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  1. 5 points
    I have to say this shows why Goldhawk is an amazing studio. There's a real willingness to try new ideas, but without necessarily committing to them - you can admit when something simply doesn't work. And offering refunds to people who specifically wanted now-changed features is very admirable and honest. On the gameplay front, while I liked the bold ideas behind the "shadow war" on the Geoscape and all that, I'm also really pleased with where the game is headed now. X1 is one of my favourite games, and I'm definitely in the camp that will be pretty happy with an improved X1. While the strategy layer is currently an almost exact copy of X1, I'm very happy about the improved tactical layer. There's a bunch of really small improvements but it adds up, and the boxy destructible UFOs are my favourite feature.
  2. 5 points
    We're probably overdue another development update, so here's a quick post letting everyone know what we've been working on recently. Quite a bit to talk about actually! Firstly, a public service announcement - we're going to be ending the Xsolla pre-orders on our site on August 29th. Anyone who has an Xsolla pre-order at that point will then be sent an email asking their preference for a Steam key or a GOG key, which will be sent to them at the end of September (non-responders get a Steam key). We're doing this partially because Xsolla is proving a pain to maintain relative to Steam / GOG, and partially because we want to build up a backlog of interested customers prior to our Early Access launch. We're still not completely sure when Early Access is going to happen. The game is continuing to progress but I'm sure most of our beta testers would agree the game isn't ready for primetime yet; we're just going to keep adding things and fixing things until it is. The first thing we're working on right now is implementing the remaining missing or broken parts of the game - e.g. night missions, base defence missions, multiple dropship support, updgradeable dropships, further expansion of the air combat, etc. Switching back to the classic X1 base mechanics has been quite a bit of work but the job is largely done, we're now just at the stage where we're updating the other systems that have changed as a result of this - e.g. we've had to update the Aircraft systems now they are stationed in actual bases and need to appear in Hangar base buildings, and need to support construction to them and relocation between them. The second thing we're working on is overall usability and game balance. Over the past month or so we've been regularly talking about balance issues with the community and making adjustments, but we've also been fixing various gameplay bugs and design issues (such as suppression not functioning correctly, TU values being flat rather than %s, etc). We've nearly finished the tooltip system, too, which should make the game far easier to understand than it currently is ... right now there's not even a way to view the stats of a piece of equipment! Finally, we're also spending a bit of time looking at the visuals of the game. In the ground combat we've switched to genuine isometic / orthographic camera rather than a perspective one trying to mimic it, which makes the battlefield a bit easier to read. On the strategy layer I'm looking at doing a pass on the UI to clean it up a bit, removing a bit of the visual clutter and probably moving to a visually similar but more modern font that renders more cleanly (and supports lowercase letters and special characters). The visuals of the game are a lower priority right now than finishing off the game mechanics, but the issue is on our radar and we are slowly improving things. So, where does that leave us? I'm not exactly sure when Closed Beta V7 wil be due, as we first need to work through all the bugs / changes forced by the base update. I've also got another quite significant upgrade planned for the air combat that shifts the combat from a 1D grid to a 2D gride with "proper" movement. I'm guessing V7 is likely to arrive towards the end of this month, so we may release a (highly) experimental build in the interim that has a semi-broken strategy layer but will let us test some of the updated ground combat mechanics / balance changes. Anyway, thanks for reading - we'll keep you guys informed about our plans as they progress!
  3. 4 points
    The air combat section of Xenonauts 2 has gone through a number of iterations over the past few years, and with the project approaching Early Access we've taken the decision to switch to (an upgraded version of) the realtime air combat mechanics from the first game rather than pursuing the alternative turn-based model I've been experimenting with. I'll explain the reasons for this change below, but let's start by discussing the realtime mechanics and the planned improvements. Realtime Mechanics: We're already working on implementing the realtime air combat mechanics from the first Xenonauts and we're hoping to have them in the next major release (V8). This will also include various supporting strategic systems such as the ability to manufacture advanced aircraft on the Engineering screen, many of which require some extra work now the "classic" base update changed the way Hangars worked. The goal for V8 is therefore to literally have the air combat from the first Xenonauts in the second game as a starting point to test our improvements. We'll probably chuck the same planes and weapons in the game with the same stats, and fit them into the tech tree in roughly the same place, and do the same for the UFO stats. This will make it easier for both us as the developers and you as the community to spot missing features or things that aren't working properly, and it also ensures that the strategy layer has reasonable balance / progression to allow us to test the new features we're planning to experiment with in future builds: Interceptor Components: on the Aircraft screen there are additional slots for new types of equipment that did not appear in the first Xenonauts (armour, engines). One of the main things I want to experiment with is to have fewer types of interceptor but more possible upgrades, making the tech tree more interesting ensuring each type of interceptor can potentially stay relevant for longer. As an aside, it might be interesting to give each aircraft type a Power stat and have the various weapons, engines and armour types draw a certain amount of power. So even basic aircraft can still use highly advanced equipment but can support less of it than the more advanced fighters. Also, if much of the cost of an aircraft comes from its components rather than the aircraft itself, we could re-implement permadeath for the aircraft itself but make most of the equipment recoverable when a plane is shot down. Clouds: these would provide cover on the battlefield and the amount and position of them would be randomised each battle. The idea is that combatants can move through clouds freely but they would block the fire arcs of weapons (and missiles wouldn't make course adjustments while flying through them). Hit / Evade Chances: this an experimental change we're going to try, where combatants have % Evade scores and weapons have % Accuracy scores and Evade modifiers. The Evade roll will no longer be manually triggered and will just play an evade animation (without moving the plane laterally) when an Evade occurs. We'll see if this improves the game and if not we'll return to the old system where weapons would always hit if in range. The % Accuracy on weapons is somewhat required if we're going to add Pilots to the game, as the obvious thing for pilots to do as they gain experience is provide an Accuracy bonus to their weapons and an Evade bonus to their interceptor. The same is true for upgrades like targeting computers or so forth; in the old X1 air combat there's just not many variables to play with and that limits the equipment and upgrade choices we can give the player. Relative Battlefields: in X1 the boundaries of the battlefield are set at the start of the combat, but in X2 the boundaries will always be a fixed distance from the main UFO. This will allow us to set some combats up as a chase where the UFO is trying to get far enough away from your planes to push them off the edge of the map, while peppering your pursuing interceptors with fire from a rotating turret weapon (or relying on their escorts to cover for them). It's not a huge thing but in X1 literally every UFO would just turn and fly towards your interceptors so it'd be nice if in X2 some UFOs tried something a little different. Special Equipment: we'll also likely be experimenting with some other types of equipment that weren't in X1, such as turret weapons that are capable of rotating their fire arcs, or shields. Not sure how many will provide practical but we've got a few ideas! The main intention of these changes is to add a bit more variety to the air combat. One of the problems in X1 was that a combat featuring a particular UFO versus a particular combination of interceptors would almost always play out the same way every time, and there's a few things we can do to mitigate this. The addition of clouds means that the battlefield itself may cause the tactics to be different in different battles, and making weapons use % hit rolls should also ensure a bit more variation (e.g. a combat may play out quite differently if a long range volley of missiles at the start of combat scores 4 hits compared to if it scores 2 hits). Depending on how the combat changes play out, I think the strategic side of the air combat may also become more complex and interesting. In X1 you were continually building steadily more advanced planes and getting rid of the older models once they became irrelevant, but if specific aircraft gain combat experience through a pilot system and are also more upgradeable than before then I can see more interesting choices becoming available to the player. Do you replace your experienced starting interceptors as soon as a better interceptor becomes available, or do you give them some upgrades and keep them around? Or just play aggressively with them until they get shot down, and then replace them? Etc. What happened to the turn-based air combat model? Up until V7 the game featured a turn-based air combat model. The plan was to add increasing complexity to this turn-based system until we got something that was complex enough to be fun, but was ideally a bit faster-paced than the X1 air combat and used a more similar skillset to the rest of the game. The tun-based air combat in the public builds never got to the stage where it became fun. After the last iteration it was obvious that air combat needed proper 2D unit movement (rather than just 1D moving forwards / backwards) if it was to be interesting enough to support the more complex strategy layer that Xenonauts has compared to XCOM or classic X-Com. With overly simple air combat not only are the interceptions more boring, there's also less scope for research and UFO behaviour on the rest of the strategy layer too. Unfortunately, when we set to work implementing this it became clear that trying to handle complex 2D movement in a fast-paced way was going to be impractical in a turn-based system. Obviously asking players to issue orders to all of their planes every few seconds wasn't an option as every combat would take hours, so we instead developed an "automated" move system based on auto-calculated moves towards your target enemy unit (or movement waypoint). We were hoping it would provide a realtime feel while retaining the turn-based system under the hood, but in practice it didn't work well - it was difficult for the user to understand what was going on and it didn't feel as natural or responsive as the X1 realtime system. This is a bit of a shame, as the turn-based system we had planned had been paper prototyped and worked rather well as a board game. But if the fundamental building blocks of the system don't translate well onto the screen, there's point pursuing it further - it seems like we've taken the turn-based model as far as it could go. The best thing to do would just be to pluck out some of the interesting systems and merge them into the X1 realtime system. I certainly think there's some scope to do this. Ideally, I want to try and minimise the amount of time players have to spend pausing / unpausing to try and pick the optimal split-second to do something (like rolling their planes to dodge incoming fire), so making Evasion auto-trigger on a % roll may help a lot here. Adding more variety to the air combat in general should also improve the experience and replayability for everyone, and new ideas such as clouds and the interceptor components actually work equally well under the old X1 realtime system as they do in the current X2 turn-based system. Conclusion: When development began I couldn't see many improvements that could be made to the X1 air combat, which was one of the reasons I was reluctant to use the same system - I felt like I'd be serving up exactly the same thing all over again. After all this experimentation I'm now pretty sure the air combat can be improved, and it's just a question of whether we can improve things a little (by adding clouds, relative battlefields etc) or if we can improve things a lot (by getting hit chances / components / pilots to work). Perhaps if I spent a few more months working on the turn-based system we'd make some kind of breakthrough ... but the game is now approaching Early Access and we need to make a final decision on what system we want to use because the uncertainty is holding back the strategy layer. It's a pretty simple decision; the X1 realtime system currently works better than the X2 turn-based system does, so we'll be going with the X1 system. Anyway, I'm sure some people are going to be very happy with this change and I'm sure some other people will be a bit disappointed. I can understand both viewpoints, but really the most important thing here is that a decision has been made and in the next build we should be able to start balancing and properly playing the strategy layer. Hopefully that at least is something everyone can get excited about!
  4. 4 points
    To be honest, I suspect both I and a lot of people in the community would be disappointed if we don't deliver a game that improves on the gameplay of X1 as well as the graphics. We'll also be doing our best to include features that mean a lot to small groups of people - e.g. good mod tools for the modding community, large font mode for people with bad eyesight / small monitors, etc - but we're also going to be improving the core gameplay experience too. The majority of players just play the vanilla experience so we can't rely on tuning the more specialist things.
  5. 4 points
    I guess it's time for me to spend 100 hours on a playthrough of X-Division then
  6. 4 points
    This is more of a "feels over reals" kind of explanation, but bear with me. I wanted to show a match wih my modded stats, but Bandicam seems to hate X2 and will crash it without fear or remorse. It's the start of a new game. It's a wood map. You turn a solider in the chopper and spy a Psyon maybe slightly half a tile away. Perhaps 16 spaces or so. It's in the open. You take aim with a solider, aimed shot, 83% chance to ht. You hit, congrats! That's 26 damage. The Psyon returns fire. It hits, that's 55 damage, instant death. You sigh. You get some more soliders out of the chopper and a few more shots later, the Psyon who killed the first soldier is dead. It's now the alien turn. A Psyon appears. It targets a solider who isn't quite in position. The Psyon hits, does 67 points of damage. That soldier is dead. You grit your teeth. Another Psyon appears. One of your soliders takes an overwatch shot. She misses. The Psyon returns fire. A miss! The Psyon fires again. A hit. that's 59 points of damage. Instant death. At this point, you're ready to cinduct experiments on the terminal velocity of monitors vis. 3rd storey windows. Early game, every fight with a Psyon can go pear shaped very, very quickly. The impression, and please forgive my language, is that you don't fuck around with Psyons. If I know that I'm fighting Psyons, I'm carrying lots of smoke. I have my lines of exit clear. The third man (I never fght in twos against Psyons if I can help it) is always ready with smoke in case the other two morons manage to mess it up. I would rather spent all my TU and re-position my team to lure a Psyon to me than get into a shooting match with a Psyon, because I know I will loose that fight. That's all thanks to the plasma rifle. You learn to respect it very quickly, and the plasma rifle gives the Psyon character. Now, same situation. You're facing Sebillians. The Sebillian fires off a burst. One catches the solider. He takes 32 damage. You think "I can handle that". The Sebillian fires off another burst. Another shot hits, that's 25 damage. That's a kill. But it feels different. You feel like the Sebillian has spent a lot of effort trying to kill the solider, that it's been blasting away even though it's actually only spent the same amount of TU and effort that a Psyon does firing the same number of shots. You feel like you can take Sebillians in a shooting war, and you better be able to because Sebillians soak a hella lotta damage, so you have to be able to hold your ground against Sebillians. Shotguns are a vital weapon in the fight against Sebillians, and you need to be able to go over the top to get in close enough to kill a Sebillian. The mag rifle could give the Sebillian as much character as the plasma rifle gives the Psyon, ust based on how it feels to fight them. Or look at it like this. The mag rifle. As dangerous as the plasma rifle. In the hands of an enemy with 45% more health (100% more health for the Brute) who can regenerate. Seriously? I'd almost rather face Androns. I mean, I notice there are both modifiers for armor penetration and armor destruction in the weapon.json master file. Linear weapons are noted as much for their penetrative capabilities as their power. It's one of the common memes in computer games, that railguns typically can penetrate several enemies at once and/or terrain. Perhaps fiddling with armor penetration/destruction as easy numbers to alter would be of value? EDIT: For those interested in my edits, I append my currently edited files. You'll have to replace the current files with the edited ones, which means 1) make backups and 2) don't report bugs with edited files, because even though this is just number editing, editing numbers can have unforseen effects in-game. Xenonauts2Mods.zip
  7. 4 points
    Aaaaand we're spiraling into drama again. indaris, if you want to have a slap fight with Dagar, you're not going to have it on this forum. Thread locked.
  8. 3 points
    As we get towards the middle of November I feel like we've been making good progress in recent weeks. Our latest release Closed Beta V9.2 went up on the Experimental branch yesterday and has a long changelog of gameplay fixes that smooth some of the rough edges off the gameplay. We've also made good progress on the big things we said we were targetting in our last update - mostly finishing off the Air Combat and fixing up the broken / missing parts of the new UI. Both had a lot of small updates and fixes that needed to be made but I feel like both have now reached the standard of the rest of the game (i.e. working, but need some more visual and usability polish before the game releases). Core Completion: From my point of view the biggest change in the last four weeks is that the completion of the Air Combat means all the "core" gameplay systems are functional, and the game is now playable. I've therefore been regularly sitting down and playing the game in short sessions to see what missing features, bad game balance, usability issues and bugs are affecting the gameplay. There is, of course, rather a lot of those things to fix up before the game can be considered finished. But these are generally fairly small issues when taken individually and the V9.2 shows that we can quite a few of them in a single update when we're not tied up working on "big" features, so I think you'll be seeing the gameplay improving quite rapidly from here on out. I know I've been promising this for a while but this time it's already happening - and I consider this quite a big milestone for the project! Modular Armour & Updated Artwork: Now we're starting to nail down the mechanics, we're also starting to work on some of the final artwork. The artwork above is a rough preview of the new soldier armour designs, which have come about as a result of the Modular Armour system we will be implementing in the near future. This system should make the choice of what armour to equip your soldiers with more flexible and interesting than it was in the first game; you can read all about it by clicking link! As you can see, we've also taken the opportunity to redesign the armour visually (the two figures on the left represent the starting Tactical and Combat armours respectively). We didn't get the look of the starting armour quite right when we did the previous version of it a few years back, so this time I wanted to give it a more military feel. The advanced armours have also had a bit of a redesign and are now looking much cooler than before - what was previously the Wolf Armour now looks particularly badass, and I'm looking forward to putting in the game in V10 or V11. We're also adding more artwork to the game for the aircraft and the base tiles. The first new aircraft design (the Phantom) is in the game, replacing the Corsair. I've got some plans to switch up its role from the dual-cannon bruiser that the Corsair was in X1 to something else once we get the upgradeable interceptor components worked into the research tree, but for now it's just a Corsair that looks different. We'll be adding updated artwork for the other interceptors in future updates too. The base tiles need more work; they're better than reusing the old X1 art but they're still not quite right. There's a fine line between having a base that looks grey and boring and a base that is way too visually noisy or garish in terms of colour, but I'm sure with a few more iterations we'll be able to find a happy middle ground where the base looks more detailed and "realistic" than before without looking dull. Early Access & Current Priorities: I don't yet have a firm date for you guys about the Early Access but we're currently eyeing January next year. This date would only be two months away (and people will be off for Christmas for some of it) so we're having to choose our planned work rather carefully. This is my thinking at the moment: General gameplay polishing and balancing Modular Armour system Adding item replacement functionality to the tech tree (so you can upgrade an item into something else) Some writing / artwork for the early game tech tree Getting all the Kickstarter backer soldiers into the game Getting the base structures, aircraft and UFO stats out of the code into editable JSON files The idea for Early Access is to have a rough but playable game and then spend the Early Access period polishing and adding new content to it, and I think these changes would get us quite some way towards that goal. Anyway, that's it for this month - comments and thoughts welcome, as always.
  9. 3 points
    In a spot of unfortunate timing I'm going to be out of the office from Thursday this week until the end of next week, which means we've had to move a few of our plans for V9 around to minimise the disruption caused by me only being able to work from a laptop (one that sadly cannot run the developer version of X2). Beta V9 Pre-Test: Beta Build V9 is a fairly large upgrade over V8 as it contains both the new realtime air combat model and also the first section of the strategic UI reskin (updating all the strategy management screens except the Geoscape), and a few smaller things like building aircraft in your workshop and wall hiding in the ground combat. The air combat is almost entirely functional with the only remaining updates being either visual polish or some UI improvements (e.g. there's currently no indicator for missile lock, etc), but the updated UI has taken longer than expected as is causing some issues. The problem with the UI is that we've taken the opportunity to change the layout or functionality of some of the UI while we reskin it, or add UI elements for functionality that doesn't exist yet. However it takes longer to write the code for those UI elements than it does to do the skinning work, so we're in an awkward situation where various sections of the UI don't work properly / at all. It should be pretty obvious where this is happening to anyone who has played previous versions of X2 and it should be possible to work around it, but it makes things akward enough that I doubt anyone is going to be playing any long campaigns until we've fixed that stuff up. However, I don't see it as necessary to delay the release of V9 until my return. Assuming V8.2 Hotfix fixes most of the remaining issues in V8, I'm planning to push that out to the Stable branches towards the end of the week and then release a "pre-test" version of V9 on the Experimental branches. As long as people are aware that parts of the UI are unfinished, I think this will be fine - there's still plenty to test and comment on. That way we can get a headstart on identifying and fixing any major crashes etc before the "proper" V9 release. Other Work: I'll also quickly mention some of the cool new things we've been doing over the past month or so. The first is the custom UI skinning system we've written as part of the UI skinning work, which should make managing the UI more manageable in the future. We've probably got about 200 different UI screens / panels / pop-ups that are each seperate entities within Unity, and there was previously no way to link them - which meant that even if I wanted to change something small like the font size or font colour of the basic text in the game, I'd have to open every single one of those entities and update every text string within it (a task that that could literally take days). We've now implemented something like a bit like a CSS stylesheet where I can specify a style for each text string, and if I update that style to use font size 16 instead of font 14 then all of that text will update everywhere in the game. This is cool because it not only makes my life much easier when working on the UI but also gives us a way to support something like an optional "large font" mode for those people with small screens or bad eyesight. We can also easily switch text from being ALL CAPS to normal text, which is nice because we've switched to a new font that is similar to the X1 font but also supports lowercase letters and special characters. Gives us a bit more flexibility in terms of making sure the UI is as readable as possible. The first draft of the wall-hiding system in the ground combat has also been added to the game now. This is the system that hides walls that are blocking the view of the selected soldier or around the cursor, which makes it much easier to navigate within buildings or in underground maps like the Alien Base or Xenonaut Base. It's especially important in X2 as walls are now taller relative to soldiers than they were in X1 and thus get in the way more (they are now 3m tall instead of 2m tall). Anyway, this system needs a little more visual polish but it's already working and will be included in V9. It's definitely a good quality of life feature. There's a few bits of new art, too - the Gauss (formerly MAG) weapons have some new art, there's some updated Sebillian autopsy and corpse art, the base structure tiles have updated (although not yet finished) graphics, a new UFO has been painted up, etc. We're also currently doing some concepts for some additional soldier armour designs, as I feel the current armour designs are too similar to one another. Depending on how much more time the UI work takes up I may also be able to get on with some gameplay balancing and writing work, too. Finally, we're also planning in some work over the next couple of weeks to get all the Kickstarter soldiers added to the game and to start moving more of the game data into JSON files that can be accessed by modders. The immediate targets are things like aircraft, UFOs and base structures, but with a bit of work we should also be able to put all of the other associated data (alien missions, UFO crews, alien equipment loadouts, etc) into JSON files too. These are less readable than the XML files we used in X1 so all but the most intrepid modders will still need to wait for our mod editor in order to make changes, but it's still an important step along the way. So yeah, there's quite a bit going on right now. If you want to help out the most useful thing you could do would be to give V8.2 a bit of a test to ensure it doesn't have too many massive bugs in it, which will hopefully allow us to put out the V9 Pre-Test build later this week!
  10. 3 points
    How is that not a special base? It's only one that actually matters I never liked, nor ever will like that "all eggs into one basket" concept. It makes no sense and there's no real risk involved. Research should be globalized (all science labs can work on the same project, regardless of which base they are in. The magic of internet and data sharing.) Production should be localized, so you would have production bases, with a practical limit as to how many people can work on something (simply throwing more people on something only works up to a point, especially when working on smaller things, like a rifle) Resources should be shared between bases with the logistics abstracted. Could be as simple as a connection/line between bases that simulates supply lines. Aliens could attack those lines damaging your supply lines, which would impart temporary maluses to the base (increased production time, staff morale penalty). Would make SAM sites more valuable and give your interceptors more to do - like chasing off enemy craft. Could even generate convoy defense missions.
  11. 3 points
    I regularly check these forums but rarely post; this thread’s title did make me take notice though, because I’ve been thinking along the same lines for a while. I bought into the earlier bold ideas for X2, and although they may have eventually proven to be unfeasible, I do feel a bit disappointed every time something is “rolled back”. Still, I’m sure Chris and co. will make something awesome. I suggested some ideas a while back for X1 that didn’t make the cut, but in the spirit of positive contribution, will throw them into the hat again My main idea is to have a new mission type where you’re exclusively controlling local forces. The situation could be something like an allied military bunker is under attack by aliens. There’s not enough time for the Xenonauts to get there, but there’s a radio link set up so you (the player) can command the local forces. Imagine controlling a large team troops armed with basic weapons (rifles, shotguns etc.) against a horde of Reapers. It could lead to great Aliens-esque missions. The odds of your team all getting wiped out are high, but in contrast to regular missions, it’s not a game over / rage quit situation if that happens. There are a lot of ways in which you could use this kind of a premise. Maybe if your troops hold the base’s hanger for x turns, then your main Xenonaut troops turn up as reinforcements and take the fight to the enemy. Or if the aliens take the radio room then you lose contact and it’s mission over. Basically, I think this could be a way of mixing up the gameplay as a sequel arguably should, and adding more variety in a way that hopefully isn’t a huge burden from the development side of things (i.e. it would use existing assets such as character models). Separate to this, secondary mission objectives that crop up unexpectedly (e.g. rescuing a civilian and carrying them back to the chopper) would add more variety to core missions too. I made a huge list of options in a forum thread what must have been literally years ago, but can’t find it now!
  12. 3 points
    I have to admit, I've been a little disappointed that X2 seems to be on a path to being X1 with a new lick of paint. I think that there needs to be some more emphasis on making the gameplay a bit different, especially with tactics in the combat missions (e.g. I really wish you would bring in crouching and prone position that affords greater bonuses for use of terrain and positioning, i.e. lower chance of getting hit and higher accuracy, at the expense of TU), some more tech like claymore mines, proximity mines, and individual additions to weapons like night scopes, grenade launchers, thermal imaging that you have to develop earlier in the game. In the strategy view, it would be great to turn the strategic op missions into a playable mission in their own right (including dealing with human collaborators). I'd also like to see bigger base maps with more tech like base defences, interrogation units etc.
  13. 3 points
    Also, given I perhaps went off a bit on a tangent there, it's worth mentioning a few specific points about the base mechanics and the air combat. Not sure if you read the associated threads but the base already supports individual scientist / engineer staff assignments to specific buildings, has a power system and we're going to be looking at adjacency bonuses for buildings in the future. In the air combat the interceptors have additional customisable components beyond just weapons and we're looking into adding cover to the battlefield in the form of clouds, adding several new weapons and AI behaviours, experimenting with hit and evade chances, having a "proper" autoresolve formula, etc. Whether you class that sort of stuff as sufficient improvement over X1 is up to you really; it's definitely evolutionary rather than revolutionary change and your mileage may vary. But as I've outlined in several recent posts on the topic it's necessary to first copy the X1 mechanics before you are able to start testing changes to them.
  14. 3 points
    I think it's a valid question to raise, and I'll probably write a longer post on the topic at some point because I imagine you're not the only person thinking this. I guess the question really boils down to what an individual considers sufficient innovation / gameplay change to be "different" to what came before. Over time the design Xenonauts 2 has drifted from being full of bold new ideas to something far more akin to the first game, which mostly happened as a result of those bold ideas colliding with reality and coming up short. The community has definitely played a role in our decision to move X2 closer to X1, but that could be interpreted either as hardcore fans hating change or just people flagging up new ideas that are outright worse than what they were replacing. Both of the changes you mention are in service of a deeper strategic layer than was originally planned in X2. I guess over time I've realised that that complexity in the tactical and strategic layers relative to other games in the genre pretty much IS Xenonauts; a lot of people liked Xenonauts 1 because the strategic layer was more freeform than the modern XCOM games and simplifying the strategy layer as we originally planned in X2 may not actually have been the adventurous choice given that is also what our main rivals have done. I've also found that the various mechanics in X-Com games are so heavily interconnected its difficult to change a major element without negatively affecting other parts of the game; having a simpler air combat model limits the Geoscape more than you might initially think. In general, I think within video games and the strategy genre in particular there's a proud tradition of sequels refining the original game without having to fundamentally change the mechanics. Civilisation II and Master of Orion II spring to mind, but something like Doom II also works for the comparison. If we deliver Xenonauts 1 with updated graphics, better stability and usability, address a number of the gameplay problems, add some new aliens / technology / other content and maybe a couple of well-chosen new gameplay systems to give players more options - is that not enough? Ultimately that's a question of personal taste, really. That said, I do feel bad for people who backed our Kickstarter or bought a pre-order on the basis of our bold promises about new features that have since changed; I think anyone in that situation has a legitimate case to argue they had been missold (which is why I'm happy to offer refunds to such people).
  15. 3 points
    I can guarantee you that dealing with runners and campers is a very lame experience. Do you know why people in ego-shooters dont like campers ? Exactly. If you get a good position the defender has all the advantages, while the attacker takes all the risks. Thats even more true in a game like Xenonauts where moving up to a position will cost you TU, and in the moment of the encounter you only have 50% of options left. Think about it like a camper camping for 30 seconds, and the first opponent wandering into his zone will be frozen in place for 30 seconds. Thats what it would be. Camping good defensive position and retreating when you are discovered would be the best tactical approach for the aliens, and the worst gameplay experience for the player. If there is a pacing issue, the map is too big, or the aliens too few. In X-Division we solve that problem that we divide every map into 3 distinct phases: 1. Fight on the map 2. Fight to get inside the UFO 3. Fight for the command room That creates a very nice pacing, since the aliens are so aggressive they will sooner or later find you will mean: 1. All aliens on the map will make a fast or slow approach towards you. Which means a firefight until you killed the last alien. 2.Break and safety until you enter the perimeter of the UFO 3. Once you engage the UFO the aliens will defend the UFO while taking maximum advantage of their defensive position (doors, etc ... ) 4. Break until the command room and relative safety. 5. Firefight in (into) the command room. 6. End of mission This creates a nice pace of firefight - break timings, where players mostly know what to expect. One of the core principles in X-Division. This stands in opposition to Xenonauts, where aliens could literally be anywhere and strike anytime. Making the player always having to advance slowly and methodically, which leads to the pacing problem.
  16. 3 points
    Mostly fine but the LMG before you sent the patch was useless, especially since it hardly ever actually caused suppression, let alone hit anything. Would be an idea to maybe make the LMG 50% of TU so if you're in cover you can actually put down some fire support. One paltry burst that neither hits anything or causes suppression is not what fire support weapons do. Also, the HEVY is even more useless. I know it's meant to clear cover, but not only does it fail spectacularly to do that, it's also wildly inaccurate. Finally, there should be an option to force troops not to take their overwatch shot if there is any chance of blue on blue.
  17. 3 points
    Nah, I've always said that I was willing to change my mind on the turn-based system. I just said I wasn't willing to change my mind on it until I'd tested it as much as was feasible (which I now have). I do still think there are some fundamental flaws in the X1 system so I'm a bit frustrated that I wasn't able to come up with something better, but there's no point being stubborn about it or trying to force change for the sake of change. That said, the one design aim I want to make clear before this discussion gets going is that I don't want to do anything that makes the air combat much slower than it already is. Having the player spend a few extra minutes tinkering with the loadout of their planes to see if they can fit a laser cannon on their Falcon without having to take the shield generator off is something I'm happy with, but having the actual combat require more micromanagement or having to swap out the pilots / tactics of your aircraft before you launch each mission is not. The "skill" should ideally be in creating loadouts and giving your planes general orders, rather than specifically micromanaging the behaviour of each aircraft during combat. @Charon thanks for the thoughts. I'm not sure if you're advocating for special types of clouds there, but I think we'll probably just stick with the one type. I don't think the system is complex enough to support multiple types of cloud with different effects even if special magic clouds made logical sense. The SPAZ component system you linked uses the same fundamental ideas as what I have in mind, but it seems way too complicated - although what you posted in your images lower down is a bit closer to what I envisioned. Anyway the danger with adding too much content to the air war is that it completely overwhelms the rest of the game and that's definitely something I want to avoid (also the available weapon slots have to align with what can realistically be shown in the Air Combat UI for each plane), however the component / slot system is pretty modular and modders can make something crazy complex if they want. The only limitation right now is that all planes share the same selection of slots, but that may well change in the future. With regards to pilots I'm just thinking that each aircraft gains experience in combat and can level up perhaps three or five times, and gains +Accuracy on its weapons and +Evade on the plane. The pilot isn't seperable from the plane and the pilot is killed if the plane is shot down. It's a fairly simple system but anything more complex is going to add an extra layer of complexity to the UI, and there's already going to be a lot more to display with the component system. Yes, some randomisation in the equipment of UFOs is something we're considering. In terms of the UFO goals in combat, I think you're going to struggle to have something like "deliver a supply run" or "terrorise a city" happen within the air combat - those are things that happen on the Geoscape. For that sorta stuff to be interesting you'd probably need a fixed battlefield with multiple UFOs and NPC air forces and defence turrets and stuff, otherwise your "choice" is always going to be to fly towards the UFO as fast as possible and shoot it down just like it is in all of the other interception missions. And that's probably beyond scope for vanilla X2.
  18. 3 points
    Hey people! I want to talk about weapon firing types (single, aimed, auto...) and how to make them realistic and more fun.. At X-Com type games, we got standard firing methods.. single, aimed and auto. Some weapons do not have all the options. It was nice for a while but now we got more options which can bring more action to the warzone. I wanted to add this to the open-xcom because X-1 did not allow me to mod so deeper. But i could not finish it at Open_Xcom because the balancing is very hard.Again but Phoenix Point will make it. We need to create more firing types and leave some old ones.. Let me discuss this per weapon type: Pistol: Pistols are ultra weak at every xcom game.. there is always much better option.. Why? At reality, many special forces are still using pistols but at games we could not simulate this.. we always bring bigger guns.. John Wick kills mostly with pistol.. So pistols are very fast weapons which easy to aim at short distances. We give single and aimed shot to the pistols and player should fire many times with very low acc. The result is, no more pistols, give me my rifle.. At gun fights, you mostly never go for single shot if you can't aim well because of being under fire. So single shot for pistol is meaningless. There should be something like autofire for pistols with good suppression at shot range. This shot could have a bad aiming but the reason to use it to create a suppression fire at short distances like inside a room. Aimed shot should have a very very good acc bonus at close range which you should miss very rare. Even if we need to go far, we need to have a "critical hit" mechanic with range included. So aimed pistol shot should have great aim and great critical chance but it should have bigger TU then we use. As TU usage, i say make auto and aimed nearly same TU (aimed could be a bit less as single shot). A player should able to fire 2 auto or 3 aimed pistol shot with full TU. Rifle: Our standard weapon at this genre.. everyone wants a rifle.. you can use at any situation. Short range, mid range.. as the playground is not so huge, it's the best weapon.. but it's not right. We got single shot with rifle.. i don' like that.. if you fire your rifle under fire, you use short bursts. So you use autofire as single shot at RL. For that reason, i don't like to have single shot at rifles. I think we need an auto shot and burst shot for rifles. Auto will fire 3 bullet and burst will go for 7 to 10.. so the auto will have a average aim and burst will have very bad aim with suppression. Aimed shot should not be for every "rifle".. you can make a special rifle type with only auto and aimed as it has a scope and you dont use it for burst. Rifle should have penalty at short ranges.. not so huge but it should be there.. so the player will need to take their pistol when he opened a door and saw an alien next to him. Or he will bring shotguns for those close encounters. Rifleman should be someone for support fire at a short distance.. Big guns: LMG.. so you will ask me about this when you read the rifle and how i give supp to it already. Suppression should be very important point for the battle. For us and for aliens. Alien AI should able to handle supp damage very well. Some of the AI should fire at you just to make supp and others should go for kill.. So LMG should have 2 burst type for sure.. like rifle.. An auto shot with 5-6 bullet and full burst with crazy supp. LMG should be used against armored bigger opponents. They need to destroy walls and covers.. LMG carrier soldier should take aim penalty if he moves that turn. If you are not Arnold, you just can't run and shoot someone with LMG's.. Sniper: One of the coolest weapon we just can't use good enough at standard xcom games because the play ground is so messy to put someone somewhere long range and use it to shoot aliens at close areas. Sniper rifles should have special aimed shots. They need to ignore covers somehow.. So they should able to hit very heavy on an alien under a window. Even a full cover would have some weakness as the alien will try to look. So when they pop their head, sniper will hit it. We need to simulate this. Those ideas need some game mechanics to use. I hope we can have some of it to able to give special tasks to every weapon. Thx!
  19. 3 points
    I had another thought when it comes to drop ships investigating crash sites and alien raids ... you know how after, I think, 20 turns or so on an alien city raid, the whole map would be displayed for you along with exactly where all the remaining aliens were / what they were doing? I'm thinking of a smaller scale, less approximate use of such a system of aerial surveillance, the trade-off being that you got results much sooner into the battle itself, but at a reduced value of certainty. Ugh, let me break it down into steps. 1) Drop ship lands in affected area. Cue drop ship some few feet off the ground, stabilizers & landing gear engaged, dust, leaves, sand, grass blowing around the LZ. Cue pilot headset chatter announcing landing, perhaps announcing something along the lines of 'LZ HOT ! or LZ COLD.' depending upon alien presence or lack thereof. 2) Soldiers encounter initial alien response, eventually contain threat, last soldier leaves drop ship or soldiers move a sufficient highlighted distance from drop ship. 3) Start of next turn, drop ship lifts off into the sky, cue pilot headset chatter, 'BIRD BACK IN THE AIR ...' or some such. 4) A turn or 2 later, pilot headset chatter, 'SCOUTING FOR UGLIES !' 5) 5 to 10 turns into mission. Pilot "We May Have Something Here. North Northwestern Grid, Unidentified Heat Signatures in (Forested Area, Open Area, Residential Area)." Or just skip the type of area description and end with 'unidentified heat signatures' and pan camera briefly to a small area unmasked from fog of war, with a red or orange outline of general area aliens may be lurking in. 6) Repeat this process every 5 to 10 turns if helpful / needed.
  20. 3 points
    @stewpidbear Depends upon the budget for art assets, I'd say. I can recover items from downed fighters as a Strategic Op. To minimise UI management, could the same be done for ordinary UFOs? You still get the option for getting a fixed amount immediately, or you can assign agents to oversee the cutting up of the UFO, and get a bonus to the artifacts rcovered, or possibly unique artifacts as a reward. Narratively, it could be described as either letting the funding bloc the ufo crashed in do most of the grunt work in removing the ufo, and paying a tithe in the form of alien artifacts tto the funding bloc, or assigning your own teams supervised by an agent - each agent assigned represents a Xenonauts team. I mean, is there any artwork for engineers/scientists that could be used so you can send engineers and/or scientists off to recover a UFO? That wold give people the option for complexity without having it forced upon them, similar to being able to airstrike a downed UFO instead of having to GC every ufo you come across.
  21. 2 points
    A (possibly) unintended result of having a global pool of staff as opposed to a local pool is that I've developed a 3rd type of specialised base after the Factory and the Research Institute - the Habitation Dome. By sticking all the living quarters in one base, I can create some startling efficiencies within my main base. I think it would be worthwhile looking at the consequence of what happens if a whole lotta living quarters were suddenly destroyed by a base raid. I also think it's worthwhile looking at specialised bases more deeply. At the moment, a specialised base consists of the same thing done over and over - the factory for workshops, the research institute for labs, the hab dome for quarters. the efficiencies gained are the concentration of staff and facilities in one place, instead of spread out everywhere. I was wondering whether it might be worthwhile examining the pros and cons of specialised bases and possibly deepening and broadening both pros and cons (perhaps specialised bases generate lots of noise that ufos pick up on? Perhaps factories generate pollution, and research institutes need more resources?)
  22. 2 points
    Is chaff or flares going to be an equipment option? It might make an interesting tactical option for combat if planes/ufo's had a limited quantity of decoys they could deploy against homing attacks. Maybe have an options slot that is configurable for a range of equipment. You could put extra weapons/missles in there, extra fuel tank, improved afterburner for a bigger bump in tactical speed, or ECM, ECCM packages. Would be a way to add more variety to the planes, as you could configure them differently for different sorts of missions. Having consumables for ECM, might give the player some tactical considerations. Do you want to decoy the small fast moving missle that you have less chance of avoiding otherwise but will do less damage or the big, slow moving torpedo that you can probably outrun if you turn away from, but will obliterate you if it hits?
  23. 2 points
    I have units with bravery over 100, and with half their TUs or more left(60-90/120+), a few steps out of the dropship, morale through the roof from taking out 6 dudes in one round, and still wind up with up to 5 Mind controlled without many issues. I'm pretty sure something's bugged out of control with it. You can just reload the save, though. Mind War turns off entirely, teleporters turn off, and you can't target any units until your next turn for...some reason.
  24. 2 points
    Yup. Maybe getting a bit off topic here, but I think Oblivion's horrible VA wasn't so much because the actors were bad (though some were IMO), but rather because there were so few voices. When every Orc in the game has the same voice, it's immersion-breaking. And that leads to the conclusion that quality VA is costly. If I imagine VA in Xenonauts, the idea is fine, but if the game only had 1 male and 1 female soldier voice, it would just detract from the atmosphere. Goldhawk is obviously a small studio, and while I'm sure they could record a few lines, they just couldn't afford VA that's even halfway immersive. Overall I really think X1 had a great amount of character for such a low-budget game. The art had a distinct style, the Chief Scientist was a great snarky character - a major writing achievement since the game's text was almost entirely research reports - and the soundtrack was pretty great. The visual design of aliens is the only major flaw of X1 atmosphere-wise.
  25. 2 points
    Eh, I'd advise against making the cells any smaller. If a binary either/or situation (I can use a burst, or I can keep shooting) is forced then the "choice" is lost. I personally believe it's better to encourage people to think it's a good idea to drain the cell rather than force a binary choice on them. I can pretty much predict when X2 goes early access, if the cell is any smaller it will be modded to be made larger.