Greetings warriors of Calradia!
In this week's blog we would like to reflect on our experience at Gamescom 2017 and discuss our new multiplayer game mode, Captain Mode, which we invited visitors to play in a hands-on demo in Cologne. We are becoming quite the regulars at Gamescom, with this being our third time attending, however each visit has acted as a completely unique learning experience that has helped us to refine and improve both the game, and the way we go about approaching these kinds of events.
At this year's Gamescom we showcased multiplayer in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord for the first time. This is an aspect of the game which we have been working very hard to improve on. We recently announced that Bannerlord will feature a matchmaking system for the first time in the Mount & Blade series, with our aim being to offer players a fairer and more challenging multiplayer experience. We hope to expand upon and improve the existing game modes featured in previous Mount & Blade titles, while still offering something new and exciting.
Captain Mode puts players in command of their own detachment of AI troops in multiplayer team-based PvP battles. We designed the game mode to leave room for individual player skill to shine through, however teamwork and strategy will always put a team at a massive advantage on their path to victory. There are two ways in which teams can win the game: either through eliminating the entire opposing force, or by dominating the battlefield by holding flags. Flags are removed from the battlefield over time, the order in which can be influenced by the players, until there is only one flag remaining, which really concentrates the combat in to a climactic finale.
The feedback we got from our guests at Gamescom was amazing! Players really seemed to enjoy the pace of the combat and the tactical options on offer. We were also overjoyed to see how some players naturally started to communicate between themselves, organising strategies and coordinating team builds in an effort to win. This is precisely what we had hoped for when designing the game mode and it was really exciting to see the players respond in this way.
As with many other areas of our game, this game mode is still very much a work in progress. The UI for example is something that we are still working on and we are aware needs some improvement. We settled for something that would provide the players with all of the basic information that they would need for the demo and allow us to focus more on the actual gameplay.
It was amazing to see so many familiar faces at Gamescom, from our friends at Warhorse Studios (thanks for the beers guys!), to a couple of people who are a little closer to our hearts, and who we personally invited to come and test the game: “Purzelblume” and “Peter”!
It was great to be able to let two of our key community members test the game and give us their feedback in an honest and open dialogue. If you want to hear what they thought of the game then you should make sure to check out the interviews we conducted with them at the event.
During the event we were invited to take part in a livestream with GameStar and Twitch which we thoroughly enjoyed. The videos from those streams can be found below.
Overall we feel that the event went extremely well. The feedback was great and players really seemed to be enjoying themselves while playing. This was the first time that we let players record their own footage from the game and we are confident that there will be some videos coming out in the near future which will show those of you who were unable to visit our booth just how exciting and fun Captain Mode is.
In next week's blog we will be talking to Ceren Üstündağ, Lead Programmer of the Campaign Team. If you have a question you would like to ask her then leave a reply to this post and we will pick one out to feature in the blog.