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Europa Universalis: Rome

Platform(s): PC
Genre: Strategy
Publisher: Paradox Interactive
Developer: Paradox Interactive

About Rainier

PC gamer, WorthPlaying EIC, globe-trotting couch potato, patriot, '80s headbanger, movie watcher, music lover, foodie and man in black -- squirrel!

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'Europa Universalis: Rome' Developer Diary #1 - Screens

by Rainier on Nov. 2, 2007 @ 10:15 a.m. PDT

EU: Rome will cover the time period from the first Punic War to the start of the true Empire, offering a thousand of gameplay choices ranging from country, culture, provincial and character options etc., making each and every game infinitely customizable and unique.

Week 1

A lot of the game-logics code was implemented during the spring and summer and now our focus has turned mostly to interface development. Our artists are also busy adding more and more graphical content. We should be able to show these interfaces in detail very soon.

Usually everybody just goes ”Johan rules” on the forums when we do something great, but I have a good and dedicated team with me. Over the coming weeks I’ll take the time to introduce the different team-members of Rome. First out is one of our new programmers, podcat [forum name] or Dan Lind, as his name will be on the credit-list. Dan has been doing a lot of graphical programming on the game and is responsible for shaders, camera & animations. He’s also doing a large portion of the interface code. I am extremely happy having Dan on the team, and his abilities will be very important for the quality of the project.

This screenshot depicts the northwestern part of Europe. You will notice changes in our Gaul model and that the rivers and forests on the map are starting to look more like we want them to.

Game feature wise, we’ve found that government and ideas was a great concept in EU3. However, for Rome we needed to work on something that could better capture the feeling and time period of the game. For that reason governments have a set amount of ideas they can have at one time, with different slots for different idea-groups. For example: a Military Republic currently has slots for 2 military ideas, and 1 civic idea. If you are note able to match the idea categories, you will not get the benefits of that government, and may even get penalties.

Week 2

It has been great fun seeing the religion and diplomacy interfaces become implemented over the past week. We have also spent quite a lot of time in team meetings discussing which event series we should implement in the game. Our goal is to have an amount of events that will exceed the count of any other game we’ve released to date. We’ve reached some type of conclusion now but of course changes might happen as we go through the beta. What we really want is to have character driven events like those in Crusader Kings, for instance, events triggering on stats of rulers, and contextual event-series simulating Civil Wars, Religious Spread and Civilizing Processes.

This week I want to introduce Besuchov [forum name], or Thomas Johansson as he will be known on the Rome credit-list. Thomas has been working with us for almost four years now, and before that he was an active forumite. He works mostly with game-logics, interfaces and network programming and is the lead programmer of our team. In addition to his strong programming skills, he is also a gamer and fan of history. Thomas is the cornerstone of experience and knowledge for our team, and it’s difficult to imagine our team without him.

This screenshot indicates a few aspects of the new religious features. The most important is the calling of Omens. Omens are something people believed in during the era, and a feature we believe will create an extra layer of strategy. Omens can be called about twice a year, and you can only have one active Omen at a time. Your success when invoking an omen will depend on the abilities of the priest, your religious discoveries and powers and what national ideas you have. A failed omen is a curse that will be hurting your nation over that time period.

Week 3

We have been implementing more diplomatic and intrigue actions that one state can do to another state. I hope to be able to tell you more in detail about those soon. There are ten different graphical styles for units, cities and buildings in the game, and we are steadily adding them to the game. Last week we finished the Persian unit. The interface guys have been busy with adding the character view screens, where you’ll be able to view all details about any character in the game. Meanwhile, our dedicated AI programmer have been busy making sure that the trade-routes AI is getting all the attention it needs.

This week, I’ll introduce you to King [forum name], or Chris King as his passport says. Chris was previously a moderator on our forums and tester of our games before joining our team. He is responsible for our QA here at Paradox, and also helps out with game-design and database scripting. Chris verifies the quality in Rome, from design idea to the actual finished game. It is his extensive historical knowledge and quick analytical mind that makes him such a valuable part of our team.

This screenshot shows the current look of the map. We still plan to add cities, coastlines, name on the map and other things like that.

In Rome, you do not have direct full control of every province in your empire. You need to appoint governors, strategos or satraps to each province outside the capital. A province without a governor is not working properly, and will most likely drift into chaos in a short time period. Selecting governors is a strategic choice in itself. A competent one may get more out of the province, but if he is corrupt, he may pocket a lot of the wealth as well. In a republic, he may end up winning the next consul ship when returning by spending his wealth to increase his popularity.

Europa Universalis: Rome is schedule for a worldwide release during Q2, 2008.

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