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Chris

Xenonauts-2: ATLAS Base

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What if there is only one upgradeable main base, but there would be facilities around the globe that player could take over (unique ground combat missions) as the game progresses. These facilities would each have just certain functions (one could have only laboratory and storage while other could have hangars) and would not be upgradeable. This way player could choose which facilities they would strive for and losing them wouldn't be so big blow in a grand scheme.

Edited by Skitso
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@SkitsoYeah that is essentially my first thought as a compromise. Have a few room types: barracks, control room etc be impossible to build so the player can't replicate their main base elsewhere but they can still expand into other sites for resources or to house additional nukes. (Though I do disagree with your other post, I think developing the strategy layer is worthwhile - it is the combination of the two which defines xcom so plumbing just for the tactical layer weakens the overall game)

The multiple bases in X1 weren't about constructing more rooms and resource, okay, it was for some, but even for them, the primary reason to build another base was surely the radar coverage. It was worth building the second and third radar/hangar bases from day one since you'd accumulate more cash income from the UFOs you couldn't otherwise even see. In that sense, you may as well have given the player three starting bases. The lesson learned there is that choices should be meaningful. My point is to isolate the interesting thing that expansion (and not base building) is doing, which is giving you access to more of the board. Equally, to isolate the fun bit about base building and ensure the player can still enjoy that.

Expansion used to be the key to cash and reputation, the main resources in the game. Thus, expansion was mandatory. But expanding is also fun because it gives you the satisfying sense of growth. The single ATLAS base system is addressing the former issue at the cost of the latter. However, Chris has already said that the spawning of missions for ground combat is going to be decoupled from the interception game. The skyranger has global reach from the outset so you can always set down in any region to do missions. Expansion is no longer mandatory, so, there is room for it to remain in the game as a meaningful, optional strategy. You don't need to cover the whole board with radars but it would permit you to dominate the air war. You might generate more crash-site resources but it'd probably attract more threat too. 

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On 6/23/2018 at 11:15 PM, Chris said:

 

In my head, I figure we could probably find some way to balance the construction space stuff. I do genuinely want to keep the Threat / base attack mechanics though - it's really useful to have things that will either end a campaign that is slowly failing or get the player back into the game. The DEFCON counter is a good way of ending a campaign early if the player loses strategic control, but I feel there should be something to counterbalance the player going for a very Geoscape-heavy strategy and neglecting their combat team. Having the aliens attack your base is a good way to do that. However, that doesn't necessarily mean we can't have multiple bases. Your first base could always be your "main" base, the one with the Command Room that you have to protect at all costs.

So the key question then becomes - what's the actual gameplay purpose of allowing the player to have multiple bases? In X1 it was only ever worth building your secondary bases into interceptor bases. Instead of removing the extra functionality, we could find a way to make use of it. Ideally this would also be something tied to the placement of the base; right now the only consideration when you place it is how much territory the radar circle would cover.

I have an alternative solution for your consideration here.  Extra 'bases' as quests you must go into and liberate from enemy human hands, as a called-in favor by friendly but struggling governments on your side.  These bases would not have had the time to 'Git Gud' or particularly large like your HQ, b/c the authorities would pick up on them as they grew larger, but could be good for hangar / radar / missile operations and a small contingent of troops and either scientists or engineers (but neither room for both).  The science lab or manufacturing workshops that could be contained in such facilities would be at best 1/3 or 1/2 the size and usefulness of the ones in your HQ, but could be assigned to research / manufacturing of secondary or tertiary importance while your HQ's 'best and brightest' continued to tackle that next-most-important-thing each week.

 

This is assuming that your attack squad was able to liberate the base in the first place - you might be required to only bring 1/2 your usual fighting force (fight with one hand tied behind your back) perhaps at the insistence of said 'friendly' government that you make use of some of their ... um ... 'best soldiers' b/c hey, at the end of the day, that country wants to be able to say it got a W when you take the base, too .... have soldiers of their own they can debrief for tactical info about how you and your team operate, as well as generally increased morale for that nation when you can't be there to defend them all the time. Heck, you might even have to staff 'their soldiers', 'their engineers', 'their scientists' instead of your own ... think of it like in Jagged Alliance 2, when there was the 'Rival Website' you could hire henchmen from besides A.I.M.  Their best soldiers were about as good as A.I.M.'s worst soldiers on a bad day with a serious hangover and a leg cast, lol ... but they could still fill needed spaces when necessary and hey .... occasionally, you might get that 'diamond-in-the-rough' that might be worth taking with you back to HQ (or making the commander of that base, at any rate).

 

This might go too far into new plotting / scheming than you wanted to go as far as diplomacy or politics in the game is concerned, but maybe not - maybe this could 'fit the bill' as a way to allow for more versatility, but without the exactness of being able to just 'plunk down' a new base wherever and whenever. 

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I do wonder what the reception would be to multiple bases, if, as Wyldefyre and others suggest, you can only acquire those bases through pre-set ground combat missions or something. More fun but more restrictive. And also as a separate component: what those other bases would have to have in them to be acceptable. So, if you could acquire an R&D base that only had slots for labs or workshops, would that satisfy? 

To relate back to xcom apoc (again), the game essentially forced you to expand into other bases because you needed the physical space to build bigger labs. It worked fine in terms of stationing your troops because you could consolidate groups from several different locations for a given mission. I can see a similar system working in X2 with a few pre-set bases you can expand into that aren't just missile silos like ATLAS. Maybe have one in the US, another in the USSR and a third somewhere in a non-aligned state. Acquiring those bases could be milestones in the game, each opening up new branches like alien containment (because you don't want to bring a live one back to the same base that you keep your uranium).

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I find that when I think back to my fondest memories of both UFO and Xeno 1, the ones I remember most are the ones with multiple bases, each containing their own team of soldiers. I suppose it's the narrative sense I build from it. The team in my first base. The expanded base with rookies who have to somehow hit the ground running and survive. That one base that always has an unfortunately high turnover due to fatalities. When I can recall the strike teams I have, they tend to be their own individual regional areas and thus end up with their own personal history. The games where I utilise a single base, I find the opposite. I can recall the main team. Everyone else just functions as occasional substitutes to fill in.

One of the reasons I got on so well with Xenonauts over the newer X-Coms was precisely this reason. Whilst I enjoy Firaxis' first X-Com (I haven't tried X-Com 2), I always found the small squad size, along with the single base design extremely inhibiting to my own person narrative. It drew away from the parts of the series that were fun for me and made it lean more towards a grind, with the A-Team being the only important members and occasionally having to utilise the B-Team just to keep them up to pace.

 

I can't really comment as far as strategic design goes, nor can I say anything about the most efficient playstyle. I certainly wouldn't want my own personal sense of enjoyment to take too much influence on design aspects. All I can say is that I hope people understand why I'm instinctively wary of a single-base setup on the grounds of how I have always personally enjoyed X-Com and it's various clones.

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Let me put my game designer hat on. 

Drawing some inspiration from other posts in this thread, here’s how I would see the multiple vs single base problem resolved. 

The ATLAS base is good a way of concentrating the base building. As fun as it was to build a specialised manufacturing base in the original X-Coms, it was very rarely necessary and, frankly, far too logistically complicated for many people to bother with. Same applies to research bases. Coagulating them into a single, universal facility is a clear solution and I see plenty of ways of making up for the lost complexity already presented in the OP. But having the other bases be effectively airstrips with powerful radars feels underwhelming. The only real downside of the presented system is, in my opinion, the lack of the of the ability to have highly specialised facilities. Below are some musings on how that ability could be restored without going against the spirit of a single base.

An interesting way to expand the geoscape gameplay would be to make it possible to secure additional, much smaller and more focused bases, perhaps temporarily in some cases. A friend of the cause could gift a small research lab with, say, 3 slots, one already filled with a unique lab providing a specific, faction specific bonus. It is possible some new bases would in fact just be space inside a much larger military base belonging to someone else. With the ATLAS being 18 tiles in the provided graphic, the extra bases being 2-5 tiles, with some unique, specialist buildings would make them enticing without removing the critical importance from the main base.

Facilities could be acquired through diplomacy, blackmail, cashing in a favour or full blown frontal assault. Dishonest means of acquiring bases would mean the base is compromised, either because the owner will attempt to take it back, or the base was sabotaged, as the disgruntled previous occupant has taken the most valuable equipment with them as they left.

No matter by what means, acquiring a new base would be a big deal. Their relatively small size would be offset by the fact of being unconstrained by the ATLAS’ infrastructure, often coming with unique benefits and in some cases no risk of an attack. Depending on the type of base, the player could build almost the same buildings as in the main base, or only one or two. I feel that making those additional bases very powerful and adequately difficult to acquire would make expansion outside of ATLAS an excellent additional goal for the strategy layer, while keeping them compact would keep things simple. I feel something like 5 or 6 extra permanent facilities would be easy to manage both in terms of making a clean UI  and balance(the building choices would be fairly straightforward in them, so the biggest challenge IMO should be the rotation of staff between bases) and the player’s enjoyment of managing them. 

Some acquisitions would be temporary. Taking over a large factory to rush some manufacturing feels like something I would love to do. Or maybe just paying someone some serious money to rent one? Why not both! Or taking over a military installment to support a much more critical mission nearby and then vanishing into thin air after it’s done. I’ve had an idea of transit bases, with your troops being able to travel from the main base on a big, fast plane to a smaller base near the mission, and then continuing from there in a slower, combat ready vehicle. Just one of the things some of the bases could do.

Attacking an alien base would give access to that base, allowing the player to harvest the resources within, but since the aliens know its location and value, they WILL launch an assault on it in the matter of days. First a smaller recon team to see if it’s occupied, then continual wave assault every couple of days ending with a suicide attack with an equivalent of a nuclear device (??) during which the only objective is to evacuate. The player has to weigh the pros and cons of moving some staff to the base and researching it on location and carefully dismantling the installations therein against the easy, quick and safe smash and grab, where the combat team takes anything that isn’t bolted to the floor and promptly vacates the premises.

I dunno, I like the idea of new bases being a real challenge but also being very powerful. Would also allow for some extra specialized research, maybe even research that requires a specific type of base to complete. (What if a research project requires you to take over a nuclear power plant for a month?! OK, I'm getting carried away, time to go!)
 

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I just wanted to post again to better flesh out my stance on the whole base situation.

 

Why I feel multiple bases fall flat:

 

In my experience, also based off of people that I watch play these types of games, is that multiple bases really only serve one purpose and that is to help with the air war / map coverage. I every game with multiple bases that I've played you really never needed 2 bases worth of teams. The only reason to maybe do it was to have less of base 1's living quarters devoted to soldiers so you could focus more on research and / or manufacturing. I normally built just enough to house 2 teams worth of people in case something went horribly wrong. 

 

In X1, I filled up both my manufacturing facility and my lab, built another living quarters, and then used the rest on soldiers. Sometimes I might vary it up a bit, but there wasn't too much of a need to built too much more in the base game. There'd be some bits where it'd be nice to have more, but there were other times where they weren't doing anything. Now, in some of the modpacks, I've built a bit more at a second base, but I only built some extra since I normally had 6 hangars at my main base. Even then, I only really needed to build one more base to satisfy that extra need for manufacturing and research.

 

Now, in the OG X-Com, there wasn't much of a need to have to expand either. Some research took a bit, but there wasn't really too much you had to do since, if you played it, you knew you could capture heavy plasma quite early and just research that. There was a lot that didn't have to be researched and building extra labs just sped things along. Also, besides the final ship, you didn't need much manufacturing. The main reason to go heavy in manufacturing was for the extra money since you could really exploit building for profit. I mainly built extra bases for more radar coverage and hangers. 

 

Also, I know that in both of these games, it was a good idea to have an extra team to help defend from a base attack, but if you had good enough air game, that's a none threat.

 

Now, I just want to say, with all of the above mentioned, is if you eliminate the hangers and move them, plus radars, to something else, would you really need more than one base?

 

In Xenonauts, at least with my setup, that's give me an extra 13 spots to build with. Would I really need snother base? How much more could I push everything there? I don't think I'd need any more manufacturing nor labs than what I could fit there. Now, maybe if they did more you would, bit they don't. There isn't really a way to specialize anything besides having 2, maybe 3 of each. Not to diss the game, but there really isn't any specialization here.

 

X-Com is pretty similar, but probably worse since everything there held more. In your initial base, losing hangers and radar, you'd have 14 extra spots. I'm pretty sure you'd be set. 

 

Now, if that's too abstract, I'd be happy to boot up those games to get pics of what it'd look like, but I just don't have the time now.

 

None of the above really makes you specialize. I know that gets thrown around, nut if you break it down it isn't too much specialization going on. I'd say it is mainly people saying that they specialized. Now, I will admit that this comes down a lot to what you mean by specializing. To me, it means picking something instead of something else. I'd also say this means you can't do the other thing. In the above games, I think everybody would agree that getting a second base up as soon as possible is about the only way to play. The only choice you have is what to hold off building in your first base to build in your second. You might do without for a month or two, but you'd get it eventually. You weren't really specializing. It is like in an RPG when you level and choose one skill over another, but get the other on the next level. You aren't really specializing. Also, if you removed hangers and radars, there is no reason to choose one or the other.

 

Where I believe a single base can fix things:

 

With one base you have limited potential.

 

Now, some would argue that is bad, but there are plenty of games where you are forced to choose one option or path over another. A lot do it pretty successfully. For an example better than classes in WoW, let's look at Civ 5. Siv 5 has many different civs for you to lead. each civ has one, maybe two, intended ways to be played. Korea is good at doing science so it works best if you go science. But, it also allows you to go in a different way. This way isn't optimal, but it is doable. The game is also able to be played by doing a bit of everything. Now, this is not optimal, but it is really only not optimal since you are probably playing against optimal people. Since Xenonauts is a single-player experience, you aren't really punished for going in not optimal. You might still be punished by doing something that is terrible, but that can't be helped.

 

To expand upon this further, let's look at XCOM 2 which ties in well since it has a similar base setup. In that game, while there are certainly optimal ways to build your base, the game is still playable. I can choose to build some different structures first. (We are just ignoring the uplink and power requirements though. Both of them kind of have to be built at the times they are built since they are very much limiting factors.) Now, this is based all off of personal experience, but I've never been not able to play because I built one structure before another. I know some elitists will say I'm wrong, but the game is still playable non-optimally. I've beaten the game on multiple occasions doing it with different build orders. The main flaw with how this is implemented, you will normally have the same end result with structures. Base game allowed for some varience, but with the WotC Expansion, which added some extra structures, it kind of made it more set in the final result.

 

Now, none of that worries me because I believe that Chris and the gang can learn from some of Firaxis's mistakes / shortcoming and make a better system. I already think it is better solely from the fact that they plan on having more ways to play the game and also make it where you literally can't do it all. In XCOM 2, there wasn't much you couldn't build. I believe you only couldn't build 2, which for me, were the workshop (gremlin structure) and the defense turrets. Everything else had more of a role to play besides those 2. That doesn't really limit you from doing anything. I get the impression that Xenonauts 2 will actually have it where you can't do it all. XCOM 2 would be a lot more interesting if you couldn't build everything.

 

I also want to add that it seems like Xenonauts 2 will also limit you from not only one base, but your manpower. In XCOM 2, you weren't limited in your science because you didn't build the right thing. (not counting the lab for extra breakthroughs [which could also be gotten from covert ops.]) Engineers were more sought after since they helped you do better at certain things. I gather that there will be similar things at play here, but to a better degree. I believe in XCOM 2 there was only one structure that required a scientist (not counting the lab) which was the infirmary. I believe Xenonauts 2 will expand upon this so as to add another way to specialize

 

I feel like all of this will make it so that there isn't as much of an optimal way to play which will encourage you to try different things each playthrough which will also help the game greatly. None of the previous games really give you much that allows each playthrough to be too differentwith what you do with your base game. You either had enough bases to allow for everything, or you had so few different things that there wasn't a way to truly do anything different; the journey might change slightly, but the outcome is always the same. In Xenonauts 2, if they keep to the same base plan for the base, there will (read should) be enough different ways to play that is isn't truly a best way.

The air game would be good, but it will really only help you get more crash sites and maybe prevent some missions from spawning. Shooting down everything won't just be the best way to do things especially if to go full air game requires a serious investment from some other fields.

Going full science to unlock a bunch of stuff is good, but can you build it? Can you field it? It might just help you reach endgame sooner.

Going a lot of soldiers is cool. I like doing missions, but are they equipped? Can you shoot anything down for them? Can you reach everything?

Maybe I built the best gear really quick, but my force is small and I don't have enough soldiers to rotate out. This is also an X-Com-like so the best gear might not prevent me from losing anybody.

Maybe I do a little of everything, but am I not then a master of none?

I know I haven't played the game yet, but each of those feels pretty decent. I probably mainly go whatever allows me to do the most missions, but from what I read that will really limit me in other areas. Also, even though that's my favorite, that doesn't mean I won't want to try some other ways. This system, to me, truly feels the most rpg-like where it will allow me to go with different classes which will allow me to approach the game differently. It might be fun to go glass cannon where you are great at killing, but you lack survivability.

 

Now, these are just all my own thoughts, but I really don't feel like you are losing anything. Building more bases just feels like it allows you to do more, but that is simply because you literally are doing more. I mean, we'd all have more choice if we each built our own cars, but that is just more work. I'm okay with choosing a premade final version.

 

The air bases could still allow for a bit more:

 

I feel like people are quick to write off the airbases. Most people already used airbases in these types of games, they were just allowed to add a bit more to them if they wanted to do so. 

 

I'm perfectly happy just stationing aircraft there and giving them some radars, but I wouldn't be aginst a bit more. If you wanted to give them a little bit extra I would be up for it. I just don't think much would be added by adding in the ability to build some extra, full bases. I had written up a little idea a bit earlier about a way to turn the airbases into staging bases for local operations that I'd recommend reading over. I'd be happy to link to it if anybody is interested in reading that. I believe it would allow for a couple of extra ways to incorporate some of the mechanics into some new things. I'm sure there are also some other ways that would allow for giving them a bit more use and allow for you to add in more choice to those systems.

 

Final thoughts:

 

These are just some of my thoughts about 1 base vs multiple bases as a Designer. I'm sure everything could be picked apart, but this is just how I look at it. Feel free to ignore me if you don't care for this or if multiple bases will allow you to make more money. (though you have already made a pretty penny so far with the proposed ideas) I just wanted to add in my 2, very long cents into the mix since there has been a great influx in new thoughts on this system. I hope this hasn't been to terrible of a read and I thank you and congratulate you for making it all the way through.

 

Final stupid idea:

 

Somebody above mentioned adding in a special mission which would allow you to gain some extra bases by completing them. A thought occurred to me: what if you combined that idea with Reaper Hive missions? (Ignores that I'm the only person that really wants Reaper Hive missions and that we won't be getting them.)

 

Basic lore could be rewritten to allow for Xenonauts having previously having multiple bases which each got taken. When the aliens took them, they didn't destroy them. Instead, the aliens took the base, filled it with Reapers and a few Androns in order to guard them. This would add in some extra story to these missions and could allow you to add in some kind of balance to getting extra bases that relates to player skill and their current progress in the game. Maybe a research unlocks this special mission type which requires you to send a special agent to the site to scout. Each "Hive" could get more difficult by the aliens beefing up their security. Would also give a reason for not destroying the place from orbit or the like since you want to capture it. Excavating could then be tied to clearing out the Reaper muck (other gross options are available) and other things that could be left over.This would also allow you to kind of use the same Xenonaut base tileset for another type of missions though it would need some tweaks. 

 

I highly doubt anybody would actually be up for this, but I could totally get behind this. Also, I might now be planning a mod for the game once it is finally released.

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On 4/20/2018 at 10:51 PM, Chris said:

main_base_arrangement.png

 

Aww, man is that pretty. I love the silo and can't help but think the missile going to end up being useful the same way HL2: EP2 ended.

So here's the thing about base building mechanics like this: Placement needs to be interesting without being optimal. If there's the one true base layout, then that's a single puzzle that only needs to be solved once. If you limit a player's ability to achieve that optimal layout (either through resources, time [excavation], or support) then you run the risk of players either waiting out until they have what they need (which is unfun and deleterious to gameplay) or feeling bad with their final base layout. In this case, I actually rather like the idea of horizontal only adjacency bonus. While it's not as interesting, it does make it so that there's many more optimal layouts that a player can naturally fall into rather than missing and being without. A choice instead of a 'choice.'

To make it more interesting, I'd suggest some simple tetris. Some rooms would take up 2x2, others 1x2 or 2x1. I can easily see you only being able to store certain recovered equipment in a 2x2 room (naked singularities, antigrav generators, alien base generators) and needing a longer room to build and prototype mid-late game planes seems like a nice inclusion, especially considering the helicopter already looks like it's taking up that same amount of space (though perhaps this is better done by saying you need two workshops right next to each other.) However, this runs the risk of players not knowing what shapes are going to be needed to get through the game and so end up in situations where they have to move their rooms around to get what they need. I'm not certain why the XCOM remake doesn't allow you to move all the lab equipment down a floor, but letting you move rooms with only the cost of time and readiness would mitigate that issue. You'd probably need a planning UI so that players could order around how they want their base to look before giving the final order or else risk some silly amount of clicking.

Excavation has always seemed a bit silly if the rooms are already there. This was a military base after all. It's either been cleaned out when it was abandoned or everything is already stored neatly so it can be used at a moment's notice. My suggestion would be to just start the game with the top layer of rooms. Let the player build into the space they want when they need it. It would take a while (clearing out rock isn't easy) and cost readiness (keeping the equipment running and sneaking out the chaff.) This would give the player freedom to expand whenever they want to while slowing them down for doing so. Essentially the same mechanic except I'm not left wondering why the militaries in Xenonauts are as bad as the militaries in the XCOM remake.

But damn do I ever love that art.

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Yeah, there's a lot to tackle here, so much so I just sat down and read the entire thread from start to finish again. Thanks to everyone that has commented so far, I've read what you've written and now I'm going to take a bit of time to digest it before I write up a seperate new thread for discussion of the base mechanics!

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The ''feeling'' turns out to be quite important. Now, at first sight, for many people it feels like a copy of a copy and reminds them of a dumped down game. Thus, almost any changes would be a good thing. And when players would find it is much more complex - and makes more sense - they would be less skeptical about it. For example, few people have already mentioned that excavating was completely unnecessary in XCOM. I’ve always thought the same. Couldn't it be simply included in a build time? Instead you could make some different excavating technologies/machines to choose from when you start to build. Those could have different costs, need different number of technicians in relation to build time, use alien resources and so on. And machines could be built or found (alien) and need a place in a storage.

I think there may be many ways to make the base feel different than XCOM base. Like simple changes to the layout, making the size of facilities more variable (it was a great idea, too) or making a possibility to upgrade facilities and expend their functionality rather than only build new ones (e.g. infirmary extending to cyber implants and psi abilities training). The base could be smaller this way (i.e. facilities would look bigger).

Also, you could make it possible to expand facilities horizontally deeper into the mountain (like max two or three times). I think it wouldn’t require much work from art designers, just some changes to the backgrounds. This way a small compromise between two types of base expansion would be achieved and players wouldn’t build the same facilities all over the base.

The idea of “outsourcing” is also promising. Players could convert some people in universities, laboratories or military facilities to their cause and they could do some covert work for them. Officers could even use factories that build stuff for military to build something for the player. Everything controlled from a specific panel, simple and not making mess on Geoscape. And that would also presents options for more missions.

Another idea. There could be other reasons to abandon the base by the military they didn’t want to mention. Imagine there was a heat source under the mountain and when they wanted to utilize it, it turned out the aliens had planted something there. And that was the real source of the heat. So they collapsed the shaft and ran. And now players would need to send soldiers to deal with it. And maybe at the end they could find a door, impossible to open – it would be a mystery and people, especially XCOM franchise players, like mysteries very much (things like UFOs, etc.).

Obviously, it could be done with text only but I think making a simple “caves” environment wouldn’t require as much work as other environments do. Current rock assets could be easily utilized, only with changed colors. I guess mostly new algorithms would be needed. Then this new environment type could be used for other secret alien facilities. Or entrances to some. Also, caves with branched tunnels would present a kind of refreshment to other, more similar, maps. And for the caves not to be dark a light can be shined by some alien plants and enemies may be just drones and different types of known aliens (maybe “wild”, with no implants to control them). Nothing that requires really much work but would add something interesting and more variety to the game.

Oh, and since aliens can teleport now, they can appear almost everywhere during base defense missions. Let’s just say they can teleport only to places where there is much space, not to every small corridor (unless with high probability of dying in the wall). And sometimes the battle could continue outside (four maps, one for every direction) and then into the alien ship. Even more variety than X1 offered.

 

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The discussion thread is up: 

 

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I have to say I am extremely disappointed in how much of a Firaxis XCOM clone you are turning this game into.  While I don't think they are bad games, what really drew me to Xeno1 was how much it was a clone of the original X-COM games.  You were doing phenomenally with this at the start, but more and more I am finding it disappointing that this is just a reskinned XCOM.  The ant farm wasn't fun in XCOM, it's not fun in XCOM2, and I'm not expecting much out of it here.

Add on top of this the fact that we only have ONE cargo vehicle like in XCOM...just, what.  Stop, seriously.  You are removing all of the freedoms Xeno1 gave us and tunneling this game so much.  I mean at this point my complaint is falling on deaf ears, you have already structured the game around cloning the Firaxis XCOM games, and that really sucks. 

I can only hope that if you ever make it to Xeno3 you'll go BACK to the old style.

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Posted (edited)

That system is better than the old one. You can like it or hate it.

The old 2D System like in the old X-Com Titels and UFO-Extraterestials / Xenonauts 1 is out of date. With the new System "Endersblade call it Clone" you have more and better posibilitys to integrate Updates / Upgrades etc. for the Rooms and so on.

And the Cargo Vehicle is upgradeable to get higher speed, better protection etc with the Alien-Tech. And if you get more new Techs you build up a much more Modern one like in Xenonauts 1.

The old style has extremly disadvanteges, so the Devolopers are makeing Xenonauts 2. If Xenonauts 1 hadn´t extremly disadvanteges in the Base Builing etcpp. the People would play it for the next 100 years.

Edited by Alienkiller

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On 6/25/2018 at 4:50 PM, Flufball said:

I find that when I think back to my fondest memories of both UFO and Xeno 1, the ones I remember most are the ones with multiple bases, each containing their own team of soldiers. I suppose it's the narrative sense I build from it. The team in my first base. The expanded base with rookies who have to somehow hit the ground running and survive. That one base that always has an unfortunately high turnover due to fatalities. When I can recall the strike teams I have, they tend to be their own individual regional areas and thus end up with their own personal history. The games where I utilise a single base, I find the opposite. I can recall the main team. Everyone else just functions as occasional substitutes to fill in.

One of the reasons I got on so well with Xenonauts over the newer X-Coms was precisely this reason. Whilst I enjoy Firaxis' first X-Com (I haven't tried X-Com 2), I always found the small squad size, along with the single base design extremely inhibiting to my own person narrative. It drew away from the parts of the series that were fun for me and made it lean more towards a grind, with the A-Team being the only important members and occasionally having to utilise the B-Team just to keep them up to pace.

 

I can't really comment as far as strategic design goes, nor can I say anything about the most efficient playstyle. I certainly wouldn't want my own personal sense of enjoyment to take too much influence on design aspects. All I can say is that I hope people understand why I'm instinctively wary of a single-base setup on the grounds of how I have always personally enjoyed X-Com and it's various clones.

I essentially did the same thing.  Ever since the very first X-COM game, I always built a new base, then put in a new team, usually lead by one of the veterans from my first base.  I'd fill up all base slots, and each of them would have a squad, usually of 12 (10 for missions and 2 backup).  Financially it was a pain in the ass to maintain that...until I learned how to mod.  Tweak some numbers and suddenly it's viable.

I did the same thing in X1.  Which I quickly found out the game can't really support...there's really no way to keep that many soldiers in top-tier gear all the time, you run out of resources so fast.  Money-wise it was slightly easier than X-COM since so much stuff just gets automatically sold, you can shoot down most UFOs before they reach your base so there's no real need for a full complement of base defense weapons, you don't need to build R&D in every base either, meaning you don't have to house all the scientists and engineers in all the bases.  I use one base for research, one base for manufacturing, and the rest are full complete bases.

I really hated in XCOM that you have ONE base and technically only one team, but it sort of made sense for the way you play that game.  And in XCOM 2, you carry your freaking base WITH you.  I've since logged over 1,000 hours into XCOM2/WotC, I absolutely love it, but mostly it's all the mods I'm running that make the game so great. 

I just have always hated the one base, one team playstyle, since the game makes more sense the other way. Imagine your city is under attack by aliens.  Do you think you'll have a better chance of survival if a team from half way across the globe is on its way to help you, or a team that is at least on the same continent as you?  Just like modern-day military bases, bases are placed where soldiers can strike the easiest from, rather than being shipped from their home country.  So, in the X-COM style games, you plop a base down in, say, Africa, you send troops there to cover that area.  Every new base you open grants you an additional place to launch troops from.  I mean, think about it, let's say either a UFO lands or you shoot one down.  We'll say in Europe.  Your one and only base is in the US.  Realistically, in the time it takes your troops to get there, whatever aliens that come out of that ship, shot down or not, will have had ample time to decimate the local populous.  (Granted, realistically, a Chinook could not in any way cross the globe at the speed in which it does in X1.)

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I want to chime in and say that I'd much rather have the original and Xenonauts base feature and function. Namely a top-down one that you can build, customize, then fight in once/if you are attacked.

Outright copying the Firaxis model might not even land this project in some hot water (legal even), but also distill the uniqueness of XCOM and XCOM-like series. Having such similar features will make them game and gameplay less unique, more stale even.

I supported and enjoyed Xenonauts because it stayed true, and improved upon the original design. Personally, this is where I would like the Xenonauts series to go. To keep true to the original X-COM and Xenonauts formula, and improve and innovate in that direction. 

Please consider keeping the base features and functions the same or similar as to the original core designs and simply improving upon them. 

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This is a direct copy from my post in the Air Combat thread:

In X1, one hangar = one plane.  For X2, you can scale things differently, one hangar = 5 planes.  I mean, look at the hangar in XCOM in the ant farm.  You had like 3 or so interceptors PLUS the Skyranger in there.

Using the X1 base style as an example, you don't HAVE to show the plane(s) in the hangar.  Just make one hangar be a 2x2 box, but can hold X amount of squadrons. Conversely, and this more belongs in the Base thread actually, but you could always up the resolution, so to speak, of the grid...instead of doing a 5/5 or 5/8 or whatever it is X1 did (sorry, haven't seen the map in a while), quadruple it.  Make each current square 4 squares.  This would allow for much finer control on both placing rooms/buildings (whatever we're calling them) as well as allow much larger and smaller room sizes.  This would allow the perspective to be different as well.  Now, a 4x6 hangar vs a 2x1 barracks would look more realistic in comparison. That much larger looking hangar could then conceivably house 5, 10, 15 planes.  Hell, just look at how many planes can be stored on an Aircraft Carrier in such a small space. Just think about the runway being something outside of the buildable area.

Since you're going with the ant farm in this game, just go off of XCOM (the irony of me saying that does not go unnoticed lol) and think about how that hangar works.  One of XCOM's hangars = 5 planes in X2, basically a 'pod' style of hangar.  Since X2 isn't as futuristic as XCOM is, just think of it as planes being housed on multiple levels using cranes or elevators or something.  Carriers house the planes belowdecks, but use a lift to bring them topside to launch.  Same situation with the X2 base. So say your secondary bases, when first built, house one hangar and you can then upgrade to 2 then 3.  Easy to represent on a visual ant farm style map, think of a dome cut in half with 3 planes along the bottom and two on the second level above them, and what looks like a lift in the center.  Boom.  5 planes, one hangar.

Obviously none of that is relevant to the ATLAS base, but the satellite bases you'll build to house interceptors.  As far as the ATLAS ant farm goes, just keep in mind what could ultimately just be left out of what we have to build...just because the base needs something, doesn't mean it's something we should have to consider placing.  An example from XCOM2 was the Lab:  We already HAVE a lab, and while placing one in the ant farm can speed up your research, I really felt that that's a system that should've just been baked into the real lab.  I'm not saying to do the same thing in X2 here, but think very carefully about what we are responsible for building, and what can just be already in the base...like storage, for instance.  There's no reason to play the same storage juggling mini game that X-COM, TFTD, and APOC made us do.  In X1, that largely wasn't an issue, if it even was one.  We had to build a storage room and that one room basically gave you unlimited storage.  Depending on the number of rooms you plan on making for X2, I'd say just completely do away with the storage room in general.  It ultimately serves no purpose, as storage is not an issue.  Ammo (at least in X1, dunno what your plans are in X2) was unlimited for each weapon, most every other type of equipment was as well, and 90+% of the stuff you pick up from a mission got auto-sold at the end of the mission anyway.

Point being, there is an answer and solution to everything, you just have to think it through.  You can make everything logically fit if you put your mind to it, without loading the user up with useless choices to make.

 

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4 hours ago, TESI303 said:

I want to chime in and say that I'd much rather have the original and Xenonauts base feature and function. Namely a top-down one that you can build, customize, then fight in once/if you are attacked.

Outright copying the Firaxis model might not even land this project in some hot water (legal even), but also distill the uniqueness of XCOM and XCOM-like series. Having such similar features will make them game and gameplay less unique, more stale even.

I supported and enjoyed Xenonauts because it stayed true, and improved upon the original design. Personally, this is where I would like the Xenonauts series to go. To keep true to the original X-COM and Xenonauts formula, and improve and innovate in that direction. 

Please consider keeping the base features and functions the same or similar as to the original core designs and simply improving upon them. 

Which I completely agree, it really doesn't seem like they want to.  I wish more of this game would be like the OG X-COM, but instead it's turning into a copy of XCOM, and that is NOT a good thing.  But that's a choice they made, and we either have to live with it or just stop supporting them, but that's our choice.

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Just as a reminder to everybody, discussion regarding ATLAS and general base mechanics has moved to another thread: here.

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Posted (edited)

End Game Idea:   Since we have a missile silo with a base.   Maybe al option or alternate winning path could be to research space capable super missile.  So the end game could be we research x number of technologies to upgrade the missile to an Alien Grade Space missile (Like an ICBM version of Dimension missile launcher, or Blaster Bomb missile) and fire it into space to destroy the alien threat.  So if player chooses this route you see the missile animated and firing from the silo in the end.   Cool idea eh?  Definitely would make a side view base rewarding!!!

Edited by Judy

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Oh, what a sneaky way to sell the side view!

But honestly I love to idea to utilize the missile in the story, either as an end game or as a part of the end game, like nuke the part of the fleet etc to drop the shield of the command ship so we can send the team - it's just a thought.

Short answer: use the missile in the story! Doesn't have to be the end game, but it can be!

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Yeah, if we end up using the single-base approach then the missile is indeed going to be plot related in some manner. The type of base mechanics we end up using are subject to gameplay testing though :)

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If you have a nuke and don't use it, then you've wasted loads of energy - it would be very inefficient and bad for the environment.

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Regardless of the base design chosen, I would hope that their will be base defense missions.  I personally don't like the idea of a base defense mission only when the player is losing.  Personally I think having to defend brings variety to the game and in previous X-COMS I loved setting traps and watching automated base defenses attack intruders.  Maybe have a few different base defense maps or layer them. 

For example, the aliens have X number of attackers and player must kill them all to win. 

First the player can fight an outside map.  Traps, auto turrets, fences, and more can be added as base upgrades to the fixed map.  (So this is like the top-down view base building concept from X-COM UFO defense) If they retreat, combat moves to an inner base (Hanger for example) map. 

Second, combat moves to the hanger map.  Player starts at map entrance and has x number of turns before aliens break down doors and enter map.  (Doors can be upgraded, trapped, sentry gunned, etc)  Once timer is up, aliens surviving first map randomly are distributed to entrances and combat begins.

Finally, if they retreat again, then they have to hold the elevator at which there is no more retreat maps.  If they cannot beat the remaining aliens game is over. 

It would be cool if players can arm or otherwise use non-soldier personnel from the base for base defense mission.   Maybe base defenses requires x number of people to operate.  Remote combat vehicles are only be operated by scientists on first map. Remote fixed weapons(turrets) on 2nd map can only be operated if you have enough workshop technicians.  This will give a combat role to your non-combat personnel.  Maybe if the aliens get to the 3rd base map no autoturrets or remote vehicles are available but all non-solders are available for ground combat with fixed weapons and armor.  (All units get the same weapon/armor based on research)

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I like that one Base concept, because you only have limited soldiers, scientists and so on in that games. You are a underground Safty Company which are only known from some politicans / high army people. The same concept or a similar one you have in UFO Extrateresstials, the new XCom-Series and the UFO Aftermath-Series.

You have to think more what to upgrade / buildup next and the main thing is: you save money. You have only some small bases for Interceptors (UFO ET, new XCom Series: EU / EW) or production / research Bases (UFO After-Series).

Every base you have more personal (more Soldiers, Scientists, Workers etc.) like in the good old X-Com-Series / X1 reduce your Money for Research, Development etc. In X-Com you lost mostly, because you couldn´t finance 4 or 5 fully bases whatever you did. The same in X1 after you had build up to many bases.

 

 

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On 10/5/2018 at 7:26 AM, Chris said:

Yeah, if we end up using the single-base approach then the missile is indeed going to be plot related in some manner. The type of base mechanics we end up using are subject to gameplay testing though :)

Right. You can't have an ICBM and just never use it at all. It's a rocket capable of low orbit and a nuke, and both of those are Plotlike things.

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