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[Testing] Orbital Bombardment, Proliferation & Signal Uplinks

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An advantage of the 'alien orbital bombardment' is that it could give us a real sense of a war occurring and there being consequences that we can't just assume that we can stop even with our advance technology. 

I'd even go an extra step and suggest you could even tie this mechanic more into the game to better represent the progress of the alien incursion to the player. 

As the war progresses, as casualties and the bombardments mount, infrastructure and emergency services will begin to falter and fail, in the early days they could try and fix the damage wherever it occurred, but in the final days of the war the remenants of any emergency services would likely be only able to barely repair vital areas of a city, government facilities, power plants, military bases, leaving the rest of the city to burn. 

You could represent this, if you are prepared to take the extra mile, by making Industrial and City maps appear more and more war torn as the game progresses. In the earlier stages of the game, the city maps would appear pristine and well kept. In the mid game, the maps would show signs of damage, a building with a hole in the front, a street that has a giant crater surrounded by warning signs, damaged cars, etc, etc. In the late game, the cities would appear akin to an active warzone, out of control fires, overturned vehicles, military and emergency service vehicles strewn all over, entire buildings torn apart. 

The civilians would start looking as we do today. But as it progress they become more dirty and desperate looking. From people wearing business suits and clean shirts to people in torn jackets, surplus survival gear and akin. 

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At the very least, this whole idea evokes the final cutscene from XCOM Apocalypse for me, the city you've spent the game defending is likely half destroyed and this final scene represents that. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2TAPbOkB9s

Its a interesting idea, maybe more of a 'modders' dream. 

 

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Do you think that an immediate orbital bombardment works as well as a build up that includes discovery of the alien threat?

For example, early missions would be about discovery of the alien threat, possibly that they'd already started to infiltrate some countries. There would be abduction missions.
As Xenonauts took care of scouts and abductors, the aliens would launch terror missions, along with their ongoing infiltrations, VIP controls etc.
If the terror missions weren't working, even in numbers they would bring out the orbital death rays.

Having the orbital death rays right away strikes a different note for me. More of an all out war than a more insidious takeover that escalates. That's not terrible, just different to what I'd expect.

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I think that the orbital bombardment, should be a card that the aliens play when things are not going to plain. It should the a big stick to force governments to come over to there thinking, and the for the xenonauts to step up to the crease (cricket) to counter.

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Orbital Bombardment from a Narrative perspective

 

Anyone who's completed the Alien Fleet research topic knows that a space station doesn't make sense in the context of the research topic. However, there are 20,000+ Near Earth Objects in varying distances away from the planet. Instead of alien space rays or alien space bombs, the first the world is aware that they're being shot from space is when a Chelyabinsk-esque meteor rams into a mid-sized town or small city. At first there's wild panic and disarray, but then the panic subsides when it's pointed out this is "just an asteroid". Only when it happens again, and again, and again and the closest (hence the easiest to see) NEOs start disappearing from the skies that the horrible realisation that these are being used as weapons sets in. I feel that this would fit better within the narrative construct presented in Alien Space Fleet research. 

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Yeah, the addition of the space station unfortunately came after I'd spent about two weeks writing the plot research, so I'm going to have to rewrite it. But I feel like the game will be stronger for having a focal point.

Mild spoilers ahead: the station is (unsurprisingly) the target of the ENDGAME mission, but while it is capable of perodically destroying cities from orbit its main purpose is to serve as a navigation beacon for the incoming fleet. I guess it doesn't entirely make sense that the aliens launch an invasion at all - but initially the aliens were expecting to steamroll Earth, and once the humans have recovered a few UFOs and the aliens realise that the natives aren't going to be pushovers it's too late to stop the humans developing advanced technology (and so the full-scale invasion must continue).

This means things escalate faster than the original Xenonauts in the sense that the aliens are clearly visible and clearly hostile from day 1, but that's fine. I'll need to update some of the writing but the game can still be internally consistent with those tweaks.

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Reminds me of the World War novels by Turtledove where the 'race' invade Earth during WW2 under the assumption the Humans were still at Medieval levels of technology, due to the race having a different view on technological progress over time they never expected that Humanity would go from swords and arrows to tanks and machineguns in under 600 or so years.

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Yeah, I have read the Alien Fleet Research several Times too in Version 11. I like it as it is, but can understand Chris Problem. What about this Idea:

You can´t see the Alien Space Station because she have an special Cloaking Field. She is big, like the Mothership in UFO Extraterestials / UFO2Extraterestials, where the small and medium UFOs from the Alien Invasion Fleet getting started (Probes, Scouts, Destroyers, Harvesters and such). The big UFO´s have the same Cloacking Field (like Carriers, Battleships) like the Space Station. Your Chief-Scientist and all other Helpers can´t see the stations like Chris have wrote in the Alien Fleet Research because the Aliens have the Cloacking Field and can manipulate our Satelites and Obervations so we can´t find them.

Like with the Radar-Coverage against the UFO´s which can only be seen with the Reflecting Particels on the Hull. But the Space don´t reflect about the non existing Atmosphere.

After we get a special UFO in the middle Gamepart with his Crew (like an Harvester with special Upgrades or an fast Scout / Drone with special Upgrades) we get an Research-Improvement for our Radars and Observations. The Research Improvment will arise of the Alien-Crew-Interrogation, the previous technological Researches from UFO´s, Materials, Autopsies as well as Interrogations (the normal interrogations improves our understanding from the Alien-Language more and more). 

Oh one more thing. Chris you asked for more Research-Improvements. If you make Interrogations you could get from the Soldiers / Technicans Informations about upgrading your Weapons, Armors, Fighters, Transports etc. and from Scientists / etc. Informations about other Improvments I don´t remember. To get all this Informations and to make the Game much more interessting you have to capture some of the Aliens alive (Caseans-Scientist, Caseans-Technicans, Caseans- / Reptilian-Soldiers etc.). 

Here some Examples:

- Like normal Guns, normal Guns with the light Magnetic-Upgrade, Laser Weapons to Magnetic Weapons on Alien-Tech (which will get the Farmers and all others too).

- Like Starting-Fighter with the Modules, Foxtrott with same Modules as an replacement based on researched Basic-Alien-Technology; later we can research a new Fightertype after we get the Informations from the normal Aliens and other important Researches for that.

My Opionion about that is the following:

- Autopsies: You get the minimum Informations about the Aliens and the Classifications (like it is now)

- Probe: Informations about the smallest UFO (like it is now); after segmentation you can research the Alien-Materials (like it is now); all other Objects get into the Storage, because you can´t research them yet (only with later interrogation-Informations)

- Scout / Improved Scout: Information about the 2 light improved UFO´s like the Probe (like it is now); after segmentations you get the second and third research (like it is now I think); all other Objects get into the Storage, because you can´t research them yet (only with later interrogation-Informations)

- Magnetic Weapons: Information about the first Alien-Weapons and the improvement for our Standard-Weapons (like it is now); with more R & D incl. Interrogations and the Help from the Military Forces and the founding Countrys we are able to build our own Magnetic Weapons which get the second big Breakthrough for Humanity in the Fight against the Alien Threat.

- Laser Weapons: They are a complete new Technology for us. With the Help of the Military Forces and the founding Countrys we can handle to get Laser Weapons; they are between the upgraded Standard-Weapons and the much more Powerfull Magnetic Weapons

- the R & D-Tree get more improvments. The normal and easy Upgrades / Things to produce we can keep like they are now. The medium to hard improvments we need are only availible if we interrogate Alien-Soldiers and Alien-Specialists.

That makes the most sense to capture the Aliens and the cooperation with all founding countrys and their Military Forces gives us the already researched Prototypes for Magnetic and Laser-Technology, Modular-Armor-Technology and whatever else.

And for the beginning Tech-Tree we may find something more too, like the Foxtrott which replaces or assist the starting fighter. The Foxtrott is more maneuverable, faster, better secured (because it get improved with already researched Alien-Basic-Tech like the Modular-Armor-Upgrade from the Kevlar-Vest) and have more Range. It has the same Modules like the starting Fighter.

Something like that. 

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Some more Geoscape-Missions for the Signal-Uplinks and Proliferations were nice in the next big Beta-Version. That all is still a placeholder atm, but I like it, because it workes.

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