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The Black & White 2 Mailbag 3

The Black&White 2 team answers more questions from the community.

These are answers to the most frequently asked questions we recently received. You can read the previous mailbags at

Hi, I'm very interested in the 'making of' section on your site, and I was curious to whether you would be able to tell me more about the concept of 3d 'Blooming'. I am a graphics and programming student here in the UK, and I was wondering how exactly it works (sounds interesting). Any info is greatly appreciated and good luck to you and the team for Black and White 2. Thanks again, David Roberts

Hello David, the basic idea behind blooming is to extract the brightest portions of the image, based on some kind of threshold that can be chosen once or based on the overall brightness of the scene. For example, we want to extract all pixels of the image whose brightness is greater than 0.9 and we fix this value once and for all. The resulting image will be all black except for very bright spots, for example on very bright objects directly illuminated by the sun. The next step is to apply a Gaussian filter to the result of the previous pass: this will blur the bright spots of the image and create that usual "hairy" look. The final step is to add back the blurred result to the initial image, effectively further over brightening the brighter areas.

Hello, Lionhead Studios. First of all thank you for the beautiful trailer that you released three days ago, it was fantastic. Secondly, I would like to ask if those catapults will ride by their own like in all games, or they will be pulled by ten strong villagers. I know, it sounds really silly, but this is what I am really interested in. Thank you in advance. Bye Mammoth

Mammoth, (we honestly hope that's a nickname!) this is indeed another hot topic lately in the communities so it's a fair question to ask. Currently catapults do not require any pushers. We had it working with pushers where you needed at least five people to move the thing around and make it launch boulders the size of a truck. Sadly enough this gave some serious complications with other features and mechanics we have in Black&White 2. What happens for example when one of the pushers dies, but not only that - it would imbalance the game dramatically! For that reason we took the brave decision to not have villagers push catapults around. At one point we even considered having the pushers inside the catapults! You can however drop ammunition in the catapult of your choice. Like a cow for example. And then set it alight!

Hi, whilst I was looking through the screen shots at the community site I found this really strange one of a floating blue (and barely dressed) woman. Now I kind of want to know what this is. I really hope you can tell me. Tim

Heya Tim, yes "a barely dressed blue nymph" is what we call it. Or to use the real name: it's the Siren Epic Miracle. We're not telling you what it does, but it's cool, and you'll be blown away by it when you see its effect in action!

Hi there, Will there be a scenario editor (world builder) for Black and White 2? (The ability for fans to make maps for their favourite games is generally considered as being important to enhancing the replayability and functionality of these products). Yours sincerely Jeremy de Beer

Hi Jeremy, currently we aren't planning to release the world editor at the same time we are releasing the game. But we are considering releasing this in the future; this could be done with a patch, updates or even an add-on pack. We'd love to release modding tools to allow people to create their own maps, as that would add a lot of gameplay to it!

Will the sprites/guides/conscience, whatever everyone calls the good and evil consciences in the game, will they have the same voices as in the original Black and White game. Me and my brother would greatly appreciate it if you would answer this. Thanx, Sam and Bro

Hello Sam and his brother, yes the voices of the advisors will be done by the same actor (who does BOTH!) but he's making them slightly more developed in Black&White 2, which goes well with the epic nature of the game.

Hello! I was wondering, considering that there will be thousands upon thousands of soldiers on the battlefield in Black & White 2, what AI system will they use? Will we control each soldier individually, or will we use an officer to issue orders, or perhaps move them around in groups of 100's? The reason I was wondering about this, is that if each soldier has its own AI this can slow down performance quite much. I'm a great fan of Black & White, and I eagerly await the second part :) /Benny

Hi Benny, platoons can be made any size you want them to be. But as the size gets larger the cost of creating platoons rises ever faster. Our armies work with platoon flags that allow you to position your armies on the land and move them around. These flags can be used outside your influence and you can merge platoons by joining flags together. That's right, your soldiers will also gain experience, and there is a way of retrieving your best troops from previous lands, but we'll keep the way you do that a secret for now. So while they work and fight in a group, they're all independent soldiers that fight one-to-one for their lives, they'll enjoy their spare time around the campfire and play cards with each other or practice some in their fighting skills. Soldiers with a lot of experience might even become like heroes.

Hi my name is Kyle Brown and I was wondering if you will be able to teach you creature to build and repair walls and buildings. And can you as a god do it yourself?

Hello Kyle, yes, you can teach your creature to repair walls and buildings, or you can help your villagers. Or do it yourself! If a building is completely destroyed down to its foundations, then neither the Creature nor the Villagers nor you can repair it.

Hey BW2 team, this has been troubling me for a while now, but what ware going to be the creatures in the game, and the creatures available to you at the start! PlanetBlackandWhite says there will be five starting creatures, the lion, the ape, the cow, the wolf, and the tiger, while Pczone says just the wolf, lion, cow and ape! What happened to the tiger, did he get cut out? Please say no! Panther27

Hi Panther27 (again we hope that's a nickname!), no the tiger did not get cut out, although you won't be able to choose the Tiger as your creature but all will become clear when you play the game...

Hello, my question is: Will you need only wood to build buildings? If so, will trees grow back, because I always ran out of wood in the first B&W? Also can you also build statues? Also what kind of buildings will you be able to build? And can you turn soldiers back in to citizens? Thanks Michael.

Hello Michael, these are surely more then one question - but we'll answer them anyway. Buildings will require either one or both of the following resources: wood and ore. Forests and trees will grow, and villagers will be considerate in chopping down trees. You will be able to build many statues and more embellishments for your people in your city! There are more then sixty different buildings in the game. You will be able to easily turn your soldiers back into villagers. We hope this answers all your questions!?

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