Modding Report #19
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Tilanus Commodor
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:20 pm    Post subject: Modding Report #19

Ha! Modding Report!

Great, isn't it? Finally, after months, I can present you all the progress that's been made on NE, and it's not been few! And that considering the fact that other things were keeping me busy. My holidays are over now and I promise you, my last two semesters will be the hardest for sure. Nonetheless I always managed *somehow* to work on NE. So you can still count with updates and reports!

____________________________________________
GENERAL

Let's begin with the seemingly boring, but actually essential stuff, which causes quite a lot of work:

  • Some may know that I'm just continuing NE and haven't been working with the code until NE 2.01. That's why I'm basically rather modding a mod and less modding AoE3. Less people will know that I'm actually studying game design in the 5th semester. Now it starts to pay out now in terms of better project management that comes with a better documentation of what has been analyzed and is planned/being worked on. That means I'm applying classical tools of the game development industry to the project's organization. To shorten this (as I guess nobody except the modders is really interested) let me just mention some points that I consider important:

    • A more detailed vision for all departments (visuals/aesthetics, UI, gameplay feeling, content, etc.)
    • Production/Asset table sheets (3d models, textures, icons, sound, ..)
    • Compact team overview with responsibilities, tasks and activity status
    • QA/Self-analyzation


    Here some typical sheets, I blurred them out because they would unnecessarily reveal additional data and we all wanna stay excited Devil


    Asset List: Here the progress status of all assets (3d models, textures, etc.) is listed. It asks questions like: Does the asset work as intended? What's wrong with it? Does the team have access to this file? Who did this asset? etc.


    Task Overview: Defines positions and responsibilities of team members, lists current and future tasks, shows status of activity, etc.

  • Basing on the last point I greatly started to analyze the essential features of NE or better: to discover them. The code that the former team left to me is completely uncommented, a lil chaotic and thus hard to figure. The features are mainly different systems of technologies such as:

    • Imperial technologies (Capitol-like techs)
    • University techs
    • Mercenary boosters
    • Huge military or economic supports in Age V
    • Unique civ techs ("NE Ultimate")
    • Wild Cards (4 differently focused techs for NE civs)


  • NE will get an extended Fort with additional fire modes! This also means we rethink the availability of forts. They might become buildable which goes hand in hand with our concept of fortification buildings.


  • MisterSCP, known for his coding and modeling for the Knights & Barbarians mod, offered to help NE! Hopefully soon we'll see something from him! Wink

  • Yomgui (Technical Artist) has obviously made progress on unit designs and announced - same as DKBadReputation (Balancer/QA) - to be active again in October. Check out the units made by Yomgui!


  • Ca Putt (happy birthday! Razz) has been suggesting a new system for natives, which is currently being discussed. The main idea is that natives and their TPs become more useful, especially in late game. We're not agreeing yet if Natives should be fully occupiable, extendable or just improvable of any main civ. Apart from the Natives themselves other units may play a central role for them.

  • Explorers and Commanders will be central tactical units in NE gameplay. Their roles will be different from each other, which will result in the Explorers losing several abilities (mainly military ones) and gaining other ones instead. The Explorer will be focused on more civil, scientific and diplomatic aspects, whereas the Commander is clearly military focused. Both units come with special abilities and both may also be important for interaction with natives. I've been doing some testing with the Commander lately.

  • New models have been imported and planned. I even modeled a two-sided folded military cap, which you can see here without texture:


    3d tests are sometimes really funny, especially tests with hats:



  • After the Gibraltar map NE is once again blessed by the interest and help of AOE_Fan, who will do one or two maps for NE. The firstly planned map is NE Scotland, check out my lovely draft with a motivational symbol for the Scripter! Devil
    NE Scotland Spoiler:



  • The concept of Minutemen and the Colonial Militia has been changed. The ColoMilitia will be unique for each civ in all its shapes, that means design and stats.
    Minutemen instead will become generic Militiamen to untie the clear reference to the Americans. Their role and functionality will be redefined. Maybe unique Militiamen will be realized.

    For each civ at least one plausible unit for Revolution has already been suggested. For example, the British will get Fencibles, the Portuguese will get OrdenanÁas and the Italians are likely to get the Schiavoni, here an original draft, which will be used for texturing:
    Spoiler:



    For more information on these units, check out this thread.

  • Iím also working on new concepts for:
    • Crates
    • Conscripts
    • Architects
    • Merchants
    • Walls
    • A secret type of building


  • I intend to rename the Age names, if convincing alternatives for the European setting can be found. If you have ideas, let me know! Cool

  • I have been researching and sketching Swiss, French and Italian units. These units still need to be proved on suitability, some examples: Schweizer, Cent Suisse, Mousqetaires du Roi, Cerdina, Guardia Nobile, Arsenalotti, Garde franÁaises, etc. ..)
    Example Spoiler:


    Guardia Nobile (Italians) - intended as late heavy cavalry from HC



  • I, Ca Putt and caveman909 have been working out voice concepts for Swiss, Germans, Prussians. Ah, and by the way: We're looking for Danish speaking people who want to record unit texts!

    ____________________________________________
    CIVS


  • The Danish AI personality will be Christian IV.. A character description and portrait will be created now.

  • The Danish will most probably get the Espingol which is a quite late, but unique Danish type of artillery, that has many similarities with Organ Guns, which will likely result in the Organ Gun being removed from Portuguese.

  • I've finished the first design of the Snaphane. Snaphaner are Danish guerilla troops that are known for ambushing Swedish troops. They consisted mainly of peasants and were known to be partially bandits, but also cooperated with the regular Danish forces and notably weakened the Swedish.

    In NE the Snaphane is an unique skirmisher available in Age 2, he has very low HP, but a good armour against ranged attacks. In internal files he's described as:
    Quote:
    "Quick early skirmisher with few HP, but good ranged armour. Costs wood instead of food. Good against heavy infantry and villagers. Loses against melee troops and has no boni versus cavalry or in melee."


    And now: PICS! Cool


    Snaphaner's hide out


    Ambush


  • The formerly unique British Rifleman has been merged into the Sharpshooter unit, which is now called Rifleman (due to the historically unique Rifling characteristic of his gun). Check out the design!




  • The civ boni for British will be reworked in the future. Their military core advantages will be:
    • Completeness in view of techs and units
    • Royal Guards
    • Cost reductions (foremost @ships)
    • Maybe colonial troops

    Internal Military Summary Spoiler:

    Britainís military strength is its technological completeness and excellence that should be easily affordable with its strong economy. However, it starts completely unspectacular and gets notable first in Age 3. Prior to it the British have to get on with only standard units and may be threatened by powerful rush civs.
    In Age 4 the British cavalry and infantry units get access to RG upgrades that turn them into a dominating and fearsome force for any player. Since no standard unit is missing or affected by nerfs, they can practically counter everything. The British fleet lacks an UU, but is in exchange cheaper and thus easier to mass.



    The economical boni will have a stronger relation to the Colonial assets of the British empire, which was mainly a Colonial empire indeed. Here an overview:
    • Crates benefits
    • Access to slaves (which may replace the manor bonus)
    • Trade Post benefits
    • Earlier factory / gather rate benefits



  • Just like the British, the Dutch boni will certainly be reworked in the future, but probably (still not necessarily) - like the British ones - after the next release.

    Internal Military Summary Spoiler:

    The Dutch military has most of its advantages on sea, however, the land units donít really exceed the standard selection. They may profit from foreign consulate troops though, either native, modified standard units or mercenaries. The VOC in the consulate also grants additional military boni. Remarkable is that Dutch units cost more proportionally gold than anything else, but also a lil less in total. Advantages for land forces lie within a quick and compact mortar and a strong militia. If played well, the Dutch can make a good standard rush and strike hard at fortress age. However, in late game their lack of specialized land forces becomes obvious.



    Internal Economy Summary Spoiler:

    The Dutch civ offers plenty of possibilities to come to wealth. So far, the banks are still an integrated part of the civ, but it may be developed into something more interactive later on such as a stock market for example. The new focus lies on trading companies that are accessible via consulate from which the WIC is economically focused and provides plantations and colonial settlers, whereas the VOC has a stronger military focus, but also grants access to possible luxury goods such as spices, coffee and tobacco. Generally the Dutchís economy still focusses on Gold which is easy to get due to its civ boni (i.e. free crates, gather rates, professional settlers).



    And last but not least:
    Internal General Summary Spoiler:

    The United Provinces or - the Dutch - play as economically unique, strong and flexible power civ. Their military troops remain - similar to the British - mainly standard units, which cost more gold than other resources for the Dutch. Even though RG upgrades are missing, they can form solid forces at land and sea. Their consulate, which offers access to either the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) and the WIC (West-Indische Compagnie), allows them to extend their military as well as economical arsenal. The Dutch are especially strong at sea and can easily compete with other naval civs such as the Danish and British. Their economy bases on many assets such as unique institutions such as banks, the consulate and unique plantations, but also slaves and hardened colonial settlers.




  • Whenever heís online, Iím cooperating with PredatoR, whoís doing a mod for the Ottoman civ, which he allowed me to incorporate to NE. With his mod heís raising the historically accuracy to a new level and introduces famous units such as Akıncı, Azaps, Deli, Nizam-ı Cedid to the Ottoman civ, but also less known units such as Ottoman grenadiers. Stay tuned until you can see some pics! Wink
    (btw, don't mind the top flag here, it's wrong, I'm going to update this)


  • A card from the HC may allow Prussians to train their Gemeiner already in Age 2 with adjusted stats. Iíve also made a new design for their age 2 unit, which will also be visible when training them (requiring you have not research the Veteran upgrade). Check out the (visually accurate) AltpreuŖische Armee that features this Gemeiner design already in a beta shape.
    Ľ

    If youíre curious about how theyíre gonna look like, have a look at this draft:
    Prussian Musketeers around 1680

  • I donít know if I have been mentioning it already, but the Landwehr will be replaced by standard settlers! The Landwehr itself will become the Prussian unique replacement for Colonial Militia.


  • In context of discovering technical NE features Iíve also been analyzing the Swiss civ on its technical functionality to find which features are worth keeping and which are not.

  • Ca Putt drew a raw sketch of a new unique unit for the Swiss.


Personal review: *ugh!*eek!*arggh!* PHEW! That was quite a lot! - And it was super strenuous to write this report, lol. - But it's been 2-3 months I guess. I hope you enjoyed it! Cause I do enjoy progressing with NE. Smile
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checanos
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:37 pm    Post subject:

Hooray! Hooray! ^^ welll worth the wait. I also see you took use of the trade cart...
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peugeot407
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:44 pm    Post subject:

You could have split this into three Modding Reports, you know... Mr. Green

I'm growing more and more astranged to the way things work in NE, with the endless preference of historical accuracy over organised and orderly gameplay. Having said that, that means I have more of a sense of ordnung than a team of Germans, which probably indicates it's time to develop a cocaine addiction. Razz

I must say though, those new models really make everything come alive, and I still absolutely adore the NE style of texturing. thumbs up!


peugeot407
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caveman909
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 4:51 pm    Post subject:

BRILLIANT !! Smile

I'm really excited about how NE will look at the end! I'm still on this "recording voices" stuff, but I started University 2 weeks ago, so I won't have so much time as before for it Neutral

I'm enjoying working on it too, hope to continue to help as much as I can Smile
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Hoop Thrower
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:08 pm    Post subject:

Well after complaining yesterday I guess the least I can do is to post my opinions.
It's certainly interesting to see how the internal workings of the NE Team. You've certainly got everything much more organized than us, and I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg regarding how controlled you've got everything related to the mod. Ah, germanic efficiency...

I wonder if you did the same that you did with NE "key" features with the normal AoE3 features, it'd certainly be helpful to have a checklist to see what's missing from your average civ.

Buildable forts don't sound like a good idea really, may be because I've had bad experiences with Russian treaties in ESO, so who knows, various modes are good in any case.

The units look amazing as always, they really look like military models, oh and yes, Happy Birthday Ca Putt.

LOL at folded hat, it really do looks funny, I wonder how people back then didn't find it odd. lol
Speaking of wich, the first hat test could work as a floating symbol for AoE3. Razz

Hum, I really would like to know what will happen with the merchants, they certainly were the most interesting villager in NE, and with all the changes you've made, I'm starting to fear it'll be streamlined as well. Sad

Age names, off the top of my head I can imagine:

Renaissance
Age of Enlightenment
Revolution Age

You'll need a couple more of course, but it's a start.

Ah, just go and try to beat our Mousquetaire du Roi. Devil

I believe all mods need Danish voicesets Tilanus. Mr. Green

How's the british rifleman like a sharpshooter then? It's gonna have the instant-kill ability like in original NE or the purpose of them will be changed?

The civ boni you listed are odd... of course, being used to WotTA and not having a clear idea of what you mean with a complete army and techs it's comprehensible, they'll lose the Manor-villager spawning? Confused

I see Delgado Stuart and Warwick certainly wanted to have a close up of the Gemeiner. Razz

That Twingknecht certainly looks creepy, concept art looks amazing, a swiss oprishnik? Well, at least it's a cavalry unit...
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Silmariel
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:16 pm    Post subject:

Awesome news!

Especially seeing some of the major civ concepts changed is pretty cool. I could have never imagined that the Dutch would be a rushing civ one day!
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Gustav II Adolf
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:19 pm    Post subject:

On the Snaphane: "They were known for their cruelity among civilians, ..."

That simply isn't true and it makes me sad to see.

Otherwise it was great reading and it looks amazing.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:28 pm    Post subject:

Hoop Thrower wrote:



Buildable forts don't sound like a good idea really, may be because I've had bad experiences with Russian treaties in ESO, so who knows, various modes are good in any case.



The problem ain't buildable forts, but the speed they get buildt with by russian musketeers. Although I assume that the Sewastopol-card will be kicked anyway.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:29 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
I'm growing more and more astranged to the way things work in NE, with the endless preference of historical accuracy over organised and orderly gameplay. Having said that, that means I have more of a sense of ordnung than a team of Germans, which probably indicates it's time to develop a cocaine addiction
Remember you did your mod from scratch, we're working over existing stuff, It's a bit like the difference between Cities in America and cities in Europe.

Quote:

The units look amazing as always, they really look like military models, oh and yes, Happy Birthday Ca Putt.
thx^^

Quote:
That Twingknecht certainly looks creepy, concept art looks amazing, a swiss oprishnik? Well, at least it's a cavalry unit...
quite, this unit actually only came up a week or two ago, it's still early in the developement.
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:56 pm    Post subject:

This report is too short and too thin. I am disappointed, Tilanus.
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Tilanus Commodor
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 5:57 pm    Post subject:

checanos wrote:
Hooray! Hooray! ^^ welll worth the wait. I also see you took use of the trade cart...

Glad you like it!

peugeot407 wrote:
You could have split this into three Modding Reports, you know... Mr. Green

Yeah, .. noticed when writing it. I imagined it to be shorter, then I saw it was getting more and more, but didn't expect I was so wrong. lol

Quote:
I'm growing more and more astranged to the way things work in NE, with the endless preference of historical accuracy over organised and orderly gameplay. Having said that, that means I have more of a sense of ordnung than a team of Germans, which probably indicates it's time to develop a cocaine addiction.

It is actually quite simple: We have a look at the historical realities, compare these to the civ and finally, depending on the grade of accuracy, we either make a "new" civ (while keeping references to the original civ) or adjust the civs.

Quote:
I must say though, those new models really make everything come alive, and I still absolutely adore the NE style of texturing. thumbs up!

Thanks!

Hoop Thrower wrote:
Well after complaining yesterday I guess the least I can do is to post my opinions.
It's certainly interesting to see how the internal workings of the NE Team. You've certainly got everything much more organized than us, and I'm sure that's just the tip of the iceberg regarding how controlled you've got everything related to the mod. Ah, germanic efficiency...

Mr. Green

Quote:
I wonder if you did the same that you did with NE "key" features with the normal AoE3 features, it'd certainly be helpful to have a checklist to see what's missing from your average civ.

Kind of, I once developed an abstract "prototype civ". It's only consists of standard objects. But you're right, a checklist from that side would be good (even though this would probably be the Age0 tech of the prototype civ). Wink

Quote:
Buildable forts don't sound like a good idea really, may be because I've had bad experiences with Russian treaties in ESO, so who knows, various modes are good in any case.

I know, buildable forts is a critical point, especially if you can upgrade them with additional fire modes (where as the costs for new forts increase notably). But it should be doable if it's expensive enough and has build limits. Actually, in AoE3 itself the Forts aren't really strong. Admitted, with their two techs, it takes longer to put them down, but with some good artillery and especially mortars, a fort is no serious threat at all.

Quote:
LOL at folded hat, it really do looks funny, I wonder how people back then didn't find it odd. lol
Speaking of wich, the first hat test could work as a floating symbol for AoE3. Razz

Tbh, I love these hats! They're cool. Razz

Quote:
Hum, I really would like to know what will happen with the merchants, they certainly were the most interesting villager in NE, and with all the changes you've made, I'm starting to fear it'll be streamlined as well.

Ah, lol. It'll be everything but streamlined. Of course, most civs will get access to standard units, but that doesn't make them less unique. You can still provide unique boni on standard units, which is much better than only spreading thousands of UUs that are actually harder to balance. Merchants and Architects are planned to be elite villagers, but it hasn't been tested yet, so that's still just a plan.

Quote:
Ah, just go and try to beat our Mousquetaire du Roi. Devil

Maybe I'm gonna ask for yours? Devil

Quote:
How's the british rifleman like a sharpshooter then? It's gonna have the instant-kill ability like in original NE or the purpose of them will be changed?

The Rifleman ("Sharpshooter) is basically a good skirmisher with an additional "sniper mode", which is a slow (walking+reloading), but powerful mode. It is possible to insta-kill with this mode, but clearly not all units. Units with standard/high HP and/or good rr will survive these shots, especially cavalry units.

Quote:
The civ boni you listed are odd... of course, being used to WotTA and not having a clear idea of what you mean with a complete army and techs it's comprehensible, they'll lose the Manor-villager spawning?

The boni are perfectly fine. Complete army means: All standard units available and all standard upgrade techs (including the Arsenal). The Manor bonus is a nice gameplay feature, but I'll have to check if the British population growth was that huge, because neither were Manor houses unique to British nor where British Manors particularly different/better.

Quote:
That Twingknecht certainly looks creepy, concept art looks amazing, a swiss oprishnik? Well, at least it's a cavalry unit...

Hahaha, close!

Gustav II Adolf wrote:
On the Snaphane: "They were known for their cruelity among civilians, ..."

That simply isn't true and it makes me sad to see.

Otherwise it was great reading and it looks amazing.

You're right, it was expressed way to exaggerated. I've changed the sentence like this:

They consisted mainly of peasants and were known to be partially bandits, but also cooperated with the regular Danish forces and notably weakened the Swedish.

SAOL wrote:
This report is too short and too thin. I am disappointed, Tilanus.

Noooo! Crying or Very sad
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CasualBeta
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PostPosted: Mon Oct 01, 2012 7:26 pm    Post subject:

SAOL wrote:
This report is too short and too thin. I am disappointed, Tilanus.

Noooo! Crying or Very sad[/quote]

Oh relax, your report is great...(I think Razz ).

Anywho, thats a lot of progress you and da the team made.
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Smorley_7
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 8:15 am    Post subject:

With Scotland being a map I imagine that your considering Scottish/Irish/Celtic natives?
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dietermoreno1
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:20 pm    Post subject:

Your British riflemen look like American riflemen.

The British Army never wore blue as a primary color and gold as a secondary color.

The U.S. Army wore blue as a primary color and gold as a secondary color I think that started in the War of 1812.

That looks like an accurate depiction of a rifleman serving in the U.S. Army during the War of 1812.

I'm confused. Is "British Rifleman" now not a British UU any more and "Sharpshooter" is not an American UU any more and is "Rifleman" now a shared unit between the British and the Americans with civ specific textures?


peugeot407 wrote:
Y

I'm growing more and more astranged to the way things work in NE, with the endless preference of historical accuracy over organised and orderly gameplay. Having said that, that means I have more of a sense of ordnung than a team of Germans, which probably indicates it's time to develop a cocaine addiction. Razz




peugeot407


Of course Peugeot prefers balance over historical accuracy.

Well guess what Peugeot? Historical accuracy is finally being treated justice by a mod in NE.

If you don't like it, go play WotTA where pikemen can hack tanks to death with tanks on the same battle field as pikemen.
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Tilanus Commodor
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:30 pm    Post subject:

@Smorley: Yes.

@airsoftmoreno: Ehhm, how about fully relating the written text to the image? Isn't it obvious which of the two is the British? Consequently the other unit is not British indeed. If it's no other particular civ, it might be a generic design. Don't you think I know how my units look like?

As a matter of fact, the blue one looks like a decent placeholder to me. With a better eye you'd see, this is just Cooper with a tricorner.
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dietermoreno1
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2012 12:33 pm    Post subject:

Spoiler:

Well so rifleman is now a generic unit in NE?

Is the blue and yellow texture civ specific for the Americans and is the red and green and white texture civ specific to the British?

By the way, those cavalry gauntlet gloves weren't used by infantry they were used by cavalry to absorb shock when hiting a target with sabers.
Don't believe me? Ask the U.S. Army Fort Riely, Kansas on Facebook?

http://www.facebook.com/USCavalry.org
http://www.facebook.com/FortRiley?fref=ts


You could use the replace texture tag to give Cooper's texture to a model that doesn't have the gauntlet gloves like WotTA had done with the NA rifleman using the western vilager model and using the Cooper texture.

Those flint lock long rifle models are so awesome, I couldn't find one anywhere on Google Sketchup, I want the model.


Those hat models are so awesome too, I couldn't find them anywhere on Google Sketchup either, I want all of the hat models too please.





Oh and you even were able to find a Brown Bess musket model with a bayonet on it.

I want the Brown Bess musket with bayonet model please.



I love the new fort textures and I like that you want to make it a more useable part of the game by making it buildable, giving it more upgrade techs, and giving it new unit modes.

What are possible new unit modes for the fort? Are heated solid shot, solid shot, canister, and explosive shell possibilities?

Would villagers build the fort or would it be another unit like WotTA has the Engineer build extra buildings for the Paraguyan civ?

What are possible build limits for the fort?

What are possible upgrade techs for the fort?



I love your idea of making the Minuteman not a generic unit and replacing it with "Militiaman" bc Minuteman should obviously be an American UU if anything unless you make a civ unique texture for the American Militiaman.
I agree with you I think it would be awesome if you could make the American Minuteman look like this image that you posted:

I will do it for you I am so excited to see these textures realized for my Americans, but first I need the new models for the hats and the muskets bc I am weak at 3D modeling I can't make models from scratch like you I have to download from Sketchup.


I love your idea for the "Revolutionary" as the American Colonial Militia replacement when the Americans revolt. I think for the timeline of your mod, the CSA or Bear Flag Republic or Republic of Texas do not make sense as rev civs. I think for the timeline of your mod, "Continental Army" would make a good rev civ for the Americans since the revolution feature is military based. George Washington could be the leader and it would have the same civ flag but it would allow you to train "Revolutionaries" which would be as powerful as musketeers melee and range and otherwise the Americans don't get a musketeer equivalent.
I like this image idea for the texture:

I will do it for you I am so excited to see these textures realized for my Americans, but first I need the new models for the hats and the muskets bc I am weak at 3D modeling I can't make models from scratch like you I have to download from Sketchup.

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