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Thread: Oh my god, why...

  1. #11
    WishfullThinker Gorlom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raziel1981 View Post
    Pretty much agree with Chris on this one. The fact is if their is any inter-stellar civilization out there that has the desire to take over this planet and annihilate/enslave/turn us into zoo animals/etc The actual fact that they made it all the way here says that they most likely have come up with some extremely advanced solutions for interstellar travel. These solutions would cover many complex problems in physics, biology (assuming that their own biology isn't capable of maintaining their lives for thousands of years if not millions), material sciences, energy and the list goes on and on. The fact is that their is nothing truly plausible about humanity surviving a military conflict with any interstellar capable race if that race has hostile intentions toward us. Forget everything you know - we're all hopelessly dead with no sequel movie to talk about it.

    To be honest - if i was such a race I won't bother with any direct military confrontation beyond kidnapping as many individuals as i need to develop a biological agent that would kill every human out there (of course i'd bother with several mutated strands to make sure that no one makes it, so the whole patient zero thing becomes irrelevant). From that point you deliver the agent into a population and let time fly...
    Quote Originally Posted by Gauddlike View Post
    If you only want the minerals and don't care about the life just push a medium sized rock towards the planet then sit back until the path is clear, shouldn't take long.
    If you have had to travel the whole distance between stars to get here a bit longer won't matter.
    No need to wipe them all out or use expensive weapons, just drop rocks on them until they are too busy trying to find firewood and food to be a threat.
    Aren't minerals abundant enough elsewhere to bother with an inhabited planet? The only reasons I can imagine (to be valid) for them wanting to attack our planet would be proteins, DNA, alternate tech or ancient artefacts left behind by someone.
    Edit: Probably should add "sadism", "experimentation" and "sadistic experimentation" to that list.
    Last edited by Gorlom; 07-23-2012 at 13:20.

  2. #12
    Moderator Gauddlike's Avatar
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    And love of conflict should be added.
    They may just like to fight and have picked our planet because we appear to love fighting as well from our constant warfare.
    There would be no fun if they bombed us into oblivion, poisoned our air supply, unleashed a killer virus etc.
    It explains the methods, if not the ultimate motivation for attacking.
    Devil's Advocate and forum moderator

  3. #13
    Ah, the discussion is heating up. I like that and thank you for your replies.

    Of course it is just a game but that does not mean that one cannot and should not try to give it as much sense as possible. Referring to the thing being just a game is in my exes just some kind of excape when things get a bit more exhausting.
    Of course the given explanations for the scenario do not have to be bullet-proof. But I personally would like to see more than a superficial attempt at that. That's all I wanted to point out. And I believe that most players would appreciate and reward that.
    I do not say that Exonauts is one such. I do not have enough information on this project to make such a judgement.

    It is just that I for one simply do not like to waste my time on a stupid game but love to spend my time with a good one. And that involves a proper story and evolvement of that story.

    By the way, I do like the Iceland incident a lot. I think it's a good start for the story. I do see a lot of potential for this project and it would be sad if this would not be used to at least a good amount.
    In my opinion there are many plausible reasons why an alien race might want to invade Earth by the way.

  4. #14
    Ah, the discussion is heating up. I like that and thank you for your replies.

    Of course it is just a game but that does not mean that one cannot and should not try to give it as much sense as possible. Referring to the thing being just a game is in my eyes just some kind of excape when things get a bit more exhausting. Of course the given explanations for the scenario do not have to be bullet-proof. But I personally would like to see more than a superficial attempt at that. That's all I wanted to point out. And I believe that most players would appreciate and reward that. I do not say that Exonauts is one such. I do not have enough information on this project to make such a judgement.
    It is just that I for one simply do not like to waste my time on a stupid game but love to spend my time with a good one. And that involves a proper story and evolvement of that story.

    By the way, I do like the Iceland incident a lot. I think it's a good start for the story. I do see a lot of potential for this project and it would be sad if this would not be used to at least a good amount.

    In my opinion there are many plausible reasons why an alien race might want to invade Earth by the way.

  5. #15
    Squaddie
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    To my regret I have not played the original UFO games. When I was old enough to realize their importance, they were so outdated it wasn't fun to play any more for me. The newer incarnations didn't interest me that much.
    I do count Jagged Alliance 2 and the 2 original Fallouts as my favourite games, so I'm no stranger to strategic turn-based gameplay. I also enjoyed MAX, the Civilization series... I think lovers of these games are also a target audience for Xenonauts, especially for the lively JA crowd. I think JA borrowed and improved much from/upon UFO gameplay, if Xenonauts can improve on the originals and some of JA mechanics, it's pure gold.

    After 2 days of playing the alpha of Xenonauts, it is nice to see someone give solid general advice, much to the same idea I had before starting. The developers claim to re-use the good parts of the original and iron out their shortcomings. Posts such as Hardball's point out the shortcomings very well. I hope to give my first experience perspective well on your points here.

    I also often toss around ideas and let my imagination work. The idea is to get other ideas and suggestions flowing, let's think solutions. I don't care if my ideas themselves make it to the game, if I was able to invoke a new thought or inspiration that's fine by me. Maybe some suggestions are stupid - as long as they get the ball rolling it's good. And you'll get a laugh from it as a side bonus

    I've cropped out some parts of Harball's OP for improved readability.


    -------------------------------------------------------------
    Quote Originally Posted by Hardball View Post
    I would ask for as much realism as possible.
    This means that there should be answers to questions like "Why do the Aliens send one saucer after another instead of bombarding the planet and picking up what's left with a grand scale invasion without such risks and high losses as are to be estimated by sending one after another after another?"

    I'm also for realism, a stupid backstory could ruin it for some. What works in my mind now: The aliens faced a star eclipse in their galaxy, and had to abandon it in a rush with their entire flotilla. Earth was the first and only reachable planet they encountered that could support them. Their orbital weapons would leave it uninhabitable, thus they were forced to attack with ships that were never designed for atmospheric combat.
    Their abductions, crop circles etc. are just steps in their terraforming plan. But, during terraforming research, they discovered some facts that were lost to / hidden from their culture over time, which will surprise all...

    I don't know how the creative process of this aspect goes within Goldhawk. If you don't have a dedicated story writer, I'd suggest to search within existing fanfic realms. Maybe someone posted an intriguing backstory to the original UFO game. These kind of people are usually proud to see someone interested in their creation, honoured to see their IP used anywhere and might be very willing to donate it just to see their name in the credits. I won't be surprised if they're willing to edit and tailor it for you.
    Same goes for graphics. Just browse Deviantart a bit. Although I think the graphics person did a splendid job on the world map and opening screen (with the generals at the C&C table).


    Quote Originally Posted by Hardball View Post
    The biggest mistakes that were made are in my opinion:
    * boring and repetitive missions,
    * periods without much felt progress in terms of research or new equipment especially in mid- to end-games,
    * boring or ridiculous or comic-like aliens
    * not enough different hostiles
    * mostly shallow base management
    * no diplomacy to speak of
    * ineffectice and therefore unusable vehicles
    * bad or repetitive tactical AI behaviour.


    Repetitive missions is where the game's at in this state. Suggestions:
    • give the player some random loot (s)he can only pick up from the combat map, both from aliens and civilians. Start out with lowly aliens in rural settings (low loot), advancing to better aliens in large cities (big loot)
    • give some interaction with the civilians (eg save them from being dragged away alive by an alien), randomly having them give you bandages or their panties
    • mission: disable a self destruct / repair a melting down power core in time for a few type of UFOs - not getting there in time gives a successful ending but you don't get points for capturing the UFO (not on all missions though, turn based means people love taking their time)
    • put some (unique) loot in civilian buildings (cash!!!). Saving some civilians makes them open up a safe.
    • alien base: give the player the choice to destroy it top-side after medium resistance for a standard reward, or to search its sub-level(s) with heavy resistance for goodies (capture research the aliens were doing there)
    • Put some rare random events in there. Like in the original Fallout RPGs & JA2. There's a lot of lore and events to build on. Let a UFO crash in Roswell, and give that map 2 UFO's: one with crash graphics, and one fairly intact sitting in a hangar, with a unique bonus tech/weapon in it. Let one crash on Chernobyl, where you have a timer to kill the aliens and prevent a meltdown. Have a civilian appear resembling Duke Nukem that successfully helps you & that you can recruit.



    Progress: Haven't reached mid to endgame yet, and as I haven't played the originals, can't comment that much there. I'd say the power of new weapons should be substantial and their actions noticeable (like in Fallout: scorched alien from laser as opposed to bleeding from ballistic, plasma makes them melt to goo). Don't just make weapon stats more powerful, make the player feel and see his research and development meant something. Let some pixels in the laser weapon on your soldier light up bright red. Make us feel cool walking around with it.
    Perhaps let the player start in the first month with sidearms and shotguns, until the first downed ufo (with weak and confused aliens) makes some nations donate assault rifles. Spreading the pacing keeps boredom away.

    The alien graphics could use some polishing up. It was unclear to me that some new alien I encountered was supposed to be a robot/cyborg, besides his heavier footstep sound. Make the sprite wider, more reflective/metallic, more distinct. Can't comment on later types of aliens yet.
    I'm playing in a high resolution on a 24" screen, and I often can't make out details in the aliens or my own weapons.

    Initial base manangement seems OK with the current options, might get a bit boring later on - the choices are limited. To save on development time but still offer depth and diversity, offer the player an upgrade choice for each building. Don't just auto-upgrade the missile defense to laser defence, make the player choose to research and develop it or wait it out until the next tech comes available. Give options, like combining defence with radar (boosting both stats slightly) or make dedicated buildings (sacrificing space but offering a higher stat increase).
    Give benefits to some layouts, eg: building hangars close to lab boosts air research, workshop + lab boosts weapon research, workshop + hangar boosts building of planes, ...
    With ample development time for this topic, adding a subterranean level or 2 with more advanced options sounds nice.

    Diplomacy: might diversify, doesn't interest me too much. Nations want me to shoot down UFOs and give me cash when I do so, good. I'd rather have the devs focus on missions, aliens, research, base and story. If there's time left, diplomacy is OK, perhaps to get a bit more direct cash. Otherwise this could be nice for a mod/expansion?

    Vehicles: I find the vehicle I've used quite good. Moves fast (lots of AP), sees far, quite a punch with the rockets. Nice tactical addition to the regular forces, I use it mostly as scout and support vehicle. Doesn't get experience, thus expendable. Costly, so not that expendable.

    AI: I don't think devs are focusing on advanced AI now. If so, popping into an ufo, shooting an alien twice, then disappearing should alert them and those nearby. At my game level they are (as research suggests) not that intelligent, rather cocky, as they assume their advanced tech will overrun the puny earthlings. More advanced waves should use better tactics though.



    Quote Originally Posted by Hardball View Post
    In detail:
    - AI: aliens should evolve
    - social or political pressure -private defense organizations - Religious radicals or alien lovers
    - personalisation and identification with your staff is a must
    - hardball - a lot of firepower is needed to overcome the aliens resulting in great destruction of the surrounding area. And no, I do not want to kill any civilians in the process.
    Cheers!

    I removed the repeat topics here.
    AI: In my limited playthrough I noticed already my ballistic weapons weren't that effective any more when I was researching lasers, that's spot-on pacing! It made me put more scientists on lasers, and rush more towards producing them, as they were immediately effective. That's an example of good pacing and progress.

    Competing humans: I like this idea! Perhaps let you fight a shadow organization, give them some unique tech/loot. The same maps can be recycled, just without crashed UFO, more fleshed out civilian buildings, and no aliens. Killing them doesn't affect nation relations, but you can find loot there you won't find elsewhere (the result of their own research). Maybe give them items resulting from research paths the player did not take.

    Staff: The possibility to assign colours to shirt and pants sounds nice. That way I can at least give some colour coding to my snipers, heavy hitters, breachers etc. Making the weapon sprites more distinct could help too. Or I'm playing at a too high resolution - can't tell the one from the other now, with the exception of RPG guys.

    Hardball: Maybe an idea for the alien base, where you can take more explosive weapons (grenades, turrets?) from the scenery & blow the base sky-high. In urban settings you'd feel inclined to preserve the poor civvies city; the alien base can go boom.


    *edit* added and removed some lines for improved quote readability. Because the forum was all messed up for me , I couldn't make heads or tails of my own post. And I had nothing to drink yet. Bad sign. - what's up with the slowness of the forum? Someone turn the bandwidth valve counter clockwise please.
    Last edited by dekamme; 07-23-2012 at 21:24.

  6. #16
    Sergeant Dix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hardball View Post

    I would ask for as much realism as possible.
    This means that there should be answers to questions like "Why do the Aliens send one saucer after another instead of bombarding the planet and picking up what's left with a grand scale invasion without such risks and high losses as are to be estimated by sending one after another after another?"
    One of the better explanations came from the UFO series by Altair - the invading force were renegades from their own civillization, with limited resources & ships, who needed Earth as an intact, life-bearing planet for their purposes, so they couldn't just bomb it. Of course, they did wipe out most humans with bio-weapons, but if the Xenonauts aliens regards Humans as one of the resources they desire, then they may wish to conquer and intergrate us with as little damage as possible.

    (Human history shows it's often easier & cheaper to rule a satrap or colony by using the power structures already in place, rather than trying to impose your own at anything except the highest levels. A functional but subservient society may also be more productive for their uses than a shattered, mostly extinct one.)
    Last edited by Dix; 07-24-2012 at 10:13.
    He who has a why to live, can bear almost any how. -Niestzche

  7. #17
    Squaddie
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    I like to think of the game as the aliens are in out sola system and we are the surving force that is holding onto the planet against an occuping force.

  8. #18
    Rookie snowburn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dekamme
    Put some rare random events in there. Like in the original Fallout RPGs & JA2. There's a lot of lore and events to build on. Let a UFO crash in Roswell, and give that map 2 UFO's: one with crash graphics, and one fairly intact sitting in a hangar, with a unique bonus tech/weapon in it. Let one crash on Chernobyl, where you have a timer to kill the aliens and prevent a meltdown. Have a civilian appear resembling Duke Nukem that successfully helps you & that you can recruit.
    i agree, a few story missions with special objetives and severe consecuences on fail will be great (but no special loot and characters please)

    Quote Originally Posted by dekamme
    Competing humans: I like this idea! Perhaps let you fight a shadow organization, give them some unique tech/loot. The same maps can be recycled, just without crashed UFO, more fleshed out civilian buildings, and no aliens. Killing them doesn't affect nation relations, but you can find loot there you won't find elsewhere (the result of their own research). Maybe give them items resulting from research paths the player did not take.
    It's a cold war setting, how about another organization like Xenonauts of the eastern block? at first it'll be played by AI but at mid-end game they can join forces and become player-controlled.

  9. #19
    Squaddie
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    Ok, the Duke Nukem idea was over the top The game's atmosphere is too dark for that kind of silly humour. I would like being able to bring special characters to our side, like help a human civilian soldier fend off aliens surrounding him - when you do so, he'll be available to recruit from the pool. Icons like Vasily Zaytsev (ok technically WW2 hero), Robert L. Howard, ... Not as characters with super stats, but with noticeable better stats then the average recruitee.

    As findable loot, I was thinking about the things we can find now (alien weapons) added with some civilian tech in labs. Can give us some other goals to walk around the map then shoot aliens every time. Eventually you should be able to get the tech automatically, but looking for it specifically and bringing back the item in your backpack enables you to research it faster. Bringing in more samples intact speeds up research. Something like that.

    Why wouldn't Xenonauts be an Eastern Block organization? This comes up in the cold war weapons thread as well: why do most games and movies always take the Western/US point of view? This can be somewhat disappointing for players from the rest of the world. They might like playing a game where the US and USSR join forces against a common enemy. From their point of view, the Xenonauts may have roots in China.
    You're right about referencing the setting, there were a lot of shadow organizations that reached their full height in the cold war. Nations began to realize it would pay off to keep an eye on possible enemies and gather intelligence and technology.

  10. #20
    Rookie snowburn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dekamme View Post
    Why wouldn't Xenonauts be an Eastern Block organization? This comes up in the cold war weapons thread as well: why do most games and movies always take the Western/US point of view? This can be somewhat disappointing for players from the rest of the world. They might like playing a game where the US and USSR join forces against a common enemy. From their point of view, the Xenonauts may have roots in China.
    My mistake, i forgot to clarify, at start you would be able to select east or west xenonauts, each one with their own set of weapons and vehicles, but when alien threat becomes too evident, they both join forces under player control (may be after a story mission?)

    After this event you gain a new base and financial aid from your former "enemy"

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