Running and gunning/declaring moves before execution

In another thread I proposed this idea but it had nothing to do with the topic being discussed so I’m moving it here. The idea goes as follows:

You need to declare all your actions before executing them for any given character. If you move and shoot, the shot will be taken from an appropriate location along your path based on the cost of firing your weapon (running and gunning!). The game could project a ghost of it’s prediction of your turn. A random factor could be introduced to simulate the added difficulty of shooting while moving, your character would target the same object, but potentially from a different angle and with a wider spread than intended, missing specific body parts or hitting an obstacle. The randomness could even be a factor of the weapon’s size/AP cost, making smaller weapons an important consideration in tactical deployment and planning. You could also spend TU to make your character pause mid-run for a more accurate shot, or to perform an action that requires you pause out of cover like opening a chest.

I’m not looking for a solution a-la frozen synapse where all actions for all units are executed simultaneously, wouldn’t fit the existing game mechanics very well and would not be very original. I’m really talking about one unit at a time. Thoughts?

And what if you spot another enemy during this process?

I don’t see what the purpose of such a system would be for a game like Phoenix Point. However, from your description it sounds sort of like what they had for the Playstation game Vandal Hearts 2, which had a “simultaneous move system” where both you and the enemy would move and attack at the same time, meaning you had to anticipate what the AI would do. :octopus:

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Nah I’m not looking for that. One unit at a time, like now, but with the entire turn being declared first. Doing it like Vandal Hearts or Frozen Synapse would require basically writing an entirely different game, and I’m liking this one so far :smiley:

@Yokes don’t you think the fact that spotting a new enemy and not being able to react immediately would add some tactical depth? Also somewhat realistic, it’s not easy to shift your entire body and reposition mid-manoeuver. If you suspect you may uncover new enemies during your movement, then you should plan for that, stop early and use overwatch.

How does this idea not involve “rewriting the entire game”? Spending TU to “pause” in the middle of an action? Declare actions before executing them? It doesn’t sound anything like either the original XCOM, the new XCOMs, or what Phoenix Point is supposed to be. It may be cool to implement for a future game, but for this one I think it may be too much trouble to rewrite the gameplay code at this stage in development.

that;s one of my issues with these forums: everyone is looking to build old XCOM with 3d graphics is what it sounds like to me :confused: I was hoping to play a new game, similar style and ambiance, but new mechanics that haven’t been done yet.

I think i’m failing at explaining what I have in mind, my suggestion shouldn’t be that hard to implement and would not require any major overhaul, just wrap the existing combat flow in a little extra meat. Lets try a new explanation:

Player turns start.
You pick a unit to move.
This unit now must declare all moves and actions until no TU left or player decides to end that unit’s turn
A ghost is displayed showing the movement, anticipated location for actions, etc… so the player may adjust
Player executes the turn and the unit performs the actions
On to the next unit
Rinse and repeat until alien turn.

The only thing this prevents that the current system allows is switching from one unit to the next mid turn, so nothing lost, but I find it adds great tactical depth and does a better job at simulating the chaos of combat.

There are already tons of differences between this game and the old XCOM: TUs work differently, you can free aim in first person, the inventory system is more streamlined, weapons and armor have more effects, etc. etc. etc.

Again, I’m not trying to shoot down your ideas and they may be cool in a different game, but with how far Phoenix Point is coming along, implementing them would be a lot of hassle for essentially zero gain considering how happy virtually everyone is with the present combat system. It’s not just “wrap the existing combat flow in a little extra meat,” your suggestions would require a significant amount of work. Someone would have to make assets for the “ghost movement,” they would have to change the underlying coding that allows you to move a unit, select another, and come back to that unit, change abilities like Exertion to work with the new movement system, figure out other abilities that could take advantage of it, or modify present abilities that might not, and so on, and so forth.

Bug testing would also be a huge pain in the ass. They’ve already got a good grasp on the present combat system thanks to the backer demos, overhauling it NOW would introduce a bunch of other bugs they’d have to fix and set the game back significantly. There’s absolutely no reason whatsoever to implement such changes at this point, especially when they want to start work on the Geoscape rather than continue fiddling with the tactical combat.

Again, just so I don’t ruffle any feathers, I don’t mean to come down on you and I think the suggestion might be cool for another game. But you’re severely underestimating the work it would take to implement.

I’m a devops by trade, I’m very familiar with code, and the real answer here is: it depends. On how the thing was designed, how modular it is, how moddable it was intended to be. Would love to have a dev chime in on this, because if it truly requires a huge rewrite then yeah, forget it, but I’m not convinced this is months of work. I bet this fits in a sprint!

edit worth noting, the game is so far very distinguished form old XCOM, the ideas coming from these forums aren’t :frowning: 90% of the ideas I see thrown around here are a direct reference to some other XCOM or XCOM like title. We can do better! :smiley:

But what’s the point of adding it? People are already happy with the present system. Even if it’s a minimal amount of work–and I doubt it would be–people who have already played the demo and enjoyed it won’t see the purpose of an overhaul like that. It would just confuse and irritate most of the backers, since we’re already used to the present system after two demos.

agree to disagree then. That said, what’s wrong with trying to do better and trying new things?

Besides, no offense, but I’m reading about one backer not liking it right now, it’s not exactly a flood of “don’t you change mah game!” :confused: I hope this doesn’t come across as inflammatory or anything

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No, it’s not inflammatory, don’t worry about it. As I said, I don’t dislike your idea, but I just question the wisdom of implementing it at this stage in development. Maybe before the first demo, because then folks would have had a chance to play through it and get used to the system you described, but as it is, we’re already used to the combat we have currently, so changes will annoy people simply 'cause as a rule of thumb, people generally dislike sudden changes rather than ones they’re prepared for or are already used to. :stuck_out_tongue:

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can’t argue that o.O

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You could achieve this by simply not switching characters mid-move. Perhaps, this could be a self-imposed challenge for some players.

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you’d miss out on the extra randomness factor, plus you’d also not be running “blind” which was sort of the initial idea. In the thread I originally posted this, it was as an answer to whether or not the characters should have 360 vision, and I figured this way of doing things would both fix that (by allowing 360 vision while acknowledging you can’t see everything even while keeping your head on a swivel) but also add some complexity and depth. Besides, if I do it by imposing on myself that’s not a cool mechanic, it’s a serious handicap because the AI certainly won’t limit itself.

Idea is interesting, but as Gunlord said it would create mess in current process. I woun’t like change where I can’t switch between soldiers during my turn. It would need some additional mechanics to counter this loss. Some declaration of units order, some bonuses to units moving first (as they react faster but don’t know what to expect), and penalties to units moving last (as they know surrounding thanks to previously moving units). Or I don’t know. Good idea but not for first Phoenix Point.

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I fully understand what you’re proposing but, sorry, I’m not in favour for this game.

As other’s have said, it’s not a bad idea in its own right, but I did back Phoenix Point because I’m expecting a turn based game in the vein of the original Xcom, that’s what I’m personally hoping for.

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