Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Getting old in computer years

This is mostly about TLD, so if you're not interested, maybe skip this one.

One thing I like about painting is - you can't really stay behind rest of the world very much. Sure, there may be kids painting with their minds wired straight to the computer, but if you do an oil painting, people will still like it and you won't embarrass yourself (unless you're a bad painter).
Computer games are different. You can't even claim to be retro in games, retro games have pixel art graphics and rip off pong or Megaman. If you get old in computer game years, you're simply a sucker.

When we started TLD these five years ago, we were setting the trends for MaB and even for its time it wasn't a bad looking mod. We were exploring the crap out of the technology, we had enthusiasm and thought we had all the time in the world.
Five years later, we're still pushing the technology and setting (some) trends, but it doesn't feel like being a giant space man fighting his way through a wave of star dust towards a shiny future. It's more like pushing a creaking wagon full of stuff that's breaking apart faster than you're fixing it.

We know, the MaB engine is old and not really supported and developed anymore. Warband is out there and most of the cool mod kids are there with it. Luckily, the MaB/Warband scene is not full of the bros who need to have a 3D shooter more realistic and hitech than the previous one every three months. But still, the old age is creeping on us.

We like to throw our 5 years of development around as a proof of being oldschool and therefore awesome. But it's also a stigma - fans expect nothing less than a LOTR roleplaying nirvana. And while I'm confident we'll release a good mod, I have no doubt we'll disappoint many people. It's just been built up too much. The more work we put into it, the more we realize we're pretty limited by the old clunky engine. (how awesome would it be to license the engine and be free to do our own modifications! Like getting rid of that nasty limit on number of usable races, or a bug with overflowing vertex buffer...DREAM ON, PUNY ARTIST!)

Sometimes I feel like whining (this post is a proof of that) about modding being hard and unrewarding. And then I take a look at our competition. It has two types of effect:
1) HOLY SHIT! Their models/textures/sounds/battle features/neat improvements are SO GOOD! Why aren't our as good?
2) How can we beat this?!

The first type happened with the Star Wars mod, which has an amazing amount of quality models, textures, working lightsabers, speeders, all the various aline races, jedi force powers, it's awesome. Recently this first type also kicked in while playing Rus XIII, which is still in beta as well, but is already AWESOME.
If you're into early medieval battles, you NEED to play it. Absolutely gorgeous models and textures of consistently good quality, great soundtrack (medieval music mostly), good features changing gameplay a LOT, it's the real deal.
I think I can let you guys know we're being inspired by the Rus guys in many ways. (and of course stealing their ideas. I'm only half joking. :D)

I'm sorry, no art today, I won't leak any secret info from TLD development either.
But be sure to check out those mods I wrote about:

Star Wars Conquest on ModDB (check out the video section)
Rus XIII 1st video - the Mongols
Rus XIII 2nd video - the Teutonic knights
Rus XIII - battle of Rakvere
Rus XIII - battle of lake Peipus

I promise there will be some art in the next post! :)


  1. Cheers for the links. Hadn't been following either of these but they look really awesome! - Yoshiboy

  2. Hehe, you're one of the cool kids now, making Pirates for Warband, which I can't wait for.
    Also Fara, who ran away from us smelly old guys and makes his fancy dwarves with you young'uns. :(