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Topics - BTAxis

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FAQ / How to call up the online lobby in a singleplayer game
« on: February 01, 2008, 07:30:33 pm »
Press F10 at any time during your singleplayer game.

This allows you to wait for multiplayer opponents while playing a singleplayer game.
When someone uses your nick in the lobby, you will receive a message about it ingame.

Artwork / Armour types and their models - PHALANX
« on: October 08, 2007, 12:23:07 am »
Winter and I have decided on the set of PHALANX armours for UFO:AI. This set will be used in the final game. This means that we need models and animations for these armours, no more and no less.

* Combat Armour
Status: Done.

* Nanocomposite Armour
Status: Done, but we are not happy with the current model, and are looking for a replacement.

* Power Armour
Status: Work in progress. The model is finished, but it is not yet completely animated.

* Advanced Combat Armour (proper name pending - I've used this one in the scripts now)
Status: Done - reskin by eleazar

* Advanced Nanocomposite Armour (proper name pending)
Status: Nothing finished. This could be a reskin of the standard Nanocomposite Armour, but a completely new model is welcome.

* Advanced Power Armour (proper name pending)
Status: Nothing finished. This could be a reskin of the standard Power Armour, but a completely new model is welcome.

* Jumpsuit (proper name pending)
Status: Nothing finished. We will need a new model for this one, possibly a modified version of the Advanced Power Armour. It should reflect the armour's limited flight ability.

Mapping / New map: shelter
« on: August 25, 2007, 03:51:05 pm »
I've made a new map. It was supposed to be a nuclear shelter, the kind you use to survive a nuclear winter, like the ones in Fallout. It doesn't really look like one, though. Such a shelter would need to be like a small city. Anyway, there you have it.

It's a random assembly, but it will create the same layout every time. The randomness manifests itself in the internal blast doors that may be either open or closed. When they're closed, you can't pass through that corridor, so you'll have to find your way round.
Every tile allows you to move from level 3 to level 1 and back, except the northern part of the main hall. 2x2 units can only move levels on the southern part of the main hall and the corner corridors.


It's still a bit WIPpy, but most of the stuff is there.

Mapping / Announcement: New lighting settings for night maps
« on: August 21, 2007, 06:15:57 pm »
As per August 21st, 2007, we have decided to change the default setting for ambient lighting on night maps. The new settings are:

Code: [Select]
"light" "35"
"ambient" "0 0 0"

The effect of this is that night maps will get much darker. There will still be some ambient lighting, but it will be pretty dark. Shadows and indoor areas will be pitch-black. This will add more atmosphere to night maps.

Something to note here is that when you use model entities on your map, those models should always be in an area with nonzero lighting. This is because even in pitch-black areas, models are still slightly lit, which doesn't look good.

If the model is placed outside, it is enough to ensure it is not in the shadow of anything else. If it is, or if it is inside, make sure there are light entities nearby to illuminate the model.


With the new map format, these settings are built-in and no longer have to be manually set.

Feature Requests / Zooming problem - can anyone reproduce this?
« on: July 05, 2007, 06:52:58 pm »
I have found a maybe-bug, but I need other people to try it to see if it's a real bug or if it's just me.

I can reproduce it as follows:
- In a tactical mission, zoom out all the way by holding down PageDown.
- While holding PageDown, pan the camera with the mouse.
- WHILE PANNING, release PageDown.
- Stop panning.

At this point, my PageUp doesn't work so I can't zoom back in. However, if I then press PageDown again (no panning), it fixes PageUp.

In our multiplayer match, mattn couldn't reproduce this. It may be a Windows-only thing, or it may be a BTAxis-only thing. I was using the Windows 2.2 developer version of July 5.

Artwork / Wanted: research category icons
« on: June 05, 2007, 02:20:01 pm »
In order to spice up the research screen and to make it easier for the player to decide what research topic he wants to research next, we'd like some small icons for the research topics. The research topics can be categorized by the section of the UFOpaedia they belong in. Each of these categories should have one icon associated with it, and this icon is used for all research topics that belong to that category.

The icons should be 16x16, and should be easily distinguishable.

These are the categories in the UFOpaedia:

* Background (articles on the story of UFO:AI prior to the game's start)
* Aircraft (includes UFOs and PHALANX craft)
* Base Facilities (reports about PHALANX base facilities)
* Research Reports (general research that does not fall into any other category)
* Equipment (human weapons, devices and armour)
* Alien Artifacts (alien weapons, devices and armour)
* Autopsies & Observation (knowledge gained from examining aliens, both dead and alive)
* The Alien Threat (storyline-related research)

Design / Design: Storyline: CLOSED
« on: August 10, 2006, 07:40:07 pm »
This is a notice to tell everyone out there that the storyline for UFO:AI has, in broad terms, been settled on. Further development will be carried out by Winterslice and myself.

No further discussion on this forum on this topic please.

Thank you.

Design / Storyline Wiki entry
« on: June 01, 2006, 07:21:20 pm »
A Wiki entry for the storyline is up here:
This will be considered the "official" version of the storyline, replacing the design docs on the SVN. As it is now, I'm the only person authorized to edit it (not enforced, though), but I'm not changing anything until we reach something workable, which we haven't so far. I'd like to keep what's in there as the general background, though. I think it leaves plenty of room for different storylines, and it's a good base to work from.

Use this thread to discuss changes to the Wiki entry that concern the text itself. Use other threads for discussing ideas about the actual storyline.

Design / Storyline variant: contingency
« on: June 01, 2006, 07:12:33 pm »
I made this thread por the purpose of discussing this potential storyline, without the discussion about other aspects about the storyline getting in the way, and vice versa. Main purpose of this thread: To decise whether the storyline is acceptable, possibly with modifications. But kindly don't suggest alternatives that have a different basic premise. Make a new thread for them.

Brief overview: I started the discussion with this post, about the aliens making a deal with the humans. But it turned out to be too unbelieveable, as XCOMturcocalypse pointed out. Thought made some good comments here. There are also several alternatives posted by myself, altugi and Thought.

So, basic premise, in accordance to the modules structure as stipulated by BloodMagus:

Reason for Invasion
The aliens have been to earth before, and claimed it as their own. While waiting for a suitable species to emerge to act as the vassal species, they left the planet alone, leaving behind a small automated monitoring station. With mankind's rapid technological advances during the eighteenth and ninteenth centuries, the monitoring station alerted the alien homeworld who sent a contingency force to prevent humanity from becoming so advanced as to be unmanageable. The contingency task force arrives too late. Humanity has evolved to a point where simple oppression through advanced technology is no longer possible. The aliens therefore decide to make an attempt to throw the human civilization in disarray by means of hit-and-run attacks, terror missions and political infiltration.
Questions: When did the aliens first visit Earth? Did they seed human civilization, or boost it? What traces did they leave behind?

Phalanx Birth
Phalanx is a UN military and scientific initiative charged with responding solely to the alien threat and finding a way of defeating them. The regular military is not to interfere with its operations.
Ideas: As Phalanx is a UN initiative, the players lose when the UN decides Phalanx should be disbanded. This happens if there is a majority in the security council, which in turn happens if more than half the territories (these TODO) have fallen under alien influence. The security council meets regarding Phalanx once a year.

Phalanx Duties
Phalanx is charged with defending citizens from alien attacks, intercepting UFOs, performing research related to the aliens and repelling the alien invasion.
Questions: What is the role of the regular military?

Open for debate. Possibly corporate or private initiatives fighting against or even with the aliens.

Destruction of alien main fleet, possibly by hitting it with something big, such as the moon.

Design / Design: Storyline: Index
« on: May 31, 2006, 12:43:21 pm »
I made this thread because the storyline thread is getting long, and a lot of posts in there are just bickering, and don't contribute much. I'll use this post to link to any concrete ideas that people have put forward.

Please do not discuss things in this thread. It's meant as an index only. The ideas I link to don't necessarily have to be consistent with each other.

altugi: Secret society Phalanx
BTAxis: Regions of the Earth
BTAxis: The Gloves Are Off event
altugi: Chain of events leading to "The Gloves Are Off"
BTAxis: The Egyptian Connection
altugi: Summary of the thread up to that point

Offtopic / Other freeware game projects
« on: May 29, 2006, 10:13:11 pm »
This seems appropriate for an off-topic thread. Let's have ourselves a list of other freeware (open or closed) game projects out there. I'll post the ones I feel are worth mentioning here.

The Battle for Wesnoth is one of the better known ones out there. Many people love it, but I didn't enjoy it much. If I want a strategy RPG, I'll take Langrisser or Fire Emblem. Oh well.

Cube is a freeware FPS. It's a lot like Quake 1, except the engine is totally different. For instance, you make maps in-game. You can even make maps in multiplayer, which you have to admit is cool. Though Cube isn't being developed anymore, its spiritual successor Sauerbraten is.

FreeOrion is an open-source clone of Master of Orion 2. Development is slow, but it looks promising.

Iter Vehemens ad Necem is a roguelike RPG. It looks slightly better than ordinary roguelikes.

King's Quest IX is a fan-made sequel in the world famous King's Quest series. They were shut down by Vivendi, who owns the KQ copyrights, but then they were granted a licence to continue.

DOOM Legacy is the best freeware port of DOOM out there. Ideal for people like me who dislike modern FPS games, and prefer the old stuff in a new environment.

Mind Arms, a Japanese fighting game. Well, it's not that good. But it's free.

Scorched Earth 3D. What it says. Scorched Earth, except in 3D. If you don't know what Scorched Earth is, you're square (and if you REALLY don't know, it's the game Worms was based on).

Space Quest 7 is like KQIX, except with Roger Wilco. Development is progressing steadily, and at this rate it might be done somewhere in the twenty-fifth century.

Transcendence is a rather crappy game similar to Escape Velocity. On the upside, unlike Escape Velocity, it's freeware. Unlike Escape Velocity, it's not written for the Mac.

Ultimate Stunts is a remake of the classic game Stunts. It doesn't work very well, though. The (commercial) Trackmania is a lot better if you want a stunts-like game.

Vega Strike is a space simulator like Privateer and X/X2/X3. Some day, it might be really good, but I kind of doubt it.

There are also any number of freeware point-and-click adventure games available on
Furthermore, there are many roguelikes and some MMORPGs that are freeware, but as I'm not interested in games like that I'll leave it to other people to link to them.

Design / Design: Soldier stats
« on: May 07, 2006, 11:27:38 pm »
Purpose of this thread: Brainstorming the soldier stats, their effects and the way in which they are developed.

So far this has not been an issue because it's far away on the schedule at best, but with revision 875 Hoehrer has added some weapon classes to the weapon design docs, so I feel this thread becomes a bit more called for.

The weapon classes that Hoehrer has allocated are the following:

- Assault
- Close
- Precision
- Heavy
- Explosive

In addition to these, I would introduce Psi. I think all weapons in the game can be categorized with those six.

Now, a soldier should have those six weapon classes as aptitude values, either as direct skill bars that you can develop individually, or emergent as functions of a superset of more general abilities (strength, agility, etc). I would go with a hybrid of these, with emphasis on the former. While it certainly does make a difference how agile a soldier is, if he's holding a pistol for the first time he won't be a crack shot. On the other hand, no amount of practice with a rocket launcher will make a downright wimpy soldier be able to lift and aim one correctly.

So what I propose is a set of five basic attributes for every soldier: Strength, Agility, Endurance, Intelligence and Psionic Strength (this last one would be hidden until the appropriate Psi research is complete). Below these are the five "normal" weapon proficiencies: Assault, Close, Precision, Heavy and Explosive. Psi weapons would take their strength directly from the Psionic Strength attribute, as Psionic warfare is literally in the mind and doesn't work in the same way normal warfare does.

Each primary attribute (except Psi) should affect two weapon classes, the first majorly and the second minorly:
Strength should affect proficiency with Heavy and Explosive equipment.
Agility should affect proficiency with Close and Precision equipment.
Endurance should affect proficiency with Assault and Heavy equipment.
Intelligency should affect proficiency with Explosive and Close equipment.
Psionic Strength should affect only Psi equipment.

Aside from that, the first four basic attributes should affect things like max TUs, max carrying capacity, damage taken from attacks, recovery rate after being injured, ability to wear heavy armor and ability to spot aliens.

I'm going to abstract from precise mechanics for increasing the soldier stats for now - that's complicated and requires a lot of hands-on tuning, and we're not at that stage yet. However, I will say that weapon proficiencies should be trained through use of weaponry (separately from the modifiers they gain from the primary attributes), and they should inhibit each other. This would mean that a soldier who is an unmatched sniper will always do poorly with other weapons. It's also possible to have a soldier who is fairly OK with all weapons, but excels in none. In short, there should be a limited pool of weapon expertise to go around for each soldier, so every soldier will evolve into a specific role, such as sniper, squaddie, heavy support, etc.

Training of the primary attributes should occur through training programs at the base, (possibly) implants, and/or various factors on the battlefield.

Artwork / A list of models UFO:AI needs
« on: April 12, 2006, 06:05:19 pm »
Here is a list of models UFO:AI needs. For now this list focuses on weapons and aliens. Note that some models exist for some weapon types (laser, plasma, tachyon), but any modeller who doesn't like designing weapons in the same style is free to replace them with designs of his/her own.


See Wiki for this list

For more information, see the design documentation in the SVN repository.

See the media section for screenshots of some of the finished models.

Already done
Plasma Blade
Tachyon Pistol
Smoke Grenade
Incendiary Grenade
Heavy Plasma (Plasma Blaster)
Stun Rod
Phoenix UGV
Stun Gas Grenade
Triax UGV

Work In Progress

This post will be updated when new models have been finished or are a WIP of s/b.

Design / Design: Difficulty
« on: April 12, 2006, 11:39:00 am »
What we're eventually going to need is a difficulty setting. What should this setting influence? And how much?

I imagine five difficulty settings:
* Very Easy
* Easy
* Normal
* Hard
* Really Quite Hard
Possibly, these setting names could be changed to something less bland.

What could the difficulty setting influence? I can think of the following:
- Alien stats
- Alien numbers on the batlefield
- Alien aggressiveness (number of UFOs, alien bases and their increase)
- Research times
- Construction/purchase costs
- Funding
- Decline of mission score per civilian casualty

If anyone has more ideas, please post them in this thread.

On a related issue, there is the difficulty of battles. I believe even battles in later stages of the game should still be winnable for fresh recruits. One way to accomplish this is to make fresh recruits get a stats bonus in later stages of the game, but I don't like that. Rather, I'd have "easy" missions occur even later on, sp you can have rookies gain experience from those. I imagine a mission difficulty index, ranging from, say, 1 to 5 on the easiest difficulty and from 5 to 10 on the hardest. Missions early on in the game would be difficulty 1, and later on harder missions would appear - but the difficulty 1 missions should not disappear.

Design / Design: UFOs
« on: April 07, 2006, 11:43:23 pm »
Purpose of this topic: Brainstorming UFO types, layout, armament, staff, etc. for use in the main UFO:AI game.

Preliminary ideas here.

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