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  1. With October over, it's once again time for our monthly update. The big news this month has been the release of Closed Beta V22, which is a fairly significant upgrade on previous builds. This is currently only on our Experimental branch but I think it'll be making its way to the main / default Steam and GOG branches in a week or two when it has had a bit more testing. We've done three hotfixes for this build since it was first released and there is a fourth due out shortly that should iron out the most serious remaining bugs we're aware of. Our priority for V22 has been to improve opening hour or two of the game, which we've done in several ways. The first is to establish the game setting more clearly right from the start of the game, which we've done by adding a short text intro that is played when you start a new campaign. Some of you may remember that we've set Xenonauts 2 a little before the alien invasion properly begins, with the player first having to deal with the Cleaners and transition from being an intelligence agency into being a military organisation, and this is the clearest way we could think of to explain this to the player. Of course, we've also put some further lore and explanation in the first Research project popup that the player gets (which I rewrote for V22). The second thing we've done is to continue to improve the visuals. The new UI visuals for the loading screen and strategy topbar have been added to the game, and all the Xenonauts are now using their final 3D models in the tactical combat. Another cool little detail is that we've added a lot more hairstyles to the 3D models, so now a soldier in the ground combat will change hairstyle and colour to (roughly) match the hair shown in their soldier portrait - something that took a surprisingly long time to implement, but makes your starting squad much more distinctive from one another. The visual updates to the tactical mission environments continue too, with the Polar biome getting some attention this month. I'm pretty pleased with how it's looking now - it's very clean and readable, but I think it also looks pleasant in an unobtrusive way. We'll be moving onto the fourth Biome (likely the Dock) next month. Thirdly, we've added another dozen maps to the game. There's a lot of Raid missions in the early part of the game, but there was previously only one Raid map per biome. There's now three Raid maps per biome which means there's way more variety in the early missions, something that will improve further once I set up the new mission types in the early game in the next major build. Finally, I also did some more writing / rewriting. I worked on about 10 of the early game research projects and either wrote them from scratch or rewrote them from what we already had. Anyway, all that content generation has been quite time consuming to do so I think that represents good progress for this month. I'm taking a couple of weeks off in November (it's a long time since I've had a break) but I'm still expecting a decent amount of progress to be made and hopefully we can get V23 out before we break for Christmas!
    6 points
  2. Hello everyone - apologies for this update being a little late, I had a couple of things I wanted to finish up before I started telling everyone about them. The first thing to discuss is public builds, and the fact we haven't released one recently. We've been working on a couple of big systems that required a significant campaign rebalance once implemented, some systems that required UI updates, and we've also been working on the Cleaner missions that happen right at the start of the game. Anything we put out before that work was finished would have been almost unplayable. Hopefully the next public build will be coming in about two weeks - but with all these changes, I'm expecting it to need several iterations on the Experimental branch before it becomes a better gameplay experience than the most recent V22 build! The first big change we've been working on is the Armour system. For simplicity, we've now unified the armour system in the tactical combat and the air combat so Armour is a flat reduction on incoming damage (e.g. 30 damage hitting a target with 10 Armour does 20 damage). However, there's a wider variety of armour penetration and armour destruction on the various weapons in the tactical combat compared to the first Xenonauts, so the player is now presented with more decisions about the best order to use their attacks. We've added a new grenade that inflicts limited damage on units but is excellent at removing terrain and shredding armour, and we'll be experimenting with armour-piercing ammo for ballistic / Gauss weapons this month too. These armour mechanics have also been applied to the Air Combat, along with quite a few other changes. I've done another balancing pass on the air combat because Xenonauts 2 has added a new type of weapon to the air combat - the energy lance (alongside cannons, missiles and torpedoes). Previously this weapon type lacked any real individual identity and part of the rationale for the armour changes was to give all four types of weapon their own niche: Cannons are short-range, high DPS (damage per second) weapons with 40 ammo. They do low damage per shot so armour reduces their damage significantly, but they also shred armour relatively quickly. Cannons will kill most things but require you to get in close and stay there, which can be very dangerous against UFOs with powerful weapons. Missiles are long range and high damage weapons, but only have 4 ammo. They do excellent burst damage so are great at destroying unarmoured UFOs (e.g. Fighter UFOs) before they can attack you, and can also quickly kill other types of UFO if another weapon is used to strip the armour off them first. Torpedoes are long range weapons with excellent armour destruction, but only have 2 ammo and are slow and easily avoided by agile UFOs. Hitting an armoured UFO with torpedos will quickly strip away its armour and leave it vulnerable to other types of weapon. Energy lances are medium range weapons with medium DPS and good armour destruction, and 15 shots. They act somewhat like torpedoes, but trade a shorter range and a slower rate of fire for more ammunition, more versatility, and the ability to hit agile UFOs. In addition to this, there's been two other major changes to the air combat. Firstly, there is now a "deployment phase" at the start of the air combat where you can set your interceptors up anywhere around the edge of the map, allowing you to group them together or split them and approach the UFO from multiple sides. The type of tactics you want to use are likely to vary based on the type of UFO and the fire arcs of its weapons (and whether it has weapons capable of attacking multiple interceptors at once). You don't get to deploy freely if UFOs on an air superiority mission attack you, however! Secondly, I've reverted the change where interceptors are always built in squadrons of three. We're back to the original system where aircraft are built individually, and our new approach to balancing the air combat is that UFOs gain some additional HP and Armour for each additional interceptor taking part in the battle. It's still advantageous to send more interceptors into battle against a UFO, but this just gives the player more flexibility in their approach - a single well-equipped advanced interceptor can often now be just as effective as a full squadron of three more primitive interceptors (the latter was almost always better in X1). The convenient lore explanation for this is larger squadrons are more easily detected as they approach the UFO, giving it more time to power up its emergency shielding and prepare for combat. I'm aware this doesn't 100% make sense, but I think the gameplay benefits are worth it. The other significant new mechanic has been the introduction of the morale system in the tactical combat. This a similar system to the first Xenonauts but has a few improvements to make it easier to understand and interact with, and hopefully to make the alien psionic abilities feel less random. There's also now a "Focus Mind" button that allows a soldier to spend TU in order to boost their morale, which gives the player a way to defend themselves against potential morale events or psionic attacks if they want. The problem here is that our current tactical UI design has been straining under the weight of all the new mechanics and UI elements we've added since we implemented it 2-3 years ago, and having to add Armour / Morale bars and this new Focus Mind button has been the final straw. We've therefore been working on the final tactical combat UI design that brings the visuals up to final quality and properly integrates all the new stuff. This is a massive job because it's one of the most important and complex UI elements in the game, but I think we've found a layout that works well - it displays more information than the current UI does and uses less space to do it! This post is getting really long now, so I'll just mention a few more things in passing - the Cleaner missions at the start of the game are now a pre-set sequence of four missions with some unique mission objectives to mix things up a bit (as opposed to randomly generated missions that filled a meter that eventually revealed the Cleaner base) a few more screens have had a UI facelift, a few more 3d civilian models and alien armour models have been created and are waiting to be rigged, and we've created some stone ruins to add a bit of variety to our jungle maps - and I'll just leave all the smaller things out entirely. So we've been busy, and we're working on a lot of big things. Apologies for the lack of public builds but when the next one eventually arrives, I think you'll all be impressed by the progress!
    5 points
  3. As November draws to a close it's once again time for our monthly update. This month we've mostly been working on turning the experimental builds of V22 into something ready to be released on our main Steam / GOG branches. This has involved a total of 6 hotfixes, which might be a record for us! Anyway, V22 is now out. This is the first major update on our main branches since March (sorry!) and I think anyone who hasn't been playing on the Experimental branches is in for quite a treat given how much the game has changed since then. The reception to the V22 Experimental builds overall has been very positive, both in terms of comments and the pattern of play that we're seeing from users. Part of the reason that we released so many hotfixes for V22 was that many of our testers have been playing much further through their campaigns than previously, so they're encountering bugs in areas of the game towards the end that haven't yet been tested (or balanced) properly. A couple of the late-game UFOs had broken teleporters that meant you couldn't actually complete those missions, for example. It's very encouraging to see that people are already able to spend 5+ hours playing a campaign, when we as developers know we've still got a lot of improvements left to make. There haven't been too many new features added this month. The coders have been busy fixing bugs and I was off for a couple of weeks on paternity leave, so there's not been too much time. Nonetheless a few pieces of new content have arrived - a couple more research projects have been written up, some new terrain tiles have been added and more destruction states set up on existing tiles, various corpse art for the aliens has been done, and a little bit of new UI art has arrived. We've done quite a bit of work on 3D characters this month too. Now the Xenonaut models are complete, we're working on the final high-quality 3D models for the local civilians in each map. This is quite a big job as there's probably about 30 different clothing items that need to be modelled and combined in different ways to give us all the variants we need to have realistic-looking locals across the many different biomes in our game, but the progress so far is looking good. We're also starting to work on the rank / armour variants for various aliens, which we want to look a little more distinctive than they did in Xenonauts 1. We've now finished the Psyons and will be moving onto the Sebillians next. The one new code feature we spent some time on this month was trying to make controlling multiple soldiers easier in the tactical combat. We've done this by setting up Spacebar to accelerate unit movement - pressing Space while a unit is moving causes them to finish their move pretty much instanteously. Pressing Space when a unit isn't moving causes the game to mark that soldier as having finished their turn and automatically select the next nearest soldier that hasn't finished their turn (of course, you can re-select "finished" soldiers manually if you want). Once all the soldiers have been marked as finished, Space will end the turn. You can now play through a turn relatively quickly if you want, which can often be useful towards the end of a mission. That's pretty much it from me. With December including the Christmas holidays we'll be having another truncated month but with V22 done I'm hoping we can get some cool new features in for you guys to test in January!
    5 points
  4. Hello everyone - with August now finished it's time for me to write the monthly update. I know it's been a long time since our last release but we've been hard at work on Closed Beta V21 and we're planning to release it this week (hopefully in the next few days). The biggest new feature in V21 is that we've implemented the final visual style for the Main Menu / Game Settings screen, and all the related sub-panels (Settings, Load Game, Save Game, etc). We've been working on this new UI style for quite some time now, and it's nice to finally be able to put it in the game - but there's also been a lot of time an effort spent on improving the usability and general polish of the screen too. This includes everything from adding support for mass-deletion of save games to adding new UI sounds. Overall, it's a much more slick and stylish experience and it should make a much better first impression when you first boot up the game. We'll continue to roll this new UI style out to other parts of the game as development continues. We've also worked on a number of things that haven't really made it into V21, but will be arriving in V22. We've updated the early game so the war against the aliens starts a couple of months into the game, and you begin the game fighting the infiltrator faction called the Cleaners who are intent on suppressing knowledge of the alien invasion. Because the Cleaners are spread across the planet and have numerical superiority over the Xenonauts, this allows us to have mission objectives that don't make sense when you are fighting the aliens. For example, wave survival maps, VIP escort / assassination missions, extraction missions, objective capture, etc. Some of these should arrive in V22 and make the early game a bit more varied and exciting! More work has also been done on the visual side of things. The updated Xenonaut models aren't quite ready to go in the game yet but should be fine for V22, and we're now working on modelling up a series of hairstyles for them so your units are more varied and easily recognisable. Work also continues on the tactical combat environments. The final visual pass on the Western Town tiles is now mostly complete (one of the biggest environments due to the number of different buildings in it) and we'll put them in V22, after which we'll move onto some of the other environments that need some visual upgrades. There's also been some work on wall destructibility, as once a tile is visually finished we can do the final destructibility setup on it and then put it in the game as a finished asset. The wall "frill" system is designed to ensure destroyed walls have a natural-looking irregular edge (rather than the perfectly straight-edged hole you get if you just remove the wall). However, we also don't want these "frills" floating in the air if there's no adjacent wall for them to attach to, so we needed to do some work detecting whether there was a suitable wall on either side and only placing the frills if so. Anyway, the important thing is that our destruction system should now be finished, which allows us to start doing the final destruction states on all of our finished assets. We also implemented a couple of smaller tasks this month too - difficulty settings are now complete, and there's a number of options we have to customise difficulty. However I've not done this yet because I've not balanced the full campaign yet and I think tweaking difficulty levels needs to be done once I'm happy with the "standard" difficulty. The other new system is directional sound, which is intended mostly to allow us to play sounds when certain things are on screen (fire noises, the noise of engines running on vehicles, etc). Again, this is just useful for making the game feel a bit more alive. Finally, we've made a start on the soldier dialogue / barks system. This is a simple system that generates (non-interactive) text dialogue from your soldiers based on things that happen on the battlefield. As a basic example, a soldier might say "I'm hit!" if they are shot by an alien. We're hoping to implement that in its basic form next month with some test dialogue to see if it's a good addition to the game (there's potential for it to be annoying if we get it wrong), and we'll spend some time making it as varied and natural as possible. I'm hopeful that this system is going to make the combat feel a lot more reactive to your actions, but we won't know for certain until we've had a chance to test it! That's probably enough for this update now, as I need to get back to work on V21. Thanks for reading!
    5 points
  5. Hello everyone - time for our development update for March. Apologies for this being a few days late, the intention was to time the update to coincide with the release of V23 but we've found a couple of crashes that need fixing that have pushed release back. For those interested, we'll be releasing V23 on our Experimental branches at some point this week. The main thing I've been working on this month is the campaign balancing, which is always a significant undertaking given a full campaign playthrough is probably 15-20 hours long (i.e. at least two full working days). Each attempted playthough results in a number of balance changes that need to be made, bugs that need to be fixed, usability changes to be made, gameplay mechanics that need to be checked out because they may not be working properly, etc. We therefore don't have many "big" features to talk about in this update but there have been a lot of smaller ones. Strategic Pressure / Orbital Bombardment: The main new change on the strategy layer is an attempt to introduce more strategic pressure. The Orbital Bomardment mechanic has made a return in a somewhat altered form, and it's now effectively a monthly performance target communicated in a slightly more thematic way. I know people have been a bit concerned about it in the past but I don't think there's much to worry about in its new form! At the start of the month Orbital Bombardment increases Panic in all regions by a certain amount (e.g. +25 Panic) that increases as the game progresses. If any region has over 100 Panic at the end of the month is surrenders and is lost to the aliens, so the player must try to generate enough Panic reduction during the month to cancel out the Panic gain. Monthly funding from a region is tied to its Panic, so success means funding goes up and failure means funding goes down. Panic reduction is achieved by defeating the alien invasion - shooting down UFOs and completing ground missions like Terror sites. These generate a local Panic reduction, but also a global reduction. The regions you are protecting best will have the lowest Panic but even undefended regions will have lower Panic if it looks like humanity is winning the war against the aliens. The gameplay effect of this is much like the monthly funding evaluations that appear in every X-Com game, but it serves to reduce the amount of damage that can be caused if UFOs spawn repeatedly in undefended regions due to simple randomness, and it also ensures that the game ends more quickly if the player was underperforming (it was always a bit silly that it took 3-4 months to lose the game in Xenonauts even if you never shoot down a single UFO or win a tactical mission). Base Defence Missions: We've spent quite a bit of time this month fixing gameplay issues to do with the Xenonaut Base Defence missions, as we've introduced a base attack on your main facility by the Cleaners to increase early-game mission variety. While this biome still looks a bit ugly (it hasn't had the visual pass yet) the gameplay is more solid. The first thing was to get the Sentry Guns set up. These are the cheap and durable vehicles are only used in base defence missions, and they had some display issues that have now been corrected and their LMGs should now be upgraded appropriately as the player progresses down the tech tree. The second thing was the spawning / deployment phase of the mission, which had apparently got broken at some point in development. The player can now deploy anywhere in their base at the start of the mission except in the rooms that the aliens have spawned into, and the alien crews are now correctly splitting into assault teams and choosing the correct type of room to spawn in. Most types of aliens spawn into Hangars as normal, but certain other types of alien (e.g. Reapers) are able to spawn in random rooms due to their ability to climb through vents or teleport. Other features: We also spent more time this month on updating various strategic UI elements to our new style, and I've got the updated graphics for the tactical combat UI sitting in front of me too so there's a chance that might make it into V23 too. The Air Combat has also had a few more updates to ensure the new formation / deployment system works properly, and we've also set up the autoresolve up to allow the player to manually fight the air battle if they don't like the result the autoresolve gives them. The protects players from the situation where the autoresolve unexpectedly destroys all your planes (usually due to low fuel). The balance here has changed a bit too. There's now four classes of weapons that have different roles - cannons, missiles, torpedoes and energy lances. These have varying ranges, ammo capacities, and damage profiles vs armour and HP. The ability of an interceptor to perform the evasive roll maneuver is now also tied to the weapons they have equipped, so while energy lances are relatively powerful weapons they also make the interceptor carrying them more vulnerable to certain enemy attacks. Finally, we've been working on the blockouts for the final mission this month too. I won't give too much away but there's a few unique rules on this mission that have required a bit of code work too. Hopefully the final mission will be playable in V24 even if the final art pass on the map probably won't happen until closer to release. This has turned into quite a long post so I'll leave it there as I need to get back to working on V23. Thanks for reading!
    4 points
  6. Heh, I guess this is karma for the sort of posts I used to make back when I was a modder What you say is true to some extent. Development on X2 has been harder and taken way longer than I expected. There’s quite a few things I’d do different if I went back in time - maybe I’d even do something else entirely with my time and money. Nonetheless, your post seems written from the perspective of a modder - someone who comes in when the game is complete. You’re working with mature tools, a mature set of game mechanics and a complete set of game assets provided by the game developer. That’s the sort of work that gets done in the final 5-10% of development, and without wanting to diminish the good work modders do, it’s a lot easier than the stuff that gets done earlier in development. You’re not dealing with any moving parts. It’s not possible to write a list of features that will be in the final game early in development, nor do the same for the final assets. Game dev is an iterative process, and the more complex and interconnected the project the harder it is to identify exactly how well any part works until you can test it. And you can’t *properly* test anything until you’ve implemented the whole game and connected all the different pieces to one another. That’s why so much gameplay iteration is happening now. Minimal code changes are required to change the armour model, and I can play and test the mechanics in a proper campaign in a way I couldn’t a year or two ago, let alone near the start of development when the game was just a few boxes on a grid. We’re doing the final civilian assets now because we know the final technical requirements for them, because we know the final lighting setup we’re using in map, which itself is tied to many things including the final method of how we handle terrain destruction, etc. Doing them earlier risks throwing away 30+ models. I don’t agree there’s been no visual improvement over X1 either. Maybe you disagree, but playing a mission on one of our finished biomes I’m personally struck by how much better it looks than the first game. Anyway, I wish the game was finished as much as anyone. I know it sucks it has taken this long. But there’s no point us coming this far and releasing something bad, and I’m sure most people will forgive us the delays if we release something good.
    4 points
  7. Hello everyone - September is now over and it's time for another update. We released V21 earlier this month with a number of cool updates and are planning to release V22 in the next week or two. Progress this month has been slower than normal, as two important members of the team were on holiday for a couple of weeks and other members of the team ended up getting ill (sadly I was in the latter group rather than the former!), but nevertheless we have made some improvements. As well as doing a number of bugfixes on V21 after its release, we have mostly been working on the strategy balancing / air combat and some of the new art assets for the tactical combat. Improved Tactical Art: Firstly, the new art. We've done a texture pass on the entire Western Town biome now, which is one of of the biomes used in Terror Missions. This had some very inconsistent visuals before but it's now looking much neater and more detailed in general, and we're now working on the final damaged / destroyed states for all of these tiles. Next up is the Boreal biome, which has already seen a lot work done to the sawmill building. Hopefully both biomes will be ready for the release of V22. We're also in the process of hooking up those final Xenonaut 3d models. They're now all rigged and have the various hair models set up, but we need to do a final bit of code work to ensure that soldiers display the correct ethnicity / hairstyle / hair colour in the tactical missions to match the portrait of that soldier. Again, hopefully this will be done in time for V22. Strategy / Air Combat: Next, the strategy balancing. I spent several days doing this, which involves multiple campaign playthroughs of the game where I manually fight all the air combat battles but automatically win all of the tactical battles (because that way a campaign only takes an hour or two, rather than an entire day). During this time I was experimenting with various ways of making the air combat more interesting, and I've settled on a number of changes. The first is that interceptors are now built in squadrons of three, which all share a single 2x2 Hangar (dropships are build individually and also fill a 2x2 Hangar). Once constructed, these interceptors are controlled as normal so it's possible to send a squadron out with fewer than three aircraft, or even send out a squadron with a mix of different interceptor types. If an interceptor is shot down, you can either wait for it to be replaced automatically as normal or you can pay a certain amount of cash (plus alloys / alenium in the case of advanced interceptors) to replace it within a few days. I've made this change because 1v1 air combats are much less interesting than 3v3 battles, and it's easier to balance the air combat if you know the player can always send 3 interceptors to fight a UFO squadron if they want. It also makes it faster when building a new base - in X1, building a base in the early game usually forces the player to build at least three planes and possibly more if you want a mix of capabilities (e.g. you might want 3 Condors and 2 Foxhounds, which is 5 interceptors to build). Under the new system you just build a single squadron, or perhaps two if you want a mix of capabilities. The second major change is to give the aircraft a wider selection of equipment, but also give them a maximum weight capacity. In X1 if you wanted an aircraft with heavy torpedoes, you had to build an entirely aircraft capable of carrying them. In X2, the starting interceptors are actually capable of carrying heavy torpedoes, but they need to unequip their cannons and light missiles to do so. The advantage of this is that it gives the player more options to react to a changing situation - if alien capital ships start appearing, you can rearm your existing aircraft rather than having to build an entirely new set of interceptors. It just makes the strategy layer a bit more flexible than before. The actual air combat has seen a few additions, too. The combat now supports rotating weapons with limited travel, which means we can have side-firing weapons or turrets that track your aircraft. The Afterburner ability from X1 has also been added to all the interceptors. Other Systems: We also added a couple more systems to the strategy layer. The first is a solution to the problem of your engineers or scientists sometimes not having anything to do: now any idle engineers or scientists will automatically generate income for the player at a rate high enough to pay their wages and still generate a small profit (it's assumed they're helping out with maintenance work you would normally have to pay for, etc). This is a lot like the ability to manufacture and sell items for profit in classic X-Com, except it requires less micromanagement and is a bit more intuitive for new players. The effect of this is just to smooth out the difficulty curve on the strategy layer a bit, as having idle staff could previously be financially crippling. There's also been more work done on the tactical combat morale system. We need to do a bit more work to get the actual panic / berserk / etc effects working correctly, but there's now a proper morale system like there was in Xenonauts 1 and the original X-Com. This also ties into the Stress system - when we reactivate this system, soldiers will suffer Stress based on what has happened to them in combat and their Bravery score rather than just suffering a flat Stress penalty for going on a mission like they did previously. This is getting to be quite a long post now so I'll leave it there. The team is back to full strength next week and we'll start planning for the V22 release as soon as that happens!
    4 points
  8. We're now at the end of July and it's time for my monthly update. There's been no public releases this month (the stuff we've been working on has taken us off in some unexpected directions), but we'll resume those next month. This month we've spent a fair bit of coder time improving the tactical AI. It now has a much better understanding of the battlefield and the weapons it is equipped with (certainly better than the X1 AI did) and is ready for some combat balancing next month. We're also planning to look into some "advanced" behaviours as part of this, whether it be squad behaviours that allow alien units to move and fight as teams or unit-specific special abilities (e.g. you could imagine a large Sebillian having something akin to the XCOM Berserker ability where it moves a couple of tiles towards anyone that fires a shot nearby). I think making the aliens feel more intelligent and the different species feel more distinct would give the game a lot more character! We've also worked on various other aspects of gameplay. Performance on the Geoscape has been improved significantly, and we've implemented difficulty settings (although I need to balance the campaign properly before I make them too different from one another), and we've revisited the soldier medals and finished implementing them. We've also had support in the game for Landed UFOs for quite some time, but someone on the forums pointed out recently that UFOs weren't actually landing. I spent a bit of time looking into that and the coders fixed some related bugs, and now UFOs are landing like they should. Rather a lot of new art assets have been added to the game as well. The last of the remaining Xenonaut armours was modelled up in 3D and sent off for rigging today, so I expect all the final Xenonaut 3D models to be in the game by the end of August - you can see a couple of the designs in the images in this post. There's also been a new alien model added to the game, the Cyberdrone. This was previously a big white sphere but now actually has a unique design. There's now at least one 3D model for all of the aliens in the game, and we're going to turn our attention to making the different variants distinct from one another (so you can better tell an elite alien from a standard alien of the same species, etc). There's also new 2D art. We redesigned the Gauss weapons and have new 2D art for that entire family of weapons, as they could previously be quite difficult to tell apart and the art wasn't as good as some of the other weapons in the game. We've also added the top-down art for the two advanced dropships (as seen when arranging your troops inside them on the Aircraft screen), and as the 3D tiles are already complete we just need to paint the background art on the Soldier Equip screen for those and then they are done. That should be done next month too. Finally, we've brought back a freelance artist who was working with us on improving the look of the ground combat tiles. The quality of the ground combat environments still varies wildly from the dockyard maps we used in the Steam Demo which I think look pretty great through to biomes like Arid or the American Town which I think look rather less great. We'll be working hard on retexturing some of the less attractive assets to bring them up to final quality, and we'll also be adding the final destruction states to them too. It might take a few months for this to bear fruit but I think you'll see quite a big improvement in the way the game looks when it does! Oh, one more thing on the art front - the new UI art style also continues to develop. Hopefully next month you'll see the new main menu screen and it's various sub-panels in the game (the start new campaign screen, load game screen, etc). Maybe even the new topbar too if things go well. Aside from the gameplay things, there's also been some time spent on technical stuff. We're continuing to work on translation support, but that hit a speedbump this month because we had previously been linking items / projects together via their name (e.g. when specifying which item unlocks a Research project). Unfortunately this system falls apart once the name becomes a value that changes based on language, so we had to rewrite quite a lot of code relating to that too. But hopefully next month translation support will be finished too. So yeah, that's what we've been working on this month. It's been a busy month. I had intended to be working on the actual game balance but I got pulled into all the stuff listed above. Fingers crossed I can get back onto it next month though!
    4 points
  9. June is coming to a close so it's time for me to post up the monthly development summary for Xenonauts 2. This month saw the release of Closed Beta V20 on our Experimental branches, which saw further improvements to the skeleton of the game campaign and some general gameplay improvements. This month I added the tactical combat tiles for the Battleship and Harvester UFOs (the two largest types) and also added the tiles for the two advanced human dropship types, and played a campaign all the way through to Harvesters. I made quite a few balance changes along the way, and I think we now have a rough skeleton in place for the campaign. There's still a lot of fine tuning left to go but there is some basic challenge to the game and it's reasonably enjoyable to play - assuming you can look past the similarities to X1 and the obvious rough edges! The focus for the next month is the content. I've shuffled the research tree around a lot in the past two or three months, so even some of the initial research projects are "dummy" projects without text or research artwork. As I'm now reasonably happy with the shape of the research tree I'm going to start filling those in, and updating any existing research text to reflect any mechanical changes we might have made since they were written. I'll also be doing a proper pass on the tooltips and making an effort to ensure all objects, buttons and concepts are written up and accessible in the game. This will hopefully put us in a decent place to do the first stage of the open beta. Recently we've also been working on various other things that should improve the playability and usability of X2. The first thing is improvements to the AI, which is still basic but is getting steadily better. The AI in the first Xenonauts was purely dynamic so aliens would read the battlefield and choose where they wanted to position themselves based on preferences (i.e. being in cover vs out in the open, etc) whereas in X2 we've moved to a system where aliens have waypoints set around the map that designate good places for them to move to / lurk in (when a hostile unit is sighted they go into dynamic "combat" mode and ignore the waypoints). All maps are now set up with these waypoints. The effect of this is that in X2 you the alien movement should be more varied and dynamic, and you'll encounter enemies in a variety of positions (more like in classic X-Com). They might be stood in the open, or crouched behind cover, or looking out of a window with a good field of fire. In X1 they tended to run into corners and just stay there because those were the "best" locations based on their preferences. We've also been working on trying to fix the really stupid behaviours the AI makes - which usually revolve around times when there's a really obvious way for it to kill one of your soldiers but doesn't. In future builds we'll be doing further work on this, but also trying to add more advanced behaviours like allowing us to partner up aliens that have abilities that work together so they form a little squad on the battlefield. As always, we're also working on some odds and ends. The soldier medals system was largely implements a couple of years ago now but never quite finished, so we've finished that and set up the 8 medals your soldiers can earn in battle (each one gives +1 to all soldier stats). Mind Control has been rebalanced so its effectiveness drops off with range, which should make it less annoying. We've also implemented proper drag-and-drop functionality for the engineering queue and the soldier lists on the Soldier Equip / dropship screens. There's various other small usability changes too, plus further work on the tactical combat camera to ensure it tracks the action better during the alien turn and some more work on the Reapers to make the zombifying / Reaper hatching effects work better under all circumstances. In summary, I think once I've done the early-game research writing we'll be able to say that Xenonauts 2 is a playable (if unfinished) game. The standard disclaimers apply - the game needs another pass on the art (which we're working on in the background), we still need to do more to differentiate it from X1, and there's still more polish and content to be added. But the game is already quite fun to play as long as you're not expecting a finished game and it'll only improve as we continue our work on it!
    4 points
  10. Closed Beta Build V23 has now been released on Steam and GOG. Note that this build is only available on our Experimental branch so you'll need to switch over to get this update (instructions on how to do that here). It has been roughly five months since we released our last public build, which is a really long time in development terms (even if that period did include Christmas etc). It's therefore not worth trying to write a comprehensive changelog for this update as there's far too much to cover. Instead, I've just written up a quick list of the key changes - although even then there's probably more stuff I've forgotten about. We will be releasing another update for V23 next week as there are more things we wanted to add to the build, but I just couldn't justify holding up this release any longer. Most of this relates to displaying information on Geoscape relations / panic, as it's currently not always 100% clear what the effects of a particular action might be. We'll address this shortly, along with any critical bugs people encounter in the build. Strategy: Campaign Rebalance: a lot about the game balance has changed on the strategy layer - way too much to list out here! Monthly Panic Generation: Panic is similar to Relations from the first Xenonauts. A Geoscape region grants more funding if it has low Panic, and it is lost entirely if it has over 100 Panic at the end of the month. The game now generates an increasing amount of Panic in all regions at the start of each month through Cleaner Operations or Orbital Bombardment, and this becomes the performance benchmark for the player to aim for - if the player shoots down enough UFOs and wins their tactical missions, they will be able to reduce Panic by more than the increase (resulting in extra funding). The amount of Panic generated each month is something that will change based on difficulty setting in the final game. Cleaner Missions: the Cleaner sub-plot is now a fixed sequence of four missions triggered by three research projects (completing the mission sequence grants extra funding and reduces the global Panic gain that occurs at the start of each month). Two of the missions have unique victory conditions - one is a "capture resources" missions where you have to capture as many resources as possible from an enemy-held building, and the other is an ambush / eliminate VIP mission. Item Disassembly Projects: quite a lot of the Alloys and Alenium you recover is now contained either within alien weapons or sections of the UFO hull. These items can either be sold for additional cash, or can be disassembled in the workshop by your engineers to grant the alloys / alenium (assuming you have enough of them). Alien Base Supply: alien bases now gain the "supplied" status for 10 days when built and after being visited by a Resupply mission. Bases that are resupplied contain more enemies, so if you spot an alien base it may be worth starving it of supplies before you attack it. UI Visual / Usability Updates: we've updated various Geoscape pop-ups to use the new visual style, and made a number of small usability changes to various parts of the strategy UI. There's still plenty to do on this point but things are certainly better than they were in V22. Tactical Combat: Enemy HP / Armour display: because of the changes to Armour listed below, enemies now display their HP / Armour values above their heads - it's important to know how much Armour an enemy has in order to make decisions about armour shred. The downside of this is that it makes the game a bit easier, so we're likely to disable this feature on the higher difficulty settings in future when all the final alien models are in place and it is possible to see which enemies are wearing heavy armour or not. New Armour System: the armour system in the tactical combat and air combat has now been unified. The system works as outlined below, and armoured aliens have been added into the game throughout the campaign. These aren't ridiculously durable, but it's generally more efficient to destroy their armour before attacking unless you are using armour penetrating weapons. Armour reduces weapon damage by a flat amount: 10 damage going into 3 Armour becomes 7 damage. Armour is not automatically destroyed by absorbing damage, but each weapon has an Armour Destruction value which indicates how much damage is removed on hit (usually 1 or 2). Certain Weapons have Penetration values that ignore the equivalent amount of Armour on the target, but certain Armour types also have Hardness values that will negate the equivalent amount of Penetration on a weapon. A few other points relevant to the armour system: A new grenade called the Demolition Grenade has been added. This is excellent at destroying terrain and shredding Armour, but doesn't actually do that much damage to enemies. The standard Frag Grenade is now much less effective at destroying terrain. The HP stat of a soldier is a lot more relevant now, because alien weapons no longer scale quite so high in terms of damage. Combat Shields now provide extra Armour rather than a pool of extra HP, which means they are much less all-or-nothing. Powerful alien weapons will punch straight through a shield but the shield will still reduce the incoming damage by an appreciable amount. Resistances to certain damage types still exist, as these are independent from Armour - e.g. a unit being 100% Resistant to gas damage, or an Andron being 30% Resistant to kinetic damage, etc. Morale System: units on the battlefield now have Morale, and are capable of panicking, berserking and fleeing if this falls low enough. All units start on 100 Morale and may suffer a morale break if they are below 50 Morale (with a 100% chance of doing so at 0 Morale), and they suffer morale loss when negative things affect them on the battlefield. The Bravery of a soldier is used to modify the incoming Morale damage, and there is a further bonus granted based on the rank of the highest ranking living Xenonaut on the mission. There is a new button called Focus Mind in the tactical UI. This refills a significant amount of Morale but costs a large amount of TU to use. Xenonaut Base Defence Updates: visually these missions are still rather lacking, but we've fixed a lot of issues with them recently related to how and where the aliens would spawn. There's also been some further work on the Sentry Guns to ensure they are more functional and more useful than before. Terrain Updates: some of the biomes have had quite a bit of polish added and are now approaching being finished. The Polar biome is a good example of this (the first Cleaner mission illustrates this) and in general I think some of the maps are now looking rather nice! Air Combat: Autoresolve Result Preview: in order to prevent situations where the air combat autoresolve spits out a result that seems unfair, the autoresolve now shows the predicted result and then gives the player the choice to accept the result or to fight the battle manually. Again, this does make the game easier so we'll likely be removing the ability to autoresolve combat at all on the highest difficulty setting. Armour / Weapons Rebalance: to make things easier to understand, the same Armour system is now used for both aircraft and soldiers. We've therefore rebalanced the UFO stats a bit, and we've taken the opportunity to set up four categories of weapons: cannons, missiles, torpedoes, lances. Each of these have different ranges, ammo capacities and damage profiles vs. armour and vs. HP. The ability for an interceptor to Evasive Roll is now tied to the weapons it is carrying, which means certain weapons will inflict more damage but also leave your interceptors more vulnerable to certain types of UFOs. UFO Bonus HP: for balance reasons, UFOs now gain additional HP / Armour for each extra interceptor the player brings into battle (although it's still almost always beneficial to bring the extra fighter along). I think this rule vastly improves the game balance and there will be somewhat of a lore justification for it, but I also know some players are going to hate it despite that so we will be adding an option to turn it off in a future build. Deployment Phase / Formations: you can now choose where you wish to place your interceptors before an air combat battle begins, and there are a number of pre-set formations you can use to save time. When fighting battles that contain multiple UFOs you will now see their starting formation has a degree of randomisation too. Hit Detection: this is a relatively small line of text for what was a big task, but the air combat has now been rewritten so the hit detection cannot fail. Previously it was sometimes possible for missiles or projectiles to pass straight through a unit without hitting them, which could ruin an air combat entirely if it was a powerful attack that failed to register, so we just had to bite the bullet and get this fixed. As always, please let us know if you encounter any bugs by posting them up on the Bug Reporting subforums, as we'll be releasing hotfixes to correct any major issues you encounter.
    3 points
  11. - Incoming Transmission - Hello humans, it is I, Paul. I have been privy to the knowledge that you seem to be scrapping down Imperial weapons to construct variants of your own, I am more than impressed with your efforts thus far, but what if I could offer you a simple yet elegant solution for your surplus advanced technology? Hmm? New schematics, exotic alien tech? No, of course not, I'm talking about simply shooting them with their own weapons. With some alterations I can make in a few Earth minutes, the weapons should be more than capable of being used by our forces when needed. - End Transmission - If it wasn't apparent, this mod allows you to use alien weapons obtained from missions, once they have been researched, of course, you may then equip them to your soldiers in the armory for use in future missions. Alien weapons damage has been increased to put them roughly on par with human Mk.II weapons since their damage in vanilla were rather low, generally, human weapons will outdo them in most regards and there isn't always an alien analog for weapons such as miniguns. Human Armor values have been altered to accommodate this change. Alien Weapons are now two-handed where appropriate. Alien weapons have received statistics screens in the armory like other weapons so you can see their capabilities. This addon requires X-Division 1.00.11c https://www.mediafire.com/file/3jn4kzfqtn0lvu2/X-Division_The_Devil%27s_Toys.rar/file Installation: You must start a new game or else the mod will only work on newly researched items. 1. Download the file (of course). 2. Move the "X-Division The Devil's Toys" folder in the downloaded .zip file to (Xenonauts folder where X-Division is installed)/Assets/Mods. 3. Enable the mod in the XCE mod manager and place it above X-Division in the load order. 4. Play the addon, I hope. Known Issues: The Advanced Alien Explosive Grenades and the Alien Heavy Explosive Grenades do not have an armory statistics menu detailing their capabilities, I have not been able to get the strings for these grenades working despite all of the others working just fine. This will be rectified in the future if I can determine the cause. Alien ammo for some late-game weapons sometimes just does not recover properly from the battlefield, sometimes it recovers just fine. It is unknown to me why this happens (98% of the time it works just fine though). Not really an issue, but to keep the Ceasans able to wield their shields and make their weapons two-handed for humans, an unconventional workaround had to be done. Don't equip a second weapon in your other hand when wielding Ceasan weapons or the weapon will disappear. Author Notes: This mod allows the use of alien weapons upon research and barring some exceptions where a specialist is required to unlock them, this allows the use of certain alien weapons immediately. There is no way to mince words, this does make the mod somewhat easier. (Play on a higher difficulty than you normally would if you think it necessary). I want to establish that I had no part in creating any of the weapons in X-Division, that accolade belongs to the X-Division mod team, I simply made an addon for their spectacular mod that allows the usage of alien weapons since the base game did not for its own reasons.
    3 points
  12. So I have been quietly following along here for the past four months. Riding the center of the fence and waiting for the time I felt driven enough to air my thoughts. Well here goes. I have around 150 hours of playtesting X 2 . So I have given plenty of time to form an opinion on and about this game. From what I was able to play I thoroughly enjoyed the game. Finding ways around the bugs and crashes seemed almost normal. Restarting from scratch with very release and Hotfix all in the name of keeping earth alien free. If it sounds like I'm complaining I'm not. That's what you should expect if one is willing to put time in as a play tester. I have been on board with this from way back in 2016 ( six years ago) when it was a single combat mission. Six years is a long time. Up to four and a half months ago I checked for a new release or hotfix daily ( if not more ). Now I maybe check once a week. There has not been anything ( new version or hotfix ) from the Devs since mid November. I find that very odd . We get an occasional " here's what we have been working on" . But otherwise not much else, unless you read what a certain play tester says the dev's are doing. Must have a hotline to the game studio. What I really want to say is simply my drive for this game is dwindling. I'm sure I am not the only one who is scratching their head wondering what is going on. A little (official) information please, to keep the juices flowing. I don't claim to know every exact thought (as some do ) of what the Devs have in mind. What I do know is that this will be a great game if enough people stay interested.
    3 points
  13. v 0.98 as part of my [B4X2] mod collection works in Community Edition (0.35) and in Vanilla too in mod launcher: DEACTIVATE other mods that alter soldier or armour graphics! ~ 50 MB per file download, was unable to upload to Steam Workshop, because of "file too big Error" although older versions are there and the split into separate smaller files, I gave up on modding Xenonauts after hours of trying to update the file there Important: Download & unpack all 3 files & order in mod launcher needs to be: part 3 above part 2 above part 1 This mod changes: Bigger pool makes soldier spawns much less repetitive, and makes the game a more global effort in defending earth gives soldier portraits a Xenonaut 2 look Goldhawk´s Potrait Editor used as well as adapting open source photos in Photoshop - it took weeks more than double as many new nations to recruit from (was 21 is 57, work on name lists shared with Steelgonad) many more soldier portraits (was 167 is 611) 8 ethnicities (was 4 is 8) adds new cities in Asia tweaked basic (& basic female), jackal, wolf, buzzard armour graphics [B4X2]bigger_pool_I.zip [B4X2]bigger_pool_II.zip [B4X2]bigger_pool_III.zip
    3 points
  14. Support for runtime code-centric mods has been built in from the start. The game has been programmed from a "hook" perspective and I will make sure we release documentation on how this works once we fully release. I've also already looked into Harmony / other runtime patchers in the past to check compatibility and we're explicitly keeping things in C# (as opposed to IL2CPP) to provide mod support for this. My plan is to release a public example project that shows how to use it.
    3 points
  15. Hello everyone - it's time for the February update! With this update being a bit early and the last one being a little late, we've only had three weeks since the last update - but a lot has been done in that time. Releasing a new public build is our main priority right now and so we're actively working on Build V23 at the moment. We've mostly been working on polishing the experience and improving the game balance, and I've spent a lot of time playing the game this month to help facilitate that. We've done a lot of work on the Air Combat this month as we've been adding various new features to it recently (such as the pre-battle deployment phase and the different formations that UFOs can spawn in) and we've also had to make some quite fundamental changes to the code in order to fix a persistent bug where missile hits would not always be detected correctly. Although it's frustrating this sapped away quite a bit of time, having missiles occasionally pass straight through their target without exploding is clearly not acceptable in a game where it can mean the difference between victory and defeat! There's already been a LOT of tweaks to the game balance and I'll continue with these as we work on V23. The early-game Cleaner missions are now a research chain that give you a series of standalone missions that occur alongside the alien invasion (rather than before it), and I've done a pass on all the UFO / tactical mission crews to ensure the right aliens are spawning in roughly the right numbers at the right time. There's been a load of updates to the tech tree, sometimes to fix things not unlocking correctly but mostly to ensure a relatively steady flow of research and upgrade projects throughout the game. The tech tree is more extensive than in X1 and this can be a problem in some cases - if the player is doing too many research projects between ground missions then it can get a bit overwhelming. We've also fixed a lot of bugs / issues we've enountered while playing the game, and updated various game systems that weren't working quite right (e.g. the Sentry Guns). I've updated some more of the strategic UI to use the new visual style, and we've added various new terrain tiles to the game and produced the final destruction states on more terrain objects. Windows have continued to be a pain to get working correctly, but when you play a tactical mission on a finished biome like the Polar biome I personally think the game looks and feels pretty good nowadays. It'll be nice when we have all the biomes up to that standard, but it's taking a while to churn through all the assets. We're recruiting a rigger to get our new civilian 3d models into the game, and if all goes well we'll have those in V23 too. There's not really that much more to say, as it's been one of those months where we've fixed far too many things to mention individually but relatively few of them are big headline features you can write about in updates like this. Once V23 is out we're planning to focus on a few more mechanics that set the game apart from the first Xenonauts, as we're in quite a nice place with development now where the campaign is largely functional and all the remaining work is adding in new assets, polishing what we have, and adding things to make the game more distinct from its predecessor. The biggest thing I want to test is various more significant alien abilities that will hopefully make each alien race feel more distinctive. For instance, we're going to test whether it makes combat more interesting if the regenerating Sebillian aliens enter a "downed" state when killed, and have to be finished off within a couple of turns else they'll get back up again. Or whether Wraiths are more interesting if they can enter a "ghost" state after taking damage and take reduced damage until end of turn (although perhaps only from kinetic damage). Basically what we're looking for is abilities that cause the player to think about how they sequence their actions or encourage them to use a wider selection of equipment than otherwise. That's it for me - we're hoping to put out the first incarnation of V23 at some point during the week after next (w/c 7th March)!
    3 points
  16. There was another crash bug in V22.5 plus several other smaller issues that were relatively easily fixed, so we're releasing another hotfix. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. If you had a playthrough of the previous hotfix underway then you can continue playing V22.5 on the Legacy Branch if you wish. If all goes well this will be the final version of V22 before we make V22 Stable for the standard Steam branches. Strategy - fixed a crash that could occur when you tried to decommission a squadron of your interceptors. Strategy - fixed a bug where aircraft in a squadron could sometimes not be selected together. Strategy - fixed some issues to do with soldier loadout / role equipment profiles potentially getting corrupted. Strategy - fixed an issue where the flight path line for a squadron on the Geoscape could display incorrectly on some resolutions. Tactical combat - aliens firing at your troops from higher terrain levels will be visible when they take their shot. Tactical combat - the Colossus armour now displays its animations correctly. Tactical combat - when heavy units crush walls, this now happens as they pass through the wall rather than when they arrive at the tile beyond. Tactical combat - fixed all units having a slight "shudder" where their idle animations weren't looping perfectly. Let us know if you continue to experience any other bugs!
    3 points
  17. As old as the original ufo games are, and xenonauts proudly following suit, it is usually smart to over-pack your soldiers, and then on first turn drop the excess eq into a neat stockpile at the dropship. Stuff like more ammo, replacement shields, grenades, stun weaponry, what have you - just to give you more versatility while in the field. And fair is fair, well placed explosive by the aliens means that much more gear is then destroyed. The process is tedious to do in every fight, so why not expand the dropship with some storage that you can put gear into at base (within some sensible weight/grid limits)? Same result, so no balance changes, just without all the annoyances that go with the current solution of over-packing and dropping. If this feels like maybe OP, introducing full load weight limits into dropship would be one way to fix it, although if the locker is op, so is over packing, but that now quietly happens, anyway.
    3 points
  18. This is what we hope will be the final hotfix for Beta Build V22. Again, you'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. If you had a playthrough of the previous hotfix underway then you can continue playing V22.4 on the Legacy Branch if you wish. You can now use Spacebar in the tactical combat to speed up the move of the currently selected soldier. Pressing space if a soldier is not moving will mark the current soldier as "done" and select the next closest soldier that is not yet done. If all soldiers are done, it will ask you if you want to end the turn. Press Escape to stop the movement of the current soldier, like spacebar used to! Fixed a crash that could occur when loading a tactical mission if the MARS loadout got corrupted, causing your MARS to be constructed with no armour equipped. Fixed a crash that would occur on any map with Reaper Cocoons (the Icelandic Outpost map being the most common). Fixed a crash on the strategy layer in the late game that could happen when a Harvester with escorts spawned. The Cruiser UFO now has teleporters on its upper level, allowing ground units to reach them. The Harvester UFO no longer has what appear to be invisible walls blocking movement and vision through the upper levels. Fixed various visual issues with the multi-level UFOs, particularly those involving the doors being blacked out even when they should be visible. Interceptors no longer gain a permanent armour boost after every combat they take part in. If a UFO escort is destroyed in battle but the main UFO survives, the escort UFO will not appear as a "ghost" if you attempt a second air combat against that UFO squadron. You no longer receove 3 dropships instead of 1 when you build a dropship. Cover indicators in the tactical combat are now appearing again. Laser Weapon research text has been updated. New corpse / stunned inventory art added for the Cleaners, Mentarch and Eternal enemies. Rush Replace button for a destroyed aircraft now shows the cost, and replaced aircraft have a short delay before they arrive. Stun Gun and Electroshock Pistol / Rifle can now all be reloaded correctly. Visual errors in their tooltips are also fixed. Plasma Rifle engineering project is no longer broken. Fixed a number of engineering projects not deducting their cost from the player properly. Adding an ammo clip to a weapon no longer increases the weight of that weapon, which means the displayed "weight" on a weapon tooltip is now accurate. Doors on the upper levels of multi-floor UFOs should no longer be hidden by the shroud even when they should be visible. Various tree clumps on Boreal / Polar / Tropical maps now have 150HP and will correctly disappear if destroyed. Fixed visual issues with various polar outpost doors. The polar outpost floors now display the damaged / destroyed overlay correctly. Stealthsuit research project now generates a pop-up on completion like other research projects. Soldier role names on the Armory screen soldier assignment list now support longer names, and no longer overflow if too long Fixed an animation issue with one-handed weapons (e.g. pistols) where the second hand wouldn't properly track the aiming of the weapon Let us know if you continue to experience any other bugs. This build will be released onto the standard Stable branches once we're happy with the stability.
    3 points
  19. I have actually toned down the lethality slightly in the past few builds (i.e. since the original post was made); alien weapons do slightly less damage now but more importantly the damage modifier for a shot runs from 50% - 150% now, whereas before it ran from 50% to 200%. That means there's less chance of the aliens scoring a massive critical hit with their weapon that will kill most soldiers in the early / mid game irrespective of their armour and HP. It's a difficult balancing act though. I also don't want the player to know that a soldier will always be safe to take at least one hit if they're wearing good armour, because then some of the tension disappears. So it's just finding the right balance between exposing your troops to fire always being a risk on one hand while not making HP and armour pretty much irrelevant on the other.
    3 points
  20. Closed Beta Build V20 has now been released on Steam and GOG. Note that this build is only available on our Experimental branch so you'll need to switch over to get this update (instructions on how to do that here). This is another fairly large update to follow on from V19 a month ago. There's not many massive new features, but there's a lot of smaller fixes and updates. I think the game balance is now passable for the first half of the game at least, so in the next build I'll probably turn my attention to creating some additional maps and working on the research images / text. Key Highlights: Polish & Balancing: this update includes a lot of small updates to the game balance and the game usability. See the full changelog below for details! Dropship & UFO tiles: The tactical combat tiles (although not strategy art) for the advanced dropships and the largest UFOs are now setup in the game. AI Improvements: The AI still does some fairly dumb stuff, but we spent some time this month fixing some of the biggest problems. "High-Tech" Lab / Workshops: these are a couple of new building types available to build at the start of the game. They're more expensive and power-hungry than the basic Lab / Workshops, but allow your staff to work at higher efficiencies. You probably want to switch over to these from the basic lab / workshops at some point in the game, but when you do that is a decision for the player! Mind Control: the Mind Control power has been reworked and added back into the game, and it should hopefully be better balanced than before. Proper Drag-and-Drop: We now have proper drag and drop support for the Engineering Queue and the Soldier Equip screen soldier lists, which makes life way easier! Strategy: A "High-Tech" Lab and Workshop are now available to build at the start of the game. These are more expensive than a standard lab / workshop, use more power and have less scientist / engineer capacity. However they provide a +50% speed boost to each member of staff assigned to that building. Added a Credits screen to the Main Menu (this also includes the names of our Kickstarter backers as promised during our Kickstarter campaign) Items being transferred between bases and that have been "claimed" by engineering projects you've added to the research queue now correctly take up space in the base stores (they are all consolidated together under a single item of appropriate size). The Engineering queue and the Soldier Equip soldier lists now support proper dragging and dropping. When viewing an Engineering project, the game now tells you how many you have of each item required to build the project. Tooltips are shown side by side when viewing an upgrade project (existing weapon vs. upgraded weapon) or hovering over a weapon in the Armory (equipped weapon vs. hover weapon). Let us know if this is annoying; I'm not sure it's an improvement. We might bind the functionality to Ctrl or something. Crash Site titles now specify the type of UFO that has crashed. The UI element that allows you to select a base to transfer items / soldiers / aircraft etc to now correctly shows the selected base. Fixed several tooltips that were appearing in needlessly annoying places. Re-ordered a lot of projects in the Armory / Engineering screen so they are displayed in a more sensible order. Equipping a jetpack no longer messed up the soldier paperdoll. Guardian Armour now shows its helmet correctly. The game now tells the player they need to place the Access Lift after building a new base. You can no longer use the Soldier Assignment menu that pops up in an empty dropship slot to add soldiers to the dropship that are injured or stationed at other bases. Fixed an issue where custom soldiers with the United States nationality were displaying as Random. Fixed an issue where zombified soldiers would be memorialised in the Memorial screen as "Reaper Zombie". Fixed an issue where weapons would not disappear from the Armory if sold on the stores screen. Fixed an issue with the Settings menu custom soldier box, and visually restlyled it too. Tech Tree: Added "Advanced" Laser weapon upgrade projects, which work in the same way as the Accelerated weapons that you can upgrade your Ballistic weapons into. Added a "Stealthsuit" soldier armour that doesn't currently do very much, but will soon! Fixed an issue where the Exosuit was not correctly unlocking, and updated the cost and manufacturing time of both the Exosuit and the Colossus armours. Alenium / Plasma Explosives (grenades and missiles) now unlock directly from Alenium and Enriched Alenium, rather than from alien grenades. Jetpack module now unlocks off the Gun Drone autopsy, or the Secton Elite autopsy. Advanced base defence turret upgrade projects now require their predecessors to be completed first, but each upgrade stage is cheaper than before. Tactical Combat: Set up the two largest non-unique UFOs in the tactical combat, the Battleship and Harvester UFOs. Added new tactical combat tiles for the two advanced dropships in the game, although the interior tiles for the final dropship are still in production. The strategy-layer art for these dropships is not yet finished though. All maps now have AI movement nodes painted into them. This should make the AI act a bit smarter than it did previously and lays the foundations for further AI improvements in the current months. The AI still isn't exactly great, but it should now be better at: Spotting the Xenonaut units visible to alien units at the start of their turn. Noticing Xenonaut units when they are already moving, and stopping their move so they can attack them. Taking cover behind nearby objects. Using the appropriate fire mode on their weapon, or switching to a secondary weapon if they have more than one and the secondary is more appropriate for the situation. There's now an appropriate wheeled model for the mobile Sentry Gun enemy unit in the Cleaner Base (the same model is used for your own Sentry Guns). Various button tooltips now show the hotkey button for that button. This is dynamic so will update correctly if you rebind your keys. We've spent some more time cleaning up the Reaper Zombie reanimation sequence, and the visuals for when a Zombie is killed or hatches into a Reaper. These should now work more smoothly than before. Mentarchs and Guardian Armour soldiers now have dropshadows. Fixed an issue where UFO / alien base walls were not quite tall enough, which could cause visual issues when you were viewing the upper levels of an alien base. Improved how the soldier selection / movement logic in the pre-mission deployment phase on Xenonaut Base defence missions works, as it was very clunky before. Fixed an issue where Reaper zombie corpses could block movement in some situations. Fixed various problems with the camera during the alien turn. Fixed some instances where the AI would take control to overwatch fire, but then not actually overwatch fire. Fixed an issue where vaultable waist-high cover could allow units to vault through the invisible walls that prevent you getting into the solid parts of the UFO hulls. Fixed an issue where units would not immediately be spotted on night missions after being lit by a flare. Fixed an issue where the Gun Drone shadow would disappear through the floor as it bobbed along. Fixed an issue where unit move paths / selection circles would randomly disappear. Fixed an issue where Wraiths would flicker as they moved during the alien turn. Fixed some doors not making sounds when opened, or not being interactable with right-click. If a unit falls unconscious by taking damage from burst fire, but then is immediately killed by subsequent shots in the burst, the game will not notify you that the unit has been stunned. Balance Changes: Androns no longer have explosive weapons, and instead are equipped with Plasma / Fusion rifles. Reapers now have less TU, and their attacks cost more TU. They were previously incredibly deadly inside alien bases. Alien noncombatants now upgrade from Magnetic Pistols to Plasma and then Fusion pistols as the game progresses, rather than sticking with Magnetic Pistols for the whole game. Mind Control has been reworked and reintroduced: The base chance of success is now lower than before, and the effectiveness of the psionic power decreases over range. The defence against psionic attacks is purely Bravery (and some random chance). Units no longer get a defence bonus from having TU remaining at end of turn. Units will be Mind Controlled if the alien succeeds by more than 30, and will just panic if the attack succeeds by less than 30. Units that panic now only drop their Primary weapon before running away (instead of literally all of their equipment). The aliens should try and attack your base more frequently than before. When units suffer damage in combat, 50% of the damage sustained is removed from their maximum HP and therefore cannot be healed (up from 30%). The 5-round burst has been removed from the Rifles because it was overpowered - it was extremely effective at short range, making shotguns kinda pointless. Cleaner Base map is now larger, and contains more Cleaners. UFO Bombers have had their damage toned down because it was previously pretty extreme. Alien base missions now spawn a few weeks later than before. Fixed an issue where some Gauss weapons could not be built, and updated the damage on the Gauss Sniper which was previously too low. UFO front doors now all have 200HP, as they were being destroyed way too easily previously. As always, please let us know if you encounter any bugs by posting them up on the Bug Reporting subforums, as we'll release a hotfix if necessary.
    3 points
  21. This hotfix addreses a few crashes in Beta Build V20 but you'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. Fixes & Gameplay Updates: Tooltip delay now set to be 0.5 sec, as they were popping up too fast. This change will reset all options you might have set in previous versions. Fixed a crash that could occur when you changed soldier loadout in strategy. Fixed a crash that could occur at turn end in the tactical combat. Fixed another issue in the AI that meant it could be ineffective when using long-range weapons, causing it to run towards your soldiers without attacking. Fixed the tooltips not working well with dropdowns. Scrollbar in the resolution dropdown on the settings screen now scrolls much faster than before. Please let us know if you encounter any further issues with V20.1 as we will continue to make additional fixes as required.
    3 points
  22. Hello everyone! May is now drawing to a close and so it's time for another progress update. I've once again been working full time this month and I've largely been focused on getting the early game balanced and playable. This has mostly involved repeatedly playing the campaign over and over again, making a series of gameplay changes and bugfixes each time. This isn't really something that can be done until relatively late in development, when all the key gameplay systems are in place (it's basically what I was doing for the final two months of Xenonauts 1 development). I'm doing this earlier for the sequel because we've got new mechanics to implement / test, and we need a playable version of the campaign to do that testing. Anyway, it's good news that we've reached this stage of the project because once you loop through this process enough times you're left with an enjoyable and challenging game. Thankfully, I think the promise is already starting to shine through. The game is already reasonably enjoyable to play despite some very clear problems - the AI is dumb, the maps are repetitive, the research text is mostly absent, and the UI (and quite a few of the tactical combat assets) still need visual improvement - and it will get better and better as we iron out more and more of the problems. My personal plans for June are to get all the UFOs and Xenonaut dropship tiles added to the tactical missions, and to be able to play a campaign all the way through to the final type of UFO without suffering any game-breaking bugs or ridiculous difficulty spikes. That to me will be a major milestone, and marks the point where Xenonauts 2 becomes a properly playable game in its own right. The rest of the team will probably spend most of their time fixing the various gameplay / usability issues I encounter along the way (that's mostly what they were doing this month), but we're also going to be making some time to upgrade the AI. Last month I created a large number of test scenes for the AI so we could test whether it properly understood the different aspects of how to play the game. These were scenarios where there is a clearly optimal course of action you would expect the AI to make (e.g. use the best weapon / fire mode for the situation, use clearly the best cover, etc), and this makes it much easier to identify exactly what our AI is doing wrong and why. We should have a number of AI fixes and updates in our next major build as a result. The visual upgrades are continuing but are taking some time to work through the pipeline. We've got new Xenonaut early-game models that are ready to be rigged and animated, a new Light Drone model and an updated model for the X1 Praetor equivalents that also need rigging and animation. The 2D art for the aircraft weapons / equipment is nearly done now, and the final 3D model for the sentry guns is also nearing completion. The biggest ongoing project is the concept work on our updated strategy layer UI, which is progressing nicely but still isn't ready for implementation because there's so much UI that needs to be concepted up. Closed Beta Build V19 came out last week, and we will be releasing a hotfix early this week. Unfortunately, the sheer volume of changes we've made recently means that you may well not understand what's happening in the latest versions of the game - the gameplay changes are some way ahead of the tooltips and the research text, making the experience confusing / frustrating unless you've been following the patch notes closely. I'll begin work on updating the tooltips / research text once it's possible to play the campaign all the way to the final UFO type, and once that work is done we should be able to commence the open beta.
    3 points
  23. April saw the release of Closed Beta V23 and a series of hotfixes on our Experimental Branch. This has been quite a bit of work since we previously hadn't released a new public build since November, but we are continuing to release hotfixes to fix the bugs found by the community and expect to be able to release it to the standard branches in the next week or two. There's been a lot of improvements to the gameplay in V23 but many of them have been covered in previous updates. One nice thing we got in relatively recently was the final 3D art assets in place for the enemy Cleaners and male civilians, with the female civilians and some additional armour variants for the aliens due to arrive this month. Given there's multiple civilian outfits for the eight biomes we have in the game, that's a lot of new models - and I'm glad it's now done, because getting them all set up has been rather painstaking work! I've also gone through the research tree and added a few more research entries and some artwork to research projects that were previously lacking it. We've been stuck for a while with the artwork for our alien autopsies / interrogations, as we lost the artist who painted our existing autopsy art due to personal reasons and we'd been hoping he would be able to come back (because he was great) - and while that did not happen, we thankfully have managed to find someone that looks like they are capable of matching his art style. We'll therefore be adding more new research artwork to the game shortly. Work has also continued on the environments. Recently we started work on the biome that is currently in the worst state, the Xenonaut Base biome. This is seen more frequently now because the Cleaners now attack your base in the opening months, and the Cleaner Headquarters mission also uses the same set of tiles, and it's currently a mish-mash of half-finished assets and different styles we were experimenting with. The new tiles are starting to take shape nicely and hopefully we'll be able to show some of them off in V24. Among the various bugfixes and usability updates, there's also been various small features added to the game. The autoresolve for the air combat is being upgraded to better reflect what is happening in the air combat, so it doesn't throw out weird results (and if it does you can ignore the result and fight the battle manually). Aircraft weapons now also take time to rearm when the aircraft returns to base, etc. The biggest new feature that we have added this month is something I want to test out for potential inclusion in V24, which is an updated power system for your bases. This will allow you to improve the functioning of a building by feeding it more power - e.g. increase the range on the Radar, the research speed on your Laboratory, etc. As you can unlock better power generation buildings as you advance down the tech tree (as well as more advanced buildings that consume more power) this will hopefully create some interesting choices for the player. However, we just won't know how good the system is until we test it, so I can't make any promises about it being in the final game. I think that's enough for now. Not the most exciting update, but there's only so much you can write when most of the month is spent on bugfixes! Thanks for reading anyway, and we'll have another update for you all at the end of May.
    2 points
  24. This hotfix addresses a number of further issues with V23. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. If you want to continue playing your V23.3 campaign (as this update breaks save games) then please switch to the Experimental Legacy Branch instead. Disabled the Arid missions until we have a chance to rework those maps, as that biome is a total mess visually. Fixed various crashes / issues related to having melee weapons in your inventory. Hopefully fixed the issue where loading an end-of-turn save game would play out differently to how it played out originally. If successful, this will make it much easier to reproduce bugs from save games. Fixed a AI hang that could occur when an enemy unit suffered a morale break and fled. Fixed a crash when a Reaper was spawned due to overwatch fire. Fixed an issue where the objective items on the Cleaner Intel mission would flicker purple. Fixed an issue where the shuttered windows on the Polar biome would continue to block shots even after being destroyed. Fixed an issue where certain soldier armour / gender combinations would have the combat shield incorrectly rotated. Fixed an issue with weapon ammo tooltips that could cause flickering red error messages to appear on the Soldier Equip screen. Fixed an issue where the air combat deployment zones were not disappearing in the Release / Stable builds. Hay is no longer invisible on the Farm maps. Fixed a minor issue with the T-shirt civilians where parts of their arms were transparent. Fixed some issues with the civilians wearing overalls (misaligned bodies, oversatured textures, etc). Let us know if you continue to experience further bugs in the game. We're not planning on releasing any further content updates for V23 so we'll only be releasing further hotfixes if there are gameplay bugs or stability issues that need fixing.
    2 points
  25. This hotfix addresses a number of issues with V23, and also adds a fair bit of additional content. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. If you want to continue playing your V23.1 campaign (as this update breaks save games) then please switch to the Experimental Legacy Branch instead. Content - we've added almost all the final male civilian models to the game, along with the various new Cleaner models (which look much better). The updated female models will be coming in the next month or so. Content - I've added research text for the Alien Hyperdrive, Sentry Gun and Aerial Warfare research projects. A number of research projects that were previously missing art have had them added. Content - the first Cleaner mission now has three possible maps, not just one. Fix - fixed an AI hang that could occur in the alien base. Fix - fixed a hang that could occur as part of the alien psionic power process. Fix - fixed a crash that could occur if you extracted some soldiers from the Cleaner Intel Mission before finishing the mission. Fix - fixed manufactured undersuit / special items disappearing after completing the Cleaner Intel Mission. Strategy - the Servosuit and other items that increase Strength now correctly also increase Carrying Capacity. Strategy - the Alenium Grenade project now correctly upgrades your grenades and HEVY ammo. Strategy - the tooltip detection for Hangars is now constrained to the hangar itself. Tactical - combatant HP / Armour values are now visible on 4k screens. Tactical - damage numbers spawned above the heads of units are no longer unusually small on screen resolutions about 1080p. Let us know if you continue to experience further bugs in the game. We're not planning on releasing any further content updates for V23 so we'll only be releasing further hotfixes if there are gameplay bugs or stability issues that need fixing.
    2 points
  26. This hotfix addresses a number of issues that we discovered within V23. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. Strategy - the Panic gain / reduction on various UFOs and ground missions is now more obvious Strategy - the info pop-up for tactical missions on the Geoscape now has a line for the duration of the mission, which tells you how long until it despawns. Strategy - the monthly Panic increase caused by Cleaner activity (until you destroy their base) is now explained via a popup at the start of the month Strategy - added roughly 10 new tooltips, most covering topics related to the Morale system. Strategy - added some new complete / in construction hangar artwork for the most advanced interceptor, the Gemini. Strategy - added preview art for many of the engineering projects. Strategy - added a couple more pieces of research text related to the Cleaner projects. Strategy - the Cleaner base attack mission that appears in the early game no longer states it was carried out by a Destroyer UFO. Strategy - fixed the player being unable to build the Plasma Pistol, Gauss Sniper Rifle or aircraft Fusion Lance. Tactical - the Focus Mind button in the GC UI now no longer looks like a second Crouch button, and it has been repositioned slightly (along with the Morale numbers). This is just placeholder styling before the new Tactical UI arrives in the next major build. Tactical - in order to fix some issues with the Cleaner Intel Office mission, interacting with the target desk items now places a USB stick item in the inventory of that soldier. This needs to be carried to the dropship to be extracted in order to win the mission (if the soldier carrying it is killed, you will need to loot it off their corpse). Tactical - all desks on the Cleaner Intel Office missions are now interactive, so there are 25 possible items to recover instead of 6. You now need to recover a minimum of 10 instead of 3. Each additional item captured is now worth $25k cash instead of $100k cash. Tactical - tixed various parts of the game (e.g. officer leadership bonus, morale system) that were not correctly recognising the Sergeant Major rank. Let us know if you continue to experience further bugs in the game.
    2 points
  27. Thank you for taking the time to explain that. And I'm sorry that I was a bit of a bitch the other day; I didn't mean it in a horrible way but I can see now that I was a bit OTT. I'm just really passionate about the game because this genre is the only type of game I like other that Skyrim-style RPGs. I didn't realise how difficult the coding would be to add the prone mechanic; I know nothing about coding and just assumed it wouldn't be that much of a big deal. I just remembered that X-Com Apocalypse had it and, for me, it made a huge difference to the gameplay. But, again, I'm sorry for my original stroppy-mare post x
    2 points
  28. By the way, I skimmed back through your post history recently while I waited for some code to compile and I'll admit I was a bit unfair in my initial post. 95% of your posts are bug reports which are obviously a very useful contribution to the project, and there is indeed not much criticism there. You made on the v20 builds about 18 months ago where you said you were angry at the direction the game was going because it was just turning into X1, and since I've not seen you post anything about the project since then I guess that's stuck in my head as what your feelings are about the project. But obviously that was a long time ago now so that was an unfair assumption on my part; it's not unreasonable for you to have a grumble every couple of years. As you've been repeatedly asking about prone for a very long time and I've probably never responded to you about it, I'll give you a quick explanation as to why it's not in the game. Note I'm not ignoring you specifically on this topic either, it's just something that has been suggested repeatedly by fans of JA2 ever since Xenonauts 1 was announced and I'm kinda bored of writing out the same response so I tend to just skim over it whenever anyone mentions it. Basically while I enjoy JA2 very much I think there's a trend to assume the mechanics in that game would transplant over into an X-Com game and work equally well, but that's not really the case - while their genesis is the same, JA2 is a more detailed combat simulator than X-Com ever was and the emphasis in X-Com is on larger squads and arguably on the equipment rather than the soldiers themselves (i.e. building a strategic war machine to defeat the aliens despite regular casualties). JA2 is the reverse, where the main attraction is the mercs and the really detailed tactical combat, and the equipment used and the strategic layer while important are secondary to that. Adding prone to the game is just going to slow the tactical combat down imo, and I don't think it'd actually improve the gameplay, because it implies making the tactical combat even more simulationy than it already is - and I think Xenonauts is already quite possibly the most complex turn-based tactical simulation game in the last decade, and is already at the boundaries of what the average strategy gamer can comprehend. It's also an enormous amount of work - far more than you might think. The art requirements alone are enormous, as we need a new set of prone / prone move / transition animations for every unit and weapon combination in the game. The code requirements are also enormous. It obviously has huge implications for the line of sight system (as presumably it'd need to affect sight lines) and the shooting system and the AI etc, but also loads of systems you wouldn't think of. For example, a prone unit won't fit in a single tile so we'd need to implement support for non-square (rectangular) multitile combatants - but also for units changing their footprint dynamically during a mission rather than it being set at the start of combat, which is a whole other can of worms. I'm not exaggerating when I say the changes required are fundamental enough it'd be months of work to implement, and I'd need to be really confident that the feature was going to improve things if we were going to start work on that - and I'm just not convinced prone would actually improve the game.
    2 points
  29. I'm all for the latest version hitting the circuit. I look forward to where the game is heading. I think you missed the whole point of my last post. I simply tried to say that every playtester has a right to their opinion, good or bad about the game. I believe that this forum should be used to reach out to THE DEVELOPEMENT TEAM . As I said food for thought.
    2 points
  30. See, you're treating people with some disrespect. Or right away as idiots, because you brush off very obvious thoughts with just a lot of words, which are repetitive. Everybody here is either a backer or somehow a hardened fan. Thats why everybody invested time and money, and a lots of patience as well. Critical question being asked after 4 years is a very natural thing to do, it is rational and logical. Explaining how wrong all the rational and logical thoughts of some very patient adtult people are neither makes the obvious problems disappear, nor does it help the community or the patience shown by those very people. The critique here is: Why aren't there no information to the very backers of the game, which made it possible and are the (only) fanbase left? Why arn't there any satisfactory explanations for the delay in years? Why does the game feel so very much like Xenonauts 1? I am waiting and testing the game ever since, I am leading a couple of different organizations and a software company. So I do know - as many others here too - how difficult development is, how sticky things can become.Peope are not stupid. They know how things feel. They know if stuff motivates them to dig in or if stuff bores them. They know, if they feel and experience something new; or they have a déjà vu. Round about two years ago I wrote down my impressions. Your only reaction was to tell me, how wrong my feelings and impressions are. Now we have more years of development, and still I don't see or feel the difference to X1. But the feeling of a game is my motivation to play that game. And the feeling of a difference ist the motivation to fare for a successor. And right now I almost don't care any more, as my children have grown over the same time as well as my company rolled out three major products. So you or the devs or whoever is invested should do some motivational work = explanation *and* take the feedback seriously. Otherwise X2 is doomed fade away as most of the other xcom-clones. As long we're critical, we still are invested. Though the clock is ticking, as you can read in the reactions above.
    2 points
  31. Fanboy vs Reality
    2 points
  32. Hello everyone, hope you all had a good Christmas and New Year! Goldhawk are back to work tomorrow so just a quick update from me about what we got up to in December. This is just a brief one because I'm technically still on holiday but I want to get this out of the way now so I can focus on development tomorrow. The main thing we worked on was the soldier Morale system - the system that causes your soldiers to panic when things go horribly wrong on a mission. We actually planned not to include this in Xenonauts 2 for quite a while, but ultimately I felt the game would be weaker without it and not having it gives me fewer tools when it comes to designing the alien abilities (particularly psionic ones). Anyway, this system is mostly implemented but there's still quite a few bugs and edge cases we're working through. We've made a few improvements relative to the first Xenonauts. The first is that Morale always starts at 100 for every soldier, and the Bravery of a soldier (boosted by the squad commander bonus) reduces the amount of Morale damage taken when something bad happens (a soldier with 0 Bravery takes about 3x the morale damage that soldier with 100 Bravery does). There's now a button that allows you to spend TU in order to gain Morale, and the morale system is a bit more sensible in general. Units are generally only vulnerable to panic if Xenonaut soldiers are dying around them (particularly high-ranking ones) or the unit itself has been wounded, or if there are psionic aliens messing with their heads. Balancing is still required but overall it should be a little smoother and easier to understand than it was in Xenonauts 1. Work on the updated UI designs and final art assets also continues. I've done an updated layout for the tactical combat UI because we've added several new features since our current design was done, including the morale system which now needs to be displayed somewhere. Our UI artist is working on styling that at the moment, and in the meantime we've finished styling several more of the strategy panels. Work on the 3d models for the human civilians and alien armour variants also continues, etc. That's it. A number of the team had a lot of holiday left over from the year so it was a relatively short month. Hopefully we can put out another public build towards the end of this month and show off some of the new things!
    2 points
  33. Hello there! Since my last game was back in 2020 I was curious about the ingame progress. So I've installed it yesterday and gave it a go. And man, you guys and gals worked hard. A lot has improved and as far as I've catched up from the monthly dev updates, there is still things beeing changed. I would like to give some feedback. The game seems to be a bit resource demanding and loading times from my HDD for both Missions & Geomap are surprisingly long. While loading one of the first missions, windows asked if I'd like to close the unresponsive game window. I'm sure these kind of performance improvements will be focused on later. Fighting the first few encounters was fun and the atmosphere is already pretty intense. The intro sequence looks good as well. The writing felt a bit generic. Somehow I expected a bit more mistery. Well, but don't listen to me, I couldn't do it better anyway. Thank you for your contribution and regular updates!
    2 points
  34. The game does currently allow you to rebuild destroyed vehicles at half their original construction cost / time, so you can probably do that for destroyed armour too.
    2 points
  35. The "what's the best armour system" is a really hard one and there's no clearly right answer, as I've discovered to my cost. I suspect the final system will use flat reduction but weapons would have an "armour destruction %" value where a percentage of the damage absorbed by the armour is destroyed, which means that certain weapons are much more effective than others at destroying armour. I think we definitely do need to display the current armour HP level, yeah. It's displayed if you open up the soldier inventory screen in GC but we need to find a way to work it into the main UI. As you say, it is important information for the player. No problem. You're aware that a few builds ago we made armour destructible, right? If the soldier wearing the armour is reduced to 0HP in battle then their armour is lost. If so then what you're proposing is an interesting idea, yeah. You're adding an outcome where the soldier can survive but their armour is destroyed, moving the tension away from losing soldiers to having to pay potentially a lot of money to replace their equipment (assuming their armour saves their life). I hadn't considered that idea before and I don't know if I'll end up using it, but I'll think about it.
    2 points
  36. I f-ing LOVED the lore and art and music of X1, I loved innovations in air combat, but the combat missions were sluggish and unengaging for me. I remember one of the mods improving on it, but nothing really came even close to the immersion of the combat of JA2 for me – everything about it was so thought through and balanced, it felt REALLY engaging. I would LOVE to see X2's combat resemble JA2 more. Granted JA2 combined real-time and turn-based and that had it's huge effect. I doubt smth like that will be implemented in X2, but still there are many other features and details that can be. So my question is for those who has played JA2, X1 and experienced the X2 beta – has combat become more dynamic, meaning more stuff happening in one turn, and does the battle map feel more alive now than before? The question is specifically about the pace of things, and about there being more available actions. (What I can think of in JA2 that made it's combat feel alive: standing/crouching/prone, stealth movement/fast movement, single/burst/auto firing and multitude of weapons, hearing enemies movements, hearing amplifier, idle animations, background sounds, movement/swimming sounds, it felt like shots echo across the map, wounded enemies leave blood trails, wounded enemies bleed out, enemies sneak/camp/react to what's happening – stupidly or intelligently according to their level, detection dependent on body position/lighting/camouflage/sunglasses/night-vision-goggles, time of day and appropriate lighting and sounds, weather like thunderstorms/sandstorms/etc with sounds, crows here and there that flied away, cool realistic death animations, shooting someone in a leg made them fall to the ground, aiming at different body parts legs/torso/head even in burst/auto mode, in burst/auto mode click and drag made shots spread, bullets flight felt fast realistic kinetic although visible, sounds of hits and enemies pain screams, all actions animated... I guess I could go on, but this is just what I could come up with off the top of my head. Also, and this one is HUGE – many actions could be performed in one turn, and time units were dependent on soldiers skill and state.) So I have this image in my head, as an example of how to make battlemaps more alive. For example in industrial style map I imagine theses huge animated cranes that keep loading/unloading cargo onto the ships, and maybe even crane operator civilians stop working and run if they hear shooting/combat; maybe even some forklifts on the ground doing something similar, moving cargo around; animated water would make it feel SO MUCH MORE alive. Or for countryside maps some cows grazing. And many more civilians running around in panic, this really makes the world feel more alive. In general more surroundings being animated with appropriate sounds would make the world feel more alive and immersive. JA2 did the animations only in real-time mode, but I feel that even in turn-based only mode of Xenonauts animations would feel appropriate, otherwise the world feels frozen and unimmersive. Maybe I am mistaken, who knows. Please share your points of view.
    2 points
  37. This hotfix addreses some more issues in Beta Build V21 that weren't fixed in the last hotfix. Again, you'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. Fixed a tactical combat crash that could occur in lots of different circumstances (from throwing a grenade, to moving a MARS, to during the alien turn). It was a problem with the game trying to cache sounds that would then become corrupted, so it could occur at random at any point after a number of sounds had been played - likely this bug caused most of the crashes in the previous version! Fixed a strategy issue where the game could get corrupted, preventing you from doing things like placing buildings. This fix is also likely to solve a lot of different issues. Quickload now works again (just press F9). Unassigned soldiers are now correctly displayed on the Soldier Equip screen if there is no dropship at the base. Vehicle engine noises and fire sounds are now controlled by the Ambient slider rather than the Sound Effects slider. Xenopedia screen title text is no longer misaligned. Please let us know if you encounter any further issues with V21 as we will continue to make additional fixes as required.
    2 points
  38. Closed Beta Build V21 has now been released on Steam and GOG. Note that this build is only available on our Experimental branch so you'll need to switch over to get this update (instructions on how to do that here). This is our first update in a couple of months so there's a fair amount of new stuff in here, but frustratingly a lot of the work we've done in the past few weeks isn't quite ready to be included. You'll be seeing that in V22, and I'll cover what those things are in the August Development Update. Apologies for the delays getting this build out, as we had some issues regarding load times. This only affected development builds (as opposed to "release" builds which the final game will be) but it basically made the game unplayable, which is why we had to push this release back into this week. Key Highlights: New UI (Main Menu & Settings): we've spent a long time this month implementing the new UI for the Main Menu / Settings Menu screen, and all their sub-panels (Settings, Save Game, Load Game, New Campaign, etc). What you see now is essentially the final implemention of those panels - it has our new UI style, much improved usability, and we've updated the various UI sounds as well. Overall I think it looks far more polished than before, and I'm looking forward to rolling out that UI style to the rest of the game! Early Game Structure (Cleaner Base): we've changed the structure of the early game a bit. The idea is that you're fighting the mysterious Cleaners at the start of the game, and you have to do a bit of research (or wait a couple of months) to begin the war against the aliens. Various Cleaner missions are now spawned on the Geoscape in the early parts of the game and the player must gain intelligence from them to discover the location of the Cleaner base - and once destroyed, the Cleaner missions stop. You get 15% intelligence for each mission you complete, plus 25% from the Cleaner Autopsy and 50% from the Cleaner Interrogation. Right now all the Cleaner missions are just standard deathmatch missions but we'll be adding more variants in the next build (unlike when you're fighting the aliens, the Cleaners have numerical superiority and can call in reinforcements etc, allowing some different mission objectives). This means you'll be doing between 3 and 8 extra Cleaner-related mission per campaign, including the Cleaner Base assault itself. Your starting funding is significantly reduced. It is increased back to "normal" levels after you destroy the Cleaner Base. The start of the alien invasion has been delayed a couple of months, and the starting interceptor must be researched. There's UFOs flying around on the map in the first couple of months that can be shot down after the interceptor is researched, but they're not causing relations damage. Advanced Dropship Art: the artwork for the two advanced dropships is now in the game. The dropship tiles are in the tactical combat mission, and the art is on the Aircraft screen and the background of the Soldier Equip screen on the strategy layer. One piece of research art is complete, but we're still waiting on the research art for the most advanced dropship. AI Improvements: I'm not sure how obvious this will be in the missions yet, but the AI is now much better at understanding the battlefield and how to use its own equipment. Hopefully at the very least it'll do less idiotic stuff, and as we tweak the gameplay settings / balance the game in the future you'll see more and more benefits from this work. Landed UFOs: Landed UFO missions have supposedly been in the game for ages, but weren't actually active. We fixed that up and cleaned up a number of bugs with the missions too. Soldier medals finished: The soldier medals are set up and should now all be functional. Combat Ambient Sound: each of the tactical combat biomes now has some ambient sound to accompany it, which adds a bit more atmosphere. There's a new ambient sound slider in the settings menu that allows you to turn this off if you find it irritating. Difficulty settings: we've implemented various options for the difficulty settings, but we've not yet activated them (all difficulty settings are identical at the moment). We've got to balance the game before we start balancing difficulty settings! Directional sound: most sound in the game is now run through the Unity directional sound system. This means we'll be able to play sounds based on what is currently on screen (e.g. fire), and that we can set a "hearing range" for various sounds based both on the camera position and whether your soldiers are nearby. These new sounds will be added in the next build, but in the meantime any unusual sound behaviour will almost certainly be caused by these changes - so please report any sound that isn't working properly any more! Minor Changes: There's some extra research text for a couple of the early research projects, and I've added the correct art to various armour-related research projects. There's new artwork for the Gauss weapons. The new weapons should be much more easily distinguished from one another. Strategy - we've significantly improved the performance of the Geoscape. The game should now be pretty smooth except when things (i.e. UFOs) are spawning in, as this is a different optimisation issue we need to look at. Once that is also fixed, the Geoscape shouldn't have any performance problems at all. Combat - you can now cancel the camera panning to a newly spotted alien by pressing spacebar. Combat - we've improved the smoothness of changing camera visual level. Combat - we've added subtle dropshadows to the dropshadows and UFOs. This should make them look less "floaty". Combat - I've zeroed out the Initiative modifiers on weapons. Combat - Idle animations for combatants now have randomised times, so units don't all play their idle animations in sync with one another. Bugfixes: Units under mind control were not being returned to the player. Fixed an issue where the tactical selection box UI could get hidden if you switched between levels. Fixed an issue where you couldn't transfer items from your third (or beyond) base to other bases. As always, please let us know if you encounter any bugs by posting them up on the Bug Reporting subforums, as we'll release a hotfix if necessary.
    2 points
  39. After several months not playing the game I decided to share the "Full Soviet Weapons Extension Pack"-mod which I created long ago but never really finished. It includes all available soviet weapons such as Makarov pistol, AK-47 assault rifle, AK-74assault rifle, PK machine gun and RPG-7 rocket launcher. Description: This mod expands the set of ballistic nato weapons by their soviet counterparts. Simply put, it makes it possible for players to equip their soldiers with soviet and nato weapons during the same campaign. The soviet weapons have the identical ballistic stats to the nato weapons (the only significant difference is the larger magazines used by soviet rifles - these contain 30 instead of 20 rounds). The already existing AK-47 assault rifle has been slightly modified - it has lower accuracy and range but better armour penetration and the ability to fire 5 rounds bursts. (These facts make it an interesting option in close combat especially when facing armoured enemies like the androns) Besides all soviet weapons now use a consistent colouring scheme. Weapons included: - Makarov (weapon.pistol2) - AK-47 (weapon.ak there is also a weapon.ak47 in the game which is not the same) - AK-74 (weapon.rifle2) - SWD (weapon.sniper2) - PK (weapon.machinegun2) - RPG-7 (weapon.rocketlauncher2) Installation notes: To install, you could either: (a) Unpack the file into assets/mods (b) Or install the mod using the mod manager Download: http://http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/downloads.php?do=file&id=141
    2 points
  40. Clicking a unit’s portrait in the bottom center of the screen should center on the unit. Borderless windowed really should be an option instead of just full screen and windowed. Doors should be visible on both sides when you see it on one side. You should not be forced to rotate your camera to find out there is a door there. The picture below is the same spot rotated. As you can see there are three doors, but you can only tell this from one perspective. The doors should be highlighted. Currently you can only tell if you rotate the screen or happen to mouse over where the door is and your cursor changes. In the old version if you saw it on one side you could see it no matter what There should be transparency around the mouse so you don’t have to rotate the camera to see on the other side of crates or objects. In the current version you can see there is a crate here in this shot. But in the other three rotations you cannot see the crate at all. The old version had transparency around the cursor to see things. I really think this should be included in the second game. Its rather annoying to constantly have to rotate the camera around to make sure you don't miss something or to figure out why you can't move because there is a crate you can only see from one angle blocking the path. Aliens need to have a transparency around them or a red outline like the xenonauts have green outlines (when in line of site). Currently you could be standing right next to an alien and not even know it because you can only see them from one angle (like the crate I showed above). The mars weapon platform should not be able to move though a jersey barrier. The green line makes it look like you should be able to move another tile or 2 but in reality you don’t have any movement left. Its inconsistent on what you can shoot around and what you cannot. It seems like when you are shooting to the right it lets you shoot but to the left blocks. The new range limitation is silly. You used to have green yellow then red ranges with a penalty in the yellow ranges. Now it just goes from green to red and the distances seem way to short. The constant popup and down of the hidden movement screen is annoying. Either do all the movement we can see at one time and hide it or just down have it popup. It was better with text saying alien movement or friendly movement. 0% block chance should not show up. When you click the red alien head it should raise your cursor to the level the alien is on. Currently when you click it it stays on whatever level you had it on. This leads to easily clicking the alien and thinking you are firing on it when in fact you are shooting the crate below it. In the original game it would raise your ground height to match the alien level. This also made it must easier to determine the height of flying units in the old game. Below is a picture of what happens when I click the red Alien Icon currently. You can see the selection bot is below the alien. The following picture is what I feel should happen(just like the old game) The reticle is on the same level as the alien and I don't have to change the height to find the correct one. I wish you could turn the grid on I liked the old version of shields that had a 100% chance to block damage from the front with a % for sides. Having only 80% for font significantly lowers the usefulness of shields. I love that aliens stay visible even if the unit that spotted them turns or moves away and loses Line of sight. You guys are doing a great job and I look forward to the new game. I can't wait until its available on early access so I can go more in depth with it and stream it.
    2 points
  41. @mclangSo I watched some X2 footage and it turns out some of the things I describe are already implemented, like some idle animations. But what I noticed immediately is the same square by square division of the map, which now feels like an apparent immersion-breaker – the structure of the map should be more realistic and natural, and it will HUGELY improve immersion. X-Com didn't have this separation into "sectors" by some unrealistic walls, it feels more like a battle simulator than a real battle. Death animations are kinda unimpressive, there is no weight to the falling body, it falls like a paper cutout. And it would be cool if effects were animated too, like suppression (cowering holdind one's head), being wounded (checking out the wound and being blooded), a shield breaking (soldier throwing the shield away and leaving it visible on the ground), etc. Also fog of war breaks immersion a lot in my view, both the black and the grey one – constantly seeing your blind spots takes away from the tension and suspense and not knowing the area does not make sense because you arrive seeing everything from bird's-eye view. Also there are no background noises, which makes the map silent like a sterile environment – animals, wind, water, etc., would make it feel so much more alive. I feel it's better to not show the area effect of grenades, it would feel much more realistic and unpredictable. And the smoke spreading slowly instead of instantly is more realistic and immersive too. This also applies to line of fire – it is better to not show it, it feels like actually aiming a weapon, the line breaks that immersion. This does not apply to movement, because it is more natural to plan the movement, but instead of a line it can be a "line" of some grey "footprints" which is more immersive. "Hidden movement" screen is also incredibly immersion breaking, it interrupts the flow of combat. Removing "Alien/Friendly activity" indicators also would make the combat flow so much better. Just everything happening with no "psychic" indications. That "beep" sound when an action can not be completed is better replaced by visual indications that it can not be done. Or some other more pleasant sound. Keep in mind that the footage I've seen is a few months old (it's of Closed Beta v17). And I would LOVE to see some indication that these suggestions are read by the developers, because I really want this game to be as good as it can get.
    2 points
  42. I agree. It will be more convenient for everyone if the moderators will somehow separate the current bugs from the already fixed ones. I see several solutions: 1) Moderators can rename a topic 2) Create separate categories, and move topics there. 3) Close topics where the problem is solved.
    2 points
  43. Just a very small update for Hotfix V19.1 which we released a few days ago, fixing the issue where the game settings are reset every time you restart the game (very annoying if you want to turn off the music, etc). As this is the only change, save games from V19.1 should still work in V19.1b!
    2 points
  44. This hotfix addreses various issues in Beta Build V19 but you'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. Gameplay / Balance Updates: Added a new "undersuit" (I'll probably rename this slot to "special") called the Target Aid which is unlocked alongside the Platesuit and provides +5 Accuracy. All game settings have been cleared and reset to default for all players. This is because the new tooltip options were missing in earlier versions, so all their values were set to 0, which led to tooltips appearing after 0 seconds of hovering over things (which made tooltips very annoying in some circumstances). Aircraft now have a 72 hour arrival time after being purchased on the strategy layer. Units now only fall unconcious if their accumulated Stun Damage exceeds their modified maximum HP, rather than their current HP. Under the previous system normal damage was far too effective at stunning units, whereas now inflicting damage on a unit will weaken them and make them easier to stun but they won't fall unconscious unless you inflict a reasonable amount of stun damage on them too. Reaper zombies now count towards mission completion; previously you would win the mission even if there were zombies still alive on the map. Fixes & Gameplay Updates: Tactical Combat - fixed a crash that would occur if you tried to load a save game containing Reaper zombies. Tactical Combat - the thick underground base blast doors no longer auto-close at end of turn if there is a unit standing in their path. Tactical Combat - fixed some instances where the game would pop up red error text in the bottom left of the screen. Tactical Combat - Reaper zombies now take three turns to hatch (they were hatching after one turn previously). Tactical Combat - Reapers can no longer gib their victims if their melee attack scores a critical hit, meaning there's always a corpse left behind to turn into a zombie. Tactical Combat - stunned / dead units no longer show stun damage numbers from smoke at the end of turn. Tactical Combat - gibbed corpses should no longer reappear as normal corpses at end of turn. Tactical Combat - local forces are no longer always marked as KIA after a battle. Tactical / Strategy - Xenonaut weapons no longer start without any ammo if you send a combat team to a second mission site without first returning to base. Strategy - pressing Escape now once again brings up the game menu. Strategy - you can no longer assign soldiers that are at other bases to dropships using the new soldier assignment menu. Strategy - the soldier assignment menu now also shows the soldier role. Strategy - empty dropship slots now display the dropship in the background. Strategy - the Guardian Armour now visually has a helmet. Strategy - the soldier transfer panel no longer displays text that is way too long for the available space. Strategy - fixed a bug that was prefering soldier transfer displaying the errors correctly if a soldier could not be transferred. Strategy - soldiers killed by Reapers no longer display their name as "Reaper Zombie" on the memorial screen. Strategy - fixed some building tooltips displaying the wrong values. Strategy - the bases and aircraft squadrons on the Geoscape now all use the new font. Air Combat - moved a tooltip that could obscure the time buttons. Please let us know if you encounter any further issues with V19.1 as we will continue to make additional fixes as required.
    2 points
  45. Yeah, I've intentionally been looking at both classic X-Com and modern XCOM for some inspiration, so the gameplay feels a bit different from X1 even in places where the systems haven't fundamentally changed. The additional lethality and larger squad sizes in this path is inspired by the original X-Com, as is the fact that armour is destroyed when troops are lost. The effect is subtle but I think it works well so far. XCOM has plenty of good ideas we can borrow too, although it's a different kind of game and you can't just transplant stuff across. But that game is very good at giving the player interesting choices to make and I think stuff like the weapon fragments do make the game much more engaging (given alien weapons were only useful for selling in X1 anyway). I'm trying to give the player more small decisions to make about equipment and upgrades after each mission, and ideally also we'll be able to give the player more interesting choices within missions too (it'd be good for example to move the accuracy bonus sniper rifles get for not moving to be an activated ability, so it becomes a decision for the player when a sniper scopes in on a target). We are indeed trying to break up the mission monotony a bit too. Crash sites remain an important part of the mission mix but we're aiming for them being about half the missions, and hopefully the player won't play more than two of them consecutively before getting a mission of a different type. The Cleaners are a good addition partly because it means we can use the Xenonaut Base tiles in some other missions beyond just the rare occasions where you bases get attacked, which again helps with the variety.
    2 points
  46. @Bobit I have a great Portfolio of Games, which I love to play. Mostly they are of the 90s and beginning 2ks. Good made flightsims, like the Wing Commander and Privateer-Row, Strike Commander, B-17 Flying Fortress Mighty 8 and the Win 10 303 Squadron Battle for Britain, where the first big DLC comes out in the next time, are only some of them. Natuarly Shooters haven´t to miss in the collection like the full Mafia-Row, Doom-Row (where the new Mars-Gameplay is the coolest), Star Wars and XCOM: The Bureau, Silent Hunter-Row / U-Boat and Mechwarrior / Battletech. Not to forgett Adventures like Sherlock Holmes-Row, Black Mirror-Row, Baphomets Curse-Row and such. Like you bet correctly, the most of my Gerne are tactical round as well as realtime Games like Hearts of Iron 4, Empire of Sin, Heagemonia, UFO ET-Row, full old and new X-Com-Row, Civilization-Row, Panzer Corps-Row, Star Craft-Row, Diablo and so on. You see I have a big mix. Long time before I had Racing Sims too, but they get very bad or to complex, so I don´t play them anymore. But back to UFO 2 ET: Yeah, exactly that is going to miss in UFO 1 ET. And much have done in Graphics, Gameplay, R & D, Bases and on your Soldiers, Civilians, Buildings etc. I have watched a Lets Play-Vid from 2014 where UFO 1 ET Gold-Version get shown and before the new Version of UFO 2 ET. There you see what have done in more then 20 Years in only that Game. Metal Canyon which explain the new Features of UFO 2 ET could do an Q & A with the Devs. If you see then it´s let´s play with the Predecessor you see drastically the Difference. If the Storyline (the 2 Games are Storylinelinked togehter, that´s announced official) from UFO ET have to survive, then the Devs have to refit it fully on UFO 2 ET-Standard. Sadly many cool Games can´t be used on Win 10 anymore or with big penaltys (like UFO 1 ET). One good thing have the Release of UFO 2 ET. There we can see what´s good and what´s not so good and can learn from them for Xenonauts 2.
    2 points
  47. Mod im working on and yes I am the artist for the drawings. I plan to redraw all the armor and soldiers and do the sprites as well to match the armor (kill me its going to be a pain) hmmm might also do some the splash art/base art as well. I havent done any males yet other than the one you see at the moment. I havent started on them yet and just wanted to showcase the male uniform. I still have a lot more females to do so yeaaaaaah its gonna be a while till I release this mod.
    2 points
  48. Dr. McCoy: "I am a doctor, not a snobby scientist!"
    1 point
  49. It is not necessary to send a team for every mission here. You can delegate it to the locals and get paid for it. This allows you to focus on important missions and saves a lot of time. You do not need to go around the whole map to find the last alien. It is enough to clean and hold their ship a certain number of turns (5 if I'm not mistaken).
    1 point
  50. But you could also just flat-out cut training completely and not worry about it. The one you suggested is so hands off, not having it wouldn't have much of an overall effect game-wise. That's why I'm asking about it. Having a clearer idea of whether there is training or not would be very helpful for later discussions.
    1 point
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