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Knights of Honor II: Sovereign - Judicates Dev Diary #3 : Teambuilding Hello there, and welcome to the third development diary of Judicates. We hope you are fine during these first days of Autumn, or Fall, as the 'mericans say. In the previous diary, I was expecting to write a topic on a new region of the map, but instead, the mod made a nice progression, and its map, though necessary, is not the only thing that matters. Today, we're going to dive into a sort of subreality, on which rest great hopes. Without further delay, let's talk about it! The mod was initially planned to be focused on the sole island of Sardinia, as it was explained in the first diary. At that moment, I felt it was too little for a mod, because except historical and geographical research rendered on a single picture, there was almost nothing yet behind. Back in early Spring, there was not enough information known about Knights of Honor II. We could only rely on still images in order to guess and try to find how the game was going to be played. Then, everyone waited a couple of months to discover gameplay footage, internal mechanics, and all sorts of features, to learn a bit more about the way the game behaves. Military units, buildings, battles, knights special actions, among other parts of the game, are now less of a secret (though all of this is still a bit unknown). Actually, it led to the mod's general improvement, for the best. As I wrote it in the previous dev diary, I thought about the possibility of creating scenarios focused on a specific area, instead of a huge map. Thus, with some help, I was convinced it could be great to work on one of these. This led to the development of a new project, which won't replace Judicates, but rather launch it, and possibly make it grow. As such, we are proud to present you: The Beginning. Judicates: The Beginning is a submod for the main project, or a demo if you prefer. Its purpose is to allow the player to discover and familiarize with the world of Knights of Honor II: Sovereign, on a manageable map for a first mod, which is not divided into hundreds of provinces, since it will put the player on the sole island of Sardinia, at the head of one of its realms. This decision has been taken because creating an overhaul extending on a larger scale implies lots of efforts, time and motivation. These can go off at any moment, and slow down, or even stop the project. Yes, you have to be aware that until the mod comes out, anything can influence its process of creation. This is why, as non professionals, we definitely want and hope we'll be able to achieve this one! Then maybe we'll have enough energy to create the main mod. Concretely, the goal of The Beginning is to offer the player different interesting features, such as additional interface languages (German, Russian and French), so that the mod has full coverage and is not intended only for English speakers. We want to allow both Single player and Multiplayer (up to five players). Although the submod only allows you to start on the first start date (around 1100 AD), we want to offer different experiences, depending on the starting location chosen by a player, because each realm has a different situation and each king available right at the start will take the role of one of the five knights classes. But beware, selecting a large judicate does not necessarily mean your game will be easy; actually, it may be the contrary. The overhauled political situation of Sardinia in 1100 AD, recalling the classic colors of a board game. Though work has been made on several features we will cover in a future diary, here we want to present you another part of the mod that has known progress too: visuals. This part concerns essentially flags and portraits for the moment, as we wanted to represent each judicate with its historical emblem, and as we also wanted to extend the amount of portraits available. Right now, we don't know how many portraits will be available in vanilla game, but as you will notice with our two examples, the ones created below differ by far in their style. Noblemen drawn by a mysterious man whom we do not know but is very human. To say it in a few words, these pictures are obtained through a random generation of men's and women's faces, then it requires artistic skills and passion to obtain these realistic people... or are they actually real people? We can't affirm it. The flag which represents the judicate of Gallura. Cock-a-doodle-doo! Most flags for the submod are already done, and we're having quite a nice amount of portraits, especially for men. As the mod grew, it was decided to launch a mod specific platform, in order to be able to work more efficiently on it, upload, download and exchange files, or talk about Judicates and everything related to Knights of Honor series, in lounges set up for this purpose. Thus was set up a Discord server, initially quite simplistic and sometimes chaotic, but which quickly gained in organization. Being a modder or moderator is a rewarding experience, but becoming an administrator allows you to discover unsuspected things by seeing them from another angle. Similarly to Knights of Honor, it allows you to develop certain skills, and to gain confidence in what you're doing. We'll talk a bit more about this later in this blog. But Judicates and its Discord server wouldn't be the same without a special guest that helped a lot in this project, notably on arts, but overall in every aspect of it. Because Judicates is no more the project of a sole man, but of two now. Therefore, I present you Heragoga, who joined the team this month, and is co-ruling the server with me. Heragoga, I give you the floor, so that readers can discover your multiple talents. Hello there everybody. I am a German game development student with quite some modding experience in Hearts of Iron 4. My skills mostly lie in coding, technical knowledge and 3d modelling, tho I am able to create 2d art up to some extend as you can see. My main motivation for joining this projects are my high hopes for KoH2 and the desire to greet it "with open arms and a bucket of flowers", in a manner of speaking. Thanks Heragoga. As you have noticed, the arrival of Heragoga brought a lot to the project. However, we are still looking for more people who are passionate about the game and who could contribute to the development of Judicates. A varied team, made up of various nationalities, would indeed be beneficial. Speaking anything other than English, Russian, French or German would be a great asset, since we want to put additional languages to the game and to the mod. These are the ones we are looking for essentially: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Turkish, Polish and Korean. If you speak any of these and want to help the mod or the game, notably with translation, you are very welcome; and so you are if you speak any other language too! Whether you have talents in graphics, writing, coding, research, drawing, musical composition or anything you think can improve the mod, we will prepare and make a place for you. We don't mean to compete with Black Sea Games, but rather honor their job and what they're creating, as to show the passion Knights of Honor II community has for this game. Thereby, we invite you to join the team, if you are interested to take a part in it, or even just discover a bit more of the project. However, since there are rules on the Forum and on KoH2 server, and since we want to respect them, we cannot publicly display the link to Judicates server ; otherwise, this would be considered advertising, repetitive, aggressive, self-promotion, and we don't want that, or any conflict at all. A solution has been found with the Forum and Discord moderators: if you want to join Judicates server, you need to send Heragoga or myself a private message and ask for the link that leads to it. Then, we will send it to you discreetly, so that you can access the server. Our tags are #8147 and #9916, respectively, if you ever need them to find us. This blog is now finished. We hope it is still a pleasure for you to read us. In the next diary, we may talk again about historical details, or about concrete, internal work we're preparing for the mod before the game comes out. Have some patience! We all want to discover it after this long waiting. Meanwhile, rule well, sovereigns. See you next time!