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Topics - homunculus

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Discussion / Long time no see, game impressions
« on: February 09, 2023, 01:52:32 pm »
So, after about 12 years, I tried the game again for a few days because I found some mod that I absolutely had to try (

The gameplay has improved quite a bit, I very much liked the smoke grenades changes (stun) and the new reaction fire and bleeding.
Didn't like the new soldier models. Why did they need to be replaced? Was there a copyright problem?

I even have two stories.

Story 1.
So, my two riflemen (Shakiki and Din) had to cross an open field in front of aliens pointing rifles at them.

Din: We have to run all that way to that cover, we will surely die!
Shakiki: I have an idea. I take two steps and stop. Then you take two steps and stop. Then I again. Then you again. See?
Din: Curse your ideas, do you want us to also look stupid when we die?
Shakiki: Just lets try it. If we die I won't tell anybody. I promise.
Din: ...

(I mean, I really do like the new reaction fire. The player has to deliberately exploit it to break it. Without such tricks it works rather well. It could actually be perfect reaction fire for the Shevaar to give them some reptilian character).

Story 2.
A Fighter UFO started to chase my Saracen. I fled with the Saracen, but noticed the UFO is turning to strange directions in response. Saracen is faster than Fighter UFO, so I figured out it thought the shortest path was around The Earth.

When Saracen stopped because the movement order ended, the UFO started to move towards the Saracen again. But when I ordered the Saracen to stop, the UFO continued to move in whatever direction it was moving.

So we met up at a convenient location above a desert along with my two Stilettos from the other base.

Later, a Harvester was chasing me back and forth over a SAM site, trying to catch me around The Earth.

(I mean, the aliens are not stupid, they just have a different perspective. For them, compared to The Universe, The Earth is very small. Like children chasing each other around a tree, when one of them changes direction, they bump into each other)

And a bonus question (I do not guarantee that I read the answer if it takes more than a few days).
Is the graphics style of UFO:AI heavily influenced by Descent Freespace or is Descent Freespace just an example of what was generally fashionable at that time?

Feature Requests / autosell on disassembling (and autobuy)
« on: October 11, 2012, 08:22:41 am »
would be nice if 'autosell' worked on disassembling also.

ufo parts and alien materials do have the checkbox, but as far as i have seen, it currently seems to apply to mission return only, but i never get ufo parts and alien materials from mission.
i don't have the very latest 2.5-dev, though, sorry if that is already done.

another topic entirely, is it possible to have 'autobuy'?
for example, to fix the amount of sniper ammo (or some other item) in bases and autobuy when it gets lower?

Bugs in older version (2.4) / some minor glitches in battlescape huds
« on: September 20, 2012, 12:29:39 pm »
1. reaction fire incorrectly shows as 'active' in huds while it really is not active (tried default and mini which afaik is based on althud, but the real problem is in the confunc, not the huds).
1.a. activate reaction fire, then select a reaction fire mode that has higher tu cost than you have tu for. reaction fire button shows that reaction fire is active, tu are not reserved, though.
1.b. activate reaction fire with two-handed primary weapon, then put something in secondary hand. reaction fire button shows that reaction fire is active though the weapon is disabled. as far as i remember, in this case tu remain reserved.

the way i would expect it to be is that reaction fire would look deselected and disabled if not enough tu, impossible when no suitable firemode is available, and enabled only when it really is active.
+ some more details like that, but nothing fancy that anyone wouldn't figure out with little effort.

2. goggles button gets disabled only when tu falls below 10 tu, but really the goggles tu cost is 12 tu (+ wound effects tu in 2.5-dev).

Offtopic / a little qwerty game i made
« on: April 23, 2012, 11:35:58 pm »
just javascript and html, to replace minesweeper or solitaire (for people who play those) with the additional benefit of learning the keyboard.
if i can get some opinions, or maybe even suggestions, or criticism, that would be great.

Feature Requests / Bleeding wounds
« on: March 22, 2012, 12:17:18 pm »
I wonder what became of the wounds system that was attempted a few years ago?
I remember it was attempting to implement wounds by bodypart, with each bodypart wounds having special effects.

As back then, I would still suggest a simpler generic wounds level that would be simple enough to display to the user as a bar in battlescape HUD, rather than making the user open a special window to see the details.
The basic idea is to add a blood pressure bar and to split the health bar into:
1) undamaged health points--undamaged vs total health points affect general efficiency of the soldier's stats.
2) bleeding wounds--reduce blood pressure (quickly enough, so that treatment must be urgent).
3) treated wounds--do not bleed but also do not count as undamaged health points as far as soldier stats are concerned, and needs to heal in a hospital.
The additional blood pressure bar might have some effect on stats, and would cause unconsciousness and death if it drops low.

Feature Requests / IR-goggles
« on: March 22, 2012, 11:56:33 am »
Replacement of IR-goggles with a more vague detection device.

Currently IR-goggles lets the player see through walls, at quite a distance.
This makes weapons that can shoot through walls with impunity (without alien retaliation) extremely useful, but in my opinion, also fun-breaking.
In turn, if this is supposed to change in the future, weapon balancing while keeping the current IR-goggles is unlikely to produce best results.

I suggest that IR-goggles be kept primarily for night vision, rather than such all-powerful see-through-walls device.
Instead, there could be a device that would measure distance from aliens as a number.
As if aliens were "invisible light sources", and displaying how much of this "invisible light" there is on the device.
And player could then try to do something like triangulating to find the last hiding alien that might be tedious to search for otherwise (hopefully the "beeline" level of alien aggressiveness will also get reduced).
Maybe it could be based on some brain gland from alien autopsy that responds to other live aliens' presence, motivating early alien research as a side effect.
In this game, some slightly grotesque fantasy of carrying around a measurement device attached to a vial with a piece of alien brain in a physiological solution, would be according to the style guidelines, right? (at least it seemed to be a few years ago)

Feature Requests / battlescape improvement
« on: March 22, 2012, 11:35:05 am »
Removal of event duplication from battlescape.

While selecting a soldier, the callback function (i think it was called hudselect) in the battlescape HUD script is called twice.
I mean, this is just an example, the same is for things like deselect crouch (that are called in a loop) and reaction fire callbacks, and probably every single damned event handling callback seems to be called twice, including some firemode related things.
It was a little while back when I did the scripting, so I don't remember some of the specifics, but this duplication wasted a lot of time and effort to make the script work, and eventually caused me to quit, hoping for this issue being solved in the future.
And band-aiding with locking type variables didn't always seem to do the trick, possibly because those things took effect in the next frame.

When thinking of implementing the final improvements to my battlescape HUD mod, this is the main thing that puts me off.
I would be very much surprised if this event duplication is an intended feature.
It would be awesome if this duplication could be fixed.

User modifications / Lazy battlescape HUD
« on: December 22, 2011, 03:00:04 pm »
This is a UFO:AI battlescape HUD that attempts to reduce the required clicking.
This makes it a convenience mod, not a gameplay mod.

Started out as an attempt to popularize mouse wheel use, but found several other ways to make the HUD more convenient, like using the weapon container as a button for shooting rather than having a small button to open the firemode list.

Main features are:

1) The rather large weapon box is used as a button for shooting (right click for shooting, left mouse button for dragging the weapon to another container or floor).
A menu of firemodes pops up when mouse hovers over weapon hand, and the firemodes in the menu can also be clicked with both mouse buttons to shoot.
Alternatively, firemode selection can be changed by mouse wheel.

2) Putting a grenade in hand is as simple as dragging the grenade from belt to hand container (without opening inventory popup, and afterwards closing it).
In the attached screenshot the secondary hand is not visible right now (because the hand is empty), but it will get highlighted when you start dragging.
I think this is a great improvement, as otherwise the inconvenience of opening the inventory popup has often been enough to make me decide in favor of shooting where using a grenade would have been more appropriate.

Also, reaction fire button displays more info (TU of the selected firemode in button label and firemode info in tooltip), option to highlight tiles that are reachable for a soldier, selected soldier panel displays wounds as little bars in main screen in 2.5-dev version, etc.

The 'readme.txt' and 'lazy.bat' are no longer included in the .zip.
Because "it is just a mod" and there are probably many (and possibly more correct) ways of enabling it.
My instructions are as follows:
the way i use this (ufo:ai battle screen hud mod) on windows xp:
extract (unpack) into userdata folder (folder 'mods' should appear next to the 'base' there):

C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\UFOAI\2.4\mods
(for 2.5, it would be C:\Documents and Settings\<user name>\Application Data\UFOAI\2.5-dev\mods)

and run the game (from where you installed the game) as:
ufo +set fs_gamedir mods
me being lazy enough i certainly don't type it in command prompt, but i have 'lazy.bat' in the folder where i installed the game (same folder where 'ufo.exe' is), and i use a desktop shortcut to the bat.

there are probably other ways to enable the mod, this is just what i did.

1. unpack in userdata folder
2. create lazy.bat in the folder where the game is installed.
lazy.bat contains one line: ufo +set fs_gamedir mods
3. create shortcut to lazy.bat
4. change icon of lazy.bat shortcut (if you wish) and drag the shortcut to desktop
5. 'lazy hud' should now appear in hud selection in gameplay options.
I hope this is clear, at least it looks clear to me (but I am the one who wrote it, so that doesn't mean much).
You can ask questions if something is not clear.
And I am interested in feedback, especially about things that people don't like about this HUD (because the only person I have got criticism from so far is myself).

EDIT year 2023: The lazy2.5-dev worked with some early dev version of 2.5, and I don't remember which version. I was not here when the release version of 2.5 became available, and it does not work with the release version of 2.5.
The lazy2.4 still works with 2.4, though.

Also, if you want to do things more nicely, you might want to put it in a separate folder in mods, as explained here:,8830.msg68466.html#msg68466

Discussion / Some rant about ufopaedia texts
« on: December 14, 2011, 05:37:29 am »
Wanted to clarify a few things about some weapons and aircraft, and therefore read some mail, and noticed again that the texts are verbose and useful info is not very clearly accessible.

So I got a little wicked and tried out how many lines of text are needed to tell me that something is a storage facility.
Quite a few, it seems, though it might suit the ufo:ai style.

The heading looked like an official letter and that was fine, but in the body tiny details like this attracted a lot of attention (= a LOT):
"Live ammunition and other sensitive equipment such as alien artifacts are kept in locked containers in the quartermaster's office behind rigorous security; checking anything out of locked storage requires the presence of the base quartermaster and written authorisation from the Command Centre."
The security being rigorous or not rigorous depends on the context.
The security being rigorous is Marcel LeClerc's personal opinion.
Perhaps he is trying to tell me that in his opinion the security is too rigorous for PHALANX base storage and we should relax more instead, maybe even treat it as a junk yard?

Even if the storage facility text absolutely has to be that much verbose, in an official letter I would expect item categories and associated security standards (id and name), and it better be formatted as a list or else Maj. LeClerc might be in trouble.
Maybe it is specific to the place where I live (although I very much doubt that), but I do not think a base commander would be interested in Marcel's personal opinions, like a letter to mom (trying to convey the attitude of myself as a player reading it).
Even just without the "behind rigorous security" part:
"Live ammunition and other sensitive equipment such as alien artifacts are kept in locked containers in the quartermaster's office; checking anything out of locked storage requires the presence of the base quartermaster and written authorisation from the Command Centre."
This is, of course, just one example of such detail in this text which looks like it is supposed to be an official letter, and this text is just one example of of the ufopaedia texts that are written with similar attitude.

On the other hand, it might clarify that dead aliens are not stored in the storage facility (as opposed to many ufo games).
It does say "ammunition, weapons, and other equipment", but there is motivation to store a dead alien in the storage and I doubt that, say, in court, a fridge or a dry ice box that accidentally contains a dead alien would not qualify as "other equipment".
That is probably not necessary from the "official letter about storage facility" point of view, but is "relevant information for the player".
If the text was a clear list of item categories without this "other equipment", the explicit clarification about alien stiffs would not be needed (terminology like "personal combat equipment" comes to mind).

By the way, I am not saying that the storage facility text should be rewritten or anything the like.
What I am saying is that there are such kind of issues with the texts.

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