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Chris
12-15-2011, 11:19
For the uninitiated, I've had the idea of a funding thermometer floating around in my head for a while. The basic concept is a kickstarter event where people can donate money, and once it reaches certain preset levels then we will add a new feature to the game.

It's partly a marketing gimmick to get more attention for the game, but also a serious way to raise more money. There's a couple of part-time team members who I'd love to bring on in a full-time role, most notably the lead coder and the weapon / vehicle concept artist. Unfortunately this requires a certain amount of upfront capital because they're not going to leave their jobs unless I can guarantee them a wage for at least a year (which is fair enough).

The idea would be to raise about $100k, which would pay for all the items on the list and also give me enough money to hire the lead programmer and the artist for a year. The three of us would then form the core of Goldhawk and would continue to contract out the other work as required.

If we do this, I think it's important that we make it worth people donating, so I'm trying to get a lineup of proposed additions to the game that get people excited. Here's what I've got in mind:

1) Soviet weapon pack - this is a replacement pack for the starting weapons, which are currently NATO weapons, so they are Soviet weapons instead. The player will be able to choose one or the other at the start of the game and they are identical in-game.

2) Tileset Specific NPCs - the civilians would be dressed appropriately for the tilesets they are in, rather than having general purpose civilians across all the maps. I think this will give a better impression of geography rather than the feeling everywhere is somewhere in or around America that often happens in games. This will also extend to the local friendly NPC soldiers, which is part of the reason why we have the Soviet Weapon Pack - you'd want Russian or Arab troops armed with AK-47s and RPGs rather than NATO style weapons.

3) Extra portraits - at the moment we have 25 soldier portraits. These repeat too frequently as is. I'd like to have 45-50 in the final game so there's more variation.

4) Alien Corpse Variations - at the moment we've got a corpse for each alien type, but as each variation costs about $50 each we've not done one for all of the different alien ranks (it'd cost several thousand dollars). Ideally though, we'd like to have a unique corpse for each alien race/rank combination that reflects their model.

5) Medals System - soldiers level up through combat experience at present, but there's no rewards for specific behaviour like getting seriously wounded in action, surving multiple missions or killing a dozen aliens. It'd be good to add a system where there were a dozen or so medals that soldiers could earn that would provide them small stat bonuses and add a little character to the troops.

6) Intro Movie - we don't have an intro movie at the moment. It'd be good to have one. I'm thinking something like the Homeworld one, which looks awesome but would also be affordable for us. It would cover the Iceland Incident and the origins of the Xenonauts, and maybe be 2-3 minutes long. Link to the Homeworld cinematic below as an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrW4jkQdmjI

7) Community Prizes - I want to encourage people to help us out in the beta, most notably with mapping and the game balance. Therefore I'd like to offer a $1000 prize for the best mapper and the best balance patch, as well as smaller prizes for other outstanding members of the community in areas like generally being helpful or bugfinding. I'm hoping that will get a few people involved (as well as get a little press coverage).

8) Animated Ground Tiles - it'd be good to have some animated ground tiles for the ground combat, particularly in the UFO and the alien base. Glowing power cores and things floating in test tubes etc.

9) New GUI - This would basically involve rolling out the style of the Main Menu across the rest of the game. The idea is that instead of a glorified spreadsheet (which is how the game currently looks) we go for a more immersive hand-painted look that puts the player actually in the base. The layout of the screens wouldn't change that much, but I think it'd really improve the presentation.

10) Dynamic GUI - This is an improvement on the new GUI shown above. The basic idea is that your base and the personnel change as you perform in-game actions. As you research new technology, the people you're talking to change (so the head engineer might start with a blowtorch but by the end of the game has an alien cutting laser tool or something) and the backgrounds change too. So the research lab starts off looking pretty old-school but by the end has lots of advanced computers etc in it. I'd love to put this in.

11) Hire our staff full time - as mentioned above, this is the eventual aim. Having our lead coder go full time would help us immensely because he's working more than full time on his normal day job already and we're probably working at about 20-25% of the pace we could be because of that. Our weapon artist would basically be working for us at cost, which is pretty low given his rates for everyone else are about $100 an hour. Right now he's basically donating his time to us for free, which can't go on forever.

Anyway, I'm interested to hear if people have any ideas for other stuff we can add (NOT female soldiers) that would add to the appeal of the fundraising, or any comments on the above.

The funding would hopefully come mostly from people buying Standard and Premium pre-orders of the game on Kickstarter at the normal price ($20/$30), but we'd have a few other levels of commit too. We'd probably have a $2 and $5 'tip' level where you don't really get much extra for your donation (perhaps a wallpaper or something), and then some higher ones.

The higher ones would probably revolve around 'super-soldiers' which would have a 2% chance of spawning when you hire a new soldier. They'd have +5 to all their stats (so they're basically like a starting soldier). One level would give the super-soldier a chance to have your name and nationality, another would let you name it and choose a portrait, and the highest one would let you name it, choose a nationality and have us draw a portrait for it directly from your photo that you'd send to us.

So, yeah, thoughts? Do you like it? Does it come off as tacky? Interested to hear opinions.

Lime
12-15-2011, 11:45
I support your ideas (except the increased +5 stats on the super soldiers)

The Animated Ground Tiles and Soviet Weapons would be very nice =) and an intro movie could probably double as a trailer.

I'm thinking what if people choosing the highest donate option (or donate 50$+ or whatever), get a creditation in the end credits?
Like; We offer a special thanks to these people for financial support in the developing this game; (a lot of names hopefully)

(Could be in addition to or instead of the picture/super soldier thing)

Sathra
12-15-2011, 15:29
Sounds excellent to me. Big thumbs up!

anotherdevil
12-15-2011, 17:40
I like it, apart from no. 7. I can see that's exciting for those who know how to do it, but from the point of view of someone who has limited knowledge and likes to think he's contributed a bit already, I want to pay YOU to make the game good and add features etc. not randomly pay someone else, who could be me, but I just didn't have the skills required.

Otherwise good call and where do I sign up!?

iamkyon
12-15-2011, 18:12
The list looks sweet to me!

Chris
12-15-2011, 18:23
Two other ideas floating around in my head:

1) Geoscape AI Allies - At the start of the game, you only have one base and therefore can only protect part of the world at once. In order that part of the world isn't lost while you're powerless to protect them, it'd be good if each region had at least one NPC airbase in it that sent fighters out to engage the UFOs. These bases would be targeted by alien forces (maybe that's where the airborne terror sites could come in) and wouldn't scale up as the invasion did, so in a few months they'd almost certainly be destroyed. However it might buy you enough time to establish the Xenonauts wordwide and take the aliens on properly.

The second idea was for something we could do around the project - an art book containing the best artwork of the project and some information on the artists themselves. The idea is that premium pre-orderers would get it at cost, while it would be on sale at $10 more than that for everyone else. I'd have to look into the price for it (it may well not be worth it), but the one thing this project does well is the 2D art and it'd be good to start offering Premium pre-orders some kind of benefit...

Quartermaster
12-15-2011, 22:27
I have to say that I love the geoscape AI allies. It could be interesting if you were competing with them for funding in the regions they were active in.

radister
12-15-2011, 23:48
Yay art book! I have a fond love for art books :)

but anyways, i like alot of these ideas. as for the faction idea, I like it as long as you allow me to turn it off from time to time.
I like just me vs aliens! "You want the world? then your have to come past me!" is what i imagine my last xenonaut will be shouting when he is barley standing after being shoot, surrounded by his dead comrades xenonauts as the aliens come to claim him. :p

But i Love the rest of the ideas :)

Straker
12-16-2011, 04:26
Not sure about the list right now but I like the idea of Geoscape AI Allies. The only downside is with the short range of the Chinooks you would not be able to go to most of the crash sites.

ZeElfenWaffe
12-16-2011, 04:49
I'm liking all the ideas, especially the in-game additions like the Geoscape AI allies, Like if they formed a secret pact with the aliens then they wouldn't attack the aliens or send you on a wild goose chase with alien craft sightings, or if they're unhappy with your performance you may lose clearance to their airspace and they may attack you for patrolling in it or something like that.

Also like the idea of soldiers getting more photos and medals for doing certain outstanding things, kind of adds another layer to the soldiers and will make it even harder to lose a vet that has 'killed a hundred aliens' and gotten a shiny badge.

Jean-Luc
12-16-2011, 05:00
It's a pretty good list of perks/improvements, sounds like it could be worth a try.

Nemeo
12-16-2011, 09:47
Again, I'm going to be the bad guy. Feel free to throw rotten tomatoes and eggs.

I'm not for the donation idea. You're not a charity. In fact I wouldn't donate anything to you unless I knew you would release something I look forward to. And this process is called "buying", not donating.

However, I would be glad to purchase cosmetic additions like new faces, a new GUI and such in a DLC form. Remember that DLCs aren't evil as long as they're non essential. This is the way Tripwire got more funds. They made useless character models and sold them as a mean to get money. And they got it. I didn't buy them because the skins were nice, in fact I found most of them fuck ugly. I bought them because the game rocks and I wanted to support them a little longer. It might work for xenonauts as well.

I would not recommend making gameplay DLCs though (geoscape AI). Players would feel like you're selling them the game bit by bit. You wouldn't want that. I would hate that.

My suggestion is that you make cosmetic DLCs (2$ here, 3$ there) and when you sell enough of them, make a free gameplay update for everyone.

Whenever you'll release a cosmetic DLC, more people will come to your website. You'll get advertisments on steam and desura... New customers will realise that the game is still supported and you will get new sales, even if they won't actually purchase the DLC.

Whenever you'll release a free DLC, people will be so grateful that on every forum, the xenonauts topic will get upped with an "I love Chris" message. This means more advertisments and more sales. Besides, you'll only release those free DLCs when they are already paid for by the other cosmetic DLCs. If you don't get enough support from the paying DLC, just move along. This is a win-win situation.

Oh, and two more things. First, do not make any promise concerning the free DLC, like "If I sell enough GUI DLC you'll get this and that" or you'll get a shitstorm from people who wanted something else in the free DLC, and you'll get another one if you don't release it. In fact, you'd better not talk about it. Surprise us. And secondly, make the gameplay enhancement optional, or else you'll draw an "I hate change" mob as well.

Chris
12-16-2011, 13:46
Not quite sure I follow your logic, Nemeo - the idea's just an extension of the current pre-order structure, which is you pay now and the game will be better for it. This is just providing specific instances of how the game will be better if sufficient numbers of people buy it and we can raise that amount of money. And giving people the option to donate extra if they want to.

If the funding thermometer gets hit, everyone gets all of the features in the intial release of the game and I imagine the majority of there revenue would come from people buying the game by donating either $20 / $30.

Nemeo
12-16-2011, 15:10
It seems I'm not on topic indeed. My apologies.

Yevgeniy
12-16-2011, 16:57
Wanted: Support for Cyrillic (http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php?191-Support-for-Cyrillic). :)

Brosama
12-17-2011, 01:53
I really love the idea of an art booklet. It could also double as an actual book form of the Xenopedia or something, that would be really cool.

anotherdevil
12-17-2011, 02:16
Ha ha yeah, make it into a semi manual too and I think you'd get a few more sales that way too!

Straker
12-17-2011, 05:24
I'm confused. Are we talking about donating even more than we already have? :confused:

I like Brosama's idea of a Xenopedia art book. Arty yet functional. Something like the X-Com Apoc UFOpedia. :cool:

anotherdevil
12-17-2011, 08:33
we're talking about the option of donating more should you want to

Chris
12-17-2011, 09:45
Or a wider number of people donating money by buying the game, ideally.

Ndition
12-17-2011, 18:29
11) Hire our staff full time - as mentioned above, this is the eventual aim. Having our lead coder go full time would help us immensely because he's working more than full time on his normal day job already and we're probably working at about 20-25% of the pace we could be because of that. Our weapon artist would basically be working for us at cost, which is pretty low given his rates for everyone else are about $100 an hour. Right now he's basically donating his time to us for free, which can't go on forever.

Anyway, I'm interested to hear if people have any ideas for other stuff we can add (NOT female soldiers) that would add to the appeal of the fundraising, or any comments on the above.

The funding would hopefully come mostly from people buying Standard and Premium pre-orders of the game on Kickstarter at the normal price ($20/$30), but we'd have a few other levels of commit too. We'd probably have a $2 and $5 'tip' level where you don't really get much extra for your donation (perhaps a wallpaper or something), and then some higher ones.

The higher ones would probably revolve around 'super-soldiers' which would have a 2% chance of spawning when you hire a new soldier. They'd have +5 to all their stats (so they're basically like a starting soldier). One level would give the super-soldier a chance to have your name and nationality, another would let you name it and choose a portrait, and the highest one would let you name it, choose a nationality and have us draw a portrait for it directly from your photo that you'd send to us.

So, yeah, thoughts? Do you like it? Does it come off as tacky? Interested to hear opinions.

You could always try to contact a publisher like Paradox Interactive!

Chris
12-17-2011, 19:56
Mmmmm, it's possible. I was in contact with them about 9 months ago but they turned us down. Admittedly the game looked rather different in those days though. However, I suspect they'd want too much of a cut of the profits to make it worthwhile for us to do it...

Ndition
12-17-2011, 20:53
Mmmmm, it's possible. I was in contact with them about 9 months ago but they turned us down. Admittedly the game looked rather different in those days though. However, I suspect they'd want too much of a cut of the profits to make it worthwhile for us to do it...

All I can say is that's their loss, you guys have done a great job so far.

Pinetree
12-17-2011, 22:35
You could always try to contact a publisher like Paradox Interactive!

God no, not those guys. They force devs into unrealistic schedules which makes them release games far too early. Sword of the Stars II and Combat Mission Shock Force are just two examples that come to mind. Chris have you approached Matrix Games/Slitherine? They always seem supportive of indie developers.

Assoonasitis
12-18-2011, 00:33
I am all for this to get my portrait in the game. I think it'd be pretty rad to have some of the community members show up every once in a while in the game.

Edit: After reading page two of this thread, I agree with the idea of a Xenopaedia art book. I am way down for this. Hook it up ASAP so I can send you all my money, Chris.

Nfire3
12-18-2011, 05:25
A robot solider, modeled after the remote controlled robots they use for explosive defusal

Straker
12-18-2011, 06:03
The Soviet weapon pack sounds great (gotta have those AK-47s and RPG-7s!) but wouldn't that involve having to make alot more soldier sprites?

Chris
12-18-2011, 07:49
Chris have you approached Matrix Games/Slitherine? They always seem supportive of indie developers.

They've approached us. I'm unconvinced that they can offer us much we can't already do in exchange for the revenue share they want. I suspect I'll get that a lot with publishers.

Leto
12-20-2011, 18:42
Lots of sweet stuff most people would like to see ! I agree with most except the intro movie. I know it give a polished look to the game but it's just a one time 2-3 minutes. I think the money could be invested in more 'reused' features.
Also the Soviet weapons might not be worth the effort, this would mean more weapons that would be used less.

I know it's not really possible but I still like to mention : 'Females' :cool:

More music sequences would be nice (I really love the music so far !), also for the air combat.

Sathra
12-21-2011, 01:30
The Soviet weapons would only be a a skin pack. Mechanically, they'd still be the same as the current weapons, they'd just look like AK's, PKM's, etc.

TheTuninator
12-26-2011, 03:23
I really like the idea of most of these, particularly additional in-game aesthetic variation with things such as the Russian weapons, additional soldier portraits, additional alien corpses, and so forth.

Geoscape AI allies would also be very cool and a nice realism feature; although, if it would not be too difficult to facilitate there should be some option to toggle them off for the hardcore X-COM players who want to go it themselves. Myself, I think it's a fantastic idea.

imperialus
12-29-2011, 15:58
Love the idea. Especially the medals, (I should since it's one that I came up with on the old forums) and the Geoscape allies.

Fish Of Doom
01-01-2012, 00:18
since you mention the homeworld intro as an inspiration (+pi for that), and people mention a sort of xenopaedia artbook, why not make it like the homeworld manual? that was simply awesome. if you set up the thermo, i'd be glad to donate, btw. even if the game ends up having its setbacks, it'll be nothing that can't be fixed in a xenonauts 2 (horror from the depths? :p) or for some features an expansion pack or some post-release DLC, and i'll be damned if i won't contribute to make you guys able to make one :D.

Gorlom
01-01-2012, 01:18
If we are going with soviet weapons can we research Tesla lightning strike gun (heavy weapon, ammo issues same as rocketlauncher for gameplay reasons)
How would it work?
-Perhaps very inacurate at long to midrange (do not use while another xenonaut is infront you your tesla cannon) highly accurate at short range (assuming no other target is closer in a cone infront of the cannoner).
-Could possibly have a special feuture to chain to 1 (or 2 but probably only one) nearby aliens? (the secondary target must be on an adjacent square? or maximum of one square away)

PS. should this be posted in the suggestions thread instead of here? DS.

anotherdevil
01-01-2012, 05:12
soviet weapons are just skins for the starting weapons. You never know though, such a gun as you suggested may already be in that game...!

Sathra
01-01-2012, 11:12
Yeah, suggestion thread Gorlom. Might be a bit late for weapons suggestions now though.

vandigeth
01-02-2012, 23:37
I know I'm new, but I'd make a donation to the 'keep this game away from even semi-big name publishers' fund. Just my 2 cents.

If you appeal to the right communities and really get the name and stuff out there, you might be able to generate enough interest in pre-orders. For example, the Yogscast just ran an X-COM special over the holiday season (like the 27th of December or something?). Lewis claimed XCOM was one of his favorite games. Never know, the crew has a million subscribers... if he ran a livestream showing this game off, I bet it would generate interest.

Just an idea, but all things considered, I'll give you more money to stay away from a publisher.

Chris
01-03-2012, 13:57
I'll drop the Yogscast people an email actually, having seen their videos now you pointed them out. Maybe they'll be interested in giving us some coverage.

Straker
01-03-2012, 17:45
Generating interest is always a good idea. I did not know Xenonauts was even out there until fairly recently. More the merrier. :)

Bibidibop
01-08-2012, 18:17
I think it's a good idea listing what will happen at different funding levels. I don't think it is tacky. It's practical, open, and should result in a good motivator for further purchases, as long as you can spread the word. You should probably combine this with a thorough walk through of the latest build, and expectations for how the game will finish off without these features. You do not want people thinking the game currently lacks funding to be finished to an enjoyable level.

In order of importance.


#11 depends on what the difference in time will actually be, but I suppose this should be at the top.
#8 is very important, the environment is currently far too static.
After the first two, #9 and 10, are definitely highest in importance.
I like #5 a lot. In addition to the stat page, will we also see the soldiers in dress uniforms wearing those medals at some point?
#2 justifies #1, otherwise I don't think there is a point to #1. My preference is for the starting weapons to be diversified into an eclectic collection, and not a West East dichotomy. But having Eastern combatants drop appropriate weapons is worthwhile.
#3 is nice, because it will help avoid having an over abundance of twins and triplets in my ranks. But, I don't care much about #4. If you were having aliens die different ways depending on the weapon which kills them, that would be completely different, and I would be for that idea.
#6 An intro movie in the Homeworld style can be nice, but it's the sort of thing I watch once and never again. I rank this very low.
#7's community prizes could be good as long as the amount of work you get out of the money is much greater than using your own people you are already paying.

Hale
01-08-2012, 22:35
For example, the Yogscast just ran an X-COM special over the holiday season (like the 27th of December or something?). Lewis claimed XCOM was one of his favorite games. Never know, the crew has a million subscribers... if he ran a livestream showing this game off, I bet it would generate interest.


I'll drop the Yogscast people an email actually, having seen their videos now you pointed them out. Maybe they'll be interested in giving us some coverage.

I actually first heard about Xenonauts from the Yogscast. He just finished Xcom a couple days ago, and while watching him stream a few days before that he mentioned that he may stream TFTD and Xenonauts after Xcom. I don't know if that was before or after you contacted them. I then watched TotalHalibut's video and immediately preordered. Point is, it would be great if they showed off the game, since after just mentioning it once they allowed me and others to discover it.

More on topic, I'm all for some sort of funding meter. I'm still a poor college student and just preordering was a stretch but if I had extra cash I would gladly donate some of it to the development of Xenonauts. I agree with Bibidibop's comment on the intro movie that even if they are really cool I normally watch them once and skip them after that.

Inkallim
01-08-2012, 23:24
I'm a huge sucker for art books so another vote for that as a "thing to give people who donate a certain amount."

Of course that does mean faffing around getting quotes from printers and then working out layouts and so on.

Naturally the most important things should always be whatever adds the most to the game for it's cost in time and money.

Certainly I don't think putting a kickstarter up looks desperate, it is always worth while trying out various methods of getting funding in, and as you say it creates a extra page to post about and hopefully get more people to look at the main site and maybe buy the game.

Aleksi
01-09-2012, 08:07
More music sequences would be nice (I really love the music so far !), also for the air combat.

That's on the way! :cool:

IceVamp
01-09-2012, 12:46
I think it's sounds good. Take my money! Especially if I get an art book, norweenies and credited :D
But yea, I'd rather you make the game even awesomer with the money than spend it on an art book, if it comes to that. You'll have it either way. ^_^

Phenakist
01-09-2012, 17:18
Generating interest is always a good idea. I did not know Xenonauts was even out there until fairly recently. More the merrier. :)

I found out that Xenonauts existed because of a stray video i realised i didnt watch by TotalHalibut. I'm so glad i watched that video!

Inkallim
01-10-2012, 05:38
I don't have a Facebook account so I couldn't add to the comments myself but the Escapist articles on the Firaxis X-com could be another place to politely mention Xenonauts.

horrid
01-15-2012, 03:12
I would like to see you receive the funding you need to build the best game that you can. What seems most critical is having the means to employ your staff. While it would be nice to receive perks or recognition for assisting in this endeavour I'm ambivalent about the utility of said perks. If I want anything for providing additional coin for development it is a bigger, better game.

Things like art books look fine sitting on a coffee table but I prefer putting coasters under my drinks. Money spent on a print run or binding a trade or hardback could be better spent on in game resources and internal developments that enrich the gameplay experience.

When I read the game manual word doc I was disappointed that the training system may be removed apart from the basic course that is sitting there taunting me in the personnel window. I'd rather be playing Xenonauts that realized that function than being so disinterested in the game that I'm reduced to leafing through an art book about it rather than enjoying the game itself.

Variant skins for weapons from Warsaw Pact or NATO nations don't really interest me. If the weapons performed differently in game it would be a worthwhile feature. If an assault rifle is an assault rifle why give it a different appearance? On the other hand diversity among the soldiers would be nice to see.

You have an incredible game in development and I'd like to see it completed to the high standard a dedicated(full time) team could deliver rather than a lackluster game and a book that makes me angry whenever I move the coach to do the vacuming.

TheTuninator
01-17-2012, 15:55
I finally got around to reading the Iceland Incident blurb on the official website, and I am very impressed. I think a Homeworld-style drawn-art over narration opening cinematic could be quite fantastic, given how excellent the 2D art for this project is and how well it fits the eerie nature of the whole incident. You guys should definitely do that if funding allows!

People often skip intros after the first time, it's true, but a good intro trailer is an excellent way to grab someone's interest and, generally, a very memorable part about truly great games. Shouldn't take priority over developing gameplay, naturally, but it'd be a great thing to have if you guys don't have to sacrifice anything important for it.

IceVamp
01-18-2012, 04:55
Yeah, I don't think I ever skipped UFO EU's intro. It was awesome.

Sathra
01-21-2012, 11:59
The incredibly misleading Xtreme Anime Smackdown?

anotherdevil
01-21-2012, 19:11
ha ha yeah, I mean who honestly used personal armour by the time they had the avenger! =p

And red Muton man...

Beagle
01-23-2012, 09:53
Not sure if this has been suggested in the last 6 pages, but if you're going to go to the trouble of adding a Soviet Weapons pack I'd really enjoy seeing it be usable at all times, not having to choose between the NATO and Soviet ones. I can understand it would be a bit disorienting to have two visually different styles of weapons at once, which I agree with, but if you used the black finish style of weapons (http://tantal.kalashnikov.guns.ru/variant/e8eda53a.jpg) instead of the wood-stock style that is most commonly known (particularly on the AK), I think they'd fit together fine. This would lend itself to having slightly different stats for them - most games lean to giving the Soviet weapons slightly more punch but slightly less refire/accuracy - but even if you leave them the same stats as each other, this would give community balancers twice the elbow room if they did want to make the ballistics tier more varied.

Okim
01-23-2012, 13:02
I totally agree with this idea! Honestly i was thinking to mod those as soon as it is possible to do so :)

While most of our (Russian) weapons in 79 were using wooden stocks/handles - new plastic variants were about to enter production. It is possible to assume that Soviets supplied the most advanced rifles/prototypes to the xenonauts.

AK-74. Looks different from current m16 rifle used in Xenonauts though: http://world.guns.ru/assault/rus/ak-74-e.html

SVD. Also a greatly different weapon compared to G3S: http://world.guns.ru/sniper/sniper-rifles/rus/dragunov-svd-e.html

RPG and current rocket launcher are almost similar: http://world.guns.ru/grenade/rus/rpg-7-e.html

A shotgun analogue can be an early KS-23. However i assume that Soviet analogue to shotgun is not that necessary: http://world.guns.ru/shotgun/rus/ks-23-e.html

Only PKM (as analogue to M240 used in Xenonauts) never had plastic stock, but wooden stock of PKM would be hidden under the arm/shoulder of the soldier in xenonauts. M240 and PKM look quite similar: http://world.guns.ru/machine/rus/kalashnikov-pk-pkm-e.html

ringworm
01-27-2012, 20:31
I think that most of the people who are pre - ordering represent the most fanatical fans. there will be more than likely a lot of people holding back in fear of not receiving a game that will live up to their expectations or indeed that you will fold before the game reaches completion. my hat comes off to those who were the first to pre -order, with surely only your promise that their investment would one day reach fruition and to you guys for getting this far. As for me, I only found out about this game while seeing a random comment on the facebook xcom page a few days back and after seeing the video and seeing you guys are in the uk am willing to go premium, I can only hope more of the scroogy skeptics realize its not going to be a good game without our pre orders.
As for ideas to further ideas to rattle our money boxes, maybe offer the game on disk on its completion, Easter eggs like signs with the persons name on in game.
alternatively I would have thought there are government grants? and also surely more advertising would lead to more sales I would have contacted the people who are releasing the new jagged alliance to see if you can put a flyer in every game sold?

plucx
01-29-2012, 04:05
Hey Chris,

Here's what I think

1) Soviet weapon pack - this is a replacement pack for the starting weapons, which are currently NATO weapons, so they are Soviet weapons instead. The player will be able to choose one or the other at the start of the game and they are identical in-game.

That Should really be the last of your priorities. Sell it as a DLC later on.

2) Tileset Specific NPCs - the civilians would be dressed appropriately for the tilesets they are in, rather than having general purpose civilians across all the maps. I think this will give a better impression of geography rather than the feeling everywhere is somewhere in or around America that often happens in games. This will also extend to the local friendly NPC soldiers, which is part of the reason why we have the Soviet Weapon Pack - you'd want Russian or Arab troops armed with AK-47s and RPGs rather than NATO style weapons.

Maybe different civilians clothing, but still. It is something you might what to add afther a working game is out. The weapon that are in the game atm are prety generic. They don't really feel Nato or Warsaw. They are black, so are 1970 ak-74 ar AKM. PK really look like a M-60, they both stole the tech from Gremany, it's the same rifle, different stocks.

If you get a hit game it will be because of a nicely coded game, not fancy graphics (IMO)

3) Extra portraits - at the moment we have 25 soldier portraits. These repeat too frequently as is. I'd like to have 45-50 in the final game so there's more variation.

This is a more Direct approach to player interraction. I have these soldiers in may face all the time, all the games. It's a good one to put on the tops.

4) Alien Corpse Variations - at the moment we've got a corpse for each alien type, but as each variation costs about $50 each we've not done one for all of the different alien ranks (it'd cost several thousand dollars). Ideally though, we'd like to have a unique corpse for each alien race/rank combination that reflects their model.

Different corpse. Maybe, not a big deal for me.

5) Medals System - soldiers level up through combat experience at present, but there's no rewards for specific behaviour like getting seriously wounded in action, surving multiple missions or killing a dozen aliens. It'd be good to add a system where there were a dozen or so medals that soldiers could earn that would provide them small stat bonuses and add a little character to the troops.

Interesting Idea. Also, since we are the leader of the place, why not let us put a medal on the guy ourselves and give the top promotion. Somtimes, I got a Commander in X-Com wich was only there because he had Hi AP in early game but low moral and Psy defense ... a real liability compared to another one who was made out of Iron. Give me control on these things. I'll give a medal to my guys myself for "enter reason here" and nickname him Plasma Fodder!
Might save you a lot of Coding too.


6) Intro Movie - we don't have an intro movie at the moment. It'd be good to have one. I'm thinking something like the Homeworld one, which looks awesome but would also be affordable for us. It would cover the Iceland Incident and the origins of the Xenonauts, and maybe be 2-3 minutes long. Link to the Homeworld cinematic below as an example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrW4jkQdmjI

Movies are a must for promotion of the game. Good one.
I loved the Homeworld series. The movies make a very good use of flash with great emotionnal feel. However, they also went with a full orchestra and vocals. Might be a way to emulate that, but it's a BIG part of these video. To make it powerfull you will need something akin to that or something new that you invented.

7) Community Prizes - I want to encourage people to help us out in the beta, most notably with mapping and the game balance. Therefore I'd like to offer a $1000 prize for the best mapper and the best balance patch, as well as smaller prizes for other outstanding members of the community in areas like generally being helpful or bugfinding. I'm hoping that will get a few people involved (as well as get a little press coverage).

Good one, might want to carry it out when the game is done to get more people involved

8) Animated Ground Tiles - it'd be good to have some animated ground tiles for the ground combat, particularly in the UFO and the alien base. Glowing power cores and things floating in test tubes etc.

This one is important since it influence the immersion in the whole game all the time.

9) New GUI - This would basically involve rolling out the style of the Main Menu across the rest of the game. The idea is that instead of a glorified spreadsheet (which is how the game currently looks) we go for a more immersive hand-painted look that puts the player actually in the base. The layout of the screens wouldn't change that much, but I think it'd really improve the presentation.

I agree 100%. It is on of these first impression thing. When you hire a guy and he looks messy, it's a bad sign, right? Same goes for the game layout. It's really important to get this kicking ass, but not before you sort out what goes where. Sadly, you have to put that just before release.

10) Dynamic GUI - This is an improvement on the new GUI shown above. The basic idea is that your base and the personnel change as you perform in-game actions. As you research new technology, the people you're talking to change (so the head engineer might start with a blowtorch but by the end of the game has an alien cutting laser tool or something) and the backgrounds change too. So the research lab starts off looking pretty old-school but by the end has lots of advanced computers etc in it. I'd love to put this in.

Thats a cool idea. really is! Woa! Still, get this done last. I prefer having a working game that a fancy one.

11) Hire our staff full time - as mentioned above, this is the eventual aim. Having our lead coder go full time would help us immensely because he's working more than full time on his normal day job already and we're probably working at about 20-25% of the pace we could be because of that. Our weapon artist would basically be working for us at cost, which is pretty low given his rates for everyone else are about $100 an hour. Right now he's basically donating his time to us for free, which can't go on forever.


Well, i'll try a brainstorming here ...
hire your artist on a % of the estimated revenues? Get some promotionnal item in from companies like coke? Disney land :P, maybe more indy like games that are not in competition with your niche but renowed. I remember some games did that. Like doing a street stand with a poster promoting the game name with a retro design. Let you use their artist or some coder / ressource for a $ equivalent ...

Anyway, I'm interested to hear if people have any ideas for other stuff we can add (NOT female soldiers) that would add to the appeal of the fundraising, or any comments on the above.

Terminator girl like robots that shoots laser from their boobs!
Cybernetics might be an avenue to get your soldier back up fast at the price of a part of their soul. Looking in the eye of the beholder ... the more meat they gear up, the crazier they get!

The funding would hopefully come mostly from people buying Standard and Premium pre-orders of the game on Kickstarter at the normal price ($20/$30), but we'd have a few other levels of commit too. We'd probably have a $2 and $5 'tip' level where you don't really get much extra for your donation (perhaps a wallpaper or something), and then some higher ones.


Funding is always a hard liner, especially in a time consuming game like Xenonauts. X-COM came out from microprose under pressure after 3 years. 3 years full time for 2 coders and one artist ... it's a monster of a game. Eat you alive :)

I think if you keep promising a good product near the original (thats why we buy it, right?),
If you make it open minded for modders (a way to get these warsaw pack weapon for fre btw) you can actually do very well in pre order funding from a lot of artist / coders.
Did you think about doing like Mojang? This team make games, not Cash Cows. I would contact Notch or some of these guys. I think you could get along pretty well!

The higher ones would probably revolve around 'super-soldiers' which would have a 2% chance of spawning when you hire a new soldier. They'd have +5 to all their stats (so they're basically like a starting soldier). One level would give the super-soldier a chance to have your name and nationality, another would let you name it and choose a portrait, and the highest one would let you name it, choose a nationality and have us draw a portrait for it directly from your photo that you'd send to us.

I have no interest in super soldier. Maybe "improving" mine trough doubtfull drugs/implants but stll, are you still human afther so much thinkering or are you more like the ennemy you are fighting? Remember Syndicate from bullfrog studio? Well, that was an Evil Game but sooo damn cool!

So, yeah, thoughts? Do you like it? Does it come off as tacky? Interested to hear opinions.

Hope it help you get new ideas!
Keep up the good work
Your 2 cent critic
PLUCX

IceVamp
01-30-2012, 02:55
The incredibly misleading Xtreme Anime Smackdown?
I was young! Don't judge me!

Flappybat
01-31-2012, 16:56
9 - I really liked the look of the title screen so I can support this idea!

poulwrist
01-31-2012, 21:17
I think it's sounds good. Take my money! Especially if I get an art book, norweenies and credited :D
But yea, I'd rather you make the game even awesomer with the money than spend it on an art book, if it comes to that. You'll have it either way. ^_^
Well, you could gift the game to your friends if you want to spend more ;)

G-Bee
02-02-2012, 07:52
Hey Chris,

Here's what I think

*long response*



I read through your comments and I agree with almost everything. Only thing a disagree with is the Medals part. I don't really think I would award soldiers medals myself, because it would be meaningless if I could do that whenever I want to. Also, I usually name one of the soldiers after myself, so I'd feel silly awarding myself with medals :P

Gorlom
02-02-2012, 10:05
I read through your comments and I agree with almost everything. Only thing a disagree with is the Medals part. I don't really think I would award soldiers medals myself, because it would be meaningless if I could do that whenever I want to. Also, I usually name one of the soldiers after myself, so I'd feel silly awarding myself with medals :P
The idea is to give you a way of recording special moments of awesome. (Like say when one of your guys survived a fire fight 1 vs 5+ aliens without a scratch and only carrying a pistol). not to give you bonuses. player awarded medals wouldn't have the associated bonus the game awarded medals have.

nutbarz
02-02-2012, 11:18
So that could be the Brass Cajones medal

Sunshard
02-03-2012, 01:37
I'm fully behind the fundraising going towards the proper reimbursement of the Xenonauts crew. Signed thank-you art sounds nice :P

Engaging players with the soldiers is something I would argue the importance of, as anything that can be done to give them a personality might enhance the tone that is being set in the game.

Therefore, more portraits is definitely the first (I hope it's the easiest too). The intro movie a close second, to help flesh out any missed detail. Medals are incredibly thorny (as seen on that thread), but worth it. I'd argue the passion with which it was discussed and debated makes it near and dear to our hearts.

Given the difficulty described in implementing new weapons, I suspect that will be something to put aside until funds are available. I quite like the idea of adding personality to soldiers by having people from different parts of the globe favouring certain weapon sets. So if Okim does mod in extra Soviet bloc weapons, I'd love to see it. :D

Ragnarok
02-03-2012, 20:08
7 sounds great. Maybe up the ante, the reward (which is huge if i may say so) is not for mapping or balancing, but a whole "MOD" which is then converted to Xenonauts stock game. I.e. a small community is actually designing the games contents. I have often been thinking that many mods groups deliver a better "experience" that the developers do with a stock game.
Then again, you are already incorporating the community a lot. Thumbs up.

MikeV37
02-05-2012, 20:18
If a Soviet Weapons pack gets implemented, is there any way you could make it region specific? Instead of All the regions getting the soviet guns, only the Soviet Union, china and africa getting them while the rest get NATO guns still?

I think that would be pretty cool.

But if not, I'm still for Soviet Weapons cosmetics.

rynait
02-05-2012, 21:24
Hello,

Mike, NATO weapons are from several regions, and is not region specific weaponry (yes majority is US made).

R

MikeV37
02-06-2012, 01:12
What regions other than NATO are the weapons from? Because I meant for Europe and Australia and possibly South America to get them as well as the US.

Khombhat
02-06-2012, 16:04
I'm eager to see this thing kick-off.
Have you considered approaching some of YouTube's more notable LPers? Not necessarily the super huge one, but maybe several of the more moderate stars? paulsoaresjr, jefmajor, and VerbalProcessing, just to name a few that I follow. VerbalProcessing isn't the most well-known, as yet, but this guy does pro-quality commentary and reviews/previews not to mention a good deal of animation and talented projects of other varieties. He's growing quickly and I know that he would give a good showing of this game. Maybe you already have plans in-line with this suggestion and maybe they're better than what I have suggested. Either way, it seems worth mentioning.

BobbyDylan
02-07-2012, 12:20
So, was this thermometer ever created?

I really like no (10) Dynamic GUI.

anotherdevil
02-07-2012, 21:50
it's not created yet, and I'm not sure when it will be. I think after v9, because that's supposed to be the press build, and if Chris wants to capitalise on the influx of new members then that would be the best time for it

BobbyDylan
02-08-2012, 08:22
Oh, ok. I'm holding off pre-ordering, and this is one of the 2 reasons (The second is I just bought a new game and don;t want my limited playtime to be too distracted with this awesome looking game). I would want to contribute more towards the project (willing to pay full retail 30 for it) and if this "tip" system was inlcuded I could do that.

EarthDefender
02-10-2012, 15:12
agree, an intro movie isn't important to me at all.

It won't be very high production value simply because of the cost and I'd much rather have time/resources spent on the game experience other than something I'd be skipping after seeing once.

EarthDefender
02-10-2012, 15:18
Not sure if this has been suggested in the last 6 pages, but if you're going to go to the trouble of adding a Soviet Weapons pack I'd really enjoy seeing it be usable at all times, not having to choose between the NATO and Soviet ones. I can understand it would be a bit disorienting to have two visually different styles of weapons at once, which I agree with, but if you used the black finish style of weapons (http://tantal.kalashnikov.guns.ru/variant/e8eda53a.jpg) instead of the wood-stock style that is most commonly known (particularly on the AK), I think they'd fit together fine. This would lend itself to having slightly different stats for them - most games lean to giving the Soviet weapons slightly more punch but slightly less refire/accuracy - but even if you leave them the same stats as each other, this would give community balancers twice the elbow room if they did want to make the ballistics tier more varied.


totally agree. They should perform slightly different in game too to provide additional tactical depth.

Rogue Trooper
02-11-2012, 01:16
I don't think an intro movie would go with the feel of this game. I imagine starting a new game should have you, the commanding officer of the newly-formed international anti-alien unit, the "Xenonauts", being briefed on your mission. Have a few documents which sets up the back-story with accompanying photos and which tell you all about the Iceland Incident. Have it all be a bit dry to go with your first view of the geo-scape. With a intro movie, no matter how low-key it is, there will be a disconnect between when it ends and when you start playing by staring at a map. With a simple briefing the start will seem a bit abstract, you place your base, you wait a few days, you cut to a radar screen, you shoot down a plane, you finaly get to the ground combat and you think" oh my God, this is scary".

Nfire3
02-12-2012, 20:00
Perhaps if the chryssalids are in the game if you donate 300 dollars you get a plush toy of it that when you squeeze it it turns into a zombie

anotherdevil
02-13-2012, 01:42
or vice-versa!

BobbyDylan
02-13-2012, 07:16
agree, an intro movie isn't important to me at all.

It won't be very high production value simply because of the cost and I'd much rather have time/resources spent on the game experience other than something I'd be skipping after seeing once.

Dunno.... While I agree with you, I think from a company perspective, a Into could double as a trailer. A good trailers would bring masses of attenetion from, Youtube and Steam. If Chris really wants to maximise the financial return, I think a good into (akin to HW2) is a must. Just my opinion though....

Montie
02-16-2012, 21:15
Dunno.... While I agree with you, I think from a company perspective, a Into could double as a trailer. A good trailers would bring masses of attenetion from, Youtube and Steam. If Chris really wants to maximise the financial return, I think a good into (akin to HW2) is a must. Just my opinion though....

And a Good intro is ALWAYS remembered. The intro to the original Dawn of War was among the most jarring and memorable I've seen.

That said, as far as the funding Thermometer.... How much would I have to donate to get a cute little redhead with large... assets? :)

TheTuninator
02-18-2012, 17:40
I don't think an intro movie would go with the feel of this game. I imagine starting a new game should have you, the commanding officer of the newly-formed international anti-alien unit, the "Xenonauts", being briefed on your mission. Have a few documents which sets up the back-story with accompanying photos and which tell you all about the Iceland Incident. Have it all be a bit dry to go with your first view of the geo-scape. With a intro movie, no matter how low-key it is, there will be a disconnect between when it ends and when you start playing by staring at a map. With a simple briefing the start will seem a bit abstract, you place your base, you wait a few days, you cut to a radar screen, you shoot down a plane, you finaly get to the ground combat and you think" oh my God, this is scary".

I think Chris' idea of the intro movie as a series of hand-drawn pictures about the Iceland Incident, sort of a briefing, almost, would actually be pretty awesome.

Good intros are extremely memorable and typically representative of the game to fans for years after its release.

Gauddlike
02-21-2012, 07:50
When I first load up x-com or TFTD for another play through I ALWAYS watch the intro movie.
Can't remember if apoc even had an intro though, can't have been that good ;)

MrPyro
02-21-2012, 11:37
Apoc did have an intro; it's filmed as if it was CCTV footage of the city with a voice giving order to change cameras etc., and then a UFO comes through and starts shooting the city up. Can't remember if it goes on beyond that.

Gorlom
02-21-2012, 13:59
The end movie was really short and dissapointing. was just the transport makeing it back through the portal and crashing into the ground. Didnt make you feel like you acctually finished the game imo.

Kilrathi
02-22-2012, 17:06
Just to add my $0.02, as someone who's both a long-time X-Com fan (and who pulled out JA2 recently and is having a blast) and someone who's been wawtching Kickstarter drives recently: I think a Kickstarter with a good amount of publicity could be a real winner. There are a number of games on Kickstarter that do well but few with the built-in audience that Xenonauts has - add in ready sources of publicity from places like PC Gamer that have already been covering the game and I think you could generate some real buzz.

One additional benefit that getting a Kickstarter up and running would have is that it lets you generate cash from additional rewards over and above those that require additional amounts of time/money invested in programming. I've seen a number of projects where things like concept art, mention of your name in the credits, signed copies of this and that make money and those would require a relatively minimal additional expense will generating additional cash. If you make things fun/exciting for people to bid on, with some interesting non-programming-related limited edition packages, I think it could be a good fundraiser. Heck, if it's a hassle for the dev team to run it, I'd volunteer my time to help with it (and I'm sure other forum members would, too). I'm looking forward to the project getting going - loved X-Com and even enjoyed Apocalypse but the clunky UI is tough to get past these days... thanks for taking this on, guys, and looking forward to the funding thermometer/Kickstarter/whatever else can be done to keep things rolling!

-Kilrathi