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The Battlescape


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#1 fux0r666

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 09:52 PM

This is a work in progress but I thought I would post what I had since the topic seems relevent to the way discussions are currently heading.

*** posted from an extrenal document ***

I forget what the real-time aspect of xcom3 was like, but I think a stop and start real time strategy with AI controlling certain aspects of squad unit cohesion/ formation/ intermediate waypoints like Baldur's gate would be a huge leap ahead for the genre. It might even make playing strategy games where you don't build a freaking base out of stones and stab orcs playable to the general public (whose attention spans have markedly shortened since xcom first came out).

It would dramatically cut down on the workload of moving your units. Likewise you could make it as complex as you want, either setting waypoints for every individual or assigning your AI's to groups and setting squad waypoints.

I would envision a toggle to automatically pause the game when one of your squaddies sees an alien or if one is fired upon (provided he notices). At this point you could survey his field of view (everything your squaddies can't see is shrouded in a murky darkness like it was in the first game) and assign targets and formulate a plan to deal with the alien by setting new waypoints or changing commands.

This also opens the door for all kinds of interesting unit behaviour. Instead of walking around like badly animated pewter models, the squaddies could walk, speed walk or run in dynamic poses, much like those honed tactical movement portrayed in the Rainbow Six games. If the animation engine that the programmers is developing is skeletal, this opens the door for a lot of very captivating behaviour that would allow the player to engage the squaddies as actual people.

With a skeletal animation (or just a well planned linear animation framework), one could have different attack modes assigned to every unit that would not only engage the player as useful tools, but would also emulate tactical behaviour in a very convincing way. These modes would focus on various combinations of aggression and alertness. The most alert of these settings would be played out on screen by the squaddies with slow movement rates, and crouched postures. They would have their weapons shouldered and ready to fire, and they would scan the forward 180 degrees with slow, deliberate head movements (their POV would be 90 degrees plus 90 degrees of head movement). When they get to the end of their waypoint routine they would kneel, wait and watch. This most alert emote state/behavioural instruction set would be characterized in game terms as a bonus to observe aliens, aquire them as targets and there would be no penalties to accuracy while standing still, and minor penalties to accuracy while moving.
****

You can see where I'm heading with this.

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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#2 Jerry

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 10:05 PM

If you haven't played fallout tactics (a mixed RT/turn-based tactical squad combat game against human and non-human oppoents set in the near future), I really recommend it. It's very similar in function to the battlescape aspect of XCOM, while being several generations more advanced; it offers a lot to look at and feel in terms of potential play-style.

#3 fux0r666

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Posted 19 August 2003 - 10:07 PM

I have not and thank you!

Here I go an angry brother gonna make his move
But can I buck him in the city so I never lose?
See I'm a get him in the crowd with a couple heavies
And lay the barrel to the ground, hold the gat steady
And now I'm ready for my adversary, talk is cheap
I'm looking for a way to make a plan gonna keep it neat
So don't be telling me to get the non-violent spirit
'cause when I'm violent is the only time the devils hear it
'cause all I want to see is m****f***ing brains hanging


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