Paradox’s Runemaster Gets Video, Won’t Have Sidequests

Going on descriptions alone (because frankly, that’s about all we have to go on), Runemaster is one of the more intriguing games on the horizon. Paradox is billing it as a “dream” project, fusing vast Norse fantasy lands with grand strategy development savvy. Despite being a single-player RPG to the core, Runemaster’s reins are in the hands of Paradox Development Studio, aka they wot do Europa Universalis and Crusader Kings, among many others. Paradox revealed its existence – and little else – during Paradox Con earlier this year. And now? Oh, you had best prepare yourself, as you’re about to see… a very small smidgen sliver more.

The above retrospective video isn’t strictly about Runemaster, so if you’d rather skip past the bits where a studio dedicated to history waxes historian-with-a-minor-in-poetry about its own past, jump to around 4:40. There, you’ll find a few morsels of new Runemaster footage with a) actual characters and b) glowy building things (!!!).

Interestingly, Paradox claims the semi-procedurally generated saga will have no sidequests. That’s not to say that it’ll be hyper-linear, however. Far from it. Apparently everything – no matter how seemingly unrelated or tangential – will tie together and impact the main story. However, Paradox somewhat paradoxically also wants grand-strategy-level emergent storytelling to carry you through the whole thing. How’s that for ambition?

But then, this is the studio that’s made some of the most intricately complex (yet, once you weave your fingers between their gears, playable) games out there. These people know how to package up massive scale and deliver it in a working – if not exactly svelte – form factor. I’m pretty interested to find out exactly what that means for Runemaster. I don’t know enough about it to feel optimistic yet, but I’m certainly hopeful.


  1. BobbyDylan says:

    But still no news on HoI:4.

  2. Steven Hutton says:

    Paradox are great, I love them, but you know who’d really knock this game out of the park? I bet you do!


    • haafie says:

      Seeing how these two companies are working together on Pillars of Eternity…

      • Captain Joyless says:

        No, no no.

        Obsidian is a development studio. They are making Pillars of Eternity.

        Paradox Interactive is a publisher. They are publishing Pillars of Eternity.

        Paradox Development Studio is a development studio. It is not the same company as Paradox Interactive, though it is owned by PI. PDS are making Runemaster.

        Paradox Interactive is publishing Runemaster.

    • cpt_freakout says:

      You know, for some reason the joke made me think of a Paradox Kart Racer where you drive some baron from Castille and his only power, because he was born a MISGUIDED WARRIOR, is to ram other racers such as the big blue robot thing from Teleglitch and the little guys from Magicka (who have an unhealthy tendency for friendly fire in Kart Wars mode) out of the Battle of Waterloo track, making them fall straight into crossed cannon fire while Napoleon laughs and poses for some famous painting.

      • toxic avenger says:

        That’s what I’ve been missing my entire life: Paradox Kart Racing! Where else can you see Hitler take on Charles the Bald in a deathmatch slash racing match for the ages?

      • John Connor says:

        Give it split screen and I don’t see why this wouldn’t sell infinite copies.

    • Eggman says:

      From what we know about Runemaster, it seems like an apple-type hybrid, compared to Obsidian’s orange-type RPGs.

      • Keyrock says:

        It’s kind of hard to determine a single style of RPG that’s Obsidian-type any more. They’ve done Neverwinter Nights 2 (I’m assuming this is what you meant as “Obsidian-type RPG”), KotOR 2, Dungeon Siege 3, Alpha Protocol, and South Park: Stick of Truth. That’s a pretty wide array of RPGs.

        • Eggman says:

          When people get excited about Obsidian making a game (and I’m one of them), it’s generally because of the quality of storyline and characters that we have seen in most of their games.

          Runemaster’s ambition seems more focused on game systems: semi procedurally generated content, emergent gameplay inspired by their historical games. Of course it remains to seen if they can achieve this.

    • toxic avenger says:

      That’s exactly what I want. Another game by Obsidian. With loads of choices that have no consequence whatsoever. Don’t get me wrong, Obsidian games are rad, I just don’t understand if you know about Paradox games and have played them, how could the first thing you want is Obsidian to make the game? Paradox, by their nature, does something that no other developer can do, given their size and their target audience. I think the few of us, relatively speaking, should be jumping for joy that something new and different is being made for the likes of us.

  3. disperse says:

    I’m very excited about a CRPG that gets rid of side-quests and leans heavily on procedurally generated content. I’m a completionist with limited free time and stopped playing games like KOTOR and Mass Effect 2 when the quest log became a list of chores.

  4. Keyrock says:

    I’m definitely keeping an eye on this game.

  5. The Random One says:

    It’s never a very good sign when the preview image for a video for an upcoming game doesn’t show a screenshot of the view (and even less so when it’s a still image of a dev so unflattering it makes her look like she wants to steal my cereal).

    • Runs With Foxes says:

      If you watched the video or read the article you’d figure out it’s not a video specifically for Runemaster.

      • The Random One says:

        I had read the article (not watched the video at the time I wrote that, though).

        Ammended version: It’s not a very good sign when a video game’s reveal video is padded out with four minutes of retrospective. Nor is it when your six-minute retrospective video turns into a video game reveal four minutes in (although I admit the latter is rather common).

    • Josh W says:

      I thought the video was lovely myself, mainly people talking about how they really like making games, which is apparently worth more to me than news.

  6. Vinraith says:

    Apparently everything – no matter how seemingly unrelated or tangential – will tie together and impact the main story. However, Paradox somewhat paradoxically also wants grand-strategy-level emergent storytelling to carry you through the whole thing. How’s that for ambition?

    Totally incoherent?

    • Josh W says:

      I don’t think so, because all you need is to tie a set of variables very deeply into the game, so that you can’t kick a rock without hitting one. Then provide feedback according to what variables you are changing with your strategy, and give you endings based on that. That implementation might not be particularly good, but it’s definitely doable.