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Thread: Lords of Midnight: Total War

  1. #1
    Member Member Horseman's Avatar
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    Default Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Greetings to all and apologies, this has turned into a bit of an essay!

    Lords of Midnight is a game released back in 1984 on the Spectrum and the Commodore 64 that was at the time of release touted as a mix between strategy and adventure written by a man called Mike Singleton.

    For more information visit http://www.icemark.com/tower/

    Quite recently I discovered an online multiplayer version of the game (Midnight MU) originally developed by Jean-Yves and have spent many happy hours playing and discussing the games in the forums and during one such discussion an idea was formed.......why not make a Total War Mod of Midnight, so that is how we got to this stage! We are currently using RTW 1.5 as a base, but after some advice this may change at a later date.

    For more information on Midnight MU (and for those who can remember the good old days of beating up on Doomdarks hoards) you can visit

    http://forum.midnightmu.com/index.php

    Though you do need to register to see most of the forums.

    Right back on topic here.
    My own modding experience started by making all factions playable, then the odd tweak here and there to unit stats, buildings and ancillaries. Using the guides on these forums I then devised my own personal Mod for RTW making it as I felt it should be. ZoR, no more fantasy units, many units added to factions depending on regions (creten archers for all recruitable in Crete for example) So as you can imagine moving up a level to creating a whole new world/map with all new factions has proven quite daunting. Quite quickly I had 2 willing assistants in Mitch23 & Major Defect (known as Starshatter in MMU) and that comprises our Mod team. We are enthusiastic but not experienced!

    We have a basic map that works ok, have begun renaming factions and characters and are almost done with changing unit names and stats. We will then be looking to tweak ancillaries and traits a little before making our 1st release as a beta to a small group of players to test for balance at that stage.

    Most of the graphics will still be from RTW and this is where we hit our biggest brick wall, none of us have the programs or the skills to create models. Now as this is a labour of love rather than an attempt to create a perfect match we are not to fussed if things aren't quite right. After asking around we have found some models we can "steal" (this is of course with prior permission, and with credit once it is released) for quite a few things, and massive thanks goto Dul Gulder (Master of None on TWC) for helping point us in the right direction here and also for providing some very good models we can use. But if there are any Modders with the skills/programs to assist us and you would like to help please feel free to send me a message

    We still need to find a suitable "standing stone" to represent Lilths on the campaign map as well as replacing the characters that appear there. And of course the units themselves!

    Thats it for now - I'll try and post some screen shots of the campaign map if I can work out how, just to prove we are making progress and I'm not making this up!!!!

    thanks for reading

    Mike

  2. #2
    Member Member Horseman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Right if I have this right below you should see the plains of Blood in all its glory during winter! one thing to note is that the terain is very "square" whilst I have toyed with the idea of smoothing it all out a bit I quite like the look as its faithful to the original game (the map was broken into squares)



    And hopefully below you have the lands of Corelay



    Hopefully Mitch23 and Major Defect will come in with some of thier screen shots as they have better ones to use than me at present (they've spent more time actually testing than me as of late!)

  3. #3
    Flame Imperishable Member Aradan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    That looks very interesting, though I admit that being much younger I haven't *yet* played the original game - will do soon enough. Best of luck!

    Norman Invasion - The fate of England lies in your hands...

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  4. #4
    Axebitten Modder Senior Member Dol Guldur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Most on these boards - due to age or location (and probably the former!) - will not remember The Lords of Midnight. So let me (who am one who by both age and location was able to play this when it first came out) explain a little more...

    Mike Singleton created some great games in his time and The Lords of Midnight, and others, were way ahead of their time. LoM had 32,000 panoramic screenviews, superior graphics for the time, and a landscaping feature. It was labelled the first "epic" computer game I believe. Now remember, this was all on a computer with 48K of RAM! It came with a novella (the first game ever to do so I believe) and a very useful keyboard overlay (no mouses back then!).

    It was the RTW of it's time ;)

    Singleton drew a lot of his imagination from Middle-earth. Some may even be interested in playing the PC conversion (interface not quite the same as the original, and yes you can use the mouse now!):

    The Midnight Engine - Lords of Midnight Scenario v0016
    http://www.icemark.com/downloads/index.html
    warning: 2003 kb filesize

    I wish the developers of this mod the best of luck - being, ehem, a little older than the average devs what they now lack in modding experience will be more than compensated for in staying power I am sure.

    The only drawback to this mod is that I now feel very old...
    Last edited by Dol Guldur; 01-14-2008 at 08:37.

  5. #5
    Member Member Horseman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Thanks for the messages of luck and for all the help so far Dol Guldur, I would like to take this oppurtunity to say i'm only 29...surely thats not old?

  6. #6
    Axebitten Modder Senior Member Dol Guldur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    No problem.

    No, not old - though probably in terms of relativity to other modders ;)

    (and certainly not old compared to me!)

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    Member Member Major Defect's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Well, according to some involved in this mod, I am clearly able to remember both the game and the original Roman occupation of these fair isles. Due to the terrible memories of that time, it is only right that the evil Foul be represented as the Roman factions in this mod.

    Screenshot below shows Doomy on a tour of inspection to Vorgath to look at the defences of Doom Square. He has passed a village, doubtless having a bit of a rape and a pillage, and is contemplating whether to hire the mercenaries available (clearly expecting warmer climes...), or casually drop them down the closest fish mine. Muhahahahahahahaha.

    Its just as well there are some more mature elements involved here to straighten ties, inspect shoelaces, make sure teeth are cleaned and check the spelling of these here whippersnappers..........


  8. #8
    Member Member mitch23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Hi all, I'm "the rest of the team" and certainly old enough to have played the original (40 next week - eek!)
    in my opinion LoM was (and is - especially in the guise of M/MU) one of the best games ever, so i hope we can do it some justice - or at least make something that's fun to play.

    We've been hard at work so far (well, on & off, but you know how it is), and when i get home this evening i'll post some more lovely screen shots to prove it :)

  9. #9
    Member Member mitch23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Ok here are some screenies - click to view a larger image


    apart from the spelling mistake {...now i know why he's called Major Defect ;) }
    this shows the NW corner of the map, with snowhalls & what should be a row of liths (=standing stones), but which currently appear as barrow mounds (both models kindly loaned by the 4th Age crew)
    I would really love to get hold of lith/standing stone/stone circle/stone henge etc. models if anyone knows of any??


    this one shows lots of villages in the mid-east of the map - currently i'm using the barbarian fishing village model, which is a bit bizarre, but i think it looks nicer than their normal village

    in both these pics you can see some blue blobs which are meant to be lakes - but i also don't have a good model for lakes (currently another loan from 4th Age - meant to be a stone, but i repainted it blue)


    and this one shows a Tower of the wise (on the right, near the diplomat), but once again i'd really like a better tower - prferably something based on this one:


    so, any help or advice with these strat models greatly appreciated :)
    cheers
    -mitch

  10. #10
    Axebitten Modder Senior Member Dol Guldur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Is there any reason why you cannot have lakes on the map via sea tiles, as per normal, rather than using up a resource model slot?

    Good to see it developing ;)

  11. #11
    Member Member Horseman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Hmmmm thats worth considering Dol Guldur, something for me and the other two to discuss. The only downside to using them as sea tiles is that they would then be unaccessable which while not nessasrily a bad thing may not be a good thing.

    Once more you raise an interesting point for the 3 of us to discuss!

  12. #12
    Axebitten Modder Senior Member Dol Guldur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    No problem - but what point would their accessability afford as long as they do not block a pass? And, if you have no Sea on the map, the tag text could be reworded to "A Lake" (or whatever).

    I would make full use of the geography before using models. And, btw, as you have no volcanoes in Midnight you could also use that model (as many times as you wanted) as an extra model slot for the strat map - it would be impassable too (like wonders), though resource models are passable and can be placed anywhere. This difference in nature should determine your needs.

    I assume the map will be permanent snowcover as per the original game?

  13. #13
    Member Member Horseman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    And more good ideas form the man I am coming to know as "The Master of Modding" and damn helpful and friendly to boot!!!!!!!!!!

    Yes I intend to make the land snowcovered all year round as per the original, i'm 99% sure I know how to do this, just haven't got round to it yet, hopefully even going as far to making the southern part less "snowy" if that makes sense?!

  14. #14
    Member Member Major Defect's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    The sea tiles seem a top idea. Forgive my ignorance, would we need to tweak pirate spawning if we popped sea tiles inland?

    The style of RTW means that the "squares" of the original become less strategically critical than in the original, no? We wouldn't be trying to find the "Waters of life" so we can recharge the old Doomy bashing batteries would we? We want them in to be graphically faithful to the original I think? Which makes the sea a mighty fine option!!!!

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    Member Member mitch23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    seems like a good idea about the sea tiles (and/or use of volcano)
    - we'll have to check the map to ensure they don't appear in "awkward" places, but i really would appreciate having a spare "resource" back in hand (either to differentiate Liths from Henges if i get suitable models, or maybe even to add Ruins or Caverns)

  16. #16
    Member Member Horseman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    I think that concludes that dicussion....I'll have a look at adding sea tiles in the place of lakes!!!!!

    Making pirates never spawn is easy is no worries on that front either!

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    Member Member Major Defect's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Note to self. When editing traits, please make sure you check the correct characters stats, before swearing like a trooper, throwing random cutlery implements at family members, and promising all at Creative Assembly a good radishing for making such a silly game. Ahem.


  18. #18
    you ain't seen me, right!!. Member satanea juda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Just reading though this, looks like an interesting idea, being a bit of a fantasist... umm no that sounds wrong, being a bit of a fantasy modder I'm happy to let you pillage the EOD II (or EOD) units or map features, if there's anything in there you might want, as long as you abide by the accreditation rules in the release notes, anything your not sure of just ask myself or Makanyane... (oh the music is free to use as well)

    Link in my sig to the forum...

    This is the unit roster, I just realised the Ghostmen and Souleaters are missing, ah well, you can probably find them in the screenshot thread.

    Good luck with this.

  19. #19
    Member Member Major Defect's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Thanks!!! Its fantastic to receive so many offers to pillage models, especially as we are no graphics jockeys - although Horseman and Mitch are doing a superb job of changing that situation! I am the typist and can just about edit the text files!!!

    Work is progressing steadily, thanks again for the offer!

  20. #20
    Member Member mitch23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    thank you kindly Satanea Juda

    just looked at some of your screen shots and i think i spy a Henge in one of them - does that mean you have henges as items on the campaign map?
    please say yes! ;)

  21. #21
    you ain't seen me, right!!. Member satanea juda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    The EOD II map has a number of features you won't see anywhere else, notably the four totems, the hanging tree, the cross, the burial ground, and the werewolf head (on a pointy stick), no henge's I'm afraid..I'll see if I can dig one up, or make one, there simple enough to do.

    Any preference to the design?..

  22. #22
    Member Member Horseman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Hello and thank you for your very kind offers.

    1st off - Wow those units look fantastic excellant work!

    As for the henges, well just stonecircles really (think stone henge) I'm sure Mitch will be along soon with a nice pictue

  23. #23
    you ain't seen me, right!!. Member satanea juda's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    No worries, I'll knock something out sometime soon, oh apparently you were looking for a dragon, If you DL blue Lotus (in the hosted section) and drop Moros a Pm with a request he'll most likely say yes to using theirs..














    ((Mak they want a dragon, I hate dragons, it's all gone black, black I say,,, ...ARGGHHH...Dragons!!!))

  24. #24
    Member Member mitch23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    cheers Satanea, actually PM'd Moros the other day, he said we could borrow their Dragon for testing, and use it as a starting point for our own one
    - ideally i think we'd like ours to look like a bit this one (it's an 8bit 2d image so you need to use your imagination)

    but actually never thought we'd be able to have any kind of Dragon so many thanks to Moros for his assistance with this.
    And there's no need to fear him Satanea, Farflame is a very nice Dragon (well, relatively speaking, as dragons go, nice-ish...)

    for reference Satanea I have some very basic 2d 8bit images of Henges and Liths (= standing stones) - and also some 3d version that were made for a 3d remake of Lords of Midnight called "War of the Solstice", by Wayne Britcliffe and Andrew Smart

    Henges:




    Liths/Stones




    thanks again

  25. #25
    Notepad user Member Red Spot's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Quote Originally Posted by mitch23
    so, any help or advice with these strat models greatly appreciated :)
    cheers
    -mitch

    just my opinion ... but I found out that basic modelling is actually rather easy (except for a few "why wont it turn into a proper .cas" issues), just remember a single piece of advice (if you want ;)) scale your models up 4 or 5 times, than mod them, than scale them back ...

    first of all its easy to pick the individual vertes once the model is big, next it gives a clearer look and it allows for better detail (imo), texturing is like a joke as you can almost see the individual pixel of the texture.

    anyway I'm pretty new to modelling (the real moddeling that is, didnt know how to UV-map untill 3 days ago ...) but since I started scalling up last weekend I already made imo 2 great looking models and am actually in the process of stripping it a bit of excess vertexes as like in 1/2 an arc you basicly dont need (much) more than 5 to 7 vertexes, you dont see much more detail anyway (it than already looks as if its round .. enough ..)


    Best of luck and imo you may be surprised about how well the AI may be able to deal with your map ... (I've made a few "levelling" tweaks to my map and ended up downtweaking the AI as they became too agressive, I can only imagine how they will behave on your map once properly set up ... )


    edit;
    seeing the genre games you like you may also like this "still alive" oldie, my personal all time fav.
    Battlezone II; Combat Commander


    G
    Last edited by Red Spot; 01-22-2008 at 16:49.

  26. #26
    Member Member mitch23's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    ah yes, loved battlezone - i remember playing the original arcade game

    thanks for the advice Red Spot - and sound it is i'm sure, but i spent 20 minutes staring at the interface for Blender and then had to go and have a large whisky - so i guess it'll take some dedication on my part
    plus there's the whole .cas issue :(


    ah, sweet - just got a Happy Birthday email from The Guild - thanks guys :)

  27. #27
    Chief Biscuit Monitor Member professorspatula's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Finally a LoM TW mod. I remember a year or two ago making a 1:1 ratio map for all the cities and where mountains and forests should go compared to the original game (which took a fair bit of time) then started making the heights map. I didn't get much further though as I have virtually no modelling skills either, plus I realised it was quite a hefty project to undertake. (Here's the map: left is 1:1 features to original game map, although I edited it a little since; and on the right is the unfinished heights. Pointless as you've got your own nice map but I thought I'd share it anyway.)

    Really the crucial part of the mod is to use large amounts of scripting to make the world permanent winter and to have the effect of Doomdark's Ice Fear giving the Free lords penalties the larger Doomdark's armies get. I don't think you really need a great deal of units, probably less than 10 per army to keep it within the spirit of the original game. Most troops I'd imagine would be fodder, with the major cities producing elite units and so forth.

    Good luck with the mod anyway.
    Last edited by professorspatula; 01-30-2008 at 01:48.
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  28. #28
    Axebitten Modder Senior Member Dol Guldur's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    I am not sure scripting is necessary. There are other methods - and I would not advise it at first anyway. But I agree that the units should be kept minimal so as to more closely follow the spirit of the original game.

    Anyone who recognises LoM is surely an old modder ;)

    Best of luck with the mod too! Keep it going! Small chunks, remember! You never know what time you will have.

  29. #29
    Chief Biscuit Monitor Member professorspatula's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Whilst scripting doesn't need to be necessary to make the mod, to differentiate it from the other 200 mods that are either in development, finished or abandoned, and to capture the real essence of the game-world, some scripting would be beneficial. Admittedly at first getting the models, units and maps complete is first priority.

    My personal stance on the Lords of Midnight setting is it would be Dark-Ages, Viking-esque, so heavy armoured units and stone walls would be out, aside from the few major citadels. I also down-play the entire magic, fantasy side of things which is a little too Tolkien-esque if you're not careful. It should probably also be a war of attrition, whereby the Foul massively outnumbered the Free at all times like in the game.

    By the way - you don't have to be that old to know the Lords of Midnight scenario! The cheek! Hehe.
    Improving the TW Series one step at a time:

    BI Extra Hordes & Unlocked Factions Mod: Available here.

  30. #30
    Member Member Horseman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Lords of Midnight: Total War

    Hmmm interesting take, I put LOM more medieval than Dark Ages - more to do with the lord structure and the mention of squires.

    I made the map as 1 to 2. As in every square in the original made 4 squares in the mod (I felt it would have been to small otherwise.

    And no you dont need to be very old to remember the original.......but it helps!

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