Gameplay Proposals/Mission Briefings
This proposal has been partially implemented. Mission briefings exist, but are a single block of text. No mission variables are integrated into the text. --H-hour 21:29, 10 August 2013 (CEST)
This is a formal wiki'd proposal for the idea of having pre-mission briefings, which has been around for a while.
The loading screen for tactical missions should act as the mission briefing screen. While the game loads, the briefing text should be displayed. Clearly it should be easy to read, so a backdrop panel might be useful to prevent the background image from obscuring the text.
When the mission has finished loading, the screen should not immediately disappear. Instead, there should be two buttons near the bottom of the screen, one for starting the mission and one for changing the squad's equipment before the start of the mission.
The latter button will let the player re-equip his/her soldiers to better suit the mission, judging by the briefing text. The button should open up the equipment screen as seen in the base view, except showing only the soldiers onboard the craft. The items available to the soldiers are those items the player has assigned to the craft previously.
When the player is finished re-equipping, he/she should be returned to the briefing screen.
Structure of the briefing
The briefing is built up of four pieces of text: one for the mission description, one for mission objectives, one for the terrain and one for intel. Each of these pieces is picked separately depending on the properties of the map, and as such should be independent of each other.
Mission description: describes why this mission is happening.
Mission objectives: describes what the player must do to win.
Terrain: describes the features of the terrain in general terms.
Intel: gives information such as expected enemy resistance and other special conditions.
For example, a UFO crash mission in an arctic region (that uses the ice tileset) could have the following briefing:
PHALANX fighters have shot down a UFO, which has crash-landed in this area. Since the UFO was not destroyed we have to assume that the aliens onboard have survived. There is every reason to exercise caution. If any aliens survived, they will most likely try to destroy any equipment that survived the crash to prevent us from stealing their military secrets. Your primary mission is to make your way to the crashed UFO and secure it. Once you have accomplished that, proceed to eliminate or incapacitate all remaining alien forces in the area. As soon as TacOps declares all resistance neutralized, U.N. forces will relieve you and you may return to base. You are deploying in a polar area. You will encounter neither vegetation nor settlements here, but the chaotic natural terrain formations are more than enough to hinder your visibility. As there will be no civilians to worry about, you are free to use grenades and other indirect fire weapons. We expect only minor resistance, and you should be able to meet your objectives without taking casualties. Therefore, this mission is a good opportunity to try and capture live aliens for study and interrogation. Consider using nonlethal methods on your enemies.