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Messages - darkestaxe

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Programming / Re: Battlescape development
« on: March 24, 2013, 10:30:46 pm »
If we create a patch that contains all the fixed original x-com data files needed for use with open x-com compiled into one file it could be hosted anywhere by anyone, aka strategycore. We could call it OXC_Original_Data_Fix.rar or and Readme.txt would tell users to overwrite files in the Data folder, then special thanks to (everyone who created the fixed files).

Fan-Stuff / Re: what happened to "The Two Sides" art work?
« on: February 26, 2013, 03:43:20 am »
The issue that TTS ran into was that they wanted to make their own company and actually have and sell their own intellectual property, as well as be hired by other studios. If the studio is formed by people who came together to airbrush and redistribute someone else's intellectual property, than that doesn't look good on the studios resume.

I think the TTS guys probably want TTS to just go away and not bother their careers, that said, as far as I know nobody's heard from them since they shut down their site. Maybe ninex knows something but I think they're gone.

Currently OpenTTD comes with graphics, sound, everything. You don't need any Transport Tycoon (TT)/Transport Tycoon Deluxe(TTD) or to have ever bought any of them. I'd recommend SupSuper and the core OpenXcom team talk to the OpenTTD core team and see what they found out in regards to the legal stuff. They've been at it a lot longer, have a lot more  and

Both X-COM and TT have been re-acquired by Take-Two allowing it's subsidearies 2k and Firaxis to use them. Both have had new games based on them made by 2k/Firaxis.

Open Feedback / Missing items from Ruleset
« on: February 24, 2013, 11:36:18 am »
This is just a list of three things that I would expect to see in the ruleset that aren't there.

Soldier Stat Caps: you can set their min and max starting stats but not the caps.
personnel monthly costs: you can set their hire costs but not their monthly wages.
Craft repair rate: I assume the current code repairs a flat amount each hour, and that amount is the same on all craft like Vanilla.

Suggestions / Re: Dragable re-ordering of soldiers in crafts
« on: February 24, 2013, 01:19:21 am »
I still thinking dragging would be really nice, but the right click helps a-lot.

Suggestions / Re: Grouped Lists in Purchase/Sell/Manufacture etc
« on: February 24, 2013, 01:14:23 am »
Actually that's not what I was thinking, but since someone already coded that I'm inclined to agree that it's the better bet.

I was thinking of something like:

                   SELL/SACK                      QUANITY
- Soldiers:
    SupSuper ++ Rea/FA
    Daiky ++ PSy92
    PsyWimp5 --16
+ Android Soldiers(by modauthor):
- Ground Equipment:
   + Weapons & Ammo:
   + Grenades:
   - Misc:
      Mind Sheild
+ Soldier Armor:
- HWPs & Ammo:
   + Tanks:
   + HoverTanks:
   + BattleDroids(by modauthor2):
   - Dinosaurs:
       ULtRa ReaPer T-REX(by ePICsauce1999)
+ Craft Weapon Systems:

Suggestions / Grouped Lists in Purchase/Sell/Manufacture etc
« on: February 22, 2013, 09:55:09 am »
As it is the lists can get pretty long and it can be tedious to get to the item you want. Just wait until modders add 5 new armors, 3 new ammo types for the small-launcher, 14 new HWPs, the ability to build any UFO and fly it out of your hangar, infinity-trillion new grenades including grenades that turn sectiods into chickens and proxies that blow female soldiers clothes off...

The lists are only going to get longer. My idea is to categorize the lists by item types and than by related items, probably using collapsible lists kinda like in windows explorer.

Suggestions / Dragable re-ordering of soldiers in crafts
« on: February 22, 2013, 09:46:45 am »
As opposed to clicking the up-arrow on Squaddie Jenkins 8 times to get him to the top so he can die sooner for getting mind-controlled last mission. It would just be easier if I could click and drag him up.

Even better would be if I could ctrl-select multiple soldiers and drag them all at once.

Suggestions / Soldier Stats in Soldiers list w/sort
« on: February 22, 2013, 09:40:15 am »
Sometimes I like to buy 100 soldiers, that's how I get 10+ soldiers with 90+ psyStr. That's 100 soldiers to click through and 100 soldiers to individually sell.

Sometimes I just want to know who has the lowest fireing acc/bravery/psy str/reactions so that I can deny them proper armor and weaponry in the hopes that they die a bit sooner.

Sometimes I just want to know how badass my squad is.

My idea is to have perhaps ~4-6 columns in the soldiers list of the basescape, or however many can fit cleanly. Clicking on a stat in the column header would re-order soldiers by that stat, and right-clicking it would open a pop-up that allows you to select a different stat for that column.

Craft order however should be separate from the order soldiers are currently displayed in, so that you don't loose your order every-time you check for psy-noobs.  Maybe a "reset" button would revert the table back to craft order. Ideally I would have the reset button grayed-out until the player re-orders on a column and a separate  button to commit the new order to the craft order, in case you want the psy-noobs in the front or something.

I hope the way I described this isn't too confusing.

Suggestions / Re: Xcom & TFTD
« on: February 20, 2013, 03:41:37 am »
Step 1: Finish OpenXcom with the mod support SupSuper already had planned.
Step 2: Fully implement TFTD as a separate game in the same engine, same mod support of course.

Only then are we in a position to...

Step 3: Identify which game we want to expand into the UFO/TFTD Hybrid? Probably TFTD.
Step 4: Create an semi-exhuastive document of which feature-sets we want to include.
    I'd suggest TFTD aliens starting after Cydonia
    Which scoring system will we base the bybrid game off of
    Which alien scoring and alien agression system will we base the bybrid game off of
    Will TFTD aliens start the same or will they get a running start
    Can water bases be built before Cydonia
    Obviously the maps will be merged
    select which weapons we actually want to use where there are duplicates
    can water bases be built before cydonia
    what research carries over
    which aliens can appear in both locations/mix crews
    do we need retextured UFO/USO walls & parts for water/land missions
    do we need to re-sprite EU aliens if they're going under-water
    what missions will be longer/shorter/two-part
    Will we use the much nicer EU tilesets in surface attacks

Step 5: Begin working out the details of how we actualy implement each of these things and which things need to be changed as we start codeing it.

Suggestions / Re: Getting battle tougher ideas
« on: February 20, 2013, 02:48:38 am »
    1. New weakling abilities - Some aliens are just plain weak, but might be more powerful if they had some sort of ability:
    • Reaper: A "charge" attack that can be executed from a range and requires line of sight. This would require the LOS and pathing both to be checked. It could create problems if the path routine finds a path other then the line of sight.
    • Silicoid: Walk directly through delicate things to get at X-COM, goes with the increased agression in OP. Basicly it just busts through wooden walls like the Kool-Aid Jar.

    2. Dirty AI - I think this would need be optional but the AI could start doing some nasty things that players sometimes do... like
    • Chain mind-control and/or mind-controlled suicides
    • Blaster bombing areas that X-COM might be
    • Proxy in the doorway

    3. Alien power scaling - Some of the aliens that don't really stay threatening could become more powerful in simple/obvious ways if the player maintains a high score for long enough, or simply late game. This would require some sort of geoscape triggers to affect the versions of alien stats being used, or apply the modifiers somehow.
    • All aliens could get +30, 50, 90 psy strength after Aug 1999, Nov 1999, Feb 2000 - to curb MC super squading and make alien psionics more scary.
    • Psy aliens could get +10-60 psy skill after 2-7 months of high geoscape scores. On high difficulties some ranks that don't get psy could get the skill from this too, unlocking psy. - This would also make late-game psionics more scary.
    • Floaters could get increased TUs and FA after sept 1999 - Otherwise they're just heavy plasma fodder.
    • Snakeman could get increased hp and armor late game and a few extra TUs/reactions - they get thicker hides as they get older

Open Feedback / Re: New website design
« on: February 18, 2013, 12:13:58 pm »
Ya I wasn't able to get the background working the way I wanted. Part of the unread-ability was because it was inheriting transparency, but it just doesn't do to have text as part of the background for text. There's also the problem that browser fonts aren't designed for being displayed over a picture, and don't have a font backing.

It might be possible to get a background like what I was going for if someone wanted to draw up some nice low-key art in the x-com background style and colorize it the same way. I assume the text backing could be accomplished with text/shadow or some other effect but someone would have to fiddle with it until they got something good looking.

Anyway, ya I thought the geoscape style design was absolutely genius!

Open Feedback / Re: New website design
« on: February 17, 2013, 09:31:18 pm »
Alright I got a potential addition/modification to SupSuper's template. It would have to be reworked a little by someone with a better mastery of CSS and webdesign then me, and more time.

Basicly I thought why not have the paragraph panels look X-COMy too. Included is a scrshot and the source. Hopefully it's helpful.

Suggestions / Re: New Player Messages and Right Click Tooltips
« on: February 17, 2013, 09:22:18 pm »
Warboy: Absolutely that was a joke, filler text. The point was that if you right click the energy bar you find out what it is, instead of wondering and needing to experiment. I thought it'd be more fun to read my idea if there were some funny parts.

As for young players, I was young when I started playing X-COM and Master Of Orion II. I learned MOO II with all the right click help, and X-COM we learned as a family. Keep in mind that we only had like 3 other games in the house.

It's easy to assume that it's the demand for strategy games like x-com that's dying without considering other aspects of the gaming market. Most games on today's market do a piss poor job of both designing and describing their new mechanics. There isn't a lack of a demand for complex strategy, there's a lack of investors.

Investors won't put money into strategy experiments because it's hit and miss, and bankers can't look at a game prototype and know whether it's good or not, especially for strategy. FPS, MMORPG and platformers will sell as long as the trailer is good, however 4x strategy will only sell well when the game mechanics are decent, something that can't be measured by investors before the game is complete.

Finally people who grew up without good strategy games aren't going to be aware of the possibility of good strategy games.  X-COM is unique in that even now it still appeals to non-hardcore gamers immediately, it just looks interesting at first glance. Back in 04 when I was in the military I was in a processing unit that didn't allow us to leave the building for a day. They had a lounge with 12 computers, all of which had X-COM and everyone there was playing X-COM instead of Solitaire/Minesweeper.

Afterwards I talked to several people who wanted to know where to buy "that cool game in the lounge". Sadly I didn't have an answer at the time, I just knew it wasn't on the shelves anymore.

Programming / Re: Paletted 8bit -> 24bit shading.
« on: February 02, 2013, 05:08:49 am »
My math was wrong in two ways. I assumed 32 light levels minimum in a night mission, according to Volutar there's 16. Also I forgot to account for there being multiple bits in a byte, it's 32bit RGBA, not 32byte RGBA which would be an extreme and unnecessary color resolution.

However the x-com map is not a static image, it changes throughout the battlescape turn. If there were a maximum of 256 tiles, like maybe a base mission, it wouldn't matter. (an X-COM base should have 3,600 tiles if a small facility is 10x10) All of this is irrelevent however as it would not make sense to load the pic for the basic hangar floor tile at 16 light levels  ~900-1000 times for each and every tile. That would be silly.

But lets suppose we go on a sectiod terror mission in our avenger. We brought at least 1 of each weapon, armor type, and 4 different tanks. Also a male and female soldier are wearing each armor type. Finally the sectiods brought a leader, at least 5 different types of weapons, reapers, etc.

I'm pretty sure we don't need separate sprites for each type of unit holding each type of weapon, however we need at least 6 sprites for each unit type, for each position they would be animated in. (death excluded-everyone faces the same direction to die) We also need sprites for each type of corpse,  and the death animations. Next we need sprites for every candy-shelf in the store, door in the apartments, sink in the little houses, roof tiles, etc. Keep in mind many of these things are larger then the tile too. Also there's still all the pavement, grass, dirt, scorched pavement, scorched grass ... I think you can use your imagination at this point.

Basically I find it hard to believe that 256 sprites is even half of it it. Am I off about the 64x64? If so, then that makes a huge difference and would explain how some of this as doable on a 80-286 in 1992.

Programming / Re: Paletted 8bit -> 24bit shading.
« on: January 28, 2013, 12:38:30 am »
As long as new 24bit textures only ever see normal 24 bit rendering there wouldn't be an execution problem, but two objects may appear to react very differently to lighting if the two objects have different systems for calculating lighting.

I was talking about testing what would be used in both cases to see what happens when both are on the screen at the same time. If you're new tree texture uses full 24bit and the grass is still the original 8bit index texture, then will the two textures look weird next too each-other in different lighting conditions? Another-words if they look fine at first, will they look weird after you drop an electro-flare by the tree?

The other reason I pointed out TTS as being 24bit was a comment by SupSuper that 24bit lighting in TTS looks fine without any special rendering. I didn't think he realized TTS textures were originals drawn in 24bit with Illustrator or PaintShop.

I think I see a problem with converting 8bit to 24 bit at a given light level at the start of a mission: I'm not sure how many different possible light levels a tile can be at on a given mission but even if it's only 32 and a ground texture is only 64x64px that's 4mb per texture tile at 24bit color and 8bit alpha. I'm not sure what the actual texture resolutions are or how many are loaded per battlescape, but I'm estimating well over 200 in my head for a terror site including unit animations. That would be about 800mb, which seems like a lot to me.

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