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Xenonauts-2 Base System Discussion Thread

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On 7/5/2018 at 8:20 PM, endersblade said:

I HATE the ant farm from XCOM.  The single most important part of the base was the layout.  In X-COM style, you could set up choke points and funnel aliens into kill boxes, which was extremely handy if you get attacked before your soldiers can really handle it - either low tech or undermanned.

Seriously, this is like the third thread where I have complained about you making this game just a reskinned XCOM clone.  Why?  Why are you doing that?  X1 was just fine the way it was.  X-COM isn't considered a classic for no reason.  I will still be playing X-COM and TFTD long after I get bored of XCOM and XCOM 2.  They just don't have the draw that the old ones do.  I will most likely even continue playing X1 long after I inevitably get bored of X2 if it's just going to be an XCOM clone.

I'd say this is the third thread you're complaining about the game being a reskin of XCOM because you've commented in two threads on the same topic and then randomly started complaining the air combat is also a rip-off of XCOM.

In any case, even if we reverted to the top-down art the "fight in an exact replica of your base" system is highly unlikely to return for technical reasons. You can easily snap together maps made of smaller map sections when using 2D tiles in a simple engine, but doing it in modern 3D within Unity is much more difficult. The way Unity loads levels and the added complications of 3D lighting means we pre-bake any randomisation (e.g. we save out multiple variants of each map to account for all the possibilities and then load the ones we need when the game is running).

This works fine if you have 3-4 variations of the average ground combat map, but supporting all the possible base layout possibilities on an 8x8 grid is going to be many thousands of maps, each one at least 30mb in size. The "replica of your base" system was already a disproportionately large amount of work in Xenonauts 1, but at least there weren't any serious technical hurdles there so we could just bulldoze through it. For Xenonauts-2 we might possibly be able to get it working if we spent long enough trying to fix the technical problems ... but it'd be crazy to be devoting resources to that right now when there's so much else to be worked on.

So, yeah, the top-down base mechanics do indeed have plenty of advantages but whatever design decisions I make here aren't going to be able to bring back the feature you want. Which is a shame, but it's not something I can do very much about.

On 7/5/2018 at 7:08 PM, Max_Caine said:

The way that Firaxis got around the issue of basic facilities was to take them out of the equation. The hangar, the barracks, R&D, the command room - all of them exist outside of the buildable area. What you could build were optional modules which enhanced the prefab. Is that something that could be applied here?

EDIT: Concerning reactors. I echo the sentiment of not gating reactors away too tightly. If it was possible to purchase one for a ludicrous sum of money, as well as being able to acquire one both in ground combat and on a field op, that would give several options for getting a reactor without it being too easy to obtain one. 

Nah, I don't really like the idea of stripping out the basic facilities. XCOM added a bunch of new buildings that were useful but didn't really simulate an activity (e.g. the officer training school that let you buy squad upgrades) and that's not really the route I want to go down because you never need more than one of them, and equipping more / fewer staff to a room like that wouldn't achieve anything. If we didn't add those in but we still stripped out the "basic" buildings then there isn't really much left to build at all.

I think the simplest solution is just to make the first base start with a Command Room rather than an Access Lift, and let that give your first base a few bonuses (produces a certain amount of power, a little research, etc). That does still mean you need Living Quarters etc but in the current design living capacity isn't a hard limit; maybe we can just have a "base efficiency" rating or something that decreases all your production if you're over living capacity or stores capacity etc.

On 7/6/2018 at 12:18 PM, ApolloZani said:

The purpose of labs is research and the reason you have one in the first base is because that's just how the systems work out. In a multibase game, not having a lab is rather significant. In a single base game, starting out with a baseline lab and/or workshop that's just rather inefficient until there's a project ready is perfectly viable. It also means that you might have a more interesting base assault since there will be more rooms to defend and since I'm imaging your base is already producing a modicum of power and enough command room points to run a mission, having all the necessary rooms to start the game existing in the unmodifiable top layer leads to a nice level of player choice.

You would definitely need more complex adjacency bonuses if you wanted to avoid the One True Base issue. Unless that isn't considered a problem.

I never did try a version of my prototype without living quarters and command rooms.. Hmm...

Yeah, as I mentioned above the base defence stuff isn't really a concern either way unfortunately. I think we'll also have a larger "starting" research pool for Xenonauts-2 too, so the player has some stuff to research even if they don't down a UFO within the first two or three days. That way building a Lab early would still give you a headstart.

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So I ended up backing the kickstarter.  Had a long debate with a friend of mine about this.  It isn't so much that I approve of what X2 will be, but more that I would rather just support you Chris/Goldhawk Interactive for the awesome work you've done, and hope for continued work in the future.  Regardless of how much I will love/hate X2, I just hope the next in the series will be good too.

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19 minutes ago, endersblade said:

So I ended up backing the kickstarter.  Had a long debate with a friend of mine about this.  It isn't so much that I approve of what X2 will be, but more that I would rather just support you Chris/Goldhawk Interactive for the awesome work you've done, and hope for continued work in the future.  Regardless of how much I will love/hate X2, I just hope the next in the series will be good too.

Thanks, I appreciate that. I think in all likelihood the game will end up being a lot less like XCOM than you think it will, so if you enjoyed X1 I suspect you'll get good value for your money anyway!

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51 minutes ago, Chris said:

I think the simplest solution is just to make the first base start with a Command Room rather than an Access Lift, and let that give your first base a few bonuses (produces a certain amount of power, a little research, etc). That does still mean you need Living Quarters etc but in the current design living capacity isn't a hard limit; maybe we can just have a "base efficiency" rating or something that decreases all your production if you're over living capacity or stores capacity etc.

 

You could use maintenance mechanics from hotel/park/building management games. That would add an interesting angle to workshops where your engineers need to be split between building things and keeping things maintained. Or you could do things like introduce a noise mechanic. I remember a Xenopedia page from X1 where the Chief Scientist was complaining about the noise from the engineering workshops. Perhaps something like that could be introduced, where the noisier the facility, the more adverse an affect it has on R&D. 

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So the base defence missions will be fought over the top layer of the base, which is the same for each play through?

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10 minutes ago, Max_Caine said:

You could use maintenance mechanics from hotel/park/building management games. That would add an interesting angle to workshops where your engineers need to be split between building things and keeping things maintained. Or you could do things like introduce a noise mechanic. I remember a Xenopedia page from X1 where the Chief Scientist was complaining about the noise from the engineering workshops. Perhaps something like that could be introduced, where the noisier the facility, the more adverse an affect it has on R&D. 

There's a lot of things we could do, but I'm quite keen to keep the core mechanics similar to what we had in X1. I think some of those suggestions seem like adding things simply because we don't have enough content; and if we're doing that then I think I'd rather just return to the X1 mechanics instead.

Right now I'm thinking that the top-down mechanics may be the better choice because they support hangars and multi-tile rooms better, and I do like the idea of reactors / diminishing power efficiency within each base to encourage the player to spread out across multiple bases (and give your base construction more distinct "stages"). Some of the arguments people have made for multiple bases have been quite persuasive, so we're working on some concepts to properly evaluate how good we can make the top-down art look compared to the side-on view.

3 minutes ago, wanderer said:

So the base defence missions will be fought over the top layer of the base, which is the same for each play through?

It'll be fought in a set map, yeah - although whether that's the top layer of the base or some other kind of entry area depends on whether we retain the side-on view or switch back to the top-down view.

It would be nice to add some additional customisation to that area. We already have deployable defences in the map, so there's no reason why we can't let the player customise the way that map appears - choosing where the sandbags are deployed, closing blast doors, perhaps even sealing off entire areas of the map. Maybe the "defenses" area could even have its own screen on the strategy layer? The key limitation is that we can't realistically change the positions of the walls of the various rooms and corridors in the map.

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14 minutes ago, Chris said:

It'll be fought in a set map, yeah - although whether that's the top layer of the base or some other kind of entry area depends on whether we retain the side-on view or switch back to the top-down view.

It would be nice to add some additional customisation to that area. We already have deployable defences in the map, so there's no reason why we can't let the player customise the way that map appears - choosing where the sandbags are deployed, closing blast doors, perhaps even sealing off entire areas of the map. Maybe the "defenses" area could even have its own screen on the strategy layer? The key limitation is that we can't realistically change the positions of the walls of the various rooms and corridors in the map.

Are you considering having a different, side on, battle map for base defence missions? Is that something that is being developed? I can't imagine how it would work so it would be interesting to see.

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If there aren't that many planned base defense missions, then it probably isn't worth adding defence to the strategy layer.

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35 minutes ago, Chris said:

Some of the arguments people have made for multiple bases have been quite persuasive, so we're working on some concepts to properly evaluate how good we can make the top-down art look compared to the side-on view.

I've not had strong views either way in this discussion but it is good to hear that those who do have strong opinions are listened to. Also, in terms of artwork, XCOM has some really fancy visuals for the base but they were little more than 'nice' details. Obviously it is better if the game looks good, but I wouldn't let that be the reason to swing the decision. However it looks or laid out, I'm much more interested in the mechanics. I remember seeing FTL for the first time and thinking it looked too rubbish to play - something like 10,000 hours of playtime later I've kinda changed my opinion: the graphics are neat and don't get in the way of the actually interesting bit. For something like a base layout, the aesthetics can be much more on the side of schematics than realistic view of Bob the engineer tightening his nuts in the workshop.

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2 hours ago, Chris said:

In any case, even if we reverted to the top-down art the "fight in an exact replica of your base" system is highly unlikely to return for technical reasons. You can easily snap together maps made of smaller map sections when using 2D tiles in a simple engine, but doing it in modern 3D within Unity is much more difficult. The way Unity loads levels and the added complications of 3D lighting means we pre-bake any randomisation (e.g. we save out multiple variants of each map to account for all the possibilities and then load the ones we need when the game is running).

You know that X-Com Apocalypse succeded in doing so? Also is it realy that difficult to "translate" a picture in a preset 3d-model? Means link the picture to the 3d model of that picture. You know kerbal Space Program. It is a unity program too. There modders made a mod that reads your 3d models and make 2d production shematics out of that. Also KSP shows that you can stick 3d models together with Unity. "nothing more would be" sticking rooms together to match a layout.

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16 minutes ago, ShadowAdmiral said:

You know that X-Com Apocalypse succeded in doing so? 

Apocalypse was coded in a custom engine. Not Unity. 

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2 hours ago, wanderer said:

Are you considering having a different, side on, battle map for base defence missions? Is that something that is being developed? I can't imagine how it would work so it would be interesting to see.

When I was talking about side-on vs. top-down I was just talking about the view we use for the base screen rather than the camera in the combat view. If we use the side-on base view then we'll have a pre-set battle map for the base defence missions that represents the top layer of ATLAS base with the command room and hangar and the missile silo (and it'll use the standard faux-isometric tactical camera setup). But if we use the top-down base view then we'll need another battle map that represents the entrance to your base (as the hangars and command room would have a different layout).

 

1 hour ago, ShadowAdmiral said:

You know that X-Com Apocalypse succeded in doing so? Also is it realy that difficult to "translate" a picture in a preset 3d-model? Means link the picture to the 3d model of that picture. You know kerbal Space Program. It is a unity program too. There modders made a mod that reads your 3d models and make 2d production shematics out of that. Also KSP shows that you can stick 3d models together with Unity. "nothing more would be" sticking rooms together to match a layout.

X-Com Apocalypse isn't a modern game and doesn't use any modern lighting techniques like baked lightmaps etc - I'm not even sure if it uses actual 3D or whether it uses 2D sprites like Xenonauts 1 did.

It's not really comparable to say you can build a few 3d models together in Kerbal to build a spaceship; our level editor is already capable of combining various models together in certain ways. Building levels is very different from constructing objects inside them.

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Not gonna lie, all the talk about changing back to the old system of top down bases and multiple bases kind of makes me want to drop my Kickstarter pledge since this is not what I wanted to back. Might still put some in, but probably won't be as high as I planned. 

 

Will go through and read a bit more to really decide, but I'm really disappointed to see all these changes being made after people backed based on these original ideas. Really think something might should be posted that is more effective at testing what the audience at large feels like than just what the vocal people on the forums are requesting.

 

Also, I'm not a fan of diminishing power returns just to make the player have to build more than one base. That just sounds horrible and is just a real artificial limiter to try and make multiple bases relevant when it seems clear they have no good reason if such a thing has to be added to make them make sense.

 

I hope this isn't coming off to harsh, but it just doesn't seem like to me this is what I was backing when the Kickstarter first went up. I'm sure I'll be happy with the final product, but I'm not as happy as I was at the beginning of the Kickstarter.

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Betuor said:

Npt gonna lie, all the talk about changing back to the old system of top down bases and multiple bases kind of makes me want to drop my Kickstarter pledge since this is not what I wanted to back. Might still put some in, but probably won't be as high as I planned. 

 

Will go through and read a bit more to really decide, but I'm really disappointed to see all these changes being made after people backed based on these original ideas. Really think something might should be posted that is more effective at testing what the audience at large feels like than just what the vocal people on the forums are requesting.

 

Also, I'm not a fan of diminishing power returns just to make the player have to build more than one base. That just sounds horrible and is just a real artificial limiter to try and make multiple bases relevant when it seems clear they have no good reason if such a thing has to be added to make them make sense.

 

I hope this isn't coming off to harsh, but it just doesn't seem like to me this is what I was backing when the Kickstarter first went up. I'm sure I'll be happy with the final product, but I'm not as happy as I was at the beginning of the Kickstarter.

I have to ask, did you ever play X-COM, TFTD, APOC, Xenonauts, or are you one of those Firaxis kids?  I see you have an APOC avatar, but that doesn't really mean anything.  You want to drop your kickstart backing just because the rest of us want the base layout to go back to how it was, rather than the stupid Ant Farm mini-game that Firaxis brought in with their newer XCOM games?  Really?  Why are you even here then?

Your entire post is nothing but you saying you don't like something and that you are going to pull funding from it without any real actual discussion.  You could've just wined on the kickstarter page for that instead of posting here.

I wasn't happy either, and I voiced my opinion several times here, but I brought up reasons and I brought up ideas.  I HATE the ant farm layout from XCOM and XCOM2.  I think it's the single stupidest thing they have brought to the franchise, and that's even considering X-COM: Interceptor and Enforcer.  The tetris layout, as Chris calls it, is by far the best way of doing base building in these games.  That's why it's the tried-and-true way of building bases in most X-COM games as well as their clones.  It allows vastly more customizability than the ant farm does, and there really is no best layout because it doesn't really matter.

That said, I still want to pack this because I believe in Chris and Goldhawk Interactive.  Even if I end up not liking this game, I love X1, and I can hope that X3 will be better.  But I'm not giving up hope that X2 will actually surprise me and be good.  Threatening to pull funding is just...childish.  There was no reason to even mention that.  If you actually want to do it, then do it.  But I say support the dev more than you support the game.  Not every company produces absolute gold 100% of the time, just look at Bioware.

Edited by endersblade
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Okay, so things are now verging into the realm of personal insults. Going to have to ask everyone to step back and calm down. 

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I get the feeling that there is a lot to be understood from play testing some of these different base mechanics. Whilst I'm glad to see that Goldhawk are listening, I don't think that we as the community should misuse their attentiveness. Surely everyone here trusts the team to come up with a decent game, whichever route they take for base layout etc. Whilst I say I've not got strong views either way in this discussion, I do lean towards Betuor's point, mostly out of curiosity about seeing new mechanics in play rather than rebooting old ones. Equally, I do have a bit of Firaxisphobia (much as I like their games) in that similarities trigger warning bells. In any case, X2 is going to do its own thing: it will look a little bit like classic xcom and a little bit like firaxis XCOM, but mostly, it'll end up looking like Xenonauts.

The more fruitful discussion is probably in thinking small, scrutinising the details of the base building game, rather than asking for something big, like "I want the base building from minecraft". For example, I reckon a more useful output of discussion so far has been that people like the expansionist feel of base building, as opposed to people demanding for the option to build multiple bases. The two things are pretty much one and the same but the difference is quite significant. Bringing this back to the fear of the antfarm, I'm sure a lot of people's worries (including my own) would be relieved if, once it is put into action, the feel of that base turns out to be very different from its visually similar cousin.

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I think there is two kind of people here..

1. Nostalgic ones who wants everything same as possible but with modern additions..

2. Modern ones who wants the general gameplay but get rid of some "not so enjoyable" parts..

Here i can see that, people want tetris.. I like tetris too. Chris wants the ant style because it looks more cool.. If you ask me, i would say why not a side tetris?... even i can say that make the base layout 3D, an underground base with side and up layout.. it would be most realistic one.. but would be a pain without a great UI.. and probably not necessary .. 

BUT i think we can make a side tetris.. buildings with more tiles.. not only 1 or 2 or 3 but same for up and down.. for example 2x2 for a big generator.. an advanced manufacture room should have more then 1 tile.. but you can say that, "base got already a large layout but you see it only from side.. there is more inside already".. yeah but without limits, you can make a rooms like huge corridors.. hard to explain with words..

Even secondary bases can use this "little ant farms" and you can try to fit buildings inside them.. 

I always make 1 main base and maybe, maybe a second main base to support end game research.. but as i said before i hate to have 500 researcher in a military base.. so for that reason we can create special "research base" to work on big ufos or bigger projects.. we can have "manufacture base" for planes and bigger things.. i would like to have cruiser sized ships to fight against big ufos, and to manufacture that we would need bigger bases.. you need to make them very hidden and need to protect them very carefully. 

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Posted (edited)

Building more than one base in XCOM or Xenonauts was never a necessity. I think it was mostly caused by the range of planes, which soon could cover the whole world. Now, if for the most part of the game planes where to cover no more than one hemisphere, players would be encouraged or even need to build more bases (it could depend on the difficulty level).

Although, there's no need for multiple full bases. Interceptors' posts would be enough, in my opinion. They could also serve as places to refuel your troops-carrying planes. And the need for refueling would certainly make the game more realistic than when one plane can fly all over the world without any constraints. Or your field agents could grant you an access to military landings (still not enough to fly from Europe to America, at least not for quite a while).

And personally I see absolutely no reason to replace the side view with the top-down view. It is too expensive and requires too much time. Time that could be spent on real improvements and other features. Not to mention some pissed off backers (on the forum there are more hardcore players than among KS backers, so their opinions - although detailed, well-thought and constructive - can differ from opinion of an average player). I think the biggest problem with the ant-farm concept is its simplicity in the new XCOM series. But you can make it so much better in many ways, there's no need to ditch the whole concept. At least there will be something new.

And if you decide to change the base concept anyway, it would be best to inform backers about it before the end of the campaign. Otherwise there may be some backlash. There were a few examples already in recent years. With one of the biggest ones being changing Elite Dangerous gameplay to online-only. There was a few hundred pages long thread on the matter. They guaranteed refunds because of that, although in the end there were very few backers who decided to get that refund. But the PR was very bad for a while.

Edited by Ravn7
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5 hours ago, Ravn7 said:

Building more than one base in XCOM or Xenonauts was never a necessity. I think it was mostly caused by the range of planes, which soon could covered the whole world. Now, if for the most part of the game planes where to cover no more than one hemisphere, players would be encouraged or even need to build more bases (it could depend on the difficulty level).

Although, there's no need for multiple full bases. Interceptors' posts would be enough, in my opinion. They could also serve as places to refuel your troops-carrying planes. And the need for refueling would certainly make the game more realistic than when one plane can fly all over the world without any constraints. Or your field agents could grant you an access to military landings (still not enough to fly from Europe to America, at least not for quite a while).

And personally I see absolutely no reason to replace the side view with the top-down view. It is too expensive and requires too much time. Time that could be spent on real improvements and other features. Not to mention some pissed off backers (on the forum there are more hardcore players than among KS backers, so their opinions - although detailed, well-thought and constructive - can differ from opinion of an average player). I think the biggest problem with the ant-farm concept is its simplicity in the new XCOM series. But you can make it so much better in many ways, there's no need to ditch the whole concept. At least there will be something new.

And if you decide to change the base concept, it would be best to inform backers about it before the end of the campaign. Otherwise there may be some backlash. There were a few examples already. With one of the biggest ones being changing Elite Dangerous gameplay to online-only. There was a few hundred pages long thread on the matter. They guaranteed refunds because of that, although in the end there were very few who decided to get a refund. But the PR was very bad for a while.

And personally I see no reason to replace the top-down view with the side view, since that's how it already currently is in X1.  And that is the entire thing that enrages me so much.  How someone who has played, and loves, X1 would get pissed off if something like the ant farm was removed and we went back to the X1 style of base management.  It worked just fine in X1, how could going back to that possibly be a NEGATIVE thing?  I could, and have already, list so, so many reasons that X2 needs to stay the X1 tetris style for base layouts, and the only defense of ant farms has been "well, it looks cool".

I get that we each have our own opinions.  But there is no discussion, no debate, it's just people saying they won't back the game anymore, or won't play it, or expect backlash, if the ant farm is removed in favor of the tried and true top-down view.  At least the 1 or 2 of us that want the top-down view are at least saying WHY.  Give reasons why one would work better for X2 over the other.

There have been quite a few changes to the X1 formula so far for X2 that have really grated on my nerves.  I'm sure Chris and Co. hate seeing my posts because I voice my opinions all the time lol.  At this point it just feels like a reskinned XCOM to me, and I really hate that that's the route they want to go with it.  But while I don't love the new XCOM games as much as the old X-COM, I still enjoy them, and I'm sure I'm going to enjoy playing X2.  I'm currently sitting at 1,064 hours on XCOM2/WotC, and I could poke holes all in that game as to why it's bad.  I have 221 in Xenonauts, which I enjoy a lot more but don't play as often.  I use OpenXCOM to play UFO/TFTD so I have no way of tracking those, but even before then I sunk countless hours into both.  As long as X2 is X-COM-like, I'll be playing it.

@Max_Caine  I'm sorry for my attack post.  It was 2AM and I really should have been in bed.

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Maybe I didn't explain myself too well in my original post. I'll fully own up to not having the best day that day and then coming here and seeing the changes being made didn't sit to well so I'll try again. Also, I just want to see in case it seemed like such, I wasn't trying to attack anyone or insult anybody especially not anybody at Goldhawk.

 

My biggest concerns with the changes is that these changes are to things shown off for the Kickstarter. I have more responsibilities now than I once did so I'm not able to come here that often and stay up to date on the changes or regularly voice my opinions on things. That's why when I came here and saw some of the things being discussed being changed I was kind of surprised. As of right now, most of my info for this game comes from the Kickstarter updates. Nothing on there has really been discussing these proposed changes. I also imagine a lot of other backers don't know about these changes either seeing as we are a couple thousand strong with backers and maybe have at best 30 people on here really discussing it. I'm just not too sure if a lot of backers are aware of these conversations or are involved with them. A majority of people posting on here might want the changes to eb made, but is the same for the backers?

 

In addition to that, I backed the game at the level I did because of some of these changes. They sounded really cool and I looked forward to seeing them in the actual game. While I also backed this game because of the first Xenonauts and my liking of that game, I also backed because I read through what this game was going to be. I knew it wasn't planned to be just like the first Xenonauts and I liked that since I already own the first Xenonauts and I was excited to get something a little different. (In that regard, @Chris if you read this, I'd still be up for what was the first planned 2nd game that involved invading a planet.) I just felt that after seeing here all the changes that were going to be made that the final product might not be the same game that I originally backed. Now, I'll still support this game if it is changed, but I want to point out that it might be good to verbalize this with the other backers since this does go against some things presented in the Kickstarter page.

 

Also, in regars to me saying I might drop my pledge, I meant it in terms of the amount. I'll still give some money to help fund this game, but I might not give as much. Like, I might give a game I think is a 10 all of my disposable income, but I might give a game that is a 7 or 8, to me, not as much money so I can also get a couple other games. I don't want anybody to take that super negatively and I think some might have so I wanted to try clearing that up. 

 

As for what type of fan I am, all I will say is I own and have played all the X-Coms, both old and new, Xenonauts, and was a backer of Phoenix Point. I also enjoy other TBS games and I feel like there is plenty of room for fans of all types and games for each of those players. 

 

I have posted some plenty lengthy posts  before on some of my thoughts and I believe I went into some pretty decent detail there to explain some of my views and don't feel like it will really do anything to post them again. It's totally okay with them to not do anything with my ideas and make the game they want to make. I'm sure I'll end up enjoying it plenty. I mean, I already greatly enjoy the ground combat and that is kind of the main part of these types of games to me. I also don't always feel like spending 2 hours typing up something. I mean, I should probably do that for one of the ideas I'm currently working on even if I do really like the process of designing.

 

Also, for something that actually adds something to this discussion, I think I might have an interesting idea for what is preventing you from expanding Atlus Base. I'm pretty sure the missilie in the base is a nuclear one. Not sure if it still contains the warhead or not though. What if the reason the base was abandoned was because something happened with the missile and caused some of the radioactive material to leak out. Maybe in this game it is possible to kind of clean up radiation or it is just the minor kind where if the source is moved it goes away. That could be a good reason the base was abandoned and nobody ever goes there now. Could even make that just be on the lower levels where the nuclear material is stored and maybe just have the missile a little bit radioactive and you just have to shield the upper levels. That's give you a couple levels of progression with clearing out rooms. I believe that could also be a way to kind of gate players with having them maybe have to research radiation clearing to be able to progress or you could make that be a special material that can be gotten kind of like the plan is for the special power reactors. In addition, if they recover the nuclear material I'm sure there is something you can find it to be used for. *cough cough* footballs *cough cough*

 

Other than that I've already said my piece a couple times before as to why I think the one ant farm idea is bettr than multiple bases so I'm not sure there's much else for me to say.

 

Oh yes, there was one more thing. I feel like it is really easy for us to talk about what we ike best and what we will think will work best without having actually played the game and I'd urge Chris not to fundamentally change to much before all of us opinionated folks have been actually able to play it. There is a lot that can be lost in translation with just reading some quick (compared to a GDD) writeup of the mechanics. I had been totally under the impression that the turn-based geoscape was something like each turn is a day and a bunch happens each day for you to deal with and not that each turn was like 6 hours. I could be wrong, but that is what I believe I saw in the geoscape in the Kickstarter video. I just don't want to see too many changes be made when nobody that's really discussing it here has actually played it, although it might be too late by the time the beta builds release to make any of those changes.

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Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, endersblade said:

And personally I see no reason to replace the top-down view with the side view, since that's how it already currently is in X1.  And that is the entire thing that enrages me so much.  How someone who has played, and loves, X1 would get pissed off if something like the ant farm was removed and we went back to the X1 style of base management.

The only reason to stay with the ant farm concept is that there has been already much work done and now they would have to start from scratch. It’s a bad and risky thing for an indie studio to stretch its resources unless it’s not absolutely necessary. The quality of the whole game would need to suffer in some way.

Also, there are backers – not X1 players only – who backed something specific and now they may want to have it delivered. Have you seen any backers on KS unhappy with the ant farm concept? It’s possible there were some but personally I haven’t noticed. They are definitely a very small minority.

Look, I understand your point. I’m a big fan of X-COM games. I played the first one on Amiga 500 although it worked so extremely slow it’s hard to imagine. One enemy turn could easily last for a few minutes. I also play OpenXcom from time to time. And I really like the top-down view. I actually prefer it over the new XCOM’s ant farm.

BUT if they make it right – rich and complex – and we know they can do it, I’d gladly see how it turns out. Why not give them an opportunity to make it the way it should be done?

And there is one more thing. New XCOM sold very well. In opposition to many indie games sequels in recent years. And if we want to get X3 some day, we really need X2 to sell good. Thus, if most people like the ant farm concept and it has a potential to boost sales, then let them have it.

Edited by Ravn7
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Top down or side view really does not matter if it is not implemented in such a way as to make the game interesting to play.  A GREAT idea can be implemented badly to the point where the players say ugh...not playing this any more and telling my friends it's a terrible game.  And a not so great idea can be implemented so well that the players are happy to play the game more than once.  Example: watching a progress chart can be and probably will be boring but not if other things need doing at the same time--so that you do something else (like plan other research while the sneaky mission is progressing) and when you come back the chart has nearly completed...

 

Even in a fantasy game things must have a "realistic" feel within that fantasy realm.  (example a novice magic user casting a spell that instantly kills all his well experienced and much stronger opponents without any preparations or study).

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38 minutes ago, Larry Burstyn said:

Top down or side view really does not matter if it is not implemented in such a way as to make the game interesting to play. 

I'm sure, ultimately, X2 will turn out to be at least a better than average game overall.  Both of the new XCOM games were decent overall, but can't hold a candle to the originals.

The analogy I have used with my friends is the movie Final Fantasy:  Spirits Within.  (If anyone can actually recall that one lol).  Was it a good movie?  I thought so.  Was it FINAL FANTASY though?  Not in the LEAST.  If that movie had any other title, I think it actually would've done really well.  But people went into it expecting a Final Fantasy movie, and that was not.  It's the same way with the new XCOM games.  They have changed so much of the original formula, can you REALLY call it an XCOM game?  They're good, but they don't scratch the same itch that X-COM does.  Throughout the thousand hours I sunk into XCOM2, I was still playing X1 and TFTD.  If anything, XCOM2 made me want to play them MORE. 

The worst offender in the new games is, by far, the ant farm.  I can tolerate the smaller squads, the loss of OG time units, no air combat (in XCOM2 that is), and the fact that XCOM2 I spend more time killing what are essentially humans rather than actual legit aliens, but the base map just kills me.  You are severely limited in what you can build, you have to worry about power, you have to dig the crap out of the way first, and in the first XCOM there was really only one way to build the base optimally because of the adjacency bonuses. In my first dozen playthroughs of XCOM2, I slogged through the digging and such.  In later games, as in my current one, I used the console to clear out all of the spaces, and I modified the starting power to be enough to house all of the rooms so I don't need to build a power room at all.  I enjoyed the base building in X-COM, TFTD, X1, etc, but it is just an afterthought in XCOM and XCOM2.  It really serves no purpose.

As I mentioned in a previous post/thread, with the tetris layout you could create choke points, you could set up several bases that all functioned differently (I used to make the main base, a base dedicated to researching everything, a base for manufacturing everything, and the rest of them were usually interceptor bases or duplicates of the main base, depending on the game), and if you lost one, it wasn't game over.  Hell, in a few games you could get them back.  That was usually a lot of fun.  These newer games have taken SO MUCH away from base building - you only build ONE base now, invasion missions don't even involve it anymore, and you only get ONE squad - that I question what the point even is.  It's a tiresome mini-game that really doesn't belong anymore.

THAT is why I want X2 to keep the same base-building style as X1.  It allows people like me to build as I do, but it also allows those that want the 1 base, 1 squad setup to function as well.  Again, X1 handled this well.  In other words, you leave us the freedom to do as we please, rather than force us into one specific playstyle.

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And you really can't imagine well-designed ant-farm concept? Like there was totally no way to do it better?

Personally I see no reason to play the same thing all over again. I would most probably enjoy it but I could also try something different for a change.

Of course you may think otherwise.

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Posted (edited)

Side view versus top-down view:

I personally don't much care of having a side view with slots to be filled or excavations to be conducted. I mean that I have no educated preference. Also, I don't understand the excavation argument: we had to spend several day building each facility anyways (but I didn't play Firaxis XCOM).

When I see the demo base layout, it makes me think about:

As compared with the motion picture, it looks like Xenonauts-2 main base lacks of discretion: wouldn't such a silo facility be detected from space even if looking dead empty?
There could be room at the surface for some small wooden structures that could house non critical storage and systems (likely to be lost to any bombardment, but quickly replaced).
Also, there could be lateral tunnels leading to satellite facilities, if wanted expansions don't fit the original silo installation (a bit like those lunar bases:
Space Odyssey
http://www.nemotechnik.com/2001/base.html
Space 1999
isfxalpha1.jpg

Satellite bases would be smaller and possibly unmanned, or could house thematic systems (labs, workshops, hydroponics, stores, magasins...).

Base defence:

As for base defence, what I missed in Xenonauts-1 was the possibility to prepare the defence before it actually happens, and I oddly had to discover the terrain during first base attack (Xenopaedia had only a small 2D-view of first floor for each structure). If base defence map is now preset and of limited size, then I'd expect a screenshot of it as a Xenopaedia picture, or better, a map viewer feature that would allow me to become familiar with said battleground before combat happens.

Single base versus multiple bases:

In all of my games (Orig X-COM, Xenonauts-1, UFO: Unknown Enemy), I took care and pleasure in building nearly one base per continent, although it wasn't an utter necessity (in some games, you have to build two alien containment facilities to study the aliens, or have a four-workshop base dedicated to dismantle secured UFOs and building aircraft). Three operation teams plus base defenders in case the alien attack when a strike force is sent on mission. The housing capacity of living quarters was one of the reasons to expand, because I hardly could have two labs, three workshops, four hangars, plus a double team (recovering wounded and base defenders included) with only one forty men quarter (depending on the game). Economy never prevented me to do so, and base development (placement, coverage, specialization, defence) was a component of the strategic layer.

However, some facilities could be now partly externalized (niche research, non critical manufactured items, training, funding) all other the world, hidden in public agencies or large firms. Gameplay-wise, this could lead to such a dematerialization that only global figures would be received on each month (or so), like we had the funding system work in Xenonauts-1. Covert operations from both sides would alter that income in one direction or the other. Some of those shadow helping hands could generate missions to infiltrate or extract a scientist, to settle or defend a small hidden laboratory in the jungle, to retrieve a container full of Wolf armours, etc. Also, some of those income could be mission rewards. For example, on winning a mission, you could gain a small permanent research strength (specialized in communications), or secure a deal for a dozen of medipacks, to be delivered at the end of the month, on top of receiving resources or having personnel joining your base.

 

Edited by Rodmar18
UFO:UE

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