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Chris

Xenonauts-2 Version 0.17.0 (Public Combat Test) Released!

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This version of Xenonauts 2 is a free public test build only available on GOG Galaxy, 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. 

We're expecting to release an updated build in two weeks, on Tuesday 27rd February. This build mostly contains fixes to the way explosions and burst fire weapons work, because I noticed there seemed to be weirdness going on with them when playtesting the last build.

CHANGELOG:

  • New Move Path: We've implemented a new move path to replace the green tiles from X1. It does the same thing but just looks a bit more professional.
  • "Miss" Text: In Xenonauts 1 the game would display "MISS" above the head of a unit if a bullet passed through their tile but did not hit them, and this is now implemented in X2 as well.
  • Burst Fire Fix 1: The first issue with the burst fire was that all the hits in a burst were frontloaded, so if you scored three hits in a ten shot burst then the first three shots would all be hits and the last seven would all be misses. This isn't very interesting to watch... but it was done for good reasons. Thankfully we've found a better solution to the problem so now shots are correctly randomised within a burst.
  • Burst Fire Fix 2: The second issue with burst fire was that a number of the hits would seemingly vanish. This was happening because the target would die after taking a couple of shots and turn into a corpse, and then the corpse would stop displaying damage numbers, so the additional hits would "vanish". We don't want corpses to show damage numbers in general but we now allow them to do so for the duration of a burst.
  • Explosion Damage Fix: The damage caused by grenade and grenade launcher explosions in the last build was rather inconsistent and we discovered this was because a direct hit on a prop led to the grenade ending up inside that prop. If the grenade did not have enough power to destroy that prop outright, this meant all the damage was contained within the prop and did not affect anything nearby. Explosions should work correctly - these are the changes:
    • If a grenade scores a direct hit on a tile, props on that tile take full damage from the grenade but are discounted from the "explosion spreading" calculation.
    • If a tile contains a solid object (i.e. one with 100% block chance) then the grenade instead lands in the previous tile. This prevents you firing grenades into solid objects like walls and cliffs and hitting things on the other side of them.
  • Fix Loading Bar 90% Hang: The game would previously hang at 90% loading once you finished a mission, but now it should correctly return to the main menu.
  • Explosion Decal Fix: The explosion decals are no longer being placed at exactly the same height as the ground, fixing the z-fighting that was causing a flickering effect (particularly when moving the camera).
  • End Turn Double-click: Clicking frantically on the End Turn button should no longer confuse the game and cause a crash

I was also hoping to get a fix in today for the game options not properly affecting the ground combat missions but it didn't quite make the deadline. That'll be done in the next build and is particularly meaningful for the audio - you'll correctly be able to change the volume for the game, including setting music / SFX volumes independently.

Plenty more work has gone into the strategy layer this cycle:

  • We've been improving the interception visualisation so you now get interceptors flying around the Geoscape when you attempt to intercept a UFO
  • We've added in the improved squad equipment UI - now you have a "squad screen" that shows the weapons and armour of the soldiers and lets you arrange them in the dropship, plus a "soldier screen" where you can customise their gear in detail (accessed by clicking on a particular soldier)
  • Various updates and fixes to the post-mission item recovery stuff, both in terms of unit equipment and recoverable map objects
  • Boring but necessary stuff like improvements to the level editor, plus asset data validators etc

Strategy details are just a few weeks away (the cynical might note I've been saying that for quite a while now) - in a lot of senses X2 is already more complete than Xenonauts 1 was when it launched into Early Access, but we just need to finish off a few more things before I plant my flag in the ground and start saying "this is the form the final game will take" and start accepting people's money based on that. 

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4 hours ago, Chris said:

Explosion Damage Fix: The damage caused by grenade and grenade launcher explosions in the last build was rather inconsistent and we discovered this was because a direct hit on a prop led to the grenade ending up inside that prop. If the grenade did not have enough power to destroy that prop outright, this meant all the damage was contained within the prop and did not affect anything nearby. Explosions should work correctly - these are the changes:

  • If a grenade scores a direct hit on a tile, props on that tile take full damage from the grenade but are discounted from the "explosion spreading" calculation.
  • If a tile contains a solid object (i.e. one with 100% block chance) then the grenade instead lands in the previous tile. This prevents you firing grenades into solid objects like walls and cliffs and hitting things on the other side of them.

From a tactical view, this looks like it means firing a grenade and hitting less than 100% cover next to the target completely negates the cover for that attack. My intuition is that firing a grenade at someone behind a line of sandbags and hitting the sandbags right in front of them should not do as much damage as firing a grenade at someone standing in front of a line of sandbags, missing them, but hitting the barrier behind them.

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5 hours ago, Chris said:

Explosion Damage Fix: The damage caused by grenade and grenade launcher explosions in the last build was rather inconsistent and we discovered this was because a direct hit on a prop led to the grenade ending up inside that prop. If the grenade did not have enough power to destroy that prop outright, this meant all the damage was contained within the prop and did not affect anything nearby. Explosions should work correctly - these are the changes:

  • If a grenade scores a direct hit on a tile, props on that tile take full damage from the grenade but are discounted from the "explosion spreading" calculation.
  • If a tile contains a solid object (i.e. one with 100% block chance) then the grenade instead lands in the previous tile. This prevents you firing grenades into solid objects like walls and cliffs and hitting things on the other side of them.

That explains a lot of the grenade explosions I have seen in my games.
But does that mean that when a grenade hits a 100%-block chance object at a higher level that it just drops down in front of it? No rebounce in some way; inbound angle equals outbound angle plus ballistic curve?

On another thought, maybe you should also "discount" the tiles next to the starting tile from the throwing/shooting path too. So the grenade can actually travel to its destination zone and not land between the soldires feet.

However, now that I have some time again, I will try out the new public build soon.

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3 hours ago, Decius said:

From a tactical view, this looks like it means firing a grenade and hitting less than 100% cover next to the target completely negates the cover for that attack. My intuition is that firing a grenade at someone behind a line of sandbags and hitting the sandbags right in front of them should not do as much damage as firing a grenade at someone standing in front of a line of sandbags, missing them, but hitting the barrier behind them.

Hmm, you do make a valid point in that if a unit is hiding behind a cover object (or cover wall in the case of sandbags) then hitting the cover object rather than the unit itself should logically result in less damage. For full-tile objects I think the new system works fine because there is damage fall-off with every tile from the blast, so hitting the crates a unit is behind results in the grenade landing on the crate tile instead of the unit tile and thus the unit is further from the blast. That means that crates would take 100% damage and the unit would take 90% (or whatever value is appropriate depending on the fall-off of that explosive).

What happens with cover walls like sandbags that sit between tiles, I'm not entirely sure. I'll have a look at that and find out. Logically it the grenade should fall into the tile on the other side of the sandbags, which means the unit will indeed take less damage, but I'll need to check whether that actually happens. I suspect the explosion calculation will actually mean that 50% block sandbags would offer more protection than a 50% block crate would, which I think makes sense given what it's trying to model - the grenade exploding on top of waist-high crates vs. the grenade exploding at ground level on the other side of waist-high sandbags.

TL;DR - good point, I had to think it through a bit myself. I think it does work correctly but I'll investigate a bit more tomorrow.

 

1 hour ago, thixotrop said:

That explains a lot of the grenade explosions I have seen in my games.
But does that mean that when a grenade hits a 100%-block chance object at a higher level that it just drops down in front of it? No rebounce in some way; inbound angle equals outbound angle plus ballistic curve?

On another thought, maybe you should also "discount" the tiles next to the starting tile from the throwing/shooting path too. So the grenade can actually travel to its destination zone and not land between the soldires feet.

However, now that I have some time again, I will try out the new public build soon.

Yeah, the grenades are currently contact explosives treated like normal bullets rather than with an arc or with any specific bounce. It's not as simple to model the arc or the bounce as you might think given the blocking properties of an item are abstracted down to a simple % value. For instance, a 50% blocking prop could be a lot of different shapes and so reliably predicting whether something should arc over it is really quite difficult. Also it'd be hard to predict how far a grenade would bounce given there's no way to set how hard to throw it - if you target a grenade at a wall from 5 tiles away, the game is kinda just assuming that the guy throws it sufficiently hard to hit the wall but no harder than that (as you've marked the wall as the intended target).

There will be some changes to all this prior to release - e.g. hand thrown grenades will almost certainly not explode immediately in the final game - so grenades may end up behaving in a more realistic manner in the final game, but we'll see how it goes. I think we'll always encounter issues where 3D paths and our abstracted cover rules meet.

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Fullscreen: 1280 x 800, Quality: Fastest

The first time I started the game it stopped at 99%. ALT+F4 to kill.

In general:
- Enemy human soldiers make the death moan of aliens. (unchanged from 15.3)

Pictures:
Can't remeber if this was before, but the pavement at the fence doesn't show the path tiles.
The white target tile is not shown (left side image) and also not the green path and target tile (on the right).

path target 1.jpgpath target 2.jpg

Whole stone structures is lighted for blockage, even the part under the ground. A minor thing I guess.
stone under the floor.jpg

Hidden shading also effects the dead. The red colour should be changed for dead targets, otherwise it can be confused with a living one.
dead target outline.jpg

No clear indication where you can go. The white tile doesn't indicate that.
cant walk here.jpg

Annoying that you cannot know if a wall is destroyed and possible to walk through.
Left image: The wall segment in the yellow frame looks completely destroyed by the grenade launcher, but the soldier moved the blue path and opened the now invisible door. It may be better to show the path the soldier will walk before clicking it.
Right image: Also the "not so much destroyed but see-through-wall" is completely intact from the inside. And the hole next to it is not there too. (still exist from 15.3)
Also right image: My sniper shot the outer wall with her second rifle.The alien behind was suppressed. Not bad actually, but why didn't it get suppressed by the grenade launcher that (not-so-much) damaged the outer wall? Was it because I haven't seen the alien before and therefore the suppressed text was not shown?
wall transparent 1.jpgsuppressed thru wall.jpg

And as usual my log-file:
recording_5.rec

 

 

Edited by thixotrop

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