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Xenonauts-2 Version 0.8.0 (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 9th May, although if necessary we will also release hotfixes for any game-breaking bugs encountered in this build.

The last two weeks included both the Easter public holidays and the release of a hotfix for the previous build with a pretty extensive changelog of its own, so we've got a pretty decent haul of changes to report given the short timeframe!

FEATURES:

  • New Maps: There's three new maps in the game, each with its own new UFO design. Each has been swapped into four different biomes, giving a total of twelve new maps for you to enjoy.
  • Improved Alien Spawns: We've added basic support for aliens with different AI scripts - e.g. passive aliens that will lurk outside the UFO, aggressive aliens that will hunt you outside the UFO, aliens that will stay in certain regions of the UFO, etc. Because the AI is quite limited at the moment, this works best on larger maps (on smaller maps the passive aliens start close enough to your soldiers that they immediately start acting aggressively anyway) but it'll pay big dividends when we upgrade the AI in a month or two. 
  • Wall Transparency: In Xenonauts 1 walls went semi-transparent when units and the cursor moved behind them, making it much easier to move around inside UFOs and buildings. A rough version of this system has been implemented and can be seen in action on the outer hulls of UFOs. The system still has lots of limitations that we're working to improve though - it doesn't yet have a radius around the unit, it doesn't work on diagonal walls and corners, it doesn't work on internal walls etc. Next iteration should be a lot more polished.
  • Custom Camera Rotation: You can now specify the camera rotation angle in the game options. Default is still 90 degrees, but you can set it to anything you want.

VISUAL UPDATES:

  • The Arid biome now has its own custom fence, wall and road barrier models and we've tweaked the road textures and plants a bit too. The idea is that each biome will eventually have its own unique set of equivalent models rather than just being palette swaps of the same ones.
  • Aliens now always have a red circle around their tile, making them easier to see.
  • The soldier health bar now accurately reflects damage taken and the amount of health that is available to be healed.
  • Fixed up a "jerk" in the soldier movement animations that happened after each tile of movement.
  • Improved the visual effect of a stack of damage numbers fading out (e.g. from an LMG burst).
  • Fixed an issue with line of sight incorrectly passing through diagonal UFO walls / corners.
  • Fixed hand positions for aliens when firing their weapons.
  • You no longer get bleeding wound notifications for damage that kills the victim outright.

BUGFIXES:

  • Aliens no longer receive unlimited overwatch attacks.
  • Crouched units that start to move, but then spot an alien and interrupt it before they actually get a chance to move, no longer uncrouch anyway.
  • Fixed a bug that was making the AI more passive than intended.
  • Fixed a weird bug where a unit was able to diagonally shoot around a corner unless there was a unit standing there, in which case it was not able to shoot the unit.
  • Fixed another bug where the fire path was incorrectly tagging cover that was not in the fire path.

UNINTENTIONAL BONUS "FEATURE":

  • Looks like the release includes some of our extra debug text in it for some reason, showing the suppression and armour damage inflicted on units when shots are fired. It's not worth recompiling the builds just to remove it so we'll leave it in until the next release ... I guess maybe take the opportunity to see if suppression is working as intended? :) 

I think that's a pretty decent changelog for what was essentially only one week of work. There's more bank holidays coming up in the next two weeks but I think we'll still be able to deliver a decent update for the 9th May - please let us know if you encounter any bug so we can fix them up too!

A quick note about the strategy layer - this week we started work on the first parts of the ground combat / geoscape link, so hopefully it won't be too long until we can have both parts of the game working properly together :)

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Oh man how I love the free camera rotation!!!!
 I am spamming WASD to pan and QE to rotate all the time now. Zoom in/out via mousewheel would the cream now.

Could only play one game, but the map was great. This ground combat felt exactly like the original X-COM (1994 version for all that don't know what means "original"): team spreads out, enemy contact, focus, suppress, take down, move further, cover ground and watch those corners!...great.

One Sebillian hid and lured my team to come out of cover, killed one of mine before he got nailed. Great tactical feeling.

 

But now to my observations:

  • Although nothing has changed here, now I really would like to be able to change the end tile my soldier is moving to after I already clicked somewhere else. I misclicked two times now and ended in the wrong spot. Yes my fault but, yeah.
  • Also a "next-soldier" or a cycle button would come in handy. Clicking the icons is great, but I don't always know what icon is which soldier.
  • I always forget how to use the Medikit in this demo. Is it possible to have the all the key descriptions somewhere in the options too, not only in the launcher?

Now pictures as usual:

Shotgunner is against rocks (red arrow). Can see two aliens, although hidden behind rocks. Possibly because end of weapon is inside rock.
hidden 1.jpg

Shotguner has the rock not as an obstacle, rifleman behind him does.
hidden 2.jpgshoot thru rock.jpgshoot thru rock not.jpg

UFO interior becomes visible. Edge error?
look inside UFO.jpg

Left: It is not easy to target the alien when it is at the door frame. The actual crosshair appears only just above it, a littlebit fiddly.
Right: Although very near it is impossible to hit. Only option is directly in front line.
target in door.jpgtarget in door 2.jpg

See text in picture...
wall-door.jpg

 

And again I forgot the rec file: recording_8.rec

Oh by the way, a couple of rounds inside the UFO, the game crashed to desktop.

 

Edited by thixotrop
forgot something

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Hello guys!
 I was thinking it would be good to have the opportunity to call for help during the battle on the ground from its base,
 from remaining fighters that would be flying for any number of moves! Is it possible to implement this? Thank you!

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3 minutes ago, marques said:

Hello guys!
 I was thinking it would be good to have the opportunity to call for help during the battle on the ground from its base,
 from remaining fighters that would be flying for any number of moves! Is it possible to implement this? Thank you!

It would be kinda unfair on the aliens if you just blew up them up with fighter jets instead of using your soldiers, wouldn't it? :)

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16 hours ago, thixotrop said:

Although nothing has changed here, now I really would like to be able to change the end tile my soldier is moving to after I already clicked somewhere else. I misclicked two times now and ended in the wrong spot. Yes my fault but, yeah.

Glad you enjoyed the mission and thanks for the general feedback; we'll take a look through your bug reports and investigate them. On the quoted point though, you should already be able to press Spacebar to stop a soldier mid-move just like you could in X1.

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15 minutes ago, Chris said:

It would be kinda unfair on the aliens if you just blew up them up with fighter jets instead of using your soldiers, wouldn't it? :)



 
No, do not use planes fighters, and call a few soldiers to help) or is it also not fair?)
Edited by marques

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Oh - you'd like to be able to call in additional Xenonaut soldiers from your base that would arrive at the battle after a delay?

That is not a planned feature, but it could be possible. It would need some kind of disadvantage, otherwise players would just call in extra soldiers at the start of every mission and then do the mission with 2x the normal number of soldiers.

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4 minutes ago, Chris said:

Oh - you'd like to be able to call in additional Xenonaut soldiers from your base that would arrive at the battle after a delay?

That is not a planned feature, but it could be possible.

Yes) it would be interesting

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On 26.04.2017 at 4:12 PM, Chris said:

Oh - you'd like to be able to call in additional Xenonaut soldiers from your base that would arrive at the battle after a delay?

That is not a planned feature, but it could be possible. It would need some kind of disadvantage, otherwise players would just call in extra soldiers at the start of every mission and then do the mission with 2x the normal number of soldiers.

OK! Then it can be done so that the call of a help is possible only after the death of some soldiers or after a certain number of moves! And I understand that you can not make a call from anywhere in the world but only in the radius of the nearest base! It would not be plausible if the help flew to another continent!

I apologize for my English) maybe not quite correctly I write) I communicate through the translator Google)

Edited by marques

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On Wednesday, April 26, 2017 at 4:12 PM, Chris said:

Oh - you'd like to be able to call in additional Xenonaut soldiers from your base that would arrive at the battle after a delay?

That is not a planned feature, but it could be possible. It would need some kind of disadvantage, otherwise players would just call in extra soldiers at the start of every mission and then do the mission with 2x the normal number of soldiers.

Let then and aliens such bonus with reinforcements ... for example during the battle the leader can send an assistance signal 1 time, at the same time the support ship (for example a small landing party) will be sent ...

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Apart from a few bugs - see my in-game reports - so far so good! I can't wait to see what additional features you guys are cooking and what sort of gear we'll be able to equip our xenonauts with! I love the aesthetic, the 3D looks good without going crazy over-the-top.

Edited by ZombieM0ses

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Hello!

I don't really have much to add, but this version run much more smoothly on my ass-end PC (GeForce 210, Athlon X2 2.9GHz, and 4GB RAM).

I'm running the game at 800x600 resolution, and 'fastest' setting on the launcher window. I can actually play the game now, whereas on the previous builds I'm suffering major slowdown.

Thanks!

 

Edited by V-Zhan

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---
(( Now I am aware this "report" is kind of "too late" considering the new-version-Tuesday is almost right at the corner.
But I've been "cooking" this post for almost two weeks now; I just didn't find any earlier spot to write and post this. ))
---
( For whatever reason, the newest record-log-file replaced the old "recording_1.rec"-file; new format or just simply reaching the "max-amount" of record-files? )

For the most part my post is just more confirmations to observations of @thixotrop.

- Camera free-rotation = yes!

2017-04-28 01_31_22-Xenonauts 2.png

 

- Really liking the "last-known / spotted-location"-markers (the red-circles); maybe in future there could be optionally a "ghost" shown to know what type of enemy there was?

2017-04-28 01_43_05-Xenonauts 2.png

 

- Slight wonkiness with the "flight-paths", but i suppose this shotgunner shot at the toes. 

2017-04-28 01_43_18-Xenonauts 2.png

 

- Sneaky hiding spot. But we still survived.

2017-04-28 01_51_41-Xenonauts 2.png

 

- More demonstrations with the problem the doorway has
 

2017-04-28 01_56_03-Xenonauts 2.png

2017-04-28 01_56_27-Xenonauts 2.png

2017-04-28 01_56_39-Xenonauts 2.png

2017-04-28 01_57_13-Xenonauts 2.png

 

- Bit of an odd spotting angle
2017-04-28 02_05_40-Xenonauts 2.png

 

- The interiors of this specific new UFO
(( Also, the "walkway" to the drivers-room is a little too narrow for my likings (I kinda like having at least 2-squares-wide corridors to allow sneaking past; I know "Space Hulk"-games on MS-DOS were like one-square-wide a lot of times. But then again, those are "space-hulks". ))

2017-04-28 02_07_15-Xenonauts 2.png

 

- Got around (finally) testing the stun-baton (had already stunned one the Reapers(?) near the UFO-entrance).
Why only 40% hit-chance though? Makes me confused...
Still though, the system works as planned / intended.

2017-04-28 02_08_54-Xenonauts 2.png

 

 

All in all, one of, if not the best build of the ground-combat-demo so far!
The battle felt fair□ the AI was "dumb-enough" (as in they did their job and also didn't feel like they were cheating; kinda like the AI in first "Worms" doing the trick-shots that players can imitate with practice).

Now to wait until the next Tuesday.

---

Oh, but wait; I almost forgot this important bug report!
(( I think it was reported at some point early-on, but here it is again. ))

Time-unit-reservation doesn't reserve but in reality removes / deletes time-units!
In other words, when I for example "right-click" to reserve for a "Snap-shot", as soon as I start moving the character with the TU-reserving enabled, the amount of "reserved"-TUs gets instantly deleted before even the first movement-step is made.

This especially happened with my sniper-units, which might show up in the record-file.

---
---
---

recording_1.rec

Edited by Pave
Almost forgot the time unit reserving bug

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Thanks @Paveand everyone else - bug reports are helpful even now because we usually spend the Monday / Tuesday before a new release fixing bugs. We'll check over your stuff and see if there's any reproducible issues we can fix for the next build.

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