Interview with Taleworlds on Mount & Blade

What inspired you to make Mount & Blade, with its genre-blending gameplay, in the first place?

Our inspiration was made of a few simple ingredients: A simple desire to want to play something that didn’t yet exist, a healthy and comfortably nerdy obsession with medieval times, and the lure of accomplishing something seemingly impossible.

How difficult did you find it to enter the market as an independent project?

When we started out, we didn’t really have huge expectations, so weren’t really climbing “up hill” per-se in terms of pitching to publishers, trying to acquire VC funding,etc.  If people liked what we were doing they could opt to buy our Alpha version and help us complete our game.  Once word spread, we got the funding and attention needed to eventually release Mount & Blade.  For Mount & Blade going the normal route might have made releasing it incredibly difficult/impossible, thankfully the magic of the internet created a more doable challenge.

What led you to base Mount&Blade: Fire and Sword on Henrik Sienkiewicz’s novel?

Sich Studios is based in Ukraine and they wanted to make a Mount & Blade game that features an important part of Eastern Europe history and thus they chose to base the game off of With Fire and Sword.

Have you had much interaction with them when making Fire and Sword?

We reviewed the game at various stages, offered feedback, squashed bugs together, and helped with map design.  There’s pretty much a constant back and forth between TaleWorlds and Sich Studios.

How different are the battles now with the addition of firearms?

Battles are quite a bit more tactical considering that each side possesses some more advance weaponry over Warband’s medieval arsenal.  Players who are used to charging forth and heading into battle as a lone hero may not last very long in WFaS, with so many new threats, players will need to be more considerate, tactical, quicker witted.

Have the quests been improved from the original Mount & Blade games?

There are now 3 main storyline quests that can be accessed once a player reaches a certain reputation level within a specific faction.  These storyline quests contain quite a bit of content and differ from the standard fair of quests available in Warband.

Will towns/villages and their management be more in-depth?

Yes! There are lots of buildings and special personage to hire in your towns and castles.  You can even train troops in your town.

Will different characters around the world have more distinctive personalities?

As in Warband there is a diverse cast of ‘hero’ characters to hire, lords to deal with, and wars to start/end.

Has much changed about character advancement?

Not too much has changed(aside from a few skills) but now non-combat skills are more important to consider than in previous Mount & Blade games.

Are there any new or changed mechanics of Fire and Sword which you are especially proud of?

Aside from the addition of firearms, we think players will really appreciate the army building options in With Fire & Sword.  You can now hire and equip your army with exactly the kind of gear you prefer/can afford.

Do you intend to return back to the setting of Caladria in a later expansion – or in the next Mount & Blade game?

If our community has shown us one thing through their interest in this game’s setting as well as the plethora of history based mods they’ve made, is that they want to play as real countries, in real wars, with real historical figures.

Are there any details you can reveal about the next Mount & Blade game?

At the moment we’re not going to divulge anything specific other than what these two last questions reveal :)

the author

Managing Editor of ManaPool, Peter lives in York, UK and is a great fan and master of turn-based strategy games. If he isn't playing one of those, you'll probably find him in a role-playing game instead. He's definitely not afraid to provide a straight up opinion on any game and has a strong like for indie developers. We all start small, after all.