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Chris

Xenonauts-2 June Update!

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Hello everyone - we've just gone into June and there's not been much news coming out of Goldhawk HQ recently, so I thought I'd write a quick forum update to keep everyone informed about our progress. We released our last update just over two weeks ago, which was a big hotfix for Closed Beta V5 and fixed quite a few of the stability issues we had in V5. 

Since then we've moved back to adding content and features to the game. We've already finished up a few features that will be in the next update such as the Crash Site airstrike mechanic that was in the original Xenonauts, the recovery of strategic items from specific ground combat tiles (e.g. a UFO Power Core grants you Alenium unless you destroy it), and the soldier management system that means you can no longer assign soldiers to multiple tasks that should be mutually exclusive (being in an airborne dropship, being on a Strategic Operation, being wounded, etc.)

However, we're also starting work on some bigger tasks. We're updating the Air Combat to make it deeper but at the same time less fiddly - we're doing this by adding some new mechanics, but automating a lot of the clicking the current air combat requires you to do. Although you can pause the combat and issue your interceptors detailed manual orders if you choose, the new model of the air combat will automatically play itself out in the same way that the air combat in the original Xenonauts did. However, as the combat is now turn-based there's less reliance on split-second timing on your pauses. Anyway, I'll explain all the changes in more detail when the next major update arrives!

ufo_destroyer_image.png

As you can see from the example above, we're also working on adding new art to the game. In recent months we've brought on some new freelancers to start painting up the final art assets for the game and this is starting to bear fruit. These are some of the final art assets that are working through the pipeline:

  • Strategic UFO Artwork
  • Strategic UI Backgrounds (in full 21:9 glory)
  • Weapon Inventory Art
  • Alien Autopsy & GC Corpse Art
  • Soviet Town terror maps

This is being coupled to some new gameplay content as well. We've created some new props for the UFO interiors so they're more interesting to play through, and I've updated the UFO crews so there's a better sense of progression through the game - the alien crews get bigger and better equipped as time goes on, and once the larger UFOs start appearing you could be facing Psyons, Sebillians, Wraiths or Androns each time a combat mission spawns. The balancing isn't final by any means but it's another step closer to being finished.

I've also taken some inspiration from what we did in X1 with the UFO crews, and added several new variants of each alien. For instance, there are now unarmoured Sebillian non-combatants (pilots / engineers / etc) that spawn inside UFOs and only have pistols, rather than every Sebillian being a well-equipped soldier. This process is more complete for some races than others (the Androns in particular are short on variation) but once some of the new alien variant models start appearing I think we'll have a more varied set of aliens than we did in the first game.

We'll also hopefully have a bit more of the writing done by the time the next major build arrives. The tech tree is starting to solidify and I'll be starting to put more attention into the research reports now we have more idea of how things might slot together in the final game.

There's some other cool things in the works but I'm starting to run out of space so I'll save them for the update announcement. Sorry for the lack of communications on the forums recently; unfortunately I've just been working too hard to spare the time! :)

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Can you summarize shortly the Air Combat change?

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