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Chris

Xenonauts-2 September Developer Update!

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Hello everyone. With September drawing to a close it's time for another update on our progress with Xenonauts 2. This month has seen some good progress on the code front but has been a bit slower on the content front as unfortunately I'm still working on the maps. I've also been completely absent from the forums, but I will be returning once the maps are done and campaign testing has begun (so hopefully rather shortly).

Code Progress:
The biggest new feature this month was the Base Defence missions, which are fully functional on the strategy layer - we've added base defence turret structures that can be upgraded, UFOs spawn and attack your bases, the defence turrets attempt to destroy them, and casualties are inflicted on the aliens based on how much damage you do to the UFO. Additionally, the alien base attacks now work  on a "threat" system that triggers attacks based on how aggressively you are shooting down UFOs. The system also takes into account which bases the interceptors are flying from, so the aliens will tend to strike back against bases that have lots of interceptor activity and ignore those that research / workshop bases.

Thanks to our work on the dynamic map loading last month, we were also able to implement the tricky bit of the ground combat code - the part that creates the map dynamically based on the layout of your base. We now need to create the ground combat assets for each room and then base defence missions should be fully functional. That'll happen in a few months, but in the meantime it just loads in a generic "under construction" room for each building if your base gets attacked.

We've also added the basic movement system for the new AI system, which allows us to set patrol routes for aliens. I've not set this up yet, but it'll be most useful within UFOs - in X1 the aliens would usually be in the same positions (usually camping in a corner) because the AI had calculated they were the "best" positions. This system is much more dynamic, and we expect the aliens to move around a lot more and potentially catch players off guard. Note also that aliens go into "combat mode" as soon as they sight an enemy unit and are allowed to move freely, so this doesn't constrain the AI - it just encourages it to move around more.

We're now starting work on the last remaining parts of the Geoscape base separation, as a few things are still shared between bases that should not be - specifically personnel, items and the engineering project queue - and we're now starting to split those out so each base is fully independent from the others, and implementing the UI to allow you to transfer items and staff between them. This task is quite a bit of work relative to how much it affects gameplay, but ultimately it's necessary to maintain immersion. If we don't do it, weird stuff happens like all your soldiers being present at base defence missions no matter which base gets attacked.

There's also been more work ironing out issues with the night missions, the UFO hull hiding system and the ground destruction systems, which are still continuing to cause problems. Hopefully we'll have them fixed up fairly soon too.

Content Progress:
This has mostly been level design and assets related to the ground combat environments. The first UFO has made the jump from being a temporary test blockout to having final assets in place, which has allowed us to properly test the dynamic loading of the crashed / landed variants for the first time (thankfully it's working fine). We've now started work on the final art for the second UFO too, and we've made some progress on 2D design for the the next UFO (which is an early-game transport UFO somewhat akin to a more compact version of the X1 Landing Ship). I'm expecting that we'll need to design another three crashable UFOs once this one is complete.

Personally I've once again been working on level design this month and working with some external artists to try and improve the visuals of the tactical maps. The layouts for most of the maps across all the existing biomes are complete and I'm now splitting them out into small randomisable sections and adding spawn points, etc. The visuals are a bit of a weird mix of old and new right now but that'll naturally change as we work though the remaining art assets. Anyway, hopefully I'll be done with the maps by the end of this week.

Finally, we've brought a new artist on to paint the background art for the various strategic screens. We've unfortunately had several artists unsuccessfully attempt this job in the past, but the work produced by the new artist is looking good so far and if all goes well it'll appear in the next build.

Release Update:
As I mentioned above I'm hoping to be done with the first pass on the maps by this week, at which I'm going to be switching back to testing and balancing the campaign and ensuring the new UFO maps contain the appropriate items to unlock progression down the research tree. At that point I'll start preparations for the next build too. The build should be a major milestone because it includes pretty much all the fundamental game mechanics now we've added night missions, base defence missions, dynamic map loading, ufo hull hiding and full seperation of the bases.

I'll keep you guys posted on the timeline. Once again I apologise for the lack of interaction on the forums; I'm nearly done with the maps and then I'll be able to return!

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That´s great about the base attacks it would be kinda cool to be able to intercept at base defence when there are no soldiers present in the base then again it wouldn´t make sense so never mind.

again great job I appreciate it and I love playing the first part and hope that the second part will not dissapoint me anyways thanks for creating this game I hope everyone will enjoy it. :)

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Yep with the last 2 monthly Updates and the announced Features it looks like that Xenonauts 2 will set a new Standard for that Gerne. Let´s see what will come in more in R & D, Geoscape-Events, Base-, Transport-, Fighter- and Soldiermanagement as well as more secrets until the Game is completely finished.

I play such Games, since the first X-Com Game comes out with an cool Storyline in 4 Games. Sadly the 5th and 6th Game to End the Storyline didn´t come to life. The UFO-After-Row were good, but not outstanding.

The only 3 fully Games I like in the new Timeline are UFO: Extraterestials (UFO2Extraterstials should come last month, but is like X2 still in Beta so I can´t say anything about it) and the 2 new XCOM-Story-Games with all DLC´s included. The Spin-Off from XCOM2 (XCOM: Chimera Squad) is nice too and fill the Gap until XCOM 3 shows up.

And I can only agree with the People in the Steamcommunity, that the Devs from X2 are looking what the others did right (esp. with the new Phoenix Point) and what are begunn but not ended in Ideas. That´s what X2 makes great. The Devs are bringing such begunn Ideas from the Competitors to an complete End and bring in the realizeable Tips, Ideas and Whishes in the Game, like the change for the Bases which bring in the old X-Com Feeling again. :cool:

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