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About Chris

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    London, UK
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    Project Lead, Xenonauts
  1. Chill out, guys - it's a bug
  2. We've released a new update for the game now, V0.0.5 that fixes a bunch of the issues mentioned in this thread. Changelog here:
  3. We have just released an update to the public build of Xenonauts 2. This build is available free of charge because it is a very early build of the game and we don't think the project is of the quality where we can reasonably expect everyone to pay for it; full details on where to get the build can be found in this thread. This is a quick update to our previous build that fixes some of the simpler issues and annoyances; we'll release a bigger update next week that addresses many issues that will require a bit more time to fix. CHANGELOG: Xenonauts and aliens now both have injury animations that play when they take damage Psyon Drone (small one) has been retextured to match the skin tone of the Officer; as a result they are now much easier to see We've added a simple victory / loss screen to the game that is triggered when you kill all the aliens / lose all your soldiers Xenonaut stats boosted to 55 across the board to match the starting troops from X1, then the two shotgun guys promoted to Sergeant (60 for all stats) for the extra mobility We think we've fixed the AI hang occasionally affecting the alien turn. Let us know if you're still experiencing it! There was some annoying flickering on the Xenonaut soldier hair, which we've now fixed Turns out the aliens didn't know how to reload their weapons. They do now. We've implemented a more reliable way of getting performance data and error reporting from the builds: We've integrated a Unity plugin called Advanced FPS Counter, which displays FPS data and system information If you are willing to consent to it, this data can be uploaded to a remote error tracking tool called You will be presented with a pop-up asking for permission to upload the data when you first load up the game (in future you will be able to change your mind in the Game Options screen). If you do not grant permission, no data will be uploaded. Basically this allows us to reliably log errors occurring in your game and to collect data on the FPS your machine is experiencing, which should be much more useful than trying to do it via a text discussion on the forum. It's obviously fine if you'd rather not consent to this, but the data would definitely be useful to us. Some updates to the shooting system: "Miss" shots should no longer hit cover directly in front of the shooter "Miss" shots can now just pass through the target and hit something behind it, which means the shooter no longer has to pivot almost 45 degrees or shoot the ground at his own feet when he misses a shot at close range The camera now does a better job of dealing with situations where the target alien and shooting Xenonaut are not on the same screen; it should now show you the Xenonaut firing his weapon correctly Some updates to the UI: We've added edge scrolling in the game, however this is only enabled when the game is in full-screen mode The white cursor has been replaced by a more suitable black version (coincidentally it looks a lot like the cursor in X1) Crosshair reticule has been shrunk down to roughly the size of a single tile The TU / Aim % text has been increased in size and the semi-transparent black backgrounds removed to make it look more readable The cover indicators have been shrunk down and now better match the light blue colour of the movement path / grid You can no longer access the AI debug mode (which covers the entire map in coloured squares) by pressing "O" Some small updates to the main menu / load screen: Minor restyles to the loading screen to boost the text size and better match the style of the main menu Restyled the text on the disabled buttons to be the same grey as their button outlines Minor performance improvements to the main menu screen by removing unused soldier / operations models from the scene Please give any feedback in the dedicated feedback thread, which also includes information on what bugs and gameplay issues we are prioritising to be fixed next:
  4. Out of interest, what do you mean by this? The current soldier has their TU bar displayed on the bottom of the screen, no?
  5. @Moonshine Fox - I'd prefer if you kept the video private for now, we're not really trying to actively promote these builds until we've had a bit more chance to fix them up. Also it'd be great if you could give us a summary of your thoughts via text as it's much faster to read than watch videos, especially when we're checking back over all the feedback in the thread. I know video is kinda your thing, sorry to rain on your parade We're gonna be releasing a patch tomorrow most likely that fix some of these things, including a retexture of the small alien so he matches the larger one and is not literally the same colour as the ground (which was an unfortunate coincidence).
  6. We'll look into the 0% shot issue and see if we can find why that's happening. I do think that shots are hitting more often than they should right now. I'll release more details of the Geoscape this week. X2 is not a remake, no, but it does cover some of the same stuff as the first game. Right now we're intentionally reproducing the first game where possible because I want to be able to test the new X2 mechanics within a working game. The auto-crouching mechanic is not something I'm going to change until we've got the other stuff working, but we might revert it once we've had a chance to test it properly. The crosshair positioning issue is mentioned in the original post and is going to be fixed in the next couple of weeks. Yup, we'll implement edge scrolling this week. For the cover destruction stuff, it's correctly being discounted from the cover calculation but the miss shots are hitting it anyway and we need to fix that. You also can force-fire your weapons by pressing Ctrl, but we should update the UI so you can access this mode by clicking the weapon image like you used to be able to.
  7. There's a lot of good feedback in this thread already, exactly the sort of stuff we were looking for. Thanks everyone that has commented so far, and keep it coming! I suspect we'll push an update on Wednesday or Thursday with some fixes in response to the feedback. Things I'm seeing come up a lot are: AI hang needs to be fixed; GJ is aware of that and should be able to fix it up Winning the game hides the UI, so we should put in a quick victory / loss screen that allows the player to quit to the main menu. Not sure if we have one and it is bugged or the coder just didn't bother, but we'll sort it out today. Trees - pretty much everyone has complained about not being able to see behind them. We'll have a chat about how we can implement transparency as it seems to be one of the most obvious issues. Psyon drone is very hard to see against the background. The drone is an older model so it should be easy enough to tweak the textures so it is the same colour as the new officer, which should make it more visible. In the longer term we might redo the model so it's not just a nekkid sectoid, as it's the armour that makes the officer visible. Clicking beyond the move path beyond range should move as far as possible. I'd actually forgotten it did that in X1 so thanks for the reminder, shouldn't be too hard to implement. We'll also pick things from individual posts and look into the performance, and I'll answer specific questions from your posts later today. Overall people seem to be digging the move to 3D, which I'm happy about. It's all still a bit rough right now but I'm glad people like the direction we're taking ... bit of a relief after working in secret for so long!
  8. I'll respond in more detail to everyone tomorrow, but as a request please give as much info as possible on performance issues if you're experiencing them - we know there's optimisation to be done, but we're not yet sure which areas are best to do it in. If it's just outright bad performance everywhere it might be the antialiasing, which works by rendering the image out at 1.3x size and then scaling it down to hide jagged edges. That can be very demanding for low end cards and we should probably expose the settings in the options menu so people can test it out. Switching it off or turning it down might help. There's also event driven performance issues, sometimes when a unit moves or when a weapon like an LMG is fired and lots of projectiles are generated. That's usually because the code is waiting for something for a few frames, which is not noticeable on fast machines but is on slower ones. If specific actions are triggering slowdown then please let us know and we'll have a look at them. Thanks guys!
  9. Thanks for the thoughts guys, but this is the wrong thread to be posting them in - it's going to be the pinned "instructions" post we use for the next few months whenever we release a new build. I'm gonna lock it now, and it'd be great if you could repost these posts in here: (I'll probably delete these posts after a while to prevent confusion, as I can't figure out how to move them).
  10. PS - I'm very tired and my brain hurts so I won't be opening the X2 parts of the forums until tomorrow, and the new website may be a few more days yet. All before the end of the week though hopefully!
  11. Xenonauts 2 is currently available as a free public build on GOG Galaxy. We have made these versions of the game free because we want to gather as much feedback on the basic mechanics and the stability of the game early in development, but we do not believe the game is sufficiently advanced enough to warrant us charging for it. Please download the game if you want to support the team and help shape the development of the game rather than because you want a polished and fun game. To be clear - the game is currently free because we don't think it is good enough to charge money for. Don't expect too much! You can download the game by visiting this page and adding it to your cart (you'll need the Galaxy client to download it): This free public demo of the game will not grant you a copy of the final game, and it will be deleted from your accounts when the game enters the paid phase of Early Access on both Steam and GOG. At that point you will need to purchase the game normally to continue to receive builds of the game. It is possible to pre-order the game before this point (i.e. if you want to support the developers) but there's no advantage for doing this; the only change is that your access to the game will not be cut off when the game enters the paid stage of development. To pre-order the game, please follow these links: GOG: <coming soon> Steam: - sadly we can only start selling Steam keys via our website once we start selling the game on Steam Early Access (which I guess is an entirely reasonable position), but this means it'll be a few months until we can start selling Steam keys
  12. 'll move this thread to the Xenonauts 2 discussion area once we open up those subforums, but I'll stick it here for now. This is the thread where I outline the issues that are on our radar right now and how we're intending to prioritise them, and also where the community can give their own feedback (which might make us aware of additional issues or make us rethink our priorities). At the moment I think we should be concentrating on getting the game stable and the fundamental combat systems solid. It's easy enough to imagine extra content being added to a game that is in development, but when the core game systems are not functioning correctly it can give a pretty bad impression of the game. Therefore the feedback we're looking for from you guys would cover these areas: Did you encounter any critical bugs that ended the playthrough? How did the game perform on your machine? Were you getting noticeable slowdown in any areas, or did you experience bad framerate or bad loading times? What issues (gameplay or graphical) did you encounter, and which ones had the strongest negative effect on your play experience? Is there anywhere that the game balance seems so glaringly bad that it is ruining your play experience? Other feedback is welcome too, but it'd be good if you could cover the points above. We've made a LOT of improvements to the game over the past couple of weeks but now we need to know where to focus our efforts in the coming weeks to make this mission as polished as possible for our "proper" free launch (the one where we promote it through every channel we can). We're expecting that to happen in two or three weeks. Once we've fixed these key gameplay errors, we'll be adding new content like new enemies and randomised maps and suchlike. This means you'll probably have a pretty repetitive testing experience for the first few builds - for which I apologise - but it should lay good foundations for the rest of the project. FUNDAMENTAL ISSUES (short-term focus): Missing Animations - at the moment, units don't play an animation in response to being shot and they play their vault animation when climbing / jumping up or down the 1m terrain sections. This breaks the immersion pretty heavily so we'll be fixing both of these as a priority (we already have the animations, we've just not had a chance to set them up in the code yet). Terrain & Elevation LOS / LOF - in X1 each level was 2m tall, and there was no other types of elevation - e.g. you could either be on the ground at 0m or on a roof or raised area of terrain at 2m or 4m and so on. In X2 each level is 3m tall but the ground of each level can be raised or lowered by 1m ... so even a map built entirely in level 1 can contain both 1m sunken river beds and 1m raised areas, both of which offer half cover along the edge. This will be great when it works correctly but we only implemented it last week and we're still suffering issues with the line of sight and line of fire as a result. General Line of Fire Issues - there's a bunch of issues with the fire calculation and line of fire stuff that we need to fix up as a priority, including: Line of fire seems overly permissive and is including quite a bit of cover that doesn't actually appear to be in the shot path Cover only adjacent to the shooter is correctly being disregarded, but "miss" shots can still hit it However this adjacent cover is not being disregarded for the target; i.e. if the shooter and target are standing on either side of a rock, the rock should not offer cover to the target ... looks like it currently is, though. Crosshair - I'm aware that the crosshair is a bit jumpy when you are targeting aliens; it has multiple allowable positions and none are quite right. We need to rewrite the input system a bit and that should allow us to fix this. Camera - the game camera is not working as intended yet. There's several areas we're specifically targeting: If you target an alien and the selected Xenon is not visible, the camera should snap back to show the Xenonaut doing the shooting. During the alien turn, the line of sight of your Xenonauts is not being shown. When the aliens are shooting at your Xenonauts, the camera often doesn't seem to focus on the correct location. Corpses - corpses are not being handled correctly; dead units still block the tile they were standing in when killed and they can still be targetted through the standard fire crosshair. CONTENT IMPROVEMENT (medium-term focus): Suppression / Morale - this is an important mechanic, as burst fire and the LMG are significantly less effective if they do not have a suppressive effect. Apparently the code for this has been implemented and should theoretically work, but I'm taking that with a pinch of salt and I'd expect it to take a number of days to get up to the standard needed for a public release. The nice thing about suppression in a 3D engine is we can model suppression in a more realistic way based on how close missed shots actually passed to the target, which means that suppression is more reflective of the action happening on your screen and also generates an effect where long-range fire tends to be less suppressive than the same burst at close range. Secondary Equipment - at the moment we only have the weapons and armour in the game; we need to add in secondary equipment like grenades and medikits. Pistols are already in the game but aren't being used in this build. Map Randomisation - anyone who played X1 on release can tell you that playing the same maps over and over quickly loses its appeal, and it was far worse during the development cycle as we only added the majority of the maps in the final six months. Randomised maps will help keep the experience fresh for playtesters, and we plan to do it by slicing up the map into standalone "sub-maps" that are 10x10 or 20x20 tiles and then assembling them randomly. I'm not sure this is a viable approach for our urban maps but it should be totally fine for our wilderness maps (hence why we're starting with them). UFO Crash Site - deathmatch missions are fine, but sweeping a map and then clearing a UFO is trademark X-Com and tends to pace the mission quite nicely. We've actually got a small UFO modelled up and theoretically ready to go (concept / model), but we've not tested it in a level yet and I'll be amazed if adding it to the game as a playable environment is not a massive amount of work. These UFOs will still have indestructible hulls, but they have pre-defined "weak spots" which can either be undamaged or destroyed depending on how much damage the UFO took when being shot down, with destroyed weak spots providing alternative entry points (on the Probe they are the weapon pods on either side). Soldier Loadout - you have a pre-set team in the current mission and that's not very exciting. In the strategy layer we'll be implementing a squad equipment limit, where you get a set number of equipment points per soldier on the mission and each item of equipment has a specific cost. Heavy armour costs more than light armour, powerful weapons like the sniper rifle or the LMG cost more than the basic rifle, and grenades and extra ammo also cost extra. However this is a collective squad limit, so you could tool up a couple of soldiers but then the rest would have to be more lightly equipped. Can your sniper get by without his pistol? Then you can give your shotgun guy an extra flashbang (/ heavier armour / whatever). More Aliens - the Sebillians (concept 1 / concept 2) are being modeled up as we speak, so hopefully we can have them in the game in a few weeks. As you can probably tell we've tried to make the aliens a bit less generic this time round; they've got more variation in terms of proportions and design now. Editors - we're not releasing the game editor or map editor etc right now (we're focused on fixing up the ground combat right now), but they are in decent shape and we'll be doing that sooner rather than later. So that's our roadmap. It's notoriously difficult to estimate how long things will take, but a rough guess might be that the fundamental fixes are another couple of weeks of work and the content improvement stuff would be for the couple of months after that. Please give your feedback on the current build and your thoughts on our plans in this thread. We may revise our plans based on what issues appear in the first build and what the community reaction is to it (no promises though!)
  13. Quick update - I dunno exactly what time we're gonna be putting this build out, but I'd guess about 6pm (in four hours).
  14. We have just released the very first build of Xenonauts 2 for public consumption. This build is available free of charge because it is a very early build of the game and we don't think the project is of the quality where we can reasonably expect everyone to pay for it (although you can pre-order if you want to); full details on where to get the build and the free / paid stuff can be found in this thread. Although it is free and anyone can download it, we are not actively publicising this build - we'll do a big PR push and mailshot in two or three weeks once we've fixed the most glaring issues. This is intended to be a small-scale release for the people who care enough about the game that they still periodically check these forums Overview: This build contains a single combat mission and is intended to test performance / stability / functionality of the basic combat mechanics. If you were part of the Xenonauts 1 development process then you'll know what to expect, but if you only played the first game as a final product then you might be a little shocked at how everything looks and plays. This build is far better than Xenonauts 1 was at a similar stage of development (you can see an equivalent screenshot of X1 here) but there's still a lot of work to be done ... and, ultimately, video games usually only come together into a fun and playable product at the end of development! In short, we know this build has plenty of issues with it and we'd prefer if people did not pre-judge the quality of the final product based on what is included in this build. We're seeking opinions and feedback on it now because if we hide the game away until it looks fantastic and is loads of fun to play, we could be too far along with development to fix any fundamental issues exposed by public testing. Getting feedback early and often will make for a stronger final game even if it does mean we have to start showing it off in a somewhat primitive state. The build number is 0.0.4 rather than 0.0.1 because it's using our internal numbering system from the code, which forces updates on obsolete code and assets - basically resetting it to 0.0.1 would cause more trouble than it's worth so we'll just start at 0.0.4 and go from there! Contents: There is a single mission in the build, a deathmatch mission on a 60x60 tile outdoor wilderness map. You have eight Xenonauts at your disposal with the same basic loadout as the starting squad in X1 (4 rifles, 2 shotguns, 1 sniper, 1 LMG) and with Jackal body armour on the shotgun guys. The numbers are generally the same as X1 except for the cover numbers (see section below). There are six Psyons (the new name for the Caesans), two large armoured "officers" with Plasma Rifles and four smaller "drones" with Plasma Pistols. All the graphics are awaiting a lot of polishing, but the UI and the Psyon drone model are especially placeholder. Changes from X1: The combat rules are relatively similar to Xenonauts 1, but there are some changes which I will outline here to avoid confusion. Suppression and morale have not yet been implemented. Overwatch is now manually triggered - if a Xenonaut is in a position to reaction fire, you now manually choose the shot type etc or can choose skip firing at that particular alien. Manual crouching has been removed (although I'm actually strongly considering putting it back in at the moment). Instead, units auto-crouch when adjacent to cover ... and if that cover is in the line of fire when the unit is being shot at, that piece of cover grants 1.5x the normal protection (we call this the "cover adjacency bonus"). E.g. a rock has a 30% cover value. If a unit is standing next to it, any incoming shots passing through the rock will instead treat the rock as having a 45% cover value. Heavy cover is something that offers cover and is taller than a man (e.g. a tree trunk, or the corner of a building). We have a "leaning" system that allows you to lean into the adjacent tile so you can shoot round it whilst still gaining cover from it. However I believe at the moment you can shoot through heavy cover in the same way as you can shoot over waist-high light cover, so you probably won't see this in action ... but if you see black eye symbols appearing on the ground next to your soldiers in cover, it's the leaning system. Best ignore it if you see it for now. Armour has been expanded a bit; weapons now have armour destruction chances as well as armour penetration. For now all you need to know is that shotguns are bad against armour and sniper rifles are unusually good. Terrain now allows 1m raised / lowered areas like the river or the small hills you can climb up. This is a new feature we implemented about a week ago and it still causes some odd cover interactions, but it should allow much more interesting levels than the flat planes from X1. Known Issues & Planned Improvements: As is always the way when a deadline is involved, we couldn't fix up all the issues we wanted to fix or get all the features we wanted to implement into this build. There's a full-length post on the improvements we're going to be working on as of tomorrow which you can find here, but here's a quick overview of the problems with the build and the things we want to add in in the near future. Key fixes (short term): There's still some missing animations - units climbing / jumping into raised / lowered areas, and the injury animations. We've already got the animations done but haven't had time to implement them in the code. There's quite a lot of line-of-sight / line-of-fire issues relating to height levels that need to be fixed up. The silver lining in this is that, once finished, we may be able to use this system to implement a realistic and reactive crouching system - e.g. a unit crouching in a river can't see or shoot out of it, but can't be seen or shot in return (if we can make that work then I'm all for bringing back manual crouching). The fire path needs cleaning up in general, as it frequently tags non-intersecting objects as being part of the line-of-fire. We need to fix up the issues around adjacent cover: Standing next to aliens doesn't negate their cover bonus, which makes shotguns pretty useless right now... Units shouldn't be able to hit the cover directly in front of them with "miss" shots, but at the moment they can and do The camera needs more work during the alien turn and when shooting at off-screen enemies, as it often doesn't show you things that the player really should be seeing. Key improvements (medium term): We want to add the missing secondary items - grenades, medikits, etc. The idea is to make these wilderness maps random but cutting them into sections and then assembling the layout at random each time you play. We also want to be able to "biome-swap" these maps, so being able to turn a forest map into an arctic map with a couple of clicks by having equivalent props that just swap in and out depending on what biome is required. Adding a UFO to the map is a priority - we've one modelled up, but we've not tested it in our level editor yet. We've just started modelling up the Sebillian so we'd like to add them in when we can! Showing off the strategy layer will likely be a two-part process: We'll start with a loadout screen that lets you choose your squad loadout based on a squad equipment cap (i.e. you have a certain number of points to spend on ammo and special equipment). We'll later expand that to the entire strategy layer. So, to conclude, our focus for the next week or two will be to get the core combat mechanics working as intended and then we'll start to expand the content of the game after that. So please give the game a play and let us know what's breaking for you! Feedback is best posted in this thread:
  15. The AI in the first build is gonna be relatively primitive ... however the AI in the finished game should be significantly better than that in Xenonauts 1. And to whet your appetite, here's a preview of how the new main menu screen background looks. Still early days but I think 3D has a lot of promise!