svartridder - dismemberment ahoy!

‘svartridder’ is the codename for a game I’m working on in Python with Panda3D. It is meant to closely emulate the realistic, force-based, full-control combat in Die by the Sword. Namely, the weapon-arm of your character is directly controlled by your mouse movment; to execute a horizontal slash, instead of pressing a button and seeing your character play a prerecorded animation, you move your mouse from the right of the screen quickly to the left.

If you were wondering, “svartridder” means “BlackKnight” in Norwegian… not really grammatically correct but I wanted a handy codename, and the dismemberment theme made me think of the Black Knight from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

Here’s a shot of a guy standing around in his own limbs:

You can download 0.0.0 here:

Please give me any feedback about the controls or really anything else. Please remember this is just a techdemo really, and is not meant to be complete in any way.

I am guilty of ripping the models and the slashing-sounds (but not the groans of pain!) from Mount & Blade. If you can point me to any decent-quality placeholder art which is free to use, please do so; I couldn’t really find anything decent in a format I could convert to Panda3D eggs on my own. It is also a medieval combat game (with a focus on mounted combat) in a similar vein, but with more traditional controls. Please check it out, it is an excellent game, pimping it will improve my karma :stuck_out_tongue:

sounds cool. If you manage to do it right it will be awesome. Looking forward to more completed versions :smiley:

it so reminds me of an monty python movie:

Now you need to make a shrubberies to collect.
That and some audio “Ni! Ni!” for an excellent game.
I’m not sure about the legalities of that though, copyright wise.
I’m sure the monty python people have bigger fish to fry.
They say John Cleese is really crazy though, dangerous crazy that is.
If I were you I would lose any sleep over it, unless you live in england,
close to John Cleese LOL!
I myself am making a videogame with the same name as
that old t.v. show called ‘night rider’, and I don’t foresee any
problems, because it’s such an old t.v. show that nobody is
really going to care if I make a few hundred thousands of the
sweden dollars off of it in here in the swedens LOL! 8)

Another [size=150]K[/size]night Rider ?
There is already one released in 2002. I played the sequel.
They even included 190 MB videos of the real episodes.

nihilocrat, do you plan to use full physics for the characters, including its movements ?

Yes Mount&Blade is one of the best single player game out there (to my own taste,i love melee fighting and medieval games like Severance Blade of Darkness, Dies by the Sword, Rune etc…)
Too bad Mount&Blade is only single player. Will your game be multiplayer ???

Regarding the Die by the sword part, will you also provide a kind of move editor???

I will now use footage from this old western SANTA FE TRAIL thanks!
Mines a western. I should really choose a different name LOL!
but it seems my 11 months of work are now ruined unless I can
figure out a good name! I dropped the ‘K’ but I don’t think that’ll be enough.
If only I spelled knight with a ‘k’ I would’ve known much earlier
from google, I haven’t seen that stupid show in 30 years. :cry:

This is really cool also this demo!
If the amputee characters were animated I guess physics would
make the limbs stay were they fell,
instead of following the amputees around?
I can see this as being something kids would love!
Another good one would be the ability to be able to chop off
the arms at the elbow, the kneecaps fingers, etc.

Yeah, I’m going to make it multiplayer sometime soon; hopefully it won’t be too hard to repurpose my code to be network-aware at that point. I want to concentrate on getting the core stuff finished (which in this case means porting my collisions code to use ODE) and I’ll probably release a version or two before I get multiplayer in.

I actually don’t know how to work the move editor, but I’ll try reading up on it. As I want to please DbtS fans I’m sure I’ll probably do it, but it’s something I’d put on the back burner.

Yep, that’s the next step I’m trying to take. Once I get collisions re-implemented I’m going to bet getting physics to work on everything else will be trivial (I’ve looked at the pyODE tutorials and it seems pretty straightforward). If it isn’t too complicated, I’ll even see if I can’t get physics for the weapons themselves (i.e. the center of gravity for your weapon affects its damage output and handling; for ones with a CoG close to the tip of the weapon (like an axe), you will do tons of damage (and have greater knockback potential) but it will be hard to maneuver the weapon, while ones with a CoG close to the hilt will be maneuverable but not have a huge amount of force behind them… try wielding a real axe and then a well-balanced sword and you’ll see what I mean). I am going to use canned animations on walking/running/other leg-related animations, though.

I think if I get the physics really fleshed out like I’d want to, I’ll make a little “weapon-smithing” tool that will let you create weapons (just swords for now) complete with adjustable lengths, weights, and centers of gravity, and probably a quick testing function where you can try out your weapon on a combat dummy.

Visually you might notice I’m using the ‘cartoon inking’ filter that comes with Panda3D 1.5.0: I might want to keep running with this and give the game a “comic book” look and feel. I’ll have to see whether it looks better if I try to combine this with textures or if I leave it textureless.

Anyhow, I actually don’t have an internet connection at home right now, my connection died and the cable company can’t see it until Wednesday, so I can only check in here at work. I will probably throw together a *nix version real quick, but I can’t really test it right now.

I thought it (will) also uses some simplified/faked AI/neural network for the balancing/walking/running/attacking/crawling/crouching/standingBackUp/jumping/landing.

@ andy circus :
I don’t think using different name will save you, if you’re still using the same characters, KITT, D.Hasselhoff, the foundation, etc. It would be a copyright violation if you don’t have a licence from Universal Studios for using their characters & full features.
Just a joke, by having no licence, the best thing to do are using a more modern car (KITT is way too old), using other driver (try to contact RowanAtkinson, he’s closer to you than DH, and not less popular anyway). :laughing:

I hate to tell you this but i think they’d care alot, especially with the 2008 knight rider movie out, with Micheal Knights Son as the new driver and a mustang as KITT

might want to concider releasing it as fan-freeware

Keeping with a long tradition in games, I will start out by just implementing something that’s “good enough” and, although probably predictable, is going to be challenging enough to make a single-player game entertaining. However, I’m very interested in neural networks and other ‘learning’ AI, and the open-ended nature of the controls makes for some interesting possibilities; an enemy could keep track of your attacks and notice you keep swinging for his head, so he will duck and slash your legs the next time you lunge for him. The feedback system probably wouldn’t be so complicated; just notice which sector of the arm control sphere they are attacking in and prepare to block in that direction, or attack in the opposite direction.

Anyhow, I think I’ll really get interested in making bizarre changes once I get the core physics and everything else worked out. I had an idea about adding ‘balance’ to your character and making it depend on your agility, the balance of your weapon, and your movements; Lunging forward will give you extra momentum but put your balance forward, or spinning while swinging an axe will multiply the force of your blow but throw you way off balance into whichever way you were swinging. Throwing your balance off too far in any direction will make it easy for an opponent to knock you over if they hit you before you regain balance. Depending on how the gameplay works out, it could balance the smaller, quicker, low-damage characters / armaments vs. the big, high-damage ones. Either way, if I implement it I will make it optional to see if people prefer it on or off.

Hopefully I’ll get time to code this evening, I haven’t had really any time since I set up the site and posted 0.0.0.

Moved the site over to Thanks to pro-rsoft for making p3dp a reality!

It’s a western, but maybe I should get in touch with david hasslehoff
and offer him a percentage? It’s a shame because it doesn’t really
have anything to do with cars, and It’s set in 1857, so I don’t see
why I should have to make deals with Hasselhoff if I don’t have to.
Now I should let nihilocrat baske in the glory over here some more.
I was thinking another good idea would be the ability to slash
an enemy down the middle so the two pieces fall to the side,
that would take some fancy, tight collision geo eh?

Hello, sorry to interrupt in once again.

Did you manage to recover also the animation and textures from Mount&Blade?
using BRFEdit i was able to recover the models only…

Nope, didn’t manage to, not even the skeleton.

I don’t really know how to rig a model and do animations. It would be very helpful if (just for now) someone could rig the legs and provide a walking animation (sidestepping would also be neat). Currently (and for the next few versions, I assume) from the torso up the model is programatically controlled. You might notice for now I am just piecing together model sub-parts but eventually I am going to want to correctly rig the models and programatically animate the joints instead.

I unfortunately haven’t made much progress for awhile, thanks to Pyweek and me distracting myself with a space shooter project, but I’ll try to at least re-implement everything in ODE soon. If I can get blocking to work well, I will release another version; if I’ve got that finished and can work out some sort of force-based damage, I practically have the core gameplay finished (really!). Of course I plan to have a lot of other stuff, but that’s just details.