Harmonious Fighting in a Medieval setting! Made by Dennis Wikman for the ”Introduction to Game Design” course of ’09.
Purpose I wanted to study the ”indie”-game Mount & Blade out of a user created content-perspective. The game is basically made by an independent company, and one of the first things I noticed about it was that there were many modifications out there made for it. Some even before the actual release of the game! This was what made me interested in taking a closer look at the modding scene of M&B.
Basics M&B has a very simple concept, most of which can be guessed simply by it’s name. It is a game about Mounts in relations to Blades, more or less. It has gotten a lot of positive feedback on its innovative mounted combat, skill system and general gameplay. Most negative feedback is aimed towards the lack of high quality graphics. The fan base, however, doesn’t really care for the graphics. In M&B you do not have a set goal what you are going to accomplish. The entire game is built around a kind of advanced sandbox-type gameplay, where you make your own imaginary goals. Most of the time, though, you end up trying to rule the entire world. (Like this guy is trying to )
M&B hasn’t been out on the market for that long, as it was released in September 2008. Still, it has more mods then I have seen in a long time in any kind of game. There are a lot of Total Conversion-projects underway, and many have already been done. Here’s a few examples:
The Eagles and the Wolves: A modification that adds several new features, such as kingdom management, enlarged map, combat formation abilities and tons of new items.
M&B 1257: Makes the entire game a bit more ”real life” medieval. Changes the tournament settings, adds a high quality graphics map and several gameplay tweaks.
Star Wars Conquest: A total conversion Star Wars mod. Completely changes setting, adds tons of new items, weapons, playable races, NPCs, custom models and animations. Also adds new weapon types, such as guns, grenades, force powers, etc…
It is a very versatile and flexible game. With the mods available, it is more then a game: it is a platform, such as Half-Life and Unreal Tournament. It is a completely different gameplay though, making the mods more interesting. You never know what to find next! And there are still mods being made, the M&B community is very much alive. ” Who needs horses? We have speeder bikes!” ” My 800-pound war horse kindly disagrees with your existence.”
Aftermath I really thought I had a good idea on just how big the modding scene of M&B were, but as I started with the final assignment, I was pleasantly surprised as to how wrong I was. The modding scene is much bigger, and is a good enough reason in itself to get this game. The modding community turns the game into something completely different, and all mods I have found have personally rekindled my love for this game. M&B is, for me, proof that the gaming community is just as important as the game itself. Player-created content can double, or triple, the replay value of a game. Maybe even quadruple. This is something developers should take into consideration. If you can enjoy a game for longer, maybe it doesn’t matter if the graphics suffer a bit?
Thank you for watching. If you would like to read all of my thoughts on this game and subject, I recommend that you check out my final assignment. It contains not only keen observations, but a cheese trader as well. Ride on, friends! Take care!