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lemm

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lemm last won the day on May 2

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About lemm

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  1. Here's my idea for a movement preview feature which is just an extension of what @podbelski said in the second post of the thread: Player clicks on a soldier, hovers mouse over a distant square and presses Ctrl-Shift. The UI will show the path the soldier will take to get there like it does in X1 and a little window will appear next to the target square showing all the actions that the soldier will have time for. Now if the player CLICKS on one of these actions (while still holding down ctrl+shift), then the movement preview feature will deduct the number of TU that the selected action takes. The player can then click on a second square and in so doing create a chain of actions. This could all be represented by a phantom outline of the soldier moving along the planned route. Essentially, this is just borrowing the turn planning mechanic from Frozen Synapse, but unlike Frozen Synapse, you're never committed to keeping the full plan for the entire turn. If the soldier spots an alien while he's walking to his destination, then the player can just abandon the plan and take some other action. This is just a feature to help the player better plan his moves, and it doesn't need to be used at all if the player doesn't hold down Ctrl+Shift (and in actual fact, it would probably only be used in hairy situations and not for hurrying all your soldiers across empty ground to get the last alien). Regardless, I think that a flexible movement preview function like this is more useful than an XCOM-style TU reserve button because the player can throw in turning, crouching, or whatever he wants, which is something you can't really do with a TU reserve button.
  2. Yeah I like the view cones too, but because they make the gameplay more complicated. I like that idea. You could even take it a step further and make every (or every other) square after the first three cost one TU fewer, essentially granting the soldier a bonus for running a straight line over long distances. It adds complexity without adding in separate movement modes.
  3. It was possible to build a base more quickly in X1 than in new-XCOM because in new-XCOM, expansion has to start at the lift and you have to dig level-by-level, whereas in X1 all you had to do was find some free surface area to continue construction. If aliens invade the base, then I think it would be easier to move around a base that has one floor rather than one that has a lot of staircases because these act like choke points. Being able to rotate buildings in X1 wasn't really an interesting feature so much as a convenience that allowed you to fit what you wanted in the base. Well you could just carve out however many slots the facility needs and then build it in those slots. The facility would just act like one big slot when the mouse is hovered over it, and the "grout" that partitions 1x1 slots would be filled in by graphics of the facility. I don't think it matters to be honest so if sideways buildings look better then go for those.
  4. I support getting rid of strength as a stat for many reasons which include those that you listed and it's reasonable enough to assume that anyone can carry whatever they can fit in their inventory. If necessary a heavy weapon can occupy both primary and secondary slots so that no soldier can carry superhuman amounts. And if you still want strength, maybe it could just be added as a trait so that "strong" soldiers can carry an extra thing. A potential problem with removing the back pack would be in a mission where you have to retrieve some item without killing everything in sight. Where are you going to put it?
  5. I thought that there was going to be a teleporter in the Atlas base. I really liked that idea because sci-fi magic solved problems related to the narrative like helicopters that could fly around the world on a single tank of fuel and terror squads that would politely keep terrorizing the populace until your brave soldiers showed up to stop them. Plus, you could even do cool things like teleport into office buildings or maybe even into larger alien ships while they were still in flight. The geographic location of the main base would not be a concern because there would be no more logistics involving your ground troops. I guess stationing troops at strike bases would be okay, too, as long as I don't need to keep manually resupplying them with ammo, grenades and other basic supplies. Yeah this was annoying in X1. There could be some kind of scrolling information feed presented as a column on the right hand side of the screen, overlayed atop the geoscape map so that attentive players can just slam the pause button as soon as something pops up. That sort of thing would be less annoying than a black UI box popping up all the time. And spawning several UFOs at once like you suggested would help out, too.
  6. If turning has no penalty then the optimal way to move anywhere is to move one square, spin around, move another square, spin around, and so forth. Which means you might as well not even have a view cone and just let soliders see in every direction like starcraft units. Personally, I've never used the time unit reserve because it's more trouble than just doing simple arithmetic and even if it wasn't, I wouldn't find it useful. I don't tell my units to walk in some general direction until they have just enough time for a shot; I want them to go to a specific point and if I know that they won't have enough TU to do what they want when they get there, then I come up with an alternate plan. In my opinion, the TU reserve was really only necessary for XCOM and TFTD because there was no time unit preview function like there is in Xenonauts. I think you could just get rid of the feature or at least not spend time worrying about it.
  7. Seems like what you're saying is that there should be arm points (what you call action points) and leg points (movement points). I've been mulling this over, trying to figure out how it would work without requiring the player to do two parallel sets of arithmetic for both movement and actions because it sounds like a neat idea and because I like your cinematic reference . Introduction. Let's start with the simplest solution: every soldier gets as many arm points as he does leg points. Say Mr. Connery starts with 60 points per turn, and that firing a shotgun takes 20 arm points and 0 leg points because he can fire while walking. If he stood completely still while firing and reloading, then each shot would take 20 arm and 20 leg points. And if he did something like shoot while still, but walk while reloading, then each shot would consume 20 arm points and 10 leg points. Now, even if Connery can fire while moving, he is still not allowed to spend all of his arm points before he uses a single leg point. The reason is because his arms and legs are bound in spacetime. In the director's cut where he spends all 60 arm points and THEN spends all 60 leg points, his upper body is hovering in place firing shots while his legs are walking down the hall to greet the mafioso with a swift kick to the crotch (sadly, this version of the film was never released). Rules. Putting this all together we derive three rules. I'll go back to calling arm points as action points (AP) and leg points as movement points (MP). Both AP and MP are expressed in time units (TU). Actions always consume AP, and they can also consume MP if the action would impair motion, but consumed MP <= consumed AP because the action encompasses the movement and not the other way around. At any point, AP <= MP. AP can never exceed MP because this would mean that the soldier's upper body would be effectively lagging his feet. To perform an action, AP == MP. This is the corollary of rule 2. If an action were to be performed when AP < MP, this would mean that the soldier's upper body would be jumping ahead in time before his legs could have caught up (or to put it correctlier, that he is performing the action at point A when his body is located at point B) Example. Every soldier now has an AP bar located right under the MP bar. Let's say a soldier starts out at full AP and MP. He is ordered to move somewhere, and as he walks along, his AP and MP decrease in unison as per rule 2. He sees an alien and takes a shot, which he is allowed to do because AP == MP as per rule 3. He shoots a quick shot which misses, and some AP but no MP is consumed, so now AP < MP. Now he runs to find cover, and as he does, his MP decreases. He finds cover and lines up a second shot, but still, AP < MP because he didn't walk very far to find cover. However, he wants to shoot from this position, so the game forces him to dump excess MP so that AP == MP, thereby allowing him to take the shot as per rule 3. This time, he takes a fully aimed shot that costs MP equal to AP (which is allowed as per rule 1). The turn ends with his AP == MP (although it would have been legal to end his turn with AP < MP, because ending a turn is not an action). Comments. We have a third bar for action points in addition to those for hit and movement points. But I think it would be easy to get the feel of the action point system after a few battles because of how the time unit bars tick down in real time as the soldiers walk along. However, because one turn's worth of time is scaled differently for each soldier according to his MP, that means a rifle shot is going to take proportionally more AP for a more experienced soldier, and we really didn't solve that problem. So I don't know if it's worth the extra complication.
  8. lemm

    reversible mind control

    Mind control made xcom and tftd a cake walk. It's a fun mechanic but if every soldier or alien has access to it then it ruins the game because it becomes neither fun to wield nor to play against. Only 10% of aliens and soldiers should have full mind control abilities if it's included in X2. Edit: And to address the OP, yes, any soldiers that happen to be under mind control when the last alien is killed should be returned to your command.
  9. Yeah this is a good point. Morale wasn't very interesting in the original XCOM because as you say, either everything was fine and dandy until one too many of your guys dies, and then suddenly everyone starts panicking and it's a downward spiral from there. And when your squad members do start to panic, you can't really do much about it. I think that the morale system might be more interesting if its effects weren't so pronounced. Like maybe a panicking soldier would not lose all of his TUs, but be impaired more slightly (like he is unable to run towards the aliens, he's unable to throw a grenade but can still shoot a gun, and so forth).
  10. lemm

    Xenonauts-2: Research Tree

    All of these research technologies that you've described seem very meat-and-potatoes. Everything is either a gun that fires a projectile in a straight line, or a grenade that follows an arcing trajectory, and the researchable upgrades make their effects slightly better. I was wondering if there could also be some devices that don't harm the enemy directly but allow your soldiers to reposition themselves or alter the battlefield terrain. Things like teleporters, force-field-projectors, hologram generators, grappling hooks, cloaking fields, psionic-energy cloaks, a swarm of microbots that tracks the enemy, some gizmo that negates all damage entirely for one turn, or other such devices. Maybe some of these devices would be extremely powerful but limited to one use per skirmish. Of course, some of these things could be weapons, but maybe they would be more interesting than things that fire in a straight line. Like unit A places a pylon here, unit B places a pylon there, and then when activated, everything in between the two pylons gets zapped. I think that positional or geometrical puzzles (like Chess or Into the Breach) are more interesting than simple statistical puzzles. Also, there could be several dozen of these advanced devices in the game, but maybe you'd only ever be able to research five of them on the average playthrough.
  11. lemm

    Into the Breach

    I bought this and I liked it. What I liked most is that the game is very conservative-yet-efficient with its use of randomness. Combat doesn't depend on dice rolls except for two specific situations (power grid damage and unit spawns). Like FTL, weapons deal damage in small, integral values which makes combat feel more like chess than XCOM. The rest of the randomness is at the level of the geoscape (which maps spawn and what rewards drop after a zone is saved), and this macro-level randomness has more of an impact on the game than the randomness in combat. I didn't really like the atmosphere. Everything is really dreary and all of the pilots look depressed (except for the Margaret Thatcher character ). Neither did I like Into the Breach as much as I enjoyed FTL. I think this was because there was no feeling of adventure that FTL had. In FTL your ship goes on a little journey and there are events along the way, so each run is like a little story, whereas a playthrough of ItB feels more like a chess tournament.
  12. lemm

    X-com: Apocalypse 2?

    I haven't played this game in ten years or so, but from what I remember, the cult of Sirius was little more than a minor annoyance and the rest of the other "factions" didn't really matter. I agree with jamoecw that it had a lot of neat ideas that weren't really that well polished. And like the other DOS XCOM games, as soon as you could produce the wonder weapon (the toxin gun in this case), then the game just became a cake walk. Anyway, if I made apoc2, I would remove the capability for XCOM to research or produce its own equipment so that the espionage and economic aspects of the game would be more important. Instead of building the facilities in your own base, you would outsource that work to existing laboratories and factories owned by other factions. Also I'd get rid of the real time combat.
  13. lemm

    January Update & Planning

    $100-$200 tier: you get to design a humorous billboard prop that will show up in city-themed maps. The donor provides the billboard content (slogan + design) and the art team makes the prop for it.
  14. lemm

    Xenonauts 2 July Update

    Okay, I have two things to say about XCOM and Xenonauts. 1. In these turn-based tactical games, when a human is facing an AI opponent, I think that tactical situation becomes easier to process for the human player as the turns get more granular. By "more granular," I mean that a player (artifical or human) gets more opportunities to add input per turn. For instance, Frozen Synapse and Lethal Tactics allow you one chance to per turn, and both sides move simultaneously. It's basically the most granular form of strategy. On the other hand, in UFO:EU and Xenonauts, one particular action consumes a fraction of a percent of a turn; the turns are very granular. New-XCOM is somewhere in the middle. I hear a lot of people saying that they think the simplified movement system in New-XCOM makes the game less complicated, but I think they're not looking at it from the perspective that I've just presented. In fact, they added all of those time-based missions in XCOM2 so that you couldn't just scoot your soldiers along, square-by-square. It really makes the game more interesting when you're not always allowed to run behind a corner as soon as you spot an alien. I know I've echoed these sentiments in a bunch of different posts in the Xenonauts 2 Suggestion forums, but after thinking about it, the input-granularity really is what really defines the tactical layer of a turn-based strategy game. (At least in my opinion.) 2. In Xenonauts 2, I think that right after your soldier makes a round-ending kill, there should be a close-up shot of him delivering a cheesy line that you might see at the end of an action movie from the 80s, right after the bad guy is killed. You know, something like Charles Bronson or Bruce Willis might say. I am being completely frank when I say that this one little feature could catapult Xenonauts 2 sales from Indie to AAA-levels.
  15. lemm

    Xenonauts 2 July Update

    It sounds like progress is much more rapid than it was for Xenonauts 1, which is great to hear! It's also good that you're making the game playable while it's in alpha. I think this will really help to make the finished product more strategically interesting, especially if the community makes a commitment finding the quickest and most reliable way to beat each alpha version.
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