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Johan

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Hi people,

Here's a thread where you get to ask us (almost) whatever you want. I write almost as some of you might want to ask questions you know we cant answer. Like: "Whats the next game you are making" etc etc. These are not the type of questions you should be asking. Focus on other aspects of Paradox instead and we promise to be forthcoming.

Keep your questions sensible and we'll keep answering. Fail to do so and you'll end up talking to yourselves :)

If you want to ask any question that is related to publishing, then go here

Specific questions about specific games that have their own forums should be asked in those forums, This thread is for more general questions.
 
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Kallocain

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So you've got programmers with a keen interest in history or History Buffs that have become programmers? Do have researchers that go and reaserch all the detail or do the programmers do all that or is it the lead designer that provides all the in depth stuff?

I would say it is a mix. A lot of the staff is already into history when they start here, if if not, it is quite easy to become interested after hearing all the interesting discussions we have!
 

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I know this has probably been asked millions of times:

So what's the story behind naming you studio "paradox?" Also, who came up with the idea of the current logo being used and why?

Our then CEO, Nils Gulliksson, liked the name and made the logo for it himself, as he is a rather famous artist in some circles here in Sweden.
 

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Do you guys take a proper lunch break?

What is a proper lunch break? Some of us have lunch boxes and it takes between 15 to 30 minutes heating and eating them, others go out for a meal and that takes somewhere between 30 to 50 minutes depending on where you go. I sometimes eat at my desk if I have to leave early but I try to avoid it.

What is you're most favorite time period?

The French Revolution. I love the The Women's March on Versailles and my thesis was a game manuscript based on the events of the French Revolution.
 

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If you had infinite credit and infinite time to do it, what would your ultimate game be? (Type, univers, gameplay depth...)

I am a game writer at heart, so when I start thinking about games I want to do I usually start with the story. A female ex-soldier and her family transferred to a magical world trying to find her husband and child, an Assassin's Creed style game with a female protagonist during the French Revolution, a sequel to Little Big Adventure 2 or a sequel to Grim Fandango... I have plenty of ideas :)

Who is/are responsible for the maps of PDS games?

I think Tegus has programmed some of the recent maps but some of the new programmers are also working on maps, Aerie has done the textures, 3D-models (buildings, soldiers, ports, trees...) and the terrain. The provinces all have their own unique RGB colour so the game will recognize the province of Paris for example. Someone has to paint them so that they are in their correct places and are looking good. I painted the provinces for CKII and used the old map from CK for the province's places, then distorted another map, a real map of Europe, and fitted the provinces in so that the coastlines would look good. Captain Gars did the same for Sengoku, so it is mostly the scripters' work to make sure all the provinces are in, at their correct places and have history files with all sorts of data in them.
 

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After a game (more exactly a RC) pass your own QA, has it to pass a Paradox Interactive QA too? Or, since you are one company, are working together when testing release candidates?

We actually have three levels of QA.

1. Internal QA, that tests our stuff all the time
2. An external QA Studio that tests our stuff during specific points of the development
3. PI's QA. This is a rather new subset, they mostly used an external studio before. I'm not really sure how that dynamic will work yet.

How often does user feedback and forum posts/rants affect your game development decisions as far as the changes we see in patches and expansions go? I ask because I rarely see a Paradox Dev team member saying "Oh great idea, that is definitely going to be implemented in the next patch", and I more often see "that is not feasible or possible with the current game environment" or something similar.
Most of the times, that is because the ideas are not feasible. If they are though, we can't just say "oh, great idea, I'll get to it!". There is a whole decision making process before we can decide to implement a feature. We have to be careful so it does not push the schedule, perhaps remove something else instead. And IF someone on the dev team says something is a great idea, that has often been interpreted as a promise to include it, which can create disappointment later on when it is not... We simply have to be very careful with what we say.
 
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Besuchov

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Well all Paradox Grand Strategy games are RTS's, remember, RTS just means it's a strategy game done in real time. So a Game like Civilization counts a Turn Based Strategy (TBS) while Europa Universalis 3 is an Real Time Strategy (RTS).

Its allways been a bit back and forth on what category our games should fall in, it is real time strategy yes but that sometimes confuse reviewers who for example compare our unitmanagement to the very similar(?) RTS:s Company of Heroes :p. Perhaps Real Time Grand Strategy (RTGS) since we can hardly convince the rest of the world to start calling Startcraft a Real Time Tactics game instead :)
 

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Oh, I thought PDS was a game. I meant integrating a more standard RTS, with controlling units and base building.

Speaking personally here you run the danger of trying to much and pleasing no one. You end up with a game that is not enough of an RTS to please RTS fans but loosing some of the elements of our current formula that people like. So I am personally a skeptic of such a route for game development.
 

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At the height of their respective beauties, who do you think was better looking, Debbie Harry or Belinda Carlisle?

Hm, I gotta say Belinda Carlisle.
 

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2 questions:

1. Generally speaking, how much of your sales come from different parts of the world? Are they most popular in Europe? Or in America? Do you get substantial numbers of sales from China, Korea or Japan? Are your games even localised for asian languages?

2. Have you ever considered making a game based on the well known Chinese epic Romance of the Three Kingdoms, given that, along with the Sengoku Jidai, it's probably been one of the most used asian setting for strategy games?

1. Most in the USA, after that the bigger countries in EU, like Germany usually comes high up. I'm not sure how it looks in Asia since we have a partner (Cyberfront) there who handles everything for us, localization, sales and all.

2. I'm not sure. I have not heard about it, but there are a lot of game discussions in the pub from time to time, and I'm not always there. :)
 

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At the height of their respective beauties, who do you think was better looking, Debbie Harry or Belinda Carlisle?

Debbie obviously!

One other question, have you ever thought about allowing people to edit the games code, similar to Civilisation IV?

Its a major technical and design problem. We don't go "lets hide these parts from people moahaha", Civ 4s engine was built from the ground up to support this stuff. I think its cool, but takes much longer to implement than without it. HoI3 allows you to change a lot of the Ai logic code for example as well as country setup etc.

What one history book or documentary inspired you most to make any given game?

not sure about inspired, but the BBC "The World at War" documentary series is amazing.
 

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What surprises are you planning for Gamerscom of Cologne in this summer? I would like to visit there. :)

I'll be there for the entire week, including GDC... I'd love to do a "lets meet up and drink beer one night" with whoever of you guys that is there.
 

Johan

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Do you accept outside help or suggestion for games?

on PDS we do everything inhouse, except for some small text, art or music tasks we outsource with specific instructions.