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  1. So I finally got V8 out around the time of the (revised) deadline. It has now been authorised and is ready to download. So, first big news is this - V8.1 will be the one with the Research tree and manufacturing in. We'll be releasing that on Friday, assuming we can get the rendering done fast enough. There were a couple of bugs in the software and it was taking too long to render out all the weapon / armour combinations as we were adding new ones for both, so we delayed it. I figured you guys would rather be able to use the results of the research properly than just have an M16 than fired laser bolts... Other than that, V8 has come out alright. These are the main changes in it: Control improvements: (not an exhaustive list) 'Turn X' screen removed at the start of each turn, as lots of people thought it was a loading screen. Selecting a new troop while another one is in motion no longer cancels the movement of the first. This makes moving troops quicker. Double clicking the icon for a soldier should centre the camera on them, as should doublepressing their keyboard hoykey number. Fire mode for weapons now allows you to target specific parts of the battlefield. If you want to shoot at a wall, you can now shoot directly at it rather than just past it. This makes them easier to hit too, as the soldiers are trying to do so (previously they'd be trying to miss the target, if you see what I mean). Alien head icons for spotted aliens are displayed as normal if the selected soldier can see the alien in question. If they cannot, it it shown at reduced opacity. Soldiers can now vault over waist high walls at double movement cost for normal movement. In this map this is mostly the metal pipes. The line of sight mechanics have been completely rewritten and hopefully should behave much more predictably now. The old ones turned out to be surprisingly buggy. New Kneeling / Cover System: Previously kneeling into cover was done automatically, and did not cost AP. This was unwieldy when combined with soldiers vaulting waist high cover walls. Kneeling now costs 4AP and provides a reduced chance of being hit (60% as opposed to 100% for any shot passing through that tile) and also a shooting accuracy bonus. However, it should also increase the stopping value of all obstacles between the shooter and the target by 50% to compensate for his lower height. 'Leaning' has been entirely removed from the game. It was a pain in the ass. Cover now applies if you are standing in the tile, but is more effective if you are kneeling. Title Screen: There is now a title screen in the game when you first load it up. This has some nice art and music on it. The art is not finished, but is essentially what we want to go for with the 'new GUI style' some of you may have heard me refering to before. More details on that at a future date. The clipboard options allow you to Save the game, Load existing games or customise the options - sound volume, mouse sensitivity and key remapping. There are four difficulty settings that affect the speed of the alien invasion and the HP of the UFOs in battle. These settings have not been balanced yet and will also affect the alien unit stats and weapon damage in the final game. Save / Load: You can now save the game on the Geoscape. This feature needs some major testing. Please break it as comprehensively as you can. Save / Load is not yet active in the ground combat missions. We're working on that at the moment. Radar Changes: Previously the base radar was made up of long-range and short-range detection. Now radars have detection range and tracking range, and there is only one base radar building. The detection range is represented by the solid blue circle on the Geoscape and UFOs have a % chance per minute to be detected when within this. Radar detection chance is now linear with range (we need to tweak this as UFOs are still picked up far too fast). The tracking range is represented by the blue dotted circle beyond the detection range. Detected UFOs within this range will no longer be lost even if they leave detection range. This is to stop the continual detection / redetection issue that occurred when UFOs flew a random path on the edge of detection range. The inner circle (previously short-range radar) is now defunct and will be removed in the next build. This should reduce the Geoscape clutter. New Animations: We've added new animations for the basic soldier and Jackal soldier with most of the basic weapons, the shotgun and unarmed ones aside. I'll create a forum thread to point out broken animations (one where a blue rifle-armed soldier performs the animation). Battlefield Randomisation: The battlefield is now more random than before. There's a couple of variants of most of the sub-maps, although they're not drastically different (I didn't have the time to completely change them) it does illustrate how the randomisation does work. We'll add more different maps in V8.1 or V8.2 I think. The battlefields now have multiple UFO types - or or least, the technology is now there. I've put in 'maps' for both the Corvette and the Scout. These are variants of the Evil Alien Factory (so don't use real UFO tiles) but are differing sizes and layout. There is also some slight variation in the interior layout between the Scout maps to show that this is possible - it'll be much more obvious in the final version once the UFO tiles are done. There might be some more new features than that, but if so then I've forgotten them. Anyway, the build is now at 40% uploaded...
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