Great Leap Sideways

by Kyzrati on 20121117 , under

So... according to the Roadmap I should be working on testing out more facets of the sound support right now.

I'm not.

There are several invisible/unannounced priorities that are injecting themselves into that list, many of them internal changes, the benefits of which may or may not be immediately apparent (to you--I know perfectly well what I'm doing. We hope ;p).

While it seems things have been pretty quiet on my front, it's not for lack of progress, as I've been working on Secret Project No. 47. To put it in non-secret terms, I'm expanding the capabilities of the existing game systems for both better modding potential and more interesting features aimed at the future of X@COM.

Adding official (albeit partial) modding support in R8 turned out to be a wonderful idea, because it'll ensure that at its very core the game supports elements that are both useful and desirable, and that support is built in from the start.

After all, X-COM is not the "goal" of this project; it's merely a starting point. Already we've seen the addition of many elements you won't find in the original, even though for a long time now I've restrained myself from straying too far beyond abstracted recreations of the original mechanics, as I didn't want to get bogged down by the dreaded Feature Creep many epic projects tend to face. (In case you weren't aware, X@COM will be epic, just like you know you want it.)

With the completion of battlescape mechanics in R8, before going much further (i.e., pushing forward with sound and interface development) I'd like to build a stronger foundation for what's to come. Converting armor from a static part of a unit equipped before battle to an item potentially swappable in the field (see earlier post) is representative of the kind of work I'm doing now.

That said, I'm not blindly coding new features here--exploring the possibilities and limits of the game is best done with a usable (and preferably enjoyable) testbed.

Thus I'm guided by design.

Because I'm working on a mod.

Yes, I'm modding my own game :)

It's a rather radical diversion from X-COM, but "diversion" only in the content sense, certainly not the progress sense, as this is indeed expanding the game in some very useful and desirable ways. Project 47 is going to make Cataclysm look like the uneventful sandbox testing map.

There's still much to do because I keep sidetracking myself by coding new features (RL, the non-roguelike variety, is also conspiring to slow me down), but in the meantime, at least one or two more third-party mods will hopefully be ready for you to play around with while you wait for R8.3. And thanks to all current and future modders, who are also helping guide this process by showing me what they want to be able to do, which may or may not yet be available.

I suppose this is really only one part of the Leap, and it's more of a series of skips (but skipping is decidedly non-manly, so we're Leaping), since after this there'll be more intermediary issues I want to tackle before branching off into new areas, but I'll post about those another time.
2 comments more...


  • Kyzrati

    Yeah, I felt it'd been too long since the last post, so even though I don't have many specifics to offer at this time, thought I'd at least provide a little update!

    And no worries about modding--it'll be much more fun and easy in the future, anyway. Right now it's for people who enjoy a bit of problem solving and have plenty of free time to see their projects through, since the system is far from complete or very modder friendly in its current state. Can't blame anyone who doesn't want to stare at esoteric text files all day ;p

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