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Thread: Research

  1. #1
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    Research

    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)

  2. #2
    Sergeant jimbobfury's Avatar
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    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/f...eased%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.

  3. #3
    WishfullThinker Gorlom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argroww View Post
    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)
    Last edited by Gorlom; 05-09-2012 at 09:55.

  4. #4
    Beloved Leader Chris's Avatar
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    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.
    Chris England - Xenonauts Project Lead
    chris@xenonauts.com
    @GoldhawkInt

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    @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...

  6. #6
    Xeno Lover IceVamp's Avatar
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    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.
    I would if I could, but I can't, so I won't.

  7. #7
    WishfullThinker Gorlom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Argroww View Post
    @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.
    Last edited by Gorlom; 05-10-2012 at 07:01.

  8. #8
    Commander thothkins's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #9
    I like the text, though.

  10. #10
    Commander thothkins's Avatar
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    Ok. Change the last bit to "Nice, lengthy passages of text giving you plenty of details to add to your immersion of the game."

    :-)

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