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Coverting Aliens And More Ideas


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#1 Cubik

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 12:43 PM

How does this sound: a new facility that allows you to convert aliens to fight for your noble cause. Live aliens could be transfered here, tortured or something else and after a while they would either die or join your "noble" forces. The experience would probably be traumatazing though, so the aliens would drop in skill and stats.
Just think about Dungeon Keeper, one of it's best feature was the abillity to covert the opponents troops to your side.
This way your could gain certain aliens and their special skills (i.e: some are very good at MC).
However, the newly "reformed" aliens should be quite sensible to MC (due to the strain you have put on their minds during the torture or whatever) so the first few missions you would have to avoid getting MC attacks on them. After a couple of hardening battles, they would be much more tied to your cause, and not so prone to get MCed.

More skill based gameplay. Try the Fallout serie if you haven't. Fantastic games, with a combat system that is quite similar to X-Coms'. Fallout is more of an RPG then X-Com and this is what I like about it. Fallout relies heavily on skill to do actions. It has a Small Guns skill, a Big Guns skill, a Research skill for using computers and other technical stuff, a Doctor skill for healing and using medipak and lots more. So, more RPG stuff in Xenocide! At least throw in more and diffrent types of weapon skills (ie: Small Guns, Big Guns, Energy Guns, Melee Weapons, Throwing) for a greater RPG feel, and ultimatly, a greater bond between the player and the characters.

Some more ideas:
* A helmet or armor that makes it harder to MC the wearer. The wearer also has a hard time "MCing" anything.
* Research: Launguage translator, for use with the aliens when you have taken control of them.
* Research: Ability to mutate soldiers with alien DNA to create supersoldiers.
* Research: Androids, impossible to MC but can't use MC, strong, takes a lot of hits, very expensive to make (as in APOC, but replace robots with androids).
* Pilots!!! Why do you only get to make aircraft, but not hire any pilots??? The flyboys could add to your chances of hitting the aliens' ships, increase speed of the craft and be used as normal troops in combat.
* More and varied types of training. Goes with the "more-skill-in-game" idea. Small Guns training, Pilot training, Melee Combat training, Doctor (Medic) training........
* Bring the in the behavior buttons from APOC! Those were great! You could order a soldier not to fire, just report that he/she has sighted an alien.
*Research: More advance sensors that allows you to see what types of aliens that is in a traveling/downed alien ship. This allows for some customization of the equipment you bring to the missions.

Ok, would like some input on these ideas. Some things may have already been discused and/or decided on, tell we if and which these things are so I can make some additions to them.

Some things maybe already exsists in UFO, I haven't palyed in a while so I can't remember.

As I said, input, input, INPUT!

#2 Deimos

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 01:07 PM

Most of this stuff would be wishlist stuff for post v1.0 but there are some interesting ones in there.

Not sure about the skills as that would change the dynamic of the game from an xcom inspired one to inspired by fallout :)

* A helmet or armor that makes it harder to MC the wearer. The wearer also has a hard time "MCing" anything.

or an oversized bra filled with silver baking foil :D

* Research: Launguage translator, for use with the aliens when you have taken control of them.

so you can tell them to F off in their own language :D

* Research: Ability to mutate soldiers with alien DNA to create supersoldiers.

Hmm, not sure about this as it's taking away the humans vs aliens theme of the game.

* Research: Androids, impossible to MC but can't use MC, strong, takes a lot of hits, very expensive to make (as in APOC, but replace robots with androids).

Same goes for this one, what would be the point, we've got tanks.

* Pilots!!! Why do you only get to make aircraft, but not hire any pilots??? The flyboys could add to your chances of hitting the aliens' ships, increase speed of the craft and be used as normal troops in combat.

Intersting idea but I'd always assumed that the interception craft were remote piloted from the bases, hence no pilots. The transport craft were piloted by the troopers which is why you needed at least one person availabe to abort a mission.

* More and varied types of training. Goes with the "more-skill-in-game" idea. Small Guns training, Pilot training, Melee Combat training, Doctor (Medic) training........

Like I said above this takes away from the dynamic of what we're trying to create and changes it into another type of game.

* Bring the in the behavior buttons from APOC! Those were great! You could order a soldier not to fire, just report that he/she has sighted an alien.

That's already in xcom 1 and 2. All soldiers stop what they're doing when an alien is spotted and the little red 'alien spotted' icon appears. Remember that our game is going to be turn based. :)

*Research: More advance sensors that allows you to see what types of aliens that is in a traveling/downed alien ship. This allows for some customization of the equipment you bring to the missions.

Err Hyperwave decoder?

Sounds like you need to get into and play the game again old chap :) Actually I'd suggest that for everyone in the development team. I was suprised how much I'd forgotten when I got back into playing it and it's suprising what ideas creep out while playing the game. (The new battlescape equip screen is an example of an idea that came out when playing.)

#3 pooply

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 01:46 PM

I think that the concept for controlling aliens is a good idea, but the line that is drawn betweenhumans and aliens needs to be kept strong. The aliens are well... alien. They need to have a mystery to them, and an unpredictability. I think that having them on your team draws away from the factor of the unkown alien forces. Plus a big note is that the alien mind probe allows limited contorl of the alien units. So basically this ability could be used to a lesser degree.

I think, in relevewance to the skills, simplicity is key here. The simplicity of the soldier system is what made x-com so playable. They had 8 stats, of which 4 were important. I don't think that throwing in more skills is necessarily going to add to the gameplay. Less is more. I think that the fallout RPG elemetns should definetaly be looked at. One of the aspects of the original game that has probably yet to be reproduced was the bond that you got with your troops. This is key to making the feeling of insecurtiy when your guy is left alone in a large ship. Or when your lead man gets sniped by some floater on a rooftop. The bond with the troops makes thwe entire game more intense, it's that feeling of loss when one of your guys dies. One of your commanders or captains.

Edited by pooply, 11 May 2003 - 01:47 PM.


#4 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 03:18 PM

Absolutely. When people first started on the newsgroups it was that whole feeling they had for their teams that stood out.

Anything we can do to increase that identification with the troopers, to make them more human, and to build that tie in is good.

Perhaps we should be exploring why that happens and what we can do to reinforce that?

#5 GreatGold

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 05:22 PM

Hey -

I gotta say, I like the idea of having the OCCASIONAL alien working for you. I do not believe it should be a capture/brainwash deal though. Perhaps, if overall your doing well in the game, an alien may find sympathy and join your side. But I suggest it be super rare, and perhaps there should be a tech that needs to be researched first. Maybe a Translater Tech that allows for interspecies communication. In any case, I think it should be later in the game than earlier. I do like the proposal though.

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#6 Deimos

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 05:48 PM

Psychological bonding between soldier and player is an interesting quandry.

While running my roleplay campaigns I've explored what makes an npc likeable or what makes a player want to put them in harms way.

I've found that giving the players something something that compliments their personality usually works well in wanting to save the npc from harm.

In the case of xenocide, that could mean anything from giving them a cool voice to better than average stats or how lucky they are. Maybe they work better with a specific weapon. Obviously it can't be anything that helps the player or gives them a definite edge in the game.

The little things like the ability to rename well performing soldiers was what always did it for me. I know elsewhere we discussed medals for well performing soldiers which I think is a good idea.

Give them ones like 'Medal for meritous conduct under fire' for when they rescue wounded companions.
Obvious ones like 'The Purple heart' for soldiers wounded in combat.
'Medal for extreme bravery in the face of overwhelming enemy' Basically a kicking donkey on a mission.

Pin buttons for things like most aliens killed in a misson, best sniper and so on.

Lastly at the end of a misson or a page available in either x-net or the equip soldiers page in baseview there should be a stats table or a league table to show who the best performing soldiers are. I know a lot of people who used to play regularly back when the game was released and they used to keep score tables of the best perfomers and we used to have a mini competition between ourselves to see which soldiers could last longest, have the highest skills, stats and so on.

#7 GreatGold

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Posted 11 May 2003 - 08:49 PM

Hey -

Perhaps the best way to attack this is from a new, and different, angle than the original X-Com. I completely agree that it was the little things, such as naming a soilder, that made them more important. Perhaps we could build upon this idea by having a X-Net Soilder Database.

Within this database, similar to the regular X-Net, would be a roster of all your soilders, their stats, their DETAILED combat records, promotions, perhaps expected promotions, medals recieved, and a small bio. I be there must be some algorithm that randomly attaches a birthdate, nationality, random picture of a soilder, and such together. If one doesnt exist, perhaps we could make one. This would allow for an unlimited number of soilders in the roster, each with a different peronality that you could keep track of.

If I had any artistic capacity, I'd draw it up. But I think it would follow closely with Diemos latest draft, except with people not items.

The database could also keep track of accuracy, most used weapon, stationing (such as what base, when, where transfered). Having a database such as this would also allow for a more realistic system of payment for your troops. Higher rank or skill, more money... Just a few of the ideas that this could allow.

What ya think?
Gold

ps - when i fix my computer (as in reinstall the OS and all that jazz) I'll draw up an example of what I mean unless someone beats me to it.
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#8 Cubik

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 02:46 AM

pooply: The problem is that I never bounded with the soldiers in X-COM. But I did with the characters in Fallout. I believe that the main reasons are that there were lots of skills so that each character could be customized, and reason number two is that the characters are from so many races, all look and act different. They start to argue among each-other, taunting and congratulate in combat. Reason number three, each had their own agenda and background history. In short, they felt alive.

GreatGold: Great idea, this would make wonders for creating more feelings for the soldiers.

Deimos: I would play the game if I could get the fuskining thing to work. Right now, all it gives me are scrambeld graphics. Good idea with medals, another thing that gives the player reason to be careful about his soldier. Can't highranked soldiers give morale bonuses to other soldiers or something like that?

Got it working again, damn this game were good!

Edited by Cubik, 12 May 2003 - 03:46 AM.


#9 Breunor

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 10:13 AM

Cubik: Yes, higher ranked officers have a morale effect on the troops, especially when they are killed...

It's true that having lots of stats and skills to customize a soldier would make you 'bond' more with them, but do you want to do that for 15, 20, 40 soldiers? Consider the amount of time it would take to complete a busy month if you added in that as well. Granted, it may be that you get a stat point after every 2-3 aliens deaths, so maybe 1 soldier gets a boost every other mission. That wouldn't be so bad. But that's what the skill increases were for as well. When you found a soldier with high initial stats, you kept them, and as they gained experience you made sure they didn't die. Having extra skills could certainly be a version 1+ idea though. If people work out what the skills could/should be and the effects of them we can go from there.

#10 GreatGold

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 05:11 PM

Ya know what -

So I got to thinking of the X-Net Soldier Database idea...and I really think its worth working at. Plus, once the orignal X-Net is complete, its only a matter of making new stats and some minor modifications.

It can't be that hard for the game to track individual stats, as it is for all intents doing this already.

This could really increase player emotion and interaction with their assault squads...plus this X-Net could also track scientists, engineers, pilots. I know we had discussed increasing the types of individuals, as well as their pay system and importance. Such as several layer of scientists, some better and some worse; same with pilots; same with engineers. This system would really tie them all together.

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#11 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 12 May 2003 - 05:47 PM

I dunno if the is any one who has played champ man, basically its a football game, and a part of it is offering contracts to players, through demands and expirery etc. and usually want more pay the better they are doing. Could u include that in the game, it would add a more personal side, rewarding your best soliders, and letting go the underperforming ones.

#12 Deimos

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Posted 13 May 2003 - 04:16 PM

pooply: The problem is that I never bounded with the soldiers in X-COM. But I did with the characters in Fallout. I believe that the main reasons are that there were lots of skills so that each character could be customized, and reason number two is that the characters are from so many races, all look and act different. They start to argue among each-other, taunting and congratulate in combat. Reason number three, each had their own agenda and background history. In short, they felt alive.

GreatGold: Great idea, this would make wonders for creating more feelings for the soldiers.

Deimos: I would play the game if I could get the fuskining thing to work. Right now, all it gives me are scrambeld graphics. Good idea with medals, another thing that gives the player reason to be careful about his soldier. Can't highranked soldiers give morale bonuses to other soldiers or something like that?

Got it working again, damn this game were good!

Remember that xcom (strategy/management) is a different genre to Fallout (RPG) and there were a lot less characters in fallout which would make the experience more personal. With xcom even though the player needs something to make them want to keep their soldiers alive it shouldn't be as intense as Fallout. After all at the end of the day a soldier in xcom is there to do a job and is basically an investment to get that job done. The better they do the job the more they're worth.

Any 'bonding' that is done with solders in xcom should be that of a commanding officer sending his men to die.

A lot of people sack their soldiers when they've been wounded, and I for one have no problem sending my high reaction troops up in as assault troopers, they usually have other good stats as well so the 'cost' is quite high but they get the job done.

When my top soldiers 'buy the farm' I go out on a retribution mission but i don't really get as involved with the soldiers as I would do in an RPG like Fallout.

#13 Cubik

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 01:55 AM

And you see this as a good thing?

#14 Cubik

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 02:23 AM

Deimos, in responce to your point of view about androids: tanks can't talk, carry stuff or increase in levels. Also when making androids, the player shouldn't get the ability to customize the android as much as possible, choosing sex, skin colour, hair, height, weight and more and more.... the player could also get to screw around with the stats a little.

What this all boils down to: the player gets the ability to put himself/herself in the game.

#15 hArk

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Posted 14 May 2003 - 08:45 AM

For the more experience idea i.e. fallout
Say if you got one solder that you give rocket launch to for mission they get more points for their ability to use it automatically after the mission each time but gets less every time you use it so you end up with specialized solders as time go on.

So in short the more the soldier uses some thing they get better at using it
To make the game even harder if the other skills fall down in to atrophy from lack of practice may be for super human level only :devillaugh:


and to tie in that profile idea when random stats created you can have some thing like
“Was member of the Perth pistol club form age 14” to complement of him/she having high pistol skills when hired for example

#16 Deimos

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 11:37 AM

And you see this as a good thing?

Yup

#17 Deimos

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 11:51 AM

Deimos, in responce to your point of view about androids: tanks can't talk, carry stuff or increase in levels. Also when making androids, the player shouldn't get the ability to customize the android as much as possible, choosing sex, skin colour, hair, height, weight and more and more.... the player could also get to screw around with the stats a little.

What this all boils down to: the player gets the ability to put himself/herself in the game.

I see what you're saying, but really what is the point of androids? You're just doubling up on tanks and troopers.
Yeah so you get super customisable troopers. You can do that already in xcom. Choose a trooper that looks like you (same hair/skin colour) rename them and train them in mission. Does the same job.

I'm a bit confused though do you say that you want the android to be as customizable as possible or you don't and you're looking at mega customization in the soldier models.

Xcom works because of the fine balance between all the areas of the game. If we go changing fundamental pieces of it we're going to end up with a game that's going to have lots of 'features' but looks and plays like a patchwork game. Battlecruiser 3000 anyone?

A couple of points to remember are that anything that breaks from what we already know, is going to need extensive playtesting to see if it works (which is going to take time, something we don't have a lot to spare) and that someone is going to have to program it (Also something we don't have to spare). Not to mention the poor art team who'd have to create all these extra customisations.

I'm not saying don't think of new ideas for the game but please remember our overall goal is to get a working product for v1.0. Then we'll have a game to modify and it'll be easier to test them out.

#18 Breunor

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Posted 15 May 2003 - 01:35 PM

There's a balance between the wishlist mentality of anything goes, and features that could work for versions after v1. The laboratory is for ideas for version 1+, so this is a good place to discuss these kinds of ideas. I think it's possible that future versions of the game could include more details for the soldiers, including ideas floating around in here. Other people might not agree, while yet another might want everything listed and more. But here's the key thing that appears (at least IMO) to be overlooked right now: the idea is a valid one, so let's discuss details about how it would work, how to implement it, how it would affect game balance, and what else would need to change to maintain that balance.

For example, what would be the skills a soldier could acquire, what would the effects be like, how would you adjust the existing skills function to accomodate this idea, what do the aliens get to help them keep pace with these bonuses, and how would those changes affect the game mechanics?

Rather than focus on the premise, provide these kinds of details and how it will make the game more enjoyable (as you've said, more connection to soldiers), but also think of the drawbacks and how can this idea evolve to deal with those issues.

Remember that the laboratory is for proposals, so develop them as much as you would for any kind of formal proposal. These ideas are great, and the comments or concerns people raise are valid ones. There will always be some disagreement regarding the "best" system, if there is such a thing, but hopefully we can come up with fleshed out ideas that a lot of people like. Then we can pack that up and put it on the list for discussion when version 1 is complete, and it's time to expand.

Now that my sermon's done, let me pass around this collection plate. :master: :devillaugh:

#19 thejer

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 01:58 AM

So I'm asking this for my own knowledge, after browsing through this topic, I'm trying to figure what the goal is. Is it to replicate the old xcom, just with newer programming technologies and such and possibly correcting things that were blatantly ludicrous in the original?

The extra ideas and suggestions, I liked a lot of them, but I'd also like to just see a new rendition of the old game :) then we could brand new ideas and see where all those modifications take us. The original game, while it has it's shortcomings especially compared to other games we've all seen over ther years, part of it's beauty and addictiveness lies in its simplicity without all the extra character attributes and game features that are being suggested, which is why'd it would be awesome just to have an updated version of the original.

Well I guess that evolved from a question into a commentary, but...do what you will.

#20 Guest_Jim69_*

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Posted 25 September 2003 - 02:29 AM

The plan is to bring out v1.0 which will not change anything from UFO gameplay wise, just as u say correct errors and do the graphics. Then when we have a game to test stuff on we will incorporate the ideas that work. The lab is for all the new idea's whereas the workshops are for v1.0 ideas. There will probably also be a classic mode to play the game as it was at v1.0 but with any additional fixes and stuff that happens as the game progresses.

#21 thejer

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Posted 26 September 2003 - 02:05 AM

cool. that sounds very interesting. and a good plant.

#22 Flaser

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Posted 12 March 2004 - 02:45 PM

I think adding several new skills wouldn't really contribute to the current system - although you may come up with a system that does - since the stats themselves are too one-sided: shooting as much and as good as possible.

Instead expanding the current system v1.+ could use an entierly different system with different stats.

For instance you could focus on stuff like perception, inteligance, listening and so.

Just listening/looking could be expanded:
Therefore you could have true scout units, who're not too much of a marksman, but can still save the day by spotting aliens a mile far, and catch onto the noise their feet make when they dance on the floor above you.

Inteligance could determine, wheter a soldier understands signs/speaking of the alien so by reading a plaque at the alien base he could tell you that the armory is *that* way. Int could also determine actual psi qualities - psi aptitude, while psi strengh would be another thing. Inteligent soldiers could attempt to learn alien languages and evesdrop on the enemy comm. channels - or they could even try to confuse the enemy by taunting them! A panic sectoid medic could be persuaded to surrender - since the rest of his team is already dead.

The broadening of base qualities could lead to a more wholesome system.

---------------------

Other than the remodelling of the system - which is a tricky issue, since you have to cover a lot of areas with as few stats as possible for gameplay - you could introduce something else:

PERKS - a soldier could gain these only on higher levels, and therefore you everyday Rookie, or even Sergant won't put a big ordeal on the management side of the game.

Possible perks:
-Sniper (obvious) - the soldier is excelent at long range shooting, he may use sniper version of rifles, better critical hits (if targeted shots ever get implemented)
-Close Quarters specialist - the guy who can dodge bullets, and dive on a Muton with a blazing pair of assaultguns spraying bullets (receives bonus when using automatic rifles / multiple weapons)
-Prymaniac - same for rockets and launchers
-HW guy - same for heavy weapons
-Explosive expert - he can booby trap doors and place mines, he can also blow things up with greater expertise (blow through a ship's hull, blow a grenade with precise damage done only to the intended target)
-Field Medic - uses the Medipack with a lot better results, he may revive (!) killed soldiers if their body is intact (more-or-less) and were killed recently (1 round or so) initiating CPR and stabilising the soldier (he won't be able to fight, but you may still save a high ranking officer)
-Motivating leader - he can calm panicking teammates and raise their moral, (partially already present in X-com)
-Negotiator - this guy for some reason learnt at least one alien language, and can confuse/negotiate with that kind of alien. Most of the time this will ellicit a plasma reply - but a cornered, beat and fead up Sectoid is another issue...
-Athlete - runs fast, jumps high, and the chicks have the hots for him...
-Spiderman - who said people can't climbe walls? it just takes some practice (he can climb non-flat surfaces with greater chance than the rest of the soldiers)
-Kung Fu fighter - out of bullets? no problem - this guy always has a spare kick (Hth expert)
-Shadow - the master of cameoflague and hiding, that Ethereal never knew what hit him
-Driver - he rules the wheel - Sectoid roadkill imminent (if cars are implemented)
-Pack Rat - he can pack just a little more than the rest

Some perks could have several levels and special perks may have prequisites, a low rank soldier shouldn't be able to attain them and only middle level operatives should have the chance to earn it - the higher rank a soldier has the more specialised and personalised they can be.