dev frame – Stratember


dev frame – Stratember

Strategic Map has received a more suitable name and is planned to be released to our nightly testing server sometime next week! We would very much appreciate all the feedback about it to improve the mode before live release.


New Name


Strategic Map’s release is closer than ever! We’re planning to start testing the mode sometime next week on our nightly server, and would love to see you there once it’s available! There will be a couple of updates with fixes and occasional changes if requested by the community, but live release should be ready after about a week of (intense) testing.


We’ve been hinting about a potential name change of the mode, since “Strategic Map” was meant to be used only as an internal development name, and it’s finally out of the box! The name wasn’t just randomly picked, and has a serious meaning, while representing what the game mode stands for quite well.


De Re Militari is the new name of the Strategic Map mode! History fans probably already know what it stands for, but keep reading if you’re interested too! De Re Militari, which translates from Latin as Concerning Military Matters, is a kind of a military guidebook written in 5th century by a Roman writer Vegetius. It’s been the most commonly used book on proper warfare leading methods in the medieval times, making it a perfect name for the mode, since players have to first think strategically how to bring lands and glory to their clan, and then thoroughly plan tactical maneuvers when fighting their enemies.



There are still ongoing discussions on Discord and forums about what a shortened version of the name used in more casual environment should be, so feel free to jump in, suggest your ideas, and discuss your favorite choices! 


You can read about the De Re Militari book itself on Wikipedia here or find much more information on forums and websites specifically about history and medieval warfare. Check a couple of interesting pictures from one of the surviving books from 15th century, depicting ways of sieging walls and towers! Who knows, maybe something like that will be available in the game one day…



Trailer Battle


A lot has changed in the game since the release last year, so it was decided that it would be great to have a trailer showing the current state of the game and what big features have recently been introduced.


Instead of using bots to represent how combat works in the game and what battle modes there are, we thought it would be interesting to call all the clans and players to arms, and have a big castle siege together, using the footage from the battle in the trailer afterwards. While there are some obvious benefits of using bots, like being able to specifically set their behaviour and equipment, they wouldn’t be able to show how actual players fight over a castle, even if it means having occasional players wearing silly equipment sets on the battlefield (please don’t).


The battle will happen on our nightly server next Friday (September 22nd) at 7:00 pm UTC (21:00 CEST). You will be able to sign up for it once De Re Militari becomes available on nightly.


We would appreciate if you could come and help us with the trailer! Every clan that brings a sufficient number of members to the battle will be credited in the video with a link to their page, so it’s a good chance for you to promote your might and get even more clan members on board!



Humble Request


The development is progressing towards a quite big milestone, as De Re Militari is planned to be released in less than two weeks from now. We would very much appreciate if you could take a look at your reviews of the game, making sure the information in there is up to date and is an actual representation of how you feel about the progress.


We recently noticed that there are many reviews mentioning very old issues that have since been resolved, and it would be extremely helpful to read more recent feedback about the direction of the development, things that are being done right, and things that you would like to be changed to improve the state of the game.


If it just so happens that you haven’t wrote a review yet, waiting for De Re Militari’s nightly test next week might be a good idea, as you would be able to try the new addition that we’ve been working on for quite some time. Since the current plan is to continue improving the new mode based on all the feedback provided by the community, knowing your opinions about its current state would help the development greatly.



Release The Map


De Re Militari is almost ready to be publicly released on live! There have been internal dev tests to make sure nothing related to the code or servers has issues to avoid unnecessary delays, and it looks like there are no flaws spotted so far.


Coders are mostly finished with their part for the first version of the mode, adding only some Quality Of Life features like a button to center the camera at your clan’s stronghold or an introduction screen when players first see the map. We will continue doing more internal tests until nightly is avilable to double check that things definitely work, but you can expect De Re Militari to hit the nightly in the middle of the next week.



Keep in mind that it will only be a testing version, so you won’t be able to find everything that will be included later in the next live update. For example, clan upkeep will be implemented only in the second nightly (while still before live), and some visual improvements will be added as well, like strategic arrows showing in what direction your army is moving.


While there are still some visual changes that will be included before the first live release of De Re Militari, the map improved its looks quite a lot in the past weeks of intense development. Check out some of the pictures of the progress coders and artists made from the very first tech demo of the mode to what it is right now! There are also short descriptions of each stage of development below the images to make it clearer what changed.



This is the very first version of De Re Militari (called Strategic Map at the time) with fief placements and some small terrain variations. There have been no new assets at the time, since the starting point always has to be the code, so existing pieces were used as placeholder. You can see familiar towers for castles, farm houses for villages, and bigger keeps for strongholds.




Some visuals have improved for the second version of the map, but there were still mainly gameplay changes at that stage. New, yet still temporary fief pieces were implemented, and new UI successfully got in. You can notice that fief placement got tweaked, but huge castles make it look a little too cramped on the screenshot, making it a bit hard to judge. Clans could already wave their banners above captured fiefs and names of each settlement could be shown above them. One of them is being attacked!




One of the later stages of the development. Terrain generator was vastly improved, allowing for interesting variations of plains, hills, and mountains. Textures for different areas were also implemented by artists, and smaller things got in like tweaks for fief pieces and an addition of trees to create forests. As you can see, there are no more banners over each fief, since they were taking quite a lot of space on screen, making it hard to read the map.




Current version of De Re Militari with lots of changes and additions. Terrain generation received some more tweaks to make mountains and hills more realistic, while the terrain textures got fully changed as well. All the fief pieces were also changed, now adding two different versions for castles and villages, and slightly tweaking strongholds. Improving lighting is still an ongoing task for artists and coders, but it has also improved since the last version of the map.


Check out the video showing a small part of the map with three dev clans on it! As always, keep in mind that some of the UI elements and visuals are still in development, and will be improved before the next live release, possibly even before the first nightly.



Village Attack


While sieging and defending castles with your friends and clan mates is challenging and fun, there are also villages on the De Re Militari’s map that will have to be conquered and protected. It’s been discussed in the previous dev frame that there is a new map being released for the battle mode, and it’s finally on our nightly!


The village map has some interesting places like a watchtower with a flag on top of it that you have to climb to capture, a farm house surrounded by wheat, which proved to be an excellent ambush point, and other areas important for tactical planning. When defending your village later on the map, you have to be very cautious and well prepared, since it doesn’t have fortifications like castles, making it much easier for attacking forces to swarm the territory and capture your land.


The map has been released to our nightly server earlier this week, and already updated on Friday based on the community’s feedback. There will be at least one more update for the village to improve some of the visual aspects of it like creating more defined roads, and we would very much appreciate if you could jump in and test it with your friends!



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