by Kyzrati on 20111015 , under ,

Be prepared for a totally different experience when you play the next release: True X-COM mechanics are finally here.

Actions now trigger reaction fire (opportunity fire) from enemies that have spare TU. The system is almost identical to the original, though a few of the small quirks were removed to keep it as straightforward as possible--there aren't any strange exceptions to the way it works.

Melee reactions/counterstrikes are also possible. Out of ammo when that sectoid rounds the corner and starts firing at you point blank? As long as you've got the time left you'll just whack him with your rifle, or whatever you happen to be holding. Heck, find a sword and intentionally have your ninja-reflex soldier wait around corners for unsuspecting aliens--the heads will roll!

About the mechanics: I can't recall whether X-COM units actually turns around as part of reaction fire to shoot aliens after being hit in the back (probably because you rarely survive hits from behind by alien weaponry, anyway...). Either way, that behavior is a per-unit setting in the data files, so it's easily changed. For now I have X-COM *not* turning around.

You can reserve TU for any major action (snap / burst / aimed / melee / throw), and also intentionally deplete a unit's TU with a single command so you don't have to worry about those freaking reactive snap shots with a rocket launcher (unless you want them, of course).

Check out the video below for the ultimate showdown between X-COM and aliens. This battle is 100% based on opportunity fire! Reaction fire on this scope wouldn't normally happen in the game, but I added a third "overwatch" faction which triggers the exchange and tweaked their TU so they won't interrupt the battle; meanwhile, all the other units have full TU and are just staring at each other until someone moves... (HD + fullscreen strongly recommended, otherwise it can be hard to see what's going on)

Explosions are now simultaneously animated from the side, as seen here:

Parabolic projectile trajectories are also possible now. This feature was implemented primarily for the celatid spit, which is apparently the only projectile in the game which does that, but now any projectile can be designed to follow a parabolic trajectory, so you can add mortars etc. Be sure to kill celatids from a distance--or be killed (they've got the deadliest projectile in the game). There's now a max range setting for projectiles, also implemented for celatids, since parabolas don't inherently limit range like they did in the original. You don't want them spitting that stuff at you across the map! All other projectiles currently have unlimited range, of course.

In other news, those alien saboteurs (see 2x2 post) sure are persistent. My motherboard malfunctioned yet again. Lost a PCI slot and BIOS decided it wanted to try to overclock the CPU without my permission. Thought I was going to have to build a new rig to replace this 5-year-old dev machine, but after a cleaning and rearrangement of parts it's chugging along, again. Point is, fooling around with dying hardware ate up enough of my spare time that I probably won't get to push a new release this weekend.

All the new systems are debugged and ready to play, but I want to add a scoring system and new environment/scenario for the next (and last) pre-alpha release: Area 51.

6 comments more...


  • Kyzrati

    Yeah, I'd like to put one of those up; it'd definitely help. Could go towards new computer parts so I don't have things breaking down all the time, but perhaps more importantly it'd be a little easier to convince my wife it's at least *somewhat* worthwhile to spend so much time fooling around with this project--she's not at all interested in computers, but money she understands fairly well :)

    I'll probably add a donate link when the alpha builds start coming along.

  • Kyzrati

    Ha ha, well, don't forget to love your girlfriend, too :)

    And don't get burned out on the game yet--there's still so much more to come!

    Still working on the new scenario, which might've made it out today, but my mobo crashed again this morning. Looks like it could even die permanently soon! Going out right now to search for a cheap laptop to have around as a backup... (my last backup died several months ago after living to the ripe old age of 7!)

  • Kyzrati

    So not just the aliens, then? Alright, thanks, I'll change the data file settings. The option will still be available for creating specific unit types that do not turn around, however.

    It's been several years since I last played the game; I should fire up DOSBox at some point and take notes :)

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