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Fey

Autogun Turrets (Gun Turret graphics/sound/weapon mod)

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Posted (edited)

Ever feel like Gun Turrets kind of suck?

Well, they don't, but I've got another new thing for y'all anyway. This is a standalone mod that turns your traditional long-barreled cannon turret into highly responsive dual guns that mow down infantry and can be generally oppressive against vehicles. That's all this mod does.

Here are some screenshots of all 32 frames in the three main colors, and their sidebar icon:

Spoiler

MrOjhe6.png
idw3GKE.png
hb6wDUc.png
rFpufUD.png

Here are some gameplay tips:

Spoiler

What's good about these things?
These are inexpensive, build pretty fast, don't have much of a power cost, and are available as soon as you build a Barracks, just like the old Gun Turret. They are devastating against infantry and light vehicles in general, especially Trikes or Raiders. Unlike the old Gun Turret, they serve a different purpose, bringing more variety to your arsenal!

What's bad about these things?
Even big scary rapid fire bullets are not so effective against armored units, like Combat Tanks. They also have an inferior range to the old Gun Turret, but only by a little. They're not quite as durable as the old Gun Turrets either.

How do I use these things?
Support them with Troopers, Combat Tanks or Missile Tanks, and drop them to support Rocket Turrets. You can use them to temporarily fortify a position until you get more stuff set up, like more units at the location or place a bunch of Rocket Turrets, then sell them off to put the cash towards more important things. If the enemy is attacking your base with Missile Tanks or Deviators and they are too far into your territory, try deploying one of these next to those units. It will shred them!

What do I do against enemy Autogun Turrets?
Just like the old Gun Turrets, their power can't be taken out. Infantry are still great against these things and can even overwhelm lone Autogun Turrets easily (see start of original Harkonnen campaign mission 5 for a demonstration). To make sure the Troopers can safely get in and wreck them, make sure you get their attention with something tough, like a Combat Tank, first. Otherwise, bring Missile Tanks or other long-range units and outrange them entirely. Good luck!

Design theory rant below spoiler:

Spoiler

The original Gun Turret and Rocket Turret were much too similar in terms of their function. They both dealt considerable damage to vehicles while being mostly ineffective against infantry. I remedied this somewhat in my expanded mod by improving Rocket Turrets' attacks a bit so their precise strikes can take down lone infantry quite fast, and by making Gun Turrets fairly well-rounded against all targets, but the latter felt quite out of place. That's the Duelist Tank's gimmick, and that's a special Ixian weapon for the Ordos and smugglers. Not fitting for the Gun Turret for all factions, and not fun to fight.

With Rocket Turrets available so early in the tech tree as well, Gun Turrets kind of become obsolete. They are inferior anti-vehicle turrets. All they have going for them is that they stay online with the base power down and are available on earlier missions, but with all the custom campaigns out there now, we need to see more variety in the game.

Gun Turrets needed a distinct and useful role.

Now, you might be asking, what the hell do I need a weaker Gun Turret for? If it uses bullets, it sucks against armor, right? And you'd be correct. It deals significantly less damage versus armor than the old Gun Turret. It only has an effective range of 4 tiles, slightly inferior to the old Gun Turret. Siege, Missile and Sonic Tanks can outrange them quite easily, so it's not very useful against Missile Tanks or Deviators like other bullet-based weapons are because it's totally immobile. And sure, it's nice against most infantry, but those are easy enough to deal with anyway most of the time. So, what's the catch?

Well, here are the specifics about their benefits:
 - It has half the power cost of the old Gun Turret.
 - It builds a few seconds faster than the old Gun Turret.
 - It costs only 450 Solaris, 100 less than the old Gun Turret.
 - It's waaay more useful against infantry and Trikes or Raiders.
 - They have a super high rate of fire. The moment you build one, it's already firing.

So it's less effective to just drop a wall of turrets and watch the enemy feed itself to the meat grinder. That's a pity, but the new Autogun Turrets are amazing for more proactive defense. If dropped DURING an attack rather than BEFORE one, they absorb much damage for how little they cost and can block Combat Tank shots from hitting your buildings, or they can be dropped right next to enemy Missile Tanks that normally outrange them and shred them, as bullets do to Missile Tanks. And because they're much more effective against infantry and Trikes or Raiders, they're especially potent defense against early rush attacks.

You can still pile up Autogun Turrets and Rocket Turrets for an effective defense, although their design does reward proactive use as described.

Regarding their animation / sound design:

Spoiler

As many of you know, I am not an artist. I mostly just edit things that already exist because I can't get the perspective right for D2k with original work, and editing existing things means I stay loyal more easily to the original style of D2k.

The basis for these sprites originated from what I understand to be an obscure foreign mod no longer in development called "Dune 2000 Hardcore," which is also the source for the Flame Tank spriteset I touched up previously. I happen to have a copy, but no maps will load with the mod; they all crash on startup. And, I can't find any info about it on the web. I assume it's no longer in development. In any case, I'm not entirely sure if the mod creator is the one responsible for these sprites, or if he, too, found them elsewhere. Still, I must give credit where credit is due, and all I can say is that the sprites I touched up were found in this mod.

Even editing something is not the easiest thing, however. Besides working closely with a total mess of pixels in every frame...
UPq9afi.png

Making it difficult to dissect exactly where each pixel should go, there are also other obstacles, such as palette conversion. Palette conversion refers to the way Dune 2000 digests colors. That particular shade of pink is transparent, a specific shade of black makes semi-transparent shadow pixels, and various shades of gray become faction color. This can differ between spritesets, often demanding I plug in a first draft only to have to replace multiple pixels around the frame that are not supposed to be faction color, and correct the pixels that are meant to be faction color with a different shade of gray.

In order to get these new Gun Turrets, I started with the spriteset for... I believe they called it the "Heavy Tank."
MbdFK9f.png

For the Combat Tanks in Dune 2000, their bodies are separate from the turrets atop them. In this spriteset, the turret is part of the tank. So the first thing I had to do was separate the barrels from the body, perhaps the most involved process besides redoing the coloration.
kTWuYSE.png

Once the basic shape was done, it was a simple process to add some shadows beneath the main body of the turret.
cIskfqx.png

I then had to crop the images.
qPsBj88.png

All 32 frames had to be aligned properly, lest they wind up looking like this in-game:
x2kgsBg.png

The flash is a recolored Devastator flash.
XAWYlsz.png

All of those frames had to be aligned too, which finally produced something decent-looking:
qNJVyqy.png

Finally, I used the Trike's body as a basis for the new color on the sides of the turret in each frame, next to where the new faction color was added.
5siyK8n.png
qE1NEPa.png

32 frames later, and a new sidebar icon by @AZ-Stalker, we have a new Autogun Turret. Yay.
CAyOL0D.png

Giving this new turret a proper sound involved some workarounds too. Dune 2000 can only play so many sounds at once. Introducing a new rapid fire turret is bound to either have bad sound, itself, or break the game's sound in other ways. What I decided on doing was, I gave it a new, very fast sound. Because the sound doesn't last very long at all, it's less likely to mess with other sounds in the game. This is obviously not perfect, but neither was the original game. I did what I could.

The sound is one of the Hammerhead firing sounds from C&C3:KW.

Here's a download link:
AGTs.zip

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 to the default state of the game.

Have fun.

Edited by Fey
typo lol
  • Upvote 2

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I can tell there are hours of work on this, and having a anti-infantry turret it brings variety into the game.

It is indeed a really good piece of work.

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22 minutes ago, Cm_blast said:

I can tell there are hours of work on this, and having a anti-infantry turret it brings variety into the game.

It is indeed a really good piece of work.

Many thanks and much appreciated, Cm. :) Enjoy. Hope this goes to some good use in upcoming campaigns!

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Yes, I'll use that, and that shotgunner probably too. Individually in certain missions on a certain campaign (so not always) but still, this is something I will make use in the future.

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1 minute ago, Cm_blast said:

Yes, I'll use that, and that shotgunner probably too. Individually in certain missions on a certain campaign (so not always) but still, this is something I will make use in the future.

:D Sweet. FYI, I just updated the Shotgunner standalone with the new sidebar icon, so that's 100% done too.

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Great job man, indeed there are tons of work involved in this so thanks for making this available for everyone.

I will also be using this, quite possibly include it in a few missions of my upcoming July new campaign.

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5 hours ago, Feda said:

Great job man, indeed there are tons of work involved in this so thanks for making this available for everyone.

I will also be using this, quite possibly include it in a few missions of my upcoming July new campaign.

Thanks! I did my best. :)

I'm SUPER excited for the next installment of your legendary campaign, Feda! So glad these beauties are making their debut there, of all places.

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For anyone who may be interested...
AGT&SG.zip

A little while ago I came out with a standalone mod for Light Infantry. Related thread here:
https://forum.dune2k.com/topic/28716-shotgunners-light-infantry-graphicssoundweapon-mod/

Now that the Autogun Turret is complete, and with Feda's new launcher coming out soon (the one that will allow us to load mods on a per-mission basis), the Autogun Turret and standard Light Infantry together might be a little too much pew pew and not enough kaboom. So, that download link up there contains both the Autogun Turret and Shotgunner.

Someone else looking to add one or the other to the standalone mods would have had to go rifling through TibEd, importing and adjusting all the sprites, and sorting the sound effects. Figured I'd take care of it myself for those looking to make new maps with both and for those who just want to play with both.

Enjoy.

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The new gun turret is a great addition to the growing community arsenal. Fantastic work as usual!

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4 hours ago, AZ-Stalker said:

The new gun turret is a great addition to the growing community arsenal. Fantastic work as usual!

Thanks so much, AZ. :) I hope you enjoy using or playing with it on whichever maps you do!

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