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Created by Paradox Development Studio, the masters of strategy games, Crusader Kings III is a grand strategy game where you control a medieval dynasty and strive for its success, while doing a lot of odd yet fun things in the process.

Art Outsourcing
Paradox Development Studio
Paradox Interactive


N-iX Game and VR Studio has been working with Paradox Interactive since 2017, and already managed to contribute to such great projects as Stellaris, Hearts of Iron IV, Europa Universalis IV, and Imperator: Rome.

This time we were happy to work on the sequel to one of the most popular strategy games ever made — Crusader Kings III. Our task was to create a diverse set of icons that symbolize a character’s traits in the game.


In Crusader Kings III, traits represent a character’s personality, reputation, abilities, and physical characteristics. They affect everything about a character, from attributes to the opinion others have on them. Traits can be gained or lost through game events and some can be inherited by descendants.

Each trait has a unique icon that gives a visual hint to its meaning. Our task was to produce a set of trait icons following both Paradox Development Studio’s art style and the historical reference. Anything depicted should have existed in the 12th century, including clothes, architecture, armor, items, etc.

Besides, since the traits icons sit not only under each character description but also end up in other menus, slightly scaled-down, image readability was vital when creating trait icons. Players should be able to easily understand what they are looking at.

To boost the efficiency, our workflow for this project was divided into 3 stages:

Stage 1 – Mockup: We make a rough sketch depicting a central idea and color schemes of an icon. If it gets a greenlight from the client, we proceed with the second step. This approach saves a lot of time since we don’t have to create many different variants to choose the most suitable one later on.

Stage 2 – Refinement: Our artists render the approved icons to the final quality.

Stage 3 – Source Delivery: We submit polished results to the client.


After Crusader Kings III was released, the game received overwhelmingly positive reviews both from the game community and critics. It became a righteous successor of Crusader Kings II, immersing players into the most accurate simulation of a medieval ruler. After all, this is the only game where you can kidnap the Holy Roman Emperor, force him to convert to a new religion, and thus cause the empire to erupt in civil war and collapse!


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Let’s start with an in-depth analysis of your idea and a high-level quote and project plan for your project. Once we smoothen all the rough edges we can proceed to the complete design, development, and production of your game, followed by release and post-release support.

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