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Chris

Pre-Beta Features

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As I wrote in the V17.9 Release thread, there's a bunch of stuff we're working on prior to the beta release. This is not an exhaustive list, but it'll give you some idea of what's going on and why V17.9 is the way that it is:

1) Maps: We've only got enough variation for Light Scout maps at the moment. We'll need about 50 for beta, including Terror Site and Alien Base maps. We may also use some of the tiles from the Soviet Town tileset such as the wooden cabin and rural roads to create a rural Tundra tileset for use in places like Canada and Siberia.

Anyway, lack of maps is one of the major reasons why we didn't hit beta this time around.

2) AI: This is improved but needs more work. The code should be finished shortly, then we'll be paying much more attention to specific behaviours. Initially to stop the aliens being obviously stupid (at present some of them don't seem very keen to shoot your troops), then to make them do cool stuff and to differentiate the species.

3) Final Mission: This is blocked out but needs to be mechanically finished (detailed playtesting can happen in beta).

4) UFO Art: We still need to do the final art / layout for the biggest UFO, and then we need to do the damaged versions of all of the UFOs.

5) Overlay Tiles: We need a function to make ground tiles overlay on whatever tiles would appear beneath them. This means we can have the dropships placed anywhere on any map and still have shadows, rather than having the parking lot around them as currently happens.

6) Auto-Crash Site Generation: One of the balance problems in the game is that the UFOs have random behaviour, so it's not possible to guarantee that a player will encounter a UFO in the first two weeks of the game. This makes balancing a nightmare, because a player can be two weeks behind (or ahead) in the research tree through luck.

I want a feature to auto-generate a couple of missions. I think this will be limited to two Light Scout crashes in the first 10 days of the game to ensure that the player has access to everything they need to get started, and then an alien base later in the game to ensure a player isn't punished for being too good at the game (it's possible they could be so good at shooting down the UFOs that the aliens can never get a base built, depriving the player of the technology inside).

This means that we can increase the time between UFO waves so it's not so overwhelming as it is now, but also not be worried that the player won't be unable to start the tech tree as a result.

7) Hidden Movement Camera: At the moment this isn't showing all the projectiles, which means your guys can be killed without you seeing it. Obviously this needs to change.

I think once those things are all sorted, we can go into beta. Yeah, there'll still be a lot of missing assets and plenty of balancing and probably even some new systems to add as a result of feedback - but it should be a game you can play from start to finish and therefore qualifying for the beta tag.

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Sounds like you guys still have your work cut out for you. Hope you'll manage to get it all hammered down soon.

Thanks for the update!

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at present some of them don't seem very keen to shoot your troops

Caesian Bob: We come in peace! We come in..

>BANG!<

Caesian Phil: Holy Crap! They shot Bob! The Earthlings shot Bob!

Caesian Dave: What do we do? What do we do?

Caesian Phil: Maybe they didn't see the intergalactic peace gesture. Let's try agai..

>BANG!<

Whew! Lots of work still to be done before Beta. Looking good though

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Hi All,

Does this version have the final tileset except for the mentioned crashed ufos? Sounds like maps are needed maybe some of us could lend a hand.

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Caesian Bob: We come in peace! We come in..

>BANG!<

Caesian Phil: Holy Crap! They shot Bob! The Earthlings shot Bob!

Caesian Dave: What do we do? What do we do?

Caesian Phil: Maybe they didn't see the intergalactic peace gesture. Let's try agai..

>BANG!<

Whew! Lots of work still to be done before Beta. Looking good though

it would be great story that Aliens came in peace (they sent some diplomats in light scouts) but we were killing them from beginning so they became angry and started invasion :)

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