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Xenonauts 2 April 2022 Update!


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April saw the release of Closed Beta V23 and a series of hotfixes on our Experimental Branch. This has been quite a bit of work since we previously hadn't released a new public build since November, but we are continuing to release hotfixes to fix the bugs found by the community and expect to be able to release it to the standard branches in the next week or two.

There's been a lot of improvements to the gameplay in V23 but many of them have been covered in previous updates. One nice thing we got in relatively recently was the final 3D art assets in place for the enemy Cleaners and male civilians, with the female civilians and some additional armour variants for the aliens due to arrive this month. Given there's multiple civilian outfits for the eight biomes we have in the game, that's a lot of new models - and I'm glad it's now done, because getting them all set up has been rather painstaking work!

I've also gone through the research tree and added a few more research entries and some artwork to research projects that were previously lacking it. We've been stuck for a while with the artwork for our alien autopsies / interrogations, as we lost the artist who painted our existing autopsy art due to personal reasons and we'd been hoping he would be able to come back (because he was great) - and while that did not happen, we thankfully have managed to find someone that looks like they are capable of matching his art style. We'll therefore be adding more new research artwork to the game shortly.

Work has also continued on the environments. Recently we started work on the biome that is currently in the worst state, the Xenonaut Base biome. This is seen more frequently now because the Cleaners now attack your base in the opening months, and the Cleaner Headquarters mission also uses the same set of tiles, and it's currently a mish-mash of half-finished assets and different styles we were experimenting with. The new tiles are starting to take shape nicely and hopefully we'll be able to show some of them off in V24.

Among the various bugfixes and usability updates, there's also been various small features added to the game. The autoresolve for the air combat is being upgraded to better reflect what is happening in the air combat, so it doesn't throw out weird results (and if it does you can ignore the result and fight the battle manually). Aircraft weapons now also take time to rearm when the aircraft returns to base, etc.

The biggest new feature that we have added this month is something I want to test out for potential inclusion in V24, which is an updated power system for your bases. This will allow you to improve the functioning of a building by feeding it more power - e.g. increase the range on the Radar, the research speed on your Laboratory, etc. As you can unlock better power generation buildings as you advance down the tech tree (as well as more advanced buildings that consume more power) this will hopefully create some interesting choices for the player. However, we just won't know how good the system is until we test it, so I can't make any promises about it being in the final game.

I think that's enough for now. Not the most exciting update, but there's only so much you can write when most of the month is spent on bugfixes! Thanks for reading anyway, and we'll have another update for you all at the end of May.

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2 hours ago, Chris said:

The biggest new feature that we have added this month is something I want to test out for potential inclusion in V24, which is an updated power system for your bases. This will allow you to improve the functioning of a building by feeding it more power - e.g. increase the range on the Radar, the research speed on your Laboratory, etc. As you can unlock better power generation buildings as you advance down the tech tree (as well as more advanced buildings that consume more power) this will hopefully create some interesting choices for the player. However, we just won't know how good the system is until we test it, so I can't make any promises about it being in the final game.

So how will this mechanic work in game? Will having more power passively increase the effectiveness of these buildings or will there be a way to manually tune how much desired power is going into each building? Both perhaps? This mechanic sounds interesting and i hope it works well in practice. 

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28 minutes ago, Kamehamehayes said:

So how will this mechanic work in game? Will having more power passively increase the effectiveness of these buildings or will there be a way to manually tune how much desired power is going into each building? Both perhaps? This mechanic sounds interesting and i hope it works well in practice. 

It's a fixed amount - e.g. increasing the range on a Radar requires +100 Power, and you left-click / right-click on the building to assign extra power levels to it or remove power levels to it.

I think it could be a cool mechanic but I don't want to get too excited about it yet. Plenty of ideas seem great on paper but just aren't as good as you might think when we actually put them in the game. It's definitely worth testing though I think.

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Cool thanks for the update :) The power mechanic sounds cool to me as well. It could give a few options for people. Working on the base and seeing what I can do to make things work better is a nice strategic touch.

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23 hours ago, ApolloZani said:

Reminds me of the power mechanic in FTL. Could be a nice addition, could also feel overly micro-y.

As long as you can set it up and can leave it forever I think it would be fine. If it requires attention like that awful overdrive mode for the generator in Frostpunk, then yeah that would be annoying.

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