Chris

Xenonauts-2 Version 0.4.0 (Public Combat Test) Released!

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This new version of Xenonauts 2 is a free public test build, released free because it is still an early build and we don't yet think we can justify charging for it; full details on where to get the build can be found in this thread. The next update is due on Tuesday 14th March, although we will release also hotfixes for any game-breaking bugs if necessary.

This update is mostly bugfixes and tweaks as a response to feedback from our public build. We usually have more substantial updates but we released an additional build a week ago that contained a number of features and fixes that would otherwise have been in this build, plus the PR work on last week and some illness on the coding team also sucked time away. That just means there'll be a whole bunch of new features arriving the next update though!

CHANGELOG:

  • Options Menu Disabled: we're having some technical issues with this at the moment so we're temporarily disabling it. It'll be back in the next build.
  • Sebillians: Sebillians are now in the game - two of them spawn alongside the Psyons each mission (which actually makes the missions a lot harder). Aliens don't have any special abilities yet so they're currently just tougher and less accurate Psyon Officers. We'd like to hear any ideas you have on tweaking the way they look or move, as they're still in their first iteration and probably need some more work.
  • Crouching: Crouching now has a gameplay effect; it reduces the chance of being hit by incoming fire by 20%. It intentionally does not also give you an accuracy bonus though; crouching is now purely a defensive choice.
  • Doors: this won't directly affect the current maps, but doors should now work (one step closer to buildings and UFOs!)
  • Crash Fixes:
    • Fixed a crash when trying to move multiple units to the same spot / nearby one another.
    • Fixed a crash when firing at a target within the Xenonaut spawn zone.
  • Gameplay Tweaks:
    • Aliens now have random spawn points, so they don't always spawn in the same place each mission.
    • Move paths are now including the cost of uncrouching when showing the predicted remaining TU.
    • Rotation costs are now being correctly deducted when units move; so move path predicted TU should now be accurate.
    • Force fire mode (activated by clicking on the weapon image) can now be cancelled with Escape or by clicking on the weapon image for a second time.
    • Fixed up some cover rocks on the Boreal tileset that you could walk inside.
  • Visual Updates:
    • Xenonauts now fire from a crouched position, rather than uncrouching and shooting then crouching again.
    • Movement path / fire path tiles have been retextured with a gradient to make them look nicer.
    • The purple flash which sometimes occurred on bullet impact has now been fixed.
    • Shrunk down some Desert biome shrubs so it's more obvious that they are just decorative (rather than actual cover objects).

There's some visual issues in the game right now that have led to us temporarily disabling the options menu (the launcher options still work). We should have that fixed up for the next build, and this should also allow us to enable a whole load of graphical post-processing that will make the game look much sharper on high-end machines.

We'll be working on quite a few new features over the next couple of weeks, including hopefully getting grenades and the first UFO in the game. This will be *heavily* inspired by the destructible box UFOs from the first X-Com, and we're planning to use it to test how well the gameplay works with this style of thin-walled destructible UFO. Later, we'll test a semi-destructible UFO type that is more akin to the ones in Xenonauts 1 ... and then we'll make a decision on which direction we want to go. That build is due on 14th March, so remember to check back!

Feel free to post up any issues you're experiencing with this build in this thread and we'll log them to be fixed.

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I was pleased to see his old friends siberian! And what the aliens AI (just as the mission of terror)? ... Ps a couple of grenades have to be completely happy :)

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After seeing the enemy fighter (while walking), he just squats (and does not depart at the scheduled place)

1-1.png

2-2.png

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The Sebillians look really menacing with their bulky appearance, great. Their plasma guns look a bit small or rather flat, like a short sword, but maybe this will change.

The new spawn points are helping to break the routine, also great. I need more playthroughs though, to see how diverse they really are.

My soldiers are still really shitty when it comes to hititing the target. But the aliens, oh yeah, they have improved to near God-level. Four aliens shot after each other, each one hit a soldier, two of the four soldiers died instantly. Within three turns my soldiers reduced to four remaining.

One alien hit another alien, killing it, that was fun to see.

Once the aliens settled to the closest point they want to approach they still marching back and forth. One alien walked from one stone to the other spending half its TU (at least my soldier would have) and walked back the following turn. This one only reaction-shot, never shot in its turn. Don't think they should always try to find a better coveronce they are in a good spot.

 

Oops, forgot the rec file: recording_9.rec

Edited by thixotrop

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So I wouldn't actually expect to win this mission in most cases - there's two extra aliens in the mission with the new Sebillians and it turns out the Psyons have artificially high accuracy.

We increased it so they would shoot more in the earlier builds when cover have more protection, so they've got about 100% hit chance on soldiers out of cover at the moment. We'll nerf them back to normal levels in the next build.

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v0.4.0-victory.q60.jpg

My sniper, behind full cover and crouched (I think), got sniped by an officier mid way.  Otherwise it is pretty good.  The best part is when another officer reaction shot dead a drone.  Can we playback our recordings? :cool:

It bugs me that I cannot shot around wall corners, alongside minor details like sometimes my soldier auto stand up but sometimes they don't, but this is the first preview build that make me think more about tactics than bugs.

Happy with the sturdy covers.  I think I only managed to destroy a piece of short wall.  Still think bullets fly too fast.  Sometimes when my people reaction shot I can't see what they are hitting instead of the enemy.

I like the shiny texture of the battle rifle, want to see it less flat and artificial.  I imagined they were matte in X-1.  But I think that the characters are meshing with the background and sometimes I have difficulty spoting aliens or our soldiers.

recording_1.rec

Edited by Sheepy

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Tried twice, beat it twice. The aliens did a lot of standing around during their turn, opting to save their time units for reaction fire/overwatch instead of shooting at me on their own turn, which kinda felt like the AI does not know what it is doing. Did not get to see that snow map.

Edited by inRain

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Yeah, an AI overhaul will be arriving in the medium term as right now it is barely functional.

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16 hours ago, Sheepy said:

snip...
Still think bullets fly too fast.  Sometimes when my people reaction shot I can't see what they are hitting instead of the enemy.
...snip

Maybe the bullets should leave a trace in the air that vanishes within 1-2 seconds, so that the player can see where the shots go to.
Or the game should pan the camera towards the one reaction shooting, so that the player is able to see which soldier is shooting in which direction.

Personally I don't have such an issue with it, but I understand that it can be critical to see from where you got shot and where the soldier shoots to, once the maps become a bit more complex and full of structures.

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Game crash after the beginning of my 2nd turn. No dump files on my hardrive.

I like the "flat" gun of the Sebillians, perhaps a little too small.

recording_9.rec

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---
Nothing too majour to report, aside maybe for the suspiciously deadly reaction-fire-shots.
Otherwise my "stay-back-behind" strategy helped keep my machine-gunner and sharpshooter / sniper alive this time.

I've attached a replay-file just case for analysis.


Also, really liking (all) these models so far, they really look beefed-up (a pun was intentional, yes).
Really liking the "theming" in which different rank of aliens now seemingly are going to have their own "doll-model" instead of just being colour-swaps
( well, some of "Xenonaut 1" alien-sprites wore-helmets, but here we even have unique movement animation and such too; I for one am really excited to see the future animations).

"Bulk-Sebillians"-specifically could perhaps have slightly more "weight" to their movement, as in not being quite agile (like their step they take has a clear "thunk"-noise and maybe raises some debris). And maybe their voice could be a bit more lower-pitches, deep bellowed-growls / grunts / *fitting-low-pitch-sound* or something making more like "dragons"
(( I didn't use the word "dinosaur" because that literally means "terrible lizard", and could be confused for the "bad" instead of "terrifying" )).
In future the lower-rank "slim-sebillians" could perhaps "scurry" around a bit (I am kinda imagining how "basilisks" running over water) while not looking too goofy.
---
---
---

recording_5.rec

Edited by Pave

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---
(( I am I am just re-confirming things that has been already confirmed. But a report is still a report. ))
---
Did another run, which is worth separate post.

There was an obvious goof-up from my end to get my shotgun-dude killed seen in the record-file.
(( What I did was to try rushing a target without reloading the gun first; oops. Maybe in future we can make empty-guns more visible in the UI. ))


I can also confirm the one specific Psyon being far too accurate.
But also seemingly the reaction-shots indeed have accuracy enhancements, because basically the aliens couldn't even with a "barn" during their normal-shots, but their reaction shots hit super-long-distances alongside through pretty much a rock cliff.

Here are couple of screenshots with wonky "projectile-paths":

recording_6.rec

2017-03-02 23_58_02-Xenonauts 2.png

2017-03-03 00_02_03-Xenonauts 2.png

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Another play, it seems the bugs are mostly gone with this version (for me) and so I can only post some observations that might lead to optimization(?).

  • I miss the "center" command (c button) to go back to your selected soldier after you panned the map.
  • Soldiers can be selected by pressing 1-8 on the keyboard, great! But soldier icons should have the number that selects him attached to it. When some icons are gone due to... death, it would help to select the remaining ones better. Now you have to click-select the soldier in the map or the icon.
    I often switch between soldiers to see who can better shoot or walk to a position. Always clicking by mouse is to slow.
  • The icons of supressed soldiers should be easily visible, either by adding "suppressed", new icon or color change.

I know that persistent vision (or is it called team vision here?) maybe the answer here, but I think it is not completely correct:
Left side image: The aliens behind the rock shouldn't be visible to my sniper, as the three soldiers at the right egde of the screen shouldn't see all of them either. Before this, I had a shotgunner to the rock formation on the right outside the screen, he got killed, and he could see all of them. But after he died the aliens shouldn't be seen anymore right?
Center and right side images: Once the soldier walks near, the Sebillian becomes visible, and when he turns his back, it vanishes again. So far so good here. Still the aliens behind the rock are somehow visible.
sniper vision 1.jpgsniper vision 2.jpgsniper vision 3.jpg

Three things here:
- I prefer that when the crosshair appears, the cover icons disappear, maybe as an option in the game menu.
- The crosshair is to big or rather to bold. If aliens would stand close and behind to each other (in this perspective) you will have problems to identify which one is which. Sure you can rotate the map, but what if this happens in a near alley with walls or containers? Maybe the wireframe tactical view or the "transparent bubble" helps here.
- And at last: The persistent vision/team vision feels stupid here. The sniper cannot see/target the alien without anotherone looking at it...*sigh*. I know game-play-wise it is correct, just feels awkward here.
cover icons & crosshair.jpg

And now to more corpse events :)
dead guy 1.jpgdead guy 2.jpg

Is it possible that a dead alien corpse has some vision blocking or cover features?
One alien could not hit me while near. And another came close and did nothing at all. Maybe I was lucky until not anymore...
dead guy 3.jpg

And here as usual: recording_10.rec

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Hide cover when in aiming mode sounds like a good idea.  Wouldn't mind if it is the default without options. :rolleyes:

Also have the experience that it's a bit hard to tell who is being targeted when there is a bunch of aliens.

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Thanks for the various items of feedback.

@Thixotrop I think there's an issue in the current build where the "walls" of that big raised rocky area that your sniper can see through are set to have 80% stopping chance instead of 100%. I think that's what's causing the problems here; you can see and shoot through it when they should be solid impassable walls. Hopefully you won't get those squadsight issues when the rocks are correctly blocking line of sight and bullets.

The cover icons are now disabled by default too, but that will only update for you if you reinstall or set the cover radius to zero in your settings (as it's an option saved locally on your machine). The cover symbols were from an older cover system we experimented with and don't really make that much sense any more.

The Sebillian ragdolls are pretty hilarious at the moment but they will eventually get fixed up - I think they're more prone to errors because they're so big relative to the other aliens.

BTW, in Xenonauts 1 I'm pretty sure "C" always was the crouch shortcut. If we have a missing "center on soldier" shortcut from X1 then I'm happy to add it into Xenonauts 2, but I don't think it was C.

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@Chris
I know the cover radius option and have played with it a bit.
Sometimes I like to set it to 3 or 4 so you can better see where is the best position to move your soldier, but then only when the soldier should go a great distance. For short distances range 1 is better. I thought about a dynamic range adaptiion first, but I am not sure if it will be useful. After some ground combats the player should know what will be a better position and don't need to have 20 or more icons to choose from.

Ragdolls are fun at the moment, the corpses should be still though. The "swimming" Sebillian was killed by the (later be killed) shotgunner with the cover icons. The Sebillian jerked back as if the carpet was pulled from under his legs, toppled and rolled over at least 2 fields. Looked really powerful.

I can't remember what center was, maybe I remembered the original or Apocalypse or another game.

I guess you will rework the UI in a certain way, please consider the number for identification of soldiers or a similar method, also the suppressed state and other.

Edited by thixotrop

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Salam brothers!

Tried the game demo yesterday, and have a couple of comments.

1. It has crashed in the beginning of some turn, without creating and dump or log file, so have no idea what's happened. Started it once again - everything was fine, successfully killed all aliens - and then game automatically closed, without getting me into main menu, not sure if this was a correct behavior.

2. During the fight I opened main menu, just to check if there is something interesting. And the problem was - Escape button didn't work there, to go out I had to click something with my mouse instead.

3. Graphics looks better then in Xenonauts 1, but I would suggest to have more rework in arts and sounds. It looks like they are mostly taken from the first part, but I expect to have some new experience in this new game.

4. It would be good to be able to zoom, soldiers were quite small on my screen.

5. Backpack didn't work, not sure if that was the plan for demo to turn it off, or some problem.

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@Akhmed
>1 Never had a crash myself, only that map rotation with Q/E and elevation with up/down did not work. Next game everything worked as normal. Yes the game stopps completely, I guess this is intended.

>2 Yes normal behaviour, I guess it was just forgotten to implement.

>3 A lot of things are re-used from X1 and will be reworked.

>4 Others have requested this too and Chris thinks they will implement it.

>5 Correct, not implemented. So you also cannot go to a corpse and use the dropped weapon.

Edited by thixotrop

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@thixotrop

thanks

 

Also I think it would be good idea to introduce NPCs into the game. For example, in some rare missions, if you save some civilian, he gives +5 to some skill for your soldiers etc.

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Could a bonus for point-blank shots be added? This was a bone of contention in X1 as it felt "unrealistic" for a soldier to be in either the adjacent tile or a few tiles away and have a low chance to hit. 

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