Report article RSS Feed Character Customisation in Bushido: Build your own Samurai

Progress on our Character Customisation feature is going really well, so we thought that its probably time to start providing some concrete details...

Posted by sam.ibbitson on Jul 27th, 2013

Progress on our Character Customisation feature is going really well, so we thought that its probably time to start providing some concrete details, as well as give the community a chance provide some input whilst we're still at the early stages of development.

Character Customisation is something we always wanted to include, even when we were still developing Bushido as a mod on the UDK engine. Ever since we made the decision to develop Bushido as a stand-alone game, we've been busy designing a system that'll provide players with both a historically accurate setting, as well a fun and innovative means of progressing their characters!

The core aims of our system are:

  • To provide players with the flexibility to customise their very own, unique
    Samurai avatar
  • To create a game grounded in Japanese culture, but with a 'cinematic' take
    on Japanese history - allowing players to choose from thousands of possible combinations
    featuring armor styles from across history.
  • To build an unlock system that focus' on rewarding players in a more personalised way- not simply giving them overpowered weapons or perks.

Concept art of the dojo by Kieran

A 'clay' render of the dojo

Creating a unique avatar

We've developed a system that'll support thousands of possible armor combinations; allowing players to design a Samurai that's totally unique- something they can really call their own. Although many of
the features listed below are subject to change/improvements, we can say with some certainly that players will be able to:

  • Select from a range of different robe/hakama materials, patterns and colours
  • Pick from a range of head/faces and hair styles
  • Choose from hundreds of armor pieces for the head, torso, arms and legs
  • Decide on a mon (emblem) which will represent which clan you fight for

We've still got a lot of work to do, but would love to hear your comments at this early stage of development so we can check that we're going in the right direction!

Grounding Bushido in history

It's never been our intention to turn Bushido into a historically accurate 'Samurai Sim'. Instead, we're leaning towards a kind of cinematic realism that you see in films like 'Heavens Gate' or 'The Last Samurai'.

That's why some of the weapons and armor that'll feature in the game would not have traditionally been seen together on the battlefield (for example, the Tachi and Katana were designed and produced hundreds of years apart).

This'll mean that players will start the game wearing a lot of mismatched armor- initially looking like a rabble of poorly armed peasants rather than an elite troop of Samurai. But this in itself is a design
feature which emulates periods of Japanese history- as lower Samurai often had to borrow armor or scavenge what they could on the battlefield.

Only the elite and most renown Samurai could afford a full matching set- and this is something that we want players to work towards!

Unlockables - NOT for dominating newer players

We've all played multiplayer games that feature unlockable content. Not all of them are guilty of rewarding players with overpowered weapons or perks, but there does seem to be a growing trend where players who are willing to either 'play more' or 'pay more' gain distinct advantages over more casual players.

That's why we're working on a brand new unlock system; one where the 'rewards' will focus on progressing and refining your own play-style. We're still undecided about how we'll implement some of these features, but the general idea is as follows:

  • Differnt weapons and variations can be unlocked as you progess throughout the game
  • The player will have the option as to what type of weapons they unlock, be they pole arms, short swords or two handers
  • Some weapons, like the Katana, will have a number of variations- each one possessing slightly different statistics as to allow player to developing their own fighting style. Armor will work in much the same way. Individual armor pieces can be unlocked independently- but players will be encouraged to work towards unlocking a full set!

Unlocks through Experience and Honor

Our progression system revolves around two distinct concepts- Honor, and Experience. Your current honor ranking will dictate what tier of unlockables you have access to. As you progress through the ranks, new weapons or variations of weapons you've already unlocked will become available to you- allowing you to further specialize and refine your combat style.

Our honor system works both ways, so if you have very low honor (dishonor) you'll gain access to a unique set of weapons that wouldn't be available to players at the opposite end of the spectrum (possibly Ninja weapons and armor).

You can then effectively 'buy' a weapon or armor piece using your experience points.

The 'actual' view of the dojo that you'll see when customising your character.

A final word

You'll have to bear in mind that these systems are still being developed and will be subject to change as development on the game continues. However, we hope that we've been able to give you a glimse of what Bushido will be able to offer on its release.

The good news is that because we're still at this early stage, we're still able to take feedback from the community! That said, please keep your feedback constructive- we read every single comment and would love to hear YOUR thoughts on this particular aspect of Bushido.

Team Bushido

Post comment Comments
vol4ok Jul 27 2013, 4:00pm says:

Gotta love this project cause it evolves so fast that you can actually see project evolving not like many kickstarter's when people behind their project ask 150k but instead they get 400k with some small DLC's and the time taken to create game and snorf cocaine takes like 1 year to see atleast one update.

+8 votes     reply to comment
Kieran88 Jul 27 2013, 5:12pm replied:


+4 votes     reply to comment
ahmedmed Jul 27 2013, 4:15pm says:

i am sure that it gonna be perfect

+6 votes     reply to comment
Kieran88 Jul 27 2013, 5:15pm replied:

Thanks :D

+5 votes     reply to comment
SinKing Jul 27 2013, 4:19pm says:

These environments must be pretty fast to model and get ingame. Characters and weapons are a different thing, though.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Kieran88 Jul 27 2013, 5:11pm replied:

I actually found the tile-set for this more time-consuming than character work haha :D I have more experience with characters tho.

(basically because making stuff tile can get tricky)

+3 votes     reply to comment
TheIronWaffle Jul 27 2013, 4:52pm says:

Interesting concept. So it would be a system that rewards weapons with more reach to players who jab and slash, for example, or a weapon that's better at blocking if you play more defensive? I don't know what programming is involved, but if you could record the time in between player actions (blocking, slash, etc) would the unlocks be based around the top player percentages? (Like most time spent attacking, or blocking, and most average time of pauses between strikes, etc)

+3 votes     reply to comment
Kieran88 Jul 27 2013, 5:14pm replied:

I think, what we're planning, the choice will be more down to the player. Say you use Naginatas more often - then you might want to use your unlock to pick a new Naginata that has a slight reach increase, but slightly less damage and so on (there's obviously a lot of balance work in the background).

+2 votes     reply to comment
sam.ibbitson Author
sam.ibbitson Jul 27 2013, 5:15pm replied:

Hi TheIronWaffle - Sort of!

The simplest way of explaining it is that players will be rewarded with opportunities to personalize both how their characters looks and how their characters fights.

We wanted to give the players to chance to develop and hone a style that suits them- something personal and bespoke for each and every individual!

+2 votes   reply to comment
SinKing Jul 27 2013, 6:39pm says:

Huh? where does this tile? I see two walls, two doors (mirrored) and pillars and the floor. If the units are that large you can just position them on the 0,0,0 in your editor and go for a Power of 2 size. Maya and UDK grid are the same 2cm=1 UU, so it snaps perfectly.

If the units are smaller than what I said, e.g. if the wall is made from 3 tiles that would be awesome. Because whenever I try that I get a slight shadow from the lightmap bake on the edge of an open mesh. I really need to figure out why that happens. I snap the lightmap Uv to the grid and it's big enough...should work.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Kieran88 Jul 27 2013, 6:50pm replied:

The tile-set looks a little like this:

This is a very early draft. So yeah, getting the normal maps to tile nicely turned out to be quite tricky. That said, it was worth the extra effort as this tile-set can be used to create many different rooms (as well as appearing in different colours).

+2 votes     reply to comment
Otreum Jul 27 2013, 6:59pm replied:

Nice. I find tilesets to be a real pain in the backside too. I've got one that is about 5% finished with over 50 different pieces :P

+3 votes     reply to comment
Kieran88 Jul 27 2013, 7:03pm replied:

Thanks - and, damn, nice! @ 50 piece tileset - Good luck with it!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Matt_Bak3r Jul 27 2013, 6:57pm says:

All the consepts look interesting and well made.
It's very enjoyable to look at the development of this game.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Kieran88 Jul 27 2013, 7:00pm replied:

Thanks! :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Otreum Jul 27 2013, 7:00pm says:

Yay, more updates :D
I am really looking forward to this, along with everyone else, we need more games like C:MW and now B:LotS.
Keep up the awesome work :D

+5 votes     reply to comment
Kieran88 Jul 27 2013, 7:01pm replied:

Thanks Otreum!

+2 votes     reply to comment
HounderKnight Jul 27 2013, 7:06pm says:

How exactly will the honor/ dishonor system work? Will you earn the respective points through certain gameplay choices, or will the player choose to allocate points towards honor/ dishonor as they earn experience?

+3 votes     reply to comment
Kieran88 Jul 27 2013, 7:08pm replied:

Right now we're prototyping both options, it's leaning more towards gaining these points from in-game actions. We'll have an entire news post dedicated to this in the near future as we have more concrete info! :)

+2 votes     reply to comment
Guest Jul 27 2013, 10:22pm says:

An Idea for in-game actions that affect honour could be assists?

Explanation- Could it be dishonourable to attack an opponent who is already in combat ("Gangbanging" in other words") also killing the last man with a projectile weapon could be considered dishonourable especially if that person is in the midst of duelling (Think archers sniping the last guy in LTS which can be annoying naturally :P)

If you do add gunpowder weapons such as flintlock or matchlock (I hate western weaponry)then that could be seen as dishonourable as men who used guns were considered cowardly by the Samurai.

As far as gaining honour I believe fighting and winning battles against men with higher honour ratings would be one of the only ways of gaining honour as well as taking on enemies who are better armoured and equipped.

Thanks for reading! I love this project the most!

+2 votes     reply to comment
sam.ibbitson Author
sam.ibbitson Jul 28 2013, 4:36am replied:

You've more or less got it :). We'll be doing a post on honor and experience next week, hopefully that'll give people a better idea as to how it'll work!

+1 vote   reply to comment
brandobin Jul 28 2013, 3:45pm replied:

So you guys are trying to encourage duels? That would make me very happy. (Really excited for this game btw)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kieran88 Jul 28 2013, 4:00pm replied:

Yup, and thanks! :D

+1 vote     reply to comment
Matt_Bak3r Jul 28 2013, 2:50am says:

On the subject of honour,
I automatically thought it would be connected to how you play. Teamdamage, doing objectives or not, stacking teams, Assists, choosing the team which is hardest on the different maps (On attack or defense maps, defence is most often easiest.)
Aiming for head decaps, quick death hahah ^^

-Maybe even:
Chopping up bodies after the opponent is dead. It's kinda mean haha. spamming votekicks, voice commands etc. The list goes on and on

Though, I guess it depends on what you want to achieve with the honour system. As the devs could promote how the players should play. They could also add some kind of new game elements to the game.

I am okay with whatever system is chosen, as long as it doesn't promote people being complete asshats to get a ninja outfit...

+1 vote     reply to comment
sam.ibbitson Author
sam.ibbitson Jul 28 2013, 4:37am replied:

Hi Matt- you and the Guest above are more or less on the right lines with it :)... check out next weeks post for a better explanation on how it'll all fit together.

+1 vote   reply to comment
Talic Jul 28 2013, 3:21am says:

Will players be able to own both Dishonorable and Honorable weapons/armour at the same time?

I don't want to grind myself to other side of the world if I now suddenly would want to play as ninja after I have done samurai tree. And I don't want to lose my progress on Honorable side plus what if I want to mix both honorable and dishonorable armor sets and weaponry?

+1 vote     reply to comment
sam.ibbitson Author
sam.ibbitson Jul 28 2013, 4:41am replied:

We did consider separating 'honor' from 'dishonor' so that you could independently get points in both. However- we didn't think it worked too well...

As such, players probably will have to make a decision as to what type of character they want (FYI you'll be able to have multiple character slots).

We wanted the game to be a personal exploration- and allow people to make meaningful choices that'll stay with that Character as they play. If you want the best of both worlds, you'll probably have to create a new character (much like how skill trees work in other games like WOW, or Skyrim etc... Once you've unlocked a series of branches on a certain tree- you can't go back).

+1 vote   reply to comment
SinKing Jul 28 2013, 3:49am says:

Wow, cool tiles! Hard to believe this shows no seams in UDK, but apparently it doesn't. Well done and thanks for the explanation, i.e. the picture link.

@ Otreum - don't make tiles too small, you get too many drawcalls. They need to make sense and it seems odd to me to have 50 tileable meshes. Floors, Pipes, Cables, Walls, would all require fewer pieces in one set.

+1 vote     reply to comment
sam.ibbitson Author
sam.ibbitson Jul 28 2013, 4:42am replied:

Thanks SinKing- FYI we're now using Unity, not the UDK :) !

+1 vote   reply to comment
Kieran88 Jul 28 2013, 9:38am replied:

Thanks! :)

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest Jul 28 2013, 9:47am says:

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Kieran88 Aug 5 2013, 4:05pm replied:

All good points, we'll take that on-board, thanks!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Guest Aug 1 2013, 3:21am says:

Hey, what about the other classes you mentioned there were gonna be back when you where a mod for chiv (ashigaru, sohei, kyudoka) are they completly scrapped nowand you are going to focus only in the samurai and ninja but with different armors to emulate the other classes?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Kieran88 Aug 1 2013, 12:10pm replied:

Yeah exactly

+1 vote     reply to comment
maximusprime1010 Aug 9 2013, 10:40am says:

Will there be tanegashima (Japanese firearms) and kunikuzushi (cannons) in the game?

+1 vote     reply to comment
sam.ibbitson Author
sam.ibbitson Aug 9 2013, 2:11pm replied:

Yes :) although they'll be tricky to handle!

+1 vote   reply to comment
Tkeleth Aug 9 2013, 2:56pm says:

I created an account here just to comment on this game. I have played Chivalry since launch and loved every minute of it, but I truly love the Samurai era more than western medieval culture. I was wonderfully excited to hear about Bushido Mod, and now I'm even more intrigued! I honestly cannot wait for this game, and will purchasing on launch day (or earlier!) Thank you, dear sirs and/or madams!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kieran88 Aug 9 2013, 5:23pm replied:

Thanks a lot for the support!

+1 vote     reply to comment
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