Author Topic: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!  (Read 38511 times)

Offline grzegorj

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[MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« on: September 24, 2014, 02:13:54 pm »
I would like to announce a new mod... even if partially with already known contents.

As long ago as in 1997, some people created new UFO maps as replacements or variants (chosen by the game randomly) of the well-known types which we all know well from our beloved game. Which is more, the original game creators must also have planned different UFOs set(s), and left their unfinished work in game files (see https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php?topic=2911.0). My ultimate aim is to revive results of all that job - make it available for OXC (and for the original game, if somebody would like it too), and thus show respect to them and to their work.

I have also found a number of less or more important flaws in more modern maps, made by Luke83 and published in his ExtraUFOs pack. For example: if you install that mod, you cannot have the original Harvester any longer in your campaign (or it would look very strange). It needn't be so, this is a problem that one can solve (even if with some own efforts, sometimes enough painful).

Having considered all of these, I have decided to make my own mod with a large collection of UFO maps. The most basic premise of mine is NOT TO RESIGN of the original maps (so, Harvester variants will still be usable along with the original, unmodified map). I am planning to include as much of maps known to me as possible, to make the campaign more attractive. The sources of the maps will then be:
- original UFOs that are present in data files but not occurring in the game,
- UFOs from MapPack1 by Robert Di Fiore, of 1997 (https://www.strategycore.co.uk/files/ufo-map-pack-1/),
- UFOs from MapPack2 by Luchian Deurell and Sam Jeffreys, of 2001 (https://www.strategycore.co.uk/files/ufo-map-pack-2/),
- (another) Bird of Prey (provided) by PolynomialRing (https://www.openxcom.com/mod/birdofprey),
- Small Scout by Zombie, of 2008 (https://www.strategycore.co.uk/files/small-scout-mod/),
- Extra UFOs by Luke83 (https://www.openxcom.com/mod/lukes-extra-ufos),
- New UFOs by SolariusScorch (https://www.openxcom.com/mod/solar-039-s-new-ufos).

Now the time for my own contribution. The mod will not be only a compilation of existing maps, created by other people. Less or more important changes are needed in maps and especially in route files. Luke's tilesets (UFOL83 and U_DISEC3) used with his maps will also need some changes (esp. U_DISEC3, to make the original Harvester and his Harvesters usable side by side). Reviving the forgotten UFOs from the game files would need creating special tilesets (even if Luke83 has already made some good job in this point).

Moreover, I am planning to add reflected, turned, etc. extra variants as my contribution, and perhaps several personal creations made from scratch.

All details will be described in the included readme file.

As for now, maps of two UFO types (Small Scout and Medium Scout) are ready to tests: https://www.openxcom.com/mod/yet-more-ufos. Large Scouts are just in preparation and will be available in a few days with a new version of the mod (20-30 variants may be expected).

All so far published maps are UFO variants, not new UFO types, i.e. you will still have the basic 8 types, and no new Ufopedia entries, no new topics for scientists, etc. So, the only change in the game is that you have more various alien vessels in your combat missions. Thanks to this, the game is less schematic. You will never know where is the entrance to the UFO, and what is its floor plan. You must be more flexible in your tactics then.

I am planning to leave this option for as much new maps as possible. As for now, it will be impossible for all maps, though.

MapPack1 is fully applicable here (even if UFOs from the pack do not look like their well-known basic variants). The only problem are false walls, holed floors, etc. - I do not like them, and I will remove them all (in my humble opinion, the game reality is not Hogwart, and the aliens should not be warlocks who walk through solid walls - if you disagree, try the original maps from that mappack). Problems start with MapPack2 whose authors changed tilesets for their UFOs. One of possiblilities is to take:
• their Battle Cruiser and Evader as Abductor variants (and not Harvesters like they planned),
• their Freighter as a Terror Ship variant (and not an Abductor variant),
• their Marauder as a Harvester variant (and not a Terror Ship variant),
• their Warbird as a Supply Ship variant (and not a Battleship variant),
• their Attack Cruiser as an Abductor variant (and not a Supply Ship variant),
and I am doing so.

It is so because the current rules used in rulesets do not allow UFOs with the same name and different tilesets. So, there is an appeal to the game creators then: please change it if possible! Especially that no tricks will help (for now) to survive the forgotten pyramidal UFOs from the game files to be just randomly selected variants of the plain UFOs known to all.

I mean that the game allows this:

Code: [Select]
  - type: STR_LARGE_SCOUT
    size: STR_SMALL
(...)
    battlescapeTerrainData:
      name: UFO_120
      mapDataSets:
        - BLANKS
        - U_EXT02
        - U_WALL02
        - U_BITS
        - UFOL83
      mapBlocks:
        - name: UFO_120
          width: 20
          length: 20
       - name: UFO_121
(...)

and it would be nice if it allowed this (or something similar):

Code: [Select]
  - type: STR_LARGE_SCOUT
    size: STR_SMALL
(...)
    battlescapeTerrainData:
      name: UFO_120
       - mapDataSets:
          - BLANKS
          - U_EXT02
          - U_WALL02
          - U_BITS
          - UFOL83
        mapBlocks:
          - name: UFO_120
            width: 20
            length: 20
          - name: UFO_121
(...)
       - mapDataSets:
          - BLANKS
          - U_EXT02
          - U_WALL02
          - U_BITS
          - UFOL83
          - U_DISEC3
        mapBlocks:
          - name: UFO_122
(...)
(as for now, it does not work).

So, I am also planning another option (and a special, second ruleset for this mod) in the future: adding more UFO types (so you will have more than 8 UFO types in the game, and each of these still in many variants). It would need changes in Alien missions, the research tree, additional interception graphic, so this is a more distant future...

Finally, inform me please if you know other UFO maps aleady made, and want to have them in this mod as well.

Offline Arthanor

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2014, 05:07:46 pm »
That sounds really nice! Breaching UFOs quickly becomes matter of routine once you figure out the layout and your preferred approach. More variation is great!

Quick question(s): Does your mod replace Luke's and Solarius' mods? Or does it complement them?

Since they add new UFO types (their fighters, especially) but you claim your mod doesn't, I am confused.

I guess in its current version, your mod only adds scout variants so complements the other mods, but you intend later to integrate them so your mod becomes "The one UFO mod"?

Offline davide

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2014, 05:18:48 pm »
Me too tried to make it in the past but my few free time crash my wish :'(

In this link you can get the zip with the maps that I collected
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php?topic=2546.0
It contains MapPack1 and MapPack2 and more.

Some big maps were fixed by Luke83 too

The zip contains a text file with the fragment to add to the MapView.dat to quick preview the ufo maps
(remember to add the two line for the Luke's tileset into Images.dat too)

The routes files are to check or to complete

If you want use/complete them I will appreciate a lot and the past efforts were nor spent in vain

The only requirements that I wish it is that you preserve compatibility with Luke's and Solarious's mods
« Last Edit: September 24, 2014, 06:52:36 pm by davide »

Offline davide

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2014, 06:49:02 pm »
 There is an other author of ufo maps:

https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php?topic=2501.0
 


Offline grzegorj

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #4 on: September 25, 2014, 09:21:11 pm »
Quick question(s): Does your mod replace Luke's and Solarius' mods? Or does it complement them?

Since they add new UFO types (their fighters, especially) but you claim your mod doesn't, I am confused.

Solarius' mod does add new types; I am preparing a ruleset to make both mods (mine and his) usable side-by-side.

Luke's mod, as for now, does not add new types, only variants of the 8 basic, existing types. All his UFOs will be included in my mod (along with many other variants prepared by me). It is so because they need many corrections in both maps and terrain files. The corrections are necessary for many reasons, see above on one of them (and on the rest in the readme file in future versions of my mod).

I guess in its current version, your mod only adds scout variants so complements the other mods, but you intend later to integrate them so your mod becomes "The one UFO mod"?

My mod will replace Luke's mod completely when all maps (and especially route files) are checked and corrected. You must wait for some time (I hope not too long), though, until it is complete (when the version 1.0 appears). Anyway, one cannot use both mods at the same time (unless you edit the rulesets).

It is quite differently with Solarius' mod (and other similar mods, if any are ready) which add new UFO types. The new types should never cause conflicts betweeen mods.

For this very moment, 16 Large Scouts have already been checked (but only on my computer), and twice as many (or more) of them will be added (and tested...) very soon, as only time allows. I also need some time to repair LUKE83 tileset (which has some inconsistencies in its present shape - Luke has been noticed about them and also waits for results of my work). Just now I am about doing some changes in this file to make his UFOs look and function even better than now (I really appreciate his hard work!).

I hope the next version (with Large Scouts, including all Luke's ones) will be available by the end of this week. It is hard to say when 5 further types are ready as there are larger and need much more time to be examined in all details. Anyway, I will do my best to finish with them as fast as possible. It will remove the problem of possible conflicts with Luke's UFOs.

Offline Arthanor

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #5 on: September 25, 2014, 10:02:33 pm »
Sounds good! I just realized I was only using Solarius' mod, so now I use his and yours together.

Thank you for your work! I am looking forward to the upcoming version(s) :)

Offline grzegorj

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #6 on: September 25, 2014, 10:32:02 pm »
Me too tried to make it in the past but my few free time crash my wish :'(

In this link you can get the zip with the maps that I collected
(...)

The routes files are to check or to complete

As I have already explained, MapPack2 cannot be taken "as is" - it uses different tilesets than the vanilla maps. I am working on it.

If you want use/complete them I will appreciate a lot and the past efforts were nor spent in vain

The only requirements that I wish it is that you preserve compatibility with Luke's and Solarious's mods

I will check your changes and additions, and add them with pleasure to my mod, so nothing of your efforts will be lost :)

As I've explained, my mod is not and will not be compatible with Luke's (you cannot install both and expect all will be in order) because it will contain all his UFOs (corrected and under new, unified names), and also because of the convention of naming maps (it is necessary to make more order, and to adjust the mod to contain more UFOs). I will explain it in all details in my readme file (in the version 0.3), you will also find tables of comparison of Luke's names and my names. The most important reason is that Luke's mod uses a new U_DISEC3 tileset which makes new Harvesters incompatible with the genuine one. To tell it in the simplest words: my mod will not allow such an incompatibility with vanilla game UFOs, so it must be incompatible with Luke's, and there is no way to resolve it. However, once again, it will not be necessary since all Luke's UFOs will be present in my mod with no or only very subtle changes in their look (Luke's Harvesters are been tested by me in their new versions now, and will be available soon).

My mod is thought to replace Luke's mod, or to be its new, reworked generation, with many important changes, like making new Harvesters compatible with the original one which is not preserved in Luke's mod.

I will include tnarg's UFOs as well when they are ready. Thanks for the info!

Offline Hobbes

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #7 on: September 26, 2014, 03:30:06 am »
The most important reason is that Luke's mod uses a new U_DISEC3 tileset which makes new Harvesters incompatible with the genuine one. To tell it in the simplest words: my mod will not allow such an incompatibility with vanilla game UFOs, so it must be incompatible with Luke's, and there is no way to resolve it.

I've had a look and one solution would be to simply edit the genuine Harvester and replacing the tiles that got changed by the new tileset order. The issue is that any other modded Harvesters that use the old tileset order will need also to be edited.

Luke should have created new tilesets to add the new tiles rather than replacing the old ones with different versions - that way it would be compatible with any other modded UFOs, as long as they didn't use new tilesets.

Offline grzegorj

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #8 on: September 29, 2014, 01:37:42 am »
Here are some news, good ones I think.

1. The new Harvesters have already been changed to fit the original tileset, and a new tileset has already been prepared, so there is no need for any additional actions. As for now, all this stuff is tested by me, and will be available for anyone very soon. Just wait several days.

2. As I promised, a new (0.3) version of the mod is ready to be downloaded. However, I have not had enough free time to finish with all Large Scouts. Only about one half of their total number is available in the current version. The mod contains 55 UFOs for now. Other 20 Large Scouts are waiting, and will be available with the next version. All other changes - see the readme inside the package.

3. I have edited the tileset UFOL83. A new version is available inside the package. You can safely use it with all other maps that need UFOL83. It is so because the total number of tiles has not changed.

So, what are the changes for?

I must have corrected wrong assignation of some tiles (as ground, wall, object) in order to use them with the corrected maps. But thanks to this, no more patches are needed in the ruleset. Let me know if somebody find more errors...

There were "green screen" tiles in the tileset that duplicated the ones in U_WALL02. I have replaced them by their reflected (mirrored) versions, made by me. I have tried to do all my best. BUT... this is my first serious work in pixel graphics. In my humble opinion, the results are not bad (I have tested them in MapView and in the game). But if anybody can do it better than me, do not even ask, just do it and inform me about it, so that I will use the better version with my mod.

There were two new Alien Habitat bubbling devices in the tileset, looking the same, and only one of them was applied on maps. I have corrected the animation of the bubbling (now it is very fluent), and made a new reflected version as the other tile. Both have already been applied to the maps.

That gfx job has taken me some time (I have little practice...), and this is another reason why not all Large Scouts are present in the current version.

4. Everyone can add the new maps to MapView configuration and learn how they look (I hope it is not too hard). However, you may also want to see the new maps in the game. I have prepared a set of savegames, taken very shortly before landing of an Xcom ship by a landed UFO. The collection may be useful for testing purposes... See the attachment.

5. I have added other tilesets corrected by me as well to the mod. Use them to have jars with foetuses counted as Alien Reproduction and armchairs recognized as Alien Habitat. However, as for now, only the new, corrected version of UFOL93 is really needed for the UFO maps to look very good. All the other files in the terrain folder are facultative replacements/patches.

Wish me luck with the rest of Large Scouts, and they will be ready very soon! The same about Harvesters which are next to be checked.

Offline Arthanor

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #9 on: September 29, 2014, 02:56:29 am »
Just downloaded it from the mod site and installed it.

I do wish you luck and appreciate all your hard work. Graphics and maps are not easy but they are a core part of the game. Especially for replayability. Keep up the good work! I'm looking forward to 0.4 already ;)

Offline ivandogovich

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #10 on: September 29, 2014, 05:41:25 am »
Sounds like some awesome work grzegorj! Thanks!!
Cheers, Ivan :D

Offline guille1434

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #11 on: October 01, 2014, 01:34:21 am »
Hello. I just wanted to ask here if anyone knows if this mod can be used in conjunction with the Final Mod Pack without any compatibility issues... Thanks!! 8)

Offline grzegorj

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2014, 12:32:30 am »
The Final Mod Pack contains Luke's Extra UFOs, so the answer is simple (but brutal...). Both packages are not compatible (because my mod repairs Luke's). If you want to use Final Mod Pack, wait until I finish with all the basic UFOs (= all UFOs in Extra UFOs). I hope Solarius will add my mod to his megamod then...

And even if not, I will add a ruleset to my mod to use both mods at the same time. But now it is too early for it... Just be patient...

Offline Arthanor

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2014, 12:52:30 am »
Be patient, that's easy to say! :P At least I can use your mod as it is and I can say it's great.

Just had a few encounters we the new UFOs and breaching the funky large scouts brings back the hesitation I had before I developed the "best way". Even ran into a wall last night! *walks soldier up to division, right click to check through, nothing happens* Uh?! *facepalm*

It's very nice to have the variety, especially combined with the new terrain mod.

One thing: The alternate small scout doesn't give the one Alien Alloy. In the grand scheme of things, it does not matter much. But if it is the first UFO you intercept, that one unit allows you to start the Alien Alloy research now instead of waiting for the next one, which means earlier personal armor, which is invaluable!

Keep up the good work! We'll try to be patient :)
« Last Edit: October 02, 2014, 12:57:39 am by Arthanor »

Offline grzegorj

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Re: [MAPS] YetMoreUFOs!
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2014, 05:14:07 pm »
Arthanor, this must be a bug in the game. All parts of Small Scout (all types) contain Alien Alloys. For some reason, the game ignores tile properties, and gives Alien Alloys according to built-in procedures (which only our coders can modify), and not to tile properties.

I suspect OXC coders try to mimic the original game. Even if the original Small Scout contains several parts built of alloys, you receive only 1 piece in UFO:EU, so also not in accordance with tile properties. As the alternative variants use yet different tiles, you receive no alloys at all (even if you should).

I think that 1 piece of alloys is a bug also in the original game. You should receive as many alloys as there are parts of the UFO. It would be consistent with features of UFO materials. Small Scouts are enough rare in missions, so it has minimal influence on the game economy if you receive 1 or 10 pieces of alloys. But it would be easier if the game used the information from tile properties instead of using internal procedures.

I have found a similar problem with Xcom-made ships. Their maps are buggy, but when I patched them, soldiers start to walk through walls (https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php?topic=2988.0).

If the game relied rather on data files than internal algorithms, it would be easier to patch / mod / change things.