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Thread: Initial Vision on Tactical Map, Advanced Sensors, etc...

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    Initial Vision on Tactical Map, Advanced Sensors, etc...

    In the original X-Com, you started the tactical missions with virtually no vision on the map. This seems to be somewhat unrealistic... You would have at bare minimum done a visual scan of the landing zone (if not the entire mission area) immediately prior to landing, and more likely than not would also have more advanced scanning systems (radar, infrared, magic alien technology) which would give you increasing amounts of info based on your tech level (starting from ow many aliens there are on the map, going on to what kinds/races of aliens they are, all the way up to what kind of equipment they are carrying...)

    Naturally, the aliens would have technology that would allow them to obscure themselves to an extent (for example, an appropriately shielded ship would conceal the number and type of aliens in it), but it would require a lot of effort, for example, to totally conceal a big alien tank with a massive weapons system waiting right outside your transport's door to waste you when you walk out. Also, aliens would be forced to choose where and when to deploy this cloaking/sensor shielding tech and wouldn't be able to necessarily deploy it to every mission.

    Thus it would be a race for the humans to improve their sensor systems and the aliens to assign more resources to their cloaking systems (as opposed to heavier weapons, more missions, etc.). This would be a decision the AI would have to make for the aliens as the humans developed more advanced sensor tech and deployed it.

    Yes, the original X-Com had motion detectors or similar, but my point is that even today we have better sensor tech than that and this is sci-fi! Other major point is that in most cases, landing completely blind is unrealistic and makes the game unnecessarily difficult. The landing craft should at least have basic visual scanning of the landing zone if not the entire battlefield.

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    Beloved Leader Chris's Avatar
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    Though it doesn't make any sense that people wouldn't look out of the windows of the dropship when it was landing, it does make the game a lot more tense and atmospheric. In a nutshell, that's what we've kept those mechanics - a lot of the fun of X-Com was the limited sight range and the LOS mechanics and the tension that generated. I think the game will end up a lot more like a conventional strategy game without the slight...almost horror game element, I guess...
    Chris England - Xenonauts Project Lead
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    Master Tactician Hoywolf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chris View Post
    Though it doesn't make any sense that people wouldn't look out of the windows of the dropship when it was landing, it does make the game a lot more tense and atmospheric. In a nutshell, that's what we've kept those mechanics - a lot of the fun of X-Com was the limited sight range and the LOS mechanics and the tension that generated. I think the game will end up a lot more like a conventional strategy game without the slight...almost horror game element, I guess...
    I agree that the LOS creating tension is important, going into a mission with limited map knowledge and vision creates tension that makes the game exciting, you end up creating strategies around this in order to keep you soldiers safe... or not safe
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    Elected Chryssalid Hugger anotherdevil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aldazar View Post
    Yes, the original X-Com had motion detectors or similar, but my point is that even today we have better sensor tech than that and this is sci-fi!
    Not really Sci-Fi in that it is set in the 1970s... I agree with you, but I agree with Chris more. Balance of gameplay is key
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
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    Commander Sathra's Avatar
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    There's an exclusion zone that alien stuff can't spawn in around the dropship, and I think the immediate area around is also revealed at mission start (but fogged since its not in direct view of anyone).

    I like it, it helps the mission start with just the right level of tension.
    Common wisdom proposes that at minimum 60% of the field of engagement should be rubble and/or on fire. As such the munitions budget has been increased 50%. Operations debriefs have shown that 15% is insufficient for current combat requirements.
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    Alien Dance Instructor MickeyC's Avatar
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    Though it certainly makes sense that there would be a larger known area, it doesn't fit with the style of gameplay. I'd be happy with an increase in the area around the Chinook that starts out as visible, but not a big difference. The whole enemy fire coming out of no-where was always an integral part of the gameplay of Xcom
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  7. #7
    How about the following.

    At the beginning of the mission (briefing screen), it states that Xenonauts spotted, for instance, N warehouses, X office buildings, and whether there are defending forces ("gunfire was observed before landing"). The numbers need not be strictly correct (maybe vary by 1 or 2 -- things get confusing before a landing) but will give the player a vague idea of what to expect without giving too much away. Night missions and higher difficulty levels would reduce accuracy of reports further or eliminate them altogether.
    Last edited by Airconswitch; 11-08-2011 at 03:32.

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    Commander Sathra's Avatar
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    Or to be less specific, but still helpful, have it mention what tileset (urban, jungle, farm, etc) the map is using. This was always something that annoyed me in X-com.
    The sample briefing screen in the build already informs you of the UFO's damage level and type, so you could make educated guesses from that. Add in what the combat field is and it'd be excellent.
    Common wisdom proposes that at minimum 60% of the field of engagement should be rubble and/or on fire. As such the munitions budget has been increased 50%. Operations debriefs have shown that 15% is insufficient for current combat requirements.
    Ein jeder Engel ist schrecklich.

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    Elected Chryssalid Hugger anotherdevil's Avatar
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    seconded Sathra's idea
    "What are you gonna do, talk the alien to death?"
    - James Cameron, on Sigourney Weaver's concern about the use of guns in Aliens

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    Beloved Leader Chris's Avatar
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    Yes, we can probably add this in. Onto the polishing list.
    Chris England - Xenonauts Project Lead
    chris@xenonauts.com
    @GoldhawkInt

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