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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/07/2022 in Posts

  1. Apologies for the delays to this update. Some big news this month - we're planning to launch the game into Early Access in February next year, and I've been underwater with preparations for that. We're also going to be putting out another tactical mission demo as part of a Steam event later this month, which is also eating into my time. I'll be writing a much longer post later this month explaining our plans for Early Access in detail, so I'll just focus this post on what work we did last month. Abduction Missions: The biggest feature we've been working on are Abduction Missions, which are a new type of tactical mission intended to provide a bit more variation to the ground combat. In these missions the aliens have captured a number of civilians and imprisoned them within teleporter pods, and you have a certain number of turns to free as many civilians as possible - once the timer runs out, all surviving aliens and any pods that have not been opened teleport away. You win the mission by rescuing at least 50% of the civilians, so these missions are no harder than a "normal" mission where you kill all the aliens. However, you receive a small amount of money resources for each opened pod and killed alien (as they do not teleport away) so the player can potentially obtain more rewards on these missions by playing more aggressively than normal. Personally I think this makes them an interesting change of pace from some of the other mission types. These were way more effort than I was expecting them to be, but they're basically done now (just ironing out a few bugs) and so should be included in V24. Grenades: We've now done the final part of the grenade implementation - setting them to use arcs, so they can be thrown over walls or intervening cover. This is surprisingly tricky from a design perspective (arcs and abstract 3d tile grids don't go together well) and even more of a pain to implement, but we know it's an important feature to a lot of players. We're just fixing up a few bugs and some issues with the visualisation, but this feature is also pretty much done and should be in V24. Achievements & Cloud Saves: Achivements are now complete, including artwork, and set up on Steam and GOG. You'll be able to earn them (well, most of them) starting in V24. I'll also shortly be turning on Steam cloud saves, but because our save games were previously absolutely enormous (up to 20mb for some tactical saves) we've spent some time optimising the files so they are much smaller. They should now only be about 20% of their previous size, so only a few mb each, and won't totally destroy anyone stiill on a metered connection. Terrain Tiles & Maps: Last month I spent a bunch time fixing all the problems with the UFOs in the game, using a new tool to find and fix all the line of sight "holes" which could cause the interior space to be revealed by soldiers who were still outside. I also fixed the non-walkable tiles that occasionally appeared inside the UFOs, and finished setting up the styling on the Harvester and Battleship UFO interior spaces. I've also added a LOT of new terrain tiles to the game. These will be most noticeable in the Xenonaut Base biome, which is now mostly complete and looks much more polished than it did in our last public release (there's just a few more rooms left to complete). This is also reflected in the Cleaner Base plot mission, which has been completely restyled and now looks much better than before. UI Updates: We're continuing to work towards having the strategy UI refresh complete for our Early Access launch in February. I've implemented the new visual style for the Main Base and Stores screens, and we're nearly done with designing the Soldiers screen. Once that is complete we only have the Research, Engineering, Aircraft and Soldier Equip screens to implement. Additionally, we're working on an updated visual style for the Geoscape map itself. This won't be dramatically different but we want a map that looks a bit more distinct from the one in the first Xenonauts, and is just a bit neater and less noisy. We're still at an early stage of this but I'm hoping it'll come out well! Campaign / Tech Tree: In preparation for V24 I'm doing another balancing pass on the campaign. One small thing we implemented here was the ability to randomise the spawn times of missions and UFO waves, which has helped make things less predictable, and in general I've just been working through the game and ensuring everything unlocks correctly so you can actually make it to the final mission. I'm looking to get the tech tree locked down for the Early Access release shortly, as there is still quite a bit of art and writing that needs to be added. However this month I did write all the research entries for the entire alien / Cleaner plot chain from the start of the game right up to Operation Endgame (this was about 15 entries in all). This means the hardest part of the writing is now done, as "normal" research entries are less narratively connected and much faster to write. I think that's everything. We are working on V24 still but I'm not going to give a firm date for when it'll be released as I'm conscious I've got the demo to sort out first. But hopefully in the next couple of weeks!
    5 points
  2. Hello everyone - time for our monthly update. This month we've been working hard on the tactical demo we put out for Steam's Tacticon event earlier this month (still available on our Steam page for anyone that wants to play it), and we're now concentrating on finally getting Build V24 out. If all goes to plan that will be arriving towards the end of next week. A lot of this month has been spent on testing, bugfixing and polishing, so most of the progress this month is on improvements that were already underway. Grenades in particular have continued to sap a lot of our time as we keep encountering all sorts of weird edge cases with them where the arcs go wrong or don't make sense (somewhat to be expected when you try and put a curved arc onto an abstract tile grid) but I think we're nearly there now. The main changes are: The Soldiers screen on the strategy layer has now been reskinned in the final UI screen. The Research screen comes next. We've finished the tiles for the Xenonaut Base biome, and these now need to have their destruction effects added. We're finishing up a few loose ends on the Jungle, Farm and Dockyard biomes at the moment and then we'll move onto the last two biomes that need work, the Arid and the Soviet Town. I've written another 10 or so research reports. Lots of small improvements to the ground combat that aren't technically bugfixes - for example, we've updated the fire paths so miss shots fly off up into the sky much less often, which makes grenade launchers and the MARS rocket launcher much more useful. As for our Early Access plans, they're still unchanged. We're planning for a EA release in the first quarter of 2023 with February roughly pencilled in as the date. Our goal is to have the entire basic campaign playable from start to finish by this date, although there is likely to still be a few rough edges (some research projects not having artwork, perhaps difficulty settings not enabled, etc) in the game at this point. Anway, I'm in the process of playtesting V24 now and it seems like we're on track for a release next week. There's not really much more to say beyond that; it's been almost five months since our last public release so hopefully everyone will see a big improvement!
    4 points
  3. We're in the process of changing our marketing partner to ensure that our Early Access launch gets as much attention as possible (I found a company that really impressed me) so I'm not completely sure what the plans for the open beta are yet. In an ideal world I'd like to run some kind of beta to ensure the game is properly tested before it goes on sale but I'll see what our partners think about it, as if they've got data that suggests it's financial suicide then it'd be best not to. And it's also a bit dependent on the development timetable.
    3 points
  4. This demo is a vast improvement over the last one in every respect. I loved the improved visuals, better performance, more options for my soldiers to do on the battlefield, etc. I think this a good step forward for the game. I had a great time with it. Although I did find some trouble with the controls initially and some of the balance feels a little off imo. These are the critiques I have with it: -I remember that in the previous demo, you could click the icon of the weapon and go into free-fire mode that way. I tried doing that while playing this demo, and it didn't work. I was confused for a minute or two, but I eventually figured out that I could go into free-fire mode by pressing ctrl. The bottom left control icons don't actually tell you how to free fire until you actually hold your cursor over an enemy, which is probably why it took me awhile to figure it out. I think it should tell you the moment you select a soldier imo. I think that you should be able to to go into free-fire mode by pressing the weapon icon just like before. It is also a little annoying that free-fire mode turns off immediately after letting go of ctrl; it would feel more natural if this were toggleable instead of requiring to hold ctrl down imo. -It also wasn't entirely clear to me that you have to select a location for a soldier to move before ctrl + shift works. The control labels at the bottom left seemed to imply (at least to me) that you can activate ctrl + shift anytime after entering free-fire mode. Obviously, this isn't the case, and it instead showed (0 tus, 0%) instead. I thought that this was a bug for a minute, until I fiddled around a little more and figured it out eventually. (I have no screenshots for this one as windows won't let me take a screenshot while holding ctrl apparently) -I'm a little confused about the accuracy calculations. When it is just hit chance= (soldier accuracy x shot modifier) + range modifier, the math makes sense to me. As seen below: (60 x .38) +52= 22.8 + 52= 74.8% (approximately 75%). The system makes perfect sense to me when in this format. However, when accounting for stuff like smoke and cover, the math doesn't make much sense to me. See below: 45 x 1.2 x .7 x .6= 22.68%, not 15%. I'm wondering if there is some information that is being withheld here, or if the information presented is inaccurate in some way, or if the equation for calculating the accuracy is different than what the hit chance% formula suggests whenever smoke and/or cover is involved. -I'm also am a little confused about suppression in general. I understand generally how it works (thanks to the awesome toolkits that were implemented), but I don't really know how much suppression a single shot or burst does to an opponent (or a teammate for that matter). Suppression doesn't feel like something I have that much control over or can use strategically because I have no idea how much suppression each individual action does to anything. Perhaps a suppress% chance or an estimated/average suppression damage statistic that is located next to the hit chance% calculations would help to give more information about the relative suppression damage one would do to a target. -Some of the balance seemed a little weird to me The MARS's rocket launcher having a blast radius of 4 tiles seems like a little too powerful. A blast radius of 3 tiles seems like enough for it to be a strong weapon; 4 tiles just makes the blast area a little ridiculous imo. It surprised me to see so few aliens on the map with armor of any kind. With all of the frag grenades, demolition grenades, rockets, and armor piercing weapons, I would have expected a little more aliens to have some sort of armor stat (especially the cleaners that appears to be wearing armor of some kind). I would like to have seen maybe a greater mix of enemies that have a more even mix of no armor, light armor, and heavy armor that might give more importance and emphasis to the new armor mechanics. It feels very weird to have the shield not have a 100% chance of blocking attacks from the front, but still having some % chance of blocking attacks from the sides. I think I would personally prefer to have 100% chance of blocking from the front and a 0% chance of blocking from the sides, making the placement and turning angle of the soldier more important, but that might be just me. If I remember correctly, this is the second dropship of the game. In Xen 1, each of the dropships gives the player different options of how to take cover and enter the battlefield from the dropship. The Charlie allows you to exit form the back and both sides, the Shrike allows you to exit form the front and back, and the Valkyrie allows you to assemble your soldiers in any position you wish. However, with this dropship, it doesn't give you more/different options of taking cover or exiting the dropship than what the Charlie offers. I would like to see some small things that separates this dropship from the other dropships in the battle itself, be it alternative exits, more cover options, etc. These are the nitpicks I have right now; if I encounter some more, I'll make sure to post them here. Overall, solid demo!
    2 points
  5. -So I did some more testing for the accuracy numbers, and I think I found what the route of my confusion is. See below: I tested the hit chance% without smoke but with an intervening object, and I got 60 x .38 x .7= 15.96%=16%. This also made sense, so intervening objects probably wasn't the issue. See below: I tested the original shot again just with the extra smoke and the x1.00 for smoke did not make sense. If the x1.00 was correct and taken literally, then the original hit chance% should not have changed whatsoever. This has to mean that either the multiplication symbol or the number in front of it is incorrect somehow. I think I got to a point where I know what the issue is now. I think that 1.00 - intervening smoke= hit chance multiplier. I tested here and 1.00 -1.00= x0, which will make the hit chance% 0%. I also tested it with my previous issue and I got good results. See below: 1.00 - .60= x.40 hit chance multiplier. 45 x 1.20 x .70 x .40= 15.12%=15%. The fix here should be the same as what you guys did with Intervening objects. It should be portrayed as: x.40 Intervening Smoke (60%). I also noticed that the Target Crouch Modifier and target defense seen in the June update was missing from this demo. I'm wondering if this is a bug or if those two were intentionally removed. I think that crouching should have some effect on hit chance%; it just makes logical sense and it feels unintuitive to think that it would not effect hit chance% in some way. I'll probably come with some more feedback soon. I didn't expect to lab hit chance% so much lol.
    2 points
  6. Make the task sign on the strategic map change its color over time. Green color - the mission (task) is relevant. Yellow - the aliens have carried out part of their plans. Red color - you are late. (The aliens have done what they planned and are evacuating soon). Depending on the color of the tactical task icon, other bonuses and other trophies are awarded for completing a tactical task.
    2 points
  7. Disable roof -toggle doesn't seem to work as intended. As it's stated in the tool tip, on default it should be automatic so roofs are disabled only if player can see tiles inside the building. As it's now, roofs are always disabled, even if no interiors are visible. I would also argue the default should be so roof is disabled only if UNITS are visible inside a building. Xenonauts CE had this nailed to perfection IMO.
    1 point
  8. I'm not familiar with Steam Community though but I can see that through these years you're becoming more and more extreme towards critiques and that would be a really bad signal for the game community. The game had been delayed for multiple times and it's understandable that most people not from this forum being upset about it. We don't need the game forum becoming toxic based on personal vendetta.
    1 point
  9. Any word on the open beta? Is it still a thing? I'm glad we're finally looking the light at the end of the tunnel.
    1 point
  10. Don't worry, in a few more missions the aliens will upgrade from pistols to rifles and then you will have fewer injured soldiers left over after missions. Having to replace injured/dead soldiers is part of the game, that's why you can hire more.
    1 point
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