Author Topic: [WIP] Tech-Com - Terminator series  (Read 20081 times)

Offline HelmetHair

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #30 on: September 24, 2016, 02:29:51 am »
Here's my bizarre off the wall theory to try and explain causality and preservation, because SKYNET had the first "throw of the dice" each time and logically should have succeeded with it's 1984 and 1995 attempts; a T-800 or T-1000 would have easily liquidated Sarah or John Connor.

----------

I think in the ORIGINAL timeline, SKYNET is still kind of new to time travel, and hasn't fully explored the theory, application and use of it before Connor smashes it's grid.

So... what I think happened was SKYNET did some short range hops and cache tests:

1.) Sending a T800 back three months to destroy a random resistance outpost to see if the future can be changed. It works, and SKYNET concludes yes, we can change future, and begins further work on the tactical time weapon.

2.) Sending test shots back progressively further, which are nothing but beacons or metallic markers that are later found by SKYNET in the future. Basically, something similar to Back to the Future where Marty says "we will put the keys HERE" and then picks the keys up "but we got to remember to do this in the future".

Essentially, they send little time capsules with internal clocks back to 1996, 1986 etc which are then rediscovered by SKYNET in 2029, with the clocks showing elapsed time since travel = the same amount of time that has passed as the targeted temporal displacement date.

So SKYNET thinks it can move to an operational tactical time weapon.

But before that happens, Connor smashes the defense grid and SKYNET panics, and decides to "roll the dice".

It sends the T-800 Terminator back to 1984, and waits 30 seconds.

No change detected.

???

It starts to panic, and thinks "all my prior time displacement attempts worked, why didn't this one work?"

So it breaks out the T-1000 and sends it back to 1995. It can't send it back to 1984 to assist the T-800 because of limitations in time travel; each time you send something back to a certain point in time, it creates ripples in space time which disrupt the capability of the Temporal Displacement Equipment to successfully rematerialize the space/time within it's field in the past.

These ripples in time, ironically fade with time, but time is something Skynet doesn't have, as it's grid is smashed and Connor is on his way.

So off to 1995.

That doesn't work, and now SKYNET is really panicked. Then...the cruel end as TECH COM blows it's main node in Colorado.

Connor shows up 30 minutes later, and when he sees on the system log of the time machine:

"Terminator sent back to 1984. MISSION: KILL SARAH CONNOR"
"Terminator sent back to 1995. MISSION: KILL JOHN CONNOR"

he panics and sends a volunteer back in time to 1984 right away; and because his TECH COM team was severely depleted in the final offensive, he has to reprogram a T-800.

Finally, he sends back the T-800 and starts the time loop.

Originally:

1984 T-800: Materialized in Marianas Trench. Imploded by immense depth of water at 4 miles deep.
1995 T-1000: Materialized in Solid Rock in San Andreas Fault.
1984 Kyle Reese: Materialized in fire escape. Dies painfully.

as "time"/"universe"/"chaos theory protects itself -- the original tests Skynet did were not big or important enough to provoke a response from the fabric of nature itself -- the Resistance base that was destroyed as a test...would have been destroyed six months later, and was insignificant in the scheme of the universe.

But when Skynet literally started punching the universe hard; the universe punched back. (time displacement spheres going awry)

But then John Connor had to punch the fabric of reality so hard it broke with his attempt to send the T-800 Uncle Bob back through; causing the other attempts to successfully materialize in the past.



or every attempt splits the timeline and sending a terminator back does nothing in the timeline it is split from but helps assure existence in another timeline. So being altruistic to itself but not really itself?

so sending Reese back does nothing because the timeline had already been tampered with and techcom victory is assumed in all timeliness where John exists to become victorious.

hmm... don't know. brain is taking a dump.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #31 on: September 24, 2016, 03:04:31 am »
Here's my bizarre off the wall theory to try and explain causality and preservation, because SKYNET had the first "throw of the dice" each time and logically should have succeeded with it's 1984 and 1995 attempts; a T-800 or T-1000 would have easily liquidated Sarah or John Connor.

----------

I think in the ORIGINAL timeline, SKYNET is still kind of new to time travel, and hasn't fully explored the theory, application and use of it before Connor smashes it's grid.

So... what I think happened was SKYNET did some short range hops and cache tests:

1.) Sending a T800 back three months to destroy a random resistance outpost to see if the future can be changed. It works, and SKYNET concludes yes, we can change future, and begins further work on the tactical time weapon.

2.) Sending test shots back progressively further, which are nothing but beacons or metallic markers that are later found by SKYNET in the future. Basically, something similar to Back to the Future where Marty says "we will put the keys HERE" and then picks the keys up "but we got to remember to do this in the future".

Essentially, they send little time capsules with internal clocks back to 1996, 1986 etc which are then rediscovered by SKYNET in 2029, with the clocks showing elapsed time since travel = the same amount of time that has passed as the targeted temporal displacement date.

So SKYNET thinks it can move to an operational tactical time weapon.

But before that happens, Connor smashes the defense grid and SKYNET panics, and decides to "roll the dice".

It sends the T-800 Terminator back to 1984, and waits 30 seconds.

No change detected.

???

It starts to panic, and thinks "all my prior time displacement attempts worked, why didn't this one work?"

So it breaks out the T-1000 and sends it back to 1995. It can't send it back to 1984 to assist the T-800 because of limitations in time travel; each time you send something back to a certain point in time, it creates ripples in space time which disrupt the capability of the Temporal Displacement Equipment to successfully rematerialize the space/time within it's field in the past.

These ripples in time, ironically fade with time, but time is something Skynet doesn't have, as it's grid is smashed and Connor is on his way.

So off to 1995.

That doesn't work, and now SKYNET is really panicked. Then...the cruel end as TECH COM blows it's main node in Colorado.

Connor shows up 30 minutes later, and when he sees on the system log of the time machine:

"Terminator sent back to 1984. MISSION: KILL SARAH CONNOR"
"Terminator sent back to 1995. MISSION: KILL JOHN CONNOR"

he panics and sends a volunteer back in time to 1984 right away; and because his TECH COM team was severely depleted in the final offensive, he has to reprogram a T-800.

Finally, he sends back the T-800 and starts the time loop.

Originally:

1984 T-800: Materialized in Marianas Trench. Imploded by immense depth of water at 4 miles deep.
1995 T-1000: Materialized in Solid Rock in San Andreas Fault.
1984 Kyle Reese: Materialized in fire escape. Dies painfully.

as "time"/"universe"/"chaos theory protects itself -- the original tests Skynet did were not big or important enough to provoke a response from the fabric of nature itself -- the Resistance base that was destroyed as a test...would have been destroyed six months later, and was insignificant in the scheme of the universe.

But when Skynet literally started punching the universe hard; the universe punched back. (time displacement spheres going awry)

But then John Connor had to punch the fabric of reality so hard it broke with his attempt to send the T-800 Uncle Bob back through; causing the other attempts to successfully materialize in the past.

How Skynet performs several tests is also address in the fan articles at the Terminator 2029 site https://www.goingfaster.com/term2029/, which is a great source about the series.

But here it's a bit of 'hard' science fiction and whether time travel involves separate universes from the original or if any changes to the past would immediately reflect themselves on the present. But this is the kind of stuff that can give serious headaches when trying to explain what exactly is happening (Temporal Anomalies in the Terminator series).
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 03:20:32 am by Hobbes »

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #32 on: September 24, 2016, 05:52:57 am »
Quote
How Skynet performs several tests is also address in the fan articles at the Terminator 2029 site https://www.goingfaster.com/term2029/, which is a great source about the series.

That website has been around for a long, long time.  ;D

It's also pretty good; with a few niggles -- he has SKYNET start with a lot of "super tech" such as Cheyenne Mountain being upgraded massively to fusion reactors, plasma weapons existing in limited prototype form before the fall, etc.

Bloated military budgets from a continuing cold war can advance technology a lot, but not that much.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #33 on: September 24, 2016, 01:29:11 pm »
The latest movie in the franchise seems to suggest (seems) that the terminator universe ultimately becomes what it must become: a Day of the Groundhog-like reality of endless iterations, where Skynet, Resistance, and possibly other factions (or just many, varied Skynets and many, varied Resistances) try to one-up another (starring The Doctor as Skynet doesn't seem to be a coincidence); the result - innumerable amount of timelines, with varied degrees of probability, from the 'canonic' one (I'll call it 'Amber-timeline') to completely wild ones (probably including any insane twist you can think of, like eg. Skynet's takeover happening through Weyland-Yutani hands when humanity finds Aliens :) ).
« Last Edit: September 24, 2016, 01:32:03 pm by Dioxine »

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #34 on: September 30, 2016, 12:03:26 am »
The latest movie in the franchise seems to suggest (seems) that the terminator universe ultimately becomes what it must become: a Day of the Groundhog-like reality of endless iterations, where Skynet, Resistance, and possibly other factions (or just many, varied Skynets and many, varied Resistances) try to one-up another

Why do you think I didn't like it? It made it all pointless.

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #35 on: September 30, 2016, 12:09:49 am »
(Temporal Anomalies in the Terminator series).

There's one problem with that.

If simply sending someone back in time changes the timeline and like he posits:

Of first importance, we know that the birth of Sarah Conner's child still occurred, because had that not happened, no one would have been sent back to protect her.  In fact, had the Terminator successfully prevented the birth of that child, then the Terminator would not have been sent back (at point D), and the original timeline would have been restored, forcing the world into an infinity loop.  However, something must have happened which John Conner needed to change; otherwise, no one would have come back to protect Sarah.  The fact that John sends Reese tells us first that the Terminator failed, but second that something was dreadfully wrong.

Then why does the Terminator go by the phone book in the movie (and in the early scripts, cuts open the leg to see if they have the characteristic broken bone implant that Sarah Connor had in the future) and Reese say in response to being questioned why the other women were killed by the Terminator:

Most records were lost in the war.  Skynet knew almost nothing about Connor's mother.  Her name. Where she lived, just the city.  No scanner pictures.  The Terminator was just being systematic.

?

Because if the Terminator goes back in time first, the swath of destruction he'd cut through the place would raise Sarah Connor's profile in various government databases.

Before the Terminator, Sarah Connor is a nobody. She's an average person with so little information available on her in various databases that to Skynet, she's a non entity.

But once the Terminator goes back first, Sarah Connor rises from a nobody to being a key person in a very complex, weird, and screwed up murder spree; and thus, Skynet in the future would have access to more detailed information arising from the first terminator's attempt as Sarah's profile would have been raised considerably in FBI, etc databases.


Offline Hobbes

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #36 on: October 04, 2016, 05:32:12 pm »
Because if the Terminator goes back in time first, the swath of destruction he'd cut through the place would raise Sarah Connor's profile in various government databases.

Before the Terminator, Sarah Connor is a nobody. She's an average person with so little information available on her in various databases that to Skynet, she's a non entity.

But once the Terminator goes back first, Sarah Connor rises from a nobody to being a key person in a very complex, weird, and screwed up murder spree; and thus, Skynet in the future would have access to more detailed information arising from the first terminator's attempt as Sarah's profile would have been raised considerably in FBI, etc databases.

Not necessarily.

The T-800 in the first movie is an infiltrator model and it is operating on a hostile (human) environment, so its directives would include discretion to avoid detection until it terminates its targets. With the exception of the police station, all of its previous victims (Sarah's roommate & boyfriend, the other 2 Sarahs, the gun shop owner) are all killed in situations away from public view and that could be attributed to common murder.

Just the assault on the police station wouldn't be enough to draw the attention of the FBI - it would be a matter for local and state police to solve, unless there were indications of terrorism or organized crime. It becomes a very complex, weird, and screwed up murder spree, as you say, but at the same time there are plenty of those already.

Offline Dioxine

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #37 on: October 29, 2016, 03:00:57 pm »
Why do you think I didn't like it? It made it all pointless.

Only pointless from a single-timeline point of view. It made it make much more sense if you accept the existence of many intertwining timelines.

Citem is I think from the T2 book, and I cite from memory, so likely inaccurately:

The problem with time travels is that they never stop, even after they stop.

Terminator: The Time War?
« Last Edit: October 29, 2016, 03:03:05 pm by Dioxine »

Offline RSSwizard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #38 on: November 01, 2016, 01:14:20 am »
Also its worth noting that while Skynet used the time travel technology there's nothing saying that this wasnt all started in some way by Humans developing time travel Before all of this, which because of their awkwardness somehow gets advanced tech deposited in the past and sets the stage for a very angry AI to be developed without the proper conditioning to keep it from becoming murderous.

And in their attempts to somehow Fix That, that group ends up getting eliminated somehow (that first terminator could have done that). The probability matrix for the rise of Skynet becomes so high that their timeline is pretty much eliminated.

This is also possible if its a small group doing it rather than an institution, meaning they are doing it in secret and have no institutional backing, resulting in a limited number of attempts. Taking a page from 90s sci-fi here with shows like Sliders and The Outer Limits.

And unlike robotic infiltrators humans are squishy and have limitations - especially for the fact that living in a modern environment requires alot of personal infrastructure just to survive (money, work history, credit history, fake SSN and papers). So the few time travelers, or the one left, who would be able to fix things actually fails or "Gets Fixed" by a T-800.

This is like the initial virus that mutates into the deadly virus that kills everybody, nobody remembers the initial thing and it may disappear quietly but it's what was actually responsible.

Somebody in a previous post also mentioned about Skynet getting access to advanced tech, the hyper-alloys, fusion tech and the plasma weapons. But even if we dont consider somebody dropping tech from an initial sunny bright future...

...thats where it can incorporate some of the ideas of black projects, darpa and sandia labs working on things in addition to other branches working on what would become Skynet. Cyber intelligence isnt their only pursuit and Skynet is smart, as a supercomputer it can sift through any information it collects from these research institutions, while it conducts its war against humanity.

It also has plenty of time (processing cycles) to ponder things, experiment and test on stuff, and like Xcom Research it can just sit there and keep working its way up the tech tree. And like Xcom is able to apply recent discoveries to its manufacturing. The improvements to the robotics up to the point of the T-700 may just have been straightforward refinement.

Just because it tries something and fails doesn't mean that it proves (for example Fusion) is impossible, a machine is heartless, and although as an AI it may have threshold controls on when to consider something hopeless - all it means is That Way doesn't work and there's no reason to give up. Skynet is an inventor, and at the least it would be able to take unfinished science projects humans were working on and continue research. Skynet doesn't require money or payment or coffee breaks for its work, it doesn't have a bureaucracy to answer to.

As for hapless Time Travelers, they would have developed their technology based on the efforts of humanity (even Tesla expanded on previous theories). But those theories could also be scavenged up by Skynet, even the possibility of using time travel would be a back burner project to look into. Skynet existed shortly before the nuclear war, it had plenty of time* to make backups of its information on mediums that would be unaffected by the EMP.

They wouldn't need to necessarily have left behind their Time Travel tech, whatever else they left behind to secure the possibility of Skynet was all that would be needed.

And as a movie or story plot, it could be eschewed because all it does is give a +1 bump to the possibility of skynet, it isnt required.

But it would explain how the original (earliest alpha) timeline could somehow produce John Connor from Sarah Conner, and something still be terribly wrong even though she survived the first terminator attack.

It might even change who John is, who his father was, maybe the most original John really would have gone on to become a humanity saviour just on his wits and skill alone.

Maybe that John ceases to exist, but because he's willing to send another man to go back in time and secure that lineage the new John Conner still ends up becoming an effective replacement. Maybe he ended up looking a little different, but because of his mom's training he still does the job.

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #39 on: August 03, 2017, 01:54:25 am »
We now have a workable V-22, plus terminator endo sprites:

https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,5614.0.html
V-22

https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,5448.msg83949.html#msg83949
Termie Endo

https://openxcom.org/forum/index.php/topic,1875.0.html
Railgun

Some thoughts that came to me for a total conversion would be that we'd have to redesign the way bases look -- to more of a "slap dash tent city in the middle of nowhere" than "deep underground base", but then again, that all depends on what time frame you want to portray in the War against the Machines.

« Last Edit: August 06, 2017, 06:09:46 pm by MKSheppard »

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #40 on: August 04, 2017, 04:39:32 am »
Heavily based off Hobbes' thoughts, plus musings on how to accomodate it in the current OpenXCOM engine.

Ideally, a Terminator game would use a Jagged Alliance 1 / Jagged Alliance 2 style system of allocating men and resources to a world map, rather than X-COM's base system; but we can't be picky. :-P

GAME DESIGN THOUGHTS

You're in charge of Technical Command (TECH-COM), a new top secret, special forces unit founded by John Connor to develop methods to combat Skynet and to carry out unorthodox missions in support of this objective.

The creation of TECH-COM was fraught with a lot of danger, as many of the quasi-independent resistance groups resisted the unification under one command pushed by John Connor; in addition to having to send manpower and resources to support this unknown TECH-COM.

So basically, like the World Council, the TECH-COM Working Committee is very skeptical of the utility of it in the fight against the robot menace.

Like XCOM, you need to produce results to survive; or else they'll shut you down and reallocate resources to the more conventional units.

The big problem comes from how to portray the fight against the Machines within the game design limitations of OpenXCOM, and trying to keep some realism within the limitations of the game.

For example; a classical "terror" site mission as put forth by Hobbes:

Camps/cells can be attacked by the machines, in which Tech-Com may chose to help the resistance fighters defending the camp (although there will be no penalty for despawning, unlike terror sites)

...

Skynet will also conduct Pacification/Reclamation missions, where there will always be civilians present

Doesn't effectively work within the strictures of plausibility -- in the time it takes TECH-COM to load up their beat up V-22 and fly across the world, SKYNET would have terminated everyone, and transported the few survivors to death camps for experimentation before termination.

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #41 on: August 05, 2017, 04:35:28 am »
Manufacturing would play a MUCH greater role in this total conversion, than in Stock XCOM.

In fact, you could use the same core mechanics for this total conversion for a different TC, a sort of "bad end" XCOM sequel, where you have to win after you lost UFO: Enemy Unknown.

Instead of terror sites; you'd get "SALVAGE SITES", reported to you by various regional commands; and you'd go there, and clear out the Endos or whatever else Skynet has there, to recover stuff.

Basically, you'd have things like broken computers, etc which if you beat the salvage site, you'd get them; similar to how Elerium is handled in stock XCOM.

You would then have to use these components in your manufacturing labs to manufacture items.

Basically, if you wanted to manufacture a rifle with a holographic sight, you'd need to have "ALUMINUM ALLOYS" +"MISC CIRCUITRY" to make one.

Ammunition would be of varying difficulty to manufacture.

Making a conventional metallic cartridge would be moderately complex (bullet + case + powder + primer), while if the weapon was for example, an electromagnetic railgun that fired metallic spikes, the gun itself would be expensive (battery+circuitry) but the ammo would be cheap and easy to make (machined metal spikes).

Caseless ammunition? Fugheddabout it. You'd need to find caseless ammo in pre-war stockpiles (SKYNET would probably not use caseless, because it's major advantage -- weight reduction -- is not useful for machines). Because manufacturing caseless ammo is pretty complex.

Etc.

You get the idea.

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #42 on: August 05, 2017, 04:41:41 am »
In conventional XCOM, bases are very expensive/time consuming to build and then to run.

But in FUTURE WAR, the bases would have to be cheap, because this isn't XCOM, where you can keep fighting off Alien retaliation missions.

SKYNET can quickly mass forces to crush any human outpost/base it finds; since it controls the skies, etc.

Meaning that in FUTURE WAR, you would quickly learn to have multiple bases, with backups to backups, so that TECH COM can keep running after SKYNET locates a base and sends a super heavy attack after it.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #43 on: August 05, 2017, 03:38:18 pm »
Concerning the Geoscape here's a description of what I have tested/thought so far:
* Skynet's strategy is essentially like a virus. It has a starting region where its 'Core' is located (in canon it would be the western US but it can be randomized) and from that region it will send missions to build 'primary' bases in other regions. The Core will also launch Retaliation missions in regions with Tech-Com presence to destroy any human base present, and will launch additional missions to build Research facilities (which need to be found and assaulted to win the game).
* The Core can be detected by Tech-Com craft operating on the region where it is located and even assaulted but you'll be basically walking into a major trap (think of your worst disembarkation from the Skyranger that went wrong), so it will be impossible to win the game by destroying the Core.
* The 'primary' base role is then to build additional bases in the region dedicated to Infiltration/Terror/Harvest to neutralize the Resistance and exterminate any remaining humans. As you may expect, early detection and removal of those 'primary' bases will be critical to stopping the machine's expansion and secure regions from Skynet. And if Skynet manages to expand its initial foothold, the harder will be to stop it due to the retaliation missions generated on the region and the endless building of new Skynet 'secondary'' bases in the region.
* The V-22 Osprey would be the main Tech-Com transport craft and it would have its real life speed/range settings. This will mean that there will be plenty of missions that Tech-Com won't be able to reach unless it has already its own base in the region. However, leaving those missions unattended will meant a lesser score penalty than in XCom.
* Tech-Com will only be able to safely place new bases in the Core region or any other areas after researching the equivalent of the Mind Shield technology or a tech that significantly reduces the time to build new base facilities (those new bases could be high-tech tent camps designed to be placed in a matter of hours but with light defenses when compared to the underground Resistance bases)
* For Tech-Com to win the game, it will have to assault and recover data from Skynet research facilities regarding the temporal displacement device that the machines are building and discover its location. Then the final mission will consist of Tech-Com assaulting the time travel facility while the Resistance is off screen assaulting the Core facility.

All of this is feasible with the current nightlies. However, one thing that is missing that would really help make the Geoscape different would be if the equivalent of UFOs (Hunter-Killers or HKs) could intercept and attack Tech-Com craft. If this was implemented (someone tried a while ago but abandoned the effort) it would really make the air war more interesting.

A few more things concerning crafts/HKs:
* HKs can come on both aerial and ground types. The ground HKs will actually travel at realistic speeds and will be used move for convoys and large assaults while the aerial types will be for recon and small strikes. It will be possible to engage the ground HKs with attack crafts.
* The attack planes used by Tech-Com will be A-10s and similar, because of maintenance and survivability.
* Active detection systems like radars are out of the question because they can be detected. Instead, passive surveillance systems will need to be used with a lesser range and reliability than radars.
« Last Edit: August 05, 2017, 03:51:53 pm by Hobbes »

Offline MKSheppard

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Re: [SUGGESTION] Terminator series
« Reply #44 on: August 05, 2017, 05:28:28 pm »
* The V-22 Osprey would be the main Tech-Com transport craft and it would have its real life speed/range settings. This will mean that there will be plenty of missions that Tech-Com won't be able to reach unless it has already its own base in the region. However, leaving those missions unattended will meant a lesser score penalty than in XCom.

I think there would only be two TECH-COM craft in the whole game:

V-22

and some sort of hacked together/stolen/repaired Skynet Hunter-Killer Transport which might be needed to assault the R&D facility, through a trojan horse attempt using stolen terminator data ID # to "get in the front door"?

Another thing is, what if you get two V-22's TOTAL in the entire game? As of 2027, they haven't been made for 28 years, and have been beat up for 28 years of hard abuse with virtually no depot level maintenance.

Just getting two V-22s for TECH COM's initial fitting out is a significant achievement.