Case Study

Paradox Interactive’s Grandest Remote LAN

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Summary

Leading strategy game developer and publisher Paradox Interactive puts its community first. Every year, they host multiple festivals, tournaments, and events, so their games communities may come together and celebrate their favorite hobby.

The Grandest LAN — Paradox Interactive's marquee event — is a multi-day LAN party for the renowned strategy title Europa Universalis IV. Usually held on location from a castle in Poland, in 2020, The Grandest LAN pivoted to a remotely hosted event due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Luckily, Parsec for Teams was there to make sure the show went on without a hitch.

The Challenge

Teamwork, communication, and control are key components to a successful LAN party, especially in a strategy game as complex as Europa Universalis. Players need to be able to see the same board, respond to action in real time, and easily pass control from one another.

Plus, The Grandest LAN required a grand audience of course. The chosen protocol for remote gameplay would need to be streamed to Twitch, so that the rest of the world could get in on the fun.

Evaluating Criteria

Parsec for Teams was ultimately selected to power The Grandest LAN 2020 because it delivered Paradox’s most important needs:

 

  • Ease of Use: Players needed software that didn’t get in the way of gameplay, so that teams could feel like they were in the same room. Parsec was virtually invisible once it was set-up & running.
  • Latency and Graphic Quality: An uninformed viewer would have no idea that the teams weren’t playing together in the same room. Parsec’s sharp picture and zero’d out latency made that possible.
  • Team Management: Once the game was installed, Paradox needed an easy way to unify teams together on single machines. Parsec’s Guest Access feature made that consolidation a breeze.
  • Spectatorship: Paradox brought some of the best Europa players to commentate on matches throughout the weekend. Parsec made it easy for fans to jump from match to match.

The Solution

Once Parsec was selected as the official Grandest LAN partner, setting up the workflow was the final challenge.

Create Host Machines
Paradox created host computers for every team, installing the game and getting it ready for co-play and streaming.

Schedule Team Access
Competing teams were invited to their dedicated host machines for the duration of the game. That meant that each team could share a single computer, even as they were spread across the world.

Parsec for Teams
Each Host Machine was centralized through Paradox’s Parsec team, allowing event producers and broadcast staff to access them on the fly with ease. 

Get Ready for Broadcast
Since Guest Access handled getting the right teams to their computers, the Paradox team was able to funnel all its attention into monitoring all the machines and putting on a great show.

The Result

Paradox managed to capture the fun, excitement, and close community-driven strategy in a physical LAN party, even as participants were distributed all over the world.

 

  • 5,200+
    total live views
  • 20
    teams participating
  • 60
    players across multiple continents
  • 759,000+
    views across platforms

Grander Things to Come

Paradox Interactive proved that community building and fan excitement can breach physical distance. With the combination of the right technology and one of the the world’s most beloved strategy games, The Grandest LAN brought a community together while they were physically apart.

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