To Do List

Updated 06 January 2015

This page has not yet been fully updated to reflect changes in v1.06 in Arulco Vacations

This page is intended to be a To Do List of ideas for the next versions of Arulco Vacations. It is also a place where you can submit ideas, wants, needs, thoughts, whatever regarding Arulco Vacations. Therefore it is a place where you can see what is going to happen to Arulco Vacations in the future.

More mapwork
In process. Continuing the work already started to completely re-do the entire map of Arulco, including adding some small islands. All the cities &SAM sites have been modified, including Orta & Tixa but I will re-visit them all, especially Meduna. The underground maps have begun to be modified, and work will continue on them.

Tweak the gear selection
Done. Every named character in the game has had their Gear Kit re-designed. - and for v1.05 I tweaked a some to better represent the characters. Tweaking is ongoing for all characters, including I.M.P. starting gear.

More RPCs
For v1.05, in addition to Commander Jane Shepard, we now have the PCM+ mod customized for Arulco Vacations -- that makes all the Head Miners, Skyrider, Maria DaSilva, Alex Perkopolis, and Joey Graham recruitable. It also adds Rude Dog (from Urban Chaos) and Jerry Melo (from Unfinished Business) as M.E.R.C. mercenaries -- all thanks to Scheinworld from The Bear's Pit. More recruitable characters are planned.

More Voice Sets

Thanks to merc05 we now have a 4th & 5th voice set for female I.M.P.s Work will continue on making more voice sets available.

More factions
Get a little more distinction between different elements of Arulcan society -- Indigenous, working poor (rural & town), middle class, rich, tourists, gangs (unorganized crime), bosses (pro-Queen), union workers (anti-Queen). That sort of thing. While the game engine does not have varying levels of interaction -- just three: friendly, not involved, enemy -- there are some things that can be done in this regard to make the game a little more interesting and complex. There is a factions mod (JA2: Militia Factions Mod) so the basics of what I want to do here has been done, but in a different finished form. I probably can't get everything I want here, but I won't get anything if I don't try.

Along the same lines, for v1.04, I expanded Kingpin's area of operations, connected Tony with his gun smugglers across the country, gave the Hick Family some 'cousins' in Cambria, and had Jasmin the Terrorist do what he does best -- organize his own militia -- effectively making them all more important to consider on a strategic basis.For v1.05 I increased the Rebel presence in Arulco. I also added many civilian factions, but they are basically just removed from the general population faction at this point, in preparation for bigger things to come.

Modified tilesets
This will really make Arulco Vacations incompatible with other mods, including v1.13 . . . so it is not something to do lightly. However, a little hard and lengthy work here can pay huge dividends. This won't happen for a while -- but maybe sooner than I thought because with every map i make i get more frustrated with the redundancies in the tilesets that limit the available options.

Modified portraits
Unlike the tilesets, modified portraits are not a compatibility problem at all. What I envision here is simply smoothing out some roughness in the original portraits. It's a cosmetic thing, so doesn't have high priority. It's something to do when I'm bored and don't want to think about breaking the game. New portraits for I.M.P.s have been added for v1.05, and more are in the works.

Different Loadscreens
Done but not finished. As of v1.05 there are 93 new loadscreens, the vast majority done by D.G., and more are coming.

Character Backgrounds
Done but not finished. All the Backgrounds have been enhanced, all the characters without Backgrounds have had them assigned, new backgrounds created, old Backgrounds are enhanced greatly. Many more Backgrounds are available for I.M.P.s, and more are coming -- more backgrounds to create and more tweaks to existing ones.

Character Profiles & Opinions
Well into it but not finished. MercProfiles.XML controls such aspects of character as Race, Racism, Sex, Sexism, Appearance, Care Level, Refinement, Buddies, Hated Individuals, Attitude and much more. The MercOpinions.XML controls every character's relationship with every other character. Basically I am focusing on relationships but not ignoring all the other aspects of these control file. Many of the characters of v1.13 never actually met in the JA series, and so their relationships are blank. Others have funky relationships that don't really make sense. Still others have relationships made for reasons of transient plot lines that are not needed anymore, nor ever were really. I brought them all up to date and refined them. All the new recruitable characters from the PCM+ addition to Arulco Vacations have been brought up to the same standard as the 'legacy' characters. Much more needs to be done to fine-tune this file. At present you will find that Sociable, Loner & Dauntless characters will prefer to be on the same team with others of the same inclination. As well, Sociables and Loners won't get along very well with each other. More, much more to be done. this is a huge undertaking.

Civilian Equality
Done. I decided that in all my maps all the civilians will be created using the "Regular" Male and Female animated figure instead of the "Civilian" animated figures. The reason being that the Civilian figures lack all the animations of the Regular figures -- and therefore cannot fight. This lack of fighting ability means they are inconsequential to gameplay, and also that when they become zombies they crash the game. Note that you will not experience a zombie apocolypse in Arulco Vacations (unless you hang around the tactical screen when there's fresh kill everywhere), but even one can cause frustration. Just because civilians will become able to fight doesn't mean I intend them to fight, or that they will fight -- just that if you directly attack them and they cannot hide they will try to defend themselves as if they were real people instead of falling to the ground defenceless. They will all be set to act completely defensive in nature. However, an errant shot that nearly hits them is the same to them as a direct attack. Since they are not militarily trained for the most part (hence the label: civilian) they will only have Bad to Average abilities, mostly Poor. Of course, I will put a few older (grey-haired) civilians here and there who are retired veterans. Other reasons for this tweak is that these civilians are the people who become your militia, and, as well, having a subset of sub-humans is a very bad subconscious lesson to learn from a game . . .

Tweaked NCTH
Done but probably not finished. I have been loathe to touch the New Chance To Hit (NCTH) system because there are many variables that are all inter-related, and I did not understand or have a feel for how they all worked together. However, with a lot of play-testing and a lot of research in different forums and websites, and with my 7 years experience with The Camo Workshop & SPCamo (now defunct) modding the Steel Panthers series, I feel confident to give a little tweak to the NCTH system without breaking it. Play-testing this very important tweak has been successful so far, and I now want Player input before making any more changes.

Alternate Enemy Weapon & Item Choices
One way to give an entirely different character to gameplay in Arulco Vacations is to have alternate Enemy Weapon & Item Choice files that can be switched in as wanted. The current set is basically surplus U.S.A. weapon & items with a new influx of Russian & Eastern Europe weapons & items for the better troops. A natural alternative is to assume that Russia is funding the Queen and the bulk of the weapons & items are Russian. Another is to assume a local South American supply of arms & items. This one would need a few more items added to the Items.XML, but that is planned to be done anyway. As well, we can also assume a very strong Romanian connection, as the Queen is Romanian -- again, with the addition of necessary items.

More Items!
Do I even have to say it? Of course I will be adding more items. If there is something you cannot do without . . . let me know and I'll put it in. Otherwise the items that will be added are intended to deepen the role-play aspect of the game, and make it more immersive.

More Merchants
The framework is there but I haven't yet had the time to learn how to implement new merchants. When I do have the time . . . well then, I will then decide what kind of merchants are needed! On the other hand, expanding the inventories of the Merchants already in-game has been implemented in v1.03 and will continue.

Army Enhancements

For v1.05 I added medics, mechanics and radio operators to most of the map sectors I have worked on. Basically, I simply outfitted a few of the possible Enemies to have medic, mechanic or radio operator equipment. They are there as another source of 'treasure' for the Player, and for more realism in the Arulcan Army. 

. . . and other stuff I can't think of at the moment . . .

No, not more guns . . . we got enough weapons . . . OK, maybe a howitzer.
(just kidding, yo . . . well, maybe a WWII infantry cannon . . .)
(. . . or a bazooka . . .) 


  1. The Civilian tweak makes perfect sense and sounds interesting.

  2. Replies
    1. Glad you like it! It is a great wargame, perhaps the best of it's type. But then, I'm a bit biased.

  3. for your modified portraits section

    1. Thanks! I took a look at your work -- impressive!

    2. it wasn't my work, but considering the tasks you outlined, I thought it might be a helpful tool to save you some time, energy and frustration.

  4. I'd love to see an update of this page, phrased as in whats to do til 1.04 (eagerly awaiting that release to replay JA2)

    1. Thank you, Charles, for your enthusiasm for v1.04. After a summer of real-life preventing me from doing much work on AV I now have some time to devote to v1.04 again. I am just now deciding what has to be done to get v1.04 out the door. I have enough work on my to-do list right now to keep me occupied for months, but like you I'd really like to -play- the game soon. There's enough done already to warrant a release, but I want just a little more added before I do. I need to put the new loadscreens in, probably update all the civilians & soldiers in all the sectors I haven't modified yet, might replace some music, add in another female I.M.P. portrait to replace the one given to Commander Shepard, synchronize MercOpinions.XML with the modified MercProfiles.xml (and playtest it), expand Kingpin's area of operations, and expand Tony's faction to include the gun smugglers. That would be a nice minimum. I might decide to also modify a few more maps (like the smuggler hideouts) . . . or just finish modifying Grumm and Tixa. I hope that answers your wuestion for the present -- in time I will do as you suggest and update this page to reflect v1.04 progress.

    2. Progress update: replaced the I.M.P portrait, synchronized MercProfiles & MercOpinions, expandeded Kingpin's area of operations, standardized all the Arulcan Army on all the maps I have modified, tweaked the civilians on all the maps I have already modified, tweaked the terrain on all the maps I have already modified, including tweaking Grumm & Tixa . . . also, experimented with new I.M.P. portraits but haven't gotten that ready for prime time yet . . . decided not to futz with the music for this release . . . so I'm thinking a v1.04 release may be within a couple weeks if real life doesn't interfere too heavily.

  5. Hey Ed, like your mod so far day 1 9:07am . can talk to Devin, but try to buy and get debug save screen : shopkeeper script line 990. is this useful for you, or something i did?

    1. Try Devin again. Another report of this bug from a Player says she was able to buy from Devin the next time she saw him. So it seems to be an intermittent thing. It is also a hard-coded error, not anything from my mod -- so it seems to be something that doesn't happen often. When I get the chance I'll try to figure it out.

  6. I wish it was something immediately useful for me but I haven't fiddled with the shopkeeper script. So it is nothing you or I did . . . I think. I will look into it and see what I can see. Thank you for letting me know.

  7. Ed, wrote you this morning about devin, did fresh install. this time instead of hurrying dialogue, let them play entirely through. don't know if this was solution, but was able to conduct business. just so u may not have to tear into the exe file . . .