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  1. 7 points
    This version is outdated, see announcement for 0.35 instead. Version 0.34.3 of Xenonauts: Community Edition has been released. Installation (Windows Steam users): Switch to the Community branch in Steam by right-clicking on Xenonauts, selecting Properties, going to the Betas tab and selecting Community. No access code is needed. You can enable/disable mods in "Modding Tools" in the game launcher. You can revert to the standard official game by switching back to the NONE branch in Steam. Installation (other users): 1. Download the base mod and the mod package. 2. Launch the old version of the game, install the base mod using Modding Tools. Alternatively: extract the base mod into assets/mods/xce, overwriting everything. 3. Exit the game launcher. 4. Run the new executable from assets/mods/xce. It should display the version 0.34.3. Using this launcher, go to Modding Tools and install the mod pack. Say Yes when asked about overwriting mods. 5. You can now play from assets/mods/xce, or optionally copy the files to the main game installation folder. What is the relation between X:CE 0.34.3 and Xenonauts 1.6x? The official Xenonauts releases incorporate some features/fixes from an older X:CE version, and some have intentionally not been included. X:CE 0.34.3 should contain all relevant Xenonauts 1.6x fixes and new features. If you already play X:CE, there should be no advantage to switching to Xenonauts 1.6x. X:CE 0.34 can read saved games from Xenonauts 1.5x or Xenonauts 1.6x, but Xenonauts 1.6x cannot read normal X:CE 0.34.2 saved games. Switching option saveCompatibility in assets/gameconfig.xml to "gh15x" before running X:CE should produce saves in a format that Xenonauts 1.5x or 1.6x can read (keep the option as "xce" for normal play, otherwise some new X:CE values may not be kept in save files). Note that Xenonauts 1.6x may still be unable to load such a saved game if it includes objects it doesn't know (e.g. researches from the Lore+ mod, or incendiary grenades from X:CE). Changes from 0.34.2: This version has some stability improvements and updates to the bundled mods. System The game is now large address aware. This allows better stability / performance with very big mods. Sound effects are now stored uncompressed in memory. This only uses a bit more memory but should significantly improve sound-related stability problems, such as freezes due to ambient sounds and similar issues. Bug fixes Corrected loading of psionic defence values in saved games. Fixed the delete button in the modding tools with relation to the Steam Workshop. Prevented a freeze during ground combat if a map with a bugged door is encountered (door that opens into a wall). Fixed loading of some saved games that get corrupted by having incorrectly "cloned" planes. When retaking Xenonaut bases is enabled, fixed problem of that not applying to undefended bases. Fixed some UFO loot in the Furies mod. Modding In config.xml, a variable has been added (MeleeVehiclePriorityModifier) to tweak the priority with which melee aliens attack vehicles. The default value does not change gameplay. Modded Xenopedia screens can now display more information about combat armour suits. Included Mods Xenonauts Fix Pack by Policenaut has been updated with multiple fixes, with credit to Charon. Tropical and Swamp tileset - updated from version 1.6 to 1.61. This version is significantly more stable.
  2. 6 points
    Greetings all, A little preface here on relative skill level: The issues I want to talk about get more obvious and more of an issue the better a player is, hence this preface. This is sort of an inverse of "Get gud". However, it may appear I am asking to make the game easier in general, that is not the case. I would like the game to be harder if anything, but at the end where it makes sense for it to be hard and not at the beginning where it doesn't. More on that later... A note on my own skill level: I've completed pretty much every decent strategy game on the hardest possible difficulty, that includes games like: XCOM (The originals, terror from the deep excepted as I never got into it), XCOM (The Remakes), Jagged Alliance (even the awful reloaded one), Panzer General, Peoples General, etc. Also, some hard realtime stuff like EUIV (One-tagged the world), Shogun II total war (Impossible Ironmanned it), etc. I also have a youtube where I do hardest possible turn based Ironman campaigns, though that is mostly battletech. If your interested in that or simply want to verify, you can find it at www.youtube.com/TheEdmon and I hope you enjoy it :). My two key issues with XCOM type games are thus: 1) In the early game no-one seems to know there is a war on and it determines everything. 2) Win-More, Lose-More gameplay. The early game: Most of these turns based games are won in the first 6-10 hours and the rest of the game is just a walk to the victory screen, provided you don't make some critical mistake. But if you are winning hard enough, early enough, the odds of a critical mistake drops: 1) You win early missions with no losses and get more stuff. 2) So you have more money to expand, upgrade and research faster, with no losses to replace. 3) You are powering faster than the difficulty curve due to the above and can afford more coverage (when applicible). 4) You win more easily, due to your powering, which leads to less/no future losses and more money. 5) The cycle repeats, with your A-Team carrying you to the victory screen often without any losses at all. Dont you know there is a war on? The early XCOM game has this weird tone, situational as well as gameplay issue. You start off weak, barely any better or the same as a standard military of the time period. Then the game pretends like other militaries don't exist or are unable to mount even the slightest defence. So, where you are and what coverage you can get early is all that matters. This means that (often randomly), the game is determined by how much of the early hostiles appear near you (so you can deal with them) and is a race for you to power up as quickly as possible so you can protect the earth. The game balance revolves around this, making it so that you can get more ahead very quickly because you are 100% of the force being exerted against the aliens. That 100% can be vastly different between a good player and an excellent one, let alone a weaker casual player. You are totally and 100% critical in the early game, so balancing that early game becomes very difficult. I have always thought a good way to solve this problem would be to have the player be more like 10% of the force in the early game. NPC Military, coverage, airforces, etc. So what if we do this instead: 1) NPC's have military bases, airforces, coverage just like you do. 2) There is a lot more alien activity in the early game, but NPC militaries can barely handle it. The scramble interceptors, shoot down hostiles, airstrike, etc. 3) You can place your base to try and protect a country with a weak military, like africa, or place it where activity is high to protect a stronger NPC so they are useful for longer... The early game then consists of a world at war against the aliens and actually holding it's ground. You are there, to shoot down what appears in your general area, steal technology, go on missions, etc as usual. But you are not 100% of the fight, more like 10% of it. Of course, as the game goes on, your technology improves and so does the aliens. But your human allies do not. So in the mid game, they start to lose and some very badly: 1) You can see NPC bases and interceptons getting crushed. 2) Gaps appear in earths defence, relations sour. 3) It becomes clear that you must fill in the gaps, protect your allies, etc. You can afford to make the general alien presence that much more, when there is a lot of NPC defence around to handle it. Taking the pressure off the early game. In the late game: 1) NPC presence is all but gone, now it's all down to you. 2) Difficulty can be much higher 3) You've had time to put coverage in place, but the pressure you are under can also be higher than in a normal XCOM like difficulty curve. In conclusion: The early game matters too much, player skill level cannot effectively be balanced for, due to the snowballing effect that is caused by the player being 100% of the force against the aliens. The tone is also odd, where is everyone else, don't they know there is a war going on? My thought is to try and shift this to the mid game, while also fixing the weird lore and tonal issues. What do you guys think?
  3. 6 points
    So, first thing to say - our Kickstarter will not be launching today (4th May), and is going to be pushed back a couple of weeks so we can finish up the video and the Kickstarter page. Things are progressing well but there's a few key assets that we want finished before the launch, as it'll make everything look a lot more professional - and I will of course keep the forums updated when we settle on a specific launch date. However, if you're interested in hearing about the Kickstarter then please make sure you're signed up for our mailing list. We very rarely use this list, but we'll be sending out a notification about the Kickstarter several days before via the mailing list and then sending another notification when we press the button and set the Kickstarter live! We're going to have an internal team meeting next week to discuss the draft page text / reward tiers, then later that week we'll be revealing more information to the community and asking for your feedback. A couple of major points of interest from the the last month: We've released what is possibly the final version of the free public combat builds (V0.23.0) on GOG Galaxy. We've fixed up a lot of the gameplay and stability issues and assuming nobody encounters any major issues, we'll be using this build for the free Kickstarter demo. It'd be great if people could test this because it would be nice to find any bugs before it goes out to the whole world! We've released a load of information on our planned changes and improvements in Xenonauts-2. These choices may continue to change and evolve during development, but those threads are fairly good guide to how the game will look in the closed beta - and then we'll think about further changes or expansion based on the community feedback from that. Onto general development news - things have continued to progress well, as we're predominantly working on adding content to the game these days. Although it breaks frequently because it's so complicated, the work on the merging of the strategy layer and the ground combat is largely done. Missions are loading the correct maps in the correct biomes with the correct combatants and equipment, and the correct items are being recovered and experience and health of your soldiers is now being tracked back to the strategy layer. What we're doing now is starting to add the various types of alien to the game and giving them their various different weapons and special abilities. Some of this has been rather straightforward, but other equipment / alien abilities requires new code to support the way it interacts with the game mechanics so is going to take longer - we'll probably be working on this in the background for another couple of months. We're also working on making the maps load the crashed / landed variants of UFOs correctly, which is kinda complex because the UFOs now have to support destructibility, but I think we'll have that working in its basic form soon enough. The strategy game also has all of the major mechanics in place now too - the base, the interceptors, the research / engineering projects, the soldier equip screen, etc. What we're concentrating on now is making small changes to existing mechanics to make the game play better - e.g. tweaking the Agent Actions, enhancing the new interception system, etc. The gameplay experience is steadily improving as time passes but it's certainly not ready for public consumption yet! There's a lot of places where the game is still lacking, but the biggest two issues with the gameplay are challenge and content. The combat AI is incredibly basic and doesn't present any real challenge to the player, which makes it somewhat difficult to balance the gameplay. The other issue is the lack of maps and differentiation between the aliens; it's possible to play a single mission and have some fun but we can't support a proper campaign until we have a good variety of maps and all the different variants of alien to fight against. These are two of the big areas that we'll be focusing on in preparation for the post-Kickstarter closed beta. We'll post more details up about the closed beta once our Kickstarter preparations are out of the way. There's lots for me to do so I'm going to get back to work now, but thanks for reading and I hope we'll be seeing you again when the Kickstarter launches!
  4. 4 points
    I don't think we'd be given the chance to have that kind of deal, even if we wanted it - we're not as sexy a game as Phoenix Point, who have already signed a lot of deals with various parties for a lot more money than we have. So I doubt there's any risk of us ever becoming an Epic exclusive!
  5. 4 points
    The development of Xenonauts 2 has reached a major milestone today, as we are releasing our first Closed Beta build to our Kickstarter backers. This is the first time anyone outside the dev team has played a build of the game that contains both the ground combat and the strategy layer linked together (although the first build is intentionally *very* limited in content). This closed beta is only open to Kickstarter backers who have backed the game at the £25+ tiers. If you're one of those backers, Humble will send you either a Steam or GOG key at roughly 11AM PST today (28th November). If you're not a Kickstarter backer, I'm afraid you won't be able to buy the game until our Early Access launch around March 2019 - we're not allowed to sell those private beta keys. Please be aware that the primary purpose of the closed beta is testing. The early beta builds are not going to be fun to play; they have deliberately limited content and will probably have quite a few issues. If you want a fun and playable experience I recommend you wait until the Early Access launch in just over three months! Finally, please don't stream this build - the game is not yet ready to be shown to the public, and even if your viewers were impressed they can't buy the game yet. Once the game has released into Early Access you'll be able to stream it without any restrictions! Features & Feedback: This build contains all of the key strategy systems, but only allows you to play on the Geoscape for one week. We want to find out how well the fundamental mechanics are working, so please try as hard as you can to break the game. We're particularly interested in the following feedback: Does the game work properly on your computer? How is performance on the different graphics settings? Do the graphics / UI display correctly on your monitor? Are you getting any crashes? Do all the strategy game systems work properly? e.g. Do your planes intercept and shoot down UFOs properly? Does building structures and managing staff on the Base screen work properly? Do the dummy research / engineering projects work as you'd expect? Is the ground combat <> strategy link transferring the data correctly? e.g. Are your soldiers bringing the correct equipment to battle? Is the correct ground combat map being loaded, with the correct aliens and UFO and civilians etc? Are the correct items being recovered from combat? Is soldier experience gain / death in combat being correctly brought back to strategy? Does saving and loading work properly? Are any parts of the UI confusing or difficult to use? Is there anything that's particularly annoying and ruins the experience for you? etc We've simply not had time to work on the game balance or spend much time iterating and improving our new mechanics (e.g. the Air Combat and the Base system), so please wait a few more builds before giving us feedback on those topics. We'll be asking your opinions and suggestions on the new stuff once we've had time to develop it a bit further. You should also assume that most of the re-used art you see from the first Xenonauts is placeholder art. We're going to start adding the missing research art during the closed beta and there will be a final UI and art pass on the game during Early Access when the mechanics are more settled and we know the final UI layouts for the various screens. Where to report issues and give feedback: Simple bugs: you can press F11 to send an in-game bug report, or report them here on the forum in this thread Crash bugs: if you've got Error Reports enabled in-game, we'll get some useful info on what went wrong. But it also helps if you can tell us in this thread what you were doing that might have caused the crash. General feedback: posting this up on the forums is best, either in this thread or in a new topic in Xenonauts-2 General Discussion We're not sure exactly when the next build is going to be, as it's somewhat dependent on how broken Beta Build V1 is - if there's major crash bugs in the game we'll probably try and hotfix them within a day or two, whereas anything else is likely to be rolled into a larger build that will be coming in around two weeks from today! EDIT - a few updates since I originally posted this thread: The bug reports we recieved were so useful we released a hotfix the following day that addressed a bunch of crashes, changelog here. We now have a dedicated sub-forum for bug reports, so please post any bugs in there! Please read the bug formatting rules first though - it makes it much easier for everyone to see if a bug has already been reported!
  6. 4 points
    So for roughly the next month (until late August) I'm only going to be logging onto this forum occasionally - and I'll be responding to emails and direct messages much more slowly than normal. Why? I'm getting married next week, and then I'm going to be heading off on my honeymoon for a couple of weeks a few days afterwards. The rest of the team will still be busily working away in my absence, but I won't be around to do the usual community management stuff. If you see people on the forums asking questions for the devs and getting annoyed that they're not getting a response, please point them to this thread! I'm very much looking forward to having a holiday - I'm sure those of you here who are married will know all to well how stressful it is to organise a wedding, and to do all that while also running a Kickstarter campaign and doing all the planning required to keep Goldhawk running for a month has been pretty exhausting! It'll be nice to have a couple of weeks to chill out before I come back and have to start worrying about the upcoming closed beta I don't have time to write a proper dev update unfortunately, but these are a few of the things we're planning to be working on in the next month: Finishing up the realtime Geoscape and interceptor / UFO movement etc Adding the basics of the new air combat prototype into the game Adding the soldier backpack allowing units to switch weapons in combat Making units drop their equipment on death, and allowing soldiers to pick things up from the ground Some upgrades to the ground combat AI Adding few unique weapons (e.g. combat shield) and weapon properties (lasers recharging their clips, etc) Adding explosive terrain objects / units that can explode on death Getting the MARS vehicle working properly in the ground combat (crushing things, exploding when destroyed, not screaming when shot, etc) Rewriting the unit movement logic so you can move multiple soldiers simulatenously A bunch more fixes / updates to the map editor to help us support semi-randomised maps I'm sure I'll be brimming with enthusiasm when I get back, and hopefully most / all of the above will be waiting for me when I do!
  7. 4 points
    I rather enjoy the claustrofobic feeling that restricted vision cones give. It's not just a gameplay topic, but a fundamental thing that changes how the game feels.
  8. 4 points
    I've made a UI mockup with UI elements that I'd like to see: Bigger Everything! Well, except the weapons. See major equipments of all soldiers. See heal-able HP and stun damage. TU, HP, and main weapon above everyone (friends, foes, and 3rd parties). Outline move area, move + shot area (before turning), and vision cone. When selecting move location, show line to all enemies, and who can be shot from that location (after turning), and whether each can see you (red eye icon in the mockup, above the left alien). Default to move + fire instead of ignore move and fire. When hovering over target, see accuracy of all modes. See hovered target's TU and HP but without numbers. Full UI mockup (understandably most clustered): Animated mockup (Not always playing correctly; did my best): X2.mp4 Fine touches: See all inventory on screen (slot based), Selecter soldier's skills, Silhouette for human and alien, Replace shot mode text with icons, Firing hint. TU has a blue overwatch marker to represent snap TU. Tried adding current firing mode marker, but a bit redundant with moving shot boundary and live TU prediction. Floating TU and HP is white to emphasis coloured status icons such as the red eye for sight. If a walk plan renders you unable to fire at a target after turning, it can be conveyed by "not-attackable line" to that target. I think we can also rotate vision cone with mouse move, and update TU prediction (and maybe cone colour) to indicate whether there is enough TU left for overwatch. In hindsight I could have made the alien indicator smaller and add their weapon icons below. And add reaction shot indicator next to sight indicator.
  9. 4 points
    Heh, I've been explaining this concept for almost a decade now and I don't think I've ever managed to express it as succinctly or as effectively as you did there
  10. 4 points
    This has been interesting to read, but I have a question to ask. How many people here have played ALTAR Interactive's AfterX series of X-Com-like games? ALTAR Interactive tried doing many of the things that people have suggested here. In Aftershock, there was a large array of competing weapon types - projectile, laser, plasma, psi, sonic and warp, with each type being introduced later in the game. Each weapon tier was different in terms of damage, range and accuracy. They also introduced ammo types and modifications for each weapon type, and every enemy type had different resistance types to the different weapon tiers. But the takeaway from AfterX was people used projectile weapons throughout most of the game. Accuracy didn't matter. Want an accurate weapon? Make a scope and a gyrostabiliser and stick it on a rifle. Raw damage didn't matter. Put AP or explosive or Acid rounds in a projectile weapon and go for headshots (the only kind of shot) with your snipers. ALTAR did to Aftershock what usually only modders do after a game has been released but it was easy to boil down from the massive list of STUFF which weapons were the most accurate, fired the most shots and did the most damage with the appropriate mods (it was projectile weapons - the first tier that you get - all the way). In Afterlight, they dialed back the weapon types, but projectiles STILL lead the way. The ALTAR experiment over 3 games shows that trying to vary things based on key statistics doesn't work. What happens is that the weapons with the best stats bubble up from the pool and everything else is ignored. You end up with perhaps the sniper rifle from lasers, the assault rifle from projectiles, the shotgun-esque weapon from plasma etc. etc. If weapons from different tiers were intended to be the same but different, then those differences have to be radically different but not keyed to stats, as keying them to stats didn't work in the AfterX series. Furthermore, the differences in later stage tiers have to be sufficiently enticing for people for put work and time into them. Let's take.. plasma weapons, for example. A nice late-tier weapon. If a plasma weapon did as much damage as an earlier stage laser, what would set it apart? Perhaps the plasma weapon sets things on fire. cover, for example. Or people. Perhaps instead it instantly destroys terrain, so you can destroy cover quickly with a plasma weapon Perhaps all plasma bullets have a 1-tile detonation radius. Perhaps it does everything. Take lasers. Why would I put research into lasers when I have guns? Perhaps lasers are a beam rather than a bullet style of weapon, which affect every tile they cross into. Perhaps laser have infinite ammo, and overheat harming the operator. Perhaps lasers can blind enemies. Perhaps all of the above. Who knows! But for different tiers to be the same but different, extra effort would have to be put into having those tiers behave differently on the battlefield.
  11. 4 points
    With the Christmas period only six weeks away, I thought I'd take a moment to tell everyone what exactly we're working on at the moment. The short version of it could be summed up as: we're connecting everything together, and things now work ... but are also clearly broken. What? Things work... but they're also broken? Let's start by talking about exactly what "connecting up" is - essentially it means we're now joining up all the information on the strategy layer and the ground combat layer. On the strategy layer you can hire your unique soldiers and put them to work in the base or send them out on missions, and if you send them out on a mission then we need to create a battlefield map with all the parameters sent from the strategy layer. That includes the type of mission (UFO crash site, VIP rescue, etc), the type of biome and sub-biome (arid wilderness, temperate farm, desert military base etc), the number of Xenonauts involved and their stats and equipment, the number and type of aliens, etc. The good news is that this all now works in the sense that data is correctly passed from the strategy layer to the ground combat, then results are passed back up to the strategy layer again once the mission is complete. However, making the gameplay correctly reflect all this information is an ongoing process that be going on for a long time. We're making a lot of progress fixing up the obvious issues, but whilst the code is indeed working the gameplay just isn't there yet. Anyone who played Xenonauts 1 more than six months before it was released will know very well what we mean when we say that! Can you give a bit more detail on where exactly you are and why this is so hard? The key issue here is the the missions in Xenonauts require a long list of design work, art assets and code in order to play like a game should play, and if any one is missing then the whole thing looks totally broken. I'll take the example of us implementing the VIP rescue mission which we put in the game a few weeks ago, because that both clearly works but is also obviously broken. These are the (simplified) steps required to get it working: Have a functioning Geoscape where missions can spawn Have the ability to hire and equip soldiers on the strategy layer Write the spawn logic on the strategy layer for when the opportunity for a VIP Rescue mission appears on the Geoscape Write the intended alien units that you should be fighting on the mission (these should change and get harder as the game goes on) Write code that defines the victory / loss conditions for this specific type of mission and implements anything new (e.g. you fail if the VIP is killed, you win if the VIP is evacuated even if everyone else dies) Have a level editor that can create a level for the game Implement VIP spawn regions and evac regions in the level editor and ground combat code Have a tileset with enough models that levels can look good Create a level for the mission with the appropriate layout, meta regions and visual attractiveness Create art assets for all the required aliens Create art assets for the VIP Set up combat stats / equipment for all these aliens Set up combat stats / equipment for the VIP Make sure this equipment also has the required stats and art assets Ensure you have the appropriate variety of maps to cater for all the different places this mission can occur Write the code that pulls this together and loads the appropriate map, mission type, aliens, equipment and Xenonauts when you fire up the mission Ensure the aliens have the correct AI behaviors to deal with the mission objectives (e.g. they will aggressively attack you and try and kill the VIP) Pass the results information back to the strategy layer and ensure the strategy layer acts on it (killing your dead soldiers, crediting you with a new unit if you rescued the VIP, etc) Something that sounds relatively simple - "adding VIP rescue missions" - therefore actually requires a huge amount of work across many different areas of the project if you want it to have an acceptable level of gameplay. And even when you've done all this, there's still plenty more to do ... for instance, the VIP currently doesn't get a little quick-selection minitab in the UI when you get control of him, and he doesn't start sharing his vision cone with your team until you select him for the first time. Those are pretty major bugs that clearly need to be fixed. And even when you've got the obvious bugs fixed, all you've done is created a mission that the player can play. Then the long and difficult process of balancing starts. Is the VIP too close to the spawn area, or too far away? Are the enemies too tough for this stage of the game? Is the map too open, making the VIP too hard to protect against alien snipers? Are shotguns too good? Does that alien have too much HP bloat? I'm sure you get the picture. The point of this update is to illustrate that the "fun" part of game development that everyone wants to help out with is the balancing and polishing stage, which happens right at the end of development. That's when you get to look at the game and say "hey, I've got this one great idea that'll make it much better!" and I find myself writing 1000-word forum posts about tiny details like why ballistic rifles need to have slightly higher armour penetration than they already do. I love that part of game development and we're getting steadily closer to it. We've nearly finished the box that sits around the game that we all want to play, and soon we'll be properly working on the game itself. The level editor and level creation process in general has sucked away a lot of this time, but we've now got pretty much all the functionality we had in the X1 level editor and therefore should be able to produce missions with the same complexity as the first game. Then we'll start pushing beyond it. We've got a few more things to fix up before we can put anything out, but what I'm currently planning for is to re-introduce the ground combat builds in the near future with the new ground mission types in them (currently we're working on UFO Crash Site, Alien Base Attack, Capture Supplies, VIP Rescue, VIP Elimination, Xenonaut Base Defence and they're all mostly working). Hopefully that gives a bit more insight into what we're doing right now, and why we've been quiet - although you'll get to see it for yourself soon enough!
  12. 4 points
    Once you stop seeing the entire world as a single unitary block with a collective consciousness I think it becomes a much easier sell. Plus you only have to look at the debates around the scientific claims that smoking was harmful / climate change is being caused by human activity to see that it's easy to muddy the waters of public opinion, irrespective of what "facts" are put forward by each side of the argument. In most cases people find the facts to support what they want to believe, rather than vice versa. Now imagine that the aliens have infiltrated elements of the media and world governments, and are actively trying to discredit the notion that aliens exist. Instead, they're pushing conspiracy theories like the narrative that one of the two superpowers has developed a secret weapon and is regularly using it on their opponents, whilst staging hoax / false flag attacks against their own people so as not to arouse suspicion. The photos of aliens are doctored; the witnesses are just government stooges. Indeed, the aliens might not even need to discredit the theories themselves. If I was living in the UK at the height of the Cold War and one of our aircraft carriers disappeared in mysterious circumstances, and the government explanation was: "Aliens did it, but all we have is few grainy photos to prove it", I'm not sure I'd believe that. If elements of the local media were accusing the government of being soft on Communism and covering up a Soviet attack because they were frightened / secretly supporting a Communist takeover then I might give that some serious thought. It's not likely, but is it more likely than a secret alien invasion? Might well be. Similarly, the Xenonauts can have powerful political support but that only needs be from a few key figures, ideally in a cell structure ... if aliens are infiltrating governments, you don't want a lot of people knowing about the Xenonauts. The aliens might not have enough power to take over the world militarily, but they certainly have enough power to wipe out the Xenonauts if they find them. The whole "men in black" and government conspiracy lore is a rich vein, particularly in the Cold War. I think this type of setting is actually a much better fit than the outright warfare in Xenonauts 1; mechanically it doesn't have to change the game at all.
  13. 4 points
    Version 0.34.2 of Xenonauts: Community Edition has been released. Installation (Windows Steam users): Switch to the Community branch in Steam by right-clicking on Xenonauts, selecting Properties, going to the Betas tab and selecting Community. No access code is needed. You can enable/disable mods in "Modding Tools" in the game launcher. You can revert to the standard official game by switching back to the NONE branch in Steam. Installation (other users): 1. Download the base mod and the mod package. 2. Launch the old version of the game, install the base mod using Modding Tools. Alternatively: extract the base mod into assets/mods/xce, overwriting everything. 3. Exit the game launcher. 4. Run the new executable from assets/mods/xce. It should display the version 0.34.2. Using this launcher, go to Modding Tools and install the mod pack. Say Yes when asked about overwriting mods. 5. You can now play from assets/mods/xce, or optionally copy the files to the main game installation folder. What is the relation between X:CE 0.34.2 and Xenonauts 1.6x? The official Xenonauts releases incorporate some features/fixes from an older X:CE version, and some have intentionally not been included. X:CE 0.34.2 should contain all relevant Xenonauts 1.6x fixes and new features. If you already play X:CE, there should be no advantage to switching to Xenonauts 1.6x. X:CE 0.34 can read saved games from Xenonauts 1.5x or Xenonauts 1.6x, but Xenonauts 1.6x cannot read normal X:CE 0.34.2 saved games. Switching option saveCompatibility in assets/gameconfig.xml to "gh15x" before running X:CE should produce saves in a format that Xenonauts 1.5x or 1.6x can read (keep the option as "xce" for normal play, otherwise some new X:CE values may not be kept in save files). Note that Xenonauts 1.6x may still be unable to load such a saved game if it includes objects it doesn't know (e.g. researches from the Lore+ mod, or incendiary grenades from X:CE). Changes from 0.34.1: This is a version that mostly focuses on modding, bringing numerous new options for mod creators to take advantage of. There are also bug fixes and mapping fixes in this version. Crash fixes Fixed a rare crash when an alien would attempt to mind control multiple enemies. Fixed a rare crash with air superiority missions. Bug fixes AP-damaging weapons should now work even if the weapon does 0 normal damage. Airplanes that have 4 weapons, of which 1 is a cannon, will correctly show all 4 slots in the air combat UI. Vehicles can now take EMP damage. This should not affect the base game, only some mods. Fixed Saviour Medal / Crux Solaris display (from 1.65). Loading a saved game will no longer reset the minimum cooldown of Terror or Base Attack missions. Quantum radars will now properly identify the city targeted by a Terror mission. Fixed the text shown if an alien base is detected by an airplane. Avoided duplication of alien base if detected by several airplanes. Balance Reapers will now attack vehicles as they were intended to (change in the X:CE Balance mod). Modding Melee aliens can now be allowed to attack vehicles, on a race/rank basis. A LockManufactures command has been added, which will remove the ability to manufacture an item. Added ability to add custom categories to the Manufacturing UI. Allowed control over zombification and Reaper spawning. Aliens can now turn enemies into any race/rank type. Such zombies can now also spawn any alien, and with a customizable timer. Allowed a configuration where lost continents can be retaken. If enabled, lost continents will automatically spawn one alien base, and the player has to kill that base (and any others on the continent) to regain it. Descriptions for manufacture projects can now be added. Add a new string with the ID ManTech.X.Description, for instance, ManTech.MiG32.Description. It will be shown in the workshop screen. Custom sort order for the stores screen can be provided in items.xml in the "Sort order" column. More building sizes now supported for base buildings, such as 3x2 and all the way to 6x1. Extra sizes for alien bases that can be used to create custom missions. Allowed creation of new gas types that can do damage multiple times per turn, that is, for each tile passed with that gas. UI In the Stores screen, items are now sorted. Players can sort by a column, by clicking on it. Categories in the Manufacture UI are now sorted. Xenonaut soldiers holding a medkit and a weapon (the usual being medkit + pistol) will now appear with the weapon in their hands instead of empty-handed. Maps Included a fix for many bookshelf tiles across different maps. It was previously impossible to stand next to them. Updated maps in Skitso's Ultimate Megamix pack, fixing issues with stairs in desert scrap yards. Included the Xenonauts Fix Pack mod by Policenaut that fixes many small issues in various maps. Included Tropical and Swamp maps as an optional mod. Included Mods Xenonauts Fix Pack - new mod by Policenaut, on by default, fixes many small mapping issues across the game. Tropical and Swamp tileset - new mod by Policenaut based on work of Khall, TT3, Frankel and others. Adds new tropical and swamp maps to the game.
  14. 4 points
    The first Xenonauts public build will be arriving on Monday 24th October and will be completely free to anyone that wants to try it. The game is still too incomplete for us to consider a paid release, but we want as many people generating ideas / feedback and reporting bugs as possible. We'll therefore be making the first few builds free. However, we will also make optional pre-orders for Xenonauts 2 available at the same time. This is purely for people who know they want to support the project, as they won't initially confer any extra benefit - but they will automatically convert into a Steam or GOG key for the game when we transition into paid Early Access later in development. We're planning to charge $24.99 for the game during development and then $29.99 once the game is finished and released. The first build will be a simple test build - a combat mission between eight Xenonauts with basic armour and the starting weapons from X1 (shotguns, rifles, sniper rifle, LMG) and roughly six Psyons (formerly Caesans). The battle map will be an outdoor forest map with no UFO; it'll just be a straightforward deathmatch between the two sides. There will be strong similarities with Xenonauts 1 in the first build, which is intentional - we want to reassure people that we're not planning to dumb things down for X2 despite moving to 3D, and because assets from X1 make excellent placeholders until we create the new X2 assets to replace them. That said, the sequel is not simply a remake of Xenonauts 1 in 3D ... we just want to make a fun and playable foundation for the game based on the first game before we start changing things up. After all, it's much easier to test a new or altered mechanic if it is embedded in a working game and you are able give it a proper playtest. The build that comes out on the 24th is going to be a "soft" launch for us. We'll be releasing the first Xenonauts 2 build and unveiling a new website for the game, but we're not actively promoting it via Twitter or by contacting journalists or by messaging our mailing list / Kickstarter backers. This is because the initial release of any piece of software almost invariably reveals huge numbers of bugs and issues that the developers were completely unaware of, and we'd like to do a small release to our existing community to identify and fix the biggest issues before we then announce things more widely and try and expand the community. We have the first week after the build releases set aside for bugfixes, so we're planning to release updates until the 31st that are just bugfix patches and then do our wider announcement on the game on that date. If you've found this information organically by reading our forums / from the Xenonauts 1 launcher RSS panel / from friends / whatever then please help us out by being part of the first wave of testers (and if you're a game journalist, please hold your coverage until the 31st). Similarly, if you encounter any issues with the new website when we unveil it then please report it to us. If all goes well, we're planning to release a decent chunk of new content for the project every two weeks - we're intentionally holding some back from the initial builds for this reason. This means that in theory there should be a second build of the game with new content available to play on the 7th November (although we may find a fortnightly release schedule a bit of a struggle over the long term), a week after the large-scale public release. We'll continue this pattern of public iteration until we feel that we have a project developed enough for an Early Access launch, at which point we'll likely do a quick Kickstarter and then launch on Steam as a paid-only project. I'm personally very keen to get the game out into the hands of the community, even if it is still quite rough at this stage. I'll release more on this forum as details firm up, so stay tuned for updates and make sure you come back and visit on the 24th! P.S. - As always, if you want to stay informed about our plans, please sign up to the Goldhawk Mailing List here. We're going to start using it very soon!
  15. 4 points
    The AI in the first build is gonna be relatively primitive ... however the AI in the finished game should be significantly better than that in Xenonauts 1. And to whet your appetite, here's a preview of how the new main menu screen background looks. Still early days but I think 3D has a lot of promise!
  16. 3 points
    I am happy to announce the release of Xenonauts: Community Edition 0.35. What is the Community Edition? The Community Edition is a source-modified version of Xenonauts, produced to improve the stability and gameplay experience of Xenonauts, as well as to give modders access to more features. X:CE contains hundreds of bug fixes, crash fixes and quality of life improvements, while remaining very close to the vanilla gameplay. More information about X:CE in general can be read here. How do I install X:CE? Steam users - Switch to the Community branch in Steam by right-clicking on Xenonauts, selecting Properties, going to the Betas tab and selecting Community. No access code is needed. 0.35 is not on Steam yet. It will probably be added on the 6th of June. Other users (including GOG): 1. Download X:CE for manual installation. 2. Extract the X:CE archive into your game installation folder, overwriting existing files. 3. Launch the game. Answer "yes" if prompted to update load order. The game launcher should display X:CE 0.35 in the top-right corner. Can I continue a vanilla game in X:CE? Yes, X:CE can load saves from the vanilla 1.6X version of Xenonauts, and older versions. You can then continue the game with X:CE. The future of X:CE With the release of 0.35, the Community Edition is nearing the end of its development. I'm aware of a few more minor bugs, and I've received a good list of various small issues to look into. Some of those I'd like to fix, and surely something will crop up in 0.35 that necessitates a fix. But with Xenonauts 2 now entering a more mature phase in the development, I don't foresee much active work on X:CE beyond an eventual 0.35.1 with some minor fixes. Changes from 0.34.3: Version 0.35 brings a lot of improvements for modders, new translations, and a few general fixes. New translations: The French translations have been updated, authored by Rodmar18. The translations are for X:CE itself, and some mods. Traduction en français Le mod communautaire X:CE 0.35 comprend une extension et une révision totale de la traduction française, à la fois du jeu de base et de la plupart des mods inclus. Le lanceur du jeu devrait automatiquement détecter la langue de votre système d'exploitation (le français), mais il vous est toujours possible de choisir votre langue dans le gestionnaire de mod de ce lanceur. Rendez-vous sur le forum de Goldhawk Interactive pour discuter de cette traduction car elle est tout à fait perfectible. Mod updates The bundled Fix Pack has been updated and renamed to [XCE] Xenonauts Fix Pack. The rename avoids a conflict with Steam workshop, which has an older (and buggier) version of the mod. Bug fixes and general changes: It's now possible to rename bases. Click the base name in the base screen. Psionic combat calculations fixed to work as originally intended in the game design. Previously it would essentially be random rolls only slightly affected by the soldier's and the alien's stats. Now the psionic strength (for aliens) and bravery (for soldiers) contributes 50% to the score calculation as intended. From a player perspective, you should actually notice higher bravery soldiers being more resistant to psionic attacks now. "Go to base" will open the workshop view after a manufacture has been completed. "Go to base" will choose a base with idle scientists after a research has been completed. Afterburner in air combat now has "A" as a keyboard shortcut. Zoom in/out shortcuts will also work in air combat. Correct alien base name will show in the dialog window when a dropship reaches the base. The "incendiary burst bug" is fixed. The bug was - if a weapon of incendiary type fires a burst, and first hits terrain and then an enemy, then the shots hitting the enemy would do extremely high damage. Fixed a rare bug where destroyed airplanes in transfer would forever occupy hangar space in the new target base. Modding enhancements: Reaper zombification is now damage-based, that is, Reapers zombify when target HP is 0. It's thus possible to have them do normal damage. The base game now just sets the Reaper weapon damage to a very high value to ensure instant zombification. Item transfer time between bases can be modded in gameconfig.xml. If Xenonaut base retake missions are enabled, they can be made to happen in the Xenonaut base tileset in gameconfig.xml. Previously only the alien base tileset was available. Morale cap for ground combat can now be customized so mods can enable morale of over 100. More flexibility for radar ranges - up to 13 are now supported. The LockManufacture command has been fixed to work reliably. Fixed escort chances for UFO missions in the AM_*.xml files. Only mods with more complicated AM_ files were affected, so this is not a base game change. It's now possible to specify alien sight range per alien rank. If rank sight range isn't specified, the race range is used instead. Base evacuation feature completed: if retaking Xenonaut bases is enabled, then personnel and planes from lost bases will evacuate to other bases. It's actually visible on the map with planes flying out, etc. New alien abilities for aiprops: Infiltrator and Ghost. Infiltrator makes the alien look like a friendly unit - green cursor, no reaction fire, and so on. Ghost makes the alien act like an object, no special cursor at all, but it can be reaction fired upon if moving. gameconfig.xml can now control the various speeds of air combat. For X:CE 0.35, I want to again offer a big special thanks to @Charon and @Rodmar18.
  17. 3 points
  18. 3 points
    Nauty Nauty:- Very Xenonauty Alien Infiltration- ergo, XAI
  19. 3 points
    Psi Healing: Like medkit, but can be done ranged. Upgraded skill may become AoE effect instead of doing higher heals. Psychic Surgery: A slow, costy ability that restores "unhealable" hp. Empathy: See enemy hp and/or role, if originally hidden. Scrying: A sensor probe not limited by walls. Clairvoyant: See further and/or wider. Precognition: See enemy plan. The plan may change with player action. Cue Invisible Inc. Retrocognition: Like motion tracker. Daze: Reduce or Eliminate target overwatch. Mind Trick: Make a unit immune to enemy overwatch. Psi cloak / distorion: Reduce accuracy of non-mechanic enemies agaist a target or area. Mind Shade: Same as above but used on enemy. Pyrokinetic: Remotely start fire, put out fire, or ignite grenade. Apportation / Psychokinesis Hand: Open/Close/Pickup/Move/Drop remotely. An ability to move a missed grenade would be nice, if they explode at end of turn like X1. Psychokinesis Shield: Project an energy field that reduce damage (think mass effect) Psychokinesis Push/Pull: Moving alies sounds like fun. Note: If these sounds like magic, there is a good reason. They are easier to balance than panic and mind control.
  20. 3 points
    X-Division 1.00.00 Installation: 0. The base vanilla version has to be 1.65+ . 1. To avoid complications unsubscribe to all other mods on steam, and delete your your whole mods/.. folder. Then make a fresh install of xenonauts. X-Division 1.00.00 is not compatible with earlier versions. 2. Install the latest XCE version. For windows steam users right click on Xenonauts in your library > Porperties > Betas > community - Xenonauts: Community Edition branch For GOG/linux steam users follow the latest installation instructions here: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/index.php?/forum/23-xce-release-announcements/ Linux steam users will need to run X:CE through WINE or a similar program. 3. If you downloaded the steam workshop support mod install it now. This is to show some support but has no other purpose than that. 3.5 Start up the game at least once and exit it properly. 4. Download all 3 parts of X-Division 1.00.00: Download ( Part 1 MD5: d46af869d5435a9c425d51acd1442897, Part 2 MD5: c57b4fb563ca419c9e455f0908701fe9 , Part 3 MD5: c8ca596b39d920e45a9a45fc71611892 ) 5. Deactivate your ANTIVIRUS/UAC program, it can intervene with the installation. As soon as the installation finishes you can activate it again. Have all 3 files together and open part 1 ( = unrar the multi rar archive ). Double click the .exe file. Follow the instructions of the installer. 6. The advanced installation has some options to choose from, namely: There are some optional mods you can activate/deactivate. Lets go through them one by one: 1. X-Division No Airgame There are 3 ways to play the airgame, 1. Manual 2. Autoresolve 3. No Airgame . No Airgame removes the necessity to play the airgame and replaces it with a 1 click solution. With No Airgame you only have to build the latest fighters and bombers and hit autoresolve. If you quickly want to jump into the Ground Combat this is the option of your choice :). Note that this tilts the balance in the favour of the player and is not representativ of the economic balance of the game. Recommended state: ON if you want to skip the airgame. 2. COM - Ambient Sounds/COM - Ambience Forest This mods add ambient sound and add the least amount of instability to the game - it still makes the game more unstable. Recommended State: OFF if you dont want to risk a higher instability for beautiful sounds. XCE 0.34.3 should fix the instability. 3. COM - [V1.08] Jsleezy's Real Fighter Portrait Pack Adds alternative soldier faces to the game. Deactivate Khall´s more Portraits if you are using this to avoid art inconsistencies Recommended State: OFF if you dont want to play with more realistic faces. XCE 0.34.3 should fix the instability. Checklist in case you want to change something later on: You only have X-Division Workshop Support if you subscribed and installed it from the steam workshop The modloader needs to be EXACTLY in the priority order the installer sets it. The modloader needs exactly this active mods. The mods you can still change after the installation are No Airgame, Khalls and Jeezlies different portraits ( only one active at a time ), both Ambient sound mods ( either active for ambient sounds or deactivated for more stability ) and the No Click sound ( removes mouse click ). You shouldn`t play X-Division with any other mods than stated. Only cosmetic mods are allowed and only if you know exactly what you are doing. Keep in mind every savegame is unique to its mods its saved with. 7. Apply the latest available patch - 3.1 Latest Patch section ^^. Every patch contains all prior changes as well. Currently there is no newer Patch. DAY 707 Version 1.00.00 "New Dawn" New AI behaviour set. Yes they are more capable now. Total Revision of Antimatter technology tree and weapons Increased radius for Cannons all around, and added a burst option for most Made the Quantum Cryptology Center available as soon as you raid your first alien base The Quantum Cryptology Center, now known as the Quantum Radar, acts as a radar ontop Decreased weight of some grenades from 2 to 1.5 Harmonised weight of Pulse Magazines Increased proportional stun damage from 40% to 50% again Reevaluated stun properties for shotguns and carbines Quadrupled chemical grenade/rocket production from alien grenades Fixed chinook speed for the no airgame option New valkyrie maps Improved vehicle weapon descriptions in the Xpedia Added weapon loadout information for vehicles in the Xpedia Praetor evolved from the puppy stage and are now doggos. The overmind is a pitbull Improved Katanas Manufacture of EMP rockets doesnt require alenium anymore Removed MeleeVehicles for Facehuggers Decreased time intervall between terror missions from 22 to 18 days Mauser doesnt require alloys to manufacture anymore Decreased Spearcannon manufacture cost from 4 to 2 alloys Archelons now need a mothership core to construct ( didnt i do this before ? ) Mothership loadout yet revised again, hit model made bigger, damage counter moved up higher Archelon revised Increased damage of reapers Fixed broken reflex stats gain from max 180 points to max 100 points Increased hp bonus and decreased reflex malus for Exoskelett armours Revised armour reflex boni all around in accordance to the reflex stat fix Revised some armour values all around the board Higher level Roborexes now regenerate shield points per turn until you overload the shield Downed Roborexes now have the Ghost ability Removed all armour for downed roborexes Revised all Roborexes in general, they are now slicker, faster, shoot further and are looking for a brawl like Mike Tyson revised FOCUS aricombat weaponry Alien Mech units can move freely in 1 tile tight spaces now Fixed: Weapons marked as heavy actually didnt receive the full penalty after moving. Now weapons marked as heavy receive a big penalty if they are getting fired after moving. This is a fundamental gameplay changer Recoil Values revised Moral does not regenerate per turn anymore. It is now an absolute value that only actions/events can influence. Moral event threshold increased from 40 to 50 Moral chance per point missing decreased from 3.5 to 3.0 Quickthtrow grenade slot cost decreased by -4 TU Zombifying Reapers deal pure damage now. Attack cost reduced from 40% to 35%. We are giving the reapers back the fear. Revised Reapers yet again. Set incendiary armour to 0, decreased kinetic armour, increased chemical armour, increased hp and added the abilitiy "Regenerate" to all Reapers. Melee aliens now equally target vehicles as well as soldiers. Semi shield roboreapers ( and some full shield ones ) now deal pure damage and maim units they hit with by draining their TU for the next turn minimum accuracy requirement for the AI has been revised Cannons now deal overdamge, except for antimatter ones Endgame content starts to appear 1050 ATP Roborex explosion now deals overdamage ( Thank you @Phoenix1x+52 for pointing this out ) Acidlings revised (They should be beasty little beasts now) Increased the accuracy of the rocketlauncher immensly. The rocketlauncher is now a heavy weapon. TU useage lowered. Decreased range of aircraft weapon MINES from 11 000 to 10 000 Increased damage of Flamethrower weapons by 50% Increased range for flamethrowers by 50% Flamethrowers now get the short range bonus Infiltrator crew updated Added Geographic addition 1.1 and Geographic revision 1.1 by @Axiomatic to the game. All thanks and credits go to @Axiomatic for letting us integrate his content into X-Division Fixed AI layout behaviour for all 10 corvette layouts Increased rotation for Lancers from 30 to 35 degrees per second Decreased TU usage for the Shock Gun from 80% to 65% new final map many, many bug fixes Sidenotes New XCE code used in X-Division: Moddable transfer time - transfer time of items and soldiers has been reduced from 24 to 3 hours 13 new radar ranges - for now 10 new radar ranges have been enabled. This will likely get a more indepth revision later on LockManufacture fixed - One Time Updates manufactures should now disappear after their corresponding research has been done Zombify - Zombify now only zombifies if the damage kills the units, otherwise its damage only Renaming bases - A highly requested feature for XCE and X-Division Moral Cap moddable - The moral cap in X-Division has been removed, finally making you hard earned bravery something worth Escort code fix - Construction missions are now able to spawn alternative escorts Sightrange modifiable per rank - main races get +5 on sightrange in Phase 3 and +10 in Phase 4 Base Evacuation - Should a base get captured by aliens, personel and aircraft will transfer to other bases if available space is free ( this is for X1 and XCE too ) Dialoges - Improved dialoge redirections Infiltrator and Ghost ability - The Infiltrator ability will mark units as friendlies on the map, indistinguishable from other friendly units and wont trigger reaction fire - civilian hosts for now. The Ghost ability marks units as props on the map, indistinguishable from other props, but they trigger reaction fire upon moving ( "Sir, i saw that box moving, so i shot" ) - facehuggers, robodog and reaperboxes for now Aircombat - The hotkeys used for geoscape zoom can now be used for aircombat as well. There is a hotkey for afterburner now, "A" as default Aircombat speed - The aircombat speed levels received two revised speed buttons: x0.5 and x0.75 for slower aircombat gameplay. Bugs - The incendiary bonus damage on burst shoots against props and soldiers under certain circumstances got fixed. Now its only against props. A big thank you from the team for being such an awesome community. You made it possibly that we are able to release the final version of X-Division now. I especially want to thank the team who made it possible and accompanied X-Division through its various stages of development. @Solver Who is totally not a member of the X-Divison development team. I want to thank you for giving the much needed code support and all the new and fantastic features X-Division players are capable of experiencing now. Without him the growing of the game would have already stopped when custom Terror UFOs wouldnt obey the Terror Site Intervall. He made it possible that passionate modders can do what they do best, while silently removing obstacles from the back. In honour of your service i grant you the title of "External X-Division Teammember" @drages The main developer and creator of X-Division. Without him all of this Insanity would have never started. He had the vision, made the plan and strifed to fullfill it throughout many years. It is only because of him that we can finish this game today. Thank you for giving me this opportunity. @DrakuOne of the oldest members of X-Division. He did most of the grunt and testing work during the most active development cycles. Aint no Palace without somebody to actually do the work. @sfarrelly The string guy. He wrote most of the research preview entries. If you know what you are going to research than it is totally because of him. @Phoenix1x+52For doing the total insane hercules task of playing through the game from A to Z. He tested everything from the working things to the not so working things and recorded everyhing for sake of me examinating every pixel in the recordings. That X-Division is in such a bug-free and balanced state is mainly because of his work epic. He has been supporting X-Division through all its stages ( hm, installer ) and has been a loyal friend to the end. Many Kudos to you. @Maerafor giving moral support and a lot of enthusiams for new maps. @Marandor1 The second tester in command. He tried his hardest to convince me to make the game more fun than me trying to make it challenging. You can judge for yourself if he succeeded. @SvinedrengenFor making some good maps. and ofcourse ... @community for all the advice, suggestions, support and love that you gave for the game. Without you the journey wouldnt have been worthwhile. You created, enriched and made the game which it is today. Thank you for being there on this journey. I will see you in the game . Thank you for everybody who i didnt mention but was still part of this journey. A big thanks to @Chris for making Xenonauts. Enjoy !
  21. 3 points
    Goldhawk, I was curious about what you thought about world governments (beyond providing funding) directly providing contract missions for the Xenonauts to potentially execute. Or they may come in the form of optional objectives within the standard missions. For example, supporting or relieving local forces, capturing aliens alive for their own research purposes, turning over captured alien bases entirely to the host government, after you already captured one for your purposes, for a pricey commission. I know the Geoscape effort to help develop a more lively narrative is a highly desirable goal within the community, and I think this may add to the tactical side of the game as well. I ask because I am one of those £500 Kickstarter backers, and I was really intrigued about being apart of the game. You mentioned the option of "Geoscape Situations" which included missing personnel, and that lead me to believe you may be interested in more diverse missions. If such options are possible, I would much more prefer to be represented a member of the local forces (US Army) that make contact with the Xenonauts during a mission; i.e. my unit is combat ineffective before the onset of a terror mission, but if one of the Xenonauts is able to link up with me on the map then I can provide off-map artillery fire support for the remainder of that mission. support like, Immediate Suppression and/or Immediate Smoke fire missions that can be called at the beginning of each turn. Just curious about what you think? P.S. Scott Manley (from Youtube) I believe got many of us into the first Xenonauts, and I think it would be awesome if you included him in some of the artwork for the research/tech tree. LOVE THE GAME!
  22. 3 points
    Just to elaborate a bit on my suggestion: This is more or less exactly what I thought of. In some window where you either spend some time waiting (geoscape in X1, loading screen) or where it thematically fits (barracks, base overview) you could add a scrolling (base internal) news feed the backers can participate in filling. But instead of having the news feed merely blare out the names of backers or their characters it would be some kind of text the backers chose. They could effortlessly get their name in there if they wanted. Fitting the theme these texts could be about outside world news ("Freak storm hits office building in Germany. Lone survivor Bruno D. claims 'ugly monsters made me go blind', not the lightning."), memorials ("Mass for deceased Sgt. Dagar today at 2 P.M. No open casket display (you would not want to see that)."), internal messages from staff (see my previous post), security messages ("Re-playing movie scenes of burglaries with laser rifles and bath room mirrors prohibited. You do not want to lose a toe like Sgt. Dagar."), other announcements ("Movie night starts at 8 P.M. Today's movie: Independence Day.) and so on. Of course you would have to approve these first. But this is easily implemented, can feature a vast amount of messages, is a nice thematic addition, and even if it is expandable by modders, the backer's message still would be in the vanilla game (and likely all mods to come). The downside would be that messages might not make sense at a certain point in the game (e.g. the above one if you have not researched laser rifles yet), so you'd either have to implement checks with the unlocks on the research tree or campaign progress or keep them so general that they could apply at any point in the game.
  23. 3 points
    Thought I'd post up a quick update because it's been a couple of weeks since I did so, despite saying the Kickstarter was imminent! Right now we've completed the text on the Kickstarter page and are just waiting on a couple of pieces of art for the page, and we've shot the parts of the video where I'm talking to camera and we're just working on polishing up the gameplay footage that needs to go there. A few specifics: We're repainting the Soldier Equip screen so it has a fresh background and fresh soldier paperdoll art for the starting armours, as this was previously using placeholder art from X1 (this will appear in the video and is also one of the missing gifs for the main page) We're implementing Geoscape map zoom / pan functionality, as the interception footage looks really dull without it We're adding a few new weapon effects to make the gameplay footage more interesting; e.g. lasers that fire real beams rather than red laser bullets The problem that we're encountering is that we've been concentrating on the gameplay side of things, so we're either missing functionality that makes things look cool (Geoscape zooming) or relying on placeholder art from X1 that allows us to implement and test things without waiting for artists. It was only when we sat down to extract gameplay footage for the video that we realised we don't have anything except the public builds that is particularly polished, so we've had to spend a bit of time addressing that now instead of doing it all towards the end of the project. I still don't know when we'll be launching the Kickstarter, but when we do make that decision we'll post it up on the forums and we'll also send it out to everyone on our mailing list. Although this current public build seems pretty stable, we're likely to release one more build before the Kickstarter includes a couple more small bugfixes. Expect that early next week. Other than that, development is continuing at a reasonable pace. Our 3D artist is hard at work bringing our Boreal biome to life with a logging camp and some cool trains, while I'm further developing the Geoscape interception mechanics. We're currently experimenting with moving turns from being 24 hours long to being 8 hours long with the intention of having UFOs loitering for multiple turns, generating Geoscape Events etc like they do in the first game (this also brings back the day / night cycle in a more meaningful sense). I'm not sure if we'll keep it yet ... but I'm liking it so far. We've also put a couple of new items in the game too - although they're still a bit rough with regards to visuals! The first is the Remote Charge, an updated version of the C4 charge from the first game - but instead of this having a timer, you now get a detonator in your inventory that allows you to remotely trigger the charge (for a few TU) any time you like during your turn. The idea is that this will allow you to place a remote charge and arrange your troops as you want, then detonate the explosive at the start of the next turn and conduct your assault immediately. The second item is a cool little translocator device that allows the user to teleport themselves to any tile within squadsight (although it has very few charges). Might be hard to balance, but we'll see! That's all for now; I'll keep you guys posted with our progress as it happens over the next few weeks.
  24. 3 points
    It's interesting that training has been brought up in this thread, because training was something that was hashed over again and again during the development of X1, and it's something that has been tried in a variety of ways in other X-Com-a-likes. The fundamental assumption behind training appears to be: "I put X solider(s) into training. They are unavailable for Y period of time. Once Y period of time has expired,, they acquire Z bonuses". There are often things built upon that. Soldiers may need to acquire some form of resource before they may take training (experience points, training points, yogi master points, etc.). There are often rules about when they can take training (not wounded, not dead, not host to a bioweapon, etc.). There may be conditions to meet for certain kinds of bonuses, and requirements to meet to get training in the first place, but strip away all the surface layer stuff and each time training has been tried in an X-Com-a-like you have the same three postulates - take solider X, remove them from the game for time Y, acquire Z bonus at the end of time Y. X-Com Apocalypse's training only required the player to build a training room. When a solider was sent away from training, they improved their stats. As the bar to entry was so low, a decent strategy was to make a training base. Recruit soldiers directly to the training base and have them train all the time. They would improve their stats without the risk of losing them in battle. What training did in effect was to speed up the time needed to have soldiers with good stats and provide a pool of soldiers which had good stats without having to grind missions to do so. Depending on your perspective as a player, that could be good or bad. If you didn't do well, or experienced a party wipe (and party wipes in a game like Apocalypse are serious, when you can control 30+ soldiers in a fight!), then having a ready pool of soldiers with good stats and having the capacity to take more soldiers and prepare them without grinding missions is a good thing. On the other hand, if you're doing well, then having a pool of soldiers which can have comparable stats to the soldiers who you do missions with is a slap in the face of the player - what's the point of playing well and preserving your soldiers when you can just train a bunch of guys up for no risk? The AfterX series took training in the opposite direction. Training required three resources. Experience points, which were traded in for levels, which granted two other resources - stat increases and training points. Both stats and training points were necessary to acquire skills. In Aftershock, you selected a profession for your solider, based upon the stat requirements and the training points available. In Afterlight, you picked skills based upon the research you had carried out. Skills were mostly based around unlocking. Combat training did not usually provide stat increases. Instead they permitted to soldier access to something they couldn't do before, whether it was a special ability, a physical action, or something else. In Afterlight, for example, you could not crouch in a spacesuit without the appropriate spacesuit training. In Aftershock, you could not get access to entire weapon categories without training in the appropriate profession. Some skills in the AfterX games were considered mandatory. In Aftershock, if you wanted to heal someone in battle you almost always needed a solider who had the medic profession. In Afterlight, in order to perform certain basic movement actions, such as crouching or running, you had to have spacesuit training. Aftershock's system of training was closer to XCOM's system of class-based leveling up, in that without the appropriate profession, you did not have access to certain weapons, nor did you have access to certain special skills unique to the profession. Unlike XCOM, professions were not locked in from the word go, and a character could be trained in three different professions at once. This was a complicated system, First you took your soldiers into battle. Then if they earnt enough experience points, they levelled up. Then, if they had enough training points AND the appropriate stats AND the correct research you could select a skill for them to train in. Compare this to XCOM - earn enough experience points, get a level, get a skill. XCOM's system of getting skills is much more accessible than the After series, but the AfterX series created greater investment in the character. You had to work to get skills for a soldier, so every skill gained was that much more appreciated for it. In the Apocalypse model, training exists to get recruits up to speed quickly. Soldiers in Apocalypse are considered very replaceable. While it's good to keep soldiers between missions, it's not necessary as each solider is defined only by their stats and if you have a mechanism outside of running missions to improve stats, then loosing a solider is not that big of a deal in the cosmic scheme of things. In the AfterX model, training exists to act as a speed bump and a means of personalizing and investing a player in their soldiers. Each time a solider is able to train, they can then do something that they cannot before - run faster, jump quicker, use weapons they didn't have access to.....and crouch. At the same time, XCOM showed that it wasn't necessary to jump through the hoops that AfterX set up, by disposing of training and just allowing soliders to get something each time they levelled up. The feedback loop in XCOM is shorter because the intermediate stage of training is removed. What would the Xenonauts model be? Well, one must ask all sorts of questions. For example, where will the bulk of effort in improving soldiers come from? Does it come from completing missions? Ground combat is the meat of Xenonauts. The strategy section exists to serve ground combat, so it would make sense to put the most rewards into ground combat. However, if ground combat is where soldiers will progress, then the most effective strategy to improve soldiers is to delay the progression of the game while grinding out as many missions as possible and to behave in ground combat as conservatively as possible to preserve soldiers. That was seen during the development of X1 even though the grinding was boring, because people tend to prioritise the most optimal strategy to win over the most fun. Training then might be a tool to lessen the desire to grind out as much as possible by making alternate routes to progression available as in the Apocalypse model, rather than acting as a gatekeeper to progression as in the AfterX model. What kind of progression is there going to be? I can't find the post, but Chris has previously said that progression is going to be small increments to specific stats and equipment. E.g. getting a +bonus to shooting with rifle-class weapons, for example. If that's as far as progression is going to go, is it necessary to have a training mechanism at all? And another question to ask might be, is the accepted model of training (solider X goes away for Y days to get Z bonus) an appropriate model for Xenonauts? Would a different model better suit the game? Perhaps a more interactive model, such as a minigame? But would a minigame become tiresome? Would it be better to turn the training trope on it's head? Instead of sending a solider away, you bring a training officer to the solider. Perhaps you have to hire and schedule a training officer to turn up at home base. When the training officer turns up, any solider who stays as home base gets some training. Anyone who has to go out on a mission doesn't. That would work pretty well in a turn based strategy environment. What do you think? What would a good model for training in Xenonauts be? Should there even be one?
  25. 3 points
    It's definitely something we can consider. It's pretty easy to change between both ways of doing it, it's just a question of whether more players prefer to have the alien gear sold automatically or whether they'd like to do it themselves from the base stores at a later date!
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