aliens

Author Topic: [WIP] Xeno Operations LEGACY  (Read 29382 times)

Offline Hadan

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Re: [WIP] Xeno Operations LEGACY
« Reply #90 on: March 16, 2024, 08:00:51 am »
Do you have any plans to release them as a seperate mod?

Offline B1ackwolf

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Re: [WIP] Xeno Operations LEGACY
« Reply #91 on: March 16, 2024, 08:19:43 am »
Good news!, another new Development Update:

In a nutshell, the upcoming patch has grown larger than anticipated. But What started as a routine bug-fixing endeavor in the research tree (thanks Scamps for the report) soon evolved into a series of enhancements, culminating in the decision to embark on a substantial overhaul of certain research pathways. This expansion also includes the introduction of new technologies and aircraft to address pacing issues.

To bridge the gap and diversify options, i want to introduce a new interceptor and transport ship. The interceptor will likely be a variant of the F35 with Xelloy upgrades, while the transport ship is being crafted from scratch. Designed to be slower than the standard Firefly but with an increased troop capacity (number not final, but 24 troopers for now), it won't be capable of lifting any type of tanks. This should provide balance and fairness by having a larger platoon size in exchange of heavy support.

Preliminary tests against a BRUTAL AI have shown promising results. Even increasing troop counts still poses a challenge, rather than simply being capable of outright overwhel the enemy with sheer numbers. Other crafts will undergo tweaks to accommodate these changes, including adjustments to stats and potentially battlescape layouts, time permitting.

Additionally, expect significant alterations to tank and support unit mechanics, along with quality-of-life improvements in manufacturing, such as batch production of ammunition.

 While these changes promise a substantial upgrade, I'm unable to provide an exact release date at this time. Rest assured, progress is steady.

The new transport ship is nearly complete, heavily inspired by the DR4-Viking, a personal favorite. I've tried to capture its essence the better i could.

Stay tuned for further updates as development progresses. Your feedback and support are invaluable.


This is the current WIP of the craft, codenamed SCARAB:


EDIT: the design is finished, its the last four pictures
[DESIRE TO KNOW MORE INTENSIFIES]
« Last Edit: March 18, 2024, 01:52:02 am by blackwolf »

Offline B1ackwolf

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Re: [WIP] Xeno Operations LEGACY
« Reply #92 on: May 11, 2024, 07:43:37 pm »
Greetings everyone, first of all a summary if you want to skip all the blabbering.

TL;DR: the new update will introduce a wealth of new content and touch upon many aspects of the mod files. Therefore, it will be impossible to maintain compatibility with current campaigns. Please take the necessary precautions. Sorry for the inconveniences.

I apologize for my absence from the forums and here this month, but rest assured, it's because I've been fully immersed in the progress of the mod. As stated previously, what initially began as a routine bug-fixing patch has evolved into something much larger. Each possible solution to a problem led to additional work to ensure it was properly resolved. Instead of simply patching things temporarily and moving forward, I made the decision to take the time to address many pending issues thoroughly. However, the scope of the changes in the upcoming update will render it absolutely incompatible with your current campaigns. Therefore, I advise wrapping them up before the update arrives.

To give you an idea of what the new update will bring: new melee and explosive weapons, along with some new utility items. There's also the possibility of introducing a new line of elite weaponry for aliens (although this might be pushed to the next patch due to the extensive testing and balancing required). The update will include new aircraft, a fighter and a troop transport ship named Scarab, which I've already shared here in the thread. Additionally, there will be new base facilities, along with reworked basebits sprites, and new gameplay mechanics for base building. The manufacturing process has been rebalanced and improved, and the tech tree has been entirely redone for the first time since the creation of the original XOPs MOD. Economy, research time, and scientist utilization have also been balanced accordingly. Furthermore, there are new mechanics for tanks and support units (although the inclusion of new tank sprites may require additional work before implementation).

On the armor front, work is underway on new sprites for other armors, with the tier one Kevlar vest retouched again. The second tier is nearing completion, and the pilot armors have been entirely recolored from blueish to red. Doggo sprites have been smoothed out, among many other changes that will be detailed in the changelog upon release.

Additionally, the game interfaces are undergoing a complete overhaul to adapt them to the battlescape UI's blueish-gray palette. While this transformation may not be completed for this patch, gradual progress is being made. Lastly, there are general balance adjustments to various aspects of the economy and damage output, weights, and other elements of the mod.

I'm in the final stages of development, but I may need a few extra weeks to tie up loose ends. Stay tuned for more updates and information.

Thank you for your patience and support.

Offline B1ackwolf

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Re: [WIP] Xeno Operations LEGACY
« Reply #93 on: May 21, 2024, 09:06:21 pm »
### Development News Update ###

TL;DR: If you prefer to skip the detailed explanation, feel free to check the attached pictures and their descriptions. They should be (hopefully) self-explanatory.

Hi everyone!

As I mentioned previously, the next patch will come with significantly improved features. I wanted to showcase some of these updates while I continue to finish the remaining tasks.

I've completed the next tier for the second tier of armors [1]. I'm finally happy with the result, using parts from HALO REACH MOD and some original assets created by Hans Woofington. This new armor tier will have a different role. Being bulkier, it will significantly differ from the basic armor to avoid it becoming a no-brainer choice. This also extends the viability of the initial armor, which was saddening to see last less than a single month, especially after its previous visual upgrade. The pilot variant will receive a different chest piece and a unique helmet to further differentiate it. Additionally, to enhance the distinction [2], I've followed Neoworm's designs and changed the general color palette of pilots from blueish to scarlet red, similar to the PS1 version. With this change, the PS1 assets mod from N7kopper is now straightfoward compatible, coinciding with all the pilot-related cutscenes.

In the screenshot of the pilot[2], you'll notice new sprite work for some weapons. Some are new, and others are updates of previously available weapons. All melee weapons received an extra pass, so every tier now consists of a knife and a bigger blade of the equivalent technology. Some assets were borrowed and kitbashed from Woofington's assets. Alien blades received a new appearance inspired by shredder gauntlets/Yautja wrist blades from the Predator franchise.

Inspired by the demolition charge mod by DBarizo, I've introduced three breaching charges [2] to be used solely against UFO walls to create extra entrances and assault from more creative angles. These come in three varieties with increasing portability and reduced weight, although they function practically the same.

Next, we have the newest soldier type, the Tank Driver [3]. With the help of efrenspartano and using other mods as guidance (especially GWotW), I implemented the mechanic where tanks are "armors worn by specialized units." This system is simply better than the archaic and aging vanilla tanks system. Note that while the system is in place, the artwork is still placeholder as while I struggled to understand how it worked. A better sprite will come soon, with the drift suit based again on Neoworm's assets.

As an extra note, I managed to "smooth" the fur of dogs[4], making them look less pixelated. I can now create different fur patterns, so expect some variations in our four-legged friends' appearances. I'm also working on ideas related to them to add nuance to the mod's lore.

Additionally, I'm experimenting with a portable ballistic shield[5], thanks to efrenspartano's suggestions. I'm using the HALO REACH MOD kig-yar gauntlet shield script to simulate its functionality as an independent item that can be dropped, tossed, or exchanged between troops. There are three variants: XCOM basic ballistic, an Xelloy improved version, and an energy variant. The last two are functioning in-game, but their sprites are placeholders.

In other news, I found the master file that controls the palette and colors used for the interfaces, thanks again to efrenspartano. My plan is to unify all menus[6] and interfaces into a coherent and consistent theme. Currently, I've only changed the main menus[7] and the geoscape sidebar. I'll wait for feedback from you (readabilty?, pleasant color choice?, general thoughts) before investing more time into this change.

And finally, after some discussion, I decided to follow efrenspartano's advice and include the use of filipH's "ammo sprite scripts." The idea is that every weapon will have a series of different sprites that change based on ammo count[8] (empty mags), special ammo[9][10] type chambered (AP,HE,Standard,overcharged, etc), inventory status (grenades being primed/unprimed, swords being off in backpacks but glowing in hands of troopers), etc. While this requires extra work, it's worth the effort. I've already finished about one-third of the weapon tiers, and now the hard part is implementing the script correctly. My plan is to finish all sprite work within the next week before focusing on the ruleset.

That's all for today's showcase. Thank you for your patience, especially if you made it through my detailed post. Stay tuned for more updates and showcases in the coming days.

Offline getfreur

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Re: [WIP] Xeno Operations LEGACY
« Reply #94 on: May 22, 2024, 05:28:25 pm »
Man, you have no idea how much i want that sweet xops armor and the tank update, principally the tank. Excellent work.

Offline Ultrakiroxei

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Re: [WIP] Xeno Operations LEGACY
« Reply #95 on: June 03, 2024, 09:57:10 pm »
Hi there, I like your Scarab craft design which reminds me of Starship Troopers transport. There's some mismatch sprite align on the front. You might want to edit the craft sprites for perfect touch.
When I played your mod, there's some missing parts for the research: Plasma Projector, Cybernetic Soldier, Mind Probe (Which is not found in the Battlescape), Psi Lab, Psi Amplifier, Power suit, Flying Suit, Firestorm, and Avenger. You can add or edit to prevent players wasting time to research pointless items.

Offline B1ackwolf

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Re: [WIP] Xeno Operations LEGACY
« Reply #96 on: June 06, 2024, 12:32:43 am »
Man, you have no idea how much i want that sweet xops armor and the tank update, principally the tank. Excellent work.
Thanks for your kind words, Getfreur. The update is coming along steadily and should be finished soon™. Most of the sprite work intended for this patch is nearly done. I'm still struggling to implement the dynamic sprite script (about 4/5 of the artwork is done), so I'm debating whether to include it now or save it for the next patch to avoid delaying this one further.

Hi there, I like your Scarab craft design which reminds me of Starship Troopers transport. There's some mismatch sprite align on the front. You might want to edit the craft sprites for perfect touch.
When I played your mod, there's some missing parts for the research: Plasma Projector, Cybernetic Soldier, Mind Probe (Which is not found in the Battlescape), Psi Lab, Psi Amplifier, Power suit, Flying Suit, Firestorm, and Avenger. You can add or edit to prevent players wasting time to research pointless items.

Ultrakiroxei, you're right about the Scarab being inspired by the Viking from Starship Troopers. I always dreamed of creating a plane as a homage to that ship, and I'm glad I tried. Regarding the mismatch, I think it's a coloring issue. The point is a different shade, making it stand out as an incorrect piece. I might need to revisit this sprite, but that kind of work will definitely be moved to the next patch. Thanks for the suggestion. You're correct about the errors in the current tree. I'm aware there are many misplaced elements. Expect a total revamp when the next patch goes live.



The bulk of the remaining work involves balancing issues and implementing the revamped research tree. I've done some testing, and the general ideas are mocked up. Now I need to clean up any stragglers and remove duplicated projects and dead-end researches. As Ultrakiroxei mentioned, there are several issues in the current tree. Addressing these issues was the main reason for this patch. Initially, it was meant to solve the research problems, but then I started adding new content and the tree got pushed to the back burner, lmao.

I can't promise an exact date, but I estimate the patch will be ready before the end of this month as I really need feedback on most of the changes. As a token of appreciation for anyone eagerly awaiting the new patch, here are some snippets of the extra work I've been doing:

« Last Edit: June 06, 2024, 12:51:34 am by B1ackwolf »