The horns sound, the ravens gather. An empire is torn by civil war. Beyond its borders, new kingdoms rise. Gird on your sword, don your armour, summon your followers and ride forth to win glory on the battlefields of Calradia. Establish your hegemony and create a new world out of the ashes of the old.
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22. februar

Dev Blog 22/02/18



Greetings warriors of Calradia!

One of the most important (and complicated) tasks during the development process of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord was to develop our engine. Using a proprietary engine instead of licensing an existing one might look like an unnecessary complication, but it’s actually vital for what we want Bannerlord to be. For a start, the game would not be a moddable as it is going to be without it! Our engine programmer Gökhan Uras explains a bit more about the engine of Bannerlord in this week’s dev blog.


NAME
Gökhan Uras

FROM
Ankara, Turkey

JOINED TALEWORLDS
2012

EDUCATION
B.S, Middle East Technical University, Computer Engineering.

OFFICIAL JOB DESCRIPTION
Engine Programmer


WHAT DO YOU NORMALLY DO DURING YOUR DAY?
I am mostly at my desk, coding and debugging. My main focus is post effects pipeline, general shading and CPU performance. I also do lots of tooling for our editor. I constantly check our issue tracker to see if there is anything that needs tending to right away. I am also in constant communication with my team. We always strive to achieve higher quality in our engine, to that end we always collaborate with each other and the feedback from the rest of the team is always invaluable. On top of that, I am always trying to implement new features for our artists to achieve the visual quality that they desire from our engine.


Temporal Scalable Ambient Obscurance (TSAO)

WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BANNERLORD?
The modding capability of the game. The modding community did wonders with Warband, I can’t even imagine what they will come up with our brand new editor and scripting system. Our editor is very feature rich! It contains smaller tools like a resource browser, particle editor, cloth editor, atmosphere editor, skeleton editor, flora editor, material editor and texture editor. We have a prefab system in place to easily reuse entity hierarchies across scenes. We have a very detailed terrain editing system for painting height maps, texture layers and floras, and you can also easily import height maps and layer weights from outside sources to modify in the editor. We also support real-time reloading of resources to ease our artists’ workflow. Aside from building scenes, modders can add C# scripts to any entity to create any mechanic they want to achieve mod specific behaviours.

WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING THAT YOU SOLVED SO FAR, DURING THE PRODUCTION OF BANNERLORD?
It is not something I solved by myself but scaling from ~20 people to ~80 people was a really difficult process. We had to change things in order to work efficiently with that many people. We needed to change our version control system and issue-tracking system with our workflow throughout the office.

As an engine team, our code affects everybody in office, from gameplay teams to artists. So we needed to ensure that nobody is affected by our faults. To that end, we implemented an automated test system which rejects the work if anything breaks, before the change goes out to everybody. We needed to add visual tests to the system, which compares screenshots of valid ones and current ones, to catch shading bugs which can be easily overlooked and resurface weeks later. During this period we also established an extremely good QA team, and learned to work with them efficiently to minimise any issues that could affect workflow. It looks easier on paper, but changing any habits in life is a hard process and for working habits it is the same.


WHAT DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON?
I am juggling a few things these days. I am finalising a very big refactor on the agent rendering system which improved our CPU performance by nearly 15%. I am at the polishing stage of contact hardening shadows for high-end configurations and along with this I am trying to find optimisations to shadow rendering. Also, I am working closely with one of our artist to improve our tree shading and I started to tinker with our editor to improve usability according to feedback we get from our artists.


Contact Hardening Shadows (CHS)

WHAT FACTION DO YOU LIKE THE MOST IN BANNERLORD?
Battania because I really love the aesthetics of their architecture and moody atmosphere of their towns.

WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGE IN MAKING THE ENGINE FOR THE GAME?
The main challenge in making an engine for Bannerlord was giving players huge battles with hundreds of characters and without sacrificing graphical quality or performance. But it is also the main reason that we created an engine in-house. Another of the main challenges was ensuring that all of our features support modding. Modding is very important for the Mount & Blade series so we needed to give modders the appropriate tools.

IS THE ENGINE COMPLETELY FINISHED OR ARE CHANGES STILL BEING MADE TO IT?
We are still making changes; we are constantly trying to improve visuals, performance, usability, modding etc. I would call the current state of the engine as almost finished, so you should perceive these changes as releasing updates and patches to it in-house. We built a very solid foundation over the years, so adding features and improvements is not disruptive to development. We will try to increase the quality of the engine even after release, and we will definitely use it for all projects for the foreseeable future.

Discuss this blog post HERE



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15. februar

Dev Blog 15/02/18



Greetings warriors of Calradia!

Last week, we had a look at the politics, history and personalities of the three imperial factions. Now we'll see how they'll be represented in-game.

Militarily, the Empire's troop types and equipment is drawn from ninth to eleventh centuries, a period of Byzantine resurgence. The Byzantines' best-known troops are their cataphracts, fully armoured cavalry who rode into battle with an arsenal of lance, sabre, and long-handled mace. But the Byzantines also had a full complement of medium and light cavalry, plus spearmen and skirmishers, not to mention whatever mercenaries they could get. They were masters of combined arms, authors of military manuals like the Strategikon that counselled patience over glory-seeking, pioneers of a more scientific approach to warfare.



The Empire will also deploy powerful heavy cavalry, sturdy spearmen, and skirmishers, and our upgraded command system should give players a chance to experiment with combined arms. Improvements to the morale calculations, such as a shock effect from taking down a large amount of troops at once, can make tactics such as flank charges more effective. Imperial cataphracts are also designed for opportunistic attacks that benefit from being timed more carefully than the Vlandian steamroller. We've given them two-handed kontos lances - a slight anachronism, as these are more late ancient than early medieval weapons, but we think it will add interesting variety. Without the shield, a frontal charge by cataphracts might more easily be disrupted by missile fire, but if the enemy doesn't have supporting missile troops, then the extra reach of the kontos can be devastating. Their heavy maces, swung from a fast-moving horse, can also deliver a crushing blow.

As with the Romans, the Empire is assumed to have imposed a form of Pax Calradica - at least on its heartland, if not on the ever-embattled frontiers. Peace and stability has allowed cities to grow, so the empire is assumed to be slightly more developed than the outer kingdoms. In Bannerlord we've introduced a number of new ways to show this kind of accumulated investment. We can vary a city's economic muscle with the amount of workshops it has, and its defensive might is shown by outer walls that can be one of three levels, with different scenes for each.



As in all the realms of Calradia, regional variation throughout the empire will be shown largely through minor factions. Imperial border areas tend to be rougher and more chaotic than the heartland, and in the game are represented by frontiersmen. Though fiercely loyal to the empire, they adopt many of the ways of the warrior-tribes they face, from weaponry to a preference for blood feud over courts of law. The Watchers, in the northern hill country, represent the Akritai, the famous Byzantine borderers of Anatolia. In the south and east, colonies of fugitives and free-spirited wanderers have learned to live and ride like the steppe peoples they fight, forming the Eleftheroi. These are based on the Cossacks -- Third Rome rather than Second, admittedly but probably not much different than those who guarded the Byzantines' Black Sea frontiers. And of course we have a faction based on the Varangians, the fearsome Nord guardsmen of the Emperor, who in the tumult after Arenicos' death have formed a mercenary outfit.

An adventurer may make his or her name in the outer kingdoms, but to rise to the pinnacle of power in the game, a player will need eventually to deal in one way or the other with the Empire and its legacy. You may be an Attila who humbles it, a Justinian who restores it, or a Charlemagne who remakes it in a new form in a new land. Don the purple robe, or trample it into the dust under the hooves of your horse: that is your choice.



In next week’s blog we will be speaking to one of the programmers from our engine team, Gökhan Uras. If you have any questions you would like to ask him, please leave a reply in the comments and we will pick one out for him to answer.

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Om dette spil

The horns sound, the ravens gather. An empire is torn by civil war. Beyond its borders, new kingdoms rise. Gird on your sword, don your armour, summon your followers and ride forth to win glory on the battlefields of Calradia. Establish your hegemony and create a new world out of the ashes of the old.

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is the eagerly awaited sequel to the acclaimed medieval combat simulator and role-playing game Mount & Blade: Warband. Set 200 years before, it expands both the detailed fighting system and the world of Calradia. Bombard mountain fastnesses with siege engines, establish secret criminal empires in the back alleys of cities, or charge into the thick of chaotic battles in your quest for power.

SIEGE GAMEPLAY
Construct, position and fire a range of heavy machinery in sieges that will test your wits and skill like never before. Experience epic, sprawling combat across ramparts and rubble as you desperately hold on to your castle or seek to seize one from the enemy.

Historically authentic defensive structures offer the ultimate medieval warfare experience, as you batter a rival's gate with your ram or burn his siege tower to ashes. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord lets you live every moment of a chaotic battle through the eyes of a single soldier.

DIPLOMACY
Engage in diplomacy, with meaningful consequences that impact the world. Strike historic peace deals that win land for your kingdom or free you to take on a new foe. An all-new barter system gives players flexibility in cementing deals, from marriage offers to treason pacts, offering all the options available to NPCs. Use a new influence system to direct your faction's energies or strangle the aspirations of a rival.

SANDBOX ECONOMY
See the availability of goods ebb and flow in a simulated feudal economy, where the price of everything from incense to warhorses fluctuates with supply and demand. Invest in farms and workshops, or turn anarchy to your advantage by being the first to bring grain to a starving town after a siege or reopening a bandit-plagued caravan route.

CRAFTING
Craft your own weapon, name it and carry it with you to the field of battle! A deep, physics-based system gives each weapon you create a unique set of attributes, strengths and weaknesses. Forge a finely-tuned killing machine to match your own prowess and complement your play-style, or take the sword of your enemy and brandish it as a trophy of war.

MODDING
The engine and tools used to develop Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord are being made available to the community, so that modders can re-interpret Calradia or create their own worlds! Players can now combine different mods, making it easier than ever to play the game of your dreams.

ENGINE
An all-new tailor-made game engine, developed in-house to fulfill the unique needs of the series, offers the perfect balance of performance and graphical fidelity, scalable with the power of your hardware.

Experience Mount & Blade with richer, more beautiful graphics than ever, immersing you in the world of Calradia, rendering the game's magnificent battles with equally spectacular detail.

Systemkrav

    Minimum:
    • Processor: Intel i3-2100 / AMD FX-6300
    • Hukommelse: 4 GB RAM
    • Grafik: Intel HD 4600 / Nvidia GT730 / AMD R7 240
    • Diskplads: 40 GB tilgængelig plads
    • Yderligere bemærkninger: These estimates may change during final release
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