TFTD Fanfic Discussion


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#41 Accounting Troll

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 01:54 PM

Post redone.

Regarding the location of the base, DC said that it was off the west coast of Ireland, which makes good sense militarily as you have nice easy access to the Atlantic deeps.  The English Channel is little more than a mudflat; at low tide it won't make any difference whether the base is on the sea bed or floating.  Submarine commanders hate entering shallow water.  The one advantage the English Channel has is that it's so busy that the aliens would find it hard to pick out X-Com flying subs from the civilian traffic.

I might add that there's a mistake in the official timeline - the Second Alien War begins in 2040, not 2041.  By now I suspect it would be easier to reprogram TFTD than to change that detail.

It's possible that the Cultists will attempt to help the aliens infiltrate human society, and they will probably attempt to get a spy inside the X-Com ranks, but I doubt they will fancy a direct confrontration unless the war causes a major increase in their support.  Let's hope that X-Com have the sense to do a background check on new recruits.

Regarding the capabilities of the USOs, I agree.  X-Com probably won't realise that they are capable of air flight until a Barracuda chases one over land.  It's probably going to take them months to figure out that this bunch of aliens aren't simply unfinished business from the last war.

One thought about when X-Com starts gettimng new bases: will we be telling their stories as well or just concentrating on Alpha 1 and using the other bases as dumping grounds for poster controlled characters when the poster is going to be too busy to contribute for a few weeks or months?

#42 The Veteran

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 05:18 PM

I'd say we'll probably deal with additional bases the way they were handled in the Apocalypse fic... By which I don't mean have the aliens blow them up :eh: rather deal with them in an off hand sort of way. So we always know what's happening there and what missions they fly etc. but they won't necessarily be documented so well as those missions flown from Alpha-01

Why on earth did I have it in my head that the war started 2041 then? That's a bit bizarre! No matter, I'll have a check through the fic and see if its worthe editing. I'll try to I think...

Yeah the Cult will no doubt try to muck us about, they're already doing it in the other two fics so this one won't be much different! Bonus is, they can't exactly trespass or spy as we're now underwater!

Location isn't a massive issue either way but we need to decide fairly soon. My defense of Normandy would be that our subs don't stay in the water, they stay in the air. Only reason they're submersible at all is because their weapons don't work above sea level... I suppose I can be twisted into a base in Ireland though, after you've rewritten your post twice just because I asked!

Just edited through the fic, only a few minor changes with regards to SORESO/XCom ownership of the operation and my initial post with regards to XCom itself. Also we've never used the date in our fic so we can stick to the genuine 2040 start in ours.
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#43 Accounting Troll

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Posted 01 May 2006 - 07:20 PM

I think the mistake was in the official timeline that came with Interceptor.  The community has naturally treated the official timeline as canon so the mistake keeps getting duplicated.  The only other possibility I can think of is that maybe different versions of the game have different start dates; I'm using the really old one that only works properly with DOSbox.

It's only a difference of one year, so it doesn't really matter.

#44 uriaheep

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 01:21 PM

Well I've read all the posts here and I'm still not sure what's going on. :eh:
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#45 Accounting Troll

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Posted 03 May 2006 - 05:35 PM

That makes you an ideal choice for the supreme commander of X-Com.  Generals and admirals never have a clue what's going on :eh:

#46 The Veteran

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Posted 04 May 2006 - 11:37 PM

How can you not know what's going on, there's hardly anything happening at all yet :eh: If certain aspects of the fic are unclear just let us know and either the orginal poster or myself can work on editing the fic into something more understandable! I'll try and post soon, I've ben off on an adventure of my own for the last day or so... Believe me, they're overrated!
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#47 Dumb_Commander

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Posted 06 May 2006 - 10:09 AM

Good, i'm gonna consertrate on the UFO Fan Fic for now. As for the other thing, whos gonna post next?

#48 uriaheep

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 10:17 AM

Okay, okay - I've got it.   I wanna play.   :eh:

What next - character?
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#49 The Veteran

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 01:07 PM

Yes please! If you're interested in joining any (or all :eh:) of the cooperative fics here just head over to the respective character profiles topic and make your mark on the world of XCom! Have a read through of the fic so far and also the discussion topic as sometimes they cover some small explanations and guidelines relating to certain aspects of the fics. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to ask myself or someone else about anything. I hope you enjoy the fic!
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#50 Accounting Troll

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 07:49 PM

I've been thinking about the first research task for the scientists.  The jet harpoons that X-Com uses in the early missions in TFTD are hopelessly outclassed by the alien sonic weapons, and they can't even penetrate the armour many of the alien species have.  The first priority therefore has to be to develop Gauss weapons.

Gauss pistols are useful against some of the alien species on burst mode at close range, but they lack the accuracy needed for medium or long range engagements and they don't have the killing power X-Com needs against tasoths, lobstermen and many of the alien terrorist species.  X-Com will have to keep working on Gauss technology until it develops the Gauss rifle.

After that, the next priority should be to develop aqua plastic armour followed by medikits and alien grenades.  The alien weapons are so powerful that there's no point adapting the AWI medikit design to work underwater until you havce some decent armour - one hit is almost always fatal for your soldiers until they get some armour.

By the time X-Com has developed all that, it will have just attempted its first alien colony mission or sea lane terror mission.  After running into tasoths and lobstermen, and probably getting its butt kicked, X-Com is going to be desperate to develop more powerful weapons.

Remember that you can only research aqua plastics and hence aqua plastic armour once you have done a Deep One autopsy, so X-Com had better win the first Gillman terror mission.

Also, Gauss technology is an adaptation of AW1 plasma technology to work underwater using a power source other than elerium.  In view of the major technological breakthrough this represents, I would imagine that Zager's character and his disciples have already worked out the theory but they refused to take it any further until now because of the moral implications of creating a weapon that humans would use to slaughter each other.

#51 The Veteran

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Posted 07 May 2006 - 11:05 PM

Yeah that's all perfectly logical I agree. Hopefully Zager will swing by here sometime soon and give us some advice on how to proceed and a post on us actually doing it!

Deep One autopsy... Ugh... That's all we need as a post in the fic...

"But Dr Zager we HAVE researched the deep one autopsy! And we've done one alive! What is it you're expecting us to find!?"

"Well maybe its just me but I was kind of under the impression that these creatures have skin that could very well be adapted, modified, and recreated as some form af aquatic'plastic type armour... But maybe that's just me..."

Yeah... Or maybe the damn game has crashed and we have to go back three friggin years and start all over again with a flippin foreign patch on to make the research tree work properly!!!!!
Welcome back to the wonderful world of Fan-fiction! (it's short for fantastic!)
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Also why not check out XCom : Colonisation over in the special projects forum. Won't kill you if you do, might kill you if you don't!

#52 Zager

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 02:11 AM

I would imagine that Zager's character and his disciples have already worked out the theory but they refused to take it any further until now because of the moral implications of creating a weapon that humans would use to slaughter each other.  

Moral implications? Heh. Dr Zager, aside from his vision of the perfect human society, is a believer in science for the sake of science. He just simply wouldn't make it available because, quite frankly, he doesn't give a damn about the rest of humanity.

#53 Accounting Troll

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Posted 08 May 2006 - 08:02 PM

A nice introduction for your character.  I can see him having a few rows with the military commander of X-Com and the committee of funding nations.  It also establishes how good a scientist he must be if the politicians are willing to tolerate his less than diplomatic behaviour :eh:

In view of his disregard of the laws on human genetic engineering and psionics, perhaps he will be the one who brings up the subject of selling alien artefacts to the highest bidder as a means of funding X-Com.  A man who dabbles in illegal research will have contacts in the black market as he cannot aquire the equipment and biological samples he requires legally without facing some difficult questions.

#54 The Veteran

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 02:25 AM

Right there's a post and a half for you! Would have kept on going but if I don't sleep soon my eyes will fall out...

Right, firstly, I didn't mention it but the engineer dude? He'll be on board the triton too, non-combatant but he'll be able to use the wierd console in there (you know from the game with the sonar on) to control wee Bubbles. Bubbles is not a SWS by the way. Hence it being completely different in every way to a SWS! I'm guessing it'll either get nuked in the mission and XCom will deem it necessary to develop a prototype replacement or it will prove invaluable and XCom will feel compelled to develop a prototype replacement.

Now Zager worked on the original Tanks in the first alien war so I imagine he would take great pleasure in nitpicking over Denman's flawed genius in the form of Bubbles if it gets back intact! So there you are Zag, all yours the old R&D bit as per! Wait till we get back though mind, your character hasn't seen this thing yet, and 40 years is a long time to forget how invaluable that tank was!

Next thing, I don't know if we're ready to intercept this UFO yet or not so there are a few ways forward... It flies off, that's that, contact lost... We intercept it and land at the site, then it pans out however it pans out... We down it in water too deep to take the Triton and the divers into (over an aquatic chasm or something) It's up to whoever posts next, I'd like to see how it unfolds either way, hence me trying to prepare these people as well as possible for what seems to be a pretty hopeless mission!

Another thing is THIS LINK to XCommand, it'll answer all your UFOpedia style questions. Like superheated laser what? Is he making that up? And, what does a harpoon gun look like again? Or what other weapons do we need to bring into the fic before the next mission? etc and so on!

Lastly but not leastly, here's a list of all the characters in the fic so far, including a few I've introduced in that fic through necessity. Uria, your guy is already on this mission so if you're reading this topic then its your time baby! Go to it! DC Scott is on board but your new guy isn't as we'll want everyone to be a few ranks up on what they are now before we bring in any more experienced soldiers to dominate the team! Like I say below, the SGT is a filler in for the missing command structure that we'll need fairly imminently but I have no problem with keeping him/promoting him, whatever. Bottom line is, he's free for all, anyone can use him so I'm not bothered what happens to him. The new pilot is one of mine, feel free to interact as you blatantly need to in this next post! But I'll do most of the donkey work on him, I enjoy having Trigger as a pilot in the UFO fic!

List;
Jonathon Finn
  My Character, Barracuda-01 pilot, profile to come
Sergeant Nielsen
  Filler technically, just needed someone to take control. We could keep him if we decide to

Able Seaman Mark Reynolds
  Accounting Trolls character. 30yrs old joined XCom March 2039
Able Seaman Brian Goldstein
  Filler Recovered Crawley's corpse from the Hyperion wreck
Able Seaman Andrew Munt
  My Character. 23yrs old joined XCom July 2036
Seaman Scott Gasvin
  Dumb Commander's character. 29yrs old joined XCom August 2039
Seaman Dale Peterson
  Filler alive
Seamen Richard Pritchard
  Filler Kills and recovers only alien casualty from the Hyperion wreck
Alexander Milne
  Uriaheep's character. 35yrs old originally joined SORESO October 2030
Welcome back to the wonderful world of Fan-fiction! (it's short for fantastic!)
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Also why not check out XCom : Colonisation over in the special projects forum. Won't kill you if you do, might kill you if you don't!

#55 Dumb_Commander

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 01:52 PM

Just one thing tough, i want that Gasving would survive three missions not to die in the curent one, you can injure him but dont kill him right now.

What if the soldiers find a stunned civilian on board of the USO.

#56 The Veteran

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 02:20 PM

Don't worry DC I have no intention of killing off anyone's characters except the filler. That's what filler is all about!

As far as stunned civilians go, yes, its a good idea for a little bit of storyline as that person (should they wake up) would know too much to return to their normal life... Right now though we'll have to wait until a terror mission for that. Remember, we can't engage USOs over land so if we ever down any they'll be in water... Hence drown!
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Go check em out, UFO TFTD and Apocalypse all under one roof!!!

Also why not check out XCom : Colonisation over in the special projects forum. Won't kill you if you do, might kill you if you don't!

#57 Accounting Troll

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 05:21 PM

:eh:   We're really zipping along now.  I'll try to continue the story later on tonight.

With regard to the possibility of civilians who know too much, there is an important factor to bear in mind - X-Com went public around 2010.

Ongoing operations, personnel lists and base locations will have to be kept secret for obvious military reasons, but this time round the people know that humanity isn't alone in the universe and that X-Com stopped the last invasion.  According to the official timeline, the sinkings caused a massive public clamour for the reinstatement of X-Com.  It follows therefore that successes against the aliens will be widely reported in the media to keep up morale on the home front.

Besides, how do you cover up a terror attack on a major city like London or New York? :P

Changing the subject slightly, there is a fair amount of background information in the paper booklet entitled "Profile of Jake Gaston" that was shipped with the original version of TFTD.  Strategycore has the PDF version of the booklet in our files section here.  It includes a conspiracy theory about the sinking of the Titanic and detailed information on the two classes of flying sub available to X-Com in the early days.

I'd like to bring Jake Gaston in as the supreme commander of X-Com in the days after the current mission as they are pretty leaderless at the moment.

#58 uriaheep

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:28 PM

I guess it would be nice to have a leader but it feels a little belt and braces at the moment which gives a realistic feel.
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#59 Accounting Troll

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Posted 09 May 2006 - 07:38 PM

Post done.

I've set out the X-Com tactics for the opening stages of the system.  They are using a buddy-buddy system at the moment, but I suspect that will change when they find out that the aliens have area effect weapons that work underwater.  I've also addressed the problem of actually getting out of the hatch without being butchered by alien snipers as they will have noticed the approach of the Triton and had time to position themselves.

I'm using Gasvin to provide infantry support for Bubbles.  I see Bubbles as a light tank that is faster than the standard sea tank because it lacks armour plating.  A lone light tank that gets seperated from infantry support will quickly be surrounded and destroyed by the enemy.

There's an environmental theme in my post.  Some of the seabed maps in the game are littered with barrels of toxic looking waste, and I like the way that suggests that maybe the aliens have a better right to rule Earth than we do because of our criminally negligent environmental record.

I have put in some speculation about the nature of the alien weapons to further my references to the lack of barnacles and the brittle hull in the exploration of the Hyperion.  Some of the X-Com soldiers have scientific and engineering backgrounds, so they would probably figure out that the aliens are using sonic weapons from the effect they have.  The real trick is in learning to use and manufacture the alien weapons - perhaps they are genetically encoded so that only their owner can use them - anybody else who tries using a particular alien weapon will unwittingly trigger a small explosive device that prevents it from falling into human hands.

Regarding the nature and crew of USO-1, the first USO you encounter in the game is always the TFTD equivalent of the small or medium scout.  If it is the small scout, it will have a one sectoid crew.  If it is the medium scout, it will have a crew of around six; either Sectoids or Gillmen.  Gillmen are faster and stronger than Sectoids and they have better armour, so X-Com will probably take a real beating if they are up against Gillmen.  The small and medium scouts in TFTD look identical in a mission, so at this stage the squad has no idea what it's up against.

Don't forget that X-Com doesn't have an alien containment facility at this stage, so there's no point trying to take prisoners.


A few other general thoughts:

Unlike in Enemy Unknown and Acopalypse, X-Com has a time limit in missions because oxygen tanks have a limited capacity.

The recovery of a USO is not going to be instantaneous.  Some alien artifacts and a few alien bodies can fit inside a Triton, but recovering the hull of an underwater alien dreadnought is going to be a logistical nigtmare.

How does X-Com know when they have killed the last alien in a mission?  They might have a general idea how many aliens crew a given class of USO, but until they have worked out a way of hacking into the alien computers (which is harder than it looks in Independance Day) and recovering a crew list, they have to spend ages carefully going over the combat zone.

#60 uriaheep

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Posted 10 May 2006 - 08:46 AM

Anyone thought of a way around "throwing" a grenade underwater.  There were obviously grenedes in the game but it's imposible to throw anything underwater.

Small amounts of propellant perhaps???  Or shall we just forget them?
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