Vimse

Producer, CK3
Aug 16, 2016
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Greetings!

It’s a new year, and we thought it would be interesting to give all of you an update on the status of the team! There’s quite a few of us, and we hope you’ll enjoy this brief insight into who’s working on updates, fixes and exciting new content for your enjoyment!

My name is Carmille and I work as a Producer on CK3; I’ve been with the team for about one and a half years now. CK2 was one of my favorite games and the reason that I joined Paradox to begin with, so naturally I am feeling quite blessed to work on the project :)

Firstly, an announcement! It has been decided that Alexander Oltner (aka @rageair) will be stepping up as the new Game Director for the project! Alexander is the (now former) Design Lead for CK3, and has spent many years designing features for both CK2 and CK3. He started at the company in 2015 and, if you’ve tuned in to any of the pre-release streams or interviews, you surely know who he is already. Long-term fans might even recognize him as the lead designer behind Holy Fury for CK2, or perhaps you’ve seen him in one of the many past Dev Clashes. We have full confidence that Alex will be able to take up the reins and steer the project towards a bright future! The former Game Director, Henrik Fåhraeus (known on the forums as Doomdark), is ascending the ranks and will instead act as the Creative Director for many titles, CK3 included.

With that said, let's move on to the team itself!
You might think that with the release of the base game, the amount of people working on the project would be reduced. We’re actually doing the exact opposite, and are in the process of expanding the team instead! This will give us a lot more flexibility and freedom and should allow us to work on several different things at the same time.
Naturally, we need to train and onboard our new team members so it is not something we can start with straight away, but our hope is that you will see the effects within a not so distant future.

Now, how many are actually working on CK3 and what are they doing?

The team is made up of many different disciplines, working together to create amazing experiences! We’ll go into more details on each of them below.

Producer

We have four people working in Production (myself included). Our job is to help the team bring the design to life and into your hands. We do this by setting up (and iterating upon) processes and workflows, identifying deadlines and milestones, making plans to hit those dates while staying in good shape and ensuring that everybody knows what to do. We can often be seen grooming CK3s task and bug database and making sure everything is according to plan, up to date and representative of the current situation as well as spending a lot of time looking at numbers in spreadsheets.

Game Design

Our Game Designer is working very closely together with the Game Director. Their focus is split between what is currently being developed and nailing down the design for future expansions. They can very frequently be seen playing the game as it is being developed and make tweaks or highlight areas of concern so that the feature feels as great in the game as it looks on paper.

UX Design

Just like Game Design, our two UX Designers have their focus split between what is happening in the game right now and what is being designed for future expansions. UX Design and Game Design work closely together and make sure that new features are both fun and user friendly. They focus on interactions and user interface, although they can often be seen giving feedback on when something just doesn’t feel intuitive.

Content Design

Although the two previously mentioned design disciplines can sometimes be seen creating content for features as they are being developed, it's the Content Designers that create the vast majority of it. We have eight Content Designers working on CK3, and unlike the other two Design disciplines, they are almost entirely focused on working with what’s being developed in the game here and now. They pride themselves on creating historically plausible content, and will spend a lot of their time researching something before it is being put into the game. They are skilled scripters and writers and very passionate about ensuring that all features have a soul made out of supportive events, decisions, interactions, etc.

Code

There are seven Programmers and two Tech Leads working on CK3. The Tech Leads are responsible for the overall technical health and spend a lot of their time setting up (and iterating upon) processes and best practices for the project. They play a major part during all development stages and are constantly aware of the big picture and the challenges that could come with it.

Our Programmers are responsible for building the functionality and foundation of the features themselves. They work very closely together with the other disciplines on their features and can often be seen providing Code Support or in other ways using their skillset to make life easier for the non-coders. They will also keep an eye on performance and the overall stability of the game and jump upon an issue as soon as it appears.

Art Director

There is one Art Director working on CK3, and their responsibility is the overall artistic vision. They work closely together with the Game Director and Production, but also with all of the Artists in the team.

2D UI Art

We have three 2D Artists on the team and they can often be seen collaborating with Code and UX Design to bring the interfaces of new CK3 features to life after Code has provided their framework. They will also create icons and illustrations as well as investigate artistic improvements to the UIs that is not part of the UX design.

2D Concept Art

Our two Concept Artists help the game team by visualizing assets before they are to be created by a 3D Artist.

3D Character Art

Just as the name indicates, our three Character Artists work on anything related to our characters. This not only includes the characters itself, but also the clothing, headgears and hairstyles. In addition to that they are also responsible for creating the Units that are walking around the map. They can often be seen working closely together with Animation.

3D Environment Art

These Artists work mostly on the map itself. We have four of them and they can often be seen creating holdings, ships, siege weapons and other map assets. They are also painting the map as well as making sure that all the units, holdings and other buildings are located where it makes sense, both from a historical perspective and an artistic one.

Animation

There is one Animator working on the project and their main focus is on bringing our characters and units to life. They can be seen working on brand new poses and adding more variety to existing ones to make sure the characters show a wide range of different emotions and visually support different situations.

VFX

CK3 is not a very VFX heavy game, and because of this we do not have a VFX artist working with us full time, but only on demand.

QA

Our QA is the glue that keeps everything together. We have a core team of seven QA, but expand to a lot more once we are starting to wrap up and getting ready for a release. They can often be seen playing the game and testing the new features as they become ready, but it is important to note that this is not the only thing they do. They have a holistic view of quality and work closely together with all disciplines to make sure that the end product is as great as possible. Sometimes this is achieved through testing alone, but other times they can identify a need to redesign / introduce more content to a feature that feels a bit weak or perhaps a need to tweak a process or workflow within the Project itself.

Audio

The Audio team works on all PDS games, so we can’t really claim them for ourselves.
When they do work on CK3, they are often around two to three people and can be seen working on sound effects for our new features as well as composing music that fit the theme of the expansion.

Naturally, we don’t all work on the same features or fixes at the same time, that’d be very confusing! We’re divided into smaller groups, each focusing on their own set of features or content. Once a week we have a couple of hours set aside to make sure that everybody on the CK3 team has time to sit down and play the game and see for themselves how everything is being tied together.

The team is currently busy working on two things: one is big and the other is smaller. The smaller of these you'll be hearing more of in the coming weeks...
 
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ScarecrowKrone

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Before I provide my take on this, I would like to briefly introduce myself - I am Scarecrow, a recently hired Content Designer for Crusader Kings III. I have only been at the job for about three weeks, but I feel that I can provide 'a view from the trenches' so to speak. I recognise that this dev diary is probably a disappointment for many of you, and your passion for this game does you credit, however I particularly need to stress this part of the diary:

With that said, let's move on to the team itself!
You might think that with the release of the base game, the amount of people working on the project would be reduced. We’re actually doing the exact opposite, and are in the process of expanding the team instead! This will give us a lot more flexibility and freedom and should allow us to work on several different things at the same time.
Naturally, we need to train and onboard our new team members so it is not something we can start with straight away, but our hope is that you will see the effects within a not so distant future.
The Crusader Kings III team has grown exponentially and continues to hire and acquire more team members as we speak. In point of fact, I would draw your attention to the current advertisements placed on our Careers page, including for another Content Designer on CK3. This hiring spree is absolutely crucial in understanding why this dev diary is lacking in detail about what is coming; not only does it take a while for new employees to find their feet and integrate into the team, but I would also remind everyone that we are still living through a global pandemic, with all the difficulties that entails. I was informed that I had been offered this job at the end of November, and it took until the end of January for my relocation to be completed, because of necessary bureaucratic procedures and the additional strains of pandemic precautions. However, upon starting work three weeks ago, both of the projects Carmille mentioned were already well into their development cycles. I assure you that Paradox have not been idle, and although I cannot talk about what exactly I am working on either, all I will say is that additional employees like myself have been brought on for a reason.
Seems the hype train is running late this year.
This is precisely why we don't want to give much away at this stage. Mismanaging hype and therefore misleading our loyal player-base is not something we are prepared to do, even if it means we have to disappoint you for a bit longer.
 
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PDX_Pariah

Community Manager
Jul 21, 2020
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I think his name was Troy, but I've got no idea what his username is and I don't think I've ever seen him post. I just saw him on a couple of dev streams.
Oh, he is here and working diligently.

This year will see some super interesting things and changes to the way we handle news and Community. This downtime was definitely to help the teams sort out how to launch and handle this new project.

While I am a bit more silent on here for posting, I read through almost every thread daily and we compile weekly Feedback/Suggestions/Bug Reports/Feature Requests from the Forums and other social sources.
 
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lykchen

CK3 Tech Lead
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3) Whats up with the "Steamworks Common Redistributables" update yesterday?
This is something from Steam's end. These libraries get updates from Microsoft from time to time, and then from time to time Valve updates them. It's nothing we do on our end, except that we have a checkbox for letting Steam install these - so we don't have to take care of that ourselves.
You'll often see that many games get a tiny update with this installer whenever one does, because they are shared by many games.

1) Could you please commment on wherever the public will get access to the monarchs journey items and at what price if any? In this recent thread it was discussed with quotes from a Paradox Community manager but we couldnt come to a conclusion.
2) Same question for the "Garments of the Holy Roman Empire" pre-order bonus.
Concerning your two other questions, I can only tell you that we have some plans but they are not set in stone enough yet to talk about.
It is not forgotten, but it is also a bit lower on the priority list.
Stay tuned!
 
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TinyWiking

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Alright then since there are quite a few of you that don't know how to behave I'm making this very clear:

If you don't have anything relevant to add to the thread don't reply.

This DD wasn't for everyone, we get that, but that doesn't mean it's fine to post trollish comments, make completely irrelevant posts and being a general nuisance. This thread will be pruned and warnings will be handed out. More will be handed out if this continues.

I really shouldn't have to explain this but clearly even more veteran members have lost touch with acceptable behavior.
 
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PDX_Pariah

Community Manager
Jul 21, 2020
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Has the success of CK3 triggered all these changes like promotions and increase in team size, or was it something that was decided beforehand and just took a little bit longer than expected?

Because one would think, that Paradox has by now enough experience to quickly sort out how handle post release development of a game ;)
CK3 was always intended to have an increasing team size once the initial release was completed and we started work on future releases for the game.

This plan has been moving quite smoothly for us! :)
 
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PDX_Pariah

Community Manager
Jul 21, 2020
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Jeez. Some of the "fan" responses in this thread make me embarrassed to be a fan.

Hope @PDX_Pariah, @PDX-Nicou , @TinyWiking, @lykchen, @ScarecrowKrone & @Imse Vimse know that most of us appreciate their work under difficult circumstances. Looking forward to "Lit"/"Firestarter" DLC (whatever that is) content when it comes.

Hey, thanks! We are super stoked to bring everyone all the exciting news we can as soon as we are possibly able!

It. Wasn't. Ever. Scheduled. For. January.

True.
 
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DebbieElla

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Hi everyone!

Thank you for your patience as we've gone through this thread to delete a lot of the toxicity here. We're happy to see so many fans passionate about games, but please remember that everyone involved in making this game, from the Dev Team to Marketing to Moderators involved in this thread, we are all people too. You being disappointed in our content is fine! That criticism is not the problem! You calling us names or being generally toxic is not fine however. So I will open up this thread again, and I want you all to take another look at all of our rules, but especially our rules about Toxic behaviour and about not responding to Moderator/Admin actions. If you get a warning and think it's unfair you are always welcome to ask about it in a PM, but you cannot ever do it publicly in a thread. Those are our rules, and you have all agreed to them when you signed up to the forum. Be kind. It's that simple.

3. We do not tolerate Toxic behavior and if you are found to be spreading Toxicity you will be issued a suspension and final warning. If you are found to be spreading Toxicity again your account will be permanently banned.

In general any post that is overly negative, doesn't contribute to the forum or simply contains foul language and insults is toxic. If your post doesn't contribute and instead serves as a way to stir up more negativity and rage from other users, it's toxic. Keep this in mind:

- Look at your post history. If the majority of your posts are troll posts against other players or telling other players that the Paradox team doesn't care/doesn't listen/doesn't know what they are doing, that's not productive. Don't reply to posts to say no one will reply. If you aren't looking to help the player with a question please do not respond.

14. All administrative actions taken by the Forum staff should be considered a settled matter. These actions include, but are not limited to: delete/close/move thread/post, banning, warnings and Infractions. Public posts challenging or questioning the decision of a Moderator or Administrator will be deleted and penalties liable by the user. Users that wish to contest a decision should send a PM to the Moderator. If the situation cannot be resolved to mutual satisfaction, then you can escalate the matter by sending an e-mail to: forum_admin@paradoxplaza.com. Any decision given from there is final and not subject to debate.
 
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DebbieElla

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Apparently I need to repeat myself: Do not reply or comment to what I, or other Admins & Moderators, write. Do not ask about it. Do not allure to it. You want to discuss or ask for clarification, PM us. It's that simple. But I will clarify something here, just this once. But again, do not reply to my post. Just don't. Talk about the DD only.

According to our rules, if the comment only brings negativity, then don't post it. That's toxicity according to us. Because there is a difference between saying "I would've preferred a DD about x or y" compared to "I hate this who cares you're all stupid". And yesterday we got a lot of the second kind. There is no reason to come on our forum only to say how much you hate us. Yesterday was proof of that. I'm an admin here, I'm where the buck stops. I want this forum to be an open place where you fans can express opinions, both positive and negative. But that doesn't mean that all criticisms is accepted. We have rules in place for a reason, and it's not just for the dev's sake, it's also for all of our users. I hope that clarification made sense. So again. Read the rule below carefully. Memorise it. It doesn't mean that everything you post needs to be positive towards it. But it does mean you can't be negative if it doesn't serve a purpose.

- Look at your post history. If the majority of your posts are troll posts against other players or telling other players that the Paradox team doesn't care/doesn't listen/doesn't know what they are doing, that's not productive.

 
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PDX_Pariah

Community Manager
Jul 21, 2020
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It would be really appreciated if you didn't just read them, but actually engaging - maybe just making a comment that it has been noted/read or something. At least that way it wouldn't seem like talking to a wall of silence with only my fellow community members to break it.

We do indeed have Moderators, but also Ambassadors that are constantly replying to posts and handling discussions.

However, there is not much for a Community Manager to say when the thread consists of "I am bored, this sucks, and you suck." So we usually refrain from entirely unproductive posts and stick closer to making sure the Community is heard and Feedback/Suggestions are delivered to the right hands to help shape the process for the future.

That being said, being around gathering data and watching posts gives me a pretty decent idea of how to work with our team to make sure their tone and messages are clear and concise. :)
 
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PDX_Pariah

Community Manager
Jul 21, 2020
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Lots of good feedback and lots of interesting insight. We are working still on getting tone and conversation to the point we would like to see it. Making sure we strike the right tone between you, our beloved Community, and the Dev Team.

With me in the middle gladly reading and listening to both sides of the conversation to make sure nobody feels left out.

I feel that these kinds of posts are being written by people who are invested in Paradox's success, and it would be a terrible mistake to dismiss (the large numbers of) them without listening.

Nobody is ever ignored, no matter their message or tone. However, we definitely walk a fine line with making sure that attacks and aggression are not rewarded, but are still heard (not that your posts are in this category, but it gave me a good segue) and also making sure we acknowledge good constructive feedback and sentiment.

Hello! I want to thank you for your work and suggest such changes:

1. Change the characteristics and names for professional troops depending on the nation. For example, in Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain), the rulers should be given knight cavalry instead of heavy cavalry, and instead of light cavalry - I don't know what to call them, let them be squires. Other nations have these troops with lower characteristics or none at all. The Eastern Slavs and Scandinavians have access to stronger heavy infantry (such as the brutal Varangians))), the British have stronger archers, the Arabs have faster and stronger light cavalry, and the Byzantines have legionaries.

2. Add a solution to the Western European rulers: to hold a jousting tournament, where the winner receives some kind of bun, piety, money, and also increases the relationship with the woman who will declare her lady of the heart. That, in turn, also receives piety or fame.

3. For nomadic tribes, remove fortresses, temples, and cities, replacing them with "nomads", and add a decision (or religious dogma, something like human sacrifice) about raids on sedentary neighbors in order to obtain money and slaves.

4. Add the purpose of the war: "To make a tributary" - that is, without losing independence, the ruler must pay tribute every year.

5. During raids-an opportunity for the victims to agree on the termination of the raid, paying off with gold.

***AI actions in the game are extremely monotonous. I wanted his actions to be more active in relation to the player and other characters:

6. When blackmail lustful AI could demand to sleep with him (in addition to the basic conditions)

7. AI men should actively try to seduce beautiful and pretty women. In case of failure - do not give up trying to do it again and try to eliminate competitors on the way to the bed or the heart of a woman

8. A woman's refusal to marry, from courtship, or break off an engagement is a reason for war. Also a reason for war for pious religions - if the bride is not a virgin.

9. Love - it can flare up in AI suddenly. This is a strong feeling that makes you act recklessly - give expensive gifts, be jealous, declare wars, kill, challenge to a duel. A special kind of love is passion. In this case, the AI becomes mad and uses all means to achieve its goal - spreading dirty rumors, using bribery, blackmail

10. Wedding and the first wedding night - a feast for which feudal lords gather. Ends on the wedding night.

11. When blackmailing an AI or player, they may require another character to do something against a third character or try to seduce them. For example, you Can force a woman to seduce her Liege Lord, then blackmail him with it.

* translation of Google, sorry )))

These are all super rad! I appreciate the well thought out context on all.

However, Feedback and Suggestions sections of the Forum would be better for gaining traction on these thoughts as they are read and collected weekly. :)

Two big patches (of around 1,000 changes each) and and a Ruler Designer don't seem like slow post-launch support to me.

It was definitely oceans of work to make sure we are ahead of things and in a good place to work on future releases.

I am very excited for the next diary! Do we have a date scheduled for the next DD? What is the frequency of the diaries?

The plan is for tomorrow, so we shall see! :D

They have confirmed a DD coming tuesday on their twitch stream. I would expect a dev diary at least every week from now on until DLC arrives.

Certainly the plan, but we shall see how that rolls out over the coming weeks. No promises, but definitely our hopes and plans.
 
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