aliens

Author Topic: Ideas, although this is probably more for my benefit...  (Read 726 times)

Offline madcas

  • Squaddie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Ideas, although this is probably more for my benefit...
« on: June 02, 2021, 06:14:22 am »
So when I took screen grabs in the late 90's and hashed up some hybrid weapon bitmaps I thought were cool I never imagined the possibilities we have now, and now my brain has cracked its bio (bone?) dome with ideas that are leaking (spraying) out so I'm going to relieve some pressure here.

As per my intro post, there will not be much new I can bring to the table at this point, but everyone has their specific preference so will post my ideas and reasoning here anyway! Sorry if its already done to death and a tedious read for you old hands, but its probably you guys I need to read it!

So feel free to say 'ya, that has been done in this mod' or 'no, you can't do that without altering the entire structure of the coding' etc etc. I have seen some mods comprising some of these elements but please feel free to quote section and post a link or three, this will be useful to me as I may get round to hashing a mod up (not a programmer so will use existing mods and some 'copy and paste' technique   ;D )


-My Original late 90's concepts for smg/autopistol type versions of the auto rifle and plasma rifle
-As above but sniper rifle

-Now have more ideas for weapon variants but
1) not too many. if they do not serve a purpose then they are just aesthetic clutter, which although variety is great and you can pick a favorite for looks (like having AK-74/M16/FAMAS/Steyr AUG etc etc they are basically all serving a similar purpose and I don't think that style suits this game (shame as I am like a walking janes encyclopedia of firearms but save that for a game like 'wages of war - business of battle')

2) keep the look. The original game graphics are nice, keep all my mods similar looking to the original weapons, saves time and I just like the idea of it looking 'factory standard'  even if its modified!

-Melee!
One of the things I thought you could actually do when I first played the game was at least hit an alien with the rifle, and was suprised when I couldn't smack that sectoid down, given the game mechanic for a melee attack seemed to be there (also I think I remember seeing it listed as an attack from a post production/beta screenshot in a magazine? dunno why they would take that out) And why not be able bash them with fists? with more stun damage than HP. Be pretty effective on sectoids, or that d**k civilian that stands in the doorway you need to get through...
  I Also like the idea of a combat knife and an alien blade, perhaps a baton but again, not too much. I thought the melee weapons in TFTD were great, although all seem to turn up at once so don't bother using the vibroblade or thermic lance for more than a mission or 2 if any.

-Ability to use alien species
I'm sure I played a 2 player hack on my friends and his brothers PC where you could play as the aliens vs. someone else, remember it being hard to set up, limited and quite unstable.
  The ability to add a captured alien (implant, M/C or just stockholm syndrome from too long in the alien containment?) to your team might be fun. Probably more a very late in the game thing. As well as to be able to take sectopod or cyberdisc corpses and rebuild them, and use them.

-Ability to use captured alien UFO
Not 100% on this idea, but will add it in anyway. Why cut it up for scrap when you could just use it? Although landing in a battleship to take out a small scout possibly a bit silly.. Might as well just land ON it. Also where to park that behemoth? But I was thinking more the smaller stuff (This has almost certainly been discussed on here before, please linky me if you know a thread)

-Inventory screen for aliens
Yes, the actual image of the alien type not just a generic soldier image! someone must have made that mod?

-Armour for aliens
Creatively inspired by some fan stories I found on the web way back when,
I did some artwork (pencil and paper) that I wish I could find now, one picture was a sectoid with a smoking plasma pistol and wearing armour (looked like an alien kinda motorcross vest with shoulder pads  8) ) and the other a crashed shot down ufo (classic featureless disc) with an injured sectoid also in armour hiding behind a tree and an xcom squad aproaching with guns up.
  Should show on batlescape and inventory screen.

-New classes of aliens, with new looks?
I remember my friend referring to the last 2 guards in cydonia as 'ethereal elite' - I liked this and said they should have different colour robes. Thinking about it now, the mutons and floaters have suits/capes as well that could change. Again, not too many, not too complex, 'squad leader' like TFTD could work well.

As I side note I love the waspite design, brings sense and validity to the cover art!

-Alien loadouts
*generally* being suited to type would make sense. (but not always, random variety and odd situations arising from it are what makes a game interesting)

-Alien AI
OMG they are so dumb. Panicked/recovered aliens will use grenades they are carrying but never pick up thier dropped (or any other) weapon off the floor? And they don't seem to ever work as a team, if they do, it feels coincidental.

-Custom maps
 Not really major new stuff, just some different layout buildings, mix urban/farmland/tropical/desert/mountain/snow up a bit more to give a bit more variety (keep regional relevancy?) civs in ufo assault/crash recovery missions now and then.

-Player created maps you could add that do not change/randomise, if approved and not silly/far fetched could be added into a maps database for general gameplay and/or some kind of 'one off skirmish' or multiplayer skirmish mode?

-CD32 music and sounds
The CD32 music (especially interception screen) and general sounds were way better than the PC ver IMO. Dunno how one would go about this though.

That's enough for now, if by fluke or miracle I hit on a new idea (doubtful, I know there are similar mods for a lot of it already) and anyone thinks any of these warrant their own thread either just do it or let me know and I'll do it.

Cas

Offline Solarius Scorch

  • Global Moderator
  • Commander
  • *****
  • Posts: 10206
  • WE MUST DISSENT
    • View Profile
    • Nocturmal Productions modding studio website
Re: Ideas, although this is probably more for my benefit...
« Reply #1 on: June 03, 2021, 01:21:11 pm »
Welcome, fellow veteran!

I browsed through your list an it appears that pretty much all of it is possible now, and some were even already implemented.

-My Original late 90's concepts for smg/autopistol type versions of the auto rifle and plasma rifle
-As above but sniper rifle

Both concepts are extremely prevalent in mods. The sniper rifle by toshiaki2115 is one of the earliest OXC mods, and the same goes for Ryskeliini's SMG.

-Now have more ideas for weapon variants but
1) not too many. if they do not serve a purpose then they are just aesthetic clutter, which although variety is great and you can pick a favorite for looks (like having AK-74/M16/FAMAS/Steyr AUG etc etc they are basically all serving a similar purpose and I don't think that style suits this game (shame as I am like a walking janes encyclopedia of firearms but save that for a game like 'wages of war - business of battle')

Several mods added these guns, including my own The X-Com Files. (Whether they're distinct enough is a matter of debate... But at least there's a debate.)

-Melee!
One of the things I thought you could actually do when I first played the game was at least hit an alien with the rifle, and was suprised when I couldn't smack that sectoid down, given the game mechanic for a melee attack seemed to be there (also I think I remember seeing it listed as an attack from a post production/beta screenshot in a magazine? dunno why they would take that out) And why not be able bash them with fists? with more stun damage than HP. Be pretty effective on sectoids, or that d**k civilian that stands in the doorway you need to get through...
  I Also like the idea of a combat knife and an alien blade, perhaps a baton but again, not too much. I thought the melee weapons in TFTD were great, although all seem to turn up at once so don't bother using the vibroblade or thermic lance for more than a mission or 2 if any.

Melee attack on a shooting weapon? No problem, it's a simple ruleset addition. There's a vanilla mod for vanilla weapons, and any modded weapons can be given a make melee attack.
Fist attacks? Oh yeah, that's what I've wanted since the 90's as well! Now also possible, but you need the OXCE fork. Some mods already have fist (empty-handed) attacks, including for example X-Piratez and mine of course.

-Ability to use alien species
I'm sure I played a 2 player hack on my friends and his brothers PC where you could play as the aliens vs. someone else, remember it being hard to set up, limited and quite unstable.
  The ability to add a captured alien (implant, M/C or just stockholm syndrome from too long in the alien containment?) to your team might be fun. Probably more a very late in the game thing. As well as to be able to take sectopod or cyberdisc corpses and rebuild them, and use them.

I legitimately can't think of a mod which would do so on a significant scale (beyond some experiments), but it's certainly possible. If you want to recruit captured aliens instead of just hiring them from some unspecified limbo like your normal soldiers, you'll need OXCE.

-Ability to use captured alien UFO
Not 100% on this idea, but will add it in anyway. Why cut it up for scrap when you could just use it? Although landing in a battleship to take out a small scout possibly a bit silly.. Might as well just land ON it. Also where to park that behemoth? But I was thinking more the smaller stuff (This has almost certainly been discussed on here before, please linky me if you know a thread)

Same as above, AFAIK nobody has done it yet, but it's certainly possible. The tricky part would be adding a recoverable part to each UFO, which would require some fiddling, but it's not a real problem.

-Inventory screen for aliens
Yes, the actual image of the alien type not just a generic soldier image! someone must have made that mod?

Sure, Cyrix made such a mod for vanilla races many years ago.

-Armour for aliens
Creatively inspired by some fan stories I found on the web way back when,
I did some artwork (pencil and paper) that I wish I could find now, one picture was a sectoid with a smoking plasma pistol and wearing armour (looked like an alien kinda motorcross vest with shoulder pads  8) ) and the other a crashed shot down ufo (classic featureless disc) with an injured sectoid also in armour hiding behind a tree and an xcom squad aproaching with guns up.
  Should show on batlescape and inventory screen.

Yeah, many modders make their own variants - armoured Sectoids, Mutons, you name it.

-New classes of aliens, with new looks?
I remember my friend referring to the last 2 guards in cydonia as 'ethereal elite' - I liked this and said they should have different colour robes. Thinking about it now, the mutons and floaters have suits/capes as well that could change. Again, not too many, not too complex, 'squad leader' like TFTD could work well.

Done in many variants and configurations by tons of people, including yours truly. :)

As I side note I love the waspite design, brings sense and validity to the cover art!

Robin's Waspite mod adds these!

-Alien loadouts
*generally* being suited to type would make sense. (but not always, random variety and odd situations arising from it are what makes a game interesting)

You mean weapons and equipment by alien unit type? Yeah, it's possible and actively use in mods. OXCE required for sane results.

-Alien AI
OMG they are so dumb. Panicked/recovered aliens will use grenades they are carrying but never pick up thier dropped (or any other) weapon off the floor? And they don't seem to ever work as a team, if they do, it feels coincidental.

There were some notable improvements and additions made by Meridian and Ohartenstein in OXCE, including picking up weapons (also by civilians!), sniper-spotter mechanics and more.

-Custom maps
 Not really major new stuff, just some different layout buildings, mix urban/farmland/tropical/desert/mountain/snow up a bit more to give a bit more variety (keep regional relevancy?) civs in ufo assault/crash recovery missions now and then.

So many people make new X-Com terrains these days! You can too!

-Player created maps you could add that do not change/randomise, if approved and not silly/far fetched could be added into a maps database for general gameplay and/or some kind of 'one off skirmish' or multiplayer skirmish mode?

Vanilla X-Com is vanilla X-Com; I'm pretty sure our devs will never officially add any content which wasn't present in the 1994 version. But that's what mods are for. There are at least several mods adding new maps and even whole new terrains, for example the Community Map Pack.

That's enough for now, if by fluke or miracle I hit on a new idea (doubtful, I know there are similar mods for a lot of it already) and anyone thinks any of these warrant their own thread either just do it or let me know and I'll do it.

Cas

Thanks for giving the community - well, at least me - a clear signal that we're mostly going in the right direction! ;)

Offline madcas

  • Squaddie
  • *
  • Posts: 3
    • View Profile
Re: Ideas, although this is probably more for my benefit...
« Reply #2 on: June 04, 2021, 02:21:21 am »
Thanks Sol, for sifting through all that,

Every time I search on here my ideas have been already implemented at least to some extent, and If not exactly what I had in mind the framework is there.

I was thinking about the multiplayer thing I had a go on, I should have elaborated it wasn't LAN or anything, you basically had to swap seats and take your turn ('hidden movement' involved the idle player going to get a drink or take a leak etc, although we were honorable and didn't peek during the others turn!) don't remember much else, it was always xcom vs. sectoids on a small-ish farm map (medium scout IIRC) and a very much standalone thing.

True networked multiplayer would be awesome, but I imagine a nightmare to implement, And would have to be limited players on a server not mass multiplayer (haha imagine a geoscape completely covered in pink and blue bases, not to mention all the red, yellow, green and white craft markers, would be chaos, a list 9 pages long of what to select any time you click on the geoscape!

Had a look at Lasers and Legos, downloaded the guide.
For starts I would just hash a map up out of what is there but I can be handy with the pixels too so eventually would make some new features that would not look out of place.


Map ideas:

Refinery
Rail yard (with train cars etc to search/find aliens hiding between)
Buried historic alien mothership
shipyard (yes borrow some bits from TFTD the shipping route missions were the best)

Anyway, thanks again, and the xcom files looks crazy! will have to have a play at that.

Time to find a copy of the original and d/l oxce!