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Exploring Destructibility


Chris
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So, we have destructibility in the game for almost all of the terrain tiles. I don't think it is anywhere near utilised enough in its current state as it, though. If anyone has any neat ideas about types of destructible props or how we can use them to increase the tactical options in the game, here is the place to brainstorm.

Importantly, the game is able to set different stats for different states of tiles, so the undamaged and damaged variant of a tile can have different properties. This opens the door to a lot of possibilities:

1) Explosive Tiles: These are already in the game, but we haven't made enough use of them really. I think they should have two main uses; firstly for the humans and aliens to use to try and kill one another with, but secondly for terrain destruction. For example, a bunch of gas cylinders next to a long wall would breach the wall if shot at, saving a soldier walking all the way around it.

2) Selective Destructibility: This springs to mind because we're making some hedgerows for the Farm map. They come in two variants, full height earth banks with hedges on top that block all LOS and half-height earth banks that are essentially (very sturdy) cover walls. When sufficiently damaged, the full-height walls just become half-height earth banks themselves, but they're pretty tough. However, selective destructibility could be used to make say incendiary damage destroy them instantly, so an incendiary rocket could clear a tough hedgerow immediately and turn it all into convenient waist-high cover, allowing you to ambush any units on the other side etc. This mostly works with fire damage, but I think the idea has legs.

3) Crushable Grass: Aaron suggested this, and I quite like it. It's tall grass (maybe knee height), but once a unit enters the tile, the grass is destroyed. This just leaves visible trails in the fields on Farmland maps, allowing you to track enemy movement (or is it a civilian or a farmer? YOU DON'T KNOW! TERRIFYING!)

Does anyone else have suggestions on how we can think up new uses for destructibility or how we can incorporate it into maps (bearing in mind the limitations of a tile system and our engine)?

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is it possible to destroy tiles based on weight laying on top over them? Example 1 - vehicle/soldier in heavy armor can fall throught floor if it goes over some weak or damaged surface

Example 2 - top 3rd floor collapses due some explosives or so and falls to 2nd which collapses as well because of weight

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ok, pitty :) so another weird idea:

can tiles have some penalty for moving over them?

example - we have mud or snow tiles which should cost more ap for movement

edit: my idea is not about destructibility very much, sorry ;)

Edited by Kreny
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ok, pitty :) so another weird idea:

can tiles have some penalty for moving over them?

example - we have mud or snow tiles which should cost more ap for movement

This is a good idea. There ought to be a bonus for tiles possibly too. People and vehicles usually move faster on pavement than over unimproved ground.
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Is it possible to implement destructability so tall thin things (like lamp-posts) can fall sideways?

Is is possible to combine lighting with exotic damage and destructability to create unique explosions? For example, an electrical transformer going bang might instead of the standard explosion cloud ramp up lighting in the area of explosion to maximum (for the period of the explosion), and deal energy, stun and suppression damage.

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Can some "explosive" tiles in the industrial set be set up as smoke bombs? In an industrial environment there would be a large array of chemicals, and most of the non ballistic tear weapons damaging stuff by heat. Instead of exploding , having some of them produce an area covered in smoke, so it neither side has high chance of hitting what is in the smoke?

Oh and Chris should edit the post to list all the tilesets we'l have in the game. So we could know at what areas can we think?

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Combining Aaron's and Kreny's ideas, would it be possible to make concrete and other similar floor tiles appear in a damaged state when a particularly heavy alien passes over them? This isn't so someone can fall through them, but would give the same "crushed grass" impression for the more impressive and nasty bad guys.

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Ice "walls" (looking like ice that wind has pushed upwards) for arctic that can be shot and become half-high ice heaps. High wheat/corn tiles for farm that offer cover (with the logic that it's hard to try and hit someone who's hiding in high grass) but gets destroyed with first hit. Big trees that block line of sight but can be shot through (with maybe 50% chance to hit the tree). Bus/train that can be entered in town missions, they would be three tiles wide from the inside with one tile for walkway and pairs of seats on the sidetiles for cover. Windows on sides to shoot through and the first/last tile of the bus would explode when shot (I don't remember where they have gas tanks).

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So uh...standart non impeded movement. Where's the bonus?
I think you missed my point. I figure that just running across open, but NON-PAVED ground is the standard. However, I guess you could look at it from you perspective. In that case, there should be a penalty for ANY terrain other than pavement. Even moving across a meadow is slower than pavement.
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Can some "explosive" tiles in the industrial set be set up as smoke bombs?

This is a great idea.

Most things you can set on fire burn, they don't explode. Even C4 just burns, your ordinary car (not Pinto) has like a 1% chance of blowing up, but they sure burn with a lot of smoke.

So it's best if things on fire mostly generate flame and smoke rather than unspectacular explosions. Area effect with chemical tanks, etc. Occasionally both.

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Love the crushable grass and the ability to use fire to quickly overcome plant-based obstacles.

Can't think of much to add. I do like the idea of using the flamethrower to melt away ice/snow to clear a path or even "shape" them into cover. Destructibility could also be used to create lighting on night/dark missions.

Regarding smoke/explosions and cars maybe a damaged car could only exude smoke thus acting as a screen while a destroyed one explodes thus having both a defensive and offensive aspect for their damaged/destroyed states?

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i also love the crush-able grass idea. As for the incendiary ammo burning away tiles - I loved doing that with those straw tiles on the original x-com. Whenever I suspected an alien might be somewhere I used an incendiary rocket to purge those tiles. Or as others once said:"Kill the alien, burn the heretic and purge the unclean" Death to all Xenos...muahhahahahaha

I think that Jean-Luc's idea about cars sounds good too. How about trash cans getting crushed/dented by explosions?

Garbage piles as extra-flammable tiles ?

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Chris,

I like the crushable grass idea. That's pretty cool.

I also like the explosive -- but it should make some sense (ie, gas tanks/gas stations for example). It may not be 100%

realistic, but explosions are just fun. Fire propagation would be a cool element too.

damageable vehicles would also be cool.

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1) In industrial areas you could have some chemical/gas canister standing in rooms. If hit by a round they could start spewing out poisonous gases. Just got cover and getting ready to pound those Xenos across the street, and boom, room quickly getting filled with gas. Time to evacuate! Could use the same gas cloud as for the gas grenade?

2) Rubber, car tires, ect, if caught fire should cause heavy thick black smoke and burn for a good while.

(i mean cmon, what is urban combat without burning car tires?!)

3) Got that bad ass Ferret? Feeling invincible do ya? All fancy with that 50.cal. Lets take the quick route through the muddy field or through that wall! Flank those bastards. Oops vehicle got mired! Thrown a track(messed up hover engine ect.) or got stuck in the mud. Make some terrain risky to trespass with heavy equipment? Could also apply for Aliens.

I don't remember. Does cover make you harder to hit or give you an increased toughness from damage?

In X-com EU i like how the cover system makes you wanna keep your guys in cover. But sometimes i feel cover is to easily destroyed. I do get it! Aliens weapons are badass, and they should be.

But if cover is important in Xenonauts in the same way, namely making your troops harder to hit. Make it somewhat sturdy. And yes destroyed cover should lower your cover. But still, kneeling behind a collapsed brickwall is a lot more cover than kneeling on open ground.

Collapsed walls should not disappear as they do in X-com. If an entire building wall falls over with roof coming down on top, it should still prove valuable as cover, kneeling in the rubble. If the tiles can represent this in a good way. Rubble should provide good cover!

Burnt out armoured vehicles and so forth should also be good cover. And troops behind them whether destroyed or not should easily be able to fire from behind them. Making them useful as mobile cover. And of course a death trap if destroyed while close.

Aliens equipped with heavy plasma or other heavier weapons should be aware of the power their weapon possesses, meaning realize that a Xenonaut hiding behind a thin wall should still be able to be shot at, even if the alien necessarily dont have a clear line of sight to target.

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1) Explosive Tiles: put more of them but only where they make sense,

2) Selective Destructibility: i like this idea to

3) Crushable Grass: love this idea add this if you can, its little things like this that can add up to a very good game

just don't make things blow up as much as they do in the new x-com game where 1 shot takes out a whole wall.

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1) Explosive Tiles: These are already in the game, but we haven't made enough use of them really. I think they should have two main uses; firstly for the humans and aliens to use to try and kill one another with, but secondly for terrain destruction. For example, a bunch of gas cylinders next to a long wall would breach the wall if shot at, saving a soldier walking all the way around it.

Even light hits on explosive tiles should be able to set these tiles on fire... causing a delayed explosion because the tile is eventually destroyed by the fire damage.

No, not necessarily cars. =P

Seeking cover behind a burning gas tank? Not smart.

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There are quite a few things in an urban environment that will explode when set on fire, or at the very least cause a secondary explosion. In city landscape you've got motor vehicles, electrical transformers (yes, putting some extra copper/lead into one will make it explode quite spectacularly), maybe the crashing UFO exposed some gas mains? There might be a truck carrying gasoline for that really big explosion. In a smaller town people might keep gas cylinders next to their houses, or maybe in a little separate enclosure nearby.

In industrial areas, pretty much everything can be made to explode*. Barrels full of who-knows-what might blow up (just be sure to make them stand out, or people will be deeply annoyed. Blue barrel=cover, international orange barrel=weapon), there might be pipes carrying explosive materials and trucks full of scary materials.

*In the videogame/movie/tv universes, at least. In reality, it's pretty much impossible to make flammable liquids explode by shooting them, but who cares? Rule of cool applies here, right?

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3) Crushable Grass: Aaron suggested this, and I quite like it. It's tall grass (maybe knee height), but once a unit enters the tile, the grass is destroyed. This just leaves visible trails in the fields on Farmland maps, allowing you to track enemy movement (or is it a civilian or a farmer? YOU DON'T KNOW! TERRIFYING!)

Snow... I haven't looked at the Artic tiles yet, but maybe snow you can trudge through which also provides some cover gives the opportunity to have bleak open areas without opening them to too much of a sniper's gallery?

Edited by LeftyRighty
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Fire build-up inside rooms.

Whenever there is a downed scout crash site with severe damage in the description, the circular room at the back is always on fire (for me at least).

Before trying to breach that room, i always imagine the soldier may be engulfed by a surge of flames while opening the door because of the fire inside.

If we could have a mechanic with fire that would simulate a build-up of heat inside rooms for each turns and then opening or shooting through a door or window could result in an explosion, then it would :

- Be spectacular while not being just another classic explosion.

- Add a danger condition to using fire-creating weapons or going near rooms that are on fire.

With this comes the idea that there is damage overtime for entities inside (not only for standing on a burning tile) and there would be an incentive for using shields and the heavy suits to protect yourself against the flames and extreme heat.

The AI should make the civilians try to get out and keep away from the fire and some aliens should also be forced to retreat or get out of cover because of this.

You can have some type of aliens that won't be affected by this (androns) or even arsonist aliens that use the fire mechanic against your troops or civilians as a terror mission behavior.

Also, fire propagation to adjacent rooms and floors. =)

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