In video games, game design must come first. It doesn’t matter if a game has awe-inspiring art or wonderful writing if its gameplay is clunky, repetitive or downright boring. In Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord, game design is king too – we want it to be as open, full of possibilities, dynamic, and engaging as a sandbox can possibly be. But that doesn’t mean anything if you can make game designers’ ideas come true. Gameplay programmers take care of that: they turn ideas into reality, creating game systems by implementing game features in the actual game. That takes understanding the feature itself by heart as well as writing the code to make it work as it was designed. Today we talk with Selim Çam, one of our gameplay programmers, to find out what he’s working on for the single-player campaign of Bannerlord.
Becoming a noble is a major milestone in Mount & Blade games. It is the moment that your dedication and hard work is recognised and rewarded with land and title. In most cases, this will be in the service of a liege lord, however, we know that some of you prefer not to bend the knee and would rather carve out your own path in Calradia! But, regardless of how you obtain your own holdings, it is what you do with your new found gains that truly matters.
When you read the word “scene” you most likely think of a movie or play: a character does or says something in a certain situation and place; when that’s done, the scene is over. But in level design, the word has a different meaning. There, a scene is more like a scene in a pen and paper roleplaying game, where the dungeon master defines the space (say, a tavern), the context (bustling with people because there’s a huge storm outside), and the most relevant information game-wise: where the exits and entries are, what the important NPCs are doing… The narrator doesn’t actually write what the characters are saying or will say: what they do is create a space full of possibilities to play with.
Great news! The first baby in Calradia has been born! Yay!
Animations are a big part of video games, apart from the obvious reason (a totally still game wouldn’t be much fun, would it?), because they actually have a deep impact on gameplay. If animating a movie is hard work, just imagine animating something that will change and evolve depending on players’ input! Animations give you the visual cues you need to react to what’s happening on screen, especially in combat, so they need to feel natural and realistic. But at the same time, as a player you want to retain control over what’s going on, so animations need to be short and always keep the ability to change on the fly. Then you’ve got all the technical challenges related to motion capture – and that’s not counting animating animals such as dogs or birds, where MoCap is out of the question. This week we talk with one of our character animators, Abdullah Nakipoğlu, who will give us a sneak peek at the complex process of animating characters in Mount & Blade II: Bannerlord.