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Default Xenonauts 2 - Kickstarter in May

April 16th, 2018, 02:15
Kordanor spotted an interesting Kickstarter update for Xenonauts 2:

Xenonauts-2 April & Kickstarter Update

This update will cover what we've been working on in the last two months, and our plans for our Kickstarter - which is provisionally expected to happen on 4th May. Our plans for the Kickstarter are summarized in brief at the bottom of this article but there'll be a proper announcement and full details of what we're planning in the near future.

The most visible thing we've produced in the past two months has been the new map in the public builds, which I consider a significant step up in visual quality from what we had before. Our plan is to use that map in our Kickstarter public build demo and we've been iterating and refining it with the subsequent releases - it's now on its third incarnation and we've got another couple of builds before the Kickstarter date for us to make more progress. If you're reading this and haven't yet played the new map, it'd be great if you could give it a try and then give us some feedback on the experience because we're hoping a lot of people will play the build during the Kickstarter and we want to make as good an impression as possible!

Less visible but no less important has been our work on the strategy layer. I think we've now pretty much reached the point where Xenonauts-2 is playable as a game (at least in the early stages of the invasion). Obviously the functionality and visuals are still very rough in certain areas and we've got a lot more work to do before we can call it a finished product, but about a month ago I finally had the lightbulb moment where I realized that I was actually playing the game and making decisions and having fun. It's not a good game yet, but it's definitely a game, and I consider that a pretty big milestone.

We've also made enough progress with the level editor and game tiles that we've nailed down the all the different combat map biomes we're going to support and which mission types each will be used for. We've also started blocking out one or two example maps in each biome to give us a better idea of what art assets we'll need by the end of the project, so I've been doing a lot of map design recently. Some of these maps look quite polished whilst other ones still look pretty primitive, but having a "proper" map to play for each mission makes properly testing the game much more efficient even if the maps repeat quickly and some of them don't look great.

The mission types we settled on are:

  • UFO Crash Site: these take place in wilderness areas with only a few buildings, and are good for getting research artifacts and Alloys
  • Abduction Missions: these take place in isolated inhabited areas with densely packed buildings such as farms / polar outposts / dockyards etc, and allow you to capture Alenium
  • DEFCON / VIP Elimination: a new mission type against human opponents where you have to capture / kill a VIP in order to lower global tensions, but you suffer relations penalties in the region based on how many people you kill (stunning them is fine). These take place in either a NATO or Soviet military base.
  • Terror Attack: very similar to X1, still takes place in either a NATO or Soviet town
  • Alien Base Attack: as in X1
  • Xenonaut Base Defence: broadly the same as in X1 (although there's a few differences that aren't worth explaining until everyone understands how the new Geoscape works!)
As you can see all the familiar faces from X1 have returned, with the "standard" missions split out into the fairly open Crash Sites and much denser Abduction missions that have slightly different strategic goals (Alloys are good for mass-producing weaker advanced tech, whereas Alenium is used to "power-up" individual items) and the addition of the DEFCON mission to spice things up a bit.

The biomes we settled on are:

  • Polar / Research Outpost
  • Boreal / Logging Camp
  • Temperate / Farm
  • Tropical / Dockyard
  • Arid / Village
  • Desert / Junkyard
  • NATO Town / Military Base
  • Soviet Town / Military Base
  • Alien Base
  • Xenonaut Base
There's not a 1-to-1 mapping versus what we had in the first game (e.g. the Farm was its own tileset and the military base was part of the Desert tileset in X1), I think we'll have quite a lot more map than X1 variety once the game is finished. We've produced quite a lot of assets since the start of the project and we're still in the process of sorting and retouching the older stuff as we set up each new biome, but I think things are coming together nicely.

Finally, the Kickstarter - as mentioned at the top of the post we're planning to launch this on Friday 4th May (although as always this may slip a little). This will be your first chance to buy the game and the full game including the strategy layer will be available to play at the end of the Kickstarter, assuming you've backed at the appropriate tier.

I'm working on the Kickstarter page and the reward structure at the moment and I'll hopefully post that up for general comment in the next couple of weeks as it's always useful to have community feedback on that sort of thing. A few key things to mention:

  • We're not planning any physical rewards because unfortunately we don't actually make any profit from them and organising the production / shipping is very time consuming, and I'd rather spend that time polishing the game instead
  • $25 gets you a copy of Xenonauts-2 on Steam / GOG when we launch into Early Access (planned for three months after the end of the Kickstarter)
  • $35 also gives you access to the closed beta which will start immediately after the end of the Kickstarter (this is limited to 2000 backers)
  • The higher reward tiers get you closed beta access plus an additional key of X2, a custom soldier with a portrait from our portrait editor, and eventually a unique portrait painted from a photo of you by our portrait artist
I'll hopefully be posting up a version of the custom portrait editor for people to play with and give us feedback on in our Kickstarter discussion thread, which I'll probably put up next week.

The $35 reward tier exists because the game is going to be rather rough in the closed beta period, so we want to limit it to the people who are most interested in the project and prepared to give us useful feedback. What I want to avoid is too many people seeing the game in its worst form and having lots of people bounce off it; I expect us to make a LOT of progress in three months in terms of gameplay balance and visual polish and usability. Personally I don't think asking the average backer to wait three months after the end of the Kickstarter is unreasonable, but I also know that many people have a strong reaction to being asked to pay extra to get the earliest access to a game (although I feel it's become the norm these days).
More information.
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April 16th, 2018, 02:15
Thanks for posting.
Looking forward to the kickstarter and I think 25$ is also a great entry price to get the full game. A bit sad about not having any physical goods avalable, but I can understand why they are not doing it. Just too much hassle for such a small team and lots of uncertainties.
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April 16th, 2018, 02:23
Yeah, based on how much fun I had with the first game, I'll be there for this one with wallet in hand, for sure!
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April 16th, 2018, 03:19
The first Xenonauts was a solid UFO Defense clone with some good, innovative ideas. Hopefully the dev can expand on these in the sequel. I'll be backing this one.
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April 16th, 2018, 08:37
Hopefully they do a tier which gives you a key for part 1 as well. Always been meaning to pick this up but never got around to it.
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April 16th, 2018, 08:44
I'm looking forward to it!

For those who found the new XCOMs too streamlined this should be ideal (meaning closer to X-COM).
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April 16th, 2018, 10:33
Originally Posted by Nephologist View Post
The first Xenonauts was a solid UFO Defense clone with some good, innovative ideas. Hopefully the dev can expand on these in the sequel. I'll be backing this one.
While Xenonauts 1 was cool it was still worse than Open Xcom.

I hope X2 can be improved enough so it is finally worth playing over OpenXcom
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April 16th, 2018, 12:10
Originally Posted by bjon045 View Post
Hopefully they do a tier which gives you a key for part 1 as well. Always been meaning to pick this up but never got around to it.
You can get Xenonauts on GOG right now for 75% off $6.24. 12hrs remain as of this post.
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April 16th, 2018, 13:40
This is the only XCOM game that deserves a Kickstarter!
Their demo was excellent. X2 was crap, Phoenix Pointy has lame character, vehicle and monster boss art, although they can be saved if they retain max 16 squad size….
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April 16th, 2018, 22:24
I'm absolutely backing this. While I'm guessing it won't knock X-Piratez of the UFO throne I still really enjoyed the first Xenonauts and will happily contribute to the second installment. A shame they will totally rework the air combat though, I actually thought their take on it the first game was a fun way of doing it.
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April 16th, 2018, 22:27
I like the dev, I really liked the first game, and I'll back this one…

That said, I still think charging people (and charging them extra) to do your Q&A is shitty. That I am not going to do. The fact that it's "the norm" hardly makes it less shitty.
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April 16th, 2018, 23:22
Just be aware that Xenonauts 1 took ages. Even if the Kickstater suggests that the game is out in 2 years, it wouldn't surprise me if they needed 5.
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April 17th, 2018, 16:11
They've already been working on it three years though, and they're reusing a lot of the assets.
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April 17th, 2018, 16:27
I'm ok with them taking a bit to finish and release a new one, gives me a chance to replay the first yet again.
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April 17th, 2018, 19:32
Originally Posted by mercy View Post
This is the only XCOM game that deserves a Kickstarter!
For sure, one XCOM product that must rely on crowdfunding.
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April 17th, 2018, 20:24
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
They've already been working on it three years though, and they're reusing a lot of the assets.
Well, according to wikipedia, Xenonauts 1 development started in 2009
Kickstarter was in May 2012, and release in June 2014.
So don't hold your breath.
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April 17th, 2018, 20:38
I was impressed by the demo of X2 that was floating around a while back. At $25 it is a must-buy for me.
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April 18th, 2018, 03:16
Originally Posted by screeg View Post
That said, I still think charging people (and charging them extra) to do your Q&A is shitty.
I love it! People go in and help the game get better AND they pay to do it, meaning less money is needed from me? Sweet! I wonder if any of them would like to pay to clean my bathrooms?
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April 18th, 2018, 13:20
Liked the first one but the new stuff they plan to add were a cold shower for me(a bit of story, some improved graphism, new maps, air combat). It looks like a bit of the same, but with some polish.
I think I will stay on XPiratez.
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May 4th, 2018, 15:16
I do believe the KS for X2 is supposed to begin today, yes ?
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