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Giant Bomb Presents

Giant Bomb Presents: Scope and Intimacy: Talking Historical Accuracy, Grand Strategy, and Space Aliens with Henrik Fåhraeus

Austin had a chance to chat with Henrik Fåhraeus (Game Director at Paradox Development Studio) about the success of Crusader Kings II, the studio's upcoming sci-fi strategy game Stellaris, and the many ways that game rules can build stories.

Giant Bomb Presents is giantbomb.com's home for interviews, previews, and more.

Aug. 19 2015

Posted by: Austin

56 Comments

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Nero42

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Edited By Nero42

Oh awesome this is a nice surprise!

I adore Paradox Development Studio's games. I'd love to hear more about Stellaris

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T_wester

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Yes, I'm a big fan of Paradox.

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mikemcn

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Paradox grand strategy games are awesome! Really excited for this one.

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NoneSun

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Would love to hear Austin keep talking to devs and other people related to gaming. Super interesting.

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Maluvin

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Edited By Maluvin

Oh wow a Paradox interview on Giant Bomb? Unexpected but so happy!

I loved CK2 and EU3. Stellaris looks like it's going to really shake up the space 4x formula.

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conmulligan

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Holy shit, this is great. I adore almost everything Paradox puts out, and Stellaris looks incredible.

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AMyggen

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Edited By AMyggen

Crusader Kings II is awesome!

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hassun

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Good to hear from these guys. Games sites don't seem to give them all that much attention.

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Krataur

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Whoa, Giant Bomb acknowledging the existence of Paradox games!

And how am I just now learning about Stellaris?! Looks amazing.

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catsanddogs

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Austin is great. Paradox is great. CK2 is great. Stellaris is (hopefully going to be?) great. I love everything about this interview.

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T_wester

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Edited By T_wester

I was a bit disappointed that they went with a sci-fi instead of a historical game, as there is far more space games being made than historical strategy ones. The space sci-fi genre generally suffers from being over reliant on the same tired tropes.

That said, Stellaris sounds interesting and they will probably create a new Rome and Victoria anyway.

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Taborcarn

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Austin has been a great addition to the site. Features like this and the Roguelike one are fantastic.

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huser

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Edited By huser

I'd love a game that started out abstractly like a Civ game with a village, that you grew into a kingdom/empire and eventually a nation through an intermediate stage laid out like CK/EU and maybe even Hearts of Iron type games, and then proceeding through multiple levels of a 4X game. Your colored tiles would start as a dot on any given stage and keep expanding over the map, only for that map to zoom out back to a dot at key moments in development and repeat over many cycles of exploration and expansion.

Village (a dot)->Kingdom->Nation->World (the whole map)

The Earth (now a dot)->Solar System->Local stellar cluster->Galaxy(the whole map)

The Milky Way (another dot)->Local Cluster-> Supercluster->Universe (the whole map).

The last few steps might even represent a few cycles on their own.

Because of the way the game would scale and in keeping with how the EU games often play out, you could enter your 4x space exploration from an Earth that isn't unified and have oddities like a Western Alliance helping form a Federation with local aliens such as the Vulcans and an Eastern Coalition forming say an Earth Alliance with a loose mutual defense treaty with Centauri Prime.

It would cost a billion dollars to make, and take thousands of hours to play, but that is the dream.

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Nentisys

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15 minutes in and this is really really interesting. Good job Austin!

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glointhadark

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This was great. Hopefully with Austin, we'll get some more grand strategy quick looks. Watching Vinny fumbling around with CKII is one of my favourite old videos.

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ArbitraryWater

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This was a very interesting conversation. I'll admit that Paradox's offerings are a little... overwhelming despite my love of other sorts of strategy games, but I'll probably give Stellaris a shot.

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gravytrain

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@austin_walker: Thanks so much for covering this Austin! I'm super excited for Stellaris.

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applegong

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I admire Paradox games generally, but they simply release too many DLCs, which in of themselves confined to cosmetics and contents not touching upon the original game designs are fine, but starting with EU IV deeply gameplay affecting (shattering, if I may have to emphasize) ones.

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Turambar

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@huser said:

I'd love a game that started out abstractly like a Civ game with a village, that you grew into a kingdom/empire and eventually a nation through an intermediate stage laid out like CK/EU and maybe even Hearts of Iron type games, and then proceeding through multiple levels of a 4X game. Your colored tiles would start as a dot on any given stage and keep expanding over the map, only for that map to zoom out back to a dot at key moments in development and repeat over many cycles of exploration and expansion.

Village (a dot)->Kingdom->Nation->World (the whole map)

The Earth (now a dot)->Solar System->Local stellar cluster->Galaxy(the whole map)

The Milky Way (another dot)->Local Cluster-> Supercluster->Universe (the whole map).

The last few steps might even represent a few cycles on their own.

Because of the way the game would scale and in keeping with how the EU games often play out, you could enter your 4x space exploration from an Earth that isn't unified and have oddities like a Western Alliance helping form a Federation with local aliens such as the Vulcans and an Eastern Coalition forming say an Earth Alliance with a loose mutual defense treaty with Centauri Prime.

It would cost a billion dollars to make, and take thousands of hours to play, but that is the dream.

Spore is basically a simplistic version of that game.

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SnideInsinuations

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Another great interview, @austin_walker! You have a way with teasing out the most interesting things to be discussed with your interviewee, while always respecting the things they want to talk about for themselves too.

I love CK2 and EU4 and I'm getting real excited about Stellaris now too.

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VirgilLeadsYou

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This is some really great content.

I had been wanting to hear more discussion on Stellaris.

And heck, an interview on Paradox Interactive is awesome, alone.

Thanks Austin!

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Wuddel

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Edited By Wuddel

Paradox on GiantBomb is a dream come true

Crusader Kings II 576h played

Europa Universalis IV 1747h played

(and a bit Sengoku and Victoria II)

Need I say more.

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brads_beard

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I'm too dumb for Paradox games which makes me sad because I really want to like them.

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Nero42

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@brads_beard: I really doubt you or anyone on this site are "too dumb" for paradox games lol. You just need to be patient and not be afraid to experiment...and fail. repeatedly.

CK2 and EU4 are easier to learn than the old games, they do a good job of putting lots of tool-tips in there to explain the mechanics.

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mikemcn

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Edited By mikemcn

@brads_beard: no one is too dumb for these games, its just a time commitment thing. Eu 4 is the most approachable and the tutorials should be adequate, then you can learn by playing and the occasional google search, it might take several hours up front but it's all downhill after that!

Ck2 is a close second as far as ease of entry but is very different in alot of ways (it's my personal favorite)

Now hearts of iron is a different story... I've tried to get into it a few times but always feel overwhelmed... That's like the game you play after you graduate from all the other paradox games.

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thesteve19

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@mikemcn said:

@brads_beard: no one is too dumb for these games, its just a time commitment thing. Eu 4 is the most approachable and the tutorials should be adequate, then you can learn by playing and the occasional google search, it might take several hours up front but it's all downhill after that!

Ck2 is a close second as far as ease of entry but is very different in alot of ways (it's my personal favorite)

Now hearts of iron is a different story... I've tried to get into it a few times but always feel overwhelmed... That's like the game you play after you graduate from all the other paradox games.

I'm optimistic for Hearts of Iron 4; I loved HoI2 but man HoI3 was too dense and Paradox seems to realize that.

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brads_beard

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Edited By brads_beard

@nero42: I've played 15 hours of CK2 and watched a bunch of Arumba's videos on Youtube and I still have no idea what I'm doing. I've barely played any 4X games though which seems kinda like jumping into MOBAs without having played an RTS first.

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Supa_Kappa

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I'm pretty clueless at CK2 and EUIV but the concept of Stellaris sounds amazing so I really want to put the time in to learn how it all works.

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vividnova

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I'm getting a 'Not Found' error using a third party app on the RSS feed for this particular podcast, anyone else having an issue?

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lun49gameon

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I bought europa universalis because of the amazing steam user reviews that I read. I havent even started the game and its been 3 months, hopefully I have enough time between the witcher 3 and MGS Phantom Pain to play the game.

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mavs

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@nero42: I've played 15 hours of CK2 and watched a bunch of Arumba's videos on Youtube and I still have no idea what I'm doing. I've barely played any 4X games though which seems kinda like jumping into MOBAs without having played an RTS first.

I'm not sure how much overlap there really is between 4X and grand strategy other than the board game-like abstractions they both use. Grand strategy is strictly real-time (with pause) and in Paradox games you only get like 1.5 of the 4 Xes.

Probably the hardest part of playing them is the lack of feedback for when you are succeeding, which is only solved by trial and error. 4X games are usually great at telling you when you are winning or losing.

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noblenerf

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Stellaris is going to be so cool. Every bit of info makes it sound like my dream sci-fi game, melding the freeform, roleplaying nature of CK2, with the glorious aesthetic and imagination inherent to futuristic settings.

Thanks for this interview, Austin! You're keeping GB focused on the stuff that matters: strategy games.

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cubslover22

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MsVenture

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OH SHIT I'M HYPE. But in all seriousness, a brand new grand strategy IP by Paradox sounds brilliant, kudos.

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Jetlag

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@vividnova: Same with DoggCatcher. It's choking on the filename.

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spree4567

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L1ama

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@jetlag said:

@vividnova: Same with DoggCatcher. It's choking on the filename.

Willing to bet that's because of the 'å' in the filename, or maybe the comma

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alfawolf04

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Edited By alfawolf04
@jetlag said:

@vividnova: Same with DoggCatcher. It's choking on the filename.

I'm having the same issue. This isn't downloading.

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Fredchuckdave

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@supa_kappa: @brads_beard: The primary method of getting better is just playing a long game and figuring out what you're doing wrong as you go; EUIV is a lot more user friendly than CK2 (though a lot harder to conquer the entire world in as well).

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ames

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Thank you austin for the wonderful interview! I am a big big big fan of eu3 and eu4 and victoria 2. I have been dreaming of a space grand strategy for ages!

Oddly I've never been able to get into CK2 despite liking just about every other modern paradox game.

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austin_walker

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rick

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@austin_walker Yeah I'm sure a lot of apps are dumb with chäràctërs like å . Unicode is hard.

Probably best to rename it without the diacritical mark.

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Jetlag

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I tried to post this on the DoggCatcher forums but my posts are showing up. I'll try again later.

@edgework: Something I noticed is that even when you GET the urlencoded URL the redirection gives you Unicode in the URL. The podcatchers might not be expecting it there.

$ curl -i "http://www.giantbomb.com/podcasts/download/1322/Scope_and_Intimacy__Talking_Historical_Accuracy,_Grand_Strategy,_and_Stellaris_with_Henrik_F%C3%A5hraeus-08-19-2015-8115289311.mp3"

HTTP/1.1 301 Moved Permanently

Server: nginx/1.2.0

Content-Type: text/html; charset=UTF-8

Transfer-Encoding: chunked

Connection: keep-alive

X-Powered-By: PHP/5.4.17

Cache-Control: no-cache

Date: Thu, 20 Aug 2015 18:27:35 GMT

Location: http://v.giantbomb.com/podcast/Scope_and_Intimacy__Talking_Historical_Accuracy,_Grand_Strategy,_and_Stellaris_with_Henrik_Fåhraeus-08-19-2015-8115289311.mp3

Set-Cookie: device_view=full; expires=Sun, 20-Sep-2015 07:00:00 GMT; path=/; httponly

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wiII

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Edited By wiII

...having issues downloading. (doggcatcher, HTTP error code 404)

All other episodes download without an issue.

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Drzava

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Edited By Drzava

Great interview! I'm really happy GB has a PC guy again. The main paradox games - CK, EU, Vicky and HOI have been my main time sink games for several years. I hope that more people would discover that they are not as daunting and complicated as they appear at a first glance. Once you learned the basics, you've can play around 1200 years (769 -1948) of human history as most of the nations that existed during that time period.

Also, if you have a Wikipedia addiction, it really feeds into that.

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entmoot

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Giantbomb has given Paradox such little love over the years. Nice to see a little recognition for one of the most devoted of developers on the scene right now

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austin_walker

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Okay, re-uploaded the file without the fancy character in it. Let me know if that fixes it. (If not, let me know that too!)

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wiII

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