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Thread: Potential Geo-political Mod

  1. #1
    Sergeant jimbobfury's Avatar
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    Potential Geo-political Mod

    Hi everyone, this topic came up in another thread so I thought I should give it a thread of its own in the right place.

    I'm hoping to add a research topic which basically represents making progress with thawing the Cold War tensions which grip the globe, even in the early stages of alien invasion. This will offer an alternative research tree, more focused on your financial stability and giving you other benefits, as opposed to straight up tech advantages.

    The first step of researching this diplomatic route would open up the Soviet Weapons pack, representing a trade deal with the Soviet Union, or something along those lines. From there, assuming I can get it to work I intend to add more research topics which play to the same geo-political theme. As I said above, they'd run alongside the current alien based stuff, so you'd have a choice between where you wanted your focus to be; a unified Earth, battling the invasion together or going straight for the alien tech route, as in the current game.

    Initial thoughts for the potential benefits/outcomes of pursuing these research subjects are (all dependent on what's possible of course)
    - access to weapon variants from arms deals (eg; the Soviet Weapons pack when a deal is struck with them)
    - Increased funding from various regions
    - Cheaper recruitment costs
    - Increased response times to alien threats, and maybe even a second chance at a terror site (delaying the current nuke strike via diplomatic means)
    - Ability to build radar stations in regions, outside of your bases, which have a chance to intercept the 'alien events' such as "Tanker strafed, no survivors found", reducing the negative impact these events have on your performance.
    - Higher number of friendly AI in regions with good relations
    - Increased chance of soldiers surviving chopper crashes in friendly nations. (maybe even the chance that some soldiers could be recovered from a failed ground combat by a friendly nation's own forces?)

    Obviously, they're all centered around how the different nations respond to you as an organisation, rather than how their relationships with each other change. If I can think of anyways to simulate nations putting aside their differences then I'd like to include that aspect too, but I think it may be that I just have to allude to that in the xenopedia outcomes of the research projects.

    It will probably be that the Cold War nations put aside their differences to back the Xenonauts as a common ally, rather than them working directly together. But I think that will still achieve what I'd like to aim for.

    I'd love to hear any thoughts people have, either on the idea in general (hopefully not "It's crap, Jim." ) or on specific research ideas, features or thoughts.

    Cheers all!
    Last edited by jimbobfury; 05-09-2012 at 12:06.

  2. #2
    Xeno Lover IceVamp's Avatar
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    I don't think it's crap. The only part that I find unfortunate is that you have to research politics, though I understand why this must be so. It'll be a bit weird but I wouldn't mind trying it out. Also, you'll need good art on par with current Xenopedia stuff.
    I would if I could, but I can't, so I won't.

  3. #3
    I'd be interested in helping out - I have a comparative politics degree (I do web design/photography for a living, go figure) and made a few small JA2 weapon balance tweak mods back in the day... so contributing to testing the soviet weapons sounds fun.

    I think the terror mission thing would be a monthly consumable option: e.g. 1 or 2 times a month you can get an extension.

    I'm iffy about radar bases - part of the joy of finally expanding a new base is that radar coverage, and this would cheapen that late game feeling of really having things covered compared to before. Perhaps these could be unlocked with Chris's idea of having a few military radar/airfields that pitch in during the beginning before being overwhelmed a few months in?

    I suppose a slight increase in funding from NATO/Warsaw regions, since that seems to be the overall focus on the game.

    I don't think there would be more friendly AI, but they could perhaps do a little more damage (better weapons / research sharing).

    Recruitment costs should remain the same (they aren't that expensive compared to loot) but one could perhaps get slightly better numbers in the soldier pool?

    One possible snag is that this needs to be worth doing (long term) because the short term soviet weapons rewards will be shortlived (and should be - plasma > 30-40 year old soviet arms) but not so amazing that it feels you 'have' to do it. I assume research times will be lengthened in the original (I can research way too fast with 10 scientists) so it should be more of a genuine quandry of passing up cool alien tech to focus on the earth side of things. It'd be fun to have a few "earning trust" missions but that'd most likely be outside the scope of a mod.

    It's also slightly odd that scientists would research diplomacy then it gets done, but that's XCOM for you. Adding in diplomats alongside soldiers/engineers doesn't seem like it'd really work (you'd either make too much money from them over time and/or they'd just be a set necessary amount).
    Last edited by erutan; 05-09-2012 at 22:35.

  4. #4
    Sergeant jimbobfury's Avatar
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    Thanks for the offer and the suggestions erutan! If I'm able to get this off the ground to any meaningful degree, I'll definitely take you up on the offer.

    I definitely agree that these research points should be worth doing in terms of a long term benefit, while still being balanced. I just like the idea of a choice as to how you shape your game. If you're struggling with ground combat missions, for example, then you'd probably be best researching the current content, to get better weapons and ammo. But if you're a tactics expert but you're cash flow is always terrible and your organisation skills leave a lot to be desired, then it might be better to research the proposed topics, to gain some advantages in that area so as to cover your weaknesses a little. Having the Soviet weapons linked to this may seem to go against that, but I thought it was as good a way as any to get them in game, and to provide a quick incentive to people for exploring this alternate research path.

    I also like the idea of building up a little bit more backstory regarding how the Cold War powers might pull together to face the invasion.

    Anyway, I've had nowhere near as much time to get stuck into this as I'd have liked tonight, but just as a test I've got the first research step in game, which leads to the ability to make limitless supplies of AK47 instantly (seeing as they can't be purchased, sadly) I've not got a clue how to go about affecting elements of the geoscape via research, so hopefully at some point I'll be able to get a bit of guidance regarding what's possible in that respect.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by jimbobfury; 05-10-2012 at 00:21. Reason: Damn, no idea how to make that picture larger...

  5. #5
    I think adding the soviet weapons in is a good idea - there is no way they'd be more powerful than laser weapons but for people that like fun options they are there.

    Having a more powerful/slower sniper rifle would be cool, and we could keep the current precision rifle as a souped up AR. The AK would be harder hitting but perhaps less accurate than a m16?

    re: larger pictures, i ran into the same issue. :/ Maybe use a public folder on your dropbox account or something?

    Or how about a github repo?

  6. #6
    I support this idea! It sounds great!

  7. #7
    Commander thothkins's Avatar
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    tow threads with some more ideas on this sort of thing:-

    http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/f...e-reasons-for. - Funding landscape

    and

    http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/f...p-the-Cold-War - Cold War components

  8. #8
    Sergeant XenoNUT's Avatar
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    Cool idea. I just added sounds to the Soviet Weapons Pack but I am not sure if I can upload them. Went looking for decent free sound clips and did not find them, then ended up 'borrowing' them from my install of JA2 1.13.
    I am not sure what the license is on those files- whether they are part of the original game, etc.
    Anyway it adds a little bit of flavor to the early game. I think I will look at tweaking the weapon stats to further distinguish them from the stock weapons in the near future.

    One thing I am wondering about your mod, do you think it would be possible to make it affect soldiers also? For example, you don't start getting soldiers from Soviet-bloc countries until some diplomatic gains have been made? Right now I go through and equip all of my Soviet troops with the new weapons just to have some variety out in the field.
    I'm not really one of those loony tinfoil-hat, black helicopter, UFO types... just not very creative.

  9. #9
    Captain Quartermaster's Avatar
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    With the RPG I think it would be nice to emphasize its real world protability by making it lighter than the current rocket launcher, but making it less accurate and limiting the type of rockets that it can fire to the frag and AP. It could fill a unique niche this way by being a weapon that a soldier could carry in addition to a rifle.

  10. #10
    I created an empty github repo at https://github.com/erutan/xeno-geopolitix

    Maybe at first just have folders in it of different components - bringing in the soviet weapons pack would be great, another for geoscape / research stuff, etc - try and cobble together the pieces we know are easy to do or mockup before we try to do some more serious modding. Using git on OS X is simple, there's a nice official free github client where you can clone from the site into a folder and then commit/sync changes.

    I'm not sure on the JA licensing stuff myself, but the game has been released as open source (if you bought the latest fan pack cash grab back when) so I imagine for a mod we're fine? I guess you can drop a line on the ja-galaxy forum.

    @all if you want to just send me what you have, drop me a PM and you can send on mediafire or whatever and I can get it up on there initially.
    Last edited by erutan; 05-10-2012 at 17:29.

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