Developer Diary 3 – Design Philosophy

Sarmatia1871

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POP is a unit of population. Has a class, religion, culture, militancy (how angry it is) Conciousness (how much it understands its place in the world, ideology and issues. It also has money, needs it will buy and a tax rate it will pay. Basically the POP is the most basic unit in Victoria 2.

Do Vicky 2 pops have sizes as well for the number of people they're supposed to represent, or has that been scrapped...?
 

King

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No Crimean War!? No Opium War?! :( Now i'm sad.

no hard coded Crimean War and No hardcoded Opium War. So no need to read the event files to find out when you will end up at war and thus plan your game accordingly.
 

darkfloppy

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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

spanishforumapproval250.png
 

ashandresash

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A POP automatic promotion player addressed... wow, that's really amazing! I really love this Paradox style, hearing community pleas ;)

As split is not an option (logical, if POP promotion/demotion is not playermade), I assume there's nomore the 99,999 size limit.

P.S. Thanks for choosing Spain for today screenshot. It looks great.
 

Gwalcmai

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a classic:
spain has too few provinces!!! :mad:
:p

Screw the number of provinces, where's the Sistema Central? It's all smooth terrain north and west of Madrid.

Edit: although that does tie into the somewhat unimpressive amount of provinces there. With just one terrain type per province, it's sort of hard to model a biggish mountain chain running along the borders of provinces made up predominantly of plains.
 
Last edited:

Alfred Packer

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no hard coded Crimean War and No hardcoded Opium War. So no need to read the event files to find out when you will end up at war and thus plan your game accordingly.

I'm pretty happy about this. I always thought the hard-coded events firing at certain dates usually stopped making sense within the first few decades of a game.

For me, the often irrational forced events made the game feel, somehow, less historical, so I like the "new" path Paradox has taken with EU3, HOI3 and now Vicky2.
 

Sute]{h

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No Crimean War!? No Opium War?! :( Now i'm sad.
I guess you could just start one. This just means no scripted war. It doesn't mean you are unable to declared war. For all we know there might even be a decision called "The Crimean War" which starts a scripted war. The point being that by using decisions the players can see, what they need to make an event fire. Also it ensures that the war only happens when it makes sense.
 

Davisx3m

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King

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Does it mean that POPs have fixed size (sort of like Rome's semi-POPs) and splitting is replaced by spawning new POP instead?

BTW, very informative diary.
Do you plan to use VIP project for the source of both normal and flavor events?

No POPs don't have a fixed size.

No we don't plan to use VIP as a source for events. Mainly because these are conceptualised around the Victoria game engine, Victoria 2 is not the same.
 

FOARP

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no hard coded Crimean War and No hardcoded Opium War. So no need to read the event files to find out when you will end up at war and thus plan your game accordingly.

I have no idea why anyone should think that the way these occurred in-game was 'historical'. The Crimean was a war <i>in the Crimea</i> - it makes absolutely no sense for the Anglo-French to suddenly ally (when they may well have been close to war against each other due to events elsewhere) and invade Russia via the Crimea - a part of Russia the loss of which does not cause an AI-controlled Russia to surrender. What usually happened in Vicky 1 was the British and French would carry out a mass invasion of Russia, win the war, and then annex Russian territory. Historical? Hardly. The same goes for the Opium Wars - although there probably should be a 'Looting of the Summer Palace' colour event which fires if British or French troops ever capture Beijing.
 

unmerged(71032)

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Sute]{h;10446906 said:
I guess you could just start one. This just means no scripted war. It doesn't mean you are unable to declared war. For all we know there might even be a decision called "The Crimean War" which starts a scripted war. The point being that by using decisions the players can see, what they need to make an event fire. Also it ensures that the war only happens when it makes sense.

Not neccessarily - it only ensures that only player that might be interested in historical outcome of the game is a human. AI, without the events guiding it, is going to simply blob and won't "feel" historical for player observing it from afar.

It's not a problem of events per se - it's a problem of proper triggers. Just look at the Magna Mundi mod for EU3 and what it achieved for adding historical feeling in very much sandbox game that EU3 is.

So I don't really see a reason to drop all those historical events from the game - they should go only, if the reasonably flexible triggers can't be found. ;) You just have to make very detailed study what were the real reasons for certain event to fire in our history, then pass it on the game language. Some of them can be added as decisions, some as missions - all to make game feeling less generic for various countries.
 

Dietmar1982

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Didn't it bug you that those events could happen compeletely irregardless of how you had played so far?
In a perfect world, the game would be complex enough to simulate all the things that lead history to happen as it did.
In such a game the result might not be what happened in history in all cases but it would resemble it much more closely than what I'm seeing in EU3.
I like playing EU3 from time to time, more so with the MM mod, but it's still a great game.

But at other times i want to relive history much more than what is possible in EU3.
When i play the VIP mod, or the AGCEEP one. It's much more than a game to me, it's like I dive down and play inside one or all of my history books.

I just want it to be possible to do a mod like VIP or AGCEEP. Which is not possible as it is now.

To be honest i don't understand why we can't have the date trigger.
But I guess I have to accept it, because it sure looks like paradox has made up their minds long ago.
 

extox

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sounds good =) hard coded events annoy me. granted they add flavor but they can ruin your game when they fire in a completely unrealistic fashion. All i can ask for is enough polish to play the game out of the box(download) and not have to wait for a series of patches.

Victoria 2, wooohoooo!
 

ashandresash

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So, we'll have yearly Nobel Prizes? Good point, sir. :)
 

Taylor

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The hardcoded events can be removed IMO, just as long as the game doesn't become too generic because of it. I hope they'll pay close attention to that.
 

OHgamer

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There might not be a historical start the crimean war event, but if Russia takes a decision to try to secure dominance over the Turkish Straits, and the British and French have a decision regarding whether to contest that Russian attempt by helping the Turks, the result is what happened in history, a war between Russia and the West over the territorial integrity of the Ottoman core lands.

It might happen a few years earlier, or a few years later than 1853, but so long as the general conditions exist that led to the historical Crimean War in the first place, then a reasonable approximation for in game play can result.

Then once the modders get a better understanding of the system used in V2, the potential will most likely exist for creating end-of-war scenarios and, if the conditions are right, the post-war geopolicial impact can then be modelled from there (things like Romanian unification movement of the late 1850s for example, could become viable if Russia is defeated in its attempt to secure hegemony in the Turkish Straits).

So long as we don't fetishize exact dates of things happening, the system of decisions as elaborated in HoI3 is actually quite capable at replication large macro-scale episodes such as the Crimean War without giving the human player the advantage of being able to prepare for it happening within a certain specific period of time, thus helping to level the playing field between player and AI.
 
Last edited:

MAHak

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I've noticed that some of the provinces from the two screen shots of Spain and Sweden, have fields and forest on them. Is this just because the map is incomplete or a hint that they will a "grain" and "timber" RGO?