Posts Tagged ‘Paradox’

Simulated Urban Area – Cities: Skylines Announced

A city but inside a computer, created from calculations.

The Cities in Motion games provided a very specific challenge: some chuffing great fool has built a city all higgledy-piggledy and now you need to somehow smoosh a functional public transportation network between their many mistakes. Cities are big, sprawling, ancient, and wonderful messes that we must somehow wrangle, we uneasily negotiate with, and we try to make work. Building a city from scratch, getting to plan for efficiency, almost seems like cheating.

That’s what Cities in Motion creator Colossal Order will offer in their next game, Cities: Skylines. It’ll have players build entire urban areas from the ground-up, like some sort of simulated city.

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Expert Speech Skill: Pillars Of Eternity Interview Part 2

In the second and final part of a conversation with Josh Sawyer of Obsidian (part one), we discuss how the design of Pillars of Eternity differs from Fallout: New Vegas. That involves a discussion of New Vegas’ post-release support, official and otherwise, and the pros and cons of traditional RPG systems. Of particular note – why Pillars of Eternity does not have a Speech skill, or any other skill of that sort.

With contributions from executive producer Brandon Adler, we also discuss the role of Paradox as publisher and the benefits of digital distribution, and end with a tribute to nineties RPG, Darklands.

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Freedom And Fantasy: Pillars Of Eternity Interview

Pillars of Eternity was, briefly, gaming’s most successful Kickstarter, at least in terms of funds raised. Like many crowdfunded games, particularly in the early days, it’s a project driven partly by nostalgia. A party-based fantasy RPG in the style of Baldur’s Gate and the other Infinity Engine D&D games, it has a strong heritage to live up to. Obsidian’s Josh Sawyer is the director of the game and I spoke to him late last week about theology, flagellant monks, freedom from licensing and respecting player’s choices. We also talked about his desire to make a historical RPG and his previous work, particularly the design of Fallout: New Vegas.

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Spellcasting S-E-Q-U-E-L: Magicka 2 Announced

Wizard Wars has been scratching my mischief and magic itch for the past few months, but that doesn’t diminish my delight at the prospect of a full-blown Magicka sequel. Coming to PS4 as well as PC, the game will contain four player co-op, a story-based campaign and ‘relationship-testing friendly fire’. Paradox apparently have each of their studios working on a PS4 game (presumably for PC as well), which might well mean the debut of one of their grand strategy titles on a console. Stranger things have happened. Like that time a wizard accidentally exploded your cat.

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Death Is Cheap: Teleglitch Updates, On Sale

I don’t normally post about patches and I don’t often post when a single game goes on sale. Teleglitch is an exception though, particularly when the update is as beefy as the one that just landed. As well as tweaking the strength of various weapons and the difficulty of some levels, the patch adds an arena mode, which contains four chapters of challenges that provide specific load-outs and waves of enemies to destroy. Teleglitch is what happens when Dark Souls takes its training wheels off so expect those arenas to reach out of your monitor and slap you across the face. The game is currently discounted in a week-long Steam sale, which puts the price at £3.06. Here’s wot we all thought about it.

Into The East: Crusader Kings II – Rajas Of India

Rajas Of India is the next gargantuan expansion for 2012-2013’s best strategy game, Crusader Kings II. Your date with the Rajas is set for March 25th, which should give you just enough time to buy something nice to wear and book a table at that fancy restaurant that everybody keeps going on about. I’ve already gathered a wealth of information about what to expect, as well as thoughts on the expanded map, and new faiths and cultures. The ten minute video below contains much of the same information, delivered directly from the mind and mouth of Henrik Fåhraeus, the man who made the Middle Ages.

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Obsidian & Paradox On Eternity Team-Up, South Park Bugs

Sound the unexpected announcement alarms and check to make sure over-jerked knees are covered by your insurance plan. Paradox has announced that it’s publishing Obsidian’s notoriously independent old-school RPG Pillars of Eternity, a big, (not, by most definitions) bad publishing type dipping its pinky toe into the brave new world of Kickstarter. “…Er, why?” You might ask. “Also didn’t Obsidian get oodles of cash from backers? What happens to the game they paid for if Paradox decides all bets are off?” Well, good news is, Paradox can’t actually do that. I quizzed Paradox CEO Fred Wester and Obsidian CEO Feargus Urquhart about their new partnership, creative control, what this means for backers, why the two companies struck a deal in the first place, whether Paradox is interested in pursuing other classic RPG revivals like Torment, and how South Park ended up glitchy despite Obsidian’s allegedly renewed QA efforts. It’s all below. 

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Element-Hell: Magicka Wizard Wars Adds Duel Mode

Magicka: Wizard Wars may well be my favourite competitive multiplayer game since the original Unreal Tournament. I was startled when I realised that might be the caese, but the rattle of fingers across keys, weaving deadly magicks, accompanies an enormous chunk of my free time. It’s a game that requires quick reflexes and the ability to switch between various forms of attack and defence without a second’s hesitation. I often find turn-based games a bit too fast-paced for my sleep-deprived mind to handle so I shouldn’t stand a chance in a team-based Wizard War, but the rhythms this game are in tune with the beat of my blood. The new Duel Mode, which is a one-on-one arena face-off, sounds more intimidating than team-based shenanigans, but with a built-in spectator mode it’s as much a learning experience as a series of brutal bouts.

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World At War: Hearts Of Iron IV

My internet connection during the Paradox Convention was about as spotty as Superted’s best chum, forcing me to return with a satchel full of hand-written notes. There’s still plenty to write about, not least my dangerous new Wizard Wars obsession, but buried at the bottom of my inky papers are six pages of scribbles about Hearts of Iron IV. As the latest representative of the one Paradox grand strategy series that I’ve consistently failed to penetrate, HOI IV is an exciting prospect for several reasons. EU IV and CK II are the friendliest incarnations of their respective series to date, and while HOI IV isn’t due until 2015, early signs are promising. At the heart of the Hearts is the most attractive map Paradox have ever produced and a new battle plan system that allows players to evade micromanagement if they so choose.

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Hands-On: Warlock II – The Exiled

Warlock: Master of the Arcane was a solid game that promised a great sequel. The interface and map had similarities to Civ V, some of which were slightly more than skin-deep, but the game had ideas of its own, bolstered by a sense of the ridiculous that was bizarre and humorous but avoided the lure of wackiness. The Exiled expands upon its precursor’s strongest elements and brings the turn-based exploration and conquest to a fascinating multiverse. I played for a little over an hour and didn’t want to walk away.

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Fight Club: Magicka: Wizard Wars Duel Mode Revealed

They are fignting over who loves me the most
If I had the time (and I actually plan on making the time), I’d go to as many Early Access developers as I could manage and ask from them what impact releasing the game to the public has had on their plans for the game? What changes they’ve made as a direct response from the way the players took up their tools? Paradox North has just admitted to taking the advice of the Magicka: Wizard Wars community, but in an awesome way. Their multiplayer game of wizards warring has a new Duel Mode that’s come from fan feedback: a one vs one game mode where you can tussle with an elemental enemy without worrying about a team-mate accidentally flambéing you. There’s a trailer for it below.
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Paradox ‘Dream RPG’ Runemaster Looks Like Quite A Thing

Someday, Simba, you will rule over this land in my stead hey want to go burn down that town over there

Paradox Con 2014 is in full-swing, and Adam is in Miami gathering up every piece of information he can while dodging the coked up Justin Biebers that roam the city’s balmy sands. He will have tons of news for you soon, but for now I’ll be your burly, beardy guide into the Norse-mythology-inspired world of Runemaster. It’ll be a turn-based Heroes-of-Might-and-Magic-esque affair with procedurally generated worlds and quests. Why yes, headline, that does sound like “quite a thing.” I’m glad we agree, you charmer, you.

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The Flare Path: Hurls Demo Charges

Demos are a digital wargamer’s Predator drones and PR Spitfires. They allow us to scout new battlefields safely and smartly. They furnish us with the information reviews, AARs and Let’s Plays can’t provide. I wouldn’t be without them, yet, these days, often am thanks to the questionable policies of sector-dominating militaria-mongers Slitherine/Matrix Games. Read the rest of this entry »

The New Worlds: EU IV – Conquest of Paradise

Sunset Invasion is the only expansion I don’t use in my regular Crusader Kings II campaigns. It’s not that I object to a spot of alternate history – that’s what the game generates – but the Aztec assault never felt comfortable, partly because it’s a triggered event rather than emergent possibility. It was with a degree of trepidation that I read the press release about Europa Universalis IV’s first expansion, with its suggestive title, Conquest of Paradise. I needn’t have worried – this is a form of alternate history but it sounds fantastic. In short, to make exploration more unpredictable and exciting, EU IV will gain the ability to randomly generate a New World rather than having players discover the same old Americas time and time again.

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Teleglitch DLC Offers Musical Death Arsenal


Masterful top-down shooter Teleglitch – which is appalling difficult, and one of my favourite games of the year (or last year, really) – has a DLC, and it’s called Guns And Tunes. This is fairly self explanatory: new music to score your inevitable death, and some new guns. There will be right more monster-mincing tools, and you’ll even be able to select which of them you want to start the game with, or choose to have them randomised for you at the outset. The DLC costs £0.99.

You can read about what we made of Teleglitch just here.

This Week’s MEGADEAL: Humble Paradox Bundle

Sound the alarm and lock up your wallets, those gents and gentesses at Humble Bundles are roving for your cash once more. After the stratospheric success of the Humble Origin Bundle, you’d think they’d calm down a bit. But no, their ever hungering need to supply you with cheap, brilliant games has flared once more. Paradox are up for it this time, with a selection of their titles available for a dollar an up, two more at six and every game they’ve ever published (excepting Europa Universalis 4 and DLC) for $125. Value. More details and what RPS thought of the various games after the cut.

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Conversion Conversation: Europa Universalis IV

Paradox have uploaded a brief highlight reel from their recent broadcast, in which the save game converter for Europa Universalis IV and Crusader Kings II was discussed. The hosts are Paradox Development Studio manager Johan Andersson and Crusader Kings II lead Henrik Fahraeus, and at one point they fight, Henrik wielding a sword and Johan a lightsaber. These are serious men discussing serious business. The most important piece of information, which I’d missed when reading comments about the feed, is that CK II games can be imported, updating to the correct period, no matter what position they are saved at. For example, save in 1100 and EU IV will automatically advance that game to the fifteenth century and begin. Lots more and a full breakdown of post-release prices for preorder bonuses below.

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For The Glory: EU IV Contains CK II Save Game Converter

Paradox have sounded the news bugle to announce that Crusader Kings II, the game that has continued to expand and consume my days throughout 2013, is refusing to abdicate its crown. A polite ruler would step aside to make room for the next in line to the throne, but CK II has never been polite. It’s a devious, murderous omnicidal lord and it will never die. Today’s grand strategy news is this – Europa Universalis IV will couple with Crusader Kings II via a save-game converter.

Fans of Crusader Kings II will be able to maintain the empires they have established and guide them through the age of exploration in an all-new strategic experience, continuing their personal stories of expansion and conquest.

There’s a very good chance I won’t be playing anything else ever.

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Hands On: Magicka – Wizard Wars

Magicka: Wizard Wars is a new venture for the inept, accident prone and shell-shocked mages who first appeared in Arrowhead’s unexpected hit. Designed by Paradox North, a new internal team, it’s a multiplayer team deathmatch game, with a new engine but a similar perspective. I played for a couple of hours during a hot day in London and, despite the proximity of a beer garden and a cold pint, I would have been happy to stay at the computer right through the evening. This is my kind of war.

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