This is the unofficial Aftershock FAQ written by PlacidDragon. By reading it you'll get a good understanding of what Aftershock is all about. It is also available in txt and doc.


Version 1.7


1: About the game
2: Strategic game
3: Soldiers
4: Tactical game
5: Technical details
6: Game Discussion

1: About the game

1.1 What is the real name of the game ?

The game is currently named "UFO: Aftershock" (note the space after the colon). It is usually abbreviated as UFO:AS (note the lack of the space after colon).

1.2 Who is developing UFO: Aftershock ?

UFO: Aftershock is being developed by ALTAR Interactive, a Czech company located in Brno, Czech Republic. UFO: Aftershock is the sequel to the successful game UFO: Aftermath.

1.3 Who is publishing UFO: Aftershock ?

ALTAR has a worldwide publishing deal with Cenega Publishing. It is as of yet unclear who will publish the game in the U.S.

1.4 What kind of game is UFO: Aftershock ?

UFO: Aftershock is a small squad based tactical game with RPG and strategic elements that builds and expands on its predecessor, UFO: Aftermath.

1.5 When will UFO: Aftershock be released ?

The game is scheduled for a third quarter 2005 release. At present, we have no closer indication of what the actual releasedate will be.

2: Strategic game

2.1 What does the strategic game look like in UFO: Aftershock ?

You will see a geosphere, where you would be able to see your bases, and outstanding missions. You can also enter Research & Development and Training & Recruitment screens from here.

2.2 What is the background story in UFO: Aftershock ?

The story connects to one of the endings of UFO: Aftermath, but takes place fifty years later. One way of losing in UFO: Aftermath was to make the pact with the alien invaders – Reticulans – and let them have the Earth in exchange for a refuge in a huge orbital space station. This situation is the basis for the story in Aftershock.

Update :
A small part of mankind is living on a floating island, the Laputa, while the Earth is used for alien research. But a revolt on the island eventually destroyed it, and you have to find out what happened to earth and how to regain it.

2.3 So I have to have played UFO: Aftermath in order to understand Aftershock ?

Definitely not. The story of Aftershock takes place fifty years later and none of the characters of the first game are taking part there. Most of the knowledge amassed in the course of Aftermath was lost and must be rediscovered or reinterpreted. If you played Aftermath, you might be amused by observing how twisted and confused the interpretation of the events you have witnessed firsthand is. But soon you will be unraveling even bigger mysteries.

2.4 What will the campaign look like in UFO: Aftershock ?

The campaign in UFO: Aftershock will revolve around research, resources and territory. You win missions, missionsgive you influence, influence gets territories, territories yield resources, resources fuel research and manufacturing, research and manufacturing mean more power for you, more power wins more missions, and so on.

2.5 What about these territories? Is this another name for bases ?

Territories are bit more complex in Aftershock then they were in Aftermath. There are larger regions (let's call them countries), divided into three to five districts. One of the districts is the capital of the country and is a location of a base. The other districts provide the base with resources. There are also some "neutral" districts. These belong to no country and bring no resources, but still can be captured by the player.

2.6 What kinds of bases will there be ?

The bases differ only in size, shape and origin (and it is also important if a base has an access to sea or not). It is up to you what kind of buildings will you build in a base. The buildings are essential for production – research and manufacturing. You "pay" for buildings by the resources you harvest.

2.7 What is the 'origin' of a base ?

There are other factions in the game, beside your own. These may inhabit territories suitable for bases and if your relationship with that faction is cordial enough, they may in turn invite you to build one of your bases there. The origin of a base is then the race of the faction that inhabits the territory.

2.8 Will there be diplomacy? Can I demand tribute from other factions ?

There will be some kind of diplomacy, but no tributes. You are out there to help those people, not to exploit their weaknesses!

2.9 So how does research and manufacturing work ?

All production is done in buildings. Research is done in laboratories, manufacturing is done in factories, militia is produced in barracks, knowledge level is increased by schools or universities.

Each base is independent as far as defence and knowledge are concerned. Laboratories and factories work "globally", i.e. two factories of the same type in different bases work in unison on the same item, the more factories you build the faster the item will be produced. Laboratories and factories are specialized, so they cannot handle just any research or manufacturing. All production buildings can have their own production queues.

The research tree will have mutually exclusive branches, so the player will have to replay the game to see all the possibilities. On the other hand, you can finish the game with any given combinations of weapons and information about your enemies.

2.10 What items can be manufactured ?

You will be manufacturing all items (including ammo) in the game. With the proper factory, you can produce almost anything.

2.11 How linear will the game be ?

The game will be fairly non-linear. You have a set goal in your campaign, but how you go about resolving that goal, is left to the players discretion. While the storyline itself remains static, there will be several ways which a player can accomplish his goals, some of these will be mutually exclusive.

2.12 What about replay value ?

The game will sport randomly generated missions, with random generated maps from an almost infinite amount of possible combinations. As such, no game, nor mission, should be exactly the same.

3: Soldiers

3.1 How many soldiers will we have at our disposal ?

You can bring a maximum number of 7 soldiers with you on a tactical mission. You will need a broad range of skills to succeed however, so you will probably end up having around 15 total. Depending on your style of play, the other factions will be willing or unwilling to send you more men and this will influence your options as well.

3.2 Can I import my squad from Aftermath ?

No, these people are now either dead or senile. Their skills and trainings are forgotten and you must train new ones.

3.3 What about soldier advancement ?

You will need many types of soldiers to succeed, from snipers, to heavy weapon specialists, medical personnel, engineers, etc.

There are two ways of improving your soldiers: attributes and trainings. The attributes are improved in "traditional" RPG way: As your troops are fighting, they will earn experience points that will enable them to go up in levels. When they gain a level, they will get one attribute point they can allocate, improving their skills in the department of your choice.

The trainings are bit more fun, though nothing completely original either. There will about a dozen different trainings, each with three different "grades" (basic, medium, advanced). Every training – and every grade – gives a soldier a unique new ability (sometimes it is simply the ability to use those advanced-sniper-training-required weapons, sometimes it is something really new, as a ability to heal critically injured soldiers). Each soldier can receive only a small number of different trainings, so you have to choose carefully.

3.4 What skills can be improved ?

There will be 6 core statistics, from which the skill values derive. These statistics are:
• Strength
• Agility
• Dexterity
• Willpower
• Intelligence
• Perception

Raising Willpower should for example make the soldier more resistant to PSI influence, raising his Strength will make him able to carry more, etc.

3.5 Will there be any AI for our soldiers ?

Your soldiers will have NO pre-programmed or scripted reactions to events that occur during a mission, and will only do a task when specifically ordered to. For example, a soldier will not defend himself when he comes under fire, unless ordered to do so. YOU are the AI of your soldiers. Every time something new happens, the game will pause and allow you to decide how you – and your soldiers – are going to react.

3.6 Will there be any visual representation of our soldiers' skills ?

There will be soldier ranks added to the game, which should reflect their skills and survivability. Let us point out here, that we are putting lot of stress on visual feedback for the player.

4: Tactical game

4.1 What kinds of missions will we get ?

There will be many types of missions, including:

• Acquiring specific artifacts.
• Gaining new territory in the geosphere, and securing new bases.
• Protecting territory that you already possess from enemy incursion.
• Activating factories
• Finding resources
• Scouting enemies

In addition, you will be able to enter buildings and partly destroy them. This will change the tactical missions completely. The missions will take place mostly in various industrial complexes – old factories, warehouses, abandoned nuclear plants, etc.

4.2 What will the gameplay be like in tactical missions in UFO: Aftershock ?

UFO: Aftershock will be a top down isometric 3D game, with flexible controls for zooming and rotating the view. The game will be a form of combination of turn based and real time, where you issue orders to your soldiers in a pause mode, then see the implementation of these orders in real time. When something unexpected occurs, the game will pause, allowing you to revise your orders and react to the new situation. This pause setting will be configurable, as to leave the game as fluid as the player wants it. The player can pause the game any time he wishes to change or review orders, however the implementation of those orders will only occur once the game is unpaused, where everyone, both soldiers and enemies will move simultaneously. This system is called SAS, short for Simultaneous Action System.

4.3 I played Aftermath. Is SAS going to change in Aftershock ?

The SAS system, introduced in UFO: Aftermath, will undergo several improvements for UFO: Aftershock, such as for examplea command to "wait and attack" or pause option "Probability change". Furthermore, we want to make more obvious to the player what is going on. For each soldier, you will be able to see the order queue and his current activity. For every action, you will see the results, how it was the influenced by soldier's skills, equipment, enhancers, etc.

4.4 Lovely. And are there going to be some new tactical options ?

Thank you for asking. There will be three movement modes (running, walking, crawling) and corresponding three stances (standing, kneeling, prone). You will be able to specify facing of your soldiers (but not during movement, only when they are standing). The firing mode (single, burst) will be decoupled from aiming mode (aimed shot, snap shot), so you can decide to take more time aiming and then fire a burst of bullets.

You will also be able to enter building and destroy walls, so this should increase your tactical options considerably.

4.5 What kind of enemies will we be facing ?

There will be many different kinds of enemies in the game, from mutants and fellow humans from different factions, to several different races of aliens.

4.6 How many weapons will there be in UFO: Aftershock, and what kinds ?

UFO: Aftershocks predecessor, UFO: Aftermath, had around 70 different weapons. At this point, we don’t know how many weapons will be present in UFO: Aftershock exactly, but it will be fewer than this. However, there will be lot of other equipment – scanners, cloakers, psionic enhancers, implants, etc.

4.7 How will ammunition for the different weapons be handled ?

Let's take a simple example of that trusty AK-47. This weapon has the calibre of 7.62x39mm and a capacity of 30 rounds. You order your factories to manufacture two "boxes" of armour-piercing 7.62x39mm ammo and equip the soldier with Kalashnikov with them. Each box has 50 rounds in it. The first time the soldier reloads, one box will drop to 20 rounds. The second time the soldier reloads, one box disappears completely and the other will have only 40 rounds. Was the soldier equipped with another 7.62x39mm weapon, he would be able to reload from these ammo boxes as well.

4.8 Will there be any vehicles in the game ?

There will not be any drivable vehicles in UFO: Aftershock, but there will be the smallest kind of Mechwarrior-type suits and some independent remote controlled vehicles.

4.9 With only seven soldiers in a mission, is there point in manufacturing equipment?

There will not be any "unlimited" equipment in the game. Every item you take into a mission must had been manufactured or found or scavenged from enemy. In Aftermath this worked differently – some weapons were in fact unlimited – but in Aftershock this is no longer true.

4.10 How about different terrain, will that be a feature ?

The terrain looks differently in different mission, but Aftershock is no Carmen San Diego. An abandoned factory is an abandoned factory and looks more or less the same all over the world. In Aftermath, great effort was made to make cities look fitting their place, but the results did not justify the amount of work required to produce all those assets.

4.11 Will a soldier be able to enter buildings ?

Not only that, but also to climb ladders and enter different levels. It will be possible to go prone on a rooftop and snipe the aliens below.

4.12 Will stealth be a factor ?

There will be fog of war in the game. The soldier will see the best in a 90-degree arc in front of him, less well so in a 270 arc, and the worst behind him.

4.13 What about enemy AI ?

Enemies will be smarter. All of the less intelligent enemy have been killed off over the past 50 years, and only the most able remain alive. You will be fighting more intelligent opponents, and the AI will be much better than in UFO: Aftermath.

Your enemies will employ group attacks, heal eachother, call for help, and try to seek out any cover available.

5: Technical details

5.1 Will there be multiplayer support for UFO: Aftershock ?

Multiplayer is possible, but not likely for UFO: Aftershock.

5.2 What will the system requirements for UFO: Aftershock be ?

Currently, the game is developed with the current minimum requirements in mind:

1 GHz, 256 MB RAM, GeForce 4 Ti 64MB RAM

Suggested system for optimum performance is:

1.5 GHz, 256 MB RAM, ATI 9700 128MB RAM

5.3 What kinds of resolution will the game support ?

UFO: Aftershock will support several resolutions, the lowest being 1024x768.

5.4 Will there be a demo of the game ?

It is still in the middle of development, and a demo can probably at the earliest be expected immediately prior to, or around the release date.

6: Game discussion

6.1 ALTAR Interactive website

The homepage of the developer of UFO: Aftershock, ALTAR Interactive, can be found here : ALTARinteractive.com

6.2 UFO: Aftershock website

The homepage of the game UFO: Aftershock can be found here : UFO-Aftershock.com

6.3 The Official Forum

This is where most of the discussions about the game take place. It is a great place to ask ALTAR or one of the regular forum goers if there is anything about the game you are wondering about.

The official forum can be found at : Official forum

6.4 Fan Sites

Outside of the official forum, the primary site for news about the game, to ask questions about the game, etc, would be Pete’s Aftermath site, at StrategyCore.co.uk

A big thank you to the people of ALTAR Interactive for redesigning this document and for correcting errors the author had made, as well as adding important information.

This document is © 2004 by Øystein "PlacidDragon" Andersen. Any errors in this document are mine, and mine alone. This document can be distributed and linked to only upon the agreement of the author, and cannot be altered in any way.If you need to get in contact with the author, i can be reached at Jackson@dead-presidents.com