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Build V17.5 Released!

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Build V17.5 has been release, but this is a multi-step process so we'll keep you updated on it in this post.

  • The standalones are available on Desura for download.
  • Desura auto-updater versions are available for download.
  • Mac and Linux ports have not yet been done; we'll port it across when it's confirmed there are no game-breaking bugs in it.

This is mostly an infrastructure update, but the update is very large in terms of file size (hence why the multi-step process). The build is a total of 4.4gb as it is no longer sanitised at all - it contains all of the assets in the dev build. The new file compression system (full details below) means some are locked away in archives, but it also means that the new archives have to be downloaded even if you already have all of the contents on your computer from the last build. So, yeah, big download!

Incidentally, the build hasn't been sanitised because we might use any of the aliens in the level testing that we started earlier this month and it means people will be able to take part in it much more easily if they already have all the files on their PC.

These are the key features:

Updated Level Editor: The entire level generation system has been updated. The sub-map / level distinction remains (with separate editors for each), but the Level Editor is now much upgraded. It now has a layer system, with Ground, Wall, Prop and Building layers, each of which can inherit ground tiles from the layer below them if they don't have them set.

Previously if you wanted a map with a field with a tree in it, you had to create a sub-map with both of those in it and edit it if you want to move the trees - plus it wasn't visible in the level editor where the trees were, because the entire sub-map was one entity. Now the trees are on a separate layer you can move them direct in the level editor with a couple of clicks, or place new ones equally easily.

We've also added colour coding so it's much clearer which tiles represent which sub-maps, so snow maps appear white and grass tiles green etc. This makes generating maps pretty easy, actually, maybe give it a try. GCLevelEditor.exe in the game directory.

More Maps & Tiles: We've added some new maps, though not yet for the Middle East or Soviet Town tilesets. There'll be more for beta obviously, but the headlines are that the Base Defence missions should now work properly (if you can get far enough in the game for it to happen) and the Desert tiles are now all set up correctly, so the maps for them should work properly now.

We've also added trees to the Arctic tilesets, which make the maps less empty. Also, animated water tiles for the Arctic tileset. Oh, and the Industrial tileset has had a bit of a facelift - some trains in that now.

Quite a few tiles haven't yet been painted over in 2D, so they're just rendered tiles. The paintovers will happen in time.

New UI: The new Geoscape UI topbar has been added on all of the management screens, and the new Ground Combat UI has been added. These is the final UI style, and we've made the images for the ground combat interface quite a bit sharper (the weapon images etc) as before there were issues with image scaling. This should no longer be the case, so unless you were lucky before and had a good resolution the images should be sharper than before.

We've also made the Main Menu screen text scale with resolution, so having a big monitor no longer makes it totally unreadable. The entire UI will use that system when we finish implementing the new look, obviously.

Desura file compression: This has compressed a bunch of game files into archives, which will reduce the file count for the game by about 75%. This means the Desura auto-updater should work properly again, and also means that moving or copying the game folders will be dramatically faster than before.

The file compressed version will be only be used when the player is downloading from the Desura auto-updater client. Those downloading using the standalone will continue to have the full-size version with about 100,000 files in it. This is because the archive files can't be opened by programs like WinZip etc and thus the contents cannot be accessed by players - closing a lot of the game off to modders. Thus if you want to mod the game, get the standalone.

This will not reduce the audience for mods, though, as the game will search the /assets/ directory for pre-existing files before loading them from an archive. Someone with a compressed version of the game will be able to use a mod if they are sent the modded files and put them in the correct directory structure.

Slight Balancing: The starting UFOs (Light Scout, Scout) should have a few more aliens in them to make the early missions more challenging. The previous numbers didn't really factor in the fact that a lot of aliens died on impact.

More Sprites: We've added sprites for an entire alien race to the game, plus the sprites for all of the Xenonaut vehicles are now done too (meaning all the Xenonaut units are now in the game).

We've also redone the Light Drone so it doesn't look so much like a Tau gun drone, as I don't want to risk a lawsuit. It's now animated as well. We've also modelled and added the big brothers of the Light Drone (also animated) so the alien vehicles are complete. We might add some new ones in beta, but these are all we have planned for now.

There's one more major alien race to add (currently rendering), plus some tileset-specific civilians and one minor sub-species of alien. Not far to go.

Autohide Roof: Buildings now have roofs on by default. Going inside or behind a building will make the roof disappear so you can see your units. This works pretty well but there is some strange behaviour, which you should report on the forums so we can have it working as intended for the beta.

Online Data: This build hopefully will contain code that passed anonymous information to our servers to let us know various information on the game balance - how many people use various weapons, how many people win a given mission etc. We don't know if this is working or not, but if your firewall tells you Xenonauts is trying to pass information to an external source, this is why. It'll be really useful to give us stats we can use to balance the game.

We're working on a switch to turn it off if people don't want their games to do it, but that's not done yet. Should be in the beta as part of the new launcher.

Actually, seems there is quite a lot of stuff in the new build! Report any crash bugs on the forums please, but if there's anything that makes the game unplayable it'd be good to post it in this thread too.

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Given that Games Workshop is very aggressive when it comes to defending their IP, changing up the light drone is a smart move. I'll look forward to the standalones when it's ready!

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great news, thanks. Need to wait for Linux build anyway :/ So anyone - do not dare to report any showstopper bug which could delay Linux build :P

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Ah well, the long wait continues waiting for it to be available to download...

It's the wait within the wait within an even bigger wait (the beta) that's within the biggest wait (release).

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Does that mean I have to uninstall and reinstall everything to do with the game?

Or can one just update without removing the game first?

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excellent centiles. You doing that saves the rest of us doing it. :) Be sure to post when it's actually available. No sneaky playing and not telling us!

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still showing as 17.1.1 for me, so not up on Desura that I can see yet.

Mine on the game main menu says only 17, and on the changelog the last one is 17.1 Maybe i'm already one version behind...

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Downloading without desura has :-

Alpha 17.1.2

Alpha Premium 17.1.1

Actual Desura shows

17.1.1 then in brackets (17.1)

That's for Windows anyway, that I can see.

My last version is from october (premium), so i guess i'm already behind. Where in desura do you see that info ? version with and without brackets ?

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