Author Topic: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game  (Read 12500 times)

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #105 on: October 18, 2019, 08:47:14 pm »
Currently my code generates dungeons of hierarchical topology. Such dungeons are a bit boring: enemy can't  surprise you by approaching from behind. Basically they would feel too safe. Regarding loops in dungeons: naturally human made buildings usually have hierarchical topology, so we actually need a good excuse to introduce loops: say have both stairs and a lift to reach higher floor: that  way if player secured the 1st floor, but have chosen stairs to reach 2nd floor, aliens could use lift to descend to the first floor left unsecured.

Badly placed loops stand out in the architecture. Diablo had a lot of them, but they usually created passable loops, appearing more like alternative way to reach the room. Then again, Diablo's dungeon is a cursed ruined cathedral. But, for example, Chocobo Dungeon generator produces some really nasty out of place loops, which would likely annoy player. Here a path splits before both forks entering the same room:


Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #106 on: October 19, 2019, 08:55:47 pm »
Speaking of lost opportunities:
http://journal.stuffwithstuff.com/2014/12/21/rooms-and-mazes/

That guy got pretty unorthodox idea of generating dungeons, but then he botched it by pruning out the maze part, and levels lost the iconic look :( Better idea would be creating some gameplay around that maze-room concept, where say player sees entire maze and is given limited time to pick the passage to next room, or when picking passage leads to blocking it to the competing player, while botch players must navigate to goal (maybe to each other start loations). Each maze passage could have some specific bonus. But yeah, that would be completely different real-time action game, not tactics or roguelike, but I'm sure one can turn it into an instant smartphone hit  :'(


« Last Edit: October 19, 2019, 08:58:42 pm by Nikita_Sadkov »

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #107 on: October 21, 2019, 12:41:25 am »
It appears Daggerfall dungeons are not completely random, but made out of big pre-generated blocks (i.e. like in XCOM)
http://www.gamesas.com/just-how-random-daggerfall-t27043.html
Quote
The dungeons are built of "blocks", with any dungeon having about 3, with as much as 5 or 6 and as little as just 1. The blocks are HUGE, though, so if you enter a block you have done a lot before, then you have a pretty big area that will feel familiar. That said, the blocks are big, twisted, and crazy, so just because you've been to that block before doesn't mean you're going to know the route by heart. It takes quite a while before the same block gets old--besides, the monsters and loot always change. Learning a block only makes it easier to navigate, which can be a good thing.

Some blocks are very recognizable; for instance, the whole of Privateer's Hold shows up sometimes, Others, such as those with very large central chambers are easier to learn. But there are quite a few blocks that consist of nothing but maze, and I'm convinced you can't learn those. Ever.
https://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Dungeons
Quote
a dungeon consists of up to 32 blocks, each of which may be connected to any (or all) of the four cardinally adjacent blocks since there are two connecting passages in each of the four cardinal directions, and thusly there are eight paths leading out of each block. While most dungeons may appear to be a random conglomerate of different modules, they were hard-coded in the release media and thus are never-changing. These were most likely generated via a pseudo-random program of some type, but Main Quest dungeons are an exception, because these were all hand-crafted.

While Main Quest dungeons may be the biggest dungeons in the game, it has been commented by some that even the least of the random dungeons are logically too large for the majority of quests. It has also been voiced that because the number of blocks in the source material is limited, most dungeons lack diversity/variance and hence all dungeons tend to look like each other.

Dungeons are built from blocks by assembling them together side-by-side on a 2D grid. Of these blocks there are two types of blocks: internal and border.

Internal blocks
    These provide the meat of the dungeon where most rooms and corridors are placed. Every internal dungeon block has two door openings in each one of its fours sides, one above the other. Each door opening is used to link to a nearby internal block or to an external block.
Border blocks
    These are used when it is necessary to close the side of an internal block. These are primarily composed of a single corridor which reflexively leads back to the same block of their origin. These are most often used to seal a dungeon's peripheral blocks, but could be used to create isolated areas within a dungeon. Border blocks do not contain any quest locations.

Cities are generated using exactly the same grid algorithm as XCOM uses.

So Daggerfall's dungeon generator doesn't handle Z dimension at all.


« Last Edit: October 21, 2019, 12:59:29 am by Nikita_Sadkov »

Online Solarius Scorch

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #108 on: October 21, 2019, 02:21:15 am »
I always enjoy reading your "blog" here. It's pretty interesting!

Offline Precentor Apollyon

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #109 on: October 21, 2019, 05:39:34 pm »
It appears Daggerfall dungeons are not completely random, but made out of big pre-generated blocks (i.e. like in XCOM)
http://www.gamesas.com/just-how-random-daggerfall-t27043.htmlhttps://en.uesp.net/wiki/Daggerfall:Dungeons
Cities are generated using exactly the same grid algorithm as XCOM uses.

So Daggerfall's dungeon generator doesn't handle Z dimension at all.




So you do daggarfall modding eh? Nice! I do Skyrim modding before I started this ufo project. What I did, I add Caravan masters and Merc Captains in Tavern where you can escort Caravan across Skyrim.  Also I have 5000+ spawn points with a script that generate random monsters all over the map. So, every trip from one town to another with a Caravan.. is a hellish fun experience..

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #110 on: October 22, 2019, 02:21:36 am »
So you do daggarfall modding eh? Nice! I do Skyrim modding before I started this ufo project. What I did, I add Caravan masters and Merc Captains in Tavern where you can escort Caravan across Skyrim.  Also I have 5000+ spawn points with a script that generate random monsters all over the map. So, every trip from one town to another with a Caravan.. is a hellish fun experience..
Nope. I'm not a modder guy. Just researching prior art, hoping to get few nifty ideas. But in most cases people use what works for them. I.e. in Daggefall they had level actual human designers, so it was a good idea to create many big human-crafted parts, than creating more sophisticated generator, which is really hard to do and would be much slower than loading parts from disk. But yeah, creating a full featured random generator for Skyrim/Morrowind/Oblivion would be possible, although a bit on the harder side. Then again, people managed to add even multiplayer to these games.


Anyway, I've integrated the initial generator into the game. The approach I use would allow unlimited number of Z-levels on the same map - I can layer them as much as I want. It could also be used to generate cities and villages, if I specify more constraints, like city streets and building coming out onto them. That should be good enough for a simple indie game, but proper world generator for an AAA game will need an AI-based algorithm working from actual statistical data for real world cities, forest distribution and vegetation.



Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #111 on: October 23, 2019, 02:30:50 am »
Original XCOM was very efficient in its use of map cells, where each map element contains walls and ceiling. Dwarf Fortress uses similar format, where map cell has floor attached. Early on I decided to go full voxel approach, but in addition making character height 2 cells, so sprites won't look squashed/superdeformed and get somewhat realistic look, so instead of 1 cell, have to use 3. Yet some characters could have 1-cell height and fit inside 1-height passages, while other characters have height of 3 and need some area. Yet there is 1/2 cell height support for stuff like low-angle sloped terrain, which I added, because 45 degree roof looks stupid on larger buildings. That greatly complicates everything, especially when flying creatures get involved. Map generation is no exception, and I still get few occluding tiles improperly cut, due to difference in ceiling, used for heuristics.

Guess my current approach to 3d cursor movement appear to be wrong and people fail to grasp it. Better idea would be to make cursor move akin to ingame creature, so it wont cut through terrain, but jump on top of it. That would complicate cutting tunnels or casting spells inside solid terrain, but that feature wont be used that much, and it could be implemented as special mode. The other problem is quickly getting cursor back inside building, when it is not anchored to specific floor level.


Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #112 on: October 24, 2019, 03:18:40 am »
Improved the 3d cursor movement, which appeared to be the most confusing part about my game to other people (and even myself):


Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #113 on: October 27, 2019, 02:28:04 am »
Another seemingly easy subject is battle resolution. Well, it is easy in simpler games, like Final Fantasy, but not in XCOM-style games, where you can leave site, without recovering all characters and/or items, or recovering part of them. So there can be no precise victory condition, where you need to just recover that specific alien technology or a specimen, and then retreat. I decided to break player forces into mercenaries and leaders, so player can retreat at any time when his/her all leaders are at the map's edge, or when he defeated all enemy leaders, or when he/she has cast the Spell of Mastery for that specific site. If some of the leaders are not at the edge, they will be lost, but all mercenary units will retreat by themselves. There is a catch to that: player must have at least one leader, otherwise it is an instant defeat (yeah, leaders are akin to lives in arcade games), but leaders require constant upkeep, while mercenaries require larger payment for each battle. Trying to cast the spell of mastery instantly reveals all player leaders to the enemy, and frees AI to use all his many units at once against the player.

Obviously not all sites allow casting the Spell of Mastery, and not all dungeons have leaders. In some cases player just have to recover the quest item or plunder some gold. And if player say starts with a thief, it can gain some quick money by getting inside dungeons, around the guards to reach treasury room, or maybe rescuing some prisoners taken by orcs. I.e. that exact mechanics from the preview demo.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2019, 02:29:52 am by Nikita_Sadkov »

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #114 on: November 08, 2019, 03:20:16 am »
The idea with moving all player units to the exit squares/map-border was flawed. It is just boring and not really that tactical. So the new approach is allowing player to leave with all units or specific units, which were out of enemy sight for a few turns and have full movement points. For now the idea is that most sites are heavily overpowered and player has no resources to deal with all enemies, so his objective is quickly complete the objective and leave the site (i.e. retrieve the spell scroll wit the the new spell). Although quest items should be first given to the leader, before leaving the site. That would force the player to somehow get out of the heavily patrolled dungeon or risk losing his leaders.

Currently I don't have unconsciousness status, so there is no problem with resolving such units.

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #115 on: November 09, 2019, 03:49:22 am »
One thing I disliked about the original XCOM is its basebuilding centered world map. There is no sense of adventure and the number of possible scenarios is rather limited. I.e. you can't re-enact say Lords of the Rings scenario in XCOM engine. Player just boringly waits for the next alien event to happen, without doing any exploring or guiding the game somehow. XCOM Apocalypse tried to fix it (Phoenix Point addresses it even further), allowing player to visit sites on demand and say raid internal city enemies, like Cult of Sirius. That works with XCOM setting, but not enough for a fantasy like game. Good example of turn based fantasy game would be heroes of might & magic series, which has fog of war for global map and strucutures, like lookout tower and eye of magi gradually uncovering it, yet allowing player to decide where to go next, depending on his/her strategy. XCOM unfortunately missing that, and its research tree is a rather linear - you just go for laser rifles, ignoring everything else. But yeah, for XCOM world map was rather bolted on. I.e. no need to secure some unobtanium mine or raiding opposing camp psy-labs for that mind control tech.

Offline Precentor Apollyon

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #116 on: November 10, 2019, 06:58:59 am »
I have done some experimentation of a fantasy/ Historical type sea battle.

This is a ship from Nord's Chronicle mod. Unused. I have modify it. Now it is a sea sailing ship. In a fantasy mod or historical mod, imagine having two ship side by side and you fight a deck to deck sea battle using swords and shields.


Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #117 on: November 11, 2019, 02:48:10 am »
I have done some experimentation of a fantasy/ Historical type sea battle.

This is a ship from Nord's Chronicle mod. Unused. I have modify it. Now it is a sea sailing ship. In a fantasy mod or historical mod, imagine having two ship side by side and you fight a deck to deck sea battle using swords and shields.
Wont be really that exciting, because the map is a bit too small. Also, with terraforming spell, ship made out of would could get destroyed. But yeah, one can probably have enchanted ships. For me there would also be problem of implementing retreating, because usual rules of moving away from enemy, possibly sacrificing some units, wont work. But for pirate style campaigns ships battles are indeed a must. And you can make whole XCOM style game around pirates. For a fantasy game one can think of flying ships, flying island, flying castles or say flying turtle, like in Discworld. But flying island map would require bottomless pits below, so units flown away by say tornado or dragon wings would fall down properly. I.e. all these are advanced features requiring a lot of coding and playtesting, turning already large project into a non-ending one.


Offline Precentor Apollyon

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #118 on: November 11, 2019, 10:07:45 am »
Wont be really that exciting, because the map is a bit too small. Also, with terraforming spell, ship made out of would could get destroyed. But yeah, one can probably have enchanted ships. For me there would also be problem of implementing retreating, because usual rules of moving away from enemy, possibly sacrificing some units, wont work. But for pirate style campaigns ships battles are indeed a must. And you can make whole XCOM style game around pirates. For a fantasy game one can think of flying ships, flying island, flying castles or say flying turtle, like in Discworld. But flying island map would require bottomless pits below, so units flown away by say tornado or dragon wings would fall down properly. I.e. all these are advanced features requiring a lot of coding and playtesting, turning already large project into a non-ending one.



The map size can be modified in Aliendeployment and also with mapscript. I have yet to find a way to make the enemy ship or ufo to lash next to the players ship. Perhaps a future modder want to take on that challenge with consultation with ohartenstien23. I am just throwing ideas around. Ship made out of wood can get easily destroyed. This is the whole point of the game in Battlescape. Trying to kill the opponent before your ship is destroyed. You have to board and kill your opponents, capture their ship and gold. Then, sell off survivors as slaves or recruit as your crew. You have turrets as cannons with sailor firing out from ports and holes on the ship. The cannons can blast holes and kill your sailors. This is what's historical 17th century pirate vs galleon is like. You don't have to play as a pirate, you can be a privateer, a govt establishing order in the sea.

My interest in this is purely historical, not fantasy. If a mod like this is only historical, the only coding needed I am foreseeing is having craft bounded to sea terrain texture. However, if you are using TFTD as a base to mod off, no extra coding needed... maybe because ufo can go on land. Anyway, your base instead of underground it will be towns. With mapscript and verticallevels, that can be done easily. Sea battles would have no interception like Aircraft vs ufo, it is straight into battlescape battle. You can use missionscript and alienmissions to generate towns that's alienbase. Using region coordinates to make sure they are spawn at the right place in the globe, like port royal and these towns can send ships to patrol the seven seas and also attack your base.

If I am not doing my current mod now, I might be interested in giving this a head start. Unfortunately, one can only drink so much water..

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: XCOM Inspired Fantasy Game
« Reply #119 on: November 13, 2019, 03:50:33 am »
Sea battles would have no interception like Aircraft vs ufo, it is straight into battlescape battle.
Why not use some interception mechanics? It fits nice with pirate theme. Traditionally pirates damaged sail of the vessel they attacked, and then boarded it. There was special ammunition to destroy sails: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chain_shot

So I imagine you could have two kinds of cannons: one sinking ships, and other taking them down. That maps 1-to-1 into the original XCOM mechanics.

But yeah, you will need swords and muskets instead of laser rifles.