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About Me





  1. Hello all - as Chris mentioned in the development update, I am now the first full time employee at Goldhawk. I had previously been working on Xenonauts in my spare time for about a year as a tile artist, which is what I will talk about a little in this post. Firstly I should say a little about my background. My previous "real" job was as a software developer at an engineering software company working on fluid dynamics simulation software (I studied cybernetics at university), and prior to that I have also worked as a games/software tester at Lionhead Studios and on other less interesting projects. I am of course an avid PC gamer and also an incurable tinkerer; I started modding around 1997, eventually making some neat little mods for Operation Flashpoint and since then have been modding pretty much continuously - I worked for a long time on the Forgotten Hope mod for the Battlefield series, and also on a C&C Generals mod called Rise of the Reds. I have done pretty much everything in that time - audio, scripting, modelling, skinning, level building and game design. About this time last year I met Chris at the Eurogamer expo and got chatting to him about developing Xenonauts, and ended up doing some freelance tile art. About 6 months later I was starting to look for a new job, and Chris was talking about staffing up Xenonauts and getting an office, and so here we are. Anyway, that's plenty of rambling about me - on to the task at hand. The tools I use when creating tile art for Xenonauts are the 3D modelling package Blender and the 2D graphics package GIMP. The main advantage of both of these is of course that they are free; when I started working on Xenonauts I actually hadn't used either of these before that much, but coming from Photoshop and 3D Studio Max the transition wasn't so difficult especially given the huge number of tutorials; for Blender I particularly recommend http://www.blendtuts.com/ and, for something more advanced, the "vehicle modelling training series" from CG Cookie is well worth the money. Planning -------- So when creating a new building for a tile set, we must of course decide what it should be - we wanted the Soviet town to look distinct from the Western town set, and had decided on a slightly more run down style with some government presence. We also wanted at least one large building that can be used to build a complex centrepiece structure for a map, and for this we decided to use on a mixed use office/archive government build in a somewhat ornate style (at least compared to the buildings around it) as a multi-tier structure. After that came deciding specifically what it would look like. I already had in my mind one clear inspiration immediately, which was the Soviet archive building that featured in Goldeneye (both the film and N64 game) - it was stylistically suitable and also looked like it could be recreated in a tile-able form quite well. Additionally I poured over lots of pictures of KGB headquarters buildings from all over the Soviet Union, particularly for exterior references, as these all tend to occupy a similar style of building. After that I would normally sketch out each different type of object (windows, doors etc...) that would be needed for the building exterior, just to make sure the designs I had in mind for each individual piece would interlock with each other correctly; at this stage though I am practised enough to be able to do that in my head and combine that with the next phase, which is building the geometry. Modelling -------- Creating the geometry of each building piece is one of the simplest parts of the process. I use standard vertex modelling and just extrude, extrude, extrude until I have the shape I need. I have a standard template file for Blender (more on the reason for that later), and each different item gets one layer of this file; this keeps everything related together and means if I were to make global changes, such as changing a colour or texture, it is inherited by all similar objects automatically - this is pretty vital as even tiny mismatches between tiles will be glaringly obvious once they are in the game but are hard to detect during rendering. Here are a couple of untextured tiles: The next step is applying colour and texture. I do this entirely using procedurally generated textures in Blender, rather than the more traditional way of using static files. The reasons for this are it eliminates the need to UVW unwrap anything (a time consuming process) and it means I can make fairly significant changes to my geometry (Chris is a fiend for revisions!) and the textures will just adjust themselves accordingly and still tile nicely with other pieces. For the interior wall above I have simply applied the appropriate colour (from Goldeneye!) and then set a subtle noise effect all over to simulate slight imperfections in the painted finish - in reality you likely wouldn't see these details from a distance, but having the wall completely blank of any detail would counter-intuitively look quite jarring in the game. For the exterior, the bricks have been given a high contrast pattern of dark rendered "clouds" across them to simulate the way they collect water stains and similar marks, while the concrete between them has an even rougher pattern of rendered dark noise to simulate its pitted surface. The window frame I just left as a clean cream colour - it has enough detail on it from the geometry to not need a texture, and applying one to complicated objects at this low a resolution will simply make it look like a mess of noise. Here are some more parts from the complete set: You can see we have a couple of different variations on exterior wall colour - the idea behind this is to replicate the style many of those KGB buildings have, where the ground floor is a darker colour of brick, with floors above that clad in lighter colours. Rendering --------- Once all that is done the final step is to render all the tiles out so they can be put in the game. In theory this sounds simple, but in actual fact it is the part of the process that causes the most headaches, and it has taken me a great deal of experimentation and preparation to be able to get to the step where I can essentially "turn the key" and produce a complete set of renders for a full Blender file. The main problem is these files are small - only 128*128 pixels in resolution - and each tile needs to fit perfectly in the space between every other tile in the set. It must also always be rendered from the same position, otherwise the rendering algorithm may end up placing the edge of one face one pixel too short - this would be undetectable in the render but would show up in the game as obvious seams between each tile. Lighting must also be accurately reproduced to match the existing tiles in the game (all of which are lit more strongly from the right). On top of all that, each building has just a huge number of tiles - the basic set of tiles for the Soviet archives has 96 different tiles in it, not counting those for the roof, which is an awful lot of opportunities to make mistakes. It also consumes huge amounts of time - when I first started working on the tiles I was spending as much, if not more, time on the simple rendering and naming process than I was on the actual creation. Problem Solved -------------- My solution to this was twofold. Firstly I created a template Blender file in which both the lighting and the camera are set-up perfectly, and I then animated the light and camera so that each frame of animation corresponded to viewing the tile from a different direction. This meant rendering a tile from all 4 of the necessary direction was just a matter of advancing the frame count in Blender by one. I was also able to use this animation method to automate some of the more tedious tasks like rendering doors in their open, closed and destroyed state. This was a big improvement, but left the time consuming and error prone process of manually naming each frame into the correct format for the game; so I came up with an additional tool to fix that. I found an application called Blender++, which comes with a command line utility called "brend" that can render out Blender files automatically one frame at a time - this didn't solve the naming problem (all the different objects would come out named after the file with a numerical tag), but it did solve the problem of me needing to manually switch Blender. I then wrote a wrapper for the brend utility as a batch file, that worked as follows - you drag and drop the file you want to start rendering onto the batch, and it kicks off a brend of the first 4 frames in that Blender file and then shows you the results - at that point it asks you what the object is, so you would type "window" for example, and then it automatically names each frame with the appropriate name and facing (i.e. does it face NE, NW, SE or SW?) and moves it to a finished; it then asks you if you want to render more, and if so it moves to the next Blender layer (i.e. where the next object is stored) and repeats the rendering and naming process. This system cuts the time needed to render and name a large set of tiles from several hours to about 15 minutes, and is vastly more robust in terms of avoiding errors. Tiles produced by the process can be dropped straight into the game for set-up, and if there are any tweaks needed it is a fairly simple process to redo the renders again in such a way that the new tiles can just overwrite the old tiles with no need for re-checking the positions. The reliability of this system has also made it possible for me to do more complex building types (such as Nissen huts, which you may not have seen yet) which have curved edges that need to match absolutely perfectly between tile transitions. Once the complete set of tiles for a building like the Soviet archives is complete it gets put in the game for testing and is also passed on to our very talented 2D artist Mikael, who paints over the tiles to give them that stylised look we use for all buildings in Xenonauts; it is always an absolute pleasure to see how awesome the tiles can turn out after he gone over them. Anyway I've enjoyed rambling on about this, and hopefully it will be a bit of an interesting insight into how these kinds of old school 3D tiles are produced. As much work as all of the above may seem, I think once the results are in game they give Xenonauts a high resolution look that is fairly unique amongst modern pixel art games.
  2. So today I've done various things, but at about midday the updated background art for the new Geoscape screen arrived and I went back to trying to find the look I want for the Geoscape in our new UI. I think I'm pretty much there now. Here we go: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/Geoscape_normal.jpg http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/Geoscape_zoomed.jpg For comparison, this is the current Geoscape: http://img42.imageshack.us/img42/5035/xenonauts20120106203251.jpg Basically, we've made it a bit more colourful and used the trusty black border around the landmasses to give them that handpainted feel. We'll redo the base / UFO / aircraft icons to fit the style a bit better too, but hopefully you'll agree that it will make the game significantly nicer than it currently is! Comments and feedback welcome.
  3. Mod im working on and yes I am the artist for the drawings. I plan to redraw all the armor and soldiers and do the sprites as well to match the armor (kill me its going to be a pain) hmmm might also do some the splash art/base art as well. I havent done any males yet other than the one you see at the moment. I havent started on them yet and just wanted to showcase the male uniform. I still have a lot more females to do so yeaaaaaah its gonna be a while till I release this mod.
  4. Hi, I'm a long time fan of XCOM, having played the original all those years ago. I admit I have not yet had the opportunity to acquire the pre-release from Steam, as work pressure is through the roof currently. While sneaking past a few webpages about Xenonauts, I stumbled across this: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/3748-New-UI-preview! Now, the people in these images seem remarkably Northern European for a base in North Africa. It struck me, wouldn't it be cool if the majority of the people on the base appeared to come from the region in which the base was located? Would this not contribute greatly to the feeling that it is a truly international effort?
  5. July 19th 2013 - New Haircuts, cleaned up facial textures More on the progress here:http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6199-Xenonauts-Marine-Edition?p=76969&viewfull=1#post76969 Random choice of 5% Navy Petty Officer or Chief but more than likely you'll recruit a Marine in Khaki portrait uniform. July 14th 2013 - The last of the updates: You should probably listen to the new main menu music before you look below: This will conclude the last of the updates for the weekend. Well it looks like it's all coming together now, phase one is almost complete (Textures, simple XML mechanics revised). Phase two will consist of retexturing the ground combat units (busy work). The last phase won't take place until the game is released and that will consist of the aircraft carrier, ranks etcetera (as long as some of the hardcoded characteristics can be broken). *BETA TESTING* I need a couple Beta Testers, who's up for it? Not so fast, your mission will be to help me find bugs and test every aspect that I've modded. I'd prefer someone with modding experience that way they can help me debug anything that is wrong, but that won't exclude you. I spent today compiling the mod and thoroughly checking over the XML's and I'm please to report all errors are gone. If you're interested bump my thread and make sure you have room for an invitation in your mailbox. Thanks for taking an interest in my mod and now enjoy some of the updated screenshots on me; have a great rest of your weekend! - Charlie (Updated) Ingame Images: Main Screen, has custom music too. New Game Difficulty Screen; not much I can do about the text, I will probably redo the clipboard at some point. Base Icons, Aircraft strings and Icons updated to include C-130 (not pictured) Predeployment Screen - I have yet to find a suitable backdrop, I will keep looking. However both male and female Marines now have custom face portraits as well as custom info to reflect their actual MCRUC "unit". Aircraft Screen - Will be replaced by a V-22 Osprey Image. I updated the Aircraft Strings & Unit Icons as well. I have to reinstall ArmA2 to get descent top view screenshots of these aircraft. I searched on google images today but didn't have any luck or at least anything highres to use. Will be replaced by a AV-8B Harrier Image. End Mission Screen - reflects some of the changes. July 13th 2013 - XML Updates: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6199-My-Little-Marine-Mod?p=75668&viewfull=1#post75668 July 7th 2013 (Pics in Link)- Armor progression post. http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6199-My-Little-Marine-Mod?p=74210&viewfull=1#post74210 Development Explained: Part 1 - http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6199-My-Little-Marine-Mod?p=74222&viewfull=1#post74222 Part 2 - http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6199-My-Little-Marine-Mod?p=74225&viewfull=1#post74225 Part 3 - http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6199-My-Little-Marine-Mod?p=74227&viewfull=1#post74227 July 6th 2013 (Pics in Link) - I've completed the Male Portraits and there's a little surprise as well! http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6199-My-Little-Marine-Mod?p=74133&viewfull=1#post74133 July 5th 2013 (Pics in Link) - Updated Uniforms: Basic, Jackal & Wolf on Page 2 http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6199-My-Little-Marine-Mod?p=73920&viewfull=1#post73920 July 5th 2013 - Updated the game difficulty menu. July 4th 2013 - I finished a couple of the barracks pics for the MARPAT Uniform and the NBC Suit. "Images removed because of Armor Progression update" July 3rd 2013 - I spent a few hours today working on a Marine Modification, anyway I need some feedback from you before I progress on any further. Would you prefer MARPAT or DESMARPAT for battle? Thanks for your time. I'm a long time advocate for the X-Com series, as a kid I played it for hours and hours. I'm so pleased that Xenonauts has been created, so much so that I decided that since I'm not working right now I thought I'd start work on a mod for it. I was in the Marines for many years but I'm out now, thus the reasoning behind making a Marine conversion for this game. If you have any suggestions or things you'd like to see please let me know, thanks. Main Features: -Floating Base; I'd like to make a floating CVN Xenonauts base. It will have a much smaller layout than a traditional base but you'll be able to move it around the geospace much like you do with the aircraft. The idea behind it is to mimic something close to the MPPS (Maritime Prepositioning Ship) doctrine. In the begining it will be built just like a base is but you won't be able to move it, that will take some scripting to achieve. Anyway that's really the only big thing I have planned. Other than that it's going to take me quite awhile to retexture the hundreds of battle icons to reflect MARPAT. -AOR Uniform; much like how the civilians are scripted to look different depending on which part of the world you are doing battle in, your troops will wear a different uniform. I already know how to do this but it'll be the last feature I complete. -Pilots; I'd like to be able to assign pilots to aircraft so that they get xp and rank up just like the ground forces do. I'm not sure how I'd do this yet but I'm planning on poking around in the scripting to see what I can accomplish. -New Rank System -New Awards and Citations to reflect actual ones -I'll probably incorporate a realistic weapon and aircraft mod when a suitable option is available upon release -New Vehicles, LAV, Stryker, and something sci-fyish -Retexture of all Xenonauts Marine Units as well as in Barracks mode -Basic Armor will be replaced with the Marine Corps "Charlie" or "Delta" uniform to reflect MP's or MSG. The idea behind this is that when your base is attacked your MP's and MSG (lower ranks in training) will grab their weapons and defend. All of the advanced armor will be retextured, at some point I might alter it or create something new. -Jackal Armor will be replaced with a suitable modern Marine load-out of "Deuce Gear" Roles: Awards:
  6. So I was playing today and I noticed that the sidewinder really looks nothing like a sidewinder at all. It's too thick and stumpy compared to a real sidewinder. Just look at this link and tell me there's something "toylike" about the in game one at the moment.
  7. I have two immediate responses to the game, which I have now played through a couple of builds. The first is something that may already be under consideration and that an be addressed without too much cost in time and money. The second is fairly integral, and likely something that no longer can be modified, but I believe must still be addressed. Firstly, having spent many hours playing the name-sake of this game, I am slowly adjusting to the high-res renderings of both characters and environments, I realize how my expectations have been influenced by a degree of irony inherent in the low-rez rendering of the original production. In this regard, however, I have to say that I am finding some difficulty with the full-frame character renderings (illustrations) and their portraiture as currently implemented. This is not a critique of the tactical map rendering, only the portraiture and "life-drawing" as presented. Far be it from me (an art-student who could never draw particularly well) to critique the drafting skills of others, but I have to say that both the quality of the character renderings (proportion and contour), and their flat, model-less lighting leaves something to be desired. I know that much work as been added, in terms of the base facility backgrounds, but I am hopeful that a more skilled illustrator will be brought in to fine-tune the final "look" of both personnel and facility interiors. I am not objecting to the pen-and-ink contour approach, just the particular "monochromatic" and "folksy" way in which it is currently implemented. I am left without a sense of the "visual atmosphere" that the original game conveyed, even in it's graphically-limited, pixelated form. Secondly, and this is a far more difficult problem to address at this stage of development. One of the great things about the original X-COM (if I am allowed to use that term) was the manner in which UFO LORE was implemented, and integral to the game design and story. All, or at least most, of the alien species represented had some context in terms of their referential appearance within the (well researched) popular cultural mythology around which the game was based; Greys, animal mutilations, an implied hierarchical ranking of exo-species, etc. Now I have not been able to play the game far enough to see if this idea is carried through in Xenonauts, but from the early play, it seems that the aliens are implemented in a rather random, self-invented order, which detracts from some of the Wit, Irony, Satire, and Caricature, that were so integral to the original game, and aided immensely in its immersive nature. I doubt that this criticism can be addressed seriously at this stage of development, but it had to be said. I am not making these comments out of expectation that this game should mimic its original inspiration in its entirety, only that I am aware of some key elements that were critical to my personal involvement with the original product that I find currently lacking. Please take these critiques for what they are, observations that I hope can aid in greater success for your obvious, dedicated efforts.
  8. Hi there, I have found the game really by chance and since I love X-COM I decided to give it a try and was surprised by the GUI design. You have GREAT in game art why not the UI ? This is done in 20min (yeah have no time ) and yes I`m GUI artist Hope you like it and btw I have used elements from your rifles design - they are lovely@ full res image: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B2v4Mb5m9-EeZ09qR1RPSm1yUDg/edit?usp=sharing
  9. Here's a preview of how the new UI will look. This is more to keep everyone in the loop as to what we're up to rather than to solicit much feedback at this stage. The UI has gone through enough concept iterations now that we know pretty much what works; in fact in this iteration we've stayed much closer to the present design than previous designs have. The main changes are: 1) A consistent topbar across all the screens. This improves on the current design which only has 4 tabs on the Geoscape, and vastly improves on the previous "immersive" concept which would have awkwardly used a sign on the wall for navigation. It means that the navigation buttons and the date / money information is all in a consistent place on every screen, which is key from a usability point of view. 2) We've implemented a tabbed "speech bubble" menu type on most of the screens. This has two advantages - it keeps the UI clean as we don't have to have all the information on screen at once (the player can just click to the desired tab) and also it adds more character to the game. There's now a chief on most of the screens, which involves you in the organisation a bit more. 3) It looks a lot nicer. Our painted background are nicer than our previous ones and you can see more of them than before, and the light background works better than the dark one we currently use. It's just much more coherent than before. Some of the art is placeholder. The topbar name is the same on each page because there was no need to update it, plus the background art repeats on the right-hand side. I can't be bothered to go into details on aspect ratios, but if you have a 16:9 monitor you'll have the ideal experience from the game. If you have at 16:10 then the actual playable area will remain the same, but there'll be a band of background on the left and right of the screen that will be hidden. So, here's the UI: Laboratory Screen: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/3_Research_1610.jpg http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/3_Research_1610_2.jpg Workshop: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/4_Workshop_1610.jpg http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/4_Workshop_1610_2.jpg Barracks: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/5_Barracks_1610.jpg http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/5_Barracks_1610_2.jpg Stores: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/6_Stores_1610.jpg http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/6_Stores_1610_2.jpg Soldier Equip: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/7_SoldierEquip_1610.jpg Vehicle Equip: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/8_VehicleEquip_1610.jpg Aircraft Equip: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/9_AircraftEquip_1610.jpg http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/9_AircraftEquip_1610_2.jpg Base Screen: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/2_Base_1610.jpg (this does not yet have a painted background, it's just a layout!) There's also the Geoscape and Xenopedia screens, which are not yet complete. The Geoscape is being concepted up at the moment. Here's the current concept for the Geoscape screen: http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/Geoscape_normal.jpg http://www.xenonauts.com/devimages/Geoscape_zoomed.jpg EDIT - if you want to come up with your own alternative concepts (as I'm not tweaking these concepts any more) then you can download the Photoshop files for the UI screens here and have a go: http://www.xenonauts.com/devfiles/finalUI.rar
  10. New ranks system and rank insignia; New roles images; New title of medals and new medals; New images of game difficulty. WG Mod will be updated... Old version WG Mod for build V19 stable_hotfix 02\09\2013 http://www.sendspace.com/file/xp2fws New version WG Mod Mark II for build V19 stable_hotfix 02\09\2013 http://www.sendspace.com/file/6kabn7 - Roles images changed; - Basic armour (male) changed;
  11. I made this forum profile just to say that the portraits are quite....pardon me....badly made. As you probably already know there is a guy called Jsleezy on these forums who makes much better portraits. Hire him just for the purpose of making portraits and that's problem solved.
  12. Will the sprite (in the base layout menu) be updated to be more sharp? At the moment, it looks very stretched especially when next to all the other sprites.
  13. So I haven't played Xenonauts for a really long time, but I decided to start it up today since I saw it got a couple new updates on Steam. So I started it up (after modding the shit out of it, shout out to Assoonasitis, thothkins, Sathra, etc), and I was appalled. What happened to my old pretty, cool, cold war-y geoscape? I thought the old geoscape was the coolest thing ever, although it definitely needed some patching up (missing land, a little buggy). I think the new geoscape is ugly as hell. It really sort of turns me off of the game, it doesn't feel like I'm playing Xenonauts. I'll look at some geoscape mods, but I don't have very high hopes. Anyways, I just wanted to put my two cents in, and maybe also find out if there's any way of getting the old geoscape back.
  14. I still get blank pictures and #### at some spots in the game. Examples: Laser turrets have no art in the base layout. Alien biology no art on the research results screen. Quite a few of the short research descriptions on the assign research screen are still coming up ####. These haven't changed much in the last three or four builds. I'm just curious. What causes the most problems for me are the #### on some of the research. I really don't know exactly what I'm researching.
  15. Hello there all, just bought the game and after a few hours of an initial run, I'm digging it, I really am. That said, I also see you're taking suggestions, and while I realize the vast majority of the work is done on Xenonauts already there does seem to be some room for improvement, and I figured I'd toss some cents in the ring. So . . . 1) Why are Caesareans (? I realize that's not the right spelling . . . so let's call them Sect-, er, Greys) wearing loafers? It just seems . . . odd. I realize it might be too much work at this point, but can you recolor or re-texture just their feet? I started my first mission and didn't even realize the first alien was an alien at first, and after I thought about it for a bit I realized why: it's that they're wearing shoes. Also, red upper shirt patterned into total black? I know you're not worried about being shut-down by the X-Com guys, but maybe you should worry about Paramount and the standard Star Trek TNG uniform instead. 2) Something that shouldn't be expensive in the asset dept. but will add a bit to the flavor - hand signals. Basically: > Pick the highest ranking/highest experience soldier on a ground mission. Give them added sub-designation of "Captain". > "Captain" has no extra stats or anything since balance is hard and we don't want to break it at this point with a bunch of extra stats etc. > All the "Captain" designation does is that whenever player makes move actions with NON-Captain soldiers, the "Captain" makes hand signals in the general direction of the moving soldier. This is to simulate the silent "go there" tactical commands real soldiers use. > To save on animation budget, just use the throw animation/ half a throw animation. > If "Captain" dies, new "Captain" is autopicked from next highest rank/ experience level. Boom! Now you have a little flourish that makes the game look a bit nicer, fits with the military aesthetic, and is mostly programming, not art asset heavy. 3) A Records page would be nice. I'd really like to be able to see my total stats on missions, how many Xenonauts have been killed et cetera. 4) I get that this is primarily based on the original X-Com with some extra tweaks here and there. But I also get you guys are making this your own thing, and I really like some of the added touches, like all the news reports of what's going on around the world. That's neat. It also leads to a neat idea that fits the cold-war theme: G-Men. Basically, it seems odd to me that in setting this game in the 1960's/Cold War era, you have not seemingly added anything to do with spies. You know, that thing that happened like ALL THE TIME in the Cold War? But then I realized, "Well, it's still about aliens, after all." Which led to the "Cold War Spies" of classic alien Conspiracy: The G-Man. Essentially, I think it'd be a cool Geoscape feature if you could hire G-Men (or just . . . "Agents") in addition to Scientists and Engineers. So, they cost money to hire, you need housing for them, and they have upkeep, so they have some set costs (though they should be fairly low) . . . so what's their benefit? Basically, you can assign them to territories the way you assign engineers to projects or scientists to research, and what they can do is cover up alien activity that the player cannot reach on the geoscape in the early game, and can act as "scouts" for ground missions. Here's how: > Say you have six G-Men. You have your first base in North America, so you have a tough time protecting Russian, European and Asian interests and they get all sorts of abductions, events, et cetera. So, to keep from funding drain (again, at a cost, so this is really just a mitigation factor for long term strategy) you assign 3 G-Men to the USSR, 2 to Europe, and 1 to Indochina. > Like Scientists, each G-Man in a region produces a chance (on a fixed percentage per Agent relative to the "size" of the region their assigned to, with their effectiveness reduced in larger regions) to generate a result. The main result is that if they proc, when an incident occurs that you have no control over, the G-Men can intercept it before the government of the region does and can attempt to cover it up, preventing the player from losing the monthly funding that region provides for that incident. This is on an incident by incident basis, and there are plenty that they can miss, AND they can fail in the cover-up, so we're talking two dice rolls here. But the big benefit is pretty rad when they hit: saving yourself some funding money AND keeping relations with a region more stable. > Obviously, in the late game, this functionality would be useless, since you most likely are going to have a bunch of bases by then (at the very least, a couple radar bases to track UFOs), so their secondary ability becomes valuable then: scouting field missions. Essentially, if the coverage with these Agents in a region is set at least the "Average" rating, then when you arrive on at the drop zone, the map is pre-drawn for the player (there's still fog of war, but you get the terrain layout). If the coverage is at "Good" then the G-Men are able to remove civilians from the battlefield (by preventing them from getting into it ostensibly) from crash site missions and at "excellent", they remove civvies from Landing missions and you get an enemy headcount going into any mission. > Now, these guy's take 3-5 days to transfer regions when you assign them to a new locale, so they have gaps of non-usefulness and they can be killed if they fail a cover-up, so there are some risks with them too. If you wanted to get fancy, you could probably come up with interesting little mini-missions with such a concept, but that's probably going to far for what should hopefully be a mostly asset-less suggestion (they just need a Xenopedia page and a base UI tab as far as I can see). So basically, the agents act as a meta-game Geoscape strategy tool the player can use as an early game stop-gap if they're willing to spend extra cash in a different way than normal, thus diversifying our larger strategy options while both fitting the Cold War Era theme you got going on AND separating just a smidge more from the original X-Com so you get that extra little bit of "not a total clone you haters". With that, I'm done. Thanks for taking the time to read all my rambling.
  16. So, we all have seen the standard hidden movement screen probably dozens, if not hundreds of times. Currently it's broken, so obviously that needs to be fixed, but once it is fixed, we'll again watch the same image flash up and down in ground combat after ground combat. It's a good image, don't get me wrong, but it's so repetitive. There's no variety. To change this, I suggest that the developers add the coding framework to have multiple hidden movement images, dependent on the terrain type of the ground combat (desert, middle east, farm, arctic, etc) and the highest tech level you have reached (tier 1, tier 2, tier 3, tier 4). So, lets say your first mission is industrial. You see soldiers holding ballistic weapons in an industrial setting in the hidden movement screen. But the, when you do your next (arctic) mission, they're in a snowfield with fir trees in the background. Once you research laser weapons, all of the images change and the soldiers now carry laser weapons. Same with the later two tiers as well. The hidden movement screens update along with the tech level, just like the base management screens do. Since this is quite a bit of artwork that needs to be done (how many terrain types there are X 4 tiers) a good portion of that could be left to the community (which is full of awesome artists). Of course, the art would have to be approved by Goldhawk before inclusion. Does this sound like a worthy suggestion? I think that this alone would make this game appear much much cleaner than UFO:EU was. It'd really stand out, and be a nice feature that I'm sure people would enjoy and appreciate very much.
  17. As many of you know, the artist who did much of the work for V1 of my mod, Laggy wolf, Has mysteriously vanished. As such, I have found that I have needed to learn to do my own art (OR die trying,) and I have discovered incredibly workable methodology for getting a adequate looking spirte, as well as having modified many existing unused sprites in the games files to finish off my semi-fictional Tier 3 firearm sprites (Which consist of a mix of psudo-futuristic firearms, like a good story set in the 90's in ye olde 70's would portray, and weapons like the 1911, and G3, which gun fanatics would goad me if I refused to include these practical options from the time period.) Edit: I came to an impasse where issues with the base image ended up causing the sprite to be somewhat..... Unusable in the actual game. It is currently in the cleaning phase (The wood is slightly too saturated to fit with the games art style, the small bits contrast a little awkwardly in its current phase, and its outline fades out to white instead of black,) and much like Laggy Wolfs very well done images, are heavily Photoshopped and stylized versions of real life guns, with bits and pieces of my own spiriting to fix parts that simply would look awkward. As for the state of my mod: Many of my intended features are likely impossible at the moment, with current GUI, as such, progressing past tier 1 in a balanced fashion isn't going to be possible until multi-ammo gui becomes a possibility. I will finish the first tiers expansion (Fix all animations, alien armor, re-balance lasers, plasma and tier 4, look into getting permission to use the more-shotguns mod,) and release the sprites for all three tiers in preparation for the multi-ballistic-ammo gui. This will become V2, as I intend to do a lot more then was originally entailed in V1.1. V1.1 will be available Tuesday, it will contain new sound assets, a few new art assets, some improvements to old art assets (Particularly the SKS, which I had totally ruined experimenting on before, has been reverted. The Lars lever has been sharpened as well...) Additionally, it will have a teaser of a few of the sprites I am working on, or will be using (Copies of otherwise unused assets, most of which are modified, or are likely to be replaced.) Following this, I will be looking for your complaints, and working on improving balance for the various V2.X versions. Also, a little more: (This time, the M1911 (Which is T3) will be replacing the Beretta (Which is T2.) Don't worry... Its just that the M1911 sprite is less new and exciting at the moment, and I just finished this.) (Probably the best looking in game sprite, due to the level of detail it appears to have.) (Note: Tier 3 weapons are generally supposed to either be psudo-futuristic, M1911, or actually a modern gun that somehow you have progressed tech far enough to make in the 70's using alien materials.... I ended up using far too many modern guns, due to the fact that the Psudo-futuristic weapon designs generally flopped due to their images having too many problematic issues to show off... For now.) (Once again, Tier 3 uses some modern guns. I really wish I used fewer of them, but the designs that had souls are going to take much longer to do properly, the above calico M950 variant was supposed to take the place of this, but of course... This sprite simply turned out more polished... Eventually, I will replace this, or find a use for the M950 variant.)
  18. This is minor but it keeps bugging me every time I load the game. The 3 military men looking at you when you load the game should have more appropriate rank, such as high officers, at least Major I would say, with one or two being generals/admirals/what have you. I loved the opening to X-Com with the screaming alien in the beginning. Maybe ultimately we can see some sort of homage to that.
  19. Hey everyone, I am working on a fairly large mad and need someone to assist with the art assets. especially since I am terrible with art but great with coding. I am currently using some really cheesy place holder images and would like stuff that actually looks like it was designed for the game. Anyone willing to help please let me know and I can e-mail you the art assets I am currently using so you can make replica's that look like they fit with the existing art assets of the game
  20. I hated the garish red ones so much I made my own. Got to much time on my hands at the moment From left to right, Rifleman, Heavy, Sniper, Assault, Unused, Commando, Extra (names refer to the image names that have been coded I'll zip em up and throw em in the mod's forum if people like em. Edited with new additions http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/6189-UI-Aufklarer-s-Soldier-Role-Images?p=73431#post73431' rel="external nofollow"> Aufklarer's Soldier Role Images
  21. I seen some screen shots recently that looked like it could add some interesting content to the game but seems to be removed, why ? Info stats for aircraft in lower right hand corner; - Overlaying debris trail from crashed ufos;
  22. Ya, it's cliche and pointless... but I think a semi-transparent grid on the (new) geoscape might help it look more 'big tactical war room display', and not so painterly as some people (who prefered the older one) have pointed out. I do like the old one (although am not violently opposed to the new one!), in that I like the more 'display' look of it. I think the new design has its benefits, and I would like it better if the water were a bit darker (as some have also requested), and it would get a bit more of a 'display' treatment to it... a grid, raster lines, a bit of vector outline action on the coastlines or something. Though in keeping with the tone of the rest of the artwork, I do also prefer how the original geoscape implied a 'darkened room' kind of vibe, which added to the atmosphere. I think all this could still be done with the new design with a few tweeks.
  23. Just a minor inquiry, I noticed in a recent patch that the Xenopedia art for the Mig-32 was changed from this. To this. Because of that will we be seeing some updated Xenopedia art assets for the other two starting aircraft, the Condor and Chinook, or is this just a change to the Mig to maintain a similar style the the art used for the Mig in the Hanger view?
  24. I just started back playing Xenonauts, (started in V14.1), and was curious to notice that when you go to a crash site, there is no longer the awesome trail of rubble and dirt like it actually crashed. I've also noticed a lack of the old suburban areas. Is it that they were removed? Or am i just not seeing them? Sorry if this a s re-post!
  25. Thought that you guys might appreciate this one http://www.gollopgames.com/2013/04/original-x-com-concept-art.html
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