What goes up must come down... and preferably explode

by Kyzrati on 20110906 , under ,

You can now toss things around. The throwing model pretty closely follows the X-COM strength/weight-based range system, with one major (and no doubt highly-anticipated) exception: you won't encounter problems caused by limited arcs.

The game will first try the "ideal" peak for your throw (according to distance) and plot a parabola through that. If the path is blocked, it will successively attempt worse and worse peaks until it finds an unobstructed one (if any). This flexibility isn't free, of course! The further away you are from the ideal peak, the lower your accuracy. So while you can theoretically try to throw your grenade like a fastball straight across the entire map, you're probably going to miss. And missing can be a big deal with a primed grenade, since the miss trajectory could send it bouncing off a nearby wall or ceiling to land not far away...

Here are some normal throws (the side view of course comes in very handy for checking your throwing trajectory):

A throw onto a roof:

A throw from a roof:

One exception to the friendly arcing system is the map ceiling, which unfortunately does limit your throws--fortunately throws from high positions to other high positions (which are the only ones really affected) aren't very frequent. You can still try your throw from building-top to building-top, but thrown objects cannot leave the map so you'll have to risk a pretty straight trajectory (the drawback is negligible if it's close, so don't worry about that). Throwing from a high position (even at the top of the map) to a lower one usually won't be affected much by the ceiling, since the peak will be quite low, generally even level with you.

(On a technical note, throwing makes no attempt to use actual physics or gravity modeling; it actually just picks a peak and two midpoints and draws up to four lines between them.)

Oh yeah, and thrown objects can crash through windows:
That probably wouldn't mean much if windows were simply holes, but in X@COM they're of course made of glass so you can enjoy shooting them out :)

Thrown items are integrated with the particle engine (they're actually particles themselves), so they can have special effects associated with them as well (smoke grenades trail smoke while flying through the air, electro-flares pulsate on their way to a target). I designed a few placeholder particle effects for throwing, but I'll wait 'til next time to put up a video together with a few of the other new additions.

The game is not, however, quite to the point where you can play hot potato with primed grenades--grenade priming is coming next, though currently any grenades that require no priming (i.e., smoke) will go off instantly.

Any item can now be attached to both/either/none of a "firing" explosion (usually for explosive ammo) and "throwing" explosion (usually for grenades), so it would be pretty easy to make interesting objects like alien bodies that explode when you throw them, or a kind of explosive ammo that can also be thrown to make it detonate... Imagine some super buff soldier grabbing a rocket and literally tossing it at a group of aliens :)

2 comments more...


  • Creepy

    Hooray for grenades that can actually be thrown indoors!

    And with the way building damage can result in collapses, I'm just imagining some rookie throwing a grenade at a Snakeman sniper, having it bounce off the window sill into the bushes at the base of the building, and it ends up taking out the wall... and the floor collapses out from under the Snakeman. =B

    Will grenades have that bit where they never go off if held? I'd guess the actual "particle" grenade doesn't exist until it's thrown, so it wouldn't explode until then. But how 'bout when dropped, say if some grenade-laden rookie got ripped open by a Chryssalid and dropped all his explosives on death?

  • Kyzrati

    Yeah, it should be good fun.

    Grenades won't explode while held, like in the original. And I said grenades are "particles" but that's only *while* they're thrown (so they could be integrated into the visual system). They are still items that can be manipulated as you'd expect. Basically a thrown "particle" carries the grenade along with it to its target, then deposits it wherever the particle dies. It's actually the same way projectiles work--particles carry "ammo" to their target, and when they get there detonate the ammo (if explosive) or tell it to impact whatever the particle collided with.

    So grenades are definitely items, and they will definitely explode if you prime a bunch and hand them to an oblivious rookie before sending him off to his doom.

    I'm about to add another post about grenade timing.

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