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Development Update - 10 November 2014


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It's been fairly quiet at Goldhawk HQ of late, but we're still working hard. I thought it'd be nice to give an update on what's been going on behind the scenes and what we have planned for the future.


We released V1.52 Experimental recently and V1.53 will likely be arriving this week. The main item of content that has been added is an epilogue to the game that appears after the victory screen - it's just a short text entry from the Chief Scientist, but hopefully it'll add a little more closure to the ending than what we had before. We've also done quite a bit of bugfixing in recent times, including addressing some of the minor issues that have afflicted V1.09 for a while.

As the Steam Workshop stuff now seems to be working well and we have the intended featureset for V1.5 in place, any future updates will simply be around bugfixes. We're unsure exactly when V1.5 will get an official release and be put on the Stable branch (and Humble Store / Desura / GOG) but most likely it will happen this month. Please keep reporting any bugs you encounter as we want to avoid accidentally introducing new bugs in our last big game update! :)

Next Small Game:

This is our fighter squadron management game. We tried releasing a simple pen-and-paper version of one of prototypes on the forums but it never really took off, so we've been working on an electronic prototype of the game for everyone to play.

We think we've got the basic combat model for this game largely nailed down, but we want some suggestions and ideas for the strategy layer and general feedback on how we can keep the mechanics interesting. We've pretty much finished the combat system and we'll implement a rudimentary strategy layer in the next few weeks, which will give us a "complete" and playable game containing one or two levels.

We'll probably release this for free on the forum and get initial feedback and suggestions from you guys, then publicly announce the project so we can get feedback from the largest number of people possible. Once we've pondered what the feedback says and had a chance to work out where we want to go with the strategy element of the game, we'll stop releasing free iterations of the game and move to Steam / Kickstarter / whatever.

If you want an idea of how our prototype currently looks, here's a concept (which is pretty much how it currently looks in-game): http://www.xenonauts.com/devfiles/nextsmallgame.jpg

I won't be answering questions on the mechanics work until we release the prototype...but they draw inspiration from Dan Verssen's "Leader" games, so if you're familiar with them then you'll be familiar with some of the rules (though the idea is the game will increasingly go its own way during the development process).

Next Big Game:

This has continued to change and evolve, which is why I've not done any more of my brainstorming threads. The game is still in very rough prototype stage at the moment as we're messing about with systems and mechanics more than graphics or UI; it's changed so much over the past 6 months that in all likelihood the entire prototype will be abandoned and rewritten from the ground up once we settle on the core game mechanics.

We've pretty much settled on a turn-based, tile-based "board game" ruleset - i.e. we couldn't find a way to make our first-person aiming / free movement system work in any way that was not incredibly fiddly and annoying. We're still hoping to have elements of our realistic shot tracking system in the game but it's no longer a fundamental part of the accuracy calculation; rather we use something more like the XCOM system where hit chance is derived based on the tile rather than 3D raycasting (hence the "board game" system).

We're currently working on the AI so we can test the mechanics against a facility full of AI soldiers rather than head-to-head dev team multiplayer, but the intention is to mix things up from XCOM a fair bit...but exactly which of our ideas will turn out to be fun in practice is still kinda unknown. We also don't know how long it'll take for us to settle on the core mechanics of the game, which means we don't know how long it'll be until we can drop the prototype and enter full production (and announce the game etc).

So wheels are still turning on our next big game, but we've got a way to go before we can even think about releasing anything for public consumption; it's not really like Xenonauts where we knew exactly how the game was going to work right from the outset so we could announce the project right away!

Anyway - remember, if you want to be informed when we do finally announce / release these games then you can sign up for the Goldhawk mailing list by clicking this link.

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So, no chance of doing Xenonauts from the aliens point of view? :)

"After centuries in hypersleep your hive has arrived at this blue planet, with supplies limited we can only wake a handful of our army, but the planet below is rich with resources to plunder......"

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