Chris

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About Chris

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    London, UK
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    Project Lead, Xenonauts
  1. Oh - you'd like to be able to call in additional Xenonaut soldiers from your base that would arrive at the battle after a delay? That is not a planned feature, but it could be possible. It would need some kind of disadvantage, otherwise players would just call in extra soldiers at the start of every mission and then do the mission with 2x the normal number of soldiers.
  2. Glad you enjoyed the mission and thanks for the general feedback; we'll take a look through your bug reports and investigate them. On the quoted point though, you should already be able to press Spacebar to stop a soldier mid-move just like you could in X1.
  3. It would be kinda unfair on the aliens if you just blew up them up with fighter jets instead of using your soldiers, wouldn't it?
  4. Yup, I think Jagged Alliance 2 is another classic that could do with some modernisation so it's definitely on our radar (it's not entirely a coincidence that we've included a Tropical biome and a powerful portrait generator this time around). But we've got to finish X2 before we start thinking too much about anything else, so we shouldn't get ahead of ourselves!
  5. This new version of Xenonauts 2 is a free public test build, released free because it is still an early build and we don't yet think we can justify charging for it; full details on where to get the build can be found in this thread. The next update is due on Tuesday 9th May, although if necessary we will also release hotfixes for any game-breaking bugs encountered in this build. The last two weeks included both the Easter public holidays and the release of a hotfix for the previous build with a pretty extensive changelog of its own, so we've got a pretty decent haul of changes to report given the short timeframe! FEATURES: New Maps: There's three new maps in the game, each with its own new UFO design. Each has been swapped into four different biomes, giving a total of twelve new maps for you to enjoy. Improved Alien Spawns: We've added basic support for aliens with different AI scripts - e.g. passive aliens that will lurk outside the UFO, aggressive aliens that will hunt you outside the UFO, aliens that will stay in certain regions of the UFO, etc. Because the AI is quite limited at the moment, this works best on larger maps (on smaller maps the passive aliens start close enough to your soldiers that they immediately start acting aggressively anyway) but it'll pay big dividends when we upgrade the AI in a month or two. Wall Transparency: In Xenonauts 1 walls went semi-transparent when units and the cursor moved behind them, making it much easier to move around inside UFOs and buildings. A rough version of this system has been implemented and can be seen in action on the outer hulls of UFOs. The system still has lots of limitations that we're working to improve though - it doesn't yet have a radius around the unit, it doesn't work on diagonal walls and corners, it doesn't work on internal walls etc. Next iteration should be a lot more polished. Custom Camera Rotation: You can now specify the camera rotation angle in the game options. Default is still 90 degrees, but you can set it to anything you want. VISUAL UPDATES: The Arid biome now has its own custom fence, wall and road barrier models and we've tweaked the road textures and plants a bit too. The idea is that each biome will eventually have its own unique set of equivalent models rather than just being palette swaps of the same ones. Aliens now always have a red circle around their tile, making them easier to see. The soldier health bar now accurately reflects damage taken and the amount of health that is available to be healed. Fixed up a "jerk" in the soldier movement animations that happened after each tile of movement. Improved the visual effect of a stack of damage numbers fading out (e.g. from an LMG burst). Fixed an issue with line of sight incorrectly passing through diagonal UFO walls / corners. Fixed hand positions for aliens when firing their weapons. You no longer get bleeding wound notifications for damage that kills the victim outright. BUGFIXES: Aliens no longer receive unlimited overwatch attacks. Crouched units that start to move, but then spot an alien and interrupt it before they actually get a chance to move, no longer uncrouch anyway. Fixed a bug that was making the AI more passive than intended. Fixed a weird bug where a unit was able to diagonally shoot around a corner unless there was a unit standing there, in which case it was not able to shoot the unit. Fixed another bug where the fire path was incorrectly tagging cover that was not in the fire path. UNINTENTIONAL BONUS "FEATURE": Looks like the release includes some of our extra debug text in it for some reason, showing the suppression and armour damage inflicted on units when shots are fired. It's not worth recompiling the builds just to remove it so we'll leave it in until the next release ... I guess maybe take the opportunity to see if suppression is working as intended? I think that's a pretty decent changelog for what was essentially only one week of work. There's more bank holidays coming up in the next two weeks but I think we'll still be able to deliver a decent update for the 9th May - please let us know if you encounter any bug so we can fix them up too! A quick note about the strategy layer - this week we started work on the first parts of the ground combat / geoscape link, so hopefully it won't be too long until we can have both parts of the game working properly together
  6. Basically all we're doing is pushing the discussion of these mechanics back until they've actually been implemented and people can experience them directly rather than having to make assumptions based on a forum post. Plenty of people (yourself included) did use the threads in the manner they were intended, but in general most of the feedback was along the lines of "sounds good / okay / awful, guess we'll have to see how it plays before we can offer more useful feedback though". It's pretty obvious on reflection that I posted the threads up to early - without something playable even the people in the community who are trying to be helpful can't offer much helpful discussion or constructive criticism, whereas the people who want to criticize an idea can interpret it in any way they want. That means we're getting a lot of negative reactions but not much useful feedback. In that situation I think it's best to close down the discussions until people can actually play the new systems we want to test. I apologise to those who have lost posts - although they've not actually been deleted - but you'll get a chance to discuss some of the ideas again soon enough, and you might see some of the old posts reappear at that point too.
  7. I probably phrased that in a slightly misleading way, so I'd best explain - it's not going to be an *exact* copy of Xenonauts 1, just a functioning approximation of how it worked. For example, there's no way we're going to recreate the air combat system from X1. When we put the strategy layer together we'll most likely have an autoresolve function that can mimic the air combat results of X1, but I don't think we'll go as far as completely re-implementing the air combat when that's definitely a part of the game I want to rework. Similarly we might drop some specific aliens and replace them with something else and I don't want to feel obliged to recreate all the art and code that would be required to make an actual "Xenonauts 1 HD" if it's not stuff we're planning to use in Xenonauts-2. So Xenonauts 1 HD is a nice idea, but I think the game had enough problems that people wouldn't want to buy it again (or maybe even play it again) unless they were fixed ... and half the point of Xenonauts-2 is to fix those issues, so it would risk rendering the sequel somewhat pointless.
  8. We've decided to hide the threads in this subforum as we feel they are acting in counterproductive manner. The original intention for these forums was for us to outline a whole bunch of different ideas for potential changes to the game. The idea was that people would first suggest improvements or changes to improve these rough ideas, and then we'd implement them in the game and the community would help us by testing the ideas against what we had in the original Xenonauts. If these new ideas were an improvement then we'd stick with the new ideas, and if they turned out to be less fun than the old ideas then we'd revert to what we had in the original Xenonauts. Unfortunately, threads with important but unambiguously "good" changes (e.g. improved map randomisation) that we specified were definitely happening got very little attention, whereas those with potentially controversial changes that we simply wanted to evaluate attracted a lot of anger. This became a problem due to the sheer number of people posting comments that were some kind of variation on "I really don't like this idea, and therefore I've lost all interest in playing or buying Xenonauts-2." I'm guessing that in most cases those people assumed the threads represented confirmed changes for Xenonauts-2 rather than just being things we'd like to test. But I think putting these ideas out there in forums posts may just have been a bad idea anyway - it's human nature to focus on the negatives when things change, and reading a new idea in text form doesn't necessarily allow everyone to fully appreciate the fun / interesting aspects of it. However, everyone had played Xenonauts 1 and therefore they were able to fully appreciate the fun / interesting aspects of the systems that were being replaced ... which was an unfortunate asymmetry. In any case, I've come to the conclusion that these threads are harming rather than helping the project and we will therefore be hiding them until the mechanic being discussed is available in the public builds. Here's the key facts to take away from this: Nothing you previously read on these sub-forums was a 100% confirmed final feature in Xenonauts-2 (at most, it was confirmed we would test them). The combat missions in X2 will be largely unchanged from X1 other than better graphics, better maps, and a few small tweaks. The strategy layer will initially contain pretty much exactly the same functionality as the X1 strategy layer; where it does not we can easily revert to the X1 strategy layer if we want to. Any changes to the Xenonauts 1 formula will go through community testing before they get approved for Xenonauts-2, and not all of the ideas in the threads that previously existed in this forum will even make it that far (this may apply even if I argued strongly for them). We were always planning to keep the majority of the game as "Xenonauts 1 but better", but I guess it was easy to lose sight of that when you read twenty or thirty posts that each contains a significant proposed change. Anyway, we're going to stop talking about any proposed changes to the game at this point; for now our focus is just producing a HD version of Xenonauts 1 in Unity so we've got a working game in which to try any new mechanics we decide to implement. We can then start discussing the new mechanics as they are implemented, so players can test them and give direct feedback .... rather than me trying to explain how it all works through words, which obviously isn't working very well
  9. Interesting. Our approach to the logs is pretty coder-centric (you can see it contains a lot of fairly irrelevant information because it dumps literally every property about everything), so I imagine the community would find it interesting if you were able to code something that presented the data in a more readable way!
  10. Yeah, I hear down the grapevine that a ~$500k Fig campaign is coming shortly. No doubt it'll do well!
  11. Yeah, send me an email with proof of purchase - link in my signature.
  12. It's not really worth trying to debug the AI at this point - it's barely even an AI right now. We're getting to it
  13. Thanks for the detailed bug reports, guys!
  14. So it turns out the build we put out yesterday had some pretty big bugs in it - good thing we didn't get any press coverage for it, eh? Anyway, we've put together a quick hotfix that addresses a bunch of the issues. A lot of the gameplay bugs were caused by relatively small issues that we could correct at short notice, so here's the changelog: FEATURES: Fog-of-War Toggle: By default, the fog of war (but not shroud) is now disabled and aliens pop into existence when in vision like they do in classic X-Com and Jagged Alliance games. However, you can hold down the V key to temporarily display the view cones of your soldiers at any time, or press the "eye" icon on the UI (replaces the old roof icon) to put the fog of war back on ... one click and you're back to how it used to work! Camera Shake: We've been discussing in the office how to make the shooting feel a bit more visceral, so we've updated the muzzle flash and added a little camera shake when weapons fire (most obvious with the LMG). See whether you like it or not. Starting Area Reveal: We've automatically revealed a small area around each soldier at the start of the mission, so the shroud is not pushed right up against your units. We'll likely expand this radius a bit more for the next build, as the intention is to reveal nearby cover without having to waste TU looking for it first. BUGFIXES: Fixed shots effectively not being able to miss - all damage dealt by a shot / burst would be deal to the target, no matter what the bullets hit! Overwatch now works again. Fixed all aliens starting at 100 Stun HP rather than whatever their starting normal HP value is, which made them much harder to stun than intended. Fixed bug where melee attacks would always hit irrespective of the displayed accuracy chance. Stun Baton no longer prints an extra "Resisted" every time you hit something with it - this was happening because it does 0 normal damage in addition to the 20 stun damage, and this normal damage was not enough to break the target's armour. Fixed up the fire path being displayed incorrectly in some cases when you were targeting a multi-tile object. Fixed up the black "outline" edges of the move / fire paths not drawing above the foliage. BALANCE CHANGES: The short range bonus now works like it did in Xenonauts 1 - it's now a 12% bonus per tile for units within 5 tiles of the target (for some reason it was a 5% bonus for 4 tiles previously). The Stun HP of a unit is now capped at their current normal HP, so if you badly wound an alien it will be much easier to stun. Removed stun damage from all weapons except for the Stun Baton. Stun baton now does 30 Stun damage instead of 20. Sniper rifle now costs 30 TU to reload instead of 1 TU. Most of these bugs just arose because we were working on some quite sensitive systems when adding support for the new weapons and stun health - as is often the way, it looks like that had some unintended consequences. Thankfully we've got a community that flag up these issues early on so we've been able to the fix them in good time, so thanks to anyone that played the game and let us know about the problems! As well as the new features due in the next build (Tuesday 25th April), we are of course working on additional bugfixes that will also arrive in that build. These were just the quick and easy fixes that we could get into a hotfix. Feel free to give us feedback here on the new way we're displaying fog of war and the new camera shake effect too; the fog-of-war stuff is intended to make the game look nicer given half the map will no longer be greyed out at any given time.