A few weeks back, Paradox Interactive finally revealed the by-now memetic title of Victoria 3, a sequel to 2010’s Victoria 2 game that takes place from the 1890s to the interwar period. Since it’s been a long time since the last game in Victoria game series, fans are quite excited to know about the gameplay details and other stuff about Victoria 3. We had a chance to sit down with the devs Mikael Andersson and Martin Anward of Paradox and they were kind enough to answer most of the burning Victoria 3 questions we had about the game.
Newer games from your classic series have been getting more streamlined to help withuser-friendliness. Will Victoria 3 follow this trend?
Accessibility is a priority for us because we want a wider audience to be able to appreciate the deep gameplay of Victoria 3, but this does not mean a simplification of the rich simulation and interlocking mechanics that define the series. I mean, we are simulating entire national populations and a global economy! But we have learned a lot over the years about how to present and teach our games to new players, and our efforts are focused on making the game more comprehensible with a gentler – not shorter – learning curve.”
Considering the period of transition that the game will take place in, where the science of warfare shifted further and further into more modern conflict, how much change will there be in the game’s combat system, even if war isn’t the primary focus of the game?
We are not ready to share specific details on how warfare works in Victoria 3, but of course the drastic progression in military science of the era is represented as an important aspect of gameplay. This will not only impact the outcome of military conflict itself but will also have an effect on diplomacy, trade, and both the financial and human costs of war. This reinforces that the game is not centered around conquest but that the player’s focus should be internal on their population, economic policy, and diplomatic relations, with the aim of building a better nation, a better society, a better world. Your military is a means to that end, and there are costs to falling behind in every technological category, even if you don’t intend to spend your campaign waging war.
The original game came out back in 2010. Now that ten years have passed, how have your design intentions on the game changed?
With the benefit of hindsight some aspects of Victoria II were a little abstract, obscure, or prone to failure. Our design intentions have been to make a sequel based on the same core ideas – different types of societies, novel economic ideas, rapid technological progress, and radical political reform – but in a more robust, transparent package with logical connections between different parts of the game. Victoria 3 is still very much a Victoria game, but it is also a current generation Paradox grand strategy game.
With how the revamped Crusade system from Holy Fury made it into Crusader Kings 3’s release version, what DLC mechanics from previous Victoria games will make it into Victoria 3 from the start?
When the team imagines Victoria II played today we always assume the experience includes both A House Divided and Heart of Darkness DLCs, but it bears mentioning that when making a sequel we don’t just port mechanics over from previous titles without considering how they fit into the whole. In Victoria 3 some mechanics have been re-envisioned and perhaps re-cast under a different
name, such as how the Crisis system from Heart of Darkness has been expanded and refined to take on a more central role as Diplomatic Plays. So while virtually all of the features of Victoria II Complete Edition – and more! – exist in Victoria 3 they may appear under a different name or a different form.
Are there any particularly obscure countries or regions that you’re excited for people to discover?
There’s quite a few that weren’t in previous Victoria games, such as the Miskito Kingdom or the United Maori Tribes. My favorite one is probably Lanfang, which is a chinese miner’s confederation on Borneo with a unique, non-western democratic tradition, which in alliance with other such miner’s confederations resisted Dutch incursion on the island for decades
Will there be any historically accurate uprisings or events that trigger automatically, such as the Mahdist Revolt in Sudan, or will they be similar to other rebellion mechanics from
Nothing happens in Victoria 3 without there being a good reason for it. Events that in our history occurred during Victoria 3’s mid- to late-era could be completely illogical once the player gets there in the game. In the case of the Mahdist Revolt we have to ask ourselves, how would events have progressed if Sudan was independent at the time of the Mahdi’s emergence rather than under the control of a foreign power? Victoria 3 is about reshaping your country and with it the history of the world, and we want to respect the player’s accomplishments and not railroad history in spite of it. So, many historical events are entirely driven by the game mechanics, and revolutions and the threat thereof is a prominent game mechanic. Some scripted events are only triggered under certain conditions, or progress in different directions depending on the conditions of the world at the time. Our goal is that historical events should be recognizable and immersive while still adaptive enough to not conflict with open-ended, sandbox gameplay.
Are you planning on expanding countries that didn’t get very much focus in the previous game?
We’re always looking for opportunities to ‘do more’ in our sequels, since in the end what you have time for tends to come down to just that: time and resources. I would for sure say there’s several countries and regions that have gotten some more detail and development in Victoria 3 than in Victoria II, just as the same was true of Victoria II from the original Victoria.” – Mikael Andersson
Do you currently have any DLC plans for the game at the moment, or are you going to play it by ear?
Right now we are laser-focused on finishing the game and preparing it for launch. But of course we have aspirations to expand the game post-launch with additional content, new mechanics, and ways to approach the game. One thing we’re hoping to do at some point is to ensure all countries on the map are fully playable by providing unique gameplay for Decentralized Nations. It would not have made sense to shoehorn these countries into the same type of gameplay that we provide at launch. The beauty of our DLC model is that we get the opportunity to eventually give these nations the attention they deserve while enhancing the game for everybody in the process.
Any plans of bringing the game to consoles, specially Xbox Series and PS5?
All development attention is currently going towards creating the best possible PC title, with no design accommodations for console. We can’t comment on any
potential console plans.
We rarely see strategy simulation games coming to consoles as well. As a developer/publisher, what do you think is the main reason behind that?
There are several excellent strategy simulation games on console, many of them Paradox Interactive titles. But grand strategy games in particular represent some unique design challenges, particularly with respect to user interfaces that contain a large quantity of data and permit a very large decision space. There are some good approaches out there already though, and with consoles getting more powerful and the genre growing in popularity it’s really only a matter of time before a new game nails the experience.