Author Topic: Area 51 beta version 0.962 updated June 27th  (Read 10805 times)

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.953 released - November 7th
« Reply #15 on: November 10, 2017, 04:53:48 am »
Version 0.954 released - https://www.mediafire.com/file/8f6cnain97npp60/Area%2051%20v0.954.zip

List of changes:
* Small bug fixes with research topics
* Renamed 'A Festival of Absurdities' Council report to 'Prometheus Unbound'
* Additional stairs added to Abandoned Factory terrain + minor fixes/changes
* Decreased number of Thin Men present in Abandoned Factory mission to reducing spawning of Small Launchers with Elerium Bombs
* Other minor fixes/changes

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.954 released - November 10th
« Reply #16 on: November 12, 2017, 01:54:53 am »
Version 0.955 released, download here - https://www.mediafire.com/file/y42p5hzv3zb6a8p/Area%2051%20v0.955.zip

Changes:
* Bug fixes with terrain tiles
* Reduced the strength of walls and other terrain tiles to make High Explosives and Rockets more useful

Offline Dwarmin

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 released - November 11th
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2017, 06:17:40 pm »
Playing through a more full run this time. Not found any major issues. Overall I like the pace of the game much more now. Usually early game XCOM you shoot down 2-3 ufo's a month up until the 3rd month or so, not doing much but scraping for cash.

Now, on the 3rd month I had 2 terror missions and 6 council missions-I'm assuming the extra terror mission was one delayed from last month, I must have shot down a scout ship. Anyway, a lot more actions means a lot more cash and research bumps, so you can actually raise your infrastructure up faster than usual, if you have a lot of success. And you NEED to have success, or you'll get swamped, eventually. There's an actual tangible threat to XCOM from the first month on, in that you need to tackle these missions or lose due to score. I like that.

Given in my last game I sort of lounged around and did the cool new autopsies until the commander guard showed up and trashed my gauss wielding goofballs, I definitely feel a springboard into mid-game. It's not a cakewalk, but it's also not impossible, since I'm facing mostly sectoids and human agents. Mostly.  ;)

Other stuff..

Spoiler:
Was fighting in a slums mission and got a cyberdisk in a stairwell, facing a single space avenue along the dark edge of the map. Cue traumatic flashbacks to the  single Xarquid hiding in a closet from the massive TFTD ship missions that waits til you clear the map, then you have to check room by room, then... :P

He seemed trapped and unable to anything but point blank reaction fire anyone who went that specific path. And there is no other way inside the building than using the stairwell! Bad RNG/Unlucky Pathing or is that intended? I think I might have this happen before as well, I remember running from another slum mission because I just couldn't find the last alien.
Spoiler:
Turns out the rogue scientist will die if you capture them without an alien containment. Despite not being an alien-I guess you can't just tie them up and toss them in a closet. Probably not an actual oversight, and not really something that needs to be changed (assuming prisons are prisons, tho I'm the sort of person I'm going to have to mod the facility description now for my peace of mind), but it bugged me. Increased cost/build time to get a base up and running in the early game so you can have more than one loaded skyranger for response is a really close thing. Wouldn't mind a cheaper facility option for keeping the non-aliens in lock up. Possible to make alien containment an early research goal?

I do recall the Xcom files mod seemed to have different prisons for different creatures, but I haven't looked at the code for that yet.

Possible that you could have a human prison facility, and make a business of capturing the agents+flunkies and ransoming them off to the council for extra money or bonus completion points? Assuming they have intelligence value and being rewarded for not using lethal force on human criminals. The sheer amount of extra missions being thrown at you can seriously depress your score and finances, it might help! Also can add interrogation files if you ever want to identify these guys we are encountering.
Spoiler:
For reference of the mods I am using that could affect balance issues, or for consideration as future additions to the game.

-Elerium Flares: Makes the initial flare weaker, but adds a stronger flare higher up on the tech tree. Given almost half the council missions take place at night, probably not that much of a boon. Still I like the progression and the logic, and there's always incendiaries. Interesting note is that the increased amount of night missions (you can't dodge them like UFO crashes) means you really do need to pack up on incendiaries and flares.

-Alien Melee/Plasma Weapons: A nifty little mod that gives the aliens lightsabers and the skills to use them. They actually will totally use them on xcom agents if they got close enough-they will also do melee 'reaction fire', which I've never really seen before. Actually pretty terrifying, even sectoids can one-shot your rookies...but it is a totally gamble if they hit. Sort of nerve wracking to close on them with stun rods. :P

-Scout Drones: I really do love this mod, it makes 1x1 sized mini-HWP's that can fit inside doors. They don't do any attacks initially except for a weak smoke grenade, but they are good for scouting/drawing fire and can be outfitted with a scanner or medkit. They can also be repaired when they get destroyed!

I actually did a little modding myself to extend this to all the other HWP's, allowing them to be rebuilt for about half the cost in money and materials it takes to make them. Given I'm not fond of the 'meat grinder' strategy, this pleases me.

-Arsenal Expanded: I only added one part of this weapon mod ultimately, which was to give the mass driver guns (modded for accuracy mod balance) to the human agents-they are a little better than the gauss XCOM eventually gets, about equivalent to laser weapons, doing armor piercing damage. I felt the agents having unique weapons from either the aliens or xcom was pretty cool-they give them a unique flavor as the MIB. The weapons also match the color of their suits (black and gun-metal grey) and have nifty blue particle effects.

If I can provide any other direct feedback, just ask.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 released - November 11th
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2017, 09:19:24 pm »
Playing through a more full run this time. Not found any major issues. Overall I like the pace of the game much more now. Usually early game XCOM you shoot down 2-3 ufo's a month up until the 3rd month or so, not doing much but scraping for cash.

Now, on the 3rd month I had 2 terror missions and 6 council missions-I'm assuming the extra terror mission was one delayed from last month, I must have shot down a scout ship. Anyway, a lot more actions means a lot more cash and research bumps, so you can actually raise your infrastructure up faster than usual, if you have a lot of success. And you NEED to have success, or you'll get swamped, eventually. There's an actual tangible threat to XCOM from the first month on, in that you need to tackle these missions or lose due to score. I like that.

I'm enjoying the new pace as well for the same reasons you mentioned. Don't know if you noticed but you'll actually see a slight reduction in the number of UFOs when compared to vanilla, and one of the issues I've been dealing is that I never have enough alloys and Elerium. 

Quote
Given in my last game I sort of lounged around and did the cool new autopsies until the commander guard showed up and trashed my gauss wielding goofballs, I definitely feel a springboard into mid-game. It's not a cakewalk, but it's also not impossible, since I'm facing mostly sectoids and human agents. Mostly.  ;)

Commander Guard only appears in alien missions where the Overseer UFO will be present, and this includes the scout UFOs that show up before the Overseer. But Overseers can appear right from February onward. But facing them with Gauss is almost suicidal.

Quote
Was fighting in a slums mission and got a cyberdisk in a stairwell, facing a single space avenue along the dark edge of the map. Cue traumatic flashbacks to the  single Xarquid hiding in a closet from the massive TFTD ship missions that waits til you clear the map, then you have to check room by room, then... :P

He seemed trapped and unable to anything but point blank reaction fire anyone who went that specific path. And there is no other way inside the building than using the stairwell! Bad RNG/Unlucky Pathing or is that intended? I think I might have this happen before as well, I remember running from another slum mission because I just couldn't find the last alien.

Might be RNG, I'll check the map files, but since there's 50 of them it's easier to fix with a pic. If you spot any weird things like that with maps just hit F12 and it will generate a screenshot.

Quote
Turns out the rogue scientist will die if you capture them without an alien containment. Despite not being an alien-I guess you can't just tie them up and toss them in a closet. Probably not an actual oversight, and not really something that needs to be changed (assuming prisons are prisons, tho I'm the sort of person I'm going to have to mod the facility description now for my peace of mind), but it bugged me. Increased cost/build time to get a base up and running in the early game so you can have more than one loaded skyranger for response is a really close thing. Wouldn't mind a cheaper facility option for keeping the non-aliens in lock up. Possible to make alien containment an early research goal?

Rogue scientists can only appear from February onward, and the AC is usually one of the first buildings I build in vanilla. I assumed most people would also build the AC first, so that would solve the issue you mentioned (I had considered it before), of a human dying because of no AC (which also felt weird to me)

Quote
I do recall the Xcom files mod seemed to have different prisons for different creatures, but I haven't looked at the code for that yet.

Possible that you could have a human prison facility, and make a business of capturing the agents+flunkies and ransoming them off to the council for extra money or bonus completion points? Assuming they have intelligence value and being rewarded for not using lethal force on human criminals. The sheer amount of extra missions being thrown at you can seriously depress your score and finances, it might help! Also can add interrogation files if you ever want to identify these guys we are encountering.

XCom Files uses OXCE/OXCE+ but for Area 51 I decided that I didn't want to have the player download a specific OpenXCom build to play it, other than the nightly, despite OXCE/OXCE+ additional features. I'm planning to use it in the future, but in new mods designed specifically to use its features.

Just checked, don't think it's possible to increase the score from captures (or even change it). Increasing the sale value of the Rogue Scientist (currently at §50.000) is possible but that only works if the option to sell live aliens is activated (which I can recommend in the documentation)

However, there's a caveat because of how the game works: you either research the Scientist for the tech or ransom it for a boatload of cash (§500.000? more?). Which can an interesting choice for the player.

This is due because how the research code works: the 'live scientist' item is consumed at the end of the research, otherwise it would still be available to research again.

Quote
For reference of the mods I am using that could affect balance issues, or for consideration as future additions to the game.

-Elerium Flares: Makes the initial flare weaker, but adds a stronger flare higher up on the tech tree. Given almost half the council missions take place at night, probably not that much of a boon. Still I like the progression and the logic, and there's always incendiaries. Interesting note is that the increased amount of night missions (you can't dodge them like UFO crashes) means you really do need to pack up on incendiaries and flares.

-Alien Melee/Plasma Weapons: A nifty little mod that gives the aliens lightsabers and the skills to use them. They actually will totally use them on xcom agents if they got close enough-they will also do melee 'reaction fire', which I've never really seen before. Actually pretty terrifying, even sectoids can one-shot your rookies...but it is a totally gamble if they hit. Sort of nerve wracking to close on them with stun rods. :P

-Scout Drones: I really do love this mod, it makes 1x1 sized mini-HWP's that can fit inside doors. They don't do any attacks initially except for a weak smoke grenade, but they are good for scouting/drawing fire and can be outfitted with a scanner or medkit. They can also be repaired when they get destroyed!


All sound great, I designed Area 51 so that the player could add smaller mods like you described with the items he/she likes the most. At a certain point in development I had a number of smaller 'improvement' and additional items/etc. but decided to remove all of those except the ones really needed for the changes in research/missions.

Quote
I actually did a little modding myself to extend this to all the other HWP's, allowing them to be rebuilt for about half the cost in money and materials it takes to make them. Given I'm not fond of the 'meat grinder' strategy, this pleases me.

At a certain point I was trying also to avoid the 'meat grinder' until someone pointed out that it is how the original game was designed. That you can lose half your squad trying to take a medium UFO and still consider it a win. So I just decided to keep this part of the original design but I'm planning to move away from it in future new mods.

Quote
-Arsenal Expanded: I only added one part of this weapon mod ultimately, which was to give the mass driver guns (modded for accuracy mod balance) to the human agents-they are a little better than the gauss XCOM eventually gets, about equivalent to laser weapons, doing armor piercing damage. I felt the agents having unique weapons from either the aliens or xcom was pretty cool-they give them a unique flavor as the MIB. The weapons also match the color of their suits (black and gun-metal grey) and have nifty blue particle effects.

At a certain point the Human Agents or MIBs had their own unique weapons, but that got axed on version 0.7 or before, because of several reasons regarding weapons balance and plotline. I'll have a look into it.

Quote
If I can provide any other direct feedback, just ask.

Just describing how the missions/difficulty curve is going for you like you did is great, many thanks!

Have you noticed the 'second wave' of Council missions? The way the script is set you'll usually see two spikes of Council missions, on the first one you'll get laser techs, on the second the plasma techs.

There is also another thing I wanted to ask about the new missions but I might be spoiling the surprise(s) if I did ;)
« Last Edit: November 17, 2017, 09:21:49 pm by Hobbes »

Offline Dwarmin

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 released - November 11th
« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2017, 05:59:18 pm »
Found a bit of an annoyance, one on of my capture missions. Sorry I couldn't get a screenshot, but it was one in a railyard type maps.

In the tunnel area that bisects the map-one with a sort of pyramid of bricks leading to a closed railway. I had a scientist spawn up there on the catwalks and she was completely unreachable by my melee stun weapons. Loaded up the map a few times and occasionally there is a connecting building that allows access up there, but sometimes not, or on both sides. I pretty much just tossed smoke grenades at her, until she decided to jump down and charge XCOM. But she could have stayed up there indefinitely. :P

Offline Dwarmin

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 released - November 11th
« Reply #20 on: November 20, 2017, 08:44:27 pm »
Found a small bug in the terrain file.

Quote
- name: AREA51BASE84
width: 20
length: 20
items: STR_DATA_DISK_CRAFT_WEAPONS_:
 - [15, 1, 2]

You left off an E or possibly an F on the end of the STR_DATA_DISK_CRAFT_WEAPONS entry (I cross checked and those are the only two possible strings I could find) , so it crashes when I load up the the Area 51 mission. I tried adding an E and it seemed to work. :P

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 released - November 11th
« Reply #21 on: November 21, 2017, 12:34:26 am »
Found a bit of an annoyance, one on of my capture missions. Sorry I couldn't get a screenshot, but it was one in a railyard type maps.

In the tunnel area that bisects the map-one with a sort of pyramid of bricks leading to a closed railway. I had a scientist spawn up there on the catwalks and she was completely unreachable by my melee stun weapons. Loaded up the map a few times and occasionally there is a connecting building that allows access up there, but sometimes not, or on both sides. I pretty much just tossed smoke grenades at her, until she decided to jump down and charge XCOM. But she could have stayed up there indefinitely. :P

Found a small bug in the terrain file.

You left off an E or possibly an F on the end of the STR_DATA_DISK_CRAFT_WEAPONS entry (I cross checked and those are the only two possible strings I could find) , so it crashes when I load up the the Area 51 mission. I tried adding an E and it seemed to work. :P

Both bugs fixed. The first one I simply removed the possibility of the close railway appearing solo. I've updated the download link with both fixes, thanks a lot :)

Offline Dwarmin

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 released - November 11th
« Reply #22 on: November 21, 2017, 08:35:22 pm »
Minor, yet critical bug. In the DATA EXTRACTION MISSION COMPLEX, the data disk is floating in mid-air a level about the ground, obviously unreachable. Pretty much in the center of the map-right above the lab area I assume it was supposed to be placed.

Also working on your other queries btw, but haven't run into 2nd wave missions as of yet.

Quote
name: COMPLEXURBAN36
width: 20
length: 20
groups: 10
revealedFloors: [0, 1, 2, 3]
items:STR_DATA_DISK_CRAFTS_E: - [14, 14, 1]

Found the exact problem. Changing the last number from 1 to 0 sets it back down on the floor. No anti-gravity floppies allowed.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2017, 08:41:20 pm by Dwarmin »

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 released - November 11th
« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2017, 01:33:14 am »
Minor, yet critical bug. In the DATA EXTRACTION MISSION COMPLEX, the data disk is floating in mid-air a level about the ground, obviously unreachable. Pretty much in the center of the map-right above the lab area I assume it was supposed to be placed.

Also working on your other queries btw, but haven't run into 2nd wave missions as of yet.

Found the exact problem. Changing the last number from 1 to 0 sets it back down on the floor. No anti-gravity floppies allowed.

Fixed and link updated, thank you!

I haven't bumped the version number because I've started adding post-mission cutscenes to act as debriefings and replace some of the UFOPaedia Council topics gained from those missions. I might also try to further personalize the Council missions.

Another change I'm considering is whether to remove the alternative UFO interiors:
*  I've seen several visual bugs of UFO ground flickering when units walk over them, but I didn't design those maps so fixing them won't be easy
* This can be added through existing mods
* There's already so many new maps that keeping the UFOs as vanilla gives some sense of familiarity
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 01:41:31 am by Hobbes »

Offline The Martian

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 released - November 11th
« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2017, 08:05:56 am »
I've started adding post-mission cutscenes to act as debriefings

Very cool!  I'm looking forward to seeing that.  ^_^

Another change I'm considering is whether to remove the alternative UFO interiors
I've been really enjoying the variety that the differing UFO interiors bring, if you can avoid it please don't remove this feature.

Attacking the same UFO again and again isn't as fun as storming a similar UFO who's differing layout provides a new tactical experience.

Even just having the exterior doors in a different location can drastically change the course of battle as you first have to figure out exactly where the aliens may suddenly come pouring out from.

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 released - November 11th
« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2017, 04:30:51 pm »
Fixed and link updated, thank you!

I haven't bumped the version number because I've started adding post-mission cutscenes to act as debriefings and replace some of the UFOPaedia Council topics gained from those missions. I might also try to further personalize the Council missions.

Another change I'm considering is whether to remove the alternative UFO interiors:
*  I've seen several visual bugs of UFO ground flickering when units walk over them, but I didn't design those maps so fixing them won't be easy
* This can be added through existing mods
* There's already so many new maps that keeping the UFOs as vanilla gives some sense of familiarity

oh the cutscenes! As for the interiors, since the spirit of the mod is to preserve the original vanilla feeling, i'd hubly agree :)

Offline Dwarmin

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 released - November 11th
« Reply #26 on: November 22, 2017, 04:39:58 pm »
Fixed and link updated, thank you!

I haven't bumped the version number because I've started adding post-mission cutscenes to act as debriefings and replace some of the UFOPaedia Council topics gained from those missions. I might also try to further personalize the Council missions.

Another change I'm considering is whether to remove the alternative UFO interiors:
*  I've seen several visual bugs of UFO ground flickering when units walk over them, but I didn't design those maps so fixing them won't be easy
* This can be added through existing mods
* There's already so many new maps that keeping the UFOs as vanilla gives some sense of familiarity

Really looking forward to seeing fancy new story scenes. :D

As for the UFO interiors, I've not consciously noticed what you describe, though I am sure I would if you pointed it out. And it is a completely existing mod that can be added on without any problem, I believe. I have no opinion on adding or removing them, as I'd still probably use them if I could.

Offline Hobbes

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 updated with bugfixes - November 21th
« Reply #27 on: November 22, 2017, 06:22:50 pm »
Here's a test of the post-mission cutscenes



Still deciding whether how or if I should add them... they don't quite work for debriefings

Haven't made my mind about the alternate UFO interiors... I guess I'll try to fix them myself first to see how bad/difficult it is
« Last Edit: November 22, 2017, 06:26:28 pm by Hobbes »

Offline Dwarmin

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 updated with bugfixes - November 21th
« Reply #28 on: November 22, 2017, 06:50:29 pm »
I'd like those to be added, tho we will have to see the final result to determine if they 'fit.

Maybe even for normal missions.

Something like "Local Hyperwave signal traffic has gone silent-all hostiles are dead, and the area is secure. Send in the clean-up crew." when you clear a UFO, or "The remaining Alien forces, shaken and demoralized, abort their terror attack on the city of X, and flee to the stars. A cheer rises from the surviving defenders and civilians-XCOM has won, at great cost." when you win a terror mission.

And I just lost a radar mission/crew/ranger by running out of time (reloading revealed a spacefarer hiding in a corner, the sneaky bugger) so a brief explanation of my rookies no doubt horrible fate would have been welcome there. :P

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Re: Area 51 beta version 0.955 updated with bugfixes - November 21th
« Reply #29 on: November 22, 2017, 07:26:53 pm »
The vanilla game had cutscdnes -in a form of slideshow, but only in the ending sequence as far as i temember - so i don't see why not add them 8) 8)