"Not Verona! Please not Verona!" Frantic screams heard from the epic game of Europe Universalis 4 undertaken by a plucky few. Mouse-clicks punctuate the miserable silence. A maniacal laugh creeps over and above monitors. Somebody else succumbs to the misery. Only the strong and the cynical survive grand strategy.
As Day Two is slowly drawing to an end, what was a pleasant trip of small talk and press obligations has become cold and vacant. Battles fought previously for small scraps of virtual land have bubbled over and onto the surface. Games journalists aren't physical people, but incite a rebellion in one of our fictional provinces and we'll come at you like a spider monkey.
The second and last day of Paradox Con 2013 has been an interesting one. Mopping up the remnants of the announcements such as Cities in Motion 2, and Impire, it looks as though the Swedish publisher have a strong line-up heading into the new year.
First up through the grinder of inspection was the aforementioned Impire. Dungeon Keeper may be long gone, but in the minds of a few devotees, it is fresh and sorely in need of spiritual succession.
This minion-em-up is plainly and obviously influenced by the Bullfrog classic but in an interesting twist, doesn't simply wish to rebuild the mid-90s experience. There are elements of RPG to be found, squad-based mechanics lifted wholesale from Dawn of War 2, and esoterically, a few nods to the Facebook title Dungeon Overlord.
Looking on and towards public transport, Cities in Motion 2 is also ensnaring attention with its particular brand of city management. With a new day/night cycle, scheduling, and dynamic cities, travel enthusiasts have something special to look forward to.
So what has been the highlight of the convention so far? I think the plaudits have to go to Europa Universalis IV for is domineering style of strategy. Taking cues from Crusader Kings II as well as building upon its thrice-tested formula, this tale of nation grabbing and intrigue looks impressive indeed.
Earlier in the day, I also had a chance to talk to a few developers to get the inside track on the software currently coming out of Sweden. Most interestingly of all though was undoubtedly Chris King, the conceptual mind behind the cult-favourite Crusader Kings 2 - check back here for his thoughts on the current DLC, future expansions, and Game of Thrones mods.
Multiplayer conflicts, developer chats, and free coffee aside, Paradox Con 2013 has been an excellent showcase of upcoming titles. The publisher seem intent on delivering bigger and better products, and this year has been a real statement of intent.
Previews of East vs West, Cities in Motion 2, Leviathan Warships, March of Eagles, Impire, and of course Europa Universalis IV are all coming up: check this space later for more. For now, I'm getting out of Iceland and to some place warmer. Farewell Paradox. Farewell Reykjavik. Farewell copious amount of food and drink: it's been a blast.