Xenonauts - Goldhawk
Another quick update to let everyone know that the Kickstarter for Xenonauts-2 has entered its final three days. You can see it here: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/69341191/xenonauts-2-strategic-planetary-defence-simulator/

It's been very successful, so huge thanks to anyone that backed us - we asked for £50,000 and were fully funded in 8 hours, and we're now well over 300% funded!

Some cool stretch goals have already been unlocked (like weapon attachments and locational injuries in combat) and we're hoping to hit the next one at 400% which involves us giving extra support to the Community Edition and modding teams that created such great extra content for everyone in the first Xenonauts (although the game will still be moddable even if we don't get there).



Anyway, if you're interested in the sequel then this is your last chance to grab some of the Kickstarter-exclusive rewards - e.g. putting yourself in the game as a soldier with a custom name, nationality and portrait made with our portrait editor is £35 and 1700 people have already done so!

I should also mention that there's been some quite productive community discussions since the Kickstarter began on some of the design decisions we've made (some of which were raised in the comments of our last Steam update).

It's really useful to hear people's opinions at this stage of development when we still have time to change things, and we've been looking at how we can achieve what we want to achieve with the new systems without taking away stuff from Xenonauts 1 that people like. This is the first time people have seen our full plans for the sequel and it's good to get feedback on the ideas we've come up with!
Xenonauts

Update: Xenonauts 2's Kickstarter campaign has been successfully funded, several hours after going live. As outlined in our original story below, the project sought £50,000. At the time of writing, its total has reached £67,698—with 29 days left to go. 

An update posted by studio head Chris England thanks backers and explains developer Goldhawk Interactive will now turn its head towards stretch goal voting. 

"I had genuine concerns this morning about how well this campaign was going to go," says England. "The games market has become far more crowded since we started developing the first Xenonauts, and Kickstarter is hardly the fresh new way of funding games that it was when we last ran a campaign back in 2012. 

"We wondered whether people would still be interested in Xenonauts-2, especially now it's four whole years since the original game came out."

If you fancy backing Xenonauts 2, its Kickstarter is this way. Be sure to check out the alpha demo featured there too. Our original story follows.  

Original story:Officially confirmed in early 2016, sci-fi strategy game Xenonauts 2 is now live on Kickstarter. Like its forerunner, it's after £50,000, and, at the time of writing, has already amassed almost two fifths of its goal.  

The first Xenonauts was well received four years ago—it was Phil's personal pick of 2014—and the likes of Endless Space 2, Julian Gollop's upcoming Phoenix Point, and XCOM 2 have further galvanised the appeal of sci-fi-spun turn-based strategy games.  

Here's number two's Kickstarter campaign video:

Xenonauts 2 is a sequel, so I suggest reading the campaign blurb and/or this post to learn what's new at your discretion. A combat demo is also available to download from the KS page. 

As for the campaign itself, more on rewards and custom soldiers can be found in its FAQ section, which also contains interesting info on Xenonauts 2's closed beta and the dev's plans to overhaul its UI. 

"The problem is that UI art is very time-consuming and expensive, and you end up throwing a lot of work away if you change the mechanics after you've styled up a UI screen," explains the Kickstarter FAQ. "Because so much of our game is UI (think how many screens there are on the strategy layer), we decided that it would be more efficient to re-use some of the art from the original Xenonauts while we were experimenting with the gameplay and we would do the final UI styling towards the end of development."

If you fancy any of that, you can thrown money at Xenonauts 2 over here. It's linked above, but Phil's words on what makes the original work are worth linking to again. 

Xenonauts - Goldhawk
If you played and enjoyed the original Xenonauts, you may be interested to know that the Kickstarter for the sequel Xenonauts-2 has now gone live: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/69341191/xenonauts-2-strategic-planetary-defence-simulator/

Full details of the new game are available on the Kickstarter page, along with a free alpha demo of a tactical combat mission - we've still got plenty of work left to do, but hopefully you can see the improvement!

Xenonauts-2 is not a chronological sequel to Xenonauts, but rather an updated portrayal of similar events. We've moved to a much more modern engine (Unity) and improved the quality of the visuals, and we're making all sorts of changes to the design to fix some of the gameplay issues that meant not everyone enjoyed Xenonauts as much as they could have!

We're expecting Xenonauts-2 to move into closed beta in about three months, followed by a general Early Access release on Steam / GOG before the end of the year.

The more money we can raise on Kickstarter and in Early Access, the longer we'll be able to spend adding new content to the game and fixing the bugs / balance issues / usability issues reported by the community. If you enjoyed Xenonauts, we'd appreciate your support in making a sequel that builds on those foundations!
Xenonauts

GOG's Summer Gaming Sale—or #SummerGaming Sale as it's stylised on-site—is live now through June 18. To mark the occasion, the digital storefront is giving away sci-fi strategy game Xenonauts free-of-charge from today through Wednesday, June 6 at 6am PST / 2pm BST.  

First, let's talk deals. I like D-Pad Studio's retro-styled platformer Owlboy, which, at 40 percent off, costs £10.69/$14.99. I'm also fond of Fallout: New Vegas, the best of the post-apocalyptic role-playing series, whose Ultimate Edition comes in at £7.49/$10.59, 50 percent less its recommended retail value.  

Subset Games' FTL follow-up, Into the Breach is another great pickup for £8.49/$11.99—as is Larian's all-consuming CRPG Divinity: Original Sin 2 for £23.99/$33.89. If you're after something less bloodthirsty, I'd recommend Campo Santo's gorgeous and often eerie Firewatch at £6.09/$8.49, or Jonathan Blow's 2016 Myst-inspired puzzler The Witness at £12.09/$16.99.

Spending £3.59/$5 or more in GOG's Summer Sale also nets you a free copy of Failbetter's narrative adventure Sunless Sea, while spending £14.19/$20 unlocks Rime too. Swing by the PC Gamer Collection for more shoutouts from the PCG team, and, as always, share your own picks in the comments below.

Onto Xenonauts. Ian Birnbaum's 85-scoring review is well worth reading, but I'm going to quote Phil here instead.  

If Xenonauts were receiving a proper award, it would be X-Com of the Year. It is, in its design, structure, depth and challenge, utterly X-Com. It's blatant in its similarities, almost flagrant. Not even XCOM, the Firaxis reboot, was this much like X-Com. That's why Xenonauts could never hold a place in our Game of the Year Awards proper. It's intentionally derivative. It's not forging a bright, new future for PC gaming. It's not even proving that new design innovations can fit snugly into older templates, a la Divinity: Original Sin or Endless Legend. It is, pretty much, just X-Com again.

That's a good thing, to be clear—or, at least, a thing that I'm happy has happened.

Phil goes into more detail from there in his 2014 Personal Pick, however the above captures the essence of Xenonauts and why it's worth your time. Besides being, you know, free till Wednesday. 

Check out GOG's Summer Sale in full in this direction.

Some online stores give us a small cut if you buy something through one of our links. Read our affiliate policy for more info. 

Xenonauts - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alice O'Connor)

When X-COM cast off its hyphen and complexity to become XCOM, Xenonauts was handily here with old-school alien-busting. Now you can see how its sequel is shaping up, as developers Goldhawk Interactive are releasing development builds of Xenonauts 2 [official site] for free. You can play one single mission right now, then Goldhawk plan to expand this pre-alpha demo fortnightly. They’ll start charging money once the game’s in good enough shape but paying with feedback is peachy-dory for now. … [visit site to read more]

Xenonauts - Goldhawk
Two things to discuss in this announcement - cloud saves and the Community Edition of Xenonauts.

We've now enabled cloud saves for Xenonauts. Steam should save your save games and you should now be able to access them if you want to play Xenonauts on a different machine. Hopefully that will make things more convenient for you guys!

The second thing is the Community Edition of Xenonauts. A lot of people already know about this, but not everyone does - it's an optional free upgrade to Xenonauts that has been created by coders from the community who were given access to the source code of the game, fixing bugs and adding various new features to the game. Whilst Xenonauts is no longer under active development, Xenonauts: Community Edition is still being worked on and will likely continue to improve.

You can access the Community Edition by right clicking on the game in your Steam library, and then going to Properties > Betas > community (in the dropdown). You can switch back to vanilla Xenonauts by selecting NONE in the same dropdown.

A word of warning, though - Community Edition is not an official product and as such Goldhawk can't help you with support issues if you've got either that or mods enabled (we can't debug other people's code).

There's also a mod active by default in X:CE that provides a bit more flavor research to the game, attempting to give additional information on some of the aliens and game mechanics. It is designed to blend in with the official research and most people seem to like it, but be aware the research artwork and text were not created by the developers and it is technically not canon.

That said, most fans consider X:CE the "ultimate" version of Xenonauts, as by now it has evolved to have more content, more features and less bugs than the base game. If you're not already aware of it, it might be worth checking out!
Xenonauts - Goldhawk
This is a brief update, as we've pushed V1.65 from the Experimental branch to the Stable branch.

I've post the patch notes from V1.65 Experimental below so you can see what has changed, but the main reason we've pushed this update to Stable is that there's a Windows 10 specific bug that is fixed by V1.65 which is affecting some of our users.

We'll be monitoring V1.65 to see if it causes any additional problems (in which case we'll roll back to V1.64 and let people who want to keep it opt in to the Experimental branch), but we think all will be well. Please let us know if you see any new issues appearing though!

Changes:
  • Miss shots should no longer go through walls; the trajectory code has been updated so they should only hit tiles that a "hit" shot would be able to hit.
  • Grenade scatter calculation updated, so "miss" throws can actually miss by a meaningful amount. This applies to both Xenonauts and aliens throwing grenades.
  • Stunned zombies (which appear dead) will no longer spawn zombies. This will eliminate the bug where Reapers apparently spawn from thin air, and occasionally were also invulnerable for reasons that remain unclear
  • Damage from base defence turrets now correctly reduces the number of attacking aliens it fails to destroy an attacking UFO.
  • Soldiers now gain Bravery from taking suppression damage, as it was virtually impossible to train up before.
  • Soldier Strength now updates correctly, as there was a bug in the formula before.
  • Manufacturing screen now displays the number of required items in your stores when previewing a project, rather than just the number of required items.
  • Saviour Medal and Crux Solaris medals can now be awarded and displayed correctly.
  • Alien bases are now correctly destroyed if you blow the Cores and then suffer a squadwipe.
  • Fixed an issue in the air combat where the aircraft throttles would sometimes not work properly.
  • Geoscape performance has been optimised on some systems.
  • Game startup speed has been improved.
  • Fixed crash when a building collapses with a drone inside.
  • Minor revisions to game manual.
Xenonauts - Goldhawk
We have now officially confirmed we are working on Xenonauts 2, and we're currently hoping for a 2017 release for the game!

The full statement and some basic details on the sequel can be read here (with more to follow in the next couple of months): http://www.xenonauts2.com

Thanks to everyone that has supported us by buying the first game - the experience we've gained making it and the feedback received from the community should allow us to create something even better second time around!
Xenonauts

Released in the summer of 2014, Xenonauts is a turn-based tactics game that was heavily inspired by X-COM: UFO Defense. (That would be the 1994 predecessor to the 2012 update XCOM: Enemy Unknown.) But it grew into a deeper and more detailed game that proved a triumph of rebooted game design, as we said in our review: Difficult and unforgiving, but still a deeply engaging, indie version of an alien invasion that stands toe-to-toe with X-COM—the classic and the reboots. That's high praise indeed, and so it's not at all surprising that a sequel has now been confirmed. 

It's also not surprising because Project Lead Chris England said last year that developer Goldhawk Interactive was actively designing and prototyping Xenonauts 2, but at that point the studio hadn't actually committed to making it. Now it has, and while a full announcement, with a website, concept art, and other such good stuff won't be coming for a couple of months, the studio decided—nudged a bit by the looming launch of XCOM 2—that now would be a good time to let the world know what's happening.

Like XCOM 2, Xenonauts 2 will not be a chronological sequel, but will instead take place in an alt-history timeline, during the Cold War. This means humanity does not start with the advanced alien technology unlocked in the first game, and we also have the freedom to subtly alter the story, setting and enemies in order to make a more interesting sequel, Goldhawk explained.

The new game is being developed with Unity3D and will make use of 3D graphics rather than 2D sprites, which will enable things like rotating cameras and physics objects. Ground combat will be enhanced with more tactical options, air combat is being redesigned to be turn-based and more tactically involved, and the Geoscape is being opened up as well, to give players greater research and organizational flexibility.

Some of the issues in the original game were caused by our lack of experience / lack of early funding, whereas others were caused by the constraints [of] remaining faithful to the design of a game dating back to 1994, the studio wrote. The experience and income we have accumulated from the development of Xenonauts mean that we can make a sequel that significantly improves and expands on the first game—and this time we can be more innovative than before.

An Early Access release is planned, but details beyond that won't be revealed until the full announcement comes out. For now, you can stay on top of the situation by signing up for the mailing list at xenonauts2.com.

Xenonauts - Goldhawk
We've released a new version of Xenonauts for Windows on the Experimental branch, V1.65. It contains some gameplay updates, but it will need some testing to see if it is stable before being rolled out to the default Stable branch for all Steam users, so if anyone can test it that would be appreciated.

To access the Experimental branch, please follow the instructions here: http://www.goldhawkinteractive.com/forums/showthread.php/5958-Xenonauts-Experimental-Builds-Instructions

We will also merge these fixes into the native Mac / Linux builds in the future if they prove to be stable.

Most of these fixes are drawn from improvements to the game made by the Xenonauts: Community Edition team, so a public thank you to those who contributed to X:CE in general and to Solver specifically for putting this patch together for us.

Changes:
  • Miss shots should no longer go through walls; the trajectory code has been updated so they should only hit tiles that a "hit" shot would be able to hit.
  • Grenade scatter calculation updated, so "miss" throws can actually miss by a meaningful amount. This applies to both Xenonauts and aliens throwing grenades.
  • Stunned zombies (which appear dead) will no longer spawn zombies. This will eliminate the bug where Reapers apparently spawn from thin air, and occasionally were also invulnerable for reasons that remain unclear
  • Damage from base defence turrets now correctly reduces the number of attacking aliens it fails to destroy an attacking UFO.
  • Soldiers now gain Bravery from taking suppression damage, as it was virtually impossible to train up before.
  • Soldier Strength now updates correctly, as there was a bug in the formula before.
  • Manufacturing screen now displays the number of required items in your stores when previewing a project, rather than just the number of required items.
  • Saviour Medal and Crux Solaris medals can now be awarded and displayed correctly.
  • Alien bases are now correctly destroyed if you blow the Cores and then suffer a squadwipe.
  • Fixed an issue in the air combat where the aircraft throttles would sometimes not work properly.
  • Geoscape performance has been optimised on some systems.
  • Game startup speed has been improved.
  • Fixed crash when a building collapses with a drone inside.
  • Minor revisions to game manual.
This is likely to be the final gameplay update for vanilla Xenonauts, but Xenonauts: Community Edition is still under ongoing development so be sure to keep up to date with their progress in the future!
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