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Gregory Yudenko





Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Likes: 18 pages

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2021 11:21 am    Post subject: Question regarding Sword Design in a video game!         Reply with quote

Hello Ladies and Gentleman,

I would like to ask your opinion regarding a whole myriad of swords which were designed for a video game called Exanima which takes place in a low fantasy, late medieval environment.

It's of outmost importance for me to hear your take on the overall design style, character and historical accuracy of those swords as well as their functionality.

Please feel free to view the screenshots and share your thoughts!







Please feel free to view the screenshots and share your thoughts!
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Craig Johnson
Industry Professional



Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
Joined: 18 Aug 2003
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PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2021 3:09 pm    Post subject: Critique         Reply with quote

They look ok. They suffer a bit from the usual game design issues. about 25 % to beefy at least and a bit generic in forms of the guards and pommels. But I would say better than a lot that are out there.
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Victor R.




Location: Klein, Texas
Joined: 28 Jan 2008
Reading list: 4 books

Posts: 294

PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2021 3:36 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Your blade types generally seem to emulate Types XII, XV, XVI, XVII and XVIII. I say this because your designs tend to have a decent to strong profile taper and acute point. There is some potential for era mismatch with this variety of profiles: Type XII was common before the mid-14th, Type XVI was early to mid 14th and XVIII was more of a 15th to early 16th blade style.

If you're setting your game in the late 14th, then your XII, XVI and XVIII styles are a little out of period; if early 15th, then that brings XVIII back on the table, while the earlier swords wouldn't bee seen much. If you refer to the Feature on Ewart Oakeshott http://myArmoury.com/feature_oakeshott2.html, you can tailor your styles to the chosen era of your game.

As for other comments, you seem to have a couple of blades with what appears to be a strong medial ridge rather than a fuller. Such ridges were not typical of medieval era blades. Although depictions of Type XVIII blades, which are hollowground, do sometimes seem to depict a heavy ridge, the examples I've seen suggest the ridge is more subtle. Also, some of the blades as depicted tend to appear slightly corroded. If you could afford a sword, you took care of it. It might not be a mirror polish, but it wouldn't appear to have active (red) rust.

Your grips, guards and pommels actually look pretty good - nothing seems to be oversized or atypically shaped.

I think it's a pretty good job, particularly when compared to most of what you seen in games. A stickler will call out some of the things I noted, and maybe others, but the average gamer wouldn't really notice - they'd just see what they imagined as a basic sword.

If you want to get into some funkier styles, look up falcions and messers. You'd need to confirm that the style fit the time period of your setting, but these are single-edge blade types that coexisted with double-edge types during the 14th/15th/16th (messers tended to be later; falcions seem to be earlier).

Thanks for sharing and seeking. Good luck!
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Daniel Sullivan




Location: California
Joined: 02 Apr 2004
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Posts: 218

PostPosted: Mon 29 Mar, 2021 9:37 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Gregory,

Noticed a few minor tidbits that Victor addressed quite well. My comment/question is, why the extensive rust and corrosion?
If these items are to represent weapons of the period, they would be clean and appear well cared for. A foot soldier or a mounted trooper would never let this important piece of his equipment to deteriorate to such sad state.

Don't know much about gaming, however, am assuming that one of the things you folks would strive for is reality.

Cheers,
Dan
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Gregory Yudenko





Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Likes: 18 pages

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Tue 30 Mar, 2021 12:04 am    Post subject: Re: Critique         Reply with quote

Craig Johnson wrote:
They look ok. They suffer a bit from the usual game design issues. about 25 % to beefy at least and a bit generic in forms of the guards and pommels. But I would say better than a lot that are out there.


Thank you for your reply, it is true that they are a little bit oversized however that is not the main issue with them in my opinion, in fact they were oversized in order to make various sword elements more visible from a distance.

What are you thoughts on the proportions of presented swords when it comes to their grip and blade length ratio?

Quote:
Your blade types generally seem to emulate Types XII, XV, XVI, XVII and XVIII. I say this because your designs tend to have a decent to strong profile taper and acute point. There is some potential for era mismatch with this variety of profiles: Type XII was common before the mid-14th, Type XVI was early to mid 14th and XVIII was more of a 15th to early 16th blade style.


That is true, the developers of this game are well aware of this issue, however since the game is not trying to emulate certain historically accurate period of sword design but is rather attempting to provide gamers with something that feels "mostly" historically accurate and plausible.

Quote:

If you're setting your game in the late 14th, then your XII, XVI and XVIII styles are a little out of period; if early 15th, then that brings XVIII back on the table, while the earlier swords wouldn't bee seen much. If you refer to the Feature on Ewart Oakeshott http://myArmoury.com/feature_oakeshott2.html, you can tailor your styles to the chosen era of your game.


That's a good point and a great advice, thank you!

Quote:
As for other comments, you seem to have a couple of blades with what appears to be a strong medial ridge rather than a fuller. Such ridges were not typical of medieval era blades. Although depictions of Type XVIII blades, which are hollowground, do sometimes seem to depict a heavy ridge, the examples I've seen suggest the ridge is more subtle.


That might be true but I have seen a few original examples of type XVIII blades which had that specific type of extremely pronounced mid ridge. This one of the examples the developers were probably inspired by; https://flic.kr/p/Z9d36X

Quote:
Also, some of the blades as depicted tend to appear slightly corroded. If you could afford a sword, you took care of it. It might not be a mirror polish, but it wouldn't appear to have active (red) rust.


That is true, however this game takes place in a very large, city sized, ancient and mostly abandoned dungeon. Most of its denizens are long dead, or undead!

Quote:
Your grips, guards and pommels actually look pretty good - nothing seems to be oversized or atypically shaped.


Ahh, now this is extremely unfortunate for me! Sad

I have been having a rather heated debate with the main developer of this project whom I greatly respect, our main point of contention was exactly this matter. I took a diametrically opposite side and claimed that the overall proportions of the swords presented above were off in regards to the overall length of most grips relative to the blade size as well the size of most cross guards and some pommels.

Most of those swords have blade length of a typical XVth century one handed arming sword (72 to 78cm long) whereas their grip length is oftentimes that of a small hand and half sword such as Albion Castellan which is fairly archetypical of a shorter and handier type of a hand and half. I'm well aware of some hand and half swords having fairly short blades but it almost appears to be a rule or a dominant feature of most swords presented in those screenshots. There is almost too much volume in crossguard/grip area. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.

In my opinion this picture should make my own stance on them somewhat more relatable, while some of these may look fairly good there is still a very noticeable trend for these swords to have overly hefty and over pronounced grip and cross guard area, they are somewhat disproportionate in my opinion.


I'm very interested in discussing this particular matter further!

Quote:
If you want to get into some funkier styles, look up falcions and messers. You'd need to confirm that the style fit the time period of your setting, but these are single-edge blade types that coexisted with double-edge types during the 14th/15th/16th (messers tended to be later; falcions seem to be earlier).


The Devs of this game are very well aware of those sword types, they've already added some of them to the game and will probably add even more later on.

Quote:
Noticed a few minor tidbits that Victor addressed quite well. My comment/question is, why the extensive rust and corrosion?
If these items are to represent weapons of the period, they would be clean and appear well cared for. A foot soldier or a mounted trooper would never let this important piece of his equipment to deteriorate to such sad state.


Hello Daniel!

Thank you for comment, as I've pointed out earlier this game takes place in an extremely large, "civilization size" abandoned dungeon/underground city which you as a player must search and uncover its secrets meanwhile fighting various types of monsters, undead and even more!

Thank you for your comments, I'm looking forward to even more!


Last edited by Gregory Yudenko on Tue 30 Mar, 2021 4:13 am; edited 2 times in total
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Madoc Evans





Joined: 29 Nov 2015

Posts: 6

PostPosted: Tue 30 Mar, 2021 1:33 am    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Hello, I'm the development lead for Exanima, just wanted to step in give a little context.

These are not release ready assets and they are not exactly hand crafted models, it's an early screenshot we shared with fans to showcase a procedural weapon generation system we're developing. We're doing this for just about every European medieval weapon you can imagine. This "sword factory" was our first ever test of this system, and has served mainly as a testing ground for it. It temporarily includes a random assortment of components for different weapon types (e.g. daggers and longswords), and has not been tweaked or corrected at all since our first "yay it works" moment several months ago. We will make some small, but still important fixes before release, move specific components to specific factories only, and over time we will expand these with more and better designs.

Our game does not have an historical setting, it's a fantasy setting. Our designs are inspired by a broad late medieval period (European), and we usually deliberately avoid replicating historical designs exactly (more so with armour), but still keep them plausible. The condition of weapons is part of the procedural system, and there is indeed a lot of exploring abandoned underground locations filled with old rusty weapons and armour (as well as monsters and all sorts).

Sorry for the boring technical post, just thought I should clarify this and ask people to withhold judgement as this is far from our final or best effort.
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Wed 31 Mar, 2021 5:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Critique         Reply with quote

Gregory Yudenko wrote:

Quote:
Your grips, guards and pommels actually look pretty good - nothing seems to be oversized or atypically shaped.


Ahh, now this is extremely unfortunate for me! Sad

I have been having a rather heated debate with the main developer of this project whom I greatly respect, our main point of contention was exactly this matter. I took a diametrically opposite side and claimed that the overall proportions of the swords presented above were off in regards to the overall length of most grips relative to the blade size as well the size of most cross guards and some pommels.

Most of those swords have blade length of a typical XVth century one handed arming sword (72 to 78cm long) whereas their grip length is oftentimes that of a small hand and half sword such as Albion Castellan which is fairly archetypical of a shorter and handier type of a hand and half. I'm well aware of some hand and half swords having fairly short blades but it almost appears to be a rule or a dominant feature of most swords presented in those screenshots. There is almost too much volume in crossguard/grip area. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.

In my opinion this picture should make my own stance on them somewhat more relatable, while some of these may look fairly good there is still a very noticeable trend for these swords to have overly hefty and over pronounced grip and cross guard area, they are somewhat disproportionate in my opinion.


I'm very interested in discussing this particular matter further!


Hi Gregory,

Let me take your side then. I do think the grips are a tad over-long in some examples. This was one of my first impressions along with Craig's suggestion that they all suffer a bit from being a bit 'chunky' in general. By video game standards, I'd say they are pretty good though.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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Gregory Yudenko





Joined: 11 Feb 2009
Likes: 18 pages

Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu 01 Apr, 2021 5:19 am    Post subject: Re: Critique         Reply with quote

Ian Hutchison wrote:
Gregory Yudenko wrote:

Quote:
Your grips, guards and pommels actually look pretty good - nothing seems to be oversized or atypically shaped.


Ahh, now this is extremely unfortunate for me! Sad

I have been having a rather heated debate with the main developer of this project whom I greatly respect, our main point of contention was exactly this matter. I took a diametrically opposite side and claimed that the overall proportions of the swords presented above were off in regards to the overall length of most grips relative to the blade size as well the size of most cross guards and some pommels.

Most of those swords have blade length of a typical XVth century one handed arming sword (72 to 78cm long) whereas their grip length is oftentimes that of a small hand and half sword such as Albion Castellan which is fairly archetypical of a shorter and handier type of a hand and half. I'm well aware of some hand and half swords having fairly short blades but it almost appears to be a rule or a dominant feature of most swords presented in those screenshots. There is almost too much volume in crossguard/grip area. I hope you understand what I'm trying to say.

In my opinion this picture should make my own stance on them somewhat more relatable, while some of these may look fairly good there is still a very noticeable trend for these swords to have overly hefty and over pronounced grip and cross guard area, they are somewhat disproportionate in my opinion.


I'm very interested in discussing this particular matter further!


Hi Gregory,

Let me take your side then. I do think the grips are a tad over-long in some examples. This was one of my first impressions along with Craig's suggestion that they all suffer a bit from being a bit 'chunky' in general. By video game standards, I'd say they are pretty good though.


Thank you for your comment,

You are correct, compared to the majority of "swords" we see in most video games they do look in fact amazing. Some of the swords presented in screenshots above are almost entirely correct in terms of their proportions while others do seem to have certain oversized components which when combined together produce a noticeably unrefined sword when compared to real examples.
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Ian Hutchison




Location: Louisiana / Nordrhein-Westholland
Joined: 27 Nov 2007

Posts: 599

PostPosted: Thu 01 Apr, 2021 10:28 pm    Post subject:         Reply with quote

Madoc Evans wrote:
Hello, I'm the development lead for Exanima, just wanted to step in give a little context.

These are not release ready assets and they are not exactly hand crafted models, it's an early screenshot we shared with fans to showcase a procedural weapon generation system we're developing. We're doing this for just about every European medieval weapon you can imagine. This "sword factory" was our first ever test of this system, and has served mainly as a testing ground for it. It temporarily includes a random assortment of components for different weapon types (e.g. daggers and longswords), and has not been tweaked or corrected at all since our first "yay it works" moment several months ago. We will make some small, but still important fixes before release, move specific components to specific factories only, and over time we will expand these with more and better designs.

Our game does not have an historical setting, it's a fantasy setting. Our designs are inspired by a broad late medieval period (European), and we usually deliberately avoid replicating historical designs exactly (more so with armour), but still keep them plausible. The condition of weapons is part of the procedural system, and there is indeed a lot of exploring abandoned underground locations filled with old rusty weapons and armour (as well as monsters and all sorts).

Sorry for the boring technical post, just thought I should clarify this and ask people to withhold judgement as this is far from our final or best effort.


Sounds very exciting! I hope to see your game come to fruition someday.

'We are told that the pen is mightier than the sword, but I know which of these weapons I would choose.' - Adrian Carton de Wiart
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