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Author Topic: Playable Xenomorph Mod  (Read 2438 times)

Harry_Dicks

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Playable Xenomorph Mod
« on: February 10, 2018, 11:09:54 AM »

This is a post to try and start a community project that has xenomorphs from the movies Alien and Aliens. I have been imagining xenos as a playable race for some time now. This first bit will be what I have thought of so far about how this mod will possibly work, or maybe some fun ideas we could have to go along with it. I have been thinking about this for this probably the past week or so. How we want to have a xenomorph mod that stays true to the films, but have xenos as an actual playable race, with a complete life cycle (depending on how much help we can get with the C# parts of this) with interesting and unique mechanics.

I have been doing nothing but tinkering with mods and learning how all of the xml stuff works over the past couple months and have what I think is a decent understanding of it. I've created a handful of my own personal mods that I'm using right now, and have helped a friend on their mod as well. I'm ready to take the next step and actually create something that I helped start and feel like I have contributed more. Anything I don't know or understand so far with xml I am willing to put in the time to learn. I'm willing to get the ball rolling with this project on all of the xml stuff. If I can get some help with it, especially for any C# and art, then I don't think this project should be too difficult with the frameworks already laid out for us. Of course everyone browsing this thread is more than welcome to make any suggestion, criticism, comment, snide remark about my mother, or offer of help in whatever way they can.

Just FYI, there already is an "Aliens" mod, but is nothing like what we want, no reproduction or life cycles or anything. They just act as animals or a hidden faction I think. A few days ago someone else just launched a WIP thread for a new playable race called Mantodeans, and damn, they look freaking awesome. But some of these ideas I had been thinking about for xenos I said in that thread as well, but they almost all originated from me wanting to have a real xeno race with their reproduction cycle in the game. Also, I might borrow on some of the ideas that the author used for the Mantodeans, which I hope he doesn't mind (if so we will have to change these aspects!). Someone else just created a thread talking about a xeno mod asking about where to start with the concept, however they were only wanting to have xenos act as an animal, as far as I could tell. Not trying to step on anybody's toes, but it was this post that inspired me to want to make my own thread -
 https://ludeon.com/forums/index.php?topic=39024.0 I had just spent a fair bit of time thinking about this, and felt that I had so much to say on the topic that it warranted it's own thread.

This probably won't be super cohesive or follow a specific flow of thought, I'm just going to be randomly throwing out these ideas as I remember them ;) We will use the term pawn interchangeably for the warrior and drone class xenos. We will also use hive interchangeably with colony.

I also should say that I am a pretty big "casual nerd" of the Alien franchise and it's lore. I've been watching Alien, Aliens, and Alien 3 since I was a child. The first movie scared the absolute pants off of me. After seeing that, and then going to Universal Studios them park in Florido (I think it was in Orlando, near Disney World) and going on the ride once, I refused to do it again. I was only six! However I loved watching Aliens for the action scenes. It wasn't until I was older that I could fully appreciate the first film, and also have a lot of fun imagining being a character on the second film. This isn't helped by Alien: Isolation. Honestly, I can't play that game. It is too perfect for me, aesthetically at least. I never even got to the parts where the xeno was hunting me all the time. Anyone who hasn't tried it, I highly recommend at least checking it out. The developers of that game stayed completely faithful to the movies, as far as I can tell, and did an outstanding job. The ship interiors look exactly like they do from the films. It is ridiculous how much it all looks like the source material. I'm confident that the game has a very high Steam rating, and that it is a lot of fun. And do believe that I am very critical of any games that I decide to invest my time into.

Anyway, Alien and Aliens are the only things that we will be basing any of this off of, as the rest in the franchise are abominations and we don't want to type an entire wall of our feelings behind any of these. The only things I will say about them, is that I adore Alien and Aliens, but Alien 3 turned to shit through studio interference (ever wonder why David Fincher doesn't have a Director's Cut? He won't put his name on it!) and Alien Resurrection was just holy shit Fox how could you let your IP be tarnished like this? AvP just wow. Prometheus I was originally excited for, but then when I saw it, it was not what I was expecting. It did give me hope that it's sequel could be an awesome bridge between Prometheus and Alien, but no. Mister Scott decided that he wanted to just shake up the entire Alien IP canon into an entire cluster fuck. I just want Ridley Scott to please go the hell away and make some other fantastic, but different, intellectual property.

The below section is assuming that we do not have any of the facehugger/human reproduction, and that a xeno actually comes out of eggs layed by the queen, not out of the belly of a human. If we could actually have the eggs hatch facehuggers, which would then need to impregnate a human (think of the grapple mechanic from the Vampires mod) who is either running around or wrapped up in the "cocoon" like Newt was, ready to be impregnated by the egg hatching right next to her. I suppose a good reason for separating, or making this project "semi-modular" is so that depending on the man hours that end up being able to be invested, we don't get in over our heads. We want to be able to at least get a base mod out. So we should also assume that any parts suggested in this thread could need to be put on an indefinite hold until we can create the opportunity for these features to be implemented. Also a few things might be a little redundant or I have mentioned them twice. That's because this is just a rough draft of me rambling my thoughts about this, going back and inserting things and moving stuff around, trying ??? to make the post a little more cohesive and easier to read. So this post definitely won't be perfect, but I hope you'll bare with me! ;D Also, I'm not claiming I know everything or am correct on 100% of this stuff and it being canon, but I have done a bit of research on the first two films, albeit this was a few years ago ::)

-Xenos will be divided into classes. We will have a starting scenario with either a young queen by herself, or a few drones/warriors with a fertile queen egg that they must take care of.

-A queen will be the heart of a colony/hive. If she dies, and you have no fertilized queen eggs, then our hive should slowly wither away.

-The hive will wither away because xenos can only be healed from their minor wounds so much. This is because they have an exoskeleton that is difficult to repair, plus xeno doctors? :P

-You can only have one queen per colony.

-If you have a new queen hatch from her egg, or if there is more than one queen on a map, all queens will get increasingly irritated as long as they aren't the only queen on the map. Eventually a queen may get so pissed off she separates from her sac, and goes to attack whatever other queen she can get her claws on. The only remedy for each queen is to make sure they are the only queen on the map, whether the other queens run or get killed does not matter.

-Queens need to stay attached to their sac to keep producing eggs. If they break off from their sac (think back to Aliens when the queen had to essentially "rip" it off from herself so she could chase Ripley) then they might not be able to reattach it, maybe they have to grow a new one. If we did allow reattaching, then this should take a very long time or require a special surgery/procedure/something.

-Xenos do not care about losing other hive members, or this is very mitigated. Xenos get a mood boost for sleeping in a barracks with each others, and a penalty for sleeping solo, our outside of the hive.

-Xenos social moodlets will mostly revolve around the queen, and how well she and the hive as a whole are doing. The xenomorph is a selfless being, the hive always comes first.

-Xenos will never panic or run about uncontrollably (set on fire on fleeing from whatever). They always fight until the end.

-Xeno warriors can have a sort of "leap" mechanic to help them close in the distance to melee range, also because xenos have no ranged attacks.

-Xeno drones can still fight, but not nearly as well as warriors, nor do they have the ability to get the combat upgrades that warriors can.

-The main xeno workers are called drones, the soldiers are called warriors. There are a lot of other kinds in the Alien universe, but they aren't as well known nor as popular, and I also don't think they would really be needed - allowing the resources that would be spent on redundant classes to be better allocated elsewhere. I don't know how I would feel about having a ton of classes beyond these. I think it would be better if we just had these two main ones, but then we could have more specialized workers for different tasks. Same for warriors, some of them might have more health and better armor, while other's have less health but are a lot faster, etc.

-Xenos are easy to replace and sort of a "throw away" type of pawn. This is one of the biggest points of the mod and what I think will help it stand out among all of the other playable race mods. It will allow the player to think about all of their pawns differently, and hopefully create a new and interesting ways to play RimWorld!

-Since xenos can only heal minor wounds on themselves, this is the perfect way to create a system of losing an acceptable amount of xenos when you have to engage in combat.

-The queen will have all sorts of various upgrades that she can receive to change everything about egg laying/production.

-To determine what type of xeno an egg will turn out to be, I can think of two decent sounding options. The first is all eggs are lain as generic, and the player can manipulate the egg environment or do something interesting to determine the class of the xeno egg, or the player can choose what type of eggs the queen will be laying.

-If we go with the generic eggs, then I think this could be a lot more interesting. We could have your drones put the eggs into "nursery" rooms, just like there were the egg chambers in the movies. Similar to how crocodile eggs work (and I'm sure a lot of others) you could have the average temperature that the eggs and incubated at determine if they will becomes drones or warriors.

-Maybe we have to do something very special for new queen eggs. Maybe they take a year or more to hatch after they've been lain. Say if they take a year, this will be a new system that you would have to balance with only having one queen per colony, but always wanting to have a back up queen egg that would be ready to hatch within a time frame that they could mature quick enough to start laying eggs before your hive is wiped out.

-Queens might take anywhere from a couple quadrums to a couple years to fully mature. Maybe 2 quadrums to mature, and another 2 quadrums to grow a new sac.

-Queens remain either completely stationary when they are attached to a sac, or they can only move within a few cells of where their sac is attached.

-The sac attached to queens has it's own health and anatomy, independent of the queen.

-The sac can be upgraded over time. However if a player detaches the queen from their sac, and if we decide to not let the queen reattach to a sac (must grow a new one) then the sac will wither away and die, making any investments into the sac go to waste.

-This will create an incentive for the player to highly consider where they place their queen and her sac, and if shit is hitting the fan in a hive raid, should they detach their queen or not? Will the hive survive without the queens help (she is an excellent big badass fighter)? Or if they must use the queen to defend the hive, will she be able to survive after the fight? Will she be able to grow a new sac? Do you have enough eggs put up to keep your xeno population numbers up if you detach your queen? Do you have another queen egg that will be ready to hatch soon after if your current queen dies? So many possible dilemmas that will create great new stories every time!

-Queens could come from special eggs and special queen facehuggers (I think that I have seen these somewhere online before)

-Xenos sleep in/on/next to the walls, maybe gaining some type of camouflage or blending in to the wall. Think about in Aliens how the xenos ambush the marines, and Hudson famously yells, "They're coming out of the God damn walls!" Not necessary but could be a big bit of flavor if implemented properly.

-If we can have xenos hide in walls, that will be perfect for setting up ambushes for raiders coming in to attack your hive. If you have your hive/map sealed off in a specific way (think of how everyone funnels raiders to their killbox) then you could have your warriors set up for all sorts of interesting ambushes.

Below here is if we can find someone to help us with the whole facehugger impregnating a live human, which will then birth a chestburster (a baby xeno) of a specific class, or a generic chestburster that we can have "evolve" into a certain class as it goes through it's life stages. In the first Alien movie, it is inferred that the xenos have an extremely short lifespan. This is how the chestburster was able to grow so quickly, and why at the end of the movie for the final action sequence the xeno seems so slow and lethargic. That was because, as I remember believing after reading about it somewhere, the xeno had completed it's life cycle (in alternate cuts the xeno has Dallas and I think another crew member cocooned down below deck) and was just sort of settling in to die. However, in Aliens, it is clear that xenos can live much longer, but I am not sure to what extent.

-Xenos can cocoon any humanoid (basically anything that would have blood. So no androids, but cat people, dog people, star wars people, etc. should all be able to be impregnated) that they have captured as a prisoner. This could mean dropping consciousness down very low, or whatever it is when a pawn gets anesthesia for surgery, sedating them.

-There will be nursery rooms with eggs that are in their final stage, almost ready to hatch, where you can keep these cocooned prisoners.

-Once the egg hatches, the facehugger will latch onto it's victim (again, like the grapple mechanic from the Vampires mod) and impregnate it's victim over the next few hours.

-The facehugger and it's future egg surrogate will remain very vulnerable during these few hours, and anything that happens to them during this time could cause the impregnation to fail/abort.

-Facehuggers who fail while impregnating their host could die (not sure of canon on this, but sounds interesting)

-Other mechanics to let facehuggers or any of the steps along any of the egg/facehugger/chestburster/xeno life stages to fail, to help keep population numbers in check.

-Once a host is impregnated, they must be kept alive and healthy for the duration of the pregnancy.

-If the host does not stay optimally healthy throughout the pregnancy, there will be tiered chances of having a gimped chestburster/xenomorph.

-These lacking xenos might not have their handicaps be known to the player until the xeno is a full adult. This will encourage players to actually take care of their human hosts. If the player knows right away that a xeno will be gimped, they might kill the xeno right then in hopes of replacing it with a fully healthy one. However if they can not know this until they have at least invested some time into making the xeno a full adult, well then I think this would be a good incentive to help balance wanting to keep the human hosts healthy, both before and during pregnancy.

-If possible, or maybe through a new story teller if required, have new special events related to xenomorph population to help regulate whatever numbers are decided to be optimal for a hive play through.

-Right now I'm thinking that an optimal number would be around 30-40 xenos. With much of their social system stripped, and minimal variation between classes and their various upgrades, this should help balance out the extra load from the extra pawns on the map.

Stuff posted below here could be some fairly significant changes to Alien canon, but this is so that the IP can be adapted as best as possible for fun and interesting game play. Maybe also some significant changes to pawns/RimWorld to make all of these ideas work together.

-Xenos will have an increased XP rate for their skills, like burning passions, or they will have a lower cap on the maximum level for their skills. This will be needed so that the player will never be too attached to any specific workers. In fact, none of the workers or soldiers should significantly stand out from their peers. The only exception to this, that I can think of, should be for any major changes that a xeno receives via "carapace upgrades"

-Xenos can't wear armor or have weapons. Instead their combat prowess and stats will be determined by their melee skill, class, and "carapace upgrades".

-Xenos can go into a special "cocoon" for a duration of time to get a thicker shell/skin/armor, reducing damage taken. An example upgrade could be that their tail is longer, so that they have increased "melee reach". You can of course have some regular old boring plain damage/armor upgrades as well, but I don't think these should be too significant, ever. Remember, if the player can invest too much in any individual xeno, then they stand the chance of becoming attached to this pawn, and this will go against the sort of "playstyle" that the mod is trying to achieve.

-Various colony wide upgrades, that come from special research, with great flavor names/descriptions that make sense. These researches will require that you have made certain buildings/things X amount of times throughout the colony, just like in vanilla some researches require you to have built a multianalyzer, stuff like that. The mod SS Researchable Stat Upgrades has a dll in it that allows this type of colony wide research, it can change a thingDef's comps or verb properties, so this is achievable. Maybe Spdskater would be kind enough to let me use it in the mod :)

-Thinking back to StarCraft, the Zerg would have something like a "spawning pool" that just sort of sounds like it made sense for them. There could be buildings similar to this that you should place throughout the colony. The reason for having these buildings could be simply for aesthetics, to make your colony actually look and feel like a hive.

-If I had a talented C# programmer, then maybe we could have a sort of thing like there was for the Zerg in StarCraft or the Undead in Warcraft III. A building that spreads a sort of "blight" within so many tiles around it. This "blight" could then be required to place any xeno structures. Only a handful of buildings could be built on any tile that doesn't have this "blight" on it. And of course we would need a better name for blight.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 11:31:59 AM by Harry_Dicks »
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Harry_Dicks

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2018, 11:22:07 AM »

-Without blight, we can still have a custom wall atlas, with certain elements that only have a chance to show up, for some nice variation and authentic "Aliens hive" looking walls. Similar to how Clutter has his "high tech" looking walls, that have the neat little wall texture gizmos that appear every so often. We would like for the walls to look like the inner hive that we saw in Aliens.

-Without blight, we can still have (a) cool custom floor texture(s) that can make it look like it's a hive floor.

Anyway, that's it for now. I'm sure I will think of a ton of other stuff. And how some of those ideas might be alright. The majority might be too tough. What does anyone else think, opinions?

Also, can't seem to find if I posted it, but xenos would not have any apparel or weapons (well maybe a chef's hate for a little easter egg.) This would allow us to save time on having to make 15 different textures for every piece of visible apparel. This time could be spent making different designs for the body textures, maybe have a little variety among the classes. Possible visual upgrades could be included for any xeno that goes through certain "carapace upgrades", an example of which could be a thicker/bulkier skin to represent the increased armor, or a longer tail to represent the increased melee reach.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2018, 11:32:17 AM by Harry_Dicks »
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Jackalvin

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #2 on: February 13, 2018, 10:41:04 AM »

Oh no... Xenomorphs gave me a fear of the dark (and vents) by the age of 7.
And I LOVE them!
I feel like they should have a couple things to keep them from being more animal than colonist:
-Have cool bio-y benches, like the carapace bench for "armor" and Mutation Stations for discovering new breeds/upgrades
-I know this is like a huge burden, and you don't even have a C# programmer yet, but the idea of impregnating different creatures for different results, like the Runner from Alien 3: it used a dog as a host and instead of a stronger bipedal form, it had 4 legs that propel it at high speeds, a great hit and run creature. Now imagine that with a muffalo, who is a beefy tank that can't do much but take damage and haul, or a boomrat suicider!
-You said Xenos should not really care about anything about the queen, I feel like there's more to that. They should be able to have social lives, however dull. They can have some kinship towards others, but we still have to consider the whole Perfect-Killing-Machine thingy. They should also get a mood boost when events occure like:
New Birth (Stackable) +8 A new servant joins our brood. We are pleased.
Enemy Captured(Stackable) +2 Yessss... Fresh feed or another birth? We're interested.
Queen Dead -100000 NO!!! THIS CANNOT HAPPEN!!! WE ARE RUINED!!!! RUINED!!!!
I'm sorry I can't do anything but complicate your idea even more, but come on! Xenomorphs! MotherF*cking XENOMORPHS!
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Harry_Dicks

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #3 on: February 13, 2018, 01:51:15 PM »

-Have cool bio-y benches, like the carapace bench for "armor" and Mutation Stations for discovering new breeds/upgrades
Yes I am thinking about having multiple different things like this. They will be similar to the cryosleep/cryptosleep chamber or whatever it's called in vanilla. The xeno will go into this for a duration, and after X amount of time they will emerge with an upgrade/alteration, which may or may not include a change to their graphics. I'm thinking the player will have a few of each of these chambers in their base, chambers that will specialize in one of the following: offensive upgrades, defensive upgrades, utility upgrades. Something like the utility upgrade "chamber" could possibly be split up into more champers if we can have enough upgrades to warrant this. But remember that we don't want there to be too much invested into individual xenos.

-I know this is like a huge burden, and you don't even have a C# programmer yet, but the idea of impregnating different creatures for different results, like the Runner from Alien 3: it used a dog as a host and instead of a stronger bipedal form, it had 4 legs that propel it at high speeds, a great hit and run creature. Now imagine that with a muffalo, who is a beefy tank that can't do much but take damage and haul, or a boomrat suicider!
I actually think this a great, more advanced idea. If you've ever played with Genetic Rim, then that gives you all kinds of great "mutation" ideas. And you're right, it was originally a dog, and then they swapped it for the ox or whatever. The production shots of the xeno dog are fantastic and I recommend skimming through this clip which is 5 minutes for anyone interested in seeing how Hollywood made a whippet into a dogxeno https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xUMX6hsvbO4

-You said Xenos should not really care about anything about the queen, I feel like there's more to that. They should be able to have social lives, however dull. They can have some kinship towards others, but we still have to consider the whole Perfect-Killing-Machine thingy. They should also get a mood boost when events occure like:
New Birth (Stackable) +8 A new servant joins our brood. We are pleased.
Enemy Captured(Stackable) +2 Yessss... Fresh feed or another birth? We're interested.
Queen Dead -100000 NO!!! THIS CANNOT HAPPEN!!! WE ARE RUINED!!!! RUINED!!!!
You're right and I think these are all great ideas. I guess I meant that the xenos should have a very different social mindset than your avergae RimWorld human. They aren't going to be all pissy about not eating at a table, let's at least say that ;)

I'm sorry I can't do anything but complicate your idea even more, but come on! Xenomorphs! MotherF*cking XENOMORPHS!
Absolutely not. That was the whole point in the OP where I was saying I wanted this to be a community project, and everyone is encouraged to post anything they think will fit in well here. That's a beautiful thing about mods, is that we have the ability to take risks and try out new things. If we can spitball 100 ideas, maybe 10 of them will be really awesome and then worth polishing. I can't think up everything all on my own for something this elaborate and hope that everything is going to be awesome and all mesh together well. That's why we need more heads! ::)

And about the last comment, exactly! FUCKING XENOS MAN! Let's do this! ;D
« Last Edit: February 13, 2018, 01:56:40 PM by Harry_Dicks »
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Jackalvin

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #4 on: February 13, 2018, 04:38:11 PM »

I saw all of you points, and I was surprised I was actually agreed with. Sometimes I feel like the... I dunno a good analogy, but you get the idea.
-About the Bio-Benches: I like your idea more. If the Xeno is expendable, I'm not going to make cloths for it. I'd rather stick it in a vat for a bit. Also, what to they eat? I've seen a comic were they attacked a pig and ate it, but is it needed?
-About needs and mindset: Not much more to say on this one. Xenomorphs for the most part have no emotions, and no, neither tables.
-Breeds: I saw the whippet transformation. I have a whippet, so seeing one turn into a little death machine was too cute! They don't have to be that complex, this is no GeneticRim. I think at least the queen, warrior, and drone should be implemented. It depends on who works on it.
-About "Spit-balling ideas": I guess that's what I just did. Also, to everyone who's viewing and interested, please give ideas / feedback. This mod's a cool concept, and I'd love to see people breath life into it.
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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #5 on: February 13, 2018, 09:18:42 PM »

Enemy raids against the hive could have apparel types that resist against facehugging, potential egg upgrade that makes them suitable for using them as a single use trap? Drone caste could have a short range weak spit, which could either be upgraded/drones could be upgraded to a dedicated spitter caste with higher range spit with more damage, would mostly be used for skirmishing/softening up targets before direct combat.

Warrior caste could have a form of stealth that changes depending on terrain/enemy skill/light level?

Drones could also act as a form of weak doctor, able to patch up minor to moderate injuries.
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Harry_Dicks

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2018, 12:45:08 AM »

Also, what to they eat? I've seen a comic were they attacked a pig and ate it, but is it needed?
I honestly have no clue what xenos eat! But this sounds like it could be a new and interesting mechanic! I was thinking that maybe their food/energy could somehow be tied into the whole hive/blight/wall thing. Maybe they recharge while they are stuck in the wall, similar to how androids and bots recharge now? AKA just a "recharge station" but it is built into the wall?! Yes! This sound like it would really go along with them hiding in the walls, like the marines are descending into the atmospheric processor and get ambushed. Also, this could further emphasis the point that individual xenos care more about the hive health/quality as a whole, because without it being healthy and at 100%, maybe they cannot fully recharge and be at 100%?

Maybe we will just swap out the term "Food" for "Energy" on the needs bar. Energy will be restored from "sleeping" in the walls. Energy restoration rate could be determined from "total hive health" (to be determined later). Xenos can also ambush anyone walking by while sleeping, get a leap bonus maybe?

They don't have to be that complex, this is no GeneticRim. I think at least the queen, warrior, and drone should be implemented. It depends on who works on it.
Absolutely agree. Also agree that at least for the start, we will have just warriors, drones, and the queen. Also, we're probably not 100% sure on job restrictions per class. Maybe they can do all jobs, but these will be "hated work types" or they will have a very low skill ceiling, for example warriors cannot have crafting past level perhaps level 5. Maybe in later, more advanced iterations we will have things like the praetorian guard, dog xenos, or maybe a thrumboxeno! Take the sort of idea of how Genetic Rim mixes RimWorld monsters, exactly how like you said in Aliens 3 the xeno is based off of the life form that the facehugger impregnates.

-About "Spit-balling ideas": I guess that's what I just did. Also, to everyone who's viewing and interested, please give ideas / feedback. This mod's a cool concept, and I'd love to see people breath life into it.
That's the spirit! ;D

Enemy raids against the hive could have apparel types that resist against facehugging,
I think this is a great idea. In fact, we could include patches with the mod, so that even if you don't play as xenos, all races will have the ability to research upgrades for their helmets. The whole "resistance to impregnation" sounds quite complex at the moment, but it is a fantastic idea for I think a later beta of the mod :) But this research could be something like, "Power Armor Helmet with Facehugger Deflector" and also something for other armors, if we can actually build some type of acid blood into the game, as "Acid Proofing" armor upgrades, or whatever sounds neat. This could also be a great idea for a Colonial Marines expansion mod

potential egg upgrade that makes them suitable for using them as a single use trap?
Oh wow I love this idea! I am actually a really big fan of having tons of stuff locked behind researches. I don't know how others feel about it, but it just really helps my games have a nice sense of progression. I'm also thinking if we have a bit of non traditional buildings and such, that with the proper research tree layouts, it will be all the more intuitive to players trying out the mod for the first time. Maybe instead of only a few big researches, we will split it up into more smaller ones, with only one or two things unlocked per research. That way the player can always know exactly what they just unlocked and need to build next to advance to the next new things.

Anyway, about the egg trap idea, this is great. Maybe early on, with no egg tech, you will be forced to have to capture humans and keep them weak/knocked out in a cocoon, so that is easier for the facehuggers to impregnate. As you advance in egg tech, maybe we can start thinking of eggs in two separate ways the player can use them. One way will be having a handful of eggs stored away in a proper nursery, these will be their "core" backup eggs, maybe 50% of their stock. The other 50% of their stock, once (or slowly as they unlock egg upgrades) they have some abilities for their eggs, they could start placing them as traps in choke points around the map. When an unsuspecting raider comes by, the facehugger could launch out at him, with a percent chance of successfully latching on.

Some potential egg/facehugger upgrades could be:

-Eggs have increased health/armor
-Facehuggers can launch themselves further from eggs to victims
-Increase chance of facehugger latching on success
-Increase chances of successful pregnancy, maybe various different upgrades that would help different aspects of the pregnancy, from latching, to impregnation, to gestation.
-Eggs could emit a slowing aura to any raiders passing by
-We could even have egg variants. Maybe the egg variants are going to determine the "class" of facehugger/future xeno. Or maybe they are generic eggs, and we have the different facehuggers. If it's different eggs, you could have a beefy, tanky egg, that maybe draws enemies fire. You could also have an egg that is 90% resistant to ranged damage (bwahaha), all kinds of fun stuff!

Drone caste could have a short range weak spit, which could either be upgraded/drones could be upgraded to a dedicated spitter caste with higher range spit with more damage, would mostly be used for skirmishing/softening up targets before direct combat.
Honestly I really don't know how I feel about xenos "spitting". Because as far as I can remember, they never do this in the movies, and anyone please feel free to show me an example of where I'm wrong. I would say if it's in the movies and it's what the community wants, then sure. But how I have envisioned this so far, I think putting this in a "maybe" category is fair :) It might come down to where we do need some ranged classes, who knows. That's one reason I was thinking about possibly having "increased melee reach range" with longer tail upgrades that xenos could receive at one of their upgrade chambers, or as a colony wide research/unlock.

Warrior caste could have a form of stealth that changes depending on terrain/enemy skill/light level?
Another great idea. I'm thinking that maybe this could also be affected by the "level of hive/blight" that they are in? Another great reason for the player to want to expand their hive throughout the map, and want to have enemies fight only on their terms where they want them. If xenos could somehow get closer to enemies, or enemies could not see as far while on blight and/or in the hive, that would be awesome. Maybe we could have a whole line of upgrades (or an entire system if we have the right C# people :) ) that will affect enemies abilities while inside of the hive? Maybe once in the hive, they have -10% vision? Upgrades could make it up to say -50% vision, or maybe negative values to melee/ranged accuracy? Those sound like they would be really awesome mechanics to expand upon.

Drones could also act as a form of weak doctor, able to patch up minor to moderate injuries.
This was one thing I was discussing before and I'm really not sure how I feel about it yet. When I imagine a playable xeno race, I honestly don't really see too many doctors in there patching up other xenos. Maybe xenos can only heal themselves when they are "recharging" while resting inside of a wall? This could cut out having to have a whole "emergency surgery" sort of situation with xeno doctors. Say if your xeno gets wounded bad enough in combat, then they really should die. This is one of the main ideas behind the theme of xenos. They aren't entirely stupid and just pointlessly throw their lives away, but they can and definitely do sacrifice themselves with no second thought when it is for the queen or hive. We have to make sure we get this aspect of the mod right, or, in my eyes at least, then we will have no accomplished what I set out hoping to with this mod, which is make it really feel like it is a true xeno mod from Alien and Aliens.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 12:51:28 AM by Harry_Dicks »
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Curseth

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2018, 08:22:36 AM »

Another addition to warrior caste stealth is that if they enter melee range without being detected, their first attack could be either a critical hit that bypasses most armor and does double damage,  or a incapacitating attack that if successful knocks out/disables the target for easy capture. but is dependent on the targets melee skill, vision and the like.

Eggs could act as traps with little to no research early game, but factions would wise up or know about the facehuggers in the eggs, being able to counter them or simple just shoot the egg and facehugger to pieces. One new research could be a way to adapt certain eggs to being very difficult to distinguish from the resin around it.


A potential optional addon to the mod when its polished and complete would be a Predator hidden faction that acts as an end game threat, having extremely high armor, health, pain tolerance and weaponry but if you where able to incapacitate one without it exploding could create a form of champion Predalien xenomorph and/or unlocking high end improvements to the baseline xeno.

Additionally, would this mod be better with, or without Combat Extended?.

One way drones the drones could excell is the ability to haul faster, repair resin structures and vomit sticky resin on downed creatures which would make them unable to run/fight back and secondly it could cause a unique form of medical treatment which would stop the creature from suffering blood loss or wound infection. and either accelerating wound heal rate, or not changing it at all. Meaning the wound would heal at the rate as if it wasn't treated at all.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 08:41:59 AM by Curseth »
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Jackalvin

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2018, 10:37:40 AM »

-About Stealth: I've always wanted stealth in Rimworld, and I think that the whole knock out thing is pretty cool. Maybe drag them into the wall to kill/capture. This can be used to disable dangers before you face them head on. This won't work on certain enemies, such as (as you said) Predators or bionically enhanced brawlers.
-Eggs: Eggs should take the place of Dead-fall traps, and the whole upgrade thing's wonderful. Maybe to keep enemies from just blasting it, have an upgrade that would make the facehugger spring out sometimes when the egg's destroyed.
-Yautja: This is a great addon concept. To have a few creatures that can't be grabbed, stealthed, or face-hugged by normal means with powerful gear is a terrifying challenge. The predalien is a great prize however.
-CE: Since Aliens can't use guns or ammo, I don't know. I've got little knowledge on the matter.
-Drones: I like this healing idea more. The creature won't bleed out, but will just retain the damage done. You can choose to keep the damaged creature, or let it die. They're expendable.
-Spit: Alien -cringe- resurrection. Had a alien  that spat it's blood. And in Aliens -CRINGE- Colonial Marines, had a Xeno class called the spitter. However bad these were, a late game ranged attack's a nice feature.
-The Food: So Xenomorphs eat... I dunno. Maybe you convert meat/vegetation into Biomass Tyrannid style, with it being both a food item and construction material. So it will be easy to build with and strong, yet will catch fire with ease.
-Temperature resistance: if they can survive in the void of space, they can live in cold temperatures. Heat can be dealt with, yet not fire.
-Last thing: In one comic, a hive was being attack by a odd enemy, Mold. It destroys eggs and adults alike, and in order to combat that, they experimented on people and prey, and cultivated another fungus (I think). Does this mean they have some sort of agricultural capabilities. This shouldn't take the place of meat, but can help through lean times. I dunno, maybe locked behind research like "Fungus Cultivation"
(After cultivating the perfect strain, your Xenobiologists *Dumdush* made a nutritious fungoid suitable to your needs)
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ManagerZ

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2018, 05:01:31 PM »

I cant wait for this to come out, BUT WalkingProblem is creating a new AvP mod series with Predators and Xenomorphs and Colonial Marines and i cant wait.
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Harry_Dicks

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2018, 06:24:27 PM »

Another addition to warrior caste stealth is that if they enter melee range without being detected, their first attack could be either a critical hit that bypasses most armor and does double damage,  or a incapacitating attack that if successful knocks out/disables the target for easy capture. but is dependent on the targets melee skill, vision and the like.
We can definitely have all the really cool anatomy parts on all of the xenos thanks to how easy they are to mod into the defs. This includes the little mouth within the mouth, and the tail spike, hand (and foot?) claws, whatever we need. Maaaaybe acid blood as just a regular attack? I still don't know about this, at least for xml only..

Eggs could act as traps with little to no research early game, but factions would wise up or know about the facehuggers in the eggs, being able to counter them or simple just shoot the egg and facehugger to pieces. One new research could be a way to adapt certain eggs to being very difficult to distinguish from the resin around it.
Great idea. Having a line of research branching off of eggs dedicated to their stealth and/or hiding mechanics. If anyone has used the mod RuntimeGC Cleaner, you will know there is an option in the mod to "reset trap knowledge" or something like this. What it basically is, is that raiders who come to your base, once they hit a trap the first time, this is then "remembered knowledge" about your map, and other raiders, I'm not sure if it is faction specific or not, will then avoid these traps in future raids.

We should have some sort of "colony skill" (oh man, there's a whole 'nother huge system that we could build upon) that could let the player reset this knowledge possibly. Maybe this will go better with a whole sort of "trap/defensive/ambush" hive "playstyle" that will be encouraged, just like how the Aliens did to the marines, wanting to lure their enemies in until they are too deep. Let's try to think of some other things that will fit that we can have as interesting trap mechanics.

A potential optional addon to the mod when its polished and complete would be a Predator hidden faction that acts as an end game threat, having extremely high armor, health, pain tolerance and weaponry but if you where able to incapacitate one without it exploding could create a form of champion Predalien xenomorph and/or unlocking high end improvements to the baseline xeno.

Additionally, would this mod be better with, or without Combat Extended?.
I am a fan of Predator as well, but I have only seen the first one about 30 times, but only bits a pieces of the second. Maybe in the far off future, but I really couldn't plan anything like that out right now. I will have to see how I handle this one first :) Also, Combat Extended may come later, as I am not too familiar with it, and I have no idea how much would have to change for it. I would put it down as a "maybe in the distant future."

One way drones the drones could excell is the ability to haul faster, repair resin structures and vomit sticky resin on downed creatures which would make them unable to run/fight back and secondly it could cause a unique form of medical treatment which would stop the creature from suffering blood loss or wound infection. and either accelerating wound heal rate, or not changing it at all. Meaning the wound would heal at the rate as if it wasn't treated at all.
I think these could all be potentially good ideas, because we do need to figure out the whole blight/resin mechanic. I think I will need to create a sort of table with ideas and then we can filter through them all for certain aspects to decide what will work best, along with what will actually be viable for us to make.

-About Stealth: I've always wanted stealth in Rimworld, and I think that the whole knock out thing is pretty cool. Maybe drag them into the wall to kill/capture. This can be used to disable dangers before you face them head on. This won't work on certain enemies, such as (as you said) Predators or bionically enhanced brawlers.
I like this. Maybe the xeno warriors will have a special ability on cooldown, or low % chance to have a special attack trigger, that can totally knock out an enemy, unconscious. Then the victim can be hauled off back to the hive, just like a regular pawn does to save their buddies, or you do to capture a raider. Except now they are taken back to a holding chamber, or nursery, or to be "egg-morphed" I think it was called.

I don't remember too much about "egg-morphing" but it was an idea in Alien that was how the xenos originally reproduced I think. Because this was before James Cameron came around with Aliens that had the queen. Anyway, the xeno in the first movie actually has Dallas (the captain, the guy who the xeno "got" in the airducts with the jump scare. The xeno took him down to somewhere else in the ship, and I believe has him cocooned up to the wall. But the xeno has made an egg by himself? Having trouble remembering, but anyone interested, it's in the deleted scenes I think. Stuff like this is great for getting alternate ideas of how we can have things function.

-Eggs: Eggs should take the place of Dead-fall traps, and the whole upgrade thing's wonderful. Maybe to keep enemies from just blasting it, have an upgrade that would make the facehugger spring out sometimes when the egg's destroyed.
Great ideas for what I think could be some great egg upgrades.

-Yautja: This is a great addon concept. To have a few creatures that can't be grabbed, stealthed, or face-hugged by normal means with powerful gear is a terrifying challenge. The predalien is a great prize however.
Sorry but I am unfamiliar with this term "yautja". But if you are referring to gear that is xeno resistant, than yes, I think this will be great. One thing that I think I haven't seen in one single race mod yet, is for your enemies to have new specialized gear meant just to counter your new race. I think this is a fantastic idea as well because it will give us near unlimited balance scaling potential. If we could have the story teller (which will be our own new story teller) start to really balance out the xeno resistant gear for the raiders that come to get us as the game progresses, I think this will be really awesome. Especially if we do have the Colonial Marines as a faction, or maybe Wayland Yuyani, who are trying to capture the xenos for their military experiments! (which is what they wanted them for anyway!)

-Drones: I like this healing idea more. The creature won't bleed out, but will just retain the damage done. You can choose to keep the damaged creature, or let it die. They're expendable.
You know, this sounds like it is a LOT more feasible than the healing in the wall thing. This might be the best thing for our first iterations. I do like the whole hiding in the wall to sleep/recharge energy thing though, so maybe they just won't heal in the wall, who knows. But yes, we must remember that we need to keep the xenos expendable in the player's mind.

-The Food: So Xenomorphs eat... I dunno. Maybe you convert meat/vegetation into Biomass Tyrannid style, with it being both a food item and construction material. So it will be easy to build with and strong, yet will catch fire with ease.
-Temperature resistance: if they can survive in the void of space, they can live in cold temperatures. Heat can be dealt with, yet not fire.
Oh my gosh I haven't even thought about fire yet. I like the idea of maybe having a dual purpose sort of "use it for many things" base material that could be the basis for most of the hive buildings/blight/upgrades maybe? Or maybe we have a few of these base materials if people like them? I'm thinking we will need at least a few for the flavor. It will sound silly if we have xeno drones building some new hive additions with just wood and steel.

Also yes xenos will have good temperature tolerances, especially because they won't have any clothes on. Maybe we need some mechanic that ties them to the hive though?

But about fire, yes we can have a lot of fun with that. I don't even know how a xeno hive would go about putting out a flash fire. Maybe they all body pile on top of the flames? Seriously, how will a xeno handle a fire, just stomp it out like a colonist? I would think they are a bit more "animalistic" and are scared of fire? Or do xenos understand fire, and are not necessarily scared of it, but know that it will ruin their day?

-Last thing: In one comic, a hive was being attack by a odd enemy, Mold. It destroys eggs and adults alike, and in order to combat that, they experimented on people and prey, and cultivated another fungus (I think). Does this mean they have some sort of agricultural capabilities. This shouldn't take the place of meat, but can help through lean times. I dunno, maybe locked behind research like "Fungus Cultivation"
(After cultivating the perfect strain, your Xenobiologists *Dumdush* made a nutritious fungoid suitable to your needs)
I like this idea. It reminds me, I am not 100% sure on this, but I remember seeing a documentary about some ants I believe, and they harvested grass. But they did not eat this grass, but took little clippings of the grass back to the colony, where they had a fungus growing underground that ate the grass, and then they would eat the bio products of this fungus. This makes the xenos having something similar sound appropriate. Maybe it will be something like a simple plant that they can grow with the in game mechanics, but this plant can only grow on "blighted" soil?

I cant wait for this to come out, BUT WalkingProblem is creating a new AvP mod series with Predators and Xenomorphs and Colonial Marines and i cant wait.
Hmm I wonder if he is planning something similar to our xenos? I am not concerned with Predators at first, that could be something later on. Colonial Marines would be a bonus as well, I think. I would like to keep it to just xenos at first, and then all of the other flavor factions and advanced abilities and systems will come later.

BTW I'm loving the ideas guys, what else can we do?!
« Last Edit: February 14, 2018, 06:27:38 PM by Harry_Dicks »
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Curseth

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2018, 01:54:33 AM »

Yautja = Predators, having much greater skill, strength, technology and pain tolerance.

In regards to food, maybe a form of Feeding Pool could be constructed that breaks down most food items into a generic nutrient jelly?
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Harry_Dicks

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #12 on: February 15, 2018, 08:31:20 AM »

In regards to food, maybe a form of Feeding Pool could be constructed that breaks down most food items into a generic nutrient jelly?

Two things come to mind: the mod Universal Fermenting Barrels, which we could use as a base, and of course use whatever textures for whatever building or thing we use to "break down" whatever it is that we are making into a food product. Also there was the mod Fish Industry that was just updated to B18 by Rikiki. I'm not saying to use his mod, but I like the idea behind it. How you can put veggies in the input slot to feed the fish, which will grow over time. Maybe we can have something that functions similarly.

I'm still not completely sure on what to do about these ideas, so I will list them all out for anything that sort of falls into this field. Over the next couple of weeks, we will figure out how and/or what we will have xenos do for these things:

Sleeping, eating, energy, food production, food fermenting. I might as well have put an "and/or" in between all of the listed items, because I feel like they are all somewhat related and we will need to figure all of this out before hand - to at least see what will be feasible with what capabilities we have at our disposal, and to understand what sort of work load we are talking about, and if we will even be able to finish what we set out.

I'm not going to be taking this on if we can't have the xenos actually be unique and feel like xenos. I'm not saying we have to be 100% canon, because we will need to adjust somethings to make them fit within RimWorld, and also to make them fun. Think it's safe to say that we don't need to include things that will be exact canon but not fun for the player.

On the other hand, this will be my first project of this scale and I don't want to get too far in over my head and not finish anything and/or disappoint anyone, especially after asking for other's involvement. Worst case scenario, I will hand anything accomplished so far off to anyone who would care to take up the reins - as long as everyone that has contributed up to that point would be alright with it. Because don't forget, the aim of what I want this to be is more of a "community project" that I guess I'm sort of leading. Anyone who wants to should be able to contribute anything that's needed towards this, as long as it's done well (code), and/or looks acceptable (art).

Don't forget that I can only do things within xml, and I would count on my art skills enough to say that they are virtually non existent. We will need art assets. Also anything beyond xml in C# is beyond me as well. Who knows, maybe if we can keep everything xml, and we only need one or two small things done in C#, then there's a chance we could run across a benevolent soul! But about the art, the xenos from the mod that's out now actually look pretty decent, WAY better than anything I could ever do, because I would probably give up :P There might be some things in that mod that we could use to get started but it isn't necessary. I might contact the mod author later on.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=974867140 for anyone that hasn't seen it.
« Last Edit: February 15, 2018, 08:45:44 AM by Harry_Dicks »
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rebelrot

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2018, 12:19:07 PM »

If you can find programing code i can make the characters Sprites
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lelukeson

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Re: Playable Xenomorph Mod
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2018, 11:07:41 AM »

Hi there, amazing idea for a mod, I have started studying to be able to mod because I wanted to create the Xenomorph as a species with lifecycle in Rimworld, and now seeing your post I cant help but think your idea is even better, a playable hive!

Now reading all the posts, it really remids me of the game  Aliens vs Predator: Extinction (http://avp.wikia.com/wiki/Aliens_versus_Predator:_Extinction)

Many of the mechanics for playing as the Xenomorphs would translate directly into Rimworld mechanics, many of those you already have in your first post. I believe it would be a great source of material and ideas you could use as reference.
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