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Can These Things Be Fixed? <Long>

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Evil helms? Check.

Lui's swords? Ask me in a week; they were some of the first things I ever atlased, and it shows; much love necessary. I'm eager to get the Skeletons rigged and struggle-bus my way through "my first race", since there's no way to fake it now (seriously, TW... why we cannot hide heads entirely now via helmets is beyond me, lol).
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This is a very personal victory for me, and worth blowing lunchtime on. Lui's "Empire Bastard Sword" was one the banes of my existence for Blood and Steel. Coming in at a whopping 2191 faces, 2316 vertexes, it was far too large for the Warband engine, except as a hero-only item. I doubt if more than one in 50 players ever had it as an item, let alone swooned over its triangles.

Redoing it to fix its problems while retaining the aesthetics has always been on my to-do list. I finally got to it, a decade later.

It's now at 1306 faces, 675 vertexes. So, less than a lot of BL's native weapons. With glowing eyes and a swanky feel.

One thing I'm learning the hard way about these swords: Lui box-modeled these, usually (but not always) as complete meshes (i.e., there are no separate parts). Usually, this isn't a bad idea, but it introduced a lot of problems with mesh flow and tricount in various areas (for example, where blades join guards), which I'm fixing as I go along this time.
Meanwhile, "all those old art assets aren't worth porting forward" is starting to look... less credible daily, lol.
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Moving right along. Those clamshell swords are sooooo much fun to fix up, lol.
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Fun fact: apparently, the Warband engine has double-sided rendering on by default.

How do I know this? Because these swords didn't work properly in Bannerlord until I found the Material flag that turns that on. This is interesting for a few reasons:

1. I never noticed this in Warband, ever, because OpenBRF has double-sided rendering on by default, too.
2. The performance implications are interesting. Maybe there's a secret flag nobody knew what it did that turned this off?
3. Why was this the default?
4. This works in Bannerlord's Editor. Will it actually work properly in-game? I'm 50/50 on things working out with that.
5. Yes, I could probably fix this to not need double-sided rendering, but it's under 500 triangles as of this edit, so I'm not bothering.
6. Lui probably counted on this, or was working in software where double-sided rendering is on by default (Blender, for example, but not Wings). It worked in OpenBRF and worked in-game, so nobody knew.
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I think I've been talking about remastering Lui's work a bit, but without much context. Left is final version in BL's Model View, right is starting, in OpenBRF. Left is at 1118 tris, left is 2654 (so, 1536 triangles have been cut). I know which one I'd rather be equipped with, lol.

This was a good first test-run using Blender's Decimate tools to reduce mesh complexity (and save me time) on the complex basket hilt stuff. That alone saved roughly 300 triangles. Most of it was saved in reducing the complexity of the blade geometry while retaining most of the look, addressing stuff in the handle geometry (for whatever reason, a lot of these sword handles use 3 triangles where 2 is fine, etc.) and hilt, etc.

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I'm now down to the last of the "e's" of Lui's (estoc series). Geez Lui's, lmao. I'd better get a cookie when I get done with this and RR_Razor's stuff (yes, that's coming, along with all the polearms, axes... I'm at the "fine, I'm just going to do it all" stage; I did a test, and getting rid of the forged weapons is 100% fine).

The second-to-right is a "dussack". I thought that was a made-up sword name (Lui's sword names vary from stuff you'd see in Oakshotte to purely fanciful). Nope, it's a real thing. Lui's exemplar mesh is somewhat reminiscent of a drawing from a 16th Century duelist's manual, where the weapons were becoming training weapons for dueling, apparently. Well, you learn something new every day, right? BTW, the elaborate basket-hilt stuff's coming out around 1000-1100 triangles now, and I've largely dealt with the tricounts on things like the flambarge blades, so players' experience should be that they're performing better than Bannerlord, but with a great deal more visual variety.


...and after a longish hiatus to do RL and touch some grass... E for Estoc is complete. That's roughly halfway done, but there are a bunch of basket-hilted rapiers to plow through before this project's really complete.
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G, there are so many swords. This takes me from "generalsword" through "greatsworde". Next up is the magical world of H.
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Apparently, the High Elves were all big Jervis Johnson fans.

These took forever to convert, for reasons too boring to even try describing.

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Today was a Monday. Boo, hiss. So you only get three swords (I just had to finish this set). This is the Inquisition Great Sword. I had so much fun with doing the trick with the cross that I'll probably repeat it on the other two of that mini-series. I'll probably revisit the handgrip tomorrow; I have an idea of how to maybe make that cooler while staying on theme for keeping all these on the same 1024 atlas.

Anyhow, I mainly wrote some code today. Some of it's for Bannerlord. Details below.


I've finally, finally figured out how to reliably deal with Campaign timing events and built a really nice bandit spawner that provides all the flexibility and features that I had in Blood and Steel. Better yet, it doesn't require reflection; no Harmony required. It's simple and easily extended and very, very cheap to operate.

I'll share source on that pretty soon, when I'm 100% sure all is well. Pretty soon it'll be time to put stuff on Github and do that part in public, but I don't want to do it until I feel like there are enough features for it to be interesting.
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You have no idea how nice it was to work on something that wasn't a European sword style for a little while, lol.

I'm not quite sure what to make of these. Lui called them "Khergit Executioner's Swords" and "Khergit Lord Sword". The first two looked like a dao met a scimitar to me, but (upon consulting Wikipedia) it appears they might be representatives of Baqua Dao, but with the scimitar's typical pointed back (the more I look at real ones, the more I wonder why this shape is "scimitar" to most of us, when the real things typically had a lot more blade curvature).

The second one looks more Arabic than anything else, with that classic early sabre look to the blade curvature.

If anybody knows more about these sword styles, chime in. I am quite, quite tempted to marry the blade of the right-most with the hilt of the middle one and have a fairly decent dao represented, although it appears that real dao did not have a European-style chappe, but instead used a round hilt that doubled as one, sorta, so it'd basically be a new sword.

I'm 58 swords into this. Between this and Wheene and Mackie, we're at 179 weapons for Bannerlord, which is probably more than all of the ones in Native combined. I suspect that by the time I'm done, we're somewhere around 450.

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They say the Dead Kings have no voice, and cannot speak.

But their swords. Their swords have tales to tell.

All of these are labeled "kingssword" + something. In Blood and Steel, one of these was the Sword of the Dark King, a fairly overpowered death-stick. Maybe this time these will be true uniques that you get after defeating a Boss Baddie or something.
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That covers L --> M.

67 swords. About 2/3 done or so. I'm approaching the rapiers, which are going to be painful, lol.

I think that after this, I want to do polearms, axes and maces before tackling RR_Razor's swords, so that the big step (getting rid of Native's build-a-weapon stuff and seeing all this in-game) is finally feasible.
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N through O.

Next up, P --> R, stopping at the rapiers, since they're going to be a whole day's free time to do, lol.

A minor curiosity: the second from the left is the only example of a Viking-style (Ulfberht pattern) sword in the whole bunch thus far, and it's unusually long- this is pretty much a two-hander, unlike the real things, which were longer than a Roman gladius but still shorter than a typical Middle Ages hand-and-a-half sword. Looking through the BRFs, it's the only one... so I gave myself permission to go ahead and make one at a typical length.

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I'm at 77 swords... and into R.

I'm dreading the rapiers; that's a major part of what's left. I think I have all the parts they need already... but I won't, lol. The zweihanders at the very end will also be painful, but mainly they'll just be tedious; a bunch of them have crazy flamberge blades that will need careful fixing.

Funny story about this last four, before I hit the rapiers. Three of them were nightmares to remaster. The two on the right are funny to me, though. These were called "perfectsword" and "perfecttwohandedsword".

I presume these were Lui's idea of the perfect example of a European longsword design. They were meant to have graceful curving quillons, chappes, etc., and pretty classy late-medieval blades- they're sort of knightly longswords, kind of epocs, but although the quillons suggest they're late-medieval two-handers, other aspects say no. Anyhow, whether these swords resemble a historical example somewhere is neither here nor there.

What got me was the "perfect" part. See, whoever Lui is / was / will be (I tried, and failed, to get in touch back when I made Blood and Steel) Lui had serious cojones; making this many swords is a very big endeavor. Many of them share features; Lui clearly tried to save time whenever it was possible, and reused parts, blades, etc.- that's why, if you haven't already noticed, there are relatively few blade styles. But still, these were the ones labeled "perfect". So, I expected these to be the best meshes of the entire bunch. Clean, no extra triangles, everything just so. Nooooooope. Instead, I got this:


This... this is a technical artist's worst nightmare. Buried internal faces, unclear mesh flow, the works. Oh and some loose faces I found later.

To be fair to Lui... this may very well be my fault. Because these are the versions of Lui's swords I transmogrified for Blood and Steel, there's a non-zero chance that I screwed these up at 3AM while I did that giant round of uvmapping and fixes, which was necessarily really rough and fast. I needed lots of swords, I needed them now, and I wasn't being terribly careful. So, without digging up the original OSP release... I'm presuming it was me.

I've totally fixed this. Every triangle got reworked, the chappes are clean, while keeping to the overall goal on polycount reduction, and they look pretty darn good for something using an atlas. They are, in short, perfect.

Oh and that one on the far left? That was something Lui cooked up by pushing and pulling verts on one of the early-medieval longsword designs. I love the fantasy look to it, but boy it was fun cleaning it up; it had buried verts, crazy creases and other weird stuff going on. All good now, but I'm starting to wonder if I jinxed myself by worrying about the basket-hilts coming up; maybe they'll be nice and relaxing, lol.
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Well, this turned out all right, in the end. The one on the left nearly broke me, but the rest were a relative cakewalk.

One funny thing, though; all but the first one shared a hilt, and that hilt wasn't a rapier hilt (note the long quillons on the others)- I've kept it on the far right example. Also, none of them had true cup hilts, so I made one.

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Last night and lunchtime were really effective. All the way to W now. That's 94 swords thus far.

The next three are all specials; then it's time for the Zweihanders and, well, this is done. Will debate whether a dao should be made, along with a couple of other minor variants on very common swords. I want to get to the other stuff I need asap, though.
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Last three before the Zweihander Showdown. Yes, the last one's kind of daft. I couldn't help it; it's called the Witch Blade, so, naturally...

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101. The zweihanders ranged from "trivial" to "I'm starting to rethink my life choices", lol. I think I'll take a victory lap and do a couple of daos and say this is Done, short of trivial edits to things like UVs.

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OK, so I lied. Instead of making a dao, I had to see if the lessons I learned about how to effectively produce PBR atlases for remastered low-poly geometry in a production-speed environment for quick, efficient deployment of legacy assets... er, uh, "maek olde axes gud" would work.

I think so. Correcting mesh flow and setting up edge hardness correctly on these will be "fun", though.
Also, there's the dao. Based on this; it's fairly close, and 500 triangles. Had to take a little artistic liberty about the handle and the blade color; the sword atlas is good for dramatic color, not so hot for that much subtle stuff. When I get around to RR_Razor's swords, no fear, I plan to have some properly-realistic Wootz steel / pattern-welded looking stuff.
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Moar axes. The last two almost destroyed my evening last night. They were... difficult characters to sort out, with many hidden faces, corrupt geometry, etc. hiding under their pleasant facades. The first one, I fought it the hard way; the second one, I just made a new mesh that's a close-enough match.

I need to do a little more fine-tuning on the wood atlas (I decided I needed a wood atlas, because there are all those spears and polearms coming up after this) but it's all looking reasonably decent.

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