Mod: "Assault"

by Kyzrati on 20121125 , under

We have our second full mod, this time from Draxis!

Lead a semi-randomly outfitted squad of fully-armed soldiers to take an alien base in Assault. Quite a nostalgic mission, as the design is based on the original alien base assault from X-COM! Most of the gear is standard, though you may have access to the flamethrower as well, which will come in handy if the chryssalids get some of your guys.

Check out some maps generated by Draxis' mod:

I played several games, and in the last was on track to win without losing a single soldier, if not for my own Wolfgang's stupidity. Just before taking the command center the squad used a stolen small launcher to fire back into the darkness from where we were taking heavy fire; advancing forward we found a pile of unconscious snakemen bodies, yay! After everyone passed that spot, Wolfgang decided to do away with the bodies before moving on (didn't want to risk any of them coming to, nor waste time picking up all their weapons). Prime alien grenade for immediate detonation... forget to leave enough time to get around the corner... ka-boom, Wolfgang joins the pile of snakemen bodies.

Get your own copy from the files page!
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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.
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