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Paradox Convention This Week

January 18th, 2010 by Troy Goodfellow · 13 Comments · Paradox

For some reason I’ve been invited to a press junket to Stockholm to see what Paradox has planned for early 2010. I leave on Wednesday for a very quick trip, which I am dreading as much as I am looking forward to. This flight will probably kill me. Full disclosure: Paradox is paying for the air fare, hotel and some meals. I will blog some of the experience for Crispy Gamer, and there will probably be a large preview article.

As always, the real pleasure for me is meeting my colleagues in the gaming media, many of whom I only know as bylines, articles and twitter feeds. We American/Canadians will be drained, but I hope our Euro-peers can keep the party going.

The schedule is tight, and they have a lot they want to show. Other announcements have come dripping in as the “Convention” approaches. Here are some thoughts and questions I have going in:

Rise of Prussia – The next game in AGEOD’s historical series deals with the campaigns of Frederick the Great. It looks like it will follow the Napoleonic Campaigns model. There is one grand campaign and AGEOD is integrating an historical event system into the game. As fond as I am of the AGEOD wargame model, I wonder how often they can go to the same design well and keep the system fresh. I should probably install the Napoleon game on my netbook so I can reacquaint myself with the system before I interact with the new one.

Lead and Gold – This game from FatShark is a Team Fortress Western, I guess. Different classes, different modes of play, different maps. Looks like it could be goofy fun, and I love westerns. Since I’m not a shooter guy by any stretch of the imagination, I haven’t been following this game at all. If I get any hands on time, I expect to die over and over and over.

Mount & Blade: Warband – Taleworlds’ action/RPG is one of those truly great games that just never grabbed me for some reason. I see why other people like it and desperately want to myself. Just never takes for some reason. Warband is the multiplayer expansion that they are working on, but it also adds some political stuff – you can become a ruler or overlord over other players/NPCs. It will be cool to see if/how that works. This will be M&B’s next chance to win me over with its chivalrous charms.

Lionheart: King’s Crusade – Neocore’s first game was a Crusade themed war/strategy game a la Total War, and last year they released the mediocre King Arthur: The Role Playing Wargame. (I’ll probably revisit it sometime next month.) Richard is one of the most fascinating personalities in medieval history, and no game has really captured what made his Crusade such an interesting combination of bravado and lunacy. In any case, I am walking in with very low expectations here. The Neocore battle model has major issues, and King Arthur didn’t convince me that they had much in the way of strategy or story telling chops, either. But the great thing about low expectations is that I can be easily surprised.

Ship Simulator Extremes – I reviewed one of these Ship Simulator games once. Hated it. I find civilian flight sims boring, and these are civilian flight sims without the thrill of your engine going out and you plummeting to your death. But people do buy these – the same people who buy train sets and civilian flight sims, or at least they did when you could find such a thing. I mostly want to ask the people at VStep why they make these to begin with. As a man with my own peculiar interests and affections, I wonder what motivates others.

Victoria 2 – For most of you readers, this is the big one. I really like what I’ve been reading in the Developer’s Diaries over on the P’Dox forum, but, as Rob Zacny pointed out in TMA 47, the challenge here is making peace and economic development as interesting as war. Because the Victorian Age was about small wars for the most part, and limited peace and all that. It’s an age of invention and business, with a lot of domestic political strife. This was partly where Victoria 1 stumbled – it was a mess of numbers and data and very hard to love. Fingers crossed for a game as good as EU3 and Hearts of Iron 3. If this is another EU: Rome

Paradox has just announced the acquisition of Achtung Panzer: Kharkov 1943, a Ukrainian made wargame that can be played real time or in turns. This trailer isn’t very good at explaining how this actually plays, though the turn based movement could make this interesting for people like me who need wargames they can play with brain surgeons with little time.

Vainglory of Nations has also been confirmed as a late 2010 release, so it won’t clash with Victoria.


13 Comments so far ↓

  • Kalle

    Enjoy beautiful Sweden. See polar bears running in the streets.

  • Warren

    Have fun over there. Keep an open mind.

    Paradox has turned into quite the publisher.

  • Michael A.

    A pity this isn’t next week, as I will be passing through Stockholm then (though not on gaming related business).

    And don’t mind Kalle. Temperature forecast is only around -3 or so… positively tropical weather compared to what we’ve seen the past few weeks.

  • Gremmi

    “Full disclosure: Paradox is paying for the air fare, hotel and some meals.”

    Oh, so that’s what they’ve been up to. I spent hours waiting at that restaurant, woefully eating breadsticks, and now I found they’ve been off out jetsetting their new fancy around the world!

    I am a heartbroken man!

  • Tim James

    Mount & Blade is fun if you like the core game mechanic, charging into chumps with a lance. It is one of my favorite gaming devices, along with flanking WW2-era machineguns.

  • Warren

    Now, see, that’s kind of funny, Tim. Personally, I like the shooting at peeps while riding circles around them on the horse bits most. And on occasion, the charging into clumps with a lance parts, just for yucks and a change of pace.

    Just goes to show the engine can appeal too many types.

  • Tim James

    Warren, next you’re going to tell me you play Medieval 2 for the diplomacy instead of crashing heavy cavalry into a line of archers!

  • Nikolaj

    If Victoria 2 turns out like HoI3, I’m going to cry.

    Also, even though charging into chumps with a lance is fun, I find that Mount & Blade needs mods to really shine. Luckily, there are plenty of good ones to be found.

    Have a nice trip to Sweden. If you interview Johan for the podcast, could you please make it a video podcast, so you can include subtitles? :D

  • frags

    Troy, from the screenshots of Victoria 2, it looks like the core is based on the HoI 3 engine.

    Which I hope has been optimised for Victoria 2. That’s my only concern.

    No TMA, I is sad :(

    PS : Also Paradox, whens the new HoI 3 patch coming out.

  • Troy

    “No TMA, I is sad :(”

    What? TMA records on Monday nights. Finished it up at 9:30 Eastern. Should be edited and up as usual on Tuesday afternoon.

  • Sarkus

    Following up on what Frags said, I’d like to see you see if you can get them to say something about HOI3’s future. I’m more then a bit nervous about how fast the price has dropped and Johan has apparently decided to ignore the thread on QT3. Makes me wonder if they are going to quietly pretend it never happened or what.

  • Quinten

    Mount and Blade is a strategy game in my opinion, though with action RTS elements. I make this argument only because Tom Chick has touted that Brutal Legend is an RTS, and though I agree, it has less strategy elements than Mount and Blade. The fact they are adding diplomacy and politics makes me happy. I had a game where I became an almighty warlord who destroyed an entire kingdom, putting it under my command. Then everyone declared war and ripped my armies apart. To have a peaceful way out, other than the constant war, would be nice.

  • Warren

    Heh! Now even *I* am not THAT crazy, Tim!

    I play M2 to load the Third Age mod and have Dwarves hunker down and chop anything that dares to come fight them into small pieces.