Imperator - Sunday Morning Design Corner - May 5th 2019

Imperator - Sunday Morning Design Corner - May 5th 2019

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Johan

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Hello!

It is been a rocky launch in some aspects, with part of the community unhappy. While it is not Hoi3, there are still issues, and I want to make sure you understand that we are looking at them.

Technical Issues
It looks like we have addressed most of the incompatibility issues, and that the game had heavy stuttering on some machines. It is something we will continue to fix immediately as they prop up.

Barebones Games
This is the feedback that I just do not understand. I took everything we had in Rome I, and made every mechanic deeper and more complex, while adding lots more new mechanics to make it into a game. This game was developed the same way we did EU4 and HOI2, the previous games I’ve been most satisfied with, where we used all the original gameplay code of the previous game, and just built upon that.

I’ve not cut away anything when making Imperator to add into future expansions, and every game-mechanic, and lots more, we had planned was in the original 1.0.

I have said before launch that this is the best game I’ve made, and I stand by it still. 1.0 of Imperator is the best 1.0 we have ever made of a game.

Missing UI / Bad UX
I agree that there are things in the UI that is suboptimal. Some screens are bigger than they could be, like the province interface, and some do not have all the information you may need. We are all working on improving that. Some UI I deemed as optional as we ran lower on time, and I wanted to prioritise the gameplay experience, so those will come in patches.
  • Multiplayer Chat will eventually come, but not in 1.1
  • Ledger, I regret cutting it, but there will be a first version in 1.1
  • Macrobuilding functionality: While we hadn’t planned diplomatic or army template macrobuilder for 1.0, we should have focused on having better interface for impact of what you are building.
  • Colonisation & Pop Management. It is functional, but not optimal. We definitely need to improve here.

Here is a small peek at a work in progress UI...

ux_tweak.png


Bad AI
Ironically, this is the game we spent the most resources in writing AI for, both in time and people. Instead of a basically reactive AI, that had no goal, and reusing old mechanics, we decided to write this AI as a new proactive system working with plans.

I understand that effort and intent is not the same as result, but AI was something we did focus a lot on.

Power / Abstracted Currencies
I understand that there is a part of the community that dislike abstracted currencies like prestige, monarch power, influence or political power, they do make it into games that are possible to balance and

In 1.1, with us adding stability, war exhaustion, aggressive expansion and tyranny to the price structure, you could make a really good mod, replacing all power costs with impacts on those attributes. Such a mod could also completely make the instant culture conversion of a pop cost tyranny instead, making it something you do not want to do in bulk, or you could make changing an idea cost 5 stability, which is not much in direct cost, but limits you in other ways.

The base game will continue to use these currencies, as they make for a better game, but I acknowledge that there is a group of people who dislike them, and prefer another experience, so we will improve the game, to be able to support it.

Lack of Flavor
There has been a lot of feedback of the game about how most countries just feel the same to play, and there are no variations. While most people appreciate that there is enough difference between settled tribes, migratory tribes, monarchies and republics, there is not much difference between the different tribes other than their starting location.

While we did not view this is a flaw, we hear you, and will add some distinct flavor to 1.1, some new to our games, and some familiar.

First of all, we are adding bonuses to each religion, so that different religions have different impacts. That in itself does not make the game suddenly great, but it gives a bit more flavor.

Secondly, we are diversifying Omens, so that different religions, or even different countries can have unique omens for them. We will go into more details on this soon.

Finally, we are adding something we call Heritages to countries. This is something they start with, which gives 2 bonuses and 1 drawback. There will be lots of “generic” heritages for countries, which depends on their geography, but we aim to add as many unique ones as possible in 1.1, and then keep adding them.

heritage.png



Percieved Shallowness
A lot of the things that happens has not been visible enough to the player, like you don’t see the things characters do with each other. This will be changed for 1.1, where you will be able to always see what a character is up to, besides just an ambition.

Another thing is that the game has been tuned so a lot of the mechanics is not required to think about, especially when you are a big power. I’ve seen a lot of comments about how great the game is when you play smaller, compared to Rome where you just rofl-stomp everything, and don’t have to care about any challenges. One thing we are reworking in 1.1, is how a characters “power base” is calculated, which is the amount of troops, holdings, wealth or territory he or she may hold, and that power base will have much more impact.


Content
It is hard to compare content between various games, but Imperator shipped with the same amount of events as Victoria 2 with expansions, and more than any game had at release besides CK2.

We also had more character interactions than CK2 at release, and a similar amount of diplomatic actions and relations as EU4 had at release.

Of course, when you have been playing games that have 5-10k of events,dozens upon dozens of unique systems, any new game, no matter how much content they have, will feel light.

We will continue to add more content at each update, with a nice chunk on focus on Italy in 1.1, but it will take years of expansions and patches until Imperator reaches

Cheers everyone, and tomorrow Trin Tragula will show off what we have been doing for 1.1.

/Johan
 

Johan

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@Johan I mostly wonder what stopped you guys from keeping this game in development somewhat longer, have these admitted missing features added to the base game and just charge €60- for the base game. Considering the reception of the base game, will that be something you will consider for next time?

You just can't delay games when they are a few months from release just because you get a few better ideas for a feature.

When 1.1/Pompey is ready to release, I'll have dozens of new ideas of how to tweak and improve the game..


I was kinda naive, in that I assumed that people would see the game we were selling, and judge it from that. We streamed enormously, and sent it to losts of youtubers, and were honest about what was in it.
 

Trin Tragula

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Rome should start with their own religion Dei Consentes instead of being just Hellenic.

Omen diversification in 1.1 some cases goes beyond one set per religion. Rome with Hellenic religion will not have the same Omens available to it as a a Greek Hellenic state :)
Likewise a Ptolemaic Egypt patronizing the Serapis cult will have different Omens than the Native Egyptian Dodokaskoinos to their south.
 

Trin Tragula

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Could you share an example?
I suppose that for example Jainism would lose their discipline / manpower omen, but what would they get in exchange?

I cannot right now but I might add one to the DD tomorrow :)
 

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@Johan why not make culture conversion cost tyrany yourself ? is there a negative side to it (gameplay wise)

because i think the game is better off with the current design
 

Johan

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What are the chances for a CK2 game rule menu in a future patch?.

No, I don't believe game rules are good, especially not in games that rely on a good AI.
 

Johan

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It would be so easy for the devs to say 'fuck it'; if thats how we are regarded and treated by 'some' elements of the community, then we'll step back from the level of interaction we have with them.

That has happened in the past, and will happen again.

We've lost many great developers through the years due to community comments.
 

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More building to have, aqueducts, baths, libraries to improve, civilization level, pops happiness and tech speed.

Buildings need to have a purpose though, and a benefit to be built.
 

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Thanks for the sunday morning post.

When you are doing stuff to the the macro builder don't forget to add info on map about what a building etc will actually DO. So if I have a market selected tell me oon each city what impact it will have.

That is the plan.

So for me personally I would say while this may be true (never played EU:R) its impossible to not compare I:R features to similar features in your other game. !

Understandable
 

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What about soundtrack DLC? Are you planning to continue this treacherous policy against PDX (already former) fans?

I'm not aware of it.
 

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Could you consider to have a limit on stocking mana ? like on Stellaris where ressources are capped ?

could always be added, but we are adding other things so you don't want to stockpile it.
 

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. Instead, different religions and cultures need to have different mechanical differences. But you don't have room for that because all of Imperator's mechanisms are abstracted into mana. There's no meat and bones, only timers.

Before EU4/CK2 expansions, religions all basically worked the same in our games.

We added unique mechanics for religions in expansions there, and adding that to future expansions could be doable in Imperator as well.
 

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TI have to add, it is perplexing to read that you are surprised with regards to porting everything from eu rome, a game from a decade ago, not being enough. I remember that the game did ok for Paradox, but wasn't a slam hit. .

We released another game 1.5 years after Rome called Victoria2 that sold about the same.

What would you think would happen if we ever made a sequel to that game and it was NOT the same features as the base?
 

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There seems to be a great deal of confusion, generally, in Johan's post. He expresses confusion as to why people are disappointed when Imperator improves on the aspects of Europa Universalis: Rome. This is the first I've ever heard it implied by Paradox that Imperator was even supposed to be a sequel to EU: Rome.

https://imperator.paradoxwikis.com/Imperator_Rome

https://forum.paradoxplaza.com/foru...development-diary-1-28th-of-may-2018.1101600/

lots of interviews around announcement etc

https://www.polygon.com/2018/5/19/17371952/imperator-rome-windows-pc
 

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Apart from suboptimal UI and pop management, what currently bugs me most is the lack of rather simple features like moving capital or shifting religion and culture (which is also very inconsistent across the country formation decisions), or the lack of proper subject overview / interactions, or the rather barebones macro builder (at least for buildings)..


Shifting religion/culture is nothing that is planned though.
 

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The weird design decisions like 1 warscore battles are also the main things that stick out as problematic to me as well,

That has been changed for 1.1.
 

Johan

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This, I think. It's been the same with other releases, and even other DLCs. You shouldn't take it personally.

I always do.
 

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I think the barebones feel in part lies in every country feeling exactly the same. There's nothing special about any of them where as in EUIV many of the starts are very different from each other.

And what is the difference you like between lets say Saxony and Aragon in EU4 that you can't find between Tartessos and Suionia in Imperator?

I'm genuinely curious.
 

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From what I've seen, people are not comparing Imperator: Rome to EU: Rome, they are comparing it to a fully DLC'd up version of EU4.

Which is a bit awkward, considering its not a sequel to eu4.