Are TaleWorlds bad at programming?

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MicroProse is back with a vengeance. I've been playing HighFleet lately and it is interesting mix of action and strategy, with a lot of simulation elements. Any game where I'm firing long-range anti-ship missiles based on intercepted communications and radio direction finding before diving into a straight-up SHUMP to finish off the survivors is bound to be unique in a lot of ways.
What a coincidence! A friend of mine just spoke about this game this week
And I welcome any attempt at simulations :grin:

I just don't get how project managing can be so bad. It shouldnt be so hard to find out what the people want.
I think this is a delicate balance... because in one hand there's the original vision, and in the other hand the wishes of the community
maybe more often than not, these two won't go along so well...
A lot of people talk about how bannerlord has turned into a battle simulator. While I don't like this direction, if it's the developer vision I guess there's not much we can do.
 

Brianeniko

Recruit
Some of the code is interesting, some of it is unnecessarely complicated for what it does (at least given what we can observe) and some of it is genuine spaghetti.
Like mexxico said, Taleworld is lacking manpower. Maybe the devs are a bunch of internship guys that don't know how to code (I mean the real implementation of code not just tests or exams in university or college). This happens to cyberpunk too where the experienced devs leave the company and what is left is the internship dev and they just ****ed up the game. I am a programmer myself but I am not a game dev. (CMIIW) Modding and developing a game are somewhat similar. The difference between modding and developing a game is at the start. Game dev needs to build the fundamental framework, so in the future, it is easier to implement things and the rest is the same as modding or developing. They just need to write a code.

Spaghetti code is caused by inexperienced devs. Experienced devs could minimize spaghetti code by a lot because they have the experience.
 

Rungsted93

Sergeant at Arms
WBWF&SVC
What saddens me the most is what a game we could've had.

And it's not lack of manpower, it's horrible project management and trying to cater to a casual audience instead of your long-term fans. After all M&B Original was made by 2 people ? And Warband less than 10?

Also looking at old footage there was a lot of stuff which has since been removed (minor faction settlements, each village being it's own independant fief with upgrades, gang system). I think at some point Armagan just said "Screw it! things are taking too long, lets just make it streamlined and have modders do the work for us".
 

vonbalt

Sergeant Knight
WBNWVCM&B
each village being it's own independant fief with upgrades
I'm sour about that to this day, it was such an awesome design (and it was Mexxico's too so we know it would be great if the guy had the time to polish it) and instead it was replaced by an even simpler version that what we had in warband/classic..
 

Brianeniko

Recruit
What saddens me the most is what a game we could've had.

And it's not lack of manpower, it's horrible project management and trying to cater to a casual audience instead of your long-term fans. After all M&B Original was made by 2 people ? And Warband less than 10?

Also looking at old footage there was a lot of stuff which has since been removed (minor faction settlements, each village being it's own independant fief with upgrades, gang system). I think at some point Armagan just said "Screw it! things are taking too long, lets just make it streamlined and have modders do the work for us".
Man reading that makes me sad. They could make a masterpiece out of that idea. I am genuinely a new MB fan but this makes me sad bro.
 
Due to my thread turning in to the kind of usual TW trashing, i just wanna say, that my intention with the thread was to maybe nudge TW a little bit and ask them about their coding and developers.

There has been a lot of posts about what they can implement and wishlists, but it would be cool to hear their side of the story. My opinion is that bannerlord has a frightening high potential as a game and a VERY solid base for a game, i just feel like they need to fix 2-3 major things like siege and path-finding, after that it can almost be released fully, and just slowly work on bigger expansions/implementations like reworked criminal/rogue system, more advanced politics etc.

The game is SO CLOSE to be perfect, it just need those gamebreaking fixes and more depth.
 

Poddicus

Knight
M&BWBWF&SNWVC
Due to my thread turning in to the kind of usual TW trashing, i just wanna say, that my intention with the thread was to maybe nudge TW a little bit and ask them about their coding and developers.

There has been a lot of posts about what they can implement and wishlists, but it would be cool to hear their side of the story. My opinion is that bannerlord has a frightening high potential as a game and a VERY solid base for a game, i just feel like they need to fix 2-3 major things like siege and path-finding, after that it can almost be released fully, and just slowly work on bigger expansions/implementations like reworked criminal/rogue system, more advanced politics etc.

The game is SO CLOSE to be perfect, it just need those gamebreaking fixes and more depth.
Why bother though when they've shown no indication that they want to add anything the players from previous M&B games want, i.e the depth.
Even with all the bugs and pathfinding fixed, what's the point when we can play Warband.
 

SOku

Sergeant
cities skylines and any number of games have followed suit. Every game feels like cookie clicker now.

Could you elaborate for Cities Skylines ? To me the game simulates citizen's life pretty damn good.

To respond to OP @Stratattack :

I think it all boils down to the fact that beginner programmers and hobbyists or just simply non-programmers like you are ( don't take this like I'm being pedantic, I'm just quoting you ) think that implementing a feature sounds trivial and easy for the devs, therefore they're going mad on the ability of the said team to dev this long-awaited feature.
I've seen a lot of those critiques on a diverse range of games completely missing the point that you have to add those features on top of an existing codebase, making sure that everything click on the right place, that nothing break, and sometimes have to refactor an entire module to add a tiny feature that's sometimes meaningless for us gamers.
I can't emphasize this enough, again I'm not taking devil's advocate here as I believe TW is god damn slow on their updates for my personal tastes, but I can assure you that it is not as trivial as it seems to be.

Sure thing you could in a span of 5-6 hours or so code a similar algorithm in the langage of your choice, not bad, congrats, but how about implementing this on a existing and alledgely big codebase ? Hate it or not, Bannerlord is a complex game. And I'm not even talking about the sanity of the said codebase, that's another subject. ( and derailing it to the lack of proper management aswell )

As a Disclaimer I didn't bother looking to mod that game or have a deep view on what's going on code-wise on Bannerlord, so I'll let the modders tell you that for us, long story short what I can see is the modders are patching ( the literal noun ) with code modules attached to Bannerlord to create new features.


PS : I guess this is the exact issue that's stricking CD PR right now for Cyberpunk 2077, I guess their codebase is/was a huge cluster**** that means they didn't do anything substancial +8months after the initial release.

EDIT : but again the mere existence of that filthy codebase on a big project should be on Leads and Managers, they are here to coordinates the teams between them, that doesn't mean their programmers are bad per se.


But then it is Taleworlds developers, as most people there probably don't program by now.

What's the point of your comment anyway ? Because a developer is not necessarely a programmer.
I think it's pretty clear OP wanted to say " Those who are programming in TaleWorld [...] ", do you like to be contrarian ?

On a best case scenario, a healthy codebase should provide programmers to iterate features easily and quickly, then dismiss it if it doesn't work as intended, because everything is flexible enough to do so, not sure about the correct translation in English but I should say Bannerlord is a giant with feets of clay.
 
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MostBlunted

On probation
Could you elaborate for Cities Skylines ? To me the game simulates citizen's life pretty damn good.
If we talk about vanilla:

- "pocket" cars
- traffic despawn
- people can teleport

But it´s a great game and the best city simulation game on the market (with mods / dlcs). So it´s faaaaaar away from being shallow or even a cookie clicker. Sure, it´s not a very hard game, but the simulation is good. The next part will be announced soon according to some rumors. And now they can use more CPU power to make the simulatiun even better.

BTW, if you like a mix between a Cities Skylines and Anno XXXX then check out "Workers & Ressources: Soviet Republic", it´s also in EA but it´s totally playable and really ****ing awesome if you´re into those genres.

On topic:

They wouldn´t have been able to create the engine if they were bad. The issues are not the devs in my opinion. It´s more about the direction TW took. This game would be a legend if TW would have sticked to all off their pre EA release announcements / plans.
 
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FYI: This is not a critique, take it as an honest question...
Programmers and other developers have to work within the capabilities of Bannerlord's minimum pc spec. IMO TW marketed Bannerlord with too low a minimum pc spec. Just look at Technical Support https://forums.taleworlds.com/index.php?forums/mount-blade-ii-bannerlord.528/ There are 70K messages predominantly single player crash and performance issues. Bannerlord single player is CPU intensive and TW have been limbo dancing to optimise performance below this minimum bar since the start of EA.
Its not just programming code. Campaign Devs have to ration what periodic and random sandbox events and checks trigger simultaneously to avoid lower fps and stuttering/crashes on low spec pcs. We all demanded bigger battles than Warband and TW delivered them with massive graphics and animation improvements. The engine TW spent so many years building and fine-tuning has stunning capabilities. However, sandbox games are bedevilled by bugs which become a greater challenge with added layers of complexity. Some of the things we want may put the game over it's minimum pc spec budget. If so, TW can't implement them. Modders can because they don't have to care about their mod working for everyone who's paid for Bannerlord. Look back at Warband, some mods didn't even bother with LODs.
 

SOku

Sergeant
- "pocket" cars
- traffic despawn
- people can teleport

Traffic despawns because the cars are blocked and can't be deliver goods / services on your infrasctructures on scheduled time, in other words the AI Agent is stuck on a loop and the engine decide to despawn the agents to resolve the issue.

People can teleport ? Hmm ? Didn't see that at all on Vanilla.
What are pocket cars ? The cars that are appearing in the middle of nowhere from a citizen ?

Yeah I'm with you here, I like this game even on Vanilla it's worth hundreds of hours, mods are taking it to the next-level for sure.
Heck I spent a considerable amount on it, I have a glimpse on how Unity works and decided to document myself on how the heck Colossal Order could achieve that degree of fidelity, everything is simulated as intended from a player perspective.
Under the hood as you may know tho, once your viewport is either too far ( via LODs ) or not directly watching an agent ( via culling ) - agent being citizen, car, services, you name it - the game fakes the simulation, that means that an agent that wants to go to point A to B should take 15min ingame, but it's path is not simulated in real-time, you can't see it because your camera don't see it, but that's something you can find pretty much everywhere on the industry anyway. :grin:


That being said, what were you talking about when people teleport ?
Because I can assure people can't teleport when you directly see them, given you're not directly facing a bug.
Heck you can spend some time following their daily routine.

The real hiccup and how I am greatly awaiting for a sequel is how the AI can somewhat be dumb on pathfinding, and how mods greatly enhance your experience, but given the game was coded before 2015 on a older Unity package.
I get a pass on it, but yeah that's pretty much a good point on how mods can " finish " the task the devs didn't bother to do afterwards.
With that said, mods like Traffic Manager and similar take extra beefs on your PC, again maybe that was also why the devs decided back in 2015 with the targeted hardware of that time to "dumb down" their pathfinding, and how in 2019-2020-2021 we see no differences at all on installing those mods on our PCs.

( Still doesn't explain why they didn't decide to enhance it nowadays, wasn't part of their contract with Paradox maybe, who knows ... )
That's my 2cents.

As a sidenote, I regularly quote Cities Skylines when the long debates about porting M&B on Consoles were striking this forum lately, from what i've seen on Xbox / PS4, it was running okay, and the game is quite complex on it's own even on consoles ( I'm sure they dumbed down a lot of things, including the max pop )

then check out "Workers & Ressources: Soviet Republic", it´s also in EA but it´s totally playable and really ****ing awesome if you´re into those genres.

Oh a man of culture ! ( assuming your gender ) I bought this game as soon as it was on EA, but somehow the clutter look didn't click to me, it's an awesome game for sure, I'll make sure to give it a try again, right now I'm on Dyson Sphere Program, totally unrelated but it's a pretty good gem. A Sci-Fi Factorio with pretty 3D Graphics that let's you plan and manage several planets and solar systems.
If you like Banished there is also Ostriv which is worth a try !

As a bottom note, I really like Colony-Sim / Management / City-Builder games like that, so if you would you like my recommendations, I'll be happy to share !

On topic:

They wouldn´t have been able to create the engine if they were bad. The issues are not the devs in my opinion. It´s more about the direction TW took. This game would be a legend if TW would have sticked to all off their pre EA release announcements / plans.

Yeah again, I'm not up to date as to their team and which position / team is doing what, but the general idea is that engineers work on a engine, then programmers ( as we can call "feature programmer" - don't quote me on this ) fill the game with the features. On a side there are probably an AI related team etc etc ..
I'm not even talking about artists or designers here, but those I pointed above I think are two or three different positions.
Now the thread as I understood aims mainly those who are responsible for the features but given how this game is interlaced with so many layers, it's difficult to have a clear view on who is responsible of what
( e.g Is changing a feature on economy will change how the AI behave thus, breaking the game ? I think Mexxico gave us a lot of solid messages about that here ).
 
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MostBlunted

On probation
Traffic despawns because the cars are blocked and can't be deliver goods / services on your infrasctructures on scheduled time, in other words the AI Agent is stuck on a loop and the engine decide to despawn the agents to resolve the issue.

People can teleport ? Hmm ? Didn't see that at all on Vanilla.
What are pocket cars ? The cars that are appearing in the middle of nowhere from a citizen ?
I know why it despawns but it not very realistic :wink: . I always turn despawn off in TMPE.

I´m not sure if people can still teleport, but there are some videos on YouTube where a guy build commercial / residential without a connection and it still worked. But they only did this in this scenario, so no a big deal.

Pocket cars means that people don´t need to park their car, they can just "put in in their pocket" when they arrive at their destination and respawn it whenever needed. That´s what I call a life hack!

Of course I own Ostriv (and Factorio) too, as a man of culture. But haven´t played Ostriv that much yet, the development is very slow which is totally fines because that´s what the dev says in its EA description. But it seems that it will be a very good game one day.
 

SOku

Sergeant
I know why it despawns but it not very realistic :wink: . I always turn despawn off in TMPE.

I´m not sure if people can still teleport, but there are some videos on YouTube where a guy build commercial / residential without a connection and it still worked. But they only did this in this scenario, so no a big deal.

Pocket cars means that people don´t need to park their car, they can just "put in in their pocket" when they arrive at their destination and respawn it whenever needed. That´s what I call a life hack!

Of course I own Ostriv (and Factorio) too, as a man of culture. But haven´t played Ostriv that much yet, the development is very slow which is totally fines because that´s what the dev says in its EA description. But it seems that it will be a very good game one day.

Oh okay sorry for explaining you then, I thought you didn't know.
By the way it's understandable that the devs choosed this way, otherwise it could break the game especially for those who have no idea how to properly do urban planning ( with the tools offered by the game ).
I mean, the number of gamers complaining " my trucks are stuck help + 33% traffic flow help " on Steam Forums pretty much proves my point :grin:

Pocket cars means that people don´t need to park their car, they can just "put in in their pocket" when they arrive at their destination and respawn it whenever needed. That´s what I call a life hack!

Ah yeah I get what you mean now ! I wish they could offer us a proper way to use car-parks and manages places for cars, that would add an extra layer of depth on the game, basically managing no-car zones / pedestrian neighborhoods more efficently again it was doable for a DLC to me but ...

About Ostriv, yeah and this guy is alone ! I think he added quite a few buildings lately, I've seen that from my steam news, but nothing to hook me again to launch a new playthrough. Could say the same for Bannerlord actually.

I should stop derailing from this thread, now I got what you meant :grin:
 
There is someone outside doing burnouts and skidding their tyres all over the road. I am scared.

Oh **** oh God its the Bannerlord apologists coming to tell you why the game is actually perfect as is
I see a crappy cheap youtube video in about a week, hey buddy why not come out of you safe space and post what you think right here?
 
They wouldn´t have been able to create the engine if they were bad. The issues are not the devs in my opinion. It´s more about the direction TW took. This game would be a legend if TW would have sticked to all off their pre EA release announcements / plans.
Who says the programmers who created the engine are the same ones they've had for the past few years/now? The company seems to be made up of mostly interns coming in and out these days. The programmers with real skill and knowledge probably left to do something more lucrative. Your last point is correct, the game that was hyped would've been beyond legendary if it was what was advertised.
 
I believe you, but do you have a link handy? A quick five minute google with some of the terms didn't bring anything relevant up.

It was a video where a youtuber close to the company said that DDRJake (When he was game director in 2018 or therabouts) was absolutely staunch about mana points for EU4, because it fed into a fast dopamine release cycle. Johan was also a big mana guy but for different reasons, and also mentioned some of this in the aftermath of Imperator Rome.



More colloquially, DDRjake is often referred to as the guy who ruined EU4. He was adamant about adding more abstract currencies to give the player more stuff to interact with in dry spots, even when it made the game far less dynamic. Youtubers and speedrunners complained about him and his posts a lot, and towards the end he was actually pretty arrogant about himself in a weird nerdy way.

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