Yesterday, I forgot to mention another game I’m looking forward to: Divine Wind, the forthcoming expansion pack for Paradox Interactive’s historical grand-strategy game, Europa Universalis III.
The EU games model world history between, roughly, 1400 until 1800; the key word here is “model”. Other games place you in charge of an entire nation in a historical timeframe, such as the Total War and Civilization series, but they tend to use history as a veneer for conquer-the-world / build-a-utopia / etc fantasies. EU, in contrast, actually attempts to simulate real life: the turmoil of the Protestant Reformation; the resistance of society to governments’ attempts to impose change from the top down (as described in this article by Rob Zacny at Gamasutra); the possibility for empires to overstretch themselves and fall apart, as happened to a monster Ming China in one of my games (at its peak, it spanned the world from Manchuria to Sumatra… then China proper fell into civil war between competing dynasties, and the subjugated nations broke free).
However, as its name implies, the series is also rather Western-centric. This is where the Asian-centric Divine Wind comes in, with features (per the press release) including:
- Play as one of four major daimyo’s in Japan vying for influence over the Emperor and control over the Shogunate
- Enhanced diplomacy with more options for alliances and peace negotiations
- Dozens of new culture-specific building types allowing greater control over the development of provinces
- More realistic development of trade
- Manage the internal factions within China to keep the Mandate of Heaven
The first two designer diaries don’t contain much information, but I am interested in hearing more about trade, in particular. While I know little about Asian history, what I have read indicates that you can’t do justice to European/Asian interaction in this period without an in-depth examination of trade. I look forward to hearing more about this expansion pack.
(By the way, if EU3 interests you and you’d like to learn more, there is a demo available for the previous expansion pack, and this Greg Costikyan piece offers a more detailed writeup of the game’s mechanics.)