Chris

Threads Disabled

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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 :)

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2 hours ago, Chris said:

...for now our focus is just producing a HD version of Xenonauts 1 in Unity.

It'd be really great if you could actually do this to full extent and eventually release it for free to X1 owners. It'd work as an updated modding platform as well. 

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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.

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1 hour ago, Jean-Luc said:

It'd be really great if you could actually do this to full extent and eventually release it for free to X1 owners. It'd work as an updated modding platform as well. 

Well, there has been an idea of "Open'fy" Xenonauts with the Unity-engine-edition, once the game is ready for that point and such:
http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/topic/14417-an-idea-of-openxenonauts/


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As for hiding threads, I can see and understand the justification of them being counterproductive; @Chris pretty much said what I would be only repeating.
(( And as far as I have been aware, I've tried to stay rather open-minded, especially with lines such as "We'll just have to see the initial implementation" and so on. ))



However I genuinely do hope that in the future these threads could be revealed back to public in future, if not only for the archival reasons. Not certain when though, maybe once they are topical again?
(You could bring them back as locked threads in their own sub-forums-section like "idea-brewing-foundry" or something similar themed title.)

It is no secret though that this "stunt" feels a little "cheap" to me, especially since these threads contained a lot of posts by me to which I put effort and time into.
(( I semi-apologize for the "emotional imploring", but I would be lying to / betraying myself if I didn't say the above line. ))

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21 minutes ago, Chris said:

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.

 

I meant aside from X2 or parallel to it rather. Like a re-release of X1 but with applicable X2 features (Unity and 3D assets basically). It's probably not as "easy' as it sounds, it was just a thought. It only came to mind because you mentioned (partially) recreating X1 in unity before implementing/testing X2 specific features so that X1 Unity "skeleton" might be used to make a better (and more moddable) X1 as well. 

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1 hour ago, Pave said:

As for hiding threads, I can see and understand the justification of them being counterproductive; @Chris pretty much said what I would be only repeating.
(( And as far as I have been aware, I've tried to stay rather open-minded, especially with lines such as "We'll just have to see the initial implementation" and so on. ))

However I genuinely do hope that in the future these threads could be revealed back to public in future, if not only for the archival reasons. Not certain when though, maybe once they are topical again?
(You could bring them back as locked threads in their own sub-forums-section like "idea-brewing-foundry" or something similar themed title.)

It is no secret though that this "stunt" feels a little "cheap" to me, especially since these threads contained a lot of posts by me to which I put effort and time into.
(( I semi-apologize for the "emotional imploring", but I would be lying to / betraying myself if I didn't say the above line. ))

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.

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sigh, now I may as well get back to work. I did have fun brewing some ideas up with people but without anything particularly tangible or playable related to them I can see that they were always quite likely to lose traction. Still, it was nice to feel that this side of the xcom game niche has a community that can influence structural changes to the game - obviously we can't all get the ideas we want in the final game but I still appreciate the space in which to float those ideas.

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I understand your intention of closing this forum. Can't redeem myself from the "we have to see how the outcome will be"-argument.

Hope Chris will nevertheless consider all the discussed points of the individual features that the community brought up, not all of it was criticism.
 

18 hours ago, Chris said:

...snip...
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.
...snip...

Agree with that.
Once a feature reappears with a demo version or in another way, I would like to see some sort of summary of the - now hidden - community input to see what was brought into it and what not. Maybe with some explanation why some features were implemented or not included. Then, I guess, people will see their input considered/valuated and not disregarded.

 

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23 hours ago, thixotrop said:

Hope Chris will nevertheless consider all the discussed points of the individual features that the community brought up, not all of it was criticism.

I thought I came up with a couple of decent ideas too. Shame the naysayers won. Ah well... :(

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1 hour ago, Ade the Rare said:

I thought I came up with a couple of decent ideas too. Shame the naysayers won. Ah well... :(

Not the naysayers, but those who missed the point of the thread.

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19 hours ago, Ade the Rare said:

I thought I came up with a couple of decent ideas too. Shame the naysayers won. Ah well... :(

 

18 hours ago, Shoes said:

Not the naysayers, but those who missed the point of the thread.

Yeah, it wasn't exactly naysaying that was the problem - criticizing the ideas put forwards was fine provided people engaged properly with them.

Anyway over the past few days I've come to realise we did indeed gain some rather useful feedback from the various threads. I'm still inclined to keep the threads closed until playable versions of some of the mechanics discussed start arriving, because I guess most of what there is to be said has already been said ... but we did read the comments people made in all of the threads and our ideas have evolved and changed as a result of many of them. Maybe it was all worthwhile after all? :)

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This is the best OP ( Original Post ) I have read in a long time.

Keep it up ^^.

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On 27.4.2017 at 2:55 PM, Chris said:

 

Yeah, it wasn't exactly naysaying that was the problem - criticizing the ideas put forwards was fine provided people engaged properly with them.

... but we did read the comments people made in all of the threads and our ideas have evolved and changed as a result of many of them. Maybe it was all worthwhile after all? :)

Sounds like an incentive for closed beta/alpha/idk - testing, doesn't it? With or without open testing going along.

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