Dev Diary #98: Important Studio News

Dev Diary #98: Important Studio News

  • Crusader Kings III Available Now!

    The realm rejoices as Paradox Interactive announces the launch of Crusader Kings III, the latest entry in the publisher’s grand strategy role-playing game franchise. Advisors may now jockey for positions of influence and adversaries should save their schemes for another day, because on this day Crusader Kings III can be purchased on Steam, the Paradox Store, and other major online retailers.


    Real Strategy Requires Cunning
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Braindrift

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INTRO

Hi all!
We are excited to finally introduce ourselves to you, as we have been working for 9 months to bring you something very special to Imperator.

With “we“ I am referring to the fabulous people of Paradox Thalassic - a studio created a few years back that has gotten the chance to help out on everything from Bloodlines 2, CK3, Planetfall and last but not least Imperator. We will be collaborating closely with the Stockholm studio to help improve and expand Imperator for upcoming releases.
We have worked really hard to prove that we have what it takes to deliver on the high Paradox standards and can’t wait to share more of our plans for the future as our team grows alongside the Imperator team in Stockholm. Our upcoming release is actually the first time a team outside of the team at PDS in Stockholm has independently created a DLC for a GSG so we are pretty psyched about this achievement!
Curious to get to know us a bit better? Read on!



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Erik Sjöblom
Hello, I’m Erik, senior designer at Paradox Thalassic. I’ve been with the company for about 5 years in total, one run back in 2014-15, then I rejoined in -17 when Paradox opened up a studio in Malmö. I’m a passionate RPG player and mostly enjoy the emergent story-telling in our Paradox games. My job as a designer is to come up with ideas, solidify those ideas to make them understandable, then iteratively communicate the ideas through implementation and follow up the result to make sure it plays out as I intended. I also double up with some scripting, content creation and prototyping when needed.

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James Persaud
Salvete! I’m James, a senior programmer at Paradox Thalassic, and I’ve been here since the founding of the Malmö studio more than three years ago. In that time I’ve been lucky enough to play very small parts in both CK3 and EU4 (the latter still my favourite game of all time) and to work with the rest of the Malmö team, most recently of course on Imperator. As one of the tech leads my responsibilities include striving for ever increasing quality and stability on the code front, and most of my time thus far has been spent helping bring some of the game’s upcoming features to life. I think it’s a privilege to work on the games I’m passionate about, with the talented and dedicated people at Paradox who really know how it’s done. No challenge can be more exciting or more humbling than that of furthering the great tradition of Paradox grand strategy. Right, that’s the speech done. Now I think we should all go over and absolutely trash Carthage, don’t you agree?

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Oscar Sjöstedt
Hi! I’m a senior 2D artist and I’ve been with the Paradox family for a few years now. I’ve been helping out with the 2D needs of various projects here at Paradox, including CK2, CK3 and of course Imperator. I’m a big fan of strategy games and systemic gameplay and that’s one of my main drivers for getting to work for Paradox - really looking forward to what lies in the future of Imperator: Rome and Paradox Thalassic!

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Mårten Stockhaus
Hello!
My name is Mårten, I work as a senior game designer and have been working here for a bit over 3 years. I really enjoy the complex challenge of working with systematic games and it’s really cool to deep dive into the abyss of systems. During my years at Paradox I’ve been doing a lot of different things such as, feature design, content design, narrative design, all over the place really. But what I enjoy the most is coming up with features and taking them from idea to completion, see them grow, see them fail, see them succeed, it’s almost like having a small AI baby.

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Lars Håhus
I’m Lars, Thalassic Studio Manager, producer, recruiter and cleaner of coffee machine extraordinaire. I’ve been at Paradox Thalassic for almost two years. I’m a big fan of the emergent storytelling and gameplay that GSGs provide and am extremely proud to get to be a part of delivering these experiences to the world.
My responsibilities change from day to day but at the end of the day it’s all about making sure that my team stays healthy and we deliver kickass games.

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Weronika Kowalczyk
Hey! My name is Weronika and I'm a 2D generalist intern that very recently joined the Paradox Thalassic Studio, like two weeks ago and it’s very surreal to be in a newsletter already. I'm currently in the process of learning the pipeline and engine for Imperator but I’ve already started assisting the team. In the future I’ll be doing whatever UI, illustration or art tasks that will be needed from the rest of the team.

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Pontus Jonsson
Hi!
I’m Pontus Jonsson and I’m a programming intern at Paradox Thalassic. I joined the Malmö office about two weeks ago after studying for two years at The Game Assembly, one of the best game development educations in the world. I’m currently getting into things and learning the pipeline, software and code standards. When I have familiarized myself with all the systems I will be working mostly with gameplay and AI programming for Imperator: Rome, with maybe some other stuff thrown into the mix. I’m really excited to be part of the Paradox Thalassic team!

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Jelina Karlsson
Hello! I’m Jelina Karlsson and I’m a programming intern that joined Paradox Thalassic just like two weeks ago. These two weeks have mostly been spent getting to know the team, setting up all the necessary software that we need to develop the game, and playing the game a lot. When I have gotten to know the workflow and the engine, I will probably be working mostly with gameplay related things for Imperator: Rome. I’m looking forward to be working with Imperator: Rome as a part of the Paradox Thalassic team!

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Alina Gromova
Hi! I am Alina, Thalassics’ own 3D artist. I started a bit more than a year ago: as an intern during the first few months and later as a regular employee. On Imperator: Rome I am responsible for 3D assets of upcoming releases. I am passionate about everything that has to do with 3D art. But here at Thalassic I also have a chance to be involved in the tech side of things, which I am very happy about. In my spare time I’m a console gamer, reader of everything from nonfiction, to classics, to graphic novels, and an outdoor enthusiast.


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Jamor

Imperator: Rome Producer
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Actually from rereading the OP it sounds like Thalassic have been working on the DLC themselves for the past months while the "main team" were working on non-DLC development? So both teams working concurrently on different elements during that time?

We are indeed working in parallel, with both PDS and Thalassic making future releases.

What kind of releases, you ask? Well, I won't tell you, because I am an evil sadist.

soon.jpg, etc
 
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Snow Crystal

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What was the reason to open a second Pdx-Dev-Studio back then? Where is it located?

There's actually quite a lot of Paradox studios these days.
Paradox Development Studio - Stockholm (Sweden)
Paradox Arctic - Umeå (Sweden)
Paradox Thalassic - Malmö (Sweden)
Paradox Tinto - Barcelona (Spain)
Paradox Tectonic - Berkeley, California (USA)

In addition to other studios that Paradox Interactive owns, but who don't have the Paradox name.
Triumph Studios - Delft (Netherlands)
Harebrained Schemes - Seattle, Washington (USA)
Iceflake Studios - Tampere (Finland)
Playrion Gamestudio - Paris (France)
 
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Braindrift

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We're so happy about the warm and welcoming response to us joining in on the I:R project, thank you all for that, it means a lot to us!

  • How good and frequent is the communication between the 2 studios?
We've had great communication from day one and its only improved since then, we communicate on a daily basis. @Arheo have been giving us a lot of autonomy on the creative side, being involved just enough to make sure things align nicely. This has been a key thing as it allows us to work independently and efficient, and not bogging down the Stockholm team with additional management. Now in corona-times when most of us is still working from home, its almost unnoticeable that we have two teams working on different locations, everyone is just a video-conference call away.

  • Will you have cameo characters in the game?
I sure hope so, sooner or later :)

Psss, (whispers: anybody know a great route for extracting an espionage mission in Malmo?)
Crossing over the bridge from Denmark/Copenhagen is probably a bit tricky with all the border-checks and so on. I would recommend entering through Balkan -> Russia -> Finland, crossing the Finnish/Swedish border in Haparanda and make your way south along the coast by foot, bike and hitch-hiking. Once in Skåne county, you can just take a Pågatåg (train) and enter Malmö from the north.

Sure, but that's 6 ppl, and one of them (Lars ;* ) is probably just making coffee for everyone. I wouldn't expect anything to big.
Lars makes the greatest coffee though, coffee fueled development ftw!

I missed this video part at first viewing
Your mind isn't playing tricks on you, we edited in the you-tube vid after this DD was posted since the vid came up a while later. Sorry if we made you question your sanity.
 
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