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Special Terror Missions


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#1 Rwn

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 09:16 PM

Terror missions look always the same. OK, I assume Xenocide will include more different landscapes for these missions, but it would fun if there was a small probability of having a mission on a special, always identical landscape, with a monument or some well-known location (Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, Eiffel Tower, Pyramids...), and maybe special objectives (kill every alien before they reach a given place, stay alive for 50 turns, etc.). Of course, if aliens do succeed one of these missions, your penalty would be much higher than a normal terror mission. Plus, if the probability of such an attack is very low (say, around once in a year), it would force the player to do many games if he wants to try all available "special" missions... :naughty:

#2 Jesus Escariut

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Posted 17 July 2003 - 10:13 PM

i like this idea, it has a 9/11 feel in the sense that you have to stop the aliens before they destroy the "insert landmark", if aliens succeed it would affect troop morale for all troops from that region for X amount of months/weeks?

#3 Cpl. Facehugger

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 08:14 AM

The special terror missions would be good, as long as they are not like those cruise ship missions in tftd. God those got boring. Those missions had so many rooms that it took forever to clear with out explosives. :cussing:

Anyway, objective based terror missions would be a nice addition imo so long as they didn't happen too often.
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#4 Breunor

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 08:59 AM

Breunor smiles as he remembers his first posts on this site...

Take a look at the thread called environmental models, I think it's either in the battlescape forum or images forum. I started the thread talking about exactly this, and the responses are funny to read. BTW, that's all water under the bridge now, everybody's on the same page. Just a misunderstanding. :D

Based on that, I agree that having models based on specific areas would be nice. You could include as many special features like that as you want, and have them picked based on the location. All we need are the models and textures...

#5 j'ordos

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 09:01 AM

Like those Alien Activity missions in TFTD maybe? I kinda liked those, not because they were that special or anything, just because they only came once or twice a game... and they didn't take as long as those cruise ship terror missions :cussing:

Maybe something like:
aliens trying to infiltrate in a government of multinational have been detected, and you're asked to search the headquarter/capitol/... (not unlike Xcom Apoc, now I think of it: maybe some SAD missions can be done in or around buildings, and I mean not only terror missions)
or construction of alien base detected, will you try and take it out now or leave it be? Now probably is easier, but less to loot & burn :D .
or when you shot down a UFO but choose to ignore it, and suddenly an alien rescue mission comes along and lands next to it: if they can take off you'll loose a lot of points, but there are now 2 UFO's to take out at the same crash site.
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#6 Monkey D. Luffy

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 09:09 AM

Hmmm... Aside from special locations, how about terror missions that are special because of thed at/time. I recall reading somewhere that we wanted a greater variety of locations, and somebody mentioned a mall. Well, a terror attack during mid December(in an appropriate country, of course) could wind up being at a mall, but instead of the standard look for a mall terrain it could be done up with special Christmas style decorations. There'd be many more civilians than normal as well(making the mission a real pain, now that I think about it...)

It would just be something fairly simple that would add more flavor and variety to the terror missions.

#7 Breunor

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 11:44 AM

That's a good point. Time of day could affect things, but at the same time, when a terror site appears, it takes hours to get there usually, right? When you arrive, there are still people running around the little area, what are they, shoppers who didn't see the ufo and weapons fire!?! :D They should die anyway, kill the stupid IMO. A mall would be great, you could have several designs with all the little stores, you'd have to march down the middle and check each store you pass. You could find sectoids in the ladies lingerie! :alienlol:

On a related note, if there's anyone not already working on other 3D models, or if you're new to modelling, why not try making some items for these areas? Benches, tables, anything you might come across. These are not going to be in the xnet, so lower poly models are all we need here. If you've never done it before, it's easier than you'd expect, it just takes some patience sometimes depending on what you're making. Search for Milkshape 3D if you don't have an app, you can use it 30 days free and then $25 to register. I use it and it works well. As to what to make, just take a trip to the mall or down the street, make a sketch or a digipic of what you see. We need lots of typical items for the battlescape, and only have a few right now. Let me know if you're interested via PM.

#8 Monkey D. Luffy

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 11:56 AM

Hmm.. Continuing on the thought of time/place having more of a customizing effect on terror zones and the like, is there currently any plan to implement some simple seasonal effects? During the proper time of year/hemisphere combination you can have yellow/red/orange leaves on the trees, or leafless trees and patches of snow...

It would be a bit of work, but it would definitely spice up the mission locales a little.


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#9 Nickisimo

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 11:56 AM

"Wait, my troops! Sears is having a one-day sale on flat-front khakis!" :alienlol:

I like the idea of making some different looking terror sites...I mean, if you're fighting in Rome for example, shouldn't there be something that reminds you of Rome? The Vatican? The Colleseum? Is it a lot to ask for...yes, but think of neat that would be to drop ship in Buenos Aries and duke it out at a large hacienda.
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#10 Deimos

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 12:41 PM

A lot of this has been discussed in the workshop as Breunor says. However instead of the generic terror mission, how about we pre build terror sites. Instead of the randomly built battlescapes we are used to seeing we could get the feeling everyone is after by prebuilding.

How many terror missions are there in the course of a game? Each one at a different city location. Ok I'm going back to Breu's original idea of using photos of models for BS but if we have a prebuilt Terror site it'd be different as they are special missions in effect.

The plusses of this are greater tactical challenge (they don't have to be based on real world places) and the player will indeed get the feeling that they'd have something to save rather than a bunch of faceless civvies. Keep these ideas rolling and I'll back Breunor up again in saying get Milkshape to model up the simple stuff. Get photos and possibly get your work included in the game. There can't be more of an incentive than that can there?

#11 Monkey D. Luffy

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 12:43 PM

I can see the post mission screen now:
14 aliens killed, 12 corpses recovered, 22 artifacts recovered, 3 floral print dresses, 2 gift certificates.
:D


Could there be a difference in point values for different terror locations? This would be more of a V1+ issue. A terror mission at a countries capital would have a much more signifcant effect on the country than a terror mission in the heartlands.

#12 Jesus Escariut

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 01:07 PM

But how do we know the aliens are on a terror mission in the mall during december? Maybe they just stopped in to pick up a new game (halo 2) and they got angry with all the crowds, and stupid slow people that walk 2 steps every 5 mins pushing a baby stroller and holding hands with their fat wife thats sucking down pretzels and ice cream when all the alien wanted to do was get around said obsticle but cant because they take up the entire 30 ft wide corridor so the alien goes beserk and opens fire.... wait maybe im just recalling how much i hate malls during the holidays

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#13 Monkey D. Luffy

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 01:16 PM

Well, the only problem I see with prebuilding is the repetition pitfall. Yes, it would be easy enough to create enough possible terror sites that that you'll never see a repeat in a single individual game, but how many people who play this will only play it once? The original X-Com is a game people played through many times, and Xenocide should wind up in a similar situation. Your tenth time through the game, terror sites with pregenerated maps might start looking a little dull...

A majority of the effect would be fairly simple to put together without prebuilding, I think... It would basically boil down to a combination of two things: A small number of 'terrain generators,' and a few different location 'skins.'

For each general 'type' of location, you would have a different terrain generating algorithm/function(okay, an alternative would be to make it one function that takes more parameters... either could work). This handles the differences between certain major variant locations(a shopping mall is different than a suburban neighborhood, is different than a downtown type setting).

In addition, there are multiple 'sets' of textures/models used for each terrain type. So, if you're generating a 'suburban' style setting in country A, a call is made to the 'suburban generator,' it puts something together and the graphics/models are based on those listed as 'suburban - Country A.'


If we generate terrain using a system similar to the original X-Com(prebuilt terrain 'sections' that get attached to each other), this could translate into the variant skin/locale type system as well...

#14 Rwn

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 01:36 PM

No, I think the general idea is the following:
- For, say, 90 or 95% of the terror missions, you'll get a standard randomized landscape, like in UFO, maybe dependant of several parameters like the country or the season.
- But, there *may* be a small probability of getting a "special" terror mission, with a pregenerated landscape which represent a very well-known place or a monument. This would be like an easter egg you may encounter only once or twice in a long game, if you're lucky: you will never see all available pregenerated landscapes in one or even ten games.

#15 Breunor

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Posted 18 July 2003 - 01:51 PM

Here's the beauty of it all. Most of the models will be recycled in the battlescape, we'll use a mix and match system based around a template that works. For generic terror sites, we'll have one template, but for special missions you could create a seperate template that presents a different tactical challenge. You'd still use the same models, but you could also create additional textures to spice it up. So billboards could have seasonal ads in different languages for example. So long as the models are designed in a way that allows mix and match, we can create quite a variety of scenarios. Say 1 in 10 terror sites is a mall. You create several "mall chunks" that can be tiled together within a fixed area. Then you make a dozen different templates that those tiles can assemble in, and several textures for different seasons. Using this example, you could encounter about 50 different mall terror sites, and theoretically you could run 500 or more before seeing the exact same mission. And every one would have a logical layout, unlike some of those from the original. And if someone complains about that not being enough, they can either create more templates, chunks, or textures. And if that's not enough, I can biotch slap them for sheets and geegles... :devillaugh:

#16 Jonaleth Irenicus

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Posted 14 March 2004 - 05:37 PM

A different kind of terror site mission where aliens do not try to capture humans for research and stuff, but attempt to totally destroy a historical monument (Eiffel Tower, Statue of Liberty, White House, Louvre (sp???) Mouseum, stuff like that) to force a country into submission.

The maps of such terror sites would not be random and would be the same every game, and maybe they even appear on the same dates!

Failing to defend the monument results in big funding problems with the related nation, maybe the nation(s) turn over to aliens.
Passenger ship terror site, first turn, I open the door of my Triton, there is a Tasoth up on the next floor (his back is facing the screen so I don't know what weapon he has).

One of my guys fire at him, hit, he reaction fires with Thermal Shock Launcher. The whole crew stunned. Mission over.

#17 dipstick

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 03:23 PM

Please can we have a snipers haven mission, with no buildings etc. Come to think of it, that is the desert missions. Are we going to have some maps with large open spaces?
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#18 j'ordos

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 05:35 PM

Ehm... desert missions? :P And arctic of course :)
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#19 Otterboy

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Posted 15 March 2004 - 08:33 PM

I am tempted to try modelling but i have no idea what i am doing :blink:
And i dont think i could justify buying a modelling program being a poor student :unsure:

Maybe i can 'aquire' one :devillaugh:

And as for special terror missions that would be great, maybe you could even combine the pre set and randomness so that whilst most of the landscape is the same some important aspects change, whilst not realistic (as these locations could be accurately done) it would allow for some replayablilty

Ummm maybe something like the statue of liberty with differing surrounding buildings and most of the action in the star shaped bit underneath where the layout could also change.

Your objective? Get to the aliens explosives before they go off and take down the big lady (and kill all your men) :D

Now THAT would be cool.

Edited by Otterboy, 15 March 2004 - 08:35 PM.


#20 Tuoppi

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 09:48 AM

Nicer still if the aliens planted their bomb at nuclear powerplant... :LOL:

#21 Deimos

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Posted 18 March 2004 - 08:13 PM

I am tempted to try modelling but i have no idea what i am doing  :blink:
And i dont think i could justify buying a modelling program being a poor student  :unsure:

Maybe i can 'aquire' one  :devillaugh:

Just a quick note, xenocide doesn't condone using 'aquired' software. There are plenty of free and open source alternatives available. Try Blender for a starter. :)

#22 sir_schwick

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 12:10 AM

Special terror mission are good, but in general here is my suggestion for maps:

We need to get an easy to use map-creator utility so people can make maps. These locations would be interesting such as student unions. The one at my university has several levels that are open to a staircase. Would make for lots of sniping, firefights, and blowing up. Anyway, each city(terror targets obviously) would be assigned maps it could use. Many cities would share the more generic maps, but specific ones might include landmarks. The colloseum would be an assusme arena, etc. Since players on this site would create the maps, you could include dozens and eventually hudnreds and you would only see the same map once or twice over the course of a few games.

#23 Snakeman

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 01:02 AM

I'm not up on all the latest xenocide data for maps or map making, but I do like the notion that if I created a map and named it "terror1.blah" and posted it to share or something, all the player would need to do is place that in their map folder for the game (perhaps renaming it if they have a dupe yet that's different i.e. if it used a sequential numbered filename), then its in there for the game to choose it among its regular pool of maps.

#24 sir_schwick

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Posted 25 January 2005 - 08:48 AM

I was thinking more along the line of 'studentuniona.map', and 'stripmall.map'. Suppose NYC would be assigned(by the editor) the stripmall or standard maps, and LA would get the student union map as well.

However your suggestion works for other map types too, inclduing rural.