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Xenonauts 2 February 2024 Update!

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Hello everyone - we've reached the end of the month, so it's time for another progress update on Xenonauts 2!

Milestone 3 Release:
The biggest news in February was the release of Milestone 3, which launched in conjunction with a Steam promotion and contained many significant upgrades and improvements to the game. We were concerned there might be stability issues arising from our migration to Unity 2022, but in general the release went smoothly. This is in no small part due to the many people who helped us by testing the build on the Experimental branch, so a huge thankyou for that!

However, most of our time over the past couple of weeks has still been spent fixing bugs reported by the commmunity. Over the past couple of weeks we've released a couple of patches onto the Experimental branch, and if testing doesn't reveal any further bugs then we'll release them onto the main Steam / GOG branches some time next week.

Milestone 4 Planning & Harvester UFO:
Our next big update will be Milestone 4, which we're expecting to have ready for early testing on the Experimental branch in roughly six weeks. This will be another major content update centered around the introduction of a new UFO, in this case the Harvester - the penultimate alien craft in the game (the Battleship is the largest UFO and is due in Milestone 5).

We're therefore already working on the content necessary for this. Aside from the obvious work required for adding and balancing a new UFO, there's quite a bit of extra work required here because the Harvester is so much larger than the Abductor and Cruiser UFOs that it requires an entirely new set of maps. We're aiming to have three new maps per biome for this UFO, which means a total of about 25 new maps will also be added in Milestone 4. 

Androns & Updated Aliens:
Milestone 4 will also see the re-introduction of the Andron alien race. We removed these prior to our Early Access launch because the models and animations looked pretty bad, but we've now created a new set of models / animations for them. I think they've come out well, and are now some of the best-looking aliens in the game.

In gameplay terms these remain heavily armoured, fearless robotic enemies, but unlike in previous incarnations they now carry standard alien weapons (either rifles or machineguns) rather than having an integrated cannon arm - this makes it much easier for players to gauge how much threat any Andron unit poses, because you can now actually see the gun they're using.

We're also likely to revisit a few of the existing aliens before Milestone 4 arrives and either retexture them or update their animations, as some of the aliens definitely look better than others right now!

Colossus Battlesuit:
The most important research project unlocked off the Harvester is the Colossus Battlesuit, the "ultimate" suit of armour available to the player, so this is something else we'll be looking into this month. We want this to be a powerful asset that offers exceptional protection, but not something you want to equip on literally every soldier in your team - so it needs some disadvantages to go alongside its strengths. I've not yet decided exactly how this will be done yet, so hopefully we'll have more details for you in the next update once we've had a chance to test some of our ideas!

That's all from me for now. As always, thanks for reading, and I'll be writing another update at the end of next month!

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On 3/11/2024 at 2:29 PM, skaianDestiny said:

For disadvantages, perhaps it only has the dexterity for heavier weapons? So you'll still need lighter armor for utility stuff or things that don't require an HMG. 

Yup, that's likely to be at least part of it - but that's then extremely similar to the Predator armour from X1, so we're considering all the available options.

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