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Everything posted by Chris

  1. Sorry for the slow reply. Are there major gamebreaking bugs (rather than missing content) that still need to be fixed in V13.2? I must admit I've been knee-deep in the new map stuff so I've not really been paying too much attention. I'm not entirely sure when the next major build is coming yet, as the maps are undergoing major surgery at the moment and we've made some big changes that should make the game much better but are gonna take a bit of time to work through the system. Realistically I guess about 4 weeks from now we should hopefully have enough assets and maps to put out a new release with the new UFOs and visuals?
  2. This is the second hotfix for Beta Build V13, fixing a several more important bugs. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. Changelog: Fixed a crash bug where if you saved and then loaded a ground combat mission the game would crash at the end of the mission. Fixed a crash bug where certain desert maps would crash at the end of the mission. Fixed a bug where the upgrade projects were not working for aircraft or for the MARS. Fixed a bug where the MARS rocket weapon fire costs were absolute values, not relative values. This meant if you equipped the heavy armour the weapon was too expensive to fire. Equipping heavy armour on an aircraft increases the max HP of the aircraft, but you now need to repair up to that new max HP. This means it is no longer possible to heal aircraft by swapping between normal and heavy armour and back again. Sell price of the MARS is now $50k instead of $10k. Please let us know if you encounter any further issues with V13, as we will make further hotfix branches if necessary.
  3. The Geoscape is the central command and control screen of Xenonauts-2. It is here that the war against the aliens unfolds, with extraterrestrial units and UFOs appearing on the map to threaten the funding regions and you deploying your aircraft and soldiers to defend them as best you can. The goal for our changes in Xenonauts-2 is to give the player more choices and make the strategy map feel more reactive to what the player is doing. These are the systems covered: Invasion Balance & Reactivity Liaison Offices (Scientist & Engineer Recruitment) Orbital Bombardment Alternate Ending Other Mechanics Invasion Balance / Reactivity: The strategy layer in Xenonauts had a few problems that would show up when the player was doing well. The optimal way to play the game was to gain interceptor cover across the entire planet as quickly as possible, and once you had sufficient numbers of interceptors (assuming you kept them appropriately upgraded) spread across the world the strategy layer ended up being rather simple - the UFOs would spawn and immediately get shot down. One of the problems this caused was that the player would ONLY encounter crash sites from the point they gained air superiority. Almost all alien activity in X1 was driven by the UFOs, so shooting them down shortly after they spawn stops them from even spawning terror sites, creating alien bases or attacking your bases. Clearly, this doesn't make for a very interesting player experience and it's something we've addressed in X2 - the creation of some terror sites and alien bases is now independent from UFOs, so achieving complete air superiority will not lock you out from ever seeing those missions (in the final game ideally about half of them will be spawned from UFOs and thus preventable). The other problem was that long stretches of the game could be kinda boring when you were doing well. You gained Relations with a region by shooting down UFOs, and shooting down the UFOs also prevented them from damaging Relations - so any region where you had strong air forces would quickly trend up to max relations / funding and just stay there for the whole game. We're tweaking the way Relations (now "Panic") works and adding more strategic pressure from the Orbital Bombardment mechanic (see below) to try and balance this out. Finally, we're trying to make the alien activity more closely related to the player's actions. For instance, the aggressive UFOs on Air Superiority missions that will attack any of your aircraft that they encounter now possess squadsight, so they if you approach any other UFO within a certain radius they will light up their afterburners and attempt to protect it. Alien base missions now spawn resupply missions like in the original X-Com, and we plan to make alien base attacks more likely to be targeted at bases that house your most active interceptors, etc. In conclusion, we're aiming to make the strategy layer more interesting through a number of subtle improvements and balance changes that should collectively make for a much more engaging experience. Liaison Offices (Scientist / Engineering Recruitment): One of the larger mechanical changes to the strategy layer is the addition of Liaison Offices, which add a degree of territory control the strategy layer. Conceptually the construction of a Liaison Office represents the Xenonauts setting up an embassy / local command center to co-ordinate with the local region, granting permanent bonuses to both your organisation and the local region. There's about 25 of these in pre-set locations on the map, with 4 to 5 in each of the six funding regions. Construction costs $200,000 and takes 10 days. On completion, funding in the local region will be permanently increased and local Panic will be lowered, and a number of Scientists and Engineers will be added to your recruitment pool. This is your only source of scientists and engineers, so players will need to expand across the world to grow their research / engineering efforts. Crucially, you need to protect these Liaison Offices once constructed, as alien Bombers will frequently target them and attempt to destroy them. If they succeed, you lose your investment and will suffer a significant panic increase in the local region. Building a bunch of Liaison Offices you then can't defend is an expensive and potentially terminal mistake! Orbital Bombardment: Within a couple of minutes of starting the game, you'll learn that the Chief Scientist has discovered an unknown orbital object designated UOO-1. A few days later you'll learn that it is not friendly. The alien space station hovering above Earth is in fact an alien superweapon that will destroy a major city from orbit every 10 days, causing a large Panic spike in the affected region. Although there's nothing you can do to stop this, if the player is progressing through the campaign at a reasonable rate the orbital bombardment mechanic will not affect the game very much. The repeated Panic increases are balanced out by the passive Panic reduction that you now gain from completing important research, and the bombardment will always hit the region with the lowest Panic (i.e. the one furthest from surrendering to the aliens). The purpose of this system is to quickly close out games where the player has fallen behind and would eventually lose anyway. Thematically, it is intended to make the invasion feel more dangerous - even if you have complete control over the skies of Earth, the aliens will still be slowly bombing humanity into submission. Naturally, you'll get your revenge on the space station at the end of the game! Alternate Ending: The core storyline of Xenonauts 2 is learning enough about the aliens to figure out how to stop the invasion and destroy the orbital superweapon. Following a fairly straightforward research chain and winning a couple of unique story missions (an alien facility assault and a unique UFO assault) will eventually unlock the final mission, allowing you to save humanity and win the game when you've got an appropriately experienced and equipped squad to carry it out. However, the game will also include a second (better) ending that any player interested in reading the research text and learning about the aliens will probably achieve. It's not exactly going to be a hidden ending but it will require a bit more effort to achieve; capturing high-ranking aliens and reading research text will be a necessity. The idea here is that players can engage with the game world / lore as much as they like. If people want to ignore the research text and just blow up some aliens, that's fine - they can happily complete the game without ever knowing where the aliens come from or what they're trying to achieve. But I've done quite a bit more work fleshing out the aliens and their society / empire this time around, and if players want to take the time required to delve into that information they'll be able to engineer a better outcome. Other Mechanics: Some other smaller mechanical changes that don't warrant a multi-paragraph explanation have also made it onto the Geoscape: Panic: each region now has a Panic score rather than a Relations score. This doesn't change much except countries are lost at 100 Panic, rather than being lost at 0 Relations. Static(ish) Funding: regions no longer increase their funding as your Relations with them improve. Instead, any region not lost to the aliens gives you a set amount of funding each month. This funding is reduced by 25% if Panic is above 50, and 50% if Panic is above 75. Geoscape Agents: these are a simple strategic resource that will reduce current Panic by 10% when assigned to a region. I think there's scope to expand this system in the future, but we'd likely only look at this at the end of development. Tech Proliferation: completing certain research projects will give a global Panic reduction and equip the local forces with the appropriate equipment after a certain amount of time has passed. For example, once you've researched Laser Rifles you'll get an immediate Panic reduction and will see the friendly AI forces in terror missions etc start to use them ~30 days later.
  4. Perfect, thanks. I'll take a look at that and see if I can figure out what's going on.
  5. Thanks. Did you unlock the research / engineering project that allows the unlocking of Laser Weapons V2 by any chance? Because the upgrade process basically deletes all the old laser weapons and their projects and then recreates new ones that give you the upgraded weapons instead, so maybe that's part of the issue?
  6. Oh yeah - there's meant to be goodies. But I'm not sure all the research etc that's meant to be unlocked is ready to go, so I'll fix that in the next big build rather than in this hotfix.
  7. Thanks. We've fixed a few bugs as a result of this - the MARS sell value, the MARS rocket launcher using absolute fire costs rather than % TU fire costs, and the aircraft items not unlocking correctly. One thing I'd like a bit more info on if possible is 4) about the disappearing laser rifles and shotguns. If you have any more info on when that occurs that'd be great. If not then it's not a big problem - I'm sure I'll encouter it when I start doing my balancing playthroughs, but it'd be good to have some idea where to look.
  8. The air combat mechanics in Xenonauts 2 are another area of the game that have seen substantial changes throughout development. Way back in the original stages of the project the Geoscape was actually turn-based, so we had a turn-based air combat model to go along with this. We started properly experimenting with this once the Kickstarter was done and despite several iterations it became clear that the turn-based design we had was pretty bad and thus we reverted back to the X1 air combat model. Although we've added a few features to add a bit more variation, I still think there's potential for improvement. This is discussed in more detail under the following headings: Current Implementation Modular Aircraft Potential Future Implementation Current Implementation: We're currently using the air combat model from the first Xenonauts in Xenonauts 2. Some people really liked this air combat, some people really hate it, and I'm somewhere in the middle. However, the important thing is that if we are unable to improve on a specific part the original Xenonauts we should at least not make it any worse - so we're committed to the X1 model unless we can come up with something I think is definitely better. As there's a good chance the game will ship with X1-style air combat, I've looked over the mechanics and made a few changes to try and make things a bit more varied. For example, some UFOs now have shield bubbles on the map that absorb incoming damage, but you can fly your interceptors inside the shields to bypass them entirely. Some UFOs won't engage your fighters and will instead try to fly away from them while slowly gathering speed and peppering your jets with beam weapons capable of slowly rotating to track targets. Additionally, most of the UFO designs will be new. I therefore think the air combat will still feel fairly fresh to most players if we stick with this combat model even if the fundamental mechanics haven't changed a great deal. Modular Aircraft: The original Xenonauts had four combat interceptors with different capabilities and weapon slots. This setup worked, but I feel it artificially limited the freedom of the player and the lifespan of any given aircraft. Once your Condors became obselete and were too fragile to use in a dogfight, you couldn't for example convert them to carry heavy missiles and fight weaker UFOs at long range because they were physically incapable of doing so. Instead, you had to scrap them. In X2 we're experimenting with a setup where there are fewer interceptor types, but a wider variety of equipment available to them. Your starting interceptor type can carry any kind of weapon and can either be configured as a light fighter (capable of performing an evasive roll) or a tougher and more heavily armoured fighter that cannot roll. That way, it's possible to set the starting fighter up in either of the "dogfighter" (Condor) or "missile mule" (Foxtrot) roles from X1 - and the player can switch between configurations in a matter of hours if the need arises. More advanced interceptors have do have better base stats than the earlier interceptors and are superior to their older counterparts, but aircraft now have an armour slot as well as weapon slots and the early interceptors still have access to the same upgradeable armour as the advanced interceptors do. This means that even the starting interceptor remains somewhat viable throughout the game, because it'll become tougher as the game goes on. Honestly, we don't yet know whether this is an improvement - it's kinda cool to research and build a shiny new advanced fighter, after all - but it's easy enough to switch back to the X1 setup if we want. The feedback from people playtesting the game will probably play a big factor in which way we decide to go. Potential Future Implementation: I haven't entirely given up on the idea of finding a better air combat system. On reflection, I think our last attempt at the turn-based air combat failed because it was trying to do a very similar thing as the X1 air combat system, but doing it worse. Coming up with something fundamentally different is more likely to be successful. So, what are the aims for any new system? Each battle is relatively fast to play through The skill comes from playing percentages / weighing up the risks and rewards of different moves, rather than "twitch" skills like pressing a button with perfect timing To keep things varied, battles shouldn't always play out the same way each time even if the same combatants are involved Ideally, the system would allow pilot progression I'm currently experimenting with a system I think works quite well. The battlefield has 5 range bands between your interceptor and the UFO, and weapons have different damage / hit chance % at different ranges. All the player does each turn is issue their fighter a stance, the key ones being Close Distance, Fire Weapons or Evade, and this controls which types of weapons can fire - Heavy weapons only fire if you give the Fire Weapons command, whereas Light weapons can also fire while moving forwards (Evading prevents any weapons from firing). This system works because the UFO is made up of a series of modules with different effects and cooldowns, so the UFO does different things each turn. A UFO might have a powerful long-range main cannon that can only fire every three turns and a short-range secondary cannon that can fire every turn. It might also have a shield generator that provides a shield every 4 turns that dissipates over several turns. It might have a point defence weapon that destroys all incoming missiles, but takes 3 turns to recharge once it fires. Picking what action to take is mostly dependent on which systems the UFO has on cooldown that turn, and which systems your own interceptor has on cooldown. The nice thing here is that the player attack specific systems on the UFO (although this incurs an aim penalty) - e.g. if you think the shield generator is going to cause you problems, you could try to pick it off at the start of the combat with a long range volley of missiles. There's also a random chance modules suffer damage when you hit the hull of the UFO with a normal attack, which can change the way the battle plays out. There's also room for pilots that can level up with experience, because the weapons have hit %s and pilots could simply grant a +hit % bonus as they level up. Another interesting idea is that each UFO type might have several slightly different module configurations to increase variety, or that the modules on a particular class might level up and become more effective as the invasion goes on. Maybe a Fighter UFO with a Plasma Blaster isn't too dangerous an opponent, but once the aliens start deploying Advanced Plasma Blasters then those same Fighters suddenly become much more of a threat. The system still needs more iteration before I think about trying to integrate it into the game, but I'm going to keep working on it in my spare time. It's pretty quick to play but does still offer up interesting situations and there's some quite exciting ideas there (being able to shoot off specific UFO components, having pilots that level up), so if I can solve a few of the thorny design issues that still remain then perhaps the dream of an improved X2 air combat model will rise from the dead!
  9. If it's based on the blue psyons specifically I've probably screwed up the loadout or the corpse items dropped by that unit - but the logs suggest it's actually linked to the map (could be a false positive). But we'll look into it - hopefully that in-mission save will help us track it down if not. Thanks.
  10. Thanks. This stuff isn't working for me either, I guess we've somehow broken the upgrade logic. We'll get it fixed.
  11. Hi everyone - it's only been three weeks since my last update, but the plan is for me to do these updates here on the forums on a monthly basis now. That will then allow Paul to edit them into something a bit more appropriate for a wider audience (i.e. less detailed, more art) and post them everywhere else. Development Progress: Over the last three weeks we've been working on a whole bunch of different things. The biggest news was probably the release of Closed Beta V13 on our Experimental branch, which is our first new build in quite a while. Unsurprisingly the build was kinda buggy and has already had one hotfix, but we'll be releasing at least one more hotfix as there's still several more serious bugs that have been reported. However it's always good to have people testing the game and finding the problems. Personally I've spent a fair bit of my time on the writing. I've completed twenty three of the research reports over the past six weeks or so, and there's a number more that are half-finished or were written previously and just need a little updating to mesh with the new setting. I feel like I've already done most of the hard work in terms of creating an internally consistent setting for the game, and now I'm just slotting things into it - which means the writing is going faster than when I was having to think long and hard about how to answer all the "big questions" in a logical way. A couple of these projects are starting lore projects that are already unlocked in the Xenopedia at the start of the game, and don't pop-up on the Geoscape (explaining the updated Iceland Incident story, plus the details on why your starting interceptor is so much more effective against alien technology than other aircraft). Anyway, this has required a few simple code changes, and in the next month we're also planning to spend a bit more time on the Xenopedia in general. At the moment the UI styling is inconsistent and every project is just added into a big unsorted list, whereas it should be set up so that each project goes under a category heading that is expandable / collapsible. The other major area we've been targeting are the ground missions, but the progress here has been a bit slower. We're continuing to work on the new art style and hopefully soon we'll have the first set of maps built with these new tiles. I suspect most people will consider the new art a visual improvement, but even if not the new style is undeniably more restful on the eyes - it's much easier to see the important things on the battlefield (the aliens and the cover objects). For all of its faults, one of the strong points of the terrain art in X1 was that it was relatively clean and clear. Anyway, I'll probably be showing some of this new art off in the next update. We've also continued to work on the code for the ground combat. Getting the hull-hiding system for the UFOs working properly continues to be a pain, but it's mostly working now. The night missions are largely functional but need a couple of fixes and we still need to add minor details like the headlights to the vehicles, etc. If we have time we also want to spend some time looking into fixing a few of the rough edges in the ground comabt - the camera jerking around and not showing the action during the alien turn and the fact that units take a couple of seconds to play their death animation after suffering lethal damage are two things that spring to mind. Finally, we've been spending time on the preparations for mod support. Making something moddable requires us to save the data in editable text files rather than having it hardcoded in the game's code, and since our last update we've moved the base buildings out into text files. We're also in the process of moving all the unit loadouts, UFO crews and UFO missions into text files too. Once this is done pretty much everything in the game will (theoretically) editable by modders - but in practice, modding the files is going to be hard without a mod editor tool to help you. We've therefore also been chatting to Solver about community involvement in the mod tools, because the tools we use are embedded in Unity and aren't exactly user-friendly. Goldhawk is planning to do a bit of work to prepare the code interface so external coders are able to build tools that can easily read and write to these text data files (and eventually hook into our mod management system), and then we'll let the community coders have a look at it and see if they're able to build anything useful on those foundations. There's no guarantee that anything will come of this, but I think it's definitely an opportunity worth exploring! Early Access plans: We're still not ready to set a formal Early Access date but our plans are progressing. We've decided to target an "Early Access build" that is time-limited to only contain the first three months or so of the campaign, which in X1 terms will take you roughly up to Landing Ships. The "full" builds will be accessible on a seperate branch for anyone that wants to play the whole game, but the default build people encounter when they buy the Early Access for the game will be this time-limited build. The reason for this is that it's much easier to get the content in place the first third of the game than it is to do it for the whole game. For Early Access we want to give most players a quick taste of the game that makes them confident that they've bought a game that they will enjoy once released, but doesn't allow them to accidentally play into the sections of the game that contain missing content or have balance issues that might spoil the game for them (or even just to burn through all the content before the game is ready to properly play). Anyone that wants to test the full game can just switch branches, but they'll hopefully do so in the knowledge that they're going to experience much less polished content. I'll be announcing an Early Access date for the game once I've finished writing all the research reports that appear in this part of the game and also created three maps per biome for each of the UFOs / ground missions in that section of the game (these maps will need to include the new UFO style and support night missions). At that point, we'll announce a date 2-3 months in the future and frantically start polishing the game to make the Early Access build as enjoyable as possible. The big unknown is still the maps right now. We're going to need another couple of weeks for the new art to solidify before we can make a decision on how best to move forwards with them, unfortunately. Anyway, hopefully that wall of text gives you guys a fairly clear idea of what we're working on at the moment!
  12. The research mechanics in Xenonauts 2 are the primary method of storytelling in the game and also the avenue by which the player unlocks all the exciting new equipment they get to use in battle against the aliens. The tech tree in the original Xenonauts was adequate but took some criticism for being too straightforward, so we're hoping to add a bit more player choice in Xenonauts 2. The topics of discussion here are: Game Lore Research Structure & Equipment Tiers Modular Armour Game Lore: How interested you are in reading technobabble about your latest invention and discovering the story behind the aliens you're fighting is really down to personal preference, but I know a lot of people appreciated the fact that Xenonauts makes an effort to maintain an internally consistent universe and justify why the game works like it does. If you're one of these people, good news - this is something we're expanding on with Xenonauts 2. The research writing isn't yet finished, but we're planning to include more lore that the player can seek out if they want to read it - indeed, doing so is planned to unlock an alternate ending. I've tried to make the backstory of the aliens a little more interesting than before, made an effort to make fundamentally unrealistic tech sound a bit more plausible, and made the actual game storyline more complex than just capturing aliens of increasing seniority until the final mission gets unlocked. Hopefully people will enjoy it. I'm also conscious that I don't want to force this stuff onto people if they aren't interested, so you can also safely ignore it if you don't particularly care. Research Structure & Equipment Tiers: The research tree in X1 was fairly straightforward in the sense that it was mostly just unlocks of tech that were universal upgrades over what came before. This didn't really give the player much in the way of research choices - e.g. there was no reason to prioritise plot research over upgrading weapons or armour, and if unlocking plasma weapons requires you to have first unlocked laser weapons then there's no way to skip past tiers of technology to gain an advantage, etc. The first change is therefore to try to differentiate the different weapon tiers more than in the first game. Although more advanced weapons should still be better overall, there's still space to make them behave differently - e.g. the laser weapons could have recharging clips and be unusually accurate. Certain enemies may also have a resistance to either kinetic or energy weapons, encouraging the player to change out their loadouts if they know what type of enemy they are facing. This is a more interesting setup than the "more advanced weapons are always better in every situation" model we used in X1. Swapping out loadouts based on the enemies present is only possible if the player has access to the X2 equivalent of the Hyperwave Decoder, so in the current design the early plot research / missions unlock better radars and the Hyperwave Decoder. It's therefore possible to get these very early on if you prioritise them, but doing so obviously means you're not getting advanced weapons / armour / aircraft etc as early as you would otherwise. Another change is that there's no longer any research projects that auto-upgrade things (like the explosives projects did in X1) - these now unlock engineering projects that take time and resources to do this. In the current design there's also a "V2" upgrade for each of the weapon technologies that improves the stats of an older weapon tier, the idea being that people can either commit to the new weapons or run an upgrade project to try and keep their existing weapons relevant for longer. Overall, we're just trying to make a few sensible changes to the research structure to make it a bit more interesting. We'll only be able to see the full effects of these changes when the game is fully playable (most of them represent fairly fine balancing) so we're not completely sure yet that they are good changes, but I'm fairly confident they'll improve the game! Modular Armour: One of the biggest improvements to the equipment / research system in X2 is the addition of modular armour. In the first Xenonauts most armour tiers had two armour variants - for example, the Wolf armour was heavy and protective, and the Buzzard was a similar tech level but offered less protection and integrated a jetpack. In Xenonauts 2 all of this would be represented by a single suit of armour. Equipping a soldier with Wolf armour would offer them a certain amount of protection and give them access to a number of additional armour modules that can be independently activated, such as: Heavy Armour: this adds extra armour to the soldier, but increases the weight of the armour. Rebreather: this makes the soldier immune to gas damage, but slightly reduces their Accuracy. Tactical Visor: this gives the soldier an Accuracy boost, but reduces the protection offered by the armour. Jetpack: this allows the soldier to move vertically, but increases the weight of the armour. You can probably see how you can create an equivalent for the X1 Wolf and the X1 Buzzard using that system, but there's additional customisation options too. Maybe most of your soldiers want Heavy Armour, but only your close range shotgunners need a Rebreather. You probably want to give your snipers a Tactical Visor, but do they need a Jetpack as well? Individual modules can be unlocked or upgraded by research; e.g. the Heavy Armour can be upgraded to offer better protection via research, and the appearance of the Jetpack module could be tied to completion of a research and subsequent engineering project. Anyway, this system should make your soldiers more flexible than before, and I'm also very keen to see what modders can do with it once our mod tools are released!
  13. This is the first hotfix for Beta Build V13, fixing a few bugs including those to do with signal uplinks. You'll need to be on the Experimental Branch to access the build. Changelog: The game should no longer crash when a signal uplink mission / aerial terror site is failed. UFOs will no longer incorrectly attack every signal uplink mission you construct. Instead, a mission will periodically spawn that will attack one of your signal uplinks. Aircraft armour now functions correctly again. Fixed a crash if you threw a gas grenade into a region that already contained poisonous gas (i.e. anywhere in the Icelandic Outpost map). Autocomplete researches like autopsies and UFO datacores no longer force a pop-up aftwards that says "no new research unlocked". Added research autopsy text for the Wraith, Reaper, Psyon Engineer and Sebillian Brute. Psyon Engineers now don't spawn until the second UFO type, and Sebillian Brutes don't spawn until the third UFO type. Corpse items and their research triggers have been rationalised a bit; there's now only one corpse item for each size of Pyson on the strategy layer. Fixed an issue with the Orbital Bombardment research art being incorrectly sized for the window. Please let us know if you encounter any further issues with V13, as I suspect there are plenty more bugs in there - I've just made these fixes because they were preventing a lot of players from getting very far into the game!
  14. Thanks, we'll take a look at this and try to hotfix it!
  15. Hi everyone - I've been thinking about a new feature for a few days, and I realised I'd been assuming that the community would be very excited to have it in the game even though I'd never really asking anyone what they thought. So this thread is here to gauge opinion about whether people might actually want this sort of stuff implemented in the game! Item "Components" & Rare Drops: The idea here is simple - most manufactured items would require one or more "component" items as well as (reduced) Alloy / Alenium requirements. These components would be recoverable from the aliens but can also be manufactured using Alloys / Alenium. To give an example, a Laser Rifle or Laser Shotgun might require 3 Alloys and a Beam Accelerator. The Beam Accelerator could be built in the workshop for 10 Alloys and 5 Alenium, or it can be recovered from the battlefield - each alien plasma weapon recovered might have a 10% chance of awarding the player a functional Beam Accelerator. So you won't get many of them each mission. The player therefore gets a few "free" items of each tech level, but has to commit Alloys or Alenium if they want to fully equip their units with those items (Alloys and Alenium become the basic manufacturing resources that can be used to build anything). We would probably also add support for dismantling items, which would instantly destroy them and return the component (i.e. the Beam Accelerator) but not the basic resources. The component cannot be broken back down into the Alloys / Alenium. Why would this be interesting? To me it seems like this would make the Geoscape more interesting and allow us to add a bit more variety to the tech tree. For instance, if we assume the basic starting armour is the current Tactical Suit / Kevlar combo, we could add in the Warden Armour as a seperate item that is lighter than the Kevlar while offering more protection. This Warden Armour would require an alien resource called Nanothread, and you can use 1 Nanothread to build one Warden Armour - or you can use 4 Nanothread to upgrade your all your Warden Armour to be Warden Armour V2 that offers even more protection. You'll probably get a couple of Nanothread on most missions you go on, so you probably won't have passively accumulated enough Nanothread to equip everyone with Warden Armour V2 before you unlock the next tier of armour and can build the superior Wolf Armour instead ... but if you commit Alloys to building Nanothread in the workshop, those are Alloys you can't spend elsewhere. This makes your squad equipment a bit more varied, and you've got a few interesting decisions to make - do you give everyone the new armour, or just issue it to half the squad and then use the remaining Nanothread to make their armour even stronger? You've already got upgraded Warden Armour, so is it worth going all in on that and skipping the Wolf Armour entirely? etc You can also have some items that are powerful but don't really justify their construction cost in the tech tree, but can be built easily from rare drops - maybe a certain UFO has an extremely powerful laser cannon on it that does 25% more damage than a standard aircraft laser cannon, but would normally cost a ridiculous amount of Alenium to build. If you are lucky enough to recover that component from the UFO, it would only cost a few Alloys to build the special cannon and then you've got one aircraft with a practically unique weapon that can hit way harder than normal. Problems: The downside of this is the complexity. We'll have to upgrade the engineering project system so it can accept either / or costs (e.g. either a Beam Accelerator, or 10 Alloys and 5 Alenium) as otherwise I suspect having to manually manufacture every component before you build the "proper" item will be a real pain. Similarly, we'll need to implement the "dismantle" UI and functionality. It'll make the research tree more complex too. It's already hurting my brain to think about how complex the item trees are going to be when there's a V2 version of every item (particularly when you combine it with the light / heavy versions of each armour). The additional art requirements are also going to be tricky. But I guess that's for me to worry about. Anyway, what do you guys think? I think this is something that could make a huge difference to the overall gameplay given so much of the strategy layer is just a question of what you research next and what you assign your resources to, but it'd also be rather a lot of effort to go to if the idea doesn't appeal to the players much!
  16. The setting of Xenonauts-2 has needed to change a lot throughout development as the mechanics of the strategy layer have changed around it. The current setting of the game is explained below and forms the rules within which the game operates - as with the first game, we've made a big effort to ensure the game remains as internally consistent as possible! Alternate Timeline: Xenonauts 2 takes place in an alternate timeline to the original Xenonauts (and our own world). In the world of Xenonauts 2, alien interference in human politics ensured the Soviet Union never fell and the Cold War never ended. Start of Game: When you take control of the Xenonauts at the start of the game, the year is 2015 and the alien invasion is already underway. The extraterrestrials launched a wave of attacks on Earth a few days prior, causing only relatively minor damage but proving the various regional governments were completely unable to defend themselves against alien UFOs that were invisible to radar and equipped with devastating energy weapons. During hurried bilateral talks, the NATO and Soviet nations agreed that a single unified planetary defence organisation was required to co-ordinate humanity's war against the aliens (provided, of course, the other power was not in control of it). The obvious candidates were the Xenonauts, a long-forgetten extraterrestrial research organisation founded in secret decades earlier. This mysterious organisation had used an unarmed reconnaissance plane to conduct the only successful interception of a UFO during the first wave of attacks, gathering a wealth of data and sharing it with both superpowers. The Xenonauts are therefore formally appointed as the "first response" force against extraterrestrial attacks, with full jurisdiction to establish bases and operate military forces anywhere in the world. They are granted significant amounts of funding to expand their (initially limited) operations, and an esteemed military officer palatable to both superpowers is provided to take charge of the military dimension of the strategy (i.e. you). This is done on the understanding that the Xenonauts will share all research data with all participating nations. The Aliens: Little is known about the aliens at the start of the game, although persistent reports of extraterrestrial sightings have been circulating for decades and numerous suspicious instances of important politicians or generals abruptly changing long-held views to advocate military action against geopolitical rivals have occurred over the years. Once the invasion begins the aliens offer to spare any nation that surrenders unconditionally to them. At the start of the war, all major governments and civilian populations support the fight against the aliens - but if any region suffers too heavily at the hands of the aliens, they are likely to lose hope that victory can be achieved and surrender to the aliens. Iceland Incident: The Iceland Incident that led to formation of the Xenonauts was a political crisis that occurred in 1963. Officially, the discovery of a secret American missile base under construction in Iceland led the Soviet Union to mobilize an invasion force in an attempt to sieze the island before nuclear warheads could be deployed. A large-scale face-off between the American and Soviet navies almost led to a nuclear confrontation - but the situation was eventually deescalated when the Americans agreed to abandon the missile base and allow Soviet inspectors to verify the closure of the site. In reality, the confrontation was sparked when American engineers building a secret missile base in Iceland discovered fragments of an extraterrestrial spacecraft embedded in a nearby glacier. When the Soviet high command heard reports of this discovery, they assembled an invasion force - fearing that extraterrestrial technology might give their opponents a permanent advantage in any conflict. De-escalation occured when the Americans agreed to hand control of the artifacts to a jointly-established research organisation that would study the recovered technology and report to both sides. This organisation was known as the Xenonauts. The Xenonauts: In the end, less than half of the crashed UFO was ever recovered from the glacier and no sign of the extraterrestrials themselves was ever found. No major scientific discoveries were made as a result of the research work performed by the Xenonauts, and with no obvious signs of futher alien activity, the superpowers eventually lost interest. Undeterred, the Xenonauts continued to operate over the following decades (on ever-smaller funding) and developed several important pieces of technology that would prove invaluable in the coming invasion. The first of these was the inference radar; an extremely sensitive radar capable of tracking UFOs via the disturbances created by their energy shields as they moved through the air. The second was the X-24 Angel interceptor - a small reconaissance jet equipped with an small inference radar and designed from scratch specifically to resist alien weapons. When the invasion began, the Xenonauts were thus the only organisation capable of tracking UFOs and also possessed the only human aircraft that would not immediately disintegrate when hit by energy weapon fire. This proved enough for them to be put in overall command of the defence of Earth.
  17. Yeah, I broadly agree - although capturing a Sebillian alive so you can extract all its blood more efficiently is a bit dark :P That said there's only so many items that can be created. Adding a whole new screen where you can manage what happens to each alien individually and chop them up into different parts is a nice idea but I think is turning a relatively simple system into something much more complex, and really I'm not sure there's going to be THAT many different types of armour that the game can support. To be honest, it's probably already going to be a struggle to think up a useful item that can be extracted from every type of dead alien!
  18. Please send Xsolla customer support an email, as they should be the ones handling the migration - if they don't respond in a week, send me an email at the address in my signature below and I'll take a look.
  19. If it does, please post up the logs or a save so we can try to fix it!
  20. Chris

    [V13.0] Beta Aircrafts

    Thanks for these reports. We'll have a look into why the armour isn't working properly, as I'm also seeing those problems!
  21. Chris

    [V13.0] Double Air Encounter Crash

    Yeah a save would be useful - we have code in place to prevent this, but sometimes weird situations can get around it.
  22. On release, Xenonauts will only OFFICIALLY be released in English. I sadly do not speak any foreign languages, so I'm unable to assess the quality of the translation and so can't officially support any of them. However, I want Xenonauts to be playable by as many people as possible, irrespective of what language they speak. I understand that the research descriptions can be difficult to understand if English isn't your first language. I would therefore like to include an option in the game to change the language of the game. This will probably replace the "Report Bugs" button in the game launcher when we are further into beta. This will make it clear that the language packs included are unofficial, but it will let a player load them up with a couple of clicks. The community will have to provide these language packs. We don't have enough money to hire translators at Goldhawk, and there is also the problem that I don't have any way to assess how well a translator is working because I can't read their work. If you are interested in translating Xenonauts into another language, this is a guide on what will be required and what will result from it. THE JOB: Translating Xenonauts will involve translating large numbers of text strings in XML files into your chosen language, plus editing a few image files. The files involved are: strings.xml - this file contains the vast majority of the text strings in the game (translate the right-hand column). It contains a LOT of lines, but it shouldn't be particularly difficult. xenopedia.xml - this file contains all of the research description text strings. There is only about 100 entries, but it will probably be the most challenging part of the translation. soldiernames.xml - this contains the soldier names and nationalities, all of which are currently in English. soldiernamesfemale.xml -as above, but for female soldiers. Images with baked-in text: This presently is only the "End Turn" button on the Ground Combat. A photoshop file will be provided in the near future, allowing you to update the text to other languages. GETTING INVOLVED: There are two ways to get involved. You can either help someone else with their existing translation of the game (check the threads in this sub-forum), either by offering to help them do the translation work or just by proof-reading their work. To do this, comment in their thread and see if they are willing to work with you. Alternatively, you can start your own translation project. To do this: Create a thread in this sub-forum with the title "<Language> Translation - <your username>" Start working! Post up your in-progress work (register an account with a filehost like Dropbox to make this easier) so people can comment on it Success! HOW TO TRANSLATE FILES: The files you will want to translate are all XML files. It is possible to translate them using any basic plain text editor, such as Notepad. However, we recommend using the following two programs: - Notepad++ is a plain text editor that is much more fully featured than normal Notepad. Really useful. - Microsoft Excel can be used for strings.xml and xenopedia.xml, as those XML files are spreadsheets. The two "spreadsheet" XML files you need to translate (strings.xml and xenopedia.xml) are designed to be opened in Microsoft Excel, as that is what we at Goldhawk use to open them. If you open them in Excel, the XML file will be displayed as two neat columns of information. If you open them in a plain text editor, they will still be editable, but there is a LOT of useless formatting tags in the text that makes reading the information difficult. However, as demonstrated below, editing the XML files directly can give more customisation. Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what works better. DO NOT use Open Office to edit these files, as it will corrupt them. Use Excel or Notepad++. Whichever program you use to edit the files, ensure it encodes the saves in UTF-8 (Notepad++ will do this by default, but not all text editors will). If the file is encoded in UTF-8, you can simply type in text strings in your native language. EXAMPLE TRANSLATION TUTORIAL (by forum user a333) This is a quick tutorial on how to edit a text string on the Title Screen. It assumes strings.xml has been opened in Notepad++. <Data ss:Type="String">Normal</Data> turning into<Data ss:Type="String">Нормальная</Data> Data strings support basic formatting. As you can see, the translated string above is slightly longer than the original, which can cause problems (as seen in the image below). This is how to fix it using basic formatting: <Data ss:Type="String"><font size='17' face='fonts/xenonauts.mvec'>Нормальная</font></Data> Here < is xml code for <, > is for >, so you basically have an xml inside of an xml: <Data ss:Type="String"> <font size='17' face='fonts/xenonauts.mvec'>Нормальная</font></Data> Second level is likely to be processed by another parser, so it should be writed in codes. And the result is: That's better. Also, a note - you can also use line breaks to start a new line. The code for these is below: INFORMATION ON FONTS: (by forum user a333) This is fairly specialist information that is worth reading, but hopefully it will not affect you too much as modders have worked hard to add most non-Latin characters to the main fonts in the game. The Xenonauts engine (Playground SDK) uses a special outline font format called .MVEC. The main game fonts are xenonauts.mvec, xenopedia.mvec and arial.mvec. xenonauts.mvec - this is the standard font used in most areas of the game (and on our logo). xenopedia.mvec - this is the font used in the research pop-ups (it is the Tahoma font that comes with Windows) arial.mvec - this is the backup default font used by our engine, and is also used in tooltips. The Xenopedia font contains ASCII (of course), almost all of the Controls and Latin-1 Supplement (advanced punctuation and basic diacritics), all Latin Extended A (advanced diacritics), Greek and Cyrillic sets. The Xenonauts font is slightly less universal, so it contains only basic punctuation, ASCII, Cyrillic, Greek and some of the Latin-1 supplement. Obviously, it contains only capital letters. The Arial font is used by tooltips, but it is also the "backup" font. If you try to use a character that is missing in either of the two other fonts, the game will load that character in Arial instead. You can see this below: Note the Ü character does not match the rest of the Xenonauts font - this is because it has been drawn in Arial. (This character is no longer missing from Xenonauts.mvec, but was when this image was taken.) If, however, you write a character that is missing in all the fonts, even Arial, you will see nothing. It may even crash the game. If that is happening to you, read on below: ADDING NEW FONTS: (most people don't need to know this stuff) If you need a character that is not included in the three current fonts, you will have to add a new font to the game that does include it. If you need to do this, expand the information below. ISSUES FOR DEVELOPERS TO FIX: - New Game, Load Game, overwrite save dialog buttons and Game Options are still hardcoded (though they have corresponding strings in xml); - No string for 'Funds' in the subscreens; - No string for 'Unassigned' in the Soldier and Vehicle subscreens; - Apparent strings for 'Fuel level' and 'Paused - Press Space to resume' for Aircombatmode don't work, presumably hardcoded; - Strings for soldiers nationality in the soldiersnames.xml files; - Groundcombatmode Tooltip for Equipment tile only working when in the grenade selection screen of the tile; - No tooltip on End turn button showing and End turn button seems to be a graphical element with no text string to adjust; - To use the % character in text, you must use the double percent sign: %% * All tooltips in Arial and case sensitive, most other strings printed in the Xenonauts font with only capital characters. This is a reminder to write case sensitive for tooltip entries, with other entries it does not matter as it will be rendered out in all capitals anyway.
  23. Closed Beta Build V13 has now been released on Steam and GOG. Note that this build is only available on our Experimental branch so you'll need to switch over to get this update (instructions on how to do that here). This is the first build we've released in roughly three months, and it should probably be seen as a test build to help us identify bugs and problems before the next major update. Although the build adds a fair amount of new content, it's not really designed to be played for more than two or three missions - the new content isn't really balanced yet. Much of my focus has been on getting the research writing started, and I've added the text for about 20 research reports to the game since the last build (although some are late game plot research you won't see at this stage). The next update is likely to follow in only a few weeks, and will hopefully involve the remaining early-game / mid-game research text and my first proper attempts to play the game (which will naturally lead to a lot of balance and usability improvements). So if you guys could give the build a quick test and report any major bugs you encounter that would be great! Key Changes: New Research / Game Completion Chain: I've updated the visual style of the research pop-up and added some new research text for some of the early game research projects. Additionally, I've been reworking the research text for the plot-related research, and working on the two new set-piece missions that must be completed to win the game. These missions are not at all balanced or polished yet (they're missing various pieces of art, and will need the improved AI before they are a genuinely fun experience) but they are there in placeholder terms. New art: we've added various new pieces of art to the game, from the main menu title screen to the research / engineering background artwork to the strategic art for some UFOs. Aerial Terror Missions: the basic form of the "aerial terror site" mission is in place now. The aliens will periodically attack your Geoscape command centers, forcing you to defend them if they are not to be permanently destroyed - but in these missions you'll have a squadron of friendly AI interceptors (their level affected by proliferation) backing you up. Again this mission hasn't properly been balanced so it may be way too easy or way too hard right now, but the important thing right now is that it's there and working. For the next update I might make this mission more organic, too - i.e. maybe normal ground attack UFOs will have a detection radius and will move to attack any command centers that they encounter, which I think would be a powerful disincentive to expand beyond the area you can protect with your aircraft. New damage / armour model: the new dynamic damage / armour model has been added to the game. Armour now offers soldiers extra HP that is destroyed when it prevents damage, but incoming damage is also affected by the "level" (i.e. hardness) of the armour relative to that of the weapon (i.e. penetration). If the weapon is higher, that weapon will ignore some of the armour HP. If the armour is higher, the incoming damage will be reduced by a % before damage is applied. Both effects get stronger the better the greater the difference between the armour and weapon. Soldier equip / dropship usability fixes: we've added a few new features to these screens to make it easier to see the soldiers you have assigned to a dropship, and to move them around within the squad. General: The buildings and the stats of the various Geoscape regions have been externalised to editable JSON files rather than hardcoded, theoretically allowing them to be modded. We'll be externalising the remainder of the hardcoded data in the coming weeks too. Strategy: Geoscape - research complete pop-up has been restyled and some new research text has been added. Geoscape - the Agent system has been set up, which is a very basic system that allows you to spend an Agent (using the button in the top right) to reduce the Panic in one Geoscape region. Geoscape - tech proliferation is now in place, meaning the local regions will unlock certain items (e.g. laser weapons) 30 days after you have researched them. Geoscape - anomalies (the little events spawned by UFOs) now support longer semi-randomised strings like in X1, and are now biome dependent too (i.e. you won't get "mall strafed" events happening in the middle of Greenland). Geoscape - you now get a pop-up if a new building type is unlocked by completing research. Geoscape - the "UFO Detected" pop-up now contains some additional information that includes whether any Escort craft are present. Geoscape - the UFO Intercepted pop-up now shows an image of that UFO and any escorts (like it did in X1). Geoscape - Intercepting a UFO / ground mission will now autoselect the first aircraft of the appropriate type from the closest base. Art - added strategy and air combat artwork for the new Probe and Scout UFOs. The next update will have another 3 or 4 new UFOs in it. Art - added new background and / or character art to the Main Menu, Research and Engineering screens. Art - some minor updates the Main Base structures artwork. Art - minor restyle to the Geoscape topbar. Aircraft - dropship arrangement screen layout changed so it now shows a vertical list of the soldiers in the dropship, rather than having them dotted around the dropship (which fell apart when you got bigger dropships). Soldier Equip - you can now drag and drop soldiers both in the Soldier Equip screen soldier list and on the dropship arrangement screen to re-order them within the squad, allowing you to change their hotkey number. Soldier Equip - the height of tiles in the armory of the Soldier Equip screen now reflects their inventory height, so grenades and ammo are half the height of a weapon. Soldier Equip - viewing the soldier equip screen with a vehicle selected now only displays items equippable to that vehicle, and conversely vehicle items no longer appear for soldiers. Soldier Equip - you can edit the equipment of a soldier not assigned to the dropship. Note this does not actually assign them items until they get moved to a dropship - so you may find they "lose" items if there are none available when you move them into the dropship! Soldier Equip - added the old capacity visualisation soldier icons to the dropship element on the Soldier Equip screen. Air Combat: The starting Falcon interceptor has been swapped out for the new X-25 Angel interceptor, which has a higher speed but is otherwise functionally identical. The X-25 is based on the Mig-25 so uses for the Foxtrot from the first game for now; updated art and a Xenopedia entry will follow in upcoming builds. Removed the evasive roll from a number of UFOs, including the Scout. This means that an Angel with basic equipment can now solo a Scout. Ground Combat: The new armour and penetration system has been implemented. It now works as follows: All units still have resistances, which reduce incoming damage of a particular type by a set %. However these aren't used to do much beyond passive resistances; e.g. a unit with a rebreather has a 100% resistance against Gas damage, and non-robotic units have 100% resistance against EMP damage, etc. Armour now no longer provides a damage reduction against each shot, but provides an extra HP pool that is consumed before the soldier underneath takes damage. e.g. if a unit with 10 armour is shot by 8 damage, the unit takes no damage but is only left with 2 armour afterwards. If they take another 8 damage, they sustain 6 damage and are left with no armour. Weapons and armour now also have a "level", which represents the hardness of the armour and the penetration of the weapon. If one is higher than the other then additional effects come into play that grow stronger when the difference between the two is larger. If the weapon is higher than the armour, the incoming damage penetrates and a certain % of it bypasses the armour. If the armour is higher than the weapon, the incoming damage is reduced by a certain % before damage is applied. This serves to model the different tech levels throughout the game. No matter how much kevlar you strap to your body, it's not going to offer protection against high-tier alien weapons. Similarly, advanced armour like the Predator exosuit will take much reduced damage from low-tier alien weapon fire. The ground combat inventory panel has been reworked and now looks better and displays significantly more information than before, including the Armour HP of the soldier. We've improved the way ammo is linked to weapons, fixing the bug where items in backpacks had no ammo and ensuring that weapons can now be unloaded with a right-click just like they could in X1. We can now choose to display the equipped ammo on specific weapons if we want - similar to what we did with the rocket launcher in X1, which always displayed an image of the rocket loaded into it. The grenade "miss" logic has been updated, and units should be far less likely to flub a throw and drop a grenade at their feet. The range of a grenade is now based on the Strength of a soldier, and the hit chance is based on how far short of max range you are throwing. Strong soldiers can either therefore throw a grenade further than a normal soldier, or throw it a normal distance with increased accuracy. One or more "alien bomb" props have been added to the Raid / Terror Sites. These provide Alenium and a tech unlock; the main purpose is just so you get a reward for doing terror missions in the same way as you get a reward for doing a Crash Site mission. I've sped up the move, shoot and death animations of the Xenonaut soldiers to make them more similar to the speeds in the X1 combat. This makes combat a bit snappier, although there's still some code work still to be done to remove some extra pauses from the game before it feels as smooth as X1 in that regard. Visual - added some of the old X1 explosion sprites into the game for rockets and grenades. Visual - created an AK-47 model for the various soviet and middle eastern local forces. Visual - made a slight visual change to the smoke tiles. Visual - added some new art for the Alien Magnetic LMG. Balance - the starting dropship now has a capacity of 8 soldiers instead of 10. Balance - Androns no longer explode on death. Balance - civilians should only have 25HP now. Bugfix - killing a zombie should no longer spawn multiple Reapers. Bugfix - Androns should now disappear when killed. As always, please let us know if you encounter any issues with the build by posting in our bug reporting sub-forums and we'll do our best to patch the issues out!
  24. Chris

    [V13.0] Aeriel Terror site

    Thanks for the reports, guys. Yeah, I can reproduce this too. We'll put out a hotfix once this is fixed.
  25. Actually, I feel like it's probably sensible to take a step back and think about what we really want to achieve with this system. There's a few key points: The tech tree should contain more items but without extending the overall length of the game. The player should ideally not have enough resources to immediately mass produce enough of a specific item to outfit their entire squad with it as soon as they research it, so there's interesting decisions about which soldiers get the new equipment and an immediate reward after each mission where you can usually build a few more new items. Specific resource needs should ideally encourage players to sometimes fight missions that wouldn't otherwise make sense for that stage in the game - e.g. "I need 6 Sebillian corpses to upgrade my Medical Room, guess I'm going to have to shoot down that little Scout and murderise some low-tier Sebillians!" Engineers should have enough to do to keep them busy throughout the game. Extracting maximum value from crash sites would ideally require lots of storage space and engineering time. A lot of the problem in X1 was that the progression was really simple - you researched Laser Weapons, immediately built 8 laser weapons and gave them to your squad, then researched Wolf Armour and built 8 Wolf Armour for your squad, etc. Missions were generally just about unlocking the next tier of technology, so once you'd captured one Corvette UFO capturing a second didn't seem a particularly interesting idea. The players that grinded crash sites usually did so because they'd built too many interceptors, so they would run loads of missions just to stop themselves going into negative funds - which is literally the most boring mission "reward" possible. When viewed in this context, perhaps adding lots of intermediate construction items is unnecessary complexity. I suspect trying to make use of items that already exist and are currently just sold for cash might be a better option.