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Xenonauts-2: The Geoscape


Chris
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Look here, there is everything explained. I had to use it too in prevouis Mission to End a Mission because Bugs were in (sometimes they came back in the last Versions) before the big cleaning from the old Files begunn for V.17. Not every Function works anymore, but some of them are for the Beta-Tests still active for the Emergency-Case.

https://steamcommunity.com/app/538030/discussions/0/1681441347868427457/

Edited by Alienkiller
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  • 5 weeks later...
On 5/18/2020 at 7:28 PM, Chris said:

Invasion Balance / Reactivity:
The strategy layer in Xenonauts had a few problems that would show up when the player was doing well. The optimal way to play the game was to gain interceptor cover across the entire planet as quickly as possible, and once you had sufficient numbers of interceptors (assuming you kept them appropriately upgraded) spread across the world the strategy layer ended up being rather simple - the UFOs would spawn and immediately get shot down.

The level of strategy and could not be difficult. UFOs appear in the sky, circling for a long time with an unknown purpose, waiting for them to be shot down. There is nothing difficult for the player to aim at a UFO fighter. I prefer to compare Planetary Defense to playing Tetris. In the game Tetris, too, some "UFOs" fall from the sky to the ground, and the player must create an "infrastructure" that will absorb their "blows". In order for the game to become a strategy, it is necessary that the UFO strikes are fast and accurate, and the player is tasked with predicting (or directing) the locations of these strikes as accurately as possible. UFO strikes should always be aimed at inflicting maximum damage to the player. If the player correctly predicts and directs/deflects these strikes, then the player can stay in the game for a very long time. Also, in addition to the fighters, I would create an autonomous orbital defense.

The player puts a network of space satellites into orbit, choosing their speeds and orbits so that the UFO opens as few "protective windows" as possible. Communication with a space satellite can only be established when it flies over the radar of a military base. Satellites help predict the locations of suspected UFO strikes in advance. And the player in advance in this place pulls together the ground defense forces. What contributes to the location of the bases. Planetary defense is like a game of Tetris.

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1 hour ago, MrAlex said:

Where do you get so many weird ideas? Did you even play the classic X-Com? We are not trying to create a completely new game here, we are improving the existing one.

I played the classic UFO 1-2. And I made some mods for it. I'm not suggesting anything particularly new. But only a way to improve on what is in the original concept.

 

I don't understand at all, why make money a key strategic resource with a zero economic model? The main resources are time and technology. It is they, and not money, that should become the main strategic capital of the player. I would like the player to conquer every extra day of fighting the aliens and mine the new technology as hard and purposefully as the player previously mined the extra coin.

Edited by Komandos
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On 5/18/2020 at 6:28 PM, Chris said:

One of the problems this caused was that the player would ONLY encounter crash sites from the point they gained air superiority. Almost all alien activity in X1 was driven by the UFOs, so shooting them down shortly after they spawn stops them from even spawning terror sites, creating alien bases or attacking your bases. Clearly, this doesn't make for a very interesting player experience and it's something we've addressed in X2 - the creation of some terror sites and alien bases is now independent from UFOs, so achieving complete air superiority will not lock you out from ever seeing those missions (in the final game ideally about half of them will be spawned from UFOs and thus preventable).

...
Within a couple of minutes of starting the game, you'll learn that the Chief Scientist has discovered an unknown orbital object designated UOO-1. A few days later you'll learn that it is not friendly. The alien space station hovering above Earth is in fact an alien superweapon that will destroy a major city from orbit every 10 days, causing a large Panic spike in the affected region.

Although there's nothing you can do to stop this, if the player is progressing through the campaign at a reasonable rate the orbital bombardment mechanic will not affect the game very much. The repeated Panic increases are balanced out by the passive Panic reduction that you now gain from completing important research, and the bombardment will always hit the region with the lowest Panic (i.e. the one furthest from surrendering to the aliens).

The purpose of this system is to quickly close out games where the player has fallen behind and would eventually lose anyway. Thematically, it is intended to make the invasion feel more dangerous - even if you have complete control over the skies of Earth, the aliens will still be slowly bombing humanity into submission. Naturally, you'll get your revenge on the space station at the end of the game!

 

Oi, Chris, big fan of your work. I hope you do not take my criticism the wrong way, but maybe my experience in game design could be of use to your project.
I have a different opinion on Orbitral Bombardment and Alien Missions.

Let's start with missions. Premise of Terror mission is a punisment for failing to contain big alien transport, since it's the same as fighting that same force in the crash, but they lost no manpower, and I have to babysit civvies. It's not really that differen, it's just harder. If you are just going to punsih me with horrible, slow and dangerous mission like that, with no way to prevent it, what is the point of my airforce? I might as well let the alien land. IMHO, if you want the missions to spawn without the alien ship landing, maybe have us fight the traitors, agents of the aliens, or use the cool idea of drop-pods from above. You could balance it pretty easily, just make the missions that you cannot stop easier, but with higher panic compared to the ship mission of the same size, while the ship missions are a lot harder, but preventable. In the middle, as always, is the alien crash, since, with some of the aliens dead, it's in-between the two in numbers of enemies, but the stakes are lot lower. Or is airforce just there to stop the bombers? But, I can't even stop that, since, point two..

Orbital Bombardment. Where to start with this one? Well, let's just start story-wise. Ok, so the aliens have a massive bombing platform, and are offering everyone who surrenders not to shoot them. So..why are aliens even using regular ships? To give humans something to steal and reverse-engineer? They could just shoot at the Earth for a few months and win that way. Yes, in the end they have to land on Earth, but would China really resist after Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong? Or USSR the loss of Moscow, Warsaw, Kiew, Petrograd and Vladivostok? Especially humans did not win any battles, and if they land small teams, they give the chance for humans to gain morale. Gameplay wise, this is a timer that cannot be stopped, or reversed, or even slowed down. So, instead of letting the players play the game their own pace, aka. let them decide, you take the player agency. If you are familiar with the TTRPG genre, this would be something like group of adventures finding the dragon, and instead of DM giving them a fair fight, the dragon just flies up, and collapses the mountain on top of the players. This is how it feels. I'm not playing Xenonauts 1 to have even more deadlines in my life, I play it to have fun and kick ass with my amazing state-of-the-art airforce and military. I like the feeling that I am in control and I have the upper hand in the conflict as a reward for all the missions I won, and good decisions I made. But it sounds like the X2 wil be another losing until the final victory scenario, which I am personally not fond of.

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1 hour ago, wolfpriest95 said:

alien ship landing

You reminded me of one interesting feature of the original x-com. Each alien ship had a purpose for which it flew to earth. I played Xenonauts 2 many times, but never noticed the alien ships land during their missions.

The original x-com had two features:
1) The number of aliens to be destroyed in the ground mission depended on the damage to the ship during the interception. The more damage - the less aliens will be on the mission. We have something similar.
2) Damage to the ship affects the player's final loot. The more damaged the ship, the less valuable things could be obtained from it.

Thus, with heavy damage, the mission was easier, but the reward for it was not so valuable. In order to obtain valuable technology: Power supplies, engines, etc., the player had to explore the surviving parts of the ship. This could be done by capturing a small UFO that landed itself, or by intercepting a large one (alien ships fell if more than half of their engines were destroyed).

Thus, the player could intentionally not destroy a small ship, but wait until it lands to capture it and make significant progress in research.

The dependence of the player's final loot on the degree of damage to the ship also affected his actions in ground combat. If he used a lot of explosive weapons and destroyed the ship during the mission - he lost much of his valuable loot, so he had to act carefully to capture as many valuable technologies.


@Chris I don't know how difficult it is to implement it, but it would make the game much more interesting.

Edited by MrAlex
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40 minutes ago, MrAlex said:

The original x-com had two features:
1) The number of aliens to be destroyed in the ground mission depended on the damage to the ship during the interception. The more damage - the less aliens will be on the mission. We have something similar.
2) Damage to the ship affects the player's final loot. The more damaged the ship, the less valuable things could be obtained from it.

Thus, with heavy damage, the mission was easier, but the reward for it was not so valuable. In order to obtain valuable technology: Power supplies, engines, etc., the player had to explore the surviving parts of the ship. This could be done by capturing a small UFO that landed itself, or by intercepting a large one (alien ships fell if more than half of their engines were destroyed).

Thus, the player could intentionally not destroy a small ship, but wait until it lands to capture it and make significant progress in research.

The dependence of the player's final loot on the degree of damage to the ship also affected his actions in ground combat. If he used a lot of explosive weapons and destroyed the ship during the mission - he lost much of his valuable loot, so he had to act carefully to capture as many valuable technologies.

You forgot that, if you do too much damage, the ship explodes, and can't be recovered at all. But, yeah, that's my point. If you feel like you could take the full crew of battleship, or your airforce is not up to task, you could attack while it's on the ground, or the opposite, if your force is not ready ATM, you wait for it to take-off, and suffer the penalty, and then bring it down and attack, and get easier mission.
What people tend to forget about original X-COM, is that it was not that hard to kill the strongest alien or the strongest ship, it's to be ready for the next one. Refuel/Rearm/Repair took quite some time, and making more ammo, having soldiers heal also took a while. Choice of both minimal risk and reward, should be legit choice, as much as high risk/reward are. Terror missions, the star of X-Com is the best example. You do great, you get great rewards, you do poorly, penalty is high. You could just bring down the ship, and play somewhat easier and less rewarding crashsite mission, but the terror ships are hard to kill. So you have the choice. Yes, as you develop, it's easier to bring down the ship, but it's also easier to spread out, as your soldiers have more TUs and flying armour, along with better weapons, so terror mission itself is easier. I could destroy the terror ship and not play terror mission, since maybe my squad is not on full strenght, but since I destroyed their ship, the battleship lands on my base, and I don't have a plane to stop it. It's all about the choice. Without choice, it's not really strategy.

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  • 8 months later...

Is the UOO-1 going to introduce hard time-limit for player to finish the game?

Hard as in, for example XCOM2 (without WotC), because the "ocean tile" of Avatar project would generate points for doom timer on its own, and they could not be infinitely removed (only facility ones would be).

Edited by kolooko
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2 hours ago, kolooko said:

Is the UOO-1 going to introduce hard time-limit for player to finish the game?

Hard as in, for example XCOM2 (without WotC), because the "ocean tile" of Avatar project would generate points for doom timer on its own, and they could not be infinitely removed (only facility ones would be).

Why introduce a hard time limit into the game, and then think about how to choose the parameters of the game (balance) so that the player can meet this time limit and not earn hemorrhoids?

It is enough to smoothly increase the rate of appearance of new UFOs until: a novice player (1); an experienced player (2); an experienced player (3) - will not be able to effectively resist UFO attacks. It is these time intervals (game day) that can be set by developers for the appearance of a key event (the appearance of the final task, the final mission) with different complexity of the game: complexity 1; complexity 2; complexity 3. For example: at a given rate of appearance of new UFOs (for complexity 1; 2; 3), a type of UFO with key artifacts appears these days, after which the last combat mission opens.

 

Results: game balance (game difficulty) is easy to set without individual settings of other game parameters.

Enough:

             if - a certain rate of appearance of new UFOs will cause irreparable damage to players with different gaming experience. (1; 2; 3.),

              then - it is this speed (the speed of the appearance of new UFOs, for players with experience: 1; 2; 3) that should be the trigger (trigger) for the appearance of the last (final) task (battle).

 

If desired: the player can take his time to complete the last task. (As it was in the games "UFO: 1-2")

Edited by Komandos
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Haha, you're refinining my question and I actually agree with you.

My question was motivated by what's happening in this thread, and replies by one of X2 tean members - https://steamcommunity.com/app/538030/discussions/0/2965019884815026126/:

Quote

The Space Station is a Main-Story-Part of the Game. If someone don´t like it, it´s his / her Problem.

 

Edited by kolooko
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On 18.05.2020 at 19:28, Chris said:

Invasion Balance / Reactivity:
The strategy layer in Xenonauts had a few problems that would show up when the player was doing well. The optimal way to play the game was to gain interceptor cover across the entire planet as quickly as possible, and once you had sufficient numbers of interceptors (assuming you kept them appropriately upgraded) spread across the world the strategy layer ended up being rather simple - the UFOs would spawn and immediately get shot down.

In the game "Xenonauts 1", the Player's progress rate (in a strategic race) was higher than the Aliens' progress rate. Sooner or later, the Player caught up and the Aliens could not catch up with him.

If we continue to compare the conflict "humans and aliens" with racing on the track, we get the following: there is a common "plot" (track) with some obstacles. An experienced player knows how to get around these obstacles so as not to collide with them and not slow down the speed of his development. Therefore, the speed of an experienced player who is "familiar with the track" and the obstacles on it will always be maximum.

Therefore, there should be random events in the game. For example:

Due to an accident, the construction period of the module increases by 1.5-2 times.

In connection with the explosion in the scientific laboratory, new samples of artifacts are required. The study is suspended.

Due to transportation problems, the recruits will arrive later.

Due to engine failure, the fighter needs repair.

Etc.

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On 5/18/2020 at 7:28 PM, Chris said:

Static(ish) Funding: regions no longer increase their funding as your Relations with them improve. Instead, any region not lost to the aliens gives you a set amount of funding each month. This funding is reduced by 25% if Panic is above 50, and 50% if Panic is above 75.

The game can be divided into three strategic periods:

Period 1. Preparing the planet for an attack.

Mobilization of all resources. Replenishment of warehouses, personnel, weapons, etc. The main strategic task of the player is to develop his defense as quickly and better as possible over a certain period of time. Build as many military bases as possible.

Period 2. A direct alien attack on the planet. (The principle of a besieged fortress).

Resources only decrease, funding only decreases. The warehouses are empty. The influx of new soldiers and scientists is minimal. The main strategic task of the player is to hold out for the time necessary for the final study of new technologies. The speed of these studies depends on the quality of preparation in period 1.

Period 3.

The transition to the offensive.

A chain of final combat missions leading to the liberation of the planet from alien aggression.

In each of these three periods, the maximum funding opportunities, the loyalty of the regions, the presence of soldiers, scientists, engineers, the speed of research, construction, production (other triggers and constants), the nature of government behavior, tactics and strategy of aliens, etc. should be different. The game will have timers (period 1) and races for who is faster and more efficient (period 2), as well as complete freedom and the absence of earlier restrictions (period 3). All the players will be happy.

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  • 8 months later...

I very much DO NOT like this doomsday weapon thing. It just seems like an arbitrary penalty. I wouldn't mind if it was there and the player's actions could delay it. Say the aliens need a UFO to scan a target for a certain amount of time, so if you take down the UFO, you reset the lock. That might be interesting.

But just having it wipe out a city every 10 days seems like very bad design. Especially to players who like to take their time and just enjoy the core gameplay. It means you're forced to rush to a finale.

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That´s changed and adjusted drastically already to come later as well as then in 1 or 2 Month-Steps as well as the Panic-Encounters.

Testet in V.22 or V.23 when it comes in again. An more adjustet Beta-Test is comming in V.24 after the Beta-Tests from the last Version it comes after the big Rework.

 

 

Edited by Alienkiller
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  • 3 weeks later...
On 5/18/2020 at 7:28 PM, Chris said:

We're tweaking the way Relations (now "Panic") works and adding more strategic pressure from the Orbital Bombardment mechanic (see below) to try and balance this out.

Xenonauts can also build lasers on bases and interfere with orbital bombardment over a region with a laser base.

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On 18.05.2020 at 19:28, Chris said:

Orbital Bombardment:
Within a couple of minutes of starting the game, you'll learn that the Chief Scientist has discovered an unknown orbital object designated UOO-1. A few days later you'll learn that it is not friendly. The alien space station hovering above Earth is in fact an alien superweapon that will destroy a major city from orbit every 10 days, causing a large Panic spike in the affected region.

Even if aliens destroy a large city on planet Earth every day, it will take them 10 years. And if you destroy a big city every ten days, it will drag on for 100 years. Perhaps you are talking about those cities that exist on the map of the game? How many such cities will there be on the game map, and will it be possible to add new cities in the editor? Will the player's defeat be announced after the destruction of the last city? How will the destruction of cities affect the economy and politics of countries? Will revenues decrease proportionally with a decrease in the number of cities?

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2 minutes ago, Komandos said:

Even if aliens destroy a large city on planet Earth every day, it will take them 10 years. And if you destroy a big city every ten days, it will drag on for 100 years. Perhaps you are talking about those cities that exist on the map of the game? How many such cities will there be on the game map, and will it be possible to add new cities in the editor? Will the player's defeat be announced after the destruction of the last city? How will the destruction of cities affect the economy and politics of countries? Will revenues decrease proportionally with a decrease in the number of cities?

the laser just causes panic every time it is used each month, so it has nothing to do with the amount of cities that are left, but with the panic level of the region affected. 

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6 hours ago, Kamehamehayes said:

the laser just causes panic every time it is used each month, so it has nothing to do with the amount of cities that are left, but with the panic level of the region affected. 

So what if the orbital laser causes panic??? On the battlefield (tactical mission), aliens also cause the player's soldiers to panic. But even if all the player's soldiers are panicking, the battle is not considered lost, because on the next turn, the panic may disappear.

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