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BETA: What was the "One Way to Win"?

Discussion in 'Data' started by FilmBoy84, Apr 16, 2018 at 13:02.

  1. FilmBoy84

    FilmBoy84 Administrator Administrator Tester Researcher

    Oct 9, 2017
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    Many of those who are familiar with the cut functionality and designs of Apoc, or have done a little digging around on the CD will be familiar with the UFOPedia Entry titled "One Way to Win" - faithfully labelled "NOT USED" in it's entry...


    But what was the "One Way to Win"?
    Why does it show a Megapod Spawn Chamber?


    To really answer this we have to understand several facets i have documented elsewhere, so please see the following threads also:

    1) what are the Megapod Chambers?
    A) The Megapod chambers are revealed in Vanilla and Beta Apoc as the buildings that are used to grow other buildings; without them the aliens have no means to spread their empire, replace dead or destroyed structures or colonise other dimensions. In short, without the Megapod chambers the aliens cannot survive and the Micronoids would not be able to make new host structures or life-forms. They are the sole-most-important things to the aliens,even above the dimension gate generators that themselves spawn and grow from a megapod...

    In vanilla the importance of the Megapod Chamber was drastically understated, instead the design of the game moved to a sequential destruction of the alien dimension with X-COM removing the alien ability to regrow buildings as the penultimate stage of destroying the alien war-machine. Closing the dimension gates was the "last job".

    This was furthered by the disabling of the Megapod chamber in vanilla; see those mushroom structures outside? They were meant to grow, just like the UFO mushrooms do each week. This disabling of the Megapod growth in vanilla also stopped one key aspect of the late-game design... Unless X-COM destroyed all structures quickly, the aliens could rebuild structures along the umbilical, forcing X-COM to do all those missions again and extending the conflict. It is quite obvious why this was cut for the form the game took in it's vanilla form; there just wouldnt be the interest in a repetitive end with that many features "missing" from the extended conflict planned. Microprose wanted it's game released, Mythos was given a deadline to "round things up" and release so the megapod chamber growth was disabled as one of the "last minute" cuts to the game.

    2) But why was the Megapod Chamber even a thing if they were to cut it's functionality?
    A) Well, things were not always as they were in vanilla, even in Beta2, made only weeks before vanilla release the Megapod Chamber could still "regrow" alien buildings or spread them across the assigned alien dimension (there were several maps changeable by cheats but by Beta2 the actual implementation of multiple alien dimensions had already been dropped - more on that later). The vast spread of buildings is most visible in the footage of Beta2 ive posted around the forums. Note the multiple copies of each alien building, the lack of an umbilical and so forth.

    X-COM could also land at buildings, rather than dropping into caverns next to the umbilical

    Finally, UFOs could crash and be explored IN THE ALIEN DIMENSION, they did not explode as they do in vanilla. Instead, when destroyed their crash control pilot would take the UFO down to a suitable crash-site for X-COM to take missions in... Sadly both Beta2 and Vanilla lacked the appropriate tile sprites for making crash-sites in the alien dimension, so they appear as they do in MegaPrimus. In debug however there were some sprites and many placeholders for Alien Dimension UFO crash-sites.

    This was all part of the "One way to win" design at that time; there was an extended war in the alien dimension once X-COM got access. It was not as simple as just hopping into the umbilical and following it to the end of the game. The longer X-COM took to take out those buildings, the more would be regrown and X-COM would have to move fast to scout buildings to ascertain their purpose (see screen below), return to the Cityscape, research the information obtained and return to destroy the building. Additionally, X-COM was not forced to take each building type out linearly, they could land at a megapod chamber, dimension gate generator or factory at ANY TIME and learn its function. This is why multiple copies exist, to give the aliens a chance of regrowing structures whilst still maintaining active dimension gates.


    In Beta2 the "One way to win" is by destroying ALL the megapod chambers before they have chance to grown new ones. The UFOPedia entry is still defunct (as no version of one way to win was specified because Beta2 was a middle-ground to cuts from the game as it travelled towards vanilla - new content was NOT being made by then) but the importance of the Megapod Chamber is still apparent through play, you just cant win without destroying it. If you destroy all the dimension gate generators, but leave a megapod chamber in the alien dimension, you lose your craft and a few weeks later dimension gates start opening over the cityscape again as the aliens have regrown the generators...

    Prior to Beta1 in the so called "debug" versions of the game, the design was for something even more complex.
    Not only could the aliens regrow buildings, but they could expand in multiple other dimensions too. There was at this time a schism in game design, the micronoids were the "true alien" but there was debate as to whether a "cydonia or bust" type queen or brain would also be essential to completing the game.

    Ultimately the queen was chosen and made essential to the creation of "new" aliens. By destroying the queen, X-COM could stop production of the normal alien types, but NOT micronoids who bred independently of a queen and not to dissimilarly to parasites or bacteria. Additionally, any living structure could still serve it's primary function as long as it stood, so UFOs and new buildings could still expand the micronoid empire even without the foot-soldiers if the queen had been destroyed. The aliens would also endeavour to have MORE THAN ONE QUEEN in more than one dimension initially "hidden" to X-COM. as well as regrow a new queens chamber and queen if given enough time.

    To find the mutliple alien dimensions X-COM would have to follow a series of clues as well as obtain material leading to the conclusion that our dimension was not the only one invaded; only then could the original design of "One way to win" be exposed...

    makus likes this.
  2. Yataka Shimaoka

    Yataka Shimaoka Well-Known Member Tester Translator/Writer

    May 3, 2017
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    I suspected that right from the start when I saw that ufopaedia info, but little do I know about the massive gameplay impact those pods to the game, well of course never realised as it was cut. As stated in the other threads, no umblicals inside the dimension, which is I greatly wanted to see because its too much for me to on doing missions in a chain. Though I got a hypothesis why the UFO crash lands in the dimension, I bet during that time UFO crashing is still being tested, so I believe back then the engine doesn't know which tile (accidentally written time by me) should a UFO crash

    EDIT: Typo check
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018 at 09:22
    makus likes this.

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