Home » MODDING HQ 1.13 » v1.13 Feature Requests » Pack animal (Donkey)! (For the packrats out there)
icon5.gif  Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361247] Sat, 12 September 2020 16:43 Go to next message
Kurt

 
Messages:335
Registered:March 2004
I'd like to see a pack animal of sorts, a donkey you could buy at some place, and which has an inventory and a huge carrying capacity (Strength 500!).

Technically it would most likely be a hirable merc with an one-time salary (or none, who cares) and a special body. That's the part I'm unsure about - Is that even possible? It shouldn't be able to fight, climb or change stance, so that simplifies the graphic/animation requirements.

Other than that, it would work just a (silent) merc, with "nervous", "hates insects", "claustrophobic", "non-swimmer" traits, and a low stealth setting. Obviously it shouldn't be able to enter the Hummer, but it could enter the Icecream truck...
Some mercs would not like it ("Stinks!"), others would take to it, and get a temporary morality hit if it is killed... The buddy system can handle that just fine.
Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361248 is a reply to message #361247] Sat, 12 September 2020 17:13 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:1352
Registered:January 2015
Location: Home Free
Quote:

I'd like to see a pack animal of sorts, a donkey you could buy at some place, and which has an inventory and a huge carrying capacity (Strength 500!).

Technically it would most likely be a hirable merc with an one-time salary (or none, who cares) and a special body. That's the part I'm unsure about - Is that even possible? It shouldn't be able to fight, climb or change stance, so that simplifies the graphic/animation requirements.
It's possible, but a lot of work, some of it very skilled work. However . . . there may be a way to hack it all together with the pieces already there, but you'll have to make concessions. I'm thinking using the cow graphic and assigning it to a vehicle. In all aspects it would be a vehicle (with zero occupancy) with the cow graphic . . . if that is possible. I haven't tried it, but it might be. It does mean using one of the very few (6) vehicle slots.






Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361250 is a reply to message #361248] Sat, 12 September 2020 18:21 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2760
Registered:May 2009
And how are you going to move the donkey? A vehicle requires a driver. cheeky

I fear that it's currently not possible to make this idea a reality. Who would want to use one anyway? It would only slow your squad down a lot.
Our "donkeys" are called Hummer, Jeep and Ice Cream Truck and in my opinion they are far more useful.



Wildfire Maps Mod 6.07 on SVN: https://ja2svn.mooo.com/source/ja2/branches/Wanne/JA2%201.13%20Wildfire%206.06%20-%20Maps%20MOD

Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361251 is a reply to message #361250] Sat, 12 September 2020 19:10 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
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Quote:

And how are you going to move the donkey? A vehicle requires a driver. cheeky
True. I forgot about that. So, then we look at hacking it in as a RPC like one mod did for a Bloodcat. If there's a will there might be a way . . . I just ain't got the will to delve any deeper into it.


EDIT: Actually . . . you need someone to take care and lead the donkey . . . and that would be the driver.

[Updated on: Sat, 12 September 2020 19:52]







Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361253 is a reply to message #361251] Sat, 12 September 2020 21:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2760
Registered:May 2009
*shuts door* *plonk* "Hey nice, this donkey has a steering wheel!" ROFL
At least we have movement type "foot" in Vehicles.xml. aww



Wildfire Maps Mod 6.07 on SVN: https://ja2svn.mooo.com/source/ja2/branches/Wanne/JA2%201.13%20Wildfire%206.06%20-%20Maps%20MOD

Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361255 is a reply to message #361253] Sun, 13 September 2020 00:35 Go to previous messageGo to next message
SinMachina

 
Messages:48
Registered:August 2020
Aside from the fact that you can only have 1 disability, I don't understand how this would be overly difficult if you did make a cow graphic into a vehicle. Also, there are still several empty MercProfile slots available ed, so unless someone has added something like 20 new mercs from the base sci using the empty slots then we would be fine that way. As far as requiring a driver, is it at all possible to make 2 merc profiles and have them tied together? As in, they are both in the same part, of the same sector at spawn, and they won't leave the sector without the other? That would, ofcourse, require 2 profiles, but if it were just a cow on a cow [hey man, it's nature alright], then I don't see the problem?
Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361258 is a reply to message #361255] Sun, 13 September 2020 02:48 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
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Quote:
Also, there are still several empty MercProfile slots available
Max number of vehicles is 6. That's what I was referring to. 1.13 has vehicle slots open. Mods may or may not have vehicle slots open. Their movement and armor rating are determined differently than a human character. There are probably coding differences I don't know about.

You could hack a pack-cow as a character or a vehicle, I suppose. I don't know how exactly you'd go about doing it as I'm sure there's a lot of stuff that has to be accounted for, and I don't have the time to dive into that. Nor would I be much help except to kludge things together as I don't do code. But if as a character . . . why not just hire It? happy

I can see the reason for having it, and it would be an appropriate JA2 joke, I think, but I don't have any say over what goes into 1.13. My mod already has all 6 vehicles, and I'd hate to lose one for a pack-cow.

[Updated on: Sun, 13 September 2020 02:50]







Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361259 is a reply to message #361258] Sun, 13 September 2020 06:32 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Wolfe

 
Messages:38
Registered:July 2019
In principal it sounds like a great idea and mules & donkeys are used by militaries all over the world still. Just seems like it is something that can't be done with existing technology. I would figure a peasant walking ahead of it ahead of the beast. I'd love horses but I don't think that will happen.
Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361262 is a reply to message #361259] Sun, 13 September 2020 11:39 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2760
Registered:May 2009
I'd rather see a few more vehicles in stock 1.13. An old rusted car/pickup/van would perfectly fit the setting. It would be even better if we'd have to buy them from the owner, but that requires additional coding. Unfortunately new vehicles require new graphics and who is going to do them?



Wildfire Maps Mod 6.07 on SVN: https://ja2svn.mooo.com/source/ja2/branches/Wanne/JA2%201.13%20Wildfire%206.06%20-%20Maps%20MOD

Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361267 is a reply to message #361262] Sun, 13 September 2020 16:23 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kurt

 
Messages:335
Registered:March 2004
I specifically suggested making it a merc to avoid the limitations of a vehicle (needs driver, no morale, difficult to be killed, is repaired instead of healed, need I go on?). More so since it doesn't need a vehicle's capacity for passengers. All it needs is an inventory, and that's something mercs have.

It's just a cheap/free merc, one who doesn't fight, but who can carry way more than the strongest human. It makes sense to make it a merc, and that would be a breeze if it weren't for the special "bodytype". I have no idea how this is encoded, and if it's possible to add a new one ("female, male, big male, donkey"), else I would had already done it...


As for the "why":

The advantage of a donkey over using a vehicle (besides not needing fuel) is that a donkey can go anywhere a human can. That means it can follow your team in environments no vehicle can go, not even the Hummer (shallow swamps, dense forests, mountains, underground...).

The point of having one is added carrying capacity, especially since JA2 is constantly adding things to lug around (now food!). Think about it - Ammo, food & water, spare/special weapons, a donkey can carry as much as 2-3 mercs while leaving your combat team light and agile.
Now obviously if you usually travel light you won't need it, but I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one to make long expeditions carrying along a lot of supplies "just in case". (Also I often travel cross-country, through sectors even the Hummer can't follow.)

As for the donkey graphics, how difficult can it be? Since it doesn't fight or climb or do anything except walk, I guess it only needs a pic of the donkey facing the 8 directions, and one where it is lying down (dying/dead). I probably could make those, if somebody gives me the specs and takes care of the subsequent encoding.

Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361268 is a reply to message #361267] Sun, 13 September 2020 17:41 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2760
Registered:May 2009
It won't work. The game has no interface, no animations and no options or parameters for animals. A merc can't be turned into a donkey.

If you want a mule so badly, then just create a new RPC with 100 strength, set all his abilities to 0, place him on the map and set him up for hire. That's the best you can get with what the game has to offer.



Wildfire Maps Mod 6.07 on SVN: https://ja2svn.mooo.com/source/ja2/branches/Wanne/JA2%201.13%20Wildfire%206.06%20-%20Maps%20MOD

Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361270 is a reply to message #361267] Sun, 13 September 2020 18:43 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
Messages:1352
Registered:January 2015
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Quote:
how difficult can it be?
Well, for one, neither I nor you can do the graphics. Judging by the attempts in the past to try to get more animations for various things the prospect of an artist showing up willing to do this is minimal.

Character and vehicle slots are valuable because there are a limited number of them. Yes, there are free slots. Yes, a pack animal to traverse the sectors a vehicle can't is a Good Thing (TM). However . . . you mention food. Pack animals gotta eat too. How far down the rabbit hole do you want to go? Animal Training as a skill? Veterinarian Mercs? Kill and eat it when you're starving? All of this can be done if one has the right skills, the time, and the will. That's why we have mods of JA2, that's why we have 1.13, and that's why we have mods built on 1.13. Perhaps you can lobby for the inclusion of a pack animal in 1.13, but you'll have much greater success in that if you can mod the pack animal yourself as your own mod and present it for consideration to be included in 1.13.






Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361272 is a reply to message #361268] Sun, 13 September 2020 22:59 Go to previous messageGo to next message
DepressivesBrot

 
Messages:3731
Registered:July 2009
silversurfer wrote on Sun, 13 September 2020 16:41
A merc can't be turned into a donkey.
Wouldn't even be the weirdest thing we turn a merc into big grin



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Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361276 is a reply to message #361268] Mon, 14 September 2020 15:19 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kurt

 
Messages:335
Registered:March 2004
silversurfer wrote on Sun, 13 September 2020 16:41
It won't work. The game has no interface, no animations and no options or parameters for animals.
I would have thought that required animations are standard, as in "walking towards NE = NEwalkinganim.foo, walking towards SW = SWwalkinganim.foo, and so on".

Also, I repeat, I'm willing to do those graphics if somebody gives me the specs. This is a sprite-based game, it's just about rendering out the couple key frames the game loops.

As for interface and parameters, I don't see what might be missing, as the donkey would only stand, walk, run and die. He does nothing which human mercs don't do, so it doesn't need any special user interface. You could even live with the standard human merc inventory, since I guess that part would need some re-coding: Just give it an (irremovable) "donkey pack" backpack. It would look a little silly displaying the wrong body shape, but that's just cosmetic and wouldn't affect its use.

The only difficult point, and that's a question for devs, is how we can push its carrying capacity way over a human's 100%. It clearly can be done, since the "bodybuilder" trait helps with carrying capacity. Maybe the donkey just needs a "super-bodybuilder trait" allowing it to carry 4 times (or more) than a human?

Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361277 is a reply to message #361270] Mon, 14 September 2020 15:40 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kurt

 
Messages:335
Registered:March 2004
edmortimer wrote on Sun, 13 September 2020 17:43
Well, for one, neither I nor you can do the graphics.
Please re-read my posts. Not only am I able, I already offered (twice) to do so.

All I ask for is the specs I don't know, like what does the game need and expect (size, format, color depth, etc.).


edmortimer wrote on Sun, 13 September 2020 17:43
Pack animals gotta eat too.
Pack animals just eat what grows on the ground, and donkeys are very rustic creatures, so unless in a pure sand desert they can live off the land.

TL;DR: No food requirements for it.


edmortimer wrote on Sun, 13 September 2020 17:43
Animal Training as a skill? Veterinarian Mercs?
Well, if somebody sees a point in those (I don't), he can add them later on.
For the time being the point, my point, is just to have a pack animal carrying the mercs' heavy stuff.


edmortimer wrote on Sun, 13 September 2020 17:43
you'll have much greater success in that if you can mod the pack animal yourself as your own mod and present it for consideration to be included in 1.13.
I can do the graphics, but definitely not the integration into the game engine, that's why I'm appealing to other people who might be able and interested to help me.
But apparently the very idea is giving you guys the hives.
Oh well, I'll suggest it again in 10 years...
Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361278 is a reply to message #361276] Mon, 14 September 2020 15:54 Go to previous messageGo to next message
silversurfer

 
Messages:2760
Registered:May 2009
Kurt wrote on Mon, 14 September 2020 14:19

As for interface and parameters, I don't see what might be missing, as the donkey would only stand, walk, run and die. He does nothing which human mercs don't do, so it doesn't need any special user interface. You could even live with the standard human merc inventory, since I guess that part would need some re-coding: Just give it an (irremovable) "donkey pack" backpack. It would look a little silly displaying the wrong body shape, but that's just cosmetic and wouldn't affect its use.
Your donkey would be able to stand, walk, run, crouch, crawl, climb fences and walls. He could wear NV goggles, Extended Ears, EOD armor, a full Ghillie suit and LBE. It might be a hilarious sight, but it won't fit JA2.
On top of that you can't give him super strength or more than one disability. I also wonder how you want to "glue" a backpack to the donkey and what people may say when the donkey talks to them.

"yee-haw"
"Um, yeah buddy. How ya doin'? Want a carrot?" ROFL

This might be funny in a personal mod, but I don't see this happen for the main JA2 trunk.

[Updated on: Mon, 14 September 2020 15:55]




Wildfire Maps Mod 6.07 on SVN: https://ja2svn.mooo.com/source/ja2/branches/Wanne/JA2%201.13%20Wildfire%206.06%20-%20Maps%20MOD

Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361281 is a reply to message #361278] Mon, 14 September 2020 16:28 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kurt

 
Messages:335
Registered:March 2004
silversurfer wrote on Mon, 14 September 2020 14:54
Your donkey would be able to stand, walk, run, crouch, crawl, climb fences and walls. He could wear NV goggles, Extended Ears, EOD armor, a full Ghillie suit and LBE.
No, obviously not...
There are means to restrict that I guess, but that's why I need input from people knowing the code underneath. And even if there isn't any, you can always put the "donkey" merc in an irremovable "donkey skin" armor which precludes wearing anything else. (See below for the "irremovable" part)


silversurfer wrote on Mon, 14 September 2020 14:54
On top of that you can't give him super strength or more than one disability.
Super strength might not be possible indeed, but as I already said, "Bodybuilder" increases carrying capacity, so there clearly is a way to do it. Now obviously I don't know what the limits are. Once again, question for somebody who knows the relevant code. I can't read code to save my life.

As for the disabilities, I was just brainstorming; Just give him "no swimmer" and be done with it.
It's really not the most important aspect, is it.


silversurfer wrote on Mon, 14 September 2020 14:54
I also wonder how you want to "glue" a backpack to the donkey and what people may say when the donkey talks to them.
I don't see why the donkey would talk to people. I'm pretty sure making it mute is very easy.

As for the irremovable backpack, I'm just throwing out ideas to see what sticks. Only a dev can say "that's doable", "that's not doable, but using this we could achieve something similar" or "impossible, it would take me more time than I want to spend".


People, stop wasting your time trying to find reasons why this is a bad idea.
You do not like the idea, message received.
Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361284 is a reply to message #361277] Mon, 14 September 2020 20:52 Go to previous messageGo to next message
edmortimer

 
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Registered:January 2015
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Quote:

All I ask for is the specs I don't know, like what does the game need and expect (size, format, color depth, etc.).

All I can do is point you to the file: anims.slf. In there you will find animations. Animations added after the base game can be found in the anims folder of either Data or Data-1.13 . . . or various mods.

I use Dragon Unpacker to get at what's inside the SLF files.

You'll need a STI Editor to view/edit/save the files, and you'll need to work on the JSD files also, probably . . . that's deep inside one of my knowledge gaps, I haven't gone there yet. However, you can find Hawkeye's threads on JSDs and STIs on the forum.

As for how everything works . . . a lot of times you will have to take something similar apart to see how it goes together in order to learn what you want to do. Also, trial and error . . . a lot of trial and error. Modders have come and gone here and their knowledge sometimes left with them.

I can't help with the code.







Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361286 is a reply to message #361284] Mon, 14 September 2020 23:31 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kurt

 
Messages:335
Registered:March 2004
edmortimer wrote on Mon, 14 September 2020 19:52
All I can do is [...]
Thanks, now that was constructive. Thanks. happy


edmortimer wrote on Mon, 14 September 2020 19:52
you will have to take something similar apart to see how it goes together
Well, there isn't anything similar I'm aware of...

And before I start off on a wild goose hunt, I'd like to be sure the fundamentals are possible, and someone of the devs is interested in doing them (for I definitely won't touch the code myself!). I'm talking about the special body type and the exceptional weight allowance.
Without a special body type ("donkey"), replacing the merc animations with mine would turn some/most mercs into donkeys... ROFL
There is also little point in creating a pack animal which can't carry more than a human. In this case I'd rather cheat me some IMPs with 100 strength and "Bodybuilder", and be done.

This is why I posted this here, in the "Feature Request" forum, instead of just asking in "Modding" if somebody can give me some pointers to how the animation files work. Graphics are just the chocolate coating on the cake, the main problem is baking the cake, and I'm no baker developer...
Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361290 is a reply to message #361286] Tue, 15 September 2020 04:03 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Hawkeye

 
Messages:2198
Registered:October 2005
Location: Australia
In regard to anims maybe get on Discord and chat to Rustknight, Asdow and Taro on their animation project. If you are able to use Blender you may get a running start as they'll have a rendering pipeline suitable for JA sprite work, though there's is configured for human animations. The possible way to go is then find a rigged donkey model for blender, or a model you will have to rig yourself.

If you are doing it the old fashioned way and want to push some pixel in 8 directions, good luck with that.


Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361292 is a reply to message #361286] Tue, 15 September 2020 05:12 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kitty

 
Messages:233
Registered:October 2017
Location: Germany
Kurt wrote on Mon, 14 September 2020 23:31

... , replacing the merc animations with mine would turn some/most mercs into donkeys...
There is nothing that's new under heaven:

In Fallout Tactics, there is a Brahim Hide, that, when worn, turns the character into Brahim.



I need more details. (Didi Hallervorden)

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Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361300 is a reply to message #361290] Tue, 15 September 2020 15:00 Go to previous messageGo to next message
Kurt

 
Messages:335
Registered:March 2004
Hawkeye wrote on Tue, 15 September 2020 03:03
If you are able to use Blender
Not specifically Blender, but CG has been one of my many hobbies, for 20 years, and I have all the needed tools.


Hawkeye wrote on Tue, 15 September 2020 03:03
The possible way to go is then find a rigged donkey model
Done: I've bought one a long time ago, I'd just need to add some packs to it (very easy to model, they're just rounded cubes).
That's why I'm so confident the graphics aren't an issue. They'll just need a little postwork to blend in with the hand-drawn graphics of JA.


As I said, graphics are not an issue. Creating a new merc bodytype, and giving it an exceptional carrying capacity without breaking everything is.
Re: Pack animal (Donkey)![message #361301 is a reply to message #361292] Tue, 15 September 2020 15:03 Go to previous message
Kurt

 
Messages:335
Registered:March 2004
Kitty wrote on Tue, 15 September 2020 04:12
In Fallout Tactics, there is a Brahim Hide, that, when worn, turns the character into Brahim.
It existed already in Fallout 2 IIRC.

But in our case here it would be rather annoying to hire mercs and get asses... big grin
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