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#1 Blue.Shark

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 09:46 AM

Hi.

I remember X-Com Apocalypse and it's battles.

In X-Com Apoc. you could place a weapons, engine and any other things to an vehicles.

By other things i mean some shields, location systems, missile-targeting systems, things which upgrades manouverability, targeting of all weapons, etc.

And one question now - Is it good idea? :)

Edited by Blue.Shark, 14 June 2006 - 09:47 AM.


#2 Moriarty

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 10:22 AM

it would certainly add complexity. the trouble with complexity is that when things get too complex, they are not fun anymore.

I like the idea, but it must be implemented with a lot of consideration.
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#3 Snakeman

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 12:04 PM

I suppose it would all depend upon what affects what when it oomes to Geoscape performance (in genera) of an aircraft object that has different components from another.

Games like this I prefer to play single player, just due to the amount of attention you have to give to it and component or tactical experimentation involved.

Still, I would imagine that an update to an interception screen wouldn't have to look very different from the original to introduce these kinds of things. I mean, the core things I'd think would need addressed are:

Engines

- From speeds and direction changes in Geoscape to maneuvering and/or attack options when within the Intercept screen portion. With the first part this would include things like the pilot AI of your ships attempting to intuit where its target will wind up and meet it there the quickest way it thinks it can (or conserves fuel to do it rather than necessarily chasing the craft down). Engines to me aren't just about speed and manuverability but also about fuel consumption.

Weapons

- From power usage (both in recharge for energy weapons and for actual damage dealt) to ranges to targets.

These two in my mind would be the very streamlined basics to having a component design aspect to ship customization. Anything else can be an outgrowth of that principle - whether it is an actual enhancement to Geoscape and/or Intercept performance, or new tactical options for intacting with crash, terror, or abduction points of interest that show up on the map.

(Geoscape) Examples might include:

Computer Components

- A generic term for anything that's not an engine or weapon though I suppose it could supplement or enhance those major parts. Radar cabability I also include within this as well as anything that might act as a countermeasure. Also anything else computer related that deals with hardpoint identification for within the View UFO view I'd stick in this category. So there could be subcategories of computer components to place, but I just lumped these here together for simplicity.

Storage

- Anything ranging from bomb or missile storage (I include bombs here as an afterthought to the idea above about possibly interacting with crash sites and the like from the Geoscape view - i.e. dealing with it from a distance) hardpoints (figuring different hulls here would have different hardpoints not just for weapons, but non weapon/engine component space as well), to fuel and (non energy) ammo capacity.

-- Other Storage Ideas

- Alien containment module - good if you want to bring aliens back alive for study from a ground mission.

- Troop module - for a reinforcement option during the middle of a ground battle (and if said ship with it was positioned over the site at the time you already had people down on the ground)

- HWP module - additional HWP support, basically same as the troop module but with HWPs. Deployment for both could be done by parachute, units equipped with advanced hover ability that way, or by landing of the ship then dusting off after they're all out or even drop lines from a much lower altitude. If it was the troop module or HWP module, early evacutions of critical soldiers and tanks could happen as well. Supplmental to both forms of module might be ammo for whatever your men and tanks are equipped with if not a completely different module type.

For most of these component ideas though, I'm going with the assumption that these things could suppliment what transports do already, but also that there would be different ship hulls to choose from.

Now to me, part of whatever made component wrangling fun was not just the variety of components and how that translated to actions you took, but also in the variety of ship hulls. Because the games I've liked in this genre have usually been about variety and customization, with some doing fair to ok in the actions-you-take area.

If it does not translate to a variety in gameplay or replayability, I'm not convinced it would be a good thing. After all, we already have this in the form of outfitting our troops and building bases so I'm not sure how far I'd take this unless I was sure it'd have some tactical differences between them.

There's some other great ideas extending to HWP components and designing them as well. My favorite ideas for craft components though is the ability to reinforce or evacuate during the middle of a battle. I think to do those things in the first place ought to mean that you have the technical capability to do it within the game, so I have no problem with the notion of including that to mean a component management system of some sort.

I forgot to mention in this too, that if there was an option to automatically generate a battle outcome, this should also I think be influenced by what's equipped with what, plus whatever could do what based on that.

Edited by Snakeman, 14 June 2006 - 12:12 PM.


#4 The Master Maniac

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 03:47 PM

Auto-battle. Ugh.

Back on-topic, the idea of expanded ship customization sounds just great to me. And while I concur that there's the distinct possibility that things could get over-complicated, I doubt that'll be an issue given the fact that there's not a terrible excess of things to do with your craft. There's weapon hardpoints and such as elaborated by Snakeman, and maybe new armor types or speed-increasing navigational systems, etc, but I can't see anything like that getting too tough to manage.

#5 Blue.Shark

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 04:34 PM

Bravo Snakeman!!!! :)

If there will be any developed components, you should be able to upgrade it of course :)

#6 Snakeman

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Posted 14 June 2006 - 06:55 PM

Yeah, I figure at best, 2-3 levels of improvement to a component part would work best, with maybe an additional component item upgrade much further down into the game's timeline (game years played).

These 3 or 4 categories could be something like...

Standard Gear - which would include everything that starts on the market

Improved Gear - stuff that's also on the market, with newer Earth tech showing up gradually. Some might even be invented and manufactured by you from existing market designed stuff.

All Alien Gear - Largely stuff that's found, researched, manufactured and used by you. Depending on how the market would shape up to be, there probably will be very little or no alien technology on the market.

Hybrid Gear - Again most likely reinvented equipment not found on the market. This category I think is best placed at the end.

I still hold by my other point though that to open up component gaming aspects (and the Geoscape & Battlescape programming aside for a moment), there needs to be a decent variety of hull types. Examples could follow the above logic with the market component gear i.e. Earth craft/tank hulls (3 or 4 hulls), All Alien craft/tanks (runs the gamut of alien hull concepts), followed at the end (or dispersed willy nilly throughout the game timeline) Earth-Alien Hybrid craft/tanks (but probably going back to 2 or 3 hulls each).

So over all, you'd probably end up with a dozen or more ship hulls, and maybe a little less than that for your tanks.

The second point that wasn't made here but had been in other related threads already, is back to the idea of player made templates for stuff (soldiers, ships, tanks). I think component wrangling, both the procuring and placement of small items, could be streamlined that much further for the player (an ingame tutorial would be cool here too) in such a way that if you didn't want to spend a lot of time designing things, you wouldn't have to probably beyond 1 or 2 varieties of the object unless the game offered up recomended layouts.

Plus, it might be a fun thing to do too to be able to swap design specs for other players to use even if the game were not to be multiplayer.

Edited by Snakeman, 14 June 2006 - 07:09 PM.


#7 Blue.Shark

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 01:39 PM

Yeah. If you don't want to do that, just don't do that :).

All things should have its standard configuration.

And one off-topic idea : If the globe will be divided to some parts (or countries - USA, Brasilia, United Arabian Emirates... :) ) you should be able to keep company with that countries by defending them from attacks of UFOs. And if you will not be succesful, that countries will not supply you with goods that they are developing.

For example if USA will be invaded, you will not be able to buy hi-tech goods and you will not be sponsored by it.

This could change your global strategy - When USA is invaded and you cannot get hi-tech goods, you cannot research more complicated things because of absence of more complicated "research technologies". And if you will clear up USA again, this technologies will be avilable.

If you will defend USA well, they will give you price reduction :D

...simply off-topic :)

Edited by Blue.Shark, 15 June 2006 - 01:41 PM.


#8 Snakeman

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Posted 15 June 2006 - 04:45 PM

Off topic though it may be, its still a good idea, i.e bringing in the raid mission type to the old X-COM play area (being global as opposed to a single city in Apoc as the boundary).

That would be a good take on the idea of the second category in component parts availability since its about making improvements to the standard market goods you'd begun the game with. However what I would change in your scenario is that if you'd already researched an upgrade to an Avalanche missile/launcher system - then the country or company it originates from falls to the aliens - you could still build it with alien alloy composites (assuming that was researched or you won't have raw material) or if all else fails, raid a warehouse (assuming you'd sold some surpluses of the new item you made prior to the entity in question having fell to the aiiens as well).

If you were in the middle of the research process and they fell, then yes it should be postponed, but it won't stop you from raiding the older models from any warehouses you find. I think it helps the idea of influencing countries or companies that much more so its a cool idea.

Agreed that every first generation of something should have a default configuration and can be used that way.

Edited by Snakeman, 15 June 2006 - 04:46 PM.


#9 Blue.Shark

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 12:43 PM

Soon i'll post a concept how an Arming screen should look.

But i'm drawing it in paintbrush - quality will be very bad =p . But i'll do my best to give a nice look to it.

#10 anen

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Posted 17 June 2006 - 04:20 PM

Boom Boom Boom :)
Some stats + luck :P
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#11 Blue.Shark

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 09:52 AM

I have finished it.

Quality is poor. The images which are situated in the up-right corner are taken from this site, but they were too large and i needed to scale it down.

For Stats - i didn't know what stats should an aircraft have such that i have concieved it :)

For components - i concieved it too :D


Note : this concept is only example...

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#12 Blehm 98

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 12:50 PM

hmmm, thats a fairly good concept screen, i like it

i like the ideas you have in it, however, i would prefer it if we would stay away from things such as 'Good' 'Great' 'bad' and etc, only numbers and graphs please
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#13 Blue.Shark

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Posted 18 June 2006 - 01:07 PM

Yes...i have been inspired by UFO : Aftermath :)

#14 Snakeman

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 05:37 AM

I agree with Blehm in as much as I could do without too much statistical clutter on the right and left sides of the screen. But the ship schematic showing the "slots" is about right on. Components could be miniturized graphical pictures (slightly blown up however for the menu look, to the actual component piece) that could be a drag and drop affair when your actually doing some customization placements.

I think, rather than, or besides a separaate entry about it with the graph and statistical info, perhaps an abrreivated tooltip popup when your cursor is over the object might be good, highlighting key important bits about that piece. i.e. projected power, range, and integrity left (to know if you ought replace it or not).

Additionally, maybe a transparent color scheme might be good as well to let you know this info at a less detailed glance. Green transparancy over the object is okie dokie, Yellow still has some life left, Red is bad must fix or replace, and a missing part alltogether means you were lucky to even make it back to the shop alive :)

#15 Blue.Shark

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 06:03 AM

Ok. If you want, i could try to adjust it :)

#16 GARAK

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Posted 19 June 2006 - 05:15 PM

Upgrading aircraft seems very important. If its going to take longer to get better craft, then it would be advantageous to upgrade the jets and keep them from becoming obselete.

#17 Snakeman

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 04:34 AM

Yea, I mean, theoretically in such a system, you might have approximately 3 or 4 generations of the Interceptor. The body would stay the same shape (though later, probably fashioned out of alien alloys i.e. its frame, or the skin might later become carbon composites) with mainly the guts changing.

So because the ship never really gets larger for the Interceptor, its component slot spaces stay the same. On the plus side, miniturization could step in ever so slightly to give you extra room.

An example might be the engines. Perhaps they would start out being 3x2 (3 blocks long, 2 wide) with advanced versions being 2x2 giving you two additional blocks positioned behind the cockpit and in front of the engines side by side.

#18 GARAK

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 10:38 AM

Its an interesting idea, much like ship construction in the game Galactic Civilizations II, which is awesome.

#19 Blue.Shark

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 02:46 PM

If some components will be too advanced, it shouldn't be able to add it into some old aircraft or only with any other component (which allows you to connect old technology with advanced) :)

I think that researches of components (jets) should look like this :

Standard Jets (you can buy it) -> Improved Jets (better power, more weight) -> "Minimalized" Improved Jets (less space, less weight, better power) -> "Superior Jets" (the same space, the same weight, the best power in standard jets system). After these researches you should be able to connect two jets together - double jets etc.

#20 Snakeman

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Posted 20 June 2006 - 05:13 PM

Yea Garak, Gal Civ 2 is on my list of games to get. I enjoyed the first one enough, so I'd think the second one is probably alright. They've got integrated ship construction in that one so I'm anxious to check it out.

There's another game I've got on my rotation atm which also illustrates the concept pretty well called Starscape which is made by a small team known as Moonpod. Its very much in the Asteroids motif in terms of the action with researching and ship building and exploration added in.

Blue, you do have a point about issues such as weight. In Starscape's case, every hull had a mass number rating. It starts out low, but as you get smaller and more advanced engines, and better generators, these two parts together gradually improved that mass rating for that hull type. For example, let's say like that game you could only have a component reach level 4. To get the best mass rating in this case, you'd want a level 4 engine and a level 4 generator. However, your not hindered by that rule, you could outfit your ship any way you wanted - a level 4 engine but a level 2 generator.

Your mass rating for the hull takes a hit and you can only place so many parts before the craft is over it. In that game it simply translated to higher recharge times for its weapons and sluggish reactions as well as taking a little longer to get up to speed. It didn't stop you from using such a poorly outfitted ship in other words. I just sited those two parts because without an engine and generator minimum installed, you couldn't launch it.

I'm sure there are other ways to illustrate it though, that was just one way.

Perhaps another way to deal with the issue of weight could be an option to upgrade the hull framework to use alien alloys in a middle or later stage of a generation of ship. Basically it just means its a lighter but stronger material. Now, much of your weight issues here lays mostly with the component make ups. Later on as well, some of those could become lighter as you go.

Additionally, something I would have liked to have seen in other similar games (one of them I had did this, but I can't remember its name), was the ability to reorient some of the parts from going horizontal to an vertical positioning of a part. Granted, this might not work for all weapons or even engines since they have to face a predefined direction, but other parts might simply because there might be a part that's skinny i.e. 1x2 or 1x3.

Essentially all you did was left click to select the part from the menu, and right click let you reorient it before you put it in on the slot overlay.

Edited by Snakeman, 20 June 2006 - 05:16 PM.


#21 Blue.Shark

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Posted 21 June 2006 - 11:44 AM

With weight i mean it like this :

Every hull is able to carry certain weight. If you will exceed the weight limit, your aircraft cannot take off because the hull cannot withstand the weight of all those components.

Engines will need upgrades because every engine has any power. Some hulls could be too heavy that engine will be not able to move the hull. Because of this you should pay attencion of the weight limits.

Rotation of parts is good idea. =b

#22 Snakeman

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Posted 22 June 2006 - 08:14 AM

I was just rethinking a few things.

If we can assume for the moment that every different ship hull has a set "slot" number i.e Interceptors always have 8, regardless of the generation of components going into it or what its outter skin or frame is likely to be made of along the way, then we won't ever have to worry too much about the weight question.

It mainly becomes an issue of can this part fit here? The other issue of course is how the part effects Geoscape performance or Battlescape interaction.

This isn't to say you couldn't have weights listed in the stats for the part or the ship, but mainly the burden here is on the component to be able to fit. The weight stat, among others would just be a guage to help you mix and match what you want for optimum effect.

#23 GARAK

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Posted 29 June 2006 - 04:59 PM

Its sounds like you'd be dealing with weight the same way Diablo II deals with inventory. You can carry only so much as long as it fits withing the boxes. Its simple but it works.

#24 Snakeman

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Posted 03 July 2006 - 07:37 PM

Exactly my train of thought on it Garak. I say, if the part fits, let it go with it, and if it needs any tweaks, its largely the burdon of the makeup of the component part to affect Geoscape/Battlescape performances.

Edited by Snakeman, 03 July 2006 - 07:38 PM.


#25 Markowic

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Posted 18 August 2006 - 02:01 PM

This is a good path assign a amount of slots for the ship and if the weapon fits its ok. So in exemple if the interceptor has a 4 x 4 matrix of slots it can carry two wepons 2x4 or four weapons 1x4.

#26 kashyyk

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 08:32 AM

So here is a summary of wat we hav got:

Weapons as usual,
Armor to make tougher,
systems for aiming ect,
Engines obvious realy,

And there are limited number of hardpoints to put these on depending on the intercept.
am i right? :)

#27 Snakeman

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Posted 20 August 2006 - 12:14 PM

Actually what I was talking about was the guts of the plane, not so much exterior hardpoints - the way missiles are mounted under wings for example.

However, the game I mentioned above just used everything. Like Blue Shark's graphic above, it had a layout of the whole ship with the grid network overlapping it, exterior stuff included. This network need not be connected necessarily.

For example the core of the plane could be a grid body separate from the wing-tip type weaponry grid slots.

#28 tzuchan

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Posted 14 September 2007 - 06:30 PM

Hmm...
I dunno...
I like the layout screen and all, but certain things, like applying armor should be not a slot in module. They should definitely affect the weight of the plane, but as they count as something that should be mount/applied to the entire surface of the plane.

Also, depending on location, the slots should be limited to different types of upgrades. Eg, engine compartments can only be filled with engines, afterburners. The body can carry fuel modules, structural reinforcements(increased damage capacity), thrust vectoring systems etc. Also, theoretically, you'd place the internal cannons here. Or you might have one or two specialize cannon slots in the body. Missile weapons will definitely go on the wings. In post V1 Xenocide, I'd actually like to have customizable missile loadouts like in real life. That is to say you have maybe two or three human tech missiles, and the same for alien/hybrid tech missiles, and then you get the option to mix and match. So the aircraft can carry say 5000 kilos of ordnance. You then mix and match as long as you've got the weight capacity and the slots to mount the missiles. Smaller missiles may be able to be mounted in clusters or individually.

Ideally, the balancing system for this would then be based on slot capacity and maximum loaded weight. Engine upgrades would then increase weight to power ratios and indirectly increase max load. Also, advancement like xenium powered engines would have better fuel to range ratios, and as such, they can travel further on "less" fuel.

However, while the upgrades should improve the longevity of the starting fighters, they should at the most, be able to match the performance of latter designs based on Alien techs.

I kind of the the tech advancements as this way:
Research Alien composites, and you gain the ability to apply Alien Armor onto the fighter
Research Alien Navigation, and you gain Alien Pilot Control Systems
Research Alien Power Systems, and you get Xenium Engines

Once you get all three techs, then you can develop the first generation Alien tech fighter. The first gen alien fighter would then incorporate all of the above as default equipment. However, the alien fighter would have better structural strength and initial armor rating since it's built from new materials from the base up.

Edited by tzuchan, 15 September 2007 - 12:26 AM.

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