• Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

Everything posted by Chris

  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. Ideally you want a scenario where you don't start in control of the whole world, with an obligation to defend it. It's pretty limiting, particularly when you also have to include things like interceptors and UFOs because otherwise you'd be straying too far from the core tenets of the series. I think an X-Com game (talking about mechanics here rather than setting - it could easily be a fantasy game, for example) where you're exploring, expanding your territory and upgrading your base without having to worry about an air layer would potentially be cool. There's all sorts you could do. Adding in survival elements would be a lot of fun, but again doesn't really make sense in Xenonauts given you're a large military organisation and shouldn't need to worry about whether there's enough food to go round etc.
  3. Yeah, if the audio isn't working then best get a refund for it (assuming you've also tested it without the community edition, that is). Unfortunately, it's not an issue I've ever encountered before so I can't really give you any useful suggestions as to how you could fix it. Sorry about that.
  4. Mostly it's because making this sort of game is super-expensive because of all the content involved in it. It wouldn't make sense for us to spend all that money unless we know there's a decent audience out there that will buy the end product, so we (and others) have stayed relatively true to the original formula thus far. But hey, after X-2 we'll have a re-usable engine that we've already paid for. That should mean it won't be prohibitively expensive to develop more X-Com like games with different settings etc.
  5. One of the problems is that there's not really that many variables you can actually control with a soldier - they've got a few stats, but a bonus that gives them +5 Accuracy or +10 HP isn't really very exciting because it doesn't really change the way they play. It's possible to code unique rules (e.g. a soldier can only fire a single shot per turn) but it seems a bit weird when compared to how the rest of the game works, although it would be less out of place in the Firaxis XCOM games where the soldiers have activated "superhero" powers. I guess a game like Jagged Alliance 2 gets it working in a few situations - e.g. certain crazy mercs will autofire their weapons when you've given them an order to take an aimed shot - but there's not that many situations where you can do that sort of thing. It also makes more sense when the unit is a developed character rather than a (metaphorically) faceless soldier like they are in Xenonauts.
  6. I think that sounds like a lot of work to cater to players who lack a certain amount of self-discipline
  7. Thanks. Yes, we'll be leaving it as late as possible for this (hence all the free builds etc).
  8. Thanks for the suggestion, but dogs are a bit of a pain to put in the game even if we wanted to do so - they'll need an entirely new set of animations etc given they're not humanoid. There's also the question of where they fit into the tech tree given they don't have weapons and so forth - potentially they could be a low-tech early version of the XCOM SHIV or something maybe, but right now there would be a lot of things that would need to be worked out if we wanted to put attack dogs in the game. Yeah, I'd like to put proximity explosives back in the game as they were lots of fun in X-Com. We'll see where the tech tree takes us with regards to biological upgrades, and maybe soldier training and a "stealth mode" at the start of the mission might be considered too. But with the exception of proximity grenades that's all stuff that is "nice to have" that we'll consider once the core game is playable and fun!
  9. 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!
  10. 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.
  11. 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!
  12. Yes, this definitely needs to be put in a tutorial.
  13. Ah, yes - I did indeed misunderstand.
  14. 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.
  15. 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!
  16. 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!
  17. 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
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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 4th July, although if necessary we will also release hotfixes for any game-breaking bugs encountered in this build. Somewhat limited progress this cycle for some exciting reasons and fairly mundane reasons, but I'll explain all of that after the changelog: CHANGELOG: Grenade Launcher: This was added in hotfix 11.2, but it's a lighter version of the rocket launcher from Xenonauts 1. It's fun to use but largely ineffective at the moment because we've not yet coded the stuff that makes it do extra damage to terrain, and terrain isn't showing visual damage yet either. Once we get that in it'll be a useful cover-removal tool. Explosion Logic: This has been reworked into what I think might turn out to be a really cool way to model explosions. In summary, explosions propagate outwards with objects blocking a % of the damage based on their stopping chance, but capped by their hit points. For example: A building wall has a 100% stopping chance and thus will completely stop an explosion, provided it has enough HP to do so. If the explosion is powerful enough to destroy it, any extra damage will continue to propagate to entities behind the destroyed wall. Half cover (e.g. a rock) has about 40% cover, so it will stop 40% of the explosion damage. This means being behind a rock will provide partial protection from something like a grenade but 60% of the damage will get through (more if the grenade does enough damage to destroy the rock). Units have a 25% stopping chance, so if a unit steps on a grenade it will absorb some of the damage and reduce the damage inflicted on adjacent units. Again this is capped by HP, so an armoured unit can absorb more of a powerful explosion than an unarmoured unit. We think this is simple but effective way of modelling explosions - it neatly takes into account the position, size and toughness of everything in the blast radius. Should generate a relatively realistic outcome from using explosives of varying power! The fire cursor now has priority over the door cursor; this means shooting at aliens in a doorway is much easier (although shutting the door in their face is harder). Reloading weapons no longer makes the grenade disappear. The fire path now turns red once a weapon goes out of range, but only the tiles beyond range turn red. Grenade launcher now has a 4-round clip instead of a 6-round clip. Returning to the main menu screen no longer greys out the button text. Playing multiple missions in the same game session no longer gives you the same map both times. Fixed the UI not appearing if you attempt to play multiple missions in the same game session. Fixed a couple of codebase errors that were causing firing-related crashes and UI issues. So this is largely a bugfix release rather than a gameplay update - we've fixed up a few recurring errors that were spamming our error reporting software. The work on the explosions and grenade launcher is pretty cool but you won't really see the full effect of it until we get more powerful explosives in the game and start visualizing damaged props a bit better. The first reason for this is the strategy layer - in recent weeks most of the team has been either working directly on that, or working on the ground combat / strategy merge. The merge is a big job but it is progressing quickly; we've done most of the key work involved in loading up ground missions from the strategy layer with the correct parameters (e.g. biome type, UFO type, UFO crews, soldier stats, soldier loadout, etc) and now we're concentrating on passing things back the other way. This involves soldier experience and injury tracking, it involves tracking what recoverable items have been destroyed / not, and it involves a load of boring stuff to do with making sure data loads and unloads properly as you switch between the two layers. Big job, but things are coming along well. It's also worth noting that we're doing quite a lot of work on the strategy layer itself too, both in terms of art and coding. I'm looking forward to unveiling all of that, perhaps in about six weeks. There's also a bunch of semi-complete work that requires a completed merge to work properly, like making soldiers display models with the correct gender / skin colour / hair colour based on their portrait and so forth. Models are all done, we just need to hook it all together on the code side. Unfortunately, the second reason for the delays has been holidays. This is unfortunate mostly because it's going to affect next week's build too, as both our Technical Director and resident artist are away for two weeks on their respective summer vacations. Given we're quite a small team and they're both important people, it's going to slow things down ... but apparently there are laws against chaining people to their keyboards, so there's not much I can do about it! The next update will therefore again be mostly bugfixes given the ongoing merge work and our depleted personnel. The merge will be worth it, though - playing standalone combat missions is only ever going to be so much fun, but once we add the strategy in there'll be a whole load more to see and do!
  21. 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).
  22. 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).
  23. 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.
  24. 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 20th June, although if necessary we will also release hotfixes for any game-breaking bugs encountered in this build. This is a hotfix for the last build, fixing some of the problems that were introduced when we put grenades into the game. As a free bonus, we've also included the grenade launcher in game (it's functionally a more mobile and less powerful version of the Xenonauts 1 rocket launcher). Potentially this may cause further instability, but we figure it'll be better to find out about any new bugs sooner rather than later. CHANGELOG: Grenade Launcher: One of the starting soldiers now has a grenade launcher, which acts like the rocket launcher in Xenonauts 1 except it does less damage but requires less TU to fire / has a 6-round magazine. This new weapon was only implemented on Friday so please give it a test and let us know how it works. We've not yet implemented the increased terrain-only damage on the weapon so it's not actually very good at blowing up the scenery right now, but that will change soon enough! Removed a crash caused by trying to use the baton / medipack. Removed a crash linked to the selected soldier being fired at by overwatching aliens. Removed a crash linked to your soldiers performing overwatch fire. Grenade "miss" scatter is now linked to the distance you attempt to throw the grenade, as the previous scatter was causing nonsensical results on failed short throws. Grenade UI image is no longer distorted. The grenade launcher will probably need some further updates to get it functioning properly, but with a bit of help from the community we can hopefully get the bulk of the required fixes done for the release of Version 0.12.0 on Tuesday 20th April.
  25. Thanks guys, we'll look into this stuff.