Development Diary #3: The Bonsai Tree

Development Diary #3: The Bonsai Tree

  • 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

Doomdark

Design Director
Super Moderator
1 Badges
Apr 3, 2000
5.434
11.313
  • Paradox Order
Hi folks!

We interrupt the regular program for this short broadcast from the Game Director. That is, me. I was planning to talk about something completely different (and admittedly of more substance), but we decided to hold on off on that for a bit. Instead, bear with me as I wax slightly philosophical and delve into the twin personalities of Crusader Kings. Now, that might sound like a diagnosis of mental illness, but it’s actually a beautiful thing that makes the game unique. I often think of Crusader Kings as a potted plant. The pot is the strategy game and the plant is the role-playing aspects, and every time you play the game, the plant grows differently, pruned by player actions… like a Bonsai Tree.



The pot and the soil cannot be neglected, for the roots of the plant - the “story engine” - need to be contained and nurtured by sound rules and balanced mechanics. Strategy games provide fertile soil indeed for captivating drama through their most defining features; freedom of action and conflict. Engaging conflict among a multitude of players and AI actors is really the key to the success of Crusader Kings II, for it causes such amusing stories to emerge and grow.

It should come as no surprise, though, that hybrid games like this tend to attract two rather different kinds of players; those who seek domination through mental acuity and those who are mostly in it for the ride (and everything in between, of course.) This poses an interesting challenge for us, the developers, because we have to expand on the game in ways that will suit both types. As you know, we have wavered back and forth between almost pure RPG expansions like Way of Life and strategic expansions, like Conclave, but we can never seem to please everyone (which is, of course, why we love mods and modders so much!)

Is there a point to all this? Not really, but perhaps you can guess what kind the next expansion will be…

That’s all for now! There should be some actual revelations next time, so stay tuned. :)
 
  • 108
  • 63
  • 51
Reactions:

kittydecay

Regretable Usernames Inc.
71 Badges
Feb 27, 2014
136
355
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Knights of Honor
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Victoria 2
Interesting thoughts but this only makes me think of Mr Miyagi. Wax on, wax off....
 
  • 16
  • 2
  • 1
Reactions:

BrokenSky

Field Marshal
77 Badges
May 1, 2015
3.653
3.485
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Warlock 2: Wrath of the Nagas
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Knights of Pen and Paper 2
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Rome Gold
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Victoria 2
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
This is cause this is the closest Tuesday to 1st April isn't it?
 
  • 54
  • 2
Reactions:

nogluten

᛫ᛁᚾᚹᛟᚲᛖᚱ᛫ᛟᚠ᛫ᚦᛟᚢᚷᚺᛏᛊ᛫
89 Badges
Apr 18, 2013
211
381
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Crusader Kings Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Green Cities
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Tyranny - Bastards Wound
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Surviving Mars
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings III Referal
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Cities: Skylines - Campus
  • Stellaris: Megacorp
  • Cities: Skylines Industries
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Surviving Mars: First Colony Edition
  • Victoria 2
  • War of the Roses
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Humble Paradox Bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
This is a really nice dev diary, and from it I'm guessing the next expansion to be the 'story' expansions giving us more story elements and such.
 
  • 7
  • 1
Reactions:

Zarathustra_the

General
77 Badges
Nov 3, 2011
1.743
978
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • King Arthur II
  • The Kings Crusade
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Semper Fi
  • Naval War: Arctic Circle
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Magicka 2: Ice, Death and Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
Wait we were promised info on the patch because no diary last week... who do we need to support in a abdication faction to get some information!
 
  • 69
Reactions:

blackninja9939

Programmer
69 Badges
Aug 28, 2013
2.285
3.367
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • BATTLETECH
  • Surviving Mars
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Shadowrun Returns
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Imperator: Rome
  • Prison Architect
  • Mount & Blade: Warband
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
You managed to tell us literally nothing but still made me really want to know what the next dlc is gonna be lol
 
  • 22
  • 2
Reactions:

magnusvejby

Colonel
52 Badges
Mar 14, 2014
1.081
754
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2
  • The Showdown Effect
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • March of the Eagles
  • Magicka
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Darkest Hour
  • Dungeonland
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Prison Architect
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife Pre-Order
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Shadowrun: Hong Kong
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Humble Paradox Bundle
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Cities: Skylines
  • War of the Roses
  • Warlock: Master of the Arcane
A First Person RPG expansion?
 
  • 41
  • 1
Reactions:

Asiak

Lt. General
77 Badges
Nov 27, 2014
1.258
2.591
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Field Marshal
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Pillars of Eternity
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Digital Anniversary Edition
  • Stellaris: Leviathans Story Pack
  • Cities: Skylines - Natural Disasters
  • Cities: Skylines - Mass Transit
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • BATTLETECH
  • Surviving Mars
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Stellaris: Lithoids
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Deluxe edition
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall
  • Stellaris: Ancient Relics
  • Prison Architect
  • Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
  • Stellaris: Distant Stars
  • Cities: Skylines - Parklife
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • BATTLETECH - Digital Deluxe Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Stellaris: Humanoids Species Pack
  • Victoria 2
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Tyranny: Archon Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • Stellaris: Synthetic Dawn
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
Smells like a story / event generator system of some kind.
 
  • 2
  • 1
Reactions:

bontanel

Major
5 Badges
Mar 16, 2013
548
631
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Victoria 2
  • Stellaris Sign-up
Is this it? Nothing? Not even ONE screenshot of anything relevant?
 
  • 24
  • 19
Reactions:

Thrake

Inveterate Piggy Stabber
21 Badges
Jul 13, 2012
4.386
1.619
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Supreme Ruler: Cold War
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • King Arthur II
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Age of Wonders: Planetfall Sign Up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Fury
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • 500k Club
  • Warlock 2: The Exiled
  • Victoria 2
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
You managed to tell us literally nothing but still made me really want to know what the next dlc is gonna be lol
They want to please RP fans and fans of strategy. He mentions that Conclave was designed with strategic elements in mind, so next expansion will please RP fans. That's my guess. Disease/physician addition foes that way. Or maybe they'll blend some more strategy-oriented features to keep a balance? :p

… like a Bonsai Tree.
Hey, isn't that you have to make the Bonsai suffer to actually keep it tiny and cute? :eek:
 
Last edited:
  • 11
  • 2
Reactions:

sreckom92

Field Marshal
10 Badges
Dec 17, 2012
3.683
5.206
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Crusader Kings III: Royal Edition
  • 500k Club
So, a balance between role-play and new mechanics...
Something like Sons of Abraham?
 
  • 5
Reactions:

emperorj90

First Lieutenant
5 Badges
Oct 3, 2009
201
142
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • 500k Club
Cadet branches...
 
  • 42
  • 6
  • 4
Reactions:

Soyaman

Second Lieutenant
103 Badges
Aug 28, 2010
178
309
  • Stellaris - Path to Destruction bundle
  • King Arthur II
  • Majesty 2
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Semper Fi
  • Steel Division: Normand 44 - Second Wave
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • Age of Wonders III
  • Knights of Honor
  • Magicka
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Stellaris: Apocalypse
  • Crusader Kings II: Jade Dragon
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Cities: Skylines - Snowfall
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Cities in Motion
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis IV: Call to arms event
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
Martial Arts expansion?

Edit:
While we're getting them bonsai vibes, for you Paradox~
 
Last edited:
  • 4
  • 2
Reactions:

Arizal

Field Marshal
91 Badges
Aug 9, 2006
4.278
1.292
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Sengoku
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Victoria 2
  • Victoria 2: A House Divided
  • Victoria 2: Heart of Darkness
  • 500k Club
  • Cities: Skylines
  • Cities: Skylines Deluxe Edition
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV: Pre-order
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Cities: Skylines - After Dark
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Stellaris
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Stellaris: Galaxy Edition
  • Crusader Kings III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • Hearts of Iron II: Armageddon
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Deus Vult
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Divine Wind
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • For the Motherland
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Magicka
  • March of the Eagles
Hey, isn't that you have to make the Bonsai suffer to actually keep it tiny and cute?
Does that mean they will cut something out of CK2 in order to make place to something new? Still no clue what it could be.
 
  • 1
Reactions: