Mod Team Overview
I have been a part of the Kingdoms of Arda Mod team since November 2020 as a Level Designer. The Mod team consists of 30 developers spread across the globe with departments for Level design, coding, sound design, and modeling. Find more information on the project here: https://www.moddb.com/mods/a-lord-of-the-rings-mod-kingdoms-of-arda
Intended release Year: 2022
Creating The Level
The level started with a brief of the world's location in the Lord of the Rings and reference Images of northern Italy. The terrain was then created using a world machine to create realistic erosion and typology.
Importing the level and initial block out
Once the World Machine files were exported the heightmap and various material maps were applied to the terrain in the Mount and Blade Bannerlord Mod Tools. The first pass consisted of applying basic textures and placements of rocks to determine the flow of the map.
Spawn Lines and Map Flow
Adding multiple spawn paths for AI was important for campaign integration and to keep the map exciting as it offers different spawn points and orientations within the map
Creating the Flora
Populating the world with Flora was the next step and three major areas were identified:
1- Grass fields
3-Large rock formations
The creation of the grass fields where a combination of both lush green grass and a few yellow grass textures combined with valley flowers. The forests were created using birch tree colonies as well as Pine trees with various bushes and logs.
The most time-consuming aspect of the project was manually placing over 200 rock entities to populate the rocky terrain and truly bring the world to life as well as form strategic positions and choke points to help the flow of the level.
The final Step of the Level Design was manually creating the navmesh due to the complex terrain created by the rocks and creating barriers to block
AI from getting stuck on rock formations.
AI getting stuck in complex rock formations
One-way barriers to block AI from entering rock formations
The Feedback process took place in the Mod Teams discord server and was mainly based on peer review with the level design lead giving a separate review. This allowed for multiple opinions and views going into each level.
Bi-Monthly deadlines allowed for constant feedback within the team. The Communication within the team was done using both Trello and Discord.