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Author Topic: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)  (Read 5342 times)

Offline MKSheppard

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Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« on: October 26, 2013, 06:13:47 pm »
This came to me just now; thanks to the code clean up to reduce electroflare management in the recent nightlies....

Would it be possible to un-hardcode the radius of light that an item throws via the ruleset, so that you could have flares and other light emitting items defined by:

LightRadius: How many squares of light is lit up by the object -- Electroflares are 9.

LightDuration: How many turns the object can emit light once thrown. -1 would be infinite number of turns.

This would enable multiple generations of flares to be used by XCOM -- you could have early chemical flares emitting 4 light and lasting say 8 turns, which aren't recoverable (recover: false) similar to road flares today at the start of the game, giving way to ElectroFlares; 5 light and lasting say 9 turns, and recoverable; ultimately being replaced by Elerium Flares, giving 15 light and lasting infinitely besides being recoverable.
« Last Edit: October 26, 2013, 06:44:58 pm by MKSheppard »

Offline Hobbit Lord

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Re: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« Reply #1 on: October 27, 2013, 05:49:52 am »
Great idea MKSheppard

Also would be possible to mod gigantic incendiary rocket fires so they last longer than the 2 turns they seem limited to currently. I'd like to see entire buildings burn down with the sectoids inside them

Offline Hobbit Lord

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Re: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« Reply #2 on: October 27, 2013, 05:54:33 am »
Not directly related, but would some kind of night-vision goggles  8) be implementable?

Not sure if it was ever in XComUtil, but that's something that's bugged me. Civilians can buy them, in 1999 X-Com should at least have this

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2014, 04:49:28 pm »
Night goggles... I don't think so. I've seen this discussed in many similar games (especially Xenonauts) and the result was always the same: breaking the suspension of disbelief and way too much hassle. Let's just assume that soldiers do have some sort of night vision equipment by default, after all they do see in the dark - just not as well as the aliens.

As for the main topic, I do like it. Would love to see more light emitting objects on maps at night, like street lamps in cities. They would be quite helpful... until you blow them up and everything goes dark. :)
We could also go with bulbs on barns and such, but I think it'd break the immersion a little. Who turned these lights on if there's no civilians on map - that Sectoid medic needed some light to read or what? And where's the switch? Or the generator?

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2014, 03:23:29 am »
Night goggles... I don't think so. I've seen this discussed in many similar games (especially Xenonauts) and the result was always the same: breaking the suspension of disbelief and way too much hassle.

I think one way to implement working night vision would be that goggles double the distance the soldier can see IN FRONT OF THEM.

This is important; because pretty much all technological night vision gear (at least until 2010-2012) has zero peripheral vision; something the aliens would have a significant edge in!

Basically, humans with night vision gear would be able to see ahead of them...in a tightly restricted cone of vision -- a sort of pie slice shape of green light extending away from them; instead of the yellow 360 degree small light that normal soldiers have.

This means that if you were wearing NVGs, aliens could then approach you from your blind side totally unnoticed; something you'd have to have squad tactics change to prevent -- have groups of three or four set up so that they have interlocking, supporting fields of view.
« Last Edit: April 03, 2014, 04:51:37 am by MKSheppard »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2014, 03:59:17 pm »
Basically, humans with night vision gear would be able to see ahead of them...in a tightly restricted cone of vision -- a sort of pie slice shape of green light extending away from them; instead of the yellow 360 degree small light that normal soldiers have.

Unfortunately, that's exactly the kind of breaking suspension of disbelief I was referring to. Soldiers aren't mechs, their necks aren't rigid; I assume they do look around most of a time, they are after all on a battlefield. And even if they didn't, we would simply have to make them look sideways once in a short while; which is needless hassle for the player.

Besides, how narrow would that cone be? Remember that the game only allows you to look in directions that vary by 45 degrees or this value multiplied. If an alien approaches from 22 degrees, and the sight cone is only 40 degrees wide (20 to each side), then such an alien can never be detected, no matter how much you turn around... That wouldn't work. Unless the cone you had in mind was wider, then this problem is not valid.

Offline yrizoud

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Re: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2014, 04:18:25 pm »
I do like the added tactics, and especially how it involves group coordination. I don't think it's so artificial, because even without a restrictive headgear, tunnel vision is an actual battle problem (focusing exclusively on one line of fire, failing to take notice of movement elsewhere). Such system could even give support for scoped weapons (better accuracy at the cost of peripheral awareness). However it may quickly require the game to give more information about the fields of vision.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« Reply #7 on: April 03, 2014, 05:24:13 pm »
Oh, I'm not saying it doesn't make sense; only that it doesn't make sense in X-Com, with its square tiles, isometric views and whatnot.

Offline hszp

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Re: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« Reply #8 on: April 03, 2014, 06:47:14 pm »
NVG + scoped weapons and tunnel vision: I'd like to add reaction fire to that :D
Let me explain: in the current game mechanics, a soldier's vision constantly sweeps over a large area. It is totally random whether they react to an alien that gets in their field of view. Even when GI Fodder is standing next to an edge where his commander expects aliens to pop up, this guy keeps looking around carelessly: oh, is that a cuckoo's nest in that tree? I'd like to be able to tell him: concentrate on that spot and forget about the rest. So he could get a bonus to his reaction and accuracy chances at the price that if the cuckoo proves in fact to be a floater poor Mr. Fodder would have next to zero chance to notice until he gets new orders or a point blank plasma shot from said floater.
If he happens to have some night vision equipment or scope, these would influence his vision/accuracy only in this concentration mode. A look at a single tile would need to cost so many TU's so that it would only be worth exploring a few tiles.

Offline Ran

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Re: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« Reply #9 on: April 05, 2014, 02:31:24 am »
I think un- hardcoding Vision range and -radius would be neat! ;D

You could give HWPs, drones and robotic aliens 360° view as they are packed with sensors, maybe short radius for things like Silacoid / Celatid as they can only sense beings nearby.
Decrease FOV with Power/Flying suit and therefore extended night vision, and even give Ethereals an extra-long 360°C vision for their psychic powers. They don't have functioning eyes anyways.

After all, if you don't like the idea, no one forces you to change the settings, but it would be nice to have the opportunity to mess with them.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« Reply #10 on: April 05, 2014, 06:55:23 pm »
Let me quote myself from another thread:

I guess this is worth bringing up again, as it concerns a vital gaming element. It's not just about vision, but about detection in general.
It appears to me that detection can be divided into several categories, which generally are in game anyway:
  • Sight. We all know how it works in RL and the game. Used by humans and most aliens. It can be sub-divided into two categories: day-light vision (used by humans, Ethereals and Reapers) and night vision (used by Sectoids, Floaters, Snakemen, Mutons and Chryssalids).
  • Movement detection. Used by the motion scanner and apparently nothing else. Naturally, it's not real-time, as it only detects movement done in opponent's last/your present turn.
  • Psionic scan. It works like a combination of both, as it's real-time, circular and not limited by either lighting or obstacles. Used by Ethereals, Sectoid leaders/commanders, and I think Silacoids and Celatids too.

I don't know what Cyberdiscs and Sectopods use, but I guess just sight (probably night vision).

Yeah, Mind Probe would be much more attractive if it could function similarly to a motion scanner. Naturally, it'd invalidate the motion scanner in most cases; however, robotic units (Cyberdiscs, Sectopods and HWPs) wouldn't show on the Probe.

In short, I would love if this was elaborated upon. Detection is a vital part of tactics, so why not complicate it a little to give the player more stuff to take care of. (It worked well in the Ufo: Afterblank series.)

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: Defining Lighting (aka different Flare types)
« Reply #11 on: April 22, 2014, 06:15:47 pm »
Even if night vision goggles are unimplementable due to the way the game combat works; what about my suggestions for different types of flares throwing different levels of light and lasting differing lengths?