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  1. “…if suddenly there was a threat to this world from some other species from another planet outside in the universe. We'd forget all the little local differences that we have between our countries and we would find out once and for all that we really are all human beings here on this earth together." – Ronald Reagan Purpose The Alien invasion arrives at an Earth in the grip of a cold war. The threat of nuclear annihilation casts a shadow over mankind. This proposal shows the progression of cold war relationships in the face of the invasion. It provides an alternative research tree, focused on Geoscape based aspects of the game, in addition to providing an additional layer of simple immersion. Goals - A geopolitical research tree dovetailing from main tech tree, that impacts the funding nations - Funding nation variables, linked to Xenonaut scoring. - Expansion of funding nation actions - Use of certain missions/maps to have increased impact on scoring - Enhanced Geoscape events - Enhanced funding details Why? The EU Geoscape was a fairly static affair that, beyond increasing or decreasing funding, didn’t really adapt to a change in the alien threat levels. The developers took pains to rectify this in Apocalypse. In Xenonauts, the invasion fleet is there for everyone to see. It would be nice to see a world in the depths of a cold war adapt to something that will either forge them together or doom them all. Other threads Heating Up the Cold War – Looks at the world of 1979 and makes some game suggestions Potential GeoPol Mod – Jimbobfury is looking at similar territory. The only reason this lot isn’t in that thread is that there’s a focus on weapon mods there, and I didn’t want this lot to derail it. Base Spread –ideas on why the player should expand out into the Geoscape, and what can be doe not promote it. The posts here will be updated based on comments and further reading. A wiki has been set up from Jimbobfury’s post and hopefully this can also feed into that.
  2. I noticed that Xenonauts doesn't distinguish between East and West Germany (as far as soldier nationalities are concerned). Since the game is explicitly set against a Cold War background, wouldn't it be a good idea to designate soldiers as either East German or West German instead of simply "German"? After all, the fact that there were two German countries on opposite sides of the Iron Curtain was one of the most striking geopolitical factors of the Cold War.
  3. I'm playing my early game in V12, and I had a funny thought. I make my first base in the USSR, and you start with your 3 F-17 interceptors. So whenever xenonauts launch an intercept, there will be a wing of 3 F-16 lookalikes flying around in the heart of cold war soviet russia. It was just funny to imagine the reactions the soviets would have to that.
  4. Lately there have been a number of posts and threads that have been discussing making aspects of the Cold War more prevalent. Currently, there is very little emphasis currently in the game on the Cold War and how it affects the the game play. Most have taken this as negligence on the part of the developers, but I am of a different opinion. I assume that the developers picked this setting for a reason and that it is relevant to game. Given that the developers could have set the game at many different periods in history, why did they choose the Cold War? My hypothesis is that they picked this setting because it is relevant to the alien's motivation for invading Earth. Namely, that the invasion of Earth is a war by proxy between galatic powers in a similar manner to what Vietnam was like for America. Perhaps later in the game Xenonauts would receive technological assistance from another alien species (like how America provided the Taliban Stinger missile launchers during Russia's invasion of Afghanistan). What are your thoughts about why Goldhawk Interactive decided that the game should be set during the Cold War?
  5. The Coldest War "Today, America would be outraged if U.N. troops entered Los Angeles to restore order. Tomorrow they will be grateful! This is especially true if they were told that there were an outside threat from beyond, whether real or promulgated, that threatened our very existence. It is then that all peoples of the world will plead to deliver them from this evil. The one thing every man fears is the unknown. When presented with this scenario, individual rights will be willingly relinquished for the guarantee of their well-being granted to them by the World Government." - Dr. Henry Kissinger,US Secretary of State 1973-1977 Founded by both world superpowers in the face of a possible invasion, the organisation has had to fight tooth and claw to retain it’s existence, appropriating funds from either side where and when it could. As the Superpowers glacially looked to expand their spheres of influence to counter each other, only the organisation remained aware of a potentially greater threat. When this threat arrived in October 1979, it was clear how far the organisation had moved beyond geopolitics. “A clandestine organisation known only as the ‘Xenonauts’ establishes communication with the major world powers and claims responsibility,” for the only known successful interception of an alien craft over the Baltic Sea. The Xenonauts demand “both funding and authority to operate within their territory and airspace in exchange for protection.“ In fighting the invasion, the goal of the Xenonauts organisation will indirectly result in each nation reassessing their relationships with the rest of the world. Earth’s best defence is a united one. It is the goal of Xenonauts to channel as much collective development and unity from its funding nations as possible. To that end results from some of the Xenonaut research can be distributed throughout the funding nations. While this may sound utopian, bear in mind that the Xenonauts are essentially extorting capital from their funding nations in return for protection and the hope that their advanced technology will secure a victory. Also note that throughout, Xenonauts do not openly share their key research findings with the rest of the world. “The deal was simple – a monthly funding grant and authority to operate in a nation’s airspace and territory, in exchange for protection against extraterrestrial activity. Reluctantly, all the major powers agreed.” Why? The ideas below were some of the very first thoughts I had when putting together the Geopolitical mod thread. That shows the reluctance the funding nations have in greater detail. The short set of ideas below would ideally be part of the same setup, but are separated here as they can stand alone. They follow a similar path that the Alien Origins/The Martian Solution/Cydonia or Bust research topics of the original did. This is intentional so as not to detract or delay the main mission too much. The back story, as provided, shows the Xenonauts as an organisation on the brink of extinction, a situation now facing the rest of the world. It also shows that they have goals and demands that coerce the funding nations into agreement. They are not quite the clean cut outfit that their X-Com predecessors were. The ideas below take the Xenonauts in a direction that is a little darker than simply saving the Earth from an alien threat. Particularly when there are other enemies closer to home. Shadow Kingdom Research Required - Iceland Incident; Alien Invasion; Third tier weaponry Game Trigger - Save scientist mission objective at a particular ticker point. Unlocks Research - The Third Path Unlocks Bonus/Penalty – Reduced staff costs Summary – While liberating a research lab from the aliens, a supposedly missing prominent scientist is rescued. In debriefing, he reveals that, although his research is compartmentalised, that he must be a tiny part of a larger recruitment programme. A programme so aggressive, that the scientist was believed to have died so that he could vanish into the project. Further research has revealed the mysterious disappearances of individuals form a variety of scientific fields. The deaths of prominent figures in Physics, chemistry and astronomy are now put in doubt. This programme has been going on since the late 1950s. Insiders refer to the programme as the Brian Drain, but it is designated Project Aquarius. The scientist’s own work has reached a conclusion. It is unknown if this applies to the rest of the programme. The location of any related work or of funding sources is also unknown. Notes: The third tier research topic could be replaced with something else. Ideally, it should be a technological topic as this fits into the rest of these additions. It should also be something far enough into the game to be advanced technology, but not so advanced as to get in the way of the final mission topics. The game triggers are provided as additions/ alternatives to the required research topics. The reduced staff cost bonus reflects that whatever was going on, it’s now coming to an end. This will free up researchers elsewhere to join the Xenonauts. Ties with existing Xenonauts story: Echoes the steps a clandestine organisation may have taken in the cold war to capture the only people it believed capable of advancing it’s own agenda. Mod Requirements: Edit Research topics, Add research Topics, Add mission objectives, Research Lab indoor mission (optional, but is one of the stretch goals); recruitment cost alteration The Third Path Research Required - Shadow Kingdom, Last third tier topic Game Trigger –Aliens launch a base attack on a base not used by Xenonauts at a particular ticker point/ or a simpler pop up screen stating that local agents uncover a base, but it isn’t an alien one. Much like in X-Com/ Alien Base mission, but they’ve used a previously extant Xenonaut-like Base. Unlocks Research - New World Order Unlocks Bonus/Penalty – Free Base/ Reduced Construction Costs Summary – While the Xenonauts are setting up new bases around the world to combat the alien invasion, another party is making use of the bases set up in the 1960s following the Iceland Incident. While many of the facilities look to have been deserted for decades, there is clear evidence of recent and intensive use in key areas, such as laboratories and workshops. Whoever vacated the base in a hurry left few clues for the retrieval team. However, in the dust covered, deserted command centre Project Aquarius briefing documents are found, supporting the ‘missing’ scientist’s claims. The documents outline high level meetings between the Soviet Union and the United States military in December 1958. In these meetings, available findings from the Iceland Incident were shared. Analysis of potential further threats was made and ideas on how to combat such an enemy were suggested. These ideas became three distinct solutions. The solutions were known as Project Majority, an inside joke on the lack of consensus achieved to select one of them over the others. The documents suggest that parallel programmes, entitled The Three Paths (and the Three Bears informally), were put in place. Disturbingly, the Xenonauts look to be connected to one of these alternatives. Path 1: Project Aleph – The manipulation of population sizes, in order to force a cohesive, militaristic humanity prepared for the alien attack. Such extreme population control measures could only be put into effect by creating a number of disasters. Biochemical research was proposed for this purpose as was artificial escalation of the Cold War. A further option was to use this research to deny the planet to enemy forces should the situation become hopeless. This ruthless, cold option was considered one where worst case scenarios would prevail. Path 2: Project Anteus - Aquarius would ensure the construction of numerous underground shelters. Ostensibly these would be built to survive a nuclear war. In truth, they were to be build to survive an alien invasion. The bases would house a military command structure and a breeding population of civilians. Path 3: Project Aquarius – An expansionist approach that suggested that mankind’s best hope was through it’s own rapid advancement. By expanding knowledge in electronics, propulsion, astronomy and physics mankind could reach beyond the Earth. Increasing detection capabilities was considered an immediate goal of this project. Projected suggestions looked to move mankind to a more even footing with any invading force. These suggestions advocated that mankind should set up a base on Mars, titled Wells Station, using the Moon as a staging post. Veterans of Operation Verne provided support for an Aquarius programme that looked to advance the military readiness of a unified military force. They outlined a number of necessary projects. There are clear parallels between the Project Aquarius proposals and the structure of the Xenonauts. These projects would become the operational structure of Xenonauts in years to come. Aquarius – Umbrella project cataloguing all available intelligence from the Iceland incident Garnet - Coordination of all information relating to the aliens. Sign – Intelligence gathering to determine further aliens presences. Sign alerts the organisation following the WOW signal. Blue Book – The public face of Project Sign, actively investigating the public UFO sightings. Snowbird –Create disinformation to cover test flights & gauge intelligence. Redlight – to pilot reverse engineered UFO Pluto – Evaluating all alien technology with a view to enhancing human space capabilities/ biological intelligence. Excalibur – develop a weapons system capable of combating an alien craft. Gabriel - The use of pulsed sound weaponry against alien craft. Sigma – Establish communications with the aliens. No communications were received throughout the Iceland Incident. Plato – A project looking to create diplomatic links with an alien species. Blue Fly/ Blue Team – Reaction, retrieval and recovery operation briefed and trained on Iceland Incident. Xenonaut soldiers are trained by retired Blue Fly operatives. With no alien incursions following 1958, Blue Team eventually became part of Project Sign. Delta – The security arm of Blue Team and Pounce. Luna – Relates to construction and maintenance of secret underground bases. Pounce – the subsequent retrieval of crashed UFO materiel following Blue Team missions. Notes: Again, the research topic used as a requirement can be replaced. The changes to bases as a reward reflects the Xenonauts uncovering the series of hidden bases placed around the world by their organisation in it’s prime. It is suggested that the Xenonauts research topics be designated project titles as above to further tie them in with the Project Majority briefing documents. Ties with existing Xenonauts story: The back story reveals that the initially, well funded Xenonauts had a number of hidden bases that then fell into disrepair. This topic returns to that. It also suggests some tactical options available to countries facing a threat of unknown, but superior technology. Mod Requirements: Possibly a scripted map – combining alien and Xenonaut base (optional)
  6. I was thinking about the Cold War setting on the way home. It’s something that I’ve heard mentioned a few times about Xenonauts. Yes, it’s set in 1977. Yes, the weapons are era specific and yes, there’s starkness to the art. But does the game really reflect the era, what could it do to reflect it more and should it bother? One thing that I would really like to see would be an event system running in parallel with/ in addition to the alien attack one, showing the reaction of the funding nation’s to events:- ‘Pravda reports that aliens have been welcomed in Moscow.’ would be a bad one to read ‘ Riots continue in Paris suburbs for a third night.’ ‘local forces rout alien survivor’ ‘ Governor unmasked as Sebillian agent’ ‘ Country X threatens Country Y over disputed border, in face of alien invasion.’ ‘ Ambassador Fererro Rocher assassinated.’ – Infiltration mission successful. And so on, anything to give a bit of heart and soul to the otherwise bland funding world that the game is based in. There’s an invasion fleet in orbit. It would be nice to know what the reaction to it was, other than funding the Xenonauts out of the petty cash. Messages would become increasing desperate as the invasion progressed, enhancing the tension in the game hopefully. So some thoughts, based as firmly as possible within the context of work we’ve already seen in the game. Nuclear Threat Background: We all lived under the shadow of the bomb. An escalating crisis could lead to something cataclysmic. Game background: Perhaps that’s a reason why the aliens simply don’t attack. Mutually Assured Destruction would kill their landing troops just as it would kill everything else. Perhaps they are scanning the Earth’s military capabilities before their other ships arrive. In game: -The option of nuking countries that have singed with the aliens won’t really work as the Geoscape doesn’t operate at that level of detail. - Missions through irradiated wastelands would look very cool, but would take too much work to bother about. - Having the option of alien friendly countries nuking your based isn’t good for game play. Expansionism Background – Behind the sabre rattling, there was an never ending desire to expand spheres of influence across the globe. Game background - In any circumstance, never underestimate humanity’s desire to take advantage of one another, even in the face of disaster. In Game: - Funding nations can expand or contract depending on alien attacks. They will actively seek to do this, even if it means going against some Xenonaut interests. - Missions against the alien threat could be activated by a funding nations’s goals. In effect, expanding the goals of a mission, some of which would not require an intercept component. -Funding nations are linked to each other. Other finding nations are linked with the fates of one of the two superpowers. The lack of a country by country feed into the funding nations make the above tough to implement. Idealism Background – Publicly displayed goals of the cold war revolved around an ideological difference between the superpowers. Game Background: A number of UFOlogy figures in the US report that the visitors were communist in nature, alerting these people to the US authorities. In Game: - The Alien fleet could effortlessly divide a cold war world by siding with one half of it. Less of a pact through infiltration, than an alliance against a common hated foe. The humans would get world dominance and technological wonders while the aliens would get the rare minerals they are really after. Naturally, all humans would end up as food/pets regardless of which side is allied with. -Disruption of funding nations, and possibly allies through withdrawal of funds. - Active resistance by local forces in Geoscape missions. - Increased costs to operate bases, buy equipment etc in that part of the world. - Targeted attacked against hated enemies of the human/ alien alliance, placing strain on limited resources. Enemy Within/ Espionage Background – When the wall came down, a sizeable number of the East Germans were found to be spying on each other. You just never knew if your neighbour was someone you could trust. Game Background – While there’s an invasion fleet in orbit, perhaps the aliens are trying to be a little bit sneaky to weaken their foes first. In Game : -Infiltration missions run by aliens, much in the same way as a lead up to signing an alien pact as portrayed in the first EU. - Pacts that would operate much as alliances above, but later in the game. Local forces could be working for either side, depending on how insidious the pact was. - In conjunction with more in game news information, it would be clear which countries were beginning to turn to the aliens. Such countries would be key to run missions in - Flyovers of countries would have an impact on infiltration as would base location within that funding nation. - Anti infiltration missions, much like Apocalypse. Basically a normal mission minus the air combat phase. ‘ Local forces identify possible infiltration. Investigate.’ Perhaps sometimes there may not be any aliens present, losing points with the funding nation. - Defend the military base from Alien infiltration/ ground assault is another option - Escaping aliens and missions that are not taken up by the Xenonauts, would play strongly into this area.
  7. From what I understand, the '70s/'80s setting is just for flavor, but in the future could it be used to affect gameplay? For instance if you have units of mixed Western and Eastern Bloc soldiers, they may not work as well together at first. While modeling loyalty/unit cohesion might be too much, maybe it just decreases some of their stats during a mission? On a strategic level, if you undertake too many missions in one region while ignoring another, you get penalized by the neglected region; this is just like in the original X-COM, except maybe this extends to not just one geographic region (like North America or Western Europe), but all of the regions of a bloc. And just which are the current funding nations anyway? I assumed that so far it's just NATO and Warsaw Pact countries, but it looks like Australia and New Zealand are out there too. I'm curious if China or the Non-Aligned Movement countries (especially India, Yugoslavia, Egypt, and Indonesia) could send troops as well. Or what if they're kept in the dark entirely? So if you undertake missions in their territory, their local forces might compete with you, or even fire upon you. I know all of this adds another layer of complexity and so is probably not feasible right now, but it's interesting to think about.
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