In the meantime of working out some udpates, not sure how many of you remember this, back during the 1.7 update we were able to assign each block metadata, 0-15. This allowed for us to have hundreds of new block textures. Unfortunately Mojang removed this feature to save space while saving data.
No, I was not able to figure out a work around on this. However, I have found something else rather exciting. I have known about Custom Entity Models for a while, but I always assumed that this replaced the existing entity and would just change the entire experience of minecraft. I was wrong, luckily.
Turns out Named mobs not only can have different textures but that different textures can support different models hidden very cleverly via optifine.
Using this method, I may be able to introduce several new MOBs into the game -- granted they would have their base model behaviours -- they would just require a name tag and just naming it with the identifier, in this case "Rubber Ducky Isopod"
I know the texture is an atrocity, so that will be changing, I really wanted to prove that it could be done before I sunk a TON of work into it.
So other experiments that I have been able to pull off include the below:
A Whale using a Dolphin model, might swap this to a turtle since Dolphins have some very particular uncontrollable animations
Isopods with multiple different textures:
Now this actually gave me an idea that I might be able to stack models on top of each other and as long as I leave the textures of some models transparent I might actually be able to fit a bunch of 'new' mobs into one existing mob.
Anyways as I touched on earlier, I cannot always use this reliably since some models. Early on I discovered that barring a separate mod mob animations are hard coded into the game so things like SIlverfish, Dolphins, bats, fish all have a sitting animation that causes them to vibrate and shake making them unusable for anything other than a mob that you actually want to do that.
But I did take time to take inventory of all the existing mobs and their body parts and I think I know what all I can modify and give custom animations to (part of optifine)
So hopefully you all will find this an interesting part of the pack and even though many of you may not use this part it will be something that will be included and unless you are actually trying to add them to the game you will never see it.