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  • Tactical Alien Swarm : Gametype idea

    Something my mates and I have been thinking about is a different, more tactical way of playing Alien Swarm. All the present maps are preset, linear missions. We propose a more free-form, tactical gametype.

    This gametype would use larger (probably MUCH larger) maps, with a higher degree of interactivity (ie, fixing 'shorted' doors, power lines, etc) and an overall goal which the marines are left to achieve on their own. Basically, an entire 'campaign' played on one map, where the team decides its own strategy and methods to achieve the objective.

    We'd like to see some more Aliens-inspired stuff, like getting maps from computers, remotely controlling sentry guns and cameras, destroyable lights, other deployables like sensors and lights, etc etc. In a larger map, a team could control the aliens with sealed doors, sentries, and sensors, while attempting to achieve their objective. Ammo would be a larger issue, and marines would have to gather more from supply drops/armouries etc. The games would be longer, and require a higher level of cooperation, but there would be alot of satisfaction in attempting to 'secure' an area of a sprawling map from the aliens while trying to repair the reactor, grab the data, wait for airlift, destroy the eggs, uplink the data or whatever. With the ability to both destroy lighting and provide new fixed lighting, areas could become designated kill zones, etc.

    All this is possible, I guess, but the present maps are linear walkthru shooters. Which is hell fun, but just as ONS is better than CTF, I believe a wider, more tactical approach to Aliens-inspired gameplay would be intense

  • #2
    I really like the aspect of controlling the swarm by sealing doors, planting mines, and deploying sentries to create a perimeter while you wait for a hack, a satellite re-alignment or for the dropship. The sound of aliens trying to break down doors and waiting on the other side with your gun ready for when they break through is not only suspenseful but fun. And rushing your team through a doorway with a welder taking up the rear and sealing the door asap is also pretty neat.

    I like your ideas about cameras and such to further control the swarm, and I think sensors and other future extras designed for sealing off areas would be cool. A really neat thing to see would be laser walls like the ones in Unreal 2 or the things they used in the movie Congo when they setup camp. These could be unique to techies possibly.

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    • #3
      You've got it; it'd increase replayability AND atmosphere. Like in games like Dynasty Warriors where you can affect the gameworld however you want, and if you do nothing, eventually the aliens control everything. It'd be excellent so see this coupled with some kind of alien ecology, so the alien goop spreads over the base as the aliens spread, behemoths emerge, etc etc... and it wouldn't be the same few missions over and over.

      A big thing I'd like is simply the ability to deploy terminals for the control of cameras and sentrys, even if you have to plug them into existing 'puters. So then one teammember can keep an eye out for aliens approaching, monitor the sentry status, use the map to give directions, etc.

      As you say, defensive infrastructure (even if just cameras or lights) would allow a deeper level of tactics; indeed, any existing mission wouldbe made harder and more flexible by adding an OP to protect and return to after the mission.

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      • #4
        great idea there [theDAN] ...

        This is a proposal for Single Player am I correct ?. As I don't think this would work in Multiplayer unless you could save your progress mid - level (If players drop/quit/don't want to play anymore untill a later time etc).

        All in all the looks of the suggestion are fantastic
        Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends.

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        • #5
          Actually, I think it'd be okay on multi, I've not had any disconnecting problems. It'd suck to be the dead guys, but you could simply have new marines landing in dropships every several minutes, who need to be escorted into the secure zone etc etc ...

          The best part is, these ideas we're throwing around don't get in the way of the rest of the community; its a separate gametype, and you'd only need three or four huge maps and you'd have plenty of flexibility.

          The hardest part I think would be moving from the current spawning system to a more 'intelligent' alien system where they avoid boxed in areas, and probe for weaknesses.

          Sticking to simple things, remote activation and turning of sentries, along with lights and cameras, would allow the marines to control the situation pretty well... any one got any more ideas?

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          • #6
            Great ideas there ;D...

            This may be seperate from the subject but related to the MP side of things:

            If in MP a certain player keeps TK'ing or is very reckless with they're aim...(as has been experianced by everyone I would think) instead of allowing that player to keep participating in the game, have them be automatically transported to a room/prison type place where they have to spend a certain period of time.....would make it less frustrating for others and less harsh than banning new players with limited skills to the game...

            Your thoughts ?
            Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends.

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            • #7
              I have something to add to this great idea.Maybe they could have an area in a map like a "main control room" where one team member can stay in there and monitor turrets and open doors for team members.He/she could also give orders and display maps in there.

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              • #8
                This tactical thing sounds the danglies, it would be nice to have teams split up occasionally to perform tasks better.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by daveodeth
                  This tactical thing sounds the danglies, it would be nice to have teams split up occasionally to perform tasks better.
                  So long as maps aren't too linear this should happen by itself. At least when I play with my friends we split up into teams which works for multiple purposes. We cover mroe ground, are able to fight the swarm on multiple fronts as opposed to just one or two, and it reduces crowding so the explosives guys are less likely to blow the whole team away with a stray shotgun shell or a flamer blowing up an ammo guy :p

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                  • #10
                    My idea was instead of having a control room, the marines would bring their own computers and terminals with them. But I hadn't thought of remote-operated doors! I'd like to see 'broken' doors actually be 'fixable', instead of techs just hacking doors...

                    As soon as there are less linear maps and a deployable 'map computer' that lets you monitor sentrys and cameras, then we'll already have the need and the means for coordination. So long as the maps are exremely hard, and require planning and teamwork just to weld/mine/sentry up a safe area, then it'd be a blast to take a team out to get access to uplinks/computers/alien nests etc etc.

                    I was also thinking that this'd make the techs extremely useful; in different parts of the map, there are those autoturrets and cameras, but to use them, the tech would have to physically go to that computer and drop a wireless card in, or set up his remote access, and then be able to control that stuff from the OP; if the 'puters were destroyable objects, this would make gaining control over the existing hardware a risky and exciting venture. Ideas?

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                    • #11
                      The deployable camera/computer for players would be an invaluable asset, as well as that if they were made destructable (by both Human/AI/Aliens alike) as suggested by [theDAN] it would make it an interesting venture indeed (having an alien suddenly take out a deployable computer/camera would make for more tactical play...having to protect those points where deployable computers are situated would add another great element to this gametype idea
                      Champagne for My Real Friends, Real Pain for My Sham Friends.

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                      • #12
                        Sounds fun, but an epic mapping job..
                        Meow.

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                        • #13
                          The maps would be larger yes; but I don't actually see the need for much new development. There already are cameras, autoguns, etc; the marines merely need a method it tap into them. The idea of the marines holed up in a closet while the tech tries to activate the gun outside to stop aliens bashing in the door is good

                          Indeed, if mapped well, just one map would be fine; different marine 'drop points' and alien spawns could be used to make the map seem different, because you start in a different place and the aliens come from different places, but its just the one map.

                          Respawning handled as dropships landing would mean you'd either need the safe area to be near the landing pad or otherwise escort the new players in (by opening doors, turning sentries, etc)... and I was thinking airdropped ammo etc to reward players for leaving the safe zone and returning.

                          Actually, deployable 'ammo bins' would be interesting; it'd let people empty their ammo bags into it, and then go grab another one. Like a central ammo respository, it could be used to fill up ammo bags too. Recovered ammo from dead marines could be stored here as well, ensuring maximum ammo usage. Of course, it'd be extraordinarily explosive...

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                          • #14
                            I don't have any suggestions to add, but I really like where Dan is going w/ this and I think it'd be extremely fun to play w/ strategic choke points etc.

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                            • #15
                              What's needed now is a map to test the scalability of AS; I'm not much of a mapper but I'll knock something up to see how well it handles large map areas, alot of aliens, etc. Any mappers who'd like to try their hand at a larger, perhaps partially outside (a small 'village' of colony buildings perhaps) should definately try to push the envelope size wise; we'll see what happens in a few days.

                              Also; how does UT2k4 handle terrian changes? Could a level be partially demolishable?

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