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  • Thoughts and suggestions on Alien Swarm

    First of all I wanted to say that Alien Swarm is one of my favorite games -- not only does it more than fill a niche that hasn't been really done in a long time, but its production values, pacing and atmosphere is great! Two thumbs up from me, and I hope that you guys win in the MSU category you are in!

    As far as suggestions, quite a few have been covered already in other threads (such as levels with multiple paths, possible vehicle use to move around large outise/indoor levels), but I have some ideas that I thought you would like to mull over a bit.

    One: Character classes: The Lieutenant and Power Armor trooper.

    The lieutenant would be a very unique character for the game. The weapons that he/she could use would be a pistol and a rifle, that's it. Secondary items would be as normal, nothing unique, so what would be the advantage of having a character like this? Whenever the Lt. would be in the general area of the rest of the team, the rest of the team would get skill bonuses. Hackers would get a bonus, welders would weld faster, other marines could aim/target better and even medpacks would heal more. A great support character and one that could sway the tide of the game even without a large minigun.

    The second idea, the power armor trooper, at first seems a bit unbalancing. The trooper could select the (probably two) weapons that would be equipped on the armor (miniguns, grenade launchers, flamers shotguns etc) and each one could be dual-mounted on the arms/torso (there could also be special tech items as well, such as motion sensors that you would have to balance in its item slots). It would also have more life, say two to three times of life that a normal marine would have. Now this seems to be really overpowered already (even though it goes along with the Dark Horse comics, AvP2 the game and other Aliens stories) but there would be definite drawbacks to the unit. First of all would have about half the normal speed of marines AND half the turn speed. Sure you're tough and have a lot of weapons, but when the bugs are swarming over you when the rest of the team isn't supporting you, you're toast! So the speed is reduced, big deal you tell yourself -- well, what if you could never get healed during the course of the game AND you could not fit in small spaces. All a mapper would have to do would be to have areas with ducts and vents and the armored trooper would be stuck, unable to help rest of the team during the rest of the mission or until they made it back to a place where the armored troop could actually go to.

    As far as weapons, you already have an autocannon (good damage, high rate of fire) but how about a rail gun with a low rate of fire and high damage? It would be another option for the heavy, and might be great to have if you were expecting larger bugs where you would want the max damage over a high rate of fire. Also a six shot grenade launcher would be a nice addition to have, and maybe being able to select the ammo for it as well. Other than that, it's hard to think of anything to add to the weapons roster -- you already have just about everything that the roster needs!

    Then someone else mentioned this, but I will as well -- a race if "immature" aliens, one with lower hitpoints (maybe the flamer could kill them faster as well) and that respawned five or so times faster than the regular ones. It would be great for hectic battles, and would be true to the Aliens sort of theme. Mutators for acid blood would get an "A" in my book as well.

    As far as vehicles, well, they would be difficult to implement well. Maybe the first two to enter a vehicle would take over the drivers seat and the gunners, by default. The driver would have an overhead view over the APC and the gunner would be in charge of the overhead gun, and would have the same view. The rest of the marines, however, would enter the APC and would only be able to have a view of the interior of the APC. They would still be able to aim their guns while in the APC, and that would be important for when the bugs decide to break in and have a marine after-dinner mint. Maybe the APC itself could be invincible, but the doors (a side door and a top area) could be damaged and the bugs would enter the APC via those. Then, once in, they would attack the marines who would be strapped in their seats until they got out of the vehicle (to make sure people don't just get out while the vehicle is going full tilt, maybe they would be unable to exit until the APC came to a full stop). The marines could fire at the entering bugs, and because of the way that they were seated there would be a chance that they could hit each other as well.

    Once again, great game guys -- not a mod, not a TC, but full out game! I've played a lot of games that do not have anywhere near the polish that this one does. Keep up the great work, I hope you take top honors with the MSU contest, and I can't wait to see what you do next!

  • #2
    I like the Power Armor Idea alot, although it would be coolest if it were a Vehicle ingame.one that could be entered and Exited ingame.
    Smack the Planet!!!! -

    Comment


    • #3
      I remember reading an Aliens graphic novel where the bugs had infested a hospital and a killteam is sent to destroy them. One of the killteam is basically a power-armoured convict, drugged up to the eyeballs and ready to slaughter anything in the way with pretty much every man-portable weapon in the Aliens universe. The killteam managed to get a beacon into the hive and call in the con (designated MOX-16: Sh!tKicker if I remember rightly).
      The power armour idea is good, but it could be bad in online play ('Hey, you took my armour, dumb n00b' followed by 5 minutes of teamkilling). It might work better as an NPC, like a weapon of last resort if the marines get pinned down: "Ammo's low, and there's too many targets! Get the 'Kicker down here ASAP!"
      I have no mapping, coding or scripting knowledge. I am merely a player of games. My purpose on these forums is to throw out random ideas produced by my warp-fethed brain in the vain hope that someone more talented can realise my dream

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      • #4
        Yeah being able to hop in and out would be nice (I thought about that as well) but then only having X suits on a map could make for some really intense arguments about who would get the armor.

        One other option would be to have the pilot of the suit be able to exit it at any time, but having the option of only using a pistol as a sidearm. That way the individual would be able to go through vents with the rest of the team if the only way out was through vents.

        You like?

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        • #5
          Perhaps someone could be given the "Keys" to the armor , so that he can drive and activate it, and then when he dies outside of the armor , someone else can hop in . . .?

          Or just have a map where there are enough armors to go around (the team has to get the prototype bipedal weapons out of the overrun facility to the Escape Zone half a mile away . )
          Smack the Planet!!!! -

          Comment


          • #6
            Maybe a techie could use one, but the heavy would have to wear a special harness for the autocannon, a nurse wouldn't have the training and the sarge is too bada** for powerarmor!

            If they were usable by others however and they were on a level with them to enter and use it would be nice, but the pilot class could start off with one right away and have better skill ratings and faster movement speeds than the other classes who just went into one in-game....

            Comment


            • #7
              Slow moving units are awful to play. Who wants to wait for the power armour to limp along after you? Not to mention the game goes for gritty, and power armour is so 'lame scifi' its not funny. Wouldn't all those weapons do better on a proper vehicle?

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              • #8
                Nice stereotype

                I gave several examples, ones that fit into the Aliens universe.
                I'm not even going into the REAL Starship Troopers story, which is power-armor exclusive.
                What did Ripley use to take out the Queen in Aliens? Yeah. What was featured in several games, comics and stories with the Alien license? Yeah, power-armor. As for who would want to pilot a slow-moving behemoth, well, a team that would want the additional fire-support and actually worked as a team would be one... Not to mention that it would be a nice addition that would create either nice mapping options or a neat new character class. Once again, it would be OPTIONAL, not forced on the character, and if you wouldn't want the slower character then you wouldn't select it -- that's why it would be one of the major flaws for it.

                Lots of firepower and armor, really slow and a big bulls-eye on its back (I mean, who wants some lame ultrafast uber armor? It would ruin the point of the normal marine! Also, the present day military is contracting out to several universities to work on enhanced strength/speed/stamina exo-skeletons, and there are already some with limited success... sci-fi lameness or almost here reality?)

                Heck, I could have used on in the single-player mode -- trying to coordinate everyone at the same time can be tough, and having the extra firepower would have been nice in a mission or two!

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Dimitri Romanov
                  Nice stereotype
                  What, the 'huge lumbering heavily armed mech' one? *innocent*

                  Originally posted by Dimitri Romanov
                  I gave several examples, ones that fit into the Aliens universe.
                  I'm not even going into the REAL Starship Troopers story, which is power-armor exclusive.
                  And isn't AO, and isn't interior, and frequently uses nuclear weapons. I see the comparison.

                  Originally posted by Dimitri Romanov
                  What did Ripley use to take out the Queen in Aliens?
                  A loader. And the marines didn't bring down military versions, because they'd be slow, clumsy, too heavy, vulnerable, unreliable, noisy, etc etc. And she would have been toast by even TWO aliens. Did you watch the same movie as me?

                  Originally posted by Dimitri Romanov
                  Yeah. What was featured in several games, comics and stories with the Alien license? Yeah, power-armor.
                  And they were all team-based multiplayer games... oh wait.

                  Originally posted by Dimitri Romanov
                  As for who would want to pilot a slow-moving behemoth, well, a team that would want the additional fire-support and actually worked as a team would be one... Not to mention that it would be a nice addition that would create either nice mapping options or a neat new character class. Once again, it would be OPTIONAL, not forced on the character, and if you wouldn't want the slower character then you wouldn't select it -- that's why it would be one of the major flaws for it.
                  Of course it would be 'nice'. It'd be 'nice' if the autogun didn't slow you down when you fired too, but its a bad idea. The focus on the game is vulnerable soldiers fighting hordes of aliens; a bunch of dreadnoughts doesn't really have the same atmosphere.

                  Originally posted by Dimitri Romanov
                  Lots of firepower and armor, really slow and a big bulls-eye on its back (I mean, who wants some lame ultrafast uber armor? It would ruin the point of the normal marine! Also, the present day military is contracting out to several universities to work on enhanced strength/speed/stamina exo-skeletons, and there are already some with limited success... sci-fi lameness or almost here reality?)
                  If by 'limited' you mean 'no practical benefit' you'd be right. There are severe limits to the affect of any external augmentation to the human body, merely because there are limits to how quickly your muscles can flex, bend, etc. And any attempt to massively increase the lifting power of a human would result in everyone buying forklifts, because they're faster, more reliable, safer, cheaper, etc etc.

                  Originally posted by Dimitri Romanov
                  Heck, I could have used on in the single-player mode -- trying to coordinate everyone at the same time can be tough, and having the extra firepower would have been nice in a mission or two!
                  Again, of course it would make things easier. I'm simply not sure it fits into the claustrophobic, tense atmosphere of AO. As yourself, would ALIENS have been as exciting as it was if they'd had a huge dreadnought?

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                  • #10
                    My take on this is 1) That this would be Great ON SPECIFIC MAPS and 2) that [theDan] is being a real Buzkill. You know, Not All Mechs Are HORRIBLE or can Kill the GAme atmosphere. Look , take the simple mech , add a Fuel Guage , and make it so that you need a marine to Reload it from the outside and "BAM!" You have Tactics AND you maintain that feeling of Desperation. Giving it Limited fuel would mean that you cant just use it as an Uber weapon forever , and that you need to push to get to that next Point alive.
                    Smack the Planet!!!! -

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Implemented as a vehicle, it'd be good (so long as maps etc are designed for it) but as a character class its not very flash. It its a vehicle I want people climbing on the back for a ride!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by [theDAN]
                        A loader. And the marines didn't bring down military versions, because they'd be slow, clumsy, too heavy, vulnerable, unreliable, noisy, etc etc. And she would have been toast by even TWO aliens. Did you watch the same movie as me?
                        They were only a scouting party, two squads -- enough for a 'bug hunt' that they did not take seriously yet enough for most urban pacification. They were not going in with all the big guns, heck, the Sulaco had the worst record of any Marine vessel out there!!! (it's in the Aliens tech manual, fyi)



                        Originally posted by [theDAN]
                        And they were all team-based multiplayer games... oh wait.
                        Are you afraid that it would be abused out of this world, that someone would try to beat the missions with the armor alone? it wouldn't happen if it was a character class, but if it was an armored suit in-game then yeah, it would be abused and used all the time. That is why I would be all for the pilot character class, because otherwise it would mean there would be a lot of techs running around in power-armor and the heavies would not be needed anymore. That would ruin the game and take away from the overall flavor of it, I agree with you hands down.


                        Originally posted by [theDAN]
                        Of course it would be 'nice'. It'd be 'nice' if the autogun didn't slow you down when you fired too, but its a bad idea. The focus on the game is vulnerable soldiers fighting hordes of aliens; a bunch of dreadnoughts doesn't really have the same atmosphere.
                        See, you are really worried that a bunch of 'noobs' will jump in and that's all that will be used. It's not that they would be too powerful or anything, it's about ruining the gameplay and overall experience, right? As I said before, if they are on the map for people to use I agree with you -- it would be a bunch of people in mechs and not be that fun. They get in the mech and run around, get out when they need to then get in again. Not a lot of fun. Having a devoted character to it, or better yet having it be a character by itself would negate this, not to mention that any mapper could switch the map around a bit to make sure there would be enough bottlenecks or ventillation shafts where the unit would not be totally effective to ruin the game feel (also, imagine when the pilot would get out of the armor, with only a pistol, to help back up the rest of the team and with only 50 or so points of life? It could be really nice -- an option that is not too powrful, or powerful in limited areas, unlike the heavy which is powerful just about anywhere that class goes -- vents or otherwise!)


                        Originally posted by [theDAN]
                        If by 'limited' you mean 'no practical benefit' you'd be right. There are severe limits to the affect of any external augmentation to the human body, merely because there are limits to how quickly your muscles can flex, bend, etc. And any attempt to massively increase the lifting power of a human would result in everyone buying forklifts, because they're faster, more reliable, safer, cheaper, etc etc.
                        The current ones were designed to enable the current stamina of a soldier to be increased by removing the weight of the 100lbs of equipment to a few ounces. Huge increases as far as thqt goes right there. It looked a bit funky, and it's not going to enter service right now, but they are admitting that they already have plans like that out already... Increased stamina, greater carrying capacity, charging areas for advanced computers and communications equipment... It works with the "Army of one" philosophy that has been developing over the years: a smaller army of better equipped troops. Expensive? Oh yeah, too expensive? Yup. so, how long before you think there are tests shown to the public with basic power armor? I remember over ten years ago seeing a walking forklift set-up that could go up stairs and lift a LOT (modeled after the Aliens power-loader).... and that was more than ten years ago.



                        Originally posted by [theDAN]
                        Again, of course it would make things easier. I'm simply not sure it fits into the claustrophobic, tense atmosphere of AO. As yourself, would ALIENS have been as exciting as it was if they'd had a huge dreadnought?
                        Well, it would have been great to see the cocky bastard driving it get swarmed all over and the teeth shooting from one of their mouths and into his grey matter! The more invincible someone appears to be in a movie, the more shocking or cool it is to see them go down. I really don't see them having one of those troops with them on the Sulaco, however -- heck, they didn't even bring one of the PIGs or the Snipers along with them! (a pig is a plasma weapon, I believe... a really big energy weapon. I think you could see those in the dropship or APC if you looked close enough... I'll have to take a look in the tech book again sometime). They had no reason to bring one on the Sulaco in the first place, and even if they had one, why take up the space when deploying one APC and two squads? Have the squads to their thing, and if they needed more equipment that's what the dropship pilot was for. However, we'll never know how much stuff they might have brought down since it went down in a ball of flames!

                        I know it seems like we have opposing views on this, but I think we agree on the basics: We don't want to see the game's sense of pacing and tension being replaced wih a bunch of trigger happy mechs plodding around and Tk'ing all the time. With the restrictions and penalties to the armor, I don't think it would be an issue at all -- even you said "Who would want to take something that moved that slowly..." or something to that effect. Why would someone? For something a bit different, for some firesupport that wasn't a heavy with an autocannon, because right now that's all we have as far as heavy weapons. When doing the single player thing, I have Sarge, one heavy, one medic and one techie. Each of the classes has something unique to offer, and having a couple more units to throw in the mix could add even more possibilities to each of the maps. And you know what -- there are some maps where the armor as proposed would only have limited usefulness. It would be great in the initial rush, but halfway through would not be able to really help out anymore. That is something I like about the armor -- it's nice, really tough, but limited in where it can go and its other weaknesses.

                        Di you think you would like it if it was not just a vehicle option, if it was a character class and would not be abused by every class out there, or are you just against it in general because it is a mech in a game? There are a lot of people out there like that, so before I say amymore about it I would like to know, becaus I don't want to get in a protracted conversation/argument about power-armor if you don't like them due to... sci-fi lameness......

                        Edit: So, you like the idea of it in a map made for it? If there was going to be a vehicle in a map, my vote for that would be an APC all the way! Maybe a dropship dropping off an APC that was making its way to a developing hive where you were going to off a local queen bug and the queen eggs around her so the rest of the bugs on the planet would be easy pickings? That would be fun. I just don't like the idea of the power-armor on a map as a vehicle though... There just would not be enough down-sides to taking the armor for a ride then -- especially if you were a tech and the armor just gave you a lot more in the way of hit points and a lot more firepower... Oh well.
                        Last edited by Dimitri Romanov; 16 Jun 2004, 09:02 PM.

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                        • #13
                          Okay, I agree we got off on the wrong foot here, so I'll just say a few things.

                          I feel that AO is based on vulnerability, and a dreadnought would reduce this substanially. On Normal, the levels aren't very hard with just a few marines; something with many times the firepower would waltz through. It being a mech is silly because get a forklift, strap two autoguns to the tines, and there you go, fast, heavily armed, can run things over.

                          Vehicles (which is what this is, even if it is a class) have traditionally been very difficult to introduce without messing mods up. The weight frame project for the US military is one of the most misrepresented projects ever. Indeed, the problems with the Aliens loader (which make it a wholly stupid design) are there for weight frames; ground pressure, balance, and maintanence. Anthropomorphic mechanical anythings are slow, unreliable, have high ground pressure and basically suck.

                          I'd like to see new things in AO as much as everyone else; but poorly thought out ideas have killed mods before, and they'll do it again. Walking around in mechanically unlikely tanks is one of these ideas, I feel. And yes, I feel that mechs are simply inherently stupid, hence my farcical comment that a slighly modified forklift would be better. But again I point out the original powerloader in aliens was used to load ammo into the ship, not walk ten kilometers down a road. It was merely there for the delicate work, and not because it was the King of Cargo Management.

                          However, I must disagree on the lack of heavy weapons. Putting new things in 'just because' is never a good idea, however much I think the autogun needs a bit of a rework. Adding classes is good in principle, but hard to get right; but I'm the guy with crazy ideas to make a top-down beat 'em up out of AO, so who am I to complain?

                          The team is apparently looking at vehicles again; I'm interested to see what they put in, and the levels they design to incorporate them. I can see ways of incorporating dreadnoughts into the game, but they all devole into WH40k-style scenarios, which I'm not sure the devs are interested in. So again, apologies for all the negativity; I bet we both wish we knew more uscript to see how these ideas would really work in-game

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                          • #14
                            I'm really excited about seeing where the future will take AS. There are so many great, crazy, funny and stupid ideas discussed at these forums, and I enjoy reading and commenting them with my own stupid thoughts. I think this “mechâ€‌ thing isn’t a bad idea at all for certain scenarios and with limited usage, like you said Dimitri.

                            Originally posted by [theDAN]
                            The team is apparently looking at vehicles again
                            Is that so? I thought the dev’s where off sipping cocktails in the Bahamas?
                            Seriously, has anything official been said about future plans? I've missed that...

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                            • #15
                              40k scenarios are all good, tell me more.
                              Meow.

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