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Feedback: First release on GoG

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Hello to the guys at Goldhawk Interactive. 

I recently played the first mission of xenonauts 2 on GoG. I've got some feedback for you guys regarding some things I noticed. 

The xenonaut models look pretty good. The alien models however, look terrible. The caesans dont look too bad, but the lizard people look atrocious. They look like a grittier version of Bowser from mario. 

That being said, I did like what I saw regarding the environment and the new 3d engine. The level looked good. But its hard to tell what counts as full cover and what counts as full cover. Its also hard to tell what characters can and cannot leap on top of. I suggest possibly adding a new UI element to help distinguish the differences between the two (this was also an issue I had with the original xenonauts). More on the environment: I really liked the sound effect of bullets hitting rock cover. It felt punchy and the little rocks that explode from the impact point is a nice touch. That being said, I feel as if the cover is too tough to damage or take out (also a previous issue with OG xenonauts). 

Performance wise: It ran alright except when entering unrevealed areas for the first time. I would experience small frame drops when entering any newly discovered tiles. The performance drop wasnt severe, but I still feel its worth mentioning. I run a GTX 970, 8gs ram, i7 3.9ghz cpu (not overclocked). 

One of the biggest issues I had with the original xenonauts is how lifeless everything feels. In OG Xcom, during a end turn screen you could hear civilians walking around, aliens shooting, doors opening and closing, and the occasional death of civilians. In xenonauts, during the end turn screen, you can hear some of that stuff but it didnt feel right. Not enough variety in the sounds being played and the screen was always static. In OG xcom, when something happened, the screen would switch perspective rapidly to a dark corner of the map and it would also switch often. This helped set in that feeling of dread between each turn, because it gave me (the player) a sense that the aliens were accomplishing alot on their turn. The sudden and repeated switches in perspective also gave a sense of panic as I never knew when it was going to switch and for how long it would remain there. Xenonauts needs some of that to help ratchet up the tension. I would also recommend speeding up the animations and gunshots to help achieve this effect. The pace of combat in xenonauts was really hurt by the sluggishness of the animations. 

Like if an alien would do reaction fire in xenonauts, they would turn around, bring their weapon up the their shoulder, fire, and put it back down to resting position. And if they were to repeatedly fire they would again go through raising it to their shoulder and dropping it again after shooting. It just killed the urgency of the combat. In OG xcom, if an alien would reaction fire against the player, it would turn around and then "BANG BANG BANG" and then it was done. It was very fast and almost chaotic. It INCREASED the urgency of the combat. 


I'd say, overall, if you guys want to do xenonauts but better, I'd look at what made OG xcom scary/tense and combine that with some of the presentation of the newer xcom games. By that latter part I mean add in more characterization (not customization) to the xenonaut and alien characters through animation and sound. I think you guys would have quite the game on your hands if you manage that. 


Sorry if thats long-winded. Regardless I look forward to trying out the future versions of xenonauts 2 and giving any helpful feedback that I can as the project continues. 


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And now the demo has been tested. I try to focus on what is actually in the demo rather than what is not yet implemented, but I'll drop a few recommendations.

Graphics: Having played and enjoyed the first game, X2 looked immediately familiar. The graphics style looked very similar to the first game, except with higher videlity. I didn't find much use for camera turning in this one, but it is nice to have. It also made the black void that is the end of the map seem more apparent than I remember from Xenonaunts. It would be nice if something could be done to this "black void". Soldiers and aliens looked good. Visually, I noted two types of armour on friendlies, but naturally it would be nice if every soldier had something a little different on them.

Animation: Soldier movement was more smooth and seemed to work well and aliens had pretty much the same style of animation which worked well for Ceasans, but not for the Sebelians (the lizards). I think this alien needs a different style of animation.

Gameplay: Obviously missing a few features, like cover indicators, but I'm sure you got that covered, hehe. Speaking of cover, it doesn't seem to work correctly right now. I believe the way it used to work was that the cover that the soldier was using, didn't hinder the shot, but it does block soldiers own shot in this demo, making fighting from cover a pain. Suppression was still there, but it didn't seem as good as before or perhaps mr. corporal with the machine gun was just an awful shot.

The terrain looks better now, but there are a few odities. The soldiers can step up on a higher ground that is visually as high as half cover objects next to it, but they somehow can't step on said half cover objects or go through them. I would also like more information displayed, a lot more information about everything. I liked all the cover blocking pop-ups as you aimed your shot and what I assume was the tiles that the suppression would affect. Information about what affects my shot percentile, range, height, wounds, etc.

AI: It looked very clear cut the way aliens acted. Sebelians (or whatever they are called) charged close, seasoned Ceasans stayed back to take their shots and little runt Ceasans? also charged almost as if to attract fire from more dangerous targets. Making good AI is probably the most difficult thing in video games, so on that ground, I was initially impressed with the aliens. The seasoned Ceasan aliens, however, did not react to my flanking soldier at all and they had 2 turns to do so since his aim and damage output was complete garbage. They also didn't try to take a shot at this particular soldier and instead tried to kill a longer distance target. I would say that the AI failed to consider its units cover from all angles.

Overrall impressions: Are pretty meaningless, since this was just a showcase for one aspect of the combat, shooting the gun from cover, but I will say that I'm glad you guys haven't departed too far in the direction of the new Xcom.

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2 hours ago, Jarwy said:

Naturally it would be nice if every soldier had something a little different on them.

I would also like more information displayed, a lot more information about everything.

If you look very, very closely you'll see that the machine gunner and sniper are holding different guns from others.  :cool:
Anything beyond I would expect to be in the realms of soldier customisation.... I assume that 3D portrait is on hold or scrapped, so not very likely in near future?

I am thinking we can use a tactic view, like the one in Invisible Inc, which shows everything important including covers, items, characters, and enemy view cones, without all the foliage and decorations.  Would be very helpful to X-2...

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