Chris

May Development Update!

132 posts in this topic

So, the Kickstarter has been going for just over a couple of weeks and is going rather well. Obviously managing the Kickstarter has taken up quite a lot of my time (especially at first), but we’ve still been working on development. So, what’s the plan and how are things progressing development wise?

The plan is to release a build about a week after the Kickstarter closes, which will give us enough time to pass around all of the Desura codes etc that we need, and also to collect details from the people who have pledged to put their names in the game.

In development terms, progress has been slow relative to normal but we’re still getting stuff done.

First thing that’s happened is we’ve implemented female soldiers. These operate in the same way to male soldiers, except they drawn from an entirely separate pool of names, faces and armour graphics. We’ve finished the updated Basic Armour (all other armour is the same) and we’re working on the portraits now. They should be done for the next build. Preview is here:

www.xenonauts.com/devimages/female_basic.png

www.xenonauts.com/devimages/female_jackal.png

Next up, the pre-generated soldiers. We’ve implemented the code for this, so it’ll just be a question of adding a line of code and a portrait / hands image for each pre-generated soldier in the game. We’ve also implemented the Force Soldier box, which is at the bottom of the options screen.

You can put up to 12 codes in this box, and each one overwrites one of the starting soldiers in every new game you create. If your name is in the game, you’ll receive a number to go in this box. That way, you can ensure that you appear in every single game you play – and you can share it with other people when they do Let’s Plays etc. I’ll probably put mine (1) in my forum signature so everyone can march me to their doom in their games if they feel the need; hopefully other people will do something similar. If you respond to the Kickstarter stuff quickly once it closes, we’ll put you in the next build.

On another note, we’ll probably allow people to pay $100 to put their names in the game after the Kickstarter ends - all the way up to release. The code is already in place so there’s not really any extra cost for us to do it, and it’s the sort of thing that people seem pretty keen on.

In the ground combat we’ve spent quite a while working on the multi-tile rendering. This involves getting the game to render sprites properly when they fill more than one tile. This has been a massive pain that took nearly two weeks, but we’ve got it solved now (or we certainly hope so). We’re now working on adding the accuracy reduction of smoke, and we’ve fixed up the issue with the Xenonaut soldiers not being able to reaction fire.

We’ve also added in the alien racial abilities, although we’re still testing them and the AI isn’t bright enough to use them yet. Passive abilities like Sebillian regeneration and Andron wall-breaching will hopefully make an appearance in the next build. As should Androns themselves, once I’ve worked out why they’re not spawning at the moment.

We’ve fixed a truckload of bugs on the Geoscape, as well as the female soldier and pre-generated soldier stuff. We’ve also done the Geoscape part of systems like the soldier medals, the research-linked damage bonus against specific alien species and we’ve laid the groundwork on the base defence batteries too.

The defence batteries are basically functional, but need some more work on how they display the information when a UFO attacks the base. They are more streamlined than in X-Com. Essentially now you just build a defence battery (initially a Missile Battery) and then when you research more advanced weapons, they are automatically and instantly upgraded to more powerful defence batteries. For instance, researching Heavy Lasers instantly upgrades all Batteries to Laser Batteries.

Also, partial damage to an attacking UFO will kill some of the invaders before they land. Each alien on a damaged UFO has a % chance to be killed by defensive fire that is = UFO % damage taken / 4. So there’s an incentive to have turrets even if they don’t quite manage to shoot down the attacking UFOs.

We’ve also done some tweaks to the invasion AI that allow us finer control over the pace at which it advances. That means we should be able to make the game a bit more fun – we can have more UFOs earlier on, and stop them appearing in such overwhelmingly large numbers later on.

As far as the Geoscape goes, it’s really only finishing the defence battery code and then adding the Final Mission stuff until it is feature complete (plus any new features from the Kickstarter). Then we’ll set about implementing the new UI. Once that is in, that part of the game is ready for beta.

There’s still more to do on the ground combat and we’re tidying up a few odds and ends for the next few days, but we’ll be starting on the height level stuff soon. That should let us put hills in the game, which means we can get cracking on the Desert and the icy Tundra tilesets.

Finally, I’m also doing a bit more rendering. Hopefully we’ll have all the animations for the third-tier weapons for the first three armours in the dev build shortly, as well as a few new alien types. There’s a couple of persistent rigging issues that have prevented us from adding the jetpack-enabled armours so far, and once they’re fixed we can put those two in too. I thought I had someone working on it, but they seem to have vanished without a trace. Such is indie development, though. We’ll find a replacement.

I’ve not been that active on the forums lately for obvious reasons. I’ll try to get back into the swing of things with the next build release. In the meantime, just talk amongst yourselves…

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I’ll probably put mine (1) in my forum signature so everyone can march me to their doom in their games if they feel the need.

Of course we do, we've been dreaming about it for a long time now.

oicrn.jpg

Will you have a portrait of yourself or do we need to...improvise?

All in all, a lot of good news.

@base defences

So all defense batteries will have the same build/upkeep cost as well (considering they auto-upgrade)?

Edited by Jean-Luc

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What is particularly good about that is I look at least as unhappy as the other Xenonaut soldiers.

Yes, the upgrades are free and there is no additional upkeep costs. It's the only way to avoid having 5 different tiers of defences littering the menus at the end of the game when only one is useful.

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What is particularly good about that is I look at least as unhappy as the other Xenonaut soldiers.

Yes, you look like you've just given up on life, the perfect Xenonaut operative. :P

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Yay

That sounds really good.

good to hear how things have been coming, since the kickstarter started its been abit quite.

but good to know whats being worked on

keep up the good work

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This is great stuff, Chris. Are you planning to mention it in the next KS upgrade? Seems like the kind of news people there (who aren't yet checking the forums) would be excited to hear since it's a lot of real steps forward.

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The portraits look damn near awesome!

Also, none of that tight-fitting boob-enhancing armour that seems all to common these days. It looks like a good and propper woman in a uniform (Women in uniform, sometimes they feel so cold...).

The stuff on base defences is granted the Racoon Stamp of Approval. Was a bit of a chore replacing your defences in X-COM. And honestly, what kind of daft person finds it a good idea to use old missiles when you have plasma launchers?

Methinks I'll have to preorder, maybe even shell out the 100$ just to put a Swede in there :P

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Also, none of that tight-fitting boob-enhancing armour that seems all to common these days. It looks like a good and propper woman in a uniform (Women in uniform, sometimes they feel so cold...).

womenrealisticarmor.jpg

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Yeeeeah !! female soldiers, alien regen, ufo's pilot being attacked by batteries... can't wait to see it finished.

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Jean-Luc, you are hereby awarded the Racoon Stamp of Approval!

And I wholeheartedly agree with the "spoiler". Seriously, who goes into battle in a kevlar bikini? Last time I checked women and men have about the same disposition of vital organs.

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That depends on your view of vital to a certain extent. :P

Sounds like you are getting back into the swing of things Chris, hope you find/replace your missing rigger soon as well.

I am really looking forward to the jump armour.

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Well, that is a valid point. But I feel this path leads down to a less than child-friendly discussion, so let's stay clear shall we?

Or am I just being overtly dirty now? :eek:

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I don't think child-friendliness is a major consideration in a game about genocide. (on the human race)

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Somehow it seems it is, I mean it's kinda odd to my mind that games like Soldier of Fortune are allowed in certain countries while games like Fahrenheit Indigo Prophecy had the sex scenes removed. Except the one, that was deemed to important to the story to remove utterly. It just suffered horrendous mutilation instead.

The message this sends, IMO, is that violence is all good and neat, but having sex with another person is not. 'tis a daft sentiment in my eyes.

Aaaand there ya go! Deep political BS from a daft mammal!

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We’ve also done some tweaks to the invasion AI that allow us finer control over the pace at which it advances. That means we should be able to make the game a bit more fun – we can have more UFOs earlier on, and stop them appearing in such overwhelmingly large numbers later on.

There’s still more to do on the ground combat and we’re tidying up a few odds and ends for the next few days, but we’ll be starting on the height level stuff soon. That should let us put hills in the game, which means we can get cracking on the Desert and the icy Tundra tilesets.

That is great news!

Also I have to say that female portraits look very nice.

Keep up the good work Chris!

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Wait , the rigging person was last seen mocking about with jetpacks? Well that's you answer right there.

And honestly, what kind of daft person finds it a good idea to use old missiles when you have plasma launchers?

Missiles home in on their target, plasma projectiles don't. Lasers get a free pass at being good AA weapons because they hit nearly instantly. How fast can a plasma bolt travel? Ehhh not sure if want :/

Speaking of which, how can we just "upgrade" to lasers. Don't we need alenium to fire those things? The best next thing humanity has to power those things is a giant nuclear power plant. Does the base have a giant nuclear power plant? I have my doubts that the cost of constantly resupplying surface to air missiles is exactly the same as producing truckload of energy. Chris you are breaking mah immersion here mahn!

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Upgrading to next tier straight away is too OP. Purchasing the upgrade would be nice for balancing. $$$ + alenium(or one alien power source for every turret) + alien alloys = upgraded turrets.

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Somehow it seems it is, I mean it's kinda odd to my mind that games like Soldier of Fortune are allowed in certain countries while games like Fahrenheit Indigo Prophecy had the sex scenes removed. Except the one, that was deemed to important to the story to remove utterly. It just suffered horrendous mutilation instead.

The message this sends, IMO, is that violence is all good and neat, but having sex with another person is not. 'tis a daft sentiment in my eyes.

Aaaand there ya go! Deep political BS from a daft mammal!

I'm under understanding that prioritizing sex over violence is thing of American censorship? Am I wrong and it applies to Europe and other countries too?

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really good to see further progress. Well done to all concerned.

I'd have preferred to have bought the base defence upgrades though. It seems a bit of a cop out to have them upgrade automatically.

But very well done on the female soldiers. I'd pop that on the website at earliest available opportunity just to illustrate just how diverse the game is.

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I'm under understanding that prioritizing sex over violence is thing of American censorship? Am I wrong and it applies to Europe and other countries too?

It's chronic in the US, somewhat severe in the UK, but eases off as get into the mainland and move east.

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The best next thing humanity has to power those things is a giant nuclear power plant. Does the base have a giant nuclear power plant?

According to one of the Xenopedia entries the xeno base is fitted with a reactor.

Probably to do with not having an easily traceable and interruptible power source in your hidden base.

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We’ve also added in the alien racial abilities, although we’re still testing them and the AI isn’t bright enough to use them yet. Passive abilities like Sebillian regeneration and Andron wall-breaching will hopefully make an appearance in the next build. As should Androns themselves, once I’ve worked out why they’re not spawning at the moment.

I want to see how this works in a ground combat mission... Breaching through walls will give ground missions a lot more variety. I hope the AI, when fully developed, will use this ability a lot.

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Chris, you should totally post this on the kickstart page (well most of it anyway). Strip out the custom names info being there after kickstart. These updates get people coming back, and hlep people on the fence see, that its worth taking the plunge!!

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