I thought more about how I should proceed with certain aspects. First of all the licensing: Although I still plan to keep the mod NC-free, I am aware that at least for a while I'll rely on some of the existing TDM assets (especially defs and character animations). So my policy for now will be "include no NC stuff but link to some NC stuff from vanilla TDM for functionality" (mainly definition inheritance). I'll likely document all dependencies on builtin definitions in a text file, so that I know what could be rewritten at a later stage.
Unfortunately this means that this might have to become a secondary project for me, which I won't be able to give full attention to: My hope was to avoid any connection to NC assets, both because it's how I want the mod to be but also because I hoped to make this a Patreon project (to some extent). I know some might want to grab their pitchforks and torches at me merely considering that, even with the non-commercial assets being excluded from the equation... hopefully it's understood that what I want to achieve is going to take years of dedication, and with Patreon being the only thing keeping me off the streets this would have been extremely helpful. Unless I make a full break from the NC assets and rely only on the GPL code however, I'll have to treat this as a free project in the meantime and only make limited informative mentions of it... meaning progress will be slower, though I'm never the less determined to make it come true.
Back to the above announced models: I've decided that, in case I am able to code new weapons using my own scripts, I'll also try porting some of the guns from Xonotic in addition to the player models. They will however have different functionalities and purposes if I do. Also I think I'm going to keep the original names and lore behind everything I take from Xonotic; For instance, the Erebus model will likely still be called Erebus! That way I can also bring the world of Xonotic into TDM rather than just the assets, which I think will be an unique and interesting crossover
I've also devised a repository structure: Each component of the mod will be included in its own sub-directory. There will be a shell script that automatically generates and updates every pk4, converting changes in GIT to playable content easily. As of yet the repository has not been created, and this will happen once the player models are ready so that there's something to include.
Lastly, as far as names go, I'm still going with the name Dark Machina for the mod, which is both theme correct and similar sounding to Dark Mod. If no one has a better idea I'll likely use it.
Do you mean these AI will be able to use our skeletons, so basically you could spawn a guard and substitute these models, and they'd follow the guard animations properly? That would be excellent.
Actually I gather we'd make new def files for them as a new AI type. We'll need to eventually anyway since we'll probably want some different animations and behaviors.
I'm in the process of re-rigging them to the Doom 3 animation skeleton, like I did with my anthro models. Right now I just need to finish correcting the weights so that the limbs bend properly, set up the face rig for a few of the models (most have masks which saves me from that work) and we should be good!
For starters at least, they will be defined similarly to the default guards. The def files will be created and license by me, but they will rely on class inheritance from original TDM defs to work.