This is a catch-all thread for all things Paradox Interactive
. Have you ever been playing Civ IV and thought to yourself, “Are they taking barometric pressure into account when determining the effectiveness of my bombers?” Do you wish Civ V had slightly worse graphics? Do you wish Microsoft Excel had slightly better graphics? Have you ever wanted to see Switzerland realize their true military potential? If so, this is the thread for you!
Paradox Interactive is a developer and publisher of many fine strategy games. Most of their games are historical simulations, allowing the player to pick almost any country throughout the course of history and guide them as they see fit. Have the British conquer the Iberian peninsula or have Prussia expand the way you thought they should have. The games are mostly built on the EUIII engine (some, like CK, are still on an older engine but will be updated soon) and each covers a specific time period. Rather than being the same game in a different time period, each has its own focus and theme:
Europa Universalis: Rome
- 280 BC to 27 AD (or CE, if you prefer), Mediterranean fun
- 1066 to 1482, focuses on your crazy royal family and the plots therein
Europa Universalis III
- 1453 to 1879, has the most expansions
- 1836 to 1936, the Second Industrial Revolution! Steampunk before it was cool! Factories! Tophats!
Hearts of Iron III
- 1936 to 1948, World War II. All war, all the time
In addition to developing these gems, PI publishes all sorts of non-strategy games, like the class-based MP shooter Old Timey Team Fortress 2, er, Lead & Gold, and Mount & Blade: Warband (which has an upcoming expansion that includes muskets!).
How in the holy hell do I play these games?
The learning curve for either of these games can be a bit steep, so prepare to do it wrong a lot before getting it right. There are in-game tutorials, but the information they give is painted in broad strokes. A big stumbling point for most new players is that most of your goals will be self-imposed. There's a score at the end of the game where you are ranked relative to everyone else, but between the start of the game and the end of the game what happens is up to you
. Most of the games have quick start manuals to get you going, and there are wikis linked below. RTFM.
I don’t have a manual; I bought these from Steam or another download service!
That’s okay, most documentation is available from Paradox on their forums. The trick is that you need to register an account on their forums, and then register each game’s CD keys on their forums. (“My Games/Registrations” is at the top of the forum.) You can get the CD key for your Steam-purchased games by right-clicking on the game in your Steam library and selecting “View Game CD Key”. Alternatively, Steam will display it every damn time you start the game until you ask it politely to stop.
Hearts of Iron III Resources
Europa Universalis III Resources
Victoria II Resources
One of your best references is the PI forums
, so registering is always a good idea. There’s tons of information and some great developer diaries and other amusing tidbits. In order to get tech support and see all of the available forums, make sure you register your game's key in the "My Games" tab. If you don't, you'll be missing out on all the juicy bits!
Now that I have all these cool documents, I would love to reference them while playing. How do I turn off full screen mode? There’s no setting in the graphics options!
Full screen is easily enabled, though not “officially supported” by PI. For both EUIII and HOI III, simply go to the installation directory and open “settings.txt”. In there change “fullscreen” to “no”. That’s all there is to it. While you’re in there you can set your screen resolution to your preferred setting.
These seem like laptop-friendly games, how can I play on both my desktop and laptop?
Syncing is easy, just set up a redirect using Winbolic
to a Dropbox
folder. PI conveniently has a dedicated “saved games” folder, so the amount of data put into Dropbox is minimal. I have both games set up this way, so I know it can be done! You can find instructions on ddgamer to get set up