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First time impressions from an X-COM Veteran

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Hi guys,

every once in a while I search the interweb for news on my favorite game of all times (guess what -> X-Com ;)). I'm not really a gamer so I tend to not get the latest news... This time I was really glad to see that so much is going on in the X-Com-Sphere: Two official games, UFO:AI gaining traction again ... and then I found Xenonauts! I think I had this on my radar a while back but now this had become a real playable game... And with a successful kickstarter (will support asap ;)) there's a real chance of actually getting a fully playable game.

So much for the introduction, now here's my 2 cents on the kickstarter demo:

1) It's fun to play

Sounds strange, but I think that's one of the most important things. I just plain enjoyed playing the game, which I can't say for every X-Com "successor" or "clone" out there. While I understand that you only stuck with the tile-based architecture due to engine limitations, I think it captures the whole X-Com experience rather fantastic. The graphics aren't too realistic but they have their own style and imo are very well done. You don't need a high-res polygon 3d model to get attached to your soldiers.

Sure, the AI needs some improvement, so does the interface, but even in the current state it's fun to play (specially the tactical).

2) Underwater missions would be fun

I started X-Com with TFTD when I was a kid so I'm a bit biased, but I would love to see underwater missions. I saw that there was a heated discussion about this and I fully understand that it might be out of scope for (the first release ;)) of Xenonauts. Noone says that there can't be a Xenonauts: TFTD though ;).

3) Add some suspense

One of the great thing about X-COM was that some missions were borderline horror shows. You'd only see a few tiles because it was deep underwater or night and then along comes a Lobster Man and cuts you in half... ;)

4) The "hidden movement" screens tend to be a bit too lenghty for my taste

5) Air combat

It's already a great improvement over the original, however imo it's not using the full potential... Would be nice to have more control over how your planes fly/attack and have more fighters in the air (e.g. 5 vs 3). I'm still in the beginning stages of the demo, however most fights just tend to be "fly to alien vessel and shoot your rockets".

6) Civilians

I would love it if the civilians could get a bit more "realistic" ai... E.g. a typical unarmed civilian would run towards the nearing Xenonauts and then seek shelter near the helicopter. And while they're running by, Xenonauts could "question" them, which would result in approximate positions of the aliens that the questioned civi saw while he was running for his life. Soldiers could fire around for no reason (cause they panicked).

Some other things I loved

  • How you can move your soldiers from cover to cover
  • How your soldiers "jump" over fences
  • The jeeps
  • The animation of fire bursts
  • The animation of explosions
  • The graphics of crashed ufos and the landing helicopter

I might throw in a few more ideas/suggestions/comments when I played a bit longer, for now just keep on the great work!

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Welcome to the forums, and I'm glad you like the thing we like! :)

AI is placeholder at the moment, so expect big changes there. You won't think air combat is super easy later in the game when there are escorts and fighters are gunning for your dropship! ;)

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Thanks for your thoughts Diebagger. As people have said, the AI is still WIP and we expect it to be a lot better in the final game. The civilians at the moment are not very bright - which is very "authentic X-Com" admittedly but something we're still going to fix.

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I do feel atm the AI is the weak spot of the demo. I've showed the demo to a couple of friends and mainly the only critics were:

a) the aliens are dumb as hell

b) the playing soldiers move ackwardly

c) the ground missions look all alike

so... a) hope it improves! b) i agree, i hope the animations are improved before final! c) i agree aswell, hopefuly there is more variation of buildings and architecture in the "most used tilesets".

The rest is actualy realy cool, it geniunely reminds me of X-com, but with better graphics and more distinctive artwork.

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I believe he mentioned elsewhere that he and his friends thought it looked odd when walking and shooting, so I think its more then just the vaulting animation.

Its hard to describe but the soldiers seem like they don't have weight, and slide through the floor instead of runing, not realistic.

But it's not something that realy has any importance. If the AI is better, the balance is OK and randomization pool of assets is big enough, this game has everything else i want :)

I literaly already got my money on it ;)

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That's caused by the animation playing too fast or too slowly for the speed that the soldier moves at. You can tweak the frames per second of the run animations for the various soldier weapon / armour combinations. If you want to come up with a value you think looks more realistic, I'm happy to have a look at it.

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Alternatively I think config.xml contains a value for soldier move speed, which controls the speed at which the units are moved along the ground at. It's probably easier to tweak that and then specify which armour / weapon combination you're using to test the run speed.

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Hello everybody :) I'm also a bit of an x-com veteran and have just had my first proper go at the game since it was in it's very early stages. I was just nipping onto the forums to say how impressed I am at how it looks and sounds so far when I saw this post and thought I'd stick it in here rather than starting a new thread just to say how awesome I think things are looking.

X-com and TFTD are two of my all-time favourite games and this is the first time I've seen a game which captures the feel of the originals, but hopefully without the mental research tree that TFTD had :P

Having read above, though, I was thinking the same thing as I played about how quickly the soldiers move. One of the things I liked about x-com was how slowly it played, it built the tension and there was nothing worse than your advancing soldier discovering a lurking tentaculat just as he ran out of TUs. Not that it's a massive niggle, just a personal taste.

Anyway, I'm really looking forward to seeing the game develop further now :D

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