Chris

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About Chris

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    London, UK
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    Project Lead, Xenonauts
  1. Welcome to the forums, Bobby. A lot of the regulars on the board will have played Jagged Alliance 2 and it's a game regularly quoted in suggestions for this game, and it's also something I've spent quite a bit of time with. I agree that it's a great game, but bear in mind that it's not exactly the same type of game as 1994 X-Com and not everything that was cool in JA2 will necessarily improve Xenonauts. My thoughts in brief - I think you should probably play Xenonauts 1 and possibly OpenXCom before you post up too much more. Most of the points that I agree with you on are already present in Xenonauts 1, whilst I think the points where I don't agree with you would be easier to understand if you'd played the game. Your post is too long to respond to in full, so just a few specific points I wanted to highlight... firstly, the main areas where X-Com / Xenonauts and Jagged Alliance games are different. In Jagged Alliance, you have to carry around all the equipment and supplies you will need for all the battles you will fight until you return to one of your own towns to resupply, whereas in Xenonauts you return to base after every single mission and re-arm. This means that a number of the systems in JA2 don't translate across well - e.g. things like jamming weapons makes sense when you are using the same varying quality weapons over the course of multiple days, but makes less sense if your squad are taking fresh weapons from an arms locker full of well maintained military-grade hardware before every mission. Similarly taking a realistic amount of ammo and grenades along in a Xenonauts mission would mean that the player would never run out of either, because every mission is a self-contained affair with only about ten minutes of actual combat ... whereas in JA2 you have to think about how much ammo / grenades to save for future battles, too. Also, much of the realism from JA2 is lost in a game about killing sci-fi aliens. It matters in JA2 whether you're using 5.56mm rifle with AP rounds or a 7.62mm rifle with hollowpoints, because those are real things that have predictable effects in the real world against human enemies. However, nobody knows what effect those rounds will have on a fictional alien, and it's actually not really worth thinking about in much detail because you'll have entirely replaced ballistic weapons with laser weapons 1/3 of the way through the game, etc. Secondly, I think you've made a few wrong assumptions about saving. JA2 by default uses a save system that allows you to save any time you want, or you can use an optional "Iron Man" mode which prevents you manually saving but automatically saves the game when you exit or after every major event (the idea being to make you live with your mistakes, but still allow you to shut down your computer). This "Iron Man" mode is probably what you're talking about - but it's not unique to JA2 and actually originally appeared in the X-Com series back in 1994, and is also already present in both Xenonauts and the new Firaxis XCOMs (and in both cases endorsed by the developers as the "correct" way to play the game). It's not anything particularly special to JA2 and thus I think you've extrapolated far too much from it. Ultimately I think you'll find a lot to like in the detailed combat systems of Xenonauts 1 and OpenXcom (which is an open-source update of the 1994 X-Com), but just be aware that we're trying to make an X-Com here game rather than a Jagged Alliance game. The two are close cousins but they aren't exactly the same.
  2. Rosen - I've removed your other posts because you don't need to ask the same question five times. Also, while I know that English isn't your first language, some of your later posts seemed to be quite aggressive. If you want a question answered then please just ask a question politely like everyone else, and you'll probably get an answer (although we're a busy team and we don't always answer immediately). Also, please only use the "Report Post" function to report offensive or spam posts. To answer your question - yes, the Geoscape is currently turn-based where each turn is one day. However we still have to make a final decision about whether we are going to keep this setup in the final game, because the real-time Geoscape from the first game certainly felt more immersive and responsive in certain ways. That's a decision we'll have to make when the game is more complete and we can properly test it, though.
  3. It's not fixed because it's impossible to fix in Xenonauts 1, unfortunately - I agree that the font size we picked was too small but the UI was designed around having font that size, so once we realised the mistake we found there's just no room to make it bigger without breaking the UI. Don't worry - there's been enough complaints about it that it's something we're definitely bearing in mind for the sequel.
  4. Yeah, so for the sake of clarity here (no doubt I'll lay this out again in a proper post later) the first draft of the Geoscape contains all of the same mission types as the original Xenonauts, so: Crashed / Landed UFO site Terror site Alien base attack Xenonaut base defence In addition, we now have the following new mission types working in the game: Capture resources (a mission where you have to pick up a couple of specific items and get them back to the dropship, currently used to recover Alenium) VIP Assassination / Capture VIP Rescue We're not currently using the VIP missions but we can hopefully integrate them later, as they are already fully functional - I just don't know where they fit into the strategy layer yet. In terms of the setting, we still have the whole "secret war" thing going on but ultimately I can write the final setting around the mission types we choose to include. We're getting close to having it functioning so you might see something soon. I'm a little reluctant to show it off though because it looks quite similar to the first Xenonauts even if the mechanics are somewhat different ... mostly because we re-used some of the same art to save prototyping time and have yet to properly replace it. I'm open to tweaking the Alenium system once it's in the game, but for now I'm planning to keep it fairly simple so the effects are predictable and I can evaluate it in semi-isolation. Once we know how all the new systems all work together we can try expanding them out and developing them further.
  5. This is actually something we're looking into this time around, although it'd be a relatively simple system that allows you to make minor changes to each piece of gear if you want to - e.g. do you want to pick a close combat scope for your rifle, or a long range one? Do you want extra ceramic plates in your armour to make your soldier tougher at the cost of lowering his TU? Do you want a rebreather on your helmet at the cost of reduced vision range? That sorta thing, hopefully.
  6. Both those things sound like you're asking for proximity grenades ... in which case, yes, we're planning to put them in the game. The idea I'm currently quite excited about is giving the player access to more fun tools that semi-break the game, and then use Alenium to limit them. Essentially Alien Alloys are required to build most types of advanced tech, but certain powerful technology also requires Alenium to use. Each recovered Alenium cell is basically a mini-reactor and isn't consumed when used, but you're limited by the amount of Alenium you can recover from the aliens. For example, if a Laser Rifle uses one Alenium and you've got two Alenium in the base stores, you can only take two Laser Rifles on any mission. If you build Predator armour and that also requires one Alenium to use, you've got to drop at least one of the Laser Rifles if you want to use a Predator suit. There's also a less powerful variant of most things (e.g. Wolf armour) that doesn't require Alenium to use but lacks the potentially unbalanced features. This means you can do some cool stuff without totally unbalancing the game - which was my big worry in the first game when thinking about adding "cool" tech. Maybe one of the armours grants the wearer the ability to instantly teleport into any (squad-sight) visible tile once per battle. Pretty powerful, right? But is it more powerful than a personal shield generator? Or a motion detector? Or a laser rifle? You've only got limited Alenium so you can't have it all. This feeds into the research choices too - is it really worth spending time adding an extra charge to the teleporter pack, even though only two of your troops can use them at any given time? Would it be better to research improved Wolf Armour so everyone has a slightly better chance of surviving the next plasma bolt in the face? Of course, there's a risk that in a few months I might have shelved the idea entirely - but hopefully this gives an example of how I feel we can make the game quite different without actually *fundamentally* changing the rules like we would have to if we made all the characters unique.
  7. Oh, there'll be plenty of new stuff to play with too - it'll just be within the confines of a fairly familiar game rather than dramatically changing the mechanics
  8. It's definitely something we can consider. It's pretty easy to change between both ways of doing it, it's just a question of whether more players prefer to have the alien gear sold automatically or whether they'd like to do it themselves from the base stores at a later date!
  9. Happy new year everyone! Hope you all had a great Christmas / festive season! We've been back at work for roughly a week now, so it's time for a quick update on what we've been working on recently and will be working on in the near future. Development Status: The game is continuing to progress towards being feature complete. Our priority is to have a working skeleton of the game that you can play from start to finish, albeit with obvious gaps where there is missing content (missing aliens / research art and descriptions / not enough maps / etc). I've played a lot of "Early Access" games recently and that definitely seems to be the expectation these days - people need something they can properly play, even if there's missing content because there are only a few maps / a limited number of characters / etc. If you've not been following the project in much detail, here's where we currently are: the public builds show that the ground combat missions already have all of the fundamental mechanics in place. They're still a bit rough and there are a number of non-critical features that still need to be finished ... but in most cases you can have a nice little battle with the aliens without there being any game-breaking issues. The strategy layer has a Geoscape that spawns UFOs / ground missions, interceptors that can be used to shoot down those UFOs (with autoresolved air combat) to make crash sites, a base where you can build structures and house your staff and soldiers, a screen where you can hire new staff, base stores that log all the items recovered from battle, an armory screen where you can equip your soldiers, and a working research tree that unlocks new tech and awards items / pops up a research report when the research project is complete, etc. So lots is already working but it's definitely feels less "complete" than the ground combat. The join between the strategy layer and the ground combat is somewhat complete. It correctly loads the big things like the appropriate mission objective / map / aliens / Xenonauts / equipment loadouts when you start a ground mission, and we're also at the stage now where the models are correctly displaying the appropriate gender, ethnicity and hair colour to match the portrait. However, tracking of other important things (e.g. post-battle item recovery and soldier XP gain) is not yet functional. The TL;DR here is that we're close to having a skeleton of the entire game working that can be played from start to finish. Sure, it'll be missing a lot of content and non-essential features, but it would still mark a big milestone for the project and it's really not too far away. Design Update: The development process for Xenonauts-2 started with a lot of big ideas about how we could change all sorts of things in almost every area of the game, but over time the design has pulled back closer to original game. Generally we implement some cool new totally features that we're really excited about, but after a few months of experimentation we usually end up picking a few bits we like and then merging them back into the old Xenonauts 1 system instead. I think this works out pretty well. A good example of this is the "unique character" system we were talking about a few months ago, where every person you hire was a unique character who could fill any role in your organisation (as they had a competency score in everything from combat to research). I won't bore you with the reasons why that turned out to be less awesome than it sounded, but it did - so the result has been for us to move the design back towards having separate soldiers, scientists and engineers whilst retaining elements of the "unique character" system. Basically, your staff all have a competency score for their role and you can hire them based on "templates" that control their starting stats - e.g. soldiers have Riflemen or Snipers or Assault templates (likely available at different veterancy levels) etc, all of which have different starting stats or traits that make them better suited to that role. Similarly if you want to hire a scientist, you can choose a talented scientist who costs more but produces more science per turn vs. a cheaper one who is less competent. Essentially it's the Xenonauts 1 system of recruitment but expanded to allow you more strategic choices and more control over who you hire. Several other areas have expanded in a similar way, although for the sake of brevity I won't list them all here. Whilst certain things have been dropped and other things have been shifted around, in many ways the picture taking shape isn't dramatically different to the first Xenonauts. I suspect if some of the people who ragequit the forum during the idea discussion phase had stayed the course they would have been quite pleased to see the way the game is turning out; I think we're going to end up with the classic Xenonauts feel but with improved graphics, a more cohesive setting, more varied ground missions and a number of new / more complex Geoscape systems that will allow you a bit more freedom about how you approach the strategy side of things. I'm looking forward to showing some stuff off in the next few months when we finally launch our Kickstarter and then launch on Early Access. There's still quite a lot of development work left to do, but it's not long until the community can start pre-ordering and getting properly involved in the process. Lots to look forward to in 2018 then!
  10. Thanks for the feedback Thixotrop!
  11. Thanks for the comments, guys. We'll log it all to be fixed for the 2018 builds.
  12. This version of Xenonauts 2 is a free public test build, released free because it is still an early build and we don't yet think we can justify charging for it; full details on where to get the build can be found in this thread. This is a second hotfix for Build V0.15.0 which we released a week ago. It contains a few crash fixes, some usability fixes, and extra destructible assets. CHANGELOG: (Hopefully) fixed a crash linked to grenades. (Hopefully) fixed the issue where aliens were being spotted by your soldiers, but movement was not being correctly interrupted. Removed the "Friendly Turn", as there were no friendlies and it was slowing things down. Added some new damaged states for the various props inside the military base. Explosion sprites are now correctly aligned with the camera. Trees should appear correctly in the map - they were just invisible before! The starting squad now have names rather than callsigns. Please post up any issues you experience or any other comments in this thread. This is going to be our last build for the year, as two of the coders have now departed for their holidays and the rest of us will be drifting off over the next week and a half. We'll all be hard back at work on 2nd January - I hope everyone has a wonderful festive season and we'll bring you some new content in the new year!
  13. Late January or early February next year, I'd have thought
  14. Thanks for the report, Spad. We'll see if we can find and fix that grenade crash. Yes, you're right about the map edges. They are meant to be hidden by the fog of war ... but now the fog of war is itself hidden by default, so I can see why that is confusing. We'll need to find a new way of marking those tiles as impassable I think!
  15. We were toying with something like this internally over the past few months, but there are problems. Other posters have mentioned them already but the main two are: It's pretty fiddly to allow the player to manually target specific areas, so the system needs to add a lot of gameplay to be worthwhile. It's rarely actually an interesting choice - you generally want a headshot if your soldier is accurate enough to reliably hit them, or a torso shot if they're not. There is potentially something to be said for a randomised location damage roll, where each shot has a set chance to hit the body / head / limbs etc, because it does allow you to have armour that covers specific areas of the body and also allows you to add perks etc that boost the chance of hitting a headshot. Ultimately though if the player can't choose where the shot is aimed then some of the potential value is lost - if you hit three shots on a Sebillian's legs and destroy all his armour there, it'd be annoying if your super-skilled-up sniper with all the +headshot perks then has a 0% chance of hitting the legs. That is mitigated a little if you use an even simpler system with locational damage split between just head / body, because the damage multiplier on a headshot can be high enough that a headshot is *always* better, even against intact armour ... but then what you have is a fairly simple critical hit system dressed up in different clothing (although that's not necessarily a bad thing). It would certainly be another tool to allow us to differentiate between the different types of Xenonaut weapons, e.g. between rifles and sniper rifles.