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Idea to spice up the alien dimension (for a mod)

Discussion in 'Game Mods' started by The Reaver of Darkness, Oct 29, 2014.

  1. Treonin

    Treonin Registered

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    Well with the massive amount of gamebreaking bugs and freezes, I am barely able to advance the beta. (Can't reach alien dimension...)

    Aside from that its very interesting to see some of the differences, like brainsuckers autojumping on your head in turn based when you walk near it, the different user interfaces and cult of serious calling xcom to kill one little worm in a toilet.
     
  2. The Reaver of Darkness

    The Reaver of Darkness Registered

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    They did that in the full release. I've had that happen at least twice now.

    Most people don't seem to realize that aliens can use melee attacks on reaction fire in all three games. A few times now I've seen a chryssalid attack a soldier who walked in front of them. These attacks don't happen very often because the soldier has to walk into just the right square for it to happen.
     
  3. Treonin

    Treonin Registered

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    I have never seen this before, (probably because brainsuckers always use up 100% of their TUs even when they can't move) even though I have been using the stand in front of it and shoot them to death tactics for years.
     
  4. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    Hey, I actually like this (except for the CoS part).

    More low-level alerts would enable using smaller squads, maybe even bikers.
     
  5. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator

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    I think, the purpose must be considered first. Obviously, a mod must enhance a game. If we aim to change X-Com 3's endgame, it is obvious that we should make it so that ending is less anti-climatic and more of an actual challenge.

    What should be done, IMHO:
    - difficulty level should gradually increase as we do more building missions
    - player should not be motivated to finish the game quicker (i don't think people would like to be forced to finish the game)
    - player, however, should face some form of challenge every time he progresses with the plot

    Ideas:

    1) Every building brought down should have a retaliation mission assigned to it. Research (UFOPaedia page) should indicate what it is.

    Something like, if you destroy this building, they understand you're a real threat, and launch a full scale assault on your city, blowing buildings left and right, and your fleet wouldn't be back yet, so you should build a sizeable fleet before you proceed.

    Or, if you destroy this, they get really pissed, and launch an assault on several of your bases at once, so you should have security personell stationed on every base and well prepared for a full scale assault.

    Or, if you destroy this, they understand they can't beat you with force, so they'll launch a full scale "micronoid rain" operation, trying to control several organisations at once, meaning you have to prepare a fleet to deal with it (like, stasis missle-heavy fleet).

    Therefore, you would be presented with a challenege every time you raid a building, something to do when your tech and main team are already maxed out.

    2) Make objectives in some building missions respawn, so that you would require coordination of several teams to finish the mission (like, you need to kill 6 things around the map all within a timespan of a minute, so you need to station team near every single one of those).
     
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  6. Solarius Scorch

    Solarius Scorch Call to Power modder Global Moderator

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    I think the entire point 1) (about retaliations etc.) would only that you just need more soldiers and more craft, because you have to divide your forces. Therefore it is not exactly a challenge, it's just additional delay.

    The need to destroy targets at the same time has some merit though. I kinda like it, if done reasonably well (and not overdone - one or two places would be enough).
     
  7. FilmBoy84

    FilmBoy84 Administrator Administrator Tester Researcher

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    Back in early development versions, the Aliens had a PROCEDURALLY GENERATED set of dimensions after the "planets" idea was abandoned (something for another thread, the planet files still exist in game though).

    The legacy of this is the building that "grows" new buildings still has the "mushrooms" growing outside of it in vanilla; though they never reach maturity sadly having been "disabled" in the final game.

    The aliens, given enough time, would be able to regenerate their buildings and expand into other Dimension IDs (There are 7, one of which is Mega Primus)

    It would be good to see the aliens regain the ability to spill into new dimensions and regrow their destroyed buildings over time. This would put pressure on X-COM to work quickly to destroy the alien dimension in days and not weeks after getting the dimension probe (at which point the aliens would double their expansion efforts) before the Aliens spread too widely to easily control.

    Coupled with a procedural generation algorithm that linked the buildings with an umbilical in different orders across a varied generation of dimension this would make for an interesting "never the same twice" style of play.

    Here's Beta Dimension Code 2 as a bit of eyecandy by the way ;) This Beta version had already abandoned procedural generation but had multiple copies of each building and NO umbilical. It did however REGROW buildings if you didnt destroy the appropriate "grow" building quickly after entering the dimension.
    ufo2p_000.png
     
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  8. Voiddweller

    Voiddweller Registered

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    I'd say multidimensional world concept was largely "abandoned" as well. It doesn't really matter how to call different world maps, and how many warring factions, allied or enemy present there. But we need that code in openxcom.
     
  9. Yataka Shimaoka

    Yataka Shimaoka Well-Known Member Tester Translator/Writer

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    OpenApoc, not OXC, they were in different engines
     
  10. Voiddweller

    Voiddweller Registered

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    Yeah, my bad, Openapoc)) Was thinking about xPiratez mod for openxcom engine and many good stuff i seen there, like different factions and their goals, even thjough openxcom code doesn't really support any "faction" mechanics)
     
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  11. FilmBoy84

    FilmBoy84 Administrator Administrator Tester Researcher

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    Oh, the multi-dimensional factions thing was another kettle of fish

    I can remember speaking with the Gollop's by email way back in 1999 after I contacted Microprose (to no avail) and Mythos regarding the Beta release and arguing that the source code be released to the community now that the game was effectively abandoned for Interceptor, X-COM Genesis (How i wish this had been made; think a 3D engine apocalypse heading back to the UFO roots of the series) and Alliance (Itself abandoned for X-COM Enforcer) sequels.

    When discussing concepts the Gollop's made mention that at one point in Apoc development there were plans for the Martian colonies, ruled over by Marsec, to have a very powerful paramilitary sectoid organisations that were vying for equal power-sharing of martian resources for both pure alien and hybrid alien interests. This was a key element of the Mars planet map when the aforementioned planet system was meant to be included. The idea was later scaled down to the Mutant Alliance faction and made less militant (The parallels with the IRA being too close to the cut at the time here in the UK)

    After the planets system was abandoned and the dimension concept was created there was an idea passed around that one of those dimensions would be a dimension full of sectoid and aquatoid organisations kept as a "food production" colony for the trans-dimensional micronoid empire that was now invading earth.

    Each dimension the aliens inhabited would be for a different purpose or requirement of the alien empire and each dimension would have it's own organisations and factions that X-COM could interact with to form alliances, rebellions or insurrections as well as trade with to aid their ultimate goal of overthrowing the micronoid empire.

    Of course all of this was scaled down to a single city and a single dimension by the end with many of the faction controls, abilities and relationship management cut from the game in all but bribes and damage/raids.

    It's a crying shame, but then again, Apocalypse would have been so vastly complex had they stuck to the original plan, it would have most likely never got to the point of release.

    If the whole Apocalypse concept was combined and realised you would have the player fighting across the following number of fronts with different factions and organisations controlling or appearing in each:

    1) Earth (Mega-Primus)
    2) Mercury
    3) Venus
    4) Mars
    5) Moons of Jupiter
    6) Moons of Saturn
    7) Moons of Neptune
    8) Moons of Uranus
    9) Pluto
    10) Charon (Back then called something else, i cannot recall what but basically Pluto's Moon)
    11) A secret "Planet-X"/"Niburu" map
    12) Alien Dimension 1 (The micronoid home dimension destroyed by a supernova in vanilla but centre of an empire in original concept)
    13) Alien Dimension 2 (Food/Prey Dimension)
    14) Alien Dimension 3 (Resources Dimension)
    15) Alien Dimension 4 (Alien "City" Dimension, equivalent to the Mega-Primus map, though wholly "Alien")
    16) Alien Dimension 5 (Alien "Spawning" Dimension / Procreation)
    17) Alien Dimension 6 (Alien Recreation and Sport Dimension)
    18) Alien Dimension 7 (Alien Factory Dimension)
    19) A Further 2 Alien Dimensions details of which are sketchy at best and were proposed as "Expansion Pack" content​

    All of the above and more were discussed, some even partially implemented, in early game concepts and versions, but non bar Mega-Primus and the 1st Alien Dimension, itself radically different from initial concept, ever made it into the final game, or even Beta1/Beta2. Most of the Alien Dimension ideas were scaled down to single buildings.

    The Original Apocalypse concept would have made "Long War" for the modern X-COM games seem like a short-story and most likely would not be completable for most players. This is of course another reason, other than development time and cost, the game was cut drastically with all of the above to play through most gamers would have given up and moved on to something else before completing Apocalypse, it would be just too big to play and enjoy with the level of micromanagement required.

    This is why the AI system mentioned in the Vanilla Manual (The part that mentioned about exchanging AI files between games that never actually existed in vanilla) was proposed as a solution, some parts of the players duties would be managed automatically as the player moved between both planets and dimensions, by beta it had been nerfed to a combat and cityscape AI and by release it had been stripped from the game entirely at the last minute, hence it's inclusion in the manual but not in the final game.

    The Gollop's also complained about their relationship with Microprose and the pressures put on them for a sequel with a limited budget and time frame to do so leading to much of the game concepts and ideas being killed off.

    Any Alien Dimension Mod would have to consider all of the above to avoid becoming stagnant or encompassing too much work for the mod developer. Regardless, I hope all of the info here helps in allowing someone to pick up the baton for OpenApoc mods ;)
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 21, 2017
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  12. makus

    makus Designer, forum admin Administrator Designer/Artist

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    we need just launch brainstorm on this=]

    -regarding to planets of solar system on most of them can be only outposts and mining plants (that can be lost and then amount of minerals and elerium can be cutted) - so do not need so many details for this.
    So trully big cities except Primus will be mars colony and maybe colony on the earth moon (as biggest spaceport)

    and about dimentions ... well its whole new talk =] ...
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
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  13. FilmBoy84

    FilmBoy84 Administrator Administrator Tester Researcher

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    Agreed, a Large expansion to Apocalypse would certainly encompass:

    Mars, a Moon or two, the main alien dimension (but procedurally generated and building growth re-enabled) and maybe a second Dimension that the aliens are expanding into (or maybe retreat to after X-COM destroys the first - Remember the "One way to win" concept i listed in the BETA thread?).

    That gives 4 different "cityscape" maps, maybe a 5th. Much more realistically achievable than the 20+ maps originally conceived as ideas for Apocalypse. It would also expand the game-play massively whilst not making it impossible to manage from a user-perspective.

    But even just allowing the Alien Dimension to regrow buildings again or making it procedurally generate for each game would be a huge change to the base game.

    The beauty of the OpenApoc and Original Apoc engines is that so much COULD be done with them, the issue, as always is time and knowledge to apply to such a project.
     
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  14. makus

    makus Designer, forum admin Administrator Designer/Artist

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    Be sure such bright minds can be found. We just need to give them a concept - a clear and attractive shape of the future mod
    So we can just start new topic right now and write there whole details of it)
    beacose this is discussion where all can speak but its many of text
     
    Last edited: Nov 21, 2017
  15. FilmBoy84

    FilmBoy84 Administrator Administrator Tester Researcher

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    I've been thinking of a flow-order for procedural generation algorithms for the Alien Dimension.
    This is what I've got so far

    1. Generate "flat" map
    2. Generate Hills
    3. Generate Buildings as follows:
    4. Generate Access Points for buildings within 5-tiles of parent building (Not immediately next to it like in vanilla)
    5. Generate Umbilical between buildings (If buildings are placed on hills new sprites would be needed for umbilical travelling up/down in all directions, this step could be skipped out if also bringing back the scan-and-plan approach to destroying the alien dimension which the probe was for before vanilla)
    6. Generate Lava pools
    7. Generate Lava flows between levels ensuring pool above and below
    8. Generate Alien "Growth Pods" for Buildings around the MEGAPOD CHAMBER
    9. Generate Alien "Ship Pods" for Alien Craft around the ORGANIC FACTORY according to the ships generated on week 1 (As per here: http://www.ufopaedia.org/index.php/Alien_Dimension_(Apocalypse)#UFO_Growth )
    10. Generate and Scatter other "Eye-Candy Tiles"
    11. Generate Week 1 dimension gate locations and dimension gates above the DIMENSION GATE GENERATOR that tie to the gates in Mega Primus
    12. Generate other dimension gates in Alien Dimension (Linking to other planets and/or dimensions)
    13. Run Clean-up algorithm that corrects any errors in the above
    Would like to know the thoughts of others on this? Am i missing anything that would be needed for the alien dimension?
     
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