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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January 17

Dev Blog 17/01/19



Greetings warriors of Calradia!

Over the course of the past few months, one of the most commented features that we have shown in this dev blog is the use of siege engines when someone is trying to take a castle by storm -- but we didn't really go into much detail about how they work. In this week's entry of our blog, we talk with Bahar Şevket, one of our gameplay programmers, who is currently working on new mechanics for that particular area of the game and can give us some interesting insights on how siege engines will be integrated into Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.


NAME
Bahar Şevket

FROM
Bulgaria

JOINED TALEWORLDS
2011

EDUCATION
B.Sc in Computer Science/Engineering, Middle East Technical University

OFFICIAL JOB DESCRIPTION
Gameplay Programmer


WHAT DO YOU NORMALLY DO DURING YOUR DAY?
My day starts with a stand-up meeting of the team in the morning. Every member of the team gets the rest of us up to speed on their current tasks; what they are doing, their progress on their current issues, etc. We work closely with designers and some other teams, such as UI and QA, so it is not uncommon to have people from those teams in the morning meetings. After that, I continue working on the tasks I have at hand. I have worked on various single player features throughout my time at TaleWorlds: conversations, game menus, alley missions, siege engines, quests (my favourite!) and many more moddable campaign behaviours. I also want to mention that we focused on making the town/village life more realistic and rich. We added different kinds of NPCs with different kinds of behaviours, animations and quests. I think that Calradia is a much more vibrant world now!



WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BANNERLORD?
I like the fact that it has a unique gameplay feature that the rest of the game is built around. You play as your own character while commanding an entire army. It is one of few, if not the only game that you get to roleplay as a real commander. You don’t control your troops as you would typically do in a strategy game with a god-like view. Instead, you are alongside your soldiers on the battlefield. You get to fight, yell commands at your soldiers, ride your horse and chase your enemies. While we’re at it, the combat mechanics are not these scripted, fantastic, ninja-like animations, but are rather close to combat in real life. I think that also helps to create an immersion of a real-life medieval battle.

WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING THAT YOU SOLVED SO FAR, DURING THE PRODUCTION OF BANNERLORD?
Well, my response to this one is not a one-off task that I solved once and was done with. What I find most challenging is the effort of making the game easily moddable, which requires continuous and constant caution. I am working mostly on the single-player campaign portion of the game, and we are well aware of how much our community enjoys creating awesome and varied mods for the campaign. That’s why we put a lot of effort into making Bannerlord better in terms of moddablity. We are using C# as the scripting language in Bannerlord. And I hope that this choice will benefit our modding community because it is highly user-friendly and is an object-oriented language. I don’t think going too deep into the technical details right now is a good idea, but simply put, after adding a new feature, we always analyse if it should be something that is moddable. If it is deemed to be a moddable feature, we add corresponding interfaces and maintain our default implementation in order to create room for moddable behaviour.

WHAT DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON?
Right now, I’m working on siege preparation on the campaign map. As you may have noticed, we introduced a variety of siege weapons that can be utilised during siege battles. Both the player and AI armies can build these engines before their assault.

I should mention that we recently made some changes to our siege preparation. Previously, a player who besieged a castle had to select what they wanted to build from a number of engines, one by one. Recently, however, we introduced a new tactics feature. Now, the player will select one of the siege tactics available and will get a preloaded waiting list for siege engines that are useful to the selected tactic. The player will be able to start the bombardment as soon as any machine is finished and will be able to start damaging the defences of the town/castle even before starting the siege mission (battle). The tactic can be changed at any point during the waiting time, based on the defender’s tactic, or any other events occurring in the world at that moment.


WHAT FACTION DO YOU LIKE THE MOST IN BANNERLORD?
My favourite faction is Battania. Having drawn inspiration from the Celts, their culture has a strong connection with nature. Everything about the faction, such as its architecture, the colours of their banners, and their clothing and armours, make me feel that these people love forests, and nature in general. If I were living in medieval Calradia, I would definitely want to live in Battania!



WILL THERE BE MORE REASONS FOR PLAYERS TO ENTER SETTLEMENTS OTHER THAN TO JUST EXPLORE THEM?
We are currently working on something we call settlement issues. They represent conflicts in a settlement between NPCs, or general problems that may arise. These events will pop up randomly during the game and they will affect the properties of a settlement (prosperity, morale, etc.).

The player will have to find a solution to that problem in a specific timeframe using whatever means they can. Issues may lead to different quests or may encourage players to make changes to their current management style.


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January 10

Dev Blog 10/01/19



Greetings warriors of Calradia!

2019 is upon us, and we are back, as promised, with a Bannerlord blog to ring in the New Year. We want to ease back into them with a small update about a change we made quite recently to our conversation camera.

Those of you with a keen eye will have noticed that the conversation screenshot in our previous blog looked a little different to a standard Mount & Blade dialogue screen. And it wasn’t just the UI overhaul and new persuasion system that were on show, although admittedly, they are probably the things that caught your attention!

Immersion is something we have talked about multiple times throughout this blog series, so we won’t go on about it too much in this blog, however, it is safe to say that it was the main factor in our decision to make a change to the dialogue system camera. We want players to have a fluid and immersive experience with Bannerlord, which means that we look at all of our previous work with a critical eye to see where improvements can be made to match the high standards we have set ourselves for Bannerlord.

So what have we done to improve the camera? Well, this time around we have gone for something a little more subtle and understated. The new conversation UI is unobtrusive, and the camera gently shifts to focus on the NPC you are engaging in a dialogue with. The camera retains the viewing perspective you play the game from, so, if you enter a conversation in first-person, then your conversation camera is also in first-person, and likewise, if you initiate a conversation in third-person, your camera will remain in third-person. We use a depth of field effect to draw your attention to the focal point of the conversation (the NPC you are talking to) as an additional way of immersing you in the conversation and to prevent you from being too distracted by what is taking place in the background. These small changes combine together with the new conversational animations (which we discussed in a previous blog) to make a more immersive and fluid conversation system.



Finally, we have added more characters to the conversation screens in instances where it would be appropriate (such as when being accosted by a group of bandits). It always seemed a little unnatural in our previous games to be speaking in a one-on-one conversation with a lord before a battle, or to a bandit leader looking to intimidate you into handing over your hard earned denars. In Bannerlord, you can expect to see leaders flanked by bodyguards, which we think helps to visually represent characters of their stature.



In next week’s blog, we will be talking to Gameplay Programmer, Bahar Şevket. If you have any questions you would like to ask her, please leave a reply in the comments section and we will pick one out for her to answer.

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About This Game

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.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • Processor: Intel i3-2100 / AMD FX-6300
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel HD 4600 / Nvidia GT730 / AMD R7 240
    • Storage: 40 GB available space
    • Additional Notes: These estimates may change during final release

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