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Messages - RSSwizard

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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)

Tools / Re: HD sprite upgrade possible?
« on: August 23, 2014, 04:01:58 am »
Its an old topic I know, but taking some advice from a Doom source port called Edge...

If you want to include capacity for HD sprites you can do it without messing with existing sprites.

Put something in the code allowing for a "Scale Multiplier" option for sprites. That means if left unspecified it defaults, but if specified it will scale based on the multiplier vs. screen resolution.

So if you got snazzy inventory gun graphics that are drawn to be 2x the usual resolution so they have more detail, the multiplier would be 0.5. That way say 640x400 resolution they would actually be displayed at 1:1 ratio while everything else defaulting would be at 2 pixel blocks.

Then you dont have to make Universal packs of re-sized graphics, you can just do it as you go.

Work In Progress / Re: 'Equal Terms' Mod Discussion.
« on: August 23, 2014, 02:36:52 am »
I was working on the design of my own XCom style spinoff game for years.

(this is a feature request, or at least consideration, inspired by this thread)

One of the main features It Had was a differentiation between Penetration and Damage for weapons. Also for Explosives it "added damage" on a direct hit to make impact explosions much more deadly, while still retaining a moderately effective or even weak area of effect.

Overpenetration is the realistic effect, where you can shoot a wall with a high powered rifle, and the bullet will blow through the wall (without destroying it) but still carry lethal wounding effects through it. Raise this up to advanced technology levels . . . Laser Cannons, Railguns, Particle Beams . . . and you have a shot that can keep on going for quite abit.
--- Yet at the same time its Penetration doesnt mean it has to do alot of Damage either. Using Xcom Scale stats a particle beam could do like 60 damage but penetrate armor and scenery like it was doing 120.

Likewise a Penetration scaler should be possible so that way you dont necessarily have to make certain Armor types make it cause more damage, to compensate for their poor effectiveness at stopping it.

The same thing should be available for Explosions too.
Hand Grenades derive most of their explosive power from the Shrapnel they spit out. But despite the shrapnel being exceptionally lethal it does not have much armor penetrating power (about as much as a pistol maybe) so it would have a Penetration scaler lower than 1.0. That means tossing Hand Grenades at stuff that has good Armor isnt going to do hardly anything to them, and they would cause less scenery damage too.

This also opens up all sorts of doors for Tier 0 mundane Ammunition which has Anti-Personnel effects, such as Hollowpoint bullets. That way you can make a pistol do 35 damage straight up but it doesnt penetrate good against Armor. But yet you can load up some Armor Piercing bullets and they'll do 30 without a penetration penalty.

Likewise you could have Sabot penetrator rounds which do 15 damage but penetrate like they were a rifle shot.

Most of this inspiration came from the ammo dynamics in the Fallout 1 and 2 games which were fairly realisitc on their own (though I wont give it much credit, because their rules/balance for it had bugs and they never fixed it).

A Black Ops world defense agency is going to maximize their chances in the face of alien threats (and before its mentioned, Depleted Uranium is not only dense, its also Polyphoric which means it catches fire and explodes on impact too, though perhaps not enough to create a blast radius - so it does +damage and +penetration both at the same time).

Tools / Re: openxcom in 3d - loft viewer
« on: August 23, 2014, 02:20:43 am »
Its Amazing that even back in those days, they had the insight to include 3D technology like this, despite not using it to actually draw graphics. Its brilliant. By goodness they was gonna make sure they got their Lines Of Fire accurate (well mostly).

Fallout Tactics was a little bit similar in the way it handled its environment, though they unbound it from the tiles framework and every "unit" voxel was in and of itself a tile.

Did you get this issue resolved?

If you are wanting to get the Music from the games I think one of the best ways would be to play the Vanilla game using DosBox . . . that will play the internal midi music using the same sound libraries from the old days (ie, it will sound exactly the way they intended for it to sound). I used that technique to capture some music from Doom 2 also.

Then you record from the Stereo Mix using Audacity or some similar audio program.
This is a problem for TFTD though which has the "water sounds" playing on loop in the background for battlescape.

Troubleshooting / Re: Blank White Screen on Startup (OpenGL)
« on: August 23, 2014, 01:56:35 am »
If anyone can help with fixing the issue that would be excellent.

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