Author Topic: The X-Com Files Operations Manual  (Read 1033 times)

Offline dptheog

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The X-Com Files Operations Manual
« on: December 30, 2019, 07:45:30 am »
I was amused to make an Ops Manual for The X-Com Files, v1.1.2 with some modifications by me.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/gld7lr465mmcwt3/x-com-operations-manual.txt

The mods by me include such things as the starting date (I made it X-Com's original game release date), dog vision (real-life dogs can see in the dark pretty well, daytime not so much), and other things for balance or removing spoilers like how UFO detection from HQ or Intel labs is 0%.  Many mentions in the manual are just how I play the game.

Enjoy!  LOL Step 6 ...

Offline dptheog

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Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files Operations Manual
« Reply #2 on: January 03, 2020, 08:26:07 pm »
Man, this is brilliant. If you happen to write more, I'll run to read it!

Offline dptheog

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Re: The X-Com Files Operations Manual
« Reply #3 on: April 03, 2020, 09:42:22 am »
Man, this is brilliant. If you happen to write more, I'll run to read it!

Hmmwell, I have been rewriting many entries for my own version of the en-US.yml descriptions file, up to v1.3.1 now, if you want to take a peek.  It usually takes me about half a day, casually, to merge my changes back in whenever there's an update you made which I want to grab.  I like to put a standard comment on all my own changes to identify them as my own desc, for that reason.

Here's a few snippets:

Spoiler:
  STR_SMALL_RADAR_SYSTEM: "UFO Detector" #modded, added
  STR_SMALL_RADAR_SYSTEM_UFOPEDIA: "Using the basis for the UFO detector found in the Alien Communicators, a larger version was built.  It reaches a few hundred nautical miles and will do a sweep for UFOs every 30 minutes.{NEWLINE}Most of the research was trying to figure out how large the facility could be and still get as much theoretical detection as possible, a challenge due to waveform deformation and a second problem: This detector technology is inherently noisy, Commander, so the use of it could give the position of the base doing the detecting away, potentially." #modded, added

Spoiler:
  STR_IONIZER_UFOPEDIA: "If there weren't so many of this weapon on the field, we'd think this huge piece of junk was a prototype.  Its governor firmware, needed so this autofire-only weapon doesn't melt in the hands of the operator, has extensive comments and inactive subroutines.  From that, we figured the weapon wants to grow up someday to be a fearsome anti-machine ion cannon, but all it does right now is spew photons and cause encumbrance issues.  It is powered by a Cyberweb Battery." #modded

Spoiler:
  STR_BOLT_ACTION_CLIP: ".30 Cal M1 Ammo" #modded
  STR_BOLT_ACTION_BUY: "M1 Garand Acquisition" #modded
  STR_BOLT_ACTION: "M1 Garand" #modded
  STR_BOLT_ACTION_UFOPEDIA: "A rifle employed by the US Army in WW2 and the Korean War.  Its clip holds eight .30-06 rounds and the rifle is semi-automatic.  Famous for its 'ping' sound when the clip comes out, the M1 is also infamous for causing 'Garand-Thumb' so be sure to count the rounds you fire.  Very reliable, the M1 is deadly with enough patience.{NEWLINE}Securing M1's from Turkey where they all seem to be these days, is trivial but requires Promotion I, Commander." #modded

I also modified the number of rounds for that rifle (five->eight).  The graphic looks just like an M1 and I just couldn't resist throwing this classic weapon into the mod. ;)

« Last Edit: April 03, 2020, 09:54:10 am by dptheog »

Offline Nikita_Sadkov

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Re: The X-Com Files Operations Manual
« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2020, 06:50:27 pm »
Unfortunately dropbox has no linewrap and to download a txt file you need to have an account. Maybe you can re-upload it to a better site or attach to your top post?

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files Operations Manual
« Reply #5 on: April 03, 2020, 08:38:24 pm »
I really like these. In fact, I'm considering actually using them in some form. Would you be OK with that, dptheog?

Offline dptheog

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Re: The X-Com Files Operations Manual
« Reply #6 on: April 04, 2020, 02:12:07 am »
I really like these. In fact, I'm considering actually using them in some form. Would you be OK with that, dptheog?

Why sure.  Many of them are simply minor edits to the grammar or to remove some spoiler I thought was there like,
Spoiler:
psionics references in dossiers when psi-tech wasn't a prerequisite,
or to explain established plot rationale more, like,
Spoiler:
why the ZSRR Red Dawn grunts are so eager to perform for their masters, as listed in STR_ZSRR_BIO_ENHANCEMENT_UFOPEDIA.
Attached is my version.  Many descs imply another modification done elsewhere, like,
Spoiler:
how I removed the turn limit on crop circles missions.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2020, 07:10:00 am by dptheog »

Offline dptheog

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Re: The X-Com Files Operations Manual
« Reply #7 on: April 04, 2020, 02:18:04 am »
Unfortunately dropbox has no linewrap and to download a txt file you need to have an account. Maybe you can re-upload it to a better site or attach to your top post?

To download a text file in Dropbox without an account, do the following:

1. click on the text
2. Ctrl-A to select all
3. Ctrl-C to copy
4. Go to your word processor of choice and Ctrl-V

While yes, I could have attached the file or uploaded elsewhere, these factors led me to upload a DropBox link:

a) I reasoned many people do actually have DropBox accounts, and
b) in this case, unlike the YML file I did attach later in this thread, I reserved the ability to dynamically update my stuff after posting.  Since my original post, I have done several edits already; the difference between what is good writing and what is great writing, is the number of revisions, somebody once told me.  Doing edits of existing content also helps me to think of doing more content on the same subject.  Finally,
c) logistically I'm unaware of other sites (you didn't recommend one) which do not require an account to view dynamically changing content.  I understand how you didn't expect it to dynamically change.

Did two more edits today on the Ops Manual since I was thinking more about writing on The X-Com Files.  Those particular gears start turning every few months or so.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2020, 01:17:02 pm by dptheog »

Offline dptheog

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Re: The X-Com Files Operations Manual
« Reply #8 on: April 04, 2020, 02:35:13 pm »
For a sneak-peek, the story I'm thinking of spawned from this edit to the X-Com Ops Manual in the top post:

1. Never work alone.  If you are the last one standing, secure your wounded mates and abort mission.  X-Com will never expect agents to work alone.  The most frequently requested guidance on this directive is answered as follows:
       Q. I'm an interceptor pilot and my wing-men are shot down.  What if the bogie is severely damaged?  I really want to blow this thing away for the sake of my wing-men!
       A. Aborting an interception mission is at the remaining pilot's own discretion.  You are encouraged to weigh carefully the visual condition of your target versus the condition of your craft including armor and ammo, especially if you are dealing with a target of unknown configuration.
       Q. What if my squad was small for my mission?
       A. Consider aborting.  The mission may continue if there were only two or three agents on the field to begin with, and in those cases the decision to abort is left to the remaining agent's discretion.  HQ will not penalize for aborting anytime there is one agent standing in a mission, because even a small team is greater than the sum of its parts.
       Q. My team is just me and an auxiliary unit.  Should I leave because my dog is down?  Do I have to mount a rescue?
       A. Auxiliary units like dogs do count for the purposes of agent count, so two-agent missions can thus be conducted with one human agent and an auxiliary unit.  As for rescue of an injured dog, this is a topic of ongoing debate within HQ.  Dogs have brains, too, and while they are too difficult to interrogate in most circumstances (we certainly can't), their brains do nevertheless contain data on the location of your base; HQ's resident cynologist has advised that dogs do always know where "home" is.  For now, you are advised that dogs do not count for purposes of mounting rescue operations, but that agents will be briefed on any possible exceptions to this guidance, just in case we all end up dealing with an enemy who could conceivably mine a canine's brain for location data.  X-Com dogs otherwise do provide key tactical advantages to agents on the field, and the loss of all dogs assigned to a team on a mission is a major one; some missions, notably night missions, your CA advises are "much more difficult without the aid of our canine auxiliaries."  For guidance on the effective utilization of dogs, see rule #7e concerning dog-equipped team tactics.

"Cynologist" is such a cool word.  I can't wait to use it more.  Here's some more coolness about real-life dogs, a minor plot-spoiler in what I'm thinking of: 
https://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/09/dog-makes-500-mile-journey-home/
https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071108140336.htm
https://www.businessinsider.com/these-images-of-dogs-diving-underwater-are-terrifying-and-bewitching-2012-2
https://wagwalking.com/sense/can-a-dog-smell-underwater

This content does also imply some adjustments I made to the units file for my game, concerning dogs and how well they can see in various circumstances.  Dogs trained to track things underwater by scent?  Sometimes real life is more magical than fiction.
« Last Edit: April 04, 2020, 03:08:02 pm by dptheog »

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: The X-Com Files Operations Manual
« Reply #9 on: April 08, 2020, 07:39:15 pm »
Thanks, and sorry for the delay.
When I have time, I'll have a look and cherry-pick what I like!

BTW I would really recommend writing a sub-mod... Then you could only have new or altered strings, not the entire 840 KB of junk.