I have zero training in 3d animation, but I believe that animations cannot be applied from one unit to another unless those units share essentially the same skeleton (I believe the term is bones). It is common in games to reuse and reskin units for purposes like these, but I am quite sure that in other 3d Age games (such as AoE3, AoM, and AoEO) Villagers and Infantry do not share animations.
It’s currently pretty common to use the same skeletal rig for every humanoid in your project. You can reuse animations between them easily. And even without that rebaking animations between different humanoid skins (rigs) is a matter of seconds. It also allows batching for skinned objects. I would be very surprised if they don’t go this way.
I don’t know. They simply decided not to, or their custom engine is too outdated and required custom work to make it work (I doubt that).
All they would have to do is hide currently equipped weapon (and I bet it’s part the the main mesh) and replace it with a hammer.
I don’t know what their engine looks or works like, but I’d imagine it woud allow simply things like this, since it worked in Company of Heroes and had infantry changing their weapons when performing repairs or building objects, and most of those animations were shared between units/factions.
That’s one of the big benefits of 3D… I would also be very surprised if that was not the case. Especially with previous production pipelines involving a lot of humans (CoH) and human-like creatures (DaW) to animate.
Placeholder needed due to time constraints → Use ghost boys since that can be sold as part of the golden ghosts theme AND they are already animated to construct (buildings, but nobody will notice once the animation is sped up like crazy).
Someone: “RTS is not about watching little men swing their hammers. If you want that go play total war”.
Another someone: “If units are to have building animations, they need to switch their weapons to the hammers and tools. It would be difficult to give all units such a transition animation in a super realistic way. Otherwise they would have whatever in their hands changed to a hammer instantly, which looks really dumb. So it’s better not to give them any building animations at all.”
I’m gonna tell you the real answer: it’s hard work, aka it’s in the road map for 2025 to justify their budget. You see, they have a “that will do” person in a decision making position. Whenever someone comes with an issue, the answer is always “just leave it like that, that will do”.
“That’s nitpicking. It looks good-enough as it is and when you are playing you don’t pay attention to those things”.
I really feel like these overly blind fans with all these excuses are the bane of AoE IV because when you add everything up, the game ends up being extremely simplistic and repetitive. And it’s not because they had anything to do with AoE’s development, but because the gaming industry have been keeping an eye on these “apologists” and see them as the endorsement needed to release half-baked products. We now know walls and keeps are reskinned 3d models but “nah, that’s fine”. And now we have telekinetic soldiers.