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Q) I love Hex Editing ... will I be able to do that to EDF?

A) Our position on editing savegames is fairly simple: we're not going to do anything to make editing them easier, as that may compromise the game itself, nor will we try to make it harder to edit for the sake of making it harder.

Q) I know some people, well, don't like Hex Editing, but they like to make maps, or music, or graphics, or whatever. Can they do that?

A) We *will* include scenario makers and a number of other features to allow the creation of mods for the game, plus simple functionality to allow you to change music and sound effects and whatnot.

Q) Ok. Well, how much does the game cost? 40 dollars?

A) Nope. It's free--completely, totally free. You'll be able to download it or, possibly, order it in CD form which will cost a small fee. In fact, the source code will eventually be made available to the public.

Q) I've got some gameplay questions now. First, can you play the game as the aliens? I don't mean scenarios--I mean the real, full game, with research and everything?

A)Yes! This is one of the original things we decided when we started the project. You can play the game as the aliens. And don't worry about it being too easy ... it won't be. Heh (ominous laugh).

Q)Um ... yeah. Well, can I, as the EDF, do terror missions? I mean, can I attack human cities? Can I raid orgs, like I could in Apoc?

A) Yes, of course you can. Anything that one 'team'--EDF and aliens--can do the other can do, and vice versa. Aliens can attack cities; EDF can attack cities. Don't expect to keep your funding too long if you do, though ...

Q) How big are the maps in tactical combat? 50x50 tiles, like UFO?

A) Actually, UFO had 40x40, 50x50, and 60x60 ... but ... erm, actually, EDF maps don't exactly have a size. Yeah, you heard me. The size of the maps are only limited by available computer memory.

Q) Do you actually expect anyone to believe that? Seriously, how could the maps not have an edge? Every game map has edges!

A) Every other game map has edges, yes. In EDF, as you reach what would otherwise have been the edge, the game expands the map. You, the player, don't see it happening--as far as you're concerned, the map is mapped out just like it would be otherwise. Yes, the aliens can enlarge the map, too.

Q) What! If the map is as big as you say, how can I ever find all the aliens and win the mission? I mean, the colony missions in TFTD were bad, but that ... that would be just plain evil!

A) Well, you can initiate recovery at any time. It's not like XCOM where you had to neutralize all of the aliens before you could end the mission. In fact, neutralizing all of the aliens won't end the mission! You decide when you think there're no more aliens. You press a button to tell your soldiers to initiate recovery ... and if there were still aliens close by, they may well attack and you'll get pulled back into combat. Otherwise, you'll just get warped right to the mission debriefing screen. Neat, eh?

This project is a truly massive effort, but a totally achievable one. We have developed a rough idea of what we want from the game and how we can implement it. Here's a basic outline of what you, the game player, will see.

First, tactical combat will be turned based. There will be no real-time option as there was in apocalypse. We are trying to bring back the feel of the original X-Com, and adding real time play complicates things.

One of the first things that will set this game apart from UFO is the size of the maps. In EDF, map size will be limited only by available memory. There will be skyscrapers and sewers in the cities, and houses will be able to have basements. You will be able to expect maps which are virtual miles across. They will be generated as the game goes on, however, to avoid wasting any more memory than necessary and to guarantee that they spread out in the correct direction-- it makes no sense to have a map which goes even amounts to the north and south when the entire team is heading south. Of course, these in-game updates will not be noticeable, and you will have no 'edge of map' indicators.

The next interesting design element is the way units will work. Units will be built of a number of pieces which will 'plug-in' to each other. One of the major effects this will have on the game is... "MY ARM!!!" the ability to have individual body parts take damage or get completely destroyed. This may also allow for the ability for particularly strong units to rip limbs off of other units... only time will tell. And, of course, most types of units will not regenerate limbs except for certain robotic technologies and alien species. This also will allow for the player to select a specific body part for a soldier to target.

Naturally, there will be some sort of a gravity engine built into the game. We aren't going to tolerate floating barns or anything of that sort. Apocalypse had a decent gravity system, and we will attempt to made an even better one for EDF.

Inventory will be done in a very unique way. Most (if not all) games have an inventory for each unit. Rather than that, each unit (as has been said) will be made up of a number of pieces. Each piece will have a sort of 'holding capability.' So, each hand will be able to hold an object, and the torso will be able to hold backpacks. Backpacks will be able to hold things of their own. Armour will also be able to hold items; this will be able to lead to things such as the 'shoulder' inventory slots seen in XCom.

Each unit part, item type, and terrain type will have a 3D polygonal model associated with it. These models, although not displayed, will be used for collision checking with shots. This way, unlike in XCom, shots will only hit units if and only if they actually hit them and they will not hit if they miss. The other advantage of this technique comes in the possibility of having lasers bounce off of certain objects.

There will be psionics in the game. Psionic attacks will 'travel' in a straight line between the attacker and the defender. Certain materials will have dampening capabilities, and if the attack passes through another unit on the way... The strength of psionic attacks will decrease marginally with distance, and units will be able to help other units in the area defend if they are under attack.

Hopefully we will be able to include more types of psionic attacks than any other game. There will be attacks to manipulate all of the emotions, as well as mind control and various telekenisis attacks, such as flame (that is, accelerating the particles in an object).

Although not all tactical design elements have been discussed, I feel it is necessary to discuss a few of the resource management elements.

First, if I get my wish, every nation in the world will be included in the game. They will all have the option of funding you, but only a few will actually do so. You will also have the option of accepting funding from individual corporations.

Along those lines, I hope to implement a very limited sort of 'psychohistory' engine. For anyone who hasn't read the Foundation Trilogy (Isaac Asimov), psychohistory is based around the concept that the actions of large groups are relatively predictable, even to the degree of being expressable with mathematical concepts, many of which are borrowed from physics (inertia, for example). Different events can act as forces to 'accelerate' a mass of people towards a different mindset or future event. As I said, this will not be implemented entirely faithfully, but it's something to look forward to.

The research tree will, well, not be a tree. It will be an extremely tangled web of research, with everything you research contributing to other research in weird ways... the replayability this technique will introduce will be extraordinary. Even 'experiences' will contribute to research-- if, for example, a unit has seen an alien shoot a certain gun at close range, that may have an effect on how quickly research is completed, or even on the results of the research. And, of course, if all you want to do is use a gun, all you have to research is how to use the gun. Of course, if the gun is similar enough to a gun which a unit is familiar with, they may be able to use it in battle without researching it...

You will be able to establish bases not only on the Earth, but on the moon and Mars as you gain the technology to do so. Of course, you may be able to go farther, but...

Next, we have a very interesting idea concerning how your organization's personel will work. You will be able to hire soldiers, engineers, scientists, pilots, doctors... quite a few different occupations. Every employee you have has EVERY SINGLE STAT that any other unit has (yes, this will apply to the alien forces, too...). Any unit can attempt any job. You can have your scientists wield guns in battle or assign your pilots to manufacturing. Doing that sort of thing won't do you much good for the most part, but in many cases (namely base defence missions) it will come in helpful.

There will be no limit on number of bases imposed upon you by the game. If you want to try to build and support 200 bases, that's your problem. You'll never get enough funding to handle that, though. We'll try to balance the game so about 10 bases is your financial limit.

Along those lines, your bases will be much less limited sizewise. You may be required to establish extra access lifts as they grow extremely large, but you will be able to make huge bases. When you defend your bases, they will be built to scale. In UFO, the living quarters, with training, housing, and dining for 50 people consisted of 12 bunkbeds. None of that in this game.



All contents of this site are Copyright 2000 by The EDF Project.
Site and graphics by Robin Bard (Ravin). Site coding by Mel Collins (Mel C) and Falcon of Fury. Site design by Ravin, Falcon of Fury, and Mel C.
XCom, UFO: Enemy Unknown, Terror From the Deep (TFTD), and UFO Defence are trademarks of Hasbro Interactive.
The EDF Project is in no way associated with Hasbro Interactive, Microprose, or Mythos.