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Xenonauts-2 Closed Beta Build V4 Released!

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Closed Beta Build V4 has now been released on Steam, GOG and Xsolla. This release contains the basic skeleton of the research tree and a long extension to the playtime; you can play the game right up to Battleships and theoretically even unlock the final mission (although the viable content stops quite a long time before this). Again, don't expect the game to be playable yet - there's a lot of placeholder content, and we've only done a quick balance pass on the first six weeks of the game, etc.

Please note this closed beta is only open to Kickstarter backers and people who have pre-ordered the game via Xsolla on our website:

The full changelog is below, but here's the most important changes that have arrived with Build V4:

  • Fix - Units Not Dying: The most commonly reported bug in the game is units being "killed", but not playing their death animation and remaining standing whilst non-interactive. We've finally fixed what we believe is the cause of this issue, so please let us know if you still see it happening!
  • Research Tree: The framework of the research tree is now in the game, which should allow you to progress through multiple tiers of armour and equipment for your soldiers and interceptors. This is still extremely rough (little research art, many projects don't have research text, little game balance, etc) but it's an important first step.
  • UFOs: We've designed the basic shape of all of the UFOs, and they are now all set up so they can be shot down in the air combat and attacked on the ground via Crash Site missions. We'll be doing another pass on them to get the 2D strategy layer art done, and improving the quality of the 3D tiles etc, but again getting them all in the game is an important first step.
  • Air Superiority Missions: Alien Fighter UFOs are now in the game and will aggressively chase and attack your interceptors around like they did in X1. They now also possess "squad sight", so if your interceptors approach a nearby UFO they will fly over in an attempt to protect / avenge it.
  • Infiltrator Strategic Operations: We've added the "Infiltrator" operation to the game. These are occasionally spawned by alien bases and certain UFOs, and they are markers on the Geoscape that inflict a permanent -10 Relations in the local region whilst they exist. You can remove them by sending some soldiers to kill the Infiltrator.
  • Interceptor Armour / Engines: As well as customising the weapons of your interceptors, you can now research and manufacture more advanced armour and engines for your interceptors that improve their durability and speed. We need to do another pass on the air combat before customising interceptors reaches it's full potential, but it's in the game.
  • Strategy Layer Balance: We'll be focusing more heavily on the game balance during Early Access, but we've done a quick pass on the game balance / experience in the first four to six weeks of the campaign - the first mission should now be a UFO Crash Site instead of a Raid, and there's some research choices to be made, etc. A lot of the work we've done over the last couple of weeks has been to give us more flexibility over the alien invasion; for example I can now specify that two UFOs will always spawn in the region of your home base during the first month no matter where you choose to place it. This should pay big dividends over the next few months!

It's been a busy four weeks for us since Build V3, and the game is continuing to come together fast. In addition to the above, we've also implemented the vast majority of the new ground combat interface that will be arriving in Build V5. We had chosen to delay implementation of the ground combat saving until this point (many of the bugs in the ground combat were caused by UI-related code), so we'll be starting on that shortly too. As I mentioned in the opening paragraph, the game isn't playable yet - but it's feeling more and more like a game with each passing week.

Changelog - General:

  • Aliens are significantly less tough than before.
  • Aliens now start with 60% TU, allowing them to overwatch fire during the first turn (previously they had no TU so you were completely safe).
  • Laser weapons now correctly regenerate ammo each turn but cannot be reloaded, whereas plasmas can be reloaded but drain ammo each turn. TU costs for advanced weapons are also now in line with the starting ballistic weapons.
  • Strategic Operations now split out their duration into Travel Time and Operation Time and display these to the player.
  • Missions and Strategic Operations now explain their effects / rewards in advance.
  • The effects caused by the success / failure UFO missions are now much more customisable from a developer / modder perspective, which makes updating the game balance much easier.
  • There is now a pre-game "turn", which means I can spawn Strategic Operations etc onto the Geoscape before the game begins.
  • Costs and funding are now represented in millions rather than thousands (i.e. all costs / rewards have been multiplied by a thousand).
  • Terror Sites and Raids now have size tags, so you get smaller maps at the start of the game and larger ones later on.
  • The game can now support more than 9 soldiers on a mission without crashing.

Changelog - Art & Visual:

  • We've done another pass on the ground textures for several biomes - the Desert, Tropical, Arid, Polar and Boreal. The intention is to make them feel a bit more like the hand-painted textures we used in the first Xenonauts whilst still supporting the texture randomisation that makes creating maps much simpler.
  • We now have 3D models for most of the advanced human weapons in the game; these will form the basis of the 2D inventory tiles and the research screen art that will arrive in the next few months.
  • The Composite Armour is no longer bright purple, and instead uses the appropriate 3D model.
  • Civilians should now choose the correct appearance based on what biome a map is in.
  • Main Base screen now correctly supports 21:9 / 16:10 resolutions without UI elements going off-screen.
  • Shipping containers in the polar biome are now appropriately snow-covered.
  • Fixed terrain objects with multiple variants not properly randomising between those variants.
  • Fixed a bug where the alien / advanced weapons were always being shaded with the obstruction (crosshatch) shader.

Changelog - Bugfixes:

  • Fixed the "units not dying properly" bug.
  • Fixed a bug where frag grenades were not exploding at all, rather than exploding at the end of the turn.
  • Fixed a crash on the strategy layer that would sometimes happen when UFOs despawned at the end of their mission.
  • Fixed a bug where you could crash the game by incorrectly queuing up shots in combat.
  • Fixed a bug where if you clicked away from the Geoscape with a pop-up open, you could never re-open that pop-up.
  • Fixed a bug where the Laser Battery would become quantity 1 (rather than infinite) if you had saved or loaded the game.
  • Fixed a bug where overwriting a save game led to incorrect data (e.g. bases placed in wrong place).
  • You can no longer shoot / walk through tractors.

Please let us know if you encounter any bugs as we'll be releasing hotfixes for V4 if there are major bugs in the game! In addition, it'd be helpful if you could give us some feedback on the game by rating the game out of 10 and giving us a quick comment in the following format:

  • Stability (x/10) - what bugs are most spoiling your enjoyment?
  • Quality (x/10) - what things could we do to improve your enjoyment of the game? List up to three, but please keep this short!
  • Like 1

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