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Xenonauts V1.04 Released!


Chris
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"Line-of-Fire is not bidirectional" that is correct, and it isnt suppose to be bi-directional. Chris explains how it works in this thread, and perhaps a similiar explaination should occur in the manual/quickstart guide;

http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/10028-LOS-Explanation?p=110642

Yeah, but that Chris' explanation doesn't even take in account the situations where the system breaks, which is corner shooting - as you can see, there are no corners in that Chris' expample. The wall that messes the LoS system is not the one that is between shooter and target but the other part of the corner that is turned 90 degrees. (That is missing from those pictures).

But anyways, the problem is rather small nowadays and I can mostly live with it. That said, it would definitely be great if GH finds a way to make this more logical and coherent.

Edited by Skitso
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Your probably right Skitso but I think 90% of the LoS complaints are of the "it can shoot me and i cant shoot back OMFG hacks!" type where the system is operating correctly and its just that the player doesnt understand how it works (not at all suprising since it isnt intuitive, most players probably see corners as being like vertical half cover or just assume firing should be bidirectional) Personally I never even notice any strangeness at corners... but maybe its just my old X-com habit of staying one tile out from the wall so i cross corners at an angle rather than up close at 90degrees and totaly blind to whats around it.

Edited by Dead Dread
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I'm able to shoot Aliens on the corners where you would think they couldn't be hit. Its a bit iffy, I believe if a Alien or Human is on a corner then they should be able to shoot around it to simulate leaning but they shouldn't be able to be fullbody/damage shot so easily as which is occurring now.

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I guess then if 1.05 is expected to be the final version of the game my hope of an intro video are dashed.

I just played the game for the first time, and I agree it was weird to just be thrown into the Geoscape. There is no 'setting the scene', so to speak.

I'm very much enjoying the game though, glad I purchased it!

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I wonder whether it would be possible to make the "alien invasion" xenopedia article display immediately on game start after the first base is placed? All the context is in there, but since the first alien wave happens immediately, you can end up doing stuff before it's actually researched.

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Yeah a Intro and Outro video would be nice, but Chris can also add them later with a update if he wants to. Or just get a series of cartoon flicks made and voice over to help tell the story for intro/outro.

Either way I wouldn't mind, the simple ending was a bit disappointing, would have been nice to have at least a whole page of statistical information such as soldier with most headshots/kills/taken most damage and so on.

Maybe we will get all that in Xenonauts 2 (if 1 sells well and makes Chris enough money to make a 2nd).,

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Yeah a Intro and Outro video would be nice, but Chris can also add them later with a update if he wants to. Or just get a series of cartoon flicks made and voice over to help tell the story for intro/outro.

The "Alien fleet arrives in orbit" bit from the launch trailer would make for a short and sweet intro for the game, maybe with the Xenonauts logo slowly fading in at the end when all of the ships have finished jumping in. It's already done, though of course, I don't know how much work it'd be to implement it.

Oh, and voice acting? Contact the real Josh Eales to do it.

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Whoa, I got almost clean game till the corvettes, only one casualty until there. Then, BOOM, seven of my best guys got slaughtered in the new corvette entrance hall with 3 doors. Only one panicking and bleeding rookie managed to crawl back to the Charlie. Good times. :P

Edited by Skitso
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I like the changes, now all prepared defenses in my second base will be to some use :)

And getting rid of that soldier equip screen CTD is very nice. When will be the starting mission with empty chinook CTD fixed?

And does this patch break the saves - do I have to start a new campaign if I update?

Edited by Shima
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Whoa, I got almost clean game till the corvettes, only one casualty until there. Then, BOOM, seven of my best guys got slaughtered in the new corvette entrance hall with 3 doors. Only one panicking and bleeding rookie managed to crawl back to the Charlie. Good times. :P

I actually don't hate those all that much. Once you actually get inside what I do is set someone covering the right side door, send a shield through the left door, and slowly work my way around the UFO with assaults supported by LMG fire. Only trick is getting inside with enough TUs to hold the entranceway.

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I actually don't hate those all that much. Once you actually get inside what I do is set someone covering the right side door, send a shield through the left door, and slowly work my way around the UFO with assaults supported by LMG fire. Only trick is getting inside with enough TUs to hold the entranceway.

I didn't hate it either. I was nodding my head and smiling... I've suffered long enough from incompetent AI that it's a pleasure to finally have my ass handed to me this royally. In a kinda sick way, I enjoyed it. :D

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Something like "atom zombie smasher"? It's not the best example but it did the trick.
Actually, I think it is a pretty good example. Obviously, it wasn't meant to be as serious as Xenonauts is, but it's literally a bunch of traced/edited images, some text, and a camera moving over them. It's the quintessential "developer just wants an intro and has to do it himself," intro.

It seems like there are enough visual assets for this. Reuse them from the Xenopedia if you have to. Maybe a minimum of 3-6 slides, cross-fading transition, with text running underneath, and some spooky music. No music to spare? Run one of the tracks from the main game through Audacity's "Paulstretch" filter.

The text can be a short reference to the Iceland Incident, how now there's a shaky alliance of nations, you're in charge of the operation, and instead of dumping you onto the geoscape, the game starts you on the Xenopedia entry for the Iceland Incident. The whole thing can be under 30 seconds in length.

Don't like the intro? Untick the "show intro" box and never see it again.

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The fundamental problem with a video is how to render it in-game - even using modern engines it's not trivial to render a 1080p video cross-platform without using something like Bink and with our engine it's out of the question (even the launcher animation had to be disabled because of the problems / performance hit).

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That's a good point, rendering video at that size is still an iffy thing for a lot of machines. Are you able to just show static images, zoom, pan, and fade, have a slideshow that way? I'm not trying to pile extra work on you when the end of development is in sight, and I'm certainly no developer, but this seems like something that wouldn't take too long. It could even wait for post-1.5, for when you have a few spare hours.

I can't imagine anyone getting upset if no intro video materializes, so I appreciate you considering the possibility.

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It is nice to hear that the second base will also be targeted since I went a game without a single base invasion - shot down the one UFO trying to pull it off. Maybe if they can target more bases chances are higher they will actually attack.

I must admit though I thought all bases are subject of direct attack - I hope they will be - else it is kinda like a cheat to know that the aliens are "only" interested in the first one or two - this way everyone who knows this mechanic simply ignores defenses for all other bases and makes the tension suffer - until know I was always playing under the fear that all of my bases are in danger if detected which makes it more fun. If a base has reached a certain size I always built defenses for it.

I hope this will be so eventually even if smaller bases get much lower priority - if they are attacked once per every dozen games that is enough to keep the player on its toes :)

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eah, but that Chris' explanation doesn't even take in account the situations where the system breaks, which is corner shooting

It's actually very realistic.

Being close to the corner offers a very limited protection in reality. Your enemy just has to move slightly diagonally to have a direct shot. Also, wall corners are easily pierced by ammunitions.

If you want to be protected by a wall, you definitely have to stay away from the corner. One title in is sufficient to offer 100% protection.

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Dead Dread is right.

Basically, the system works by taking the *best* part of the shooter's tile to the center of the target. That creates asymmetrical lines of fire and produces the 'shoot around corners' effect. On the other hand, there do seem to be occasional issues when the LoF isn't symmetrical even when it should be (I've posted plenty about this in the past), but I'll be honest and say that I've not really seen this come up at all playing recently, so overall it seems to be a pretty minor issue.

As for corners: the game was never designed with corner cover in mind. The ability to shoot around corners at all is a very recent thing (and was kind of a side effect of trying to solve another issue anyway, to the best of my knowledge) and I have doubts about how easy it would have been to include in the first place given the engine (I think the idea I posted above is actually probably the only way it could be done with any level of accuracy). So yes, while it's not ideal, the engine was never especially suited for it and it's something that's never going to change in any case.

I think that the root of my problem is described in your first paragraph. I think a better implementation would be either any part-to-any part. This would solve the Asymmetrical problem, and it would also solve the case mentioned previously where a tiny bit of cover was completely blocking a shot. This might exacerbate the case where troops that are covered are otherwise treated as unprotected.

Beyond that, there are some very weird shots (impossible) shots I've seen occur, such as dual keyhole shots (I.e. through two windows at different levels, and then across open ground). I think that could be solved via a simple rules based check -- i.e. you can only shoot through a window on a different level; or at a target on a different level fro the window; at a target that is adjacent to that window.

Finally, I have definitely seen cases that break the example that Chris has given, always involving an AI shooter. I saw one last night where an exposed alien shot through a window at a target adjacent to that window; the alien definitely did not have LOS to the center point of the targets square.

All of these exception cases and bugs are happening often enough that the game isn't fun. I might be able to adjust my play-style and tactics to work around these issues (as it seems many people are or are suggesting), but I want to be able to use something like real world breach and clear tactics I learned in the army.

XCOM's abstract system for handling these things is also kind of Janky and is occasionally unpredictable, but overall seems to be more consistent.

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I think that the root of my problem is described in your first paragraph. I think a better implementation would be either any part-to-any part. This would solve the Asymmetrical problem, and it would also solve the case mentioned previously where a tiny bit of cover was completely blocking a shot. This might exacerbate the case where troops that are covered are otherwise treated as unprotected.

It would solve the asymmetry, yes. It wouldn't avoid small bits of cover blocking shots, though. That's always going to be a possibility, regardless of what system you use. (Indeed, the present system was implemented in part to reduce stuff like that). Also, whether asymmetry as produced by this system is 'problematic' is contentious. Arguably, it's a feature giving advantage to fighters behind corners.

As for your 'keyhole shot' example, there's a technical limitation with windows such that, until they're broken, they don't actually provide any cover. So that might be part of the issue. It's also worth noting that a 'simple fact check' isn't necessarily very simple when the engine wasn't programmed at the start to take account of stuff like that.

In terms of rule-breaking: yes, there are bugs, at least so far as I can tell. I spent some time looking at the system and there does seem to be some weirdness (like, for example, tracing a shot to the first sub-tile of the target rather than the centre) and I've produced diagrams and all sorts about it. So, I agree. On the other hand, I've not had it make any significant difference to my playing, certainly not recently. The last 20 or so hours I've played since v1.0 came out have been pretty much trouble free in that regard. That's not to say there won't have been issues, but the fact that I don't recall them is indicative that, to me at least, the issues seems to be insignificant.

As for using 'real world' tactics, I'd be cautious of using that as your benchmark. It's a game, with more or less abstracted systems. Inevitably, therefore, it's going to be unable to simulate many real-world factors. (Doors are the obvious example, which give an overwhelming advantage to the attacker which - unless I'm very mistake - is quite unlike real life).

EDIT: I should probably summarise: yes, the game isn't perfect. But, in my experience anyway, it works well enough. And whatever flaws it might have, there's nothing going to change about them now.

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Is this for Mac and Windows, or Windows only? I downloaded the Mac version, and it appears to be 1.0 dated 5/31/14.
The Mac and Linux version lag the Windows version most of the time. I doubt 1.04 has been released for Mac yet, but they'll get around to it. They usually only do the patches on Windows and have people try them in the experimental branch. Once they're good they release for other platforms. At least that's how it's been so far.
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