Imperator: Rome

First Dev Diary

Only a short one.

Hello everyone and welcome to the first development diary for Imperator: Rome! Each monday until release, except when the team is on holiday, we’ll be giving you a development diary!

Today we’ll be talking about the vision for this game. We have often talked about how close we are with the community, but this is the first game we have made where a post from a forum-member is quoted at the top of our Game Design.

The balance between CK2 and EU4/Vic2 should remain in Rome2. Rome was a fantastic mix between CK1(characters), EU3 (diplomacy, and war) and Vic1(parties, provinces system and population dynamic) and its own feature like barbaric migration and the best civil wars in Paradox games - @Leon_Aditzu

This was such a great post describing Rome, so that when we started with Imperator, it was a natural to use.

In this game we’ve wanted to stay true to this vision, while implementing the knowledge we’ve learned in the last decade of making games with better UX and player agency, while increasing the depth and complexity enormously.

There were a few main things with the original that was really bad though, and that we have decided to remove or change.
We’re removing characters as envoys, as that was a bad mechanic, and you primarily used to get rid of people.
Omens and Religious Prestige were not very fun, and have been changed.
Trade was lots of micromanagement, this have been reworked for a more interesting and fun mechanic.

All in all, whenever possible we’ve strived to be adding more depth and complexity to the game, to make this into the ultimate GSG.

Here’s a quick look of Iberia!


Extremely excited for this. Anyone want to recommend books about the classical period? I could stand to learn more of its history.

Do you like podcasts? Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History has a great series on Julius Caesar’s battles against the Gauls. The Celtic Holocaust. More about conquest than anything else, but a great listen.

I quite liked Tom Holland’s Rubicon and Dynasty.

I just bought this:

I am using it as a historical “bible” for a Play By Forum of the First Punic War with @Juan_Raigada . We are starting this week, playing this game:

If you are just getting into Roman History, The History of Rome Podcast is the best place to start. Better than Carlin, on that topic. Mike Duncan is fantastic:

On iTunes as well.

I never liked ancient history too much, but the absolute best book about historical methodology I have ever read is Mary Beard’s The Roman Triumph. Broadly, it’s about triumphal celebrations held for successful Roman generals, but really it’s about how shoddy historical research has been on the subject. Some Amazon reviewers complain about it being ‘too academic,’ but I remember it being a much better read than most of what I was assigned at time.

For a somewhat easy read but still comprehensive and serious overview of Rome I favor

and if you want something a little more detailed and serious but still not overly academic

It’s a series of 7 books that are a somewhat shorter and much cheaper overview than the Cambridge Ancient History (which one day I will read whole, but at $200+ a book, will take a while). The problem with this series is that two books are unavailable (I believe they haven’t been edited yet and maybe wont).

Thanks for the book reccs. I can second the podcasts by Carlin and Duncan.

I strongly recommend “Carthage Must Be Destroyed”, and somewhat recommend “The Storm Before the Storm” (by the podcast guy, IIRC). “Civil War: A History in Ideas” is also quite good (and not too long); it’s about Rome inasmuch as the thesis is that the Romans invented the modern idea of a civil war.

Mike Duncan did do “The Storm Before the Storm”, but it’s not exactly an introductory topic, though good. That’s why I like the podcast. Its great if you know nothing of the history or a lot.

“Carthage Must Be Destroyed” is fantastic, deals with a Carthaginian viewpoint on events.


What about this makes you all so excited? I’ve got to be honest, I’m not exactly sure what the huge draw is?

Crusader Kings in Rome.

Isn’t this a sequel to Rome? So wouldn’t EUIV in Rome be a better description?

Thanks for the recommendations everyone.

I have started reading SPQR. I was really unimpressed by the first chapter “cicero’s finest hour”. There is alot of repetition of shallow points, and a discussion on the political legacy of some roman sayings. I really could not care less whether modern politicians tweet sayings that originate from Rome, or if they understand the origin of it. Fortunately it is getting better.

I will have to check out the podcasts mentioned here as well, they sound great.

More than anything else, the fact that the lead designer for this game, Johan Andersson, also designed my favourite videogame of all time.

This looks closer to EU4 than CK2, but more than any other game in their catalogue (other than CK2 itself) I think characters will be very important. Rebelling generals, senators, civil wars, all important in capturing the flavour of the era.

I booted up Rome 1 for the first time in years and it’s actually pretty good. Like the quote in Johan’s post, it’s a weird mix of all the other titles, (I’d forgotten you can’t do things like declare peace if the senate didn’t let you) but you can tell its main roots are in EU4. But you really miss all the little QoL improvements that have been added to EU4 over time.

If you’re replaying 1 I would install the Reign of the Ancients mod, made by none other than Wiz (AI programmer for EU4 for a long time and now project lead for Stellaris):

+1 to the Mike Duncan and Dan Carlin. Also Mary Beard is a good academic writer, so the reccomendation of her is solid, if you want a deeper exploration of a topic there are certainly worse choices.

Oh, anyone interested in Rome the Play By Forum has kicked off, here:

It is a very introductory text. As you said, it does get better.