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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...
 

TheSunEmperor

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First the pleasant:
Nice to meet you, and thank you for introducing the team.

Now the not so pleasant:
After 3 months of nothing this is not it (I'm not blaming you personally, but the whole communication team). If this had been an early Jan drop "hi we're back from Christmas vacations, lets introduce the team" it would be alright. But its mid Feb and all we are promised is vague information about the "small" upcoming content. I realize you can't announce everything at once, but take a page from Wiz when he was doing Stellaris. His twitter teasers were great, even things that were not announced, he'd show small little screenshots of some specific, often cryptic upcoming change. It was enough to keep people interested and speculating, and more than that it was fun.

Anyway like I said, this is not directed at you as much as the team as a whole. I'm sure you were told write a diary about x and did your job. But the decision makers really need to improve communication. A quarter of a year of silence followed by fluff is not a good direction to go. CK3 is already below HOI4, Stellaris, and EU4 numbers in terms of players, and that's despite having initial launch player numbers larger than any of them. For a game already struggling to keep its playerbase engaged, poor interaction with the community is a recipe for a flop.
I absolutely agree with all of your points, and I feel this is the opinion of the majority of us who found this Dev diary barely worthy of the name.
 
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I don't even care about DLC right now. I just want to know when the NEXT PATCH will be that fixes the bugged levy numbers issue along with other things (hopefully Byzantines???)
They probably won't do anything with Byzantium until they work on DLC relating to it, so if it's not the subject of the first DLC then you should probably expect a long wait.
 
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SavvyLad

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They probably won't do anything with Byzantium until they work on DLC relating to it, so if it's not the subject of the first DLC then you should probably expect a long wait.
Oh I am, don't worry. Between this and Bannerlord I am used to long waits with no hope of true fixes in sight for years. In 2-3 I think they might be at their true potential...hopefully
 
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MagisterMundi

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I'm sure this will get me flamed, but I do not think CK3 was ready for release.
I think it was, personally, but it was ready for the kind of launch that had a few significant patches happening in the following couple of months, not this long of a dry spell. There are just some really obvious bugs that, while hardly game-breaking and forgivable, really shouldn't be around and kicking almost six months later. Same with a handful of under-developed game features: fine if you plan on coming back to it soon after getting feedback, not so fine if you're just going to sit on it.

I get where you're coming from, though, and I agree. I will note that this is an anomaly for Paradox, not the default. I'm hopeful we'll see the dev team for this game become as responsive as the teams for other games are. (Well... most other games, anyway. Vicky 2 update when?)
 
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TheSunEmperor

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'Oh crap we said mid February and we still have nothing to show 6 months later so let's make a dev diary that says nothing at all anyone cares about'.
It's not that no one is interested in behind the scenes information about the team working on the game (in fact it's great to know that the CK3 team is growing and working on new content) but the point is that this really wasn't a Dev diary at all, it was just a PSA that paradox has hired more employees and appointed a new game Dev lead. What we wanted to hear today was where the game is going, what specific updates the team is working on, and when we can maybe expect to see some bugfixes and new content. This is why we are disappointed at the long wait with no real answer other than "next week"
 
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This year will see some super interesting things and changes to the way we handle news and Community.
Also, I think that this part of PDX_Pariah's post has been a bit overlooked so far in this thread. It does sound very much as an acknowledgement that their communication strategy has been poor and is going to change quite radically.
 
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ShepherdOfCats

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Oh I am, don't worry. Between this and Bannerlord I am used to long waits with no hope of true fixes in sight for years. In 2-3 I think they might be at their true potential...hopefully
The main difference between CK3 and Bannerlord is that Bannerlord was released as an early-access title.

And while the pacing of development of Bannerlord and CK3 leave MUCH to be desired, EA or Full release, Taleworlds is much more responsive and will release hotfixes for important issues within weeks if not days after releasing an update. Many folks are content to see progress being made, and they like seeing their feedback addressed. Personally I prefer that over bundling fixes into a major update that— fingers crossed—may or may not contain changes that are all that important.

edited to add: One would expect though, that if a game is released fully, that any bugs or poorly implemented mechanics would be hammered out as feverishly as possible, and I know I'm not the only one who gets nervous with talk of DLC when the base game needs some TLC.
 
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The main difference between CK3 and Bannerlord is that Bannerlord was released as an early-access title.

And while the pacing of development of Bannerlord and CK3 leave MUCH to be desired, EA or Full release, Taleworlds is much more responsive and will release hotfixes for important issues within weeks if not days after releasing an update. Many folks are content to see progress being made, and they like seeing their feedback addressed. Personally I prefer that over bundling fixes into a major update that— fingers crossed—may or may not contain changes that are all that important.

One would expect though, that if a game is released fully, that any bugs or poorly implemented mechanics would be hammered out as feverishly as possible, and I know I'm not the only one who gets nervous with talk of DLC when the base game needs some TLC.
But this is a problem, same like in bannerlord. With this much updates, mods would be broken. The most paradox players play with mods, same for mount and blade. And the problem is, the most player are angry about TW or Paradox when the game crash because of new updates. But the most updates work fine in vanilla and often the mods are the reason for the crash.

So i want major patches a lot more than weekly fixes. I'm a player who play with a lot of mods, too. A weekly patch would destroy a lot and like i said, the most don't search the reason in the mods, they search it by paradox. It wouldn't be healthy if paradox get more and more dislikes, because a update destroy the game for someone, who is using mods. (And sadly the most don't use the rollback function of steam)
 
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Stooooooooop with this.

No one, and I am pretty confident on this one, was asking for an update on the composition of the ck3 team as the first dev diary in over two months. And to spin this into a "transparency thing" is being intentionally obtuse.

They took their break, said would be back in mid Jan 2021, then back in mid Feb 2021 only to give an update into what most were not asking for in the first place and then to be meet with some negative responses. It is not like that would have been predictable outcome or anything.....

Is it an interesting dev diary in its own right? Sure. Is it something I wanted to see after a 6 month release? Nope.
You've been around for a while, you should be familiar with Paradox's journey throughout the years. They've had a lot of issues in the past, but they listened to their audience and have been steadily working on those issues over the years; last year's release of CK3 and today's release of Imperator 2.0 are sure signs of the progress they've made so far. They've still a ways to go, but I perceive a positive trend ever since the release of Imperator 1.0 and for now I feel confident on the months to come.

I'm not being obtuse with my transparency comment, it is one of the issues Paradox had to work on.

I agree with you that it was ill timed as a first dev diary after months of no publications, but I do not think the backlash in this thread is appropriate.

It is not just 'some negative responses', and so I stand by my comment.

Paradox is working towards self-improvement. Could this community say the same about itself?
 
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I know I'm not the only one who gets nervous with talk of DLC when the base game needs some TLC.
A bunch of people have already paid for the DLC, and we're far enough past the last update that another unaccompanied free patch (other than maybe MP security fixes) seems unlikely.
 
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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.
Since some of you have failed to read / heed this, bringing it to the forefront again...

Numerous posts infracted / deleted

As always, play nice or don't play
 
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Axis89

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On a very different topic..

I personally think a lot get disappointed when Paradox communicate that the Dev Diaries will come back in mid-February.
It creates expectations of news, of reveals etc, and not a list of employees.

I love all of you who work with these games, I want you all to be happy and successful, but I dont know you on a personal level so it is not too interesting with these name drops.
Would be a lot more interesting if I had plans on applying for a job at Paradox.

Anyways, take care, cant wait for the small and big news you have to share at some point! :)
 
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Xain

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On a very different topic..

I personally think a lot get disappointed when Paradox communicate that the Dev Diaries will come back in mid-February.
The "very different topic" is actually the main topic in the reactions to the thread

(also because, honestly, there is nothing to be said about the OP except that the newcomers are welcome and that we send them a lot of (tough, very tough) love)
 
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Cri11e

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This dev diary should have started with a ''Sorry ... ''. Not a sweep under the rug kind of thing, be genuine guys--- the meeting of expectation on this dev diary was a severe failure.
 
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DaviBones

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I agree with many others – the communication strategy here could use improvement. This has been said, but I strongly suspect that this was a bit of an "oh shoot, we promised a DD in mid-February but we're still not ready to share anything" kind of situation, and I think it likely could have been handled better with a bit more honesty, and maybe with slightly more satisfying fluff – something like "We know you've been patiently waiting for info, and we're sorry we still can't give you any concrete details, but in case it will help, here's a few small bugs we'll have ironed out for the next release." Not everything has to be flashy, the players mostly just want some examples of progress.

That said, I did find what was in this dev diary interesting, even if it wasn't exactly what I was looking forward to, so don't feel your efforts are wasted. And to all the new team members: Congratulations on your new positions! Have fun storming the castle :D

Lastly, to all the people with more... visceral reactions (many of which have been rightfully deleted at this point):

 
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Lagadema

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Please deal with the community suggestions (like the alert and pop-up spam) and bugs. I rather have a proper experience with the minimal (or none, fingers crossed) amount of bugs and complaints rather than new content.
 
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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:


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.

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.
This should have been part of the dev diary.
 
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First off congratulations to Alexander and Henrik on the promotions.

Secondarily personally I enjoy this kind of peak behind the curtain at how things are organized, so this update made me pretty happy to see.
 
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Tales23

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This should have been part of the dev diary.
Totally agree, the radio silence since November has been really frustrating. Bought the game expecting at least a decent dlc/update by Spring but the fact that it seems like they are still hiring new people means it probably won't be until Q3 or Q4 before we can expect any decent content.
 
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