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Mordhau is a multiplayer first person slasher being developed by a small independent team. Design your own weapons and armor, then battle it out with other players in various modes. It features a deep and fluid combat system that allows those that master it to turn into an unstoppable force on the battlefield. The game is still under heavy development and our goal is to release it as a commercial title on Steam. There is no set release date as of right now.

And a screenshot album from several months ago!

More recent screenshots from a greener map:

Very cool :slight_smile:
Combat system and artwork animation <— me like!
Most games of that sort die because of hacks or lag, how do you solve that?

Glad you like it! The game runs on an authoritative server, so hacks are not that big of an issue, as the server alone decides everything. Lag is managed through a mixture of things. The most important part is getting the hit detection down frame-perfect, you may not notice 16ms of difference when playing offline, but everything adds up over the network. Ultimately there will always be lag, and it comes down to how you want to display things on the clients, whether to show everything slightly in the past, or to extrapolate into the future. We tend to mix both approaches, but it largely depends on your game’s mechanics: identify where the effects of lag are the least harmful and shift it there. Ultimately, it’s a bag of tricks and smoke and mirrors.

This looks great :cool:

Too many head decapitation lol… Liking it thou! Keep it up :slight_smile:

Looks really fun. Wanna see some arms being chopped off please

This is looking top-notch. I’ll be keeping an eye on it =)

There’s some arms being chopped off in the video, I believe.

Have you a pricerange set, for your nice product?

It’s been adjusted to require a bit more precision to do since then, as it was getting silly :slight_smile:

We haven’t settled on anything yet, but currently we’re looking at the $15-25 price range.

Introducing the ballista & a brief look at Highlands

Hey everyone, we have some new content to show off!

Technically these aren’t vehicles, but the concept is similar to those you might find in some shooters. They are objects you can interact with by taking control over them. A stationary machine gun has no place in Mordhau, but a ballista does. Similarly, while a humvee is unlikely to make an appearance in the middle ages, players might push catapults, thus “driving” them. Unlike a modern shooter, there are challenges we face in making these vehicles look believable: the act of driving is more of a symbiotic relationship between the character and the vehicle. For a humvee, all you need is to stick the hands onto the wheel and you’re mostly good to go, but a catapult does not drive itself, and a ballista does not rotate on its own.

Programmers do not always have art assets at their disposal. Here is how we initially prototyped the ballista:

Once one of our 3d artists, in this case it was Max, took over the task of making an actual ballista, things started to look much better.

And finally, it all comes together in this short clip:

Notice how we maintain the first person view at all times. Keeping the player immersed in first person is a big deal for us! On top of that, the aiming of the ballista is done using the actual ballista bolt, so a first person view is a practical necessity. While there is a crosshair shown, this is more of an oversight on our part (whoops!), as it doesn’t help you aim in this case. The change in camera shown in the clip is done manually to show how things look to other players. When the ballista turns, the player steps with it, crouches when it is aimed high, and this is exactly what we mean by symbiotic relationship – the character and the vehicle work together.


Maps & animations
A quick look at one of our maps: Highlands. This is a relatively simple, smaller map intended for smaller skirmishes and duels, inspired by the Scottish Highlands. Here’s a clip of the map featuring a brief exchange between two characters, one wielding the impressive zweihander, our biggest two handed sword, while the other is armed with a poleaxe.

One of our animators, crush, has been hard at work replacing and adding new upper body movement animations. Here’s the one for polearms, with the player dressed in a full plate suit with a tabard. These hills are a good test for our foot placement code, too!

Wow this looks awesome ! I suppose you guys made a line trace system for the melee. But how did you achieve making the block/parade system?

Thanks! Parrying occurs once the weapon strikes a player that’s in a parry state, and is aiming at one of the weapon’s traces, with some angle tolerance.

oh ok interesting.Must have led to a pretty complicated system then.

There’s a way to get a fairly simple system that works reasonably well: attach a collider like a small box in front of the player, roughly where his crosshair would be. If the weapon tracer hits this, have it be a parry. We opted to go away from this method because we wanted more control over the parrying process, but it’s a good start and might be fine depending on your requirements.

looks great really nice looking characters, most of them ended up with no heads but you expect that when swords hit necks…looking forward to seeing more

In the third person video it seems that the characters feet is using IK on uneven terrain…Is this the case? Do you also use additive animation to modify the locomotion cycle when navigating slopes?

Thanks! Some bots were harmed in the making of that video :slight_smile:

We use foot IK to modify the walk cycle so that it matches the ground level at each foot, but we don’t modify it further with additive animations.

Nice. There are many people unsuccessfully trying Foot IK but it seems you guys have gotten it down. May I ask how complex your system is and did you use the IK nodes that UE4 has built into the editor?

The system is fairly simple in concept, and we use the IK nodes readily available in UE4. The most common mistake when doing foot IK is to think you should trace to the ground, then plant the foot where the trace hit occurred. This will work when standing still, but the walk is going to get messed up hard whenever the character moves, if it works at all. Instead, it’s more helpful to think of it this way: what if there were a height value that would allow me to offset the character’s feet upwards from the ground by a fixed amount? So let’s say I want to offset the character’s feet by 25 cm upwards, because this is an offset from the ground itself, my walk cycle should remain a walk cycle, it’ll just be a bit higher above ground overall and won’t spaz out all over the place. Once you have this functionality working, you just need to use it on each foot independently, by first tracing to the ground (I do it from leg in the direction towards foot), checking how high or low this is relative to your default height, and applying the offset.

To make things look good, it’s advisable to find the lowest ground between the two feet, then take that offset and apply it to the root of the character (so he dips a bit) and take this into account when computing the IK offset above.

Of course, lerp all the things to make the transitions smooth.

That makes total sense (I believe the Halo games started using this approach starting with Halo Reach, as each entire locomotion cycle aligns with the terrain). Ill have to attempt to implement this into my locomotion and animation system. I will say that I am fairly surprised that you are striving to achieve this level of animation quality for a first person game, but I’m very pleased! Its things like these that can add a lot to a game.