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#1 Raid!

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 10:01 PM

Last night I was trying to organize my soldiers and transferring them across bases it got really confusing and I ended up writing names and bases down on paper to get it all straight. I thought that if a remake is going to be made there are some things that I wouldn’t change (like the battlescape play) but I would definitely change the way you manage the bases. Here are a few ideas I had regarding how to make the management system for the base a little better.

*The ability to sort soldiers by rank, or status (i.e. wounded, in a craft, or ‘unassigned’ maybe the ability to sort them by their different stats too.

* The ability to sack, transfer, give armour to, and assign to an aircraft, especially getting rid of the armour pop-up window.

*When producing items or transferring ‘staff’/items when ever you look in the ‘base stats’, sell/sack, purchase or transfer screens a shadowed number appears beside a base total. So if I have 10 laser rifles and I’ve got 5 more coming from any number of bases if I go to the sell sack screen I’d like to see something like Laser Rifle 10 ‘+5’ on that bases screen. Now I don’t think it’s needed for out going items, because they are subtracted from inventories automatically as soon as the transfer is accepted.

*Also there are a number of windows that don’t need to keep popping up and can be replaced by ‘list buttons’. Researching is an example of this. Imagine one screen where you can choose an item you want to research from a drop down list, type in how many scientists you want working on it (or use the arrow buttons) click a ‘begin’ button and away they go.

* I also love tool tips I think they are one of the most useful ways of providing a lot of data with taking up only temporary desktop real estate. Picture placing your mouse over Living quarters and having a pop up tool tip tell you how many Soldiers, Scientists and Engineers you have at that base. This too could have many different applications throughout the Geoscape and base screens.

Anyway this is (hopefully) food for thought for you to consider, I’ve got more ideas, but very limited Java and Unix coding experience so the implementation I’ll have to leave to somebody else.
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#2 Raid!

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 10:05 PM

Ah crap, point to should read

* The ability to sack, transfer, give armour to, and assign to an aircraft, in one window especially getting rid of the armour pop-up window.

I guess I really should go to bed :wacko:

#3 gangsta

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Posted 18 October 2002 - 11:01 PM

:LOL: Ok :) I think I got most of what ya said. Yes I agree that you should be able to equip the craft from the soldier menu and also fire from there. And yes that can be vastly improved. Think a xcom fanatic like stewart also feels the same way. Hmm dunno if you mentioned it but when you purchase stuff it should be like the sell menu and show how much quantity of said item you have at base. perhaps the purchase/sell/transfer interface can also be merged. merge, merge, merge... :) ... ok now a bit off topic but wouldn't it be neat to see your xcom soldiers and scientist live out their lives in the xcom base :) sorta like the sims? :) now that there would be way off in the future. :rolleyes:
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#4 Raid!

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Posted 19 October 2002 - 01:08 PM

:LOL: With Sid having the rights to X-com maybe that's what will see in the bases! But my whole point was to simplify and condense the information; I don't even want to think about handling the personal lives of the base personnel, I can barley do it for my self! :( Anyway I like your point about the purchases too, knowing what you already have will stop you from over-ordering things. I'm going to further develop my thoughts on this as I play during the week and I'll try to get them organized before posting here again. Hopefully it will be more succinct than my first post, and look more like a developers plan than some guy ranting about what he wants from a new game in the middle of the night! <_<

#5 gangsta

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Posted 19 October 2002 - 05:37 PM

Yup :) I got your point. And actually it is good programming to simplify and combine interfaces like that. To me the three most important things when programming are writing clean, compatible and reusable code. :) As for the X-Com Sims thing :) was thinking more that they do they own thing instead of you controling them. :) hey where are the bathrooms in XCom anyway? :)
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#6 Guest_stewart_*

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Posted 21 October 2002 - 10:54 AM

Yes, I too have though of similar logistical functions add to the game. Like more automated buying and transfer of supplies and so on.

I'd also add definitions of soldier types (what they carry, what are the logical upgrades of what they carry). And then definition of teams based on these soldier types. The team definitions would contain the placement order and direction on the three different transports.

And stuff like that . . . .

#7 Raid!

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Posted 31 October 2002 - 05:34 PM

Just FYI I'm still working on a little excel (non-working) mockup of what I was trying to get at in my initial posts. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to improve the equiping of characters rather than the current "before the fight" system that the original had.

The problem is how do we load up the characters in a manner that's easy to access and still has realistic rules (like the 80 "items" rule...which should change too, but I digress). What I'm thinking is that the "Equip Craft" screen should take care of soldiers equipment and craft postion (on a more permanent basis) and still have "equipment" space on the craft for afew items to be determined before the fight. A section in this equip page should also cover soldiers not assigned to any craft (for base defence), but I guess that would mean making it an "Equip" screen rather than an "Equip Craft" screen. :)

Any thoughts on how to make this work?

#8 Guest_stewart_*

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Posted 01 November 2002 - 10:30 AM

Yeah, I actually keep all my XCOM notes in an Excel spreadsheet to. This includes info I've dug out of the game itself, to designs for bases and teams to schedules for constructing bases and for my Airforce.

#9 gangsta

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Posted 02 November 2002 - 12:05 AM

As for design I think we should use Powerpoint files. :) OpenOffice has supports powerpoint. :)
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#10 Guest_stewart_*

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 11:45 AM

As for design I think we should use Powerpoint files.  :) OpenOffice has supports powerpoint. :)

Design of what? What do you mean?

#11 gangsta

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 12:34 PM

As for design I think we should use Powerpoint files.  :) OpenOffice has supports powerpoint. :)

Design of what? What do you mean?

:P well sorta UML like stuff. :) if that needs to be done.
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#12 Guest_stewart_*

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 01:24 PM

I'm still in the dark here, wha?

#13 gangsta

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Posted 04 November 2002 - 11:48 PM

:P well some programmers express concepts in design that way. Part of making well documented code I think.
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#14 Guest_stewart_*

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Posted 05 November 2002 - 10:54 AM

Hmm? I bet someone here has or can scam a "special" copy of Rational Rose.

#15 Guest_Morgan Sobotka_*

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 09:03 AM

The speed at which you can rotate earth in the remake geoscape is kind of slow, could do with rotating a wee bit faster. Also, there should be a way to stop guys in flying suites from automatically hovering when they get of the transport. Telling them to stop hovering on the ramp expends time units. I've noticed that studying dead aliens has no effect on the outcome of the game besides wasting research time. Maybe this should be done for free?

#16 Guest_Stenim_*

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Posted 24 November 2002 - 07:48 PM

I've noticed that studying dead aliens has no effect on the outcome of the game besides wasting research time. Maybe this should be done for free?

I think that research should have a greater effect on the outcome of the game. The study of aliens should allow you to be more effective at killing the aliens because you'll know where to know where to hit them. I also have a few ideas on some improvements:
-add different classes of soldiers (ie:snipers,engineers and assult)
-maybe allow for the construction of radar outposts so you dont have to waste bases.
-maybe use satellites for tracking or construct some defenses in orbit to attack alien ships on entry.
I'm just throwing some suggestions... hope they can help. :)

#17 Mazdek

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 04:04 PM

Some tactical interface suggestions:

1. Include the buttons that were added in TFTD, they were handy. We can probably think of some more too.

2. OMG, some goddamn keyboard shortcuts! :D After some marathon X-COM sessions I remember lots of PAIN in my right index finger/hand/arm/shoulder/back. :freak: I'll write up a suggested list of kbd shortcuts if ya want.

Uh, thats all that comes to mind at the moment. I was thrilled to learn about this project!

#18 Maverick

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Posted 21 February 2003 - 05:39 PM

My $.02,

I think that research should have a greater effect on the outcome of the game. The study of aliens should allow you to be more effective at killing the aliens because you'll know where to know where to hit them.

I know I wouldn't be thinking "gee its a good think I researched him, now I know where to shoot" it would be more like "spray and pray...it works in CounterStrike!". I'm not trying to put you down, but research of aliens IMO is more for the gamers benefit (background info, storyline advancement, etc) not for adjusting abilities (except rare cases like psi-attacks)

The speed at which you can rotate earth in the remake geoscape is kind of slow, could do with rotating a wee bit faster. Also, there should be a way to stop guys in flying suites from automatically hovering when they get of the transport. Telling them to stop hovering on the ramp expends time units.

I'd like to see the earth rotation speed increased as well. I think there should be a toggle for flight suits that allows you to turn on the flight feature and turn off the flight feature (so you could technically fly around while on the ground....) Another consideration with flight suits is that they should have a weight limit so that you don't get full speed carrying everything in the armory as long as you are flying...

#19 GutterMonkey

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 04:45 PM

My $.02,

I think that research should have a greater effect on the outcome of the game. The study of aliens should allow you to be more effective at killing the aliens because you'll know where to know where to hit them.

I know I wouldn't be thinking "gee its a good think I researched him, now I know where to shoot" it would be more like "spray and pray...it works in CounterStrike!". I'm not trying to put you down, but research of aliens IMO is more for the gamers benefit (background info, storyline advancement, etc) not for adjusting abilities (except rare cases like psi-attacks)


I'd have to agree with the 'spray 'n pray' school of thought here, but I do think that a little more concrete info from autoposys would not be out of line. As well as the wonderful bit of background info, perhaps the UFOpedia entry can include a small selection of the average scores for some of the basic stats(TU's, Strength, shooting accuracy, psi stregth etc) Not as much info as a mind probe scan, and a little fuzzy, with the stats being given in something like:

"Based on study of the alien's anatomy, we belive that X-COM operatives faceing Sectoids can expect it's preformance to somwhat reflect scores in these ranges:

TU: 55 +/- 3?
Str: 30 +/- 5?
PSt: 40 +/- 4?

Speical notes: There appears to be the potential for some sort of psycic activity in this creatures brain. Only the more developed members of this speices would be able to use this as a weapon in combat. Suggest caution when dealing with higher ranking Sectoids."

That is only a rough draft off the back of my head, but you get the idea. Certenly autopsys must either be made more valuble, or be rediculiously cheap to research. I know I'd prefer the former option.

EDIT: I'm a noob with this board interface, so please don't get mad about the funky quoteing. Not trying to put words in people's mouths.

#20 Maverick

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Posted 22 February 2003 - 05:43 PM

on the second quote tag put a / before quote in the braces. [/QUOTE] and it will put it in the little box for you.

#21 GutterMonkey

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Posted 23 February 2003 - 02:32 PM

Ah. Thanks for the info.

Also, last night I was playing, and I realised that if there were a place that had ALL the expences, ALL the income, and ALL the storage capacity for different bases listed on a single screen, that would help immensely.

#22 Kenshiro

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 12:01 AM

Definately should be able to add or subtract items by tens (or even hundreds) when selling or buying - especially selling.

After capturing a few very large UFOs you had to hold down the mouse on the quantity button for like 30 seconds at a shot to dump all the extra alloys. Plus, when you finally get plasma weapons, it could take minutes to get rid of all the old technology weapons. The sell menu was a nice way to get a blister on your index finger if you pulled an all-niter session.

#23 Guest_drewid_*

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 01:40 AM

an up/down arrow over each numeral would work for that. or maybe a completely different way of representing that info. like a slider bar or something. (Just brainfarting, not necessarily a serious suggestion).
I'm sure when we arrange things we can try a few things out for that

#24 Nickisimo

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 07:12 AM

Yeah, trying to buy/sell stuff in the original was a real problem(though not as bad as say FF1 for the original NES). Maybe doing away with the "Base Resources" section entirely and creating one like "Finances", would be an easier access to everything money.

Also, I'm sure adding a slider for tens or even a small box to enter any number you want would be simple at that point. :happybanana:

#25 mikker

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 09:54 AM

i agree...you should have an arrow over each number...


to keep------------------to sell

^^ ^^
1 2 3 5 -alien alloy- 0 0 0 0
v v v v

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#26 Nickisimo

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 10:12 AM

How about mouse-over info?
Like dragging the mouse over one of your lovable little troops displays a few important items above their character, like Name, TU's, Health Status. That could be handy. In the original, every character basically looked the same, especially when you got Power Suits, so this sort of convention would allow you to find a particular guy without having to move from character to character until you stumble onto him. Just an idea. :happybanana:

Edited by Nickisimo, 25 June 2003 - 10:12 AM.


#27 Deimos

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Posted 25 June 2003 - 10:50 AM

Ah. Thanks for the info.

Also, last night I was playing, and I realised that if there were a place that had ALL the expences, ALL the income, and ALL the storage capacity for different bases listed on a single screen, that would help immensely.

There is its Casey Chang's xcom FAQ. It covers pretty much everything.
Click on the yellow Strategy guide button up a the top of the page next to the forums button.

#28 54x

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Posted 11 October 2004 - 05:37 AM

It seems to me the basescape buttons need a bit of a rehaul. First some general poins, then some specific suggestions for what sort of "screens" to use.

* UFO and TFTD used a "back-and-forward" interface, meaning you had to go BACK to the baseview to change to another screen. This wastes time. Have the toolbar to switch basescape screens present on ALL basescape screens, and we cut down the amount of clicking (and loading) by almost half.

* There were even more clumsy back-and-forward screens INSIDE the basescape screens- eg. the manufacturing screen popped up the build menu from a button instead of incorporating it into the screen itself. Let's try and keep popups to a minimum- use tabs or frames instead.

*Right-clicking on an up button should assign the maximum value, and on a down button it should assign the minimum value. This saves on incessant clicking :) Likewise, with scrollbar buttons, right-clicking should snap you to the bottom/top/left/right, depending on the button you pressed.

OK, here are the screens I think a Xenocide basescape should have:

* Personnel. Here's where you hire soldiers, scientists, and engineers. Down the bottom of the screen, you can see what your soldiers and staff cost you per month, (and how much this would change to when you hire those new soldiers you just entered into the interface) and also assign armour to your soldiers individually via a pulldown menu, or assign as many as possible a certain type of armour via a seperate pulldown at the bottom. You should also be able to assign soldiers to craft via a pulldown here, too, and there should be another pulldown down the bottom for filling a ship with all the free soldiers that you have. (moving this to "no ship" would empty all your soldiers for reassignment) We could use either popups or expand-buttons to show soldiers' stats.

* Inventory. This is where you see how much of each item you have stored, and buy and sell. It shows how much of each item you had when you first opened the screen, how much you want to buy/sell, (colour-coded?) how much you would have left, what each item costs, how much money this transaction would make you lose/gain, and the name. You should be able to type the amount to buy/sell or the amount left manually, as well as using up/down arrows. The names could be colour-coded to tell you if an item is purchasable or not. Also, there should be a column that totals the number of items you have, and how much your changes will lose/gain in cash, etc, and another that compares storage space available with storage space used.

* Transfer. This pops up a screen with the name of each item you have at least one of, a column for the amount in each base, the amount you have 'spare,' (from reducing the amount in one base when you have >2 bases) and the amount that this part of the trasfer would cost. Like with the inventory screen, the total cost should be displayed at the bottom, below the scrollable area.

* Research. Instead of popup windows, just have it display two panes, with a draggable divider between the two. Double-clicking on an inactive technology moves it into the ative tech pane, and vice-versa. When it's in the active pane, the number of scientists appears next to it, with up and down arrows, along with the progress indicator. (it could be a word like in UFO, or a percentage, or whatever) The total amount of scientists and lab space can appear at the top of the screen for reference.

* Manufacture: See research. The reason for two panes is so that your active projects aren't cluttered by the inactive ones.

* Build. Integrate this into the default basescape view- just have a toggle somewhere that brings up a list of facilities to pick from and their costs. Also, you should be able to change the facility you have in a square, even if demolishing it would disconnect other facilities. Perhaps a sort of "construction site" graphic?

* Maintenance. Brings op the maintenance costs for the base. Perhaps another toggle for the default view? Perhaps there can just be a "Basescape" button, with a pulldown for normal, construction, and maintainance modes?

* Craft. Integrate the weapons selection into the main screen, and use popups or expandable areas for equipping with items. Selecting soldiers can be done on the equipping screen, too? There shold be a pulldown arrow on this button, allowing you to jump straight to loading items or people onto a transport. If equipping is done via expandable areas, then this should automatically be open if you have only one transport in your base.

* New base. This always seemed misplaced to me. Shouldn't this be on the geoscape, seeing it brings you back there to place the base? That'd save clicking and loading time.

* Back to geoscape. If you can't figure that out, you shouldn't be playing ^_^ Have a pulldown arrow next to it, so you can select another screen to go to from the basescape.

* Base switcher. Always a good idea. Perhaps there could be small pictures of the topside of each base here, instead of showing you the inside? *shrug*

#29 Paladin

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 06:27 AM

Good ideas, the interface sure might need modernisation, but it also works fine the way it is... As long as it does not delay the rolling out of Xenocide ^_^
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#30 Snakeman

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Posted 12 October 2004 - 07:05 PM

I actually kind of like the current speed of buying/selling in X-COM, however, that being said, I think the only addition here might be a small field (representing at least 4 digits in length) where you can type in the exact amount, then click once to liquidate. Still, if minimizing clickage/typage is more paramount, all I can suggest here is what others have...Kind of just stipulate a "minimum to be kept" and an "auto-sell" can do the rest for any quantities extending over what you've specified. Then the only time you need to visit that area again is to respecify your "caps for stuff" so to speak.

Good idea too whoever said to combine the store screens for all bases. Perhaps an extention of this could be to include lab/science/& living space/defense values arrangements on the same info screen (the bar graph stuff). Then you might not need individual base info views except to do each bases' stores management (the respecifying item caps thing above/buy/sell for that base), and construct/dismantle your facilities stuff.

As for delaying Xenocide for anything, it might be this autosell thing hehe.

#31 Paladin

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 06:36 AM

Yeah, autosell would be nice, as well as Slidebars ^_^
"You're just jealous because the voices in my head only talk to me."

"I only think this stuff up ..
then I have to write it down so it doesn't corrupt the rest of my brain.. "

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There is another which states that this has already happened.
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#32 centurion

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 12:19 PM

Well, trying to visualize what was mentioned, I ran into pretty cramped screens (result attached). Could you (mainly 54x, but everybody else can take this an invitation, too) please provide a mockup of your suggestions of screen contents?

Attached Files


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#33 Paladin

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 02:32 PM

Looks ok for me ^_^
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then I have to write it down so it doesn't corrupt the rest of my brain.. "

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There is another which states that this has already happened.
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#34 Snakeman

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Posted 14 October 2004 - 05:01 PM

Looks good here too. Earlier I was thinking on this after I'd posted and was thinking 'why not integrate tabs to cycle through bases' when I realized its already there as it was in the first X-COM. All you have to do is click the base square icon you want to visit.

One thing I would like clarification on is on the personel screen where you see the engineers and scientists up top, then your soldiers. I like that you have the hire and dismiss on the same line, but I wonder if you hope to introduce a popup or some confirm message if the dismiss button is accidentally clicked :) same for the hire/fire of engineers/scientists.

#35 centurion

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Posted 15 October 2004 - 01:17 AM

Well, I intended to use the big red "confirm changes" button to actually make the changes, until that's clicked you should be able to re-click the dismiss button to cancel.

And the "real" cause for the screenies is that they could be transformed with minimal effort into a HTML mockup, which will surely miss most of the features, but could be used to test whether the general layout is usable/intuitive enough.
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#36 Paladin

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Posted 15 October 2004 - 07:04 AM

Good point about the HTML test-dummy ^_^
"You're just jealous because the voices in my head only talk to me."

"I only think this stuff up ..
then I have to write it down so it doesn't corrupt the rest of my brain.. "

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another which states that this has already happened.
-Douglas Adams (The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy)"

#37 centurion

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Posted 16 October 2004 - 01:11 PM

Well, here is the result of a quick try, just some buttons are made to work at all (and the crafts section is empty atm), but most are tooltipped; for some reason it won't run straight from the site for me, so just grab the zip if you want to take a look.
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#38 Paladin

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Posted 18 October 2004 - 07:00 AM

Looks ok IMHO.
"You're just jealous because the voices in my head only talk to me."

"I only think this stuff up ..
then I have to write it down so it doesn't corrupt the rest of my brain.. "

"There is a theory which states that if ever anyone discovers exactly what the universe is for and why it is here, it will instantly disappear and be replaced by something even more bizarre and inexplicable.
There is another which states that this has already happened.
-Douglas Adams (The Hitchhicker's Guide to the Galaxy)"

#39 54x

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 05:18 AM

Yours look pretty good :) The main difference was that I was going to have checkboxes by the soldiers to transfer them or sack them. I have a few concept screens for you- but it's not complete yet. The most important missing factor is that transferring should probably work between all bases at once- just have a "spare" column if there are more than two bases, and reducing the quantity of anything puts it into the spare column. Grey out finalising changes until the spare column is completely empty :)

Other differences include a "global" pulldown for personnel that assigns everyone a certain type or armour or to a certain ship, and pullover menus if you click on the far left of the button so you can leap to a specific tab. It's basically just a lot of stuff to make it faster to make your way around if you spend a lot of time in the basescape :)

Attached Files



#40 centurion

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 11:40 AM

Looks definitely nice there ^_^ .
Wrt transfer: you mean the user may just give orders to "transfer 10 rifles to Base1, 20 rifles to Base2, 15 rifles from Base3 and purchase the rest (15 rifles) from the market"? While I don't see the interface that would show that on a single screen (your 'spare column' thing is perfectly usable, it's just me voicing a concern of the control freaks like myself; maybe a graphic like the diplomacy screen in CIV3?), it would be a nice touch. *mines lecture notes for best algorithm* However, even with this feature, I think that all transfers could be handled in the respective screens (inventory, personnel, alien containment, hangars) and not deal with those inhomogenous transfers in a separate screen.
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#41 54x

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Posted 19 October 2004 - 09:41 PM

I suppose you could always just add an extra tab to each screen that has something transferrable- ie. craft, personnel, and inventory, and use that instead.

WRT the the transfer, I meant something like this:

Item          Alpha         Beta          Gamma       Spare
Grenade      20+-          13+-          112+-         0
Rifle         11+-          0+-           24+-          0
...lots of extra rows...
Total Cost: $1,329 |Finalise|

Then, when you want to transfer something, you reduce the amount in one base, (which all goes into the spare column) and then increase the amount in another base. It means a lot less fiddling around with multiple transfer screens when you want to move things to or from different bases.

The reason I thought sticking to one big transfer screen might be a good idea is that when I start a new base, I usually build the craft, order the personnel, and make the equipment ready in my existing bases first- and one of the redeeming features about the UFO transfer interface was that when I did this, I could ship the whole lot at once.

Also, it means that the transfer screen would be just one click away from any other screen that happens to be open- (via the sidebar) and would make large transfers much, much simpler.

As for spare column vs individual amounts, the advantage of this screen, like with the original UFO screen, is that you can always see how many you have in each base, and how much you have left to transfer. (it might be worth keeping track of the original amounts in a second row below each item?) A Civ3 like screen is entirely possible, although it is really designed for a two-way transfer :/ That does give me the idea though, that each category of items (eg. grenades, pistols, rifles, heavy guns, craft cannons, crafts, etc...) could be collapsable, (like I suggested with the stats for each soldier, and like happens with the trade items in Civ3) which would make it much easier to find what you wanted than just scrolling the whole list.

Edited by 54x, 19 October 2004 - 09:47 PM.


#42 Paladin

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Posted 20 October 2004 - 02:27 PM

Good point!
Less Hassle for the same customisation :D
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#43 GARAK

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Posted 25 May 2005 - 06:03 PM

I like these ideas, but the screens are to cramped. Move the screen selection boxes to the top, like little icons, then you add 3 inches to the right of the screen.