won with 43 votes. As we have done in the past, monnikje was asked for an interview, and has graciously accepted. You can read his responses here.
QUOTEWhat was your inspiration for creating this mod?
Almost two years ago I started an After Action Report
(a story about how you play the game) about Warband, where wrote down the adventures of my character, which I named Floris. I started a plain native game, but soon I discovered that there were mods out there, so I tried to implement one in my game. That worked, and a short while later I tried to add another one. After a few months I had a dozen or so mods packed together. Then someone asked if I would release my 'experiment' to the public. I thought about it for a few days, doubting if anyone would be interested, and then decided to make the best out of it and see where it would lead me. It then became more popular than I had thought possible.What did you find most enjoyable about the creation process of this mod?
Seeing that the idea you have actually works in the game. For example, quite some people disagreed with the troop tree I had made for earlier versions of the mod, and they wanted the native tree back. I provided it for them, but then thought: 'What if people can choose this tree in-game, instead of having to replace files in the mod folder?' It sounded much simpler than it actually was to create, but after half a year we finally managed to get it working. The entire road of creating it was - at times - frustrating, but a lot of fun. That's one of the thrills of modding for me: creating something new and seeing how it shapes into something workable.What were some of the challenges you came across making this mod?
The biggest challenge was of course getting all these different mods the pack contains working together. Sticking two mods together can sometimes be a pain, but when you combine over 140 of them, all kinds of funny and unexpected things tend to happen. Ironing them out has taken a long time.What is your favorite and least favorite part of the Mount & Blade tools?
The two main tools TaleWorlds has provided are of course the module system, which we use to create the ingame features, and the scene editor, accessible in the game. They're so different from each other that I can't choose which one I prefer; they're both handy tools.What are some other common tools you used in your development?
There's a very wide range of tools I use for the mod:Notepad++
- a very handy text editor to edit the module system.WinMerge
- a free tool to compare files: very handy when adding new mods or updating when TaleWorlds releases a new patch.Beyond Compare
- not free, but with a trial period of a month. It's a lot handier than WinMerge
in comparing not only files, but entire folders as well.GIMP
- a free graphics manipulation package which can do as much as Paintshop Pro or Photoshop: very handy for editing textures.OpenBRF
- the tool to open .brf files, which contain the models the items in the game use.Wings 3D
- a free 3d modeller. I used it to adjust the models of items.Meshlab
- another free 3d program. In OpenBRF
you can make LODs, which are simpler versions of the 3D-model used when models are distant (when the enemy is far away, you can't distinguish fine details anyway). But Meshlab
does a better job at creating lods, so I often used this program instead.Pen and Paper
- it might surprise you, but often I still grab my pen and a paper, and write things down, working out ideas. The entire Expanded troop tree was designed on paper before I implemented it in the pack.Roughly, what was the total time it took for you guys to put this mod together so far?
Long. Very long. Version 1.0 was put together in a couple of days, but for version 2.0 I worked for two months roughly 10 hours a day, seven days a week, on the mod. Immediately after that Duh and Caba`Drin joined the team, and half a year ago Windyplains [joined]; even though we don't make such working days on the mod anymore, we still put a lot of man-hours in it the past one and a half years. I can't say exactly how much time we invested in it, but rest assured that it's a lot.Do you plan on any more new features in your mod? Specifically anything not listed on your mods page on the Nexus?
There are so many plans... We'll be busy for years to come. For the next full version we plan to incorporate the Warband Script Enhancer, which will reduce crashes and allow a lot of new possibilities, like adding Pre-Battle Positioning. We're also working on adding new quests and rebuilding more scenes. So stay tuned, for the mod is constantly in development.Do any of you have other mods you are working on or do any of you plan to create other mods as a team? If so what might those be?
The team members of the Floris Mod Pack have been working on quite some other mods (which have also been incorporated into the pack): Caba`Drin works on Pre-Battle Orders and Deployment, Windyplains works on Tournament Play Enhancements, Duh has worked on Seafaring and we've all been involved in the development of Freelancer. Personally I only created one mod outside of Floris, the tiny Faction Arms Coloured which I made prior to Floris, and was my first step into the modding community. But at the moment I don't have plans for other mods: Floris already takes up all my time.Tell us a little about yourselves. Where you are from, what are some of your other hobbies outside of games?
I'm a student from Amsterdam, the Netherlands (hence that I had chosen the Dutch count Floris IV of Holland to be the main figure in my AAR and the mod pack). I used to study astrophysics for seven years, but then switched to a study to become a book editor. As a hobby I write short stories (mostly in Dutch), from which some have been published. I also play the guitar, and occasionally build something big of Lego. And work on Floris: that one has grown into a very big hobby.What are some of your other favorite games if Mount & Blade: Warband isn't the only game you play? Any other game genres besides the RPG style games that TaleWorlds publishes?
Actually Warband is one of the few RPG's I play, besides the weekly Dungeons & Dragons session with my friends. I'm more a grand strategy guy, playing mainly Europa Universalis 3, Hearts of Iron 3 and Sword of the Stars, but also Supreme Commander. In the nineties I also played a lot of Heroes of Might and Magic 3. Warband is actually a welcome change of pace in my regular pattern of games.Do you have any advice for aspiring mod authors?
Start small. Too often I've seen new mods emerge that say they will be 'this super awesome mega mod featuring lots of things' that ended up in nothingness because the task of adding all these new features is immense and looks daunting. When you start small, you may also better learn your own strengths. Are you a creative coder, a wonderful scene creator, or a brilliant 3D-artist? And, most important of all, what do you prefer to mod? For the most important thing is that you like doing it. It doesn't matter if your mod becomes popular or not, since most mods stay in obscurity. As long as you enjoy making it, and continue to improve upon it, you might hit the big spotlights one day. And I can assure you, it feels great to get the attention after all that hard work you put into it.And finally, do you have anything you would like to say to our readers out there?
Thank you all for reading, for playing, for supporting and commenting. Mods have enriched the gaming experience, and it's you guys out there that keep the community going. Looking back I can only wonder why I ever doubted about publishing the mod at all, seeing how popular it has become and how much fun I had creating it. If there is just a tiny thing about a game that bugs you, just try to change it yourself. It will change your world forever.
Hope you all enjoyed his mod this month, and remember to vote for April's File of the Month!