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Chris

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Chris last won the day on August 13

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About Chris

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    London, UK
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    Project Lead, Xenonauts
  1. Chris

    mod me a 2x2 / 3x3 unit

    I strongly suspect this will require a bit of support from the Community Edition team if it is to happen, because the pathfinding may not support it by default and there's also some game logic issues that have to be worked through - e.g. where does the vehicle spawn if it is too big to spawn in the dropship, where is it stored in the base, etc? I'm sure modders can come up with answers to those questions easily enough, but someone needs to tweak the code to support the new functionality and that's where a Community Edition coder will be needed.
  2. Chris

    Tough Love

    Yeah, it's much more helpful if you can summarise your views in text because it takes me 11 minutes to watch a 11-minute video but I can read most forum posts in less than 2 minutes when I get a few moments of downtime during the day. Just makes it much easier for me to digest the information around my other work. If some of your concerns are about balancing, then don't worry too much about those - we've not even started balancing the game yet. I've just dumped in a bunch of the X1 values and given the aliens loads of HP because they currently have incredibly basic AI. (EDIT - moved the thread because it's about Xenonauts 2 rather than Xenonauts 1.)
  3. It's unlikely we'll be revising the designs of the aliens significantly, other than creating new variants of the existing ones with additional armour etc. In an ideal world everyone would like the designs for the aliens we make, but art direction is quite subjective and therefore it's difficult to "fix". That's quite an old image though, and there have been a few tweaks since - the Sebillian armour is less purple now, for example. The reason these changes were made is because the original Xenonauts was (rightly) criticised for having aliens that did not look particularly alien and all looked very similar to one another. That's because they were all humanoids with similar proportions and only slightly different appearances. This is problematic for the player in gameplay terms - e.g. if it's not immediately obvious that an Andron is a robot, the player won't know that trying to suppress it is a bad idea - but it also just makes the game less atmospheric. Hence our new designs being a bit more obviously different from one another ... but this does come at the cost of our aliens being less realistic than before. The Firaxis XCOM is not a very helpful point of comparison here though, as we were making a spiritual successor to the original X-Com from 1994. The aliens in that were weird as hell - the Sectoids have MASSIVE heads, the Ethereals are just floating orange robes, there's even just a floating pink kidney as one of the aliens. Strange looking aliens have been an expected feature of the genre since well become Firaxis made the first XCOM. (EDIT - ignore me, the little Psyon is in the original image.)
  4. Thanks for the thoughts. Yeah, the first two points are already somewhat addressed by our new 3d engine ... and the third point is something we really should add in, even if it's a toggled visual mode so it's not always displayed.
  5. Thanks everyone!
  6. There's local forces in the ground combat; it would be cool to have some local forces aircraft in some of the air combats too. Hard to imagine it happening in the average interception but perhaps it's something we could include in the aerial terror sites that appeared late in X1, as it'd also make those missions feel larger and more impressive too.
  7. Chris

    Xenonauts 2 Development Overview

    Don't feel bad about it. I think my posts have only got more tired / hostile because I am tired right now. Preparing a Kickstarter, then running a Kickstarter, then dealing with all the admin after the Kickstarter is pretty exhausting work ... and on top of that I've been planning a wedding and trying to line up enough work for everyone in the company to keep them busy while I'm off on my honeymoon. Plus trying to work my normal job. So if I'm sounding grumpy, it's most likely not the fault of you or anyone else on the forums Ultimately we derive a huge amount of value from these forums and I as a developer have to take the rough with the smooth - people aren't always going to be singing my praises, and sometimes people post unhelpful things. You yourself have proved that those people are often just otherwise helpful people who have jumped to the wrong conclusions, and with a bit of a nudge will return to being helpful members of the community. I don't agree with your views 100% but other than a few rash posts a few weeks ago you've been contributing valuable thoughts to all the various design discussions along with many of the other regular community members. Posting all your plans up for discussion can definitely backfire if people are more interested in posting knee-jerk reactions than constructive debate (and it's definitely a frustrating thing to experience as a developer), but it's still absolutely worth it overall. Sure, I've had the same argument about XCOM about a dozen times in the last couple of months, but these forums have also helped highlight a bunch of potential issues in the game design - e.g. the discussions on the soldier inventory have been useful to help me realise that some of my proposed changes were probably not a good idea. No doubt there'll be more of that in the future, but I'll happily trade a few hours of short-term frustration for a better game.
  8. Chris

    Xenonauts-2: Soldiers

    The original post has now been updated to reflect the fact that the soldier inventory in Xenonauts-2 will now function much more like they did in the original Xenonauts (i.e. the backpack will now be present etc).
  9. I'm glad the overall response has been largely positive to the basic idea. We're hoping to implement the basic mechanics in the game in the coming month and once all the fundamentals are working (it'll probably take a while to iron out all the bugs) then we can start to look at all the different ways the system could be expanded or better integrated with the rest of the game. Thanks for all the suggestions. There's a lot of good stuff here and once we've all got a better idea of how it plays we can see what best applies.
  10. I'm actually going to close and lock this thread now, because I feel like the intended discussion has run its course - I've made a decision on the updated mechanics and written them into the development plan and updated the master Soldier design post accordingly. Thanks to everyone that contributed to the discussion, as hearing all the different viewpoints allowed me to see all the different sides of the argument and weigh them up against each other. This is what I've decided to do: Secondary slot will be implemented as in my original post Six Belt slots will be shown, replacing the grenade / ammo quickslots. These will only arrive when we do the UI update for the ground combat. Squad view will be implemented as in my original post The backpack will return, except it'll be 3x6 instead of 4x5 The Armory panel on the right will now always be present like in Xenonauts 1 - but we'll also add some contextual filtering that makes it easier to navigate, so if you click on the Secondary slot it only shows the items that can go in the Secondary slot, etc. Soldiers will all start with the same Strength, and will not gain Strength in combat. This means that the carrying capacity for all soldiers is the same. In summary, many of my ideas were outright improvements over what we had in Xenonauts 1 and were not at all controversial - e.g. the Secondary slots and the Squad view. However on reflection I think I went too far when I decided to remove the soldier backpack, as the advantages it brought were not enough to cancel out the loss of freedom for the player. The weight system isn't perfect, but it does already punish over-equipped soldiers fairly effectively. We will therefore be returning to the X1 mechanics for the backpack and the Armory panel. The main change to X1 is that soldiers will now all have the same carry capacity. This makes life much easier when equipping soldiers as you don't have to tweak the equipment of a soldier after every mission (because they've gained Strength) and every time you equip a new loadout. It also means you don't get to escape difficult decisions about how to equip your soldiers just because your veterans have carried a heavy backpack around on a few missions and now have the Strength to carry whatever they like. It's possible this is something we'll change and improve as development continues (e.g. perhaps you could train a soldier in Strength to improve their carry capacity) but for now we'll implement the simple system where all soldiers have the same Strength and see what the feedback is on that during the closed beta.
  11. Yeah, it's something on the "nice to have" list but I'd definitely like to do it. To be honest the whole morale system is pretty undercooked in Xenonauts and I'll be revisiting it in the polishing phase of the game to see if I can make it more interesting and a bit less random.
  12. Psionics are something I'd like to explore for Xenonauts-2, but it's something I'm not really thinking about now - it's one of those "icing on the cake" things I'd think about introducing in the final stages of development when I can afford to spend a bit of time tinkering with the ideas and see how well they work. It's notoriously hard to implement psionics as anything more interesting than purple mind bullets without breaking the game; lots of ideas sound really cool but break down a bit when you start to figure out exactly how they might work in the game. I think they need to be tied more closely into the morale system - perhaps morale could even be your "mana" for casting psionic abilities, because it's exhausting and stressful using them. But I'm going to put psionics out of my mind until all the core features are done and the game is fun to play.
  13. Drages is right that we will be supporting multiple ammo types this time around; it's not something I think we'll make much use of beyond the grenade launcher and tazer rounds for the shotgun, but modders should be able to make more use of it. But I think the overall damage type (e.g. kinetic, laser, chemical, etc) is set on the weapon rather than the ammo at the moment; maybe we can add an override for it or something later in development. That openXCom solution for the ammo seems sensible, yeah - it's essentially what I was already planning to do, which is to make stun damage a property of the existing damage type rather than a damage type in its own right. To give a brief response to the original post you made: I'm not sure we're going to support multiple damage types for weapons out of the box; we don't have any real use for it and it might make the UI rather more complex. Possibly something to note down for the "extra modder support" feature wishlist though. For the armour stuff, I think you'll need to explain that in a bit more detail because I'm not quite following the numbers you posted. At the moment armour can be set to provide a flat HP bonus and also a % resistance against specific damage types, but it can't be set to give a flat damage reduction. Again, I think it's going to be tough to display five or six damage types and have a % reduction AND flat reduction for each. Probably not something to put in the base game but could be something we do to as part of the extra modder support. At the moment there's no support for armour degradation, because I didn't figure out a good way of handling the degradation across the different damage types. But we can just have a master condition % for the armour that gets reduced whatever type of damage you shoot the target with, so if your armour normally has 80% Ballistic and 60% Chemical resistance, at 50% condition it has only 40% Ballistic and 30% Chemical resistance. We can easily display the condition % for the armour on the ground combat inventory panel too. Regarding the weapons, you already can do pretty much all of that except for giving weapons a damage boost / drop over distance. Regarding crouching / aiming - yeah, this isn't something you can customise and I'm not sure I consider it as important as the other stuff. We can talk about it later in development but it seems more niche than the other points you've raised.
  14. Chris

    Xenonauts-2: Modding

    So we're hoping to have the tools ready for you to start doing the translations late in the closed beta - but this is more so that translators can test the tools and make sure everything that needs to be changed (e.g. all the UI text strings) are working. We'll be changing the research text right up to the end of the Early Access, so I guess the final translation work probably shouldn't start until closer to a month before release unless you're willing to keep tweaking them every time I update the wording of the research report descriptions etc.
  15. So for roughly the next month (until late August) I'm only going to be logging onto this forum occasionally - and I'll be responding to emails and direct messages much more slowly than normal. Why? I'm getting married next week, and then I'm going to be heading off on my honeymoon for a couple of weeks a few days afterwards. The rest of the team will still be busily working away in my absence, but I won't be around to do the usual community management stuff. If you see people on the forums asking questions for the devs and getting annoyed that they're not getting a response, please point them to this thread! I'm very much looking forward to having a holiday - I'm sure those of you here who are married will know all to well how stressful it is to organise a wedding, and to do all that while also running a Kickstarter campaign and doing all the planning required to keep Goldhawk running for a month has been pretty exhausting! It'll be nice to have a couple of weeks to chill out before I come back and have to start worrying about the upcoming closed beta I don't have time to write a proper dev update unfortunately, but these are a few of the things we're planning to be working on in the next month: Finishing up the realtime Geoscape and interceptor / UFO movement etc Adding the basics of the new air combat prototype into the game Adding the soldier backpack allowing units to switch weapons in combat Making units drop their equipment on death, and allowing soldiers to pick things up from the ground Some upgrades to the ground combat AI Adding few unique weapons (e.g. combat shield) and weapon properties (lasers recharging their clips, etc) Adding explosive terrain objects / units that can explode on death Getting the MARS vehicle working properly in the ground combat (crushing things, exploding when destroyed, not screaming when shot, etc) Rewriting the unit movement logic so you can move multiple soldiers simulatenously A bunch more fixes / updates to the map editor to help us support semi-randomised maps I'm sure I'll be brimming with enthusiasm when I get back, and hopefully most / all of the above will be waiting for me when I do!
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