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Messages - RSSwizard

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Suggestions / Re: Making Base Defense Facilities More Useful
« on: August 25, 2014, 01:50:41 am »
Easy . . .
Dont just have Battleships conduct the attack on the base.

Terror Ships are the other offensive weapon the aliens use and they only have a damage capacity of 1200, which means 600 points and they're down.

Thats the low-baller attempt to attack your base for a certain period of time, which missile defenses and laser defenses would be able to handle it (three units of them would give you a decent chance).

It would have no effect on the type or number of personnel that were invading the base.

Suggestions / Re: XCOM "Last Stand" Mode after Council Termination
« on: August 25, 2014, 01:45:09 am »
In the XCom spinoff clone I was designing there was a Last Stand scenario, but in addition to having to still fight the aliens without any new income . . . you also had Rogue Ops spring up all over the place like the tv show Alias.

(basically multiple MiB factions)

And eventually they would just roll you with a State Sponsored Army, as some big player out there in the world (like Russia or the USA) fell under complete control to the aliens and they were told to take you out no holds barred.

You'd get to fight through the final battle if you wished, but you would die no matter what, just like one of those endless survival mode zombie games. And they wouldnt be using pea shooters either, they'd have tanks, and they'd have at least all of the (better than usual) starting equipment, plus some alien tech here and there.

Then again there was going to be weapons of mass destruction in the game too, even on the battlefield mode (there was a Backpack sized plasma bomb with a yield of 50 Tons). And that would kill some of your soldiers each time even in the best armor the game had to offer, if not TPK them.

(because explosion damage would do a seeking algorithm and would bounce off of walls, so it wraps around corners and with a huge blast radius it would be able to nail people behind cover)

But really the Last Stand scenario doesnt hold water for XCom.
Its fair to say that if the whole world turns its back on you, and throws their lot in with the aliens.
They have all the data on the books about where your bases are, the computer codes to break in the mainframe, and so on.
And with all that assistance the Aliens would say it was "their pleasure" to mop you up.
Then you have a massive worldwide operation with 10's of Battleships being crammed down your throat at every base.

Suggestions / Re: Armoured cilivans?
« on: August 25, 2014, 01:21:11 am »
On Terror Missions add another faction >>> Police Forces
Its a faction allied with XCom but counts as Civilians for point penalty losses.
They would be wearing crap armor (25 rating at most).
They would have a high multiplier for explosive damage (like 1.5x to 2x)
So you can shoot them by accident with a pistol or rifle and they wont die, but don't you dare toss a grenade next to them, because their body armor wont protect them from it.

They would be carrying Pistols and have 1 spare clip.
They would be carrying a Stun Rod.
They would engage the AI behavior of avoiding being seen by enemy forces as much as possible.
And they have Very Low Reactions (but at least they will open fire on their own turn if an enemy is close).
If you want to you can give them a Shotgun which is basically a carbon copy of a Heavy Cannon but with 8 rounds capacity @ 40 damage each (slug shells). It doesn't have to be a purchasable or recoverable weapon.

On some terror missions you can replace all of the civilians with Police Forces - - they having evacuated all of the regular civilians but (like in the Dark Knight Rises batman movie) they are trapped in the terror mission zone now, and are little more than helpless civilians themselves. They might score a kill or two over the course of the mission, but you know how them aliens just love to toss alien grenades and go autofire with a plasma gun that does 80+ damage.

well keep in mind that x-com's default rifle only uses a 6.7mm round... i doubt that even a muton could hold up very well to a 50bmg

Compared to XCom weaponry a .50bmg is fairly weak, it doesn't even get out of the 40 damage range. Whoever made the Sniper Rifle Mod got the damage value correct (46 points). I guess an exploding tip .50bmg might cause something like 52 or 55 damage, but its going to still do armor piercing damage type.

The in-game Heavy Cannon is supposedly something like a (high pressure) 20mm or 25mm grenade launcher, and the armor piercing ammunition is likely some kind of incendiary-armor piercing-exploding tip round that does alot of nasty damage on a direct hit to compensate for its slower velocity (which warrants its 52 damage points).

For a real life example of this check out the XM-25 grenade launcher.
(Image Link)
(yeah I wouldnt want one pointed at me either)

The HWP Cannon does 60 and its probably firing a de-facto 20mm Cannon round like what the NTW-20 sniper rifle does (which the Halo Combat Evolved Sniper Rifle was patterned after).

(this is a pic of a 20mm compared to a .50cal --- Image Link)

Last time I checked Mutons could take like 5 to 10 shots from stuff like that, and thats if they dont turn around and Reaction-Fire on the guy shooting them and put three blazing plasma rifle holes in them.

(and speaking of Halo Combat Evolved, almost none of those weapons the aliens use even come close to doing what XCom's plasma weapons do. The Halo "Beam Rifle" or "Binary Rifle" might do like 70 damage at most and that tears Master Chief in half as it is. The plasma pistols and plasma rifles that the Covenant use dish out like 35-40 damage at most, though I guess they would still count as causing plasma damage type, gotta give them that. I mean look at how awesome the Rocket Launcher is in Halo Combat Evolved? That weapon does 100 damage in Xcom)

The Plasmacastor from Predator is what im always reminded of when I think of Xcom Plasma Guns . . . 80 damage probably, and I think it could be said that weapon had a small blast radius attached to it.

How DOES the BlastRadius modifier work anyway?
Ive been looking at the rulesets and they have custom defined sizes like blastRadius: 5 for Alien grenades and blastRadius: 10 for Blaster Launchers . . .

Does that mean that it Truncates any explosion size beyond 5 or 10 squares from ground zero . . . or is it actively modulating the amount of damage that decreases with each square?

(as in a Blaster does 200 damage, normally its -10 damage per square so if you got blastRadius: 10 it inherently suggests that since it would normally have a radius of 20 squares and you're throttling it to 10 . . . it must multiply the amount of damage that is reduced by 20/10 = -20 per square)
^ ^ ^ Is that the way it works?

In other news . . . making any weapon explode regardless of its damage type would be as easy as segregating the Explosion Formula from the various radiant damage types . . . and just giving any weapon that might cause an explosion a blastRadius: . . . . which in effect "turns on" the explosion function for that weapon.

That way you can also have weapons that cause Explosive damage without causing an area of effect (like those .75 cal Bolters from Warhammer 40000 . . . it blows up inside you so there's no blast radius, but it still does explosive damage too)

The next step after that would be adding a Subheading for blastRadius: which defined which type of Explosion Sprite it uses for generating the explosion fireball. But that's later on down the line.
(then you can make your very own green colored fireballs for your plasma grenades just like on Game Of Thrones)

Work In Progress / Re: [Mod Request/Idea] Conventional Wepons
« on: August 25, 2014, 12:36:04 am »
The BIG HUGE feature request that you ought to be considering when it comes to Conventional Weapons is . . .

Weapons which have a Sub Weapon Attached to them.

M-4 Carbine with M203 Grenade Launcher
M-41 Pulse rifle with 30mm Grenade Launcher

As simple as it sounds though, I can understand why its not implemented yet - because I can see how it isnt really that simple to implement. (but it would be possible, just you couldnt separate the weapons from each other, even back at the base - its effectively one weapon which has another weapon Linked to it, and you can switch modes which switches it to the other weapon).

My suggestion if it was ever attempted, would be to just have an auxiliaryWeapon: option for a weapon which refers to a different weapon which is not a standalone and has no weight or size/storage stats.
The Auxiliary weapon would be accessed from the Firing Menu (aimed/snap/auto/etc) . . . something like "Swap Weapon" (which could even have a TU cost associated with it, representing having to flip a switch or reach for the other weapon's trigger).
Then the Weapon is effectively treated as if it is now the Auxiliary Weapon >>> the firing menu has firing mode options for the Aux Weapon, the Inventory still treats it as if it was the full size weapon but regarding ammunition it shows and deals with the ammo in the Aux Weapon rather than the primary.
(going one step further, though unnecessary, it could also change the sprite of the weapon showing the Auxiliary Portion of the weapon highlighted in Red or something, to indicate that part of the weapon is now selected >> I guess that could be the Sprite for the Aux Weapon itself though modders would be responsible for making those sprites).

(EDIT - - - Of course the easy way to do that is just have the Auxiliary Weapon itself have the same stats as the Primary Weapon . . . having the Primary one link to the Auxiliary, and the Auxiliary one have a revertsTo: option so that the weapon "transforms back" into the primary in any situation where the weapon has to go back into inventory shelf mode. That way switching an M4 Carbine to its M203 launcher isnt going to put it in the Base Inventory as an M203 Launcher . . . it just goes back on the shelf as its Parent weapon. The reverting itself could be done automatically . . . but being able to choose which thing it reverts to can give modders evil ideas about weapons mutating and transforming into other things after every mission)

The primary reason this would be beneficial for modders is you can build Underbarrel attachments based on advanced technology . . .

Using Xcom tech as an example . . . Mounting a Plasma Pistol to the bottom of a Rifle.

Or mounting Special Purpose auxiliary weapons to the gun.

Taking this a step further, down into the depths of hair spaghetti monster hell . . .
Modular Weapon Upgrades
Which work like the above but rather than linking the weapon to another weapon
It replaces or changes things about the existing one, transforming it into something else.

Example - Laser power booster for a Laser Pistol, making it look like it has a Silencer on the end of it basically. Increases the size of the laser pistol to 1x3 and increases its damage. But if you take it off it turns it back into a regular laser pistol again.

(in a similar vein you could make it to where the Laser Rifle itself is just a Laser Pistol with an attached Power Booster and Fitted Stock - - - like in the 90's incarnation of the movie Lost In Space where they had "build a better blaster" kits)

Im not saying these are feature requests, just one possible direction to take things (eventually, sorta, maybe).

Like the idea I had for Overpenetration.

Programming / Re: [Missing feature?] Base Defences - Damage range
« on: August 25, 2014, 12:16:34 am »
Slightly off topic question but . . .
The Damage Randomization code . . .
Is it a straight linear roll or is it a "two dice" roll?

Original XCOM 1 always used a linear roll . . . Rand * (2 * Damage)

However TFTD used a double roll . . . Damage * (Rand + Rand)

So like if you have a Plasma Pistol it would do Rand * (52x2) possible damage, but if you used the TFTD method it would do (52 * Rand) + (52 * Rand).

This is the reason the damage values were usually so uniform in TFTD, it wasnt because it was restricted to 50-150% (though Explosion damage always was).

I very much like and prefer the double roll precision from TFTD and im wondering if thats what you guys are using from the "TFTD style" damage dice rolls.

If so is there any way to Mod this as a normal change without doing any kind of actual cpp coding?

Tools / Re: sprite tools
« on: August 25, 2014, 12:07:54 am »
Is it possible to change the size of the PROJECTILES?
I understand 3x3 was enough for Xcom

But id like to experiment with larger projectiles (like a big orb plasma blast, or smoke trail that expands) . . . So id be shooting for 7x7. Any normal size ones id just transpose.

Are the projectile image placements (per tic/frame?) centered or has the 3x3 size already been figured into their alignment on the trajectory path . . . ?

What id like to know is how to extract the Sound Effects, my guess is to use some kind of data ripper, i dont see any utilities listed here for extracting sounds or creating (vanilla) sound packs.

Tools / Re: Another pixel editor
« on: August 24, 2014, 11:53:59 pm »
I was gonna suggest older versions of PSP because I thought they had a blending mode where you could draw airbrush in 256 colors and it would still make it fuzzy, using the colors available on the palette and doing a close/near match.

I remember doing this a few times, but then upgraded to PSP 5 and lost the function. I could swear up and down it worked but now I cant find that type of thing anywhere (except for DPaint2's Anti-Aliasing mode).

And also found out has the photoshop programs, but they dont have the full versions, and there's almost no torrnts for them around too.

Tools / Another pixel editor
« on: August 24, 2014, 10:42:24 pm »
In response to another thread about palette wrangling I remembered this old editor I used to use sometimes.

Its called I.Mage

It looks like it would be a good sprite editor to boot, but the main feature I always use it for is generating Custom Palettes. It does a good job of creating and changing palette colors quickly and has a Gradient function to give you an entire spread of colors in an instant.

(in contrast I used to rely on an old dos build of Fractint to mess around with color palettes, saving them in an image screenshot . . . how archaic).

This is good for creating Matte Palettes for Recoloring sprites, and funneling color indexes away from bad colors that you dont want to use (id change those to something you'd never use in your image, like Flaming-Gay Hot Flamingo Pink rather than an utterly confusable black).

But really I was just using the program to generate the palettes, have them saved in a .GIF file so some other program like Paint Shop Pro or Photoshop could pick it up out of the image.

Speaking of which, I should probably pick up PSP again

Resources / Re: image editors / graphics programs
« on: August 24, 2014, 10:12:44 pm »
Using Photoshop for Palettes when there are Duplicates...

Find the colors on the palette that are duplicates. Along with any colors that you do not wish to be using (like that last set of 16 colors for Ufopedia graphics?).

Replace those colors with Hot Pink or Pure Cyan, or some other color that doesnt occur naturally in Xcom and is unlikely that you yourself are going to want to use. Pure White and Black may get confused in the graphics program but these other colors wont be. Perhaps even eradicating most of the colors in the palette so that your images are forced to comply with specific color ranges.

And if you see those pixels pop up in the image you can just manually recolor them to something else.

Save that Palette as something you will work with regularly but not use as a final product.
You should have a collection of these palettes, probably for different purposes.

You can take 24 bit images and Convert to 8 Bit using this palette as the Custom Palette setting. Best to do this with an entire series of images if you have them so that way the "custom palette" setting doesn't need to be changed inbetween.

* After you have loaded this palette, its determined where those color indexes will stay put.
NOW you can load the AUTHENTIC Xcom Palette you want to use.
But I think that might also be optional ... because the color indexes are already set in the image, and the GAME is not going to care what palette is in the image only the color indexes (?correct).
So when the game loads the image it will display it correctly.
* As for whether Photoshop saves any extra palette information beyond the 256 colors set... I cant tell you the truth about that. But I think the best chances to shoot for that are to save it as .GIF files because those have 256 color palette standarization.

I used to do this alot to Re-Color images for other sprite games like Doom 2 Sourceports.
Using Photoshop to Hue/Color shift parts or whole sections of sprites . . . like make a critter that had red skin instead of brown or make some dude's armor turn gold.
Then I convert back down to 8 Bit and use one of these masking palettes to convert it back to the Doom palette colors but also dodge certain colors I don't want it to use.

Then I just load the actual Doom Palette on top of that and the color indexes stay put because its already an 8 bit image so it does not need to remap them.

(the key there was that the Green Spread of colors was used for Palette Remapping and if you wanted a Sprite to be re-mappable it had to be on that green spread. So naturally I created a Palette that was Pure Pink except for the Green Spread and the single Transparent Color near the end of the palette. This forced the program to funnel all of the Color Indexes into the Green Spread of colors near the center of the palette)

Paint Shop Pro was a little more efficient with this because you could force images to remap with a new palette if you wanted it to, without having to UpSample it to 24 bit first then Downsample it to 8 bit.

But as we all know Photoshop was designed to take up the Maximum Amount of Time to complete any project, I guess so that graphic artists can get the most money for their hourly rates.

Work In Progress / Re: Asking for graphics help
« on: August 24, 2014, 07:42:38 am »
The idea I always had for it was using more Effective propellant weapons in arranged tiers before broaching the topic of making your own energy weapons. If I make a mod I dont mind if you have already used these ideas.

Rocket Propelled Firearms - replaces laser weapon tech starting research
* PDW . . . 24 round mag @ 45 damage . . . strong burst accuracy (like 80% or 85%)
* Recoilless Rifle . . . 24 round mag @ 55 damage . . . has exploding ammo available.
* BigPak Rifle (8 barrels, fire all at once) . . . 12 round mag @ 85 damage.
But the ammo packs for these are all heavy... the PDW one is 4 pounds, the Rifle one is 6 pounds, the BigPak is 16 pounds. So you can Burst Fire with any of these weapons but you do so at your own risk of ammo depletion.

(basically these are like lightweight Warhammer 40,000K bolters, but they do not have any kick so their burst accuracies are generally high)

Magnum Explosives - initial research topic
* Allows produceable Grenades, Rockets, High Explosives with higher explosive damage
(~80 for a grenade, ~130 for a rocket, ~160 for a HiEX)

Ramjet Rounds - added after alien alloys research, requires magnum explosives
* Adds produceable ammo for all conventional weapons, does +15 armor piercing damage for each weapon and upgrades each magazine to 30 shots (production uses 1 alien alloy unit per mag).

When you go to introduce the Laser Tech . . . skip the pistol . . . and allow direct research into the Riflle or Heavy. But keep their "infinite ammo" so that way they're still better than the ballistic weapons. Raise Laser Rifle accuracy but get rid of its Burst. Raise the Heavy laser damage to 100.

Then to counterbalance the Alien Grenades Id jack up their damage to 160. And id increase its size to 2x1 (horizontal) like a Hi-EX and make it a "big grenade on a stick". Increase E-115 cost to 2 units. The aliens have plenty of inventory to store them in.

Then id make the Blaster Launcher do (reduced to) 160 damage too. Its a flying guided Alien Grenade pretty much. Decrease E-115 cost to 2 units.

Then use the Fusion Torch mod or Acid Projector mod, or create a similar item so that way UFO hulls can still be ripped through.

Troubleshooting / Re: Blank White Screen on Startup (OpenGL)
« on: August 24, 2014, 07:15:03 am »
I guess . . . Ill just play it vanilla and blocky looking. Was hoping the shaders would work though.

Work In Progress / Re: 'Equal Terms' Mod Discussion.
« on: August 23, 2014, 05:34:39 am »
I love all of those ideas, as I was considering adding code for recoil (abandoned) and penetratiom as well, but both would require quite the codebase change. But I was beginning work on it regardless.

May have to be a 2.5 version.

The Penetration scaler wouldnt require a major code change, unless the coding is really bizarre already compared to what im thinking it is.

When you go to do the Damage vs. Armor check, . . . check to see if the ammo has a Penetration Scaler (IF/Then). If so apply the inverse of it as a multiplier to Armor Value before testing vs Damage (1/Scaler, and also check to see if the value is something ludicrous to avoid divide by zero, anything lower than 0.01 and it doesnt bother). You dont need to run another function, this could be tucked neatly into the existing one.

Thus if something had a 0.5 scaler (crappy penetration) your code would apply a 1/0.5 = 2x multiplier on the Armor Value before the damage is tested against it.

So it doesnt touch the Damage Scaling side of the equation (eg, damage types and so forth).

As for the Mod itself . . . some modern weapon considerations . . .
(I know alot about guns)
* Replaces Standard Pistol . . . Glock 20 Longslide in 10mm Auto (hits like a .357 magnum). The caliber .40s&w and .357sig were patterned after the 10mm auto because the pu$sies at the FBI complained about the recoil, so they gave them a weaker dumbed down 10mm (the .40s&w). But Spec Ops would not care.
15 rounds @ 30 damage.

* Replaces Standard Rifle . . . Kel-Tec RFB bullpup rifle in .308 caliber - easy to use and accurate but no auto fire. Yes folks that standard size rifle there is a .308.
20 rounds @ 36 damage.

* Replaces Auto-Cannon . . . SRM-1216 shotgun (yes its real, not just a COD weapon)
16 rounds @ 40-45 damage range. (armor piercing slugs, and explosive rounds)
With Auto Fire, because anyone using it would be trigger happy.
(should have a 20 square falloff for accuracy)

* Replaces Heavy Cannon . . . 6-Pak Grenade Launcher (40mm grenades).
6 shots @ 50 damage (or 60 for Hellhound grenades, which weigh 2 more pounds for the ammo pack, like a "Large rocket" version of ammo for the Cannon).

* Assault Rifle / SMG Role . . . AAC Honey Badger Compact (suppressed, subsonic rounds).
30 shots @ 30 damage.
easy and accurate burst fire, 2x3 weapon size but weight is 4.

* Sniper Rifle role . . . AR-15 Rifle with .458 SOCOM upper. (this thing is beautiful)
9 rounds @ 40-45 damage range.

(as for long distance shooting, how many Xcom missions do you actually need 1000 yards of range? Accuracy for a "sniper rifle" in Xcom should be about Handling and Secure Target Acquisition rather than long distance fire. As for damage those .458s are practically as big and heavy as a .50bmg, its like getting hit with a shotgun slug but with much better range - this thing can reach out reliably to 300 or 400 yards)

(alternatively there is a new version of the Dragunov SVD which is chambered in 9.3x64mm, and it would fit the bill nicely)

Troubleshooting / Re: Blank White Screen on Startup (OpenGL)
« on: August 23, 2014, 04:03:15 am »
No I got it back to normal and ive been playing it off and on all day just fine.

I want to get the OpenGL working on it so I can use the Shaders (CRT-TV sounds real nice)

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