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February 5th, 2005 by Troy Goodfellow · No Comments · Uncategorized

Paradox Studios has announced that its next game will be a conversion of the classic boardgame Diplomacy. (See this entry for the place of this game in my grand theory of game design.)

This is good news. Though the games from Paradox have usually been just shy of greatness, there is a to be excited about in this announcement. First, diplomacy has always been a strong point of their game design so it makes sense that they should try a game named for it. Second, their acquisition of rights to the Diplomacy name being followed so quickly by an announcment that a game is on the way bodes well for the Advanced Squad Leader license, which they also own.

This would be the third PC game based on the board game. The first one (from Avalon Hill in 1984) was pretty crude and really designed for multiplayer. The second (from Hasbro in 1999) was roundly attacked for its terrible AI and wonky MP system. This means that there is a lot of experienced people around who have played or designed games based on the original board game.

The big worry, of course, is that the AI just won’t be able to make it work. As I noted yesterday, Paradox has a history of letting its computer opponents fall asleep and Diplomacy with a sleeping opponent would be a disaster.

Paradox is one of the only studios whose efforts I follow with bated breath, but its games are the ones I have the strongest love-hate relationships with. As in, I love the ideas but hate a lot of the execution (and day-zero patches). That said, I will be near the first in line to try Diplomacy when it comes out.


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