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  1. #1

    First Impressions

    I know this will likely be taken poorly, as I am 'new' to you and forums have an unspoken protocol that new visitors should speak when spoken to and keep their opinions to themselves until they have read everything...

    I am one of those, the x-com junkies from the 80's, who played that game more than any other in my life.

    What was it about that game, that made it so unique?

    It was a number of things, which I will list.

    1. Atmosphere. The game had it in spades. It is the only game I have ever turned off the lights on at 2 in the morning to find some greys in a farmer's field in the middle of the night, and it creeped me out. Signs captured this with the midnight cornfield scene.

    2. Multiple levels of game. From the strategic world fighter interception interface, to the squad level battlefield, which was made extra fun because it was destructable, this game had so many facets that were unique. Base building, customization, and a super nice geo-globe to rotate around.

    3. Backstory. X-Com drew on the wealth of alien knowledge and literature, some amusing, some real, that made it so interesting. From cattle mutilations to alien abduction to moth men, it was in there.

    I have been waiting for years for it's rebirth. Terror from the deep was pathetic in comparison (I'm not sure who thinks they can throw hand grenades under water but apparently x-com programmers do...)

    And 3 need not even be mentioned, as it was an abomination.

    Finally you guys are bringing it back! Fantastic, I am excited. My ultimate dream (as for many others here) was that one would come out that allowed you to play the alien invaders. Go try Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds as an example of this. Brilliant artwork, story, and plot make it believable. Some lines for you to draw inspiration from:
    (taking place shortly after the military hunta stages a coup d'tat on Mars, taking over the peaceful government and setting the path to war with Earth...)



    Your comments on an alien version are misguided. It would not be 'too easy', that is what game design is for. You would be forced to carry out numerous complicated missions while under attack from hostile humans and the x-com interception team and fighters. It would, in short, be awesome. But that can wait for a future date and future project. Now on to what you have built so far here.

    You seem to be trying to carbon copy x-com enemy unknown. Except for the blaster bombs, which you judge 'unbalanced' even though they come in late in the game and are used against incredible powerful aliens. They were also incredibly fun to use. Simply upping the cost into prohibitive levels would balance the weapon. No, I think you didn't want to bother designing the pathing tool for directing the missile in flight.

    Your comments about not including women are valid, given the complexity of the chore you see it as. I am glad you have finally relented to overwhelming pressure from the people paying for this project and are including them.

    The strategic map is ok. I understand again the programming limitations you are fighting with. A 3-D engine would have been far better but far costlier.

    The interception game appears broken in the demo. It is extremely frustrating to have fighters follow a ufo all day and finally run out of fuel, even when a head on pass interception is not rewarded with an engagement (as it was in the original) this should be fixed.

    Alternatively and a much better idea, which is straying into where I'm going next, USE YOUR IMAGINATION, STOP COPYING X-COM!!!

    Allow the player to research slight mods to various pieces of equipment in the game, starting with the fighter engines, armour and weapons and fuel range, as well as the chinook. (setting the game in 1970 poses obvious problems solved by the near future setting of x-com which allowed a believable jet powered drop ship able to travel vast distances. A chinook just doesn't cut it...)

    Another item you seem to have left out is the fact that the ufo's were doing something. They were not just wandering aimlessly and then generating some random (insert weather disruption, train strafe, ship attack here) they actually LANDED, and performed missions. This needs to be added back in, it all goes into creativity and believability.

    The UFO's need to slow down when they get over land, begin their scout mission, start hunting for juicy ripe cattle, whatever. Right now they are flying around doing laps out at sea pretty much wandering aimlessly. It get's boring after an hour, and this is trying to copy a game I would literally stare at FOR HOURS, with the clock in real-time (yes, I am that insane...)

    Secondly, you appear to be either carbon-copying x-com, or are at a loss for creative writing. There is a WEALTH of UFO knowledge out there, a lot of it since X-Com came out! Why are you not drawing on it? Do you even know about Whitley Strieber's dedicated site 'Out There' on this? Which contains hundreds of articles for your creative genius? Did you know he wrote The Day After Tomorrow disaster movie, from a conversation he had with an alien/angel/demon/robot...thing he met in a Toronto hotel room? The message from the aliens is that we offed too many scientists in the Holocaust, and now rather than inventing anti-gravity atmosphere vehicles (which is what UFO's are) we are stuck with jets in a gravity well on a planet that is dying and about to experience a rapid onset new ice age. Not to mention some of the aliens coming here like to grow alien-human hybrid thingys, just for the shits and giggles. Or that Close Encounters of the Third Kind is pretty much historical fact. Two of the transferred humans chose to remain on the alien homeworld, btw. All of this stuff is out there, just waiting for you to draw on for inspiration! It's ok! You CAN change the tech tree too! We don't really need to make laser rifles, just 'cause! Add a whole schwack of new stuff!! You can do it! It just takes some imagination! Not a lot of programming really! Just CREATIVE WRITING.

    I'd love to help you out with that, but I detect a kind of arrogant tone to your responses, in short, you'll take these fine folks' money but you won't listen too much cause you know what the game is your designing, and that's what your building.

    I offer an alternative. Use your imagination and draw on the creative talents of the fine people who have generously given you their hard earned cash. Make this game more than X-Com. And bring it into the modern era of UFOlogy, where so much more is now known. Apparently most of our souls do not die, for example! Neat.





    I have downloaded the demo and played it all night. In order to play it a second time I am already forced to hack the fighter stats to make it possible for them to overtake a ufo. This should be just another research arm, as there is a shortage of cool things to research in the beginning anyway. If the player chooses to simply make earth completely impregnable from UFO's but never goes after the main base (please don't tell me it's at Cygdonia again!!!) then so be it! Perhaps make the ending more along the lines of Day After Tomorrow, and we will all die unless we find a way to get to the stars.
    Last edited by Targe; 05-16-2012 at 19:59.

  2. #2
    Goddamn aliens infesting our forums now! Build more migs!
    Well welcome to the forum, i guess.

  3. #3
    WishfullThinker Gorlom's Avatar
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    Is targe haveing a oneman conversation? Who is it even aimed at? Up to the video it seemed like a constructive post... after that it just got odd and I have no idea what he is talking about =S.

  4. #4
    Colonel
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    Targe, you do understand what an Alpha is don't you?

    The game isn't feature complete yet (hence why you've not really seen the expanded features that Goldhawk are going to bring). Things like Landing have been taken out temporarily due to issues.

    It's also not balanced, mostly because not all the assets are finished but also because they're not being added until the game hits Beta, which also explains the current sparseness of weapons/items and their corresponding backstory. Although if you'd bothered to look in the game's xml files you'd get an idea of what's planned to be added.

    I also find it quite odd you're complaining it's too close to UFO:EU...it's not only described by Goldhawk as a project aim, but it's quite frankly, what the majority of people want as a base product.

    Also, welcome I guess.

    As a side note, comments like the OP's are why if I ever get into professional development I'd probably never announce a project until its at the end of the alpha and is near feature complete with the majority of the content in.
    Last edited by Buzzles; 05-16-2012 at 21:16.

  5. #5
    Commander thothkins's Avatar
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    orums have an unspoken protocol that new visitors should speak when spoken to and keep their opinions to themselves until they have read everything
    No those are other forums. We're real friendly. Now you are here by yourself and you told no one else you were visiting. Excellent. I'll just tell Ma that we're having someone else for dinner.

    Welcome to the forums! and onto your points...


    And 3 need not even be mentioned, as it was an abomination.
    I really liked Apocalypse, even if it wasn't quite what it could have been.


    Backstory. X-Com drew on the wealth of alien knowledge and literature, some amusing, some real, that made it so interesting. From cattle mutilations to alien abduction to moth men, it was in there.
    Completely agree with you. This was a really immersive part of the story. Xenonauts really has it's work cut out to get close to that.


    Your comments on an alien version are misguided. It would not be 'too easy'
    Can't speak for the Devs, but on one side you have a fleet of 3000 alien craft with sophisticated weaponry and a variety of spaceships. On the other a single base with 1970s weaponry. An organisation whose best weapon is playing really loud disco music at you.

    Can't argue that you could put in huge checks and balances in there. The craft don't work too well in the atmosphere so you can't send in the big guns. You can't attack from orbit for whatever reason. You must find precious minerals to unlock your own attack strategies etc. I think it's well beyond the scope for vanilla Xenonauts though.


    Except for the blaster bombs, which you judge 'unbalanced' even though they come in late in the game and are used against incredible powerful aliens.
    My test is how you would have felt if the aliens had used Blaster Bombs against you as aggressively. Skyranger lands = send in a couple of blaster bombs to likely map areas. Send unit far enough to establish mind control and line of sight. Mind control other puny humans and line them up for harvesting or bomb them again from a distance. That's round one.

    Yes, they were fun and gave the game something quirky and unique.


    No, I think you didn't want to bother designing the pathing tool for directing the missile in flight.
    Devs have been very upfront about Blaster Bombs and Psionics, so I don;t think that's supported.


    Your comments about not including women are valid, given the complexity of the chore you see it as. I am glad you have finally relented to overwhelming pressure from the people paying for this project and are including them.
    That's actually criticising them for listening to their target audience.


    As mentioned a number of the points are due to Alpha Status


    Alternatively and a much better idea, which is straying into where I'm going next, USE YOUR IMAGINATION, STOP COPYING X-COM!!!
    But when they do this and say drop Blaster Bombs, you're very critical.

    Allow the player to research slight mods to various pieces of equipment in the game
    There were a few threads of this nature when I was just arriving in these parts, about the research available at the start of the game. Have a search for things like that and let us know what you think.


    Another item you seem to have left out is the fact that the ufo's were doing something.
    Again, it's partly Alpha, but I link this up also to the back story which I guess we'll see more of in due course.

    There is a WEALTH of UFO knowledge out there, a lot of it since X-Com came out! Why are you not drawing on it?
    Don't know why they aren't drawing on it. I don't know that they have to. In addition to UFOlogy tropes there are plenty of other sci fi areas to draw from, not to mention coming up with something new instead.

    But you can't have a go at someone for a
    loss for creative writing
    and then expect them to slavishly trot along after Serpo/ Contactees etc.

    I'd love to help you out with that, but I detect a kind of arrogant tone to your responses, in short, you'll take these fine folks' money but you won't listen too much cause you know what the game is your designing, and that's what your building.
    I think that the forums do show that there is a genuine groundswell of support for the game. Quite a few folks have been around here longer than myself, but I've not picked up any friction between them and the devs.

    I'd like to think that they do know the game that they are designing. I'll also go as far as to say that I'm sure there are features they simply won't get round to doing due to resources/ costs etc that may leave some of us slightly disappointed. There are decisions that have to be made after all. That's not to say that other parts of the game won't compensate for it.

    If the player chooses to simply make earth completely impregnable from UFO's but never goes after the main base (please don't tell me it's at Cygdonia again!!!) then so be it! Perhaps make the ending more along the lines of Day After Tomorrow, and we will all die unless we find a way to get to the stars.
    Time will tell on that front, but I'm not sure about the legality of a Cydonia Assault even though Firaxis don't own either Cydonia or Mars.

    So welcome again and I look forward to seeing more of your views on how the story line's development fits in with UFOlogy.

  6. #6
    Colonel
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    I kinda want them to copy X-COM in a lot of areas. An improved UI and gameplay tweaks are really all I wanted.

  7. #7
    The freeaxelator
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    Quote Originally Posted by Targe View Post
    Secondly, you appear to be either carbon-copying x-com, or are at a loss for creative writing. There is a WEALTH of UFO knowledge out there, a lot of it since X-Com came out! Why are you not drawing on it? Do you even know about Whitley Strieber's dedicated site 'Out There' on this? Which contains hundreds of articles for your creative genius? Did you know he wrote The Day After Tomorrow disaster movie, from a conversation he had with an alien/angel/demon/robot...thing he met in a Toronto hotel room? The message from the aliens is that we offed too many scientists in the Holocaust, and now rather than inventing anti-gravity atmosphere vehicles (which is what UFO's are) we are stuck with jets in a gravity well on a planet that is dying and about to experience a rapid onset new ice age. Not to mention some of the aliens coming here like to grow alien-human hybrid thingys, just for the shits and giggles. Or that Close Encounters of the Third Kind is pretty much historical fact. Two of the transferred humans chose to remain on the alien homeworld, btw. All of this stuff is out there, just waiting for you to draw on for inspiration! It's ok! You CAN change the tech tree too! We don't really need to make laser rifles, just 'cause! Add a whole schwack of new stuff!! You can do it! It just takes some imagination! Not a lot of programming really! Just CREATIVE WRITING.
    Have you checked out the background stories on the website? This is going to come down to a matter of taste, but I personally think that they were really well done, and set up a nice background for the whole story. The 70's theme is much better than X-COM (which I love to death) as X-COM's universe was... well it was a little kitsch. Plus there is going to be a novella written by (loses all sci-fi credentials)... some famous author. Don't worry, it seems like there will be plenty of creative writing.

  8. #8
    Moderator Gauddlike's Avatar
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    If the game was being made by a large developer with access to a large pool of cash then a lot more variation in things like tech trees and multiple pathways may have made it in.
    Or it could have been turned into an fps.
    A small developer (read one person to start with) has to draw a line somewhere or they would still be designing, and trying to pay for, an advanced 3D geoscape.

    To be honest your suggestions for background material are not to my taste.
    I have read various bits of the information you have mentioned (not all by any means) and was not overly caught up by it.
    We haven't seen a lot of the Xenoanuts story as it is planned to be relayed through xenopedia entries as the game progresses and the research tree is not fully in place yet.
    Partly due to not being ready but also because Chris has said since pre orders began that he wanted to keep a lot of it back, probably until beta.

    It is always interesting to hear some of the newer people put forward their ideas and views about the game though.
    I tend to forget that not all that much information is actually available without hunting through the forums for it.
    Hopefully you will start to see how much has been done to make this game an homage to X-Com:EU without slavishly copying every feature.
    Devil's Advocate and forum moderator

  9. #9
    Sir, I have to challenge you to duel for calling Apocalypse abomination *continues reading rest of the thread*

    Okay, people already said that several of your points are due to fact we only have alpha demo available which means it has limited functions from what they have planned, but I have to ask something: Ok, if you think devs are copying XCOM too much, WHY the heck are you complaining about them not having UFOs land in demo? Unless you consider that change for worse(though its most likely just alpha thing, I don't know)

    Speaking of which, you called Apocalypse abomination(for which I will curse rest of your family lineage ;P), but from what I understand fans hate Apocalypse for changing rather many things(for better in my opinion) so why the heck are you complaining about them trying to keep things samey?

    In general I do agree with your "point" but not your arguments, in that game has to stand up as its own game. My first post in this forum was about being frustrated by "Xenonauts! Finally true successor to XCOM!" people.(Funnily enough, we buth also have sameish sort of avatar, except I don't think mine is anything living... Hard to tell, its avatar I got from GOG purchase of UFO: Aftermath.)

    UFO: Extraterrestrial would be better example of what you are talking about in first post, most egregious thing about it is that one of aliens (Sybian) looks identical to Snakemen. That game does have its own features(especially before someone modded it to resemble more like XCOM. Which is version I have played because modded version is Gold edition on Steam)
    Last edited by XenoMask; 05-17-2012 at 09:54.

  10. #10
    WishfullThinker Gorlom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by XenoMask View Post
    (Funnily enough, we buth also have sameish sort of avatar, except I don't think mine is anything living... Hard to tell, its avatar I got from GOG purchase of UFO: Aftermath.)
    I've always seen your avatar as a the skeletal form of a bigass nose (those big hollows being nostrils) and very narrow upper+lower jaw.

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