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Showing content with the highest reputation since 03/05/2020 in Posts

  1. 4 points
    Actually this was the one part that I hope would change with Xenonauts 2. The dynamic of the Cold War was something woefully underused in the first game and I hope would be more emphasized. The whole MIB aspect could lend to a multitude of ways to deal with civilians on a map like just non lethally taking them down so that they wouldn’t run around like headless chickens and get turned into zombies by the Reapers or standing in the middle of a firefight blocking your shots. Not to mention the tech sharing possibilities. Maybe each bloc of the Cold War can offer different pros and cons for you to choose a side to tech share so that the war against the aliens will not only change the fate of humanity but the course of the Cold War as well. For instance gaining the favor of the Soviet Union by ruining a coup perpetrated by the US with some help of the aliens in exchange for a missile scientist. Or stealing cargo from a GDR convoy for the FDR to gain a some funds and a communications scientist. This will force the player to either play a game of tight rope balancing the power of two sides to avoid nuclear Armageddon or go all out to support one faction to eventually create a united world against the aliens. At the end there could be three different outcome. 1. You help the capitalist side win and collapse the Warsaw Pact 2. You help the communist win and establish a world government 3. You prolong the Cold War further into space
  2. 4 points
    Closed Beta Build V12 has now been released on Steam and GOG. Note that this build is only available on our Experimental branch so you'll need to switch over to get this update (instructions on how to do that here). This build expands on the new MARS vehicle, and formalises the Orbital Bombardment and Signal Uplink mechanics we added in the last build into proper systems. Annoyingly, several new bits of content were close to being complete but didn't quite make it into the build - aerial terror sites, the new armour / penetration mechanics, and a new early-game escort UFO. Instead, they'll be coming in the next build. After this release and the various hotfixes we'll need to put out for it, we're going to take a bit of time to fix some backend stuff that's been causing us problems for a while, and perhaps also add the final Geoscape mechanics still required before we can call the Geoscape feature complete. This is quite a bit of stuff to get through, so it might be a month or so until the next update - but I think it's going to be a cool one, as there's also some new art incoming too. More about that in a proper developer update though! Key Changes: Relations becomes Panic: to make things easier to understand, each region now has a Panic score instead of a Relations score. This changes very little except a region is lost when Panic reaches 100, so any effects that reduced Relations (e.g. Orbital Bombardment and UFO activity) now increase Panic instead. Orbital Bombardment Notification: you now get a notification when the aliens destroy a city from orbit. Setting this system up also involved adding cities to the Geoscape and giving them all a population (and priority score for how likely the aliens are to blow them up). Signal Uplinks: these are now proper Geoscape objects rather than hacked-together Strategic Operations. You no longer need to assign a soldier to them to complete the mission, and the costs and effects are shown more clearly. You have an Uplink Capacity which controls how many uplinks you can have operational at once; there is a new base building called the Comms Room which increases this. In the next major build aliens will be able to attack and destroy these signal uplinks, so it's a bad idea to construct them in areas that your interceptors cannot cover! MARS / ARES tech tree: the MARS support vehicle we added in V11 has undergone some changes and now has a tech tree associated with it. Note that most of these changes are experimental so they're not yet reflected in the artwork of the game - it's all still pretty placeholder! The ARES becomes available in the mid-game. This is a small hovertank (currently represented by the X1 Hyperion) that is slightly less tough than the MARS, but has better Accuracy and more TUs. The MARS and ARES now recieve armour upgrades whenever your aircraft get armour upgrades, meaning they get tougher as the game goes on. Both the MARS and ARES have an optional armour module that fits extra armour plating, boosting their HP but reducing their TU (this is independent from the researchable armour upgrades). You can therefore choose whether you want your vehicle to act more like a scout or a tank. Vehicles now have a Primary and a Secondary slot, but no Belt. Vehicles can no longer equip infantry weapons, and must choose a Primary and Secondary from the following list: Primary: HMG: this is a stronger version of the infantry LMG. Cannon: a powerful weapon with a small blast area and decent ammo capacity. Rocket Launcher: fires powerful rockets with a large blast area, but has limited ammo capacity. Secondary: SMG: this is a 100-round version of the infantry SMG, designed to be a backup weapon if the primary runs out of ammo or is inappropriate for the situation. Smoke Launcher: this is a 4-shot grenade launcher that can only fire defensive smoke rounds. Rangefinder: this is not a weapon that can be used in combat, but it boosts the Accuracy of the vehicle by +10. You are now limited to one vehicle in the starting dropship, and the advanced dropship can carry two. Strategy: Bases now have a "radar tracking" value, which is larger than the "radar detection" value. What this means is that a detected UFO can be tracked for some distance beyond detection range, preventing the detection alert spam that could occur when a UFO was flying in and out of a base's detection range. You can now get your hands on the Tactical Visor armour module by completing the Alien Electronics research. Added proper map co-ordinates to the bottom right of the Geoscape screen. The "pop-up" text on the Geoscape (e.g. region names, "construct new base" text, etc) now appears in a set location at the bottom of the map. The cost of building a new base is now displayed when the construct new base mode is active. Tooltips can no longer get stuck to your mouse cursor. Repeatedly clicking the Funding Report button no longer queues up lots of copies of the same pop-up panel. Exosuit now has some armour modules, although there's no art for them yet because we're still painting up the final Exosuit design. Kickstarter soldiers should now be fully set up and any soldier generated by the game has a 10% chance of being picked from the custom soldier pool. Soldier hair should now work properly with helmets (this turned out to be a lot more work than you'd expect!) The names of save games should be slightly easier to read now, and ground combat save files now print the turn number in their file name. There's been quite a few performance improvements on the strategy layer. The Exosuit now boosts your soldiers TU by 12. Equipping the heavy variant removes this bonus, but provides extra armour and boosts your soldiers' Strength to 100 instead. Countries now start at 20 or 30 Panic, rather than at 50. Ground Combat: The MARS should now be able to crush vaultable objects; previously the vault logic was taking precedence (and as vehicles can't vault, it was preventing the MARS from driving through fences). In an alien base, if you clear the Command Room of aliens and have one of your own units present, all remaining aliens on the map will be revealed at the end of the turn. As always, please let us know if you encounter any issues with the build by posting in our bug reporting sub-forums and we'll do our best to patch the issues out!
  3. 3 points
    Sorry, yeah. I guess I'll finally comment on that thread given you've asked me about four times now! Yeah, it sort of depends what you want to achieve with those missions; most of them would work rather well in XCOM where it's a sequence of missions that really bear no relation to the actual strategic situation or the in-game world but they don't necessarily logically fit within the structures of Xenonauts 2 so well. In fact, XCOM2 has a much better setup from a lore perspective because the aliens represent an occupying police state so it makes sense that XCOM are rescuing prisoners and all that. To give an example of what I mean, the ideas "capture alien leader", "assassinate alien leader", "clear command post of all aliens" are basically all descriptions of an alien base assault mission, right? Whether you're choosing to capture or kill the alien leadership is something that is down to the player's strategic situation - something that I'd consider a strength of the game in that you get to choose how to handle a mission rather than having to jump through specific hoops. If I look at the list from a mechanical point of view, the ideas fundamentally boil down to: Defend something ("Defend a landmark" / "Defend supplies") Protect VIP ("Escort VIP to exfiltration area" / "Rescue downed pilot" / "Free prisoners" / "Rescue local soldiers under attack by aliens" / "Rescue hostage") Destroy / reach something ("Destroy alien transmission beacon" / "Activate missile site via panel in control room" / "Retrieve information local agents have compiled about aliens" / "Destroy alien mind-control device causing humans to fight you") I guess the tricky thing is to think of ways that many of these things can get into the game. The defence missions seem the easiest candidates; adding some form of non-base defence mission is an idea I've been kicking around for a while and may well make it into X2 before release. As you say, it doesn't really require new mechanics or assets to add them in. But if you take a mission like "destroy alien transmission beacon", you've got to ask yourself how it would be meaningfully different from any other kind of mission. In practice, isn't it going to involve the player just marching through a map and killing all the aliens like they would a standard terror site? It only really becomes something new and interesting if, for example, the aliens have unlimited reinforcements and the player is actively encouraged to focus on the objectives rather than just wiping out the aliens. But then where do those unlimited alien reinforcements come from, and why don't they appear in other missions, etc? It'd be difficult to explain within the context of the game lore. So there's potentially a few ideas there but the key thing is to focus on how the missions would play differently, otherwise the different types of mission wouldn't feel much more different in gameplay terms than fighting a Terror Mission on a American Town map is compared to fighting a Terror Mission on a Soviet Town map. It'd just be the same mechanics with a slightly different flavour on top.
  4. 3 points
    You're entitled to your opinion, but the data that I have and you don't (i.e. Steam wishlists) suggests that the game isn't actually about to die despite the lack of promotion the game is getting beyond our forums and our Kickstarter, whatever the Steam forums and videos might tell you. The focus at the moment is figuring out exactly what the final shape of the game is going to be. We already unveiled one vision for the game during our Kickstarter and had to walk it all back over the past 18 months because it didn't work anywhere near as well as we planned; I'm not going to do that a second time. It's much easier to sell people on a game when there's a clear set of features and a roadmap to release, and to have we need to finish testing our ideas. Sure, non beta-testers might be annoyed at the lack of communication right now but I'd be very surprised if those people are going to tune out when we start showing off all our new features and artwork just because we've gone a bit quiet since our Kickstarter a little under two years ago. We're a small team and it doesn't make sense for us to waste time on marketing when there's nothing for people to buy; we'll start pushing things on the marketing front once we announce our Early Access launch. Until then our time is best spent on the game itself.
  5. 2 points
    I think this is really promising, to start in a phase of the game where the alien invasion is still secret. This plays into the whole X-Files style "black helicopter men" mythology that makes the concept of playing as the usual "bad guys" covering up the alien invasion so interesting. And without some kind of DEFCON or other potential conflict between the superpowers, I don't see the point of having the Soviet Union in the setting. It was really underused in the first one and I was hoping that would be rectified here. I really hope some form of this makes it in!
  6. 2 points
    On V11.3 (and all the other builds): I have gotten really tired of having to open everyone's backpack during a battle because I forgot who has the explosive or the Alien Taser. Maybe I'm missing something obvious, but if not, would it be possible to be able to cycle through all the backpacks? Currently, using TAB leaves only the first backpack opened, visible on the screen, while the player cycles through the troops.
  7. 2 points
    I never got to see your post due to the good work of our resident moderator, but I understand that it wasn't very polite. If that happens again I'll just ban your account and delete all your posts. To be clear, during the development of Xenonauts 1 you demanded in the name of realism that we made a game where transport aircraft did not have global range (and thus for much of the game players were entirely unable to respond to terror sites or other ground missions that did not occur near your initial base) and where interceptor aircraft were both very expensive and were not replaced if shot down (which meant losing a single advanced interceptor could end an entire campaign). Basically, you wanted me to utterly destroy the game balance in the name of realism. When you didn't get what you wanted you spent several months complaining bitterly on our forums and personally insulting me about it, wrote an extremely negative steam review for the game on release where you deliberately lied about what features were / were not in the game to try and destroy our launch sales, came back on our forums again to tell me not to make a sequel and insult me some more ... and then you turn up and once again start complaining about the exact same thing and then throw a massive tantrum when I don't take you seriously? To be completely honest I sort of understand why the first Xenonauts annoyed you so much (even if the scale of your reaction was ridiculous), because you bought the game expecting one thing and it turned out to be something else. I don't regret my choices, but I do empathise with your situation and if I were to do things again I'd probably have offered you a refund on the game once you decided you didn't want it any more. That said, it's probably best for both of us if you don't make the same mistake a second time. This clearly isn't a game you're ever going to enjoy, and me listening to the views of someone who wants the game to be something it was never intended to be doesn't make any sense either, so I don't see how either of us gain anything from you posting here.
  8. 2 points
    A good game spreads more by word of mouth really. Not many knew about xen1 when it came out, but it must have done well enough by definition for chris and the team to produce a sequel, otherwise why bother? It's still a great game to play, and always will be, just as the original UFO: Enemy Unknown from Microprose was. Heck, I still even play Rebelstar on a Spectrum Emulator from time-to-time. Or even Lazer Squad. Classics of the past. One bolt from the blue I remember (because it nearly wrecked the 3rd year of my degree) was the Nintendo 64's Goldeneye, which I always say was better than the film. Compared to 1st person shooters from today it's very choppy, but it was dripping with atmosphere and quality. It just came out of nowhere to be one of the top games on the N64. Finally, remember that this game is really a labour of love. Chris personally loves this type of game and loved UFO (which is why Xen was produced). It's in his interest to make sure its a great game because he will probably be playing it himself! Programmers of Big companies cannot put this kind of love into the kind of corporate games they make simply because they aren't really 'engaged' as much in what they are producing. The goal for most of them is just a paycheck at the end of the day. Turn-based strategy is not really catered for these days in comparison to other types of games, yet there is definitely a market for them - as shown by xen1. This is why xen2 is so important.
  9. 2 points
    Yeah, that was the problem. It'll be fixed in the hotfix we're pushing out on Monday.
  10. 1 point
    So with the release of Closed Beta V12.1 it's time for another update on our progress. It'll probably be a month or so until our next public release, because with V13 we're introducing a number of new features that will hopefully leave the Geoscape feature complete (if still a little unpolished) and we need to address some of the backend stuff that has accumulated over the past few releases. Our Direction: So the first thing to talk about is what we're aiming to achieve with Xenonauts 2. Over the last eighteen months the design of the game has morphed away from being something rather different to the original Xenonauts to something that is intended to build upon the foundations of the first game and further develop the features people most enjoyed. What this means in practice is doubling down on offering strategic and tactical options, and trying to make the setting more immersive by adding more "simulation" systems to the Geoscape that make it more responsive to your actions and help suggest there is a wider war against the aliens occuring on in the background. I won't discuss the new strategic mechanics in too much detail here, as you can read about many of the systems in this thread and this thread. The mechanical changes to the game have led us to update the setting so the covert "shadow war" idea has morphed into a scenario where the war against the aliens occurs in plain sight - the aliens have demanded the surrender of the various world governments, but instead they have chosen to unite behind the Xenonaut global defence program (in exchange for access to the ongoing research efforts of the Xenonauts). The aliens have a wider selection of ways to raise Panic in the funding regions and force them to surrender, but the player also has a wider variety of tools that can stop them. Early Access: I'm hoping that we'll have most of the mechanics we need to support this new vision of the game in place when V13 is released. This would logically point to an Early Access release in the relatively near future, but we're currently choosing between two different options about how to proceed. The first is that we decide to release in the near future; perhaps two months after V13 is released. We'll create a special Early Access build that ends about a third of the way through the game (shortly after Destroyers start spawning regularly) and then frantically polish that build until the launch arrives. The (rougher) full game will still be accessible on the Experimental branch, but fixes and content that doesn't appear in the Early Access build will be ignored until after the launch. That way, players will be able to get a better feel for what the final game might be like at launch and are likely to leave better Steam reviews. The alternative involves signing a deal with a publisher to market our game in exchange for a cut of the profits above a certain level of sales (i.e. the sales we think we'd make without their involvement). If this were to happen then we'd be pushing the Early Access release back to something closer to six months from now to ensure that the game is really polished and the marketing has time to generate the interest we need for a really successful launch. If we went down that route, we'd expect to have almost all the game systems in place and Early Access to involve primarily polishing and adding content. Assuming we can make the financials in the deal work, pairing up with a publisher my preference - I'd much rather be writing research reports than marketing blurb, but the community need more frequent communication and game needs better marketing in the run up to the Early Access launch. Having professionals working on that (and investing their money into it) would be more effective and more efficient than me trying to do it myself. Anyway, hopefully we'll have a decision one way or the other in the next few weeks. New Artwork: With more certainty about what shape the final game will be taking, we've now started working with a few new artists. You can see the painting above which we'll be using as a promo art piece and quite possibly also the updated Main Menu screen for the game. I think it's come out rather well and hopefully the same artist will be doing some additional paintings to help set the mood in the game. We're also having another look at the background art for the various management screens on the strategy layer with a different artist, which is something that should make the game feel much fresher (seeing the art from X1 in the sequel really doesn't help the feeling that the sequel is just a rehash of the first game). The UFO artist from the original Xenonauts is also working with us once again. If all goes well there we'll be switching back to using the old style of UFOs from X1 (introducing some new designs and revising some of the old ones) but also trying to integrate partial destructibility into them in the ground combat. The current "grey box" style of UFOs does offer nicer tactical possibilities but their designs get repetitive very quickly so if we can combine their looks with better destructibility I think we'll have the best of both worlds. Coronavirus & Personal Matters: A few words on Coronavirus - we don't expect this to affect us too much as Goldhawk is made up of youngish people who already work remotely. But there is likely to be some disruption nonetheless, as I'm sure some sick days will be required and closed schools some of our freelancers might end up having to do childcare instead of other work. So I'd expect progress to be slowed a little over the coming few months but it shouldn't be anything too dramatic. Finally, I've got a child arriving shortly so I'll be disappearing for a couple of weeks in the near future. I'll still be doing the management work required to keep the company operating but I'm going to be avoiding the forums and game design / balancing / writing duties during that time. So don't worry too much if I vanish and stop answering your questions for a bit - I will be coming back (quite possibly in the form of a sleep-deprived zombie)!
  11. 1 point
    I must admit I always look at these type of games with the UFO S.H.A.D.O tv series in mind. Earth defence in a secret base, shoot down a UFO and send out the special teams to deal with it. If only we could have a Skydiver sub!
  12. 1 point
    Depends on the mission of course, and balancing, but some initial ideas include: Improving relations with a particular country. Cash bonus. Stash of equipment (e.g. 10 packs of C4 or equivalent). New Xenonaut recruit (could be a high rank). Unique weapon (maybe just an existing one but with improved stats to avoid new artwork). Armour. Revealing location of alien base. Research boost. Instant research on a particular alien species. Temporary manufacturing time reduction. Preventing a country from defecting for x days (buying you time to reduce panic). Temporarily stopping UFOs flying over a particular region. Gaining more AI allies in ground / air combat in a particular region. New scientist. New engineer. etc.
  13. 1 point
    I'd like to see more mission variety as well, but missions have to be more than play differently - they also have to tie into the strategic map. Shooting down UFOs grants on the strategic level tech for research, materials for building and panic reduction. Completing Terror Sites/Raids prevents big jumps in panic. Destroying alien bases prevents a slow buildup of panic, grants tech for research and materials for building. What would these suggested mission types do on the strategic level, and why are they any different to the current mission types?
  14. 1 point
    Insulting the devs gets nobody anywhere I'm afraid. We are all lucky that Chris decided to start Goldhawk up. I bet it was a big risk for him at the time, and I hope it has paid off handsomely for him (it seems like he made enough right choices, since there's a sequel now, doesn't it)? Here's an idea. Instead of trying to destroy his work, why don't you learn to code and put your ideas for a sequel to UFO:Enemy Unknown into something tangible? Who knows, it might gain a cult following like Xenonauts, and we would all love to see a healthy rivalry when it comes to turn-based games. Chris - stiff British upper lip, keep calm and carry on!
  15. 1 point
    I liked the pics of Italians standing out on their balconies and singing, amid their lockdown. The sign says: "I'll be OK." Loosely translated. Note Old Guy with electric guitar! The irrepressible human spirit.
  16. 1 point
    It's interesting. One thing I felt I had to do on every single mission in Xen1 was to always sweep the area, eliminating every single Alien. It wasn't a prerequisite to do so, but it felt that if I didn't kill every single Alien that it would come back to haunt you. I don't know how many of us felt like this, but it may be something to work on with regard to the missions.
  17. 1 point
    I think we can both see what he's getting at Chris. That's a very well thought out (and practical) response though.
  18. 1 point
    The War of the Worlds strategy/hybrid RTS have the kind of sensation that you want to invoke, Ninothree. Scotland and the North are hammered in the first few strategic turns by Martian landings. The human defenders don't have the manpower or industrial base to fight back, so you have surrender the North and draw a defensive line in the Midlands, bunkering down and fending off Martian forays until you've built up a sizable industrial and technical base and can lead an invasion into Martian held lands. This is quite cleverly done - when playing as the Martians, the Martian landings ensure that you grab a good sized portion of the map immediately, but your units land without any kind of support infrastructure AT ALL, so you can make a few quick grabs in the first 2 or 3 turns, but by then you have so many units without support you spend all your time nursing sick units until the infrastructure to support them is there.
  19. 1 point
    Yes! I remember in Rebelstar on the ZX Spectrum (showing my age here) that if you were the attackers and you managed to blow up the 3 laser turrets in the base you got reinforcements for doing so (some with Photon weapons!). It's this kind of diversity that would make xen2 fresh. Diversity in terms of missions, maps etc. For xen1 this tended to be provided by the modding community. If xen2 is structured in such a way that it is easy to bolt on new modules for it then the sky really is the limit for this sort of thing.
  20. 1 point
    So much to my annoyance I wrote a long answer in this thread yesterday and then lost it all when my PC decided to restart. Thanks for the replies all, we'll hopefully be bringing in some changes to the grenades for V13. I won't bother writing them all out again but some useful thoughts and suggestions in this post. I'm going to try and make some changes to the HEVY for the hotfix build due on Tuesday as well - making it direct fire, increasing the accuracy and decreasing the blast radius.
  21. 1 point
    It does also hide visible (LOS) actions (movement, shooting) and is quite annoying
  22. 1 point
    Little Kids, which can´t wait. That´s the Reason why the World is going down, because they wan´t everything at once. I don´t know. I´m using 1 Base and the others are Interceptor-Bases.
  23. 1 point
    Ahem... from wikipedia "The word Panzer is a German word that means "armour" or specifically "tank". It derives through the French word pancier, "breastplate", from Latin pantex, "belly". The word is used in English and some other languages as a loanword in the context of the German military"
  24. 1 point
    A sort of escort mission? Reminds me of Chaos Gate. You had a few mission where you had to escort a techmarine to a terminal/generator or an apothacary to a specific individual (in this case, you broke into the enemy base to rescue your captured and wounded battlebrother)
  25. 1 point
    Hi all, I’ve started this thread to flag up something I feel is being overlooked in current discussions about improvements to the game. More Mission Types and Secondary Objectives have been mentioned before but don’t seem to be getting the attention they deserve. More Mission Types and Secondary Objectives seem to me to be a (relatively!) simple way of adding a huge amount of variety to the game – far moreso than new tilesets, which Chris has explained are “EXTREMELY time consuming and expensive to make – they’re the most expensive component of the game by some distance.” Here are some ideas for what could be new Missions or Secondary Objectives. These have been taken from other threads and aren’t all my own ideas – I’m not trying to plagiarise Defend a landmark. Capture alien leader. Assassinate alien leader. Escort VIP (e.g. politician, scientist) to exfiltration area. Destroy alien transmission beacon. Rescue downed pilot (not necessarily your own). Free prisoners. Rescue local soldiers under attack by aliens. Defend supplies. Clear command post of all aliens. Activate Surface to Air missile site via panel in control room. Rescue hostage. Carry wounded civilian back to your chopper. Retrieve information local agents have compiled about aliens. Destroy alien mind-control device causing humans to fight you (once destroyed, the humans could turn into allies). Eliminate cultists (humans working for the aliens). The rewards for these could be as varied as deemed appropriate. Examples include: Improving end of round score. Improving relations with a particular country. Cash bonus. Stash of equipment (e.g. 10 packs of C4 or equivalent). New Xenonaut. Unique weapon (maybe just an existing one but with slightly improved stats to avoid new artwork). Revealing location of alien base. Research boost. Temporary manufacturing time reduction. I freely admit that I don’t know much about programming or the ways in which games like Xenonauts are made, but here are some justifications I believe to be accurate: Most of these would need little if any new graphics, which seem to be the most expensive aspect of production. I could well be wrong about that, of course! They’d add a significant amount of replayability to the game, and make each mission far more interesting. Especially if some Secondary Objectives are revealed mid-mission as you stumble across them. It’s genuine variety in gameplay and not just largely superficial changes, as tilesets essentially are. They could add to the whole feeling of immersion in the Xenonauts world; making small-scale battlefield decisions that impact the global war. More decision-making would be required by the player: do you order one of your valuable troops to take an injured civilian back to the chopper, thereby increasing your reputation with that country, but losing him for the next few turns when the aliens are about to counter-attack and he’s needed on the frontline? They seem like such brilliant things to include, it’s puzzling why they’re not high on the wish-list. It’s likely that I’m missing something, like the actual scale of the task from a programming perspective, but aren’t things like Kickstarter designed to raise funds to make these sorts of things a reality? All thoughts on this matter are much appreciated!