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Everything posted by Chris

  1. 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 4th July, although if necessary we will also release hotfixes for any game-breaking bugs encountered in this build. Somewhat limited progress this cycle for some exciting reasons and fairly mundane reasons, but I'll explain all of that after the changelog: CHANGELOG: Grenade Launcher: This was added in hotfix 11.2, but it's a lighter version of the rocket launcher from Xenonauts 1. It's fun to use but largely ineffective at the moment because we've not yet coded the stuff that makes it do extra damage to terrain, and terrain isn't showing visual damage yet either. Once we get that in it'll be a useful cover-removal tool. Explosion Logic: This has been reworked into what I think might turn out to be a really cool way to model explosions. In summary, explosions propagate outwards with objects blocking a % of the damage based on their stopping chance, but capped by their hit points. For example: A building wall has a 100% stopping chance and thus will completely stop an explosion, provided it has enough HP to do so. If the explosion is powerful enough to destroy it, any extra damage will continue to propagate to entities behind the destroyed wall. Half cover (e.g. a rock) has about 40% cover, so it will stop 40% of the explosion damage. This means being behind a rock will provide partial protection from something like a grenade but 60% of the damage will get through (more if the grenade does enough damage to destroy the rock). Units have a 25% stopping chance, so if a unit steps on a grenade it will absorb some of the damage and reduce the damage inflicted on adjacent units. Again this is capped by HP, so an armoured unit can absorb more of a powerful explosion than an unarmoured unit. We think this is simple but effective way of modelling explosions - it neatly takes into account the position, size and toughness of everything in the blast radius. Should generate a relatively realistic outcome from using explosives of varying power! The fire cursor now has priority over the door cursor; this means shooting at aliens in a doorway is much easier (although shutting the door in their face is harder). Reloading weapons no longer makes the grenade disappear. The fire path now turns red once a weapon goes out of range, but only the tiles beyond range turn red. Grenade launcher now has a 4-round clip instead of a 6-round clip. Returning to the main menu screen no longer greys out the button text. Playing multiple missions in the same game session no longer gives you the same map both times. Fixed the UI not appearing if you attempt to play multiple missions in the same game session. Fixed a couple of codebase errors that were causing firing-related crashes and UI issues. So this is largely a bugfix release rather than a gameplay update - we've fixed up a few recurring errors that were spamming our error reporting software. The work on the explosions and grenade launcher is pretty cool but you won't really see the full effect of it until we get more powerful explosives in the game and start visualizing damaged props a bit better. The first reason for this is the strategy layer - in recent weeks most of the team has been either working directly on that, or working on the ground combat / strategy merge. The merge is a big job but it is progressing quickly; we've done most of the key work involved in loading up ground missions from the strategy layer with the correct parameters (e.g. biome type, UFO type, UFO crews, soldier stats, soldier loadout, etc) and now we're concentrating on passing things back the other way. This involves soldier experience and injury tracking, it involves tracking what recoverable items have been destroyed / not, and it involves a load of boring stuff to do with making sure data loads and unloads properly as you switch between the two layers. Big job, but things are coming along well. It's also worth noting that we're doing quite a lot of work on the strategy layer itself too, both in terms of art and coding. I'm looking forward to unveiling all of that, perhaps in about six weeks. There's also a bunch of semi-complete work that requires a completed merge to work properly, like making soldiers display models with the correct gender / skin colour / hair colour based on their portrait and so forth. Models are all done, we just need to hook it all together on the code side. Unfortunately, the second reason for the delays has been holidays. This is unfortunate mostly because it's going to affect next week's build too, as both our Technical Director and resident artist are away for two weeks on their respective summer vacations. Given we're quite a small team and they're both important people, it's going to slow things down ... but apparently there are laws against chaining people to their keyboards, so there's not much I can do about it! The next update will therefore again be mostly bugfixes given the ongoing merge work and our depleted personnel. The merge will be worth it, though - playing standalone combat missions is only ever going to be so much fun, but once we add the strategy in there'll be a whole load more to see and do!
  2. Hmm, yeah, that's potentially not too far off the sort of thing that we want - although a 25mm grenade is getting pretty small. I suppose we could always make it an early-game research project too, that way we can frame it as being a new type of weapon rather than an existing one and explain it on our terms (in which case it could indeed be the Heavy Launcher as Shoes suggests). Yeah, grenade launchers do have flatter arcs than thrown grenades - but you can still fire them over walls to hit units out of direct line of sight. It's just the angle is more limited (albiet with longer range).
  3. Yeah, but people won't like a multi-shot rocket launcher (or one that does relatively little damage) either. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any real weapon that fills the intended battlefield niche.
  4. 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 20th June, although if necessary we will also release hotfixes for any game-breaking bugs encountered in this build. This is a hotfix for the last build, fixing some of the problems that were introduced when we put grenades into the game. As a free bonus, we've also included the grenade launcher in game (it's functionally a more mobile and less powerful version of the Xenonauts 1 rocket launcher). Potentially this may cause further instability, but we figure it'll be better to find out about any new bugs sooner rather than later. CHANGELOG: Grenade Launcher: One of the starting soldiers now has a grenade launcher, which acts like the rocket launcher in Xenonauts 1 except it does less damage but requires less TU to fire / has a 6-round magazine. This new weapon was only implemented on Friday so please give it a test and let us know how it works. We've not yet implemented the increased terrain-only damage on the weapon so it's not actually very good at blowing up the scenery right now, but that will change soon enough! Removed a crash caused by trying to use the baton / medipack. Removed a crash linked to the selected soldier being fired at by overwatching aliens. Removed a crash linked to your soldiers performing overwatch fire. Grenade "miss" scatter is now linked to the distance you attempt to throw the grenade, as the previous scatter was causing nonsensical results on failed short throws. Grenade UI image is no longer distorted. The grenade launcher will probably need some further updates to get it functioning properly, but with a bit of help from the community we can hopefully get the bulk of the required fixes done for the release of Version 0.12.0 on Tuesday 20th April.
  5. Thanks guys, we'll look into this stuff.
  6. Thanks. Yeah, now we've changed to "Development Builds" the game is going to run quite a lot more slowly. Obviously the final game won't use development builds but we need to use them for now so that our error tracking software can give us specific information on the line numbers where issues are occurring. Unfortunately, though, the game runs much faster if you let Unity smash all your code together before release. Maybe we can figure out a solution where we make both types of build available in the future or something? In the meantime, I suggest you play the game on lower settings to try and counteract the performance hit. I think a lot of your issues are caused by low frame rates - projectiles not appearing, sounds out of sync, etc. See if it works better on the lowest settings? Yeah, we're planning to have the grenades from X1 back in the X2 and I'd like to add proxy grenades to the arsenal too.
  7. Most indie dev teams essentially do run themselves as a non-profit during the development process; they minimize their costs and spend all their available funds on making the game as good as possible. The part that comes when they run out of money and release the game is where any profit happens!
  8. 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 20th June, although if necessary we will also release hotfixes for any game-breaking bugs encountered in this build. So the biggest piece of visible progress this build is .... *drum roll* .... grenades! Finally! These have been a massive pain in the ass to implement and no doubt are going to be pretty buggy given we only managed to merge them in this morning, but they are now finally in the game. Give them a test and report all the problems you encounter in this thread, as that way we can get them all fixed up and working properly for the next build! CHANGELOG: Grenades: Every soldier now starts with a grenade. Give them a play and see how they work - we've not had much time to test them out so I'm expecting there to be a lot of issues! Camera should no longer occasionally get stuck rotating when you press Q or E. Fixed an issue where cliffs walls would 100% block a valid corner shot if there was also an adjacent prop present. Fire path now immediately goes red when a shot is beyond range, rather than having an intermediate orange stage. Alien selection halo now correctly appears when an alien is on 1m raised terrain. Medikit crosshair now correctly disappears when you end a turn with it active. Shotgun can no longer hit tiles behind the shooter. Two reasons why the changelog is so short - firstly, grenades have been an absolute nightmare to implement because they touch on so many different systems (e.g. throwing, inventory, explosion visualization, damage pattern and fall-off, destructibility, etc). They caused a lot of bugs and we had to spend a lot of time getting them sufficiently functional to go in the release ... and even then we're expecting to see a lot of bugs in this build. Second thing is that a lot of the coding team has been working hard on invisible things. The ongoing refactor of the soldier inventory system also took up ground combat resources, but much of the team has been busy on the strategy layer. The ground combat / strategy merge is coming along nicely and not too far from completion, but it's a big job because it essentially involves implementing saving and loading of both the strategy and ground combat layers so they are able to pass each other information. The advantage is that the game should therefore soon support saving and loading, which is a hugely important feature (and is particularly useful when people are reporting bugs). There's also been a lot of work on the strategy mechanics, which we're still keeping under wraps but is inching closer to being ready to show off! Anyway, that's enough from me - please let us know if there's any issues with the build!
  9. Yeah, we definitely want to add a feature where a damaged ship has more openings in the hull and is therefore easier to attack.
  10. Yeah, expect a hotfix update either today or Monday.
  11. I did that all about five or six years ago now, so I don't recall - but if I were to hazard a guess, it'd likely just be a lack of knowledge about the relative size / importance of Canadian cities and a lack of adequate time to research the topic. It may also have been a factor that we needed a geographically even spread of cities for the event system to work properly, and both the cities you mention are fairly close to the US border. Picking cities in the middle of nowhere gives us much better terrain coverage.
  12. 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 6th June, although if necessary we will also release hotfixes for any game-breaking bugs encountered in this build. This development cycle the programming team largely dealt with some of the code debt we'd accumulated over the past few months - in addition to the stuff listed below, there was a big rewrite of the soldier inventory system, the creation of an automated build script, a load of fixes for the level editor and bunch of work on the strategy layer. This means the changelog this build is smaller than usual, but we expect the next build in two weeks to have a lot of cool stuff in it! More on that below, but we'd really appreciate a few people playing this build and reporting any bugs they find - we'll hopefully be unveiling our first urban maps in the next build so we want to know of any serious stability bugs in advance! CHANGELOG: Biome Visual Updates: we've continued to visually update the biomes in an attempt to make everything look better, and I'm pretty pleased with the results so far. Two main areas of improvement: The Arid biome now resembles the Middle East tileset from X1; we've made it much grassier and a bit greener in general. This makes the maps look a bit less like barren moonscapes and they're a lot more pleasant to play through now. We've invested in Speedtree, the industry-leading way to make trees, and replaced and resized many of the trees in the game. Most of the biomes (but the Temperate in particular) now look substantially better as a result. General cleanup of visual issues like grass clumps in the middle of the road, etc. Crash Fixes: Healing an alien no longer crashes the game Healing a dead soldier no longer crashes the game (because it is not possible) A healed soldier gaining a promotion no longer crashes the game General Tweaks / Fixes: Move path is now drawn over the shroud / fog of war Suppressed Xenonauts no longer automatically uncrouch at the start of the turn Soldiers no longer disappear waist-deep into the ground when you change weapons Camera zoomed in by about 10% Fixed the red hostile halo appearing for invisible aliens (this was a bug, not a "last known location" UI marker - but we'll probably add one of those in future now!) Units no longer rotate to face north when healing themselves Can no longer heal soldiers at range with the medikit Fixed an issue where some soldiers could not vault a fence even if they had sufficient TU to do so Can no longer see the "suppressed" label for suppressed non-visible aliens Non-visible aliens no longer have their weapons poking out from the fog of war Dead Reapers no longer show an outline Reapers no longer bleed red human blood; all aliens now have special alien blood of varying colours As I mentioned above, we're hoping to move onto the elevation stuff in the next build - although there's no guarantee it will be finished in a single two-week cycle. This will give the player the ability to see and move onto higher levels of the map, and is a requirement for the camera to interact correctly with the roof of buildings and UFOs (at the moment the UFOs just don't have roofs). So this will allow us to release our first urban areas and will also allow units to climb up cliffs etc to gain a height advantage in the existing wilderness maps. We've also moved one of our senior coders onto the combat / strategy merge full-time. Grenades are still giving us problems but will hopefully be in the next build - although I feel like I've been saying this forever. Specifically, they've been causing crashes and issues in the animation system, and the system we use to show the outline of units hidden behind solid objects is giving us issues with the explosion graphics. The functionality is there but it'll take us some time to debug all those problems and get it all working. Here's a gif to show you why they missed the cut: For the next build we're also going to do another pass on the maps, and as well as adding new types of map we're also going to make some changes to the designs. I'm planning to cut down on the clutter in the maps (there's too many cover props at the moment) and also we're going to be adding more barriers that block line of sight and force you to split your team, as the current wilderness maps are very straightforward and there's not much scope for tactical play. As always, comments and feedback appreciated!
  13. Also remember that the translocator does not need to be a fundamental part of the secret war idea (although the discussion in this thread assumes it is). Irrespective of the details, I really like the basic concept of the Xenonauts being much more of a shadowy clandestine organisation this time around.
  14. Yeah, so that's the other thing we're looking at in the next few builds - at the moment the cliifs are literally made of walls with a floor on top, just the same as buildings are. Baking them into a solid 1x1 section gives you much more leeway to have irregular edges and generally have things look more realistic, so we'll see if we can do that without causing any gameplay issues as a result.
  15. At the moment they're just being placed in little "stacks", which isn't how they'll be used in the next set of maps - not only does it look a bit weird, it doesn't "wall off" sections of the map by blocking LOS to a large area etc (one of the reasons why the maps are a bit boring to play atm). They should be used more as cliffs and ridges in the next set of maps, hopefully that'll address some of the problems even without graphical updates.
  16. They're cliffs rather than rocks. Sure, they're blocky in shape - but then they have to be blocky if they're going to work on a square tile grid. You can make a map look nicer if you use larger props like clumps of trees to block line of sight rather than cliffs, but then you can't walk on top of a clump of trees.
  17. Thanks for the comments, all. @Skitso - you can press the eye icon on the UI to go back to classic Xenonauts FOW mode, or press the keyboard shortcut that displays it temporarily (although I've forgotten what it is off the top of my head - Left Alt maybe?) Regarding the Tropical tileset, the artist reckons there's not much more foliage in that tileset than the Temperate one. Do you also get much slowdown on the Temperate maps? The issue sounds like something we should try and fix up though. @Thixotrop - thanks. Regarding terrain height levels, you get +10% hit chance and -10% enemy hit chance for each level higher ... so the Sebillian should be a little harder to hit and a bit more accurate, but it shouldn't hugely affect things. @ToNo - thanks.
  18. Yeah, at the moment the UFOs have random shapes that the 3d artist came up with - I've not actually started designing them yet. He's come up with some slightly weird ones but we'll rework them as time goes on. Quite a few of the bugs reported in this post will be fixed in the next build tomorrow!
  19. We released Xenonauts V0.9.0 on Tuesday and we're pushing out a hotfix for it today as there were a number of crashes / hangs in it. Some of these are already fixed, but we're still trying to track down others and part of the purpose of this release is to allow us more detailed bug tracking data. Please note this version of the game will trigger the standard Windows Firewall permissions window, but the build will work fine if you refuse the game firewall access (however the error reporting won't work if you block the firewall access). CHANGELOG: We've fixed some crashes and hangs in the game. We've enabled a more detailed type of error reporting which gives us specific line numbers in the codebase for where these errors occur - this should make it much easier for us to track down where crashes and other bugs are happening. However this requires providing "developer builds" with a few unforseen consequences; more on that below! We're also including an update to the way line of sight / line of fire works on corners and doors, which was meant to be in the last build but was accidentally left out. So, what's going on with the "developer build" stuff and this error reporting? Essentially if you choose to opt-in to our online error reporting tool, whenever the game encounters a code error it will automatically send an (anonymous) dump of the information to This is really helpful in general (although only about 25% of players enable it) but some of the more recent crashes and hangs require a bit more information to debug, so we've updated the system to provide us the specific line number in the specific code file where the error occurs - you can probably understand why that is even more helpful to the coding team! Problem is Unity processes and merges the codebase of the game in a particular way when we compile the release versions of the game that we send out to you guys. This improves performance but also means the ability to track errors back to specific lines and files is lost, so if we want access to that functionality we need to create "development builds" which do not have the codebase merged together. Unfortunately these builds always have "Development Build" printed in the bottom right of the screen, and they don't run as fast as the normal release builds. The coding team tell me that they are also set up to allow remote debug access from other programs on the same computer (e.g. Visual Studio) and therefore they will always trigger the Windows Firewall warning irrespective of whether the game is set up to report errors to or not. The game will work fine if you disallow firewall access, but doing so will also prevent the Raygun auto-reporting. So if you want to give us information on any crashes / errors you're experiencing (either automatically or through the menu bug reporter) then you'll need to allow the firewall exception. I'm not sure how long we'll be using these development builds, but it's not going to be a permanent thing.
  20. Thanks for the reports - it is always useful to get a fresh opinion on the game, yeah
  21. Yeah, in real life there's definitely a distinction between concealment and actual protective cover - it doesn't exist in Xenonauts 1 though (and additionally those cover indicators don't work that well given the way that intervening cover is often quite a few tiles away so I wouldn't worry about them too much). It's quite hard to model though - really, if you wanted to model concealment and cover differently then you'd need special types of prop that block line of sight in a specific way. For instance, a waist-high wall or hedge would make any unit crouching behind them invisible until they were flanked or they popped their head over the top. Jagged Alliance does something like this and it's pretty cool, but it does add a lot of complexity to the combat that I'm not sure fits in an X-Com game. It generally requires a more detailed body stance system (lying down, crouched, standing) and more importantly it also adds a layer of uncertainty to the line of sight system. You can see a tile and it looks empty, but suddenly an alien appears from nowhere on that tile (having uncrouched from behind a wall)? Not being able to properly know if a tile is empty or not can be annoying. We've taken the opposite approach in Xenonauts where props are transparent to line of sight but not bullets; you can see right through crates and trees so you'll know if there's an alien behind them ... but you might need to reposition to fight them better. This makes missions much faster and easier to understand - I think the JA2 approach has its merits but I'm not sure what Xenonauts 2 needs is to slow combat down further.
  22. Thanks for the feedback, but the Sebillian doesn't actually have a death animation at the moment (hence the comedy ragdoll) and similarly the AI is just a placeholder that does the bare minimum required to make the game playable right now Expect us to start work on the "proper" AI in the next six weeks or so - it's just important we have all the core systems and weapons in place before we start on that.
  23. 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. You can see from the changelog below that we've had a fairly productive couple of weeks, and I've also written a May Development Update to accompany this release so people can get more information on the overall state of the project (including the strategy layer etc). KEY FEATURES: Secondary Weapon Controls: you previously had to do a complex keyboard shortcut to get the medikit and other secondary items to work, but now you can just click their picture to access them as you did in Xenonauts 1. Damage Variance: weapons now do a random value between 50% - 150% of their base damage when they hit a target (as they did in Xenonauts 1). Tutorial: a simple explanatory pop-up now appears once per build at the start of the mission, explaining the combat mechanics and the changes from X1 (you can also access this from the Esc menu). We'll try to keep this updated as we add new features. Biome Visual Pass: we've done another visual pass on the different wilderness biomes, giving them a number of unique walls / fences / road barriers to differentiate them from one another a bit more. We've also tweaked some of the UV maps on things like rocks to make them respond to lighting in a more consistent manner. Soldier Attributes / Promotions: support for soldier attribute level-ups and rank promotions has been added to the game and they will now appear on the debrief screen, although it's obviously of limited use until we start putting the strategy layer in the public builds! Wall Transparency: this is much more robust than when it first appeared two weeks ago, making walls more transparent and having a radius of transparency around both the selected soldier and the cursor etc. You can see it in action once you get inside the UFO. Misses Hitting Cover: the "miss" system has now been updated to properly account for the "cover save" - i.e. when a shot would have hit the target were it not for the intervening cover. These on-target misses now always hit that specific piece of cover that is providing this cover save, as previously miss shots were all treated the same and cover was not taking many hits (and thus rarely got destroyed). Shoot Animation Rework: we've reworked a bunch of systems negatively affected by us adding the inverse kinematics (IK) system that makes the gun aim in the direction of the bullet shot path: Alien shoot animations (particularly the Psyon Drone) were a mess last build but should be back to normal now. We've removed an animation delay from the shoot animations, making things a bit snappier and more responsive. We've also merged the "raise gun" animation and the IK aim, so units should no longer "raise gun - pause - aim - pause - shoot" and now just do it all as a single smooth action. We also corrected a visual issue where soldiers firing a "hit" shot were not actually aiming in the correct place. Light Probes: all our maps now contain light probes, which are a bit complex but basically allow units to be lit by the same light sources as light the terrain. Let us know if your soldiers turn too light / dark in particular tiles, as that suggests they are not working properly. TWEAKS: Maps now contain less cover so movement and shooting is a bit less restricted. Doors have updated line-of-fire / line-of-sight so you can see / shoot through them from a wider angle than before. Miss shots now have reduced vertical deviation and so more likely to hit something relevant to gameplay. The short range hit bonus is now lower on diagonal tiles compared to lateral tiles, as the distance is greater. Cycling weapon fire modes (i.e. adding accuracy with right click) can no longer trigger enemy overwatch. Units can no longer end up with fractions of a HP when they suffer damage. Alien plasma projectiles now look a bit nicer. BUGFIXES: Fixed various crashes. Fixed an issue where the crosshair TU cost for a shot was not correctly including the rotation cost. Fixed a bug where the TU Reserve slider was deleting TU rather than reserving them. Fixed an issue where soldiers with insufficient TU to move got a free rotation when ordered to move. TU is now calculated correctly when movement is interrupted by spotting an alien. Crouched units that suffer a movement interrupt before they start moving no longer automatically uncrouch and then recrouch again, losing 8 TU in the process. Units can no longer shoot themselves, and consequently are no longer able to crash the game by killing themselves with burst fire before the burst has actually finished firing. So that's a pretty big update - especially when you consider that grenades are 95% complete but missed the deadline because the explosion VFX are not playing nicely with the glow shader we use to highlight units behind solid objects. There's quite a lot of behind-the-scenes coding work scheduled for the next build (e.g. editor or strategy layer work), but more details on that are available in the May Development Update. As always, please give the build a test and let us know if you experience any issues or have any thoughts!
  24. @Pave thanks for the report - one thing though, when you next play the game could you try not using the manual overwatch setting (i.e. go back to the default way of handling overwatch where the units just shoot automatically) as I'm not sure the manual overwatch mode has been kept completely up to date and potentially it could be causing issues. See if it makes any difference for you? We'll have a proper look through your post on Monday and try and reproduce the various LOS / overwatch issues you're experiencing.
  25. Great. Yes, I do mean the "error reporting" feature. The hotfix coming out today will include an upgrade for this feature that should give us the specific line number of any error so it should work even better soon.