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Max_Caine last won the day on April 15

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About Max_Caine

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    Forum Moderator


  • Biography
    Hello and welcome to the Goldhawk forums. If you need help or information, please PM me and I'll do my best to help. If you're here the spam adverts, go elsewhere.
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    Completing videa games
  1. Into the Breach

    To me, it plays more like a puzzle game than a tactical game. There are some things that Goldhawk could *ahem* "borrow" from it, like the knockback mechanic.
  2. It's a credit to the team that the .json files I can get my hands on in /template/ are intuitive and well-written.(So long as you know how OO works, anyway). I wish I were savvy enough to know how to unpack the generated files in /assetbundle/. Looking at the manifest files makes me drool.
  3. BUG The alien above is dead. I cannot remember if it was a GL explosion or a rifle shot that killed it. One of the two. It had already taken some damage and was suppressed. As you can see, it's still standing! BALANCE SUGGESTIONS The SMG carried as an alternative for heavy weapon and sniper troops is a better CQC weapon than the shotgun mostly because it is much, much more accurate. I have tried a variety of things to bring the shotgun up to scratch without making it a duplicate of the SMG, but the only things I have found so far that made the shotgun more of a viable weapon was to increase the number of pellets from 3 to 5, and the suppression damage to 20. The sniper rifle does not feel like a sniper rifle. The defining aspect of a sniper rifle is its accuracy, and in terms of that, it feels similar to the basic ballistic rifle, even when using scoped. I put aimed from 105 to 165, and scoped from 165 to 200 and it felt much more like a sniper rifle after those changes. Finally, combat armour feels like all risk, no reward as it's coupled with the shotgun. I increased the HP bonus to 35 as that felt a better balance.
  4. I think that some UI changes for drones would be inevitable, because drones do not look like humans so to paste a UI for humans on top of a drone would be jarring. However, you could probably get away with most of it being where to put the equipment slot boxes so it's more drone-y.
  5. "Terror" mission

    What is the fundamental objective of a Terror mission? In X-Com or X1, the objective was to kill aliens and try to not kill civilians. Mission success was when you killed all the aliens, but mission failure was not triggered if all the civilians died. You got a massive relation hit for failing a Terror mission - far more than other mission types. So while you could ignore shot down ufos or alien bases, you could not ignore terror missions. In XCOM, Terror missions were directly tied to civilians. You had a quota of civilians that you had to save (by standing next to them). If you couldn't meet the quota because too many civilians were killed, you lost. the problem with that was that you took a map, randomly scattered civilians in it, then randomly scattered aliens in it while the soldiers always started at a specific location. The consequence of that that aliens would always get a chance to kill humans the player could not save. This was partially addressed in War of the Chosen. There were terror missions which had civvies holed up in fortified locations which in turn were protected by several NPC soldiers. Once you killed the ADVENT attacking a specific location, you moved onto the next and the soldiers from one location would reinforce the next, so the player would stand a chance of getting all the civvies safe. So in X2, what is the fundamental objective of a Terror mission? We know from the April post that Terror missions are styled as "very similar" to X1. At the moment, the objective is to kill all the aliens, and maybe not kill civilians (but that doesn't matter). If the Xenonauts are not there to save the civilians, then perhaps it might be beneficial to set the aliens an objective on the map, theme it to concept of Terror, and use the civilians as resources for the aliens to achieve their objective. The Terror mission then sets the Xenonauts in opposition to the alien's objective, to deny the aliens the resources they want to complete their objective. Let me give some examples. The simplest example is a Reaper infestation outbreak.The civilians on the Terror site are being converted into Reapers. If too many civilians are converted into Reapers, then the entire site is destroyed by airstrike. Perhaps set a quota for the number of civilians that must be converted for the aliens.Once the aliens convert X civilians, mission over. It would be an interesting balance in such a game, because the most obvious way to deny the Reapers their resources would be to kill any civilians that you see. but if stiff relationship penalties were imposed for dead civilians, you have to make a chice as to whether it's better to kill them on sight, or try and keep them alive for the public. A more complex example would be a Psyon domination assault. Psyons are taking over the minds of civilians enmasse. For each civilian dominated, they will then be used as an agent provocateur, working to undermine the detente between NATO and the Warsaw Pact, the the aim of the Terror mission would be to keep the number of converted human agents as low as possible. If you can kill the Psyons dominating the civilians then they will be free of control, but the Psyons won't hesitate to use freshly mental-controlled civilians to attack the opposing Xenonauts, and dominated civilians might also be trying to escape the battle zone, so it again,might be beneficial just to kill civilians but of course, it doesn't look good when you've got Xenonauts killing (seemingly) unarmed civvies . (they were mind controlled, honest!) In both examples we hold true to the underlying X1 concept of a Terror site - kill the aliens, save the civilians if you can. But rather than it having just be that, the civilians become a resource to be fought over. The aliens want the civvies to carry out their plans, the Xenonauts want to either kill or save the civvies, to prevent alien plans from moving forward.
  6. What Xenonauts 2 needs

    It's interesting that training has been brought up in this thread, because training was something that was hashed over again and again during the development of X1, and it's something that has been tried in a variety of ways in other X-Com-a-likes. The fundamental assumption behind training appears to be: "I put X solider(s) into training. They are unavailable for Y period of time. Once Y period of time has expired,, they acquire Z bonuses". There are often things built upon that. Soldiers may need to acquire some form of resource before they may take training (experience points, training points, yogi master points, etc.). There are often rules about when they can take training (not wounded, not dead, not host to a bioweapon, etc.). There may be conditions to meet for certain kinds of bonuses, and requirements to meet to get training in the first place, but strip away all the surface layer stuff and each time training has been tried in an X-Com-a-like you have the same three postulates - take solider X, remove them from the game for time Y, acquire Z bonus at the end of time Y. X-Com Apocalypse's training only required the player to build a training room. When a solider was sent away from training, they improved their stats. As the bar to entry was so low, a decent strategy was to make a training base. Recruit soldiers directly to the training base and have them train all the time. They would improve their stats without the risk of losing them in battle. What training did in effect was to speed up the time needed to have soldiers with good stats and provide a pool of soldiers which had good stats without having to grind missions to do so. Depending on your perspective as a player, that could be good or bad. If you didn't do well, or experienced a party wipe (and party wipes in a game like Apocalypse are serious, when you can control 30+ soldiers in a fight!), then having a ready pool of soldiers with good stats and having the capacity to take more soldiers and prepare them without grinding missions is a good thing. On the other hand, if you're doing well, then having a pool of soldiers which can have comparable stats to the soldiers who you do missions with is a slap in the face of the player - what's the point of playing well and preserving your soldiers when you can just train a bunch of guys up for no risk? The AfterX series took training in the opposite direction. Training required three resources. Experience points, which were traded in for levels, which granted two other resources - stat increases and training points. Both stats and training points were necessary to acquire skills. In Aftershock, you selected a profession for your solider, based upon the stat requirements and the training points available. In Afterlight, you picked skills based upon the research you had carried out. Skills were mostly based around unlocking. Combat training did not usually provide stat increases. Instead they permitted to soldier access to something they couldn't do before, whether it was a special ability, a physical action, or something else. In Afterlight, for example, you could not crouch in a spacesuit without the appropriate spacesuit training. In Aftershock, you could not get access to entire weapon categories without training in the appropriate profession. Some skills in the AfterX games were considered mandatory. In Aftershock, if you wanted to heal someone in battle you almost always needed a solider who had the medic profession. In Afterlight, in order to perform certain basic movement actions, such as crouching or running, you had to have spacesuit training. Aftershock's system of training was closer to XCOM's system of class-based leveling up, in that without the appropriate profession, you did not have access to certain weapons, nor did you have access to certain special skills unique to the profession. Unlike XCOM, professions were not locked in from the word go, and a character could be trained in three different professions at once. This was a complicated system, First you took your soldiers into battle. Then if they earnt enough experience points, they levelled up. Then, if they had enough training points AND the appropriate stats AND the correct research you could select a skill for them to train in. Compare this to XCOM - earn enough experience points, get a level, get a skill. XCOM's system of getting skills is much more accessible than the After series, but the AfterX series created greater investment in the character. You had to work to get skills for a soldier, so every skill gained was that much more appreciated for it. In the Apocalypse model, training exists to get recruits up to speed quickly. Soldiers in Apocalypse are considered very replaceable. While it's good to keep soldiers between missions, it's not necessary as each solider is defined only by their stats and if you have a mechanism outside of running missions to improve stats, then loosing a solider is not that big of a deal in the cosmic scheme of things. In the AfterX model, training exists to act as a speed bump and a means of personalizing and investing a player in their soldiers. Each time a solider is able to train, they can then do something that they cannot before - run faster, jump quicker, use weapons they didn't have access to.....and crouch. At the same time, XCOM showed that it wasn't necessary to jump through the hoops that AfterX set up, by disposing of training and just allowing soliders to get something each time they levelled up. The feedback loop in XCOM is shorter because the intermediate stage of training is removed. What would the Xenonauts model be? Well, one must ask all sorts of questions. For example, where will the bulk of effort in improving soldiers come from? Does it come from completing missions? Ground combat is the meat of Xenonauts. The strategy section exists to serve ground combat, so it would make sense to put the most rewards into ground combat. However, if ground combat is where soldiers will progress, then the most effective strategy to improve soldiers is to delay the progression of the game while grinding out as many missions as possible and to behave in ground combat as conservatively as possible to preserve soldiers. That was seen during the development of X1 even though the grinding was boring, because people tend to prioritise the most optimal strategy to win over the most fun. Training then might be a tool to lessen the desire to grind out as much as possible by making alternate routes to progression available as in the Apocalypse model, rather than acting as a gatekeeper to progression as in the AfterX model. What kind of progression is there going to be? I can't find the post, but Chris has previously said that progression is going to be small increments to specific stats and equipment. E.g. getting a +bonus to shooting with rifle-class weapons, for example. If that's as far as progression is going to go, is it necessary to have a training mechanism at all? And another question to ask might be, is the accepted model of training (solider X goes away for Y days to get Z bonus) an appropriate model for Xenonauts? Would a different model better suit the game? Perhaps a more interactive model, such as a minigame? But would a minigame become tiresome? Would it be better to turn the training trope on it's head? Instead of sending a solider away, you bring a training officer to the solider. Perhaps you have to hire and schedule a training officer to turn up at home base. When the training officer turns up, any solider who stays as home base gets some training. Anyone who has to go out on a mission doesn't. That would work pretty well in a turn based strategy environment. What do you think? What would a good model for training in Xenonauts be? Should there even be one?
  7. Make both site playable

    If playing as the aliens were to be done, then it would require a shift in presentation. XCOM: Long War and Long War 2 feature the hordes and large-scale warfare suggested in this thread. The lesson they teach is it's not that interesting to grind through hordes for the sake of grinding through hordes. Long War made the horde aspect interesting by tying it to a mission objective and depersonalizing the hordes, making them less an opponent and more a barrier to mission completion. Many of the guerrilla ops missions are better done out by sneaking around past the numerous patrols instead of trying to tear a hole through them. Most of the defense and extraction missions use the hordes as a delaying and distraction tactic to pull the player away from the mission goal. Even then, while it might be immediately satisfying for a few missions to 1-shot several platoons, a game needs satisfying opponents and easy-to-kill humans aren't going to make the grade. Xenonauts thrives on challenge, so the ante would have to be upped I believe you'd need to feature armoured vehicles - armoured cars, IFVs evens tanks because it's easy for the human mind to grasp the potency of an armoured vehicle and treat it as a threat. The imagery of tanks in particular is saturated with steel behemoths spewing fire and thunder as they smash everything in their path, so the first time an alien player sees a tank it;s going to be a woah! moment. Fighting vehicles in combination with human soldiers could create a challenging environment, as armoured vehicles have the firepower to smush alien troops that human soliders can't, but tanks don't have the eyes or the presence soldiers do. Then as even as fighting vehicles becomes passe, one might graduate from fighting armoured vehicles to fighting the Xenonauts themselves, who are armed with all the exotica that you might expect - lasers, magnetic accelerators, power armoured suits... The game goes from a technologically superior army clearing out the hordes to a mirror match, where the technological edge the alien player has is slipping away and the player has to satisfy his goals before the Xenonauts either reach parity or go beyond parity. Against the need to be able to up the ante, one must also consider the underlying gameplay tropes of Xenonauts. Xenonauts is fundamentally a small unit skirmish game, where the player starts with a little and must acquire the resources necessary to progress and to grow. W If you want to be supreme commander of an invasion then the scope of the game switches to a wargame rather than a skirmish-level game, with massive resources to hand and the allocation of armies, rather than squads. How could you represent small unit skirmishes when the player i architect of an invasion? One answer would be to take a leaf from Imperium Galatica and make someone else the supreme commander. Push the player down the ranks. Make him the equivalent of a lower ranking officer. Something sufficiently high to make the player stand out, but not something so high they they have command of significant resources. Say, perhaps the equivalent of a Captain of a ship, They start off with low grade tasking (tutorial) but as the player becomes more successful, the player is given a greater mandate and access to better resources, just like Imperium Galatica so the feel of building and growing on the strategy level is maintained, while the small-unit skirmish aspect is maintained as the Captain only has access to a fairly small contingent of marines. EDIT: The World War and Colonisation trilogies consider an alien invasion of earth which starts off successfully, then begins to fail. The aliens make some fundamental errors while fighting their war which leads to the semi failure of the invasion. The alien invasion in Xenonauts might feature the top brass making key errors as well so the invasion starts off smoothly, but these errors cost the aliens resources and territory and instead of recognising the problems the top brass double down on their "invincible strategy". The actual arc of the game may be the realization that the if the top brass are left in power, the invasion will fail so the player goes from a lowly captain to finally ousting the supreme commander in a political coup to save the invasion. EDIT 2. An example of such an error might be that the invasion force might not be an invasion force. Perhaps Earth is mislabeled a vassal planet which hasn't paid its tribute. The force which arrives is designed to scare the population into paying up, and when the being in charge realises this is virgin territory, it orders an invasion so it can carve out it's own little piece of heaven. While the alien force is far ahead of the technological curve, they don't have the resources the supreme commander thinks they do and this becomes painfully clear when a mysterious human organisation starts shooting precious ships out of the sky and running off with their technology.
  8. Chris, where would I find those files, please? Is it in _support? Is it output.log? I had to ctrl-alt-delete out of the game, would there still be logs? And would there still be logs if I went back into the game straight afterwards, or would they be lost forever?
  9. In the previous turn, the AI soldier which is standing next to the Osprey had been standing next to the two xenonauts at the top of the picture. This turn, the soldier appeared (I did not see the AI soldier move) next to my sniper (sniper highlighted in green square), and the game reported "Friendly activity". Nothing was happening so I went away, made a cup of tea, came back and still nothing was happening and it was still "friendly activity". Possible AI loop?
  10. Can a bullet be smoothly tracked from one level to the next? I ask because when doing the demo, I almost always send my sniper up onto the roof of the admin building to get a better field of fire. When she takes a shot from a higher level to a lower level, the camera switches to the lowest level and tracks the bullet from there. It feels off to not be able to see the sniper take a shot. Could you also bring back the bonus to-hit when a solider is within 5 tiles of a target from X1? At the moment, I'm running up next to a Psyon with a shotgunner and 2/3rds of my shots miss. The "miss at point blank" has never sat well in any X-Com or X-Com-like game, and is the butt of many a joke.
  11. So, first go on the new build. Gave up after losing half the team around starting admin block building. First impressions. The game first time updating crashed at 71%. Didn't crash the second time after I reinstalled. Enjoyed the way I could shred the bushes. The doors in the admin building no longer seem to open. There's a pause just when the doors should open, then the doors don't open. Heavy armour doesn't feel like heavy armour. Still feels like the guy in the armour dies just as easily as someone not in heavy armour. I'm fiddling around with that - will get back to you on it. Spotted an anachronism. If you're looking for a late 70s early 80s feel, then there were no flat screen monitors back then! Just CRTs.
  12. Would it be possible to expose the the 50% in some sort of variable in the .json file? Done like that, different marks and types of armour could have different degrees of fragility. E.G. mark 2 jackal armour might not offer more material benefits than mark 1 wolf armour, but mark 1 wolf armour might loose its benefits more quickly than the more mature mark 2 jackal. Anyway, got a ragdolling issue to report. If you blow up a xenonaut with the grenade launcher or grenades (by accident, I assure you!), the body can be pushed around by other xenonauts.
  13. So, was messing around with the .json files looking for TU restriction and instead came across a possible bug. I notice that armour can grant an HP bonus which I tried fiddling with. A soldier hit by an alien weapon will correctly show the appropriate HP loss and possible HP regain, but if you heal a solider their HP resets to their unaltered level. If the intention is that armour grants a permanent bonus to HP, then this is a bug and needs to be fixed. However, the thought sprung to me that the HP bonus need not be permanent. The HP bonus could instead be a 1-time bonus to represent ablative armour. So the tier 1 combat armour in the demo might grant, for example, a 100HP bonus which can never be healed in combat to represent ablative ceramic plates cracking under the stress of absorbing plasma.If you want to go down that route then you'd need to adjust the UI to make it clear that part of the HP bar is health, the other part is shielding. In fact, armour might both grant a permanent bonus and an "albative HP" bonus, but if it's going to grant a permanent bonus then that bug needs to be sorted out.
  14. Re. the cover visualization - I don't feel that I've explained myself properly, so let me try again. I haven't been able to get a good picture to illustrate my example, so I've had to make do with the below Let's assume in the above picture that each piece of blocking terrain through the line of fire is an independent free-standing piece of blocking terrain. It is not part of a multi-tile terrain piece, so each piece can be evaluated separately when calculating a shot. Looking at this, I'm informed that I have 3 pieces of terrain, each of which has have a 40% chance of blocking the shot. If the game follows X1's rules, then I don't need to be informed of the block chance for each piece of terrain, because only one piece chosen at random will ever possibly block the shot, so I'm being given too much information.It would be better if the possible blocking piece were highlighted, but I was informed that overall, there is a 40% chance that the shot will be blocked if my soldier rolls to-hit. If, on the other hand, each piece of blocking terrain is evaluated independently, then it would be helpful to have the cumulative probability that the shot will blocked so I know whether or not to bother even if I pass to the to-hit roll.