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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    This version is outdated, see announcement for 0.35 instead.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
    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!
  3. 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!
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. 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
  7. 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.
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. 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!
  13. 3 points
    I've been thinking about the injuries system a lot over the past few weeks. Having played X-Com, Xenonauts, XCOM: EW, XCOM 2:WotC after it went on sale and beating them all this month, I've come to a few ideas that might all be beyond scope. Injuries aren't interesting unless you can purposefully inflict them (ie, aiming for the legs to stop someone from running away) which is very Fallout and I kinda have my doubts that any such system would really be used. Save for the times when you'd want to capture an alien, you'd always just be aiming to kill rather than to maim. On the other side, for the players, an injury system is only as good as your ability to interact with it. A simple way to do this is to have individually armored locations such as helmets and leg pads. Each of these would provide some kind of trade off such as reducing aim, vision, or mobility. There is a much more interesting and difficult to do variant that I've thought of though: having injuries be effectively permanent. A soldier who got blasted in their dominant hand with superheated plasma could get nerve damage which lowers the aim of anything that uses that hand for seemingly the rest of the game. Someone could have their off hand melted by a plasma grenade meaning they could only ever use it to hold a shield effectively but take large penalties for two handed weapons. Eyes can be lost and vision can be fried. Cuts and bruises and concussions can be fixed at the beginning. Only later on, when you've stolen some sibilian stem glands that you can repair the simple things like nerve damage. Even better, and this is the real crux of this idea, is that soldiers who are downed are only rarely dead. Someone could lose both their arms because of a stray rocket or need to have one of their legs amputated because the plasma just melted too much of the limb. Not dead, but might as well be dead to you since they're no longer useful as soldiers. Enter Alien Electronics: In Xenonauts 1, there was the officer in charge of the barracks who was missing an arm. With the first range of base upgrades he got a rather basic replacement, with the second he was sporting a functional cybernetic arm. While I wouldn't want X2 to go full MELD, being able to revive 'dead' soldiers the further the along you are in the campaign would feel absolutely stellar. You may have lost your 90 Aim sniper half-way through due to an accident that stole their sight, but they're still with you. Psionics can let someone see through cameras, or better yet, be able to only see aliens while the rest of the non-blind squad gets the scouting information that lets them know where to go. Even if they can't attack robots anymore, they can be used again when the technology is there. It's just expensive is all. ... This can lead to a very silly situation where most of your squad is a ragtag bunch of raggedy anne soldiers with the worst scaring anyone has ever seen. No idea if anyone wants that.
  14. 3 points
    There are a lot of different things contributing to this issue, and it also depends on what type of rendering setup you are using (forward/deferred, lightmapped / realtime etc). One of the big underlying causes is that Unity doesn't really deal well with dynamic environments where there are a lot of non-static GO's. This in particular starts to break down when certain rendering paths don't properly support batching. The end result is that the CPU spends a lot of time creating dynamic batches that are straight up ignored and cause individual render calls in parts of the render pipeline (stalling the GPU). The solution we've tried inhouse is to manually combine meshes and objects for those parts of the level that are indestructible after the scene loads, which already gives a mighty speed boost and solves both above issues. The other issue is that Unity simply doesn't like runtime combining of scenes with lightmaps, which is making completely randomized maps quite a pain to implement. I want to assure everyone that we know the issue, and we've been testing solutions to this throughout development and I'm confident that we can get orders of magnitudes of improvement in FPS. We simply haven't implemented those solutions as they would slow down the work being done on nailing down the level design workflow.
  15. 3 points
    So that's what the kickstarter was really about...
  16. 3 points
    Psionics are something I'd like to explore for Xenonauts-2, but it's something I'm not really thinking about now - it's one of those "icing on the cake" things I'd think about introducing in the final stages of development when I can afford to spend a bit of time tinkering with the ideas and see how well they work. It's notoriously hard to implement psionics as anything more interesting than purple mind bullets without breaking the game; lots of ideas sound really cool but break down a bit when you start to figure out exactly how they might work in the game. I think they need to be tied more closely into the morale system - perhaps morale could even be your "mana" for casting psionic abilities, because it's exhausting and stressful using them. But I'm going to put psionics out of my mind until all the core features are done and the game is fun to play.
  17. 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.
  18. 3 points
    Yay! 1.0.. i want to cry really... Now Xenonauts-1 is a hell of a game with X-Division and it will never die.. thx Charon..
  19. 3 points
    I've been been an advocate for a more realistic and grittier version of Xenonauts 2 than what some others on this forum believe to be optimal, and realizing this, i started to ask myself ... why exactly? Is more realistic and more gritty intrinsically better? No. More realistic generally is, as it helps with issues like relatability or immersion, but there are some great games out there that care little to not at all about being realistic - Tetris comes to mind as an obvious example. A game like Xenonauts 2 is not a reflex based game, like a twitch shooter or some console game waving around lightsabers at shiny bits. It is not a game of social organisation like a MOBA or getting a guild to work in a MMORPG. It can be a game about exploring a story and consequences of choices, like the classical Telltale games. It definitely is a game for people who like reading text and numbers and solving strategic/tactic puzzles. Ultimately, this is a game about a war. Xenonauts 1 was a war between two nation like societies, with taxes and armies and fairly clearly defined battlefields, and Xenonauts 2 is intended to more closely mimic the modern assymetric wars that are beginning to be the norm with a small group trying to do what they can while having to avoid open battle, utilizing abductions and assassinations and the like. So where can this game go? I basically see two options: either leaning towards a realistic, potentially harrowing, or instead towards a super-hero-esque power fantasy. People here know which direction i prefer, but don't get me wrong: i do not think that a power fantasy is bad at all. There are solid reasons why films like Rambo 2 are more popular amongst children coming from war zones than a film like the first John Rambo, which shows the protagonist disempowered, traumatized, and forced back into a warrior personality he had hoped to leave behind. Still, i asked myself: why would i prefer the more harrowing version? I think i can safely say i have more experience with horror and violence than the average of those who frequent this forum ... so why go back to that place after i finally left it behind? Analyzing that, i realized that a large reason for that is that a game pandering to power fantasies is so far removed from the reality i perceive that it feels bland, disconnected and unrelatable. The reality i know is not one where all soldiers in a company will survive, excluding the token black guy who will die as inspiration to the rest of the troops. It is not one where if you just try hard enough and believe in yourself enough you can overcome any odds. Instead, my reality is one where sometimes your best just isn't enough, and sometimes you have to make hard decisions and live for the rest of your life with the choices you made, and the consequences of your actions. I know some people think that we should rather tell stories that propagate these lies rather than face reality and be disheartened, but i do wonder if doing so does not actually cause way more harm than good. Because reality does catch up eventually, and it seems obvious that one of the evolutionary purposes of games includes preparing us for real challenges. Still, there are probably way more 11-14 year old kids out there that love power fantasies than there are people like me ... so why not rather have the game pander to the power fantasy? My answer would be that a game like that is already out there with Firaxis X-Com. When i played Firaxiscom i felt mostly bored, detatched from the conflict. Humans are the most amazing beings in the universe, easily capable of defeating psionic-wielding superminds, out-tech ancient races that had aeons to advance science to it's peak and stomp on warrior races genetically engineered for their purpose, and ultimately, OF COURSE the humans are the very key that the aliens have looked for so long. On the flip side, the intro screen from Xenonauts 1 immediately drew me in. A number of older military commanders look at you with facial expressions ranging from doubt to slight disdain, as if to tell you: "We've given you a lot of money and hardware, and a lot of good men. We all advised against it, but our governments ordered us to. Do not disappoint us!" And the game continues to tell us that we are nothing special at all, just another world to be conquered and added to a giant empire spanning multiple galaxies. If anything is to make us special, it is our choices and actions as a player that are to set us apart. The two moments that got the biggest emotional response out of me were quite minor sidenotes in the game. With stun guns and gas grenades i captured multiple Sebillians alive in an early mission to advance my research. The post mission run down made me pause for a short time. 1 Scout Data Core .................. Sent to research division 6 Alenium .............................. Sent to storage 12 Alien Alloys ........................ Sent to storage 4 Sebillian Corpses ................. Destroyed 1 Sebillian Non-Combatant ...... Sent to research division 3 Sebillian Non-Combatants ..... Executed I sat in silence after reading that last line. I understood why we did it, but we were murdering civilians. This gets even worse when you learn that these beings were actually forced into slavery and combat service, and we probably just wrecked our chances at a potential diplomatic solution. Are we really the good guys? The second happened when i looked at the research files, and found that the researches for the alien species are actually titled "vivisections". If i remember correctly it was the great author Isaac Asimov who wrote that science fiction is not about the technical advancements - the lightswords, lasercannons, jetpacks or teleporters - but what how we interact with the introduction of these new technologies reveals about us humans. While i do not think that it should be every game's purpose to do this, i do maintain that it is good to have games that give us pause, make us think, challenge our moral assumptions and our perception of the world. Reflex or coordination based games are unsuitable for this, games centered around social interaction would be an interesting option yet i've never seen it done in any, but games focused around story are definitely most suited for this. I personally maintain that a strategy game like Xenonauts might in many aspects be even better at this than pick your poison games like the Tell-Tale games or those from Quantic Dreams, because i believe that implications created through game mechanics resonate far stronger than these very obvious choices. A good example in my eyes would be to compare Prison Architect to the recent game Detroit. In Detroit you have the choice to either push some buttons to disobey your orders or not to, in Prison Architect due to the game mechanics you just end up making more money by constructing tight housing for prisoners than by focusing on optimizing their recidivism rate, mimicing a real life fact. Imagine that you had the option to work for criminal syndicates to up your budget in Xenonauts 2. Would you do it? How much would they need to offer? At what type of missions would you draw the line? How bad would the war against the aliens need to go for you to reconsider? If one of your agents was about to defect with information to the aliens because they are disgusted with your cooperation with organized crime, would you let the crime lords kidnap his family to stop him, or would you accept that some of your agents in the field will be killed because of the information this man will leak? The X-Com developed by Firaxis is a game from a huge company, developed on a hefty budget with shareholders expecting optimized returns, so naturally it will pander to the biggest crowd and try to go for as instant gratification as possible, no matter how shallow it may be. So why should Xenonauts or Xenonauts 2 be any different? Because it can. Creating a product for a more niche audience is a good business decision for a smaller competitor, and Goldhawk can afford to ask the questions that Firaxis wouldn't dare to touch. If Goldhawk won't create an adult, uncomfortable, complicated, ethically challenging and thought inspiring X-Com successor, then my question is: who will?
  20. 3 points
    Hey Chris, thx for this topic.. as i gave many years to X-Division, i want to share what i wanted to create for my dream X-Com style game.. X-Division's main point was about the "enemy" rather then the player even there is tons of additions to the player side. So i want to explain my thoughts one by one.. Enemies..: 1. Variety.. many and different enemies.. as the game got "phases", the player needs to see different mechanics/types of enemies with every phase.. not just with more stats of the same things.. when the player go to the next phase, he should react to new ones as "wtf is that"... he should reconsider his tactics, game play.. he needs to find new ideas to win.. for example, at second phase, i gave power shields to ceasans, at third phase i gave them big bossy xenomorphs.. i tried to add totally new enemies at every phase to surprise player base, then at next phases i added new abilities to the old ones when they updated.. aliens which moves underground... 2. Harder.. all the Xcom style games got the same difficult problem.. the game starts very hard, you get even at mid, and later its cakewalk.. because you got better weapons and armors to resist enemies even they got more stats.. it should be balanced. I tried to balance this within the phases. As the X-Division is much longer then base game, you have some time in a phase enough to simulate the game itself. At a phase, you start very weak. You try to catch aliens, try to survive rather then winning.. then you got the tech and starts to match with the aliens.. then later if you got enough high level items, you can fight and win against them. BUT when you pass the second phase and you start to react with "WTF", you feel weak again.. because they are an alien invasion army.. they are better then you, they should be.. and you cannot surpass them just in some days.. 3. Horror.. this is an important point too. You need to be horrified when you saw them.. it could be the shape, it could be the weapons, or maybe size.. but you need to feel fear.. I feel that at Terror from the Deep.. at that deep sea missions with dart weapons, i feel very weak when i saw that crapman.. i still hate them.. so i added xenomorphs and some more to the game.. they fit so great.. who would not fear when they see a big xenomorph queen?.. I added side robots to androns.. robodog, roboreaper, roboREX.. i added them a repair abilily which you need to kill it again before it's fully repaired.. we hidden them into the boxes as sleep state to wake up late at mission, when you feel just safe as you think you cleaned the map already.. XCE, solver and charon added hiding mechanics to game which is so great to create this atmosphere!.. Possibilities are so much with just some code tricks.. i hope you consider to add them to next game.. 4. Bosses.. for a tough and fearsome enemy, you need to have bosses.. big ones.. even an ultra mega skilled caesan with a huge weapon, would not enough to consider an ultimate enemy.. so i think at least 2x2 sized enemies are MUST.. look to all Xcom games.. new xcom, old xcom, project phoenix.. people are to be excited to see them.. to fight against them.. 5. Gadgets... game should have some nice inventory items for special things.. an energy shield for 360 defence with own HP.. something for hiding.. something for teleporting.. something for more stats, night vision, heat vision..this is not for only players, it will help to create much bigger variety for aliens.. 6. Dodge mechanic.. for fast aliens or fast melee soldiers.. everything should not relay on more damage to survive.. like a weak caesan with tons of HP to survive at late game (they should have really power shields) or a reaper which is just flesh but can stand against plasma cannons.. Players..: 1. More type of weapons with more abilities.. the game engine should allow every type of weapon combination.. like shotgun, flame thrower, grenade launcher, one shot launchers, mines (which i never use).. more shot options.. auto-shotguns, miniguns, multiple rocket launchers, energy based unique ones (like you got 30 energy rounds at your magazine, you should able to use a special laser shot witch consumes 10 charge from 30.. same weapon could have a autofire option for 1 shot 1 charge and single shot for 1 for 3 charge.. so you can have a heavy laser which can melt armor, or a sniper with autofire ability.. this is my dream for energy weapons but any of the xcom games done this..).. 2. Different type bullets for same weapons.. a weapon should able to use different kind of bullet types with different damage types.. 3. Balanced melee fighting system.. cool melee weapons with some unique abilities.. combined with special armors.. there should be a reason to carry a blade or knife when you can just spam shotgun.. could be combined with stealth mechanic.. 4. Unique weapons per weapon types.. lasers can have gattling minigun, plasma can have a short range cannon with aoe... Plasma based laser magazines.. acid bullets.. blabla.. 5. New weapon versions for every phase.. every phase should have its own grenade, rocket, plane, magazine types.. so player should choose some of them for research in limited time.. 6. Randomized research.. this is great for replay value.. new xcom got this right.. old xcom got it right.. you get something and when you research it you get something new.. with possibilities.. like you got a caesan weapon officer alive, at every research you can learn one type of laser weapon.. some surprise, hard to get, low chance researches.. why not?.. please at this mechanic to modding at least! 7. One time manufactures.. able to erase manufactures at modding.. same to research.. a research or manufacture should able to lock ro release another manufacture or research.. 8. Vehicles.. at least small mechs with human pilots.. could be used as heavy armor with "unique" weapon branch.. they should able to use at least 2 weapons.. Game..: 1. More Phases.. at least 1 more then x-1.. 2. Non-Ufo missions.. random missions which you got different goals without ufo.. ---------------------- Those are main reasons for X-Division and some of them could not be happen because the game did not allow me.. I hope those helps.. thx!
  21. 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.
  22. 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!
  23. 3 points
    I think it's time for another update on Xenonauts 2. Lots to say but I'm going to try and keep it short, as things are moving quite fast at the moment. Where are we right now? We have a playable ground combat mission We have a playable version of the new strategy layer We have a working level editor which we have used to build the level for the ground combat mission. The strategy layer and ground combat are not linked together, and all three elements still need lots more work before they're a finished game This week we hit our internal milestone to have both parts of the game playable, and we've got both the ground combat and strategy layer working outside Unity as standalone executable builds. This is pretty big news for us, but for the sake of brevity I won't go into exactly why (basically the game logic and properties are not tied directly into Unity, which gives us some advantages but means we needed to do extra work getting the standalone builds working). Playable does not include ALL the mechanics, just the core ones - the ground combat contains basics like walls and prop objects, time units, line of sight, shooting, cover, destructibility, basic AI, overwatch, etc. The strategy layer has working research, alien / UFO generation, item recovery, air combat and ground combat autoresolve, soldier leveling, etc. As an example of a missing feature, soldiers don't currently have inventories - you just pick their current weapon from a list of all those that exist in the game. It's therefore definitely a playable game, but there's still a lot missing. The question we're asking ourselves now is "do we want to show the game off yet?" and so far the answer is "no". This is why we've not announced the game, even though we're putting in place all the pieces that will let us do so as soon as it becomes a "yes" - for example, upgrading these forums etc. The main reason for this is that we've been concentrating on functionality rather than aesthetics recently, and now we have standalone builds functioning I expect us to make significant progress in terms of visuals, game balance and usability in the next few months. Please don't take this to mean that there will be an attractive and mostly finished game appearing in a month or two, but I honestly do think the extra time will dramatically change the reception to the game when we announce / confirm / whatever it. What needs to change before full announcement? The announcement of Phoenix Point by Julian Gollop (the creator of the original X-Com) demonstrated to us that a few nicely-chosen pieces of promotional art can be very effective. Historically we've taken the reverse approach where we get the game functioning first and start implementing the art when we have a better idea of the parameters it has to exist inside, but we've decided that spending a bit of money now should reap rewards. The two specific areas we're waiting on are the 3D character art and the UI art. We've got a production-quality Xenonaut soldier being modeled up at the moment, which we can use for promotional showbox renders and also to replace the more primitive Xenonaut we're currently using in the ground combat. On the UI front I realised it's going to be important to have some screens to show off that will show customers the visual style we're aiming for, even if the actual game doesn't look that way yet. The UI artist currently working on the "look and feel" pieces has recently worked on Destiny, and if he can nail the "military command-centre" vibe then it'll really help the game stand out. I'm also writing a series of long forum posts on a (currently) hidden sub-forum that explain a bunch of new mechanics or discuss design decisions made on Xenonauts 2, and I'll make that visible when we're good to announce. It's quite detailed and involved stuff, but historically the forum has liked that sort of discussion. If I've not been replying to posts on design suggestions or sounding grumpy when I do, it's probably because I'd just spent a couple of hours writing a post on that exact issue but I'm not able to show it to you yet What happens after the full announcement? Other than the fact we'll open the Xenonauts 2 Design sub-forum mentioned above, we'll most likely also make an early version of the strategy part of the game available free. I'm internally referring to this period as the Free Alpha and the purpose of it is to create as large a community around the game as possible prior to the Kickstarter that will follow it (which will be the first time you'll be able to buy the game). I've chosen the strategy for this free release because it's much faster to iterate than the ground combat. It also gives a better representation of the "feel" of the game (more opportunities for lore / worldbuilding text), and you can play through a whole strategic game by autoresolving the ground combat. At the same time, it should still give people plenty to look forward to - it'll obviously be a dramatically different experience once the real ground combat is added in, which will only happen in the paid version of the game post-Kickstarter. I don't know exactly when the announcement will come, but I'm looking forward to sharing the strategy layer with you all. I'm sure the design will improve dramatically when there are hundreds of people contributing ideas to it instead of just a few of us - and I hope the experience of seeing the game change and evolve through player feedback will convince people to support the Kickstarter! (Looks like I failed to keep it short!)
  24. 3 points
    Hi there, just got done with phase 1 on normal - thought I should share my experiences and provide some insightful feedback. Thanks for the mod! So; this is how the game has gone for me thus far; A weak start for the airgame, though I'm gradually catching up (I've downed almost 30 alien fighters at this point.) {note: I'm using Easy Airgame since my reflexes are poor.} I defended Athens from the first terror mission (which was androns {note: oh god, the bullet sponge roboreaper from hell,}) AND got both the caesan and seb early terror operators (Division Shotguns and Snipers FTW, also; I'm embarrassed to say it took 17 tries, five map rerolls and multiple TPKs). -- I soon realized this was a massive victory for only losing 4 Lt. and a Defender tank; I mean, seriously: andron corpses give me armour and cores, live terror operatives give me antimatter weaponry so I can assault alien bases before phase 2, then I can gain massive loot from the alien bases thanks to the high mitigation incendiary damage. I lost a firebase to alien attack, then reclaimed it within the 48 hour time limit (thank the heavens for those antimatter snipers, miniguns, defender tank, fox and wolf armour). It took me a few tries before I realized the telepad room is the second to first place I should go through. Managed to build a Shrike dropship a month before phase 2 began (I'm in love with these massively reduced time constraints.) Defended Madrid on Oct.31st from a caesan terror op, but neglected a terror attack in Europe during December 3rd (I wanted to destroy the last standing alien base before it could flip.) I strategically sold datacores in order to ensure I was breaking even for the first few months (the weak airgame on my end was making base maintenance rather costly.) I've managed to train 8 rookies up to the rank of Lt. (it would've been 11 had 3 not died from my sleep-deprived mistakes.) I've currently engaged in 39 [grounded] U-FO assaults, 2 [landed] U-FO assaults, 1 Base Defense, 2-of-3 Terror sites, and 2 Base Assaults. My main base is currently situated in Armenia, with bases at Yellowstone, Vladivostok, and the East Amazon. Australasia and Greenland are currently undefended sections of earth. The policy on encounters w/ new aliens (aka use the Div-2 Shotgun on em' about 13 times) has had a resounding success with wraiths, xenomorphs, and sebs. Toxin grenades and shotgun-through-the-door methods have proven massive success against organics (the AI really likes sitting on the door tiles, and xenomorphs run through multiple gassed tiles before reaching a waiting shotgunner. As for AI; Xenomorphs express Hit-N-Run + Wolfpack Tactics w/ Queens expressing some form of frontline command role. Caesans are best to engage during the first half of Phase 1 due to their frailty and steady movement patterns (don't underestimate them because you can O-HKO them, they've got decent Defense-in-Depth & Flanking tactics + a lucky Officer might win the RNG for mind-controlling one of your people.) Buzzard Armour renders most Phase 1 reapers null since you can spot them from the comfort of roofs and treetops (don't let seb flamers get close though; they'll melt you into scrap.) Sebs aren't big on flanking, so I walk past them and perform Hit-n-Runs as to trick the AI into making a mistake. Harridans... Harridans use a "Feinting Retreat" style of fighting, in order to beat them; you need to follow them carefully and keep them suppressed - make one mistake and someone dies - advance too quickly and a reaper or flamer-seb will ambush your people. Overall; I find ground-combat extremely enjoyable with base-type missions and terror missions acting as difficult puzzles to solve. As for the strategic layer; I enjoy the difficult decisions and choices I have to make in order to stay slightly ahead of the curve, with finances taking a minor preference over resources, and rewards for a successful gc gambit having tremendous effect on my successes. In conclusion, all I can say is this: Move with caution, be persistent, press the advantage, don't make any given mistake twice, and peel the enemy like an onion. That's all and I hope everyone is having as much fun as I am! Good day~
  25. 3 points
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