• Modding Legends: Interview with Sirlion

    "The mere act of "creation" is something I've been seeking in media; since my physical condition is not optimal but my mind is sound and blessed with a little bit of creative spark, videogames were the most natural attraction and subsequently the major source of entertainment and experimentation for me. "


    Interview by Old Dragoon Hello Sirlion! It is much appreciated, on behalf of the Eagle Standard, that you accepted to participate in this interview. We are honored. So, letís get to the questions without further delay.
    Who is your favorite General and why?
    Most definitely Napoleon Bonaparte. Simply put, this is a positive tale of a man born from seemingly nothing; as a self-made man, he managed to rise to such heights that nobody else could ever dream of in his lifetime. As it stands, through a combination of pure luck, intelligence, physical and mental prowess whenever put to the test, a nobody with a deep resentment towards the people of France not only managed to hold the reins of his own path in life in a country hostile to him, but he also made himself emperor of that same country, shaped its course for well over 20 years, and its influence over a whole continent was so great that the effects of his reforms, however one wishes to judge his actions, are still felt even today. Even in its darkest hour, the resilience shown by Napoleon has been nothing short of incredible, and his ability to manage meager resources to acheive great victories has always struck me positively.

    What is your favorite era of warfare?
    As you may have guessed by my previous answer, musket warfare is my favourite. I think it is one of the most complex in nature, intriguing tu study, and beautiful to witness, for its uniforms, concept of honour in its bloody duels, the huge scale of the armies involved, the massive impact of morale over casualty ratio. It was a very peculiar type of warfare, I think one that almost bridged the gap between "fantasy" and "reality", moreso for the usage of the uniform as a way to extend oneself, to shape its own figure as to incite allies to advance and instill fear into the enemy.

    Grenadiers Holding the Line

    What is your favorite movie of all time? (Yes you can have more than one)
    Ah, now this is difficult. The child that still resides within me and usually pops out when designing mods would answer Bedknobs and Broomsticks, for sure. As an adult, I'd have to cite two videogames instead, both on the same level and comparable to some of the greatest movies: Silent Hill 2 and Rule of Rose, both fantastic tragedies where the player's involvement is merely an addition to what is being told on screen. Those are particularly dear to me for different reasons, overall truly magnificent experiences.

    Tell us Sirlion what enticed you to take up modding?
    The ability to create something, forging dreams out of ideas, tangible ones, that could be played through, shaped to my liking, and modified in any way I wanted. The mere act of "creation" is something I've been seeking in media; since my physical condition is not optimal but my mind is sound and blessed with a little bit of creative spark, videogames were the most natural attraction and subsequently the major source of entertainment and experimentation for me. It took a while, but I had quite literally all the time in the world to learn modding and appreciate its community. So far it's been a fun ride, with some bumps, but every road in life has its cracks.

    Lancers Looking to Flank

    How long have you been modding?
    More or less 19 years, not counting breaks in between sequels. Half Life was a great turning point in this regard. I will never thank Valve enough for shipping it with its wonderful Hammer Editor (then known as Worldcraft). I still use it to this day when I have a creative drive.

    What is your favorite mod if you have one?
    There are too many to recount. The one that probably impressed me the most has to be They Hunger for the original Half-Life. It is one of the very first with a full team behind it, a huge amount of maps, voice acting, camera angles, a rather complex story for its time, a natural flow in the level design. It was a miracle of creativity.

    How many mods are you working on as we speak?
    Too many, in fact I should probably slow down a little.

    Grenadiers: Always Outnumbered but Never Outgunned

    I enjoy your level of attention to detail for the Napoleonic era. Do you feel that helps to keep NTW relevant for the players still playing NTW?
    Indeed pretty uniforms and better balancing have their share of importance on new players and veterans alike, wanting something more from the base game. However, although the foundation is solid enough for us to work with quite reliably, and it allows us to create pretty amazing things, we are still heavily hampered by the myriad of hardcoded limits that constantly prevent us from giving a truly great experience to the community. The level of detail we can pour into NTW is fairly good for CA's standards, but the players themselves must do most of the work with their imagination. It is a great pity considering how good it could truly become with less restrictions and some support, starting from the Steam Workshop.

    Do you mod other TW games or just NTW?
    At present I'm also modding Empire and Medieval 2. For MTW2 I had to "reinvent the wheel", so to speak, since its engine is so different. But thankfully and quite surprisingly, the community gathered around that game is still flourishing. It is truly refreshing, after all this time.

    What is your opinion of Total War Warhammer and II? Do you think CA made the right move going to fantasy or should stick with historical centered games?
    CA made timid but significant steps towards some sort of realism with Rome 2, and the recent release for Total War Saga: Thrones of Britannia, with the introduction of food, attrition, diseases, bribing and now legitimacy. I believe with Warhammer they are simply trying to satiate a particular audience that wouldn't have bought a historical title in the first place. CA has a considerable budget and multiple teams are working on different projects, that much is clear. Therefore, they are more than capable of allocating resources whenever and wherever necessary. The market will dictate which title will come first in future releases, the fantasy or the historically plausible one, but there is no doubt in my mind that both iterations will keep coexisting for the time being.

    Give Them the Cold Steel!

    Which of your mods for NTW is your favorite to play?
    RealismCore without a doubt. I'm very pleased with the battle mechanics and how good the unit balance turned out to be.

    Where does Sirlion modding march next?
    Empire. I have to take care of some stubborn units refusing to tone down their firepower, and pay up the royal tailor, it seems he made quite a mess with the uniform commissions. We really need to fix that.

    Do you have any modding plans for Britannia or Three Kingdoms?
    The particular type of warfare involved in both titles does not interest me, however I look forward to see how Thrones of Britannia will hold up, and I'll patiently await for the inevitable Seven Years War Saga title.

    What future TW game are you hoping for more than any (or two)?
    Empire 2, absolutely. CA really needs to redeem itself from the double disasters at release that were Empire and Rome 2. While Rome 2 got extensively patched and it is, right now, a complete title, with the introduction of new DLCs even five years after release, Empire remained an incomplete product throughout its lifespan and afterwards, as if it had to be forgotten.

    Do you have any shouts out for those that helped with recent mods?
    I sincerely thank Paleologos for his dedication to 3D modelling and his excellent rigging skills, as well as Gigantus for his continuous support of the MTW2 community. The level of detail, as well as passion, shown by both throughout the years is really inspiring.

    Thank you so much Sirlion for your willingness to be interviewed and sharing your insight and expertise!

    Written By: ♔Old Dragoon♔
    Comments 9 Comments
    1. Ngugi's Avatar
      Ngugi -
      Thanks Old Dragon.
      Nice, Empire always need some more polishing ^^
    1. Bran Mac Born's Avatar
      Bran Mac Born -
      Bedknobs and BroomsticksEPIC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    1. King Athelstan's Avatar
      King Athelstan -
      Well written interview!
    1. ♔atthias♔'s Avatar
      ♔atthias♔ -
      very good interview
    1. ♔Greek Strategos♔'s Avatar
      ♔Greek Strategos♔ -
      Excellent interview!
    1. ♔Old Dragoon♔'s Avatar
      ♔Old Dragoon♔ -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ngugi View Post
      Thanks Old Dragon.
      Nice, Empire always need some more polishing ^^
      You are most welcome Ngugi!

      Thank you everyone for your generous comments! I personally want to thank Sirlion for his generosity of time an patience with me!
    1. Alwyn's Avatar
      Alwyn -
      Great interview, Old Dragoon.
      I'm looking forward to seeing what Sirlion will do with Empire. I'd also love to see an Empire 2 (while recognising that Medieval II fans have been waiting longer for the next release).
    1. BlackFire Forge's Avatar
      BlackFire Forge -
    1. ♔Old Dragoon♔'s Avatar
      ♔Old Dragoon♔ -
      Thank you Alwyn, and yes I agree with you 100% about Sirlion and Empire!

      Thank you BlackFire Forge, and I am glad you enjoyed it!