Chris

Progress Update & Indie of the Year!

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The text of the latest update on the Xenonauts website. Nothing too interesting, just need to keep the news blog there updated at least once a month!

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This site launched just over a month ago, and we've had a very busy month! Our launch on Desura was successful and so we are taking pre-orders for the game again, and progress has been good. You can read more about the wider business elements of our work on the Goldhawk news blog, as this entry will focus predominantly on Xenonauts itself.

Firstly, the annual IndieDB Indie of the Year competition has opened - so if you're a fan of Xenonauts, please vote for us on the Indie DB site. This only takes a few seconds and helps raise the profile of the game, so your support in this would be appreciated.

Onto the game itself - last weekend we released Build V8.2 to the pre-order community. This represents another milestone for us, as it contains a functional Research tree including the first tier of researchable weapons (lasers) and body armour, as well as the first iteration of an in-game UFO model. Up until this point players had been attacking what has been jokingly referred to as an Evil Alien Shed, which was basically a recoloured factory that acted as a spawn point for the aliens. Needless to say, the addition of the UFO makes the missions much more atmospheric, even if it's not yet complete. The tiles currently in the game are the 3D rendered tiles, and they are now being painted over by our 2D artist to create a finished appearence for the UFO. We're also working on the interior prop tiles, which are also looking very cool. Expect the finished Scout UFO to be in the game in V8.3 or V8.4 - basically within a couple of weeks. Then we'll start rolling out the remaining UFOs.

Another major feature of build V8.x is the Main Menu screen, which is indicative of the immersive direction we want to take our GUI screens. Essentially the screen is a painted background that we will animate, and the text and options are contained on a clipboard at the bottom of the screen. Click on the clipboard heading and the camera 'looks' down at the clipboard, which contains all of the required information. It looks great, and I think it works really well. It's certainly worth trying out yourself if you've pre-ordered the game!

We've also added Saving / Loading functionality to the game, although currently this only works on the strategic map rather than in the ground combat. If you don't know much about software development, you may well not know how major an issue Save / Load can be codewise, but it's a pretty major undertaking. As a result it's taking some time to complete and is not fully stable yet, but we're ironing out the bugs reasonably quickly. V8.3 is due out this weekend and that should have most of the bugs in the save functionality fixed up.

There are also LOTS of small changes and fixes that can be found in the update notes for builds V8.0, V8.1 and V8.2 on our community forums. This will give anyone who is interested full details of what's changed since V7.5 (our Expo build).

In closing, I'll just mention that V8.x will become our press preview build when it is finished - we're expecting this is around two weeks. We're not adding that many major new features over the next two weeks, but instead we're working on fixing bugs and polishing the existing experience. There will be further posts when V8.x is finished, so expect to see more then - but it should be the most complete and most polished version of Xenonauts we've yet developed. If you want to experience the game so far, that'll be the time to do it!

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Woo!

Fixes!

New tiles! (well, prettier versions of current tiles)

New build sometime soon!

The clipboard is meant to be looked 'down' at? I thought the clipboard was brought 'up'. Either way, still good.

Among the save fixes, does that include the Ghost UFO bug? I'll be strange not hearing about it anymore if so.

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Wow,

thanks for the update. I am really looking forward for the pressrelease. Make sure to let us know when a feature or an article is posted somewhere so we can get an impression what the so called "professionals" think about Xenonauts. Probably only good things :P

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Wow,

thanks for the update. I am really looking forward for the pressrelease. Make sure to let us know when a feature or an article is posted somewhere so we can get an impression what the so called "professionals" think about Xenonauts. Probably only good things :P

Actually PC Gamer have already done at least one little feature: http://www.pcgamer.com/2011/05/10/xenonauts-dev-diary-exclusive-first-ground-combat-screens-and-walkthrough/

It was back in May though, so it will be interesting to see what they make of the new, feature-complete builds.

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Was that really only six months ago? Wow, maybe we're moving faster than I thought. The PC Gamer build was horrendously basic....

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I was hoping more people would have preordered this by now, a heavy media assault is needed, kudos for the effort but you need this game in the front pages or more news in pc gamer etc...

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We're a relatively high price-point product so I can understand why people might be waiting to take a punt on us. But yes, a big media blitz should help things hugely.

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I'm planning on pre-ordering soon; at the moment, I'm waiting for the current flurry of release, find huge gamebreaking bug, re-release to die down a bit. I'd like my first build to be a (relatively) solid one, and I think that once you've got something like that settled down, then starting up the media blitz machine would be a good idea. Starting right now (or, more accurately, a few days ago) could have been a mistake - a solid, if feature-limited, build is really a necessity for getting good press, I'd think.

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I'm planning on pre-ordering soon; at the moment, I'm waiting for the current flurry of release, find huge gamebreaking bug, re-release to die down a bit. I'd like my first build to be a (relatively) solid one, and I think that once you've got something like that settled down, then starting up the media blitz machine would be a good idea. Starting right now (or, more accurately, a few days ago) could have been a mistake - a solid, if feature-limited, build is really a necessity for getting good press, I'd think.

I wouldn't say there's any gamebreaking bugs, the 8.3 problem was corrected with I'd say about a minute of coding it really was just a oversight that took more time to release to the users then the fix did.

It was my first play and while it took me a little while to find out how to use the debug mode and figure out what the buttons are it really does offer a good look at the bones of the game. Don't let the alpha phase stop you from trying out the game if you know how to browse a forum or post a question.

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Yeah, V8 is intended to be the press release once it's fully stable and the niggling little usability problems are sorted out.

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I wouldn't say there's any gamebreaking bugs, the 8.3 problem was corrected with I'd say about a minute of coding it really was just a oversight that took more time to release to the users then the fix did.

It was my first play and while it took me a little while to find out how to use the debug mode and figure out what the buttons are it really does offer a good look at the bones of the game. Don't let the alpha phase stop you from trying out the game if you know how to browse a forum or post a question.

I wasn't specifically thinking about 8.4 having gamebreaking bugs (except, possibly, the 'immortal aliens' bug), but it was just released; the ones directly previous to it definitely did, though, and it'd be a shame to start the game up for the first time just to find out it doesn't work at all. I'm willing to wait a week for the press release build to be released to throw in my money for the pre-order - I'm willing to do bug-hunting, but I want my first gameplay impression to be a good one. I think that's an important thing to strive for in the press release/media blitz build, too.

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The immortal aliens bug is fixed now. The current build is pretty stable but hopefully in a week or so it'll both be stable and have a few extra features. More than understand where you're coming from.

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pc gamer uk, i am subscriber, reviewers ,they are HUGE indie fans, i have the last edition and your game wasnt on the 2012 upcoming list.......not even as indie,

maybe.... , maybe if you time the release date so it doesnt coincide with a AAA release and if the game is good enough it could even go to the front page...... , alot of ifs perphaps, another magazine is computer shopper uk , it has a 2 pages games section, but it is read by older players which definetely know what an x-com game was

Edited by cyllan

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Or lower budget - give people another special badge / grouping if they mention Xenonauts on their facebook / twitter etc with a standard template of an advert. Facebook, and the like, travel faster than pc gamer / [insert generic gaming magazine].. hell even faster than tv :)

Cant remember the last time i bought one :)

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Or lower budget - give people another special badge / grouping if they mention Xenonauts on their facebook / twitter etc with a standard template of an advert. Facebook, and the like, travel faster than pc gamer / [insert generic gaming magazine].. hell even faster than tv :)

Cant remember the last time i bought one :)

good idea, how big is the game anyway ? , last time i looked it was 150megs......... not much...... what can i say......?

i like when games require 8gigs+ hardrive to install ;)

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good idea, how big is the game anyway ? , last time i looked it was 150megs......... not much...... what can i say......?

It's an alpha (or is it considered beta now?) version with like 85% of content still missing.

i like when games require 8gigs+ hardrive to install ;)

Nice to see consumer conditioning pay off.

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Still Alpha I believe Jean-Luc!

i like when games require 8gigs+ hardrive to install ;)

And yeah, I 'hate' it when developers actually take the time to optimise games, or make awesome games that can easily work on a laptop etc...

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Jean-Luc

"Nice to see consumer conditioning pay off. "

come on !!!!! more data =more fun=more to see and do, do you want 2 chocolate donughts when you can have 50!!!!

not saying size=quality for a fact but more size equals more effort more to see and do, sorry the age of 512k games is over...... the age of tesselation and dx11 is coming......!!!!! ( soon i hope...;) )

Edited by cyllan

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Jean-Luc

"It's an alpha (or is it considered beta now?) version with like 85% of content still missing."

are you sure?

i thought most of the game was done already? except AI , bugs and miscelaneous items.... i read the 2d artist job person was finished,

where is that 85% missing?

Edited by cyllan

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Still Alpha I believe Jean-Luc!

And yeah, I 'hate' it when developers actually take the time to optimise games, or make awesome games that can easily work on a laptop etc...

come on...... do you really want to play AAA+ games on a laptop? i rather have a big screen (mine is 2650* 1440 27") a killer graphics card and most settings to maximun, i look forward to the day when a game is 1 terabyte data and bug free, yes is a dream but most laptops cant run big games, how long are we going to be stuck with dx9? .

you can get a good gaming desktop for peanuts these days.

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