Dev Diary #21 – Events

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King

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There has been a lot of questions about events on the forum. So let us devote a developer diary to what exactly we were thinking when it came to adding events. We had three goals. Firstly, we wanted to add an element of randomness into your game. No two games of Victoria 2 should be exactly the same. So you can play the same country, do pretty much the same thing and things turn out differently; maybe a little and maybe a lot. Secondly, events are there to drive a process that we felt game mechanics could not capture well, and thirdly, to provide a bit of flavour and narrative to your game experience.

Let's talk through a few examples of event series (I won't go into too much detail here since we will be looking to tweak and refine the effects through testing.) Let's start with that old favourite, the Liberal revolution. Along it came in 1848; with the right reforms you could avoid it and you knew exactly when it was coming and how strong it would be. Well, no longer. The liberal revolution is an event chain which starts with liberal agitation. Those bleeding heart liberals will be looking for subversive things like the vote or a free press, and will start to organise themselves to campaign for rights. These liberal agitation modifiers effect states and make liberals more militant and increase the appeal of liberalism as an ideology. One of three things could happen. The agitation could simply peter out and nothing much happens at all. The agitation could spread, becoming more widespread and putting pressure on you to give ground to the liberals (and with the way the upper house works, make that easier to achieve). Finally, it could lead to a full blown revolution that could then also spread to neighbouring countries. Our goal is to make the liberal revolution a bit different in every game. Instead of a single popup which says congratulations, you now have a liberal revolution, you will see a rise in liberal agitation that could lead to a revolution. This also gives the liberal revolution a narrative framework inside the game.

Next up, the American Civil War; this one I worked closely with my colleague Brother Bean on. Although, if I were to be 100% honest, he was the one doing the actual scripting. What I did was to feedback the effects of the events back into the issue and ideology scripts. So we have real events happening, like an underground railroad to help free slaves, Bleeding $STATE_NAME$, the Dred Scott decision that all feed into popular consciousness in the USA. Popular consciousness then makes Slavery more of an issue. This pushes the anti-slavery camp towards liberalism and the pro-slavery camp to reaction. Since slavery is a political reform, it also increases popular anger. This creates the effect that the Centre, who seek compromise and are conservative in our model, get isolated. Outflanked by their own fire eaters on one side (the reactionaries) and by the anti-slavery camp on the other (the GOP) the Democrat party will eventually split if no compromise can be found. There are various decisions that can allow compromise to help defuse popular anger; the Southerners thought about conquering Cuba, perhaps that is just the solution? However, can a house divided really stand? Well, we are going to make it difficult, but again you will see this gradually happening in your country and you might be able to find a solution... but do you want to?

As we have already mentioned before, but is probably worth mentioning again, we do have flavour events from Victoria. These are country specific and have country specific texts. The overall effects are slight, because we don't want you to feel you must read the event file to play a country. We have imported these from Victoria to give that feeling that you are playing a specific country. We are trying to keep the flavour that events offer, without the straight jacketing that major historical events can lead to.

We also have minor event chains to give a bit of flavour to the period. As mentioned in the Easter Developer diary we have the Second Great Awakening. This is a minor event chain that describes the religious revival in ante-bellum USA. The effects are not huge, a bit of CON here, a bit less MIL there plus a little bit of prestige. The purpose of the event chain is not to radically change the country but to tell a bit of the story of what is going on inside your country, and move things about slightly because of it. We have several of these either scripted or in the works, all to add a little bit to the game experience.

So there you have it, what were we thinking when we added events? Well now you know.
 

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unmerged(91061)

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I must confess a soft spot for flavour events. They keep the forth wall nice and high and I'm not thinking of what I'm doing as just playing a game.

(P.S: I'll get the first post spot next time Gadget!)
 

JoeGiavani

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Can't help but notice the screenies are no longer labled as alpha...

Also very nit-picky, but I can't help but notice CON is labled in red, as a negative modifier, though presumably in a democracy it isn't. Will it change depending on government type?

Will the effects of the liberal revolution vary depend on the country itself? So will more industrialised nations have a bigger movement than less industrialied nations or is it random?
 

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Nice.
 

King

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Can't help but notice the screenies are no longer labled as alpha...

Also very nit-picky, but I can't help but notice CON is labled in red, as a negative modifier, though presumably in a democracy it isn't. Will it change depending on government type?

Will the effects of the liberal revolution vary depend on the country itself? So will more industrialised nations have a bigger movement than less industrialied nations or is it random?

The triggers for the Liberal revolution are on the status of the country. Also with clerks having a stronger pul to liberalism and craftsmen and labours having no defualt ideology. They are more open to the effects of the liberal revolution .
 

noddysseus

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So Victoria 2 is going to provide for dynamic events, in order to provide for unique gaming experiences each time a player chooses to start a new game?

Yet, are we going to encounter an American civil war in every game?

If so, then I'm at loss as to why there shouldn't be historical events for every country.
 

JoeGiavani

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The triggers for the Liberal revolution are on the status of the country. Also with clerks having a stronger pul to liberalism and craftsmen and labours having no defualt ideology. They are more open to the effects of the liberal revolution .
Awesome :D thanks for the reply.
 

JoeGiavani

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So Victoria 2 is going to provide for dynamic events, in order to provide for unique gaming experiences each time a player chooses to start a new game?

Yet, are we going to encounter an American civil war in every game?

If so, then I'm at loss as to why there shouldn't be historical events for every country.
However, can a house divided really stand? Well, we are going to make it difficult
I think that implies the American civil war can be avoided if the player is canny enough.
 

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Sounds very promising. Events are a tricky mechanism, an unavoidable "cop out" in some ways, but this sort of "escalatory chain" setup could be very nice for several "historical happenings". At least there will be some "rumblings" before sudden catastrophe strikes!

Also very nit-picky, but I can't help but notice CON is labled in red, as a negative modifier, though presumably in a democracy it isn't. Will it change depending on government type?
I think red is fair enough for CON; it represents, after all, a fairly shallow, selfish type of advantage awareness. I guess ideally there would be a level of political awareness above it, requiring elevated CON as a prerequisite stage - but that might be taking the "mass psychology modelling" too far, perhaps...
 

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Yet, are we going to encounter an American civil war in every game?

I don't think King said that.

On the other hand, I would love to see ACW in pretty much every game where AI controls USA and outside conditions in its neighbourhood are not radically different from what we had in our historyline.
 

King

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I think that implies the American civil war can be avoided if the player is canny enough.

Yes that's correct. We feel that the forces that lead to the American civil war are already in play in 1836, so from that poit of view we want to simulate them. However, at the same time we do no believe that the war must break out in 1860. The potential is there, but there are things a player can do to avoid it.
 

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Navy and 1st Belgian Infantry Division are flemish while 2nd, 3rd Infantry Division and cavalry are french-speaking, welcome in Belgium ! (BTW it should be 1ère Division de Cavalerie)
 

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I like the fact that the event window doesn't cover the rest of the screen, which isn't greyed out either. A bit off-topic but still.

Seems good. I maybe would've preferred the ACW to be (nearly) destined from the get-go due to scenario setup. Maybe. This is a good way to do it too, and probably necessary, given that the ACW happened 25 years after game start historically.

I hope you change the spelling logic from "all pops in Belgium that is Flemish" ;)

P.S. I like how you managed to address both the ACW and the Belgium dispute in one DD :p Crafty use of a screenshot, indeed.
 

noddysseus

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I think that implies the American civil war can be avoided if the player is canny enough.

You could avoid the Civil War in Victoria 1.

Yet, in Victoria 2 it would look like there won't be many events for most countries, which also could be avoided.

I'm a bit concerned about dynamic events... surely it is possible to keep historical events and just make the events more dynamic???
 

King

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You could avoid the Civil War in Victoria 1.

Yet, in Victoria 2 it would look like there won't be many events for most countries, which also could be avoided.

I'm a bit concerned about dynamic events... surely it is possible to keep historical events and just make the events more dynamic???

That's what we are doing. We are indentifing historical happenings and converting them into dynamic events.
 

King

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The Benelux looks quite pretty, well done : )

Will you also include a 'same' (like the liberal one) event chain for a socialist 'awakening'?

We have added/will adding events for both Socialism and Fascism.
 

noddysseus

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That's what we are doing. We are indentifing historical happenings and converting them into dynamic events.

I hope so.

I mean, I hope in the situation with Ireland that there will always be a tendency from the Irish pops to expect greater rights from an alien British government, and that there will be a tendency to become more militant and even rise up - through events.

I hope that many other historical movements will be included, but just with greater dynamics.

Of course I hope the goal is to allow a country like Belgium for example to acquire dynamic events just because they decide to annex the Netherlands and have the Dutch pops rebel against this new rule.

If that is the case, then Victoria 2 will be an excellent game!