Chris

V14 Released!

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V14 has been authorised and is ready for download on Desura (though the standalone downloads will be a bit longer yet)

Apologies for the delay on the release - it took longer than expected and I need to find a new flat this week, so I've been a bit busy. I've also been trying to fix up an issue with some of the animations, but have failed. Some animations (explosion animations etc) are just not displaying at the moment for some reason, so I'll get that sorted in the next couple of days and release a hotfix.

Changes:

- Soldier Equip screen tooltips: There is now updated tooltips on the Soldier Equip screen. Previously mouseovering an item would just display its name, but now it gives some detail of the weapon and its battlefield role, then lists its important stats. This is intended to make the game easier to use, but also to allow us to streamline the research tree as less vital gameplay information has to be conveyed through research with this arrangement.

- Researchable weapons with unlimited quantities: Previously any weapon set to Unlimited quantity would appear right from the start of the game. However, we've added a few tags to give control over this - we can now set items to be UnlimitedOnResearch, which means they appear in unlimited quantities once triggered by research projects. We can also disable items with research projects too.

The reason we have done this is to let us make certain weapons such as the Stun Baton appear in infinite quantities once the required research has been completed, saving the player the need to manufacture relatively specialist and mundane items. It also allows us to do "upgrades", for example after researching a live Sebillian the player will recieve the Advanced Medpack in the place of the Medpack. This is also available in unlimited quantities, so disabling the normal Medpack is useful as it has no further use once the Advanced version arrives.

- AI: GJ (our AI developer) has been hard at work on the AI. He's committed some of his work to this version of the game and the AI should be a bit better than it was before. Don't expect anything fantastic, but hopefully it won't be as spectacularly stupid as it previously was.

- Air Combat changes: - We've made a few changes to the Air Combat code. First of all, the battlefields now scale with UFO size. The earlier UFOs now have smaller battlefields than before, and anything larger than a Corvette has a larger battlefield.

We've also added proper hitboxes. These are limited to being circular, but they still give a much better representation of the size of the UFO once you reach Corvette / Landing Ship sized UFOs and upwards. Before missiles and cannon shells only counted as hitting the target when they reached the very centre of the UFO, but now they will cause damage on the edge. This means that cannons will fire at a longer range, and makes dogfighting a bit easier.

- UFO Rebalancing: There's also been a couple of updates to the UFO weapon code, which has allowed us to add short-range defensive turrets to the UFOs. The Corvette now has some. The Landing Ship also has some defensive turrets, and has been made a bit less tough - but now it packs a bit of a surprise too. Fighters should once again be able to dodge missiles too.

- New Maps: Adam, our level designer, has got back from his holiday and finished updating various spectres and started work on some new maps. His first three are in the game now, all of which are for the Industrial tileset. We've got a new map for the Light Scout, Scout and the Corvette. I think they're looking pretty good and hopefully the number will increase steadily from here on in.

- Psionic Powers: The alien psionic powers have now been implemented. This won't be of much use until the AI is sufficiently intelligent to make use of them, but the code is now done.

- Hypervelocity Projectiles & Windows Accuracy Calc: The "% to hit" calculation displayed on the cursor with a weapon selected has now been updated to take into account the penetration power of hypervelocity projectiles and the ability to shoot through windows. This means that if a weapon has enough power to shoot through a wall / window and hit the unit behind, the cursor will no longer display 0% to hit the target but will display the actual hit percentage. The random element of damage in the shot (+20% to -20%) means that occasionally this will not happen, but it should work most of the time.

- Bleeding Wounds notification: Following feedback from the community, the duration of the "XXX Soldier has sustained a bleeding wound" notification at the start of the turn has been increased by about 50%. Let me know if it's still too short to read.

- Geoscape Icons: Terror Sites now have a red Geoscape icon and alien bases have a pale blue icon, differentiating them a bit more clearly from the black crash site icons.

- Friendly AI soldiers: We've got to work modelling up the various tileset-specific AI soldiers for the beta. You can see our progress here:

Soviet Soldier: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/russian.png

Arab Soldier: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/arab.png

New National Guard: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/nationalguard.png

We're currently working on a security guard for the Industrial tileset, and then we'll need some parka-clad chaps for the Arctic tileset and something for the US desert tileset. After that, we'll get the tileset-specific civilians done too.

- Polar tiles: We've finished the two main buildings for the Arctic tileset, although they're not in the game yet. We've also got a nice animated sea tile done too.

- Linux / Mac ports: Linux and Mac versions of V14 should be with us in a few days. It takes our porter a little time to get these done once I've finalised the assets package, which I've only just done.

Missed Milestones:

- Rendering: The plan was to have all the Xenonaut units rendered by V14, but it hasn't happened. Why? Because I didn't properly account for how long it takes to render out all the various combat shield / assault shield and offhand weapon combinations, and I completely forgot about rendering the Xenonaut units with the alien weapons (which needs to be done).

Still, we're making good progress. I've added 70 new sprite / armour combos to the dev version since the last update, and there's another 17 rendered out and waiting to be processed by our data entry guy. We might overshoot our deadline by a month or so but it shouldn't really affect anything.

- Height LOS issues: There's a bug where if you stand on the roof a building, you have LOS as if you were standing on all the floors below as well. This hasn't been fixed yet as we've just not got around to it.

- All Xenopedia text written: This is a big task and when I started it, we ended up adding the UnlimitedOnResearch tag because I felt that the research tree still needs some finesse as to its structure. I might make much of this placeholder so we can test the layout and pacing of the research tree before I spend hours writing up projects that might be deleted or split out. For example, at the moment a single project (Laser Weaponry) will unlock 5 different weapons. Whether that's the best way to handle introducing them to the player, I'm not yet sure...

- Melee Attack for All Weapons - This is on the to-do list for the next few days but I don't think it's been done yet.

Anyway, there'll be a hotfix for the missing animation issue in the next few days. Please report any serious bugs quickly so we can fix them for that update too!

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I promised i'll start ignoring this game until it is released to avoid spoiling it for myself, WHY AM I READING THIS!?

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I promised i'll start ignoring this game until it is released to avoid spoiling it for myself, WHY AM I READING THIS!?

I told myself the same thing, why don't I ever listen! Hrrk.... must have... patience.

Edit

Awesome work on Xenonauts so far.

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Hi Chris,

Were you able to fix the bug that froze the game when entering land combat?

Thanks.

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Hi Chris,

Were you able to fix the bug that froze the game when entering land combat?

Thanks.

Was gonna ask the very same thing. The new AI soldiers look very nice, especially the Russian ones. New maps are also welcome, as is the AI update. All in all it looks to be a very good update.

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I hadn't played this game since.. I don't know.. way early this year? Hard to say. Anywho, 13.2 basically blew my away. Even without any AI, with the same map over-and-over-and-over, and with the battle crashes, I kept playing and playing. I'm officially excited for -any- updates on this.

I do hope 14 solves some of the crashing. If it did, I'll probably push forward even more than in my previous game.

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Well, I know what I'm doing when I get out of work today. Look out you mohawk wearing alien lizards!

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Hi Chris,

Were you able to fix the bug that froze the game when entering land combat?

Thanks.

Did this happen when entering land combat, or entering the alien turn?

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I don't know if it's fixed off the top of my head, you guys will have to tell me (the bug reports go straight from Matthew to the coders so I'm not always in the loop on them).

It's difficult to know what is causing the issue without reproduction steps, though it's quite possible it's an AI issue. In which case it may be fixed by GJ's new code, and if not then it should definitely be fixed by beta.

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Thanks. Hopefully, it's fixed. I'm going to keep my fingers crossed. It was very hard to play a game having to reload over and over to get past the freeze.

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How long does this Desiree lady usually take to approve an updated download?

Depends on when the upload is submitted. Desura's HQ is in Australia so it is around 6 AM right now, so probably in a few hours.

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How long does this Desiree lady usually take to approve an updated download?

Desura? depends. half a day if they are on the ball. Several days or until Chris pokes them if there is any confusion about if they should upload the new version or not.

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I hope that ground combat freeze is fixed too. I stopped playing it about a week ago- couldn't get past second ground combat mission.

I was looking forward to this bug fix more than any new features. These crashes ruin the game to where there's no point in playing it.

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To be honest a lot of people are turned away by games that consistently lock up or crash early in the game every time they play it even if in beta or a demo. A lot of gamers don't have the patients for game stopping bugs like that, no matter how good the game and even with the most desired feature list- glitches and artifacts are common in most complex games, but crashes and lockups are a big turn away.

So, I'd make sure these frequent lockups are for the most part ironed out before announcing it beta. I mean there will be an occasional crash or lockup by a few who are playing on their specific computer setups, even in the final released version but what is happening now is too often and early in the game not to mention there is no way of playing it without it happening.

I've tired peoples suggest work-arounds they just don't work.

Maybe you want to move along and keep building features into it and fix the bugs latter but I don't know maybe by then it will be

too late there will be to many and too much complex code that can't be changed without offsetting another old bug.

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Chris, I didn't see it mentioned in your initial post... did the Reaper Zombie model get rigged, animated and rendered for v14?

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I don't play the beta much but reading the change list still makes me feel all tingly. Great stuff.

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Nice update Chris.

Looking forward to trying the new version when Desura approves it.

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It's not rendered yet, but it's ready to get except I'm still working through the melee attack animation with the animator.

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I hope that ground combat freeze is fixed too. I stopped playing it about a week ago- couldn't get past second ground combat mission.

I was looking forward to this bug fix more than any new features. These crashes ruin the game to where there's no point in playing it.

Is this during ground combat; especially during the A.I.'s turn?

It's a bug I found out about only yesterday. I'm currently working on getting it fixed.

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