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Chris

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Chris last won the day on June 8

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About Chris

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    London, UK
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    Project Lead, Xenonauts
  1. Chris

    I loved it so much :(

    Yeah, the X2 air combat in the current builds is indeed terrible but it's nowhere near finished and so it's impossible to make a proper comparison with the finished X1 air combat right now. The next build of X2 has quite a substantial air combat upgrade coming. It's still not yet as complete as the X1 air combat you're comparing it to, but it's certainly an improvement over previous builds. In any case we can always revert to the X1 model if we want to, but honestly I think the X2 model is a much better foundation for an air combat system.
  2. I mentioned in an earlier post that we're reverting the teleporting Skyranger change. If all goes well it'll fly around on the Geoscape like it did in X1 from the next build onwards.
  3. Well, the shooting (and camera) mechanics in the game are much better suited to fighting along a horizontal plane rather than a vertical one. Line of sight and shooting between different vertical levels is always a bit of a nightmare in this sort of game. Additionally, a side-on base view would lead to a map that was rather narrow ... a top-down base has no depth but plenty of length and width, whereas a side-on base would have plenty of length and depth but not much width. It'd be a lot like fighting in several corridors stacked on top of one another. So you're right that it wouldn't actually be impossible, but I think the results of a base map generated from a side-on layout would be a lot worse than one generated from a top-down layout.
  4. Yeah, so this discussion sort of explains why we shouldn't try to implement multiple dropships right now - we need to nail down exactly what that means first. If the personnel that can be assigned to the dropship remain global, multiple dropships becomes a far simpler task (in some ways it's actually easier than having to special-case the existence of a single dropship but still allow it to be replaced if shot down etc), but I'm not sure everyone would consider that a valid implementation.
  5. As I said, supporting multiple dropships like in X1 is something we may end up adding before development is done but it's a bigger task with more knock-on effects than most people realise so I don't want to tackle it right now. For example, it involves: Quite a substantial code rewrite, as the code currently assumes that there's only ever one dropship Some UI changes, because you'd need to specify which dropship to use each time you launch a ground mission Potentially some changes to the Armory screen so you can manage soldier assignments to the dropship (although as soldiers aren't permanently assigned to dropships like they were in X1, this might not be too bad) More problematic would be not having a global pool of personnel, which would also be required if you want to have the full X1 system of only being able to assign soldiers to dropships stationed that the same base: This makes the more in-depth building assignment system a bit of a pain, because you have to make sure the scientists / engineers you want to assign to a particular base are already in the correct base You need an additional UI screen (or element) for shuffling staff between bases Strategic Operations become much more awkward, because travel time is calculated from the closest base but obviously in that case you'd only be able to assign soldiers from that base to that strategic operation - which means you'd need to have more soldiers at each base, rather than having a group of operatives specialised for a particular task able to operate globally - which potentially runs the risk of making strategic operations an annoying exercise in micromanagement rather than something interesting You've also got problems when a Strategic Operation recruits staff - what base do they go back to? What if the base where the team were dispatched from doesn't have any living capacity? etc Sure, we could work around these problems if we wanted to, but it would definitely be a lot of work. It's therefore not something I want to do as part of the main batch of changes as we don't yet know exactly how big a role the base staff assignment system or the strategic operations will play in the game. If we wait a few more months, some of the problems might solve themselves.
  6. Chris

    kickstarter reward

    Hi - yeah, we've not imported all the character data into the game yet. Sorry about that, it'll be in place for the Early Access launch though. We'll send out a Kickstarter message when it's ready. Everyone will also be given a code that will allow you to spawn your soldier into the starting squad so you get to use it in every game you play!
  7. Something I’ve said repeatedly throughout the development of Xenonauts-2 is that the changes to the first game are experiments to be tested and evaluated, and discarded if they don't represent a clear improvement on what they replaced. After several months of testing, I've come to the conclusion that the single-base system isn't a clear improvement over the classic Xenonauts / X-Com base mechanics, and so we should revert to the classic mechanics. However, we’ve been using the side-on base screen as a key piece of our promotional art for several years and a lot of people have given us money in that time. We therefore want to ask the views of the community on this issue – I suspect the community will be in favour of this change, but we don't know that for certain. To give your opinion, please answer the poll below: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1tuPzDGrFfAGPRsKR6LrfKE5HpM8ToD0bY1K9vV1RGCA The detail of the changes and the reasoning behind them is explained below. Top View vs. Side View: Reverting to the classic mechanics would also involve reverting the Base screen to a top-down view (left), rather than the current side-on view (right). We recently solved a technical problem that was making it impossible to generate the custom base defence tactical maps that mirror the layout of your base, so now we can have those cool X-Com style base defence missions. However, those maps obviously can’t be generated from a side-on base layout and therefore we’ll need to switch back to the top-down view to support this. The other factor is that the top-down view better supports aircraft and Hangars. The single-base system doesn’t allow you to construct Hangars and house aircraft at your main base, but in the classic setup you would be able to and that causes several problems with a side-on view (connecting Hangars to the surface, side-on art for all the aircraft, etc). Single-Base vs. Multi-Base: Under the classic multi-base system all Xenonaut bases would be treated the same. All bases would appear on the Geoscape and posesss a 6x6 building grid onto which any structure can be placed. Radars and Hangars built on the grid define the detection range of the base and the aircraft that are housed there. Although there were advantages to the single-base setup (e.g. limiting the construction space available to player brought the space-efficiency of buildings into play) overall I think the freedom offered by the classic mechanics is fundamentally more interesting to most players. One of the main reasons why we initially went for the single-base setup was to support other planned strategic mechanics, most of which have changed during developement and some have been dropped entirely. It's therefore now it's the multi-base setup that better supports the strategic mechanics (although some tweaks are still necessary as detailed below). For example, alien retaliation missions where UFOs seek out and attack your bases work better when you have “proper” bases were you can build defensive turrets and so forth, rather than the simpler airbases you get under the single-base system. Classic Mechanics Changes: Although broadly similar, the planned implementation of the multi-base system isn’t completely the same as the system in Xenonauts 1. Firstly, there two new features that already exist in X2 which will be retained in the move back to the classic mechanics: Base Power: each base will need enough power capacity to operate all of its structures Staff Assignments: certain structures beyond the standard Labs and Workshops require scientists / engineers to operate We're also making a couple of simplifications to the mechanics in other areas. Personnel and Base Stores are global across all bases (assume the bases are linked by alien-derived translocator gates) The Xenonauts only have one troop dropship at a time We may in the future implement these changes too, but they interact awkwardly with the new Strategic Operations mechanics and the upgrades we have planned for them ... and also just represent a lot of extra code and UI work for questionable gain. As such, we're going to leave them out for now and make a final decision on whether to include them later in development based on what form the rest of the game takes. So, those are the proposed changes - what do you think? Please vote in our poll to let us know how you feel about the change, even if you don't really care either way (there's an option for that!)
  8. So there's several changes that we've made / got planned as a result of this feedback. Clicking on a weapon image activates fire mode for that weapon - I think this came out in Hotfix V5.1, right? It's in the dev build and it certainly makes things feel nicer to me. Potentially adding an icon for the equipped weapon for each soldier under their portrait Potentially showing the selection circle around the appropriate soldier model when you mouse hover over a portrait, so you can see where the soldier is standing in the world without selecting them (if they're on screen) Potentially adding an icon to the TU and HP bars, to make it more obvious which is which Adding tooltips to all the buttons etc (this something planned for the strategy too, we've just not got round to it yet) Show the soldier stats somewhere, either on their Inventory screen like in X1 or through some kind of icon
  9. Either 2 or 3 weeks. I've just posted an update on the Development Update forums, but we're knee-deep in a bunch of changes to the Air Combat so we need to finish them up before the next build goes out.
  10. Hello everyone - we've just gone into June and there's not been much news coming out of Goldhawk HQ recently, so I thought I'd write a quick forum update to keep everyone informed about our progress. We released our last update just over two weeks ago, which was a big hotfix for Closed Beta V5 and fixed quite a few of the stability issues we had in V5. Since then we've moved back to adding content and features to the game. We've already finished up a few features that will be in the next update such as the Crash Site airstrike mechanic that was in the original Xenonauts, the recovery of strategic items from specific ground combat tiles (e.g. a UFO Power Core grants you Alenium unless you destroy it), and the soldier management system that means you can no longer assign soldiers to multiple tasks that should be mutually exclusive (being in an airborne dropship, being on a Strategic Operation, being wounded, etc.) However, we're also starting work on some bigger tasks. We're updating the Air Combat to make it deeper but at the same time less fiddly - we're doing this by adding some new mechanics, but automating a lot of the clicking the current air combat requires you to do. Although you can pause the combat and issue your interceptors detailed manual orders if you choose, the new model of the air combat will automatically play itself out in the same way that the air combat in the original Xenonauts did. However, as the combat is now turn-based there's less reliance on split-second timing on your pauses. Anyway, I'll explain all the changes in more detail when the next major update arrives! As you can see from the example above, we're also working on adding new art to the game. In recent months we've brought on some new freelancers to start painting up the final art assets for the game and this is starting to bear fruit. These are some of the final art assets that are working through the pipeline: Strategic UFO Artwork Strategic UI Backgrounds (in full 21:9 glory) Weapon Inventory Art Alien Autopsy & GC Corpse Art Soviet Town terror maps This is being coupled to some new gameplay content as well. We've created some new props for the UFO interiors so they're more interesting to play through, and I've updated the UFO crews so there's a better sense of progression through the game - the alien crews get bigger and better equipped as time goes on, and once the larger UFOs start appearing you could be facing Psyons, Sebillians, Wraiths or Androns each time a combat mission spawns. The balancing isn't final by any means but it's another step closer to being finished. I've also taken some inspiration from what we did in X1 with the UFO crews, and added several new variants of each alien. For instance, there are now unarmoured Sebillian non-combatants (pilots / engineers / etc) that spawn inside UFOs and only have pistols, rather than every Sebillian being a well-equipped soldier. This process is more complete for some races than others (the Androns in particular are short on variation) but once some of the new alien variant models start appearing I think we'll have a more varied set of aliens than we did in the first game. We'll also hopefully have a bit more of the writing done by the time the next major build arrives. The tech tree is starting to solidify and I'll be starting to put more attention into the research reports now we have more idea of how things might slot together in the final game. There's some other cool things in the works but I'm starting to run out of space so I'll save them for the update announcement. Sorry for the lack of communications on the forums recently; unfortunately I've just been working too hard to spare the time!
  11. Chris

    Ground Transports

    Welcome to the forums. I hadn't actually considered the idea of ground-based dropships in Xenonauts, but I'm not sure they'd be a great fit for the game. I seem to recall X-Com Apocalypse had them, right? They seem like quite a cool addition in a smaller-scale city-level game like that was, but we'd have to do a lot of work with the pathfinding for a ground vehicle on the dropship that we don't have to worry about when we use planes (i.e. not being able to cross seas, marking specific areas of the Geoscape as being difficult terrain) and I don't really feel like they'd add much to the gameplay experience. Plus designing and modelling a new transport vehicle and getting it set up in every type of combat terrain etc is quite a bit of work I'd rather avoid if possible
  12. Thanks for your thoughts - it's not so much a temporary kuldge as a system designed to operate in a somewhat different design to the one it's found itself in. The intention is that soldiers only grab their equipment from the Armory when they get on the dropship and fly off on a mission rather than retaining it at all times like the do in the first Xenonauts, but yeah there's potentially some unintuitive design happening with the role being on the slot rather than the soldier. However right now the system is at least passably functional so it's a lower priority than some of the other work we're doing!
  13. Thanks. I'll take a look at these tiles tomorrow, it's likely just a mis-set value on their properties.
  14. Thanks. Next time this happens, please save the game and provide us the save - it's kinda hard to figure out what might be causing it without being able to see it for ourselves!
  15. That was the original plan. yeah, but we're now planning to add a dropship upgrade project that increases the carrying capacity of the drosphip in the relatively near future. We just need to do a few updates to the dropship screen in order to support this first.
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