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Chris

Xenonauts-2 Version 0.20.0 (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 10th April.

The last build we released was our first version of the Kickstarter combat demo mission. We've had a lot of feedback on the forums and through our bug reporting service that has been extremely useful, and we've spent a week fixing up the various issues people were encountering. I think we've squashed most of them but we'll continue to improve the build based on player feedback until the Kickstarter arrives.

We've not made a formal announcement on the Kickstarter date but our internal target is three build cycles (six weeks) from today. There will be announcements incoming on the forums on this topic in the near future, but it's also worth signing up for our mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/4FKe9

CHANGELOG:

  • Map Updates: the new map has generally been received well, but we've taken some time to address some of the shortcomings:
    • Everything in the map *should* now be destructible, although totally destroyed stuff doesn't yet leave behind proper remains
    • The Xenonauts now start in their helicopter
    • We've added some additional cover to the left and right of the spawn zone
    • The checkpoint by the gate to the right of the spawn zone is now a building you can go inside, rather than being a solid cover object
    • Additional cover has been added running along the road inside the military base
    • There's a few cover items inside the garage by the road
  • Shooting / cover cleanup: one thing that came up repeatedly was that cover seemed difficult to deal with, so we've spent a bit of time cleaning up the way it worked and was displayed to the player.
    • The large flower beds and the multi-tile hedges are mostly now single-tile objects, allowing you to shoot over the whole thing when adjacent
    • Intervening cover not used in the accuracy calculation (only the largest value is used) is now displayed in grey and has been shortened down, i.e. just "30%" instead of "BLOCK: 30%"
    • The "roof hiding" area of the screen is now much larger, so seeing inside buildings is easier (to hide the roof, use the mousewheel / + and - keys to raise the camera level)
    • Force fire mode no longer snaps to the roof if your cursor is inside a building and the view level is at ground level
    • Fixed up a visual issue where force-firing on a ground tile displayed a non-square tile
  • Jumping off roofs: units can only climb up ladders, but they can now jump down a single vertical level without requiring a ladder to be present
  • Game Balance:
    • The stopping chance of cover has been slightly reduced across the board - e.g. waist high cover generally now offers 30% cover instead of 40%
    • Shotguns have an extra tile of range, but lose more accuracy beyond max range (a slight buff overall).
    • Heavy armour now causes -10 Acc rather than -10 TU (an indirect buff to close-range soldiers). 
    • Alien weapons reduced in damage from 60 to 40 per shot.
    • Grenades and the grenade launcher now have a 5-tile blast area instead of a 7-tile blast area. 
  • Units on higher levels than the camera are now hidden from sight - e.g. aliens / soldiers on the roof of a building.
  • Changing a setting on the options screen now no longer screws up your screen resolution / visual quality settings.
  • You now get a small pop-up notification when you try to reload a weapon but have insufficient TU to do so.
  • Ling Zhou now gets the green obstruction shading just like everyone else on the team.
  • Dead units no longer get red / green obstruction shading.
  • Fixed a bug where you could not force-fire at adjacent walls.
  • Masonry bullet impact plume now looks less like blood.

Good forward progress overall, but a couple of things we've done have exposed some problems with existing systems - allowing players to jump off roofs has created some issues in the move path system, and our changes to the fire path have exposed a previously invisible issue where there are multiple items of cover filling the same tile slot (this is why you'll see a corner offering four different "100% block" messages). This has been there the whole time but we couldn't see it because all those "100%"s were stacked right on top of each other. Unfortunately, we've got some thinking to do about how we resolve this as it goes to the heart of how our tile system works....but we'll figure it out.

Anyway, the next build cycle will be back to being two weeks long and will not be primarily focused on the public builds like this cycle was, but we'll still be putting in a bunch more fixes. The feedback we received over the past week or so has been extremely helpful, so if people are prepared to give the new version a go and let us know what they think we'd be enormously grateful!

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So, first go on the new build. Gave up after losing half the team around starting admin block building. First impressions. 

 

  • The game first time updating crashed at 71%. Didn't crash the second time after I reinstalled.
  • Enjoyed the way I could shred the bushes.
  • The doors in the admin building no longer seem to open. There's a pause just when the doors should open, then the doors don't open.
  • Heavy armour doesn't feel like heavy armour. Still feels like the guy in the armour dies just as easily as someone not in heavy armour. I'm fiddling around with that - will get back to you on it. 
  • Spotted an anachronism. If you're looking for a late 70s early 80s feel, then there were no flat screen monitors back then! Just CRTs.  

 

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I will get to testing this shortly, I just wanted to point out that I believe this is supposed to be an alternate Xenonauts reality. With the current weapons and cars in the game I've seen this is no longer set in the 80's.

I agree that heavy armor doesn't seem to increase survivability that much considering the 50-150% rule. Perhaps an HP increase with better armors could solve this, depending on what you're after of course. In the old XCOM even your power suit guys had a chance of instantly collapsing from one single plasma rifle hit.

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Posted (edited)

Nice build. The addition of bits and pieces at the start and on the right work well but I'm receiving a massive performance loss in this build. It was perfect in build 19, but has since gone back to the same as 17. The destruction of walls etc works well. Still seems hit and miss at times when I'm under 3 blocks from a target and a shotgunner needs 3 shots to kill. If these aliens are an early to mid game type than I can understand or i guess the xenonauts are rookies.

For kick starter, will there be any objective added to the map? Seeking out something in the bigger building at the back on an upper level would give reason and direction to move in for new people playing and could be explained in the opening dialog, otherwise I guess they just run around and kill whoever shows their face. UFO's were the end goal but they dont exists in this map. 

So far looking great. 

Edited by roxxed

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So at the moment the aliens all seem to be using aggressive AI behaviours - they're running straight for you rather than some remaining in position, so there's no "sweep and clear" behaviour like you usually expect from an X-Com game. That will be addressed in the next build or the one after.

The time setting is indeed something more modern than Xenonauts 1 - the exact date hasn't been set yet, but it'll be some time after the year 2000 in an alternate timeline where the Soviet Union still exists and the Cold War is ongoing (due to alien interference).

Roxxed - thanks for pointing out the performance loss. I went back and tested the new build and the old build with the "launchwithcheats" information and I was getting 50 FPS in the old build at the start of the mission, but on the new one I'm getting 22 FPS. My guess is that the dropship is causing the massive slowdown, perhaps because of the animated rotor blades... but now we've got a lead we can figure out a solution.

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What can I say about this one? The destructible walls are very good, especially  the gates, with their decals, but, I've noticed some bugs:

-First, The backdoors in the first building cannot be opened, my soldiers just passed through like it was open, but I also discovered that doors in general can be shot open, nice touch.

-Second, when my Bomber man accidentally destroyed the building, doors didn't get destroyed, and stayed there even if there were no walls.

- Third, something strange, I didn't notice any blood pools on Red Aliens and on Women.

- Fourth, the aliens have overpowered weapons and incredible aim.

I would also suggest making the map darker, infact, I can see through DARK!

Other than that,

Good luck with development,

Fabevil

 

 

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Ah yes, the doors are screwed up too. We'll fix that up for the next build. Good spot on the blood too!

EDIT - actually the blood seems to work fine for everyone, the only problem is that if they're on raised terrain (e.g. a pavement) then the blood is spawning at ground level and is so invisible because the pavement is on top of it...

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Can a bullet be smoothly tracked from one level to the next? I ask because when doing the demo, I almost always send my sniper up onto the roof of the admin building to get a better field of fire. When she takes a shot from a higher level to a lower level, the camera switches to the lowest level and tracks the bullet from there. It feels off to not be able to see the sniper take a shot.

Could you also bring back the bonus to-hit when a solider is within 5 tiles of a target from X1? At the moment, I'm running up next to a Psyon with a shotgunner and 2/3rds of my shots miss. The "miss at point blank" has never sat well in any X-Com or X-Com-like game, and is the butt of many a joke. 

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The performance issues are actually caused by some extra lights that snuck into the build and didn't get optimised properly; we'll have a look at them once we're back from the Easter weekend. The good news is that it should be easy enough to get the map back to the performance it had in the previous build - if worst comes to worst, we can just delete the extra lights.

Max - the short range boost should already be there, it's probably just that shotgunners are suffering from their new -Acc penalty as a result of their heavy armour and that's dragging down their hit chance. I guess I could boost the numbers a bit if it's an issue.

The sniper on roof issue is one that can be fixed, but I'm not sure it's a simple fix. Basically the cursor is displayed on the level that the cursor is currently on, so moving the camera up a level to show the sniper would leave the cursor one level higher than the alien after the shot finished. We can probably temporarily move the camera up and then down again within the shoot sequence, but it's probably not as simple as it sounds and therefore not something I consider important enough to prioritize in the next round of bugfixes. However we'll capture the issue so it does get fixed at some point.

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ailoop.png

In the previous turn, the AI soldier which is standing next to the Osprey had been standing next to the two xenonauts at the top of the picture. This turn, the soldier appeared (I did not see the AI soldier move) next to my sniper (sniper highlighted in green square), and the game reported "Friendly activity". Nothing was happening so I went away, made a cup of tea, came back and still nothing was happening and it was still "friendly activity". Possible AI loop? 

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Posted (edited)

Alright I finally tested the build. I noticed some issues mentioned here, but most strikingly, this mission was much harder than the other mission in the other build. The aliens hit very well at extremely long range and as you mentioned, they'll all come running towards you. So they come from all directions. I narrowly lost the mission with my last guy against the last alien, my guy was missing all shots in his two last bursts when the alien was standing in the open about 6 blocks away. 6 shots with 22% hit chance all missed, that's just my luck isn't it? Though I thought it was strange that the hit chance was so low so close to my soldier standing in the open road.

What I noticed is that the aliens are surprisingly durable, compared to their X1 counterpart. I had to fire 4 grenades at a group of two of them to get one of them down and hit another one with about 6-7 rounds from various weapons including an M16, M249 and MP5.

I think this mission could have been doable though, with more options for equipment.

Now onto the unmentioned bugs I noticed. After losing the first mission and returning to the main menu, the "new game" button doesn't appear to work. So I had to restart. Aborting the mission also caused the same reaction.

There's also a slight freeze every time you see an explosion of any kind. The game stops for between half a second and a second and continues.

Edit: I also noticed that if an enemy dies during their turn the red marker around them will linger on their body.

The hit percentages feel off at times. I fired two shotgun shells point blank at an alien with 70% chance to hit. I'd guess it was per pellet, though it seems to be to score one hit, because of both shells only 2 out of 6 pellets actually hit and caused 25 and 26 damage each. The turn right before that I fired another shotgun once with 75% chance and only one pellet hit. It could just be my bad luck though, feels weird.

Looking forward to testing the new build eventually.

Edited by DaReaperZ
Another bug.

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Thanks for the bug reports. The aliens are indeed much tougher than they were in X1; I bumped their HP up to compensate for the fact that their AI is still very basic.

I'm going to look into the hit percentages too because I also have my suspicions that they might be a bit off. Could just be bad luck with the RNG but I've also had a few shotgun / LMG bursts that seemed suspiciously ineffective, so I'll check the hit calculation is running correctly.

Max, do you have the log and replay files for the game that froze? That might let us recreate what happened with your hang.

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Bug Report?

Doors and windows do not open--you walk right thru them.

Having gun fire spread out on a 30 degree arc seems kind of off.  Missed arc is much too large.  Especially considering that I was firing with a 85% chance of hitting.

Hit chances while firing at enemy less than 8 hexes away and out in open (NO COVER) seem a bit low.

Hitting an open type fence while firing next to it seems wrong...should be able to shoot thru openings without a chance to hit the fence.

 

 

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Chris, where would I find those files, please? Is it in _support? Is it output.log? I had to ctrl-alt-delete out of the game, would there still be logs? And would there still be logs if I went back into the game straight afterwards, or would they be lost forever? 

 

 

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Quote Max_Caine "the game reported "Friendly activity". Nothing was happening so I went away, made a cup of tea, came back and still nothing was happening and it was still "friendly activity". Possible AI loop?"

Yep, I got the exact same thing, game hangs at friendly turn. Was early on, like the third turn or something. strange thing was after a few minutes i started clicking around and then the aliens started moving again, they didnt fire at all and the 'friendly activity' text was visible at the time. Had to kill the process, cpu usage was at ~52%.

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I'll try to reproduce it at my end when I start testing the new build today then. Max, I'll write up a post explaining the logs etc because I'm sure you won't be the first person to request that information :)

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