View Full Version : Geoscape Events

01-05-2012, 19:26


Interested in hearing your opinion on the possibility of occasional events/missions. I can't remember if somewhere in the recess of the forum this has already been discussed and decided on so I will lay it down anyway!

These would be pop ups (like the UFO intercept screen) which would have a world government make a request or demand of you. These would be very occasional (one a month or less - probably ticker based) and be things like;

North America requests 200 laser rifles. Completion of this mission will enable the North American's to automatically deal with all future fighter/scout crash-sites. Time Limit: None. (Obviously these missions would only occur after the correct tech had been unlocked but might be a nice alternative to clicking away lower value missions in the mid-late game).

Europe requests increased XCOM patrols above their territory due to increased alien activity. Completion of this mission will lead to +10 approval rating - Time Limit: 1 Month

Africa demands immediate XCOM assistance with a terror site in Cape Town (I believe this is already in the game anyway!)

Asia demands 3 alien power sources to alleviate severe power shortages across the continent. Completion of this mission will lead to increased funding from Asia; 100,000 p.m. Time Limit: 2 Months.

I understand that this suggestion may be unworkable but I thought it might open an interesting discussion as to how you could make manufacturing useful (while not wholly profitable) and also alleviate some issues with the monotony of clearing small crash sites in the mid-late game. It would also give people a reason to send out Aircraft on patrols other than to try and find enemy bases.

01-05-2012, 20:05
While I like the idea of events like this, I dont really like the idea of them giving you increasingly annoying negative consequences. If they want you to defend them, they should give you more money right? ;)

Feels like it would practically force the player to do these events, because if not you'd get too much negative impact on your gameplay. Events should be optional imo, like a bonus, not something that punish the player if he doesnt manage to complete it. Fighting aliens is annoying as it is.

01-05-2012, 20:59
The Europe/Africa examples already fall into everyday Xenonaut activity. Clearing terror sites and intercepting UFOs are among the basic gameplay elements which already carry approval bonuses and penalties.

The other two "quests" are more interesting requiring you to sacrifice workshop hours or exchange short term gain (sold power sources) for long term (better funding) but I don't know if they'd "sit" well with the game. I'm to tired to consider it properly atm.

01-05-2012, 22:05
I'm more interested in reacting to some of those events. someting like tertiary objectives which can be ingored if wanted

Ufo sighting - send a jet to a quick scout
Abduction - send researchers with a small escort to examen the location and learn from it (examing the death/destruction)
Tidal Wave distrution - send some researches to figure out what is causing it. + send some engineers if they discover it is a device to revese engineer it or destroy it
Entire city vaporised - send troops to secure site and later on send researched to learn more

01-06-2012, 01:23
I have edited the original post to form a slightly better argument. I was pretty tired (and writing on my phone) when I thought the original one up.

01-06-2012, 19:40
possibly useful, but also possibly very annoying...

Slam Bus Rodan
02-27-2012, 14:18
I've noticed "freak storm detected" in the game as an alert. Are the aliens using weather control weaponry?

02-27-2012, 16:42
No, thats just a side effect that appears when 2 alien ships cross paths. Something about the wake left by their propulsion or sometihng.

(I'm makeing things up, this is in no way official. Most likely its just unusual weather and someone paniced and blamed aliens)

02-27-2012, 17:15
I agree there should be an important events with popups.

Also event system should be open formated. If so modders would start to create events immediately.
There should be trigger conditions, text, picture and one or several options that would change some game variables or trigger other events in a meanwhile.

As for event contents i don't like what Belmakor proposes. For example an event in which USSR decides to nuke every landed UFO within range is much more adult. Or an event with a high alien infiltration into human society (xenonauts should give UN a suggestion to exterminate millions of people or what to do). This events are in scale of alien invasion.


P.S.: As for me that would be fun to have an option to loose 95% of humanity and 99% of other animals on earth bacause of wrong/unlucky decisions and bad interception.

The New Romance
02-27-2012, 17:24
I like how the events appear around the map and don't pop in your face like there's no tomorrow. It creates a sense of sneaky danger and an uncomfortable atmosphere. While I agree with making the events open-formatted so people can easily add new eerie stuff, pop-up windows should be reserved for important things - UFO interception, ground battle engagement, research projects - such as it is currently handled.

02-27-2012, 19:39
The new romance: I think people in this thread are talking about events the player can interact with and not just the atmosphereic stuff.

The New Romance
02-27-2012, 20:12
Oh, sorry. I had the feeling that it started with the events that signify Alien activity ("Freak Storm detected", Abductions and the like), and then turned towards the other sort of events. Didn't mean to derail the thread :)

02-27-2012, 23:40
Well actually Belmakor suggested some minor (but unfortunately spamming) events i've suggested major events, The New Romance talked about flavour events.
Why not to have all three types?

Events just should not make the game funny or wired. If the horror style would be preserved and event would not make replayability worce then we can have any events.

If event is about a decision of killing a million peole in a try to do smth with alien infiltration you don't even need a picture as it is serious and scary enaugh i think.
But event with scintist death in lab during alien artifact research would not be interresting without art.

02-28-2012, 00:39
No nuclear weapons on grounded targets, you just can't use them because of the aftermath effects. no government would EVER allow that. Especially if its another nation trying to nuke ground targets across the boarder.

A option to suggest genocide really? how desenstised are you? no game would be able to reward you for such a horrible choise if you are supposed to be a good guy. I doubt even games like prototype, fable and black&white would be able to get away with such a thing in their evil routes.

You make me worried some times KOKON.

02-28-2012, 01:10
Any goverment would allow that. Atomic bombardement effect is overestimated in your head.

Go read Herbert Wells to see non-tolerast-gay sci-fi but but i warn you it is very much not like harry potter

02-28-2012, 01:23
Herbert George Wells?-H.G.Wells the sience fiction author?

02-28-2012, 02:55
Any goverment would allow that. Atomic bombardement effect is overestimated in your head.

Go read Herbert Wells to see non-tolerast-gay sci-fi but but i warn you it is very much not like harry potter

Right i forgot it was you I discussed the subject of "isotopes" and nuclear fuseion with. You have no understanding about the radiological part of the nuclear weapon. Never mind I will never be able to explain to you WHY nuking your own country or friendly nations is a horrible idea. You've watched too much Hollywood movies so to you nuclear just means "big"...

02-28-2012, 08:20
Some weapons are designed for special purposes; a neutron bomb is a thermonuclear weapon that yields a relatively small explosion but a relatively large amount of neutron radiation; such a device could theoretically be used to cause massive casualties while leaving infrastructure mostly intact and creating a minimal amount of fallout. The detonation of any nuclear weapon is accompanied by a blast of neutron radiation.

Taken from wiki here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nuclear_weapon under the 'other types'.

That and the fact that Aliens might have much more cleaner ways of nuclear-analogue warfare that a player can (and probably will) get during the gameplay can allow countries to 'nuke'/'alienuke' crash sites and alien bases in their territory should the government be desperate enough to do that. As we know during the Iceland incident terrans used nukes to bring that UFO down - they already risked nuclear contamination and other bad things the radiation can bring to shot down just one UFO (even over sea that number of nukes fired would deal serious damage to ecology).

About Genocide. What will you do as a ruler of any given nation if you are aware of alien infiltration and possible indoctrination of some number of populace of a small town?
1. isolate the whole town and attempt to figure out who is who loosing precious time and allowing the aliens to find a way to sneak out of there?
2. terminate the whole town populace assuming that all of them were already 'transformed' into aliens to ensure that no one will slip away?
I doubt that in dire circumstances such as intergalactic war with all its effects such as increased xenophobia, paranoia and other such things you`ll take the first option. Government will likely loose a portion of its populace (surely blaming the Aliens in their deaths or throwing to the crowds other lies) rather than taking a risk of blowing up the national security.

02-28-2012, 08:40
Speaking of random events.

I was making a table-top UFO strategy game few years ago and random events for both sides played a significant role in the gameplay.

Aliens had several events regarding the weather, solar storms and other electro-magnetic activities that reduced the ability to detect their UFOs for the duration of the turn. They also had hidden stashes of weaponry and UFOs spread all over the Earth by their scouts 50-100 year ago. The most funny event was an attack of cultists at terran objects and crysalid infestation. As a bad event aliens had malfunctioning UFOs, crashes and bases being attacked by local government forces.

Humans had events regarding their financial situation, both good and bad. Some events included the detection of an ancient crash site or alien hidded stash and a possibility to take it over. Bad things included various outbreaks of unknown diseases that lured away their scientific effort, cultist strikes, cryssalid infestation, desertion and units being damaged.

The majority of the events were notification type that player had no choice but to accept, the others were 'you do that and you`ll get that' type and some minor nasty 'you do that or otherwise you will regret not doing it' type :)

I once proposed some event system to Xenonaughts with soldiers getting promotions, research breakthroughs, manufacturing being finished ahead of plan. As bad things i proposed people getting sick, planes getting inoperable for some time and research/production being stalled due to incidents. Those were minor good and bad, rewarding and not things that should happen in everyday life.

Now when you speak of global event system that includes player choices - i fully support it as i`ve waited for something like this for a long time in UFO/XCOM series :)

02-28-2012, 09:50
I believe that the idea of using missiles/nukes against grounded targets was discussed a while ago, during the earlier planning stages.

If you didn't want to engage a crashed UFO, you would have the option of firing a cruise missile at it; you wouldn't get the loot but you also wouldn't get the negative score from aliens escaping into the wild. Useful if you had a large number of crashed UFOs at the same time.

There was also the mention of terror missions having a time limit on them; this was the time limit before the local government deployed a nuclear weapon on the city to prevent the aliens securing a foothold. Neutron weaponry would be suitable for this purpose due to the lower fallout; according to Wikipedia neutron weapons were tested but delayed for political reasons by 1979, so with an alternate time-line these could have been available.

Not sure if these are still in the plan though.

02-28-2012, 10:30
isolate the whole town and attempt to figure out who is who loosing precious time and allowing the aliens to find a way to sneak out of there?

I've imagined a more complex situation. Lets say at first it was not clear if aliens are making infiltration or what is going on. In spite of attemts to fight infiltration it is generally unknown how many people are not humans. There are some researchs stating that this number is over 2% of population. But it is very hard to determine replicant. Population is migrating in panic. Numerous hidden alien-human labs were found near villiges with thousands of unskinned human corpses. There could be disastrous effect. Extermination of whole communes was already conducted. Now there is a choise to exterminate the whole areas. UN is asking of advice however this advise may not be taken into account.

This is a choice you will have to make if you have made bad/unlucky decisions before plus missed too much alien ships.

02-28-2012, 11:25
KOKON's posts are painfully difficult to read. Maybe if there was less horrible English, abuse and grandiose weirdness and more gamedesign logic there'd be less of a problem.

02-28-2012, 13:54
Ok seems that i can not make a rich text in english quickly. Now above text simplified.


02-28-2012, 13:57
Nukes are pointlessly complicated if you already own the space near a planet.

Drop a rock on your target. Big rock.
Same basic effect as a nuke, minus the radioactive fallout.

Much harder to intercept, too. You don't just have to damage the complicated trigger mechanism of a nuke. No, you have to physically divert maybe a thousand tonnes or solid rock. If you manage to break it up, you create the mother of all shotgun shells.

The New Romance
02-28-2012, 14:29
A option to suggest genocide really? how desenstised are you? no game would be able to reward you for such a horrible choise if you are supposed to be a good guy. I doubt even games like prototype, fable and black&white would be able to get away with such a thing in their evil routes.
I believe Fate of the World let you do such things. I'm not sure, however, whether you were supposed to be the good guy in that game. You were tasked with saving Earth from itself (climate change, pollution, depletion of ressources, epidemics and the like) though. Just as a small addition to the discussion; I don't know whether such game mechanics would have a place in an X-COM-like game, where you control an elite task force which probably hasn't got the same arsenal of (nasty) methods as a (world) government.

02-28-2012, 14:54
methods as a government
The situation is hopeless. There is a UN meeting. Xenonauts just play a role of expert. For example there are 3 options:
- Suggest to use already introduced measures and wait for better tech
- Use already introduced measures and give a proof that you will be able to intercept more ufos
- Suggest to exterminate areas

You suggestion would only add 20-30% weight to 1/2 random

The problem can appear if you have more then 50 alien crafts landed and not intercepted on the whole globe.
1% chance per month + 0.1% per ufo.

If you choose not to exterminate then every country would get +1% to make a pact with alliens per month. And more horrible consequences in case you fail to change the situation dramatically. If you choose to exterminate you will have a score drop and possibly smth else.

Also i imagine Xenonauts with no nukes. Atomic bombs are not under player's control but countries can use them when needed.

P.S.: All this probabilities should not be shown to player in % way.

02-28-2012, 15:14
Okim and MrPyro: you're suggesting a weapon with lower explosive yield when the aliens in the inceland incident did not get killed by radiation? for all we know the radiation wouldnt even be able to penetrade the hull of their spacecrafts. I realize I dont know how common radiation sources are in space, I think I've been influenced by hollywood in that aspect to think they are more common then they might acctually be. But wouldn't shielding from radioation be crutial on a spaceship?

And technically the neutron bomb would cause just as severe ecological effects as hydrogen bombs unless used on urban targets, and then it would kill humans as well since there's no way anyone had a chance to evacuate. I'm not fond of the idea of useing dirty weapons at all. I wish they weren't used in the iceland incident either, but the use in panic against a previously never before seen unknown threat over international waters are much more reasonable then planned attacks on targets within yours or friendly borders.

About genocide: Why would you need to exterminate everyone? Why not just incarcerate them and let them go through a blood screening or something. If you still cant determine who is who just keep them imprisoned (although that has a bit of WW2 labour camp feel to it). Exterminateing everyone cannot be good for a government. Killing thousands of humans to get to hundereds of aliens isn't good PR ever.

02-28-2012, 15:26
Gor are you against horror? What if aliens have skinned every person in sweden and will eat alive those who is not dead yet? Or ok in some other corner of the world with no aircover. Would you care to drop a 20k tactical bomb in tundra in this case?

In modern total war the key things are tank wedges and carpet atomic bombings.

02-28-2012, 18:11
I'm wildly guessing, but I believe people here are mainly against wild supposition and blatant assumptions, personally

02-29-2012, 21:57
It'd be nice to make the Events system open-ended. I'm sure we will before the end of beta, actually. It'd be cool to see what people can come up with if given access to it.

Re: nukes and all that. The story behind the terror strikes in the final game will basically be the Xenonaut strike teams are being sent in to secure the area before a small nuke is dropped on the affected area to make sure the aliens are all destroyed. Just to up the stakes a bit. It does make sense to an extent, especially given the existence of a Chryssalid-style alien in the game.

If someone wants to mod in a super-high-stakes version of Xenonauts, fair enough. Vanilla Xenonauts won't be too bleak though - I do quite like bleakness but there's limits to how far you can go and still retain popular appeal. However games like DEFCON do that sort of thing in a relatively tasteful way so it's certainly not impossible.