Its a while ago i took the time to write about my progress here,
in the meantime i finished porting my mod Scaedumar to M&B Warband 1.134, this included the newest version of the kits i used and some pretty neat stuff regarding new gameplay elements and graphics.
I used Ambient Occlusion this time on the tree´s and foliage, new horses and also on the Polished Building model´s from Gutefiutek. This alone improved the overall graphics by quite alot.
It´s also the first time i published the mod on a way bigger community site – ModDB.com as well as Desura (a Steam like company) which boosted the downloads to over 3000 in the first week.
This included the making of a promotional video aswell as a way more polished presentation of my mod-content.
I released the alpha version of Scaedumar some days ago.
Till now its only mentioned in 2 different forums, the first is Taleworlds-“Mods in development”- forum and TotalWarNet – forum. There is a total download of 400 since the release (5 days ago) which is really ok for my purposes.
The amount of reported bugs are minor, some suggestions regarding the possibility to toggle some of the new game-play changes.
The next steps will be the implementation of a seasonal system (scene-changes for winter / summer) and fixing/implementation of the bugs/suggestions mentioned from the alpha testers.
The plans are to finish the new seasonal system, fixing all scenes and game-play elements and release the open-beta version on a couple of forums/mod-sites (moddb.com, Taleworlds – released mods etc.)
I also welcome a new team-member (CounterPoint) – he is mostly providing feedback and discussion, maybe also texture/modelling work in the future and he helped me to get a good starting point at the TotalWarCenter Forum.
I finished today the LODs for the Swadia Towns (Polished Buildings) and decided to make a quick test on how much improvement in FPS i will get.
It turned out quite nice, with LODs i will get an average of 5-6 FPS more in dense Townscenes when having lots of buildings in the view, this goes down to 1-2 FPS more when only some buildings are in the viewing range.
The downside is that i will have 10 Mb more Data to be loaded in the memory when using the LODs.
Afterall i am quite satisfied with the result, depending on settings (i used average quality settings for the test) this might be even a bigger difference.
I learned a lot during building the LODs and in future i can make the process much faster and more optimized.
The most i learned about using the freeware program “Balancer Lite”, which is a real handy tool for optimizing meshes in terms of polycount, how to prevent the geometry from collapsing/deforming too much and still have a quick workflow.
So i start here with a short description of my actual project called Scaedumar, for Mount & Blade Warband.
It´s main purpose is to practice both scripting and level-design for that engine. To get started i used a lot of OpenSource Kits from the talesworld-forum, enhanced and tweaked lots of them and build some more indepth game-play elements.
I also used Polished Landscapes and Polished Buildings from Gutekfiutek (two Model/Texture packs) to get a good graphical basis to build on.
The next step was to port some of my battle-maps, which was originally created for The Last Days – Mod, to fit with the the new textures and models. They turned out to look quite good on that new engine with just some minor adjustments to the original maps i made earlier.
After that i started to concentrate on rebuilding the first Swadia town scene, namely Praven. This city is located on a plain near the ocean. After some tests i decided to go with a figure 8 layout of the roads, a market-place in the middle, the castle to the right and a harbour at the upper part of the map.
After realizing that this kind of dense architecture will get me some huge performance issues i reworked the graphical-kit, adding LODs to almost every scene-prop and changing shaders for them. For now i have quite expensive shaders with normal mapping on LOD 1+2 and just diffuse textures without normals on LOD 3+4. Also changed the old greyscale bump-maps to normal maps for better details.
More information on this mod can be found at here.