Modders' Interviews | Get inspired by Greats and Legends!

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Padda
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Coder - Game Designer



1. ) Hello, Padda. You and your fellow IT clan are known for some of the most unique projects ever done for warband, namely Assassin Hunt and Race Wars: Bloodshed. So, lets start with an introduction of yourself for those who don’t know you.

Answer: Hi! I’m Patta/Padda (whichever you prefer, I switch from time to time), 25, from Germany. Male (He/Him) for those that need to know. I was asked to join the IT Clan in 2005, and over the years we switched from the game Clonk to various other games, and one of those was Warband - For a long time, I was responsible for the Warband part of the IT Clan, and led my fellow members to victory (and mostly losses) in various clan battles as well as during our training sessions.

2.) How did you get started on modding this sequel for the first time? Did you have any past experiences? Why did you want to mod this game?

Answer: I started modding more out of curiosity than anything else - That was at a time where I was highly interested in modding and had been working on a few mods for The Elder Scrolls: Oblivion - learning to code and to make models/textures at the same time. So it was a given to take a look at Warbands Modding Tools too, and then I drew Fox and Kekse into that with me (I needed someone who was actually good at making models and maps, and those two where awesome team members and good friends for years), and we started making various stuff, until we zeroed in on Race Wars: Bloodshed (which was, I must admit, not that well named) as the thing we wanted to pour our time into.

Assassin Hunt was a side project, as in the beginning we where planning to integrate it into Race Wars: Bloodshed directly, before we decided to start with a separate version at first, and then later integrate it into our other mod (which never did happen in the end)

3.) Assassin Hunt was about assassination obviously. Why did you want to make it? Also, Race Wars, of course. Which was basicly a great dungeon crawler mod from what I saw in our playtests. You could choose classes and there was a lot of work behind the AI and mapping, and it was MP!

Answer: I was always fascinated by social intrigue (board-)games (Werewolf/Mafia [and now Secret Hitler, Spyfall or others, though I did not know these at the time] spring to mind), and I was looking for a fun thing that was more “programming heavy” than adding new units and weapons (which was most of the things we did for Race Wars: Bloodshed at the time) - So I did the first thing I could think of, refining it later.

4.) Although, Assassin hunt grew quite a popularity at its time and Race Wars seemed to get a lot of playtime if it ever were released, you disappeared suddenly. Why did you quit modding? Did you think there was a lesson to be learnt or you just had your fill of warband modding?

Answer: Both mods where great and fun to make, but warband modding started to become frustrating for me - I was reaching more and more limits of the engine. But the main problem was simply the time - School pressed.

I started suffering from depression (unrelated to the modding, and it is mostly in check now - Thank whatever gods exist out there), and I was simply fed up with having a ton of cool ideas, checking to see if they where possible, and seeing that the answer was “no”. The time problems where the same for Fox and Kekse, and so the progress to our mods became much, much slower. And that was something we simply did not like, leading to a further decline in the time we spent on modding… We could see where that was going and finally decided to just say “alright, it’s enough.”


5.) Do you think your modding experience influenced you in any way? Maybe, your professional career or your studies? Was it purely a hobby for you?

Answer:  It was definitely a huge influence, seeing as it was the only programming experience I had in that time - I was sure that I wanted to become a programmer (which is what I did, and I am glad I did). In school, we had no “programming” or “IT” classes, only a bit of after school “How do I use Excel” stuff. In all my job interviews to date I was asked about what modding I did (even though I work as a web dev now and have no interest in being an actual game dev, to be honest)

6.) Are you working on any project at the moment? A warband mod, indie game or maybe a return to Bannerlord with something completely new?

Answer: I am working on nothing modding related, but I am learning about game design (mainly with regards to Board Games) and I am working on a deckbuilding dungeon crawler game together with Kekse (even though progress is slow and it is only a small hobby thing) Also, we already promised each other to return as the original team (maybe with other friends we made in the meantime included, but the original three will be there!) once Bannerlod is finally released. We probably won’t to Race Wars: Bloodshed again, but a remake of Assassin Hunt is definitely coming.

We already have design documents and a flow chart of what to do when and things like that. Things we never had for our Warband Mods. So you can expect a better Assassin Hunt powered by a (hopefully) better engine and more experienced devs. Something to look forward to for sure. I know I am hyped, at least.


7.) What is your favourite warband mod? Why do you like it? Also, is there any project that caught your attention lately?

Answer:  It might be a bit “self-congratulatory”, but I really, really like Assassin Hunt and our Dungeon Game Mode, as I am a huge fan of new and different things. Other than that, I mostly played native, and for single player I was a huge fan of diplomacy and similar mods, because they added the stuff that was (in my opinion) missing from the game. I must admit that it has been a long, long time since I even had a look at the Warband modding scene, so no current projects came to my attention, and none are likely to, either.

8.) What is your overall impression of the modding community of this game?

Answer: It is some years past the time I was active in that community at all, but during my time (a few years ago), I mainly encountered people that were friendly and helpful with the many questions I had, especially at the start of my career (because, let’s be honest, the documentation for the module system really was not that great) - But as I said, that was some years ago. I hope it has not changed, but I can’t say.

9.) And - lastly. Would you like to say anything to creative people who’re reading this interview at the moment? :smile:

Answer: Watch out, there might be an assassin with a knife behind you. Those are totally overpowered. I’d love to offer more inspiring words or something, but I’m not that great with words, so all I can offer you is: Keep doing what you love, and learn to appreciate (well written and useful) critique of the things you do. That’s the easiest way to improve your skills and learn new stuff. And remember: Have fun!


 

_Sebastian_

Punkbuster 2.0
Baron
NWWBVC
Good lad Patta...
I actually was in his clan back in late 2010/early 2011 and we regularly playtested the very early version of Race Wars, it was plenty of fun.
That eventually motivated me to start modding Warband myself.
 
Sebastian
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Coder - Game Developer



1. ) Hello, Sebastian. You have been around for quite a while, regarded highly for your professional coding knowledge and as the founder of one of the few projects in this community that jawdropped a lot of people with stunning visuals and gameplay mechanics, which is the Battle of Europe. So, let’s start with an introduction of yourself for those who don’t know you.

Answer: I’m Sebastian (guess what, that’s my real name) from a small town near Cologne, Germany. I’m a qualified IT Assistant and currently studying Computer Science.

Working on/with computer hardware and software has been my passion for over a decade. In my spare time you usually see me stalking the modding board or it’s Discord channel, waiting for questions no one wants to answer.


2.) How did you get started on modding this sequel for the first time? Did you have any past experiences? Why did you want to mod this game?

Answer: My “modding” career began back in 2006 when I created personal and commercial content within the game Second Life. That already included content creation like modeling, texturing, animating, sound design, as well as basic scripting with it’s in-built programming language (bloddy LSL). Especially the programming brought me great joy and as you might expect this is still my dedication nowadays. I also created some small personal mods for the Total War and Stronghold series, nothing really worth mentioning. I started to mod Warband in order to adjust it to my personal preferences and like my previous projects it was just for personal usage …at first.

3.) What was it like developing features that noone has ever done properly before? Did you have a clear idea of what the target audience wanted? What kind of a challenge was it to develop stuff like thunders, canons and persistent system? Were you aware it has been attempted many times and there was a big player for years, in form of cRPG?

Answer: Our core development team for BoE was actually recruited from a cRPG clan, way back in early 2012. We were passionate players of the said mod who wanted to create our very own more expanded and realistic alternative. Over the next couple of years many other talented and creative people joined our development team, which is now known as “Bad Bug Busters”.

Fortunately some of us were experienced Software-, Database- and Web developers. So perfect conditions to create a persistent multiplayer mod, eh? Not really... There was one major drawback; The “module system” called environment which had more limitations than possibilities for our use case. Mastering it’s odd language was yet another time consuming challenge, which only I was willing to face. Our second main programmer GuiKa took care of the external components, such as the installer/autoupdater, website, web-service and the database.

We had to create tons of workarounds in order to bypass or alter hardcoded engine behaviors and then apply our own systems. Luckily the shaders were fully open source, so I got a little crazy with them and rewrote almost everything from scratch and added some fancy effects, while also improving the overall performance.


4.) Why did you eventually quit the project and take your role as the “grandpa” of the forge?

Answer: Quitting the development and support for our mod wasn’t an easy decision, but necessary due to multiple reasons. As I mentioned we were too limited by the engine and even with complex workarounds we couldn’t achieve all our essential goals. The engine didn’t even allow for real time previews of certain game elements and it’s inbuilt debugging tool was prone to crashes.

Especially multiplayer mods require some budget to keep it’s services running and we partially relied on donations from the community. As the community slowly decreased we were also getting less and less donations down to the point where we couldn’t afford everything on our own any longer. Modding in general might be a great hobby, but it hardly can cover up your expenses.

Those reasons lead us to move to some serious game engines (more on that later).

I wouldn’t call me the Forges Grandpa yet, as I still somehow work on a few projects, or at least did in the recent past. Bear Force II and my anti cheat system MBAC for example.

However I still try to share my knowledge and experience with the community and be a helping hand from time to time.


5.) Since you are one of the few guys who released their entire project along with its assets and source-code included to the public as OSP (or, LSP), for modders to use in their own projects and do whatever they want with it. Would you like to see more mods going OSP like this? Or, would you agree the fact that OSPs kinda lead to more copycat projects?

Answer: Going open source is always a good thing, especially if you want to share it with a creative community. People might get inspired by your work and learn from it. In the end this will increase the overall quality of upcoming mods.

Our mod isn’t supported by us any longer and it would be worthless now if we didn’t release it’s source. This way it still continues to “live” in other projects and is a great repository of unique features.

I honestly don’t mind ripped off projects, since their “creators” will always get access to the source files in some way.


6.) Do you think your modding experience influenced you in any way? Maybe, your professional career or your studies? Was it purely a hobby for you?

Answer: Modding influenced me in many different ways for sure.

First and foremost it gave me a glimpse of how real game development might be like, well it isn’t exactly the same for sure, but similar. It teached me the basics of how to plan, prototype, develop a game and manage it’s developers. The most important lesson I’ve made is to not get too enthusiastic as this mostly leads to unrealistic demands and chaos during development.

Modding was indeed just a hobby, but lately it turned into serious game development at least.


7.) Do you have any plans for warband or bannerlord?

Answer: I do have many ideas and indeed many of their prototypes made it into the latest development build of BoE. I created a new physics system for missiles which realistically simulated gravity, aerodynamic lift/drag, wind and the magnus effect. A damage system which completely relied on physics; impact speed/angle, weight, weight distribution, material toughness -stiffness -thickness and -density, as well as the shape of both impacting objects were major factors for the calculations. It even allowed for dynamic material deformation, so once a weapon/missile hit an “object” it deformed it’s shape depending on the said properties and thus the penetration depth and area changed as well. That system made the ingame damage types obsolete, since it represented them in a steplessly and dynamic way.

Last but not least I was about to implement physically based rendering and volumetric lighting. Too bad all of this never really made it into a final release version.

I doubt that our team will be doing any project for Bannerlord either.

We indeed planned to create a mod for it and finished up it’s concepts and development roadmap, but ultimately decided to grab those concepts, adapt them to our needs and develop a new game from scratch.

There’s yet not much to talk about or to show off, as we’re still at the very beginning of the development. Only very basic game mechanics have been established, so it’s more off a prototype and there are yet years of development to come.

Just a little Glimpse; It will be a VR game and it’s setting will be very similar to BoE, but different :wink:


8.) What is your favourite warband mod? Why do you like it? Also, is there any project that caught your attention lately?

Answer: I don’t really follow any mod development anymore and I wouldn’t call any mod my absolute favourite, but some mods inspired me during my own modding phase.

The Deluge, cRPG and Full Invasion are some of them.


9.) What is your overall impression of the modding community of this game?

Answer: It’s impressive that the community is still that active and comes up with new projects almost a decade after the beta release of the main game. There’s always a helping hand for any problem that someone might encounter and that shows off how dedicated this community is.

10.) And - lastly. Would you like to say anything to creative people who’re reading this interview at the moment? :smile:

Answer: Get good at what you like to do, there’s always new things to learn, better workflows to speed up and improve your work. Try as many different things as possible, you might find your real dedication and eventually turn that hobby into a serious job.



 
Again a great interview with nice insights! Keep 'em coming!

I especially liked that part:

Efe Karacar said:
...
I created a new physics system for missiles which realistically simulated gravity, aerodynamic lift/drag, wind and the magnus effect.
...

 
Highelf
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Modeller - Concept Artist / Game Developer



1. )Hello, Highelf. Yet another legend to interview, an ex Forge moderator and one of the longest-modding guys ever with many project titles under your belt. You are most-known for your early modelling tutorials which taught many artists how to model. So, lets start with an introduction of yourself for those who don’t know you.

Answer: Hello! I’m Jordy Lakiere, AKA Highelf or Stonedelf (some very old nicknames I used to go by!). In short - I am a concept artist & illustrator and these days also a lector and game developer :smile:

2. ) How did you get started on modding this sequel for the first time? Did you have any past experiences? Why did you want to mod this game?

Answer: I started modding for mount & blade because it was essentially what I had been seeking all my life in a game title (and community). I was really big on Rome: Total war and the other total war titles at the time, but I remember always just wanting to just jump in and control 1 character. I even joined the total war forum and learned how a forum works, and what modding is as a concept.

I tried my best to join a modding team there but wasn’t really welcome anywhere; total war had quite an elitist and mature modding community and I was very much a 14 year old with no skills. One day on the total war forums  I saw a link to the Taleworlds page (fun fact, I remember that thread was made by one of the old taleworlds forum veterans, though I’m not 100% on who it was - I think it was okiN or maybe even Winter)

And Mount & Blade looked like exactly the game I had been dreaming of. I vividly remember the next part; upon finding this page I saw you could buy the game for $6; but only through credit card. So I went downstairs and sheepishly asked my father to buy the game for me. My dad was sort of paranoid about credit card transactions and spending money on games, but just so happens he had some wine that day (he otherwise never drinks, which is an important part of the coincidence in this story).

To my utter amazement he immediately agreed to buy the game and in that small $6 purchase literally shaped the entire course of my life to this very day. I was hooked immediately on the game and joined the forum soon after, the taleworlds community embraced my (childish) self with open arms. Modding seemed like the coolest thing ever and the rest is history.


3.) You were pretty young when you first began modelling, at least that is the vibe I got from our conversations. How old were you when you first began modelling? Also, sharing tutorials on modelling in such advanced level in such early years of modding like 2008 or so gave me the idea. :smile:

Answer: Definitely, as I said I was around 14. This was back in 2006. After I joined the forum I got completely engulfed in this idea of modding and making art for games. I remember reading some tutorials and just starting to try stuff. At the time I thought the high-elves from the Fellowship of the Ring were the coolest thing in the world (hence the nickname Highelf) and I had this goal to put the high elven helmet, swords and shields into Mount & Blade. The idea I could add my own content to a game at the time was just an unbelievable driving force.

So with this goal I started trying out modelling these things in Wings 3D, a rudimentary and free 3D modelling software, and putting them in-game. There was no real youtube to speak of; nor an abundance of tutorials, so this involved a LOT of trial and error and asking questions on the forum. Borderline harassing a lot of the existing older modders! Looking back it is unbelievable the patience they had with me and I can only thank them to this day. (Yoshiboy, AncientWanker and Winter come up especially)

For some reason I decided to make a video tutorial series. I don’t remember why or how I got to it; I guess it just seemed cool. I also spent a lot of time figuring this stuff out and I guessed a nice compiled source for taleworlds modding specifically would help the community! I guessed right, the tutorials I made were massively successful despite being made by a very inexperienced kid. (Which beautifully described why I love the taleworlds forum so much)


4.) You must have worked on various projects together alongside the likes of Yoshiboy, faradon, Ursca, Highlander and others. You have done quite a bit of work for HuntMod and early 1011 mods or even before with projects like Fantasy Mod. Although, you seem to have given up doing your own mods by the time warband arrived. Was it because of real life or you were fed up with warband modding?


Answer: Over the years I helped (or tried helping) with lots of mods; the lord of the rings mod, the star wars mod, yoshi’s RPG and fish mod (I think I did some stuff?), Hunt mod and of course, my main project, Fantasy Mod. I ran Fantasy Mod as one of the major m&b mods for at least a few years. In the end I remember it had something like 100k downloads! A number I am very very proud of.

The answer to why I quit a while after Warband is a mixture of factors. I did modding purely for fun, and porting your mod over to another game is the opposite of fun. Fantasy mod was quite a huge project too and I wanted to add too many new features along with the port. So even though I actually got really far in Fantasy Mod 2 (which was only teased), it was never released. I had also grown up, high school got busier, and my personal demand for quality went up a lot which means any work going into the mod took longer. Overall it became overwhelming and the project just silently died. That said, I never truly lost contact with some of the core community, to this very day.


5.) What was it like being part of IRC community? Was it a community of first-generation modders and friends that did mods together? I imagine there were lots of unnannounced mods.

Answer: It was amazing! Joining the IRC channel is another one of those best-things-I-ever-did things. Over the years we chatted endless amounts. (about all kinds of things, running joke is we never spoke about m&b) We started several mods, and even some game projects -- and of course gamed endless hours together. Especially after warband/multiplayer finally dropped was a special time. Some of these guys really became close friends. I grew up with this small group of people.

About the mods/projects - Hunt mod is something that completely organically came into existence when the IRC group were just screwing around in a private m&b server. We basically invented the game mode on the spot. (I don’t even remember how) From there I modelled a beast face and outfit, Ursca and some others put in some graphics and textures for mood, some maps, and Yoshi coded the classes and game mode - and there it was. I think this mod beautifully sums up my experience with the IRC channel. It just kind of happened. We made it for us. And before we knew it hundreds of people were playing it alongside us!

For a while after it was up in the air to make Hunt an actual standalone game. Yoshi was working on an engine at the time, but the project never lifted off. We were getting older and all moving in our own direction in terms of college/uni and so on. It just wasn’t doable time and resource wise.

At some point I also started a mod with Faradon, which was based on the Persistent World mod; codename Project Smaug. It was essentially the same setup, but set in the tolkien universe. The map would be the area around esgaroth. With Erebor, Rhun camps, Mirkwood and so on. We actually got pretty far into that project. Had playtest sessions, trolls, rhun armors and weapons, hobbits and elves and the mountain Erebor with large dwarven interior halls, and of course -- dwarves, with some utterly amazing art made by Faradon. For similar reasons as the Hunt game project though, development halted as workload was too large for our personal lives.

Lastly of course, I mentioned Fantasy Mod 2. I did announce/tease it, but it actually had a lot more content than I ever publicly showed and was silently in production for quite a long time. (unfortunately all of that is lost now)

At some point there was also a mod with Roman soldiers and having field battles with AI’s in MP) and of course the birth of cRPG and those first playsessions. All great memories.

But yeah - as this all is long ago and stretches over a long period of time, it’s hard to remember everything and put it all chronologically. I am positive I am missing a lot of things.



6.) Do you think your modding experience influenced you in any way? Maybe, your professional career or your studies? Was it purely a hobby for you? I noticed the combat of your current indie games share similiarities with the one of this game.

Answer: As you may have guessed so far, it absolutely utterly 100% did. Modding m&b literally shaped my life. This game has had more impact on me than any other particular thing I think. When I was 16 a Uni course was announced not too far from where I live where they would teach game development and art. I immediately knew I was going to go there, it was a total no brainer. The actual college time was relatively easy for me (despite being notoriously hard) simply because I had been working on these skills since 14. I wasn’t intimidated by modelling a thing anymore, for example -- I had already done it a million times.

After graduating I freelanced for 5-6 years doing concept and illustration art. (as I grew older I went more from 3D to 2D art and became a painter/drawer)
Today, I teach at this very university course, called Digital Arts & Entertainment (and it has been awarded best game development school in the world this year!)

Part time. And the other part time I am working on a game project called We who are about to Die, by myself. Wanting to make my very own game has been something I have been dying to do since way back in the IRC days -- we spoke and started several game projects in fact, but they never took off. Now with Unreal Engine becoming free I decided to just do the mad thing and go for it by myself. I hope to release the game in the next year, but it’s all up in the air.

What do you think of the future? Do you have any plans to do modding work on bannerlord?
Answer: Unfortunately not. I do intend on playing it an absurd amount, including mods! If it ever comes out…! I mean, when it comes out.
But modding is behind me, I am currently trying to become an actual game developer as a career. (and unfortunately monetising mods is not something I want to even attempt)
I reckon this is the natural progression of these things.


7.) What is your favourite warband mod? Why do you like it? Also, is there any project that caught your attention lately?

Answer: I have played a lot of hours of “vanilla” with the Diplomacy mod. It’s really simple but just a perfect and beautiful addition to Warband. I think ultimately I enjoy the mods that simply expand and perfect vanilla, the most. (Same with gutek fiutek’s insane graphical updates)
I also played a lot of the early multiplayer mod Persistent World, a great fun concept. In its glory days this was a great mod to get really involved in the community of.

That and also, the game of thrones mod. (ACOK iirc?) While not perfect, it has given me lots of hours of entertainment as well.


8.) What is your overall impression of the modding community of this game?

Answer: It was the best modding community that existed, in its heyday - and I don’t say that lightly.

9.) And - lastly. Would you like to say anything to creative people who’re reading this interview at the moment? :smile:


Answer: Especially if you’re young, like I was - just get involved. Don’t be afraid. Set a goal and work towards it. Learn as much as you can and use that to move forward in life. Reach out to people and ask questions, make friends.
And its not easy - but yes - you can make a career out of this stuff.

Thank you for the interview, it’s really cool to dive back into these memories!



 

Brego

Master Knight
WBM&BWF&S
I remember watching Highelf's tutorials, helped me take my first steps into 3D-modelling and modding :smile:
 
Yoshiboy
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Jack of all trades - Researcher at Ubisoft



1.) Hello, Yoshiboy. Master modder, a legend of antique modding. To many, you are such an important influence for doing a lot of stuff for the first time. RPGmod, Pirates and Fishmod, Huntmod, Fishmod, amazing advanced tutorials about complex stuff like rigging and vertex painting around early 2008s and a modification area moderatorship! You have done every bit of stuff that is related with warband and modding, thus regarded as one of the best. So, lets start with an introduction of yourself for those who don’t know you.

Answer: Hello all, my name is Daniel Holden although I was known on the forums as “Yoshiboy” and around the internet I go by “theorangeduck”. I’m originally from London, but lived in Edinburgh in through my University days and now I live in Montreal.

2.) How did you get started on modding this sequel for the first time? Did you have any past experiences? Why did you want to mod this game?

Answer:I came originally from the Battlefield 1942 modding community where I was a tester for a Star Wars mod called Galactic Conquest. The community there was transitioning to Battlefield 2 and I was starting to get into digital art and programming myself. When I saw Mount & Blade I instantly fell in love with the modding potential I could see. It seemed like the perfect place to test out some newly learned skills, get creative, and really try to build a strong community of modders.

3.) You have been one of the first modders ever, with the rest of IRC guys. How would you get started working on a mod? Exploring an idea and all? What was your daily motivation? Was it a constant drive to create something new? Because - most of your mods are a collaboration of these people.

Answer: Yeah I remember well the first time someone posted an image where they had added a new item to the game. At that point there were no modding tools and it was a huge shock to everyone to see that a new item had been added - people even claimed that the image was a fake!

After that a couple of tools came out and I wrote the first tutorial on getting new items into the game, which lasted a good many years before it became out of date. From then on I maintained a lot of different tutorials and moderated the community for a long time as well as working on my own mods.

For me I think my motivation came from being so young, having so much spare time, and being completely free to dream without any preconceived notions of what was good and what was bad when it came to game development. When I had an idea I would just make huge lists of tasks to do to make it happen and work through them all after school from 3PM to about 10PM. If there was something I didn’t know how to do I would look it up on the internet or find someone I could ask!


4.) I am always amazed how young IRC guys started modding or designing stuff, really. Highelf said he was only 14, and by my calculations you were only 18 when you were already talking about rigging, alpha channels, vertex painting and server-stuff. How did you find out what you wanted in such early times of your life? I at least think it is pretty early.

Answer: I probably joined the modding community for M&B when I was about 15 or 16 but I imagine most people here remember me (if they remember me at all) from more around the time I was 18 and starting at University. For me I always loved games, loved computers and loved graphics, so modding was one of the only real ways I could embrace all of those passions at once. But I think what I loved most about modding was the way people in the community showed everyone so much respect and kindness regardless of your background, what you were like IRL, or how old you were. For me that was completely liberating.

5.) What was the idea behind Hunt mod and Pirates & Fishmod!? Were there to attempts for a possible DLC idea for warband? How was the atmosphere like developing these projects?

Answer:The idea for Hunt mod kind of spontaneously appeared when in one round of Warband someone suggested that everyone either go melee only or ranged only depending on their team. It turned out to be a huge amount of fun and so me and the IRC guys put together a mod based around that idea with some more appropriate theming and some other nice gameplay tweaks.

For Pirates & Fishmod, I’ve always loved the pirates setting and really wanted to recreate it with a super high quality experience that looked as good if not better than Warband. At one point there was some potential for a commercial DLC version of Pirates & Fishmod and development got somewhat underway but unfortunately it fell through. To put it bluntly - communication between me, the publisher, and TaleWorlds was all really terrible and in the end I didn’t know what I was or wasn’t going to be allowed to do - or really what was going on at all. I got frustrated and in the end just dropped it.


6.) Why did you eventually quit modding?

Answer: Somewhat related to the above - I was in the community for a long, long time and in the end just felt I needed a change of scenery. There were no hard feelings - I made some incredible friends and loved all the time I spent modding, but I just needed to try something new and move on to bigger and better things.

7.) What do you think of the future? Any plans for bannerlord?

Answer:Modding bannerlord might be fun! HuntMod 2? Lets see once it is released… No promises :smile:

8.) Do you think your modding experience influenced  you in any way? Your studies or your carrieer? I heard you are now working for Ubisoft, was Pirates mod somehow related with the employment? It is my theory. :smile:

Answer: After I quit modding Mount & Blade I started a PhD at Edinburgh University doing research into Machine Learning for Character Animation and Graphics. Now I work at Ubisoft in their research lab where I do similar Machine Learning research trying to push the state of the art for graphics and animation in their games. Modding Mount & Blade influenced me hugely - I essentially learned programming doing it and would have never got my initial jobs in the industry without the digital art experience I gained from it. Now I work on developing some of the most advanced technology in gaming which has always been my a dream of mine since as long as I can remember - so I am certain I have my experiences modding M&B to thank for at least some of that!

9.) What is your favourite warband mod? Why do you like it? Also, is there any project that caught your attention lately?

Answer: Unfortunately I’ve not been following the modding community for a long time so I am sure there are many fantastic mods that have passed me by. My favourite mod will always be TLD - for me the artwork in TLD is the definitive vision of Lord of the Rings which exists in my head. I also loved the gameplay mechanics they introduced and spent many many hours playing that mod.

10.) What is your overall impression of the modding community of this game?

Answer: One of the things I love most about the M&B modding community is that because M&B itself is not the most beautiful game (sorry but it’s true) everyone is happy to release their mods with all this newbie artwork which gives everything a nice home-made Dungeons and Dragons kind of feel - not only is it very charming, but so much is left to the imagination which in many ways is the core element of role playing in the first place. Overall I think M&B modders are really passionate about realising their own personal vision in whatever shape or form they can, and for me that is a really awesome attitude.

11.) And - lastly. Would you like to say anything to creative people who’re reading this interview at the moment? :smile:

Answer: Never believe that you are too young or inexperienced to understand, learn, or create what you want to create. Never be ashamed of what you create and always be proud of the fact that you made something over nothing.
 

DtheHun

Sergeant Knight
M&BWB
In addition, he was really helpful guy. Kindly answered and attached code samples responding to our every stupid question. It's good to know he made it. Thanks for the interview!
 
I also played the time-travel-alien-invasion-game he made for some game-dev-contest. Can't remember the name though.

edit: Can't find a thing on the web. Was it even Yoshiboy? Did it even exist?  :oops:
 
Cozur
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~​

Creator of A Clash of Kings - Department Head in a UN-organisation



1. ) Hello, Cozur. The founder and the main developer of the infamous Game of Thrones mod for years, A Clash of Kings! The most ambitious project ever, most likely. So, lets start with an introduction of yourself for those who don’t know you.


Answer: Well, I’m a pretty private person, but I can tell that I’m in my late twenties, and work as a department head in a UN-organisation (think middle-management). I’ve always been pretty open about who I am in the past, playing WoW and such, but my experience with some of the community has led me to keep my cards pretty close this time around (also one of the reasons that I don’t accept steam friendship invites). You get pretty tired of threats after a while, especially when the threat centers around a sword being the wrong size...

2.) How did you get started on modding this sequel for the first time? Did you have any past experiences? Why did you want to mod this game?

Answer: I had absolutely no experience modding anything, except for a few name packs for Medieval II: Total War years earlier and a few adjustments to the map in Brytenwalda right when I got into playing Warband. I’d been reading the ASOIAF books for the first time back in around 2006, and with the coming of the fifth book in 2011, I thought I’d be fun to try and create that world in Mount and Blade. I hadn’t expected the TV-show to take off as it did, as the first trailers for it looked… bad, so I had actually expected any ASOIAF mod to be a bit of a niche mod. I’ve always liked games where I can create (the Total War series is a good example, but think also along the lines of city simulators etc.) and modding Warband gave me so much freedom that it just became kind of like playing a world-building game, modding it.

3.) So - Game of Thrones. A Clash of Kings is one of the most succesful warband project with plenty of coverage in media. How did you start doing this mod? Why did you want to bring the world of George Martin to warband? Did you face too many challenges as the scope of this world is very very huge both in size and context?

Answer: At the start, I had absolutely no idea what I was doing, and it was actually surprisingly hard getting, as an example, the map right. When the project started, there was no official map for Essos as an example, so I did one based on peoples deductions - then the TV-show came out and I had to re-do the entire thing. As said above, I was a fan of the books, and Warband just seemed like the perfect game to mod if I wanted to do something with ASOIAF. The first iteration of the modification was a pretty big mess, as there was so many parameters I was just not aware of, at all - as an example, the heads were floating in tournaments.

I did go into the project with a clear goal though - I didn’t want to make a thread or talk about it until I had a semi-playable product. I’ve seen so many projects start of with a huge announcement (we’re going to have 104 factions, a world map covering the entire galaxy, thousands of NPC’s, and everyone who downloads the mod will have their penis enlarged!” and then die out immediately - it seems people are more interested in the recognition than the actual thing they’re making, and it makes me furious. So when version 0.1 was ready to be released (very barebones, but working) I uploaded it and made a thread, but that was the first anyone on the Taleworlds forums heard about it.

And yeah, the challenges where endless. Looking back, I was way too ambitious at the start, which is something I intend not to be for Bannerlord.

4.) Do you think that people are looking for new worlds to explore or new stories in the same world? Or - are they having enough fun playing in the same world which they already read its book or watched it shows of?

Answer: It’s hard to say. I like to keep to the story as much as I can, but create little extra moments (something that I actually intend to expand upon for the next version). Stuff like NPC’s talking about their drunk brother or whatever. I think a lot of people play it just because they like the show, and have an attachment to the characters (some of them have too much of an attachment to their characters, my moddb inbox is filled with requests for naked Sansas).

5.) What is the overall negative feedback from your audience? And - what is the most positive thing you regularly hear? How did you promote your project?

Answer: The most negative thing I hear is that I don’t nurse my community enough and don’t thank the people who download the mod enough. For that, I can only say why? People don’t deserve praise or recognition for pressing download or writing an asinine comment, and I don’t intend to ever interact with them. As for nursing… I’ve done 39 previews over the years, which I think is a lot and definitely more than I am required to do. Then you have all the people sending me outrageous requests all the time (again, naked Sansa, or fully animated dragons) and simply don’t understand when I don’t want to (or simply can’t) fulfill their request - and then get pretty mad when I deny them. The last thing I often hear is that I need to take better care of my consumers - and I’ll let that one speak for itself.

The most positive thing is not so much reviews or stuff like that, but rather the people on the forum who have been consistently critical (and I mean this in the positive sense of the word) of the project, but at the same time provided documentation for bugs or documentation for their ideas, rather than just insulting me and then expecting me to do as they say. One of the best examples is Sergio_Morozov who’s been great at documenting even tiny bugs and sending me reports so I can fix them.


6.) Do you think lately that the project is complete or do you still see a lot of room for improvement? Did you ever get in trouble with licenses?

Answer: I find myself with less and less ideas, but I doubt it’ll ever be considered “complete”. I’m still tinkering with it, but I have way less time now than I did back when I was a university student, so progress is also slower.
In terms of the license, I actually contacted Martins assistant before I began the project, to make sure there was no problem - this was before the TV-show, so it was pretty easy to get in contact with him back then. Don’t charge money for it, then it’s no problem.

7.) So - this might sound weird but - I think it is an important question for modders or basicly any creative person creating their own worlds. Do you think studying professionally-acclaimed fantasy worlds like GoT is required to create your own fantasy worlds/mods to give it as much as detail and quality? It has been the most popular and the most-attempted genre in modding community since 2010, a fantasy total conversion.

Answer: No idea - I’ve read a lot of fantasy, and have a masters in History and one in Religious Studies - on paper, I have the foundation for being pretty creative - and I can hardly come up with a creative mini-quest.

8.) Did you attract any professional interest?

Answer: Nope, but haven’t sought it out either.

9.) Do you think your modding experience influenced you in any way? Maybe, your professional career or your studies? Was it purely a hobby for you?

Answer: Purely a hobby - I used to draw a lot as well, and modding gives me the same calming state of mind - it’s much like drawing or painting, it’s just a hobby.

10. ) What do you think of the future? A bannerlord ACOK?

Answer: Maybe. I honestly haven’t thought that much about it, because it depends on what Bannerlord is like. I’m leaning towards a smaller project if I do decide to do it in the ASOIAF universe - maybe only Westeros this time, but time will tell.

11. ) What is your favourite warband mod? Why do you like it? Also, is there any project that caught your attention lately?

Answer: Brytenwalda, hands down. Loved the atmosphere, and the attention to detail. I haven’t really kept up with any new mods lately.

12.) What is your overall impression of the modding community of this game?

Answer: It’s hard to say, I have no point of reference. The experienced people on the Taleworlds forum have been incredibly accommodating - people like Duh, Somebody and Windyplains have answered so many stupid questions over the years, and I would still be stuck working on ship triggers and idiotic things like that if it weren’t for them.

13. )And - lastly. Would you like to say anything to creative people who’re reading this interview at the moment? :smile:

Answer: Yeah, don’t announce your project before you can actually let people play it, it makes you come off as a pretentious douche. We’re not game developers, we’re modders - let’s not get too high-minded.




 

NPC99

Baron
M&BWBWF&SVC
Great interview Cosur. I loved ACOK. It’s sad that the mod’s popularity spilled into threats and impossible demands from immature fans. Keep up the good work. :grin:
 
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