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ApolloZani

Great Circle Radar

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Posted (edited)

1930555807_greatcirclexenoradar.png.1748c5bd5ceed9f63f325c4d0ed62edd.png

The Earth is a globe. A great big ball. Our maps rarely reflect this and so we tend to get weirdness like the shortest distance between two points on a map being a curve. I think it's rather cool that Xenonauts has gone with the big map on the wall design, it's straight out of the War Room and NASA's big board. But it's not reflective of reality, following in the foot steps of Sid Meier's Civilization, the world we defend is more of a cylinder than a sphere. While this is good for readability, I though it would be fun to see what my favorite radar stations would look like on a real map of the world.

You can mess around for yourself here! https://www.wolframcloud.com/obj/d56d8dd4-4f35-40bd-a319-82bb68a40b56

On a lazy, laggy, interactive map. There are better ones out there, sure, but they're all mercator projection instead of the game's chosen equirectangular.

Try it out with:

GeoProjection -> "Robinson"

GeoProjection -> "Albers"

GeoProjection -> "Orthographic"

GeoProjection -> "WinkelTripel"

Edited by ApolloZani

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This is also one of my long standing issues with the first game’s geoscape. A flat projection not only creates weird shapes with the radar ranges but also wonky flight time which gets worse the closer you get to the poles. Making it hilariously hard to preserve fuel chasing ufos in Russia or Canada because the projection made them so much bigger than the real regions.

I also addressed about adding a globular geoscape to X2. But looking at how close the game need to be shipped, I think it’s just too late to make a globe geoscape like the original ufo defense now.

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Seems so. But dosen´t matter, because Goldhawk had decided to use a normal Worldmap instead of the Circle Globe from Xenonauts 1. They have not make their decission easy. But they had to decide to make an Xenonauts 1 with the Limitations all Rivalys have (not to implement things they wanna bring in to make the Game more thrilling) or use the normal Worldmap and make the Game more thrilling. Because the Devs have seen in Xenonauts 1 that the Circle Globe-System have to many Problems. Some of them I will show here.

The first Candidates with Circeld Globes were after the old X-Com-Series (X-Com EU / X-Com TftD) the UFO-After-Series (UFO Aftermath, UFO Aftershock and UFO Afterlight) which came on the beginning to mid 2000´s. Shortly after UFO Extraterestials came on the Market (2007), which had exactly the same Problems like the UFO-After-Series with the Circle Globe. They wanna implement more things on the rotating Globe then they could. Ok that was before 2012 and all could say that would never happen later. The other Problem is the Switch between Geoscape and Fighting Maps (Airfights, Groundfights). That´s why the Airfights get very easy in X-Com EU / TftD and UFO Extraterestials.

But exactly that Problems couldn´t be solved. On 2012, exactly 5 years later after UFO Extraterestials the new X-COM-Series shown the Worldlight. The first Title (XCOM EU), which get upgraded with 2 small DLC´s and later with 1 big DLC (now XCOM EW) on an circle Globe haven´t solved it. The Airfight get as easy as in the Predecessors, only the Groundfight get to a modern Time-Unit-System.

The second Title (XCOM 2) which get upgraded with 4 smaller DLC´s and later with 1 big DLC (now XCOM 2 WotC) makes it a little better, because you have some more implementations on the Circle Globe (an flying Opreration Base, upcomming Factorys for the Avatar Project in not Resistance-Eras, transiver Antennas for the Resistance as well as Special Places for the Research of God-Aliens, Lilys Robotic Brother and Choosen). The Airfight was canceld completely. All in all not bad, but there you see the limitation for the Circle Globe again.

Between that 2 Firaxis-Titels Goldhawk brought out Xenonauts 1 with an Circle Globe in 2014. Like Firaxis (XCOM EU / EW as well as XCOM 2 / XCOM 2 WotC) and the Devs from UFO Extraterestials (UFO Extraterestials upgrade to Gold-Version) they all tried to make the Circle Globe more Thrilling, but the limitations of that System don´t let them.

Then we all looked to the newest Game "Phoenix Point". Here is a little more action on the Circle Globe, but the Gollop Brothers couldn´t bring in more then they would like to implement in the Base Game and the first DLC. For the second and other DLC´s the Gollop Brothers go back to an older Early Access System for the Circle Globe to bring in more Action there. I haven´t Betatesed / Early Access played "Phoenix Point" about the Epic-Only-Permission. So I can´t say anything to the cooler Circle Globe-System I heard of until the Updates comes to Microsoft Game-Store. How the Gollop-Brothers could change the Limitations we will see in DLC 2 and especially in DLC 3 which implements Airfights in "Phoenix Point".

What the UFO Extraterestials / UFO Extraterestials Gold Developers have implemented on their Circle Globe we don´t know yet exactly. But the Pictures you can see on the official Sites show that they have exactly the same Problem like Firaxis, Goldhawk and the Gollop Brothers with an Circle Globe-System. They have to limit what they wanna bring in on the Geoscape. But they have 2 Month left for Bugfixes, Refits and such things.

That´s why Mircroprose took the same decissions for X-Com Interceptor and X-Com Apocalypse in the 1990´s like Goldhawk is doing today. They used a normal Starmap / Citymap instead of a Circle-System. You haven´t the limitations like on a Circle-System, esp. with the much easyser Bugfixing from Geoscape to Fights and the other Side.

Firaxis is testing the normal Map System too with XCOM: Chimera Squad (2020) and XCOM: Bureau used the same normal Map since it come out (2013). That comes not from therafter.

Xenonauts 2 uses the normal Worldmap about the irresolvable Problems from the Circle Globe (Circle Globe is a seperate system), the Arifights (they are a seperate System too) as well as all Ground Fights (they are a seperate System too). To programm the Switch from an limited Circle Globe to one of the other Systems and Back isn´t easy. That´s why Goldhawk and many other Gamedevelopers goes the Way with the normal Worldmap. The Programming there (esp. the switches from Sights or Areas) are much easyer. That includes implement new Versions of the Game (DLC´s, Patches etc.), Bugfixes and other Changes.

It will be very interesting which way goes XCOM 3 and how the Developers from Firaxis solved the announced Circeld Globe problems, if the Game playes again on Earth. Or the Circled Star System / Systems Problems if the Game goes in Space now (like the Way old X-Com-Series did with X-Com Interceptor before canceling the Series for over 12 Years).

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Sorry Alienckiller, it might be my own problem for reading posts or i haven't played any X-com games, but I still can't get exactly WHAT problem lies within the Circle-system, I read that the problems exist throughtout the series but just don't get what EXACTLY is the problem and limitation that kept the devs away. Nor do I understand that how Air Combat minigames related to such geoscape system, to me these 2 systems are completely separated and unrelated things and i don't think Air Combat system would be affected no matter the geoscape is.

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Forgive my reading comprehension but I don’t see the problems you presented have anything to do with the globe geoscape. The most concrete reasoning is that Chris said it’s for seeing the entire map which even that is not convincing to me.

On 7/7/2020 at 9:41 PM, Alienkiller said:

They wanna implement more things on the rotating Globe then they could. 

You do know that game dev resource allocation is a thing right? They’re much more focused on making better animation and other systems on the ground combat to work right before caring about air combat. Especially when their base building was as limited as it is. They clearly have a focused and lacking in other departments is entirely understandable. Not to mention it’s one of the first games of the franchise.

On 7/7/2020 at 9:41 PM, Alienkiller said:

The other Problem is the Switch between Geoscape and Fighting Maps (Airfights, Groundfights).

I have no idea what problem we even have here. Is it the choosing of maps based on the geographical locations? Because using a globe positioning system to create maps with certain set tiles have been done before. On the other hand Xenonauts’ system for air combat is entirely separate and have no connection to the map at all. If anything, the flat map affects the air combat much more by warping certain sections of the earth and making defense of those sections unbalanced as well as the radar coverage.

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Posted (edited)

The rotating Globe System has the Problem that it´s an completley differnent System to the other Maps (Ground-Maps, Terror-Maps, Airfight-Maps etc.). You need an special programmed Interface System to put and working them together. If one of it has an Problem, the special programmed Interface System can´t handle it anymore and you get the well known CTD if you get lucky or a complete Hanging of the PC where only the Reset-Button helps.

That´s why Goldhawk changed to the Map we have now for Xenonauts 2. The rotating Globe System made them to many Problems in Xenonauts 1. That´s why they don´t work on Xenonauts 1 anymore and concentrate on Xenonatus 2 instead. That is the big Point why Goldhawk changed the Strategy from a rotating System to a World Map-System.

Other Development Studios [like Firaxis with the new XCOM-Series, the Gollop Brothers with Phoenix Point and the very very small Dev-Team from UFO Extraterestials / UFO 2 Extraterestials] try to use the rotating Globe System with his limitations for an better Atmosphere. But like I said before the Problems with the special programmed Interface System which you need for that aren´t solved.

The Dev-Studios today have the same Limitations as in the 1990´s in X-Com Enemy Unknwon / X-Com Terror from the Deep (Microprose). Everyone who tried it with more implemantations on the rotating World Map failed. So you see in the UFO After-Series [UFO Aftermath, UFO Aftershock and UFO Afterlight], UFO Extraterestials, the new XCOM-Series and in the newest Game of that Gerne Phoenix Point the Minimum of that the rotating Map can handle without to much conflict with the Switch to the Battlemaps.

I play this Gerne about 30 Years and only small progresses have been done there. You get better Management, better Graphics and such things as most Change of it. The smaller implementations are integration of Special Missions and what you can see in the announced Games. But only so much that an conflict or a Bug won´t happen. If you have to search for an Bug, Conflict or whatever you get a big Problem.

The bigger Dev-Studios like Firaxis / Gollop Brothers have much more Personal, which maybe could handle that better (if they only concentrate on that), while the other 80 or 90 % of the Personal workes on the Game with all Elements.

But smaller Dev-Studios like Goldhawk and the small Dev-Team from UFO ET / UFO ET 2 can concentrate only on Programming the Game or the Bugfixing on Conflicts on the Globe-Map-Switching-System. That´s why UFO2 ET needs about 13 Years of Programming. If you wanna have that Time for Xenonauts 2 then you can ask Chris about bringing in the Rotating Globe System again.

Edited by Alienkiller

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