Author Topic: Feasibility Question - Stargate mod  (Read 1700 times)

Offline Chiron

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Feasibility Question - Stargate mod
« on: November 19, 2020, 09:46:07 pm »
One thing thats always appealed to me is the prospect of a Stargate game via the X-Com engine and I was wondering how feasible that would be and how you'd get started.

The idea is that you'd have the geoscape and then portal onto random maps (probably similar to Cydonia mechanically) to represent gate journeys. Terror missions would be essentially Gould terror strikes or infilitration missions.

No idea how to actually do it but given we've all got extra time on our hands...

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Feasibility Question - Stargate mod
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2020, 10:43:31 pm »
For a long time I thought it would be nice to have the "go to Cydonia" button unhardcoded, so you could make your custom "go-to" buttons for special missions off the globe.

I suppose this is somewhat related, since it would allow your stargates too.

Offline Meridian

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Re: Feasibility Question - Stargate mod
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2020, 10:49:20 pm »
Doable. Make a proposal how should it work and look.

Offline The Martian

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Re: Feasibility Question - Stargate mod
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2020, 06:23:36 am »
Doable. Make a proposal how should it work and look.

If possible what I would like to see is aside from the "Cancel" and Cydonia" (Or T'Leth") buttons there would also be the potential for several additional buttons to appear on the "Select Destination" menu.

These would only be displayed if the craft selected had a crafts: compatibleSpecialMissions: variable assigned to it that matched the special mission. Like how "spacecraft: true" is currently used except more like a list of potential compatible missions.

Code: [Select]
crafts:
  - type: STR_AVENGER
    compatibleSpecialMissions:
      - STR_MISSION_CYDONIA
      - STR_MISSION_TLETH
      - STR_MISSION_Some_other_special_mission_A
      - STR_MISSION_Some_other_special_mission_B

Each mission button is displayed on the "Select Destination" menu only so long as the craft has the mission listed in its compatibleSpecialMissions: list and that special mission's required research/etc has been already unlocked by the player.

That would allow for several different special mission options at once who's availability to the player could be unlocked in any order or combination.

Here is a mockup of what that would look like: (The background used is from the excellent X-Pirates mod by Dioxine)
Spoiler:




Alternatively just the ability to change the text for the "Cydonia" button and which mission it is assigned to at that moment depending on the player's currently unlocked research/etc would allow for different special missions depending on their position in the mod's story arc.

However, as there could be only one "Cydonia" button in this second example mod creators would need to be careful that only one possible "Select Destination" special mission was available at any time.
« Last Edit: November 20, 2020, 07:05:51 am by The Martian »

Offline Meridian

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Re: Feasibility Question - Stargate mod
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2020, 11:20:15 am »
That mockup is unusable.

1/ takes the whole screen... even if the mod may only have a few special missions

2/ the buttons are tiny and cannot display anything else than a single word (up to 8 letters)... how do you want to display "Visit planet MX-3457-A, Goauld outpost #7" in German?

3/ doesn't consider that megamods will have 100+ special missions and buttons just won't fit... or the above stargate mod, which would practically have only such missions and nothing else

Also:

4/ missions don't have any research unlocks (Cydonia unlock is practically hardcoded); all other missions have only mission scripts, which can't be used here

Offline Finnik

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Re: Feasibility Question - Stargate mod
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2020, 11:33:37 am »
What about a dropdown list, confirm, and cancel button. And I think the info button too, would lead to the alert state of deployment that we choose from the dropdown list

Offline Solarius Scorch

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Re: Feasibility Question - Stargate mod
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2020, 12:25:04 pm »
Indeed the buttons should be bigger and scrollable. Still, I think it's fine if the menu takes up the whole screen, else it would be hard to make it, well scrollable enough (if there are dozens of items). I'm bad with UIs though, so whatever; but I think a separate screen would be the right path, as opposed to cluttering the Geoscape on craft launch.

Within that screen, a filter would be nice, so you could choose between only deep space locations, only extradimensional locations and your grandma's house; but that's for a hypothetical insane mod focusing on portal travel.

As mentioned by the Martian, this list shuld be dynamic. The most obvious criteria (because vanilla) are craft and research. What else could be important is beyond me at the moment. Date? Weekday (church on Sunday)? Moon phase (magical travel)? Race/rank (wizard or astronavigator needed)? Crew size (6 people must hold hands and sing "Ring around the Rosie")? Materials (sacrifice 666 goats to Satan to gain passage)? It all depends on the mod concept...

Offline Yankes

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Re: Feasibility Question - Stargate mod
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2020, 01:24:26 pm »
I think it should be: base functions, crafts, research. For more detailed conditions probably script should handle it.

Offline Chiron

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Re: Feasibility Question - Stargate mod
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2020, 10:50:01 pm »
Doable. Make a proposal how should it work and look.

This is the broad strokes of what I would imagine the game would consist of, I can try and mock up a screen but something similar to whats been posted, just much less options.


Essentially you'd have Planet of the Week missions which are random, from there research and then ultimately two, maybe three end goal planets to defeat the G'ould

Offline The Martian

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Re: Feasibility Question - Stargate mod
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2020, 05:51:41 am »
That mockup is unusable.

I was thinking the menu with the new buttons could dynamically shrink or grow depending on how many were currently available to the player... but you are right that kind of looks messy.


How about something more like this instead then?

Below the normal "Select Destination" menu a second window appears if there are any defined "Special Missions" available to the player that the selected craft can be used for.

There can be an infinite number of these which are toggled between using a scroll bar if they exceed the number currently displayed on screen.

In the below mock ups only 3 are displayed at once, but a large window with more buttons displayed at a time would most likely be more practical.


Here is a version with each "Special Mission" as a button which when clicked launches the mission.
Spoiler:

Here is a version with each "Special Mission" displaying the missions name with a mission launch button beside it.
Spoiler:

If you create something more like the second version of this it may be a good idea to also make the word on the button configurable as well so that it can better suit the style of whatever mod is being created.

For example Chiron's Stargate mod may use DIAL instead of SELECT to reference the Stargate's address activation for portal travel.
Spoiler:

Alternatively the launch mission button could be reduced in size to maximize the available space for each "Special Mission" name's text like so:
Spoiler:

4/ missions don't have any research unlocks (Cydonia unlock is practically hardcoded); all other missions have only mission scripts, which can't be used here
but I think a separate screen would be the right path, as opposed to cluttering the Geoscape on craft launch.

I agree that trying to hook this onto the "Select Destination - Cydonia" screen may cause unintentional frustration for the player and if I understand what Meridian is saying it sounds like altering the Cydonia button itself may not be the best method to achieve multiple "Non-Geoscape Special Missions".

If not from the "Select Destination" screen where would you want an "Available Non-Geoscape Missions" type menu to be accessed from?


I think it should be: base functions, crafts, research. For more detailed conditions probably script should handle it.

Base functions requirements for "Special Missions" would probably be very useful for Chiron's Stargate mod as it would help code off world travel so that it could only be able to occur from any X-Com(Or SGC in this case) base(s) with a functional Stargate.
« Last Edit: November 21, 2020, 06:04:34 am by The Martian »