I am an avid video gamer, and love games of all types. I do have a particular interest in historical war and strategy games, though. And in my view, there are few finer than Paradox Interactive’s 2009 release of Hearts of Iron III for the PC. An instant classic in my view.
I won’t go into all of the wonderful things that make this title shine – there’s been plenty written about that over the years, especially with some of the later expansions that were added. But I do have a bit of a related story to tell.
Recently, I had the pleasure of discovering the “Black ICE” community mod for HOI3. If you are an HOI3 player and haven’t seen it, well … you really should. It is perhaps one of the most thorough community mods I’ve seen for any game. It adds nearly 100 new historical units, scores of new historical events, and all sorts of other goodies. To quote more than one HOI3/Black ICE player, “it’s the way the game was meant to be played.” That’s too cool!
One of the things that I wished more focus had been provided on was the brutal “island hopping” campaign engaged in by the United States in the Pacific theater of operations. In short, I created what I think is a really cool campaign for players of the USA and Japan, and submitted it to the Black ICE team for inclusion in the next release of the mod. One thing led to another, and I ended up becoming a more integral part of the Black ICE dev team, which has been an incredibly fun community-focused affair.
Our team is an all-volunteer group, about a dozen or so in size, and we hail from all parts of the world. Germany, Australia, Netherlands, and the United States among the many countries from which we hail. We all share a common love, which is the historical accuracy of this brilliant WW2 strategy simulation (which is really what it is). And while we’ve never met in person (we use mainly Skype to collaborate), I consider each of them to be a friend. it is another testament to the power of the Internet, and how e-relationships can result in productive endeavors.
No real story here, beyond that. Just wanted to say that I’ve had a blast working with these guys, and hope to continue contributing moving forward.
If you are an HOI3 player, you can check out Black ICE here.