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Chris

Xenonauts-2 April Update

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As April is now almost over it's time for our monthly update. As mentioned in the last monthly update, I spent some of March and most of April working part-time as I had to deal with a death in the family. Although I returned to full time work at the beginning of this week, progress has been slower this month as a result of my absence.

The coding team have mostly been working on features that didn't require my input over the last month - large "backend" tasks that need to be done at some point before release, but weren't major gameplay priorities. The first of these is the final part of the change from a single-base Geoscape to a multi-base Geoscape, which is the final separation of the base stores so that each base is pulling from its own inventory just like in the first game (previously items, soldier equipment, etc were shared globally across all bases). This is now done and bases have been fully seperated from one another, but this is quite a significant change and it's almost certainly caused quite a few bugs.

The second thing was adding "nested tooltips" that contain hyperlinks to other tooltips, similar to those seen in Crusader Kings 3. It's tricky to explain this in words, but you can see a quick example of it in action in CK3 here. Basically this system allows us to simulatenously reduce information overload and increase the amount of explanatory information in the game, as you don't need to explain everything - you just display the most relevant information in each tooltip, and if a player is unfamiliar with how a particular concept within that works (e.g. they don't know exactly how Armour works) they can hover over that word and get a new tooltip that explains it in depth. Each tooltip ends up being shorter and more focused, but more overall information is available than before.

The third major thing is setting the game up to support translation. This is actually a very big task, but we figured we'd tackle it now given we're going to have to write a lot of text into the tooltips. Essentially we have to find every piece of text in the game that is displayed to the player and reference it into a single giant file that can then be translated into other languages. This system is made more complex because this system also needs to combine with our planned modding system, so that new text added in mods could also be translated if needed.

In terms of art, we've started work on the final set of Xenonaut 3d models and we've been working on an updated design for the alien Gun Drone. We've also been working on the final designs for the two advanced dropships (up to this point we've just been using the old X1 designs as placeholders). There's also been some work done on the 2D art for the aircraft weapons and equipment, and further work on the new strategy UI concepts we've been working on for a while now.

We should be able to start putting public builds out again in May. I need to get on top of all the design work that's accumulated over the past six weeks before I start thinking about that so I'm not sure exactly when, but it shouldn't be too long!

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Congrats to the dev team for continuing to develop so much of the game even when life throws a massive curbball at you. It's good to know that the development of the game will return to normality (or as normal as it could be). 

Chris, can you elebarate more on the new UI concepts that you and the team have been working with? I am really interested in your ideas for improving the UI. 

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Posted (edited)

I agree with you 2. It´s good to hear that the Dev-Team have done and could do so many important things without the Project-Leader.

That Chris is back again is a Boost for the Project again. But we don´t have to forgett that he has a big Family-Loss and that the mental Wounds of that don´t heal very fast. I know that from my own expierance which was much harder in a short row.

But the Upgrades from the Code, Graphics and new implementations / refits from already implemented things sounds great. Keep up the good work, then we get with Xenonauts 2 a very good Game [either Beta or maybe Early Access], 1 cool Game in a similar Manner and 3 more very good Game-Upgrades this year.

UFO2ET (direct Competitor; maybe there are not fully implemented Ideas we can use from it too)

Hoi 4 (Upgrade)

303 Squardon (Upgrade)

Mechwarrior5 Mercs (Upgrade)

Edited by Alienkiller

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Really sorry about your loss. Thanks for the update despite that. 

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In the mean time play some openxcom as superhuman. "ufo enemy unknown" original code had a bug that defaulted to "beginner" difficulty, according to the mod developers.

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