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Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - All News

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Wednesday - November 15, 2017
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Box Art

Wednesday - November 15, 2017

Mount & Blade II - November Dev Blogs

by Hiddenx, 22:28

Farflame spotted two Mount & Blade: Bannerlord dev-blogs:

Weapon Physics - part 1

Khuzait Khanate

Friday - October 06, 2017

Mount & Blade II - Armies & Influence

by Silver, 01:51

The Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord developers are ready to share details of the singleplayer experience in their latest blog, starting with Armies and Influence.

Dev Blog 05/10/17

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

In this week's blog we would like to talk about an aspect of the game which many of you have requested we talk about for quite some time now: singleplayer. We decided that the most interesting way to do this would be to discuss different features and mechanics from the campaign in their own dedicated blogs. We hope that, over time, we can touch on many of the key aspects of the sandbox and give you all a better understanding of what to expect in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.

In a previous blog[www.taleworlds.com] we briefly discussed a mechanic which is new to the Mount & Blade series, influence. Influence acts as a kind of currency in the game and can be earned by serving your kingdom in various ways: destroying bandits or enemy parties, raiding, capturing enemy settlements etc. Influence points can be spent to determine the outcome of some faction decisions and to make requests to allied lords. We have already shown you that influence can be spent to ask an allied lord to follow you, but one thing we are yet to discuss is how players can use our new army gathering system to perform this action on a grander scale.

So how does this work? Well, each allied lord has an influence cost based on the power of their party. Players can spend their influence points to summon allied lords to form their own army. It is the leader of the army which gains all of the influence for the army's victorious deeds, e.g. capturing a city will result in a huge influence boon for the leader, so spending influence to build an army is actually an investment, and sometimes even a gamble. If an army leader can no longer afford to spend influence then the army will start to disband.

Army influence upkeep cost is based on several factors:

  • If the army morale is high, then upkeep costs are lower (and vice versa)
  • Distance from their hometowns, how long they have been fighting etc.
  • Relations between the army commander and lords


As long as the army is successful in their efforts and the lord commander is keeping the other lords happy, then the army can go on marching for a long time. But if things don't go so well, the army will quickly dissolve and lords will decide to abandon the campaign and return to their own lands.

When an army is gathered it becomes almost like a moving settlement, with its own UI overlay on the campaign map. The UI shows:

  • Army morale
  • Lords and their parties
  • Food supplies
  • Marching speed (players can see factors affecting the marching speed from a tooltip)

The UI also shows portraits of the lords which are currently a part of the army and their current relations with the player. Deep red means that they despise you, whereas bright green means that they are your favourite drinking buddy! If a lord has answered the summons and is travelling to join your army, or if they are currently away from the army on a mission, their portrait will appear greyed out with an indicator displaying their distance from the army's current position, which is measured in days of travelling time. If you are an army commander you can click on a portrait to talk with a lord and give them a task to perform, such as scout ahead, bring food, bring reinforcements, bring horses, etc. You can dismiss lords to send them back to defend their lands or to trim the army and better manage your influence upkeep costs. If you are a member of an army, the army commander or other lords might have their own missions for you.

Another aspect of the new army system is that armies use pooled resources to support their campaigns. This means that if one lord brings some food, butter, for instance, then the rest of the army will be fed. Likewise, horses and mules are shared, increasing the movement speed of the entire army.

This new system allows for all lords to call on other allied lords and build their own army. Because of the large influence costs, it is of course easier for a king to do this, however there will certainly be times when some powerful lords will have more influence and money than their liege and will be able to amass their own powerful armies to take on a campaign. It also makes it possible for players to try their hand at army management relatively early in the game, before they have had a chance to climb to the top of a kingdom.

We feel that the new influence and army gathering systems better simulate the historical feudal system. When the player becomes part of a kingdom, they have obligations to their liege. This system allows players to pay for the benefits of being a lord by supporting their liege and fellow lords in military campaigns while building up influence within the realm to serve their own purposes.

 

 

In next week's blog we will talk with Graphic Artist, Fatma Nadide Öçba. If you have a question you would like to ask her about her work, please leave a reply in the comment section and we will pick one out for her to answer.

Discuss this blog post HERE

Friday - September 29, 2017

Mount & Blade II - QA Questions

by Silver, 15:20

The latest dev blog for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord asks Meriç Neşeli about QA.

OFFICIAL JOB DESCRIPTION
QA Lead and Game Designer

WHAT DO YOU NORMALLY DO DURING YOUR DAY?
"In the morning I organise and allocate the day's assignments for the rest of my team. Our daily tests revolve around testing features for both the game and the game engine. We test the functionality of newly added features and track general development day-by-day to ensure that the game is still stable after changes to the code.

In the afternoon I attend a meeting with members of our various teams. The purpose of this meeting is to discuss the development process and establish which features need our immediate attention in testing. Naturally, the QA team gets to spend a lot more time playing Bannerlord than the rest of our colleagues which means that we have a somewhat deeper understanding of the current state of the game than others. We get to see the long term effects of design decisions and offer our feedback. If a feature is still interesting after hundreds of hours of gameplay then that is a good indication that the right decision was made during the design stage."

WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BANNERLORD?
"I like a wide variety of things about the game; battle strategy, the teamwork required in multiplayer, the different factions - each with their own distinctive culture... There is just too much that I enjoy to narrow it down to a single choice."

WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING THAT YOU SOLVED SO FAR, DURING THE PRODUCTION OF BANNERLORD?
"Balancing troops. In Bannerlord, each faction has their own unique troops. Although unique troops offer some advantages over regular troops, we still have to strike a balance with how these units compare to similar troops within their own faction, and how they will perform against units from each of the other factions.

Each faction has their own advantages and disadvantages when it comes to army compositions. For example, Empire's core units are heavy infantry, which are more durable than other infantry in Calradia. We need to select their perks and equipment in a way which will provide them with this advantage, yet exposes them to risk. In this case, the weakness of heavy infantry is shock infantry, such as the Falxmen of Battania. A good strategy to employ with Empire is to use infantry and ranged units in close proximity so that they can provide support to each other against their counter troop types.

Another balancing issue is the cost of troops, which is set according to the power of the unit. In Captain Mode we had to handle this a little differently because money doesn't feature in this game mode. We decided to alter the troop count instead of the price, with the reasoning that all players have the same amount of funds and therefore the stronger units should have fewer soldiers because their recruitment and upkeep costs would be higher."

WHAT DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON?
"Answering these blog questions, (just kidding!) I'm currently working on setting civilian equipment for lords. Lords will wear helmets and heavy armour in battle, but you will see the same lords wearing robes or silk tunics in a lord's hall. The aim of this is to make the world feel more realistic and immersive."

WHAT FACTION DO YOU LIKE THE MOST IN BANNERLORD?
"Battania. Battanians have tattoos and battle paints giving them the look and feel of Celts. They have well skilled, armoured archers and many of their troops use two-handed weapons, (the archers included!) I find the atmosphere in their large and sparsely populated cities to be fascinating, and even though the cities are mostly ruinous, walking around them feels relaxed."

WHAT KIND OF PROCESSES DO YOU GO THROUGH WHILE TESTING SCENES AND CAMPAIGN?
"There are two types of tests which we use. The first one is automated tests which are run by code. Some of them are unit tests, others performance tests, there are visual tests, etc. We have several computers running these tests at all times. The second type of tests are manual tests, which are performed by the QA team. We prepared a document for manual tests which includes testing steps for each scene and feature. We currently have 5 people working in the QA team and we focus our work on our field of experience, for example the editor tester checks engine features daily."

WHAT WAS ONE OF THE STRANGEST OR FUNNIEST BUGS THAT YOU'VE EXPERIENCED DURING QA?
"There was a bug at one stage where everyone in towns, some of them naked, madly started attacking the player! The screenshots came out to be almost like a renaissance painting."

Saturday - September 23, 2017

Mount & Blade II - About Modding

by Silver, 15:32

The latest dev blog for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord answers community questions and explains how modding will work for potential modders.

Dev Blog 21/09/17

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

Mods have always been a huge part of the Mount & Blade experience. Over the years, our talented and dedicated modding community has created some amazing mods which have expanded on concepts and features in our game, such as Diplomacy[forums.taleworlds.com] and Pre-Battle Orders and Deployment[forums.taleworlds.com], or completely overhauled the game to create unique and engaging gaming experiences, such as Brytenwalda[forums.taleworlds.com] and Prophecy of Pendor[forums.taleworlds.com]. Some of them have brought RPG elements and character progression into a multiplayer setting, (Persistent World[forums.taleworlds.com], cRPG[c-rpg.net]) while others are just plain silly and fun, (Gangs of Glasgow[forums.taleworlds.com]).

In this week's blog we would like to reach out to our modding community by answering a selection of questions from our official forums[forums.taleworlds.com] which were compiled by a key member of our community, our modding moderator "Duh".


1. What language will be used for modding?
We are using C# as the scripting language. Data files are generally formatted in XML.

2. Which IDE will have support (like Visual Studio Express) from TW?
You can use any version of Visual Studio 2015 (e.g. Community edition)

3. Can you provide us with screenshots and/or a list and description of the various tools that you use and that may be made available to modders?
Scene editor
Mesh editor
Material editor
Model/Animation viewer
Skeleton editor
Replay editor
Particle editor
Atmosphere Editor
Cloth editor
Path editor
Resource Browser

Also, the runtime performance profile tools that we use will be available for modders. They will be able to check the performance impact of their changes.

[...]

Saturday - August 26, 2017

Mount & Blade II - Q&A

by Hiddenx, 08:13

Mount & Blade II Q&A with TaleWorlds’ founder and CEO: Armagan Yavuz:

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

Today we start a series of interviews with the different team members of TaleWorlds Entertainment. Every video game is the result of the combined efforts of professionals with very different skills, and that applies to Mount & Blade too. Ours is a varied team, with people from different backgrounds: programmers, artists, musicians and writers (among others) from different parts of the world and varying cultures. Understanding their tasks and their daily struggle is a great way to learn more about games development in general – and Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord in particular! Today we start with TaleWorlds’ founder and CEO: Armagan Yavuz. Every important decision passes through his hands; he is the one that makes sure that everyone and everything stays true to the original vision of the game. But it will be much better if he tells you about it by himself!

NAME
Armagan Yavuz

FROM
Ankara (Turkey)

JOINED TALEWORLDS
2005 (founder)

EDUCATION

Computer Science

OFFICIAL JOB DESCRIPTION

Lead game designer and game director

WHAT DO YOU NORMALLY DO DURING YOUR DAY?
“Most of my day is taken up by meetings. In the time not occupied by meetings, I do my tours around the office, and most team members call me over to their desks to show their work and get feedback, or to ask a question. I also play the game for a couple of hours to see if there are any problems. I no longer code as much as I used to and most of my tasks about coding involve directing other programmers and doing code reviews, however every now and then there is something that picks my interest so much, I give it a shot.”

WHAT DO YOU LIKE THE MOST ABOUT BANNERLORD?
“What I like most is seeing how, as the campaign progresses, you as a player write your own story. I am also looking forward to finishing the game and seeing what kinds of mods will come out.”

WHAT'S THE MOST DIFFICULT THING THAT YOU SOLVED SO FAR, DURING THE PRODUCTION OF BANNERLORD?

“Looking back, the biggest challenge for me was deciding on the general directions to take early in Bannerlord’s development. Should we take the game to have a more fully fledged storyline, or should we aim for huge but less detailed battles? Should we drop the dynamic text and go for full voice over?

Decisions had to be made on the technical side too. We first needed to select which scripting system to use: C# (we picked this at the end), Lua, or something we would roll on our own. And then we had to decide how much of the code we wanted to move from our existing codebase and rewrite in the scripts. (At the end we ended up leaving only the combat engine and lowest level combat AI and write everything else in C#) We then needed to decide how to structure various components, how mods would work, etc.

Some decisions turned out to be exactly right while some caused problems and we had to backtrack and change them, costing a lot of time and effort. For example, we went through three different UI libraries and had to implement some screens several times over.”

WHAT DO YOU CURRENTLY WORK ON?

“Today I worked on the design of how army coherence will be affected as an army stays in the field for a long time, and how a player can keep it together longer by arranging its composition and spending influence.”

WHAT FACTION DO YOU LIKE THE MOST IN BANNERLORD?

“I like to play with Empire, because they are going through a period of crisis, and their situation presents interesting questions and opportunities for the player.”

HAVE YOU TAKEN MAJOR INSPIRATION FROM ANY REAL (OR FICTIONAL) PLACES?

“Back when I had started working on the very first prototypes of Mount & Blade, I had the great fortune of seeing this from our window:
[...]

Tuesday - August 22, 2017

Mount & Blade II - Captain Mode

by Silver, 13:32

Captain Mode for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlords puts you in charge of a detachment of troops in multiplayer battles of 5 vs 5.

loading...

Saturday - August 05, 2017

Mount & Blade II - New weekly Blog

by Hiddenx, 08:13

You can get now information about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord every week:

Dev Blog 03/08/17

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

It is an exciting summer for TaleWorlds Entertainment: our community & communications team recently showcased Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord at E3 in Los Angeles, and next month they will visit Gamescom, Europe’s biggest games industry show, to give hands-on demos to quite a number of journalists.

In the meantime, there’s something that we want to talk with you about. We realise that we haven’t communicated with you as frequently and as openly as we should have. We failed at connecting with our community, and sometimes it might appear as if we are not paying you as much attention as you deserve. We are incredibly grateful for having such fantastic support and we were unsuccessful in letting you know just how much we appreciate you being there for us over the years.

We want to improve our relationship and communication with you – starting right now. We know that you can’t wait to get your hands on Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, and we understand that after all these years you have a lot of questions. Moving forward, we think that the best way to engage with you is by being transparent, by opening our doors to introduce you to our daily work, as well as by having clear channels to communicate with you about everything related to TaleWorlds Entertainment and Mount & Blade that we can – or cannot – talk about at this moment in time. We are striving to create the best game that we can deliver, which is a tough task that has taken us many years, and it is your support that motivates us to work harder!

That is why we are starting a new weekly blog! Every Thursday, you will get to know who is behind Mount & Blade, the diverse and talented team of designers, artists, programmers and others that make the game possible; you will glimpse our struggles and hopes, our daily work, and our favourite parts of the game… We hope that you enjoy the read – and also that it makes the waiting easier! This blog will be available in several languages, because we value all of our different communities and their languages, there are no “first class” or “second class” players for us. At the same time, as we will explain later on, we currently cannot confirm that any particular language will be supported by the game at the day of its release. So please keep it in mind that if this blog is available in, say, Catalan, it does not automatically mean that the game will release in full Catalan.

In the coming weeks we will start a series of short interviews with different members of the development team… and who could be better to start with than TaleWorlds’ founder and CEO, Armagan Yavuz! Armagan founded the company back in 2005 and he is still the driving force behind it. If you would like to know something in particular about him or his work, then leave a question in the comment section and we will pick one to add to our Q&A.

We are also working to improve our social media channels so that you know exactly where to reach us – but we will tell you more about that later this summer. In the meantime, if you want to talk with us and keep up to date with everything relating to TaleWorlds Entertainment and the Mount & Blade franchise, you can find us on our existing channels on Twitter and Facebook – as well as on our official forums, where we just opened a new Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord section where you can talk about the upcoming game.

Wednesday - July 26, 2017

Mount & Blade II - Preview @ OnlySP

by Hiddenx, 17:08

OnlySP checked out Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord:

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Preview | Beware the Limitations

Alongside Kingdom Come: Deliverance, another game in a medieval setting is making its way to players everywhere. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is an action role-playing game developed and published by TaleWorlds Entertainment, and the prequel to 2010’s Mount & Blade: Warband. However, while Kingdom Come: Deliverance follows the tale of a particular, preset character, Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord allows players to create their own character and form individual stories. Gamers may become whoever they wish, including a lord, mercenary, merchant, or anything in-between. OnlySP took the opportunity to preview TaleWorlds Entertainment’s current five-year project, and the experience was nothing, if not unique.

In a demo offering a taste of four different battle options (two of which are the same battle on different difficulties), Mount & Blade II’s current state depicts a game ripe with unprecedented sandbox potential. Brandishing mostly-realistic gameplay (down to some of the most minute details), TaleWorlds has something special on its hands. Playing through the first battle—where gamers take control of a captain responsible for leading a unit of cavalry within a lord’s army—awakens within the user a deep sense of wariness. Limited to a long spear and a shield, players must follow their lord’s orders and lead their cavalry in a charge that accomplishes specific objectives, such as protecting allied infantry from enemy cavalry or breaking the enemy’s lines to soften them up for friendly troops’ charges. However, this battle merely serves as a stage on which Mount & Blade II’s features are unveiled.

[...]

So far, 2017 has been filled with blockbuster announcements, such as Assassin’s Creed: Origins, Call of Duty: WWII, Star Wars: Battlefront II, and Far Cry 5. Meanwhile, promising games are overshadowed by the popstars of the video game industry. Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is proof that a company does not have to be as popular as the most well-known AAA producers to develop a unique, quality product. Still in development, TaleWorlds Entertainment’s innovative game offers mostly-superior graphics, outstanding audio, and gameplay mechanics that are riveting and challenging. Hopefully, TaleWorlds will improve upon the current design and fix the minor flaws present within the title between now and the game’s unannounced release date. If the polishes are made, Mount & Blade II could sneak up on the industry’s standouts and compete with the best.

Thanks Farflame!

Sunday - June 25, 2017

Mount & Blade II - Preview @ E3

by Hiddenx, 08:47

COG checked out Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord at the E3:

E3 2017: Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Preview – Mount Up and Take Charge Again

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Preview

Let’s start off with some truth; I was not a fan of the first Mount & Blade game. Admittedly, I never played any of the expansions, sequels or spin-offs, maybe one of them would have been more appealing to me. However I do know there is a huge, rabid following for Mount & Blade – so it wasn’t a fault of the game, it just wasn’t a game for me. So, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when I was set up for a meeting with TaleWorlds Entertainment to discuss Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. Needless to say, after that hour long meeting, I was pleasantly surprised and honestly can’t wait to get my hands on the full version.

loading...

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is a vast action game filled with epic battles and hand-to-hand combat. There isn’t a story, per se, the story is more about the journey you choose to take. One of my criticisms with the first game was the steep learning curve and lack of direction when you first start playing. The developers realized this and have introduced a set of objectives that you’ll work towards completing when you first start the game. Each objective is designed to introduce players to different game mechanics, which should do a better job of easing new players in (and re-introducing returning players).

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Monday - June 12, 2017

Mount & Blade II - Combat Videos

by Myrthos, 22:41

During E3 two new combat videos for Mount &  Blade: Bannerlord have been made available. One shows a cavalry sergeant:

loading...

And the other a horese archer sergeant:

loading...

KEY BATTLE IMPROVEMENTS

Battles are at the very core of the series and play better than ever in the latest installment.    

  • Advanced Formations - Merge and split forces at your behest, with intuitive but powerful control over the movement, form and behavior of every unit! Order heavy infantry to hold together, shoulder-to-shoulder in a slowly advancing but near impenetrable shield wall; or launch your cavalry in lightning charges using the skein formation.
  • Battlefield AI - AI commanders can execute complex tactics, utilizing the advanced formation options to present a formidable challenge. Their behavior is drawn from actual historical tacticians, for example Alexander the great, who used his superior cavalry forces to rout their counterparts in the opposing army, before delivering a crushing blow to the enemy's main force. This not only creates the feeling of an authentic medieval battle but also proves effective in-game, as in reality.
  • Sergeant System - Commanders now designate units to other lords in battle, including the player! Execute the orders issued by your commander throughout the fight, and use your own instincts to do your part and help secure victory on the field of battle. Lead the horse archers as they skirmish and harass the enemy to disrupt their lines before your allies finish them off, or take control of the cavalry and charge into the fray to devastate entire units at once! 

KEY COMBAT UPDATES

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord also features greatly updated combat, which builds on previous installments in a number of ways while retaining its intuitive, direction-based core that made it so popular among players. 

  • Directional Shield Blocking and Shield Bash - These two features revitalize the sword & board gameplay, making it a more engaging experience than ever before! Blocking in the wrong direction will not necessarily get you killed but it will cause your shield to break faster, leaving you defenseless against missiles and vulnerable against multiple foes. Shield bashing, a highly requested feature, temporarily stuns your opponent and knocks them back, lowering their defenses and giving you room to breathe.
  • Attack Chaining - Swings that complete their motion can now be chained into follow-up attacks which can catch your opponent off-guard after a miss. Unbalanced weapons such as hammers and axes also use the momentum of the first swing for a faster follow-up!
  • Improved Animations and Combat Engine - Huge effort has gone into making Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord's combat as fluid and visually appealing as possible. Damage dealt is now calculated with a great degree of physical depth, factoring in the weight distribution of every individual weapon. This means that whether you are executing a perfectly timed thrust while thundering towards a hapless archer on horseback or shooting an arrow across the battlefield to whittle down your opponent's infantry forces before the melee, the game will understand all of the forces involved and produce consistent, realistic and satisfying results every time.
"It is great to be back at E3 with Bannerlord, demonstrating the best Mount & Blade battles ever. Our team worked very hard on developing all aspects of the battles, which are so central to the game. We are thrilled to showcase our work and looking forward to seeing the response."

Armagan Yavuz - CEO / Founder, TaleWorlds

Thursday - June 01, 2017

Mount & Blade II - Preview @ Gamepressure

by Hiddenx, 00:37

Gamepressure has collected a few features of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord:

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord to feature battles of up to 1,000 soldiers, dynamic seasons and more

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord developers revealed a couple of tasty bits about their upcoming game in discussion with German website GameStar. They discussed the scale of battles, world sizes, dynamic seasons and more.

Up to 1,000 soldiers will fight at the sime time in single player battles in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, the developers from TaleWorlds told GameStar (via NeoGAF). That refers to the full version, as the current build is able to hold half of that: there are currently battles of 250 warriors on each side in the game. The full-fledged sequel to the popular “knight simulator” sandbox is going to feature world four times bigger than the one in Mount & Blade: Warband. It will not only have regions with different climates – from desert to icy-cold north – but also, with the passage of time, players will notice dynamic seasons displayed on battlefields and cities as well as on the world map.

[...]

Thanks Farflame!

Sunday - March 26, 2017

Mount & Blade II - Dev Blog

by Silver, 12:47

Mount & Blade II developer blog has some interesting information on quests and how the relationship system will work.

...
One aspect of Bannerlord that featured in the write-up is quests, which is what we're discussing in this blog entry. As a sandbox game, the essential function of quests in Mount & Blade is different to that of a linear or story-based RPG. Our goal is to use quests as a way to encourage the player to interact with the sandbox, and help form the player's relationships in the world.

As in Warband, completing quests for NPCs will increase your relation with that character. This however, takes on a new dimension in Bannerlord, as that relationship can have a more profound impact on your character, and the decisions you make. As an example, when you go to a town to recruit soldiers, instead of simply receiving a number of local recruits, the town's NPCs act as recruiting agents, or middle men, through whom you receive a supply of troops. The higher your relation with a specific NPC, the greater the number of soldiers they will make available to you.

This places inherent value on your relationship with a specific NPC, giving you a reason to complete quests for them, and enhance your capacity to recruit soldiers quickly, from a single location. Consider, also, the way this invests you in an NPC's safety and well-being; when that NPC is at risk, so too is your supply of soldiers. This link, between quests and the sandbox, is what provides interesting gameplay, as your character's connection to the world grows, making allies and enemies. In this sense, the impact of a quest is often more significant than the reward it offers.

A crucial change, in the nature of the quests themselves, is that the majority of quests, in Bannerlord, have multiple potential outcomes. As an example, when a character in a town tasks you with clearing out some thugs, who are occupying a local alley, upon meeting the gang, you are presented with a counter offer: go back to the quest-giver, extort money out of them for questioning the gang's authority and keep the profits for yourself. You can even clear out the thugs, as requested but instead of handing control back to the townsfolk, install your own men in the alley and begin a new criminal operation.
[...]

Wednesday - March 08, 2017

Mount & Blade II - New Screenshots

by Silver, 21:17

PCGamer has showcased some new exclusive screenshots of Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord.

TaleWorlds' Mount & Blade 2: Bannerlord may still be without a concrete launch date, but the next issue of PC Gamer magazine goes in deep with the most ambitious open-world RPG since Skyrim.

Due on sale tomorrow, issue #303 (the US edition's issue #291 is on sale later this month) boasts world-exclusive access to the much anticipated Warband prequel, and today we've got a smattering of impressive, as yet unseen screens which showcase the medieval role-player in action.

Thursday - January 12, 2017

Mount & Blade II - Not anytime soon

by Silver, 21:35

@GamePressure The Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord developers took to their forums to discuss the game and the recent progress made. It seems there is a while to wait yet until release.

It's still too early to talk about the release date of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, said the game's community manager Frank Elliot (a.k.a. Captain Lust) on the forums after well over four years since its original announcement in September 2012. While the development progress is rather steady, there is still lot of things the team at TaleWorlds have to do.

One of the things they are currently working on is combat. The focus is to make it "look and feel great in every sense". Elliot also confirmed that the game is still goining to have permadeath and aging features, however, no more details have been given on that.

Thursday - October 20, 2016

Mount & Blade II - Steam Page is Up

by Silver, 21:42

The Steam page for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is up. The release date has yet to be announced but there is a fair bit of material to look over.

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord on Steam
20 October - Captain Lust [TaleWorlds]

Welcome to the official Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord Steam group. We'll be posting news and updates here ourselves, from here on, so stay tuned and invite your friends!

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 now visible on Steam! What does that mean? Well, you can now follow the game, and get news and announcements delivered directly to PC's most popular gaming platform! You can also add the game to your wishlist, which will make sure you don't miss when the game releases.


We know you're hungry for more Bannerlord news. Right now, we're working hard on the game to put it in your hands as soon as possible, so stay tuned for more updates in the near future!

Sunday - June 26, 2016

Mount & Blade II - More on Sieges

by Aubrielle, 02:42

After TaleWorlds showed us the impressive video of Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord's siege mode at E3, they went on to say that M&B II could support even more than 500 units, as well as promising better siege AI than its predecessor.

Now, the expanded team is working on the highly anticipated sequel: Mount & Blade II Bannerlord. The game was featured in E3 2016’s PC Gaming Show, where TaleWorlds demonstrated the new siege system for the first time.

This has been majorly improved since the first game in the series, which will please those fans who gave their feedback on this feature. Gamers will now be able to choose different tactics and control their approach by positioning troops and weapons exactly where they desire; according to the developers, this will allow for a much more involved experience.

The siege demonstrated below had about 500 units in total, but TaleWorlds is confident that bigger sieges will be featured in the game without performance issues. Another significant improvement introduced by Mount & Blade II Bannerlord is the enhanced Artificial Intelligence (AI).

TaleWorlds promised “massive strides” with the AI so that the soldiers can now take smarter actions on the battlefield. For example, if you manage to open a breach in the castle the enemy commander NPC will try to close that breach.

Castle defenses are destructible and the AI will make the defenders retreat should the walls be lost to the attackers. An important note is that sounds aren’t final yet in the video below, so take that into account.

Read more.

Sunday - June 19, 2016

Mount & Blade II - Interview @ TechRaptor

by Hiddenx, 23:38

TechRaptor has interviewed Frank Elliott and Steve Negus about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord:

I attended a presentation with Taleworlds Entertainment all about siege in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. Later I returned and Taleworlds graciously agreed to an interview, so I spoke with Frank Elliott and Steve Negus about more siege details, factions, relationships between lords, and more.

We first talked about much of what you can see in this video here, which is much of what I saw in the presentation I attended. There was discussion of what players new to the series should be excited to see, as well as the general philosophy behind Bannerlord. Basically, Taleworlds knows they have a good set of systems and mechanics in place, now they are just working to improve them. Siege is just one of the areas we can see that general improvement. The interview discusses siege a little, AI improvements, and more.

[...]

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Tuesday - June 14, 2016

Mount & Blade II - E3 Siege Trailer

by Aubrielle, 08:05

TaleWorlds shows off some brand new footage of siege gameplay from Mount and Blade II: Bannerlord.

Thanks, Couch!

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Edit Myrthos: And here are some new screens as well

 

And an extended gameplay video:

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Friday - March 18, 2016

Mount & Blade II - Gameplay Presentation with Q&A

by Silver, 20:08

PC Gamer share a presentation of Mount & Blade 2. The Q&A starts at the 30:50 mark.

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Community manager Frank Elliott and animator Sten Oom walked us through everything from the fine details of character creation to the transitions between strategy, RPG and action. There's a generous helping of battle scenes too. Better still, the full Q&A session is attached: hear about improved mod support, AI personalities, and watch them writhe while skirting questions they're not allowed to answer yet.

Monday - March 07, 2016

Mount & Blade II - Gameplay @PC Gamer

by Silver, 10:54

PC Gamer shows us some gameplay for Mount & Blade II.

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Tuesday - January 12, 2016

Mount & Blade II - Six Reasons to Be Excited

by Aubrielle, 08:37

Improved sieges and combat, better bartering and NPC interaction, and vastly improved graphics, just to name a few.  Here's why Gaming Respawn is excited about M&B II: Bannerlord.

Sieges

Sieges in Mount & Blade: Warband weren’t the greatest, let’s be honest. We had a few different options to choose from but the bottomline was that there wasn’t enough variety in sieges, with each siege playing out the same as the one before it. It was more about brute force than anything else. However Bannerlord will revamp sieges completely by making them more strategic, giving players more freedom to choose how they wish to assault a castle or town as well as adding in actual tactics. There will be multiple entry points players can choose, meaning that you will no longer need pure brute force to win as well keeping each siege different.

...

Improved Combat and Battles

One of the best things about Warband was its huge battles and combat which on the whole, wasn’t too bad for a game of its size. While it wasn’t brilliant, it did the job. However we can’t wait to take part in more realistic battles. The revamped combat will link in nicely with the new sieges, however Taleworlds have promised that combat in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will have “up-close and personal medieval combat on a huge scale” which will also be “bigger, bloodier and more intense than ever before”. Sounds awesome right?

More information.

Monday - December 28, 2015

Mount & Blade II - Dev Blog 12

by Aubrielle, 06:32

In M&B II's Dev Blog 12, TaleWorlds Entertainment covers the passage of time.

Thank you again, Couch, for tonight's news.

Bannerlord shares the setting of Calradia with Warband but takes place 200 years earlier. The map is also expanded to include regions further to the east and south of that in previous games, resulting in a map which is around three times larger. Land features and even some settlements from the previous games are recognisable. By sharing the same world, the two games become part of the lore of Mount & Blade in a wider sense. While the series' lore was kept to a minimum in Warband, being left to hints in dialogue, Bannerlord features its own storyline that will add some additional depth to the factions.

In addition to acting as the setting, providing the context for Mount & Blade's magnificent battles, the overworld map is also where a large chunk of gameplay lies. With Bannerlord, the approach is to provide more information to the player with the map itself and the HUD presented while travelling. Taking the icons as an example, it is now possible to see what a village produces by looking at its icon. These change dynamically over time to reflect different production facilities constructed in the village, or additions of buildings like castles. On the HUD, more information is presented to the player, including morale, food supplies, gold and more. We are currently restructuring the HUD to provide even more information without making it too overwhelming.

Characters and locations on the map make up what we call “parties”. All parties on the map, whether they are lords, bandits, hideouts or anything, have a function in the game's sandbox simulation of a feudal world. Here is a basic explanation of how the economy works:

-Villages produce goods based on what types of production they have in place (e.g. Sheep farms produce sheep, cheese, wool etc.)

-Peasants take goods produced in their village to sell in the local town by repeatedly travelling directly between the village and the town on the map.

-The raw materials are taken to towns and either consumed or processed into secondary goods (e.g. wool into clothes, sheep into meat) via workshops.

-Goods in towns are bought by caravans to be sold elsewhere for a higher price, caravans will assess the situation and try to maximise profit from their journey over the map.

When all of these steps are completed successfully, the prosperity of the settlements increases. What's interesting, though, is that because everything is connected in this way, disruption can be a very effective approach when dealing with an enemy or rival. A simple example is that raiding enemy villages or preventing peasants from making their journey to the local town impoverishes towns due to their lack of goods to process for trade. More indirect benefits can be received by, for instance, aiding a bandit group near to the fief of a rival noble from the same faction, trying to limit their income and gaining a leg over them in the faction standings. Since everything is simulated in this way, no matter what you do, it has a knock-on effect in the world. Manipulating this to your own ends is key to making progress in the game but AI Lords will also attempt to create problems for opponents, in an effort to better themselves.

The topography of the map is not entirely consistent with Warband, in fact Bannerlord's map is somewhat more mountainous. The effect of this is an increase in the number of choke points. It will be hard to avoid conflict, for instance, when traversing narrow passes through mountain ranges that may be riddled with ambush spots or enemy patrols. Tactically, the map offers many more options for controlling areas that serve as trade routes. Battles are often fought in the game to contest key choke points with the goal of securing passage for trade caravans and other parties. As a player, it is important to consider what kind of warfare you are likely to end up in, before sacrificing relations with a faction. If your speciality is skirmishing on foot over rough terrain, you might for example avoid engaging the Aserai, who will have higher mobility in the open desert.

The map is changed, not just by the activity of the player and NPCs but also by the passage of time. Changing seasons affect the weather and transform the landscape sending snow creeping south during winter. Significant gameplay effects, of the changing conditions, are felt in the effectiveness of different troop types. Cavalry and ranged units in particular will have a harder time in rain or snow. One major change from Warband is how time progresses; the yearly cycle has been shortened to twelve weeks, which adds more importance to the changing seasons and ageing of characters.

More information.

Source: Taleworlds

Friday - November 06, 2015

Mount & Blade II - Interview @ GamereactorTV

by Hiddenx, 07:21

GamereactorTV has interviewed Armagan Yavus about the improvements in Bannerlord compared to Warbands and the development progress:

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We caught up with TaleWorld Entertainment's Armagan Yavus and found out how development is coming along on Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.

Saturday - October 03, 2015

Mount & Blade II - Interview @ Games Totalwars

by Hiddenx, 09:18

Eye spotted this interview with with Armaganom Yavuz about Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.

We present our new interview with Yavuz Armaganom about his new creation - Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord II.

(For translation thanks Sasha Alexander from our group Vkontakte.)

Reporter: Could you tell us more about TaleWorlds? How great team?

Armagan: My wife and I founded the company in 2005, and over the years it grew, we now have more than 50 people. We are very passionate about games, and our core philosophy of creating games that we would like to play themselves.

Reporter: What about game development in Turkey?

Armagan: Development of a video game is a new sector for Turkey and there is still a shortage of experienced game developers. On the other hand, there are a lot of passionate young people who want to make a career in the gaming industry and we are fortunate to have the opportunity to work with a young and talented team.

Reporter: Why Bannerlord? Does the name "Bannerlord" subcontext?

Armagan: We probyvali different names, and we felt that it was the name of Bannerlord unikallnym. An important role will be played by the family and retainers. We'll talk about it soon! And, of course, as the game is now called Bannerlord, we were obliged to sdobavit editor banners.

Reporter: As the game will look like as a whole, it will be more like the first part, or it will be something new?

Armagan: The Bannerlord will be a lot of changes compared with the first part of our game, but the point of the game will be the same. We walked all over the mechanics of the game and the campaign tried to change the design of every detail, so that the campaign will igrkom smoothly plunge into the game world. In addition, there are significant improvements in animation and combat system. Improved graphics This is only onachalo.

Reporter: What is the most significant improvement in Bannerlord from the previous game?

Armagan: Frankly, we expect that the views on this will vary from player to player. We commit the same time every aspect of the game.
In general, one of our most important goals is exploring various aspects of the game.
A new game engine, New Horizon

Reporter: From the developer blog, we learned that you are using the "indoor game engine." On soklko it good for?

Armagan: We are very proud of our new game engine which we developed from the ground up for quite a long time for Bannerlord. It has a very easy to use and powerful editor, as well as the latest technology such as DX11, natural shading, aggressive use of multi-threading, and many others. Unfortunately, far too early to give exact figures, but it will be very well optimized, and we hope it will serve us and our community for many years.

Reporter: Many question arises on account of the size of the battle. I have confidence that my GTX660 can survive with 500 hundred people / horses in battle. Will work smoothly on medium game configurations?

Armagan: Performance is a priority for us, we want to see in our game, playing as many people as possible. We're trying to do that all the graphics settings can be changed, so have the players with less powerful configuration could also naslazhdatsya game. In addition, Bannerlord come a large number of performance improvements in comparison with the Warband, including the active use of multi-threading and re-design of some calculations.
We have not yet decided what will be the minimum requirements, but GTX660 definitely will play in the main settings.

Reporter: The game will be as friendly to the modders as the first part?

Armagan: Actually, we strive to modding was easier in general. This is one reason why the development of the game took longer than we expected, the system that we have come up with not only work well, but should also be easy for modders.

Reporter: The game will be more focused on multiplayer mode or single player? Will the repose of character development in the style of MMO and whether the multiplayer part of the arena or «Online campaigns"?

Armagan: We have a high standard that we strive vyderzhatv single-player and multiplayer games. For us it is not a matter of choosing one over the other. Both modes must conform to our expectations. Unfortunately, we can not disclose additional information on additional networking opportunities at this time, but the style of the game arena, of course, is not going anywhere. There will be no character development MMO style in the classical sense, as it significantly violates justice and sporting interest. However, players will be able to monitor your progress and feel without getting an unfair advantage.

Reporter: Bannerlord will be the same as the open world in the first part? If so, you increase the scale?

Armagan: The Vannerlord certainly have a map of the open world. We still decided to scale proportions, but I can say that the area of ​​the card is approximately four times the Warband.

Reporter: Your team tries to bring more strategy to the game. Will it be done in Bannerlord in Total war?

Armagan: Bannerlord will have a large number of improvements in the management. AI It will also be greatly improved. The main focus of the game is still on a dive in his own character, so the battle will never feel like in a conventional strategy.

-> Original

Tuesday - August 11, 2015

Mount & Blade II - Gameplay Features Explained

by Hiddenx, 23:01

In their blog #11 TaleWorlds explains the gameplay features of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord in great detail:

Hello All!

As many of you may have noticed, we have been rather busy! Last week, we visited Cologne, Germany to attend Gamescom, the largest game conference in Europe. While there, we took appointments to demonstrate some Bannerlord gameplay to the world's media. Along with this, we released a few videos which were used as part of our presentation.

It has been great to see the excited response to the clips and we're very pleased that your feedback has been so positive! Of course, the game is still very much in development and so we had to make decisions about what to put in the videos and how it would be presented.

Here, we have compiled some of the highlights, along with a small smattering of new footage, which we want to present to you the community, along with a little explanation about some of the features. [...]

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Wednesday - August 05, 2015

Mount & Blade II - Gamescom 2015 Gameplay Videos

by Hiddenx, 22:19

The Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord gameplay videos at Rock, Paper, Shotgun:

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Tuesday - July 28, 2015

Mount & Blade II - Debut at Gamescom 2015 @ NicheGamer

by Hiddenx, 06:50

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord will be revealed at the Gamescom 2015 in Cologne:

TaleWorlds Entertainment will be revealing Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord for the first time at Gamescom 2015 in Cologne. Media will be invited to attend private viewing sessions of live gameplay from the game in its current state. Video and additional information about the game will be released to the general public concurrently, satiating some of the massive player demand for information on the new entry to the franchise.

The series, which has until now accumulated over 6 million unit sales, is a favourite among players, much loved for its refreshing sandbox gameplay that centres around player freedom. This next instalment takes place 200 years before Warband but brings the series forward by greatly expanding gameplay in all areas and offering much improved visuals.

 

Saturday - April 04, 2015

Mount & Blade II - Developers Blog #10

by Couchpotato, 05:24

TaleWorlds Entertainment posted the tenth developer update for their upcoming sequel Mount & Blade II Bannerlord. The update focuses on materialistic approaches.

Hello all Mount & Blade players, curious individuals and accidental Mount & Blade blog readers! We hope you are having a wonderful 2015, so far and that you enjoyed our previous blog by Finn Seliger, covering the music of Bannerlord.

This time, the blog comes right from us and we're going to be touching on an interesting new feature for the single player, something we know a lot of you want to hear about.

One of the areas of our development focus is improving player interaction with NPCs and other factions and making this part of the game feel deeper and more meaningful. In order to facilitate this, early in the development we decided to use a dedicated bartering screen. We have been working on this new feature for some time now and it has matured to a point where it adds a lot to gameplay and has many interesting details we can talk about.

As shown in the screenshot, the bartering screen is fairly self explanatory. The right hand side presents a list of things the player can offer towards the deal, and the left hand side shows what the player can demand from the other party. This is a simple system that makes deals easy to create and view, with potential offerings grouped together for ease of use.

Thursday - January 22, 2015

Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #9

by Killias2, 21:12

TaleWorlds Entertainment has just posted the ninth developer diary for their upcoming sequel Mount & Blade II Bannerlord.  This update focuses on the creation of Bannerlord's soundtrack:

Finn Seliger, Periscope Studio - With the soundtrack of Mount & Blade 2 one of our main goals was to create a characteristic music piece for each faction – a kind of hymn – that should reflect the faction in terms of culture and attitude.

Having six different factions, the first step was to identify those characteristic instruments. Together with Torsten Stoye and his band Frölich Geschray (www.geschray.de) we were having two great sessions trying out different ethnic instruments. The samples that we were recording during the sessions turned out to be pure inspiration for the future compositions and helped a lot in finding the right tone for each faction.

See here for more, including pictures, audio samples, more information, and even a screenshot of a scene in Bannerlord.

Sunday - September 28, 2014

Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #8

by Couchpotato, 12:34

TaleWorlds Entertainment next development update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord is a new video that shows off how the game engine works.

For Bannerlord Developer Blog 8, we've decided to put together a little video! Entitled “Engine Power”, we're offering you a glimpse of some of the features of our new engine and why we're making it. We hope you enjoy it!

Saturday - August 30, 2014

Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #7

by Couchpotato, 06:47

TaleWorlds Entertainment has finally posted the next development update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. This time the topic is Imperial Declines.

Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord  Blog 7 - Imperial Declines

Hi, all! For our seventh installment of the Bannerlord developer blogpost, we'd like to talk a little about our plans for factions, and how this fits into our evolving thinking about Mount&Blade as a sandbox game.

Warband's factions were based on existing medieval societies. We added a few in-game details about their backgrounds, but we didn't try to create an over-arching story. The factions' semi-historical nature meant players could use their imaginations and historical knowledge to fill in the details of these societies and make their own stories -- as we saw in many great AARs. A player who liked the Vikings, for example, might have chosen to fight for the Nords, maybe even model the character on a fictional or historical Norse warrior. However, many players felt Mount&Blade would be more immersive if the factions had more background and the game had an emotionally grabbing narrative hook, so we're going to try do that while still keeping the sandbox spirit.

Thursday - May 08, 2014

Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #6

by Couchpotato, 05:44

TaleWorlds Entertainment has posted the next development update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. This time we get a look at how they bring the NPCs to life.

 Developer Blog 6 - Astounding Squirms

Players of Mount&Blade, idle passers and intrigued discoverers, Happy Friday to all. This little blog is about our progress making the game Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord. It doesn't cover everything we do but it tells you a little bit here and there which some may find of interest. “Never make a 6th album”, say the cynics. “Stop after the successful 5th!” - hogwash, we'll continue this blog until the sun rises in the west and sets in the east... or maybe just while we're working on Bannerlord.

We get messages from a lot of players saying they want to see more immersion and believability in the game. One feature we have planned for Bannerlord is facial animations. For a very long time, faces in games were pretty much completely motionless. There are various studies about the importance of non-verbal communication (facial expressions, body language etc.) in communication as a whole, including the much debated and often quoted “7%, 38%, 55%” figure for words spoken, tone of voice and physical behaviour respectively. We aren't psychologists though and that isn't a debate we need to enter into. The general consensus is that they are pretty important.

Monday - March 31, 2014

Mount & Blade II - Player Survey

by Couchpotato, 06:57

TaleWorlds Entertainment has a new post on the Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord website with a new Player Survey to collect more data to help develop the game.

Hello Mount&Blade players of all demographics!

What does demographic mean? Why is that important? I don't know, maybe no one does but here at TaleWorlds we're looking for answers or... at least responses.

Meaningless drivel aside TaleWorlds is looking to collect some data about the players of Mount&Blade, with a good old fashioned survey. We feel like we have a pretty good handle on our players' likes and dislikes already because you like to make them known to us through forums, twitters and facebooks but have decided that getting results for a survey might be a nice way for us to get some of that as cold hard data.

If you have a spare few minutes then it would be great if you could help us out by filling out the forms and checking the boxes at this link: http://www.taleworlds.com/survey

All of the data is completely anonymous and so doesn't require you to enter any personal information whatsoever. Thank you in advance!

Saturday - March 15, 2014

Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #5

by Couchpotato, 04:40

TaleWorlds Entertainment has posted the next development update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord. This time we get a look at how motion capture works in the game.

Happy Friday to avid readers and passers by. It has been a little while since our last Bannerlord Blog. In this entry we are once more decreasing the number of unblogged rooms in the office by one. Although some animations are made and polished in various parts of the office, many are captured in our very own motion capture studio near the main door of our offices. The animation hub and thus the associated blog room for this episode.

Sunday - January 26, 2014

Mount & Blade II - Developer Update #4

by Couchpotato, 02:20

TaleWorlds Entertainment posted the next development update for Mount & Blade II.

Happy New Year to those operating on the Gregorian Calender and a round, warm hello to all. “Blog!”, they cried and it was written. 2013 has been a year of growth for us at TaleWorlds and with each passing month, work intensifies on Bannerlord. The new year has already started with the achievement of 100,000 likes on our official Facebook page. It feels like a great milestone and we'd like to thank everyone for all the support. Now let us tell you a little bit more about making Bannerlord.

For this week, focus will be drawn on the other half of “Team 1” (see Blog 3 for an explanation), developers of the combat and physics aspects of the engine, as well as web development. The room is calm and quiet, closest to the main door of all the development teams. Mount&Blade is arguably most well known for the originality of its combat system, so in developing the next full installment in the series, it is naturally an area which receives a lot of attention during design discussions and testing. A constant work of refinement. Visits to and from the engine team are a norm and work is done closely with the animators, whose role in the combat system is a vital one.

Sunday - December 22, 2013

Mount & Blade II - Developer Update # 3

by Couchpotato, 04:20

TaleWorlds Entertainment has posted the next development update for Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.

Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord Developer Blog 3 - Unexpected Parties

To all interested and uninterested parties, let it be known that we at TaleWorlds are making a new game, by the name of Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord. It is the next in the Mount&Blade series and a prequel to Mount&Blade Warband. This is the third entry in our Developer Blog, talking about making the game to whoever wants to listen. Thisweek we're talking about the campaign team, developers of the game's single player mechanics and gameplay. The team formerly known as “Team 3”...

It is tradition in the blog, to discuss the relative location of the teams' rooms in the office. The campaign team is directly opposite the engine team (mentioned in blog 2) and again very central. This is equally as useful as it is for the engine team but not because the campaign team receive a large number of wanderers, it's because they do the wandering. By focusing directly on the gameplay itself, oftentimes additions or changes are needed from the engine team, the artists or whoever to make a planned game mechanic work. It doesn't matter if it's a tap on the shoulder, a lean from the side or an instant message; a campaign team member always wants something from you. A variation of a map icon perhaps, or a piece of your soul.

Sunday - December 15, 2013

Mount & Blade II - Developer Update # 2

by Couchpotato, 04:46

TaleWorlds Entertainment has a new development update about painted plants. Yes you read that right the first update was about hair, and now plants.

Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord Developer Blog 2 - Painted Plants

As a preamble to this blog entry, we would like to extend our sincere thanks for the incredible response to the previous blog. We expected excitement and we know (because you rarely take a break from telling us, which is great!) that you want information from Bannerlord but the feedback certainly exceeded our expectations. The blog was our most liked, shared and far reaching post on Facebook, the forums went crazy (more so than usual), on Reddit we had a great interest on /r/mountandblade as well as reaching the front page of /r/Games and on Twitter... well predictably everyone had a lot of fun with caps lock.

Avid blog followers and newcomers to the series, in this, our second blog, we're talking about our team of engine programmers and their role in our development process. It is fitting that the engine team sits in the centre of the office, developing the core of the game. The room is generally busy with the comings and goings of demanding developers, the hardware is powerful and the attitude is relaxed and open. Inside dwell the gremlin exterminating gremlins. The light masters. The engine engineers.

Thursday - November 28, 2013

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - Developer Post

by Couchpotato, 02:36

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord has a new developer update talking about the art department, and how the game handles hair.

One of the current focuses of the artists is on character hair. Hair is a great challenge for all games; simulating realistic movement and texture when you have so many individual strands moving separately is incredibly resource intensive, when done in real time. Some games use certain techniques to improve the simulation, while saving resources but in a game like Mount&Blade, where you may have 100s of characters on screen, the balancing act becomes significantly more difficult. Our current working method is: a textured base (something like a hair coloured swimming cap) with groups of hair strands (rendered onto polygons with alpha channels) moving in various directions to give a natural look. This adds more depth than the method used in warband, which relied on the texture to give depth to the hair. You can see the difference below (Left: Warband, Right: Mount&Blade II: Bannerlord):

It goes without saying but what you're seeing is the game in its current state and the hair will likely see further changes and improvements. That means, if there's something you don't like about it, feel free to let us know via an ALL CAPS tweet with several exclamation marks but there's a good chance we're not completely happy with it either... just yet. The most important thing is that it's something which can be used en masse without heavily impacting on performance, a possiblilty achieved by the strength of our new game engine.

Sunday - September 29, 2013

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord - First Glimpse

by Couchpotato, 07:24

TaleWorlds Entertainment offers the first glimpse of Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord with some new screenshots, and artwork.

The once-mighty Calradic Empire is in a state of decline. Warlike tribes have seized swaths of its territory. Client kingdoms have declared their independence. The Emperor has died without leaving an heir, leaving three jealous factions to scramble for power. Mercenary companies, bandit lords and nomads hover on the sidelines like vultures waiting for a meal.

A hero who can master the art of single combat, of leading armies in battle, of plotting ambushes and raids, and of exploiting the rivalries of noble houses and tribal clans may be able to unite this Empire -- or, alternately, to deal it the final blow that sends it crashing down. Will Calradia experience one final sunset of imperial glory, or slip into a night of chaos before a new age dawns?

Information about

Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord

Developer: Taleworlds

SP/MP: Single + MP
Setting: Fantasy
Genre: Strategy-RPG
Combat: Real-time
Play-time: Unlimited
Voice-acting: Partially voiced

Regions & platforms
Internet
· Homepage
· Platform: PC
· To be announced
· Publisher: Taleworlds