Greetings – July is over so it’s time for this month’s update.
Unfortunately, progress on the game this month has been somewhat disrupted due to covid. All members of the UK team fell ill at one time or another, so – as you can probably imagine – this did not affect productivity in the best possible way.
Although because of this we were unable to release Build V24 last month as planned, we are hard at work on it right now. There were a lot of glitches that needed to be fixed and were introduced by all the new systems we added after release. V23, but most of them have already been found and fixed. Now the team is focused on adding and refining new content.
Creating a new terrain
Many of the terrain tiles we’ve been working on for the last six months are now implemented and starting to work on maps. This has already been discussed in previous updates, but in V24 you’ll see new (or updated) buildings in various biomes such as the Jungle (which now has ancient ruins) and the Desert (which now has trailer park-style mobile homes). A new barn type and storage shed have been added to the farming maps, and many new tiles have been added to the xenonaut base defense missions.
We hope the terrain tiles will be ready in the next month or two, apart from ongoing visual refinement during Early Access. For base defense missions, tiles need to be made for several base buildings, and the “Soviet City” biome is still not complete – we are working on buildings for it right now. Then we need to check everything we have to make sure all the assets have the correct metadata, etc. Right now we have a large selection of tiles for many different biomes, so we should have everything we need to have a lot more maps in the game than in Xenonauts 1.
We’re also adding other types of art to the game – Xenopedia has some new autopsy art, and the Stealth suit now has the final art. UI update continues: Funding report and Xenopedia received visual updates this month. We are currently working on the design of the base and the Base Equipment strategic screen and hope to be able to start implementing them this month.
Not many new features were added this month because the coders were mostly doing other work. The map editor became terribly slow due to all the data we added to the maps related to the alien movement system (all AI waypoints, etc.), so a lot of time was spent on improving performance, as well as working on styling the user interface and functionality. Some of them are purely visual, but there are also a few convenience elements (for example, Xenopedia is now available in ground combat).
We’ve added the “learning notifications” system you’ve seen in other games – little pop-up notifications that appear at certain points in the game to explain information. For example, when you first get a bleeding wound on a soldier, a notification will appear explaining how to heal it. When you see a door, a notification appears that you can right-click on the door to open it without going through it, etc. The first batch of these notices will appear in V24as soon as Chris finds time to write a text for them.
Such is the progress in the last month. Not very big, but not completely terrible either. Hopefully things will go smoother in the next update and we’ll be able to talk more about our plans for the future!