Mordhau

Introducing the ballista & a brief look at Highlands

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  • 19 Feb '16
 marox — Project Lead

Vehicles!

Technically these aren't vehicles, but the concept is similar to those you might find in some shooters. They are objects you can interact with by taking control over them. A stationary machine gun has no place in Mordhau, but a ballista does. Similarly, while a humvee is unlikely to make an appearance in the middle ages, players might push catapults, thus "driving" them. Unlike a modern shooter, there are challenges we face in making these vehicles look believable: the act of driving is more of a symbiotic relationship between the character and the vehicle. For a humvee, all you need is to stick the hands onto the wheel and you're mostly good to go, but a catapult does not drive itself, and a ballista does not rotate on its own.

Programmers do not always have art assets at their disposal. Here is how we initially prototyped the ballista:

Once one of our 3d artists, in this case it was Max, took over the task of making an actual ballista, things started to look much better.

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And finally, it all comes together in this short clip:

Notice how we maintain the first person view at all times. Keeping the player immersed in first person is a big deal for us! On top of that, the aiming of the ballista is done using the actual ballista bolt, so a first person view is a practical necessity. While there is a crosshair shown, this is more of an oversight on our part (whoops!), as it doesn't help you aim in this case. The change in camera shown in the clip is done manually to show how things look to other players. When the ballista turns, the player steps with it, crouches when it is aimed high, and this is exactly what we mean by symbiotic relationship -- the character and the vehicle work together.

Maps & animations

A quick look at one of our maps: Highlands. This is a relatively simple, smaller map intended for smaller skirmishes and duels, inspired by the Scottish Highlands. Here's a clip of the map featuring a brief exchange between two characters, one wielding the impressive zweihander, our biggest two handed sword, while the other is armed with a poleaxe.

One of our animators, @crush, has been hard at work replacing and adding new upper body movement animations. Here's the one for polearms, with the player dressed in a full plate suit with a tabard. These hills are a good test for our foot placement code, too!

And that concludes it for this update! Until next time!

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  • 19 Feb '16
 Jax

Wow, keep up the amazing work! The zwei and poleaxe look great, especially the poleaxe animations in the last clip. Highlands looks so epic!
Edit: just saw the brigandine in the ballista clip, looking good!
Hype intensifies

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  • 19 Feb '16
 ToLazy4Name

yo that map looks alot like my favorite Chiv map: Moor

i'm hype

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  • 19 Feb '16
 Jax

Except it has modern lighting!
WHAAT
Actually though, the lighting looks really good. The glints off the armor and weapons are really cool.

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  • 19 Feb '16
 Edmund

About the duel video, the second attack of the pole axe player is a chamber ? i've watched it over and over and it's a bit messy tbh, really fast.
https://giant.gfycat.com/BabyishUnitedCirriped.webm

About the map, it's really beautiful.

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  • 19 Feb '16
 afiNity

This already looks better than Chivalry, I also love the polearm animations

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 BobSapp

man this engine really does look fabulous! Oh and I see the poleaxe is gripped to use the hammer side.

What this needs now is a soft breeze making the flowers flow in the air. And some audio effects, hearing the bramble rattle in the distance and some faint wind chimes. That's some cinematic shit

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  • 19 Feb '16
 Tim_Fragmagnet

@BobSapp said:
man this engine really does look fabulous! Oh and I see the poleaxe is gripped to use the hammer side.

What this needs now is a soft breeze making the flowers flow in the air. And some audio effects, hearing the bramble rattle in the distance and some faint wind chimes. That's some cinematic shit

And then after all that fantastic wonderous audio balance. BLAST POWER METAL AS LOUD AS YOU CAN. OBTAIN GLORY.

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  • 19 Feb '16
 PieFlavoredPie

Yay! No more glitchy ragdolls that get sent into space when shot at! (Yes, it's entertaining, but honestly it gets annoying after a while)
It's looking great so far! Great work guys! :D

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  • 19 Feb '16
 TheEmeraldArcher

making a map in the scottish highlands was a great idea and looks very nice.

Next some kind of forest? German Black Forest maybe?

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  • 20 Feb '16
 Grator — Art

oops

582 2209
  • 20 Feb '16
 marox — Project Lead

@Tim_Fragmagnet said:

@BobSapp said:
man this engine really does look fabulous! Oh and I see the poleaxe is gripped to use the hammer side.

What this needs now is a soft breeze making the flowers flow in the air. And some audio effects, hearing the bramble rattle in the distance and some faint wind chimes. That's some cinematic shit

And then after all that fantastic wonderous audio balance. BLAST POWER METAL AS LOUD AS YOU CAN. OBTAIN GLORY.

Yes, yes, YES.

As only Manowar can proclaim:

Crack the Earth, Gods of Thunder
Man and beast will be torn asunder
Into the Fight I own the right
To be the King of kings

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  • 20 Feb '16
 marox — Project Lead

@Edmund said:
About the duel video, the second attack of the pole axe player is a chamber ? i've watched it over and over and it's a bit messy tbh, really fast.
https://giant.gfycat.com/BabyishUnitedCirriped.webm

About the map, it's really beautiful.

It's a riposte, but the polearm riposte animations are terrible currently. We're still working on this :)

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  • 20 Feb '16
 BearGrylls

Awesome. Great progress. Keep it up.

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  • 20 Feb '16
 CaptainGaymer

Seeing such a beautiful map made me think a little, is there any way you guys could add a rain effect to the game on certain maps? I think it'd be cool to have huge skirmishes in the middle of a storm, or even a light drizzle with puddles on the ground would be sick as nut. also snow is cool too

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  • 20 Feb '16
 Ares

Levolution 😂

After some time a storm and heavy rain comes. Lightning strikes set in and the areas they hit are roasted or set on fire for like 30 secs

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  • 20 Feb '16
 Ares

And the map looks f.cking awesome

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  • 20 Feb '16
 Lord

I look forward to painting the Highlands with the blood of my enemies.

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  • 20 Feb '16
 Aro

@CaptainGaymer said:
Seeing such a beautiful map made me think a little, is there any way you guys could add a rain effect to the game on certain maps? I think it'd be cool to have huge skirmishes in the middle of a storm, or even a light drizzle with puddles on the ground would be sick as nut. also snow is cool too

DYNAMIC WEATHER ON EVERY MAP, CONFIGURABLE IN GAME SETTINGS??????

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  • 20 Feb '16
 BearGrylls

Wizard proficiency that lets you control the weather.