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The New Xcom

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#1 jpb



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Posted 11 June 2007 - 05:30 AM

I got this idea for a while and now i decide to share it with everyone who likes XCOM/UFO
This forum was created with the purpose of present and develop ideias for the creation
of a quality game in the line of the UFO/XCOM saga. There are no lucrative objectives,
only the intention to create a game in the line of its predecessors and thus to provide countless
hours of pure fun. Being important to remember that the small details,
ideias and small innovations can make the great difference. The game can be developed by
anyone who can program in the base of the open source or with the contribution
of some interested company that wants "to catch" this ideia.




Being this a subject that certainly pleases the great majority of video game fans,
there is a lot of possibilities wich deserve to be explored. The action itself should be
in the classic turn based style, in addition with the usual strategical presentation of the earth
globe. The game would have to possess some degree of complexity compared to his predecessors
because of the interesting innovations and details that would be part of this game.
It would have to include an editor or any other form to extend the possibilities for choices
of the player, for example to let the player decide the maximum or minimal number of soldiers that
start in the first stage of the game therefore preventing limitations that can compromise the quality
and the interest of the game.
An important innovation could be the chance to choose to play as the ALIENS and not just the
Human side, howhever this can only be possible after completing the game or after reach an advanced
stage, this is because when the player choose to play with aliens without try the humans first
it would compromise the interest of the whole game since for example the fun of conducting an alien
autopsy or reserch an alien technology wouldn't be the same if you already know the result.
It would be better to chose a simple, easy an pratical interface in the same style of the two
first XCOM's. Another important point in the concept of this game would be its playability, having for
example the chance while in the action to be possible to use veihcles (armed jeeps, stactic gun
turrets, etc) and on the other hand the player can be forced to abandon the veihcles if by some reason
they are incapacitated and turn into an easy target.
In terms of the graphical presentation of the characters it could be like the "Cartoon" type,
like in the first two XCOMs) or something more realistic (like in UFO Aftermath or UFO Extraterrestrials)
I personally find the first option to be more atractive.


Like it seems to be already prooved that it isn't just only the graphical quality that determines
the quality of the game, specially for this type of game where great graphic demands don't
seem to be necessary and at the same time taking some example of other games that do not
possess great graphical engines.


The story could take place in a close future, a post-apocalyptic scenario or something more or less
close to our era, instead of a very futuristic scenario that does not seem to favor
the quality of the game as already seen on some poor examples.


The usual forests, deserts, country fields, snow deserts are nice scenarios for an UFO salvaging mission
(I posted some Blitzkrieg maps exactly to show the graphical level that suits, while demonstrating
that he is not necessary to use the latest graphical technology to make a great game), some other maps
can be Military Bases, Factorys, harbours, streets with subway stations, Oil tankers, bases, and others.

Posted Image

A nice scenario for a UFO salvaging mission.


The missions tend to be something of great importance since is where the action takes place
and therefore the diversity must be well planed, under the risk of not falling into the
monotony and consequent disinterest, to prevent this factor some new aspects can be included
such as the possibility in case of the mission occur in the proximity of a military base to get
an advantage of being able to request air support from attack choppers for recognition and ground
attack, or in the inverse case if the mission is near to an alien base the result would be a
major disadvantage. The interaction with the environment would be also something to explore,
for example in a cenario with an oil transport truck that causes a spectacular explosion if hited
by some shot. The mission types should vary between Rescue, base defense, UFO salvaging, sabotage,
alien incursions as well as special missions while reaching certain stages of the game.


There could be two types of bases: underground and submarine simultaneously. The number
of initial bases could be of three (and this is just an idea), one somewhere in Central
America, one between Europe and Africa, an other between Asia and Australia with the
possibility to choose or not the bases location. The base facilities would be similar
to the previous games, howhever with a difference that the bases would possess two
underground levels the first for the underground hangars and landing/take off pads ,
and the second sublevel for facilities such as living quarters, laboratories, Radars,
defense systems, training fields etc.
In addition to the regular bases it would be interesting the introduction of "detection
outposts" that don't possess the same type of installations of the conventional bases
but only a detection system, a small store for weapons and ammo, living quarters
and veihcles to support those bases like armed buggys (like in Battlefield 2, i just
love those buggys) and AT-ST's (Yeah, those walking turrets from Star Wars !!)
and by this way creating additional and rich scenarios wich give pleasure just
to look at, contributing for the missions variety.


How about a number of 60 soldiers per base (2 Platoons),one general for the entire
organization, each base with one Colonel, one Major, 2 Captains, 2 Lieutenants, 4
Sergeants, 4 Corporals and the remaining compposed by soldiers (of course that those
numbers don't need to be strict) there should also be possible to choose the soldiers
for those ranks or leave this selection to be automatic. The initial number of soldiers
maybe sound high while comparing to the other XCOM games and this is because it sounds
much logical that an alien invasion should be faced by an army of special forces rather
than by a team of just ten soldiers. The human forces could be composed by a mix of navy
(like TFTD) and army forces (like XCOM 1) depending the situation.
It would be also interesting to check the information about each soldier apart from combat
and physical capabilities as well as the role he performs best (sniper, medical, etc) the
number of missions he participated, the number of casualities he caused, etc. The manner
in wich this information can presented could be something similar to what it is TFTD, or
slightly improved. Another innovation could consist of a system of awards like medals for
certain achievements like the period of time in service, rescue of civilians or other
soldiers, number of missions, etc.


In the begining the tecnological level should be limited to what is at our disposal in the
present era or something not much advanced with the possibility to develop and research
technologies like laser or gauss or even inspired in the alien technology but without the
chance of exceed or even match the alien technology, and instead relaing mostly in the
development capacity of your scientist team. Some existing technology could be inspired for
example in combat droids (like ED 209, wouldn't this be great? imagine that, an ED 209
fighting aliens and giving them heck !!), the already mentioned AT-ST's of the Star Wars,
armed jeeps, etc.


The vehicles should be divided into two categories: Combat and Transport. Some transport
vehicles can be based on the Triton, or the Leviathan and could be launched from underground
bases or a special hibrid (submarine\ship) wich is exactly used for naval operations as well
as gives UFO detection support. The attack vehicles should be used to intercept UFOs or in the
case of helicopters for air support and ground attack.


The most alien types are already created as the Sectoids, Bio-drones (that I consider a "must"),
Gillmans, Mutons, some alien based in the creature of the "Predator" with great capacity of
camouflage and resistence thus constituting an extreme opposition to your soldiers. Obviously
each type of alien would possess its own specific carachteristics, some more common, some more
rare, some more stronger some weaker.

Edited by jpb, 11 June 2007 - 06:14 AM.

#2 Guest_Azrael_*

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Posted 11 June 2007 - 05:28 PM

Not to be a party-pooper, but are you a programmer or intend on program this yourself? Because there are plenty of projects aiming at recreating X-Com, and very few live longer than a few months, and the ones that survive seldom get anywhere too, and I can assure you that no project is going to get anywhere unless you get something more tangible than just a few guidelines on how you'd like your game to be, you need something else, otherwise you're never going to get programmers, if you ever do.

Good luck.

#3 jpb



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Posted 12 June 2007 - 03:34 AM

I must totally agree with you, i must begin with making a project, start the work myself and then
show the progress to the others.
I can't fully say that i'm a game programmer yet, i had to learn C++ for several reasons and this was one more, howhever even if i was a senior programmer i do realize that this envolves a huge work to be
done all by myself and i really need some help with it.