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Chris

Xenonauts-2 May & Kickstarter Update!

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So, first thing to say - our Kickstarter will not be launching today (4th May), and is going to be pushed back a couple of weeks so we can finish up the video and the Kickstarter page. Things are progressing well but there's a few key assets that we want finished before the launch, as it'll make everything look a lot more professional - and I will of course keep the forums updated when we settle on a specific launch date. 

However, if you're interested in hearing about the Kickstarter then please make sure you're signed up for our mailing list. We very rarely use this list, but we'll be sending out a notification about the Kickstarter several days before via the mailing list and then sending another notification when we press the button and set the Kickstarter live!

We're going to have an internal team meeting next week to discuss the draft page text / reward tiers, then later that week we'll be revealing more information to the community and asking for your feedback.

A couple of major points of interest from the the last month:

  • We've released what is possibly the final version of the free public combat builds (V0.23.0) on GOG Galaxy. We've fixed up a lot of the gameplay and stability issues and assuming nobody encounters any major issues, we'll be using this build for the free Kickstarter demo. It'd be great if people could test this because it would be nice to find any bugs before it goes out to the whole world!
  • We've released a load of information on our planned changes and improvements in Xenonauts-2. These choices may continue to change and evolve during development, but those threads are fairly good guide to how the game will look in the closed beta - and then we'll think about further changes or expansion based on the community feedback from that.

Onto general development news - things have continued to progress well, as we're predominantly working on adding content to the game these days. Although it breaks frequently because it's so complicated, the work on the merging of the strategy layer and the ground combat is largely done. Missions are loading the correct maps in the correct biomes with the correct combatants and equipment, and the correct items are being recovered and experience and health of your soldiers is now being tracked back to the strategy layer.

What we're doing now is starting to add the various types of alien to the game and giving them their various different weapons and special abilities. Some of this has been rather straightforward, but other equipment / alien abilities requires new code to support the way it interacts with the game mechanics so is going to take longer - we'll probably be working on this in the background for another couple of months. We're also working on making the maps load the crashed / landed variants of UFOs correctly, which is kinda complex because the UFOs now have to support destructibility, but I think we'll have that working in its basic form soon enough.

The strategy game also has all of the major mechanics in place now too - the base, the interceptors, the research / engineering projects, the soldier equip screen, etc. What we're concentrating on now is making small changes to existing mechanics to make the game play better - e.g. tweaking the Agent Actions, enhancing the new interception system, etc. The gameplay experience is steadily improving as time passes but it's certainly not ready for public consumption yet!

There's a lot of places where the game is still lacking, but the biggest two issues with the gameplay are challenge and content. The combat AI is incredibly basic and doesn't present any real challenge to the player, which makes it somewhat difficult to balance the gameplay. The other issue is the lack of maps and differentiation between the aliens; it's possible to play a single mission and have some fun but we can't support a proper campaign until we have a good variety of maps and all the different variants of alien to fight against. These are two of the big areas that we'll be focusing on in preparation for the post-Kickstarter closed beta.

We'll post more details up about the closed beta once our Kickstarter preparations are out of the way. There's lots for me to do so I'm going to get back to work now, but thanks for reading and I hope we'll be seeing you again when the Kickstarter launches! :)

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