Author Topic: [Feedback] Let's design craft equipment templates  (Read 1098 times)

Offline Stoddard

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[Feedback] Let's design craft equipment templates
« on: April 30, 2017, 09:54:48 pm »
This wish was I believe expressed lots of times. I think the problem is that no one actually designed the feature to the point it was clear how to implement it. Let's fix that.

The problem to be solved: that the player has to manually swap almost entire inventory of a craft and two to three sets of inventories of the crew if the next mission differs much from the previous.

Possible solution:

  • Drop craft inventory entirely. No equipment is associated with a craft. (Craft weapons stay as they are, obviously)
  • Drop permanent armor assignment. Armor becomes part of an equipment template. Base assaults - use the existing and proposed UI to assign armors and equipment.
  • Craft transfer doesn't pull crew or equipment (possibly apart from craft weapons) with it.
  • Possibly allow designating stuff for transfer by the sets - one of the kinds of the sets would be the eq+armor set
  • Permanent, named crew inventory templates, with the armor included.
  • Clear, simple UI to design, save, apply a crew member template.
  • Possibly include capability to design equipment templates in the absense of actual items.
  • I don't know how autoequip works currently. Since I think it was designed just as a kludge to alleviate the inventory problem, drop it entirely.
  • Keep backwards compatability - save actually used equipment sets automatically and reapply them to the same crew members. This will emulate how it currently works enough for the early game.


This is a significant departure from the original game, but I think it's worth it. Please comment.
« Last Edit: July 17, 2018, 03:20:43 pm by Meridian »

Offline BTAxis

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Re: Let's design craft equipment templates
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2017, 02:45:24 am »
Since you're opening the door to adding new UI, maybe it's worth stepping back to consider the UI situation as it stands.

X-COM has UI issues, this much I think is clear to all. While OXC and OXCE/+ have made improvements in this area, oftentimes these improvements are awkward and hacky (clicking things in certain ways, using esoteric keyboard shortcuts). That's to be expected, since OXC only aspires to be a faithful re-implementation of the 90s games and the forks inherit that design mentality.

But with several mods nowadays extending the game's scope and complexity far beyond what X-COM originally offered, the shortcomings of the UI have become painfully clear, which is what prompted this topic. My question is, is it doable and/or desirable to go the distance and redesign both the management systems and the UI for said systems to improve the user experience as a whole? Is it worth the effort to chuck flawed elements from X-COM and replace them, or is it better to keep shoring them up as well as possible?

Offline Stoddard

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Re: Let's design craft equipment templates
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2017, 05:04:54 am »
My question is, is it doable and/or desirable to go the distance and redesign both the management systems and the UI for said systems to improve the user experience as a whole? Is it worth the effort to chuck flawed elements from X-COM and replace them, or is it better to keep shoring them up as well as possible?

No, no. Let's not attempt to rewrite the whole game. Or at least let's  attempt that in some other context.

We have a problem with inventories, let's fix that and that only.


EDIT:
yeah, that sounds lame, but
it's either lame, or not getting done.
sad lessons from life, they look like that.
« Last Edit: May 01, 2017, 05:08:34 am by Stoddard »

Offline ivandogovich

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Re: Let's design craft equipment templates
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2017, 04:52:14 pm »
I'll take a stab at this from very broad conceptual ideas.

Lets think of these templates as Strike Packages.  Your craft, crew (with armor), and equipment are included in a Package.  (hm, if we are including the craft, would it be possible to apply that to a different craft?  ie. Airbus > Pachy?)

By default, the game saves the last package used for each craft upon start of a Battle.  (STR_LAST_TEMPLATE: "Latest Template")  this allows for a player to quickly revert, while building out other templates in the GUI.

Building Template GUI (STR_TEMPLATES_MANAGER: "Template Manager"
Latest Template would be at the top with blank slots below similar to the Individual Soldier Equipment templates.
Clicking on a template name in the list would allow the player to STR_SAVE_TEMPLATE: "Save the current load out and equipment?"  and prompt for new name. 
(I'm a little confused on the best way to cover the things I mentioned in the previous line.  What I suggested doesn't seem optimal.)

Perhaps the Template manager should have two tabs. One for "Create" and one for "Load"

Upon Loading the template, the game adds the soldiers and equipment if available, and upon missing items/crew notifies user: 12/14 crew assigned. 10/14 Armor Equipped.  134/156 items loaded. etc.

Likely Templates:
Hot
Cold
Underwater
Zero-G
Space
Organ Grinders
Mercs
Milk Runs




Offline Starving Poet

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Re: Let's design craft equipment templates
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2017, 07:27:57 pm »
This is one of those things I want to work on as soon as I get my manufacturing streamlining mod done -

People are equipped directly from base stores with the ability to add 'extra' items directly to the craft for things you might want on the mission, but not on their persons.  Only when the craft leaves the hangar do these items get 'removed' from the base stores.

Having craft stores as a separate layer that exists outside of base stores doesn't make sense now that we are no longer limited to 80 items per battlescape session.

Offline BTAxis

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Re: Let's design craft equipment templates
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2017, 10:11:23 pm »
We have a problem with inventories, let's fix that and that only.

That was kind of my point though. I see the inventories issue as just one instance of a broader problem. But fair enough.

Offline Stoddard

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Re: Let's design craft equipment templates
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2017, 12:45:47 am »
That was kind of my point though. I see the inventories issue as just one instance of a broader problem. But fair enough.

Seems I misread your post then. Sorry for that.

I agree, the problem you mentioned bugs me too - is it worth it to stay absolutely failthful to the original game in the UI and keep the ability to play the vanilla as it was in 90s more or less, or is it better to not waste time on this and have an actual fork of the OpenXcom? I don't know.

In my advanced geoscape attempt I ended up first deciding that it can't be mergeable back, so it has to be a fork. Then that since it's a fork anyway, I can shake out the cruft from the geo/basescape code as well. Then that since I'm rewriting the geoscape anyway, it doesn't have to be in C++. Then that since at that point I'm writing another game that just happens to understand OXCE+ mods, I might as well redesign battlescape a bit, more from data structures point of view.  And it is on a back burner since then.

For this one I want to limit the scope as much as possible, so it has a chance to actually get done.