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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September 20

Dev Blog 20/09/18



Greetings warriors of Calradia!

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is a huge sandbox that allows you to approach the game and play it in the way that you want to. This means that there isn’t a linear storyline that you have to follow. However, the game does present you with quests that offer you a way to fill your purse while improving your relations with the various notables located around Calradia.

Because the game is a sandbox, we design these quests to be short in length, enjoyable, but most importantly, repeatable. But that isn’t to say that your actions in these quests don’t impact on the game world: they most definitely do! In fact, many of the quests you will be offered are generated as a direct response to a situation that is currently happening in the game. If a group of bandits are prohibiting trade in an area and have established a hideout, then you might be asked to dispatch the bandits by a local notable. Clearing the bandit hideout won’t just net you a bit of extra spending money and positive relations with the person who issued the quest: trade will flow more freely in the area, which in turn will have a positive effect on the local economy.

So, while quests aren’t exactly considered to be a main feature of the game and can be safely ignored if they aren’t exactly your cup of tea, they do have a significant impact on the game world and can be used to your advantage in most situations.



While developing Bannerlord, one of our primary goals was to present information to players in a clear and intuitive way. We want players to understand the game and experience what it has to offer without it being overbearing and without them having to memorise a manual. To do this, we decided to rework most of the existing screens from Warband (as well as introducing new ones of course!). The quest screen is one such screen that needed revisiting.

In Warband, quests were displayed and tracked through the Notes screen. The screen contained all of the information that the player required to complete the quest, but it was a little simplistic. With Bannerlord, we redesigned the screen to display this information in a clear way, using visual elements to help convey information to the player. Overall, we think the new design is easier to understand at first glance and we feel it is a vast improvement over the entirely text-based design of Warband’s Notes screen.

But, we didn’t just stop there. In Warband, finding a quest could be a quest in itself. You have to ride around the map speaking to different NPCs in the hopes that they have some work to offer you. With Bannerlord, we have added an exclamation point to portraits of characters that have a quest to offer you. There is also a special icon for designating portraits of characters that you need to interact with in the course of a quest. We think that such changes keep in line with our goal of presenting information to the player in a clear way, while also removing the tedium of trying to find a quest.



Overall, we think that little touches and changes like these will be more intuitive and user-friendly for new players while being a nice improvement to the game experience for returning players.


In next week’s blog, we will talk to UI Programmer, Emre Özdemir. If you have any questions you would like to ask him, please leave a reply in the comments section and we will pick one out for him to answer.

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September 13

Dev Blog 13/09/18



Greeting warriors of Calradia!

The main advantage of creating your own game engine is that, instead of being a Swiss-army knife (second-best in everything it tries), you can craft it to specialise in what you need it to do. As you know, we created an engine from scratch for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. We had many goals when we started working on it, but three of them had top priority: of course it had to do what we needed in order to create a huge sandbox game such as this one, but it also had to be easily moddable, and on top of that, it had to be flexible enough to work on low-end computers. In this week's blog, we talk to Engine Programmer, Burak Dermanlı, one of the people responsible for the engine and its optimisation for all kinds of computers.


NAME
Burak Dermanlı

FROM
İstanbul, Turkey

JOINED TALEWORLDS
2013

EDUCATION
B.S, Yıldız Technical University, Mathematical Engineering

OFFICIAL JOB DESCRIPTION
Engine Programmer


WHAT DO YOU NORMALLY DO DURING YOUR DAY?
As a programmer, I spend most of my time working on issues that are usually scheduled on a monthly basis. However, working on the engine level requires you to be prepared for any interruption during the day, such as a crashing bug that prevents people from progressing with their work.

Most of my work revolves around particle systems, asset pipeline, cloth simulation and memory management. I implement new features as requested but it can be said that they are almost finalised for Bannerlord needs. Both the particle systems and cloth simulation are extremely optimised so that they can run efficiently on low-end hardware. I sometimes see people’s concerns about these kinds of systems and if they will face a performance bottleneck with the game. There is a psychological fact that if there is something visually attractive on the screen then those elements come under scrutiny when performance problems arise. I have both low-end and high-end GPUs equipped on my rig and I am constantly checking their performance during development. For example, cloth simulation did not take more than a millisecond per frame on low-end hardware in any of the scenes you have seen in our gameplay videos.




WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BANNERLORD?
I like the spirit of Mount and Blade and I am sure you are also going to feel it when you play it. Almost every single part of the game has been developed or reworked from scratch. However, we are dedicated to preserving Mount & Blade’s unique elements. Bannerlord is a new Mount and Blade game with more features, smoother gameplay, better graphics and larger battles. I can assure you that it will not disappoint anybody who likes our previous games. I also can’t wait to see the amazing work that will be done by our modders with Bannerlord.

WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING THAT YOU SOLVED SO FAR, DURING THE PRODUCTION OF BANNERLORD?
It is hard to remember every issue I have solved in five years, but I remember that there was a very tiny jittering issue in cloth components which was caused by a gameplay-engine communication problem. I was able to solve it a couple of months later than I finished the actual implementation.

I also want to mention asset import and compression issues. An image compressor may ruin your normal maps if you tell it that it is a normal map or you might see an asset file can’t be imported by the program that actually exported it. You need to spend hours or even days to figure out the problem.


WHAT DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON?
I currently work on improving our flora billboard system. I am implementing a modern technique which utilises parallax mapping so that you won’t be able to notice transitions between actual trees and billboard ones. We are planning to use this in most of our scenes and the campaign map. At the same time, I am beginning to design small refactors with the rest of my team on our resource management system to speed up the content modification process for both our artists and modders.

WHAT FACTION DO YOU LIKE THE MOST IN BANNERLORD?
I like Khuzait the most because I like their culture, architectural style and cloth simulation looks really nice on their armours. :)

WOULD IT BE POSSIBLE TO INCLUDE SOME HIGHLY DETAILED AREAS, SUCH AS TAVERNS, IN BIG MULTIPLAYER MAPS WITHOUT LOSING PERFORMANCE?
"I mainly do optimisations for the GPU/CPU, so I will only answer those parts of the problem. Our engine can tick static objects really efficiently. You don’t need to do any special optimisations and can populate the inside of the building with lots of static meshes. Agents are also ticked, animated and rendered in the most performant way. For the GPU performance, the first thing I would check is whether the occluder bodies in the tavern walls are set correctly. If so, the meshes inside the building will not be rendered for gbuffer and shadows. Finally, I can say that, by being careful at some specific points, this is very possible with our engine.

CAN WE DESIGN OUR OWN PARTICLE EFFECTS WITH THE ENGINE? (FOR EXAMPLE, IF ONE WANTS TO MAKE A “MAGIC EFFECTS” OR BOIDS BIRD FLOCKS IN HIS/HER MOD)
We have a very detailed particle editor created from the feedback given by our artists. It is possible to create an infinite number of different particle effects with this editor by defining emission, movement and visual properties of the desired particle effect. You can use one or more emitters in a single effect (which might have a parent-child relationship) to create complex effects like a flying stone creating a dust trail, or as mentioned, a magic effect. But currently, we don’t have a built-in flock algorithm implemented in the particle system. However, you can implement it yourself with our scripting system.




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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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