Beep Boop Blip

by Kyzrati on 20120110 , under

...and eventually, Bang!

The UI for the next version has been audible for a while now--at least parts of it have. So be prepared for a bleeping good time next release! I'll be adding UI sound effects incrementally over many versions as new interface features are completed. The final map and HUD have yet to be developed, so I'm not bothering to give them sounds just yet. Weapon/movement/etc sound assets won't be added until much later, but the functionality is already there.

I replaced the inventory system from R5 with a new system that comes with greater versatility at the price of slightly higher complexity. Body parts, rather than inventory slots, are now the fundamental unit for creating an entity (unit). "Body parts" (which each have their own set of properties) can be grouped together to define a certain "anatomy" that applies to one or more races. Body parts and armor each come with their own inventory slots, so combining the two can result in different inventory layouts. Here's a shot of the relationship as commented in the source:
The original system was sufficient to model the X-COM rules, but not good enough for expanded applications like dynamic loss of limbs and the resulting effect on inventory space and item interaction. With the new system, races with entirely new and unique body parts and possibilities for interaction can be created by modding the text files.

Most X@COM engine mechanics are a superset of the original game rules, so there will be much more flexibility when expanding or modding the game. Almost everything will be exposed in text files (including mechanics, not just data).

There's also a brand new (and completely externalized) message system, including a combat log which records unit actions/events. The goal of this initial implementation is to simply provide a place where you can read what just happened, or scroll back through the log in case you missed a piece of the action. Eventually, at the end of each mission I'd like to have the game analyze the entire log, and create a summary of the action which is output to a file and could hopefully be an entertaining recap of a mission. The log is rather unexciting in its current state, so I'll save the visuals for a later video that includes more unique windows that will be appearing soon.

Thanks to everyone who showed their support in the Roguelike of the Year competition! We did fairly well--12th out of 185--considering X@COM is just an early alpha game. Next year once the game is a lot more playable I'm sure performance will be even better.
2 comments more...


  • Canageek

    Does this mean you are going to be able to blow of soldiers/aliens limbs to cripple them? What about peicemail armour? Then you could capture parts of alien armour suits and whatnot.

    Of course, down that road lies Dwarf Fortress level bloat, so I'm not sure if you want to tread that road.

  • Kyzrati

    No piecemeal armor, I don't believe, at least not under the current system, but definitely lost limbs, crippling and the like. Not for 1.0, mind you, but it's a feature already avilailable for mods and post-1.0 development. It would never be extended to the point of DF, since this is more of a tactical strategy game which tries to generalize a lot of mechanics, but I think the potential for a little more depth is worth including.

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