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Author Topic: A few ideas (Brainstorm)  (Read 19041 times)

Saboera

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A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« on: March 28, 2009, 12:39:42 am »
Hello, I wish to be helpful with the game development especially with texturing, concept art and maybe a bit of modelling but unfortunately, I am already pretty busy with a few personal projects of mine. I might be able to provide a bit of help when I am done with my own projects somewhere around late summer. In any case, I must say that UFO is awesome and thank you for making and developing this game, I would still like to be able to contribute despite my lack of time. I might possibly have time to do a few reskins (mostly for amours because we need more of them!) however, I am new to open source development and I would need a quick explanation as to how it truly works, what needs to be done and where I can find the skins.

As an aspiring game designer, nothing stop me from brainstorming a bit about what I would possibly like to see in UFO:AI, I am more than sure you must have seen similar suggestions but I just recently  joined the forum and haven’t had time to browse threads a lot.

Take those for what they are, possible suggestion, like them or not I don’t really intend to bash my head against the wall if you think they do not fit the vision of what you wish to accomplish with the development so feel free to dismiss them. I’m warning you, this is a long read! I am mostly writing this because as said, I wish to contribute and give something back considering it entertained me for many hours and totally deserve attention.

1: Squad creation or team creation.

Purpose: Roleplay flavour, possible statistical boost and easier soldier management.

Implementation: The way I would see this is that you can create squads of X men (subjective number). This would make it easier to hire/unhire and affect a squad of soldiers to a dropship rather than scrolling across the list of potential soldiers.

The Squad leader could possibly give a small bonus to accuracy or TU when he his near his troops, if a squad leader die during combat, a negative bonus or effect could take place, this would be to simulate leadership upon the squad. A squad leader should technically be higher ranked than his squad members for the bonus effects to affect them the most, this would allow the fresh recruits to ‘’profit’’ of the experience from the veteran soldiers. A co-leader could possibly be made as well to be able to keep this bonus while spreading forces across the field. If a Squad leader fall or his stuck in the hospital, the co-leader could take over for the next mission. A squad with a dead leader need to appoint a new one before engaging a new mission, possibly requiring training and possibly temporary blocking access to this squad while the leader train. This would allow the players to actually make uses of multiple teams and all those soldiers who are stuck in the rooster unhired.

Members are just your core soldiers. There are seven or six (co-leader or not) of them which can be swapped in and out with the Reserve (remaining soldiers). Those soldiers are the core of the Team and could possibly once again receive a small bonus when the core team is sent on the field together.

Reserve are the remaining soldiers affected to a squad, the reserve is existing for the purpose of replacing wounded members or to call upon more specialised roles. The reserve could contain between two and five members.

2: Cryo weapons? Support Weapons?

Purpose: Those weapons could be use as lethal force but their main role is to support teammates or fill specific roles.

Implementation: The way I envision this is that cryo weapons could be use in a way similar to how the flamethrower currently work for damage, it would be an alternative to heat damage and could actually slow down aliens reaction time or drain a bit of their TU. Frost could be more effective at slowing down heavily armoured targets crippling their gear and be an overall nice support weapon addition to the game. I already see the grenade launcher as some sort of support weapon but it would possibly need more variation, possibly cryo grenades or more non lethal effects? In overall I think having support weapons would contribute greatly to create strategic interest amongst the players.

3: More non-combat items requiring to be used

Purpose: Allowing scouting and giving a nice range of combos with one handed weapons such as pistols.

Implementation: I think that scouting should be a very important part of the game and being able to properly localize alien position before engaging should be a crucial tactical advantage. How many times did you lose a member because you had to blindly rush in a room only to find 3 aliens waiting for you there, I lost many members because of this and members should be as precious as they can be, the loss of a member should have a drastic effect.

But where am I getting to with this you might ask? Scouting gadgets, handheld scanner, binoculars, things that need to be used similar to how the medkit is used, things that can be equipped with a one handed weapon. A handheld scanner for example could be used to scan a certain amount of squares within a close localisation, for example your scout throw a scan in the next room before sending your main forces in, this would allow the players to have an approximate evaluation of what is waiting within that room. Some counter items worn by aliens could exist as well, maybe some kind of anti-scanning device which would make them undetectable at the exception of naked eye.

Binoculars could be used for scouting, allowing a scout to see farther than they really can with naked eye, from what I read across the board, there will be an implementation of sight in the future releases and this would be a good start to use this mechanic. Some variations could possibly exist as well, night vision or maybe X-ray.
Radio? It could be possible to have radio contact with an aircraft, allowing a surgical strike from whatever aircraft came along the dropship upon the field, with limited uses of course but it could be a nice addition attempting to strike down aliens without exposing your soldiers. Of course a scout would be needed to locate alien positions before calling down an airstrike or the actual airstrike could take a turn before coming down upon your foes.

Deployable cover maybe? Something that can provide you with a defensive bonus, things like force fields, gadgets that can be thrown or placed upon the ground either permanently or temporary.

4: More Aliens

Purpose: longer mission, less Alien hunting across larger maps, more action, more epicness and more strategy.

Implementation: I think this speak for itself, they possibly could use alternate tactics either hunting or defending in packs or solo, swarming you, coming from behind while keeping you busy in front. The downside is that you have to wait longer during enemy turn for them to play but most of the waiting in the current form of the game is due to alien hunting and wasting turns doing nothing but carefully moving across the map only to find them all entrenched in the same place. The idea of a small elite group of soldiers taking upon larger groups of foes should be something appealing to any gamer, I should feel cautious, afraid and overwhelmed when I’m fighting aliens. I would possibly like to see an alien dropship either land or teleport reinforcements on the field. See them use airstrike maybe? It would be important to have ways to counter and alien airstrike, once again maybe gadgets.

Possible Alien tactics

Rush: This is basically what it says, aliens attempting to push at you running straight under fire, maybe using tougher armoured units to soak damage followed by some serious firepower or melee troops.

Death line: This is a tactic I actually use with my own soldiers, the death line is basically a slow advance from 2-4 soldiers with full reaction fire standing side by side. It’s vulnerable to AoE effects but it is a great way to make a tactical push upon a position killing anything that pokes their noses where they shouldn’t.

The circle: This tactic is about swarming the opponent coming down from every side. Troops could possibly be teleported everywhere around you, requiring the player to take defensive positioning.

Death from above: Carefully laying down snipers on high positions covering the troops advancing and using scouts to spot your soldiers.

5: More armour

Purpose: While there is a nice selection of weapons, the armour selection is pretty limited, I would like to see heavier armour restricting movement for more protection or the total opposite.

Implementation, I don’t think it could be very hard to implement a few more type of armours, I can provide new textures for existing armours or provide a few concepts or futuristic looking protection, I can model alright and unwrap the texture but I have no experience implementing models in a game yet.

What I would like to see is mostly more protection at the cost of movement, something allowing a soldier to take a few shots or pushing upon an enemy position, something to use close combat or heavy weapons with, basically a slow walking juggernaught opening the way for your troops or an entrenched impenetrable wall. The movement effect should be drastic to compensate so you don’t want to outfit every soldier with this type of protection. Possibly some very heavy power armour with shoulder mounted weapons, like a railgun cannon or laser cannon, maybe a Gatling gun with an ammo box mounted on the shoulder.

Lighter Armour should be used as well, either for lightning strikes or for scouts, they should allow an increase in movement speed over heavier protection and make your troops fragile but quick on their feet. Of course at the opposite of a heavy power amour, you could have lightweight power armour accelerating the movement rate and strength of a soldier even more maybe making them efficient at rushing in melee combat. Something like power armour that isn’t thicker than a second layer of skin or clothes, it could possibly be a miniature, expensive and complex layer of exterior machinery.

More medium protection options would be nice as well, something that is the bread and butter of most soldiers in a team, unlike light or heavy armour, this provide an average ground while the others provide specialization, it would allow some serious strategic assets if a player can adapt his playstyle to the game by using a combo of armours and weapons.

I might add some more possible ideas later, or develop upon an idea if requested but I feel that 4 pages worth of text is enough for now :P
Thanks for reading and maybe considering some of theses.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2009, 12:45:15 am by Saboera »

Offline BTAxis

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2009, 09:59:59 am »
Point 4: maps can already contain more than 8 aliens now, and a future AI will make them hide less so you don't have to hunt so much.

Point 5: See the design documentation. We plan on 7 equipable suits of armour in total.

Offline Captain Bipto

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2009, 05:15:13 am »
Hey BTAxis will the armors also provide benefits beyond protection (and strength bumps)?



Offline BTAxis

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2009, 10:06:05 am »
The way I have it in mind, armour will have two effects:
1) Increased protection.
2) A hit to TUs. The heavier the armour, the less TUs the soldier has available every turn. Strength will serve to offset this a little.

Basically, it's a protection/speed tradeoff. There is only one exception to this setup, which is the Jumpsuit. This armour lets you travel through the air for short distances (the soldier must always end his movement on a solid surface).

Saboera

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2009, 04:10:49 pm »
Point 4: maps can already contain more than 8 aliens now, and a future AI will make them hide less so you don't have to hunt so much.

Point 5: See the design documentation. We plan on 7 equipable suits of armour in total.

No offense but i was expecting maybe a bit more discussion around the points i brought up, im aware that there is more armors on the way but before this last post, no one had any idea what they were doing. The design notes are only found on the Wiki and contain nothing beside the name, if you were refering to the post stickied with links, they are giving out Error 404 and don't exist anymore.

As far as aliens goes, i have not really seen a single map out of my playtime that struck me as an invasion with more than 4-10 aliens. What i wanted to discuss is the possibility of seeing more of them and possibly see more troops appear on the map as you progress aka: reinforcements.

As i said as well, if you wish to know more about something just ask and i will give proper development upon the concept.

Offline BTAxis

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2009, 05:07:25 pm »
The armour system is documented on the wiki. There's also a list of the armours we want to implement. I don't know what you were expecting, but that's the design as far as the current established plans are. What I'm outlining in this thread is fairly tentative and hasn't even been properly written up yet.

The amount of aliens is limited by two things: a time-based value and the amount of aliens allowed on agiven map. The amount of aliens you will encounter is whichever of those numbers is smaller. As for alien reinforcements, they won't feature prominently. I have plans for something like that in the final mission, but not on regular ones.

Saboera

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2009, 08:01:30 pm »
The armour system is documented on the wiki. There's also a list of the armours we want to implement. I don't know what you were expecting, but that's the design as far as the current established plans are. What I'm outlining in this thread is fairly tentative and hasn't even been properly written up yet.

The amount of aliens is limited by two things: a time-based value and the amount of aliens allowed on agiven map. The amount of aliens you will encounter is whichever of those numbers is smaller. As for alien reinforcements, they won't feature prominently. I have plans for something like that in the final mission, but not on regular ones.

You need to help me out a bit here, im puzzled by your answers in general since they are not clear but simply dismissive.

I posted this thread as a brainstorm, the point of a brainstorm is to throw out ideas without going in specific details, it's a discussion without any boundaries. I am not expecting any of those said ideas to be part of the next release, the design should already be finished for 2.3 unless im mistaken. If the design is not finished for 2.3, i don't think we have the same definition of ''design'' because it should no longer be in design phase but production considering 2.3 is already somewhat playable.

I already wrote a fair bunch of design docs for my own stuff and i know a fair share about game design and game development in general. I have been in the modding scene for 8 years, i came here to discuss about the potential future of the development ''beyond the plans''. Being an open source development and seeing how there is a Design forum, i was expecting to maybe be pointed out in a direction where i can help. Which is why i posted this thread in the first place, to be helpful with the potential design of this game. What i am offering is potential mechanics or content for the near future unless 2.3 is meant to be the final version.

What i am actually expecting is

A) If any of the ideas provided show any sort of interest out of the design team (it can be anything, from a global idea to something like the handheld scanner mentionned).

B) If you answered yes to A, which ones, so i can start going more into details as to how it could be implemented.

C) If there is anything in the current design that need more development. Armours are oviously fitting here but if i can ask, why do they have names but no technical information, it should be the opposite, know what you want them to do first and name them after, placeholder keywords should be placed in the description at least. When they have nothing but a name, they might as well not exist at all, it would make it easier for everyone to come up with ideas.

The wiki itself is not really helpful in it's current form, it has no real structure and contains only fragments of information about the mechanics or design in general. This is mostly why i am asking here.


Offline Winter

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2009, 09:47:39 pm »
It's an open-source game, yes, but that doesn't mean anyone can throw in bits of design as they please. We have quite a qualified design team, of which BTAxis is a part, and we don't take input from the forums. Everything we want for the campaign has already been considered in our own brainstorms and is being acted upon in a manner that we think will make the game as awesome as possible. That's our job in the project.

Also, upon reflection, your rant about the definition of 'design' being laid down ironclad beforehand and then yourself wanting to go 'beyond the plans' seems a bit contradictory.

Regards,
Winter

Saboera

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2009, 10:41:58 pm »
It's an open-source game, yes, but that doesn't mean anyone can throw in bits of design as they please. We have quite a qualified design team, of which BTAxis is a part, and we don't take input from the forums. Everything we want for the campaign has already been considered in our own brainstorms and is being acted upon in a manner that we think will make the game as awesome as possible. That's our job in the project.

Also, upon reflection, your rant about the definition of 'design' being laid down ironclad beforehand and then yourself wanting to go 'beyond the plans' seems a bit contradictory.

Regards,
Winter

Thanks for the answer, i don't actually see what contradiction you saw in my words if you wish to elaborate. Let me explain my context, what i said in a nutshell is that the design for 2.3 should be done and the design for a possible 2.4 be in the work, that way when the production of 2.3 is done the team can start the production of 2.4 without having to wait on the design team or the possibility of having work going in the waste because the design changed halfway in.

It is simply a time efficient method of developping something. In no mean do i meant to sound like a jerk or insultive so don't take my words in the wrong way, i know im a nobody poking my nose in this since i have not contributed to anything, but design should be the first step before production and done before the production start. Sure, you can add a thing or two that were not planned there and there as the production goes on but it should be layed down so the production team already know exactly what needs to be done. If you say ok we are making armours, we don't know what yet but start moddeling and texturing armours! How is the production team supposed to know what you have in mind? It is frustrating for a modeller and texturer when suddenly his work no longer fit in the game and is dumped because there was a lack of information or lack of communication.

What i said by going beyond the plan refered to a possibility of seeing a 2.4 or another release after 2,3, it is already far too late for someone like me to take part in 2.3 as it should be layered out so i aimed to suggest a few things for the near future aka: 2.4 or whatever is coming after 2.3. I don't think there is any harm in that is there? I merely gave out some ideas, which your team is free to dismiss or wish to see elaborated but i would at least like some sort of feedback on it. You must understand it took time to write all this stuff up simply to be somewhat ignored and dismissed as if my first post was not even read at all.

In any case, it does seem a bit silly to have a forum section dedicated for design opened to the public but taking nothing from it. What is the purpose of said forum? Don't get me wrong but it is confusing.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2009, 10:45:31 pm by Saboera »

Offline BTAxis

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2009, 11:42:20 pm »
In essence this forum is a relic from the early days of UFO:AI, when things were still in a very fluid state, nowhere near as crystallized as it is now. I'll change its description to something more in line with that; I can see how people might get the wrong impression.

Offline DuKe2112

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2009, 11:47:44 pm »
Well, a lot of these kind of discussion could be avoided if you would simply release your documentation of the design concept to the public.

Offline BTAxis

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2009, 11:50:05 pm »
It's not closed to the public. It's all on the wiki. If it's not there, we basically don't have it ("it" being the documentation).

Offline DuKe2112

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2009, 12:11:56 pm »
There is a saying in product management: if it is not documented it does not exist.

The wiki is incomplete in places and seems dated in others.

So you are pretty much developing out of the blue of your heads?

Offline BTAxis

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2009, 12:25:47 pm »
I don't know what you're talking about. We have articles about game features, items and vehicles, the UFOPaedia and an overview of the storyline. It's true that the whole story hasn't been written yet, and the "whole" game hasn't been documented or fully designed yet, but that's just how it works. We didn't sit down and design the whole game before writing a single line of code. The project evolves as it goes along. If you want to call that "developing out of the blue of our heads", so be it, but that's not how I perceive it. We have some very clear ideas on the direction we want to take, even if it's not written down.

Offline Borsti67

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Re: A few ideas (Brainstorm)
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2009, 05:53:05 pm »
Hi BTAxis,

I'd find it quite sad if there'd be really no chance of letting user feedback come to further development. :(
May be the gamer could have really good ideas to make the game even better or alternatively point out some improvements which could make coding easier and so on...

But you sound to me as if this has been discussed more than once already? Could you tell me where I can find it, so I can get a better understanding for that decision?