Documentary Highlights Paradox's Development History
With a development studio known for making slow-burning history games, one would think that Paradox started off with great aspirations and grand beginnings. However, as their documentary, detailing the creative process behind many of their game series shows, such was not the case. Starting off with a humble adaptation of the board game Europa Universalis, while it may not have been the first grand strategy game released in the west, the game was a surprise hit, leading to the further development of titles such as Victoria, Crusader Kings, and Hearts of Iron.
Grand strategy games themselves, if you're unfamiliar with the genre, seek to place you in control of a singular nation, ruler, or family, as you guide your chosen force through history. As for the particular goals, it's entirely player directed, though many choose to see simply how far they can expand their empires. Though the mechanics between Paradox's game series differ; you control a nation through the Second World War in the Hearts of Iron games, and in Crusader Kings, you effectively roleplay as a family during the medieval period of world history; it is about learning about history, while at the same time, allowing the player to create their own.
Looking ahead to the studio's future, the documentary closes with a segment on their first upcoming RPG title, Runemaster. Heavily influenced by Nordic mythology and harkening back to their other titles, you play as someone who gets involved with the mess that is Ragnarok, with your actions spilling over into the world, and continually shaping it. With a lengthy list of games and nearly fifteen years behind them, Paradox Development Studios has certainly come a long way from developing board games, and I, for one, cannot wait to see where they head next.