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By now you should have managed to understand that:

  • .bha, .bh3 and .tga files are required to make a single unit sprite.
  • unit_graphics governs the appearance of the unit,
  • anim_graphics governs the animation of the unit,
  • unitrules governs the unit stats,
  • balance.xml and craftrules.xml govern the abilities of the unit,
  • typenames.xml and help.xml allow you to write player information about the unit.

In this section we will talk about anilmation. Without proper animation, the unit will not move normally and will appear to be floating around when it should be walking.

Putting the files into the ./art folder here however isn't enough since Rise of Nations won't recognise them. To do this, you need to edit/create a new version of anim_graphics.xml and insert into a ./data folder which sits on the same level as you ./art folder. Note that for a mod, the former must be inserted into the self-same folder of the mod you are working on - in our case, ./mods/Age of Darkness/.

In anim_graphics.xml there are 3 areas: <LOOPING>, <NONLOOPING> and <BUILDING>:

  • <LOOPING> is for animations that are meant to loop together. This is where movement and idle animations are listed.
  • <NONLOOPING> is for "one-off" animations, which are your death animations and attack animations.
  • <BUILDING> is for animations associated with buildings.

So let's begin by preparing the anim_graphics.xml file to receive the animations for our Panzerfaust infantry.

We begin by inserting the following under <LOOPING> ....

Panzerfaulst.4

And then under <NONLOOPING> ....

Panzerfaulst.41

Notice the entries "ANIM name" and "file" and the variables associated with them with quote marks (" ... "). Each entry represents the file which you've just coded in, and when RoN sees the name of the animation associated with a CHAR ANIM tag under unit_graphics.xml, it will play the animation associated with the ANIM NAME specified under anim_graphics.xml.

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