Chris

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  1. We have just released an update to the free public build of Xenonauts 2 - this is free 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 build is just a quick hotfix for Version 0.1, which we put out a few days ago! CHANGELOG: Some crashes fixed that were linked to firing weapons. Xenonauts no longer spray purple blood and scream like aliens when injured. We've fixed some shader issues that mean the ground combat UI selection squares etc now display better. The loading screen quote text no longer has giant white writing on it. Dead units can no longer be controlled. Move path squares are no longer being double-placed in some situations. Escape key now opens the menu. You can no longer suppress friendlies around your soldier just by firing at distant enemies. Fixed some AI turn hangs, and a crash on overwatch. AI turn is a lot faster. Have fun, and please let us know if there's any obvious issues in this build as we'll be around to make fixes next week if they are needed!
  2. Hello everyone - happy new year! Now we've returned from the Christmas holidays and had a few days to settle back into things, we've had some internal meetings about our plans for the coming year. This post is a quick summary on what we've got scheduled. Next Build: In the short term, we'll be releasing a new public build of the game. We're hoping for the tail end of next week (Thursday?) but it might be pushed back into the week after dependent on how the work goes, and it should include these features: Outlines for soldiers hidden behind solid objects "Cutaways" for objects that are above the current camera view level (e.g. trees, building roofs, etc) Smoother and more responsive unit movement animations A new map in an Industrial dockyard tileset, hopefully supporting layout randomisation in some form Potentially also a reskin of the GC UI First Development Milestone: We talked a bit more about the longer term planning and did some worst-case financial forecasting. I think it's important for us to plan appropriately for alpha funding so there's minimal chance for our backers to get screwed over, and what this means is that we've decided our priority should be to deliver the minimum viable product for Xenonauts 2 as soon as possible. Once we reach that point we can ship the game at any point and our backers will have a completed game that they will hopefully enjoy, and any extra money can be used to extend development and improve the game further. This avoids a situation where we have an incomplete game and no money to finish it. This sounds like common sense, but it feeds into a deeper question about Xenonauts 2: what do we want the sequel to be? Well, in my view, the minimum viable product for Xenonauts-2 is the first game with enhanced 3D graphics and map randomisation. Of course, this is just the first phase of our development plan. We're not planning to stop there and, if funding allows, then we'll continue to add new content and balance and improve the game mechanics (or add entirely new ones). But I am specifically trying to avoid a situation where we start experimenting with new systems too early, run out of money, then end up with something that is incomplete / worse than the original game. The reason why I mention this is because over the coming few months you're going to see some of the content and systems from X1 reappearing in the sequel, apparently with very little changed. Please don't take this as a lack of originality on the part of the developers; we're just sprinting towards a working proxy of the first game before we start attempting any big changes because that's the safest way to develop. This has the advantage of allowing you to test these new ideas and systems in a live game, so you can test the game before and after the changes and then give us an informed opinion on how they change the experience of playing the game (which is usually much more useful than theorycrafting about abstract ideas that nobody has played yet). Please also remember that all this is worst-case scenario planning - if the game raises anything like the funding that the first game raised on Kickstarter or Early Access, we're not going to have any financial issues at all. I'm probably being overly cautious here, but that's probably better than the reverse. Oh, and one more thing - I know Xenonauts 1 with better graphics sounds kinda dull, but even our minimum product would be a substantial upgrade over the first. Here's a promotional screenshot we're currently working on ... although not actually in-game, this is all posed in-engine using game assets and taken via the in-game camera, except the UI (a Photoshop mockup based on the X1 UI). Doesn't look too bad, does it? That's the "worst" you can expect from X2. Kickstarter & Commercialisation: We've been talking about all that stuff (and working on the promotional screenshots etc) because we're moving into active planning for the Kickstarter. We're hoping to do this at some point in March. Free builds will continue until the end of the Kickstarter, at which point we'll start preparing for the Early Access launch (likely testing the EA builds using beta testers drawn from the Kickstarter backers). This means we'll be starting active promotion of the public builds soon, either with the next major update or the following one - I think addressing the UI, the view-blocking objects, cleaning up the animations and finally adding a new map will get us to a state where the game is presentable to non-hardcore fans. In terms of the Geoscape, we might also be able to cobble together a reasonably functional proxy of the X1 Geoscape in the next six to eight weeks. It's a big job but some of the functionality is already there, and we'll also take the opportunity to add in our dialogue screens which tell the new story and provide exposition beyond that contained in the research projects. The specific non-build things we're currently working on are: The new Xenonauts.com is nearly ready, and will be a hub for both X1 and X2 (Xenonauts2.com will just redirect to it). We're working on some nice promotional artwork of the various environments (e.g. the image posted above). We're pushing ahead with the randomisable soldier portraits, which we'll need for the rewards. Kickstarter Rewards: I'm floating this early because I know community feedback on our proposed Kickstarter rewards was very valuable last time around! We're currently planning a £40,000 / $50,000 Kickstarter pitched like our first one: we've got enough budget to ship the minimum game, but we're trying to raise money to fund extra development time that will allow us to improve it further. I can currently think of two Kickstarter tiers that would work well: $25 - a copy of the game $50 - a copy of the game, plus you get to put yourself in the game as a soldier (creating a face via the face creator tool) Unfortunately, I can't really think of much more than that! I'm *very* keen to avoid physical rewards because I think we made a net loss on those in our first Kickstarter once you include shipping, even if you ignore the cost of the hours I spent organising them - the art book in particular was a massive endeavor! On the other hand, putting yourself in the game as a soldier was immensely popular during the first Kickstarter even though the custom portraits were only available at the $200 tier. Unfortunately having our artist hand-paint a portrait from photographs cost most of the $50 marginal cost of these portraits, so we can't really do that this time round either. Instead, we're hoping people will be able to create a reasonable approximation of themselves using our face generator. Because the portraits in our game are split into layers (e.g. head, hair, eyes, eyebrows, nose, ear, facial hair, etc) it's possible to generate lots of different portraits and we should hopefully be able to avoid the portrait repetition of the first game. But we're also going to put together a program that allows people to manually cycle through all the options for each layer to try and make something that resembles them. We've not yet done enough facial feature variations to give it a test but we hope it'll be a nice way of letting people customise "their" soldier without being incredibly expensive to the dev team. I'm going to throw it open to the floor here - do you like the sound of that? Would you pay $25 extra to create a custom soldier for yourself? Can you think of digital higher tier rewards (other than creating more custom soldiers) that aren't too expensive for us to deliver? Happy to listen to thoughts and comments on any of the above. More details on the next build will be provided as they come in, and we'll discuss the Kickstarter in more detail as it approaches!
  3. I expect there to be quite a lot of this in the short term. While some fans are very happy with the idea of X1 but with better graphics etc, other people want a more radical departure from the original game. Unfortunately for the reasons listed in my original post I don't think we can cater to the second group of fans in the short term - changing and experimenting with new mechanics is more time consuming (and thus expensive) than using ones we already know work, so it makes sense to only do that once we're past the stage where it might derail the whole project. You're right though that the media we put out needs to emphasize the differences between the first and second game where possible. Still, if people aren't clear about what our intentions regarding development are (i.e. sprinting for a working game first) then they might be disappointed when they actually play it and find that the early builds are quite similar to the original game. Expanding in more detail on the changes that we plan to try out once we've hit the first milestone would probably help; I'll likely do that next week. That might be the difference between the sequel looking like a 3d rehash and looking like a work in progress.
  4. One of the other limitations on our Kickstarter rewards that I should have mentioned earlier is that we're not willing to give out creative control on the game to high-level Kickstarter backers - e.g. allowing people to name or design a character or alien in the game. The main reason is that they might do a terrible job of it, and then we would have made the game worse for everyone by chasing the money of an individual Kickstarter backer (which would be lame). The second is that those things don't really scale, as there's not that many alien races or characters etc to name. The ideal would be things like creating a custom soldier. You get a code for your custom soldier to input into the game and then that soldier always spawns in your starting combat team, but doesn't necessarily ever appear in other people's games. It's something specifically for the backer that doesn't affect other users, and therefore we could sell it to twenty thousand people just as easily as you could to a single person. Nonetheless, I appreciate the suggestions - coming up with good reward ideas is hard!
  5. Yeah, we're back now. I expect another release in the next two week but I'm not sure exactly when it will be yet as we're making some quite big changes to the level editor right now. We'll be having some big team meetings tomorrow and setting our internal goals for the new few weeks, so I expect to do another proper status update this week that will give you a bit more information on the path to our next release and the upcoming Kickstarter.
  6. Despite Xenonauts 2 being available as a free public build that anyone can try, I think it's time for us to do an overall update on our progress on the project. Ground Combat: We're making decent progress on the ground combat coding overall, although the system rewrites we've been doing over the last two or three weeks have been slower than expected. Some stuff has improved dramatically (such as load times) but other things have been frustratingly circular - an example of which is our work on the cursor selection box. We wrote a shader to display this above the decorative vegetation but below the props, granting the visual selection box effect from X1, but the new system had side-effects that made the UI ugly and occasionally buggy ... and eventually we abandoned it, and started down the route of switching from deferred to forward rendering. If that doesn't mean anything to you (and I wouldn't expect it to), this is just a long-winded way of me saying that sometimes you can sit and work at something for a week and actually end up taking a step backwards in terms of progress. So, to summarise, progress has been patchy on the coding front recently. However we're working hard on finishing up various systems designed to deal with the more fundamental issues in the current builds and I'd expect to see several new builds in the next couple of weeks as we finish them up and roll them out. You can find more specifics about this in the various release threads. Artwork: On a happier note, we're doing well on other parts of the game. The artwork in particular is coming along nicely in several areas! The first is our battlefield environments. You've all seen the "temperate / jungle" wilderness biome tileset we've currently got in the public build, but our tundra and desert biomes are now mostly complete. These are largely retextures of existing assets with some unique props mixed in, and the idea is that we'll have six or seven of these biomes that will allow us to "skin" a level with only a few clicks (long term we want the same for our urban environments too). The code is not yet in place for this palette swapping but we can already construct maps manually with these new tiles if we want; however once we've got some map randomisation code in place (which isn't too far away) we won't need to. We'll be able to have randomly generated wilderness maps across any biome from polar icecaps to tropical jungle to desert wastelands. The second is the aliens and Xenonauts themselves. We've modeled up some new ones, and done a fresh texture pass on those that already exist. The basic Sebillian and Andron are modelled up and being rigged / animated, and the textures on the Psyons and Xenonauts have been reworked to show more detail at our default camera zoom level. You can see an image of how they look below: A few things of note: the added detail is most obvious on the heads of the Psyons, as they were essentially just yellow blobs in the previous build of the game but the improved contrast on the new textures means you can now see much more of their bone structure. The new aliens look pretty good too, I think. The Sebillian is perhaps uglier than his X1 counterpart, but he's also much more visually distinctive and intimidating (particularly when equipped with his massive gun) this time around. The Andron looks more mechanical and is significantly larger than his X1 equivalent, and again I think he's got a lot more character than his predecessors. Other minor things to mention - we've decided not to go for 3D faces on the soldiers, but stick with 2D ones with semi-randomised features that should allow a much larger portrait pool than before. We're using a different artist for the portraits this time and I think the new more realistic style will be better received than last time. We've also been concepting up some of the advanced weapons, specifically the lasers. We've got some cool designs for them but it'll be a little bit of time before we can show them off properly, as right now they're rough untextured models we're using to test animations with. You can see one of them above - hopefully even in this primitive state you can see they may be more interesting that the ones in X1. Strategy: The strategy layer hasn't been getting much love in recent times, as the coders have been working flat out on the ground combat ever since we started to prepare for the first public build (a good three months ago now). I've started to move more resources towards the strategy layer in recent weeks. The main thing I've done is to clean up the appearance a bit, so the game feels a bit more polished and playable, and to try and merge in some of the old functions from Xenonauts 1. I do have new ideas for the strategy layer but a lot of the functionality of the Geoscape in X1 was pretty simple and can be replicated fairly easily in X2 given we already have all the art assets from X1 to use as placeholders. A primitive strategy layer coupled with a bit of the map randomisation tech mentioned above should actually give us the beginnings of a playable game. I'll detail the mechanics later - most are pretty similar to X1, and those that are not may change in the future. But I figure there's not too much point debating the mechanics until you can play and experiment with them first hand! Promotion & Monetization: As most of Goldhawk is disappearing off for our Christmas holidays in mid-December, I doubt we'll do any promotion of the game until the start of next year. Sadly we're in a boring stage of development right now where we're not adding content to the builds, we're just adding new systems and fixing bugs - which is great, but playing the same map against the same aliens every time is pretty tedious. However, the more observant among you might have noticed that most of the things we've been working on recently are important steps towards a paid alpha release. Having a functional strategy layer that spawns ground combat missions is a necessity for that. Having more battlefield environments and randomised maps are key features too. Going with 2D portraits instead of 3D ones means we can easily create a "portrait customiser" for people who want to back a Kickstarter tier that allows them to put themselves in the game in the form of a custom soldier. Basically we're hoping to launch a Kickstarter around March, which should be accompanied by a free build of the game that contains both the strategy and combat layers linked together. The Early Access launch would be about three months later, I guess. Conclusions: As this will probably be my last development update of the year (though not our last build), I'll close with my thoughts on the progress so far. I'd kinda hoped that we'd have made more obvious progress (i.e. added more content) over the past couple of months of public releases, but I'm not too down on things overall. The work we've done is all essential work and the issues would have been exposed as soon as we started doing public builds, so it's probably good we're getting them out of the way now. Things probably still feel a bit basic right now but that'll change once we start releasing all the new content we've been working on. Thanks for following our progress through the most boring part of development, and I hope you'll tune in next year when things start to get exciting!
  7. Is the forum not fully visible to people who haven't got an account? I was under the impression everyone could read it.
  8. As you can see, Goldhawk has got some new slick new forums! I'm pretty pleased with the way it's turned out, but let me first start by explaining what it means to you: All existing users and posts have been migrated over (as far as we're aware), so you should still be able to log in with your old username etc Features in the old forum that were broken should now work properly, e.g. requesting password reminders, search functionality, etc We've not yet had time to test all the forum functionality (and I've also hacked up the forum skin a little too) so there may well be errors with this new forum that we're not yet aware of. Please take this opportunity to try as hard as you can to break the forums, and also post here if you notice any obvious styling issues that you think should be fixed. It would be good to fix up any serious issues before these forums start getting more popular again! For those of you interested in what's happened, we've migrated the forums from the old vBulletin 4 system to a new IPS board. The visual styling is much nicer, the admin backend is much easier to use, and I'm hoping the overall user experience of these forums will be vastly improved over the previous ones. Once again, our thanks go out to Solver for donating his time to make the migration possible. Some Xenonauts 2 boards may start making an appearance in due course, as it'd be good to get some community feedback before we make our "official" announcement of the game (but more on that soon).
  9. Just a quick news post to let everyone know that we've officially shut down for Christmas. A few of the team are still working on things but I won't be back around until the 3rd January. We've already got a headstart on some of the cool features we've got slated for early next year, like the map randomisation code and our new animation system and our civilian models, so hopefully we'll be making some real fast progress when January rolls around. Until then, I hope everyone has a wonderful festive season and a happy new year!
  10. We've released a new version of Xenonauts for Windows on the Experimental branch, V1.65. It contains some gameplay updates, but it will need some testing to see if it is stable before being rolled out to the default Stable branch for all Steam users, so if anyone can test it that would be appreciated. To access the Experimental branch, please follow the instructions here: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/5958-Xenonauts-Experimental-Builds-Instructions We will also merge these fixes into the native Mac / Linux builds in the future if they prove to be stable. Most of these fixes are drawn from improvements to the game made by the Xenonauts: Community Edition team, so a public thank you to those who contributed to X:CE in general and to Solver specifically for putting this patch together for us. Changes: Miss shots should no longer go through walls; the trajectory code has been updated so they should only hit tiles that a "hit" shot would be able to hit. Grenade scatter calculation updated, so "miss" throws can actually miss by a meaningful amount. This applies to both Xenonauts and aliens throwing grenades. Stunned zombies (which appear dead) will no longer spawn Reapers. This will eliminate the bug where Reapers apparently spawn from thin air, and occasionally were also invulnerable for some reason. Damage from base defence turrets now correctly reduces the number of attacking aliens it fails to destroy an attacking UFO. Soldiers now gain Bravery from taking suppression damage, as it was virtually impossible to train up before. Soldier Strength now updates correctly, as there was a bug in the formula before. Manufacturing screen now displays the number of required items in your stores when previewing a project, rather than just the number of required items. Saviour Medal and Crux Solaris medals can now be awarded and displayed correctly. Geoscape performance has been optimised on some systems Game startup speed has been improved Fixed crash when a building collapses with a drone inside This is likely to be the final update for vanilla Xenonauts, but Xenonauts: Community Edition is still under ongoing development so be sure to keep up to date with their progress in the future!
  11. Did you actually have a crash to desktop? If so, did you have crash reporting enabled? I can't see the crash anywhere on our system. I'll get GJ to reply to your query anyways. Thanks Max for your various feedbacks. We're working on the movement animation as a priority so hopefully the new system will sort that out, if not then we'll take another look the speeds and heights etc then. The AP bar issue is a bug that we'll fix in the next build. Also remember we have have a proper editor for the unit stats etc so you won't need to manually edit the JSON files; we might start putting that our public builds early next year.
  12. You're talking more about drones and support units more than X1-style vehicles then ... and there's no real reason that they couldn't exist, it's just that we're not planning to include them in Xenonauts 2 as a default player feature. I imagine adding a 1x1 scout / support unit like the X1 alien Light Drone would require very little effort at all, it'd probably just be a case of ensuring it didn't receive any combat XP. Potentially a human version of them is something we could even put in the vanilla game if I felt there was a niche for it. I have no intention of adding armoured cars and tanks to the game like we had in X1 though; I only did that because I felt I had to because the original X-Com had them. They're too big and powerful to work within the scale of combat we're looking to do.
  13. Vehicles are silly in any setting that is predominantly about small-squad infantry vs. infantry combat because they're simply too powerful. If a weapon can put a hole in an armoured car, why would it not instantly kill any human (or biological unit) that it hits? And why would any vehicle mounted weapon not be far superior to any infantry weapon? Even a basic humvee usually packs a 0.50cal machinegun that can put out an order of magnitude more firepower than a standard man portable rifle or LMG. And why would a dog need to be a vehicle? Just make it a standard combatant instead. In any case you're extrapolating based off your own assumptions (although kinda understandable given you've played X1) rather than genuine facts; you don't know that the game won't have 2x2 units and you don't know that you couldn't add dogs or whatever to it. This is why I don't want to go into much detail about specific systems until people can play with them themselves - focusing on a specific mechanic or feature removal can give a misleading overall impression.
  14. The air combat is pretty subordinate to the strategy layer design at the moment; we've got a few prototypes for how it could look but right now it's autoresolved with a UFO requiring a certain number of aircraft to shoot it down and having a % kill chance for each one that is tested independently. We'll choose an air combat model once we have an idea of what the strategy layer needs it to do. It would be good to have more complexity in terms of how many aircraft you are committing and what they are equipped with, though. @StellarRatThere's not going to be any vehicles in the game, I'm afraid. For now the planes are just the X1 equivalents as well, but we might make redesign them and make nice animated 3d models of them once we know the shape of the air combat a bit better.
  15. We have just released an update to the free public build of Xenonauts 2 - this is free 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. If you want to see what progress we're making on the game content (like artwork etc) then you'll have to check out our November Progress Update, as this build is an attempt to address some of the more major code issues with the game and does not add any new content. We've reworked some major systems (e.g. line of sight, mouse input, etc) so there may well be some new bugs introduced; please report them if you see them as we're planning to put out small "fix" builds out over the next week or so to address them. New maps and environments, aliens, weapons etc will start coming after Christmas. CHANGELOG: Move paths and other in-world UI elements now draw above grass and other decorative vegetation. We've rewritten the input system to stop the crosshair and selection box being so jumpy We've improved the way the camera tracking works: When your units shoot, the camera more intelligently picks a focus point based on the positions of the shooter and the target Alien activity under the hidden movement screen should be displayed properly now, including both movement and shooting The Xenonauts and aliens have all had a fresh texture job to make their details "pop" a bit more at the camera distance we're using in the game. The camera angle and distance have been changed to be somewhat closer to the view in X1; we think that gives a more "strategic" feel Pressing End Turn no longer hangs the game for a few seconds Load times for the ground combat have been halved I've done a UI pass on the game, replacing programmer art with slightly superior game designer art. It's still fairly placeholder stuff, but: The Xenonauts font has returned on the ground combat UI elements, giving them a more appropriate style Colour consistency has also been improved; the predominantly blue GC elements now use more black Many element outlines have been sharpened up and made a bit neater We've switched to a plugin that improves on the Unity text rendering, so we should now have crisper text The move path has been updated: The green / orange / red move path squares from the first game have returned. The TU cost now displays "?" if you click on the shroud, preventing "scouting" the terrain via the move cost. The fog of war has been recoloured to be less aggressively blue. Units now have 16 sight range instead of 20, as they did in the original. Movement animations have been made less jerky, as previously units took the same amount of time to cross tiles diagonally as they did laterally (despite diagonally being a longer distance) Crouching units now play injury animations when they take damage Please let us know what issues you're experiencing, as we should now be able to fix all the camera / crosshair / UI etc issues once we're made aware of them. We've got a couple of weeks until we shut down for Christmas and we'll be releasing small fix builds in this time; I don't expect any major new updates to be put out before then. We're going to be targeting two main things for the next build in early January - one is the sub-map support which should let us start semi-randomly generating maps, and the other is the soldier animations system. Currently our code cannot plan actions in advance so a soldier doesn't know he's ended his movement until he's reached his destination tile, and then plays his "stop running" animation by jogging on the spot once he's already there - really he needs to know half a tile earlier, so he can slow down in time. I imagine we'll start work on both these things before our holidays, but neither are quick jobs! Thoughts, bugs and other feedback can be posted in this thread.
  16. I'll ask the coders to check if our error tracker has ridden to the rescue and saved the crash the data
  17. Yup, the maps are kinda blocky at the moment. That can be changed, but it's a question of whether we want to. There's two reasons why the maps currently look a bit blocky: 1) The cliff walls are only 10cm deep at the moment, as they sit on the edge of tiles and intrude into them. If we make them too thick then they'll potentially clip into units that are standing in those tiles. The cliffs were 20cm thick in our earlier builds but I had them reduced to make the map tidier; potentially I went a bit too far though because the tiles are 1.5m wide and there's quite a lot of space in each one. Having more depth on the rock walls makes the map look a bit less blocky. 2) The second thing is battlefield readability. We actually had a less blocky looking map before our initial public build, with lots of vegetation and detail rocks breaking up the shape of the level and making it look more natural ... but it turns out it's actually very hard to figure out where tiles start and end under that system, so it's difficult to process where you can move your soldiers and so forth. Makes it a bit frustrating to play. There's probably a balance to be found but you don't want to make the map feel too natural. Xenonauts 2 will initially be a lot like a stripped down version of Xenonauts 1 with better graphics, but that'll start to change once the game is playable and we can start experimenting with the new mechanics we have planned. However we've gotta make the game playable across both strategy and ground combat first, which means we'll draw heavily from X1 to get there. We'll probably add new aliens in X2, but even the existing ones should have more interesting abilities this time around that make them less samey. Things like the weapon tier upgrades are balance issues that we'll have more time to discuss once the game is playable but yeah, the idea is that X2 will build on the foundation of the first game and improve on the things it got wrong. Boring aliens and repetitive tech progression are two things we want to address but I think the solutions are better developed in conjunction with community playtesting than me theorycrafting about what the ideal solution is
  18. Yup, we'll almost certainly have additional variants of each alien race in terms of armour - but that's a lower priority than getting all the main races modelled up and put in the game, so not for a few months at least.
  19. Unfortunately PF have never replied to any of our emails / contact attempts, or even acknowledged our existence. I doubt you'll have much luck getting anything out of anyone connected to the company.
  20. Very quick announcement - we were due to be putting out a big build tonight, but it's being pushed back to either tomorrow or Wednesday. This is basically because the various components of the sight system rewrite have taken longer than we thought they would, but I don't see any point in putting out a build that does not at least partially address the Hidden Movement screen issues. The next build might not totally fix them (there might be some smaller changes required in the following build) but it should address the big ones where the camera isn't showing the aliens moving and shooting at your troops ... this means there hopefully will not be any more situations where you start your turn with dead soldiers and have no idea what happened to them. There's plenty of other upgrades coming, but I definitely think it's worth delaying the build to get this one in. However I will be posting a more general project progress update up on the forums today; I suspect it'll have some stuff in it that you'll all find interesting!
  21. 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 Raygun.io 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: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/topic/13498-xenonauts-2-feedback-priorities/
  22. 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. We've spent the last couple of weeks working on the various fixes and improvements to the game that would not require a major rewrite of the game systems. After this build we plan to take two or three weeks to rewrite some large systems in order to fix the remaining issues (more on that below) and after that build we'll be pushing forwards with adding new content. CHANGELOG: We've added the suppression system back into the game (mechanics explained below), although it's probably still a bit buggy right now and needs testing! The game now has a replay / log mode that we can use for bugfixing, and maybe also for actual replays in the future. See below for details. There is now a graphics option panel, which is accessible via the in-game menu (top left of screen). Again this needs some testing and probably won't be 100% functional quite yet. We've simplified the "manual overwatch" system so it now simply displays the intended shot you soldier wants to take, and you can either approve the shot or order the soldier to ignore that alien for the rest of the turn. Corpses should no longer block movement, and dead aliens should no longer trigger the fire cursor The "opt-in" message that appears when you start up the game has been made clearer, and the checkbox enabled / disabled states are clearer than before We've made some updates to the accuracy calculation: The game now correctly charges TU when a unit needs to rotate in order to fire their weapons; previously this was happening for free We've removed some old "flanking" code which was incorrectly flagging adjacent cover as being in the line of fire when it clearly was not. Adjacent cover is correctly ignored now when both the Xenonaut and aliens share the same cover; i.e. you can negate alien cover by running up to the other side of it. Miss shots now only have a 25% chance (previously 100%) of hitting a unit when they pass through its tile, making friendly fire less common Various small fixes to the control / interface system: If you double click on a destination beyond a unit's move range, the unit will now move as far as it can down that path until it runs out of TU You can now press spacebar to interrupt a unit's movement Clicking on an "enemy spotted" icon now makes the alien briefly flash red Edge scrolling sensitivity has been turned down Camera rotation has been sped up Fixed a small bug with the camera position after the enemy move Fixed the Psyon Officer having a misaligned Plasma Rifle in his hands Various small visual fixes: Units now have a jump / climb animation for the small changes in height; however these are kinda jumpy so we'll give them another pass for the next build We've cleaned up the game cursor by removing the "grid" effect around it, and shrinking down the cover indicator radius around the mouse to just the current tile There was a weird issues with the lightmaps in the previous builds that is now fixed; hopefully the graphics are slightly improved for everyone The Psyon Drone now has a black jumpsuit instead of being nekkid The aliens were previously using "human" animations, now the Officer has his own animations (the Drone will get some for the next build) We've trimmed and flattened some of the cliffs so they fit better within their designated areas Burst fire shot delays are now working correctly, so fast machines should no longer see all the shots fired almost simultaneously We've stripped some of the detail rocks out of the map to make it look less cluttered Replay / Log Mode: This logs all the game commands and random number generation in your mission, and if you do a manual bug report (via F12) then it will be sent to our servers. We can then plug that file into our systems and it will play your mission through to recreate the bug. This should be MUCH easier than asking forum users to post reproduction steps for the bugs they encounter, particularly as you can now do this after the bug has occurred since it starts logging game commands as soon as the mission starts. Nothing except game data is logged, and the game logs are only sent to us if you send a bug report. Suppression Mechanics: The suppression system works like in Xenonauts 1 - firing weapons at a target (even if they do not hit it) can build up suppression, eventually forcing them to lose all remaining TU and reduce them to half their starting TU at the beginning of the next turn. It is generally used to cancel enemy overwatch and to pin enemy units in place. The mechanic is relatively simple: each weapon has a value for suppression damage, and if a unit accumulates more suppression damage in a turn than it has Morale then it will become suppressed. Suppression damage inflicted is modified by by close the bullet passes to the target; full suppression damage is inflicted if the bullet hits the target and this falls off to zero if the bullet misses by more than three tiles. It is also modified by unit armour - essentially by the percentage of the shot damage that would get past the target's armour (i.e. armoured units are harder to suppress). Weapons do not inflict suppression on targets out of range. The only change to the Xenonauts 1 calculation is that the game now models how close bullets pass to the target and then calculates suppression based off that, whereas in the original game the suppression damage was applied to the intended target tile irrespective of where the bullets actually went.
  23. OK - anyone who purchased the game before our Steam Early Access launch can now grab their Steam keys. There are two methods of doing this, depending on whether or not you have activated your game on Desura. If you have activated your game on Desura: 1) Go to https://secure.desura.com/cart/cdkeys 2) Log into your Desura account 3) Click the "Request Key" button next to Xenonauts 4) Load Steam and go to Games > Activate A Product On Steam in the topbar 5) Copy the key into Steam The above steps are also viewable in picture form here: http://www.xenonauts.com/images/claimguide.jpg If you have not activated your key on Desura, or have additional non-claimed keys (usually people who have bought the game but never tried to play it before!): 1) Go to https://www.humblebundle.com/store/keyresender 2) Type in your email address linked with Xenonauts. This may not be your main email address - it may be the email linked to the Paypal account you bought it with, or the email linked to your Desura / Kickstarter account. If there are several possibilities, try them all. 3) You will receive an email in that inbox with a copy of your Humble Store download link. Click the link. 4) Look at the "Xenonauts" Steam Key section on the landing page, and click the button. 5) Load Steam and go to Games > Activate A Product On Steam in the topbar 6) Copy the key into Steam Those two methods should account for anyone who has previously purchased the game. In the event that neither work, please email me at chris@xenonauts.com. Also, both Desura and the Humble Store offer a DRM-free download of the game, in case anyone really detests Steam.
  24. Yeah, just send through the Desura proof of purchase and I'll give you a Steam key.
  25. It's actually because I'm working on revamping the Xenonauts site in preparation for X2 (it'll be the hub for both games). However I'm being a bit lazy with it so it's been down a while, but I am (relatively) nearly done.