Gimme the Drugs

by Kyzrati on 20120819 , under ,

Face it: If you were on the front line against a frightening alien menace, you'd probably prefer to be shot up with chemicals most of the time, too!

The oh-so-indispensable Medi-Kit is ready to patch up and treat your panicking, bleeding and otherwise not-so-happy-to-be-dying-to-WTF-WAS-THAT soldiers. It'll be much better than what you've had to face so far: Seeing critical wounds as more or less an unavoidable doom counter.

I'd like the UI to be a bit more flashy, but for now I'm sticking to a more utilitarian design and simple color scheme so these elements are at least available in game. So this is what you get:

I would have gone for a slightly more visual representation of the target's body, but the interface needs to be compatible with any kind of anatomy that could potentially be created through the dynamic body part system, so critical wounds are just shown through a list of parts. The window is animated and I added a new sound, too, but I'll save the video for a UI compilation once there's more to show.

In related news: The Special Ability Framework is COMPLETE! That pretty much explains where I've disappeared to these past weeks, and I'm sure one day it'll have been worth it--because for now it was definitely overkill for implementing just the standard X-COM content, e.g. chryssalids, silacoids, motion scanners, medi-kits, etc., which all could've been hard-coded in no time.

The framework doesn't yet include absolutely every trigger and effect that might eventually find its way in there, but 41 triggers, 47 conditions, and 30 different effects is already enough to create a mind-boggling amount of Fun Stuff. Some of said Fun Stuff you will see in R7.

As I've described before, it's a very flexible framework that allows modders to mix and match triggers and effects complete with text messages, particle effects, sounds, and of course effects on game objects. In fact, while testing the medi-kit I was able to pretty easily (took less than a minute...) add some extra functions for fun: a "poison" function that instantly kills the patient, and a "zombify" function that mutates the patient into a mindless zombie. The medi-kit interface dynamically builds itself based on what abilities the text files give the medi-kit (or, actually, any item with the "open medi-kit" trigger, since you could technically create other items that have medi-kit-like functionality), so the functions I added appeared as new buttons that I could use to kill or zombify targets... Much more useful functions could be created using the MOD_ENT ("modify entity") effect, which has 19 sub-effects for modifying unit stats on the fly.

Other things I played with to test the system:
  • phase-shifting aliens
  • amorphous aliens that divide in two when shot
  • aliens that emit a deadly toxin which kills any humans who get too close
  • aliens that trigger periodic cyclones which pick up small objects and fling them around (oops, did you throw that grenade over here? hah!)
  • alien gun that shoots out smaller aliens (here, have a facehugger!)
  • controlled teleports
  • items that can transform into other items
  • potion of strength (quaff it, really)
  • staff of destruction (disintegrates everything within a certain radius of target position)
  • a med station that heals user when "manipulated" (<--a new command that allows units to "use" terrain objects--could be used for computer terminals or whatever)
  • (approx. 30 more test abilities...)

Next I'll be working on the mind probe interface (which won't take very long) and a few random other housekeeping tasks before putting the next scenario to code. Actually, before that the HUD needs a temporary mini-log so you don't always have to open the full combat log to see what's going on, since the new ability system means you'll occasionally need more detail about what's going on than what you can see on the map.
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