UFO Terrain Mod


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#1 Hobbes

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 12:37 AM

Hi, this is Dawn City, a replacement terrain for UFO Defense Terror Sites. It was developed from a terrain originally created for UFO2000.

To install, first make a backup copy of the /MAPS, /ROUTES and /TERRAIN subfolders on the UFO Defense folder. Afterwards simply unzip the attached file you to the main UFO folder and answer Yes to replace all the files. All new Terror Sites will now use the new terrain instead.

Attached File  Dawn City Terror Site Release.zip   44.38K   117 downloads
tactical_006.png tactical_007.png
tactical_008.png tactical_011.png
tactical_010.png tactical_009.png

Features
Posted Image The roads have been replaced by rows of warehouses and apartments with 3 levels.  
Posted Image  All maps are new or redesigned.
Posted Image  Terrain is harder to destroy, like Port on Terror From The Deep.
Posted Image  Almost all spawn points are active - aliens start more randomly scattered around the Battlescape.
Posted Image  Power blackout - none of the terrain lights work.
Posted Image  To further increase the difficulty I strongly suggest you install kyrub's alien AI patch. It becomes more fun (and deadly...)

UPDATE (June 6th) - Dawn City released, no more releases planned unless for bug fixes. Rest of the project to replace terrains stopped (lack of time).

#2 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 01:09 AM

Maybe put canyons in the desert, and turn the mountains into more of a sloped area. Jungle could be made denser, something you really need to hack your way through perhaps.
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#3 Hobbes

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 03:21 PM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 9th January 2012, 1:09am, said:

Maybe put canyons in the desert, and turn the mountains into more of a sloped area. Jungle could be made denser, something you really need to hack your way through perhaps.

Sloped area? More like the elevations on Desert and Forest?

The problem with making maps too dense is that the aliens won't be able to more around as well and they will create bottlenecks that an expert player will be too eager to use.

One of my ideas for instance is to switch the X-COM base into a ground structure rather than a subterranean one, and turn the unbuilt areas into open areas. That way it should be harder to defend your base since the aliens will also be able to use those areas for movement.

I've attached images of the Dawn City, Area51 and Native terrains for some visualization.

Attached Thumbnails

  • dawn60.gif
  • native24.gif
  • areax12.gif


#4 michal

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Posted 09 January 2012 - 06:47 PM

Your work is really cool, it would be great if it could be supported by OpenXcom in future versions.

#5 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:00 AM

Re the slope thing, I was talking about the entire map - have, say, the south edge at level 0, then as you get further north, force things upwards until the final northern edge reaches level 3. But when I think about it, this design would force the craft to be situated in craters of some sort, which may look at least a bit odd where battleships are involved.

Putting an X-COM base above land may also be tricky, at least, if you want buildings of any respectable height. I can't remember how many tiles EU lets you stick in a single map but I'm pretty sure a 60x60x4 map is only possible in TFTD, for example... Though I've never tested this out personally and suspect CE may remove this limitation.

Once upon a time I experimented with maps with more then four levels - it'd be fun to romp up a tall, thin skyscraper or something. Was able to get them to work to an extent, but for whatever reason they caused the graphics to glitch like mad.
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#6 Hobbes

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:40 AM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 10th January 2012, 12:00am, said:

Re the slope thing, I was talking about the entire map - have, say, the south edge at level 0, then as you get further north, force things upwards until the final northern edge reaches level 3. But when I think about it, this design would force the craft to be situated in craters of some sort, which may look at least a bit odd where battleships are involved.

Putting an X-COM base above land may also be tricky, at least, if you want buildings of any respectable height. I can't remember how many tiles EU lets you stick in a single map but I'm pretty sure a 60x60x4 map is only possible in TFTD, for example... Though I've never tested this out personally and suspect CE may remove this limitation.

Once upon a time I experimented with maps with more then four levels - it'd be fun to romp up a tall, thin skyscraper or something. Was able to get them to work to an extent, but for whatever reason they caused the graphics to glitch like mad.

I see what you mean by sloped and I  think it won't work because each map part is placed randomly. You'd get some very weird shapes...hmmm may be interesting hehehehe.
I'll have to stick to the game limits, which mean that X-COM bases will be 60x60x2. It may sound weird to only have 2 levels above land but if you look at the maps nearly all of the fighting is done on the first 2 levels and that's what you usually 'see', unless you are using fly suits.
I haven't really looked into detail of how the buildings will be disposed because right now I'm trying to figure out on how to replace the roads on the Terror Sites with lines of apartment buildings. I still need to do a lot of testing though :)
More than 4 levels is impossible for the engine to handle I believe. And the bigger the buildings the longer it takes to move through them.

#7 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 01:13 AM

For what it's worth, I've built my own map generator for the purpose of correctly loading EU maps into TFTD. It could easily be adapted to place any modules according to whatever rules are desired.
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#8 Hobbes

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 02:11 AM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 10th January 2012, 1:13am, said:

For what it's worth, I've built my own map generator for the purpose of correctly loading EU maps into TFTD. It could easily be adapted to place any modules according to whatever rules are desired.

I've used XComUtil's map generator quite a bit before to use 40x40x4 maps (like the HWP Factory) but the manual prompt (and XComUtil) take time and can be tricky for people who never used it. Right now I'm definitely more inclined to just replace the original map and terrain files with new ones.

Speaking of which, I've just made a possible layout to use the road creation definitions on the terror site to make lines of apartment buildings. I've attached them if you want to have an idea. The last image is of the 'crossroads' map.

Attached Thumbnails

  • URBAN02.gif
  • URBAN00.gif
  • URBAN01.gif


#9 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 12:07 PM

Impressive idea and implementation. Still, can't help but cringe at the idea of searching through such a complex - puts me in mind of those shipping missions I grew to hate.  :S  Though I can't see inside at the moment, so I dunno how long it'd take to clear each section.
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#10 Hobbes

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 01:51 PM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 10th January 2012, 12:07pm, said:

Impressive idea and implementation. Still, can't help but cringe at the idea of searching through such a complex - puts me in mind of those shipping missions I grew to hate.  :S  Though I can't see inside at the moment, so I dunno how long it'd take to clear each section.

It won't be as big as the shipping missions - it depends if you have a E, N, or an N and R roads and the inside of those buildings needs to be open. The rest of the map blocks will be clear - I think I found a way last night to add roads, which will definitely be necessary since the Dawn tileset has a car and a van.

And if it's still too big and you don't feeling like searching through such a complex... explosives should work nicely there, unlike the ships. :)

#11 Hobbes

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 03:21 PM

View Postmichal, on 9th January 2012, 6:47pm, said:

Your work is really cool, it would be great if it could be supported by OpenXcom in future versions.

Hey. Just looked at OpenXcom, I remember when Supsuper started posting about it at the beginning. It looks really interesting if you guys finish it (the usual problem) and using these mods should be really easy. In fact, I'm guessing many of the limitations of the original game concerning maps shouldn't exist, so you should be actually be able to use even better maps.

#12 Hobbes

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 06:03 PM

OK, just been trying out some more stuff regarding the roads. They will only have one direction (either North or East) but I haven't decided upon it yet because of the Dawn City graphics (converting them to X-COM image format doesn't turn out always well). Anyways, here's how it looks right now.
My question is if I should retain the current direction (which means that you'll be taking cover on those nice sport cars) or change it and instead of cars you'll see the white van (you'll see both on the terrain - the question is where exactly). Or I could also try swapping the direction of the van so that you'll see both on the street.

Edit: Just tried and saw Dawn City's graphics for the first time in UFO (I had only seen them on the Map Editor and UFO2000)... check the pics :)

Attached Thumbnails

  • URBAN04.gif
  • tactical_000.png
  • tactical_001.png


#13 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 10 January 2012 - 11:19 PM

Prefer the cars, myself. Like the idea of having the van just on the intersection - I'm guessing you can't see over it, while the car provides some cover without too much vision obstruction?
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#14 kyrub

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 10:05 AM

Hi Hobbes,
the screens look great, as aleays. I cannot wait for the whole maps.

---------

Here is some scattered info, that might help you and widen the options (although I have no idea if you want to fiddle with the executable). Use at your own will.

1) There is a conversion table in EXE file where WORLD.DAT terrain number is translated into "what terrain shall we see at the battlescape". The world.dat uses 12 types of terrain structure, so the table has just 12 entries. It starts at the address 0x743FC in UFO CE version

0200 = forest / jungle
0100 = farm
0100
0100
0100
0700 = mountain
0200 = forest / jungle
0600 = desert
0600
0800 = arctic
0000 = jungle (??)
0200 = forest (unused)
0800 = arctic


This could be good to make farm (or native) terrain less overwhelming (see Wiki terrrain talk page for %), and mountains and probably desert should be present more (and / or you may change world.dat for mountains as well, since they seem to deny world geography in vanilla UFO).



2) you may increase the variety of terror city terrain (or any other) and/or change the odds of a map chunk appearing.

a) The big maps (2x2) are randomized at 0x4E5A1 (4) and 0x4E5B3 (5), in form of Number of map = RNG (4) + 5. That will choose any big map between 5...9. Changing those numbers allows more big maps appearing (if you want to).

b) The 1x1 terror city maps. Even better, these have a table at 0x72C84
0E 0F 10 11 12 03 04 0E 0F 10 11 12 03 03 04 04
from which the game randomly chooses. The maps 03,04 with no building are the most likely to show up. The maps 14...18 less so. Changing these numbers will give you a possibility of variation in between 15 maps, instead of current 6 maps. The table may be even extended easily to contain many more entries.


3) similar work can be done for all other terrains. DOS version addresses can be found easily as well, in case you are interested.


Hope that helps,
kyrub

#15 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 12 January 2012 - 12:27 PM

The textures that lead to forests or jungle do so depending on which hemisphere they're located in. Forests up north, jungles down south. It may be that messing with that conversion table can override that, dunno.

Great to see that terror site module selection table - I thought there'd be some bias there, but I'd've had to crunch a lot of numbers to work it out myself.  :)
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#16 Hobbes

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 04:04 PM

View Postkyrub, on 12th January 2012, 10:05am, said:

Hi Hobbes,
the screens look great, as aleays. I cannot wait for the whole maps.

---------

Here is some scattered info, that might help you and widen the options (although I have no idea if you want to fiddle with the executable). Use at your own will.

1) There is a conversion table in EXE file where WORLD.DAT terrain number is translated into "what terrain shall we see at the battlescape". The world.dat uses 12 types of terrain structure, so the table has just 12 entries. It starts at the address 0x743FC in UFO CE version

0200 = forest / jungle
0100 = farm
0100
0100
0100
0700 = mountain
0200 = forest / jungle
0600 = desert
0600
0800 = arctic
0000 = jungle (??)
0200 = forest (unused)
0800 = arctic


This could be good to make farm (or native) terrain less overwhelming (see Wiki terrrain talk page for %), and mountains and probably desert should be present more (and / or you may change world.dat for mountains as well, since they seem to deny world geography in vanilla UFO).



2) you may increase the variety of terror city terrain (or any other) and/or change the odds of a map chunk appearing.

a) The big maps (2x2) are randomized at 0x4E5A1 (4) and 0x4E5B3 (5), in form of Number of map = RNG (4) + 5. That will choose any big map between 5...9. Changing those numbers allows more big maps appearing (if you want to).

b) The 1x1 terror city maps. Even better, these have a table at 0x72C84
0E 0F 10 11 12 03 04 0E 0F 10 11 12 03 03 04 04
from which the game randomly chooses. The maps 03,04 with no building are the most likely to show up. The maps 14...18 less so. Changing these numbers will give you a possibility of variation in between 15 maps, instead of current 6 maps. The table may be even extended easily to contain many more entries.


3) similar work can be done for all other terrains. DOS version addresses can be found easily as well, in case you are interested.


Hope that helps,
kyrub

Thanks for the detailed explanation. :)

Concerning 1) XComUtil already has an option for the less seen terrains to appear more, so no work necessary if someone wants to see those terrains more.

Concerning 2) and 3), I'd definitely like to add more maps to URBAN or any other terrain (I have for instance 10 additional maps to FARM) but like you said it would be necessary to change the .EXE, which is kinda of an issue to me because it could make this mod incompatible with others (XComUtil, UFOExtender, etc.). At the same time both those editors already change the .EXE, it can be way to add additional maps (XComUtil already does it) - this is something I'll look into it later when I finish all terrains.

I've almost finished redoing the new graphics for Urban. I should post more screenshots this weekend :(

#17 Hobbes

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 04:08 PM

Little update on the Terror Site terrain

Tiles - I had a quite a few graphic issues to solve but I'm almost done with the .PCK files, when it is done it's merely a matter of editing the .MCD files. Most of the graphics are new but I had to use a few ones from the original UFO and TFTD files.
Maps - I have completed most of them but I'm still trying to find the right balance between open/closed spaces. Kyrub, thanks a lot for the info on the 10x10 map placement, it  has been helpful :)
Routes - 0 work at this point, first need to get the maps as ready as possible.

Below there's images of some of the 20x20 buildings at this point:

Attached Thumbnails

  • URBAN07.gif
  • URBAN08.gif
  • URBAN09.gif
  • URBAN090.gif


#18 Bomb Bloke

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 09:25 PM

All looking very good, but I'm wondering how well all these roads are going to mesh up. Perhaps place some driveways on the footpaths?
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#19 Hobbes

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 10:55 PM

View PostBomb Bloke, on 17th January 2012, 9:25pm, said:

All looking very good, but I'm wondering how well all these roads are going to mesh up. Perhaps place some driveways on the footpaths?

URBAN03, 04 and 16 are roads with the same orientation as the pics above. You'll get always a 2x1 or 2 1x1 roads because of the X-COM craft.
The disposition will depend on the randomness - the landing road(s) may be longer, you may have parallel N/S roads, occasionally you'll get a road surrounded by buildings or a weird visual effect... blame it on city hall :) . Or you may not have additional roads at all.
URBAN00-02, when present, form a row of W-E houses and/or N-S warehouses.

#20 luke83

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Posted 07 February 2012 - 09:22 AM

Wow these look really sweet, make my New Urban maps for OpenXcom look pretty crappy to be honest, i guess i have to start somewhere :clapping:




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