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Showing content with the highest reputation since 10/15/2019 in Posts

  1. 3 points
    In a spot of unfortunate timing I'm going to be out of the office from Thursday this week until the end of next week, which means we've had to move a few of our plans for V9 around to minimise the disruption caused by me only being able to work from a laptop (one that sadly cannot run the developer version of X2). Beta V9 Pre-Test: Beta Build V9 is a fairly large upgrade over V8 as it contains both the new realtime air combat model and also the first section of the strategic UI reskin (updating all the strategy management screens except the Geoscape), and a few smaller things like building aircraft in your workshop and wall hiding in the ground combat. The air combat is almost entirely functional with the only remaining updates being either visual polish or some UI improvements (e.g. there's currently no indicator for missile lock, etc), but the updated UI has taken longer than expected as is causing some issues. The problem with the UI is that we've taken the opportunity to change the layout or functionality of some of the UI while we reskin it, or add UI elements for functionality that doesn't exist yet. However it takes longer to write the code for those UI elements than it does to do the skinning work, so we're in an awkward situation where various sections of the UI don't work properly / at all. It should be pretty obvious where this is happening to anyone who has played previous versions of X2 and it should be possible to work around it, but it makes things akward enough that I doubt anyone is going to be playing any long campaigns until we've fixed that stuff up. However, I don't see it as necessary to delay the release of V9 until my return. Assuming V8.2 Hotfix fixes most of the remaining issues in V8, I'm planning to push that out to the Stable branches towards the end of the week and then release a "pre-test" version of V9 on the Experimental branches. As long as people are aware that parts of the UI are unfinished, I think this will be fine - there's still plenty to test and comment on. That way we can get a headstart on identifying and fixing any major crashes etc before the "proper" V9 release. Other Work: I'll also quickly mention some of the cool new things we've been doing over the past month or so. The first is the custom UI skinning system we've written as part of the UI skinning work, which should make managing the UI more manageable in the future. We've probably got about 200 different UI screens / panels / pop-ups that are each seperate entities within Unity, and there was previously no way to link them - which meant that even if I wanted to change something small like the font size or font colour of the basic text in the game, I'd have to open every single one of those entities and update every text string within it (a task that that could literally take days). We've now implemented something like a bit like a CSS stylesheet where I can specify a style for each text string, and if I update that style to use font size 16 instead of font 14 then all of that text will update everywhere in the game. This is cool because it not only makes my life much easier when working on the UI but also gives us a way to support something like an optional "large font" mode for those people with small screens or bad eyesight. We can also easily switch text from being ALL CAPS to normal text, which is nice because we've switched to a new font that is similar to the X1 font but also supports lowercase letters and special characters. Gives us a bit more flexibility in terms of making sure the UI is as readable as possible. The first draft of the wall-hiding system in the ground combat has also been added to the game now. This is the system that hides walls that are blocking the view of the selected soldier or around the cursor, which makes it much easier to navigate within buildings or in underground maps like the Alien Base or Xenonaut Base. It's especially important in X2 as walls are now taller relative to soldiers than they were in X1 and thus get in the way more (they are now 3m tall instead of 2m tall). Anyway, this system needs a little more visual polish but it's already working and will be included in V9. It's definitely a good quality of life feature. There's a few bits of new art, too - the Gauss (formerly MAG) weapons have some new art, there's some updated Sebillian autopsy and corpse art, the base structure tiles have updated (although not yet finished) graphics, a new UFO has been painted up, etc. We're also currently doing some concepts for some additional soldier armour designs, as I feel the current armour designs are too similar to one another. Depending on how much more time the UI work takes up I may also be able to get on with some gameplay balancing and writing work, too. Finally, we're also planning in some work over the next couple of weeks to get all the Kickstarter soldiers added to the game and to start moving more of the game data into JSON files that can be accessed by modders. The immediate targets are things like aircraft, UFOs and base structures, but with a bit of work we should also be able to put all of the other associated data (alien missions, UFO crews, alien equipment loadouts, etc) into JSON files too. These are less readable than the XML files we used in X1 so all but the most intrepid modders will still need to wait for our mod editor in order to make changes, but it's still an important step along the way. So yeah, there's quite a bit going on right now. If you want to help out the most useful thing you could do would be to give V8.2 a bit of a test to ensure it doesn't have too many massive bugs in it, which will hopefully allow us to put out the V9 Pre-Test build later this week!
  2. 2 points
    How is that not a special base? It's only one that actually matters I never liked, nor ever will like that "all eggs into one basket" concept. It makes no sense and there's no real risk involved. Research should be globalized (all science labs can work on the same project, regardless of which base they are in. The magic of internet and data sharing.) Production should be localized, so you would have production bases, with a practical limit as to how many people can work on something (simply throwing more people on something only works up to a point, especially when working on smaller things, like a rifle) Resources should be shared between bases with the logistics abstracted. Could be as simple as a connection/line between bases that simulates supply lines. Aliens could attack those lines damaging your supply lines, which would impart temporary maluses to the base (increased production time, staff morale penalty). Would make SAM sites more valuable and give your interceptors more to do - like chasing off enemy craft. Could even generate convoy defense missions.
  3. 2 points
    This also happens to be why I'm highly skeptical of any X1-style approach. The Xcom genre is turn-based combat, with a smaller grand strategy part. Top-down arcade shooters are incompatible with the genre due to rewarding a very different set of skills and providing an experience that feels very different.
  4. 2 points
    I in fact wrote a longer post to my previous one which was saying more or less this. I do think there is some tactical thinking, but only in the sense of there being a bit of a puzzle to figuring out some UFOs which, once you have it, then just becomes routine. On reflection, where I was suggesting it be more challenging than X1, I think what I actually meant is that the difficulty should be more dynamic, rather than it should just be blanket harder. I.e. it should stretch your resources more, such that you need to make strategic level decisions about how much and what to invest in the air game, and make strategic decisions about what to commit to particular engagements. The skill required to do the air game is therefore somewhat up to the player: players who are good at it might be able to get away with less investment or take on more risky challenges. But I guess this is envisaging the air game as a "push-your-luck" system, which is pretty much what I envisaged the turn based version might be as well. I.e. it's less about making tactical decisions which make the difference between winning and losing (because I don't think either system can make that work very well, since the cost of losing is too high and the range and variation of situations too low for it not to become routine quickly) but it can allow tactical-come-strategic decisions about what you're willing to risk and what you're priorities are (e.g. do you take chances in an air combat to bring down a big UFO with lots of resources on it, or do you play it safe and just take a chance with some low-probability attacks in the hope of getting some lucky hits; which fits into a wider strategic-level game of how much you're investing in air superiority at all). A weird sort-of compromise here would be to have a system like the fleet battles in Endless Space 2 - i.e. you select an attack mode for each of your aircraft before engagement and then the whole thing plays out automatically without direct input from the player. Offers some strategic/tactical choice, makes engagements pretty quick, and takes away the reflex/twitch requirements. Could be augmented by having some some binary mode or one-use command which can be activated during the engagement for some direct player involvement?
  5. 2 points
  6. 2 points
    I regularly check these forums but rarely post; this thread’s title did make me take notice though, because I’ve been thinking along the same lines for a while. I bought into the earlier bold ideas for X2, and although they may have eventually proven to be unfeasible, I do feel a bit disappointed every time something is “rolled back”. Still, I’m sure Chris and co. will make something awesome. I suggested some ideas a while back for X1 that didn’t make the cut, but in the spirit of positive contribution, will throw them into the hat again My main idea is to have a new mission type where you’re exclusively controlling local forces. The situation could be something like an allied military bunker is under attack by aliens. There’s not enough time for the Xenonauts to get there, but there’s a radio link set up so you (the player) can command the local forces. Imagine controlling a large team troops armed with basic weapons (rifles, shotguns etc.) against a horde of Reapers. It could lead to great Aliens-esque missions. The odds of your team all getting wiped out are high, but in contrast to regular missions, it’s not a game over / rage quit situation if that happens. There are a lot of ways in which you could use this kind of a premise. Maybe if your troops hold the base’s hanger for x turns, then your main Xenonaut troops turn up as reinforcements and take the fight to the enemy. Or if the aliens take the radio room then you lose contact and it’s mission over. Basically, I think this could be a way of mixing up the gameplay as a sequel arguably should, and adding more variety in a way that hopefully isn’t a huge burden from the development side of things (i.e. it would use existing assets such as character models). Separate to this, secondary mission objectives that crop up unexpectedly (e.g. rescuing a civilian and carrying them back to the chopper) would add more variety to core missions too. I made a huge list of options in a forum thread what must have been literally years ago, but can’t find it now!
  7. 1 point
    Today we're releasing a final hotfix for Beta Build V8 that is on our Experimental Branch. You'll need to switch to those branches if you want to get an update over Build V7; please follow the link above for instructions on how to change branches. Changelog: Terror maps should no longer begin with 2 soldiers stuck in the tail of the dropship. Dropships now have 20% more range so should be able to reach anywhere in the world. Converted Fusion Pistols / Rifles should now have ammo when built. Dead or critically wounded soldiers are now immediately removed from the dropship, meaning the game will not crash if you attempt a second mission with the same dropship after taking casualties. It is no longer possible to build aircraft in unfinished hangars at secondary bases, consuming the funds but not granting the aircraft. Fixed an issue where the soldier arrow scrolling on the Soldier Equip screen could start alternating between different soldier categories (different dropships / unassigned category). Fixed an issue with the Healthbar in the ground combat UI showing a bunch of decimal points after a soldier is healed. This is likely to be the last batch of fixes for V8 and if all goes well the build will be pushed out onto Stable soon. Let us know if you encounter any further bugs, though, as they may be relevant for V9 which will be arriving relatively soon!
  8. 1 point
    The way I'd implement it is that each base has it's own storage, but as long as supply lines are in tact, every base has access to materials from other bases - although there is a small fixed penalty when working on things were resources aren't local (like +5 hours to production time, to simulate shipping time). Supply lines would work sorta like the internet routing - as long as one base can trace a connection to another, it can get resources from it. Players would place supply lines between bases manually and each supply line would have to be maintained. There would be a cost associated with it, and the distance would also factor into the cost (so a 4000km long supply line might cost 4000$ monthly to maintain). What this means that you CAN connect every base to every other base, but it would cost you a lot, so it might not be the most optimal solution. The beauty of this system is that it's simple and intuitive without being clunky and requireing tons of micro-managment. With the added bonus of it tying into the goescape and battlescape, due to supply lines being interractable. In terms of generated missions, alien could attack in 2 ways: air strike or ground ambush. Ground ambush would generate open maps with roads or train tracks, where a train or military convoy would be on the defensive. AI controlled soliders, in the form of train/convoy defense, would be on the map. Possibly a crashed cargo plane map? Air strike would be geoscape only, with your interceptors scrambled to defend, with convoy escorts and local defenses buying time.
  9. 1 point
    X1 meeting halfway with X-Div in a new engine then, which I think a lot of folks would agree would be ideal.
  10. 1 point
    Hey, congrats on your rapidly developing technical skills
  11. 1 point
    So with all this talk of what to keep or change about X1 for X2, I figured I'd run through the original to drop some thoughts on what exactly worked for someone from my perspective. For reference, I've always enjoyed the genre, but never could quite get into optimizing everything to perfection. It was the split second, jury-rigged nonsense that always drew me to these games. So, without anything else, some thoughts: 1. I love that the Condor can continue being viable all game if you can get stuff to run into it. It's just satisfying to see out of date things still putting up a fight. 2. While building out better stuff early is awesome, having such a wide range of available standard gear really feels good. grenades and such in particular. Maybe having a monthly cost, instead of per item would be a way to make that happen? Maybe you could pick and choose what you would like to maintain a supply of? 3. While the early game UFO variety is nice, once Corvettes hit, they become repetitive. Then when end game/financial stability hits, there's just little reason to ever go for more than one of each UFO type. I hope new mission variety with raids and such will help make that different. 4. The view cone in XDiv increased vision by about 1-2 tiles or so. This really fixed issues like when you lose 3 people to a reaper because it walked into one tile that you didn't turn around to look at (In this last campaign there was exactly one tile that my head colonel didn't look at. He then got eaten because one reaper made a massive circle around the entire map to hit that one tile next to him. While I respect the dedication of that little bastard, and we still took that lander, it just felt like a downer with no build up. 5. The Corsair was kinda pointless. As cool as the plane itself is, I'm not sure why it's there. The Marauder came slightly after in most runs, and had well over twice as much of everything. I ultimately kept a fleet of 2 Condors, 9 Foxtrots, and 5 Marauders. Maybe the next version will do better in terms of having a role. 6. The ultra end-game victory lap weapons and plane are cool, but there didn't seem to be motivation to actually go and grab a second core for the Fury, or the SC. Maybe it's a personal thing, but I kind of just wanted to launch the ending after the 50th wave of landers and battleships breaking up my research time. 7. It would be awesome to be able to automate the air game somehow. By the end, dealing with all the big ships just becomes more tedious than threatening. I just wished I could assign squads to just swat the flies out of the sky after a while. Maybe if they went for formations instead of swarming? What if they coordinated more? 8. The last mission is awesome. That awesome cathartic feeling of being on the defensive for so long, only to open a door and blow away 4 of their best with a tank is just too good. I did manage to screw up the thing this time, since I forgot that reapers start to spawn after a while. Whoops. Still was awesome though. 9. It would be cool to see a sort of outtro if your team makes it, something like the ending of the old Pokemon games comes to mind. Yes, it's a weird comparison, but it would be cool to see title cards of the survivors and their stats. 10. I wish I could give some custom medals, even if they give no stats. OK, that's enough jabbering out of me. Just wanted to share.
  12. 1 point
    Do we want damageable parts of UFOs ? *Yes, but I would want an Ogre Battle situation here. Namely where you could give general commands, but would have no direct input, with the fight lasting a few rounds before the two lost contact (unless other things were in play). So commands like "Destroy", "Incapacitate", or "Scare Away" Do we want to have them have effects in Ground Combat ? *It would be cool to see an aggressive approach destroy more parts, bit result in less recovery. What should the effects of escaping UFOs be ? *I'd love to have a relationship-scaled set of options to either warn the country where the UFO is (so they could roll a chance to fight with Condors, which you could watch), lead them (if you don't have the numbers, but can send one jet), or be punished for doing nothing. What should the effects of shot down UFOs be ? *The usual effect is nice. That being said, some issues like bringing down a UFO into a major city would be interesting. Random interactions when <incident> happens ? *Weapon Jam if a plane isn't fully repaired, UFO support fire from space (for the bigger ones), ground support fire if near a city? FTL should be studied for this
  13. 1 point
    HA. And with that fuel let me make a suggestion. This might cut deep, so bite your teeth. First, here are the basics. The X1 model, and the envisioned upgraded X2 model are called topdown shooters. They are a legitimate game genre, which can stand all on its own. There have been thousands of games like this ever since Space Invaders was released in 1978. From Space Invaders over Star Fox 64 to Nova Drift they are all topdown shooters. What they all have in common is that they reward dexterity based skills and fast decision making. The sum is hundreds of mini twitch decisions each of them are executed in a tiny time window. Strategic thinking on the other hand rewards time consuming decisions with great impact. The characteristic traits of those are unlimited amount of time to think, less strategic decisions, and greater impact for each individual decision. Its not hard to imagine that players who enjoy one of these genres dont enjoy the other. They are fundamental opposites in the smallest amount of measureable player interaction. There is only a tiny fraction of players who like both ( weirdos ), because those 2 fundamental skills talk to 2 very fundamental different destinations in the brain. Everybody here is discussing how to make the perfect medium burger, which doesnt piss of most people, while i see no reason why we cant have 2 perfect rare and well done burgers, instead of 2 medium ones. I find it much more important to discuss the Geoscape-Airgame effects. Like Do we want damageable parts of UFOs ? Do we want to have them have effects in Ground Combat ? What should the effects of escaping UFOs be ? What should the effects of shot down UFOs be ? Random interactions when <incident> happens ?
  14. 1 point
    Unusually, I have to agree with Charon on the subject. If there is any airgame except autoresolve, it should be playable with actual player interaction. Even if I would prefer a turn-based system, the current X2 system that's being removed isn't really like gameplay, it's more like watching a cutscene.
  15. 1 point
    Now that X1-style air combat is coming back, I'm going to give it a try with an open mind, but I'm in the minority (I guess?) that thinks the X1 minigame was bad, I'd even call it the weakest part of the game. The tactical part of the minigame was negligible. Several types of engagements only had one way to play them at all. For squadron engagements, the only ones with any tactics involved, there were also few different things you could do. Bait with a fast plane, use one plane to get behind the UFO - options, yes, but very few. The replay value was low because you'd figure the tactics out after only a few engagements. Instead, your success would be determined by mechanical, twitch-based skill. The pause button wasn't tactical, you didn't really use it to think - it was a twitch button, as you should pause at the right moment to correctly time your rolls or missiles. In a few scenarios, you wanted to make quick, tight turns, which meant many fast and reasonably precise clicks. At the same time, you could master engagements so you would always succeed in a particular scenario. My favourite example, albeit not the only one, is two Condors vs a Corvette. The four missiles from the Condors will kill the UFO, but the Corvette will have time to fire its cannon once. So the engagement has the following success formula - just let your Condors fly towards the Corvette, pause when it fires, roll the targeted Condor (or both), unpause. Corvette down, Condors unharmed 100% of the time. Simple, formulaic, gets boring the 3rd time you have this engagement. And none of this was really related to the game's strategy layer. Airplane ammo was free and unlimited, so if you could use superior tactics to spend one missile less, that had no effect on anything anyway (I hope in general X2 has the time to do something more interesting with the economy). Then there's the problem that making the X1 minigame more difficult would mainly be on the account of additional reflex/speed requirements more than tactical thinking. Like I said, I'll approach the X2 real-time combat with an open mind, but I would have preferred to see the turn-based approach evolve.
  16. 1 point
    That's not what @Charon wrote. He meant that the air game should start simple and easy to be manageable by all skill levels and then increase in difficulty gradually. As for the difficulty increase losing campaigns: I could envision that stays simple enough so you can finish a campaign pretty much regardless of what you do. You'd lose some engagements, but some are pretty much guaranteed to win, furthering the narrative and your progress. But there would be optional goals to fulfil there to increase difficulty and/or risk as well as rewards. Speaking of the old X1 system, how about not focusing too much damage on one side of the UFO so components do not get destroyed in-air? Or how about you if could try to concentrate fire only on some areas or use weaker weaponry in order to spare more crew who you then have the chance to capture? Or how about while developing new weaponry you could field some prototype that may speed up your development of the weapon, but be worse/less reliable than what you have right now? With pilots being characters more like ground troops, even experience and achievements could be a thing to bring in there.
  17. 1 point
    I've always assumed that this is implied when you disengage from a ufo for whatever reason in Xen1. Either that or the aircraft low on fuel gets back to base having landed in a friendly country to take on fuel to do so. Air-to-air refuelling is something that could also be made into a mini-game requiring skill, although that may be going a tad too far! I remember they managed to incorporate this in a game called ACE on the Commodore 64 (which was a very good combat emulator for its time in the 80s).
  18. 1 point
    I want to point out what people havent pointed out yet. Some people call for the player to have more involvement in the minigame, some call for less. But the most important point is that the complexity of the airgame doesnt exceed the concentration level you need for the Ground Combat. The needed concentration level for the airgame is skilled based, and skill greatly varies from player to player. Skill is a pyramid, there are a lot of people with less skill, and few with great skill. In order to capture the most amount of people the minigame has to have the least skill requirements possible. The question after that is progression and accessibility of difficulty. The progression usually involves the player getting harder and harder challenges in order for them to increase their skill. But the accessbility of the skill level in an X-Com game is horrible. I can join a Starcraft 2 game and the matchmaking gives me an opponent around my own level, but if the skill requirements for the current UFOs is beyond my level i cant go back to easier ones. The result being that the player might loose a 6 hour campaign and has to restart the game, then invest another 5 hours just to get to the same point again. If i loose a Starcraft 2 match to a better player than i learned a lesson which is around my own skill level, my rating drops and next time i will get assigned a less skilled player. Lost time: zero. The minigame becomes the skill bottleneck for the whole game. If you make the game too hard you loose out on the base, and if you make it too easy you will get critique from veteran players. Putting 2 competing skill based games into 1 game is usually not good. One throttles down the other. The usual solution for that is autoresolve. Autoresolve removes the hurdle which keeps the player from getting to the content they actually like. A nice picturesque autoresolve feature ( better than X1 ) is your best bet to avoid people getting tired of the minigame they dont want to play. You can do a lot with autoresolve. Randomise damaged UFO parts, randomised damaged aircraft parts, result range, failure rate, etc ... . Autoresolve lets you focus on the parts you want to show off in your game, without having to worry about a second skill based game throttling down your playerbase.
  19. 1 point
    I think this has helped highlight the problem I have with X1's system: there are none of these decisions. X1 has a fairly clear rock-paper-scissors style approach to air combat. Foxtrots are UFO killers. They are very effective in that role: with weapons of the appropriate tier, they outmatch UFOs they are facing in range and firepower and are never in danger except where there are escorts. Condors and Corsairs are escort killers. They are also very effective in that role and easily destroy escorts of the tier which match their weapons. There is therefore no "choice" about what kinds of aircraft or weapons to use as described in the quote: sure, you could use an aircraft outside of its designated role, but there's no reason to do that unless you don't have the right tool to hand. And the trouble is, you almost always do. It's pretty easy to keep pace with aircraft weapons, since there's no cost to upgrading them beyond the research. Aircraft themselves are a bit harder to keep pace with since there is an additional cost beyond basic aircraft but never in a way I've ever noticed as being problematic. At worse, then, you might have to fight with the wrong tools if aircraft are already committed/resupplying. This contrasts with games I've played which mod in manufacturing requirements for aircraft weapons. This delays air power development both in terms of resources (weapon upgrades now cost money and salvage) and in terms of time (you need manufacturing capacity to make them). As such, with no changes to the weapon stats, the player is usually behind the vanilla air power curve due to lack of time or resources or both. Behind the curve, aircraft are more evenly matched with UFOs and require more work to come out well: Foxtrots don't always out-range their targets; escorts die slower and are more likely to score hits; total damage capacity is lower so you need to deploy weapons more selectively against escorted UFOs; etc. In turn, all this leads to taking more damage, meaning you're more likely to have aircraft out of action, and therefore not have optimal squads for dealing with threats and requiring you to "make do". To put all this another way, vanilla X1 air combat might just be a bit too easy to offer much tactical engagement, at least once you know what you're doing with it. This is what makes it routine: it's easy to always have what you need; so if you didn't, the air game would become more varied because you need to make do with what you have rather than what you want or need. So notwithstanding anything else, if X2 is going to use the same RT system, I'd argue that some consideration needs to be given to how it can be made more challenging or at least how the player can be forced out of using the same approach every time for routine success. (I think costs for equipment are a good solution to this, since the player can compensate by investing resources in air technology, but I doubt it's the only or best solution).
  20. 1 point
    To be honest, I suspect both I and a lot of people in the community would be disappointed if we don't deliver a game that improves on the gameplay of X1 as well as the graphics. We'll also be doing our best to include features that mean a lot to small groups of people - e.g. good mod tools for the modding community, large font mode for people with bad eyesight / small monitors, etc - but we're also going to be improving the core gameplay experience too. The majority of players just play the vanilla experience so we can't rely on tuning the more specialist things.
  21. 1 point
    I have to admit, I've been a little disappointed that X2 seems to be on a path to being X1 with a new lick of paint. I think that there needs to be some more emphasis on making the gameplay a bit different, especially with tactics in the combat missions (e.g. I really wish you would bring in crouching and prone position that affords greater bonuses for use of terrain and positioning, i.e. lower chance of getting hit and higher accuracy, at the expense of TU), some more tech like claymore mines, proximity mines, and individual additions to weapons like night scopes, grenade launchers, thermal imaging that you have to develop earlier in the game. In the strategy view, it would be great to turn the strategic op missions into a playable mission in their own right (including dealing with human collaborators). I'd also like to see bigger base maps with more tech like base defences, interrogation units etc.
  22. 1 point
    I have to say this shows why Goldhawk is an amazing studio. There's a real willingness to try new ideas, but without necessarily committing to them - you can admit when something simply doesn't work. And offering refunds to people who specifically wanted now-changed features is very admirable and honest. On the gameplay front, while I liked the bold ideas behind the "shadow war" on the Geoscape and all that, I'm also really pleased with where the game is headed now. X1 is one of my favourite games, and I'm definitely in the camp that will be pretty happy with an improved X1. While the strategy layer is currently an almost exact copy of X1, I'm very happy about the improved tactical layer. There's a bunch of really small improvements but it adds up, and the boxy destructible UFOs are my favourite feature.
  23. 1 point
    I think it's a valid question to raise, and I'll probably write a longer post on the topic at some point because I imagine you're not the only person thinking this. I guess the question really boils down to what an individual considers sufficient innovation / gameplay change to be "different" to what came before. Over time the design Xenonauts 2 has drifted from being full of bold new ideas to something far more akin to the first game, which mostly happened as a result of those bold ideas colliding with reality and coming up short. The community has definitely played a role in our decision to move X2 closer to X1, but that could be interpreted either as hardcore fans hating change or just people flagging up new ideas that are outright worse than what they were replacing. Both of the changes you mention are in service of a deeper strategic layer than was originally planned in X2. I guess over time I've realised that that complexity in the tactical and strategic layers relative to other games in the genre pretty much IS Xenonauts; a lot of people liked Xenonauts 1 because the strategic layer was more freeform than the modern XCOM games and simplifying the strategy layer as we originally planned in X2 may not actually have been the adventurous choice given that is also what our main rivals have done. I've also found that the various mechanics in X-Com games are so heavily interconnected its difficult to change a major element without negatively affecting other parts of the game; having a simpler air combat model limits the Geoscape more than you might initially think. In general, I think within video games and the strategy genre in particular there's a proud tradition of sequels refining the original game without having to fundamentally change the mechanics. Civilisation II and Master of Orion II spring to mind, but something like Doom II also works for the comparison. If we deliver Xenonauts 1 with updated graphics, better stability and usability, address a number of the gameplay problems, add some new aliens / technology / other content and maybe a couple of well-chosen new gameplay systems to give players more options - is that not enough? Ultimately that's a question of personal taste, really. That said, I do feel bad for people who backed our Kickstarter or bought a pre-order on the basis of our bold promises about new features that have since changed; I think anyone in that situation has a legitimate case to argue they had been missold (which is why I'm happy to offer refunds to such people).
  24. 1 point
    I would be okay with making the soldiers fall down and be unrecoverable during the mission (the current 'dead' state) a 'badly wounded' state with a 75% chance of survival with a permanent scar of some kind. Some of those scars could be mixed: Faster reactions but lower accuracy for the jittery soldier, or immunity to mind war but vulnerability to other forms of morale loss, in addition to the strictly worse ones. Since those scars would replace death, the balance issue would be in avoiding having the penalties be too weak, and soldiers being used as ablative armor being too possible.
  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!