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A new world, over and over again (Aliens)

Discussion in 'CivBE - Mod Development' started by LompeLuiten, Nov 5, 2014.

  1. LompeLuiten

    LompeLuiten Chieftain

    May 3, 2012
    As I scout the forums, it seems that everyone has it issues with CIV BE. Is it that bad? It has it issues. For me there are to Mayor Issues:
    1. The affinities don’t match that well with the gameplay
    2. You are not exploring a new world

    I am going to zoom in on the second point: Exploring a new world. You probably don’t completely get what I’m trying to say with that. Let me explain:
    You are discovering a new world. A world with many wonders unknow, many creatures to be discovered. You want to get to know this world. So the fist time you set foot in CIV EA, you have “should” have this feeling of wonder. You might not think it’s optimal, but it’s there! A world for you to discover!

    And then you play your second game… BOEM! OVER! It’s the exact same drill again. You might find joy in optimizing your play, but you are not “discovering” a new world, you are discovering the same world again.

    So how do you make a game that feels everytime like you are discovering a world again. There are 2 main categories:
    • Landscape
    • Aliens

    Aliens? How could you rediscover aliens? I’ll tell you why we should rediscover aliens: Every world is inhabited by other creatures, so every world the aliens are different. So everytime you wonder: What will they be like this time!

    So different Aliens every time? That means thousands of alien creatures, that is quite a task for development! So let me be clear about 1 thing: You don’t have to give them other animations to give them a distinct feel (although it does help to have like 10 different art for wolf Beatles) . You just have to change them a bit every time.

    So what you do is the following: Every time you start a game, at the background there will be a randomization process. And this process will give different aliens and alien behaviours. So every time you get different aliens to discover.

    So I have 3 things that need to be randomized:
    • Alien behaviour
    • Alien Units
    • Unit special abilities
    • (optional: Art)

    Alien Behaviour
    So first there will be decided what the main goal of the aliens is. This is generly 1 chosen at random, but can be 2 on huge maps. In that case, you have 2 factions of Aliens.

    So I thought about these choices:

    Every Unit has also an independent goal. If the roll on Main Alien Behaviour is rolled an Independent, then it’s every alien unit for themselves, they will only help aliens of the same type.

    If they think they can kill your unit (they can attack in groups of the same type), they will attack you.

    These are one of the most friendly kind. He just wonders around, moving from plant resource to plant resource, stopping there for 1 turn. O, and your farms do look delicious to. They will destroy farms and plantations.

    They move and . Just move, without backtracking, without a specific goal in mind. They don’t ing care if something is in the way: THEY DON’T EVEN CARE IF YOU SHOOT AT IT! They come… and they destroy! (can only be independent)

    They collect and destroy. They while eat forest, camp on resources and devour improvements. They spawn new nests as they go.

    Underground Networkers
    These guys make underground networks connecting certain resources together, moving underground. There tunnels are like roads, which are built by the worker class. Where ever these underground roads are, you cannot work that tile. But if you destroy their road with a worker, they will get angry and retaliate.

    They don’t care who you are, they care where you are. Their Nest have hit points and produce queens, which makes new nest. But they don’t care if you are already there, when deciding their new nest. And if your terrain is 2 spaces near their nest, they will try to destroy the improvements and try to reclaim it (an action of 5 turns, after completed you lose that terrain). Colonist have 2 subtypes:

    Queens Nest
    In the middle you have a nest with a Queen. And as the game progresses, The nest will grow. And as the nest grows, the queen will grow. Sometimes they produce a new queen to make a new nest.

    These creatures make this world for them, the way they like. Everywhere they go they produce a special improvement that does -1 food, - 1 production. Form them it’s 0,5 movement, but for players it’s double movement. This stuff can be removed by workers.

    Alien Units:

    So now for the Unit randomization: for a standerd mapsize you should take 8 different units from the list of all the units available. So every time you simply don’t know what you will be, and what you have to watch out for.

    The randomizer takes at least 1 small unit, 1 medium and 1 large unit. Every unit has its own chance to come up, but the world you have chosen and the main goal will have effect on the chances.

    Here are the extra units I propose. The names I just made up, you could change those. The strength is just made up, some play testing should get some exacter numbers.

    Strenght: 15
    Move: 2
    Special: It's a settler that spawn nests. Cannot be independent.
    Description: A mothering GIANT alien that does one thing whole day long: Laying Eggs! And having some sex occasionly.

    Agrasive Vegitation
    Strength: 15
    Ranged Strenght: 8
    Range: 2
    Move: 0
    Special: Grow: Spawns to adjecent tiles to a nest or to others, or out of a forrest
    Description: An area full of giant venus trapps, acid spuwing flowers and other plant where the only thing you want to do with them is putting them down with a sea of NAPALM!
    If independend: Attack everything in range... I told you they were argrasive.

    Suicide bomber
    Strenght: 20
    Move: 2
    Special: takes +500% damage, destroys improvement from where it’s fighting
    Description: You know what a bomb’om is? Jeah, those ers of Mario that blows themselves up. Now Image an army of these suckers.
    If independent: Grazers

    Strength: 5
    Special: have an increased Spawn Rate, can be choses multiple times with different abilities
    description: These Creatures are smaller than Wolf Beatles, but they make it up in numbers. Be ready to be swarmed.
    If independent: There goal will be Devour or grazer or underground networker or spreader. They will create nest for themselves.

    Strength: 5
    Move: 2
    Special: hovering, take a maximum of 10 points of damage
    Description: Imagine a enormous cloud of acid spewing grasshoppers. You got the image? GOOD! There coming your way.
    If independent: There goal wil be devour. They Multiply if they eat, but die if they didn’t eat enough. But don’t worry, they will spawn again even if there all dead.

    Strength: 30
    Move: 7
    Special: hovering, can move after attacking
    Description: A ING DRAGON! What else did you expect to find here
    If independent: It’s goal will be Hunter or/and devourer. They will build a nest.
    Strength: 9
    Move: 3
    Special: Ignore terrain movement cost, +100% when attacking,
    Description: A huge pack of killer Hounds
    If independent: There goal is Hunter

    Strength: 15
    Move: 1
    Special: Can’t attack, Can fortify
    Description: See resource
    If independent: There goal will be Underground networking. They Build Nests

    Strength: 18
    Move: 2
    Special: absolutely nothing
    Description: Jeah, you did need a middleclass of big boys. There weren’t any. For the rest: use your imagination.
    If independent: Gazer or Hunter or underground networker

    Strength: 20
    Move: 4
    Special: Only uses the whole 4 movement, when attacking. Otherwise he uses 2. Can attack multiple times a turn
    Description: Imagine a Rhino, only 10 times the size…. YOU!!
    If independent: Grazer or hunter

    Strenght: 10
    Move: 2
    Special: After every combat he gains a bonus with: +10% strength.
    Description: HAIL HYDRA!
    If independent: Grazer or hunter

    Spore Shooter
    Strength: 10
    Ranged strength: 20
    Range: 3
    Description: Just as an enormous artillery, only then completely organic, shooting giant spore bombs. Jeah, this is backed-up by sience-fiction
    If independent: Hunter or grazer. They are more likely to bomb you, because they can do it from a safe distance.

    Strength: 45
    Move: 1
    Special: Can’t move through forest, can be a moving nest
    Description: A ing colossal creature Cruising the steppes of the world. They are so big, some creatures can build nest on them.
    If independent: It’s goal is Grazer.

    Strenght: 15
    Operatiol range: 6
    Special: It works like a airplane. It flies from it’s nest
    Description: As a close ralitive of the dragon, it is almost the same. Only a bit weaker
    If independed: there goal is Hunter. They always have nest on mountains. The nest is destroyed if the last Wyvern is dead.

    Flying Raptors
    Strenght: 6
    Operation Range: 4
    Special: It works like a airplane. It flies from it’s nest
    Desciption: Because the Wyvern needed a smaller brother
    If independed: there goal is Hunter. They always have nest on mountains. The nest is destroyed if the last flying raptor is dead.

    Sea Serpents
    Strenght: 18
    Move: 6
    Special: Sea creature
    Despriction: Sea serpent?
    If independed: Hunter

    Strength: 5
    Move: 3
    Special: sea creature, Can’t be targeted with ranged units, can’t become amphibous.
    Despciptions. Imagine Piranha’s. Only then in the numbers of shools. Just like the movie.
    If independed: Hunter and devour. They’ll eat your !

    Sea Turtle
    Strength: 150
    Move: 1
    Special: is next to a unit, also a land tile (can’t build city’s on it), alway’s independed.
    Description: You tought Krakens were big: This creature is so BIG, it can have forrest growing on it.
    In independed: Cruising Around like a siegewurm. Can only be attacked by sea units.

    Known creatures if independent
    Wolf Beatle: Grazer or hunter or devourer or spreaders. Build nests. ,can be chosen multiple times with different abilities
    Raptor Bug: Hunter
    Siege worms: Can only be independent or Underground networker. If independent they are cruisers.
    Drones: Hunter
    Manticore: Grazer or hunter
    Sea dragon: Hunter or grazer
    Kraken: Hunter or cruiser

    Unit Special abilities:
    After the Aliens are chosen, there will first be a process in which some units might become independent. The rest will be in on the common goal. And after that, every unit will be given 1 or more special abilities, like:

    Amphibious: can move over water and land, can be given to sea and land creatures.
    Hikers: Can move through Mountain tiles
    Stealth: like a yellow submarine
    Builder (aligned with the goal they have)
    Miasmiactic: Can make Miasma
    Fire breathing: +3 strength if under 10, otherwise: +30% rounded up
    Strong: +1 strength if under 10, otherwise +10% rounded up
    Weak: -1 strength if under 10, otherwise -10% rounded down
    Hovering: Jeah, the creatures that don’t start with it, can now get hovering. Flying (firebreathing) Piranha, here they come! (or a hovering Kraken)
    Heavy breeders: if they spawn, they spawn in pairs
    Fast: +1 movement
    Extra fast: +2 movement
    Slow: -1 movement
    Generate: +10 HP regain every turn
    Acid spewing: unit gains a ranged attack of 50% of its strength, with range 1. Can still attack normally.

    The bonuses are not completely at random. For every creature there is a chart in which it gives the chances of the abilities appearing. This is altered a bit by the gaol and the world that is chosen. If the randomizer rolls 0 bonuses, he makes a roll to choose one of the bonuses. If it rolls for example Fast and Slow, than Fast will be the dominant one, and will be taken.

    Art (optional)
    So to really give a distinct feeling every time, then you should have different artworks for same creatures. What I should do is to give them a
    • Insect skin
    • Mammal skin
    • Reptile skin
    • Humanoid skin
    All together (sea creatures and siege wurms excluded). Give the same unit different names, and they will have a hard time finding out that they are actually the same. And if you are really wild, you could change also make a few skins for insects, given them different names.

    So what do you guys think of this? If you liked it, I can try to make one about different landcapes?
  2. Nutty

    Nutty Deity

    Mar 9, 2011
    Orange County, California, U.S.A.
    I think these are some great ideas. Note that Alien Strains, a project I've helped with, is more modest in its changes at the moment, but has some of the groundwork laid for these kinds of ideas.
  3. David12596

    David12596 Warlord

    Jul 15, 2014
    This would be amazing to see. Kinda reminds me of a topic I posted about on the 2K forums about expanding the aliens. That was posted here.
  4. LompeLuiten

    LompeLuiten Chieftain

    May 3, 2012
    And where can I find more on that project?
  5. Lord Shadow

    Lord Shadow General

    Oct 14, 2005
    Buenos Aires
    In the Released Mods subforum. Or on my signature. :p

    As for the ideas, well, there's some interesting concepts, but it looks like it'd be at the very least a massive Lua undertaking. XML is rather... superficial.

    Unit ability randomization could theoretically be achieved with the perk system, but so far I haven't been able to get the alien faction to use unit upgrades and the perks they confer.
  6. alysander

    alysander Chieftain

    Dec 15, 2012
    You can make worms more environment-changing: eating forests for example.
    You can make forest regrow/spreading after some time.
  7. Baleur

    Baleur Prince

    Jul 9, 2010
    Qingdao, China
    If the devs weren't so lazy they could have made the terrain textures work with color masks, so the actual terrain colors could be randomized as well (within certain tasteful parameters, semi based on reality so you would get results that look plausible).

    Some planets with methane oceans, some with red deserts, some with blue scars/Canyons across the icy landscape. Some with scaled up craters, some with scaled up Mountains. Etc.
    But as we know, they just did a Quick reskin (with awful quality textures, seriously look at the grassland textures, they are compressed to hell and look like a simple noise filter in Photoshop between green and teal).

    Developing a mod and releasing it as a full game is far more cost effective than actually trying to do something grand.
  8. tesb

    tesb Emperor

    Jan 16, 2010
    i like the idea, because i had a similar one:

    -alien nests are like cities in that they can attack (launch spores) and have hitpoints
    -aliens get stronger the longer the game goes on (there is a mod that increases newly spawned alien strength by 100% after 100 turns, by 200% strength after 200 turns and so on)
    -instead of ultra sonic fences you should build turrets to fend of aliens (improvements that can shoot and have hitpoints, i.e. like weak cities without production)

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