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Xenonauts-2 Version 0.2.0 (Public Combat Test) Released!

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We have just released an update to the free public build of Xenonauts 2 - this is free because it is a very early build of the game and we don't think the project is of the quality where we can reasonably expect everyone to pay for it; full details on where to get the build can be found in this thread.

CHANGELOG:

  • New Maps: The game no longer loads the same map each time, but loads one at random from a folder of eight maps. In order to test our randomisation system, these are all variants of the same map with the sections re-arranged and the whole map reskinned into two possible biomes. We'd appreciate some feedback on how repetitive you find them to play through.
  • New Animation System: There's a new movement animation system in place for the humans and aliens, designed to correct the slightly weird floaty running effect from the previous builds. Units should move around the map in a more realistic manner now.
  • New UI: We've implemented a new UI in the ground combat based heavily on the one from Xenonauts 1, although some functions are still being worked on.
  • Shot Preview Mode: We've also implemented a new function in the ground combat that allows you to preview shot accuracy from a tile before you actually move there. This is accessed by clicking a tile to set a move path, then using Shift + Ctrl to display fire mode from the end of the move path (let go of Shift to compare it to firing from the soldier's current position). 
  • Camera Cutaway Shader: We've added a shader that cuts away parts of the map above the current camera level, slicing through tall trees and buildings etc so they no longer block your line of sight. Mousewheel allows you to control the camera level.
  • Hidden Soldier Outlines: If one of your soldiers / an alien visible to your soldiers is hidden from the camera, you now get a white outline around them to make them easier to spot.
  • Auto-crouching Removed: We've disabled auto-crouching to prepare the way for hooking up manual crouching to the new UI.
  • Cover Proximity Bonus Removed: Soldiers formerly received 1.5x the normal cover bonus from an object if they were adjacent to it, which was part of the auto-crouch system. We've removed this (set it to 1x) for now,
  • Improved Performance: Performance should be improved, as we've rewritten the sight system and a few other things to be more efficient.
  • Improved Load Times: Load times are much faster now.

This is a pretty substantial update to the ground combat that includes a number of new features. However, adding lots of new features usually also involves adding lots of new bugs, so please let us know if you're having issues with the game! The best place to do it is probably in this thread, as I imagine most of the issues will be minor issues related to the new UI ... but bigger issues can go here too.

We will likely be releasing hotfixes for any critical bugs that render the game unplayable, but we'll take stock and plan the next release once we have a better picture of what all the issues are. 

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---

This spot of the rock right here:
A shotgun-person cannot hit him at all point blank due "invisible wall". But a person right from the other side of the rock can freely hit the alien through the rock.

Also the alien was spotable from the other side of the map from almost get go, so methinks he was "under the floor" in reality.

2017-01-28 03_17_26-Xenonauts 2.png

Edited by Pave

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Love the new maps, somewhat repetitive but an improvement over the 0.1.0 map.  Soldier movement is much more fluid.

A bug I experienced. Sometimes the shot selection aiming crosshairs would disappear.  

Performance is greatly improved! Thanks for allowing us to manually crouch too.

Is there any chance of getting simultaneous movement orders like X1? I miss issuing multiple move orders, especially at the start of a game. 

Seems like aliens have constant reaction shots on soldier movement and fire orders. 

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After playing this, I can say I prefer auto crouching, which streamlines the tactical combat because I won't have to mind crouching TU.

  • Cutting off the trees is a big improvement.  Can see where bullets land now.
  • Unit outline not displayed for fence and plants.  Wish it can outline all soldiers, not only active one.
  • Cover calculation is a bit weird.  A plant may not block a shot that pass straight through it but block those at a angle.
  • But sometimes soldiers still destroy the cover right in front of them, which still block shots.
  • Which happens to be a rock that looks heavier and sturdier than the soldier.  Destroyed by one shotgun blast.
  • Line of fire does not seem to take vertical height into account.  Rocks in pit blocks LoF above the pit.
  • The pit may cause some grid to be hard to select.  Can we have afterblank style free camera?  With zoom.
  • Aim cursor may disappear after switching soldier, leaving only LoF.
    Repeatingly moves the cursor away from and onto any alien will eventually cause it to reappear.
  • Block percentage text may overwrite each other in a high speed.
  • Plant provides better cover than rocks.  Not sure how I should feel about it.
  • The outer side cover indicator of the road's fence is covered by the fence.
  • Shot preview is nice.  Very useful.  Won without letting the aliens fire a single shot.
    Since I don't get aim bonus unless I get *very* close, I don't have any incentive to advance at all.
  • I am mostly happy with the movement and bullet speed.  Guess two option sliders are in order!

Only have the chance to play one map.  Will come back to feedback on randomisation when and if I find time to play more.

 

Edited by Sheepy

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line of fire seems to have some issues. Small plants and rocks decrease accuracy way too much and block shots even when shooting over them from higher ground. I also would suggest that props' cover values decrease the further the units are from it. It just feels too restrictive that a small rock blocks my shot even if the target stands ten meters behind it.

Unit movement animations are a huge improvement. Much smoother! Would prefer a tad faster movement for snappier experience though. Same with firing: both flying bullets and burts rate of fire needs to be much faster to feel more violent and dangerous.

death animations are too stiff

Rerouting/stopping units while they are moving would be nice.

shooting reticule dissappears from time to time.

The tree tops cutting away is nice, but I would like them to be drawn if there isn't anything behind them. In other words, only cut them if necessary.

Edited by Skitso

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- Needs a zoom.  This is tactical zoom, Is there a zoom?

- Cross-hair and fire line far to chunky.  Looks out of place.

- Rocks, mountains, doubledecker busses are cover/ now they're not/ now they are/ now they're not.............

- Footsteps to loud.

- Are guns suppose to remove boulders?

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Thanks for the thoughts guys, we've noted down the important points and will fix some up when we get time.

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I liked it.

The maps are still somewhat repetitive, but this is a major improvement over the last build. I think I'm seeing the potential of the map randomisation system there. Should turn out quite well.

I also want those multiple simultaneous orders.

My guys are inaccurate even by the infamous standards of X-Com soldiers. My feeling is that it's not so much them sucking as it is due to the tiniest of cover dropping accuracy too much.

Good job with the animations. I enjoy the distinctly alien manner in which aliens move. I liked the ragdolls too, such as my dead soldier falling into a ditch. I don't see this as an obstacle to gameplay - yes, it can mean items move a tile or two, but this should not be a problem as long as the items are in the tile in which they visually appear to be.

Performance is outstanding, the map loads nearly instantly.

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After my first five rounds of X2_demo I noted these (maybe they are known, I did not check all version threads):

  • The maps (I had two desert and three vegetation maps with a street, looked much the same though) still look very blocky. Minecraft-ish.
  • Inventory not working, so you can't pick up weapon of a dead soldier. Didn't try on alien corpse.
  • Page up/down works to go through height levels but there is no indication yet. Just expected that there is something like it so I found it.
  • Trees vanish with height level, great, but shouldn't the shadows stay? Seems like cheating. Would prefer a see-though bubble to see my moving soldier when height level is max (or roof shown).
  • Ah yes, roof button not working, or at least not for trees.
  • Bullets travel way to slwo for me.
  • Mouse at screen edge should scroll the map.
  • Mising mouse wheel aim percentage choice...
  • ...or mouse wheel height level change.
  • Some bushes grant more cover than a rock, strange.
  • Two times now, as a soldier should walk to a new position with a visible alien, he walks and stops after two tiles. This was constantly so until the new spot was reached. Other soldiers with the same visible alien could walk normally.
  • Most annoying: It is really hard to get the crosshair. Clicking the weapon often does not show this cursor. Also sometimes the soldier shoots after clicking the target, although no crosshair was there. And two times, when I thought he would shoot - no crosshair - he walked towards the alien.

Otherwise the animations look nice, especially when the soldiers go up and down.

 

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just had a go with the new version and wow, what an improvement (then it can it could also be related to the fact that i used my desktop and not my laptop to play it this time around). First of all I absolutely loved the new animations and graphics of the engine, the game played seamlessly on my 970 gtx. The icons for the select target/shoot were somewhat confusing for me as they interchanged a lot between one another and i was not sure which was the right one for actually shooting... So far the ayyys busted my ass 2/2 rounds which is fairly surprising considering that this is just a pre-pre-alpha AI. Also regarding the scrolling thing - i was sure it was only cause i was playing in windowed mode but apparently this is relevant so full screen as well so definitely that is something that needs fixing. And another thing - considering how gorgeous the 3d engine is working out in game (actually had a nice view of the grass blowing in the wind on the desert mission) this game definitely needs a decent zoom in / zoom out function.

Awesome stuff can't wait for the next builds, bring on the tin men !

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Agreed with everybody else here: massive improvement on the earlier builds and it plays pretty nicely in its current form.

I experienced the same issue with the crosshairs disappearing sometimes. It doesn't seem to actually prevent the shot, you just can't see the percentages.

A more curious bug I encountered was when the map would continuously scroll downwards. It eventually stopped and returned to normal operation (without me doing anything) but it was very odd.

Shameless (well, slightly shameful but mostly shameless!) self-promotion of one of my playthroughs of the demo.

 

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I have been able to literally shoot through the side of mountains and hit the target! Maybe consider disallowing a shot to take place if there is no LOS

Edited by CptJstank

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Any chance to have access to this on Linux ? GoG Galaxy is still not avalaible to Linux despite almost 9000 demands on GoG suggestions http://www.gog.com/wishlist/galaxy/release_the_gog_galaxy_client_for_linux

If not, well, i will wait... I loved X1 i with to be part of X2 but it seems i can't. Yet ? Anyway, from here, away from actual playtest, the progress look good so far, cheers !

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Have played a few more games.  The randomisation looks good so far, but I haven't had much chance to explore it because I always got zerg rushed by the alien.
Edit: The interface does not seem to be scaling with screen size, and I miss the armour and ammo indicators.

Found a new bug: An officer is visible in the edge of vision, but it does not register on the alien list, and cannot be aimed at.
Edit: The officer is real and moves toward the camp in alien turn, triggering reaction fires and added to the alien list normally.

Xenonauts 2 2017-02-06 15_11_29.jpg

Edited by Sheepy

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On 2/4/2017 at 7:36 PM, Tchey said:

Any chance to have access to this on Linux ? GoG Galaxy is still not avalaible to Linux despite almost 9000 demands on GoG suggestions http://www.gog.com/wishlist/galaxy/release_the_gog_galaxy_client_for_linux

If not, well, i will wait... I loved X1 i with to be part of X2 but it seems i can't. Yet ? Anyway, from here, away from actual playtest, the progress look good so far, cheers !

Unfortunately we won't be supporting Linux and Mac during the Early Access phase, although we'll attempt a port prior to release and see how feasible it is. Managing three platforms during development is quite challenging and once we start taking people's money for Mac / Linux versions of the game we've then committed to definitely supporting those platforms.

Likely everything will be fine and we'll support them, but I'd rather play things safe for now.

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Alright, it's completely understandable. When you port it, i'm sure you will find plenty of players to test it prior to release, included myself, as it's like this for so many games, and other stuff actually, related to Linux.

/em jumps everywhere waits

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One more bug I found is the ability to reload a machine gun with 1 TU. I also noticed that crouched soldiers automatically uncrouch before firing. Not sure if this is working as intended.

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In a new game I have problem with reloading shotgun, shooting through small hills (both sides), and enemy getting reaction fire before I fire a machine gun.
Edit: Specifically, I press left button to fire, then the alien shot, then I am back to the machine gunner who haven't done anything at full TU.  He didn't need to turn.  Perhaps he stood up from crouch and this is triggering reaction fire?

Fence and wall layouts don't make sense to me, but otherwise the random map is forcing me to take up different camping positions in each game as designed.

I also noticed a small clipping problem when I get into the game:

Xenonauts 2 2017-02-07 12_17_18.q70.jpg

 

Edited by Sheepy

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Thanks for the ongoing feedback and bug reports. We're still monitoring the thread and logging the issues - some of them are already fixed and will be included in the build next Tuesday, but others might not get fixed for a few more weeks yet. It all helps though!

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Thank you for your release! When we can download demonstration version from the GOG without cursed Steam / Desura / DRM?

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17 hours ago, Yevgeniy said:

Thank you for your release! When we can download demonstration version from the GOG without cursed Steam / Desura / DRM?

It's already available on GOG without DRM, you just have to use their Galaxy client to do it.

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I realize this may be a big balancing overhaul, but I would like to pitch the idea of adding a high rate of fire and low accuracy fire mode to the automatic weapons in the game, which would be meant for suppression and not actually hitting anyone. The suppression mechanic is in the game already and I think the combat would be greatly improved if it could be exploited to allow for more fire and maneuver tactics. 

Edited by PSPSoldier534

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I changed my HD and had to update Windows manually to get GOG Galaxy working, so I've seen an incredible level of advance, since the first PCT to this latest version (haven't played any in between). Here's what I found (I suppose it's just repetitive but still):

Targeting cursor is unstable, sometimes it appears, sometimes not, but whenever you click on an alien your soldier shoots, so it's working fine, just an issue with the display.

I've found lots of tiles I can't click to move on them. Usually it's solved with a change of perspective but I found one I couldn't click on. With a Sergeant (shotgun), while he and an alien stood by a tree (90º from each other) I couldn't click on the tile in between to position the sergeant beside the alien, I had to move him in angle away from the alien, then I could click on the tile. No position allowed to click on that tile.

Friendly fire is still too usual, both to your characters and to the cover you're using. Knowing about friendly fire, I was all too careful not to shoot through one of my soldiers, but I still shot down a rock I was using as cover. One of the lesser aliens rebeled and shot one of the officers (actually killing him).

The block values are disconcerting. In X1 I knew that, if my shot was past two 50% block, it was impassable. Now, I shot with the machine gun through several 30% (at least 4), two 50% and one 70% and still scored 2 hits, with a supposed 6% chance.

AI seems a bit weird, they stay in the open and shoot through walls (and sometimes hit...). Suppression seems to be hard, I only got one officer suppressed once, with a one time shot, and couldn't suppress another even when I was burst firing the machine gun every single turn.

On the bright side, maps look quite lively, with lots of paths and shelters, interface seems to work fine and the models and animations look very good. I miss a zoom to see the details, but I don't know if that's within the possibilities of the engine, so...

Congratulations and keep up the good work! Looking forward to seeing the game in early release state!

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