XENOGROVE - gestickler
A new update for pre-release XENOGROVE players has been released.

SIZE: This build, primarily, is a move to a new build pipeline which will result in faster and smaller builds. The new build now has a total size of about 2 GB, 1/2 of the previous builds and nearly a quarter of builds a couple months old!
WEAPON PARTS: Some new weapon parts have been added, primarly GOLD parts which are better versions of standard weapon parts that drop at the Avant-Garde tier. We have also added CURSED parts, which excel in a particular area while having major weaknesses or even actively negative effects!
TUTORIAL: The tutorial has been cleaned up and it should be a bit easier to follow the story and the mechanics of the game. Additionally, you no longer need to defeat Gogogox to unlock the mount. The mount will now be available at the Stablemaster upon visiting OZRYN, even for the first time.

As you may have guessed, we will not be meeting the original planned release date and it will take a bit longer to ship. Mostly, we are waiting on certain legal boilerplate to get settled (shipping a commercial product through an LLC definitely can be complicated) and in the meantime we'll be polishing up the game more before putting it on the market. It is hard to say at this point how long it will take for the legal stuff to get sorted, but in the meantime we will be polishing the game and are open to any suggestions for how to improve the game so it is the best it can be upon release.

See you out there! And as always, let us know how you're feeling in the comments below.
An update for XENOGROVE has been released.

There have been extensive shader reworks for performance and visuals all around.
Rocks and Mushrooms now have better subsurface scattering effects.
Foliage no longer shows black squares when far away, and the black outline effect outlines them as a group instead of as a whole.
Two new post process visual effects have been written, one that adds interesting color tinting based on the angle of the surface, and another that mimicks indirect lighting (right now this only works close to the ground).
The shader for the shield dome has been rewritten to not have as much of a performance hit.
The shader for water surfaces has been rewritten for performance.

The ice dungeon theme that has been in testing is now the default theme for dungeons. This should look more organic and varied compared to the prior theme.

Player should no longer die immediately when entering certain dungeon rooms.
Portals in certain dungeon entrance rooms should no longer take forever to open, and as a dungeon choice the portal in the first room now always opens immediately.

Game content is now packed into compressed .pak files, which cut the disk usage in half (!) down to about 4gb from about 8gb. This has also shown faster load times for the game.

Town vendors no longer have as many parts in their loot pool, to incentivise opening more chests in dungeons rather than saving up pearls to simply buy whatever part you want.
As a result, certain weapon parts can only be had by opening dungeon chests. This ultimately gives the player more interesting choices for what weapon parts to use because they don't have every choice available to them.

Two new Burst-Firing handles have been added to the loot pool.

As always, let us know how you're feeling in the comments below.

We are growing ever closer to the finish line - thank you for all the excellent feedback you have given! Feedback is always important to us, and we'd love to hear any more you might have.

See you out there!
-Jon Sayer,
Systems Developer
An update for Xenogrove has been released.

Many changes have been made to make the game more straightforward and less confusing. Examples of the kinds of changes made:
-When rescuing villagers, your score for that dungeon now increases at that moment instead of being tallied when you finish the dungeon (which meant dying would essentially undo the villagers you'd saved)
-The "Continue" button on the main menu will search the save files to make sure it always loads the most recent save file (in terms of real-world date and time)
-The Continue Button is greyed out if you haven't actually started the game yet (so only "New Game" is available)
-Certain confusing areas in the overworld and have been streamlined to make it easier to understand how to get somewhere or new paths to those places have been opened up
-It should no longer be possible to die in the tutorial
-You should always respawn near the portal to the dungeon you died in

There has been a major pass on polishing up the User Interface to be more complete and cohesive feeling. The Weapon Assembly and Dismantling screens in particular have been reworked to be easier to read and more visually appealing.
A credits sequence has been added after the final cutscene.

A new area of expanded wilderness has been added to the western pass between the Lake and Lava towns.
Unreachable areas that serve as background details have been added all around the overworld.

As always, let us know how it is in the comments below.

See you out there!
-Jon Sayer
Systems Developer
An update for XENOGROVE has been released.

World Polish: Certain areas needing some TLC have been cleaned up, like the Lake town and the small lake west of the hub.

Anti-Cheese: Countermeasures have been deployed to prevent players from simply standing on the ledge out of harm's way when fighting Gogogox.

Debuffs: Receivers with special projectiles that caused debuffs, such as the Shell Core which causes damage over time, have been fixed and debuffs now apply correctly to enemies.

Loot Table Cleanup: Certain parts leftover from early prototype builds have been removed from the loot table.

UI Improvements: Map markers have had their font changed, so they should be much easier to read. There is also now an indicator above the ammo panel that has a control prompt for switching your weapon.

Visual Effects: A new post process effect is being tested that should result in more vivid colors and a visual aesthetic more consistent with the hand drawn textures and characters.

As always, let us know how you're doing in the comments below.
See you out there!
-Jon Sayer
A hotfix for XENOGROVE has been released.

-Stone Core and Shell Core not properly apply damage over time and knock back enemies, respectively.
-holes that could be tough to get out of have been patched in the hub area.
-Terraformer Parts that you can prematurely pick up are no longer laying around near the actual terraformer for debug purposes.

This hotfix also includes a number of things that were originally intended for the next patch:
-The Savannah has more consistent foliage
-The Mountain Region has a new (untested) dungeon called "The Labyrinth"
-The Lake Town has had some visual improvements with paths on the ground and improved shadowing.
-Some load time improvements

As always, let us know how you're feeling in the comments below.

See you out there!
-Jon Sayer,
Systems Developer
An update for XENOGROVE has been released. This is a big one!

Lighting should now be more natural looking overall.
Dungeons now have discrete lighting themes that can be applied to individual dungeons or visual styles (more on this later).
Many shaders for mushrooms and rocks have implemented Ambient Occlusion effects to give more natural looking lighting.
Small microfoliage has been added in certain areas to flesh out the scene.
A number of visual theme prototypes for dungeons have been added. You can see these, if you so choose, in testing dungeons outside of the central town (OZRYN)

The rock shader has been reworked in a way to offer a slight speedup compared to previous versions.

The final boss's laser has been reworked. Instead of firing a spinning laser, the boss summons Cavies that shoot lasers in 4 directions.

Gone are the dark days of Default Crosshair. Now, your crosshair is determined by a combination of your Receiver, Barrel, and AltFire parts.
Crosshairs also have a bit more dynamic animation, and now scale when recoiling (although they are not meant to be an accurate representation of the weapon's current spread)

Every dungeon portal now has a preview of how many villagers you have rescued out of the max number of villagers in that dungeon.
This essentially serves as a high score for that dungeon and will be updated when you rescue more than your previous high.
For now, towns still build up (progress advances) regardless of how or where you rescue villagers, though in the future we are considering making it so that only NEW villagers rescued count toward progress:
so if you rescue 2 out of 3 villagers in a dungeon, you would get 2 villagers worth of progress, and you wouldn't get any more from that dungeon until you rescued all three villagers (and repeating that dungeon wouldn't count for any more villager progress).

The Mount no longer jitters during movement.
The Mount will now bounce slightly off of surfaces instead of coming to a sudden halt.

Vutaris can no longer attack through floors if you are standing above them.

As always, let us know how you're feeling in the comments below.

See you out there!
-Jon Sayer,
Systems Developer
Hello all,

I know it's been a bit longer than usual for a build to come up, but fear not, it's on the way shortly. Development has been extremely active and this next update will be a lot bigger than previous ones, hence the wait. We think it will be more than worth the wait.

See you out there!

-Jon Sayer
An update for XENOGROVE has been released.

In every major town, there is now a vendor that will sell an assortment of weapon parts of varying themes.
We have also upgraded the Vendor screen to be much more useful and informative, giving more info on the parts being sold.
In addition to regular materials, enemies now have a high chance to drop Pearls, the standard currency used by Vendors all over the planet.
Loot dropped by enemies now have different appearances based on what they are. If they are materials/currencies, the dropped loot will use the icon for that currency. If it's a weapon part, it will show the standard bag icon.

The town in the Lava area has had even more touchup work, and is now very close to being complete.
All major towns now start much more barren, and rapidly expand and flesh out as you rescue villagers in that region. Villagers you rescue in dungeons return home and build up the town they belong to!

See you out there!
-Jon Sayer,
Systems Developer
A hotfix for XENOGROVE has been released to address issues in yesterday's pre-release build.

-Fixed an issue where your second weapon would not load
-Fixed an issue where the main menu and other UI elements would be blurry
-Fixed an issue where Fish enemies would slowly drift upward until they were well outside of reasonable engagement ranges

See you out there!
An update for XENOGROVE has been released.

New Area Polish:
-The lava river leading to lava town now has correct collision
-It is no longer necessary to take the lava river to reach the town
-The expanded Savannah area now has foliage

Weapon Balance:
Recoil and drift are now calculated differently:
-If you rapidly fire a weapon while it is still recoiling, the weapon will now start to drift more aggressively out of control. This also applies to automatic weapons, so stability and recoil control balanced against fire rate is now an important consideration.
-Weapons drift less at lower stability ratings, but lower stability ratings incur a much greater penalty to control when rapid-firing.
This rebalance should allow for weapons to feel more controllable while still keeping recoil control and stability into consideration while choosing your weapon parts.

Weapon Switching:
-You can now carry a second weapon, which you can switch to with the scroll wheel
-Workbenches will operate on whatever weapon you currently have equipped.
After careful consideration, we have decided to allow the user to carry a second weapon, since only carrying one encouraged players to create a weapon that was a moderate all-around weapon instead of creating weapons that played to specific strengths. This way, the player should have more interesting choices about how they design their weapons. For instance, a player could carry a long-range weapon in their first weapon slot and a short-range rapid firing weapon in their second slot, giving them more control in combat and allowing them to be better prepared while still requiring thought about what they carry.
This should all contribute to increasing player agency and making combat feel more dynamic.

UX Improvements:
-You can scroll scroll boxes up and down with the right stick if you're using a gamepad. This should make it much easier to play in exclusively gamepad mode.
-The HUD now lists what AltFire part you are using below the AltFire cooldown indicator
-Foliage now gets pushed out of the way and rustled when you get close.

As always, let us know how you feel in the comments.
See you out there!

-Jon Sayer
Systems Developer

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