Chris

Three Builds to Beta!

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This is my attempt at a catchy roadmap to the beta stage of the game, as I think having some kind of overarching structure to how we're working towards completion would help.

The idea is that we'll have three more major releases until beta. This isn't three Desura releases total - there'll be plenty of hotfixes and minor patches, I'm sure - but three new release versions.

What we're shooting for, hopefully, is to be able to announce our beta at the same time as Firaxis release their new X-Com game (9th October - so about two and a half months). We may not succeed at that, but it's something for us to work towards.

For those unfamiliar with our plans, the beta will allow the players to play right through the game from start to finish for the first time. It will contain all the enemies and the full tech tree. Basically, we would be able to release the game in that state and call it finished (although it wouldn't necessarily be a good game).

During beta we will continue to polish the experience and improve balance, and will add more maps and probably new terrain tiles and possibly one or two new aliens or enemy abilities etc. But the focus of alpha is to get the game mechanics finished, and the purpose of beta is to make the game enjoyable and fun to play.

In order to do this, all the following work must be completed (although which build contains what may be subject to change):

Build V13 (29 July)

- All dropships fully functional and with all required tiles in the game (though Chinook will be the only one available until beta)

- Cover in adjacent tiles to shooter is disregarded from the accuracy calculation, so shooting through windows / over walls is much easier

- Final mission can be launched from the Geoscape and loads a unique map with unique victory conditions, though map is placeholder

- Three day delay before purchased equipment / personnel arrive at a base

- Bleeding wounds system for soldiers

- Collapsible buildings are in place, where if you shoot out a certain % of the structural walls on a particular level, all walls on that floor and floors above will be destroyed and units within killed

- Soldier medal system has been added as is functional (though no way to display them on the Geoscape yet)

- The rate at which soldiers gain rank and attribute points is customisable in gameconfig.xml

- A unique weapon that isn't in the alpha is added and functional

- The C4 charge is in the game as starting equipment

- The Flashbang has been added to the game as starting equipment

- Middle East and US Desert ground tiles are all added to the game

- Middle East and US Desert buildings are modelled in 3D and the unpainted tiles are in-game

- Combat shield code is functional and in-game

- All renders for the Xenonaut non-power armours are done (possibly except for the combat shield derivatives)

- Xenonaut power armour limited to certain (ie. heavy) weapons

- Reaper Zombie model is modelled and textured

- Advanced buildings code (upgrades for some of the starting structures) is complete

- Alien clips are converted into Alenium after battle, rather than sold

- Mac port available

- AI coder recruited

- 3D modeller to work on tileset-specific civilians and AI soldiers recruited

Build V14 (19th August / 26th August)

- All Xenonaut and civilian renders complete, including vehicles

- 3D base tiles for the Arctic tileset buildings are complete

- First batch of new levels from level designer are in place

- All weapons on the GC have a melee attack function

- Air combat UFO weapons have fire arcs settable in a 360 arc (at the moment they always fire forwards)

- Air combat battlefield is larger for larger UFOs

- Air combat large UFOs have correspondingly larger hitboxes and interceptors will tail them at an appropriate distance, rather than flying "inside" them

- Alien psionic powers coded

- Reaper Zombie model rigged, animated and rendered

- Terror missions have a red Geoscape icon, Alien Bases have a purple Geoscape icon

- All Xenopedia text written

- Height level LOS issues fixed

- New tileset-specific friendly AI soldiers modelled

- Linux port available

- Firing accuracy formula takes into account windows and hypervelocity projectiles if the weapon is powerful enough to shoot through them and still hit the target

Build Beta V1 (9th October)

- Soldier Role assignment and auto-equip system

- All aliens rendered and in-game

- All UFO exterior tiles in place

- Soviet Town buildings complete in 3D

- Flamethrower

- All "in-construction" images for the aircraft and vehicles

- Clicking on two icons on Geoscape near to each other beings up selection menu

- Majority of Xenopedia art done

- New tileset-specific civilians and AI soldiers rigged, animated and rendered

- Final game launcher

- AI working to a playable (though not necessarily finished) level

- Lots and lots and lots of bugfixes

So, that's the vague roadmap to beta. It's missing a few things that I'm yet to work out how we'll slot in, notably the new UI and the tiles for the alien base / Xenonaut base / final mission. Nevertheless, if we can hit those targets then I think we'll be in a valid position to say the game has reached beta. Now it's just a question of making that happen :)

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Jeepers! Must...contain...squealing...noise...must..SQUEAL!

Looks great. Really can't wait to see all of this develop into the finished game.

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"Ya see this fist? Ya see where it's gonna go if you don't make good on dat list? ya see?" Already the pressure is on :)

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I'm pleased, you're on a shorter timeframe than i thought.

Of course things could go wrong, but it's nice to know that you're trying so hard.

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this is a most welcomed move Chris, thanks for sharing this info with us !

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Amazing stuff! Are you really on course to add all of those first updates in v13 in a week's time?!? That would be awesome! Keep up the good work guys.

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Inb4 the PR shitstorm once deadlines aren't met. :P

Just kidding, I'm sure everything will go as planned towards the expected positive outcome.

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Nice list of features there. I'm quite looking forward to the beta.

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I hope & belive that will be done as planned Chris. (Crossing fingers...)

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You can sell Xenonauts calendars now with all of that info on the right dates.

Might be best to put the info on stickers though so it can be moved if anything crops up ;)

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Selling calendars would prevent us slipping into next year though :P

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Extremely excited to see that building destruction is going in. That cheers me up immensely.

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A question: will we be getting more generic faces for soldiers as the game moves forward? Beyond the individual ones being done because of the kickstarter.

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Can't wait to battle the reapers.

They are actually in the game as of yet.

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so does "Cover in adjacent tiles to shooter is disregarded from the accuracy calculation, so shooting through windows / over walls is much easier" mean that you can throw grenades over tanks?

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They are actually in the game as of yet.

They are?! How far into the game do I have to play to face them?

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