Oct 4, 2016
Community Announcements - Paul
Good news everyone. NeonXSZ is now permanently 25% off. Actually, we reduced the price by $5 but you say tomato and we say tomato.


___________

To accompany the new price, the latest patch (build 1.15) has been pushed live on the main branch today. Details below.

1.14 and 1.15 Changelog:

  • Fix for rare issue with saved games on Linux
    We recently had a report from one Linux user who was unable to load saves. This was caused by the Linux OS writing periods as commas in the save file when the OS was set to specific culture/regions that use this format.
    This issue is now resolved.

  • Changes to the 'Damage Flash' when taking damage.
    Previously, whenever the player took damage, the world would flash deep red.
    Changes were made to reduce this effect based on current shield levels.
    When shields are above 65%, the world will flash light orange.
    When shields are above 40%, the world will flash deep orange.
    When shields are below 40%, the world with flash deep red as before.

    This should give improved visual feedback on your current shield levels when taking damage.

  • The 'Damage Flash' effect can now also be disabled in Options/Video. A toggle option has been added to the bottom of the list.

  • Station 4 Speed Arena Tweaks
    Feedback suggested that some of the speed-based challenge arenas in Station 4 were proving to be too challenging for some players. This was causing unnecessary frustration.

    The timings on many of the hardest speed related challenges has been relaxed to make things easier without becoming trivial.

  • Station 7 Speed Challenge Tweaks
    A similar situation was occurring with the Station 7 speed related challenges.
    Most of the 'secret' speed related challenges are designed to be extraordinarily hard to complete but there were a handful of non-secret challenges that were harder than originally intended. The timings on these have been extended to ease their difficulty.

  • Rebinding weapon switching to the mouse-wheel no longer causes weapon switching to occur while using the mouse-wheel to control scrollbars in the interface.

  • The video option to disable Fire Patches would previously, incorrectly, only disable visible fire patches. It will now disable all fire patches. NOTE: This requires a soft restart to take effect (return to the Main Menu and reload your save).

  • The DP1 hull's description has been corrected to read DP1 instead of DP0.
Community Announcements - Paul
Although we recently added joystick support, and gamepad support has been available for over two years, we feel it's important to inform potential buyers that neither of these control methods are optimal for playing NeonXSZ.

NeonXSZ was designed around the ability to turn and aim instantly. It's a high speed mouse-look shooter to it's very core where mouse/keyboard is by far the best control scheme and the only recommended way to experience the gameplay as intended.

If you would still like to try the game with a gamepad or joystick we recommend tweaking the gamespeed slider to slow things down. This can be found in the gameplay options.

With all that said, if you are familiar with using mouse and keyboard and would like to experience something new, then you are in the right place.
Community Announcements - Paul
Feedback suggested that the very early game could benefit from additional combat variety so build 1.13 adds two completely new gadgets and significantly improves the Blink gadget to make it far more responsive and versatile.

Improved Blink
Instead of blinking a relative distance based on a ship's current direction and speed, Blink now teleports a set distance in the direction that the ship is facing. Your ship's speed is retained after the Blink but the direction of movement after blinking is now changed to match the direction of the Blink.

Additionally, if you are already holding one or more thrust keys (Forward, backwards, and any of the four strafe directions), Blink will instead teleport in that direction.

For example:
  • Left Strafe + Blink = Blink Left
  • Right Strafe + Forward + Blink = Blink diagonally forwards and to the right.
  • Reverse + Blink = Blink backwards
These changes make Blink instantly responsive and much more predictable, opening up far more versatility to the way Blink can be used during combat.


New Gadget added - Rebound
Rebound is the first totally new gadget. Once installed it causes projectiles from certain weapons to bounce off anything that doesn't take damage.
  • Rebound is a level 1 gadget and can be unlocked soon after starting the game.

  • Weapons affected : Main Guns, Inferno Gun, Flak Cannon

  • Various versions of this upgrade unlock as you progress through the game.

  • Version 1 allows one bounce, V2 allows two bounces, etc.

  • Rebound is also stackable. Eg. Install two Version 1 upgrades and bullets will bounce twice.

New Gadget : Time Warp
The second new gadget added in this build, Time Warp, dynamically slows the passage of time once activated. Think of it as NeonXSZ's version of bullet time.
  • The first version should be available to loot or buy at around level 5.

  • Does not slow down turn/aiming speed.

  • Stackable: Activating one Time Warp gadget, will activate all Time Warp gadgets currently installed with their time durations stacked together.

  • With two high level versions of Time Warp installed, it's possible for the duration of the effect to last for more than 10 seconds.
Other Changes
  • Fixed a new issue that caused 'visual' stutter (not framerate related stutter) when running the game significantly below 100% gamespeed.

  • Added negative audio sound effect if trying to activate any gadget without sufficient energy.

Combined with the existing early game gadgets (Gyro Shield, Drones, and Electrocute) and the many other existing upgrades, the first few hours of gameplay now offer far more build diversity and combat variety.
Community Announcements - Paul
Since the 1.1 release, where Joystick support was added, it was discovered that high precision flight sticks suffered slightly with an overly large deadzone. This hotfix adds a 'Controller Deadzone' slider to the Controls window to allow for precise control of this setting.

It is advised that you don't alter this setting for Xbox Controllers. The default 0.19 deadzone setting is ideal for less sensitive gamepads. Lower values are best suited for precision flight sticks only.

We also took this opportunity to slightly increase the dodge ability for all enemies. Each enemy has unique AI and the dodge ability varies from one enemy to the next. For example, some enemies may never dodge. However, you should see many enemies jinking and jiving much more aggressively during heavy combat than in previous builds.

If you run into any problems with this hotfix, such as phantom movement due to the new deadzone settings, ensure that the new deadzone slider is not set too low. If the deadzone is too small, it can pick up unwanted movement from connected gamepads and joysticks.
Community Announcements - Paul
Flight Stick Support Added.
You asked for it, so we added it and a whole lot more.

Click to see the full list of changes in build 1.1

Improvements
  • Joysticks are now recognized by the game and can be configured in the Controls menu
  • Default Secondary Keybindings have been reworked to match Xbox Controllers
  • Ambient Occlussion video option added. This will be on by default when using the High, and Ultra graphics presets. It will need to be enabled manually if you are using custom video settings.
  • New Bloom added. This new bloom effect adds additional contrast to bright effects and smoother bloom around bright objects. It replaces the old bloom effect.
  • While the player is below Tech Level 4, the maximum tech level of hostiles spawning in the highways directly connected to the players start position has been reduced to Tech Level 3. This should make life much easier and more intuitive for new players. This change also massively reduces the chance that lethal enemies will fly into these areas.
  • Weapon sound effects significantly improved.
  • New button added to the upgrade panel to toggle between displaying upgrades in ascending or descending order. This allows the highest level upgrades to be displayed first.
  • Newly discovered upgrades and hulls (those which have been recently looted to 100%) are now marked with a yellow star in the upgrade and hull windows respectively.
  • Yellow stars now also appear over the various slot type buttons in the upgrade panel if any upgrade for that slot type is marked as newly discovered.
  • By using the "-force-d3d9" command line argument, the game will now run in Fullscreen Exclusive mode on Windows. This resolves issues with Gsync monitors.

For a selection of before and after screenshots for the new Ambient Occlussion and Bloom effects see this post:
http://steamcommunity.com/app/296010/discussions/0/412448158166365048/

Balance Tweaks
  • After the player has used Blind on a target, that target now has a 70% chance to instantly target and attack the player once the Blind debuff clears.
  • Railgun base damage reduced from 61 to 55, and range reduced from 250m to 200m
  • MagnaBeam damage increased by 7% from base 3 to 3.21
  • Laser Cannon base damage increased from 48 to 54
  • Flak Cannon base damage per projectile increased from 6.9 to 8 per projectile. Each shot has 8 projectiles.
  • Reputation loss for killing friendlies capped at 225 points. (Previously 10% of total reputation with no cap)
  • Uranium loot drop size and task rewards increased by 25-40%.

  • Homing missiles will now only begin homing once they have reached 25% of their maximum range. This allows the player to fire missiles around corners, and also makes dodging missiles a little easier especially in close quarters combat.
  • Firefly missile turn speed reduced from 9 to 7. Missile speed reduced to 100 from 120
  • Lancer missile turn speed reduced from 5.2 to 4. Missile speed reduced to 55 from 70
  • Disarmer missile turn speed reduced from 5 to 3. Missile speed reduced to 45 from 70
  • Maverick missile turn speed reduced from 4.4 to 4. Missile speed reduced from 100 to 70
  • Crippler missile turn speed reduced from 9 to 6. Missile speed reduced from 100 to 70

  • Thunder missiles have been buffed to make them a much more viable choice
  • Thunder missile damage increased from 85 to 145.

Other changes
  • Delete key is no longer reserved and is bindable
  • To clear a keybinding, press Escape (rather than Delete) while binding a key
  • Instances of the word 'gamepad' have now been replaced with 'controller', in the controls menu, to cover both gamepads and joysticks.
  • 'Invert Y-Axis' Controls label renamed to 'Invert Mouse Y-Axis". For controllers simply rebind the controller axis at the bottom of the list of Controls.
  • Motion Blur disabled by default in all graphics presets. This can still be enabled/disabled manually via the 'Manual Setup' video preset.
  • Upgrade incompatibility warning messages updated for improved clarity.
  • The Energy Efficiency statistic is artificially inflated before calculating Overall Efficiency for the Statistics panel. The Energy Efficiency panel now shows the real value rather than the inflated value.
  • 'Press Spacebar to fire missiles" added to level 1 main tutorial messages to better ensure new players know that they exist
  • 'Mouse1' keycode reworded to 'Right Mouse Button' during level 1 main tutorial messages (if this key hasn't been rebound to something else)
  • New 'Missiles' page added to the help manual to ensure players know that missiles regenerate and should be used freely
  • Intermediate guide title page altered in the help manual to encourage further reading
  • Weapon hit notification sound volume reduced by 30%
  • New Xbox Controller 'Default Secondary Controls' page added to the in-game help system.

Bug Fixes
  • Fixed an issue where some particles would receive a black border while using the 'Edge Effect' video option.
  • Fixed an issue where the 'show installed upgrade' button could remain greyed out after installing an upgrade into an empty slot.
  • Fixed an issue that would create two weapon amplifier upgrades with the same version number.

A big thanks to everyone who helped playtest all of the above changes in our Public Test branch over the last couple of weeks.

Build 1.1 is now live for everyone.

Community Announcements - Paul
• Ground launch sequencer is go for Main engine start
• Solid Rocket Boosters ignite
• Explosive bolts release the boosters
• Lift Off!
Community Announcements - Paul
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bnblLgqPmpg
Let's do this!

NeonXSZ Build 1.0 just went live on Steam a day ahead of schedule.

We will transition out of Early Access at approximately 10am Pacific Time tomorrow (22nd Feb). It's not possible to officially launch until then (Valve Time!) but for the many new players who jumped on board this weekend we wanted to give you access to the 1.0 build while you still had some free time to play it.

A huge thank-you goes out to everyone who has supported the game over the last few years. Your support has been essential in bringing the game to fruition and we quite simply couldn't have done it without you.

To everyone who believed in the game and bought it either here in Early Access or over two years ago on Desura - you allowed us to finish the game properly rather than rush it out the door. Thank you.

Finally, thanks to everyone who offered feedback and suggestions over the years. It's a better game because of you!

We hope we did you all proud.

Buckle up cybernauts, it's happening!

Community Announcements - Paul
For reasons we are not able to discuss at this time, we have moved the official 1.0 release date for NeonXSZ back from Feb 16th to Feb 22nd.

It's not all bad news, though. The currently released build on Steam is likely to be identical to the 1.0 release in everything but name. If you are considering grabbing the game early then there is no need to worry about playing an incomplete or buggy version.

The currently live early access build (version 0.98) is our final release candidate. This build has had no reported bugs or problems on any platform. We can't guarantee it, but we have no reason to expect this situation to change.

Sorry for the delay. We'll update this announcement as soon as we can talk about things in more detail.

Update:
So yeah, Steam went and announced the Lunar New Year sale at the last minute.

We can now confirm that our release date was tweaked to prevent a launch so close to a major Steam sale, and the Steam NDA prevented us from speaking of it sooner.
Community Announcements - Paul
With your help we've done it. It's ready. NeonXSZ is complete!
https://youtu.be/bnblLgqPmpg

It's been a long journey, and a mammoth undertaking, but we couldn't be happier than to announce that the finished game will officially launch for PC, Mac and Linux on February 16th 2016.

In preparation for the release, the Steam page has had a complete overhaul. There's a brand new trailer, all new screenshots, updated game description and new branding\logo images. Here's a handy link to our Steam page if you're interested in checking out the changes (click the logo to link through):

http://store.steampowered.com/app/296010

Thanks to everyone who believed in us and supported the game during development. Your reviews have been both amazing and humbling. We hope we did you proud. It wouldn't have been possible without you. Seriously!

Over the coming weeks we'll be doing our best to spread the word to the gaming media. If you have a favourite YouTuber/Streamer, who you think might like the game, please let them know.

Here's a link to the trailer on YouTube if you would like to help by sharing it on social media. Don't forget to give it a thumbs up and leave a comment to help promote the launch.

Cheers.

Edit: A member of the Shacknews chatty (pulsedrive) meme'd the release news. Awesome - http://i.imgur.com/FX5D8Bc.jpg
Community Announcements - Paul
After four intense years of constant development, the alpha stage is now finished and it's nearly time to release this bad boy officially. The 1.0 release is just around the corner (planned for February) so it's time for the final beta test. In our eyes, beta means that all major bug fixing and balancing is already complete and that the game is finished with only final testing required.

Beta build 0.98 is now live.

For those that haven't been following recent development the last few months have been spent on behind the scenes stuff in preparation for the 1.0 release. For example, two months alone were spent preparing a new trailer. This means that the Beta release doesn't bring with it a host of new features like previous updates. That's not a bad thing though because the last build released was already feature and content complete and that build proved to be rock solid across all three platforms.

During the development of the new trailer a few things did however get some minor visual tweaks and some developer only systems were added into the game to make capturing the new trailer footage possible. Whenever we add in new systems, there is always the possibility that something else gets broken. There's also been a couple of recent bugs discovered that have also been fixed.

The main purpose of the Beta release then is to ensure that we have a rock solid stable game before the final review code version of the game goes out in January next year. That gives us a month of testing to iron out any last minute glitches that may have appeared due to recent changes while hopefully being able to relax and unwind a little over the holiday season. It's unlikely that we introduced any major new bugs but it's always a possibility so if you can help to put the game through it's paces one final time it would be much appreciated and help to create a flawless 1.0 release.

Another change that is coming soon is the new game branding. This is already designed but it's not planned to go live until the new trailer is released early next year. This Beta build does give a sneak peak at the new branding though. The loading screen when booting up the game has been replaced with the new branding image.

Thanks so much to everyone who has supported, playtested and given feedback on the game over the last few years. It's been both a stressful and amazing experience but we are so proud of the final result. The game is beautifully balanced and plays better than we ever imagined it would and that's all we ever strived for.

Soon enough we'll be handing over our baby to you guys to share with the world. We couldn't have done it without you.

<3 you guys and we wish you all an amazing 2016.
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