OK, so the belated release of Build V13 is now upon us and the files have now been uploaded to Desura and is up on Desura. As always, the DRM-free download will take longer to become available than the version using the Desura client.
This is the first of three steps along the Three Builds to Beta roadmap. Assuming no catastrophic bugs are discovered in the next 24 hours, I'll publicise the release tomorrow.
The features due to be in the build are listed below, along with commentary as to whether we've hit the target or not:
- Shooting over cover: When a unit fires a weapon, any cover in the adjacent tiles is disregarded for the purposes of the accuracy calculation (provided it does not have 100% stopping chance, which would mean it was a solid object such as a wall). This means that it is now far more advantageous to take cover, as your soldiers will no longer fire their weapons directly into objects only a few inches in front of them.
- Bleeding wounds: There is now a 20% chance every time a soldier takes 10 HP of damage that he will suffer a bleeding wound (with one injury capable of causing multiple bleeding wounds if it does 20HP damage or more). The bleeding wounds will cause 2HP damage per turn until cured with a medikit. If a soldier has a bleeding wound, you will be informed at the start of the turn how many they have and how much HP damage it has caused. You can LMB click to skip this message if you don't care.
- Three day delay: Now when you purchase equipment (vehicles / aircraft) or personnel, there is a 3 day delay before it arrives. For the vehicles / aircraft, they will fill a hangar or garage slot in the meantime and the game will show a counter until they arrive. For the personnel, any personnel in transit will appear in (brackets) after the number present at the base, and they will fill living quarter space while in transit too.
- Collapsible buildings: These are now in place. 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. Only a couple of the buildings on the Town (quickbattle) map have been set up to use this, but it does work. It's the responsibility of the level designer to update this for all the tiles and he's currently on holiday, so they'll be updated for the next build.
- Soldier Medal system: for soldiers has been added and is functional, so soldier qill be awarded medals after battles. However, until we update the Soldier Equip screen to the new UI we'll not be able to display the medals on the Geoscape.
- Combat Shield: This seemed to be very popular on the forums and it's now in the game. The combat shield will block 80% of incoming fire from directly in front and 65% of fire from diagonal directions, and will block no shots from the side or rear. It has 120 HP and is destroyed when that reaches 0.
The renders for this are in progress and are not yet in the game, so only the idle frames for the combat shield with the ballistic pistol are available for the basic and Jackal armour so you know it is there (more will follow in the future). Also, for some reason I can't make it appear in the Soldier Equip screen so it appears by default on the pistol soldier in the Quick Battles and on the Geoscape if you keep him armed with a pistol. It'll work normally in the next build hopefully.
- Flashbang: This is in the game and is starting equipment. They're grenades that don't do any damage but have 60 suppression damage and can be used to suppress aliens if you want to approach them for some reason.
- C4 Charge: This is in the game and is starting equipment. Probably needs a little more work in terms of graphics and UI but it should work. Let me know how you find it.
- Customisable Soldier Advancement: The rate at which soldiers gain stats and ranks is now customisable in gameconfig.xml. I've increased the advancement rate by between 50%-100% in most cases, as I felt it was a bit slow. Also, we've changed strength gain so that soldiers gain it based on how many APs they spend when carrying more than 80% (this may increase to 90%) of their max carry weight rather than the somewhat overcomplex system we had before.
- Alien Clip Conversion: Instead of selling alien clips after a battle, once Alenium is researched clips should automatically be broken down into 2 Alenium each. In future builds, alien grenades will also be worth Alenium too.
- Middle East and US Desert tiles: these are in the game, but there's no maps for them yet. The ground tiles should be largely complete for them unless we decide that we need to add hills (which we may), but to an extent I'm going to let the level designer see what he can come up with.
The Middle East tileset is an Arab-style desert, and the US Desert is a US / African style desert with a more red palette, using a sort of abandoned airbase theme. The buildings are done in tersm of 3D tiles, barring the hangar which we're currently working on, but the props will be done later and the 3D tiles still need to be painted over.
- New Music: we've added a few new music songs to the ground combat and remixed the air combat music slightly too.
- Power armour: this isn't in the beta, but the power armour now only uses designated weapons. Which is good for the beta, when you will get to play with it
Other milestone reporting:
- All renders for the Xenonaut non-power armours are done - this has been achieved other than for the combat shield and the assault shield, as they required some additional setup and animation tweaks which are now done. But it's still quite a bit of rendering. That and the power armour renders will all be done for the next build though.
- Mac port should be available shortly.
- We've recruited an AI programmer now. He's called GJ and is an MSc student in AI, and is working on Xenonauts full time as part of his studies. I'm confident he'll do a good job and not disappear. As a bonus for you guys, he's keen to get involved in the forum and discuss the AI model and how well it's working etc. Expect to see him soon.
- I think we have the 3D modeller to work on tileset-specific civilians and AI soldiers recruited. I just need to confirm with him he is actually working on the models right now!
- The Reaper Zombie model is modelled and textured. This is the last alien that needs to be modelled.
- All the dropship tiles are done now.
- The final mission can be launched from the Geoscape after the correct research is done, and loads a specific map with unique victory conditions. The map is placeholder right now though and isn't in the alpha.
- Advanced buildings code (upgrades for some of the starting structures) is complete. We still have one building that is not a starting building that needs coding though.
- A unique weapon that isn't in the alpha is added and functional
All in all, good progress. Let's see if we can do similarly well with the next build in two or three weeks time.