Unused Small Scout


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#1 Zombie

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 05:14 AM

Today I was admiring the Small Scout in daishiva's MapView (it's become a hobby recently now that his program is patched to allow it). Anyhow, I was going through the MCD files and noticed there were a bunch of unused tiles for the Small Scout. From the surface, it looked like they could be put together to form a new ship. So I opened up the Small Scout map file with MS-Edit and entered in the unused tiles. Then I started to play around with them. Bingo, they fit! The normal Small Scout map on L1 is 3x3 tiles, but there aren't 9 unused tiles (only 5) so the final ship is 2x2 instead. See the two pics below, the first one is from MapView while the second is from within the battlescape:

Fake_Small_Scout.png Unused_Small_Scout.png


For reference, here is a pic of the current small scout (quite a difference, eh?):

Posted Image

I ran a few missions with this ship and there are a couple issues with it. First, if you get inside and keep going up with a soldier in a flying suit, he'll eventually fly right out the top. Secondly, a soldier standing on L1 inside the ship is sticking out the top from his armpits up. The normal small scout isn't quite as flawed. It's possible that the map programmers realized this and decided to remake the small scout from scratch and accidentally left the tiles in.  ;)

Another issue is the MCD records for the unused Small Scout aren't set to alien alloys. If you count up the number of alien alloys in the unused map with the tiles set as that type, it comes out to 8 (9 if you count the one tile which I couldn't fit into the design). If you divide by 10 and then take the integer of the result you end up recovering 0 alloys. This could be another reason why it was left out: the programmers may have wanted the small scout to yield some alloys and the only way to do that was to increase it's footprint to 10 or more tiles. Anyway, hope you guys find this interesting. I sure did. :laugh:

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#2 NKF

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 06:44 AM

My guess it's a scratchboard image for the small scout, as it looks just like a plain circle with a bit of shading in it. Probably used during the early development of the scout's graphics before they finalized the rest of the tiles. Still looks like it'd fit right into the game seamlessly though.

- NKF
NKF - finally built a gaming PC in 2020 (though not any of that RGB nonsense). Can now play games up to '89!

#3 Zombie

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Posted 14 November 2008 - 08:04 AM

Yeah, it's a fairly basic (and crude) design without any fancy animations. Not sure if the legs were meant to go with the old chassis, but I honestly don't know what else the programmers had in mind. There are only so many tiles allocated for the Small Scout. ;)

If I get some time tomorrow, I'll see whether I can fix up some of the issues with the unused Small Scout and release it as a mod. Might be nice to have a change of scenery after looking at the same old design for years. :laugh:

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#4 Zombie

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 03:17 AM

Well, I had a few problems getting the old Small Scout the way I wanted it. First issue I ran across was that the .MAP files don't match MAP.DAT. After realizing there was a 3-byte header for width, length and height of at the start of the file, I was able to edit map values in MS-EDIT. Second issue was that the number of alien alloys recovered was far too small with only 8 tiles. I needed 13 to match the current Small Scout map. Found a creative way to add more alloys without changing what the map looked like. No, I didn't create an "invisible" MCD entry set to alien alloys. Instead, I just forced each foot of the landing gear to not only have it's contents set as a foot, but also a North Wall. That brought me to 12. To make it 13, the grav lift was edited to be an alien alloy. There, now when you recover the Small Scout you get the same amount as before. :)

Found out that the grav lift for the revamped Small Scout really doesn't work for land-locked units as there isn't a "landing pad" directly above it anymore. The reason why the lift works for the Flying Suit is because those soldiers are exploiting a bug which allows them to "phase" into the wall from below. Will need to do a little more researching to figure out how to make that function.

Not much left to do other than edit a few bytes in the MCD record to match the current scout (armor values are messed up a bit). Hopefully I can finish this up and release it today yet. ;)

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#5 Zombie

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 06:55 AM

Good news! You can find the Small Scout mod in our files section here. I created an install and uninstall file for ease of use too. Enjoy! ;)

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#6 Slaughter

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Posted 16 November 2008 - 11:45 AM

Nicely done Zombie! ;)


#7 NKF

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 05:22 AM

It's only a pity small scouts are so hard to capture intact, and tend to appear less frequently later on. But I suppose you don't want the missions to be too easy. ;)

- NKF
NKF - finally built a gaming PC in 2020 (though not any of that RGB nonsense). Can now play games up to '89!

#8 Zombie

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Posted 17 November 2008 - 06:19 AM

The Small Scout isn't too hard to capture intact assuming you have a fast interceptor with only cannons. They don't land much, true, but you can shoot it down and still see the craft on the battlescape (unless you have XcomUtil installed which removes this UFO for some reason). When I was doing my testing spree on trying to lose all the funding countries over at the xcomufo forums, I frequently detected small scouts flying around. But in terms of the quantity of those ships detected, they probably rank last on the list (most alien missions only have one small scout and then come multiple UFOs of different sizes). So they may only show up every 1 out of 6 times or depending on what you do it could be as low as 1 in 10. Not good odds, but there is still that chance. :)

I just noticed another tiny issue with the small scout mod (post production testing is sometimes a killer). Once a Flying Suited soldier is inside the craft, he can get out via not only the top but also the North and West sides as well. Suppose I could set the walls of the craft as true "walls" to prevent the soldier from getting out that way, but then again, I don't want a soldier to get stuck in there with the only exit being up. ;)

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

#9 Zombie

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Posted 07 October 2009 - 06:35 PM

Was looking at the old Small Scout the other day and it hit me that it looks really similar to Sputnik. Some images:

Posted Image

Link to a higher quality pic.

And another.

What do you think? Conscious decision by the map programmers/game designers? :oh:

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube




JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!




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