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Three Moves Ahead Episode 82: Chris King and more Victoria 2

September 16th, 2010 by Troy Goodfellow · 14 Comments · Podcast, Three Moves Ahead


Unavailable when we needed him, but still game for a show, Victoria 2’s lead designer Chris King joins Troy and Rob for a discussion of Marxist economic models, why they are so many rebels and why he bothered redesigning Vicky in the first place.

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14 Comments so far ↓

  • Sarkus

    I really enjoy the episodes where post-release a key designer comes on to discuss a game. It’s a nice “design notes” kind of experience, which is how I felt listening to this show. My only complaint with Vic2 at this point is that the first major post-release patch has taken this long, though I do understand why that choice was made. I do look forward to seeing what they’ve fixed, though the release next week is rather unfortunate timing in the world of strategy games. :-)

    Speaking of which, any particular reason why you are doing RUSE next week and putting the Civ5 off until the week after? Seems like Civ5 would be more timely next week, right after most of us have gotten time to play it.

    At any rate, keep up the good work. And have Tom on again soon as well, as long as he promises not to do that annoying “who wants a coffee?” thing. :-)

  • Jorune

    I’m thinking with CIV 5 being newly released, they want to spend a week playing it before passing judgement. And with Ruse having been out a week, they’ve played it long enough to chat it up.


  • Kalle

    Chris King has a horrible Swedish accent.

  • Chris King

    I’ve only lived in Sweden for 4 years so I need to work on my accent.

  • Ingenjören

    @Chris King: That is perhaps the cruelest comment pwning I have ever seen.

  • Troy


    Civ 5 will have been out a week when we talk about it and our special guest might not have a press build. Civ might be more timely the day it comes out, but we would rather make sure everyone has had a lot of experience with it.

  • Chris


    New guy here. I just listened to a bunch of old episodes, including the two Starcraft 2 episodes. Have the TMA guys done anything on the idea of games as spectator sports? I’ve been watching the GSL over on GomTV (which I highly recommend checking out, the pro game scene is incredible), and I know some TeamLiquid forum dwellers think that Blizzard themselves should be pushing it as a spectator sport more.

    Any thoughts?

  • Quinten

    I think I would be more interested in Victoria 2 if I knew how well it simulated/modeled American politics in the Antebellum period. That is my favorite period of history, and I am interested in how they model it. If the south is seceding in the 1840’s, then possibly not well. I would find it interesting trying to keep the union together, but also trying to contain slavery during America’s expansion.
    Speaking of expansion, would scenarios be something introduced in an expansion pack? And could there be an earlier start date so I can play America during the Jacksonian Era?

  • Tom Chick

    OMG, Chris King! Best. Accent. Ever.

  • Kalle

    Tom: Yes, but it’s not Swedish enough!

  • Chris King

    Tom why where you there? It was 3 in the morning for me and I would of killed for a coffee.

  • Paul

    This is probably the only time in my life I’ve enjoyed talking about economic models.

    But we need more Swedish accent!

  • Strategy games and the grind of micromanagement « Matchsticks for my Eyes

    […] I’m in the midst of listening to this episode of strategy game podcast Three Moves Ahead, on which the lead designer of Paradox’s Victoria 2 is […]

  • Mind Elemental

    Now that I’ve finished listening to it (the trackback above was me), I can say, another nice podcast, guys! I haven’t played the full version, but had a lot of fun with Vicky 1. There were several points I particularly liked:

    1. When abstraction is a good idea (and when rivet counting is a bad idea). On paper, I like the idea of separate regional markets, with a cost to transport goods between them, as a way of modelling globalisation; the revolution in transportation, refrigeration, etc technology during the period would then reduce shipping costs and foster trade. But I can just imagine the utter hell that would result from a gameplay/micromanagement standpoint! Similarly, I found it interesting that including clergy in their historical proportions would have broken the in-game economies.

    2. On the other hand, I love the thought of being able to drill down into the game to follow the £££ as it circulates through the economy. And, together with the intricate modelling of demographics and politics, and the design philosophy that Rob discussed in his review, that made me think. In episode 68, Joe the Paradox PR rep made the comment that he pitches HOI3 not just to gamers, but also to history buffs, scholars, etc. interested in the subject matter. Has Paradox thought of pitching this game to non-gamers who are interested in an economics simulation, licensing it to people who want to make their own (contemporary?) politics/economics simulators, etc?

    3. I wonder if the gradual, incremental nature of changes in the world is a feature that makes Victoria 2 a better simulation than game…?