Live From the Paradox Con 2013

While the wonders of the Internet make it so you’d really never know otherwise, Jared and I have spent the last couple days in Reykjavík, Iceland. We’re here for the 2013 edition of the Paradox Convention, a small conference put on by Paradox Interactive where they invite the media and other organizations (Like folks from GameStop and Steam.) to see what they’re up to. Admittedly, neither of us are hardcore PC gamers to really be that familiar with Paradox beyond just knowing them as “the guys who make those insanely deep strategy games," but we go where the iOS games are, and Paradox was excited to show us two new projects of theirs in the mobile space. But, backing things up a bit, I should probably explain what Paradox is known for so you can get a scope of why this is a big deal.

Paradox’s “flagship" series seems to be Europa Universalis, which currently is on its third iteration with the fourth on the way. Europa Universalis is a “Grand Strategy" game that basically takes all the games that you thought were deep strategy titles and throws them straight out the window. We sat through a brief demo of the upcoming PC sequel Europa Universalis IV which basically blew my mind just trying to understand the few systems on top of systems on top of systems on top of systems that make the in-game world work. Give the above video a watch for an idea of what’s going on, as it features one of the developer doing a ~5 minute incredibly high level overview of what Europa Universalis IV is all about.

If you haven’t heard of Europa Universalis, there’s a better chance you’re at least familiar with Magicka. It’s an isometric co-op RPG that hinges entirely around mixing elements to cast spells. It’s actually super clever how it all works out, as while you don’t have a specific class, you typically end up playing a particular role in your party. For instance, you could decide you’re going to be the healer type, and focus your spells on healing while the rest of the party deals with the enemies.

So, Paradox is taking the things they’ve learned from making these two types of popular PC games and bringing that expertise to the mobile space, which is always an exciting proposition. We saw two titles while we were here, from both ends of their development spectrum, and I’m thinking people are going to be really excited to see them both released as well as what Paradox comes up with in the future as they shift more towards including mobile in their plans going forward.

Stay tuned for a couple of game previews!