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Xenonauts-2 Version 0.6.0 (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 11th April, although if necessary we will also release hotfixes for any game-breaking bugs encountered in this build.

This build has a couple of new features and a whole bunch of rather important bugfixes. We were working on several connected features that we had hoped to put in this build (grenades, medikits, bleeding wounds, melee weapons, Reapers) but they just missed the deadline and so they're being pushed back to the next build - although this is disappointing, it allows us to stick to our regular release schedule and keeps us working efficiently. I'll give a more detailed debrief on this at the bottom of the post.

CHANGELOG:

  • Alien Wallhacks Removed: this rolls together a number of bugfixes, but aliens should no longer be able to see or shoot you through walls
  • Shoot Path Refactor: we've reworked the shot path to tag intervening cover in a more realistic way. It should no longer tag cover that is near the line of fire but not actually intersecting with the shot path, and it should also remove a bug where cover is clearly not intervening but is being included in the accuracy calculation anyway.
  • End Turn Lock: You can no longer press End Turn before all queued actions (e.g. moving along a move path) have finished
  • Visual Tweaks:
    • Bullets should now be much easier to see
    • Interior UFO walls are no longer revealed when you see the other (exterior) side of them
    • TU text on move paths has been enlarged
    • UFO diagonal walls now no longer use Temperate biome grass under them even on non-Temperate tilesets
    • Move path should no longer draw through Tropical biome tree trunks
    • Main Menu background scene should have improved performance, and also the text on the monitors should now scroll downwards
    • Blood should now appear at ground level, rather than hovering noticeably above it
  • Bugfixes:
    • Close range bonus is no longer applied if shot has 0% hit chance (this was allowing units to shoot through walls)
    • Fixed an issue where adjacent cover walls (e.g. fences) were not being properly removed from the shot calculation
    • Line-of-sight should no longer be possible through cliffs
    • Aliens should no longer be visible one turn before they should be
    • Camera movement should no longer occasionally get stuck endlessly moving in a particular direction
    • Hotkeys are now disabled when you are typing into the bug report field, so pressing Enter no longer ends the turn
    • Footstep sounds should no longer be triggered continually on UFO maps

The changelog is a bit light on features this time. There's several reasons for this, the first being that there were some pretty annoying bugs in the last build that needed fixing as a matter of priority. We understandably got a LOT of bug reports about the aliens being able to shoot through walls, and we also took the time to address issues with the fire path tagging a lot of cover as being intervening when it was not. The basic gunplay has improved a lot since our first public builds but we're still working hard to get it right - this latest update does not address the issues with cover the offered by elevation levels, but hopefully fixes everything else. We'll have a think about how to handle the elevation cover (i.e. cliff walls) shortly.

The second is that a batch of new weapons with special functionality (medikit / melee weapons / grenades) didn't quite make the deadline - and without melee weapons we can't put the new Reaper in the game, without medikits we can't enable the Bleeding Wound system, etc. In the past we'd have pushed the build back to include this stuff ... but that has proved very disruptive to development in the past and instead we're sticking more rigorously to a system where the builds come out every other Tuesday. If a feature misses the deadline, it goes in the next build instead. Some releases will inevitably have more features in them than others as a result (I guess next one is going to be huge), but it's definitely a much more efficient way to work over the long term.

Finally, we've been working on some "hidden" things this week: we've moved some resources away from the ground combat and onto the strategy layer in order to speed up progress on that area of the game, and we've also been working on the Kickstarter "portrait generator" mentioned below. Additionally I'm doing a developer session at EGX Rezzed this weekend and we've been recording some videos that we can both use for that and also potentially include in any Kickstarter video we do in the near future. So quite a lot of work on stuff that is important to the project but doesn't appear in the builds.

One last thing to mention - the first version of the Kickstarter portrait generator can be downloaded here, and we'd appreciate people giving it a try: http://www.xenonauts.com/devfiles/xenonauts2_portraitgenerator_test1.zip

The idea here is that people can pay an extra $25 or so to put themselves in the game as a soldier (or hopefully also as a scientist). This involves a custom name and background, but also a custom portrait. Getting an artist to paint custom portraits is an expensive and time consuming job so that option will only be available at much higher tiers ... which means the $50 tier will need a powerful portrait generator that allows people to create a character that looks something like them. It doesn't need to be a perfect likeness, but hopefully it will be good enough that people are willing to pay the extra $25 to put "themselves" in the game.

This first build of the portrait generator only supports men of the "northern european" ethnicity; we'll be adding female variants and other ethnicities as the art comes in (we'll also be adding more support for older people if we go ahead with our plans to make the scientists full characters). We'd appreciate feedback on how well the program works at this stage, and if you happen to be a white male then we'd also like to hear whether you can come up with anyone that looks vaguely like you ... and if not, how we could better support you.

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Late-night-shift aren't we having? :p
((This is to reference that the GOG-Galaxy-client pushed the update only couple of hours / an hour ago even though this patch-note has been written several hours ago.)) 

So I managed to capture the UFO this time around, although still struggling with the  "Psyon-Officers" shooting from the "other side of the map" and "Psyon-Drones" reaction-fire through walls and generally having enhanced accuracy (even if on the run shown in the record-file they accidentally kill one of their brethren).

To elaborate on the "Psyon-Officers", at least the fix that was supposed to be applied on "0.5.1"-version last time ("Aliens now have the same sight range as humans (18) up from 16 previously") still is not in effect with the "Psyon-Officers".
This "bug" can happen whether you (player) have spotted them or not.


Biggest struggle was with the selection of squares next to the doors (which don't automatically close at the moment) and the other soldiers; far too many times the cursor simply ignored highling the squares unless I used "downward-movement" camera-angles.


Here is an assortment of random screenshots alongside the Record-file which can be found once again at the bottom.


- The machinegunner has been reaction-fire-damaged by Psion-Drone (highlighted as silhouet)
2017-03-29 00_23_56-Xenonauts 2.png
 

- Favorite spot of the "Psyon-Drones" seeming making them ignore the line-of-sights and enhancing their reaction-fire-snap-shot-accuracy
2017-03-29 00_24_10-Xenonauts 2.png

- Image showing that indeed the Psyon-Drone shot through the rock-wall.
2017-03-29 00_24_24-Xenonauts 2.png

-Demonstrating wonky bullet-flight-path
2017-03-29 00_26_28-Xenonauts 2.png

- More wonkiness of the flight-paths.
((Eventually this very same officer shoots the sniper far-left of the screen without having had moved, alongside having the possible "spotter"-Sebilian already been killed.))
2017-03-29 00_27_28-Xenonauts 2.png

- Wonky'ish line-of-sights
2017-03-29 00_37_59-Xenonauts 2.png

- Image showing "Psyon-Officer" (bottom) showing have shot the MAchine-gunner who has ran even further away from them.
2017-03-29 00_39_44-Xenonauts 2.png

 

- For people less than luckier than me, here is how the current version of the UFO looks inside.
2017-03-29 00_55_44-Xenonauts 2.png

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recording_8.rec

Edited by Pave

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12 hours ago, Pave said:

Late-night-shift aren't we having? :p
((This is to reference that the GOG-Galaxy-client pushed the update only couple of hours / an hour ago even though this patch-note has been written several hours ago.)) 

The patch notes are always written in advance in a hidden post - I just edit changes in and out of them as the build evolves before release. Unfortunately the "published" date of the post is set to when it is posted rather than when I unhide it though, which means it always looks like it is released several hours early. 

Thanks for the various bug reports; I'll look into them for the next build and see if we can address some of them.

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Played a bit with this:

  • I think the hit calculation is again (?) a bit off. Is there some RNG at work that screws me up?
    Often my soldiers cannot take a shot with more than ~15% due to all the rocks in between and miss horribly. And then two aliens shoot form their unchanged positions and one-hit my soldiers through the same shooting path. WTF.
    Other incidents here:
    It was impossible to shoot at this alien with my shotgunner, although he could see it, and it could see him:
    why 1.jpg
    This was so unfair, and so wrong:
    why 2.jpg
  • The sound of the UFO door opening - always happens when an alien comes into view - is still so immensly loud that I nearly jump out of my chair...
  • Sometimes it is hard to identify what alien/soldier has reacted shooting in overwatch.
  • Shotgunners shoot in overwatch although the distance is much to far to be reasonable.

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Yeah, you guys are right - there's something weird happening with the "corner" tiles of the cliff. It looks like you can shoot round them diagonally without any problems ... unless there's a unit in the tile you're shooting at. Not sure what's causing that bug but we'll look into it for the next build because it's pretty annoying.

Similarly we're already working on the issue where you can't click through open doors, and we're starting to think about adding wall transparency to allow you to navigate the inside of UFOs more effectively.

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1 hour ago, Chris said:

Yeah, you guys are right - there's something weird happening with the "corner" tiles of the cliff. It looks like you can shoot round them diagonally without any problems ... unless there's a unit in the tile you're shooting at. Not sure what's causing that bug but we'll look into it for the next build because it's pretty annoying.

Similarly we're already working on the issue where you can't click through open doors, and we're starting to think about adding wall transparency to allow you to navigate the inside of UFOs more effectively.

Wall transparency? Ok, but what about having 45° rotation angles instead of the 90°?

Especially in this UFO, the view is exactly in between the corridor angles:
- standard 90° view angles (orange)
- soldier on yellow or on blue is hard to see when you also want to see the next room (here the entrance room)
- 45° view angles will help here (green arrows)
view angles.jpg

I don't know if you want to restrict yourself in the UFO designs so that unlucky angles will not be an issue. So I think a finer rotation will make everything easire.

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I'd personally would prefer the stepless / continuously camera zooming and spinning (with adjustable speeds); maybe later in the development.
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18 hours ago, Pave said:

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I'd personally would prefer the stepless / continuously camera zooming and spinning (with adjustable speeds); maybe later in the development.
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For me, stepwise rotation is good enough as long as there aren't blind spots. I want to change the view quickly without fiddling with the mouse, although this would be much more precise if required I agree.

Zooming by mouse wheel is also good enough when the increments are not too large.

Next request (by some other one I guess) would be elevation angle, to move the camera form 90° bird-eye perspective down to 0° ground level. I don't need that as long as I can see everything, the 45° isometric (?) is good enough for me.
However, it would be quite a view if you could go to the individual soldiers view, and take a look through the soldiers eyes, maybe with truning the head. But I don't want that automatically like in the Firaxis versions!

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Okay, I finally got around fiddling with the (first version of the) Kickstarter portrait-generator.

And I say it is a very good start.
And seems to be quite easily customizable / mod-able (as in possibly just adding new .png-layers and such maybe; not yet certain how'd the additions transfer to 3D-models though).

Right of the bat, when it comes to additions, I semi-seriously hope there will be more variants of unibrows; unibrows are extremely ignored generally speaking...


Here is a screenshot-result of my fiddling to make as look-alike-myself as possible:

2017-04-01 21_18_20-X2 Character Creator.png



On a side-note, this tool kind of gave me the "Institute for Mercenary Profiling"-vibes; already I am thinking of various potential this tool could bring up.
http://jaggedalliance.wikia.com/wiki/Institute_for_Mercenary_Profiling

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Edited by Pave

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About the portrait generator. Hair (including facial, eyebrows) also needs a black colour option - it's probably not less common than brown hair, and it's different. Facial scar options look really bad right now, very much as if they were painted over the skin as opposed to being part of it. Yes I know that's literally the case :) More hair styles would also be good if you do go through with the profession distinction. The current styles are a good selection for the military portraits but feel lacking for scientists.

I think it will be a success overall, very easy to use, and it creates faces that actually look like realistic human faces, which is the main difficulty with such generators.

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Related to "EGX Rezzed"-event  told by  @Chris, for us who'd want to see the session (again?) faster than the panelists are able to highlight it (on Youtube), here is the link to the whole thing (our beloved leader enters the stage at 2hour 31minute-mark):
https://www.twitch.tv/videos/132671283

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The Youtube-version is also up now:



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Edited by Pave
Added the Youtube-Embed-link

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The generator is not for me, so I tried some people that match it.  You decide how good they are!

Commander Shephard

shephard.q80.jpg

Sid Meier

sid.q80.jpg

Donald Trump

trump.q80.jpg

I am happy with the nose and mouth selection.  Eyebrows and ears feel very limited.  Face shape ok.  Smile lines missing.  Eyes has a good list but can always be better :p

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On 4/1/2017 at 9:20 PM, Pave said:

 

 

 Man, whoever chose the thumbnail really didn't like me! :)

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