about 1 month ago - /u/ - Direct link
A lil somethin somethin: You can find the details for this event on the announcement page here.
about 1 month ago - PDX Katten - Direct link
Hello there! My name is Katten, and I'm your Community Manager for Hearts of Iron IV. Today, we are excited to announce our first-ever Content Creator Pack (or CCP for short) for Hearts of Iron IV which releases on the 10th of June. This is something we have previously done for Cities: Skylines and Crusader Kings. The pack is created by modders and published by us.

Before I hand it over to Ethan Mayer, one of the two creators of this pack, I wanted to address two frequently asked questions, as I'm sure they will come up.

Did you just take a free mod and make it paid?
  • No, we collaborated with modders to create completely new content!
What do the modders get from this?
  • Modders get paid based on the number of copies sold.

Now you can see what was hidden in our Roadmap!

World Ablaze CCP Developer Diary | What is this & Who are we?
Hello everyone! I am not your usual Dev Diary writer, so let me introduce myself. I am Ethan Mayer, otherwise known online as 156, one of the Head Developers of the Hearts of Iron IV mod World Ablaze. I am proud to announce, with the support of Paradox, our upcoming CCP Content Creator Pack – Soviet Union 2D Art which will soon be for sale for $3.99. Today, I’ll be explaining to y’all who we are, what this is, and how it all came to be. Let’s get to it!

We’ll save the backstory for later in this Dev Diary and firstly get straight into it by talking about what exactly is a Content Creator Pack. As touched on a bit previously, CCPs are small DLCs developed by modders and published by Paradox for their games, such as has been done “for Crusader Kings III. This is a mutually beneficial deal for all parties: more content gets created for Paradox’s games while the modders, who already work hard in their free time to mod the game, can make some money. Essentially, Paradox is providing a convenient, official, and publicly accessible way for the community to support modders, and in return, you get a small CCP for HOI4. It is an incredibly generous program, and we are extremely grateful to have the opportunity to participate. This particular CCP is similar to the other existing cosmetic DLCs for HOI4, such as Unit Pack and Music DLCs, except the content will be in the distinct World Ablaze style rather than the traditional HOI4 vanilla style. As the name of the pack aptly suggests, the content we are providing for the CCP is 2D art for the Soviet Union. There are over 300+ pieces of high-quality 2D art found in this pack that cover a wide range of Soviet content, including (but not limited to) equipment, national focuses, national spirits, etc. Aqeel will show off the art and creative process involved in its creation in the next Dev Diary. There will be plenty of pictures to ooh and ahh at!

As I said initially, many of you know me as 156, one of the Head Developers of the World Ablaze mod. Professionally, I am an electrical engineer, software engineer, and entrepreneur. I’ve worked for the likes of NASA, Microsoft, and, best of all, myself. I am an avid gamer (maybe moreso in my younger years, but the passion remains), and my favorite genre is, of course, strategy games. Paradox games have always held a special place in my heart as some of the best Grand Strategy RTS games ever made. I started playing Hearts of Iron all the way back in HOI2 and have continued with every installment since (extra shout out to the great spinoffs like Darkest Hour: A Hearts of Iron Game!). Safe to say all these years later, I am as big of a HOI fan as ever. I followed the development of Hearts of Iron IV from its first dev diary to its last and have been playing it since the day it was released. Vanilla was great at first, but as soon as the workshop started getting populated, mods were my go-to way to play.

Several years later in 2020, I met my good friend, partner, and fellow World Ablaze Head Developer Aqeel Mughal, otherwise known as Uncharted, and joined him to work on the mod. The rest is history. We’ve worked hard over the years to make World Ablaze into the mod it is today: a historical and challenging overhaul of HOI4. We are proud of what we have built and look forward to continuing its development at least as long as HOI4 is supported. If anyone is unfamiliar with what World Ablaze is all about, you can check out our Steam Workshop page here. The main features of the mod include unique equipment and accompanying technology trees, custom mechanics, original artwork, challenging AI, improved map design, and other total overhaul changes such as custom content, focus trees, decisions, etc. World Ablaze started from humble beginnings as the Armed Forces Overhaul (AFO) mod, which was just a historical technology tree and equipment mod for tanks, planes, and ships. However, the scope of the project grew into a total overhaul. Once you overhaul equipment to the extent that AFO did, overhauling the rest of the game was not only natural, but required to accompany such impressive equipment work. Thus, the ambition eventually became to make the best historically accurate World War 2 overhaul mod for Hearts of Iron IV. We have focused on producing a high-quality and professionally run mod, and we can thank our persistent dedication to these standards for our steady rise to prominence. Our mod’s development complexity is high due to the amount of unique equipment and other complex mechanics. In addition to working on the mod itself, I use my professional expertise to create automated tools that help us with development. The results speak for themselves, and although we are not done yet, we have come a long way.

In the past couple of years, Paradox’s outreach and communication with mods has improved significantly. We were lucky to be a part of all these Paradox-modder initiatives from their inception. As time went on, our relationship with Paradox grew, and more opportunities arose. One day, we began talking with Paradox about partnering to create a “Content Creator Pack” (CCP) similar to what has been done for other Paradox Grand Strategy Games, such as Crusader Kings III. As with CCPs for other games, they would be made by a modding team and published by Paradox as a way of both adding content to HOI4 and supporting modders, who dedicate a significant amount of free time to adding to the game. We were super excited about this opportunity, so we jumped on it. We immediately began drafting up proposals of DLCs we could create to send to the HOI4 team. After many back-and-forth meetings, presentations, and negotiations, we settled on the terms of our partnership and started work on this CCP.

If you’ve played World Ablaze, you know there’s a lot of great custom 2D art in mod. So, what’s the difference between that art and the art included in the CCP? All the 2D art in the CCP is entirely custom and drawn from scratch for this CCP. While there will inevitably be similarities between the art in the mod and the art in the CCP (due to the fact the same entities, such as equipment, exist in both vanilla and our mod), all the art in the CCP will be of higher quality since any existing art was also redrawn from scratch to be better and more detailed. With this CCP, we've made our mark in the game by giving the Soviet Union an entirely new artistic feel. Featuring unique, high-quality World Ablaze-style historical art, every piece has been crafted to meet exacting standards to ensure a top-notch experience. It is a great addition to any player’s game, but bonus points if you already love the look of World Ablaze and want that in your vanilla games as well. Don’t take my word for it; more information and examples of the included art will be shown off in the next Dev Diary!

Finally, I wanted to take some time to give out some much-deserved thank yous. A big thanks to Paradox for allowing us this great and rare opportunity to create official content that will now always be associated with the game we love. And of course, I want to extend my gratitude to all of the Hearts of Iron players who decide to support us by purchasing this CCP. It means the world to us; we ultimately do all of this, both the mod and CCP, for you, and y’all’s support is the reason we can continue to do the work we do. We hope you enjoy our content!