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Chris

Xenonauts-2 April Update & Pre-Orders Available!

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We're now midway through April and we've just released Closed Beta Build V4, so it's time for another progress update on Xenonauts-2!

Xsolla Pre-Orders Available!
First thing to say is that pre-orders are now available for anyone that missed the Kickstarter but wants to buy into our Closed Beta. These pre-orders are handled via Xsolla and will grant you a Steam / GOG key once Early Access happens a few months from now, but in the interim you'll be receiving builds via Xsolla. If that's something you're interested in, please check out this page:

As that page makes clear, you shouldn't buy into the Closed Beta expecting to find a playable game. The reason why we delayed the Early Access launch is because the game isn't yet properly playable, so if you're keen to have some strategic fun then you might want to wait until Early Access arrives. If so, the wishlist and mailing list links that will keep you informed about this can be found below:

Development Progress:
I feel like we've made some good progress on development over the past month, and indeed I feel like we've been on a bit of a roll over the past three months. The game is feeling increasingly stable and the remaining list of "core" tasks is shrinking with every passing week.

Build V4 saw the introduction of the first iteration of the research tree, which is still very rough in many places - e.g. there's not that much research art, a lot of projects don't have research text, and the balance of the tech tree is still fairly primitive. However from a developer point of view it represents a major step forward for the game; it means that a LOT of different game systems are now working together.

To follow this example through - we've done a basic design for all the UFOs, set up when they spawn on the Geoscape, set up maps for them all, set up the items that are recovered if you capture that UFO, set up the crews for the aliens and their loadouts, set up the systems that transfer your soldiers (and their equipment) to the combat missions and back to the strategy layer, set up the research to be triggered by the recovered items, set up the engineering projects unlocked by the research, and then set up what items are created by those engineering projects, and then ensured that those items can be correctly equipped by your soldiers / aircraft / whatever. As you can imagine, this means the core gameplay loop of the game is now largely functional even if the final content itself isn't yet present.

Our short term priorities are implementing the ground combat saving / loading and improving the air combat. The combat saving is one of the last remaining major backend features to be implemented (and probably about 20% of our bug reports are about it not working) and the air combat has just had a lot less time and effort spent on it than the other parts of the game, so these are both things that need to be completed before we consider an Early Access launch.

Beyond that we're interested in what features you guys think would improve the game the most; we're keen to polish the game up a bit before Early Access and it may be that our time is better spent doing a whole batch of small fixes and improvements rather than adding a few larger features to the game. If all goes well we'll be asking you for your opinions when V5 arrives!

Game Assets:
One area of the game that has seen less progress in the past six months or so is the game assets. Sure, there's been some fairly big additions (new terrain tiles, lots of new maps, new music, UI updates) but in general I've been holding off on doing the "final" assets for the game until I had more of an idea what the shape of the game would be.

To honest I probably left this a bit late, so I've been trying to speed things up on the art front. Recently we decided the shapes of the 8 UFOs currently planned for the game, so we're now working with a concept artist to give each one some distinguishing features in terms of appearance. After that we'll be doing another pass on the ground combat tiles for these UFOs and getting someone to draw up the 2D art we'll be using on the strategy layer and air combat (replacing the placeholder art from X1).

The weapon art has already been sent off for the artist to work on (although that'll drip in slowly), and we're currently working on the artwork for the interceptors too. I've also been looking for an artist who can paint the background art for each screen, which is an extremely important job - they'll basically be responsible for setting a cohesive style for the strategy layer in terms of both artwork and UI. I think I've found a good candidate for this role, so if all goes well the game will look a lot less like a recycled version of X1 when it hits Early Access.

All in all I think things are going well, and I hope when V5 arrives we'll be ready to discuss our roadmap to Early Access with you and ask for your opinions on what things you think we should prioritise. Stay tuned - there's exciting times ahead!

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Posted (edited)

could you give an indication of what kinda system specs are needed to run the new game?

using the intel GMA4500 here, it runs the first game no worries..

 

you were asking about features? (don't get us started) :o

eh, I've always wanted more weapon variety in my squad games, like, one o' them guns that shoots out a net [granted, yer average alien's probably gonna tear that up like toilet paper but a basic model should at least incapacitate one for a turn at least- long enough for someone to run up and stun 'em.. better versions might even get researched later?]

^about here I start thinking of the suppression system you guys implemented for xenonauts 1, that's a really cool feature.. becoming entangled could also give rise to a similar "assist" option where any nearby allied unit could assist the victim [in this case, un-entanglement] but more assist options could also be implemented in a similar way? ...a guy behind your rocket launcher guy assisting him to reload?

 

-and a better melee system, with possible dodging & blocking etc

^seeing things like katana's developed for the Divison mod is nice. expand on it.

 

same with basic weapons and implements that offer similar functionality, like bola's (y'know, it's like 2 weighted balls connected by a cord, ya swing 'em around and lob 'em at some hapless schmuck to entangle 'em for a while?)

^neutrals at mission sites could even be using these?

..it all depends on how much extra work people are prepared to do on the game?

^they're stupid and redundant ideas in the scheme of things, but all things considered, any of us would stoop to using a rock as a weapon if the need arose. so you'd also find armed combatants out in the field even if they were poorly armed. I liked the mod that introduced better armed militias etc but wasn't able to download it. 

 

I've always wanted something like an alien exchange program in an Xcom game, assuming there were any neutral or friendly aliens out there?

[that's just something like having an alien on your team for a while.. if all goes well and they don't get wasted on a mission, more exhanges or benefits could come from it?]

^conditions could easily be developed for this- take zylax24 out on a mission and have him stun an enemy to fulfil the requirements of the exchange program, stuff like that..

 

uhh, yep. ditto an alien pet dog thing that somehow took a shine to a member of the team, and is now something like the official mascot of that particular crew

[and goes with that guy on missions, etc.. maybe he could even start to train it. stay. fetch. kill. that kinda thing...]

^who doesn't want a pet alien thing, right?

 

and 'outside' [civilian life] events, if that were possible.. they don't even need to be consistent, maybe someone goes to visit their family or is on leave & unable to be used for a mission, stuff like that?

 

base defence installments, if they don't exist already [not the missiles that defend against the UFO attacks, i'm talking about bloody gun installments & yadda yadda actually -inside- the base, that will fire on enemy units that are -in- the base... I think Xcom:Apoc used something like that?]

(there's no reason why a game has to stay difficult to be enjoyable)

 

 

 

Edited by unit
had to remove a zero- noone owns a GMA45000. haaa!

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To be completely honest I don't really know what performance the game is going to get yet - we've not got round to the optimization stage so we don't know how much we'll be able to boost performance at the end of development. I suspect an onboard card might struggle with the game though. I suggest you just buy the game on Steam when it comes out and test for yourself how it runs though, you can always just refund it if the performance isn't good enough!

Regarding the feature requests, what we'll be looking for from the community is more "what are the most important missing / non-functional parts of the game we should prioritize implementing?" Adding wholly new features is something we can look at later in development or in post-release expansion packs, right now our focus is to get a core playable game together that people can enjoy and we can build upon.

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