UFO:AFTERMATH Chat Log by hx, September 19th 2002
[21:02] <olly> Are you guys not getting irritated by the fact that everyone is comparing UFO: Aftermath with the old classic UFO Enemy Unknown? 
[21:03] <ALTARiMartinK> I sincerely hope they will keep comparing us, when UFO:AM is finally released.
[21:03] <Silencer> <Bimbo> Question: Will the game be localized in different languages (like german ;-))?
[21:04] <ALTARiMartinK> Basically, this is the publisher's choice.
[21:04] <ALTARiMartinK> But I am pretty sure it will be. Europe is an important market and the publisher will be able to sell
[21:04] <ALTARiMartinK> many more copies when the game is localized.
[21:04] <ALTARiMartinK> We are certainly developing it in such a way
[21:05] <ALTARiMartinK> that the localization is quite easy.
[21:03] <olly> Do you think that there is still a broad audience for turnbased games? 
[21:06] <ALTARiMartinK> Turn based games -- we must not confuse the absolute and relative numbers. So while in the absolute numbers the market for PC games grows, in relative nubmers it loses to consoles.
[21:07] <JRfromALTAR> Please be patient, these are questions for hours to talk... :]
[21:07] <ALTARiMartinK> Something very similar can be said about turn-based games -- I believe that in absolute numbers there actully more people around now whou would like to play tehm.
[21:08] <ALTARiMartinK> But the problem is that the games cost more and more to develop and the publishers are not content with numbers that used to be good not long ago.
[21:09] <Silencer> <Megatron> What does the biomass do and how can you keep it away?
[21:10] <ALTARiMartinK> Biomass creeps over the surface of the Earth, replacing all Earth fauna. And I mean completely replace.
[21:11] <ALTARiMartinK> To keep it away -- you will be fighting tactical missions in or near it, this will slow it down a bit.
[21:11] <ALTARiMartinK> But eventually you will have to develop technologies that will turn your bases into giant "biomass repulsors".
[21:12] <UFOPete> Erm... not sure if you can answer this at present - who's to be the publisher of UFO Aftermath now?
[21:12] <ALTARiMartinK> This is a very good question. I sincerely hoped I would be able to answer it today.
[21:13] <ALTARiMartinK> Let's say we are in talks with a big independent company in UK.
[21:13] <ALTARiMartinK> And we hope we will be able to reveal more before the end of September.
[21:13] <ALTARiMartinK> Does it answer your question?
[21:13] <UFOPete> You knew I was going to ask that ;) Sounds good to me. Next question anyone?
[21:14] <Mazdek> First, I was told that ALTAR is an acronym, but when I asked, no one knew what it stood for. So, uh, what does ALTAR mean?
[21:14] <ALTARiMartinK> It is a sort of silly and furthermore it only makes sense in Czech.
[21:15] <Mazdek> Silly is good, would you care to roughly translate, or is it an inside joke? :)
[21:15] <ALTARiMartinK> Originally it was a name of the publishing house who made "Dragon's Lair", the Czech most popular pen-and-paper fantasy RPG.
[21:16] <ALTARiMartinK> We -- ALTAR interactive -- are a sort of offspring company.
[21:16] <ALTARiMartinK> Anyway, roughly translated it means "The Altruistic League of the Creators of an ALternative Reality".
[21:17] <ALTARiMartinK> or ALCAR for short.
[21:17] <Kahnn> How will the biomass react to biomass repulsion bases? what will be precise trade off (if that can be asked at this stage of development) between building a research facility or a biomass repulsion center for an instance?
[21:19] <ALTARiMartinK> Even though you select specialization of your bases (e.g. research or manufacturing), every base works in all areas.
[21:19] <ALTARiMartinK> That is, even a repulsion base adds something to research.
[21:19] <ALTARiMartinK> Does it answer your question?
[21:20] <Kahnn> yes
[21:20] <Kahnn> precisely :)
[21:20] <Silencer> let me ask an offshoot of that one first...
[21:20] <olly> You go
[21:21] <Silencer> With each base being more focused than that, do we still get to place individual base structures and if so, will the tactical layout change accordingly when the base is attacked
[21:21] <Silencer> er that should read with each base being more focused than the previous games
[21:21] <ALTARiMartinK> No, you will not place individual base structures. However in tactical mission, the base layout will correspond to the current specialization.
[21:22] <ALTARiMartinK> We have several predefined templates for each type of base and this template will be more-or-less randomly filled according to the age of base and other parameteres.
[21:23] <ALTARiMartinK> So the two missions inside say a research base will not look exactly the same, but you will probably see the same equipment and rooms.
[21:23] <Mazdek> <[ANW]Loki> Now that the XCOM series is dead many of the fans are turning to UFO:aftermath do you think they will be satisfied with it?
[21:23] <olly> you go
[21:24] <ALTARiMartinK> What do you think I will say? I do hope so.
[21:24] <Mazdek> (personally I'm still holding hope for X-COM: Alliance... but I'm an optimist.)
[21:25] <ALTARiMartinK> No really, I think UFO:AM will be a very satisfactory game to the fans of old X-COM games as it share the same theme.
[21:26] <ALTARiMartinK> As well as similar approach to this theme.
[21:26] <ALTARiMartinK> Does this asnwer satisfy you?
[21:26] <Mazdek> Yes, thanks!
[21:27] <Silencer> <RexExitium> How do you think UFO: Aftermath will fare, in the wake of disasters like X-Com Enforcer and X-Com Interceptor? Undoubtedly, those two games have nothing to do with UFO:A, but many gamers familiar with those two titles may undoubtedly feel as if the two titles had some influence over UFO:A.
[21:28] <ALTARiMartinK> I wonder. Do you really think the gamers will feel this way?
[21:29] <Silencer> well
[21:29] <Silencer> the ufo/xcom name is rather big, don't you guys ever feel as if it is a huge standard to meet, or to set yourself apart from?
[21:30] <ALTARiMartinK> I mean, these two games are some time off, aren't they? And obviously, they never used work "UFO" as any part of their name, did they?
[21:31] <ALTARiMartinK> Back to your question. Obviously, being compared to X-COM/UFO is daunting at times. As I said in the beginning, we can only hope people will keep comparing us to it when the game is out.
[21:32] <Silencer> <Megatron> What rating will the game be?
[21:34] <ALTARiMartinK> Obviously it is too early in this moment.
[21:34] <ALTARiMartinK> But there will be no extreme graphic violoence, no extensively foul language.
[21:34] <ALTARiMartinK> So I think rating 11+ in Europe and similar in US.
[21:35] <Mazdek> <ArsII> I was looking at the screenshots and thought, "This game is really brown." Will there be more color variation in the tactical missions than what we've seen so far?
[21:36] <ALTARiMartinK> This is a very contentious question even inside our team. There are people here who say the game looks too grey and brown.
[21:36] <ALTARiMartinK> However our Lead Artist keeps telling them that this is not how the game is going to look like in the end.
[21:37] <ALTARiMartinK> The look of the game should communicate the bleakness and despair, but it should not be repetetive.
[21:37] <Mazdek> Nice, thanks!
[21:37] <ALTARiMartinK> You can only appreciate the bleakness when it is in cotrast with some occassional brighter colour patch.
[21:38] <ALTARiMartinK> Myself, I have a complete trust in Tomas, our Lead Artist.
[21:38] <olly> How is the development of Aftermath going?
[21:39] <ALTARiMartinK> This is closely related to the previous question about the publisher. Obviously, working without a secure contract with a publisher is not as smooth.
[21:39] <ALTARiMartinK> But we believe we are still on track for Q1 release next year.
[21:40] <Kahnn> when will be next development diaries be released and why have they stopped to come out recently
[21:41] <JRfromALTAR> Yesterday I sent next installment of dev.diary to GameSpy.
[21:41] <ALTARiMartinK> The delay is again due to the problems with publisher.
[21:41] <ALTARiMartinK> Next instalment will be out in a week or so.
[21:41] <JRfromALTAR> I hope you can read it next week. After that we will publish it on our website.
[21:42] <ALTARiMartinK> I mean not out but on its way to gamespy.
[21:42] <Mazdek> <sqwirl> what are your expectations for the UFO series do you think you will be making any more after this one?
[21:43] <ALTARiMartinK> You never know. It would be great if we have the possibility to do more.
[21:43] <ALTARiMartinK> But this is always the publisher's call. 
[21:45] <JRfromALTAR> For anyone coming later: look at ufo-aftermath.com for new screenshots!
[21:46] <JRfromALTAR> Uploaded few hours ago.
[21:46] <Silencer> part1: the original games created random names that ended up sounding like funny multi-national euro mixes (ie gunkel garfunkel), will this feature thos silly names too (i hope!)
[21:48] <ALTARiMartinK> I am afraid not. We must differentiate between the stuff we like for its inherent qualities and the things we like because of sentimentality ;)
[21:48] <ALTARiMartinK> We had very good system of generating geographically correct names in Original War and we will use similar system in UFO:AM
[21:48] <ALTARiMartinK> Moreover we have the excellent suggestion of using nicks form UFO:AM forum for the names of our soldiers.
[21:49] <ALTARiMartinK> What is in the part 2?
[21:49] <Silencer> part 2: you have said that you are trying to provide some user-end development options so that players can change their soldier models for example, is this true and how many areas of the game are you trying to let people change (ie can we edit a file to change agent names)
[21:49] <Silencer> (or add callsigns, change weapon names, how much can we change if we wanted to?)
[21:50] <ALTARiMartinK> It will be possible to change soldier's callsigns directrly in the game.
[21:50] <ALTARiMartinK> As for the other, tools for editing stats, names, frequencies, etc. are very simply to do and we can release them almost immediately after the game ships.
[21:51] <ALTARiMartinK> We strongly want to support an option of importing part of skins of your characters to personalize their faces.
[21:52] <ALTARiMartinK> And if possible, we will eventually release tools for importing your own models. There is an interesting option in using gmax for this, as it is cutting edge modelling tool for free.
[21:52] <ALTARiMartinK> But these are really only thoughts now, nothing fixed.
[21:52] <ALTARiMartinK> Is there part 3?
[21:52] <Silencer> part3: what format is the music in and can we swap in our own files (so that we dont pee our pants at 3am because an alien pops up while the creepy music is playing)
[21:53] <Silencer> (the music rocks)
[21:53] <ALTARiMartinK> Why would you be playing the game if not to wet your pants at 3 a.m?
[21:53] <Silencer> hehe, got me there ;)
[21:54] <ALTARiMartinK> OK. What about part 4?
[21:54] <Silencer> no part 4 for that one :)
[21:54] <Silencer> i dont know if anoyne else has any or if i should keep asking more...
[21:55] <Mazdek> <sqwirl> is the combat system going to be easy for a newcomer to the genre to learn 
[21:55] <Mazdek> ?
[21:55] <ALTARiMartinK> This is the whole point of the system. We wanted to create a system that feels intuitive, to both newcomers and seasoned players.
[21:55] <ALTARiMartinK> But obviously, for newcomers it is even more important.
[21:56] <Mazdek> <mattias> How big a role will the biomass have in UFO:AM? I mean, will it be a direct threat?
[21:57] <ALTARiMartinK> Sure, the biomass is the ultimate alien weapon. And your ultimate goal is to erradicate it completely.
[21:57] <ALTARiMartinK> Even though I said earlies that even a research base will be able to repulse biomass up to a point, a lone research base at the frontier can easily be swallowed by it.
[21:58] <ALTARiMartinK> Sorry for the awful amount of typos.
[21:58] <Kahnn> Since the random terrain building system ALTAR uses allows for a unique experience with every tactical mission, and how ALTAR plans to enphasize on these missions, how do you feel about the possibility of adding small configurable tactical missions to play in LANS/Internet with the possibility of setting technology level (weapon levels, alien weapons or things of the sort being available or not), terrain type, day or night,more or less bio
[22:00] <ALTARiMartinK> I don't understand that part about LAN/Internet. But of course it would be easy to add a skirmish mode when you would be able to do just that -- set a technology level, number of opponents, type of terrain and play a single tactical mission, without context.
[22:01] <JRfromALTAR> Please Kahnn, ask in several smaller questions better than one long :-].
[22:01] <ALTARiMartinK> Do you mean that you should be able to create a custom (not random generated one) map for a mission and send it to your friends?
[22:01] <ALTARiMartinK> This would be cool, wouldn't it?
[22:01] <Kahnn> yes
[22:02] <Kahnn> and maybe use Lan to play that one with him
[22:02] <olly> Let's clear it. No multiplayer?
[22:02] <Kahnn> an addon maybe? :)
[22:02] <ALTARiMartinK> I am sorry, but multiplayer is out of question for the time being.
[22:02] <ALTARiMartinK> Maybe in an addon.
[22:03] <Kahnn> thanks :) cleared
[22:03] <Silencer> could you clarify the music format again? (is it something we could maybe listen to outside of the game with something like winamp?)
[22:04] <Silencer> (so that we can pee our pants when not playing, of course)
[22:04] <ALTARiMartinK> The music will be in mp3. But they will be packed in one file.
[22:05] <ALTARiMartinK> However it would be easy for us to release tools to outpack them. And we could also allow the player to specify another location the program should look at for mp3 files to play.
[22:05] <ALTARiMartinK> Does this satifactory answer your question?
[22:06] <Silencer> i believe so thanks
[22:06] <olly> what can you tell us about the czech version? 
[22:07] <ALTARiMartinK> We have the distribution rights for Czech and Slovak Republics. There definitely will be fully localized Czech version, including voiceovers.
[22:07] <olly> Do you plan to release a playable demo?
[22:08] <ALTARiMartinK> Yes, it is in the milestone schedule. But it will be released almost simultaneously with the final game.
[22:09] <olly> the czech version will be released first?
[22:09] <ALTARiMartinK> No, certainly not. The English version is the primary version we work on.
[22:10] <ALTARiMartinK> The localization to Czech is only marginally easier than localization to, say, French.
[22:10] <ALTARiMartinK> Next question, please.
[22:10] <Mazdek> <sqwirl> will their be difficulty levels and if so what will the difference between playing on an easy difficulty level and playing on a hard difficulty level be?
[22:11] <ALTARiMartinK> There will be difficulty levels. When playing on easy level, the alien aggresiveness will be small and it will be practically impossible to lose the strategic game.
[22:12] <ALTARiMartinK> On hard setting it will be easy to lose.
[22:12] <Silencer> <Megatron> Will the terrain be totally destroyable, like if you fired a rocket at a building it would collapse (like in past Xcom titles)?how versatile will this be and how much default variety will there be
[22:13] <ALTARiMartinK> We must make difference between destructible terrain and destructible objects.
[22:13] <ALTARiMartinK> The terrain is the basic geometry of the surface, something we could call "ground".
[22:14] <ALTARiMartinK> This is not destructible -- you cannot make craters and hide in them, you cannot blast a tunnel in a mountain slope etc.
[22:15] <ALTARiMartinK> Objects on the other hand is anything above the ground -- trees, buildings, lamp-posts, telegraph poles, hot-dog trolleys, etc. etc.
[22:15] <ALTARiMartinK> Objects will be destructible.
[22:15] <ALTARiMartinK> However it will be only possible to destruct roofed structures as a whole, i.e. you will not be able to blast a hole in the wall of a roofed building.
[22:16] <ALTARiMartinK> I wonder if you want me to go into details -- this is quite technical problems -- or should we move to another question?
[22:16] <Silencer> could you do one or two more lines about the buildings with roofs?
[22:17] <ALTARiMartinK> Silencer: unfortunately I would need more lines in order to make sense.
[22:17] <Silencer> like a house, if you shoot it with lots of small arms fire will it just explode at once? or will only powerful weapons like rockets effect it
[22:18] <ALTARiMartinK> Yes, the damage is cumulative and eventually, the building will collapse.
[22:18] <ALTARiMartinK> But really small firearms cannot damage strong buildings at all.
[22:18] <Silencer> that makes sense, thanks
[22:19] <Hellbound> <Wormfist> Will there be ingame cutscenes, movies to show certain evolving of time/technology?
[22:19] <ALTARiMartinK> no, there will not be cutscenes, except for intro and outro FMV.
[22:19] <Hellbound> FMV?
[22:20] <ALTARiMartinK> The evolution of technology/story/time is only told through your research.
[22:20] <ALTARiMartinK> For each new technology there will be nice picture of two and explanatory text.
[22:20] <ALTARiMartinK> Does it asnwer your question?
[22:20] <Hellbound> yes
[22:20] <Kahnn> ive got a question and an offspring of the question
[22:21] <Kahnn> How will the interception screen be? i mean , will the player be able to interact with the interception procedure? or will it be carried on with an image or a single occurency display? 
[22:22] <ALTARiMartinK> This topic is hotly contested here at the moment. There definitely will be an in-game video of the dog-fight, but it will not be interactive. It will be similar to "ninja-assassination-attempts" in Shogun: Total War, if you know what I mean.
[22:22] <ALTARiMartinK> But with the advantage that in UFO:AM you can skip them.
[22:22] <Kahnn> ok :) part2
[22:23] <Kahnn> Furthermore will there be better ships to be researched in order to achieve a better level of interception and if so can we customize it as we can with alien/earth weapons?
[22:23] <ALTARiMartinK> Yes. There are technologies like "better radars" or "better weapons".
[22:24] <ALTARiMartinK> But you will not be able to customize individual crafts. When you research one of these technologies, stats of all your aircrafts will improe.
[22:24] <Kahnn> And will these new crafts change the appearance in the dog-fight video?
[22:24] <ALTARiMartinK> Sure, they will.
[22:25] <Kahnn> thanks :) answered 
[22:25] <Mazdek> One from me: Early on in your forums I commented (as an anon) that the Biomass seemed alot like Zerg creep, from StarCraft. Was that idea an influence in your design?
[22:25] <ALTARiMartinK> Not really, though I cannot deny we are all very familiar with Zerg creep. ;)
[22:26] <ALTARiMartinK> The idea we started with was: there should be something on the geoshpere that would be clearly visible and indicative of the player's progress.
[22:27] <ALTARiMartinK> It is such a waste to have such a nice big globe and don't show any anything on it besides the location of bases, missions and crafts.
[22:27] <ALTARiMartinK> That's how the idea of biomass was born.
[22:27] <Silencer> <ShredZ> Ok, its been said that more and more gamer perfer to out-smart their AI opponents instead of out-right killing them - In what ways will you be able to out-smart them and how big a role will stealth play?
[22:28] <ALTARiMartinK> The trick really is not to make the enemy super-smart, the trick is to make him stupid cleverly.
[22:29] <ALTARiMartinK> I mean to say that we will try to make the enemy AI lifelike, that is we will have enemies that will not always do the best thing for them.
[22:30] <ALTARiMartinK> So playing against such enemies should feel like playing agains a human opponent.
[22:31] <ALTARiMartinK> But we shall see how we manage to succeed with this, it is not an easy problem.
[22:31] <Mazdek> <hx^ggmania> How difficult will it be for someone new to this genre to get into the game? I mean learning curve, how many hours will newcomers spend with tutorial? Can you specify a learning curve for those who never played any X-Com game?
[22:33] <ALTARiMartinK> This may well change, but I believe a complete newcomer (but a player who already played some computer games) will pick up the basics of the game in 30-60 minutes.
[22:33] <ALTARiMartinK> We try to have very intuitive interface and also to give the player only limited options in the beginning.
[22:34] <ALTARiMartinK> Is it a sufficient answer?
[22:34] <Hellbound> <Bobby2> Have the ALTAR developers played Project E5 and if so is the combat in it similar to how UFO will be?
[22:36] <ALTARiMartinK> I only came accross Project E5 couple of months ago (when the combat system in UFO:AM was fairly developed) and I was really surprised how similar it looks.
[22:37] <ALTARiMartinK> The difference is that in UFO:AM you can plan your actions in advance and we have a very sophisticated system that handles the confilcts in plans and various unforeseen situation that can happen.
[22:38] <ALTARiMartinK> On the other hand, PE5 now offers more options (crawling, kneeling, rolling, etc.)
[22:38] <Kahnn> <mattias> Is there fear or panic effects in UFO:AM? And if so, will all or just certain aliens/mutants/humans be affected?
[22:40] <ALTARiMartinK> Actually not. Our reasoning is, that as you are in command of the cream of the Earth soldiers, it is highly unlikely that one of them would start to panic in the middle of combat.
[22:40] <ALTARiMartinK> On the other hand aliens or some mutants might be scared away and run.
[22:41] <Mazdek> <hx^ggmania> What the current system requirements are for UFO: Aftermath? I've noticed that said that 1GHz CPU with GF3 will be a minimum?
[22:42] <ALTARiMartinK> No, where did you notice that?
[22:42] <ALTARiMartinK> Minimum is 500MHz with GF1.
[22:42] <ALTARiMartinK> But obviously, the more the better, especially in terms of video RAM.
[22:43] <Mazdek> Thanks! On a personal note, a few years ago I built a new computer in anticipation of Homeworld, and this winter I will be building one in anticipation of UFO: Aftermath. 
[22:44] <Mazdek> <hx^ggmania> tell him pls about interview at BGN, he said it there :) he said "1GHz CPU with GeForce will be crap" with GF3.
[22:44] <Mazdek> (To answer Martin's question of where it was seen.) :)
[22:45] <JRfromALTAR> That was me.
[22:45] <ALTARiMartinK> All right. I am sorry for the misinformation. The truth is what I just said.
[22:45] <JRfromALTAR> Maybe I answered it like optimum PC.
[22:45] <ALTARiMartinK> 1GHz with GF3 will more than enough to play UFO:AM
[22:45] <JRfromALTAR> Sorry for that.
[22:46] <JRfromALTAR> I will go through it again. Thanks.
[22:46] <olly> who will publish Ufo: Aftermath in germany? 
[22:46] <olly> what about a german localisation of Ufo: Aftermath? 
[22:47] <ALTARiMartinK> I am pretty sure the UFO:AM will be localised into German; Germany being the prime European market for strategy games.
[22:48] <ALTARiMartinK> The identity of the European publisher and local distributors is however still shrouded in mystery.
[22:48] <ALTARiMartinK> And BTW: I still think the German version of Original War was the best one we had -- the voiceovers were much better than in the English one.
[22:48] <Kahnn> <mattias> Why is it that humans can't reproduce alien technology after researching it?
[22:50] <ALTARiMartinK> Well, they can reproduce it, up to a point. But instead of producing the exact replicas of alien weapons, they try to merge it with their existing technologies.
[22:51] <Kahnn> Will the hybrid weapons be less efficient than the pure alien ones?
[22:52] <ALTARiMartinK> Not necessarily. Sometimes they may be even more effective.
[22:53] <Mazdek> <sqwirl> when you go to research new technology's will you have to stick to a technology tree or will you be able to research things depending on how you like to play the game? For example, would it be possible to research more powerful weapons before you have to research something else unrelated to weaponry? 
[22:53] <Mazdek> Like does the research tree restrict you from getting to certain levels in various things before advancing, regardless of their impact on advanced weaponry?
[22:55] <ALTARiMartinK> Well, the research tree is a tree. You have some amount of choice, i.e. there are several different technologies you can choose from, but you cannot just research anything you want.
[22:56] <ALTARiMartinK> So there will be some almost unrelated areas you can research independently but obviously you cannot research advanced laser guns withour researching laser guns first.
[22:56] <ALTARiMartinK> Does it answer your question?
[22:57] <Mazdek> I believe so. Thanks. :)
[22:57] <Silencer> <RexExitium> What has been your biggest influence in designing UFO: Aftermath, especially with the post apocalyptic scenario and all that. 
[22:58] <Silencer> and somewhat related.. <friede> what are the main differences and similarities (in gameplay) between "orignal war" and "ufo:aftermath" (except the ufo setting)? how much is the gameplay of "ufo: aftermath" influenced by "orginal war"?
[22:59] <ALTARiMartinK> Wow, that is a broad question... You should have asked that one in the beginning. ;)
[22:59] <Silencer> he did ;)
[23:00] <ALTARiMartinK> RexExitium: It is clear we were influenced by the old UFO games. We also like the games that try to mix RPG with strategy, like Jagged Alliance.
[23:00] <olly> And Fallout?
[23:01] <ALTARiMartinK> In terms of settings -- I don't recall any single major influence. It is a blend of all post-apocalyptic movies we have seen.
[23:02] <ALTARiMartinK> Fallout -- this is an excellent RPG with very nice combat system but still an RPG. I guess you could say that you are influenced by any game you play.
[23:02] <ALTARiMartinK> Friede: OW is a real-time strategy so the similarites will be slim.
[23:03] <ALTARiMartinK> The only one that comes to my mind is the ability to pause the game in OW and queue orders for all units. This might be seen as a sort of precursor system for the SAS in UFO:AM
[23:06] <olly> How did you come up with the aliens in the game? Did you encounter them yourself or did you do some research? 
[23:06] <ALTARiMartinK> They work in our art department. ;)
[23:06] <olly> hehe :)
[23:06] <ALTARiMartinK> No, really, one of our goals is to make the aliens that look different.
[23:08] <ALTARiMartinK> So beside using the "proved" archetype of the "Greys" for the real aliens, we have various mutants (we call them transgenants) and these should look as different from each other as possible.
[23:08] <ALTARiMartinK> As for where they come from -- most of them were born in the sick mind of Tomas, our Lead Artist.
[23:08] <ALTARiMartinK> Next question, please.
[23:08] <Kahnn> How linear will the game be? can you play for an unlimited amount of years or do you have to get rid of the aliens by a certain date? 
[23:08] <JRfromALTAR> First of "them" is on our website.
[23:09] <Kahnn> that bugged me hardly with civilization and sometimes simcity.
[23:09] <ALTARiMartinK> The former is true. There is no fixed deadline and you can keep playing as long as you want.
[23:09] <Kahnn> thats great :)
[23:10] <Kahnn> <Snow> can we get a big batch of new screenshots?
[23:10] <JRfromALTAR> You can found some new screens at ufo-aftermath.com right now :-].
[23:10] <JRfromALTAR> I know they are from E3 demo, but...
[23:11] <JRfromALTAR> ...there are 4 new from strategic screen.
[23:11] <JRfromALTAR> And one mutant model.
[23:11] <JRfromALTAR> And more to go :-]. Please be patient.
[23:11] <olly> 2) What are some of your favorite aspects of UFO: Aftermath?
[23:13] <ALTARiMartinK> I think I most like the fact that it is two games in one -- you have a strategy on a gradnd scale and you have tactical missions.
[23:13] <ALTARiMartinK> Both spiced with RPG elements.
[23:13] <ALTARiMartinK> So it gives you an opportunity to create the story any way you see fit.
[23:14] <ALTARiMartinK> (Almost any way, of course -- it is only a computer game, after all)
[23:14] <Silencer> are there any npc characters in the game? perhaps friendly aliens you can recruit, or civilian surviors that you must try to protect?
[23:14] <ALTARiMartinK> No comment.
[23:15] <Mazdek> Joran/Gamers.nl: The gameplay will be the big selling point of Aftermath. How does the gameplay evolve during the game?
[23:15] <ALTARiMartinK> I am not quite sure I understand the question, but I try to answer nevertheless.
[23:16] <Mazdek> (niether am I.) :)
[23:16] <ALTARiMartinK> The gameplay evolves as your technology evolves. New technologies give you new weapons which in turn give you more options.
[23:17] <ALTARiMartinK> But I am not going to say it will make a completely new game -- in fact, some of the weapons you use in the beginning may well be the most useful ones even in the end.
[23:17] <ALTARiMartinK> But the new weapons may give you an ability to face tasks that were impossible before.
[23:17] <ALTARiMartinK> Thisis the best I could do. Next question?
[23:18] <Mazdek> <ArsII> Will there be Easter Eggs?
[23:18] <ALTARiMartinK> Almost certainly. Depends on how long the crunch period is going to be.
[23:19] <olly> The Aftermath site could use some work. What will happen to it in the future?
[23:19] <JRfromALTAR> I will answer it.
[23:19] <JRfromALTAR> We are working on the website all the time.
[23:20] <JRfromALTAR> The amount of information is growing, so is the website.
[23:20] <JRfromALTAR> We will add some new features like news subscriber, 
[23:20] <JRfromALTAR> creature models,
[23:20] <JRfromALTAR> gun models,
[23:21] <JRfromALTAR> soldiers models,
[23:21] <JRfromALTAR> Aftermath background story,
[23:21] <JRfromALTAR> new screenshots from new scenes,
[23:22] <JRfromALTAR> better material for fansites (fansite kit, exclusive videos, shots and more),
[23:22] <JRfromALTAR> and some surprices I will not tell :-].
[23:22] <Silencer> the original games had a few different combat scenarios such as downed/landed ufos, terror attacks on cities, and base battles. could you tell us a little about the combat scenarios UFO: Aftermath will have?
[23:24] <ALTARiMartinK> Broadly speaking, there is a set of possible objectives: recon, contain alien foray, downed/landed UFO, rescue ejected pilot, etc.
[23:24] <ALTARiMartinK> The mission generator picks up one at random, depending on the location of the mission, phase of the game, etc.
[23:25] <Mazdek> I was asked specifically if the aliens would attack your bases if they discovered them. Will that happen? How will it be defended if it is mostly a research base (or something non military)?
[23:27] <ALTARiMartinK> Yes, the aliens can attack your base and if you lose, the base is lost as well. Defending the research base will be in principle similar to defending any other base, but the probablity the aliens will attack a military base is much smaller than for the other types of bases.
[23:28] <Hellbound> Will the mission objectives be shown when we roll over a mission that just popped in the Geosphere? So we can choose from the several at our disposal?
[23:29] <ALTARiMartinK> Yes, there will be several missions on the geosphere and for each you will see the mission type (objectives), terrain, estimated enemy strength, estimated impact on strategic situation, etc.
[23:29] <ALTARiMartinK> You will then choose which one you want to play.
[23:29] <Hellbound> ok :)
[23:29] <Kahnn> <mattias> Will there be some sort of alien containment, where you can research alien species and interrogate them?
[23:31] <ALTARiMartinK> You don't have to build alien containment, just as you are not building other facilities. And yes, some researches are aimed squarely at aliens. I don't think it is a good idea to tell more about it now.
[23:31] <olly> The ALTAR team consists of about 20 people? How many programers and so on?
[23:33] <ALTARiMartinK> Actully little bit more. 8 programmers, 10 artists, 1 level designer, 1 sound engineer, 1 game designer, project manager, ... I am sure I forgot somebody.
[23:33] <JRfromALTAR> One pr :-].
[23:33] <ALTARiMartinK> Sure. And couple of managers. And web designer.
[23:34] <ALTARiMartinK> Anyway, last time we counted it was almost 30 people.
[23:34] <olly> Last one:
[23:34] <olly> You mentioned a new project in the forum a while ago. It was in connection with E3 I believe. Can you reveal the nature of this project?
[23:35] <ALTARiMartinK> It is an RPG. We now have a tech demo and we are pitching it to the publishers. It is very ambitious project and I hope we will be able to tell more about it, but I am afraid it will not be before next year.
[23:35] <ALTARiMartinK> Sorry.
[23:35] <olly> No problem, thank you
[23:36] <olly> Well, this has been great. I want to thank Martin and Jiri for coming, as well as the other ALTAR representatives. Next, thank you very much voices. And last, but not least, everyone who attended! I'm sorry I missed some of the questions on the info site. This is the first time we have a official chat, and everything is new. Bare with me :) We will have a new official chat eventually, and hopefully everything will be better then. In the
[23:36] <Silencer> one more question: next week same time? hehe
[23:36] <JRfromALTAR> Thank you for being here, it was great time and good questions! See you at ufo-aftermath.com!
Session Close: Fri Sep 20 00:23:47 2002