PDA

View Full Version : Research



Argroww
05-09-2012, 09:53
Sorry if there's already a thread with this title...

I was thinking (after researching the alien corpses) that more techs need to have results other than just leading to another tech.

During my hunt for civ 4 mods I found a discussion on how best to construct a tech tree, in that discussion it was identified that no tech should be only a stepping stone for another tech....otherwise why have it?

With that in mind perhaps Zenonauts could inject in that every single tech gives a result beyond merely allowing you to research another tech.

The first tech "Alien invasion"? (the one that leads to the MIG plane tech) could perhaps give access to a unique story mission "cave investigation" perhaps in which your chinook is sent out to examine some cave drawings which reveal that the aliens have visited earth before, completing this mission unlocks a new tech "why are they here? pt1" which looks into why they've returned (going off at a tangent...)

The tech for the research of the plasma pistol perhaps allows you to sell the pistols for a higher amount....or perhaps just allows you to sell them.

The alien alloys allows you to produce minor plane hull improvements and a heavier armour (not as good as the final result of the path because it slows down your soldier quite a lot, so of dubious value)

Anyway the idea is that no tech only unlocks another research subject, it will also have some other benefit, be it a building, vehicle, object, passive bonus, or a hidden one-off mission (investigation type mission perhaps?...although either some kind of combat element needs to be added, or it's just a case of flying out with the chinook and back again)

jimbobfury
05-09-2012, 10:07
Hey man, I'd agree with this 100%. I'm not sure how realistic it is unfortunately, it sounds like it could be a lot of work but I'm with you in that it's something I'd definitely love to see.

I actually mentioned something similar in another thread; http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/1521-Soviet-Weapon-Alternate-Weapon-Images-released%21/page4

Ideally, I'd like to be able to influence regional funding and relations via research projects so you could add a geo-political element to the game, with various benefits relating to the support you receive from other nations such as extra funding, longer response times to crash sites and terror sites, second attempts at a failed terror site where you've negotiated the nation delaying their nuclear response and other things like that.

Gorlom
05-09-2012, 10:51
During my hunt for civ 4 mods I found a discussion on how best to construct a tech tree, in that discussion it was identified that no tech should be only a stepping stone for another tech....otherwise why have it?

There are 2 simple reasons:
1: To flesh out the story. (Unlike Civ Xenonauts is telling a story. Civ is just a repeat of history and not all to engageing in that. Whatever story it does tell is usually through other means then the research tree.)
2: To pace the game. Haveing unlocked the MiG research first feels completly different from simply researching a MiG, and tying back to the first reason: why did you research the mig in the first place?

I pretty much like fluff research and wish there was more, but Chris said that he wants to minimalize the techtree and not create uneccesary topics or story topics.

Ps. The game is named Xeno-nauts. Xeno- means foreign or or alien. (the aliens in "Alien" are named Xenomorphs)

Chris
05-09-2012, 14:22
Most techs do have a new item or bonus associated with them, and all of them are either stepping stones (in which case they are used for narrative explanation) or provide something new to build.

The real problem were the utterly pointless ones in X-Com like Alien Entertainment.

Argroww
05-10-2012, 07:29
@Gorlom

I wasn't trying to compare Xenonauts to civ, whilst both being strategy games you are correct in that Xenonauts is telling a story and with civ you are kind of making your own. However the ideal of research tree design is the same. Whilst every tech should have a decent description, something that makes you want to read it rather than it simply being a means to another tech.



I guess I just liked the idea that a tech would give a passive bonus, not something I've seen before in a UFO style game (I don't think UFO AI or many or the commercial remakes did this?), so it would be nice for some of the other "stepping stone" techs to also offer passive bonuses, increased radar range, or perhaps a better insight into those little events that pop up on the map or as with what jimbobfury said, perhaps have a few more options in regards to your relationship with the various nations.

Might be nice to have a few more techs at the beginning too....not sure what though, so perhaps not...

IceVamp
05-10-2012, 07:39
More techs? Oh, you mean to fill the time between light scouts and scouts. Well, as long as they are interesting that would be nice. I don't mind research not always giving you a direct benefit. A lot of them hint towards things to come and give you knowledge, and the alien research gives you a flat 10% increased damage, which is pretty damn good.

Gorlom
05-10-2012, 07:54
@Gorlom

I wasn't trying to compare Xenonauts to civ, whilst both being strategy games you are correct in that Xenonauts is telling a story and with civ you are kind of making your own. However the ideal of research tree design is the same. Whilst every tech should have a decent description, something that makes you want to read it rather than it simply being a means to another tech.



I guess I just liked the idea that a tech would give a passive bonus, not something I've seen before in a UFO style game (I don't think UFO AI or many or the commercial remakes did this?), so it would be nice for some of the other "stepping stone" techs to also offer passive bonuses, increased radar range, or perhaps a better insight into those little events that pop up on the map or as with what jimbobfury said, perhaps have a few more options in regards to your relationship with the various nations.

Might be nice to have a few more techs at the beginning too....not sure what though, so perhaps not...
Imo giving bonuses for the sake of giving bonuses is generally a bad idea. Its something gamers get excited about while brainstorming but will devalue bonuses as a whole, reduce techs to "stat/tech/resource bonus" instead of story element and be horrible to balance.

I do not agree that the ideal is the same for Xenonaut as it is for Civ. Bonuses does not make you want to read a topic. It makes you want to skipp it and keep killing stuff with that new shit you jsut got... whatever it was.
If you acctually have to choose between multiple topics, where only some give bonuses, you will read the Xenopedia entry to find out what might be unlcoked from researching specific things.

thothkins
05-10-2012, 11:02
All for this sort of research tree. I think Xenonauts has a pretty decent one from what I've seen. I imagine that there will be more backstory ones to come.

Thinking of EU's the developers said that the game would have been a lot more polished but they really had to race through the last couple of months to get it out. If you look at the UFOpedia there is a growing storyline form research through abduction then harvesting then infiltration and then a bit of a disconnect to the Cydonia mission.

But there was the alien reproduction research topic that wasn't in the final tree. That tied everything up and gave Earth a compelling reason to want to wipe out the brain in the finale.

I think that, with a few minor tweaks that the EU R&D could have been made much stronger, and that it was just a lack of Beta testing time that left a few loose ends.

As for Alien Entertainment, I always thought that since the UFO occupants were mind controlled that it played a part in calming them and making them more suggestible. I'd have looped it into Psionic research myself. It could have played it's part. Where's the link to that open source X-Com...

In Zenonauts (nah nah Gorlom :-)) I was quite impressed with the 10% bonus against aliens that you had researched and was thinking about more things like that. As Op says, they don't all have to be so advantageous.

Perhaps a sort of 'Debriefing' sort of additional research result would prevent you having to allocate time to too many research topics. In EU a single research topic could provide multiple results screens. Nice, concise research results that didn't involve wading through lots of text.

BobbyDylan
05-10-2012, 11:24
I like the text, though.

thothkins
05-10-2012, 11:31
Ok. Change the last bit to "Nice, lengthy passages of text giving you plenty of details to add to your immersion of the game."

:-)

Hellstormer
05-10-2012, 13:04
I like reading :P

thothkins
05-10-2012, 14:09
except one liners. They're useless :-)

Hellstormer
05-10-2012, 14:38
I've been working on being more concise instead of my verbose epic posts hehe

XenoMask
05-10-2012, 21:07
B-but, I liked alien entertainment ;-;

Seriously, one of main reasons I play XCOM type games IS research text, which makes me sad when games stream line research texts to just explaining extra benefits you get instead of being immersive.(though, to my luck, only UFO: Exterrestials and UFO: Afterlight do that. And at least Exterrestials have longer pages for alien autopsies even though every weapon one has short explanation why you got technology and just tells how strong it is, same thing in Afterlight expect that none of research are as detailed as in Aftermath) Which is why I like "pointless" research that do nothing but give you info about aliens and such :P Which is why I'm annoyed that EVERY Xcom clone gets rid of "Capture live alien to get its own research page" thing. I guess XCOM fans are too annoyed at having to capture every hard to capture alien.

I mean, UFO: Exterrestials you have to only capture commanders and they just give you plot related research texts you need to complete the game, in UFO Aftermath live transgenants just speed up research(and some aren't even capturable), though for reticulans it works because they are only actual aliens in the game so it makes sense that you only get plot related intergration one. In Aftershock they again don't have live alien ones besides plot ones I think, in Afterlight capture ones are necessary for getting new technology, but Afterlight research texts aren't as detailed as Aftershock and Aftermath, they just tell benefits of research and sometimes rarely bit info about WHY research gives you that benefits.(Like Beastman Shaman explains that they do rituals and healers and stuff, which is why you get medical research unlocks from capturing them, but doesn't tell anything about beastmen shamans actually)

In UFO: Alien Invasion you don't get any alien specific research, you just need to capture enough aliens(capturing certain number of aliens unlocks more research, but I think species don't matter) to figure out that aliens have hive mind.

In Xenonauts... Well, can't tell since I don't think we can currently capture aliens :P

But yeah, am I really only one who enjoys research for sake of immersion and for not getting new stuff? Was I only one who enjoyed capturing all aliens in original games?

Gorlom
05-10-2012, 21:12
But yeah, am I really only one who enjoys research for sake of immersion and for not getting new stuff? Was I only one who enjoyed capturing all aliens in original games?
That was my favourite part of the research tree as well.

Gauddlike
05-10-2012, 21:34
I have a pokemon type approach to aliens.
Hopefully there will be a way to keep track of which species and ranks you have captured to make that easier on me.

thothkins
05-10-2012, 23:02
But yeah, am I really only one who enjoys research for sake of immersion and for not getting new stuff? Was I only one who enjoyed capturing all aliens in original games?

nope. Loved all of that and I loved all of the UFO artefacts. They were what made the game for me and provided the backbone of the story.

Medics give autopsy findings
Navigators give mission data
Engineers give craft info
Leaders & Commanders give central story information

Alien artefacts give core research and/or creepy hints at the aliens true mission


I would be very disappointed not to see something similar here, as it's will always fall that little bit short for me otherwise.

It would be fairly simple to link each of the above to another research topic that helps with weapons/ vehicles or armour.

The 10% familiarity bonus is a step in the right direction.

Going back to EU.

Floaters & Cyberdiscs help with flying suits and hovertanks.
Celatids with alien implants
Silacoids with alien mining to help with base construction. See! They aren't useless!
Sectoids were pretty well covered
Mutons with advanced medikits
Ethereals were also well covered

etc, etc

XenoMask
05-13-2012, 05:20
There could be like that you get research item from each of different alien types' bases giving details about each invidual race's culture and when you have all of them you can research alien culture in general and after that you can research anti alien propaganda because apparently alien culture is that horrific. Anti alien propaganda research could work against alien sympathizers OR convince nations that Xenonauts is only organization capable of defeating the aliens giving you bonus to funding even if aliens kill million of people from country.

Speaking of which, why do some many XCOM games and XCOM like games mention alien sympathizers without them ever actually appearing in any form?

Adrian
05-13-2012, 06:38
I noticed the autopsy text for [Sebillans I think] had a comparison with another alien race that I hadn't encountered yet.
The autopsy text should only tell you about the particular alien you've found to avoid this.
I'm sure it'll be fixed in the final version, but I just wanted to point out this little irregularity in the research text.
If the game is going to be different each time and expose you to different races at different times the research text can't make assumptions about what I know.

On that point, if I remember correctly, it would say 'alien corpse' as opposed to sectoid, snakeman etc. You had to do the research for the corpses to have the name of the race. Would this be difficult to implement in Xenonaughts?

Gauddlike
05-13-2012, 08:54
Speaking of which, why do some many XCOM games and XCOM like games mention alien sympathizers without them ever actually appearing in any form?
I reckon it is because most of the games are quite large scale.
Sending a team out after a single person or a small cell makes little sense.
Let the governments and their police forces deal with them and leave the aliens stalking the streets to us.

Gorlom
05-13-2012, 09:07
But what if the alien sympathiers are holed up in a building complex that contains an alien commander and his big mindcontrol doomsdaymachine.. and they are really mindcontrolled.

XenoMask
05-13-2012, 10:59
What alien was referred in sebilian entry? It might have been one of aliens spotted at Iceland incident.(http://gaming.ngi.it/showthread.php?t=515164&page=6 scroll down to andron picture and read text) I found that when I was googling about androns.

Gauddlike
05-13-2012, 12:15
I think it says something about them carrying heavier weapons than the Ceasan troops.

Shima
05-13-2012, 12:54
What alien was referred in sebilian entry? It might have been one of aliens spotted at Iceland incident.(http://gaming.ngi.it/showthread.php?t=515164&page=6 scroll down to andron picture and read text) I found that when I was googling about androns.
Nice catch with these forums! I've been keeping an eye on xenonauts since the paypal incident and I've never seen the older news. Thanks!

Gauddlike
05-13-2012, 13:01
If you want to see a red Andron have a look at the rigging video.
Think there may be a couple of spoiler images in there so don't look if you are looking forward to the surprises as Chris lets us see new stuff.
http://www.iamgregamato.com/


(http://www.iamgregamato.com/)There are a load of images available out there, just type xenonauts into google on an image search.

http://www.alexkreeger.com/ferret.html

XenoMask
05-13-2012, 16:44
NOTE: POTENTIAL SPOILERS IN THIS POST IF YOU DIDN'T ALREADY CHECK LINK IN POST ABOVE THIS ONE

Is it just me, or does one of them look kind of like zergs? The purple thing?(I guess that is reaper if those are final designs for aliens) I blame those claw spikes things that come from back.

Yeah, checked pic, it totally looks like purple bipedal zergling.(http://images.wikia.com/starcraft/images/8/85/Zergling_SC2_Cncpt2.jpg)

Gorlom
05-13-2012, 16:48
Xenomask I would appriciate some kind of spoiler warning or something... :mad:

XenoMask
05-13-2012, 16:54
Ah sorry. Well, if it makes you feel better, maybe its not in final game, there weren't caesans or sebilians in that video.

(potential spoiler: Or maybe it wasn't even a reaper, after all chrysalids from original game didn't look kind of monster to breed with xenomorh kind of breeding, I just assumed it was because it reminded me of zergs and since reapers too apparently have hives according to kickstarter stretch goals poll plus it was only really monstrousness one of them. Maybe they are actually the weird looking ones :p)

Gauddlike
05-13-2012, 18:25
The one you referred to looked like a W40k Tyranid.
I think they both have the same basis though.

Gorlom
05-13-2012, 18:27
I don't like this thread anymore. :mad:

XenoMask
05-13-2012, 18:35
Sorry ^^; Well, its just one alien you might have appearance spoiled for you, there are lots of others we didn't describe.

Gauddlike
05-13-2012, 18:41
Actually I don't think it ruined anything.
I was already pretty much expecting something called the reaper that acts like a chrysalid to look a bit like a tyranid :p
I also didn't mention what kind of tyranid.
Was I talking about a zoanthrope or maybe a genestealer or a lictor?

XenoMask
05-13-2012, 18:43
Well, I described it through zergling so he can probably put it together :p

But yeah, kind of funny how original XCOM has enemy called Reaper that is so forgettable that nobody remembers it.

Gauddlike
05-13-2012, 18:46
Shush.

XenoMask
05-13-2012, 18:48
About the original Reaper from XCOM or other thing?

Gauddlike
05-13-2012, 18:50
Other thing.
The first rule of reaper club is you don't talk about reaper club.

XenoMask
05-13-2012, 18:59
Oh, okay