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I know  it is far far too late.. but  I would  like to point to a  model of air combat that  I would dream of  for someday we get in  one XCOM like game.

 

Just check X-Wing miniature board game... it is a turn based   space ship combat of fighters.  It would make the game be turn based tactics both at ground and air battle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6LAO30rck3I   If someday some game makes  anything close to that... oo the daydreaming

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xenonauts 1 air combat is pretty good, just requires a lot of manual input..

 

I noticed there's like this little ball coordinate thing [node] vectored out just in front of an enemy UFO, I would add in maybe 3 more of those (two on each side and one behind the target) and have settings for my craft like attack from front/side/behind [which is what we manually do anyway, innit?] and also incorporate some options like tactics used during the attacks, so I would set my frontal assault craft to target the frontal node and have it on a tactic like full evasion, then I could set my other craft to target probably the rear node with a full attack tactic, y'know what I mean? you could also add things like hit & run as a tactic [that's what we manually do anyway]

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I was wondering if there could be a better way of giving rank increases to the soldiers, as it would seam a little odd, that you would have a unit of all Officers, not an officer with senior NCO's and then other ranks.

Increase the soldiers basic stats, but rank should be another dimension to the game, which come add bonus's to morale or confer  some tactical short time plus to nearby troopers.

Just a thought!!

 

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On ‎2‎/‎21‎/‎2019 at 5:25 PM, Dagar said:

I am with Chris here in the sense that I feel that X2 should not have the same air game as X1. As awesome as it was, it does not really fit into a turn-based tactical game, and I have read numerous accounts of people who disliked it because of how hard it was to get into.

That's like saying don't make games hard because people will complain.

And since when it does not fit? By what logic?

 

I don't know how to solve the issue with the air game, which is aggravated by the fact that I have not yet played the X2 version. But I encourage the Goldhawk team to take their time, orient on how real air combat in the Cold War period worked (and extraploate with cool SciFi abilities from there) and focus on tactical gameplay without any reaction component.

If the issue is repetition, then there is no solution other than autoresolve. Besides, if you're complaining about repetition, try doing 20 attacks on small UFO's. Everything can become repetitous easily. The thing with air combat is that there is no cover in air, no things to spice up the battlespace. Unless you fly low altitude.

I can think off a few things to spice things up, like 3D combat. DCS TacView style. Example:

TacView starts after 3 minutes

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1 hour ago, TrashMan said:

That's like saying don't make games hard because people will complain.

And since when it does not fit? By what logic?

Umm... because people buy XCOM-like games because of the tile-based, turn-based tactical combat, and the Xenonauts air game is neither turnbased (i.e. you want to unpause-pause the game as quickly as you can in order to maximize efficiency) nor tile-based (meaning that you have to navigate in very small increments of two dimensions instead of the coarse tileset that is present in ground combat). I.e. by the logic that it has very different game mechanics compared to the meat of the game. And no, it's not like saying don't make hard games. It's like saying don't make mechanically inconsistent games.

As for the rest, I don't think repetition is the bad thing about the new air game. Any hack'n'slay and any mmorpg is a testimony to the fact that repetition is not inherently bad in game design. But if your underlying system is not fun to begin with, it certainly won't help.

And also, I don't think a 3D dogfight system is either feasible nor in context of the game a sensible decision. But we'll see what Goldhawk come up with.

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yeah i'm just gonna jeer from the crowd on some of that ['coz it's similar to some of what I was sayin' back there anyways & uhh..] if you're going to be developing 3D models for all those planes & etc then surely ya can work on that k9 unit some of us have been pestering you about too, eh? :bananamandance.gif: :o

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Posted (edited)

The strengths of Xenonauts were definitely not air combat or multiple bases. Air combat generally followed a single algorithm for each UFO type, and one that has to be micromanaged carefully or you'll mess up the timing and lose a fighter (unless of course the fight is too easy). Multiple living quarters bases were not really a thing.

The strengths (compared to OpenXCOM mods) were very hard and intense terror/base missions, and the suppression + cover systems. As well as polish, I guess.

Edited by Bobit

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21 hours ago, Dagar said:

Umm... because people buy XCOM-like games because of the tile-based, turn-based tactical combat, and the Xenonauts air game is neither turnbased (i.e. you want to unpause-pause the game as quickly as you can in order to maximize efficiency) nor tile-based (meaning that you have to navigate in very small increments of two dimensions instead of the coarse tileset that is present in ground combat). I.e. by the logic that it has very different game mechanics compared to the meat of the game. And no, it's not like saying don't make hard games. It's like saying don't make mechanically inconsistent games. 

So does the geoscape. Are you suggesting we get  rid of it? Or make it trun-based?

What you are describing is NOT mechanical inconsistency. Why should two different game parts, that take place in completely different time scales, have the same mechanic?

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14 hours ago, unit said:

yeah i'm just gonna jeer from the crowd on some of that ['coz it's similar to some of what I was sayin' back there anyways & uhh..] if you're going to be developing 3D models for all those planes & etc then surely ya can work on that k9 unit some of us have been pestering you about too, eh? :bananamandance.gif: :o

While I ADORE dogs, I don't see the value of a K9 unit here. They are used for searching for contraband and light support roles, not front-line combat. And since most aliens will wear body armor, a dog would be just a short-lived (literally) distraction.

Lastly, I don't wanna see doggos getting killed. I have enough of RPG's forcing me to kill wolves.

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22 minutes ago, TrashMan said:

So does the geoscape. Are you suggesting we get  rid of it? Or make it trun-based?

What you are describing is NOT mechanical inconsistency. Why should two different game parts, that take place in completely different time scales, have the same mechanic?

Come on, the Geoscape is different and you know it. Don't argue just for the sake of it. Nothing that happens on the geoscape relies on you getting the fraction of a second right where you have to pause (or slow down to the minimum), not even in X-Division, which is much more demanding in that regard.

As to your question: because it makes sense and most games keep that kind of consistency, so players expect it. Everything else I already stated, no need to repeat myself.

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demmit.. this means i'll have to resort to naming one of my guys "fido" & having him crouch-walk everywhere on all fours...

 

it's fundamentally wrong, that i'll be sending top-notch human grade meat into a situation some kinda drone, dog or ROBOdog(tm) ought to be assessing first... but I suppose i'll be doing it then :rolleyes: 

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1 minute ago, Dagar said:

Come on, the Geoscape is different and you know it. Don't argue just for the sake of it. Nothing that happens on the geoscape relies on you getting the fraction of a second right where you have to pause (or slow down to the minimum), not even in X-Division, which is much more demanding in that regard.

As to your question: because it makes sense and most games keep that kind of consistency, so players expect it. Everything else I already stated, no need to repeat myself.

It's not different, you just want it to be. So the "don't argue for the sake of it" goes right back at you.

Ground play is turn-based. Geoscape is real-time. Fact. Air combat in X1 being more time sensitive is irrelevant it's still the same time system.

And if you say "because it makes sense" then I'll say it back to you. Because it makes sense. In geoscape the happening time is in hours/days/weeks/MONTHS, and the game auto-pauses when important things happen. Otherwise an UFO might raid you base or bomb a city before you can react. So yes, a fraction of a second can be REALLY important evne there.

And in air combat- it's air combat. You damn right a second can make or break a fight.

But to offer a solution to YOUR problem - partitioned turn-based combat. If you ever played Birth of the Federation you'll know what I mean. For those that never played that game - it's basically a mix between turn-based and real time. The game auto-pauses every X seconds and gives you the opportunity to give new, broad orders (flank, evade, assault, circle, Charge, etc..). But within those X seconds you cannot pause or give orders (to individual ships or groups). Different manouvers have different strengths and weakneses and ships have strengths and weaknesses  that makes for an interesting battle. All of this could be applied to fighters in a simplified way.

You can order a fighter to perform a specific manouver, or let the AI handle it (higher pilot skill picks better). As fighter have different performance stats, you can get engaging results.

One fighter might excel at low-altitude turning at slow speeds. Another might be a great climber (making it a perfect candidate for a vertical loop manouver). There are several basic fighter manouvers and methods than once you understand them, you can model an actual dogfights in simple terms. It doesn't take much.

 

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33 minutes ago, TrashMan said:

It's not different, you just want it to be. So the "don't argue for the sake of it" goes right back at you.

Ground play is turn-based. Geoscape is real-time. Fact. Air combat in X1 being more time sensitive is irrelevant it's still the same time system.

And if you say "because it makes sense" then I'll say it back to you. Because it makes sense. In geoscape the happening time is in hours/days/weeks/MONTHS, and the game auto-pauses when important things happen. Otherwise an UFO might raid you base or bomb a city before you can react. So yes, a fraction of a second can be REALLY important evne there.

And in air combat- it's air combat. You damn right a second can make or break a fight.

But to offer a solution to YOUR problem - partitioned turn-based combat. If you ever played Birth of the Federation you'll know what I mean. For those that never played that game - it's basically a mix between turn-based and real time. The game auto-pauses every X seconds and gives you the opportunity to give new, broad orders (flank, evade, assault, circle, Charge, etc..). But within those X seconds you cannot pause or give orders (to individual ships or groups). Different manouvers have different strengths and weakneses and ships have strengths and weaknesses  that makes for an interesting battle. All of this could be applied to fighters in a simplified way.

You can order a fighter to perform a specific manouver, or let the AI handle it (higher pilot skill picks better). As fighter have different performance stats, you can get engaging results.

One fighter might excel at low-altitude turning at slow speeds. Another might be a great climber (making it a perfect candidate for a vertical loop manouver). There are several basic fighter manouvers and methods than once you understand them, you can model an actual dogfights in simple terms. It doesn't take much.

 

Actually forgot about that game, it is a simple way to make use of both pilot/plane stats and give user some control as well. Would love something like this in X2.

Need to go find that game again. ;-)

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For all practical purposes, the geoscape IS essentially turn based. You make a handful of decisions, see what their outcome is, end 'end turn' by hitting the fast-forward button to find your next decision node.

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The main difference between turn-based and pauseable real time is that in realtime people often fail to pause soon enough.

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On ‎5‎/‎15‎/‎2019 at 2:41 AM, Decius said:

For all practical purposes, the geoscape IS essentially turn based. You make a handful of decisions, see what their outcome is, end 'end turn' by hitting the fast-forward button to find your next decision node.

Turn-based is defined by having fixed turns, by having specific actions phases. For example, in D&D a turn is EXACTLY 6 seconds.

Simply having the abilitiy to pause doesn't make it turn-based. Hell, I can play Baldurs Gate right now and "pause" but it's almost meaningless, since all orders are only carried out within those 6 seconds (meaning I can order my guy to cast a spell, but he will wait his turn before he does it).

 

Basically, real turn-based not only gives you as much time as you want to think about what you are about to do, but both you and the enemy fight in very specific phases.

While real-time with pause does give you time to think, it does not have phases.

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On ‎5‎/‎14‎/‎2019 at 10:18 AM, AvonWolf said:

Actually forgot about that game, it is a simple way to make use of both pilot/plane stats and give user some control as well. Would love something like this in X2.

Need to go find that game again. ;-)

There are several fan-made projects to make a sequel. You might want to look at Supremacy or BOTF2. I haven't look at them in a long time so I have no idea what state they are in.

 

 

And I hope Chris considers this. This method, or back to real-time with pause with proper dogfighting.

It's actually far simpler than people think, as there is a limited set of things you can do. It also depends if you long-range fighting or dogfighting.

So it boils down to:

- your planes strengths

- the enemy planes strengths

- type of battle (high or low alititude, long range or short range)

 

For example: The F-14 is a long-range interceptor. It excells at long-range missile fights, since no plane can match it's AVG-9 radar and AIM-54 missile combo. While it is a big airplane with a lot of thrust and great fuel efficiency, it was not made to dogfight. But it CAN dogfight real well if it plays to it's strengths - at low-speed and low-altitude it can turn REALLY well, and it's high trust and variable wings means it can climb well and high loop better than most fighters. 

How do you fight it? Let's say you're a F-18. If at high altitude, missiles have longer range so it WILL be able to shoot at you LONG before you can shoot back. To beat the missile you dive down into denser air and notch (try to move at 90° to the missile) - this will slow the missile down, require it travel a greater distance and make it have to correct it's course more often, robbing it of energy. Also chaff. You can out-turn the F-14 at higher speeds and you try to keep the fight higher up.

All of this may sound complex but it can be easily simplified into several stats and manouvers.

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Ugh. Guys, it's totally okay. You've got two options here, either copy the X-Wings Miniature game: https://www.shutupandsitdown.com/videos/review-x-wing/ or just accept the fact that it doesn't need to be a deep or all that fun minigame.

See, if you go the copy route, you've got this nifty twist on the turn based game that keeps it nicely separate from the battlescape with enormous room to improve your ships, the enemies, add abilities, fighters, and create engagements from single ship to ship combat to full on sky wars. Each with no real down time for the player and, if balanced right and with a good and ultimately still predictable AI, potential to be super fun on its own.

Or you can do what every other xcom-em-up has done for two decades now and just forget about it. None of the individual parts of these games are ever good enough to stand on their own; few would want to play a game that's all the battlescape (look at how popular the XCOM 2 daily challenges are for that), or all the geoscape (see the XCOM board game for that), or all the airgame. It's fine, it doesn't have to be great, it just has to have interplay with the rest of the game because that's the real meat of why we play XCOM. It's not the individual parts, but how they link up as a whole. So long as we've got the core loop of do thing, get stuff, research stuff, build better stuff so we can do thing better, we're golden. S'all just balance and refinement after that, which is where 90% of the effort tends to go into when making something like this anyways.

The best part of these things has always been seeing how the shiny new toy performs and the only major issue would be if this iteration couldn't give you something new and awesome to do with each new ship/weapon upgrade.

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1 hour ago, ApolloZani said:

it doesn't need to be a deep or all that fun minigame.

Indeed. The air war is less about a fun bit of aerial combat, and more about a way to test your geoscape progression (coverage, R&D). This is intentional because the focus of the game is the ground combat. But I still think there is more to be made of air combat, not in terms of simulating a great dog fight (although why not), but in how the air combat plays in to other aspects of the game. In ground combat you are going in with other priorities to do with extracting resources, training your dudes, or testing new tactics. Engaging UFOs doesn't require a complex interface, but the mini-game should be juncture for enough different outputs that it is worth the player's time.

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We started working on the update for the air combat yesterday, so hopefully the full limitations and advantages of the new system will become clearer in the next major build. I don't really see much point debating the advantages and disadvantages of the model we're currently using until everyone has a chance to play the updated stuff and we're all on the same page.

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On 5/16/2019 at 3:16 AM, TrashMan said:

Turn-based is defined by having fixed turns, by having specific actions phases. For example, in D&D a turn is EXACTLY 6 seconds.

Simply having the abilitiy to pause doesn't make it turn-based. Hell, I can play Baldurs Gate right now and "pause" but it's almost meaningless, since all orders are only carried out within those 6 seconds (meaning I can order my guy to cast a spell, but he will wait his turn before he does it).

 

Basically, real turn-based not only gives you as much time as you want to think about what you are about to do, but both you and the enemy fight in very specific phases.

While real-time with pause does give you time to think, it does not have phases.

You've now either defined Rogue as Real Time With Automatic Pause, or Diablo as Turn Based Without Pause. Using non-functional definitions doesn't carve reality at the joints.

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On ‎5‎/‎17‎/‎2019 at 4:55 PM, Decius said:

You've now either defined Rogue as Real Time With Automatic Pause, or Diablo as Turn Based Without Pause. Using non-functional definitions doesn't carve reality at the joints.

How do you figure that? Since when can Diablo be considered turn-based? There are no phases in it, no turns, no breaks in the action or execuation.

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On 5/20/2019 at 1:43 AM, TrashMan said:

How do you figure that? Since when can Diablo be considered turn-based? There are no phases in it, no turns, no breaks in the action or execuation.

Diablo started as turn based and was changed to not pause between turns. The phases and turns were in there initially, and then the 'pause' step was removed. It was a good decision, and made it 'real-time' in every practical sense, but the turns were still there under the hood; each tick happens once, and the only noteworthy difference from the Rogue model is that there isn't a full pause when your previous action completes. (plus some bugs that came about as a result, like stunlocking).

Quote

Because the turn-based was already everything took different amounts of turns... I just made the turns happen 20 times a second or whatever it was and everything kind of worked..

 At around 27:15

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So it doesn't really have turns then? You do realize that by that definition, everything is turn based, since the computer calculates things in intervals. Might be 10miliseconds or however small, but it does. Time itself can be cut down into minimal intervals (Plank time, the smallest measurable time unit in which something can happen), so you can say Reality is turn-based by that logic.

Turn-based games have distinct phases that are recognized by the system and part of gameplay. And while there are some hybrid systems, what is and is not turn-based is not rocket science. The Geoscape is NOT turn-based by any definition.

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Posted (edited)

I am not fond of a further discussion with you, but this post is so shallow and wrong I have to post something. Even if it derails this conversation even further.

First of all, there is a fundamental difference between Diablo being turn-based and real-time games, even if these turns are very quick. That might not show in gameplay, but it certainly has the potential to. Just figure the difference between the following courses of action:

0ms - Warrior attacks Goblin, dealing 13 damage and staggering it for two rounds;

25ms - Goblin is staggered;

50ms - Warrior recovers from attack;

75ms - Goblin is staggered;

100ms - Warrior moves one tile to the right;

125ms Goblin attacks Warrior, misses;

150ms Warrior still in movement ...

and in comparison:

0ms - Warrior starts attack on Goblin;

27ms Goblin starts movement one tile to the right;

83ms Warrior hits Goblin's hitbox, dealing 13 damage and staggering it for 56ms;

113ms Warrior has finished attack;

125ms Warrior starts movement one tile to the right;

139ms Goblin no longer staggered, movement stopped;

142ms Goblin starts attack at Warrior; ...

 

To me these systems seem like they have the potential to lead to very different gameplay. Agree?

Second, even though a single computation unit performs computations in serial, that does not mean that the overall computation follows a deterministic path. You can experience that yourself if you experiment a bit with parallel computation and/or schedulers. It is not for no reason that there is a whole field of Computer Science concerned with securing that programmes follow their defined behaviour - or not, depending on what you need.

Third, it is Planck time (named after the Physicist Planck), and while it is the shortest time measurable that does NOT mean that Planck times are like turns in a turn based game. Rather they can of course overlap, so reality likely is NOT turn based but real time. Though physics to my knowledge has not yet found an answer to the question if time "shorter" than Planck time has discrete intervals or is continuous.

 

At least I agree with your last paragraph. For all intents and purposes, the Geoscape is in real time. The only aspect that matters for gameplay though is, I would argue, that you do not have to perform any action on the Geoscape that relies on your reaction time, to which also contributes the fact that you can pause at any time (but, and this is the distinction to the air game, the ability to pause is not sufficient in all cases to take reaction time out of the equation). And this is what seperates the X1 air game from all the other parts of the game and can make it frustrating, especially for elderly or disabled players, and why it may be good to change the air game. That does not mean it has to be turn based, but it may be desirable to at least take reaction time out of the equation to create a more coherent experience. And it seems, that is exactly what Goldhawk are trying to do with X2, so it is not beyond imagination that they also identified that as a problem, no matter how much you and I like the X1 (X-Division) air game.

Edited by Dagar

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