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Messages - Finnik

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Tools / Re: HandOb maker
« on: January 14, 2021, 04:08:39 am »
As for unit creation - what about making an assembler-disassembler tool for unit sprite sheets? I mean, the thing that would collapse ripped parts into a set of pictures, as the game does, so you would be able to edit the assembled version inside of your tool (with the most basic image editing options, like Volutar's MCD Edit use for PCK editing).

Like you would render it, and then rip it back to the game format.
This would allow modder adit assembled version of the unit frame per frame, with quickly switching from frame to frame. After all the required frames are done, we hit Export and take game-ready image asset. I would say it would be the best option for drawing complicated units.

The X-Com Files / Re: Too much research...
« on: January 13, 2021, 04:04:37 am »
I'm an 'Xcom/UFO' geek and I've played pretty much most of those Julian Gollop types of games from Laser Squad onward, so here's my 2-cents worth.

XCOM/TFTD are timeless, considering I'm still playing modded XCOM games (Xcomfiles and Piratez) after what, 30 years?  Apocalypse could've been great if the real-time system was used on a UFO/TFTD type globe though instead of one city.
I didn't play any XCOMs after Apocalypse though, so I don't know what Interceptor etc are like.

Extraterrestrials is an xcom clone, and like Solar says is better with the UNIMOD.

Aftermath/Aftershock/Afterlight - Aftermath is 'meh', good for what it is but no long term playability due to the mostly scripted missions and much too 'samey' maps.  Aftershock, with a few mods, is better as you need to use tactics in some missions and it's not just 'run for the prize and kill everything in your way' like Aftermath.  I've never got past the Starghosts to finish it though!  I found it hard to get into Afterlight at all as it's really different to the other two, so I've never really played it beyond one or two missions.

I haven't played the 'new' xcoms because once I heard 'console type game' it turned me right off.

Edited to break-up a wall of text!

lol, your opinion is so close to mine =) tho I never played Extraterrestrials with UNIMOD. And also I would like to mention, that to me Aftermath had shocking lore (probably because I was a teenager back then when I was playing it, but I only finished it to know the end of the story). And you did not mention Xenonauts =)

IDT Modding Hub / Community Extended LOFTEMPS
« on: January 12, 2021, 09:36:23 pm »
Hello all!

This topic could be interesting to modders, especially for those who like to create new interesting maps.

As you might know, the OXC, just as the original game has actually a 3D battlescape engine behind flat sprites. To process the shape of all map tiles, the game uses LOFTEMPS - "Line of Fire Templates" table, which creates a 3D voxel representation of the tile

That data is stored in a binary file UFO\GEODATA\LOFTEMPS.DAT and can be edited with any HEX editor. You might also notice, that the vanilla LOFT layers set has a lot of pretty specific to vanilla tiles, but some times this set can limit your creativity of tile creation. The thing is that as far as I know, for all those years we are modding OXC(E), nobody made any editions to that file. Thus, we can share maps we are creating, and do not worry if their LOFT dataset would be compatible - we all use the same file. Sadly, the engine was not meant to process this file modularly, so all terrains in all loaded mods should use the same file, other cases are not supported.
This could be a problem for terrain-sharing projects, like Community Mod Pack (

With this project, I want to achieve two goals:
  • Push LOFT we are using to its limits (AFAIK it's 255 layers, and UFO/TFTD uses only 112/114 layers) with extra shapes we would like to have in terrains we are creating.
  • Keep terrains in the OXC community compatible with each other.

For that, I am creating a new LOFTEMPS.DAT file with HEX editing, and I want to fill it with shapes, that are required by modders. I would like then if we all agree on it to include it to CMP and major mods. The idea is already supported by some modders, and to organize proposing of bitmap shapes I am planning to use google doc:

If you would like to contribute to the process, let me know with a PM here on the forum or via Discord - Finnik#0294 (preferably via discord, so I will answer faster  ;) ), I will send you an access link to the file. For now, I am slowly adding proposed shapes to LOFTEMPS.DAT:

Sure, the player can decide what experience he or she wants and modders still can set it with the recommended setting!

Offtopic: if you will make it as I propose, that would break FtA hard as I am using this button for the diplomacy system access, lol  ;D  :-X

What solution would you propose?

If I'd have some that would not fell under,6498.0.html I would propose it long ago. Sorry, if I am not very constructive, but as this is a forum I thought I can share my opinion here and discuss the problem. Maybe it's just me and everyone else loves geoscape state button set.

If it would be me who decide UI solutions for the game, I would alter the Funds button (as IMO its the most useless one) into something like an Overview state call, where I would put some geoscape statistics (free/used scientists and space, same for engineers, free/used training space, etc) and set buttons leading to those overview buttons - global production, science, proposing one and others. I would probably hide it behind the mod property, like `extendedGeoscapeUi: true` with default `false`. And I would keep existing hotkey functions, so people that used to them could skip the Overview state.

But it's just me, not like I am pushing anything to OXCE.

OpenXcom Extended / Re: [Documentation][y-script] Ufopedia custom info
« on: January 12, 2021, 04:54:03 pm »
I like the addition, I hope now I can finally  describe what flashbang does!  ;D

I personally dislike when such features are hidden behind the key binding. AFAIK no other game has such UX when there are buttons to interact with the mouse, but some functions are available only with a hotkey. I know many people are not aware of those things even exist.

How the player would access this new state (UI window)?

Resources / Re: [WEAPONS][GRAPHICS] JDCollie's Sprites
« on: January 02, 2021, 12:47:23 am »
Why do you use .gif? It is unsupported by OXCE, there are issues for Mac build with it.

Can we have another tool to convert things back to .rul? =)

The X-Com Files / Re: Interrogating Natasha Morozova
« on: December 19, 2020, 07:28:12 pm »
When making those guys I was thinking to add something even more special. Glad those missions are that memorable  :)

Tools / Re: VSCode OpenXcom Modding Tools
« on: December 14, 2020, 08:35:57 pm »
I would be very grateful, how much syntax could you highlighting? Line know function names? I make in my script code option to dump all know symbols.
Right now format is not very parser friendly, but I could alter it to return some format that could be used by human and machines.

I think it would be great!
And also auto-suggest of it, like how IDE does, I'm casting `itemRule.get` and it suggests what can I get based on what hook I am scripting. Highlighting variables, tag names, remembering variables to warn it is not defined in the beginning of the script or there is no such tag.
I am sure that would really help to populate y-scripting to people if there would be a good helper around.

Tools / Re: VSCode OpenXcom Modding Tools
« on: December 14, 2020, 05:18:23 pm »
This a great tool I was using for a while (as I was honored to be an alpha tester), it is invaluable for making big mods, so I refuse to do modding without it, and this thing is in my must-have list (together with ruleset tools and map editor), so I recommend to use it to everyone!

Offtopic / Re: Introduce yourself
« on: December 07, 2020, 01:09:01 am »
Oh, I think I should have introduced myself to you a long time ago! Hi, my name is Alex, I am 31 years old, I am from Russia, and I live in Moscow. Married, you may know my wife under nickname Zefirka. By education I am a geologist, I thought that all my life I would prospect for oil in Siberia, but as a result of incredible circumstances I eventually became an IT analyst, I participate in the development of software - I communicate with customers and translate their requests into tasks for programmers, deal with decomposition, organization of the Kanban process and other such stuff. And, well, I draw UML all day long  :D.
I got acquainted with X-COM: UFO Defense at the age of 6, sitting on my father's lap (an avid strategy player), and since then it's my favorite game. At the age of 9, my best friend and I even tried to make a clone for it on Delphi! We couldn't go any further with base scape  :).
Around 2015, I discovered the OXC project and it changed my life drastically. I have a great addiction to the mods in different games, I always set a lot on all the games that I play. So I was immediately interested in mods for the OXC, and immediately after the first walkthrough of the OXC I made myself a mod for a laser sniper rifle (though it did not have its own graphics, yes, I know how trivial it is. But I was so young, I even used a note pad for it  :-X).
I really liked the mod X-Com Files and after a few months of playing it, I wanted to add character missions from the dossiers. The first was Lo Wu, and his katana was the first item with its own graphics (although it was just an ordinary repaint of an existing item  ;D). I can't tell by words how many emotions I experienced when I first saw it in the game. Thanks a lot to Solarius Scorch, who taught me modding missions.
For about 2 years I was involved in XCF development and even did some contributions to OXCE engine. Now I'm developing an own project, X-Com: From the Ashes (, hopefully in a few months, I'll be able to release a playable demo of it.

The X-Com Files / Re: [Submod][Scenario] Yautja Hunter
« on: November 23, 2020, 12:59:31 pm »
OXCE have support for graphic effects similar to:,2059.msg26561.html#msg26561
I think both solutions are lovely, and it a matter of taste. I would say that Alex solution in terms of art is a bit better, but having a transparent is cool too. @Yankes - can we have a code snippet?

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