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SuperBazza

For the love of God, we need to see OUTLINES!

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This game is fantastic, but there are some very strange design decision that need to be fixed.

One small detail, but of particular annoyance, is the fact that we cannot see enemy outlines when the fixed camera puts them behind something. I'm not saying that we should be able to see EVERY enemy's outline, but if they are in a soldier's field of view, then the game must let me see them.

I've been through the same situation over and over again: enemy behind a building is seen by a soldier, but the camera won't let me see it. Then I spent the next 5 minutes TRYING TO hover the mouse on top of that enemy to see hit percentages and such. This is. Just. Not. Fun.

So there you go. Small tweak, huge profit.

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outlines?

what about "hide all useless junk from screen", just like UFO revealing but for all types of objects, this will improve game greatly, hold ctr or alt or other key and everything expect allien and xenonaus gone.

with some hitech (green wireframe) stuff, this will be nice feature, let call it tactical view.

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We can't do outlines, because the images are rectangular sprites so the game doesn't actually know where the interesting part of the image is. The "hide all useless junk" button might work, though we might have to rename it.

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Technically it's posible to pre-generate outline sheets with the custom tool. This will double file numbers (which are already huge) though.

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I like RawCode's idea of holding down ctrl or alt.

Maybe you could just hold down a key and then everything around your cursor, or on the map that you can see becomes semi-transparent so you can better see where your soldiers/Aliens are?

I have intended myself several times to move a soldier right next to a wall to find he is 1 tile away from it.

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just dont render anything expect units (xenonaus, alliens and civilians) on screen, this is most simple and bugless way to fix this issue.

xray cursor not viable, it will focus on objects and reveal wrong area, especially in multilevel building.

also it dont need any work from anyone, entire code already present as part of UFO revealing

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As an alternative or addition to making all props dissapear, a key that makes all (visible) sprites turn a uniform shade of bright red or other highly visible color, and also forces the cursor to prioritize sprites over objects. Sprites turn black in areas of poor lighting, so I imagine the engine admits this possibility.

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Some research on the topic leaded to the following:

- It's relatively easy to make outline sheets, but due to sheer quantity of files even with the right scripts/macro it will take around a week.

- You will have to deal with double amount of files, or combine sprites and outlines in one file either creating a huge canvases or writing own codecs for layered PNG's. God help you.

- Another way is per-pixel works on the fly. Shaders might help here, but i'm not sure if the playground SDK supports shaders.

- Look at the picture. Second and third variants with half-visible enemies will require additional untrivial coding.

1.jpg

This topics are not covering other variants of visibility improvement offered, only the outline implementing.

1.jpg

1.jpg.cac8c3da0831b9fc3a44a137fb796025.j

Edited by a333

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removing wall will visualize better.

Removing walls will rather confuse I think.

I think I'd rather wait a week more for a full release if it means getting outlines. They're good stuff.

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The week would be just for making new sprite sheets alone. The coding, as a333 said, would be untrivial (as in difficult to implement, or at least very intensive.)

Making walls semi-transparent would be much much simpler, and honestly I'd prefer the transparent wall. Memorizing what outline corresponds to which soldier/alien would be annoying.

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Oh yeah, semitransparent is different.

It doesn't help with desperately searching the alien that popped in sight as dark as the night itself during night missions, but you could argue it's part of the challenge I suppose.

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Memorizing what outline corresponds to which soldier/alien would be annoying.

It seems that humans are pretty good at silouettes recognition. You'll never have a problem with this.

As for the other part, i'm in agree. Semi-transparent walls seems ok.

It doesn't help with desperately searching the alien that popped in sight as dark as the night itself during night missions

Oh, i've always pretended it was "something moved in the shadows oh god oh god" kind of detection. Adds to the atmosphere.

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Oh, i've always pretended it was "something moved in the shadows oh god oh god" kind of detection. Adds to the atmosphere.

That kind of stuff freaks me out.

I wish reapers had better AI; on the first mission they popped up they terrified me, but none of my guys got "bit".

I shot a local cop who was about to get bit to prevent him from getting bit, though. That was interesting. (He died.)

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I shot a local cop who was about to get bit to prevent him from getting bit, though. That was interesting. (He died.)

The Xenonaut diaries?

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Quite frankly, semitransparent walls and wireframe vision both their limitations, even if the second option would have that kind of futuristic taste to it. In practice, they would translate poorly into gameplay, causing frustation in different situations.

The outline option, even if hard to implement, is in my opinion the most well-established feature to solve occlusion situations, least of all because it doesn't mess with spatial perception. Of course, there is the other problem of seeing inside buildings when there is no soldier inside - in this case, removing the roof would be just right -, but these are different things.

Concerning the outlining method, maybe you guys don't have to go too far. If there's not enough manpower to do the usual thing, I suggest you make a "rectangular outline", which would fit the tech-savvy themes of Xenonauts while merely requiring the outlining of the sprite itself. Maybe add a couple of fake technical lines beneath each rectangle when the show up just for aesthetics, too, as if the position of those occluded aliens were given by sensors or whatnot.

Point is: there's got to have a way in which we see aliens with 100% of ease. Once soldiers spot them, we shouldn't have to go through any mouse-hovering-where's-the-enemy.

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