Paradox Interactive’s games have always been rather mod friendly, given that they’re generally grand Euro-strategy PC games and the PC mod scene doesn’t joke around. However, those mods can be tricky to program if you aren’t particularly code savvy.
However, in an interview with Venture Beat, Paradox Development Studio’s engine team lead John Wordsworth, the studio went into detail on how their proprietary engine will make modding even easier.
Essentially, Paradox have been working on “a bunch of code that you can use to make games,” that they’re calling Jomini after Napoleonic general Antoine-Henri Jomini. Jomini is an upgrade to their pre-existing game enginge Clausewitz (named after Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz) that will include proper tools to help design new games as well as build mods for them.
“Clausewitz is a bunch of code that you can use to make games,” says Wordsworth. “Theoretically, you could use it to make a city-builder, a strategy game, an FPS … not that it would give you any tools for that, but you could, theoretically.
“Jomini is specifically for the top-down, map-based games. The overall vision is to try and share tech across as many of our projects as possible, so we can make bigger games, better games, faster.”
The most significant difference between the engine we’ve seen in the likes of Crusader Kings II or Stellaris and the new Clausewitz-Jomini alliance is the inclusion of proper tools, which will affect everyone, from those that design the games to those that mod them.
“Modders always ask us why we don’t give them the tools we use to make the games, but we don’t have any. People are the tools. That’s the biggest thing we’re changing. So we’ve got two tools engineers in our team, and we’re recruiting two more. Half of our team is going to be building tools, going forward.”
For the designers, the new tools mean that they can focus on what they’re good at, specialities like art or writing, instead of editing text files. This doesn’t mean that Imperator and future games won’t permit modders and developers to make big changes by dipping into the text files, just that coding will no longer be a barrier.
Which essentially means that the mod-heavy grand strategy games Paradox is known for will be easier to mod than ever. So whatever modding dreams you have for Paradox’s upcoming game Imperator: Rome will be much easier to see come to fruition.