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Low Priority Task: How does the game determine when to play walk sounds and cries for unseen aliens?

Discussion in 'Data' started by Istrebitel, Apr 7, 2017.

FilmBoy84
Best Answer FilmBoy84, Oct 17, 2017
OK, some interesting things to come from further playtesting. Firstly, i'm using the EU vanilla CD original release version from 1998 under DOSBox... Go to Full Post
  1. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    Units play walk sounds when they move. If unit is on screen, sound is played for every visible "step" of the sprite (or something like that for non-walking aliens). If unit is not on screen however, the sound is not always played. However, a different sound - "cry" - is played for aliens that are not on screen. We need to figure all this out to make it vanilla-like in OpenApoc.

    Questions:
    - How is walk sound volume determined? Is it based on distance to screen center? Is it the same for non-visible units? Or is it based on distance to closest operative?
    - Is walk sound played for every step when unit is not visible? What about TB? Game seems to speed up calculations in TB, and there's no "clustering" of sounds of walking - does game skip playing walk sounds if more than one unit walks at the same time? Or does it somehow throttle walk sounds of non-visible units? Maybe it just throttles walk sounds all the time, like, "no more than 4 sounds at once"? (can be tested by making 18 units walk on screen at same time)
    - How frequently is cry sound played? Is frequency dependent on amount of aliens (more cries per turn if more aliens? or same?)
    - Every alien type has same chance to cry or is it based on population? Ex: if 10 anthropods and 2 spitters are on map, are we 5 times more likely to hear anthropods?
     
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  2. Best Answer:
    Post #1996 by FilmBoy84, Oct 17, 2017
    Alternative Answers:
    Post #1986 by FilmBoy84, Oct 14, 2017
  3. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    Manual testing seems to show volume is determined both by position on screen and distance to closest operative. You don't hear what your operatives can't hear. However, further testing is needed - like, what's the max hearing distance of an operative? How far can you hear? Do walls impair hearing or is it just tile distance?
     
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  4. FilmBoy84

    FilmBoy84 Well-Known Member Tester Researcher
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    OK, a couple of hours back into playing i've noticed the following on how unit stats affect the cries of Aliens in combat:

    A units REACTION stat appears to have an effect on how likely an agent near an unseen Alien will trigger a cry. Agents also appear to raise/lower their guns in combat according to how quickly their response to a cry is carried out
    A units BRAVERY stat appears to effect if a unit will "Panic" in the following turn after it hears a nearby cry
    An Aliens current STRENGTH stat appears to affect how far any cry will reach in tiles

    Groups of some Aliens together, e.g. Anthropods will increase the likelihood of a cry being made
    Injured aliens will cry to attract other Aliens to their area of the map (Safety in numbers)

    The whole manner in which cries work seems buggy, i wonder if it is yet another part of the vanilla game which was never fully finished...

    Hope this assists in answering your questions. If i find any more things from playtesting i'll respond here.
     
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  5. Istrebitel

    Istrebitel Well-Known Member Official Developer Administrator
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    Oh my god, I never thought it could be such a detailed system!

    Could you check whether cry actually decreases unit's morale? You say it's possible to panic from cries, should happen only if morale is decreased?
     
  6. FilmBoy84

    FilmBoy84 Well-Known Member Tester Researcher
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    Indeed, the moral of a unit does decrease if close to a cry. However, as stated above, the behaviour seems buggy and inconsistent. A combat unit with a lot of experience (not necessarily bravery) doesn't seem to suffer a moral penalty. This may be intentional, some vanilla agents are spawned/purchased with a high bravery but of course little experience and not having them panic when they don't even know what they are fighting yet doesn't make much sense. It is most likely that the intention was to have both bravery and moral have a strong tie to how a unit reacts to cries in combat; especially given that an agents reactions do provoke how likely an agent is to raise their weapon in response to a cry.

    The penalties on moral in relation to bravery and experience also appear inconsistent leading to my conclusion that this was only a partially complete feature in vanilla...

    I'll keep on playtesting
     
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  7. FilmBoy84

    FilmBoy84 Well-Known Member Tester Researcher
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    OK, some interesting things to come from further playtesting.

    Firstly, i'm using the EU vanilla CD original release version from 1998 under DOSBox 0.74 (As genuine vanilla as you can get in the UK). There appears to be some difference with my GOG.com and Steam versions which are based on the NON-CD EU version and run from an ISO image under DOSBox 0.72 (Not a current version i note). Because of this i shall use ONLY the physical CD ,EU/UK DOS, version of Apocalypse that i bought directly from Microprose on release from now on to give playtesting some consistency.

    I test in both Real-Time and Turn Based. There appears to be more of an impact in Turn Based. Real-Time cries seem more random and less damaging to morale/bravery. I wonder if this is again a product of incomplete implementation of the "cry" mechanism.

    Brainsuckers - Will cry frequently when they fail to find an agent quickly. Moderate effect on Bravery. Will cause nearby agents to risk "panic" and all agents to raise their weapon

    Multiworm - Will cry when covering long distances, for example over 20-tiles, without finding agents. There appears to be some indication that they cry more when injured and therefore close to "popping" releasing the hyperworms. Multiworms have a moderate-severe impact on Bravery and Morale.

    Chrysallis and Multiworm Eggs will "cry" more if their gestation period is coming to an end; e.g. were X-COM currently not tactfully engaged with them now, they would soon be releasing new aliens into the cityscape "world". If a Chrysallis/Egg cries in combat and X-COM leave the area without killing it, they will hatch in less than 24-hours, often in little as 6hours, for purposes of tracking alien infection through the cityscape.

    The impact on morale from a crying Chrysallis/Egg is considerably lower than from other alien life forms; it's also negated by higher bravery values seemingly from the ~60 value

    Chrysallis/Eggs seem to be able to cry across a map-wide distance with their cries affecting all troops susceptible to them; this is most likely a bug

    Hyperworms - Will cry/hiss constantly from the moment they erupt from the Multiworm. Severe impact on Bravery and Morale. I've had agents panic and run before they even have LoS with a Hyperworm in reaction to their cries.

    Anthropods and Skeletoids will cry to attract other aliens (of any type) if they are injured. Their cries reach further if they are bleeding.

    Groups of Anthropods and Skeletoids will cry more frequently.

    Anthropods and Skeletoids appear to cause a moderate effect on Bravery and therefore Morale and Panic responses

    Psi-Morphs - The behaviour of these aliens and their cries is really inconsistent; i'm not entirely sure there was ever any complete work done on their cries in vanilla. They do seem to impact on Bravery and Psi-strengths of agents though independent of whether they are using psi-powers at the time. This indicates that their cries, or maybe even just presence, have an impact. The other issue with testing is that by the point in the game you are meeting these aliens i'm using agents with high combat experience and bravery greater than 60. I will aim to send some rookies into a mission sometime.

    Spitters - Doesn't cry "gurgles" randomly instead; low impact on agent Bravery and Morale, not much more severe than a Chrysallis or Multiworm Egg though effect of cry reaches a great distance from source and is likely "bugged" as per the immobile aliens.

    Mega-Spawn - Frequently cries, more so in groups. Severe impact on agent Bravery and Morale. As with Hyperworms, my agents can panic and run even without LoS in response to Megaspawn cries especially if Bravery is <50 or combat experience is low.

    Popper - Cries if close to activating it's "timer" (i.e. starts to smoke) or if it doesn't find an agent quickly. Moderate-Severe impact on Bravery and Morale. Cry does not reach that far, maybe 10-15 tiles.

    Micronoids - Appear to have the greatest impact when crying; sapping not just Bravery (and in turn Morale) but also Psi-Strength when in very close proximity (appears to have to be LoS between and agent and Micronoid which seems a bit silly, but then i guess jelly cannot scream far)! As with Psi-Morphs, their behaviour and cries are hard to interpret so close to end game and may be bugged. I'll send in some rookies when time allows me to test this more.

    Queen-Spawn - Cries frequently, severe impact on agent Bravery, Psi-Strength and Morale. Map-wide effect. Taking rookies on this mission often leads them to "panic" and flee if they do not have higher than 50 bravery and good psi-strength in response to a cry. Though agents with >60 Bravery seem to be immune again. Most certainly a bugged or incomplete implementation of cries.

    So that's all for now. Hope this continues to help the devs; i'll keep playing around with this increasingly deep aspect of the game. I'm quite amazed at what i've discovered, even if it was never completed in Vanilla so much of what was meant to be there appears to work albeit in a very buggy manner and the difference between turn-based and real-time combat indicates this to be the case. Much in the same way that turrets work in Real-Time but not in Turn-Based combat...

    EDIT: **BONUS** Not entirely related to this thread sadly, but having played around with the physical CD a bit i've found files relating to OVERSPAWN indicating that they could be "captured" alive. Including unused overspawn "cries" in the sound files; suggesting that there was a combat cry that would have an effect on agents. Further buggering around with the physical CD allowed me to find things that suggest there was a "recovery" mission inside a fallen overspawn, much like UFO recovery; i would love to see this return to the game in a future mod. For those who have it the EU/UK physical CD of Apocalypse is a treasure trove of "lost" files that are not on the GoG/Steam ISO image so check it out and report stuff back to the devs as appropriate!
     
    FilmBoy84, Oct 17, 2017 Best Answer
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  8. makus

    makus Designer, forum admin Administrator Designer/Artist
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    You can find in facilities in Apoc'D Cells and Advanced Alien Contaniment where you can change status buildable to yes
    and build it
    Also if you have save wich OVERSPAWN pls upload here ) i will look at it in ApocD maybe there is swich to ... capturable


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    Last edited: Oct 17, 2017

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