" I wanted a mechanic that gave you more decisions and relied on reflexes and combined elements like horse riding and blocking… You really had to hit a good sweet spot to be intuitive."
- Armağan Yavuz on the combat system in Mount and Blade.
While many fantasy games require a player to right click the mouse in order to swing their sword, Mount and Blade relied more on dexterity for its combat system.
In an interview with PC Gamer, one of the developers of Mount and Blade Armağan Yavuz discusses the process behind designing the game so its systems and mechanics would take center stage, starting with sword fighting.
"My initial idea was to get the sword fighting element right," Yavuz says. "I tried to make the combat part of the game more involved and more interesting. If all you had to do was clicking, there wasn't enough to keep a hardcore gamer interested."
This was accomplished through implementing a combat system where players changed the directions of their attacks and blocks by moving the mouse up, down, left, and right. To make sure that system would stand out, Yavuz decided to omit magic from Mount and Blade, which was a staple for many games set in a fantasy world.
"There weren't many action games that played without magic," he explains. "Once I could see that the sword fighting worked, then I could make a decision to really focus on it; it would be the backbone of the game. I thought it would be a good idea not to water it down with lots of fantasy elements and magic."
Figuring out how to design a combat system to feel good for the player was already hard enough, but then came the added challenge of figuring out how to fund the game.
Be sure to check out the entire piece over at PC Gamer, which dives into the unconventional way Mount and Blade was funded after publishers turned the devs away.