Europa Universalis IV - Development Diary #0 - Our Vision

Europa Universalis IV - Development Diary #0 - Our Vision

  • 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
Showing developer posts only. Show all posts in this thread.

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.079
28.900
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
Hello everybody, and welcome to the first development diary for Europa Universalis IV. We've been working on this project for quite a long time, with the first design dicussions starting not long after Divine Wind was released. During last year we spent a lot of time working on the design concepts, and late in 2011, the core team was assembled, and actual development started.

Earlier this month, we announced the game at Gamescom, and showed a minor subset of the features for the game. Today we start a series of weekly development diaries where we'll go into detail about the game. Our goal is to release an entry each friday, with breaks for holidays.

The subject of todays diary is 'Why do Europa Universalis IV and what is our goal with the game?'.





Why are we working on a sequel to Europa Universalis?

Well, first of all, the team we are all major fans of this series, with me personally being the core guy behind the original game, back in the late 90's, and the others being involved for quite a lot of time on it. We are a group who love playing Europa Universalis (EU), both in singleplayer and in multiplayer together, so you could definitely say it is the favorite series for the people working on Europa Universalis IV.

Originally EU1 started development in 1997, EU2 in 2001, EU3 started in 2005, so we were overdue a new take on the genre. During those years we've accumulated quite a lot of ideas, and discarded far more. We've come to understand what Europa Universalis is about for a lot of people, and what it means for ourselves.

One important thing though, is that while we had lots of cool and interesting ideas for EU, we simply couldn't just add them all in, as the game would become an unwieldly mass. EU has a complexity level we do not want to dramatically increase and while improving the interface can reduce it a fair bit, it is a very fine balance when it comes to designing a game.

So we took a step back and looked at what Europa Universalis was and what we wanted to do, and since its a new game, we had quite a large amount of flexibility. We could rewrite entire systems from scratch, and do some paradigm shifts. One such example is the complete removal of the old trade system with centers of trade, which was replaced with a new trade system with dynamic flow of trade. This flexibility has been a great benefit when it comes to designing the game.


So then, what is our goal with Europa Universalis IV?

In all our games we aim to have believable mechanics. When playing a Grand Strategy game it should be about immersion and suspension of disbelief. You should feel like you are playing a country in the time period. This is something all our EU games have managed to achieve, and it is very important that EU4 will have that same feeling.

The game should, as we mentioned earlier, not increase its complexity levels dramatically. We are happy with the level of complexity the Eu-series has, and want to keep it at this level.

One of the most important aspects of EU4 is to make an interface that is both easier to get into, and less hassle for an expert user. This a fine line to balance, and we are rather happy with the interfaces we have done so far for EU4.

We also want to make sure that players feel that this is a new game, that this is worth paying money for, and this comes from new mechanics and better interfaces. With detailed dev-diaries every week until release, we are rather confident that you'll all be excited about it when its finally ready.

So, now we've just talked about history and visions, I'll try to clarify a confusion about sandbox, historical events and plausibility. Europa Universalis have always been about historically plausible outcomes, as I mentioned over six years ago , and EU4 is no different in that regard. No determenism or full sandbox will ever be in the EU series. In EU3 we scrapped historical events and added lots and lots of system and mechanics to create more plausible gameplay. While we are continuing on that concept and keep making more plausible mechanics, we are in EU4 doing something new...

We'e adding in Dynamic Historical Events. We'll have more of those than we had historical in EU2, and together with a fair amount of other planned features, this is creating an even more immersive type of gameplay, where countries feel far more unique than they did in any previous game in the series. A 'dynamic historical event', or DHE for short, is an event that has some rather rigid triggers that they feel plausible to happen with, ie, no Spanish Bankruptcy just because its a certain date, but events that tie into mechanics rather heavily.

The example I want to talk about is War of the Roses for England. At any point of time, before 1500, if England lacks an heir, then the chain for War of the Roses can start, which creates a lot of interesting situations for the player, as well as giving unique historical immersion.

Next week we'll talk more about the map, so enjoy for now!


 

Attachments

Last edited by a moderator:

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.079
28.900
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
Did it (words about war of the roses) means what we can have some kind of noble civil war for the throne in anyone europian (or world) monarchy?
Or it will be just county specific events?
Are DHEs defined per country tag? If a different nation recreates the same exact prerequisite conditions for a similar war of the roses, will it never trigger because the country isn't England?
Country specific, all the texts are rather country specific, and they are unique for that country.
 

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.079
28.900
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.079
28.900
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
What if I build the Lancasters to be the great family of Europe instead of the Habsburgs? Some DHEs to reflect different historically plausible outcomes would be appreciaed! :)
There's LOTS of content for that already in EU.
 

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.079
28.900
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
Pomerania-Milan-Bavaria-Bohemia-Naples-others are still in Europe, though. Are we gonna see, at least, regional missions/events/DHE?
All Eu3 events are still in, and lots more coming. (of course, some random ones affecting mechanics not present anymore may have been cut.)
 

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.079
28.900
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
Not so thrilled, to be honest - the risk of having a "two-speed game", were you can play the Big Eight or Everything Else, seems to be quite big. Which, seeing as a lot of people stop playing majors after a while, could have troubling proportions. Of course, this wealth of conditionals and may-be is there for a reason. Will keep an eye on this.
where did we say only "big 8" would get lots of events?

I said 8 countries are important for us... their performance is what drives the eu experience.
 

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.079
28.900
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid

The Witch-King

Lord of the Nazgul and PDS Senior Content Designer
109 Badges
Apr 16, 2001
804
266
  • March of the Eagles
  • Gettysburg
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • Heir to the Throne
  • Impire
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • King Arthur II
  • Knights of Pen and Paper +1 Edition
  • Leviathan: Warships
  • Magicka
  • Majesty 2
  • Majesty 2 Collection
  • For the Motherland
  • Europa Universalis III Complete
  • Naval War: Arctic Circle
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Victoria: Revolutions
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Sengoku
  • Ship Simulator Extremes
  • Sword of the Stars
  • Sword of the Stars II
  • Supreme Ruler 2020
  • Hearts of Iron IV: La Resistance
  • Darkest Hour
  • Arsenal of Democracy
  • Cities in Motion
  • Cities in Motion 2
  • 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
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Deus Vult
  • Dungeonland
  • Europa Universalis III
  • Europa Universalis III: Chronicles
  • 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
Events are a lazy way to program a game. They are inherently boring. Can you state one game which relies as much on events as EU3? Can you imagine an event-driven Sim City for instance? Or any other game? I am not the game designer, but Paradox should rather work on programming mechanics that work and are not too complex. Simply creating an event chain is the easy, boring way out. Like someone else stated, events should just add some flavor, nothing else. Substituting them for mechanics is not a good prognosis for EU4.
But events ARE game mechanics. If you do look at it from a pure design perspective, every roll of the die is really an "event".

And as for the big historical events in EU3, they contribute greatly to create interesting situations and dilemmas for the player, as well as to give that epic, historical feel - the latter happens precisely because they are important and do affect the game world a lot. If they were only "flavor items" and not a real game mechanic, the game would be much less interesting in my opinion.
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
I would really like to learn more about Paradox staff, specifically, who writes events? Is it like a production process where one person comes up with story and cotenxt, and then a coder writes event based on that, or is it more like one person show? It would be great if Johan could tell us more about that.
Johan and Chris give some input on possible triggers and effects but I'm the one who's doing the research & texts and codes the events.
 

Johan

Studio Manager Paradox Tinto
Administrator
Super Moderator
Moderator
16 Badges
Dec 14, 1999
18.079
28.900
  • Diplomacy
  • Teleglitch: Die More Edition
  • War of the Roses
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Holy Knight (pre-order)
  • Europa Universalis III: Collection
  • Magicka: Wizard Wars Founder Wizard
  • Hearts of Iron IV Sign-up
  • Stellaris Sign-up
  • Imperator: Rome Sign Up
  • A Game of Dwarves
  • Lead and Gold
  • Magicka
  • Starvoid
I really don't like this "This is EUROPA Universalis" approach. There is no Asia Universalis game, no New World Universalis. EU is the only good grand strategy game that covers those nations in this time period and it's annoying when people come and dismiss people who are worried about non-European nations.
Sorry, but this is the game-series I've designed and worked on for over 15 years now.. It is intended to be europa universalis.
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
Which is fine until you find yourself always facing the partition of Burgundy 30 years into the game, thus making it practically impossible to play Burgundy.
That was how events worked in EU2 - not in EU4. Though we use a lot of ideas from EU2 all events have completely new triggers and effects. These events are meant to give you some national flavor - not alter your game.
 

Captain Gars

Lead AI Programmer
Super Moderator
4 Badges
Oct 4, 2010
5.887
902
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Sengoku
  • 500k Club
  • Paradox Order
Which is very vague, especially with other bits of information like 'historical events guide you' or 'witness history coming to life', of course.
'history coming to life' is more about making your present situation feel more interesting than railroading.