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About Me





  1. OK, so a few people have suggested a poll where we ask people what features they are most excited about and would like to have put in the game as rewards for us doing well. I think this is a good idea. But first, I need to know what should go in the poll. Here's a few ideas from me: - Mac / Linux port (likely to be at $100k) - Female soldiers (likely to be at $200k) - A new tileset (possibly with a sub-vote about what tileset you'd like - given we already have desert and tundra tilesets coming) - A new alien species? Although we might struggle to find one that has a good battlefield niche / ability that is not already planned. - Vehicle levelling - allowing vehicles to become slightly better with combat experience, although I'm a little unconvinced by this. - Military terror mission? Aliens are attacking a miltary base? - Mission objectives on terror missions - such as protect X civilian (the mayor etc) while the aliens are actively trying to kill them? Other ideas are welcome. I'm not keen to put pilot / aircraft experience in the game though, unfortunately. I think it'll be too tough to balance.
  2. Hello, So I had an interesting conversation with Chris: Dzsimbo: As $1000, but Xenonauts Project Lead Chris England will fly out to meet you for lunch (available anywhere in the US or Western Europe). We'll also let you off the $10 international shipping, as we're nice like that! Goldhawk Interactive (Chris): Goldhawk Interactive (Chris): yeah Goldhawk Interactive (Chris): I'm getting in a box Dzsimbo: will you arive in a box? Dzsimbo: and jump out of it yelling surprise Goldhawk Interactive (Chris): lol Goldhawk Interactive (Chris): yeah Dzsimbo: dressed a sebillian Goldhawk Interactive (Chris): I'd be surprised if anyone bought that level Dzsimbo: i will just see you jump out from a box in a sebillian dress Goldhawk Interactive (Chris): lol Goldhawk Interactive (Chris): that would probably be worth $5,000 We should put some money together just to see this, meet somewhere in the world and watch our beloved Project Manager jumping out of a box dressed as a Sebillan. PS: Don't let Chris see this thread
  3. This is my proposal for the stretch goals. If people like them, they'll go up in a couple of hours along with a survey that allows you to vote for them in order of preference. Thoughts? - Mac / Linux port – The game will be ported onto Mac / Linux platforms for release, and hopefully for beta too. - Female soldiers – We’ll add female soldiers to the game, with 20-30 portraits and modified Basic Armour art. However the battlefield sprites will remain unisex. - Soviet Town terror tileset ($40k) – the current terror tileset is an American town. To fit with the Cold War theme, we’ll put in an alternate tileset for the Soviet bloc countries using Soviet-style architecture. - Military Base tileset ($40k) – this tileset would allow us to put military terror sites in the game, where aliens have attacked a military base and you are sent in to deal with them. - Inside missions – these would be missions where combat squads are sent into large buildings or into underground bunkers to clear out an alien strike team. We can mostly re-use the Xenonaut Base tiles for this, so this will be a $25k item. - Reaper (Chryssalid) Hive tileset ($40k) – in addition to the normal alien base missions, we will add Reaper (the Xenonaut equivalent of Chryssalids) Hive missions to the late-game. These would feature “nodes” that spawned infinite numbers of Reapers. Yes, I have been playing Space Hulk. - Tileset-Specific NPC Allies – we do have friendly AI soldiers in the game, but only one type. This would add different variants – police on the Industrial tileset, farmers with shotguns on the Farm tileset, mujahedeen with AK-47s on the Desert tileset etc. - Vehicle Combat Experience – soldiers level up with experience, vehicles do not. This would allow vehicles to increase their stats (not armour / health) by a maximum of 15% with combat experience. - Pilot Portraits and Callsigns – at the moment, the aircraft are just aircraft. This would give each aircraft a pilot portrait and a callsign, so they seem less expendable. These pilots will not level up with experience. - Human Psionics and Blaster Bombs – We’ve removed these from the game due to balance reasons, and we will not put them in Xenonauts. This stretch goal would bundle the game with a developer-made mod that allowed people to put them back in. - Memorial Screen – This would be a tab on the UI which allowed you to view a list of all your dead soldiers, including the location and time of death, their portrait and number of kills etc. - Proxy Grenades – These are fun. This would add a secondary fire function to all advanced grenades (Alenium grenades upwards) that allows them to be used as proxy grenades. - Motion Detector – This would be a one-hand soldier item that, when equipped, will display a coloured overlay on the battlefield to show any AI movement in previous turn within range of the soldier holding it. - Hire a Level Designer - we will add a lot more map variation to the game before release, but we don’t have a devoted level designer. This will let us hire one. - Tall Grass – There’s waist-high grass in X-Com. This would put it in Xenonauts too, complete with the ridiculous (yet amusing) fire mechanics from the original. The goals that involve the creation of a new tileset cost $40k instead, so if one proves most popular then it will arrive at $90k instead of $75k. This is because tilesets are surprisingly large and are EXTREMELY time consuming and expensive to make – they’re the most expensive component of the game by some distance. Given we’re only going to get about 50% of the money pledged after KS fees and the costs of manufacturing and shipping the rewards, there’s no way we can put an extra tileset in the game for a $25k stretch goal, I’m afraid. If you want to know why, it’s basically because you need a lot of tiles to make a convincing tileset that doesn’t repeat, and every single tile has to be modelled in 3D and rendered out, then hand-painted in three different variants (undamaged, damaged and destroyed) to support destructibility. Plus all the ground maps have to be painted too. It’s a LOT of work.
  4. I am really enjoying seeing xenonauts on kickstarter. Blown away by the support. Always thought that there was no longer an apetite for games with depth. Everything is 3D graphics and FPS. I've been following xenonauts since August last year - at which point I thought this was a small community of like minded 30+ year olds. 90% funding after 2 days is incredible to see! Before the banking situation with kickstarter was sorted out, Chris was talking about going with the much smaller indiegogo. Watching xenonauts hit kickstarter, the first activity looked to be all xenonauts forum members - looking at the list of recent backers - at least 2/3rds of the backers have backed other kickerstarter projects previously. In other words many (most?) or the funds coming in are coming in from the established crowd sourcing community. It goes to show how important accessing kickstarter has been for the project (over some of the other possible forums). BTW muchos kudos Kilrathi, on providing the bank account route that enabled this to happen. I think for me this is the stand out community contribution so far.
  5. EDIT - here's the new updated proposed reward tiers: $20 - Standard Pre-Order (game plus Standard forum medal) $30 - Premium Pre-Order (game plus Premium forum medal, digital game soundtrack, official wallpapers and PDF version of my development diary written up once I've completed the game) $50 - Premium Pre-Order, plus poster OR T-shirt OR PDF art book (including the best in-game art, some developer thoughts on it, artist / developer bios etc - should be a nice momento for the game) $60 – Premium Pre-Order, plus softback art book $75 - Premium Pre-Order, plus two of: PDF art book, poster, t-shirt $100 - Premium Pre-Order, hardback art book OR poster, PDF art book and t-shirt, OR name can be appear as a soldier (there is a 10% chance any new soldier will have a pre-generated name taken from the list of people committing $100 or more. They won't have special stats but might start with a special Medal (+1 Bravery) for "going beyond the call of duty".) $125 – Premium Pre-Order, hardback art book AND poster AND t-shirt AND name can be appear as a soldier $150 - Premium Pre-Order, signed hardback art book AND poster and t-shirt, plus name can be appear as a soldier with the soldier nationality and portrait also set by the donator, chosen from existing portraits. $200 – As $150, but we’ll have our portrait artist do a soldier portrait of you from a photo to go in the game (50) $500 – As $150, but you’ll get 5 copies of the game and will be listed in the game end credits “With Thanks To:” (30) $1,000 – As $150, but you’ll get 10 copies of the game and will be listed in the intro credits under “Special Thanks To:” (incorporated into the intro movie) (15) $5,000 - As $1,000, but in addition I'll fly out and meet you to have lunch anywhere in the States (eventually) or in Europe. (5)
  6. So, it's probably time for a quick update on what's been happening and will be happening over the next week. All the hard work on the Kickstarter has paid off as our US company has been set up and has a bank account that has been authorised by Amazon Payments. The page is set up and good to go - its only the video we're working on now. That's all been shot and we are editing that together. The press builds have been sent out already. They went out on Thursday, but all the preview coverage is embargoed until Wednesday. This is when the Kickstarter goes live, although don't start shouting about it till it goes live obviously. We want to time our coverage so we get bang for our buck. The other good news is about Steam. I'm pleased to say that we've signed a distribution deal with them so all preorderers will have the option to claim a Steam key when the game is released. We'll keep you posted as things progress, but if you're planning to donate to the kickstarter then please do so as soon as possible after it goes live as it'll give us that much more legitimacy as a result.
  7. So, here's a thread about the costs of the goods: PDF Art Book: Lots and lots of time from our full time graphic artist, but this is hopefully a worthwhile cost. I'd love to have a hardback book showing off selected project artwork (I think my parents would rather like a copy too) and I'm sure the artists would enjoy it as well. The artwork in the project is one of my favourite things about it and it'd be good to tell the "story behind the pictures" too. Art Book Printing: I'm looking at using these guys as they are based in the UK but have US partners and I assume they'll be able to deliver the right number of books to each country to save me mailing all the US books from the UK to the US. The book is going to be a 48-page full colour book, coming in either hardback of softback versions. I don't know much much that'll weigh, but I'm using an estimate of 250g for the softback and 400g for the hardback. To print the softback book, the costs are: 25 - £7.50 / $12 each 50 - £6.18 / $9.9 each 100 - £5.40 / $8.65 each 200 - £4.78 / $7.66 each 500 - £3.82 / $6.12 each The print the hardback book, the costs are: 25 - £11.10 / $17.80 each 50 - £9.35 / $14.99 each 100 - £8.25 / $13.25 each 200 - £7.52 / $12.05 each 500 - £5.89 / $9.43 each To post it anywhere in the world from the UK, the costs would be: Softback - £2.28 / $3.65 each Hardback - £3.42 / $5.48 each To post it in the US - I basically have no idea how to read the UPS shipping charts. What's all this Zone stuff? Perhaps someone can help me? If we're assuming an A4 size book that's less than 1cm thick and weighing about 400g / 14oz, how much is the most that would cost to ship domestically? This makes the books rather expensive. We could put the softback ones in at the $60 price point, giving the player a Premium pre-order plus the art book. If we got, say, 200 people buying this it'd cost $11.31 each for the extra $30 donation (which is effectively $27 after fees). So it'd give a net gain of about $15 for the time cost incurred. The hardback books cost a fortune. I think any of them we make would be signed and would be a prize for the serious donators out there. We'll probably do a short print run of them anyway for use within the team and sending to friendly journalists too. T-Shirts: I think it's probably best to get these done in the States. A bit of cursory browsing has found this site where you can get what I assume are decent T-shirts screen printed at decent rates. I could do the screen printing with 1 or 2 colours in the print, and I'd imagine we'll probably have white on black T-shirts but I'll do the figures with 2 colour prints to be on the safe side (1-colour is about 5% cheaper). 25 - $9.61 each 50 - $8.11 each 100 - $6.43 each 200 - $5.42 each 500 - $5.08 each As you can see, the price drops off after about 200, and if we can get the number of shirts in the 100-200 region then they're a useful item to have. Relatively they're cheaper than the softcover artbook by $2-3 each, so it'd make sense that they went in at the $50 price point. Posters: Full colour A3-size Posters appear to provide by far the most bang for the buck pricewise, looking at sites like these. Again, if we went for printing in the US then we'd probably be looking at the following kind of prices: 50 - $1.02 each 100 - $0.85 each 250 - $0.72 each 500 - $0.44 each Shipping to an address in the US would be about $22 on top of that, but in terms of production costs these are very very cheap goodies to dish out. I was thinking about scrapping them but looking at the figures that would be frankly moronic at this point. The only problem with this is the postage for the posters, because they'd have to be sent in tubes which cost another $0.60 each or so. Then the actual postage would be relatively pricey due to the fact they're seriously awkward to handle. Again, someone will have to look up the UPS postage rates for me but it's likely to be about 14 inches long and about 2.5 inches wide / tall. Anyone got any suggestions for other things I should be pricing up, or any comments?
  8. Would it be possible, when selecting the 'Quick Battle' option, that the game would already start a new game, select a difficulty (say, normal or veteran) and place the base for you on the Geoscape? All of this could be done without user input and would not need to be shown on screen. Basically for instance when I click on "Quick Battle," the game would automatically create a new game, select "veteran" difficulty, and place a base for me at the southern tip of South America (or wherever) named "ALL YOUR BASE" (or whatever). The end result being, when the user clicks on "Quick Battle," it throws them directly into the Terror Site mission without having to navigate through the game menus and place/name their base on the Geoscape before getting into the action. Just seems like a good idea for the press/kickstarter release if it wouldn't be too difficult.
  9. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/599092525/the-order-of-the-stick-reprint-drive/posts/178261 The guy just wanted 57k to do a print re-run on some of his out-of-print books the new readers had been asking for. He got $1.2 million in 30 days. Xenonauts needs a Kickstarter project!
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