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Fitness1500

Hidden Movement Screen Unnecessary

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I was a huge fan of Xenonauts 1 and saw it as a shining light after having wasted countless hours trying in vain to love the terrible excuse for a game the new XCOM was. My only comment would be to remove the "Hidden Movement" feature and maybe add a little more control as far as screen rotation during the enemy turn. It adds nothing to the game and only serves the purpose to detach you from the scenario by essentially turning off the screen completely during the alien turn. One of the things that the newer XCOM games did right (and by that I mean one of the VERY FEW things) is the sense that during the alien turn you are constantly watching the screen in case something happens. Even though you already know the screen will zoom to any movement in actuality, you still can't help but watch. It adds a sense of depth and immersion while you're waiting for the aliens to move instead of just turning off the screen and saying "Ok, now wait for your turn."

Thoughts?

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Yeah, I'd be happy to experiment with some alternatives to the HM screen in the future. But what form would they take? Any alien activity taking place within your soldier's view is already shown; the purpose of hidden movement is to build suspense by letting the player hear footsteps and gunshots and screams from areas they can't see.

Moving to the XCOM setup would just involve not showing any of that, right? Just turning it off entirely would probably be very easy to do.

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Given that the game is in 3D now, what about some super sweet camera pans? I don't know what "super sweet" means here, but some cinematic panning showing the edge of the fog of war would be neat. 

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2 hours ago, Chris said:

Yeah, I'd be happy to experiment with some alternatives to the HM screen in the future. But what form would they take? Any alien activity taking place within your soldier's view is already shown; the purpose of hidden movement is to build suspense by letting the player hear footsteps and gunshots and screams from areas they can't see.

Moving to the XCOM setup would just involve not showing any of that, right? Just turning it off entirely would probably be very easy to do.

Just some random comments of mine on this topic:


While like the "splash-image" of the hidden-movement (they work really well as wallpaper), they kind of "take me off from the field" too much.
Hence I preferred the "no hidden-movement-wallpaper"-option "Community Edition" of "Xenonauts" and "OpenXcom" offers.


While I and some others have also toyed of the idea about soldiers making "perception"-checks, it kind of takes some of the control over the players / commanders alongside might make things too easy or otherwise "game-not-trusting-the-attention-span-of-the-players", or something like that. I mean, the players are already notified of the "ricochets" and other shots plus explosions.

Perhaps what I'd wish for was some "phantoms" and "tracers" to help not-as-perceptive-players such as myself; these are kinda started to become more popular, but not enough popular yet in my opinion. Certainly would make observing the battlefield and alien-intelligence-movements for "fair" or at least easier.
Of course, you could allow players to disable this feature in order to be more "hardcore" too.

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7 hours ago, Chris said:

Yeah, I'd be happy to experiment with some alternatives to the HM screen in the future. But what form would they take? Any alien activity taking place within your soldier's view is already shown; the purpose of hidden movement is to build suspense by letting the player hear footsteps and gunshots and screams from areas they can't see.

Moving to the XCOM setup would just involve not showing any of that, right? Just turning it off entirely would probably be very easy to do.

Honestly Chris, I don't feel it does a great job of that.  The sounds/screams happen regardless of the HM screen being there or not, it's just jarring/annoying watching it flash back and forth during the alien turns.  I'm fine with just leaving the camera setting and some text denoting "Alien Turn" or such.

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I also think it's jarring to see the screen pops on and off.  And as I now often play without sound, I can't hear any suspension.

I would say sliding or greying out the UI is good enough to indicate alien turn.  XCOM 2 did a good job for me by centring on and temporary reveals the dying civilian that would otherwise be hidden.  In Xenonauts I guess we can expand it to include hidden firing civilians too, which would helps build the sense that they are fighting too.

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Fair enough, I should probably take another look at it then.

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I agree. Hidden movement pop up screen looks dated and breaks immersion. I'm not sure if you are familiar with my Sleek AI turn -mod I made for X1 to remedy this problem (link in signature), but feel free to check it out for further reference. :)  (it just darkened the screen a bit and added a slight vignette while adding a small white "ALIEN TURN" text on top)

Edited by Skitso
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6 hours ago, Skitso said:

I agree. Hidden movement pop up screen looks dated and breaks immersion. I'm not sure if you are familiar with my Sleek AI turn -mod I made for X1 to remedy this problem (link in signature), but feel free to check it out for further reference. :)  (it just darkened the screen a bit and added a slight vignette while adding a small white "ALIEN TURN" text on top)

Yeah, I was a fan of this approach as well. If not for the fact that the implementation of it is also far easier to get right! :)

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The HM screen's purpose is to give the player some information on what's going on during the alien turn, especially moments of danger for your soldiers, without being disorienting or overly rapid. 

Personally, the only thing I ever wanted with the Xeno1 HM phase was the option to skip a given hidden step, especially those that don't give actionable information (e.g. far from my troops or any point of contact, or when all aliens are confined to the UFO). 

Adding SPACEBAR = skip step would be perfect. 

Alternatively, though less sanguine, would be to begin the turn with flashing lights or icons around where aliens/civilians entered LOS, and around soldiers who received or returned fire.

Speaking of civilians, civilian movement across LOS is one of the best arguments there is for my hotkeyed skip-step proposal. 

Edited by desertoth

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On 26/03/2017 at 4:57 PM, Fitness1500 said:

One of the things that the newer XCOM games did right (and by that I mean one of the VERY FEW things) is the sense that during the alien turn you are constantly watching the screen in case something happens. Even though you already know the screen will zoom to any movement in actuality, you still can't help but watch. It adds a sense of depth and immersion while you're waiting for the aliens to move instead of just turning off the screen and saying "Ok, now wait for your turn."

Thoughts?

Does it make ANY difference?

You still can't see what's happening and can't interact. Frankly I think the hidden movement screen hides more and thus creates more tension.

Alternatively, you can darken the whole screen, especially at the edges, to give a more opressive/ominous feeling.

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I'm also for getting rid of hidden movement screen, if not completely, than at least in-game option to remove it.

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Quote

Adding SPACEBAR = skip step would be perfect. 

I think this is a great idea and I would go a step further and have it literally completely negate the HM. i.e. it immediately becomes your next turn.  Really useful when you are bounding your guys across open expanses where you know there is going to be literally no action because its already scouted/cleared.  

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I would prefer if the game has the option of pressing + or - in order to speed up or slow down each action the game is processing, that way if I really wasn't interested in audio clues during hidden movement I can nearly skip it entirely by speeding it up.  If I was grinding through a quick low difficulty mission I could increase the speed during my own turn so each time I clicked for someone to move while exploring or whatever it would be much quicker, especially during civilian movement phase.  If it had options you can check to auto-pause / slow down instantly when something happens that would be good.  X-COM: Apocalypse did this well (although that was real time, the idea can translate to turns), and XCOM 1 or 2 with the Don't Waste My Time mod improved the game so much for me.

Edited by RustyNayle

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On 4/9/2017 at 3:52 PM, dusho said:

I'm also for getting rid of hidden movement screen, if not completely, than at least in-game option to remove it.

I agree. The first thing I noticed was the HM screen and I thought 'don't like it'  Options are great, the more the better.

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