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About Chris

  • Rank
    Beloved Leader


  • Location
    London, UK
  • Occupation
    Project Lead, Xenonauts
  1. 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 hotfix for our previous release; the new features in that release are listed here: CHANGELOG: Fixed the "screen flipping" issue that caused people playing on lower graphics settings to have the game display inverted. Fixed some random crashes linked to changing the graphics settings of the game. Fix Reapers not having weapons, so being unable to attack. Fix a number of alien animation issues, most noticeable on the Psyon drone. Aliens no longer have visible outlines when hidden by the shroud during the alien turn. Xenonauts no longer occasionally turn invisible when the aliens start performing actions. Disable developed debug commands (e.g. pressing "T" no longer refills your unit's TUs etc) Hopefully this will bring V0.14.0 to a fully playable state, but please let us know if you're experiencing any further issues!
  2. Looks like another hotfix is going to be needed - there's a problem on lower graphics settings where the screen ends up being inverted, plus some other issues too. We'll hopefully put out a patch today or tomorrow at the latest.
  3. Yes, this definitely needs to be put in a tutorial.
  4. 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 will be the last free build for a while (we predict 6-8 weeks) as we are pausing the releases to allow us to finish the strategy / ground combat merge. The more work we do on the merge, the more difficult it is to release standalone ground combat missions - they are becoming increasingly reliant on the strategy layer, as the changelog below will probably illustrate! Additional details on our plans are in this thread here: CHANGELOG: We've added local forces to the game (although they only appear on large UFO maps). They don't really have proper AI yet so they'll just stand there like a turret and shoot at nearby aliens, but it's good to have them loading into maps correctly etc. There's a new highlighting method that highlights individual tiles from multi-tile objects, so targeting a road no longer lights up the whole 5x5 section but just the 1x1 tile under your cursor. It's also got a funky visual effect on it which I'm not completely sold on ... but it's fine for now. "Miss" grenades no longer hit adjacent cover when thrown The red ammo counter text for an empty weapons now changes back to white once reloaded We've fixed a hang when the grenade launcher soldier blows himself up Unfortunately the mission end debrief screen is gone - it's now part of the strategy layer, because that's where most of the persistent soldier / item data is stored after the merge. FUN STUFF THAT EXISTS BUT CAN'T BE SEEN: Soldier portraits are working and providing a lot of cool facial and ethnic randomisation for both genders, but sadly you can't see them because the soldier data is stored on the strategy layer. Multi-level LOS and climbing up ladders is now working, but with our urban maps not yet finished you can't playtest that either. Most of the work this last couple of weeks has been on assets rather than game logic. The soldier portraits were initially a problem because they have so many layers that they took up a ridiculous 8GB of memory when we first put them in the game, which necessitated implementing a sprite packing system to get that down to a more manageable 100MB or so. That took a few days to set up, though. Then we were onto the climbing and multi-level LOS stuff, which involved hooking up the climb animations and getting them to transition and move properly (animations are always time-consuming in our action system). The multi-level LOS had some additional implications for targeting, because suddenly the cursor has to deal with lots of objects on different levels that can be blocking each other due to the camera perspective. Getting the local forces / civilians into the game also required work with regards to spawn points, adding a new AI "player" turn, and fixing crashes and other issues when unarmed units were spawned. Lots of work. I've also done a lot of work on the strategy layer again and I'm pretty happy with the progress I've made on the design. It's been really hard to retain all the key elements of the X1 strategy layer but also add more choice and ground mission variety to it. I think I've now got a framework that balances the need to upgrade and improve your base, spread out your interceptor coverage of the world, research new technology, protect individual regions and keep overall world panic down ... whilst also ensuring that the ground combat missions aren't just UFO Crash Site missions all the time, and that rushing interceptors isn't so overpowered as it was in the first game. It all still needs a lot of balancing and tweaking, but I'm keen to show it off and get some community feedback on what works and what doesn't work! I'll close by saying thanks to everyone that has given us bug reports over the last 14 builds (some have been far more detailed than we expected) as it really has helped us a lot in improving the gameplay experience. Hopefully we'll see you in 6-8 weeks for the arrival of the strategy layer!
  5. The work on Xenonauts-2 has continued to progress over the last couple of months since the last update, but we're now in a situation where all our work linking together the strategy layer with the ground combat is causing problems for our free public builds (which are single standalone ground combat missions). As a result, we will not be releasing any further public builds until the strategy layer is ready for testing - we expect this to be six to eight weeks. The problem is essentially that the ground combat is becoming increasingly reliant on information passed from the strategy layer (soldier stats and portraits, their equipment, alien composition, map types, etc) and to make standalone missions work we need to either remove that stuff or waste time spoofing it. We've decided it would be easier just to discontinue the public builds until the merge is complete. The resumption of the public builds will also be one of the last steps before our Kickstarter, and will also see the Xenonauts-2 Ideas sub-forum reappear (I've been reluctant to talk too much about my plans for the strategy layer until people can actually play the entire game). Hopefully it will mark the point where most of the gameplay elements are in place and we can start to worry about game balance and fixing up usability issues and all that, which is the time when the community can really start to get involved and shape the final game. As well as the strategy layer, we're planning to add some new combat stuff in the interim too: The Xenonaut helicopter dropship Some different mission types other than just crash sites Urban areas and the ability to climb up on roofs etc If you want to hear about the resumption of the public builds as soon as it happens, please ensure you've signed up to our mailing list here!
  6. Ah, yes - I did indeed misunderstand.
  7. I think I'm *relatively* set on the story now, so I'm unlikely to make big changes based on community suggestions. However in the suggestion posted above you've got the additional problem of the dead time between the alien waves; if you're talking multiple years between each stage of the invasion then there's plenty of time for the player to finish all the research and recruit the personnel they need into the Xenonauts etc. Really the time period of the game needs to be one continuous stretch of time for the game mechanics to work properly / logically. That said, the idea of a game that was divided into different "sections" that were a decade or two apart could actually be really cool - e.g. your soldiers would get old and have to be replaced or reassigned etc, but it's just not really a Xenonauts game.
  8. Thanks Thixotrop, we'll have a look through this towards the end of next week and see what we can fix up in time for the next build!
  9. Hey - thanks for the suggestion. If all goes to plan we'll include a section of of the strategy layer in the Kickstarter demo, so that will include the soldier equipment screen too
  10. Weird. I have noted it as a bug we need to fix that "miss" grenades are hitting adjacent cover though, we'll get that fixed up for the next build.
  11. Hopefully I can give a bit more details on the way the story is developing in a few weeks; I've had to rewrite parts of it as I'm keen to make the universe "mechanics agnostic" as I mentioned above. Basically I want to have an interesting story that will work whether or not I bring in specific mechanics that I want to try, such as the translocator - which is not likely to be in the Kickstarter version of the game, but may well be tested later on in development. This forum has been quiet for a while and the strategy layer has been slowly changing as we continue to develop it, but the "secret war" idea is still working well and I think it's a much more interesting setting than we had in X1.
  12. This new 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. The next update is due on Tuesday 18th July, although if necessary we will also release hotfixes for any game-breaking bugs encountered in this build. This build cycle has seen limited progress because about half the team has been off on their holidays over the past two weeks, and the remaining team have largely been working on the strategy side of things. However the holidays are now over and the strategy progress will shortly start to show in the ground combat, so expect a nice big update in the next build! Anyway, more on that after the changelog. CHANGELOG: Fixed an issue that was causing significantly slower performance in the last build compared to previous builds - although the builds are still Unity dev builds, so even now will run a fair bit slower than the final game will. Shots should no longer be able to hit corpses (apparently in the last build units didn't lose their ability to block shots when killed). Miss shots should no longer hit adjacent crouching Xenonauts. Fixed an issue where the move path was not correctly showing the cost of uncrouching / crouching. Stopped the game showing silhouettes of enemies outside LOS. Fixed an issue where the IK wildly contorted the shooting soldier if you were shooting at a target less than one tile away. As mentioned above, having several key team members away over the past two weeks really slowed our progress and the remaining team were largely working on the strategy layer logic or the merge of the strategy layer and ground combat. The merge is obviously one of the biggest tasks in the entire game but it's coming along well - we've now got saving / loading working on the geoscape, we've got units being passed correctly to the ground combat, and we're now working on passing the results of combat back to the strategy layer (soldier injury / progression, recovered items, etc). I've also spent most of the week on getting the randomised soldier portraits working - some of you will remember the "portrait customisation tool" we showed off on the forums a few months back. We've now got art for all the different ethnicities in both male and female, and added extra professions so we can have custom scientist portraits and the like too. It's been a huge amount of work to do this (I've had to extract something like 5,000 image layers in all and we have had to write the appropriate logic to combine them correctly), but if all goes well we should be able to have literally thousands of high-quality unique faces in the game. Hopefully the results of this will appear in the ground combat next build, along with soldier models having the correct gender and ethnicity (again this is made possible by the strategy merge). There's also a number of major new additions to the ground combat that are semi-complete that *might* make it into the next build too - local forces and civilians, multi-level LOS and climbing up onto higher terrain, starting the mission in the helicopter dropship, etc. No promises on any of them but we've got a lot of cool stuff in the pipeline that will be appearing sooner rather than later; I expect the next few builds to have a lot more in them than the last few did! Please let us know if you encounter any issues with these builds, your bug reports are always extremely helpful to the development process!
  13. Thanks. We'll have a look through that all before the next build and fix up some of the issues (plus some bugs that are causing slow performance).
  14. Hmm, yeah, that's potentially not too far off the sort of thing that we want - although a 25mm grenade is getting pretty small. I suppose we could always make it an early-game research project too, that way we can frame it as being a new type of weapon rather than an existing one and explain it on our terms (in which case it could indeed be the Heavy Launcher as Shoes suggests). Yeah, grenade launchers do have flatter arcs than thrown grenades - but you can still fire them over walls to hit units out of direct line of sight. It's just the angle is more limited (albiet with longer range).
  15. Yeah, but people won't like a multi-shot rocket launcher (or one that does relatively little damage) either. Unfortunately, I'm not aware of any real weapon that fills the intended battlefield niche.