New animals for Ne?

 
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bolbolbarkia
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2016 2:32 pm    Post subject: New animals for Ne?

Hello everyone!

Maybe this is an old topic, bou would not be wonderful if the NE team consider making new herdables, hunts and treasure guardians for the new maps? Maybe zebras and tchitas for african maps, or foxes and boars for european ones?

I really like playing NE custom maps but i think they lack flavour, does anyone agree?

Any way , i am looking forward for your opinions Wink

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Pawelec_POLAND
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 29, 2016 3:10 pm    Post subject:

The lack of map flavour is a point, I'm modding some new plant for my mod at the moment, I won't hesitate to share them with NE when I finish them.

Animals seem harder to make, but I've seen that the author of the Kings' Return mod has some very decent reskins of existing models.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 30, 2016 3:05 pm    Post subject:

I once suggested to recolour/reskin coyotes or wolves as hyenas for the numerous desert maps of NE.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 7:06 am    Post subject:

Since this thread exists I'll write here.

When discussing new animals for a mod, it is good to ask oneself one question:

- Is it needed?

A lot of mods and even open source games fail to ask themselves this, in my experience. They'll do all sort of fancy, usually big African mammals before realizing that their mod takes place mostly in areas where those animals don't live (or didn't live, if the game is historical). The result is animals horribly out of place or the couple African maps crowded with animals while everything else barely gets a deer. I've come to dislike zebras specially because they are everyone's first choice, even though zebras only live(d) in eastern and southern Africa in reality:



So before going to the drawing board, please think of what maps you will be doing, and what roles do animals fill in Age of Empires 3. Most map have these:

- 2 huntables, a smaller and a larger one (if you go to 3 for flavor, the big one should be only one, and noticeably scarcer than the other two)
- 2-3 guardians, sometimes less because they share the spot with human guardians. 1 small easy to mow down by the Explorer, 1 medium that might fuck up your day if it's a lot of them, and 1 big you'll have to call airborn support to take out
- 1 herdable, if at all, maybe another from treasure

Classic example: California. Huntables: Deer (small) and Elk (big). Guardians: Coyote (small), Cougar (medium), Grizzly (big). Does it really need more? Confused I don't even remember if there are herdables there.

So ask yourself again:

- What maps will I do?
- What animals do live there in reality?
- Which of these animals serve better the roles above? (Don't think just "huntable" and "guardian". Think "big huntable", "small guardian", etc)
- How many of those animals fill roles filled by other animals already in the game, and are therefore superfluous?
- How many of those animals are already in the game, or could be made from renaming and painting over animals already present? The less work, obviously, the better.

So, what is NE's area of interest? It is Europe, North Africa and the Middle East. What animals there fill these criteria?
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Pawelec_POLAND
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 10:59 am    Post subject:

One thing: in the mod's timeline it would be quite appropriate to add various Equus spp. on many maps not fitting the map you posted as their ranges were considerably larger than today. Lions on Indian and Middle East maps would also be correct.
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 13, 2018 5:34 pm    Post subject:

I'm aware. I pointed that, actually. But does anyone know a game where wild asses are huntable? Age of Mythology? 0 AD? AoE II: African Kingdoms? No. It's always zebras.
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:30 pm    Post subject:

Wild asses are commonly hunted in clubs. Topmodel (scnr)

I'm trying to get rid of animal guardians and pets wherever I can. I just find them ridiculous as they're contrary to my goal of creating a credible atmosphere. Animals as huntables or herdables are great. If predators worked as in AoE1+2 I'd support that, but I can also tell everyone hated them and they're only fun when you see someone else being attacked by them. The game is primarily supposed to be about early modern and Napoleonic culture, politics and warfare, not a simulation of historical wildlife.

So, new animals have pretty low priority for me, not only because of what I just said, but also because the needed effort to get new animals into the game is too high for its comparably low benefit.

For every new animal for which you can't just reskin an existing AoE3 animal, you need a new 3d model with an animation rig (!), animations and of course, the knowledge and capability to make all these things work not only in the 3d tool but AoE3 eventually. That's pretty tough and more work than every other NE unit design so far. Surely, I've seen other mods importing new animals from other games like crazy, but if you don't have that every-game-is-a-supermarket mentality like other mods (I don't) but prefer a certain degree of self-made originality then you just gotta accept that building a zoo is not for you. ^^
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 2:53 am    Post subject:

Tilanus Commodor wrote:

I'm trying to get rid of animal guardians and pets wherever I can. I just find them ridiculous as they're contrary to my goal of creating a credible atmosphere.


Agree with the pets. I think ES liked their 3D models so much they figured players would like to control them (alright, I confess I was guilty once, but these days I find myself using the War Chief's taming ability to recruit outlaws with guns only).

I'm ambivalent with treasure guardians because I think they are the game's sometimes bizarre (sanitized?) way to include big game hunting, fur trading, and clearing of the country for livestock. Likewise, killing human outlaws symbolizes the persecution of banditry. I could do with less references to El Pollo Guapo, though.

(It's unbelievable how much of the original game is sanitized. Where is the slavery? Genocide? Witch burning? Cannibals? Europe went full retard in the 1600s and the campaign made it look like that century did not exist!)

Quote:
Animals as huntables or herdables are great. If predators worked as in AoE1+2 I'd support that, but I can also tell everyone hated them and they're only fun when you see someone else being attacked by them. The game is primarily supposed to be about early modern and Napoleonic culture, politics and warfare, not a simulation of historical wildlife.


I think the devs took out the animals's unprovoked attacks because people being hunted by animals made much less sense in a place with commonplace guns like colonial America. If the original game had focused on Europe on the other hand (Beast of Gevaudan), nevermind India and China...

Quote:
For every new animal for which you can't just reskin an existing AoE3 animal, you need a new 3d model with an animation rig (!), animations and of course, the knowledge and capability to make all these things work not only in the 3d tool but AoE3 eventually. That's pretty tough and more work than every other NE unit design so far. Surely, I've seen other mods importing new animals from other games like crazy, but if you don't have that every-game-is-a-supermarket mentality like other mods (I don't) but prefer a certain degree of self-made originality then you just gotta accept that building a zoo is not for you. ^^


Out of curiosity, how do animations work? Can you simply take the attack animation of an animal like a rhino and give it to an animal without attack like a tapir, or would you have to make all the moves yourself again, from scratch?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 9:29 am    Post subject:

You keep forgetting there is such a thing as game ratings and political correctness. Why do you think there's no witch burning, slavery, cannibalism or why no major WW2-oriented game allows you to play as the Third Reich (even if it does there's not even a single line about the Holocaust)?
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:13 am    Post subject:

Pawelec_POLAND is right, although people enjoy historical accuracy, everything as great as AoE3 was back in the days (or anything major nowadays) had (has) to be done according to certain conducts, as there are many "taboos" or "stuff not to be mentioned".

BUT, as you know, that problem is solved as NE already crossed the barrier: there are Treasures guarded by Heretic Priests, slavery is available for many countries (e.g. Spain & Portugal), and so on.

I agree on pets. Even though I kinda like them Embarassed they are a bit ridiculous. Hey look, I got a jaguar muahahah Neutral


As for Guardians, I think animals as Treasure Guardians make sense and should not be erased. Much for the contrary, they should be kept and applied wherever possible cuz all maps, even NE ones, and no matter if European or not, are essentially landscapes with great fields of wildlife, sometimes with a lonely Trade Route with just a few scattered villages.
In all of that countryside of 1555-1820 there were many kinds of dangers - animal and human.

So to make a treasure - say... a destroyed car with fruit that gives 40 Food - guarded by... say a wolf or a bear, is not anything weird or out-of-class at all.


Spoiler:

Pets always bring to my mind the same story, It's not a thing that can be reproduced in-game, but whatever...

Can you imagine the shock that the early Portuguese navigators had when they found Rhinos for the first time?
The pt explorers, when situation made it possible of course, tried to capture one, and when they succeeded, they brought it back to Lisbon, and it was total outcry.
People from far away came to see the weird horned wild beast inside a golden cage.
Unfortunately, the first Rhino died shortly after being brought.

There is also a great story about an Elephant, but I can't remember well... I'll try to search when I have time for that Mr. Green


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 17, 2018 11:54 am    Post subject:

Pawelec_POLAND wrote:
You keep forgetting there is such a thing as game ratings and political correctness. Why do you think there's no witch burning, slavery, cannibalism or why no major WW2-oriented game allows you to play as the Third Reich (even if it does there's not even a single line about the Holocaust)?


You are entirely right. I was trying to make a sarcastic/funny comment, but now I see it didn't come across right.

The Navigator Prince wrote:

Can you imagine the shock that the early Portuguese navigators had when they found Rhinos for the first time?
The pt explorers, when situation made it possible of course, tried to capture one, and when they succeeded, they brought it back to Lisbon, and it was total outcry.
People from far away came to see the weird horned wild beast inside a golden cage.
Unfortunately, the first Rhino died shortly after being brought.

There is also a great story about an Elephant, but I can't remember well... I'll try to search when I have time for that Mr. Green [/spoiler]


Here there is a legend about a giant carnivore lizard that some believe started with a real guy bringing a baby cayman and letting it loose in the country: https://es.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lagarto_de_la_Malena
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 18, 2018 5:32 am    Post subject:

So I went ahead and made a list of animals already in the game or that could be made without creating new models, divided by map types or areas in Europe and its vicinity. I aimed to pick animals that could be used in several maps. Since all huntables in AoE3 give either 400 or 500 food (with the exception of the Wild Elephant which gives 1000) I aimed to have 1 or 2 of each.

Tundra: Northernmost Russia, Scandinavia, Iceland. Nobody is going to fight a battle here so why bother.

Taiga or northern forest: Scandinavia (minus southernmost part), northern Russia, Finland (all), Urals
* Moose (500) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose
* Reindeer, aka renamed Caribou (500) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Reindeer
* Capercaillie, reskinned Turkey (400) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_capercaillie
* Brown bear, renamed Grizzly bear (large guardian) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brown_bear
* Wolf (small guardian) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gray_wolf

European temperate forest: Most of Europe including southern Scandinavia, northern Spain and Italy, most of the Balkans, and the northern sub-Caucasus
* Moose (500) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moose#Europe_and_Asia
* Bison (500) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_bison#History
* Wild Horse, recoded, reskinned Editor’s Horse (Dog Soldier's color is perfect) (500) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarpan#History
* Red deer, reskinned Elk (500) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Red_deer
* Capercaillie (400)
* Brown bear (large)
* Wolf (small)

European high mountain: Cantabrians, Pyrenees, Alps, Apenines, Tatras, Carpathians, Balkans
* Ibex (400) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Capra_(genus)
* Chamois, reskinned Pronghorn (400) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rupicapra
* Capercaillie (400)
* Brown bear (large)
* Wolf (small)

Mediterranean Europe: Spain, Portugal, Italy, Greece
* Ibex (400, in mountains)
* Red deer (500, lowlands)
* Fallow deer, reskinned Caribou (male) and Deer (female) (400) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallow_deer
* Brown bear (large) – rare
* Wolf (small)

Mediterranean Islands
* Red deer (500) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corsican_red_deer
* Ibex (400) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kri-kri https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Feral_goat#Majorca
* Mouflon, renamed Bighorn Sheep (400) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/European_mouflon
* Fallow deer (400) - rare https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Persian_fallow_deer

Eastern European steppe
* Wild horse (500)
* Red deer (500) – rare
* Saiga (400) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saiga_antelope
* Tiger (large) – rare https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caspian_tiger http://mur-r.ru/books/item/f00/s00/z0000018/st013.shtml
* Wolf (small)

Anatolia
* Red deer (500)
* Fallow deer (400)
* Ibex (400, mountain)
* Mouflon (400)
* Brown bear (large)
* Leopard, reskinned black panther (medium guardian) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard
* Wolf (small)

Fertile Crescent and Arabia
* I know you made Oryxes but they don’t look right
* Ibex (400, mountains)
* Fallow deer (400)
* Gazelle, reskinned Pronghorn (400) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gazelle
* Ostrich, reskinned Rhea (400) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arabian_ostrich
* Lion (large) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asiatic_lion#Distribution_and_habitat
* Leopard (medium)
* Wolf (small)

Persia north (inc. Armenia, southern sub-Caucasus)
* Red deer (500)
* Ibex (400)
* Mouflon (400) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Armenian_mouflon
* Gazelle (400)
* Brown bear (large)
* Tiger (large)
* Leopard (medium)
* Wolf (small)

Persia south
* Fallow deer (400)
* Ibex (400)
* Mouflon (400)
* Gazelle (400)
* Lion (large)
* Leopard (medium)
* Wolf (small)

Egypt
* Bubal, reskinned Nilgai (500) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bubal_hartebeest
* Ibex (400, mountains)
* Gazelle (400, lowland)
* Ostrich (400, lowland) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_African_ostrich
* Lion (large) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_lion
* Leopard (medium)
* Crocodile, renamed Alligator (small) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nile_crocodile

Maghreb
* Red deer (500) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_stag
* Bubal (500)
* Gazelle (400)
* Ostrich (400)
* Brown bear (large, mountains) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlas_bear
* Lion (large)
* Leopard (medium)
* Snow monkey (small) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barbary_macaque

Sahara
* Bubal (500)
* Gazelle (400)
* Ostrich (400)
* Lion (large)
* Leopard (medium)
* Crocodile (small) https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_African_crocodile http://www.markoshea.info/images/oba4-1pix/croc_popsl.jpg

In summation:
* Renamed/duplicated: Reindeer, Moose (to Elk? and Elk to Wapiti?), Brown bear, Mouflon, Crocodile (4-5)
* Reskinned: Capercaillie, Red Deer, Chamois, Fallow Deer, Leopard, Gazelle, Ostrich, Bubal (8 )
* Recoded: Wild Horse (1)
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 07, 2018 9:49 am    Post subject:

I like the idea about new animals, but as Tilanus said I'm not sure it will be so beneficial in terms of game experience, compared to the work you'd have to do. A map is often regarded as being just a what it is: opportunities to win the game. Sure, it influences strategies but when we talk about animals, it really just is about getting food. If its a buffalo, a deer or a hamster, the players won't care that much about it imo.
But it is true that it would add flavour. Maybe just not worth to be put on top priority Razz



Pawelec_POLAND wrote:
You keep forgetting there is such a thing as game ratings and political correctness. Why do you think there's no witch burning, slavery, cannibalism or why no major WW2-oriented game allows you to play as the Third Reich (even if it does there's not even a single line about the Holocaust)?


The part about slavery is a sensitive question, but it was so widespread around the globe that I'd say not mentioning it would really be a "historical amnesia". It was part of global economy back then, even if it had disastrous human outcomes in the past.
Concerning the third reich, you can often play them in WW2 games actually, but the part about the Holocaust really...a game should mostly be about having fun. If you want to revive unnecessary horrors, there are plenty documentaries about it. I'd see no point adding such events in a game, do you?
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