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Messages - MKSheppard

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Released Mods / Re: [GLOBE] Improved Nations Mod
« on: July 01, 2023, 07:05:06 am »
I'm back; and working on it again. Slowly converting the cities to the "new" format.

Released Mods / [CRAFT][PACK][UFO] Rotorcraft Mod (Collection)
« on: June 30, 2023, 09:17:39 pm »
This is nothing special; it's a compilation of mods already done before by bulletdesigner and Alex_D, but put together with unified UFOPaedia images, etc; and a redrawn Huey Basebit sprite so it matches the others.

I also edited the Huey's MAP file to have six spots in locations that the player could see their men easily.

The main differences (or why would I want to buy a slow rotorcraft?) are cost, mainly.

Skyranger: 500K for 14
Osprey: 400K for 20
Chinook: 200K for 20
Huey: 100K for 6

I.e. it becomes much cheaper to have a Huey sitting in a secondary base to handle trash hauling duties in a backwater theater for 1/5 the cost of a Skyranger.

The reason I cut down the Huey's capacity from about 12 men to just six besides craft balancing is that that remember; the Huey has to carry not only the men, but all the items for them -- plus any high priority cargo -- i.e. if you capture a sectoid leader, you're going to want to bring him back to base promptly with the team, rather than wait for the recovery unit to show up and dismantle the UFO.

Possible future changes:

1.) Maybe recolor the Huey to match the Osprey/Chinook.
2.) Do some range/balancing on the rotorcraft.

Open Feedback / Re: Does XCOM need to manufacture *everything*?
« on: June 16, 2023, 11:13:16 pm »
I know that there's a lot of uncertainty bars here about just how much you recover from an UFO/Alien Base as you point out.

But even with an order of magnitude difference in our estimates, "small stuff" like bullets or suits of personal armor shouldn't be that hard to find the material for as an afterthought in the tons of the stuff you seize (all the more so since you can manufacture alien alloys yourself once you research them).

A little bit more abstraction would be nice in UFO/TFTD, because a lot is already abstracted -- i.e. you don't personally wheel and deal for personnel -- the game abstracts the "behind the scenes" maneuvering during which US Army Green Berets are "sheep dipped" and read into XCOM as new squaddies -- you just order new soldiers and they arrive a few days later.

More mods IMHO need to abstract more of the X-COM economy --  realistically, XCOM shouldn't have to manufacture every single thing -- they can "sub" a lot out to trusted "black project" tier 1 contractors (Lockheed Martin Skunkworks, etc); but as the "wow!" potential of the item goes up, the more X-COM would need to do "in house" -- i.e. man portable energy (laser) weapons or plasma weapons are such a huge leap that while random components could be made through contractors -- final assembly would have to be in XCOM labs to maintain control of the technology.

Open Feedback / Does XCOM need to manufacture *everything*?
« on: June 16, 2023, 04:14:43 am »
I grabbed ChatGPT and asked it to do some basic math for me:

1. Calculate for me the surface area (all four walls, roof and floor) of a typical US trailer park home. It's about 252 m2.

2.) Assuming that the surfaces (all four walls, roof and floor) of the trailer park home are 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick; and the material has a density of 1700 kg/m3 (about the same density as Magnesium)... a medium scout recovery would get you 10,700 kg of alien alloys.

Given that a Medium Scout gets you 11 alien alloys; one unit of alien alloys is about 1000~ kg roughly if we are going by magnesium density.

3.) Doing some rough volume/mass calculations on various items:

0.00388793 kg per 5.56mm bullet @ 11,340 kg/m3 density of lead = 0.00000034 m3 volume
0.00971984 kg per 7.62mm bullet @ 11,340 kg/m3 density of lead = 0.00000086 m3 volume
0.0647989 kg per 14.5mm bullet @ 11,340 kg/m3 density of lead = 0.00000571 m3 volume

For body armor; the typical SAPI plate insert is about 0.001875 m3 in volume.

1 unit (about 1000 kg) of alien alloys (at 1700 kg/m3) would get me:

1.7~ million 5.56mm rounds
686,000 x 7.62mm rounds
100,000 x 14.5mm rounds
150 x Body Armor Plate Sets

So realistically; you shouldn't really have to manufacture "simple" stuff like ammunition and body armor -- even if we go to a fully enclosed suit of body armor -- the surface area of a human is about 2 square meters. At 1700 kg/m3 and 1.5 cm thickness; you're only consuming about 50~ kilograms of alien alloy for a power suit; or about 20 suits per 1 unit (1000 kg) of alien alloy.

Even if there's a lot of "losses" in manufacturing alien alloy stuff to specification; you'd still be able to get plenty of "simple" things per alien alloy.

Released Mods / Re: [COMMENDATIONS] UFOPedia Mod 3.1 (Updated by hellrazor)
« on: February 29, 2020, 02:33:04 am »
So, what do we do in 2020 for this?

Last I have is v2.1 from 2017.

Suggestions / Yearly Release Schedule?
« on: April 21, 2018, 05:14:43 pm »
Suggestion: Make a yearly "official" release (or every 1.5 years), so that the "main" XCOM executable on the front page is somewhat modern.

Not everyone who visits the page realizes that OXCOM v1.0 was quite a while ago, or knows what the nightlies are.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: August 27, 2017, 11:21:22 pm »
I'll see what I can do about the Tech-Pedia.

I'm going to try and write it from the POV of having to train 16-18 year old kids who were born around 2009~, some ten years after J-Day.

So expect some heavy "back history" on the world.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: August 27, 2017, 07:57:16 pm »
Need help with the UFOPaedia text, Hobbes?

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: August 19, 2017, 04:01:25 am »
One of the things we could do to "change" the feel is to adopt a red palette similar to that of the Terminator's HUD instead of the current XCOM "happy greens".

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: August 18, 2017, 05:23:23 am »
re: 4 stars, see pic from T2.

JC may be following semi-standard US paramilitary practice -- in the NYPD, the Chief of Department is a four star rank, while Deputy Chief is a one star rank.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: August 15, 2017, 02:49:35 am »
Request to move this to the Modding/Experiments forum.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: August 13, 2017, 01:45:44 am »
Here's how to create a cutscene file using PAINT SHOP PRO.

1.) Reduce file sizes to 320x200.

2.) Decrease Color Depth to X Colors

3.) Select:
Number of Colors: 250
Optimized Median Cut
Nearest Color


4.) Select Palette Index 250, and use the following image to insert these colors into the palette.


They all have to be in that order. Because if you select the lead indexed color (250), it will pull the next several colors in the index to "build" the shading for the text.

5.) Save the file.

EDIT: Palette #0 is the background fill color for resolutions larger than 320x200. Set it to Black (0,0,0) for best quality.

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: August 13, 2017, 01:21:59 am »
Got an intro cut scene now.

STR_TERM_INTRO_1: "During the Summer of 1999, war was the least on everyone's minds."
STR_TERM_INTRO_2: "The Warsaw Treaty for the Reduction of Arms had just been signed."
STR_TERM_INTRO_3: "Relations between the United States and Soviet Union were improving."
STR_TERM_INTRO_4: "Around 2:43 AM, Eastern Time on Tuesday, September 13, 1999..."
STR_TERM_INTRO_5: "Approximately 65% of all strategic weapons were suddenly launched."
STR_TERM_INTRO_6: "The survivors of the nuclear fire called the war Judgment Day."
STR_TERM_INTRO_7: "They lived only to face a new nightmare..."
STR_TERM_INTRO_8: "...the War Against The Machines."

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: August 12, 2017, 11:09:05 pm »
In the Year of Darkness, 2029, the rulers of this planet devised the ultimate plan. They would reshape the Future by changing the Past. The plan required something that felt no pity. No pain. No fear. Something unstoppable. They created 'THE TERMINATOR'

Work In Progress / Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« on: August 12, 2017, 10:24:31 pm »
So I've got some ranks for TECH-COM:

Code: [Select]

  - type: en-US
      STR_ROOKIE: "Private"
      STR_SQUADDIE: "Corporal"
      STR_SERGEANT: "Sergeant"
      STR_CAPTAIN: "Captain"
      STR_COLONEL: "Colonel"
      STR_COMMANDER: "General"
  - type: BASEBITS.PCK
      42: Resources/UI/Rank_0.png
      43: Resources/UI/Rank_1.png
      44: Resources/UI/Rank_2.png
      45: Resources/UI/Rank_3.png
      46: Resources/UI/Rank_4.png
      47: Resources/UI/Rank_5.png

But they display incorrect palette in GeoScape/Baseview and they don't show up in Battlescape (the original UFO ranks do instead).

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