Epic Cartography: Magna Mundi

By Alec Meer on November 30th, 2011 at 2:21 pm.

It was either this or a picture of a map

Magna Mundi sounds like a chewy candy bar from 1980s to my ignorant ears, but no synthetic toffee substitute here: it’s an impending grand strategy game from Paradox, based on the Europa Universalis III engine. ‘Grand’ is not a word bandied about casually, for Mega Munchies boasts no less than 400 playable nations politicking and warring across 300 years. One of them had better be Wales. The game’s due for release early next year, but a closed beta will usher lucky applicants through its Epic Door Of History next month.

But before you can reach lucky applicant status, you must reach applicant status, which you can achieve by popping over here and telling Paradox horrifyingly private details such as when you lost your virginity, your mother’s home telephone number and whether you’ve ever killed an animal. Oh, wait, sorry, I’m thinking of something else. This one just wants name, email and system specs. You also need to sign up for the Paradox forums, mind.

Magna Mundi footagey stuff below, too.

More details and a rather brave choice of font can be found over on the official Manga Mundi website.

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30 Comments »

  1. sneetch says:

    You can be Wales but far, far more importantly you can be Connacht!

  2. Jajusha says:

    When is the second expansion for it coming out?

    • caddyB says:

      ’cause that’s when it will be playable?

    • Vinraith says:

      It’s built on top of EU3, which has already had 4.

    • killias2 says:

      It’s actually not an expansion or even technically a sequel to EU3. It’s based on the EU3 engine and it is certainly a… relative of sorts. However, it’s from a different team with a different philosophy of gameplay. Generally speaking, it’s much more complex than EU3 and attempts to model history more closely. It’s based on a mod of EU3, but it goes much deeper with its changes to EU3.

      This game will stand alone, and further EU sequels and expansions will neither require it nor be built on top of its approach.

    • Vinraith says:

      To further clarify my own point (and killias’ as well) Magna Mundi started life as an EU3 mod. Like For the Glory and a number of HOI-based projects before it (like Arsenal of Democracy) this is a group that has turned their mod into a complete stand-alone title, which Paradox is publishing.

    • killias2 says:

      Sorry if I misinterpreted your comment Vinraith, but I just wanted the info. about this game to be as clear as possible. I feel like most people have no idea what it is, and the few people who do generally assume it is an expansion pack to EU, a rip-off of EU, or the next EU game.

      Again, they need a better team for this game to get the word out. Not only do more people need to know about it, but they also need to do a better job of differentiating MM from EU3 while still calling upon the EU legacy.

  3. westyfield says:

    Nice flag you’ve got there, Huanca.

  4. Yog-Sothoth says:

    I want to play as California. I am all about having a bear on my flag. Also, the massive agricultural advantage.

    • PJ says:

      You are thinking Victoria, then. :)

    • McCool says:

      Yaroslavl have a bear on their flag! A bear holding an axe!!! Only problem is their country consists entirely of deep Russian woodland, with more bears than people. But the great axed bear shall rise, and cast it’s shadow over Europe (can you tell who I’m playing as in EU3 at the moment?).

  5. Romtos says:

    Paradox’s line-up is already impressive in depth, but this game really seems to want to go a step further.

    Also, I’m happy to see this game gets some coverage.

  6. killias2 says:

    To be fair, this actually isn’t being developed by Paradox. It is being developed by the mod team that made the excellent Magna Mundi mod for EUIII. It actually sounds amazing, and I’m liking forward to it more than any of the other impending Paradox releases. Don’t get me wrong, Crusader Kings 2 looks good, and so does A House Subsided. However, I haven’t been jazzed about some other releases lately. As such, the only definite buy is Magna Mundi.

  7. kikito says:

    I like the music.

  8. nimzy says:

    This brings to mind memories of a recent PC Gamer op-ed which mentions Paradox’s recent Sengoku.

    “Take Sengoku, a game of dynasty building in feudal Japan: three-quarters of the screen are given over to a map, but the real battlefield is one of family ties and feudal obligations. Territory is just a way of keeping score, yet the map dominates the display while crucial information is confined to a series of cramped, unhelpful windows. In a game all about lineage and lieges, Sengoku doesn’t include a single family tree, nor an easy way to see who owns what on the main map.”

    Magna Mundi was a step in the right direction when it was just a mod for EUIII. Now that they’re getting to try their hand at a full game, perhaps they’ll do us one better.

  9. kud13 says:

    it offers pretty much the same lineup as EUII in terms of countries. I guess i’ll have to play Lithuania again untill Zaporozhie emerges from the Steppes to become a power….

  10. zimbardeux says:

    I’m excited by it. Hopefully it will be going in a different direction with the horde nations than what EUIII went with in Divine Wind.

    Also, I would think it would be hard to introduce that many new nations to a historically based game outside of non-historical but plausible nations.

  11. HannibalBarca says:

    As a long-time fan of Paradox, I must express the deep trepidation that I have regarding this upcoming “game”. Keeping track of the development diaries reveals a truly baffling amount of “feature creep”, for lack of a better word; the sort of stuff that cannot possibly be correctly implemented without truly Herculean feats of quality control and testing, which has never really been a strong point of Paradox or its satellite developers. Add onto this the nightmarish complicated-looking interface, the nature of the original Magna Mundi mod being somewhat punishing to a player that tries to do, well, anything and the fact that ubik, who’s in charge of this monstrosity, is a bit of a nutter, and you have what I humbly consider to be a recipe for impending disaster.

    Just my vitriolic two cents.

    • killias2 says:

      I agree with you to some extent. Ubik is sort of crazy, and he really needs to hire someone or let someone else be the face of the game. He is just too acerbic to play that kind of role.

      That said, MM the mod was fantastic, and I’m really excited about a lot of the unique features this game will have. I do think there is a high chance that it will be unbalanced at launch, but the team is made up entirely of hardcore EU fans. Basically, I think MM the Game will appeal to those who really want to get into the nitty, gritty of early modern state policy-making, but it will not appeal to those who like more streamlined, easy-to-learn-but-hard-to-master strategic games.

    • HannibalBarca says:

      I agree with you that the game will be fascinating _if it works_, but that’s what I have problems with. I cannot honestly believe that the enormous amount of features that they are promising in the Dev Diaries will be able to function properly with each other without a looooong cycle of bug fixes, patches, and (god forbid) the classic Paradox model of patches-as-expansions. And while the Magna Mundi mod was fun in its own way, I was just as often insanely frustrated with it, and getting an event like piracy was enough to make me quit the game in frustration, because a lot of the time the game is just unrealistically harsh and unfair to the player. And while this may be “accurate”, in the sense that state-building in the early modern era wasn’t easy or fun, it just doesn’t strike me as good or appealing game design.

    • killias2 says:

      Yeah, I can understand your hesitance. I just hope they pull it off…. if they do, it really could be the best game of its type ever made.

      If not, yeah, it’ll be hard to play MM over the EU3 games and its other Paradox cousins.

    • mike2R says:

      I’m actually pretty optimistic. Admittedly in part just because I really really want this game to be great, but also as a long term user of the mod, I have a deal of faith in the team.

      There are going to be bugs and balance issues, probably quite serious ones, that is unavoidable I would assume. But I don’t think the actual core features will be unworkable. The mod is fiendishly complex in places, and it has a number of usability problems due to cramming so much stuff in via the limited access available to modders, but all the systems they have put in place have always worked. With years of experience doing this for the mod, I don’t think ubik will have bitten off more than he can chew for the game.

      Even if it is perfect it will still be a niche game, even within strategy games. The philosophy has always been pretty brutal: things will go wrong, often badly wrong, in ways that aren’t really the player’s fault. Having watched a speech from Sid Meier about how you should never place a player in a position where you are destroying what he has just built up, or how you should coddle the player’s perception bias when it comes to die roles going against him, I realise just how far outside the mainstream MM’s design really is.

      I like that in my strategy games. For things like RPGs I’m fully on board with the whole mainstream illusion of challenge thing; I want to spend a few dozen hours romping around feeling awesome, I don’t want to be repeatedly brutally slaughtered by a bunch of pixels. But when it comes to strategy, I like my games to HURT.

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    Maltose says:

    Could that UI be any noisier and more confusing? Sure, it looks great with the squiggly fonts and statues and stuff, but there’s something to be said for a modern, minimalist look that only shows the important information.

  13. pipman3000 says:

    can’t wait to get hit with negative events every second because ubik can’t stand the player being successful at anything :D

    FRAMED!!!

  14. inawarminister says:

    I really do hope there’ll be ACCURATE South east asia in MM… Unlike the travesty that the vanilla is (Seriously? Atjeh has all the Sumatra? Which is all Muslim in the 14th century? And Majapahit doesn’t exist? And the whole Kalimantan is owned by Brunei? And Ternate/Tidore IS NOT THERE…. /shoot self)

    (Mind you, I haven’t played any MM, since I just play EU3 from… 3 months ago, and there is no MM for DW… :/)
    Anyway, hopefully it’ll be at least half as accurate as MEIOU… There’s nothing like taking advantage of the tag console command and taking arses as Islamised Minangkabaus and newly-restored Granada! F U Castille! :P