Author Topic: Rehash: Play as Aliens  (Read 2588 times)

Offline DracoGriffin

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Rehash: Play as Aliens
« on: June 21, 2015, 08:14:30 pm »
Thought I'd post some rough ideas for a potential TC mod (akin X-Piratez):

Supplementary ideas from Align:
(I was shocked of the similarities, having never read these posts prior or spoken to him)
Spoiler:
I guess I'd just flip the viewpoint initially and elaborate & alter things from there;

-You send missions via the Geoscape (modified to look suitable for the alien perspective). Each mission requires a set of ships, determined by mission type, but you can exceed the requirements if you want something heavier than a small scout for your Research missions.
--Ships require various materials to build, personnel to man.
---Materials are produced in factories on Mars which require materials to build, personnel to man.
---You start with a modest reserve of these.
---Personnel require organic matter to clone more - optionally using genetic data for better results.
----Get organic matter from Harvest, Abduction missions.
----Get genetic data from Research, Harvest, Abduction missions.
----Get both in regular shipments from Alien Bases.

-After a successful mission, ships return to Mars after a week or so, ready to reuse. So you want to avoid getting shot down.
--XCOM launches interceptions from their bases, but you can't see them until you're in a dogfight.
---Ships that are shot down inevitably face an assault by XCOM - and they may also assault a ship while it's landed for a mission.
----If the XCOM assault isn't fought off, you lose all you invested in that ship.
----If it is fought off, you can just proceed with the mission, or if the ship was shot down, it'll be (automatically) recovered after a time, returning some materials and any surviving personnel.
--XCOM bases are similarly invisible unless you find their placement via Research, Infiltration, Retaliation missions.

-Unsuccessful missions (or just being inactive) will make the funding nations think XCOM is working, increasing their funding and etc, the upshot being that their score goes up and they'll be more difficult in the future. This is a bit of a slippery slope though, might not be a good game mechanic.

-Research missions gather intel on the target nation (persons of interest etc) and genetic data - cheap and modestly effective (requires a small scout)
--As mentioned, it's possible to use more or better ships than the requirements.
-Harvest missions gather more genetic data and organic matter (requires medium scout + harvester)
-Abduction missions gather a lot of intel (mind probing and such), but less genetic data and organic matter (medium scout + abductor)
--Harvesters and Abductors are poorly armed and as such not generally worth sending on missions outside their speciality.
-Terror missions reduce XCOM's score a lot (medium scout + large scout + terror ship)
-Infiltration missions require intel on the target nation before they can be undertaken, but result in XCOM's score going down a lot and you get a free base! (large scout + supply ship + battleship)
--If it fails, you have to get the intel all over again.
-Alien Base missions create Alien Bases. Natch. (large scout + supply ship + supply ship)
--Bases "generate" organic matter and genetic data continuously, but may be assaulted just like your ships.
-Retaliation missions are used to take out XCOM bases for good. Get all of them to win the game. (large scout + terror ship + battleship)

-XCOM's score determines how many bases they have. Though this too is rather slippery slopery...
--Losing a base reduces their score proportionally.

-XCOM's tech level on the other hand isn't dependent on their success in the fight against you, and increases regardless.
--Better win fast or make sure you're up to facing teamfuls of flying psionics with blaster launchers!

-If both their tech level and score are above a certain point, Cydonia itself gets assaulted. For them it's not an all-or-nothing though, they can just keep attacking.



Huh, this got rather long... I guess I just like the idea.
Geoscape would have new buttons like so.
Spoiler:
In the base view (MARS button) you construct facilities, clone troops, manufacture equipment. Ideally, you'd have unlimited space.
You *cannot* do anything with Alien Bases on Earth, they just automatically produce stuff and send it to Mars.

Facilities:
-Alien Hangar - holds ships, natch.
--Need an empty one to build a new ship.
--Reserved during missions until ship returns or is lost.
--Start with 3, one empty, the other two containing a small and a medium scout.

-Crystallization Chambers - produce Elerium continuously when manned.
--Better personnel improve production speed.

-Alloy Factory - produces Alien Alloys continuously when manned.
--ditto

-Alien Workshop - where you manufacture stuff. Grenades, UFO Power Sources, ships...
--The cost for better stuff rises exponentially, so while you can make battleships and heavy plasmas straight away the cost is prohibitive; you'll want a solid industrial base first.

-Cloning Vats - used to create more aliens from organic matter.
--Genetic data needed to make anything better than Sectoid Soldiers
--Aliens also require other resources according to type (ex. Floaters need a bit of Alloys+Elerium, Cyberdiscs a lot, Ethereals just tons of genetic data)

-Alien Quarters - food, sleeping pods, alien entertainment... you name it, they've got it! Needed to house aliens.

-Alien Stores - holds materials, equipment, etc.

-Hyperwave Communications - for each one of these, you can have an additional mission in progress.


-Equip ships and aliens much like XCOM does.
-"Research" button/screen is replaced with "Workers", where you decide who goes where in the chambers/factories.
-"Purchase/Hire" replaced with "Cloning".
-"Sell/Sack" replaced with "Recycle". Fortunately, aliens are 100% loyal and won't hesitate in following orders even here.


XVICI

Difficulty: inverse to vanilla (XVICI Beginner == play as Super"human" Aliens against XCOM) https:// (XVICI Super"human" == play as Beginner Aliens against XCOM)

Beginner: rates increased for cloning, alloy and elerium generation, faster productions for ships, weapons, etc
Superhuman: rates decreased for cloning, alloy and elerium generation, slower productions for ships, weapons, etc

Resources: Money == organic material (human bodies), org. materials used for: alien cloning, unlocking research, enhancing manufacturing, slurry (food) https:// Alien Brain - Hive Synapses (scientists), Hive Replicators (engineers); max of 100 combined (e.g., 99 synapse, 1 replicator / limited by "living quarters"?) (Player controls # of each, similar mechanic to Harmony race in Endless Space "Body & Mind gauge")

Research: none at start; requires corpses and live captures, unlocks learning arrays (tech tree to make cloning higher ranked aliens faster), enhances manufacturing capabilities (eventually churn out bigger ships faster, better equipped aliens, etc; maintain the same feel inversely to XCOM), flavor researches (info on militaries, countries, eventually XCOM; improve score gains in certain areas or increased damage, etc? not sure what is possible via modding/coding)

Manufacturing: alien alloys - free, fastest rate on Cydonia, used to make ufo components, ships, weapons, certain aliens, etc; elerium - either made by fraction of alien alloys or free, but manufactured at a fraction rate of alien alloys (1/5, 1/20, etc??), used as fuel for ships, to make ufo components (small amounts for navigation, food, reproduction, surgery, examination room, entertainment; lots for power source), weapons, certain aliens
* rates should be conducive to allow production of ships within first month, and appropriate ships for specific months (difficulty variable), appropriate weapons based on month (difficulty variable)

Recycle/Purge: sell/sack shouldnt really be needed, but based more on selling corpses/live captures for "money" (organic material), as well as selling Hive Synapses/Replicators (either free or sell amount same as purchase amount) to adjust rate of research/manufacture (e.g., start with 50 synapses/50 replicators, first month best to shift to almost 100 replicators; research from start may be necessary for "balance")

First Base: not sure on coding limits, but pre-built to represent as cydonia. possible to hide from geoscape? or put north/south pole. "second base" represent "first" alien base, and so on. possible to shrink hanger to 1x1, and/or allow more than 1 craft to occupy a hangar?
* Secondary bases will be able to act as a "slower" main base (no research, only production but rate is halved compared to Cydonia's; creating need for multiple bases) but also ability to take over countries via propaganda (cult of sirius in a sense, country will form pact with aliens, once no "Free" countries left, aliens "win" until XCOM 2: the retakening) as well as able to construct human cloning facility (which basically will be able to take live captures via manufacture and double them; exponential). Alien base facilities will have high requirements (possible to require X alloys, X elerium, etc?) that can eventually house ufos, aliens, alloy/elerium aka mini secondary bases.

Equip Craft: ufos require certain ranks to fly; tech loophole with equip armour? so as to prevent players from just filling battleships with soldiers. required ranks can be equal to or greater than, unlike vanilla. (e.g., large scout ufo - usually has soldiers, a navigator, an engineer; XVICI can have 1 commander, and 1 leader to replace 2 soldiers)

Soldiers: cloning required; lower ranks faster to clone but lower stats and lower caps; higher ranks longer to clone but higher starting stats, much higher caps. "promotions" still exist; "fresh podling", "blooded", "elite", etc. cloning: ethereals require extreme amount of org. material ("money") and time; 3-6 months (difficulty variable); likewise for other races; sectoids requiring small amounts and relatively quickly (2-4 weeks, rank & difficulty variable, but should be quick enough to make for additional first month missions), floaters should be similar, albeit a little higher amount/slightly longer (flying is useful)

Missions: send scouts to uncover "terror sites" (functional to terror missions), which player can send ufos to land and attack civilians (some defenseless, some armed with melee and/or guns, higher alien("player") score = potential local militia, armies, etc) https:// OR patrolling with ufo in set location will generate "alien" base which "XCOM" can perform retaliation to mimic vanilla gameplay?. chance of encountering paramilitary squads; not just XCOM. extremely high deployment numbers = counteract high-tech small squad of aliens, as well as emphasizing need for organic material; aliens can risk being overrun. research should require very high amounts of corpses (100s, 1000s?).

Meta: player focus on "terrorizing" earth; focus on abducting; choice between research with bodies or selling for organic material which used for cloning, food (missions require X amount of food?)

Bottlenecks: research (to increase rate of cloning, leading to increased missions, eventually overtaking Earth); organic material (aliens will never be able to collect enough through abductions, must construct alien bases); alien bases (can't "win" as countries will fund XCOM, increases rate of resource collectionm, allowing more ships/aliens/weapons/etc, essentially ramps up end-game)

Offline new_civilian

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Re: Rehash: Play as Aliens
« Reply #1 on: June 22, 2015, 01:27:17 pm »
Excellent ideas and a lot of work required.  :D

A far easier idea would be to play as Hybrids or aliens that changed sides. It would also explain why you do not have the newest weapons (nobody trusts you, neither human at the beginning, nor the aliens). Capturing other aliens would give you genetical material to clone "armors" or new bodies your minds/brains can slip in, that way you would have different alien types to play with and keep the workload to a minimum.  :)

Offline Taberone

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Re: Rehash: Play as Aliens
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2015, 04:12:48 am »

Offline DracoGriffin

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Re: Rehash: Play as Aliens
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2015, 04:48:50 am »
https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,2219.msg22073.html

What about this post?

That thread inspired this one. That's how I found and quoted Align's posts and ideas.

Was there something specific you wanted me to respond to or address? Some of your questions I addressed in my initial post, as had Align. Biggest inspiration for this mod would be from Dioxine's total conversion Piratez mod.

Offline Taberone

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Re: Rehash: Play as Aliens
« Reply #4 on: July 02, 2015, 09:09:51 pm »
Was going to ask "What will keep the player from spamming Terror Missions" but it seems you already have it down. Nice.

Offline DracoGriffin

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Re: Rehash: Play as Aliens
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2015, 03:18:17 am »
Spoiler:
New Version 2.3:
Option for defining percent of all action cost stats. Old use of `flatPrime` and `flatThrow` is deprecated.
Facilities can now require items to build.
Medikit can now be used without UI and can use `hitSound`.


Today version is sponsored by `sed` command scripts that allow remove multiple lines from text file.

Next version will probably have:
- melee reaction
- fixed weapon visible
- optional research items

After that I have possible plans:
- melee tile attack
- scripts
- flash lights of guns muzzle and explosions
- ammo for all items
- 1 bullet handling

Between Extended and Piratez as an example, this idea shouldn't be too far off.

Ugh... I might have to start translating stuff from Dioxine's and then work from there?