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King

Part Time Game Designer
11 Badges
Dec 7, 2001
12.504
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  • Crusader Kings II
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Sengoku
  • Victoria 2
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Hearts of Iron II: Beta
  • Victoria 2 Beta
Well we’ve done a couple of introductory Developer Dairies but let’s do something with a bit more meat in it. Today let’s talk about the overall goal of the Victoria design. Plus, to please the crowd, we’ll also mention a little bit about events, or perhaps not, but we’ll mention them anyway.

At its core we are seeking to set up a sandbox game. Victoria 2 is all about changing history as well as making it. So from that point of view you are not going to see the following happen: It is 1914 and you are Germany. You and your French and Russian allies have together all but destroyed Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. However, that matters not because you are now allied with Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire in a life or death struggle with Russia and France. Basically, we are looking to remove the hard coded steering out of the game and allow the player more freedom.

At the same time this is a historical game, so instead of adding in hard coded scripts to steer a country, we add game mechanics that place historical constraints on your freedom of action. Let’s take Russia here as a very good example of a country that was considered by many to be overpowered in Victoria and I’ll talk a little bit about what we mean here. First off is POP promotion; it is going to be automatic. Now there are various things you as a player can do to influence it and I will return to this subject in future developer diaries, but for now just take my word for it. The population of Russia has lower literacy than Western European powers; because of this they are less aware of opportunities than Western European POPs. This in turn makes them less likely to promote. We are trying to model Russia’s relative backwardness in the period, and at the same time giving means for the player to overcome them.

We’ve also mentioned somewhere that we have bureaucrat POPs who represent the administration. However, absolute monarchies have aristocrats who will serve in the administration (and unlike bureaucrats do it free of charge), so the classic Victoria no brainer tactic of immediate reform is no longer so obvious. If you are a more backward state where the aristocracy forms a pillar of the state, you can’t simply just ditch them immediately; you need to encourage a bureaucracy first. But wait, you are too busy encouraging a working class because you are afraid of economic backwardness... Well, you are going to need to balance these things. There are of course more things than this but if we revealed everything now there wouldn’t be anything left for future developer diaries.

Well, that’s the grand scope covered but there is another key element that shaped our design choices. Victoria is a very different animal than Hearts of Iron 3. It is more than simply just painting the map your colour. It is about politics and economics. You can have a lot of fun with Victoria without ever starting a war, and we wanted to keep this element as well as the depth (even expand on it where we could). Victoria 2 is a sequel to Victoria so we want those of you who enjoyed Victoria to enjoy this. However, we also have two other goals: Those who did not enjoy Victoria should enjoy Victoria 2, and those who never played Victoria should also have fun with Victoria 2. So, those of you who did play and enjoy Victoria should feel a certain element of familiarity with the game, while for those of you who didn’t enjoy Victoria we hope that we have removed the things that stopped you playing.

The final part of our design philosophy is the interface. To be kind to Victoria, we could say that the interface did not win many awards. So, with the Victoria 2 we are putting a lot of thought into how information is displayed. Now, I know some our recent interface efforts have lead to accusations of “dumbing down” by the fan base, but, trust me on this one, with a good interface you can actually add complexity into a game without turning it into a struggle to just get on with playing the damn game.

I suppose I should finish with events. On the one hand we have promised thousands of events and on the other hand we are kind of hinting that events do not feature heavily in our plans. Well, rigid historical events forcing the game down a certain path are not on the agenda; we don’t want people to have to read through the event files and learn to decode them just to be able to play the game. On the other hand, events in themselves do add something to a game. If you get events for Brazil then you get the feeling you are playing Brazil and not generic South American Country A. What Victoria had was two classes of event; major and flavour. We are looking to shunt the major events in decisions and make them more generic, thus if things are right in Japan you will get the Meji Restoration, but you can play another uncivilised country and get the same effect. The flavour events remain. Now, overall a point of prestige here or a small increase in CON there is not going to make or break your game, but this is your country that made a huge scientific breakthrough and won a noble prize this year and a not generic country. Thus, we are trying to balance the goal of a sand box game while trying to provide the immersion of playing a particular country.

Well, that ends this weeks developer diary, next week I’ll start talking about how we are going to make this a reality.

P.S. here is a screenshot of something other than Sweden
 

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Auto POP promotion is awesome! No longer having to go thru that will save a good chunk of time!Hopefully manual promotion is still in, for some of the dumb dumb countries!

Good to know about the bureaucrats role and how the aristocrats might be useful for a change :)
 
Automatic POP promotion, that's a dream come true.:) But is automatic POP splitting implemented too?
 
I am a pain in this ass, so their was lots of great stuff on this week's DD, but i'll talk about the one thing I am worried about. :D

At its core we are seeking to set up a sandbox game. Victoria 2 is all about changing history as well as making it. So from that point of view you are not going to see the following happen: It is 1914 and you are Germany. You and your French and Russian allies have together all but destroyed Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire. However, that matters not because you are now allied with Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire in a life or death struggle with Russia and France. Basically, we are looking to remove the hard coded steering out of the game and allow the player more freedom.

Hem... Sand box game... Like in EU III, Rome and HoI3 ?

Less hard coded events may be good... But not too much...

Basically, like the other PI latest games, you plan to give players an initial settings and then we are free ?
 
Looks good so far. I particularly like the new idea behind the promotion system. Probably makes it much more reasonable.

I am a bit worried about the sandboy mode too, it may make me buy the game only after something like VIP has been sufficiently developed to get a more plausible historical development.
 
Again, let me just say that i like the map.
But the texture doesn't seems a little to green for Spain in my opinion.
The removal of control over promotions, sounds great and i hope/expect that will be carried over to some of the other areas in the game.

I can't wait to find out what you've done about splitting pops. I hope you changed the way productivity is calculated so that you won't need to split pops, unless you want them to work two different places.

I also like the topbar colour and style, even though it must be nowhere near completed.

taking what you say about flavour events into consideration it sounds like it's possible to trigger events on a specific date, if one want's it to.
Is that right?
 
a classic:
spain has too few provinces!!! :mad:
:p
lovely diary here. :)
 
Basically, like the other PI latest games, you plan to give players an initial settings and then we are free ?

Yeah..

Of course there's things like American Civil War, birth of socialism, and the liberal revolution, and those will happen in Victoria2.

But we've seen that our fans here do not want hardcoded events, so we cater to the community.
 
Yeah..

Of course there's things like American Civil War, birth of socialism, and the liberal revolution, and those will happen in Victoria2.

But we've seen that our fans here do not want hardcoded events, so we cater to the community.
So is that a yes to the date trigger?
 
I think that in Victoria more so than the other titles with the exception of EU2. Historical major events were what made certain nation fun to play eg: Texas, Oranje and others. Personally I would prefer the Major events to be implemented but to have an option to disable them in the options before starting the game. Sort of like how in AGCEEP on EU2 you could choose whther to impliment the German and Italian unification events. I am unsure how much extra work the coding to apply and disable events would be but I would think that with Vic: Rev you have akll the research for major events already mapped out.....
 
Auto-promotion....hmmm....are we talking no direct player input on POP promotion whatsoever and leaving it to the AI?

Im not sure how I feel about that a) because I like to guide my POPs personally to those higher classes & productivity, b) what about soldiers in war time or whatever, is the AI going to choose to covert POPs in my most profitable factory rather than some farmers in a backwater farm? and c) the AI in Ricky was known to make some wacky decisions...ie- build another glass factory, you have deleted the last 5 attempts to build one, so lets try another!?! and then its 1920 and you really want that tank factory...which the AI finally builds, in one of your lowest POP provinces etc etc etc

I think Id at least like the option to keep POP promotion/demotion under player control if desired.
 
Auto-promotion....hmmm....are we talking no direct player input on POP promotion whatsoever and leaving it to the AI?

Im not sure how I feel about that a) because I like to guide my POPs personally to those higher classes & productivity, b) what about soldiers in war time or whatever, is the AI going to choose to covert POPs in my most profitable factory rather than some farmers in a backwater farm? and c) the AI in Ricky was known to make some wacky decisions...ie- build another glass factory, you have deleted the last 5 attempts to build one, so lets try another!?! and then its 1920 and you really want that tank factory...which the AI finally builds, in one of your lowest POP provinces etc etc etc

I think Id at least like the option to keep POP promotion/demotion under player control if desired.

Did we say AI control?