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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    This version is outdated, see announcement for 0.35 instead.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. 5 points
    By the end of this month everyone who backed the Xenonauts-2 Kickstarter will have their Steam / GOG keys and going exclusive with Epic wouldn't involve taking them away, so using that logic I'm assuming you wouldn't actually mind us signing an Epic exclusive deal? Everyone would have got what they paid for and no promises to backers would have been broken ... but in reality I think there'd still be a big backlash if we did so. I personally find the whole Epic Store debate quite interesting. In principle I like the idea of Steam having more competition, because whilst overall they've been a huge boon to independent developers, they represent about 90% of our sales and yet our only contact with them is one guy who probably replies to our emails less than half the time. Having a competitor to keep them on their toes and make them more responsive to what users and devs want from them can only be a good thing - but then having games be exclusive to just one platform is kinda annoying as a consumer (although Battle.net / Origin / UPlay / whatever have been doing that for a long time so it's hardly a new phenomenon). Anyway, I suspect Snapshot were offered more than enough money to make the backlash they are facing worthwhile. I think it's a very dangerous thing to break promises to your backers and I can certainly see why people are angry, but everyone has their price and if there was enough money on the table then I could also see how that would be tempting for the dev team.
  5. 4 points
    Hello everyone - we've just gone into June and there's not been much news coming out of Goldhawk HQ recently, so I thought I'd write a quick forum update to keep everyone informed about our progress. We released our last update just over two weeks ago, which was a big hotfix for Closed Beta V5 and fixed quite a few of the stability issues we had in V5. Since then we've moved back to adding content and features to the game. We've already finished up a few features that will be in the next update such as the Crash Site airstrike mechanic that was in the original Xenonauts, the recovery of strategic items from specific ground combat tiles (e.g. a UFO Power Core grants you Alenium unless you destroy it), and the soldier management system that means you can no longer assign soldiers to multiple tasks that should be mutually exclusive (being in an airborne dropship, being on a Strategic Operation, being wounded, etc.) However, we're also starting work on some bigger tasks. We're updating the Air Combat to make it deeper but at the same time less fiddly - we're doing this by adding some new mechanics, but automating a lot of the clicking the current air combat requires you to do. Although you can pause the combat and issue your interceptors detailed manual orders if you choose, the new model of the air combat will automatically play itself out in the same way that the air combat in the original Xenonauts did. However, as the combat is now turn-based there's less reliance on split-second timing on your pauses. Anyway, I'll explain all the changes in more detail when the next major update arrives! As you can see from the example above, we're also working on adding new art to the game. In recent months we've brought on some new freelancers to start painting up the final art assets for the game and this is starting to bear fruit. These are some of the final art assets that are working through the pipeline: Strategic UFO Artwork Strategic UI Backgrounds (in full 21:9 glory) Weapon Inventory Art Alien Autopsy & GC Corpse Art Soviet Town terror maps This is being coupled to some new gameplay content as well. We've created some new props for the UFO interiors so they're more interesting to play through, and I've updated the UFO crews so there's a better sense of progression through the game - the alien crews get bigger and better equipped as time goes on, and once the larger UFOs start appearing you could be facing Psyons, Sebillians, Wraiths or Androns each time a combat mission spawns. The balancing isn't final by any means but it's another step closer to being finished. I've also taken some inspiration from what we did in X1 with the UFO crews, and added several new variants of each alien. For instance, there are now unarmoured Sebillian non-combatants (pilots / engineers / etc) that spawn inside UFOs and only have pistols, rather than every Sebillian being a well-equipped soldier. This process is more complete for some races than others (the Androns in particular are short on variation) but once some of the new alien variant models start appearing I think we'll have a more varied set of aliens than we did in the first game. We'll also hopefully have a bit more of the writing done by the time the next major build arrives. The tech tree is starting to solidify and I'll be starting to put more attention into the research reports now we have more idea of how things might slot together in the final game. There's some other cool things in the works but I'm starting to run out of space so I'll save them for the update announcement. Sorry for the lack of communications on the forums recently; unfortunately I've just been working too hard to spare the time!
  6. 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!
  7. 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!
  8. 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!
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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
  12. 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.
  13. 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!
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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!
  17. 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!
  18. 3 points
    I agree with Bobit. I can't really wrap my head around why it would be good to limit the player to one dropship. First of all, the possibility for multiple dropships exists in X1 already (and is useful in X-Division at least), second I want to lead a global (para-)military unsurgency operation, not a squad of comically overpowered popcorn cinema heros like in FiraXCOM, and multiple cells are definitely part of this, third I always find it bad if my decision space is artificially limited, and fourth it may make it harder for modders to take that limitation out again, so why not just allow it in the first place? The rest sounds sensible though. Energy need as a limiting factor for base growth sounds good, but I would also be okay with an energy-less system like X1, where money and the base size were limiting you. If the energy system does something unique there, go for it.
  19. 3 points
    It'd be best to hold off on any judgements for a while longer, as the two areas you're talking about (the base and the air combat) are the areas where we've not yet implemented our ideas in full or playtested them very much. We'll be discussing the base mechanics in more detail with the next update in 2-3 weeks.
  20. 3 points
  21. 3 points
    Nauty Nauty:- Very Xenonauty Alien Infiltration- ergo, XAI
  22. 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.
  23. 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..
  24. 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?
  25. 3 points
    To the second point on refuelling: it did seem a little silly that you could fight half a wave but would have to nip home before going back to finish them off. It wasn't exciting and it broke immersion somewhat. I remember needing to take trips back for something as little as a tiny handful of autocannon rounds. Obviously there needs to be some challenge in the air war to make it a game but I'd say that if you're only managing a half dozen craft, the challenge shouldn't be logistics: the refuelling/rearming wait time isn't an interesting aspect of play. As for your point on lore related research: in another thread on weapons, Chris stated something to the effect that the player shouldn't be facing a decision between researching lasers or filling their xenopedia with lore about the invaders. On a second play through, you wouldn't feel as compelled to study the lore, so you'd get all the combat tech first (in a recent play of XCOM, I did just this and played most of the game with top tier weapons - it became a drag). I guess the issue here is that the single research tree is the helm for too much development. It is the only way to get at the story line, progress through stages of the game and upgrade your gear. These are qualitatively different so probably shouldn't fall under the same umbrella. Xcom Apocalypse had two research divisions, so you could be studying the alien life cycle whilst also designing a new fleet of interceptors. One side of research would seem more important than the other for a while but their significance would alternate as the game progressed.
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