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Modular UFOs - Discussion and Suggestions


kabill
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Saucer Battleship, Andron version.

This looks great.

The floor gaps to see lower levels are nice. But do not have full height walls below the gap, take the half-height versions.

I would make the middle layer more triangular, right now it is quite strange as the footprint isn't rotation-symmetric. Mind you, the UFOs doesn't have to be that way, but it should fit the other layers in my opinion. If unsymmetric, then as a general design style.

Make the walls in NE and NW and S all the same length and keep the chafered edges of the triangle (as in N direction).

Uh wait, do you have props on the outside of the UFO hull?

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This looks great.

The floor gaps to see lower levels are nice. But do not have full height walls below the gap, take the half-height versions.

I would make the middle layer more triangular, right now it is quite strange as the footprint isn't rotation-symmetric. Mind you, the UFOs doesn't have to be that way, but it should fit the other layers in my opinion. If unsymmetric, then as a general design style.

Make the walls in NE and NW and S all the same length and keep the chafered edges of the triangle (as in N direction).

Uh wait, do you have props on the outside of the UFO hull?

Which full height walls below the gap do you mean, mate? They should be precisely over the middle of every bottom room.

I don't want to make the second level more triangular, if anything it was supposed to be more round, but it came out pretty much okay. My concern was regarding space as it is significantly smaller than the vanilla Battleship but it should make for a more intense battle. If I redraw the walls to get a more symmetric shape the second floor will lose space and I won't be able to fit the necessary props.

Yes, there are props outside the UFO hull. Do you see this as a problem? Vanilla Battleship also has those and I wanted to remain faithful to its unique characteristics without directly copying, but I also tried to get the spirit of the original game's version of this UFO type.

By the way credit for the floor gaps goes to kabill, he used them first and I pretty much like the idea so I borrowed it to elevate the combat to another level.

I think optics arent that important. To get a REAL evaluation of the work you did, we need to playtest it.

Of course all designs require testing but don't underestimate the importance of polishing them prior to that phase!

Also they won't be playable before someone with proper resolution goes through them to assign teleporters and fix any stupid mistakes I overlooked.

So I've made some new tiles specifically for making diagonals, download them here.

Also I really encourage you guys to get stuck in and try making some new tiles with the .blend file. It really isn't as hard as it looks, just do a few tutorials from somewhere like this to get the basics and you could be making all kinds of new stuff like doors that match these tiles, destructible wall sections, outer hull props etc...

I couldn't import those in the Submap Editor, am I missing something? I've placed them in the same folder as the other hull files with no success.

I might experiment with Blender a bit over the weekend but I'm pathetic when it comes to such programs, will take days to get the basics unless someone compiles a truly dummy-proof guide which I can follow step by step. Ideally if anyone is willing to contribute with some pretty basic tiles like race-specific doors it could really help.

Edited by KevinHann
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At risk of being negative, I'm not 100% convinced.

Firstly, I'm not sure I understand what's going on with the outside bit: this seems to be on level 2, and I can't see that looking very good in game. Similarly, I don't like the railings on top of the UFO hull. I think I know what you're going for - barricades that have been placed for defense by the aliens post landing/crash. However, I don't think the props are well-suited for this, as the look like they're supposed to be permanent features.

Secondly, it's seems smaller than the Carrier you made. This might be somewhat illusionary, as the Carrier had a lot of space in the middle which wasn't used, but it feels like it would be more closely packed to me (although this isn't necessarily a bad thing, I suppose).

With that said, I do like the layout of the UFO internally and the top level is especially good (I think the Praetor tiles look excellent. Part of me wonders whether they wouldn't work for some earlier UFOs too). It's also similar to the OG battleship - I think you've done a good job of recreating the feel of that (intentionally or otherwise) while making it work better for Xenonauts. So mostly, I think it;s fine. Just not keen on the outside bits.

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Which full height walls below the gap do you mean, mate? They should be precisely over the middle of every bottom room.

I don't want to make the second level more triangular, if anything it was supposed to be more round, but it came out pretty much okay. My concern was regarding space as it is significantly smaller than the vanilla Battleship but it should make for a more intense battle. If I redraw the walls to get a more symmetric shape the second floor will lose space and I won't be able to fit the necessary props.

Yes, there are props outside the UFO hull. Do you see this as a problem? Vanilla Battleship also has those and I wanted to remain faithful to its unique characteristics without directly copying, but I also tried to get the spirit of the original game's version of this UFO type.

The top level "white room" has the gap directly above the red walls below.

I have drawn the gap of the white room as a blue rectangle on top of the red room, the yellow shaded walls are what I mean. They should be exchanged against the red half-height walls from the gaps in this room (made a blue wobble line around it).

gap2.jpg

If other walls have the same issue, I don't know.

Hope you get my drift here.

Damn can't delete the thumbnails here...

gap.jpg

gap.jpg

gap.jpg

gap.jpg

gap2.jpg

gap.jpg.f659f6dfbaee50ad8e42fee01c8a416c

gap.jpg.c0bb586eaf3c9d9d5a63b15163d18a84

gap2.jpg.e706d59f8ec820f949f44d130238031

Edited by thixotrop
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I'm pretty much agreeing 100% with kabill here. Top floor is ok and praetor tiles fit there fine, bebillian and andron below, not so much. Railings look ugly outside and the first level, I just don't get it at all with it's jungle walls that doesn't even connect anywhere in places. The forms for 1st and 2nd floors shapes are also not symmetrical and make it look unpolished. For my liking your ufo's look too busy in general. Sorry but I'm not convinced. :/

Edited by Skitso
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Will rework the railings on the third floor exterior, certainly. They were on my to-fix list from the get-go anyway, I just wanted something different than cover armor (preferably waist cover).

I think the cliffs (there's no sebillian tiles in this layout) should appear only as you see them on the level 2 image, there shouldn't be any patchy connections visible in game. If there are suggestions of a more fluent way to achieve the same effect I'm pretty much open to reconsidering the execution, but I'd really like to see how it looks in the game. Removing the entire level 2 cliff area would be a very simple and swift change if it doesn't work but it's definitely different and worth trying at least. (But then again this is obviously my personal preference :))

It is indeed smaller than Carrier which will hopefully make it a much more dynamic fighting ground, especially if the aliens take advantage of the key points at their disposal. Yes, it is tight, it was supposed to completely break the pattern and be tight. After all it's three key props in three rooms, and all of them are in danger of being blown up in the crossfire. Of course that might not be a good thing and it might not work - in which case I'll be back to the drawing board.

In terms of the third floor shooting gap and walls - thanks for pointing this out so precisely - I wanted to give the command room aliens LoF in different rooms. Do you think it won't work out well? I guess it wouldn't be a big deal to change this, perhaps I was unnecessarily strict in breaking down level 2 to three rooms.

And for Christ's sake, it's alien aircraft. It can appear odd rather than all tidily shaped every now and then, that's not necessarily a game-breaker. I'm a bit disheartened from the tone of some replies :(

EDIT: Of course I didn't just throw the cliffs without thinking about how it could clash with different tilesets. I was even considering specific lore explanations / alien style camouflage / etc. This is a huge UFO, has been around and could certainly carry a shell of cliffs during flight, perhaps even intentionally. But if it doesn't work visually - it doesn't work and it will go.

EDIT 2: You should be able to delete attachments by Edit Post -> Go Advanced -> Manage Attachments on the menu above, erase what you want to remove.

Edited by KevinHann
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It's worth bearing in mind with the cliff section that it won't make any sense on a lot of the tilesets (e.g. Industrial). In principle I think it could be interesting, but I can't see it working well as anything other than a baked-in part of a full map. I'm prepared to be wrong and would happily see it in practice, but on paper I am not convinced that it will work.

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In terms of the third floor shooting gap and walls - thanks for pointing this out so precisely - I wanted to give the command room aliens LoF in different rooms. Do you think it won't work out well? I guess it wouldn't be a big deal to change this, perhaps I was unnecessarily strict in breaking down level 2 to three rooms.

And for Christ's sake, it's alien aircraft. It can appear odd rather than all tidily shaped every now and then, that's not necessarily a game-breaker. I'm a bit disheartened from the tone of some replies :(

I think the gaps are a nice idea and the UFOs with it will be a hard task to master if the aliens of the upper levels can shoot from there. However, a rocket up to them may lead to instant victories but also to much damage and no loot. So an option in it for everone. :)

Me mentioning the symmetrical UFOs is just my opinion and view of the game style, you don't need to comply to it; your designs not mine. Sorry if it bugged you, not my intention.

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A'right, so, I've been trying to debug Kevin's maps as he'd had some issues with them and there's one thing I just can't for the life of me figure out: none of the floor tiles block LoS between levels.

To check this isn't a generic issue, I've checked on a regular map, landing on the roofs of buildings to see if they allow LoS through them. They don't. I've also tried this on a vanilla UFO submap; again LoS is blocked as would be expected.

I've checked the spectres. Aside from the image being used and the pivot value (in one instance) they're identical. To be sure, I tried replacing the floor tiles with ones I knew worked on other submaps. Even these wouldn't work properly. So it doesn't seem to be a spectre issue.

I wondered whether it might have something to do with the UFO tiles used to mark out walls and target locations in vanilla. So I tried removing all the target point tiles to no effect. I also tried building walls like the vanilla UFO submaps. Again, no effect.

I'm utterly out of ideas at this point. It seems to be a problem with the submap itself, but I don't even know why that would be.

Does anyone (Devs?) have any ideas what might be wrong?

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Yeah, I don't think it's worth proceeding without getting the LoS issue fixed. But I'm really not sure what more I can do to help with that: the only thought I've got at the moment is "trawl through the source code to see if the bug can be found there". Which isn't very helpful!

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There wouldn't be a lot of point at the moment as there's some stuff that needs sorting out with them first. I'd started doing this, but since I encountered the floor/roof LoS issue I've been reluctant to spend more time on it as unless that can get fixed somehow modular UFOs are a no-go.

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There wouldn't be a lot of point at the moment as there's some stuff that needs sorting out with them first. I'd started doing this, but since I encountered the floor/roof LoS issue I've been reluctant to spend more time on it as unless that can get fixed somehow modular UFOs are a no-go.

I test them all, I love the corvettes, they have awesome desing. Maybe for other smaller UFO yo can make different modular structure. I dislike to many rooms in this small ships (Maybe in all ships)

Rooms need to be allocated in a place where is suppose functional, like Kevin's big ships.

^^

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Would it be possible to make stairs inside the UFOs instead of teleporters? Or levels where the UFO is floating in the sky intact and you have to teleport or breach and fly in to destroy it?

Yes, on both counts. Although I don't know if there are any appropriately themed stairs for you to use (i.e. I don't know if there's any that would actually look good.)

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  • 4 weeks later...

Well, it *was* stuck as a result of LoS related issues. However, resurrection is plausible in light of the LoS rewrite that's shipped with the latest version of X:CE. When I get a chance, I'll dig out the map I'd been polishing up for Kevin (who's sadly not around any more, apparently) and see if it works.

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