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Author Topic: UFO/X-COM as an RTS  (Read 4309 times)

Offline Dragenesis

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UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« on: October 25, 2012, 10:08:39 pm »
I've been throwing around the idea of a UFO/X-COM game where the tactical combat was a rts/rtt game as opposed to the turn based game it is now.  Tactical battles would be something along the lines of the War Hammer series and UFO Afterlight.  Unfortunately, the engine I plan on using, Spring, does not have native support for multiple level maps like multiple story buildings.  Is this limitation a game breaker for you for a UFO/X-COM game?  Would you have any interest in tactical battles being more of an rts/rtt format?  Thanks in advance.

Offline Anarch Cassius

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Re: UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« Reply #1 on: October 25, 2012, 10:34:50 pm »
Actually no. RTS is fun for a lot of things but for a super gritty game like this I'd rather see something where the strategy is basically like the campaign mode, with bases and radar and battles are handled under the tactical system. Building and harvesting just don't happen on the same timescale as combat.

For something realtime I could see a real-time version of the combat engine like Fallout Tactics used. Basically regen TU over time and everything happening simultaneously. Skills and stat still play a major role but things become more fluid. Fallout Tactics and the canceled Van Buren show a pretty elegant way of converting these sort of rules to real-time.

Offline Dragenesis

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Re: UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2012, 10:49:55 pm »
I think you miss understand.  The real time part, for the time being, is for tactical battles.  Like when you send a skyranger to a ufo landing site, instead of that battle proceeding as a turn-based game, it is more like a rtt.  The number of troops on both sides would be limited and there would be no resource gathering at that level or troop building.  Troops can be moved around the map as single people or together as a unit.  Sniper rifles would have a longer range, greater accuracy, but shoot slower.  Machine guns have a higher fire rate, but lower accuracy, etc...  Units still level up after battles and you would still have a geoscape similar in scope to previous games.  Time can be paused to allow you to issue commands.  Things like that.  The difference would be that the game, using the Spring engine, would not be able to have the multi-story battles that are pretty common in UFO/X-COM games now.  You can't go into a building and clear the first floor while clearing the second floor, etc...

Offline H-Hour

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Re: UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2012, 11:55:02 pm »
It depends a lot on whether you see the RTS/RTT combat happening like the UFO series (Aftermath, Aftershock, Afterlight), where the player still controls a small squad but issues commands in a stop-start real-time battlescape. Or whether you see the player commanding dozens of units in sprawling combat across a map in a manner more similar to RTS/RTT games

If the former, I think you can get away with no interior buildings but it will feel strange. You'll need clever level design to reduce player frustrations at not being able to enter a building. That doesn't mean it won't be fun. If the latter, I think there's no reason you need interior buildings.

If you haven't, check out the way Company of Heroes handles buildings. It might be a way for you to use buildings in spite of Spring's limitations. In Company of Heroes buildings can be entered but not explored. Send a squad into a building and they will man the windows shooting at anything that approaches.

Offline Anarch Cassius

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Re: UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« Reply #4 on: October 26, 2012, 04:44:08 am »
Given that this game engine is somehow related to Quake2 and that Fallout Tactics had modes for both turn based and realtime gameplay I'm wondering if you might be able to do this as a mod of this game. I mean I saw a Quake mod that made it in to a freaking RTS where you built and controlled the enemies from single player. Very simple but a fun proof of concept.

Offline Dragenesis

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Re: UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2012, 05:23:04 am »
I'm choosing to use another engine because this engine does not have destructible environments natively.  Basically, what I'm envisioning right now is your squad gets dropped into an area and move around finding and fighting the aliens like a typical rtt game.  You would have cover that can be used, special gear-related abilities like suppressing fire and jump jets.  Weapons would have multiple fire modes.  The squad would be sub-divided into smaller groups that you can set up in advance.

For example:

Your assault team can be sub divided in 4 smaller groups (Alpha, Bravo, Charlie, Delta).  So I can have my sniper in one group, a scout team in another, general purpose assault group, and a heavy weapons group.  How you create the groups are up to you but each group is limited in the number of soldiers it can have (say 4).  Each soldier can also be given a kind of role in the group through action scripts.  So in the assault group, I may have 2 rifle users, 1 machine gun user, and 1 medic.  I can set the medic to use a "medic" script and that soldier will heal first and attack second.  There will be no classes per say, but different items may have different abilities associated with them.  For example, a machine gun set to firing full auto would be able to suppress the enemy.  Each unit can fire for X seconds and then they have to reload, costing Y seconds.  As previously stated, each weapon may have multiple fire modes, ranges, and accuracy ratings, so you can do something like aimed shots (takes more time, more accurate) or burst fire (short bursts of bullets, less accurate) or full auto (continuous fire, very inaccurate, can suppress).

In combat, you can move the sub-groups around as sub-groups, you can move units around individually, or you can hotkey your own groups.  Cover will play a role so you can take cover behind objects.  Movement would be more important.  For example, if my scout group encounters the enemy and they start exchanging fire on a ridge.  I can move my assault group, with their flying suits, behind the enemy group.  In this case, the flying suits are like the jump jet units in games like C&C.  For buildings, I think I'll just have building occupiable.  When your troops enters a building, they'll take X seconds to secure it.  If enemy units are in that building, a fight would happen during those X seconds.  After all is done, whoever is still alive occupies the building like in traditional RTS games.  If an enemy unit enters a building that has a civilian, the player has Z seconds to get units in there to stop them or the civie dies.  I have yet to really figure out how to do terror missions.

Offline Kildor

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Re: UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2012, 05:28:00 am »
I like RT missions in X-Com III, and it will be nice to have such type of gameplay as option in all x-com like projects, because it is just boring to «peacemake» the same ufos again and again.

Offline TrashMan

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Re: UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« Reply #7 on: October 26, 2012, 09:21:30 pm »
Tactical Real Time (Like UFO: Aftershock and JA: BiA) works really fine.

I know htere are some that cry "murder", but the reality is that real-time is no less tactical than turn-based. Not even a bit.
In fact, as much as I adore turn-based, it has some pretty bug exploits.

It's just that focus isa bit different.
For Ja:BiA, the focus is on preparation, socuting and synchornized, planned attacks.

Offline Triaxx2

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Re: UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2012, 09:58:26 am »
7.62mm High Calibre is also a good example of RTT done well.

Offline Nutter

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Re: UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« Reply #9 on: October 27, 2012, 10:02:35 pm »
Buggy as a week old corpse,from what I remember, though.

Offline Triaxx2

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Re: UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2012, 04:28:57 am »
I've never met a game that's really good that doesn't have some bugs. But like Temple of Elemental Evil, there's a mod for that, which adds a lot of stuff while fixing as many bugs as possible.

That said, I've been told that the Gamer's Gate version is better than the initial releases.

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Re: UFO/X-COM as an RTS
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2012, 11:56:32 am »
I have played X-COM:Apocalypse only in real-time mode. It was very boring to search alien's on map in turn-based mode. So, something similar to JA:BIA would be good but it will be completely different game then UFO:AI now.