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Hi, I am AnimalMan; I lost access to my original account; so I am using this account I once made to discuss modding Dune2000.
It had been a while since I modded EBFD, but I have been making a mod recently and I have been making new discoveries left right and centre.
The difference between this mod and my last mod; is that 4 or 5 years ago when I made a mod for EBFD; I had absoloutely no knowledge of game development< but now things have changed.


I am going to start off by showcasing a breakthrough I had modding EBFD last night, and show off a new gameplay mechanic that resulted..


Trading / Economy

New Item available at Starport - Trade Goods
Trade Goods are crates that are delivered to the starport by t
he CHOAM frigates.
The Trade Goods are then collected by any infantry or unit and credits are awarded to the collector of the crates.


Trade Goods are the first of a great number of enhancements I have made to this version of EBFD. And I do believe I am restoring the playability of this game to a standard that was originally intended for the game, before it was rushed to the shelves. I will showcase my other improvements when I can get some actives up in here. I might even make a discord server to connect with you guys regular. And we can develop this thing for a good player base.  I am removing the clunkiness of the game; and the mid-development vibe that the original game was dominated by(really fast units, weak buildings, all of the things that turned what is suppose to be a long game, into a match that is over in 5 mins; something you might want when you are testing many different mechanics; but is not intended for the final game) So we are restoring the game to a playable state akin tactically and in depth to Dune2000. 




Finding reasons to include or add new units is always tough in Dune Games. Though there is always a need to add new units and structures.
The problem I face with adding new units; its adding new units with justified functions; or uses; or mechanics in which the player can have fun with.
This is why with this mod I kept main faction expansion to a minimum, and focussed on adding a set number of units; and these units would be hybrid
classes between two selected sub faction houses. This would give player more choice in subhouse combinations, and would be encouraged to explore
different combinations of subhouses to unlock different hybrid technologies. I have many units in game currently, but this is the first one I made; and it is also
a structure I featured in a previous mod.

Just as in ancient Egypt; the Sphynx, Pyramid and Palace combine the Imperial Sardaukar and Guild into a formidable, and independent faction of its own.






In the original version of EBFD -- you will receive a free harvester and carryall when you construct a Refinery. If you upgrade the refinery with a refinery dock you will also receive a free harvester and carryall.
When playing vs lots of AI; this makes spice fields quite messy. With lots of carryalls circling around but no harvesters. And fundamentally; this is because everybody has carryalls.  Therefor, this has been nerfed. And doing so throw up some unexpected benefits. For example;;

The Tech Tree ----
In dune2000 carryalls are like a luxury to your core harvesting abilities. They just speed up the process; but the key in dune2000 was that they came at a certain tech level. In EBFD this idea was scrapped; and carryalls were expected to escort every harvester all of the time. With the introduction of the refinery dock upgrade; this allowed refineries to upgrade two additional docks; originally intended to reduce queue times at the refinery; however they would each also come along with their own harvester and carryall. But not anymore.

I have removed the free harvester from dock upgrade and reduced the refinery dock upgrade cost to 500 and cut the build time in half. It no longer comes with a free unit, which means it no longer comes with a  free carryall; only an 1800 credits Refinery will grant you a free early tier carryall and harvester; but only grant one of these. Everything else needs purchasing when the tech level is reached.

This fix effectively slows down the tech progression and it becomes more obvious who is at what tech level simply by how they are managing their spice harvest operations, and in the process we decrowd the spice fields early game.

But what does this effect? ---
This fix effects player and AI speed of progression, and development of base/spending of resources; and puts the player and ai on more reasonable grounds. It makes the AI harder early game, and by late game it has the AI sporting on average two Refineries, with 6+ harvesters and around 3-4 carryalls managing each. (on average); and ordering harvesters in groups from starport; and building them at the factory(which was a rarity before). And gameplay-wise this is a lot more reasonable then having carryalls everywhere. It simply improves the feel of the game all around.  and progression from a 10k start(which is how it has been balanced) has us progressing the tech tree at around the same rate as the AI, instead of vastly surpassing it as was the state of Skirmish on release.

In addition; as a player activity --> we are now having to manage our refineries  instead of just building them and clicking the upgrade dock button. We are having to spend factory production time on building harvesters; and we are having to actually use the Airbase for something economically useful.

And finally.. Tactically ---
This makes early decision making all that more important. since you will have limited funds early game -- you can no longer rely on a dock upgrade to keep your spice flowing; and such  a military rush is harder to achieve and more high risk than it was before as the spice will flow at slower speeds if you do not invest production time into harvesters.
Here we make decisions on space and time; --- we cant keep building refineries to exploit a free early tech carryall; as we will simply run out of space; and we will fall behind in the construction of other structures. We can build 3 harvesters - but then we'll need to address the traffic at the refineries by building additional docks. And later on -- when we have an outpost up and running we can buy carryalls to pimp out our fleet of harvesters. This simple adjustment -- believe me -- completely changes the game. And I am sure that had the original game not been rushed to release -- then the final game would have seen this change.

Infantry Movement Speeds; Defensive Structures and War

In addition to economic fixes; all infantry (except contaminator) have seen a 50% movement speed reduction -- they are now 50% slower; and All Buildings && Defenses have seen a 100% hitpoint increase.
result =
The contaminator at its base speed(unmodified( is now slightly faster (.5) than tier 1 and 2 infantry(except scout).
Buildings are no longer made of matchsticks;
and infantry are no longer covering the distance of the map in a matter of seconds.
All attacks on base are less effective.
Recon vehicles are now the fastest units in game.
Defensive structures are stronger and last longer
(AI now also act to repair a damaged structure or defense much faster than before; usually while you are still attacking it)
Everything is more realistic as to how it looks and how it would have been if this had been Dune2000. Slow but effective infantry + Fragile but more efficient vehicles.
and most of all -- Attacks require a number of infantry and vehicles and no longer are Ra2 Tanya style surgical tactics as easily performed.
The player has time to enjoy the game, explore the tactics; use strategy; and stop playing feeling satisfied that it was a good game. :P lol  
Unlike the original version; that saw infantry move faster than vehicles; scouts moving faster than trikes; defense structures that cost near 1000 credits dying in 2 or 3 hits and most of your stuctures got one shot by a Harkonen Nuke. And what made this all so bad on release was that the actual infantry animation speed is tied in with its movement speed; so these infantry animations on release were looking ridiculous.

Edited by WermRider
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2 hours ago, WermRider said:

It had been a while since I modded EBFD, but I have been making a mod recently and I have been making new discoveries left right and centre.

(sorry for a little OT)
Thanks for posting this, it sounds really interesting that there's still some modding activity going on such older game. I haven't played Emperor: Battle for Dune, so I cannot really say much into this mod. But as you might have noticed, there's also new modding reseach going on the Dune2000 forum. I made quite many new discoveries about Tilesets, and I'm working on improved version of map editor to be able to edit newly discovered tileset data and provide much better support for custom tilesets.

If Dune2000 is your cup of tea like EBFD, you could take a look there too.

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Thanks, I used to really want to get that unused snow tiles into a snow set. You should try out emperor; you can get it for free @ some places I believe, though I run it from a disk.
The modding capabilities of dune2000 often puts me off; as its still not possible to add new units, and making each faction more unique in that game is really everyones dream, but tilesets and new maps are also cool, as that game has timeless aesthetic. I might take a look at it again soon; but I know i'll be encouraged to remake it from scratch in a new engine if I do so.
Thanks for dropping in and saying Hi. Its always nice to know we are not invisible :)

I updated the main post with some more content.

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I did a quick read to anything, It blows my mind the "starport delivering crates"; I didn't ever know that could be possible; I never edited Emperor at all, so I don't really know how modable the game it's, but I never imagine delivering literally crates of money into the game.

I think you mean these changes oriented to skirmish, but how about campaign (although campaign plays a lot like skirmish)? it may be interesting at some point playing dune emperor with that dune 2000 mindset; I agree on some points with the speed (and in campaign it doesn't help you can get Sardaukar or Ixian bombs early and win a map in 3 minutes, and I an not a speedrunner at all).he tech it's roughly the same".

But if the campaign can benefic It may be something I may try eventually.

Edited by Cm_blast
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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

Hi there !

I'm currently omw to make a crossover Dune / Command and conquer mod for C&C remastered collection.


Do you know how export units models from emperor for dune ? I'm searching a way for the moment...

Feel free to contact me, respond on this post, i will ask for an account on this forum.

Best regards, JackYsback

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On 3/3/2020 at 7:58 AM, WermRider said:

Hi, I am AnimalMan

Waddup animal man. I just got Emperor re installed and this time using Voodoo wrapper to play at 1920x1080. Glorious high resolution. I got TibEd too. I'm gonna try to make my own mod, inspired by your economy/carryall/harvester changes. Salut, good ideas.

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  • 4 months later...

Its so cool people are still playing and modding this game. I started playing this game again for the first time in a long time last year, and just started modding it. I mainly focused on improving infantry units and adding more units for each faction. I also wanted to be able to build the mega cannons for the Ix and Guild that you could see in some campaign levels and take over, but not build in the skirmishes. I had to reduce their power to make them more balanced. The one thing I really want to do but don't know if it is possible, is to make it so there is more than three main factions available to play in the skirmish, and turn some of the subhouses into their own independent factions. Adding units in the rules and artini files is easy, but I can't figure out if its possible to add new main factions. I tried messing around with some of the files in the UI directory, but can't figure it out. It would be cool to be able to have just a Fremen faction fighting against House Corrino and House Harkonnen, or have a battle between just House Vernius of the Ix and the Bene Tleilaxu.

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