Author Topic: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game  (Read 30931 times)

Offline NashGold

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #255 on: May 18, 2020, 01:23:05 pm »
Time to learn Blender then...
Yeah. Blender or other 3d package can help. You can model even 2d scenes in it, and then export them as a set of objects for your ingame use. But I wont recommend Blender to newbies. It has a rather clunky, cryptic and generally unfriendly UI, mostly relaying on obscure hotkeys. No way you can learn it quickly and make something in a few days. 3ds Max is lot easier if you have access to it. But a room-mate artist where I live uses Cinema 4d, but I heard it is geared more towards TV and Movies, while 3ds Max and Maya were initially developed for gamedev people.

Offline NashGold

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #256 on: May 19, 2020, 10:11:59 am »
A gameplay question still remains: should these ships sustain damage from stuff like fire? How would it be implemented?

Basically that is just a scene which occurs when one squad with a boat attack another squad with a boat on sea. Now what if one party gets its boat destroyed or heavily damaged? As of now the boat inside the squad is just a usual unit, with damage meter, which is unused. XCOM games treated vehicles as a special entities. Especially XCOM Apocalypse. But it still had no way to damage them outside of air combat. Although in Apocalypse there was indeed map damage, resulting penalties for player and incentivizing scaling down the destruction, which was like fun police, but it still happened.


There are also flying boats, but the mechanics would be similar, with the exception of clouds replacing the water around the boats.


Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #257 on: May 20, 2020, 02:41:08 pm »
That depends on whether you want to get into a complex vehicle system, where different subsystems (sails, rudder etc.) have some impact on the whole unit's performance, which is obvious if they get damaged. I think it would be very fun, but I'm not sure if it fits your general vision and plans.

And of course, a hole in the hull would fill the ship with water until it sinks. :) Countered by the crew using buckets and long-term by repairs.

Offline NashGold

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #258 on: May 20, 2020, 03:54:57 pm »
That depends on whether you want to get into a complex vehicle system, where different subsystems (sails, rudder etc.) have some impact on the whole unit's performance, which is obvious if they get damaged. I think it would be very fun, but I'm not sure if it fits your general vision and plans.

And of course, a hole in the hull would fill the ship with water until it sinks. :) Countered by the crew using buckets and long-term by repairs.

I will likely leave it for a post-release update, like say a pirate campaign. For now I have to balance just the basic game and do bug fixes. Then it will be easier just adding fitting parts to fill in the niche.

I.e. just adding these ships required a lot of modifications to the drawing algorithm and occlusion hiding algorithms. Ships masts had to be moved into separate class of objects, that always get "folded" to unobscure units behind them, when player moves cursor. Trees are handled differently. I.e. they don't disappear when cursor is on a cliff above them, only when it moves inside forest.

Original XCOM games handled it very differently, requiring player to manually switch layers. It worker well, but was a bit clunky and dated. Probably the worst part of the original games. Magic & Mayhem had just two layers: land and roof. And most of the time all trees were hidden, just like in XCOM where trees had only trunks visible most of the time. Beside being ugly visually and ruining the whole scene look, it also made it very hard to deal with floating aliens or aliens on higher layers, since player was bound to a single layer.

Now adding ships as separate vehicles could overly complicate the game for players. IIRC, most players had problems loading troops and items on the ship in the original XCOM game. That was a rather clunky part of the game. OpenXCOM modded it a bit, allowing to pre-equip items, but people still forget to load the operatives onto the aircraft, and then find themselves on a mission with a single squaddie.

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #259 on: May 20, 2020, 04:00:14 pm »
Let me just say that I 100% love the manually switchable Z layers. They are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Terrain features getting transparent look meh and are not very comfortable to understand where things are, especially in a terrain heavy game like X-Com.

Offline NashGold

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #260 on: May 20, 2020, 08:26:02 pm »
Let me just say that I 100% love the manually switchable Z layers. They are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Terrain features getting transparent look meh and are not very comfortable to understand where things are, especially in a terrain heavy game like X-Com.
Well, in my case, there are like 64 layers (XCOM has just 4, and 9 in Apocalypse), and typical human unit is 2 layers tall. It would be incredible confusing to expose the layer system. Already in Dwarf Fortress layers are a nightmare, and I'm surprised authors decided to keep them for the commercial version.

So I've put a lot of effort to solve the problem with a large set of hacks. I don't make sprites transparent, I just cut their upper half, since transparency wont solve it.

BTW, Apocalypse had one interesting feature - units jumping over holes (that is before Quake 3 and Unreal bots, and still the only one RTS game with such feature):

Now I think resized to youtube wide screen the game looks more stylish, as opposed to the normal isometry, and the units are a bit fatter and easier to notice. And some people suggested modding Apoc to use XCOM1 pixelart graphics: https://www.deviantart.com/makus82/art/PSD-Aliens-Sprites-from-XCom-1-in-XCom-Apocalypse-804133851
« Last Edit: May 20, 2020, 08:33:43 pm by NashGold »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #261 on: May 20, 2020, 10:29:19 pm »
Well, in my case, there are like 64 layers (XCOM has just 4, and 9 in Apocalypse), and typical human unit is 2 layers tall. It would be incredible confusing to expose the layer system.

Well, that's a different story then. :)

Already in Dwarf Fortress layers are a nightmare, and I'm surprised authors decided to keep them for the commercial version.

Why not? I have many complaints about DF, but layers? What's wrong with the layers? They're perfectly fine. What's so nightmarish about them? I can't think of a better solution.

Rimworld did away with these, and it's pretty much my only gripe with this game.

So I've put a lot of effort to solve the problem with a large set of hacks. I don't make sprites transparent, I just cut their upper half, since transparency wont solve it.

That actually sounds better. :)

Offline Bobit

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #262 on: May 20, 2020, 11:10:51 pm »
Non-isometric layers as in DF are difficult to see. Isometric layers with non-rotating camera as in X-COM is fine until someone walks behind an object. Isometric with rotating camera is perfect and what every high-budget game in the genre uses. See X@COM for an example of what non-isometric layers in an XCOM-like would look like. It's not a huge deal but it's less playable.

Offline Rubber Cannonball

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #263 on: May 20, 2020, 11:45:04 pm »
Let me just say that I 100% love the manually switchable Z layers. They are both functional and aesthetically pleasing. Terrain features getting transparent look meh and are not very comfortable to understand where things are, especially in a terrain heavy game like X-Com.

Well, in my case, there are like 64 layers (XCOM has just 4, and 9 in Apocalypse), and typical human unit is 2 layers tall. It would be incredible confusing to expose the layer system.

I agree with Solarius.  In original Diablo it was a pain to see objects through terrain transparency.  And sometimes the terrain didn't go transparent when I wanted it to.  As the player, I had no recourse if the game chose not to make occluding terrain transparent.  The layer view in Openxcom is really just a cross section view shown at an isometric view angle.  Using the mouse wheel in Openxcom to quickly scroll through the layers when needed is very convenient and not too taxing on the player.  Multi-level view (Openxcom's name for the view, it's really just a 3D isometric view) could be the default mode to show all the scenery.  Actually clicking the mouse wheel button could toggle between multi-level and cross section views.  In a fixed view angle game like Openxcom, giving the player the ability to control cross section views is both important and sufficient.  Otherwise, there will times when the player will want to see an occluded yet visible area of the map (such as the ship's deck occluded by the sails) even if nothing important is there but the game prevents it.  I have yet to see a program that tries to guess what I want to do and tries to do it for me that I don't end up fighting with when I don't like its choices.

Some games avoided occlusion problems by preventing anything from being in or traversing the occluded area.   I generally dislike this approach as it ruins immersion for me.  Diablo 2 does this quite a bit but not everywhere.  It also uses transparency and fixed cross sections.

If you have ever done drafting or fabricated parts from detail drawings or blueprints, you'll likely understand my point of view even if you disagree with it.

Offline NashGold

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #264 on: May 21, 2020, 10:10:40 pm »
Isometric with rotating camera is perfect and what every high-budget game in the genre uses.
One can implement rotation even in a 2d isometric engine. IIRC Stronghold had it. You just need a rotated version of each sprite, and there will be additional 3 views, each different by 90 degrees. These would solve most of "that unit got behind that hill" problems, but wont help with a unit inside the forest. I haven't implemented the general rotation as of now (since many objects, like the ship above, don't have all angles present), but there is a site part rotation, for premade parts, during site generation. Original XCOMs had no rotation for the same reason - some parts are missing. But I really dislike the collection of stumps forests.

BTW, if you have hexagonal tiles, you can 6 angles of rotation, instead of just 4 in square based tiles. Still puzzles me why only hexagons and squares produce perfect tesselations of a 2d plane, but as they say one person's square is another person's hexagon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigner%E2%80%93Seitz_cell


Offline Yankes

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #265 on: May 21, 2020, 11:17:25 pm »
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You just need a rotated version of each sprite, and there will be additional 3 views, each different by 90 degrees.At first glance this is disadvantage, because you need do 4 times more work than normally, but there is trick, each tile can have its own rotation, this mean if you see 4 same item each can facing different direction, this mean every version can be used even if player do not rotate map, even once.

Offline Rubber Cannonball

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #266 on: May 22, 2020, 02:22:27 am »
Still puzzles me why only hexagons and squares produce perfect tesselations of a 2d plane, but as they say one person's square is another person's hexagon: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wigner%E2%80%93Seitz_cell

Equilateral triangles work if you allow for half of them to be rotated 180 degrees.  I'm not familiar with any computer game that uses them, but there are some board games that use them IIRC.  They end up being similar to the hexagons since a hexagon can be made with 6 equilateral triangles

Offline NashGold

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #267 on: May 22, 2020, 10:24:08 am »
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You just need a rotated version of each sprite, and there will be additional 3 views, each different by 90 degrees.At first glance this is disadvantage, because you need do 4 times more work than normally, but there is trick, each tile can have its own rotation, this mean if you see 4 same item each can facing different direction, this mean every version can be used even if player do not rotate map, even once.
Not really 4-times, you can mirror isometric sprites, and many sprites already have 180-rotated versions, while say trees can be reused for all directions, since they are nearly round. But rotating some locations (like that ship in TFTD) would indeed require supplying additional tiles.

Equilateral triangles work if you allow for half of them to be rotated 180 degrees.  I'm not familiar with any computer game that uses them, but there are some board games that use them IIRC.  They end up being similar to the hexagons since a hexagon can be made with 6 equilateral triangles
That wont be uniform and will create a lot of problems processing such structure. Even hexes are much trickier than squares.
« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 10:26:45 am by NashGold »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #268 on: May 22, 2020, 11:58:27 am »
The problem with rotation is that you need to have 4 walls, not just 2 like X-Com does...

Offline NashGold

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #269 on: May 22, 2020, 09:11:06 pm »
The problem with rotation is that you need to have 4 walls, not just 2 like X-Com does...
Yeah. In case of OXC you will have to swap walls between the map cells. That is tricky, but possible.

2d Sim City games also had map rotation, but the Sims haven't got it. Although the Sims had 2-layer buildings and some tricky occlusion code to expose buildings interiors properly. The Sims also had stairs object.

As a side note, there was a crazy Warcraft 2 clone RTS, which had building interiors (with removable roof) as a gimmick:

« Last Edit: May 22, 2020, 09:17:19 pm by NashGold »