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Fey

Shotgunners (Light Infantry graphics/sound/weapon mod)

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Posted (edited)

Ever feel like Light Infantry kind of suck?

(design theory rant below spoiler):

Spoiler

A really squishy unit needs some kind of redeeming quality to make it viable.

Trikes are amazing units because they serve as scouts in the early game, chew infantry to bits easily, and can be useful against Missile Tanks or Deviators later. They deal sustained damage, but they're fast, so the idea with Trikes is to hit and run.

Troopers can be scary because even with lots of Combat Tanks on the field, having a bunch of Troopers stacked up means a bunch of those Combat Tanks are getting one-shot before they get run over. They're the reason to keep Siege Tanks around. Even though Troopers, like all infantry in D2k, are notoriously fragile, they make up for this weakness with powerful burst damage.

Light Infantry have the weakness of Trikes' damage output model along with the immobility and fragility of Troopers, and the worst attack range in the game, making them almost completely useless. If Trikes get close to normal Light Infantry, the Light Infantry deal pitiful damage per shot, but are eaten up pretty quickly by the Trikes who can then escape to repair easily following their attack. If a Combat Tank is about to run them over, they'll only get the chance maybe for a single shot before they die, and you know how little damage that shot will deal to a Combat Tank. They need to stay close to enemies for an extended period of time to dish out any damage, and that simply isn't something they're equipped to do. One could make the argument that a couple of Light Infantry mixed in with some Troopers is nice for dealing with enemy infantry, but when will that be a factor when you intend to cover your Troopers with Trikes, or Combat Tanks? And even if that is the case, maybe you'll want to micro your Troopers around, and Light Infantry have the shorter range, so they'll be going closest to enemies and being the first to die anyway.

Giving Light Infantry a different model for dealing damage, that being burst damage, follows the logic behind Troopers' design and can have some pretty interesting effects on gameplay. If Light Infantry are only going to get one shot off before they die, that one shot is going to hurt a lot more if they have a slower rate of fire, but higher damage per shot. Such a model would justify their short range, since anything that gets close is more likely to be blown to bits, especially infantry, and more easily, Trikes. This makes the Light Infantry that pop out of structures more dangerous too, since they tend to appear during an attack and often only get one shot off on enemy units, if any.

This basic mod is an experiment with giving Light Infantry this different damage model and seeing what happens. Hopefully, how it plays out is exactly according to my expectations.

(regarding their animation):

Spoiler

The problem with giving Light Infantry a different sort of attack is that their animation is like this:
Flash
Idle
Flash
Idle
Flash

So they're kind of locked into pew pew guns or it's kind of immersion breaking. Not anymore! I did a little bit of work on their attack animations and came up with this:
Big flash
Little flash
Idle
Pump gun
Idle

Two frames of flash, three frames of point gun with no flash. More umph, greater pause. So now they're holding shotguns apparently, yay. I also found a nice sound to go along with their new attack, and implemented a basic mod that only changes the Light Infantry to showcase this new stuff. Although it's a pretty subtle change to the animation, it's vital for the sake of immersion and stuff. Here are a couple of their attack animations:

Standing:
264.png.d9118db87c6ca03dd8d0321def31a245.png
272.png.f1ddcee0c0c654d59f30c42a72eb3127.png
280.png.3ed39951f3abc71a5e445d6cdea1b742.png
288.png.4ee9d696492a3a9fc08c73c2ac6a53d8.png
296.png.0e2dbf1147bb3b6f4353affc608533e3.png

Suppressed:
348.png.455cb13d9f0202bcdfbac72092e228bf.png
356.png.aee62c42dd777b2274f75ebdaf2081ec.png
364.png.e856e1dd8b56205ececec0617f1141cd.png
372.png.6761500528b02c05c0f19d21f753f0e3.png
380.png.28ace0ff6edf4d2adb0907db4a5cc243.png

Even though they pump their gun, again, it's a pretty subtle animation to begin with, so maybe someone wants to give them a different kind of weapon entirely that only fires one shot. We have the assets now, so go ahead and knock your socks off. These new frames are available for anyone's use, because I said so.

If you don't care about any of that stuff, here's a link to the mod:
Shotgunner.zip

Light Infantry don't actually deal damage any faster with this mod. They received a damage boost directly proportional to how much attack speed they lost, so all that they do is hit harder with each attack, where each attack occurs less often than before. This is an improvement to their burst damage only. If you compare their sustained damage, you'll find they kill stuff at just about exactly the same speed as normal Light Infantry armed with rifles.

Edit: Here's a bit of footage from my expanded mod, which also will be using Shotgunner infantry.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWr_9Ihqhr0

The animation can be seen in slow motion near the start. Most of the vid is just rolling over the Imperial base on S01V1, on easy mode. Despite being relatively weak against armored units and structures, the sheer number of Shotgunners easily overwhelmed the RPG Quads, Harvesters, and Imperial infrastructure.

All the linked mod in this thread does is change the Light Infantry. They get shotguns. New animation, new sound, and a tiny gameplay mod that implements that new weapon for them. That's it. If you wanna install the mod, merge the data folder in the zip with the one in your D2k directory. The data folder under the backup folder in the zip can be merged with the data folder in your D2k directory to restore the changes this mod makes, what little there are anyway, to the default state of the game.

Have fun.

Edited by Fey
new sidebar icon, yay

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Posted (edited)

For I got, an infantry vs whatever unit then and now it has the same exact outcome, but now because the infantry "shoot first, ask later" they do the most damage with the initial shooting so even if they die half second later at least they did their job already.

Now you only need to mod the game that, if a infantry shoot at the wheels of a quad, then stop moving xD.

I still have recent your last campaign, but since you are doing plenty of changes, I can see like feeling playing a new campaing (I mean, same campaign, but different feeling) with the stuff you are altering.

Edited by Cm_blast

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50 minutes ago, Cm_blast said:

they do the most damage with the initial shooting so even if they die half second later at least they did their job already

Yeah! Now (hopefully) they're not totally useless. :D Since this mod only changes the Light Infantry, it can definitely be tested with the OG campaign maps.

1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

Now you only need to mod the game that, if a infantry shoot at the wheels of a quad, then stop moving xD.

They slow down at yellow HP, but speed up again in the red. I dunno why that is, that's just how the game plays I guess lol

1 hour ago, Cm_blast said:

same campaign, but different feeling

Not for a while. It's supposed to be in its final draft state... maybe around the time I start another campaign, whenever that is.

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On 5/25/2020 at 10:56 PM, Fey said:

Edit: Here's a bit of footage from my expanded mod, which also will be using Shotgunner infantry.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWr_9Ihqhr0

I really like this mod and idea, the shotgunners feel stronger even through they technically deal about the same damage, one reason could be the shooting sound, which makes that feeling. I see you are pretty into modding graphics and sounds and modifying the units.

And by the way, I admire the custom voice announcements and phrases. Did not think they would sound that decent. These are spoken by you, who who made them?

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Posted (edited)
2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I really like this mod and idea, the shotgunners feel stronger even through they technically deal about the same damage, one reason could be the shooting sound, which makes that feeling.

Thank you!

Aye, the way I calculated the damage increase per shot was according to the rate of fire decrease. Light Infantry do 125 damage per attack, IIRC, so it was this:
125 / 30 x 50 = 208

So the Shotgunners in this mini mod do 210 damage per shot; I rounded it up. While this technically doesn't increase sustained damage very much, the burst damage has a major impact on how effective Light Infantry are after all! For reasons explained under the design theory spoiler.

And hey, if you like that sound, I've been doing a little more work on the sounds in general. A lot of original D2k sounds have white noise in them, which needlessly extends the duration of the sound. As you're surely aware, D2k is incapable of playing a ton of sounds at once, so this has an impact on the sound performance in large battles. So... I cleaned up some of the sounds! Like here's the original rocket sound without any white noise:
ROCKET1.WAV

It's a subtle change, but one that allows for MANY more sounds to be played at once since these sounds finish playing much sooner / faster. You might not even hear the difference unless you play the old sound side by side with it, but it really does heavily impact the sound quality. That was also an issue with the new (machine) Gun Turret and Flame Tank since those are both rapid fire weapons, but I've since come up with extremely short sounds for them to use so they don't interrupt themselves or others quite as often.

I've also been playing with new sounds. Here's a new sound I worked up for the SLasher megaturret. Volume warning!
SLasher.WAV

Now they sound about as scary as they look. ;)

2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

I see you are pretty into modding graphics and sounds and modifying the units.

Gameplay mods can go pretty far on their own, but to really branch out with new options and sell the new stuff in terms of immersion, having new graphics and sounds available is key. Imagery sticks with the player! Shock Raiders are not particularly memorable except for their terribly flashy attacks and unique sound not used by any other unit, but the Flame Tank REALLY sticks with you (or, at least, it sticks with me!) because everything about it is new.

That's why all the assets I've done are available for anyone else to use! With more assets available, there is more potential for any and all D2k mods. :D

I really wish I actually knew how to draw. :P Maybe then I'd do something nice with the Duelist Tank or Shock Raider. I had a really old idea for, like, a small hover vehicle, but I only ever drew the top frame. I didn't know how to draw any other frame without totally screwing the proportions, so I stick to editing existing material and kept the Shock Raider a Raider mod like the Stealth Raider. Can't draw my own. Even the Storm Lasher is made up of, like, pieces of the Ordos Wind Trap, Atreides Silos, and standard turret base with some extra flair put in. Lots of work put in to edit it, and copying existing material did help to keep it similar to the game's existing style, but still, it is copying existing material.

By comparison, the Golden Lion Barracks was actually drawn up from scratch by my sister, who IS an artist. And it's actually good enough on its own to match the style of the original game's structures, and she didn't have to copy anything to draw that. Unfortunately, she can't be bothered to do 32 frames for a new tank, so the Rax is all we're getting. lol

2 hours ago, Klofkac said:

And by the way, I admire the custom voice announcements and phrases. Did not think they would sound that decent. These are spoken by you, who who made them?

Thank you very much! I hoped they'd sound good.

I spoke the EVA lines, and I'm having friends do the units' various lines. See, there's still that problem with Tibed where it doesn't allow you to change the unit reporting sounds, but luckily one of D2k's limitations aids us in modding unit dialogue - the EVA and units never speak at the same time. So we can't change the unit reporting sounds at this time, but we can have the EVA go, "Unit selected." if we replace all of the unit reporting dialogue files themselves, and then have the units reply only when given an order.

Given this model, I've slotted new "orders confirmed" dialogue for fifteen different types of units, or singular units. Here's the list, with some already-finished sounds:

Spoiler

STANDARD INFANTRY
Strength in numbers.
Infantry on the move.
Weapons at the ready.

STANDARD LAVS
LAV movin' out. - LAV moving out.wav (Some inspiration from the E:BFD Trike movement sounds for the background noise here.)
Let's flank 'em, Sir!
In a flash, Commander.

STANDARD ARMOR
Occupying the area, Sir.
Frontline unit rolling out.
Armor moving to new position.

STANDARD LRA
Eyes on the horizon.
Hope that's a good spot.
LRA moving to combat zone.

SABOTEUR
<laughing> - (laughing).wav (My bestie has a unique quality to his voice, so he was perfect for the Saboteur. Just listen to that laugh!)
Chaos unfolds.
Saboteur going eagerly.

STEALTH RAIDER
Chaos unfolds.
Death comes silently.
Stealth ops on the move.

FLAME TANK
Hell yeah!
Advance and conquer! - advance and conquer.wav (Same VA as the LAVs, only pumped the hell up and ready to heck up the enemy.)
Flame Tank blazing a path!

DUELIST TANK
Duelist Tank on the move.
Frontline unit rolling out.
There will be no competition. - there will be no competition.wav (Spoken confidently, but not quite as badass as the Devastator, of course.)

ENGINEER
Engineer on task.
Remember, I'm unarmed!
I'll get it sorted, Commander.

HARVESTER & MCV
Cover us, Commander.
Commencing operations. - commencing operations.wav (We're just out for a drive. Collecting that Spice or setting up a new base.)
Logistics unit on task.

SONIC TANK
Rolling thunder.
Engage from afar.
Sonics cranked up.

DEVIATOR
Chaos unfolds.
They will be ours.
Delivering Deviator gas. - delivering Deviator gas.wav (Chaos unfolds. There's a motif between units that are connected somehow.)

DEVASTATOR
Reactor at maximum.
Devastation imminent.
Victory is inevitable.

FREMEN WARRIOR
Hal Yawm! (Now! At last!)
Bi-la Kaifa! (Say no more!)
Ya Hya Chouhada! (Long live the fighters!)

SARDAUKAR ELITE
No surrender!
They will fear us.
Death before dishonor!

EVA
EVA Sample.wav (All EVA lines except "Unit selected," which has three variants.)

The original inspiration for all of this is, again, an issue with immersion. Given that the Ordos lines are used for any faction above allocation index 2, it was kind of bothersome when you're playing as, like, the Imperials, or the Ix, and all your units are like, "Ordos out," and the EVA is always, you know, the Ordos one. So I made a new EVA in case that's better for higher indexes, and all the unit responses reference the unit type somehow, but never the faction they belong to. "LAV" moving out! "Armor" moving to new position! "Devastation" imminent. You know. That kinda thing.

I'm going for a C&C3 sort of feeling, both with the EVA and the units. My tenor is very low and I tried to manage something similar to the Nod EVA in C&C3, like this: https://youtu.be/7QFN3vuzpeA?t=11

Although that's, obviously, a professional job and my goodness does that Nod EVA sound so good. :P

With the units, the classic radio blips from original D2k unit sounds is still there, but between is a lot more detail. The voiceovers use slight reverb for added effect and have background noise fitting the sort of unit it is. Like, the Flame Tank has the rumble of a heavy vehicle (but not quite as heavy as, say, the Harvester) along with the faint crackling of flame in the background. The Deviator lines sound weird, hopefully like one might expect from the Ordos. The infantry lines heard in the Shotgunners demonstration vid have the sound of marching and drums in the background, along with the rustling of weapons, like a shotgun pump or a rocket launcher or grenade ching. And of course, it all starts and stops between those radio blips.

So, uh... yep! That's all I've been workin' on recently. When the Gun Turret graphics are done, I can put those in a standalone mod similar to how the Shotgunners were done here. :)

Edited by Fey
formatting error lol

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Hey guys. Just coming back to this for a sec' to give these guys a proper sidebar icon. Our badass new basic infantry deserve a badass new icon.

Comparison below:
914258339_LightInfantry.png.e6e53a6cd9a2dc290d1fcf23fc2c7c80.png
666910934_Shotgunnersidebaricon.png.f5da5bc4fb5173dd26011ed86d99abca.png

What are the differences? Here's a much larger render of the original Light Infantry icon:
304503684_LightInfantry.png.9c9fd7087f07a7e289ceab022ca25739.png

The new Shotgunner icon:
 - Removed the mag sticking out from under the gun.
 - Adjusted the shadow accordingly. We can see more of his leggings.
 - Darkened and lowered the barrel, making it appear to have a pump.
 - Boosted the size of the flash slightly for that extra umph to the icon.

That's all. DL in OP has been replaced. Enjoy.

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A suggestion, can you make a new infantry model based off the troppers that use the weapon from the Sardauker units? I mean past the guns to the trooper models? I have made my troopers to heavy machineguns, but the trooper model bazooka doesnt look good and the infantry looks too weak. I tried myself but the pallet indexing I couldnt get right and my stuff was miscolored so I deleted my project.

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15 hours ago, firefly101 said:

A suggestion, can you make a new infantry model based off the troppers that use the weapon from the Sardauker units? I mean past the guns to the trooper models? I have made my troopers to heavy machineguns, but the trooper model bazooka doesnt look good and the infantry looks too weak. I tried myself but the pallet indexing I couldnt get right and my stuff was miscolored so I deleted my project.

Hey mate.

I ain't an artist, I only really edit stuff. :P I'm not sure what I could work up with this concept, but I could help ya with the palette BS. It's a problem for everyone. I suggest dropping by the single player Discord server, where we've had some aspiring artists show up recently. I'm sure we could communicate more effectively there before reposting projects here for posterity:
https://forum.dune2k.com/topic/28759-dune-2000-singleplayer-mission-making-discord-server/

There's even been a new Sardaukar spriteset worked up where they have heavy miniguns and look thicc as hecc.

Anyway, hope that helps. See ya there.

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