Dev Blog 17/05/18

Greetings warriors of Calradia!

From the steppe empires of Central Asia to the feudal states of Europe, cavalry was an integral part of medieval armies. Whether providing logistical support or charging the enemy on the battlefield, horses proved to be invaluable assets in warfare. In this week’s blog, we will take a look at these elegant and powerful animals and discuss the improvements and changes we have made to horses in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.

In Bannerlord, horses are just as important as their real-world counterparts, and just like in real-life, there are different breeds which are suited to different tasks. We have a variety of different horses in the game, most of which players of our previous games will already be familiar with. They include:

  • Charger
  • Desert
  • Hunter
  • Mule
  • Saddle
  • Steppe
  • Sumpter

Each type of horse has its own stats, which determine their charge damage, speed, manoeuvrability, hit points and carrying capacity of the horse (some of you might have noticed that we didn’t mention armour, but we will get to that!).

On the campaign map, horses greatly improve the movement speed of your party. They also vastly increase your maximum carrying load, which should be of interest to any traders or looters out there. However, you won’t be buying additional horses just for these benefits anymore: when upgrading your troops to a cavalry class, you will need to provide them with their own mount (and if you read last week’s blog you will have a good idea of how to get a steady supply of these!).

One of the changes we made to horses is that they now come with an equipment slot. Players can equip their horse with different types of saddlebags, harnesses or armour, which modifies the stats of the horse. This allows players to customise their mount to better suit their current needs depending on their current activity.

The design process for creating both the horse models and their equipment was actually quite straightforward. Our first step was to do some extensive research on different breeds of horses and the types of equipment that would have been used historically. Then we selected what we thought would be the most appropriate references for the game and used a bit of creative freedom in cases which we couldn’t find anything to represent the different cultures that each of our factions takes their inspiration from. The next step was to create some concept art to help bring our ideas to life. After creating and reworking a number of different designs, we moved on to the modelling phase. This involved creating both high and low poly versions of each model to be used in the texture baking process. Finally, we implemented them into the game, ready for testing!

Each of the horses come in a variety of colours, which we think helps to add to the overall immersion of the game, and in addition to this, we implemented a horse mark variation system which adds some additional variety to the horses by randomly assigning them with leg and facial markings, which helps to make them look and feel more natural.

In next week’s blog, we will pick up where we left off with our series of interviews with members of the TaleWorlds team by speaking with Concept Artist, Ali Eser. If you have any questions you would like to ask him then please leave a reply in the comments and we will pick one out for him to answer.

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