The sequel will cover similar events taking place in an alternate timeline – an alien invasion occurring in a Cold War-era Earth. 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 and setting in order to make a more interesting game. We will also be updating the game mechanics in order to address the issues with the original game. These are our broad areas of focus:
- Setting: We would like to improve the storyline this time around, adding additional characters and a deeper plot and attempting to make better use of the Cold War / clandestine organisation setting than we did in the first game.
- Stability & Performance: Moving to Unity3D will give us a much more capable platform for development than our previous engine did, so expect fewer bugs and improved performance, but also the quality of life improvements enabled by a 3D engine (e.g. a rotateable battlefield camera).
- Improved Graphics: We will be increasing the art budget and using more modern technology for the sequel, so expect the overall visual fidelity to be significantly improved. We will also be updating the visual designs of the Xenonauts and the aliens so they look a bit more interesting and distinctive!
- Ground Combat: We are retaining Time Units and the other core mechanics from the first game, but we will attempt to address some of the weaknesses too: indestructible UFOs, poor use of vertical terrain, human psionics, etc.
- Geoscape: We want to add a lot more strategic choice for the player on the Geoscape, giving the player more choice with regards to the research tree and how they choose to expand their organisation. We would also like to make the aliens more reactive to your actions and tactics.
- Air Combat: This needs to use the same skills as the rest of the game (i.e. tactical thinking) so is likely to receive an overhaul.
If you’re interested in reading about the specific changes we have planned, you can check out the dedicated area in our forum: Xenonauts-2 Features. This sub-forum contains individual posts on many of the intended changes in Xenonauts-2, explaining our reasons for wanting to make that change and when it might occur.