Keep Fights

“Keep Fights” in Mount & Blade 2 Bannerlord add an additional layer to siege battles, an integral part of the M&B game loop. After a player successfully completes a siege mission, a keep fight may be triggered, if enough defenders have managed to escape to the keep.

I was given three design goals for this feature:

  • Keep fights should favour attackers
  • Keep fights should use the settlements respective keep level (see Level Design section)
  • Keep fights should be fast paced

Prototype scene

Feature Design

The “Keep Fight” mission is biased for the attackers, as the defenders only have a set amount of troops in the level, while attackers spawn in reoccurring waves. This makes sure that no matter how big both parties are, there is a clear maximum number of agents present in the level, allowing the level design to plan accordingly.

While working on this feature I collaborated closely with gameplay programmers and was responsible for the One Pager, Prototype and all 17 scenes.

As a first proposal I worked on said prototype scene that was used as a proof concept for both gameplay and the level art.

Start of a keep fight mission

Level Design

Civilian vs Keep Fight layer

All 17 level are based on already existing keep scenes, these are used for dialogues with lords.

For the Keep Fight, these level need another layer that not only switches them from looking like a prosperous lord estate, to a place that has been under siege, but also showcases that they became the last holdout for everyone defending the town/castle.

Also the Keep Fight layer needs to create chokepoints and a clear path throughout the level. Defenders will be placed in groups along this path, hold and even fallback to the choke points along it.

Troops falling back during our siege mission.