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Units: Types and Graphics

Discussion in 'Civ4Col - Medieval: Conquests' started by Kailric, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    Here we can post new unit suggestions, fixes, or errors, new unit skins, screen shots of new units, and any other info we have about the current units or future units.

    I'll start off by making notes of some of the current unit fixes that are needed and will make additions as need be...

    -Expert Barley Farmer: Needs hand adjusted to be shown holding scythe
    -Master Groomsman: Needs a rope perhaps added to his hip, perhaps dismounted as well
    -Serf: could have a model change to look more medieval
    -Wellborn: new Unit model, currently using Noble.

    With Subprofessions we can have Units that have upgraded equipment and this can also be represented in unit models and graphics. Subprofessions need to be overhauled and balanced but here is some suggestions for what we are currently missing skins/models for:

    -Archer(leather) : Needs a leather looking jerkin
    -Armored Peasant: Needs a leather jerkin
    -Crossbowman(mail): Needs a shirt of mail
    -Heavy Calvary: A model without Mail, but rather scale armor
    -Heavy Infantry: A model without Mail, but rather scale armor
    -Horseman(Leather): Needs a leather jerkin
    -Infantry: perhaps remove shield
    -Infantry(Leather): Needs a leather jerkin and no shield
    -Infantry(Armed): Perhaps could have a sword or axe on the hip with shield
    -Infantry(Well Armed): Same as Armed but with leather jerkin
    -Longbowman(Leather): Needs leather jerkin
    -Pikeman: Needs to be a chain pikeman
    -Skirmisher: Needs leather jerkin instead of scale
    -Heavy Skirmisher(Plate): Needs a plate armor skin, also needs to be made a subprofession of Skirmisher
    -Heavy Skirmisher: Needs to be subprofession of Skirmisher


    That's some suggestions for a start. We also can do some research for authentic looks.

    Edit: Also there is tons of work to be done as far as having authentic units for each Civ, but all in do time :)
     
  2. heroicfort

    heroicfort Chieftain

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    -Archer(leather) : Needs a leather looking jerkin

    i have a longbowman unit that wears a leather outfit. only "problem" is that couldn't find a nice matching head so it has the default one. i posted an image and waiting for your feedback. if you don't like it it's ok, i'll see if i can find smth better. if you already have a unit in mind just post the link of the unit and i'll see what i can do :)

    edit: how many civs does your mod have? i gave the xml a quick look and you must have around 30 if i'm not mistaken?
     
  3. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    That would do for the Longbowman best since they have the same unit model. The one we have now actually looks to be wearing some kind of studded leather jerkin, so perhaps one or the other can be adjusted to look more like cloth.

    There are tons of Civs but not all are playable at the moment, only about 6 are. There are many none player Civs in Colonization and there are even more in M:C.

    When I get the chance I'll look through the units on the forums and post suggestions.
     
  4. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Chieftain Supporter

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    I have a big problem regarding all this 3D talk. My mind seems to be unable to convert the skin 2D files into what the unit will look like ingame :(

    One thing I did notice is the colors of the arrow. They were made of wood (usually yew) and with an iron/steel arrowhead. They were mass produced and not painted. However now that I think about it, I think we have that issue already and the stripes might be ok as it makes the arrow movement during attack more visible. I don't think I will ever know if this matters or what would be best unless I see it ingame.

    There are 32.

    Now that you mention it, it would actually be a good idea to some sort of display for xml size and not just counting the types like I just did. As Kailric said, most aren't playable and some aren't even used.
     
  5. heroicfort

    heroicfort Chieftain

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    hi Kailric,
    another important question i need to ask is how many units each civ has in your mod? do you have a detailed list somewhere that also shows the types of units?

    hi Nightinggale,
    the texture of the arrow is a very simple thing to change. the arrow model on the other hand could be a little tricky since it has a visibility controller :) . also, the longbowman whose image i posted is the default civ4 longbowman model using a texture which i edited after founding it in another mod.


    edit:i forgot to mention that i tried to download kailric's mod "Privateer, Pirates, & Buccaneers Expansion Mod" but i couldn't. was it just me or is the link down?
     
  6. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Chieftain Supporter

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    It's a link to disaster. It links to atomicgamer, which is closed. We lost plenty of mod links when that happened, not to mention they hosted the forum itself. Shame on Kailric for not rehosting his mods. Maybe we should make a minor mod directory in the SF download directory. At least that one will stay up.

    Speaking of server stability, Slashdot Media was sold to BIZX, LLC on the 27th of January. Slashdot Media owns slashdot.org and sourceforge. From what I can tell from their imminent announcements and changes, they bought it as a long term investment and want to make it high quality. This mean it will likely not mean anything to us and if it does, it will likely be an improvement.

    The company selling Slashdot Media is DHI Group, Inc and they bought it in 2012 from Geeknet (the ThinkGeek guys). Sadly that wasn't in the interest for SF as they added adware in installers. BIZX, LLC has announced that they are removing those and the site is expected to be clean this weekend.
     
  7. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    The Professions make up the Military units, and there are many Individual units, like Expert Farmer and Master Butcher, but we may as well concentrate on the Military units for now as they are need of an overhaul.

    What we have at the moment is this...

    Archer(Leather)

    Armed Peasant(Leather)

    Crossbowman (Mail)

    Heavy Calvary (Mail)
    Heavy Infantry( Mail)
    Heavy Skirmisher(Plate)

    Horseman (Leather)
    Infantry (Leather, Armed, Well Armed)

    Knight (Heavy)

    Longbowman (Leather)

    Scout

    Pikeman (Plate)

    Skirmisher (Scale)

    We need to decide on what units we actually want to go with. I am thinking we need to have at the most three versions of any unit type, for simplicity sake. And perhaps we can name them better so instead of Archer(Leather), we could have Light Archer and Archer or perhaps Regular Archer.

    Also, could we just drop Scale as an armor type? Historically Scale and Mail wear both around since Roman times, so its not like one came before the other at this time period. Perhaps we could replace it with Shields


    Anyway, my suggestions for a more concise list is below, the words in parenthesis will be dropped and are there now only to show the equipment change. I'm going with dropping Scale with these suggestions and adding Shields.

    Light Archer(Tools), Archer (Tools, Leather)
    Light Crossbowman(Weapon), Crossbowman (Weapon, Mail)
    Light Longbowman(Weapon), Longbowman (Weapon, Leather)

    Light Skirmisher (Weapon, Leather), Skirmisher (Weapon, Mail, Shield)
    Heavy Skirmisher (Weapon, Shield, Plate)
    Pikeman(Mail), Heavy Pikeman(Plate)

    (All these require horses obviously)
    Scout
    Light Horseman(Tools), Horseman(Tools, Leather)
    Calvary (Weapon, Leather, Shield), Heavy Calvary (Weapon, Mail, Shield)
    Knight (Shield, Weapon, Mail), Heavy Knight (Shield, Weapon, Plate)

    Peasant Militia(Tools)

    Light Infantry (Weapon), Infantry (Weapon, Shield or Leather)
    Heavy Infantry(Weapon, Shield, Mail)

    Going with this list there would be one group that has 4 versions of its Class Profession that being Infantry, where Regular Infantry would have two versions, one with Shield or one with Leather armor. I wanted to make sure that there would always be some kind of Defender if you have any mixture of Equipment.

    That is it for now.
     
  8. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    Here is another idea. During this time period many individuals kept up with their own equipment. I know I would have as best as I could. You just never know when you was going to be called to battle and I'd for sure want to be as defended as best as possible.

    Anyway, this could be represented by Promotions by simply adding Equipment to the leveling up system. Right now you only get the Equipment promotions given by your Profession. So if a Peasant survives combat he could acquire a new piece of equipment. This could be perhaps a random event (Your guy takes a Leather Jerkin form the enemy he just killed) or tied in with the Promotion system.

    Also, some units could have these Equipments already, especially the shop owner classes like Armorsmith, Winemaker, and such.
     
  9. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Chieftain Supporter

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    Reading all this makes me think of standard longbowman equipment. The usual was a longbow, some arrows and a container for the arrows. This mean no armor and no uniform. People used their own cloth, which meant they looked like peasants and not two of them looked alike. I'm not sure if it is worth the time and computer power to implement, but the concept sounds nice.

    Not the thread to discuss this. Also it would have been easy if somebody didn't hardcode armors into the DLL :p
    However I want to remove the hardcoding anyway and it would not be a bad time to rethink what we want for armor, weapons and so on. RaR showed that adding more yields makes the game more complex, but it's not the same as it becomes better. Also Alt equipment required professions to be in pairs. Since it's gone, we don't have to keep the pairs anymore. I vote for complete rethink of the military profession design and a debate in a dedicated thread.

    Again this isn't the thread for this. However pillaging the fallen enemy army isn't a bad idea. Thinking about implementation and keeping units simple, I think it would be better for dead units to drop a "bag" of yields. It can then be picked up by a unit and carried to a city to be unloaded. The content is then 0-50% (or whatever numbers are fitting) of the yields needed to make the fallen profession. Perhaps we can make a "fallen soldier" hunter profession, which can be automated to pick up those bags. Perhaps some armor will revert to ore as well. This could be an interesting concept in a situation where certain yields are hard to get, either by raw material, missing tech or smith capacity. Perhaps high end armor should be slow to produce, making active reclaiming beneficial. This should go into the thread about profession design as well as it affects number of armors.


    EDIT: also while are are talking about graphics and changes, we better unpack the FPK files to help git with the file changes. Also cleanup is needed as in all unit files should be in one location, all buildings in another and so on. I know units are spread across multiple locations inside Art, which in turn makes them even harder to locate inside the FPK file. This cleanup is also near impossible with the files packed in FPK files.
     
  10. heroicfort

    heroicfort Chieftain

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    hi kailric,
    the good thing is that most of the units you want to add (or should i say all, thanks to the incredible civ4 community we have here :) ), already exist. for example, there are some great mods out there which have really great looking units.
    plus most of the units that are out there are already awesome and if they need a little editing, like maybe change a weapon or a shield, it can easily be done with nifscope :) .
     
  11. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    Well, armors are yields, and all yields are hardcoded into the dll, right?

    Are you saying that complexity is better, or complexity doesn't mean better? I am just thinking in terms of the number of profession types in regards to is it adding to the fun and strategy or just adding unnecessary complexity. Like will having a dozen different Infantry types be overkill? But yeah, we can discuss this in a profession thread, I'm sure there is one laying around here somewhere.

    Yeah, we all love it when the enemy drops a bag of goodies, this would be an interesting idea perhaps added in some kind of related expansion :)


    Well, packing and unpacking is a simple chore. And l packed the FPK files with an orderly system. The FPK files can only be a certain size, that is why there is several of them, but there are two unit FPKs, one if full and the other is for additions for when we are ready to repack things. Right now there looks to only be only 3 new units that are not packed.

    Right, the work that needs done is pretty simple on the 3D model scale of things. Still, it takes time to do it all. We just need to decide on the selection of Professions so we are not doing unnecessary work. I'll post in the Profession thread about this.

    This gives me the idea of would it be possible to simply change the texture (skin) used for a unit rather than the whole unit? At the moment the only way I know to change the look of a unit is to add a whole new unit with that look. You don't need to add new animations files though, just the model and its new textures. But it seems it would be nice if we could simply have a unit model and then have several textures or outfits for it :) Then have code that adds a random selection and there you have your
    peasant regiment of longbow men :) Civ5 seems to have done this as their group of models IIRC are all different looking.
     
  12. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Chieftain Supporter

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    That's not the point, at least not completely. Git can't figure out how to unpack and any change, regardless of how small it is, it will replace the entire file, which results in wasted disk space and bandwidth. Also git fails to have a proper file history. Also it isn't perfectly ordered as when I made the unit row in GameFont, I had to search multiple locations for unit buttons.

    Now that I think about it, perhaps the best solution is to make a folder for each unit and add that folder as a string. We can then add each file as a relative path, which then merges the two on load. This should make xml editing easier and will make it easier to maintain having one folder containing unit folders and nothing else. Unit folders should then only have a single location, not spread across multiple locations like now.
     
  13. heroicfort

    heroicfort Chieftain

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    hi Nightinggale,
    i would also suggest that the folders that contain the units have the same names with those that the units have in the game. for example, the crusader unit, if i'm not mistaken :) , is inside a folder named "templar knight".
     
  14. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Chieftain Supporter

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    I completely agree. The mods needs to be cleanly implemented for modder readability and this requires some cleanup. File layout is just one of the things to clean up. Others are issues like included leader heads, which aren't used.
     
  15. orlanth

    orlanth Storm God. Yarr!

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    Yes sounds cool :scan::king: . As you know there is already a Unitclass for each Yield in vanilla which is used to make each chunk of Yield into a "unit" for loading onto ships etc. If there can be a way to drop a chunk of Yield onto the map when a Unit dies this could be cool for salvage.

    Each <YieldEquipedNum> in ProfessionInfos and each <YieldCost> in UnitInfos could have an optional <iAmountSalvaged> chile to indicate the amount of that Yield that would be dropped on death. It would be best to use this rarely and only for significant/precious yields to avoid a mess of dropped stuff laying around.

    However this could also need to enable any "container" unit like a ship or Peddler to have an action to pick up a chunk of Yield on their tile (and maybe add UnitAI so the AI can use it).

    xmlgen.pl script autogenerates artdef references and filepaths in a standardized way based on the unit/building type being generated, I wonder if this can be used to help standardize things?
     
  16. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    Well at the moment we don't need to worry about the packed units. To make a change to a unit you can just place it in the unit art folder and it will use the unpacked version instead.

    Unit buttons are not part of the unit models, even in vanilla. And yeah, I didn't get the buttons all in the same place apparently. All units are in a folder called Units in the Art files and in the packed files. At the moment there are tons of unused units and yes, all that needs sorted out, but that takes lots of time and effort, and that is short to come by these days.
     
  17. Nightinggale

    Nightinggale Chieftain Supporter

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    Not what I had in mind, but yeah, that might work. Plaving the goodie bag as a unit rather than as data in the plot would likely be good as I wondered about what to do about graphics. However I would rather make a new immobile unit with hidden resources, which can then be loaded into a transport unit. Ideally it is only compatible with a transport, which is a profession, which can't load anything else. This way you will not know what you get until you unload. Loading should end the turn for the transport, possibly also stalling next turn to give it time to search the area.

    One bad thing about using a unit for all the yields is to store the yields. Ideally the unit should have a yield array to store this, but then all units will have one. It's just 8/12 bytes in memory and a single byte in savegames for an unused one. I think we will survive that. Also if there is an "unused" yield array in other units, we can figure out how to use those as well. Transports could likely really benefit.

    However this is also not related to graphics. We have a hard time to stay on topic in the threads :p

    If anything, we should use the perl code I'm working on for the GUI xml editor. Who knows when or if the editor itself will work, but right now it has a working xml load module. It knows all xml files in vanilla and the mod and can look into the content of each one. If we are to add some quality check to xml, then we should use this code. It's a standalone module, which can be imported into other perl files even if they aren't using a GUI.

    Vanilla has a dedicated file for all the buttons, which mean vanilla doesn't have a layout for standalone buttons. I vote for moving those into units to keep all unit related files together for that single unit.
     
  18. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    @Heroicfort

    So, when you and Night get your deal worked out we should start with the infantry unit. Simply take the unit we currently have for the European style Infantry and make 4 different versions...

    Infantry (With spear only), Infantry (Spear andShield), Infantry (Spear and Leather)
    Heavy Infantry(Spear, Shield, Mail)

    That unit will just be the generic Infantry unit for all current playable Civs. We'll add Civ specific units later on as that requires much more work. I'll post a screen shot of the unit I'm talking about as soon as I get to my PC so there want be any confusion.

    Edit: actually there is only 3 units that need made as the Spear and Shield unit is what we have.

    Edit2: actually we only need 2 units made as the Heavy Infantry has its own model. Sorry not at my PC now and having to go by memory.
     
  19. Lib.Spi't

    Lib.Spi't Overlord of the Wasteland

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    One thing on unit naming in game.

    It is better to have the Name of the Unit, then it's level/quality.

    So something like:

    Archer: Regular
    Archer (Regular)
    Archer Regular

    Not:
    Regular Archer

    As that way round makes finding things a beatch in the pedia. As All your archers get spread all over the shop!
     
  20. Kailric

    Kailric Jack of All Trades

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    I like this suggestion. Edit: Although with Night's addition of subprofessios the subprofessions are not listed individually but under the main profession.

    So for the Infantry we would have:

    Infantry(Light-cloth armor and spear)
    Infantry(Shield- cloth armor, spear, and shield)
    Infantry(Leather- spear and shield)
    Infantry(Regular- perhaps with Shield and Leather)
    Infantry(Heavy)

    Also, Heroicfort you can upload the version of the longbowman you posted.

    Anyway, here is the ss of the unit that needs (back to) 3 versions:

    One with Spear only
    One with Leather armor
    One with Leather and Shield

     

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