R3: "Sheer Terror"

by Kyzrati on 20111009 , under ,

The number of new features has hit critical mass, so time for another release. See the files page for a link.

As detailed in the last post, large units have been added. You get a tank this time, too. Admittedly not an impressive one, but anything will help against your new enemies, the alien "terror units." For now only large terror units are included; normal-sized thralls will come in a future version.

Terrain smashing is now implemented. Talk about putting the gravity system to the test... Giant units plowing through buildings, heavily-armored X-Com units dropping through weak house roofs in style, tanks mowing down fences... Everything went smoothly except the house filled with stuff getting bulldozed by a house-sized alien--he really helped me fix all the rare bugs :)

Now you can jump through windows without bothering to shoot them out first! By default, "smash movement" is *not* active--you can toggle it on a per-unit basis using the 'h' key. (This is so that the pathfinder knows what kind of path to take.)

Stronger units can smash almost anything, while most rookie soldiers can't get through much more than glass, shrubbery, and other weak obstacles, though stronger soldiers can eventually push through fences, thick hedges and weak walls, or even smash chairs and some other furniture as they move. Later on, some armor and equipped weapons will probably improve a soldier's ability to smash things. Sledgehammer, anyone?

Essential for large units, built-in weapon modules are now operational. The system is very expandable and can later be used to enable units to accept multiple modules, even non-weapon modules with special effects.

Melee attacks (m/M) are now possible, too. In fact, you can use any item to perform a melee attack. Farm level? Grab a pitch fork and stab the little bastards! (Warning: May not work on big bastards.) I divided melee damage into three types: bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing (others can be used or more added easily). Melee attacks can of course do non-melee kinds of damage, like the stun rod.

Bludgeoning damage may also knock targets backward depending on relative strength and item mass. Whack an alien right through a window and have him fall to his death! Or, if you're strong enough, push him right through a wall...

Melee attacks do not currently harm terrain (as in the original), though that can easily be changed by modifying the materials.xt file.

Knockbacks and terrain smashing are both optional (though in the demo there's no button to toggle them); those and the many other optional settings will eventually be accessible through a config file.

About the new demo:
  • Most of the large units are what you'd expect from X-COM: UFO Defense, but I did throw in the chance of one 3x3 unit. Here's hoping you don't get mauled by a Mega Reaper. (Murphy's Law says you will.) And if you see some toppled houses and trampled hedges while you're scouting around... well, let's just say you're probably not safe :)
  • Explosives are quite effective against large units since *all* sections take damage separately.
  • For those who have previously checked out the bunker, there's a couple new toys inside :)
  • See the changelog for a full list of changes (some commands have changed)

I also put together a quick demo video showing large units. To speed things up, I'm controlling the aliens in a mock battle. In retrospect, there should've been more wanton destruction :)

There will probably only be one more tech demo release soon (reaction fire), then a rather long gap before the first alpha version.

Now what are you waiting for?! Go stun yourself an alien!

2 comments more...


  • Tito / Pedro / Jaunmakenro

    Great job !

    I think, if you want people (at least me) made more play-test, just add a simple score system or a statistic screen... or even achievements !

    I succeed to kill a Sigmud Cyborg, not so tough once you get inside the bunker :D

  • Kyzrati

    Accessing the bunker sure helps put the smackdown on some aliens, especially with the new addition ;)

    I'll do more to entice playtesters in future versions--this demo wasn't even originally supposed to have any AI! Added it in a few hours one day for the heck of it...

    For the next release, I was thinking of adding a second scenario, and since you mention it, I'll see about adding at least some simple stats to the mission end screen. I don't want to go far adding content, since the game is in early development, and is going to change a lot in a couple months when I drop in the improved interface.

    The final game is going to have standard scoring (like the original), plus track *lots* more stats and achievements. Your individual soldiers will be able to earn medals, as well.

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