When Minecraft revealed they were going to add horses, I was ecstatic. I love animals, so the more added to Minecraft the better, and a horse was among the most wanted. And when the donkeys and mules got revealed, I got really excited. But, alas, they oddly never added zebras despite Mo' Creatures including them, which I found odd.
And, even over the last few updates, Savanna biomes are one of the few biomes that don't have anything unique, besides the trees.
So, why not just make a mod that adds zebras, and zorses and zonkies for consistency? Mo Creatures ofcourse has these too, but people may not want to have an entire mod for a single mob, not to mention they're not compatible with vanilla horses. Their artstyle is even different.
What they are:
Zebras would be slightly smaller than horses, have a custom texture that I will provide (all mobs will), and have the same model as a horse. They will spawn in savanna biomes instead of horses (donkeys still spawn normally), and will act a bit like ocelots; they'll run if you don't have food in hand. Zebras are faster than horses, and will take longer to tame when feeding and riding them, and can't wear armor or have a chest. Besides this, they'll act just like a normal horse, including taming and riding mechanics. It's mainly a reskin with some minor changes to make them unique.
Zorses are basically a faster horse but slower zebra, and can wear armor.
Zonkeys are a faster donkey, and can have a chest.
Both hybrids are sterile and can only be bred or spawned in.
I also have some ideas about how to make the vanilla horses/donkeys better, such as eating grass like sheep and being kicked off while trying to tame causes damage, because otherwise they can be spammed, but that can possibly be an addon or a separate mod entirely.
So, that's my mod idea I'd like to do. Note I'm mainly a texturer, so that's why I'm reaching out for a coder. I always felt small mob mods like this should be more widespread, so I'm starting here and seeing where it goes. I can also communicate through the Discord chat if that would be easier. Cheers.
I made a proto-type texture for the zebra, it will need a few touch-ups as the current stripes are straight black with no color variation, plus anything else I think can be improved. I used a resource pack to take this picture.
I'm putting it here as a proof of concept, to show how well I can texture. And the more I've thought about it, the more I've come to the conclusion that having some other horse tweaks would really help, maybe making this into a horse improvements mod (something that doesn't really exist, surprisingly). But the zebra part takes priority right now, and if that's the only thing someone wants to do, that's fine. Cheers.
Here is the somewhat complete list of changes I had in mind for horses:
-Equines do not regenerate health passively anymore
-Equines eat grass like sheep, which heals them by 1 health point, using already present animation
-Equines will sprint away from players that attack, like ocelots, and other equines in a radius will do the same, like zombie pigmen
-Equines will run away if attempted to be saddled before being tamed, does not make others run
-When a player is bucked off after trying to tame an equine, it will run away as if hurt, preventing ride spamming and encouraging feeding
-Equines will be able to eat non-gold carrots
-Equine taming/healing/growth food chart will be revamped for balancing
-While horses have a normal base temper of 100, donkeys have 150, mules have 125, zebras have 200, zorses have 150, and zonkeys have 175
-All equines drop 1-3 leather, and everything they have equipped
-Donkeys will only spawn in savanna and mesa biomes
-Donkeys and mules will not buck a player off if the player is holding a carrot on a stick, but will buck the player off if the item is switched (if possible)
-Donkeys, mules, and zonkeys will have an inventory slot for their chest, so it can be removed (if possible)
-Horse armor will have durability (if possible)
-Horse armor points will be balanced, including putting gold below iron
-Leather horse armor will be added from pocket edition, although probably not dyable at this time
-Horse armor can be crafted, but only if there’s durability (leather will be craftable no matter what)
-The item texture of horse armor will be redone to match the entity texture, pictured below:
-Saddles can be crafted
*(if possible) means it may be harder than most other things on the list to code, and can be skipped if not easily possible