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Alien Entertainment


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#1 Sectopod

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 01:02 PM

Alien Entertainment has always been one of the extra things you could sell after a raid/crash, but can there actually be a good use to these things? Maybe as a calming tool perhaps? If the aliens were getting mind controlled or panicky, they could send the affected aliens to the Entertainment room to spend the time units recovering lost morale as they chill out in front of the orb :P It could also have X-Corps use as well. Some X-Corps craft could even incorporate an Entertainment Orb onboard an Avenger or such so that if the Aliens were panicking the units inside or the rookies were losing it mentally, you could sit them in front of the orb and relax (after it's been researched and fit inside).

I've always pictured the Alien Entertainment onboard Alien Terror Ships as something for the Terror Aliens to sit in front of (i.e. keep them busy staring at it) before they let them loose on the city. Advanced versions could even be battle simulators for some aliens (Mutons in fictional battle exercises on worlds, programming other aliens to pleasure in killing Humans, etc).

Of course, Alien Entertainment may work different from it's X-Corps equivalent (if any). Who knows what might happen if you were to sit in front of an alien one, maybe the opposite effect could happen? Something to scare the living daylights out of rookies as they enter the room? Horrible visuals entering their minds?

Also, could Alien Entertainment be manufactured as a good X-Corps product simply for sell value? What do you think?

Edited by Sectopod, 26 January 2006 - 01:04 PM.


#2 MirariNefas

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 03:47 PM

I think that properly tweaked, it would be a good interrogation tool. Not that there would be any need for that usage to be visible to the player.

#3 SpaceBoy2000

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 12:41 AM

I'm intrigued by the "battle simulation" part of it. Holographic projector technology? Maybe you can build a training module at your base (like in apoc) that's based on this technology. Or how about as some sort of...bait for the aliens? Or possibly a sort of camoflage system?

#4 Garo

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 01:52 AM

I think that we should not try to invent a purphose for everythin which is in game. I'd say the opposite: Invent more things which doesn't have any usefull purphose, but just a cool X-Net entry and some images.

This isn't LOST where "Everything has a purphose" ;)

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#5 Snakeman

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 02:28 AM

If it did have a purpose, I suppose the one proposed isn't half bad, in terms of curbing the effects panic attacks might have on aliens (the alien variety). Since Psi is a huge influence in their culture and way of doing things, it could be that just having them around means twice or three times the number of psi attacks it would take to have an effect on them.

I think that way, you wouldn't have to require that units have to be in any proximity to it (or in the room they are in). It just needs to be present on a given battlescape for it to be useful to their units.

Take them out and psi works a little easier for you. Maybe if that were done, there wouldn't be a need to come up with an X-COM equivalent.

#6 MirariNefas

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 11:18 AM

Hm, not only would it reduce their panic psionically, but they'd grow to depend on it. If you take it out, the sudden loss of the safety blanket alone would be enough to reduce their morale a little bit, even if nothing else is distressing them. Sounds like a fun way to make aliens panic.

If we want an X-CORP use, I'd advocate making it a tech prerequisite to certain things. My idea is that you'd need to research Alien Entertainment before you can interrogate aliens, and put a little side not in the entertainment entry about how its settings can be twisted for this purpose. If traps are being developed for bases, it could also be a prerequisite for certain kinds, like what SpaceBoy mentioned.

I don't necessarily think that everything should have a purpose, but it does provide incentive for players to actually research everything. I like the idea that instead of having one best thing to research at any given time, it'll be a more tactical decision about which of several capabilities you decide to acquire first.

Edited by MirariNefas, 27 January 2006 - 11:26 AM.


#7 Blood Angel

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 12:06 PM

Perhaps if you were to destroy a UFO's alien entertainment it would fly erratically because they were getting stressed?

#8 Sectopod

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Posted 27 January 2006 - 12:35 PM

Perhaps if you were to destroy a UFO's alien entertainment it would fly erratically because they were getting stressed?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


LOL *mental image of VERY stressed Mutons*

Maybe the Alien Entertainment could be the only way to find out the alien culture/backstory progressively? (kind of like in Interceptor) For example, you capture an Alien Entertainment and once you research it you can research what it was programmed to hold (Alien Culture 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). After you have researched this (and maybe any preresquites) it tells the Overmind's backstory in 5 parts. After this we now know of the Overmind and the images short out at number 5 when the Overmind's ship enters Sol (as to not confide with "The Martian Soloution" or things related to it, but you get the general gist of this). Basically one of these things to keep the reader very interested.

I'm also up for holographic battle simulators.

Edited by Sectopod, 27 January 2006 - 12:37 PM.


#9 Blood Angel

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Posted 31 January 2006 - 10:48 AM

The holographic technology could be used in the research tree. Like, you can't research flying armour until you have the Alien Entertainment Holoprojectors.

#10 MirariNefas

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Posted 01 February 2006 - 12:34 AM

What does holography have to do with levitating armor?

#11 sir_schwick

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 09:57 AM

An X-CORPS Psi Field(equivalent as I see it) could be used to get X-CORPS troopers into a psychological state of mind(maybe a partial dream state) where they have very little fear and are very focused on their mission. It could also be used to help train troops against psi-attacks since you could easily simulate them in drills.

#12 Blood Angel

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:33 AM

What does holography have to do with levitating armor?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Directly, nothing. Indirectly, the ability to control and avoid horribly crashing by providing an instinctive control interface.

#13 MirariNefas

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 11:47 AM

What does holography have to do with levitating armor?

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Directly, nothing. Indirectly, the ability to control and avoid horribly crashing by providing an instinctive control interface.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Shouldn't that be done by Alien Navigation research?

#14 SpaceBoy2000

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Posted 02 February 2006 - 07:56 PM

Well, I'm pretty sure that a holographic VR rig would sell quite well on the world market. I'd probably be quite profitable to be able to manufacture these and sell them for a nice price, regardless of actual military value...

#15 The Master Maniac

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 04:19 PM

I think I'm more in line with Sectopod's idea; using Alien Entertainment research for combat applications. Having a sort of training system (in fact, any training system at all) that could be augmented by researching AE sounds great, too. But failing that, perhaps a seperate research item could be pursued: an item, sort of like a medkit, that could be used to curb mental damage as opposed to physical. Let's say that the enemy psionically attacks one of your units, panicking him/her. Well, a nearby soldier could use this item on the affected unit, returning his morale to a normal state, maybe. Perhaps there could be more practical uses to AE research, but that's just an idea.

#16 Moriarty

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 01:54 AM

I've always imagined Alien Entertainment being something akin to psychedelic drugs, just that it's based on a psionic effect directly influencing the brain. I probably thought of that first when I saw those weird wall texture things always found near the actual "spheres".

so if there is some kind of actual use, I'd imagine it would be a ) purely recreational or b ) some kind of device that is used to train concentration on specific tasks in a very distracting environment. think "combat training under the influence". perhaps the Alien Entertainment could also be used to induce painful stimuli, allowing stress testing of soldiers - maybe some kind of morale-training?
in a complicated late version of the game, you might have a training facility in your base which gets updated by finishing certain research subjects.
1) in the basic version, you can train either strength or accuracy
2) when you have researched Alien Entertainment, it can be used to specifically train morale.
3) when you have researched psionics, it can train psionic abillities

Edited by Moriarty, 16 May 2006 - 01:58 AM.

I doubt, therefore I might be.

Posted Image,the sneaky little bastard.

#17 The Master Maniac

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Posted 16 May 2006 - 05:28 PM

when you have researched psionics, it can train psionic abillities


That sounds like a good idea. Maybe psionics can itself go beyond basic panic or mind-control functions...

#18 Snakeman

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Posted 21 May 2006 - 07:18 AM

when you have researched psionics, it can train psionic abillities


Another prerequisite for the lab you finally get sounds reasonable here - if the idea is to hold onto scientists longer as well. Besides, it makes sense that besides capturing and interrogating two of the main alien species with Psi ability, that you would also need some bit of technology in the tree along the way.

That sounds like a good idea. Maybe psionics can itself go beyond basic panic or mind-control functions...


Yea, maybe precognition(sp?). A higher TU usage option here where once successful, it could highlight (by waypoint/action overlay on the map) what that alien unit's intentions were/are going to be for its next turn in the future.

A waypoint is fairly straightforward - you know what the intended destination would be of the unit when it moved for its forthcoming turn.

The action waypoint overlay could be over or next to one of your units or an obstacle and could mean an attack on a unit, or in the case of an obstacle, its intention to aggressively do something about it (or just hide behind?).

The problem or con for this ability is that it can't possibly factor in every detail with regard to unintentional actions by other aliens or others of your units who decide to somehow disrupt the specified alien's actions during its turn. The ability would only highlight the enemy unit's intentions, not what it may or may not eventually do if its path was disrupted (through weapon fire, noises etc.)

I was reminded of what someone said of Chryssalids not too long ago, about how it could be going after a target in the orginal game, then another unit of yours who'd fire on it would make it change direction and charge them instead. If this was extended to units reacting to noises and other things on the battlescape, this could introduce changes in pathfinding behavior enough so that this new ability couldn't be relied on 100% of the time.

Truthfully, this sounds more like an extention of the mindprobe functions, yet it takes something like the Psi Amp to really discover enemy intent.

Anyway I thought I might sketch out a possible tree for this (for after you get alien containment)...

- Sectoid and/or Ethereal
|
|_- Mind Probe
...|
...|_-Alien Entertainment
......|
......|_-Psi Lab
.........|
.........|_-(extra research here for each type of ability)

Ok, so not much of a tree so much as a flight of stairs. Maybe where things could branch off is where the differences in combat and non-combat applications is. Some between or in parallel with mindprobe and entertainment and below that as well as what's below psi lab.

Edited by Snakeman, 21 May 2006 - 07:22 AM.


#19 sir_schwick

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Posted 22 May 2006 - 10:38 AM

Although slighly OT, here are some more advanced and subtle psi techniques that could even be used on you.

Suggestive Techniques: Obviously you can introduce data into the mind of those you are jacked into psionically and vice versa. This will probably be easier than taking over concious function.

- Distraction - Create data of a noise or mirage distraction from a particular source. Useful for making them waste a reaction shot or turn away.
- Intention - Place the thought in their head they should head a certain direction. Success is based upon perceived threat of area and weakness of soldier.
- Feign Death - It causes a soldier to fall dead in thier view, although it is only an illusion. They then might shoot at someone in safer ground or assume its safe to walk and not be prepared to shoot.

These abilities can also be used on you, although intention would probably require a false enemy reading. Distraction would likely be noises or false weapons fire. Feign death would work if only the affected soldier(s) saw the supposed dead guy. Makes fighting Ethereals even tougher because you never know if they are really dead.

#20 kashyyk

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Posted 24 February 2007 - 02:54 PM

...Makes fighting Ethereals even tougher because you never know if they are really dead.

that makes me think of lobbing nades at ethereal bodies just to make sure. A great way to waste equip & a good ethereal body. :P