Xenonauts - All News
Saturday - October 25, 2014
Xenonauts - Review @ GameBanshee
GameBanshee's Steven Carter is back with a new review this time for Xenonauts.
Overall, I think Xenonauts gets enough things right to be worthwhile. It isn't as slick as the recent XCOM: Enemy Unknown, but it has some old school charm, and it's about as close as you can come to playing X-Com: UFO Defense with a modern interface. Plus, no sooner had I finished playing than I saw that Goldhawk Interactive was close to releasing their final patch for the game, which looks as though it will fix many of the things I didn't like about it (such as the wonky line-of-sight system). So if you like tactical strategy games in general and X-Com games in particular, then Xenonauts is a reasonable purchase at its $25 price tag.
Sunday - July 27, 2014
Xenonauts - Physical Rewards Update #2
Goldhawk Interactives latest update for Xenonauts has an update on backer rewards.
Physical Rewards Update #2
In my last update earlier this week I promised an update at the end of the week, so here it is - a short one this time.
All of the physical rewards except the DVD game copies are now completed at our end. The Art Book has now been reviewed by a dozen or so people to proof-read it for any typos I missed in my edits, and it'll be sent to print shortly, most likely Monday next week (we're just waiting over the weekend for some additional printing quotes to come back on the spec I sent out to ensure we're getting good value for our money).
All of the non-physical rewards like the soundtrack, developer diary and wallpapers are now finished and have been placed in a separate folder in the game's root directory called "Extras". The update containing them will be rolled out across all download services on Monday. The only thing not included is the PDF art book (as this is not a general reward for everyone), which will be sent out through a download link along with the other rewards.
For the DVD copy, we're putting together the installer at the moment as V1.09 does indeed seem stable enough to be our "final" version. I've started work on the DVD manual but it's only partially finished - unfortunately the Art Book and day-to-day running of the company conspired against me getting much time to work on it this week. I know what the cover and disc are going to look like already, though, so I'm not expecting the DVD copies to take much longer either. Perhaps I'll finish them over the weekend...if not, early next week for them too.
That's all there is to say, really. Hopefully next week we'll have ordered everything. I'll do another update when I've got some news for you, likely towards the end of next week. I might even include some photos of the sea of boxes filling our office too!
Saturday - July 12, 2014
Xenonauts - Impression @ Rock,Paper, Shotgun
Rock,Paper, Shotgun played the recently released kickstarter game Xenonauts, and decided to share their impression of the game.
Xenonauts is a spiritual successor to UFO: Enemy Unknown, which means that it’s also a spiritual successor to many of the most tense and glorious hours of my teenage years. Following a successful Kickstarter and a period in Early Access, the game has been available for almost a month now. With its loyal approach to the original design, Xenonauts doesn’t step on XCOM’s toes, but I wondered if it could succesfully muscle in on the original game’s territory. Several days of playing later, I have the answer. And some anecdotes about intra-squad romance.
Sunday - July 06, 2014
Xenonauts - Review Roundup
I managed to roundup two new reviews for Xenonauts. Both of them are pleased with the game, and I myself recommend it to all my fellow watchers.
Gamespot - 8/10
Xenonauts is an unlikely success, a challenging clone of a beloved classic with enough tweaks to entice fans and newcomers alike. It might look rather cheap at first glance, but underneath that rough exterior lies something special. Breaking the game down and looking at all of its pieces in isolation would do the game a disservice, because every facet helps focus the true luster of the whole.
Eurogamer - 7/10
This game rewards the most patient of tacticians. If that's you - if you're the person with enough time units of your own - it will certainly satisfy. Xenonauts knows exactly who its audience is, exactly what it's aiming for and, while it may never achieve a wider appeal, it will capture that audience in a very familiar act of alien abduction.
Tuesday - June 17, 2014
Xenonauts - Officially Released
Goldhawk Interactive has officially released Xenonauts on Steam for non-backers. Here are the details from a post on the Steam forums.
Xenonauts Leaves Early Access & Officially Released!
This is it, folks: Xenonauts has now officially left Early Access and become a complete game after five years of development! I hope you have as much fun playing the game as we have had making it!
We will of course continue to fix any crashes or game-breaking bugs that rear their ugly heads - though we've fixed all the common ones already. Let us know if you do find crashes.
We're not planning any more gameplay updates to the game at this point (although we may consider a V1.1 patch in a few months), so our current focus has moved to adding Steam Workshop support so the busy modding / mapping community on our forums can reach a wider audience.
There's a lot of good mods over there, but I'll quickly mention that there is a popular map pack which you can download if you're finding the maps in the game a bit repetitive after a few playthroughs (I've seen a few complaints about that): Map Pack Link
We're also trying our best to get the Mac / Linux ports out on Steam. We were hoping it would be ready for today, but unfortunately not. If you have bought the game on Steam for Mac / Linux, please check this thread where we explain what you should do: Mac / Linux Porting
If you've purchased this game at any point prior to our Steam launch and you've lost your key or don't know what to do, we should be able to sort you out. Please follow the instructions in this thread: Instructions Here
I think that's everything. We've had a lot of support over the years and I'm glad we've finally been able to release a finished product like we've always promised we would. It's taken a lot longer than we (or anyone else) expected, so we appreciate the community sticking with us for so long!
Wednesday - June 11, 2014
Xenonauts - Final Release June 16th
In case you missed the last two post about the release of Xenonauts Goldhawk Interactive has a reminder on their kickstarter page.
Xenonauts V1.0 Out & Final Release 16th June!
Hello everyone - as you may have seen covered on some gaming news websites over the weekend, Xenonauts hit V1.0 on Saturday...the point where we stopped adding new features or altering the game balance. The project is formally releasing and will be finished on 16 June.
Between now and then, we're mostly working on stability fixes, PR, porting the game to Mac / Linux and your Kickstarter rewards. You can play the game on Steam right now if you want to, but be aware there's a number of reasonably irritating bugs in the game that we're currently fixing up. If you wait until the 16th, you're likely to have a much more stable (and probably much more enjoyable) experience.
In case you missed the details on how to get your Steam keys from the Kickstarter, please see these two updates from our Early Access launch:
I was also hoping to have good news about your physical Kickstarter rewards to tell you all, but unfortunately there's not been too much progress on that front. Our plan after V1.0 was to work on the game during the day and on the Kickstarter rewards in the evening, but what has actually happened is that we've worked on the game during the day and then worked on the game in the evenings too.
I'm exaggerating a bit - we're getting T-shirt quotes and poster proofs sorted out at the moment, so we *are* moving forwards, it's just that its happening slower than I'd like due to all the work required on the game launch. I hope everyone understands our reasons to prioritise the final game over the physical rewards right now, but we should still apologise for the delay this has caused.
We'll do another update on the 16th June with the details of the final game and another update on the physical rewards. Thanks for your patience! Not long now!
Saturday - June 07, 2014
Xenonauts - Version 1.01 Released
Goldhawk released a new patch for Xenonauts according to a new post on the Steam forums. Here are the details of the changes and updates.
Xenonauts V1.01 Released! (Small Stability Update)
Thursday - June 05, 2014
Xenonauts - Version 1.0 Released
A new Steam update from Goldhawk has news that Xenonauts 1.0 is available for download, and that the game will be officially launched later this month.
Xenonauts V1.0 Released!We have now released Xenonauts V1.0 on the Stable branch, which marks the end of formal development for Xenonauts. This is effectively the final version of the game, minus any stability patches that may be required.
Official release and leaving Early Access for the game is in about two weeks (tentatively pencilled in as 16th June), but the remaining time is mostly going to be spent on sending out review copies, the PR around the launch, porting to Mac / Linux and getting the Kickstarter rewards sorted out etc.
We will continue to work on fixing any crashes / hangs encountered in the game, and any non-crash bugs that render the game unplayable in other ways.
We've fixed all the worst issues that appeared over the past few days of community testing, but as the game is 10-15+ hours for a playthrough we've obviously not been able to fully test the game internally after the last bunch of fixes. So there may still be some issues in the game - but if so, they'll be addressed in the next two weeks before the official release.
There have been a lot of changes made since the previous Stable version. The game has a much smoother difficulty curve, more information for new players, new line of sight mechanics, much improved AI and all sorts of finer polish.
The choice is therefore up to you whether you want to play the "final" version of the game now or whether you'd prefer to wait a couple of weeks to make sure any stability kinks have been ironed out. We'll make more of a song and dance about the release when it comes to the 16th, but I thought it was best to explain this update and make it available to anyone who did not want to wait that long!
Thanks for your patience and support over the past five years of development, it's been a long and difficult journey and I doubt we could have got so far without the all help from our community!
Sunday - April 13, 2014
Xenonauts - Post-Funding Update #27
Goldhawk Interactive has posted the next post-funding update for Xenonauts with information on the games development, and confirms the release date.
Xenonauts March Update!
I posted an update two months ago, hoping to be able to announce at the start of March that the game was "finished" subject to a polishing / bugfixing phase. Did we succeed? Well, partially...
As of this evening V21 Stable should be available on Steam, Desura and the Humble Store for download - Linux and Mac versions are available on Desura / Humble Store. It's actually been out for three weeks on Steam for Windows (so we didn't miss our deadline by much), but it took some time to work through the testing and then the porting process.
More importantly, we have announced a completion date for Xenonauts of May 30th, after which we are going to lock down the game, start burning DVDs and sending out review copies. The official release will be a couple of weeks later, giving us a bit of time to do some PR / marketing prior to release.
Until May 30th, we're continuing to work on the game - fixing bugs, improving the game balance, optimising things and working on usability. Our priorities are listed on our public work tracker, which can be found here: https://trello.com/b/kxjRG3md/xenonauts-work-tracker
We've already released one additional update on our Experimental branch and we'll be releasing another this Friday, so work is proceeding quickly and we'll be doing everything possible to fix all the remaining important issues prior to release...we've already fixed a lot of the big issues in V21 Stable! We're working closely with the community at this stage so feel free to drop by our forums if you want to give us feedback.
I'm also pleased to announce we finished the layout / design of the artbook a couple of weeks ago, so all that remains for that is for me to write the accompanying text. All the Kickstarter rewards are included on our work tracker - we'll keep everyone updated as we make more progress with them (hopefully shipping them around the release date)!
Again, thanks for your patience over the past 18 months - the end is now in sight!
Wednesday - March 26, 2014
Xenonauts - Release Date & Work Tracker
Seems Goldhawk the developer of Xenonauts wasn't kidding in the last update as we finally have a release date of May 30th. Here is the information on their forums.
Release Date & Work Tracker
V21 Stable marks entry into the polishing phase of development. We believe the game is good enough to kick out the door right now, but we're planning to spend the next ten weeks on improving the game further. On the 30th May we're going to lock down the game and cease development (after the best part of five years spent on the project).
Release Date: Depending on how smoothly those ten weeks go, the game may launch on the 30th May. However it is more likely we'll spend another few weeks working on publicity, getting reviews and coverage of the game ready for the big day. So we're not sure what the exact day of release will be, but the final product will be ready on 30th May (on PC, at least - it'll take a few days to port to Mac / Linux etc).
I've chosen that date because I believe ten weeks of polishing should see off most of the major issues in the game, and because it makes the most sense financially. The Kickstarter and pre-order money has kept us going for a long time and will see us through another three months, but beyond that I think we'll need to turn our attentions to another project on a full-time basis if Goldhawk is to have a long-term future.
Friday - March 14, 2014
Xenonauts - Almost Finished For Release
After countles delays the developers of Xenonauts announce in a new forum post the game is entering the "Polishing" phase. Basically it means the game is almost done.
Entering "Polishing" phase!Today Giovanni put in the updated victory / loss screens, and the artist is working on the final artwork for these (they currently use draft versions of it). Aaron and I also finished designing the unique tiles and the layout work on the final mission; this is just awaiting final balance and the 2D paintovers of the existing art / floor. Xenonauts is now nearly complete, and theoretically at that point we could kick it out of the door whenever we wanted.
However, "complete" is not the same as "finished". I'm aware there is still work to be done on usability, balance, optimisation and stability. That will all take place during the polishing phase, which will last until we're happy with the final quality of the game.
V21 Stable will mark us entering the polishing phase, and we'll be changing our development methodology a little:
- We will completely reset our bug trackers, and ask people to report any issue they experience with the game no matter how small or how many times it may have been reported in the past.
- We will be setting up a public issue tracker, which will list and prioritise all bugs / issues that are on our radar (only we will be able to add issues to this).
- The Beta Discussion, Community Involvement and Suggestions forums will be merged into a Balance Discussion forum, as they'll overlap quite heavily.
- We will remove the Experimental bug reporting forums.
- We'll also be starting to get the Kickstarter rewards printed up!
We're hoping that these changes will make everything a bit more efficient, removing some of the repetition from bug reporting and stopping important / annoying issues from falling between the cracks. We're almost certainly not going to be able to fix all of the issues on our public tracker, but the added visibility should help the feedback process greatly.
I may start doing the forum changes shortly, so don't be too alarmed when sub-forums start vanishing!
Sunday - February 09, 2014
Xenonauts - January Update
Goldhawk Interactive has posted the January Update for Xenonauts.
Hello everyone, time for an update on our progress on Xenonauts. First thing to do is to apologise for not writing an update since September, as I didn't actually realise it'd been this long until this morning when I sat down to do this update. It's been far too long.
V20 Stable has been released recently and is available on Steam, with Mac / Linux builds out on Desura and the Humble Store. This contains a lot of advances over V19 Stable, but the big one is the new UI that this Kickstarter paid for. The general reception to it has been excellent and I think it was a really worthwhile visual improvement.
Regarding Kickstarter rewards: I began work on the art book a couple of months ago, but it's (possibly unsurprisingly) turned out to be an enormous amount of work and so I've hired a graphic artist to do the layout work for us, which should save a lot of time and is nowhere near as expensive as I thought it would be. We expect to have that done by the end of the month, at which point we'll be able to order all of the rewards as soon as the game is ready and we can burn the DVDs for the physical copies.
In terms of overall progress, we're currently working on the final parts of the game. I'm working on balancing the final mission ready for the art to be added to it, my colleague is finishing up all the remaining maps (there's now only alien base maps left to do) and we have a couple of small UI screens left to update - the month end funding screen and the mission-end debrief screen. All that should be done by the end of the month.
Sunday - January 12, 2014
Xenonauts - Preview @ GameReactor
GameReactor has posted a new preview for Xenonauts.
Xenonauts is about as old school as you could possibly imagine, and for fans of the original X-COM, for those who've been waiting for a game that truly recreated the experience they had with the original almost twenty years ago, it's going to be like mana sent from heaven.
It'll also be of particular appeal for those who enjoyed the recent update from Firaxis, but who perhaps felt that the Civilization developer may have strayed too far from the original blueprint. There's a few subtle changes to the formula, new ideas that gently soothe the original gameplay so it doesn't jar too hard against our modern sensibilities. Though even with a few antiquated kinks ironed out, Xenonauts is undoubtedly homage to the classic strategy game.
Monday - December 30, 2013
Xenonauts - Development Updates
It has benn a while since I posted any new info for Xenonauts. The game has a few new updates in the last two months.
The first update is a about a new Geoscape UI.
So today I've done various things, but at about midday the updated background art for the new Geoscape screen arrived and I went back to trying to find the look I want for the Geoscape in our new UI. I think I'm pretty much there now. Here we go:
For comparison, this is the current Geoscape:
Basically, we've made it a bit more colourful and used the trusty black border around the landmasses to give them that handpainted feel. We'll redo the base / UFO / aircraft icons to fit the style a bit better too, but hopefully you'll agree that it will make the game significantly nicer than it currently is!
The second update is a progress update.
Overall, progress remains good and I expect us to get another three weeks of solid work in before the team starts to dissipate for the festive season and things become patchier. If the game isn't finished by the end of the year, we won't be far away!
Monday - November 11, 2013
Xenonauts - V20 Experimental Build 3 Available
Goldhawk Interactive has a new forum post with news that a new build of Xenonauts is avaiable for backers, and those who pre-ordered the game.
Firstly, if you do not know how to access the experimental branch on Steam, please read the instructions (and warnings!) in this thread. All saved games from earlier versions (including experimental versions) are incompatible, attempting to load them will cause problems.
The main purpose of this build is to get the fixes for the soldier equip screen UI crashing and aliens shooting at walls bugs out as soon as we can. There are some other changes included too, but not so many as normal. The one with the most gameplay impact is probably the change to morale to allow suppression damage to demoralise a target, as injuries do. The new animated gib sprites are also quite fun.
It is important to note that this build definitely breaks saved games from the previous one! If you load an old save and get a crash, that's why.
Here are the changes:
- Fixed crash / lockup on soldier loadout screen
- Fixed a pair of bugs which, together, were causing aliens to try to shoot at Xenonauts through walls
- A large number of small refinements for various parts of the Geoscape UI
- Fixed Fury carrying 2 Singularity Torpedos instead of 1
- Mag Precision no longer named Mag Carbine
- Fixed overloaded soldiers being unable to pickup/move items in their inventory
- Fixed formatting error in aerial terror popup
- Reworded base attack briefing text slightly to make the "size" string make sense
- Fixed wording on the Heavy Plasma Rifle research description
- Added description for alien precision plasma
- Added strings for living Reaper captives
- Added description for Scimitar tank
- Set correct strength for combat and assault shields
- Fixed typo in Heavy Plasma Xenopedia entry
- Fixed type preventing Alien Sniper Plasma Xenopedia entry appearing
- Fixed formatting issue preventing alien reactor research from displaying
- Fixed typo in alien anti-gravity entry
- Fixed issue with display of Scout door
- Fixed missing strings for Alien Battle Rifle and Advanced Grenades
- Animated "gibbed" sprites when humans or aliens are kill by an overdamage weapon (explosives, mainly).
- New roles: Scout, Shield and Rocketeer
- Doubled Hunter MG ammo
- Morale tweaked, and now incorporates morale loss via injury and suppression; should mean individuals panic more often
- Tweaked shotgun suppression up slightly
- Increased range on short range alien weapons slightly to improve their ability to suppress
Please post your comments on the build here. If you encounter any bugs please post them in the experimental build sub-forum of the bugs forum. I will post new threads in the beta forum shortly for in-depth discussion of the current Geoscape and Ground Combat balance, but feel free to post brief opinions here too.
Monday - October 14, 2013
Xenonauts - October Development Update
Xenonauts has a new development update on the games official forums.
Hello everybody. As it's been about a month since we brought V19 Stable out and there's no sign of a new experimental release, I thought I'd write a development update to explain what's happening.
Firstly, it's vacation time for the team. Aaron is off on his honeymoon for two weeks tomorrow, which he'll spend hiking around glaciers in Iceland. My "vacation" is slightly less exciting and has come about because the flat I was due to be moving into last week has not been finished yet and now I have nowhere in London to live. I've headed abroad to visit my family for a bit and am still working a bit, but it hasn't really helped production.
That's not to say we've not been making progress - it's just that we've been making progress on some rather boring things. We've rewritten the night mission lighting code, as that was very performance intensive and was causing noticeable slowdown particularly on slower machines. The new code is roughly 1,000 times faster, but ironing all the bugs and unusual behaviors out of it took the best part of a week.
Similarly, we spent a week rewriting the accuracy code to make it behave a bit better. Previously it suffered from a problem where shots would ALWAYS hit a (standing) unit if they passed through that tile, which caused issues when shots missed. For example, at close range units would have to turn 45 degrees to not hit the target. There was also an exploit where firing at the ground tile directly behind a target would pretty much guarantee a hit on them
Thursday - September 05, 2013
Xenonauts - August Development Update
Xenonauts has a new development update on the games official forums.
As V19 Stable has just been released, this development update is mostly concerned about what's been going on in the background recently and what we have planned for the immediate future. I think the first thing to do is to remind everyone of the huge amount of progress that has been made over the last three months since V18 Stable - there's been massive improvements to almost every aspect of the game (balance and AI most obvious amongst them), and it's easy to forget quite how much has been done.
The V20 series of builds is intended to be mostly polish, with an emphasis on getting the new UI installed / fully functional. The rest of the game will see more tweaks, but it's not likely to change quite as much as it did from V18 to V19. There will be further balance work, further AI improvement, new maps, reworking of the way jetpacks work and probably the Geoscape UFO intelligence too.
Wednesday - June 19, 2013
Xenonauts - Preview @ Space Sector
Space Sector has a preview of the beta for Xenonauts.
Xenonauts Beta is looking really nice and it already offers an enjoyable experience. Although it doesn’t feel finished yet (well, because it isn’t) – some art assets are still missing (with placeholders at the moment) and more interesting maps are needed, in my opinion – Xenonauts managed to keep me fairly interested through my 10h play session. Until I faced a Terror Site mission that is, and failed miserably (complete squad wipe).
So, although I’ve been playing X-COM games for years, this was my first serious Xenonauts game where I definitely felt a challenge. This Beta didn’t captivate me as much as X-COM: UFO Defense once did, no. Not the same amount of attachment felt. But, it’s too soon to judge the game to that extent. I only played for about 10 hours, and only up until the first Terror site mission appears. I only saw an armor upgrade and had the first few glimpses on the Alien weaponry and story. And, Xenonauts is still in Beta, so there’s still a lot to discover and lots of room for improvement.
But, overall, I feel that after the new UI and the missing assets are in place, a few more art injections are made, more and better maps are produced, the game will be ready for prime time. And, it will be, most probably, a very enjoyable game. I’m confident on that because Xenonauts is already enjoyable now.
Saturday - June 08, 2013
Xenonauts - Preview @ StrategyInformer
StrategyInformer has a short preview of Xenonauts.
This is most definitely not a final release, as Goldhawk warn early adopters on the Steam store page that the Early Access version has “inconsistent game balance, occasional missing art and UI elements, and bugs or crashes”. I certainly encountered all of these, including my savegames getting corrupted.
Think of the Early Access of Xenonauts as a cheap pre-order that allows you to play an incomplete version of the game right away and gets you the final version on release. A taster if you will, and right now it’s a very good taste. While I was satisfied with XCOM: Enemy Unknown I don’t deny that a tougher and more deeply strategic version closer to the original would be very much appreciated, and Xenonauts is looking to be the best around.
I think it’s ironic that after 15 years of imitators never getting the X-Com formula quite right the game that finally does only turns up after the series has returned. Fortunately however there’s still a place for both reboot and spiritual successor in the hearts of X-Com fans, and for the hardest of the hardcore Xenonauts could well be the game they wanted all along.
Sunday - June 02, 2013
Xenonauts - Early Access Available for Purchase on Steam
If you missed the Kickstarter drive for Xenonauts you can now purchase early access for the title on Steam for $19.99/€16.99. Also by purchasing early access you also get the full game, so you won't have to grab it again at release.
As a bonus here is a hands-on impression video
Xenonauts is a strategy game in which you control a multi-national military organisation defending a Cold War-era Earth from alien invasion, using small squads of persistent soldiers to eliminate the extraterrestrials and recover their technology in turn-based ground combat. A detailed strategic layer allows you to co-ordinate the defence of the planet, using your interceptors to shoot down UFOs and researching captured artefacts to learn about your foes and unlock new combat equipment to use on your missions.
Xenonauts is a spiritual successor to the classic X-Com strategy games from the 1990s. We aim to improve the graphics, add new content and streamline the interface whilst still retaining all of the key mechanics of the original games. Devoted fans should love this game, but we're also keen to introduce the joys of old-school grand strategy to a whole new generation of players who might not otherwise experience it!
Developer: Goldhawk Interactive
Play-time: 40-60 hours
Voice-acting: Partially voiced
Regions & platforms
· Platform: PC
· Released at 2014-06-01
· Publisher: Goldhawk Interactive