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Do you plan a new major version of the game?


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This is a question primarily to developers. On the one hand, the game in current state is pretty... linear and limited. It even doesn't implement all original X-Com stuff. Some of other stuff implemented not the best way. I sure, devs know about it, but a full-sized game project is a hard work, and not all ideas can be implemented in the first try. On the second hand we have lots of high-quality content and game code. Game engine (on my opinion) is able to support a much more diverse game mechanics than the one we have now. So what about full-scale game add-on in future? Of course, not free. Of course, not amateur. Of course, not just new gfx, but new mechanics and game dimensions. I, for one, is ready to pay another 20 bucks for the game to become a truly tactical and truly simulator.

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No, we're not planning a new version of the game. Honestly, it'd be easier for us just to recode the game from scratch using Unity if we were going to make a more tactical simulator. We have opened the source code to the community to allow them to modify the game and make it less linear and make the game more diverse....they seem to be doing a good job so far.

Meanwhile, we're going to be working on another turn-based tactical game which uses the lessons we've learned from developing Xenonauts (although it won't be quite the same thing).

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Bit of both really. We didn't have enough money to hire experienced programmers when we started the project and so the first programmers made bad choices about engines and I didn't know enough about video game development to tell them how wrong they were. Now we have plenty of money, experience and technical expertise...but sadly we can't go back and undo the mistakes we made.

We'll probably release a bundle of community mods together as free optional DLC if they continue to develop as they are, such as the Modular UFO project ongoing in the forums. If it just needs a little professional art love to get it up to Goldhawk standard, there's no reason why we can't polish it up and make it available to everyone.

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We'll probably release a bundle of community mods together as free optional DLC if they continue to develop as they are, such as the Modular UFO project ongoing in the forums. If it just needs a little professional art love to get it up to Goldhawk standard, there's no reason why we can't polish it up and make it available to everyone.

Just in case anyone would like to contribute, here is a link to the thread. You will find comprehensible information how to there and maybe we can draw inspiration from each other!

Modular UFOs

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Sprites are awesome and age well!

They weight huge ammount of memory and give not smooth animation nor sufficient visual variety. Exceptionally for huge units. Didn't you thought, why all of them just unanimated solid bodies?

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From Chris' comments here, elsewhere and especially on his reddit AMA (which answers most of your questions, Went, try typing AMA into the searchbox), it would seem the first programmer Chris hired promised the moon and the stars and Chris not knowing better (because why would he? The programmer, an expert, knows what he's talking about, right?) trusted the programmer to deliver. The programmer selected an engine (Playground) which cannot support 3d models other than sprites. That's why no 3d models - selection of an engine by the expert that couldn't support it, and by the time the mistake was clear, too much work and effort had been put in to just scrap it and start again.

EDIT: I can speak from very bitter experience about hiring experts. If you're not as good as the expert in the field you want to hire him/her for, then you have to trust that the expert can do the job. It's not until money has changed hands and the expert actually starts working that you know whether the expert you've hired is really worth the money or not. You can request fixes, get them to sign contracts, assign penalty clauses, but those minimise risk - they don't, can't deal with experts who turn out to be not so expert after all.

Edited by Max_Caine
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They weight huge ammount of memory and give not smooth animation nor sufficient visual variety. Exceptionally for huge units. Didn't you thought, why all of them just unanimated solid bodies?

That's Xenonaut specification, not sprites in general, mate ; ]

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Bad choices

Hey Hey Hold on!

You know Chris that I have lot of respect and admiration to you and GH developers I know that the "Xenonauts Path" was hard, was long and probably you'r tired of all "that" mess. I understand.

but...

Make games is not related to the engine, 3D, 2D, support or "not support", etc. Innovation is about creativity and logistic, nothing more than that. A good design in game system is "Engine proof", no matter which resources you have.

Examples?

1. Right now I know people that play TETRIS, maybe you will tell me that this game is made in other "age" of history of game design, but is not true, actually we are in a dark age of game development. The "MTV" and "Call of Duty" generation sink quick the industry. What game industry needs? Creativity and Risk.

2. The guys go Deus Ex Human revolution, from a small group of developers of Eidos France, like Xeonauts other remake. They work on Crystal Dynamics engine, soon they discover that the engine limit a lot the amount of choices and interactions that they want. What they did? They modify the engine and use all the resources that have at hand. The result? Maybe not has they plan, but better! they adjust at the environment and complexity of the engine to make one of the best FP-RPG ever made.

I strongly believe that Xenonauts has a lot of Raw jewel, the game itself has a huge amount of possibilities but all that you think is "little professional art"? This time I disagree, the game needs a better creativity director that plan, make statistical diagram and analytics of the game. And ... come on "Free DLC"? Come on... Even players post here that hey want to pay for MORE material to the game...

Are you ashame of your own game? are you bored to deal with game code? did you lost love in your own creation?

Long time ago some one tell me

"Game development is all about passion, creativity and planning"

The result of that phrase? "Journey"

PD/ Sorry about my disastrous english, I'm on smartphone. Chris is not personal.

Edited by TacticalDragon
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@TD - yes, Eidos modified the engine to do what they wanted it to do because they have the source code to the engine. We can't modify our engine as we don't have the source code, so we can't add extra features to it. This is why the engine has been so limiting (and why it uses 2D sprites instead of 3D models).

Also, the creativity changes you want made would be making Xenonauts the game *you* want it to be, rather than the game *I* want it to be. That's fine, but your vision of the game is not necessarily better than mine.

I'm certainly not ashamed of Xenonauts but I've spent five years working on it and have released it to good reviews. The game is done and I want to move on to work on other games and new challenges, not spend the rest of my life working on the same game forever. It also makes no business sense to continue with Xenonauts, and ultimately Goldhawk has to make money if we're going to continue developing video games.

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3D models are much more difficult to come with from the community though. 2D Sprites can be easily done or snatched from others sources for free and included in the game.

I don't like "snatched graphics" and "community mods". Game may be perfect "in vanilla", and this version is a game itself, all other mods is just a... experiments for fun.

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But is not about "my" vision chris, is what people want.

I have not doubt that you make a wonderful creative decisions, I enjoy a lot this game, long time since I dont get really involved.

Chris, I know that you hate my direct confrontations, but you take it as a critic. The only thing that Im doing is point out that the game can have more well finished official expansions.

In the community we can "try" to merge diversity, but there is a HUGE difference between paid DLC and free DLC. Personally I prefer to pay for more.

Remember this is not "my" word or "your" word, is what the audience want, Im pretty sure that you know what I mean... People want more.

If we are talking about "profit" is a waste dont give support and continuity to a community that dont want to see the game stationary.

Maybe... the constant "experimental" updates make that people use to wait for changes.

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(not to op, but to 3d lovers: )

Well, Firaxis made X-Com in 3D. That turned out to be horrible and cartoonish game.

There's nothing wrong with sprites. Games with sprites are easier to mod, too. They age well. They look good enough (for me at least). Now, if you want some real innovation, use voxels and modifiable terrain, buildings, allah, everything. Remember Vangers, Perimeter? That'd be great. But if you talk about making everything the same, but prettier, that's not innovation.

More complexity would be great for Xenonauts, but Chris already said they aren't going to make addons. Shame, but oh well. On the other hand, some mods look promising, i don't feel the urge to go and try them all myself, but if best of them form some kind of addon, that'd be great.

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Yeah, big part of Xenonaut's charm is it's 2D and sprite foundation plus easy to use map editor. I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have this thriving community if the game was full 3D.

I really hope we'll have similar, simple and easy content creating/mapping possibilities with their new game, even if it's in 3D.

Edited by Skitso
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*snip*

How many large-scale software development projects have you worked on?

The things you are talking about take money, time and scale beyond what is available to most indie developers, including Goldhawk I'd imagine. Yes, Eidos can take the time to re-vamp the engine they're using because they're backed by Square Enix and have gobs and gobs of money so the margin for error is much larger. That's not typically the case for an indie developer, particularly when you have a fanbase breathing down you neck.

If Goldhawk is not interested in continuing development of the game, then that is that. You're not going to berate Chris into changing his mind.

I don't mean to be a jerk, but you sound like an 'ideas' guy with no actual software development experience trying to tell someone who's actually released a product onto the marketplace how to do their job.

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Listen, I dont want any money, Chris touch that topic, for the contrary I almost spend more than $6000 box in licensing and stuff for XNT mod, and Im happy to spend my money on it, the last thing I need is money.

I don't work on game industry directly, I only work on statistics,the boring part of the game. My only job is make models of behavior of variables for systems.

Im not offended at all because your comment, dont worry. But you compleatly miss the all point Im trying to reach.

As a moddder we have a limit and all our content is very limited, tomorrow I can wake up and say "To hell with my mod...".

In terms of quality, support, continuity the mod is nothing compared with a DLC.

Edited by TacticalDragon
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Yeah, big part of Xenonaut's charm is it's 2D and sprite foundation plus easy to use map editor. I'm pretty sure we wouldn't have this thriving community if the game was full 3D.

I really hope we'll have similar, simple and easy content creating/mapping possibilities with their new game, even if it's in 3D.

I agree :)

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Unofficial mods are not necessarily of lower quality than official DLC, you know. Plenty of companies have released really poor DLC that is just there to make some money. Plenty of free mods exist that are of better quality than official content. Ever seen Bethesda's games? Those guys are incapable of making decent human models, and modders have released many better models.

Really, how much longer can you expect Chris to continue supporting the game? There will surely be more updates fixing important bugs, and maybe Chris will add some more modder-created content. But this is a finished game, really. It was clearly unfinished a year ago. Also half a year ago. Now it's finished, if perhaps not polished, but through the Community Coder program Goldhawk has ensured support possibilities greater than most games have.

And working with the engine sucks - the game's really built on one of the worst engines that could be chosen for this game. There are many things that would really be good to have, like more natural handling of multi-level situations in combat, but it is simply not possible with the engine, and the engine itself is no longer supported or even available, and Goldhawk doesn't have the source code to it!

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