PEJOCAAL

Hidden movement or boring me?

38 posts in this topic

Hello,the game looks awesome and the sound rocks, but the hidden movement is a waste of time, just in from of my monitor waiting some civilians running whitout sense and npc soldiers turning and turning, I feel like the 20 percent of the time is used for me gaming, and the 80 percent is used by the game itself and makes me hate it.

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i agree and disagree at the same time remember this is a alpha build so nps not working right yet,however, i do think there is something we dont need to see. y show us and warp us around for every civilian. for that matter y have every civilian move?

they could save alot of our game time by haveing some non moving civilians manning gas pumps,cash registers. and the ones that do move just do it. save the npc moving time for soldiers,aliens. i cant tell you the agrivation of waiting for 6 civilians to run around while trying to find the last alien.

even if it took the same ammount of time id rather look at a pretty picture or diagram of a alien weapon with the sign 'moving noncombatants' than the annoying flashing screens and footsteps of moving civilians.

soldiers could even be like sentrys some move free others are guarding fences/doors gates allowing same ammount of civillian and soldier risk with half the movement time.

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I gotta agree; the hidden movement phase has always been the most boring part of this kind of game. Preferably, in the final game the hidden section will be able to blaze by at speed so we don't need to wait for twenty civilians to wander around a terror map.

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I think that it's longer purely because there seems to be far more civvies in the game, and then you have local forces too. Speeding them up a little would be one solution.

But, I'd not get rid of the Hidden Movement. It adds tension to the combat, hearing what's out of sight, what could be waiting for your troops in the next shadow. I understand that it will be made shorter as everything falls into place in the beta, but I'd be very disappointed to see it go completely.

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Some of my favourite moments in the original were that half-second glimpse of a bad guy in the smoke/darkness with just a silhouette, and then trying to figure where the heck I'd seen him during the Enemy Movement phase.

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I don't think it'll need to be a toggle, it's more an issue of pacing/maybe making some of the civilian hidden movement simultaneous even, in my view. Whenever it's time to give feedback on this, I'm confident it won't be hard to get it good.

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Perhaps the most frustrating thing for me with hidden movement, is that the sounds are directionless. So if and when aliens shoot civilians in the fog of war, you have no idea where......

Perhaps instead of static image, stick on the tactical combat screen, with a 'hidden movement' dialog, but some glowing highlight on the edge of screen indicating direction of sounds (e.g. minimum west/north/east). Of if its so far away we can't hear it, then we don't hear it..)

Didn't jagged Alliance do something along these lines?

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Yeah, I am not much a fan of the huge "hidden movement" screen. It always kicks me out of the game, feeling-wise. Would like it more, if it works like in JA1/2.

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Yeh I would love it if I didn't have to watch the civilians doing anything other than triggering alien reaction fire. The sounds of one or two footsteps and any door openings would be enough per civilian. That way you could rattle through about 8 civvies in the time it takes to go through 2 at present.

Also I would only be interested in AI soldiers if they were shooting at something, being shot at, or bleeding (meaning they have just been in combat).

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I always liked the concept of the hidden movement phase. In XCOM1/2, it served to give you an idea of how many enemies were around and, in cases where they were close to your LOS, generally where they were.

Now certainly, the old XCOM scheme might not be the best way to implement this. I think what would work well would be something that didn't pull you to a splash screen but left you in the map screen. When sounds occur that are outside of your LOS, it could switch to center on the soldier who was closest to indicate who had heard the sound ... possibly with some sort of direction indication; perhaps only as narrow as a 60 degree window.

This would allow you the tiny bits of information the hidden movement phase is supposed to give you, keeping the paranoia engaged, but not switching back and forth between a static splash screen.

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If you mean something similar to this then you needn't get your hopes up. Chris has said it isn't likely to happen.

Edited by Korval
Pesky grammar details -- chged "it's" to "it isn't"

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If you mean something similar to this then you needn't get your hopes up. Chris has said it's likely to happen.

Hmm? I read it as Chris saying it wasn't likely to happen? Or did you simply miss 'not' out of your statement (i.e. Chris has said it's not likely to happen.?

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That would need to be done in the source code.

As Chris says in the other thread it is not an easy change either as the modder would need to code sections to track sounds and display them.

At the moment the game just knows that something is moving and plays a footstep sound track.

It doesn't necessarily know the direction of the sound or how far from a trooper it is.

The game can be easily modded at a surface level but most of the deeper functions are completely inaccessible.

For example you can change skins for all of the items, change all of their damage and accuracy values, add or remove equipment or vehicles.

So adding a grenade launcher is technically possible because weapons are in the game and so are grenades.

You could make shotguns fire incendiary rounds, add molotov cocktails, or possibly give Sebillians a fire breath ability.

What you couldn't do is add a blaster bomb launcher as there is no code in place to set co-ordinates for the shot.

You couldn't give Ceasans the ability to fly, allow Androns to tunnel underground, or add an item that gives your troops a forcefield or invisibility as those abilities do not exist in the game code.

Chris has suggested that he will release the source code for anyone who wants to try adding anything to it but that would be beyond most amateur modders I reckon.

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I was thinking that it would be far more logical for civvies to run from aliens, then at least I would have some indication where they (aliens) are.

That would also make it less "painful" to watch a bunch of peeps running around like headless chicken. :)

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That will come with the improved AI.

Although it is also planned that they will run from Xenonauts as well, hopefully to prevent them standing in doorways and areas you want to get in to.

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Frankly, I'd much prefer it if the civilians didn't move at all unless provoked. Seem to me the ones who would remain at the crashsite and still be alive would be the ones who hid anyhow. On the subject, it'd build mood if there were dead bodies littered around at the beginning of missions to give you an idea about what went down before the xenonauts arrived on the scene.

On hidden movement, meh. If the engine is built around having the enemy/neutral turns take place in real time so be it but I'd prefer just having to watch any alien actions the team actually sees and then come into control again without the soundbyte loops.

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I think having civilians just standing in place until something tried to kill them would be a little dull.

First thing people would think seeing that is how little effort the devs had put into them rather than being relieved that they didn't walk around.

The plan is for them to try and find cover, which I think makes a lot more sense then the old x-com wanderers.

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Hmmm to speed up movement Mabye have all civs move at once apocalypse style?

Edited by Name

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What if the hidden movement for civilians / friendlies would happen during the player's phase?

That would mean a lot less time sitting and doing nothing and give the impression of all the good guys "being on the same side".

Also, the battlefield wouldn't looks so terribly static. It's not realtime by a long shot but it's... less unreal time. =)

The computer can't be doing a great deal during that time besides waiting for player input.

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How would that work though?

How would reaction fire be handled for one thing?

Time is effectively paused while you consider your moves but that would not be the case if civilians started walking around.

For example you start your turn and carefully move a couple of troops forward only for half a dozen civilians to get themselves killed while you have nothing you can do about it.

If the game isn't doing anything then maybe it should be planning moves but they shouldn't execute in the players turn.

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For example you start your turn and carefully move a couple of troops forward only for half a dozen civilians to get themselves killed while you have nothing you can do about it.

And how is that different from half a dozen civilians getting themselves killed while you have nothing you can do about it - in their turn?

Actually, think about it. If one of your soldiers fires a shot, would the civilians not be motivated to go elsewhere? Somewhere not quite so much in the line of fire? It could lead to a (limited) means of "herding" civilians away from where they shouldn't be. That would be a considerable improvement over earlier games.

While your men execute an order, move here, shoot that, the "friendly AI" is on hold. It won't do to have them wander around and possible block the path you just ordered one of your soldiers to take.

But while you are merely planning your next move I see no reason while the computer shouldn't be doing something other than waiting for input.

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