Xenonauts-2 June Update!

It’s been a busy few weeks here at Goldhawk HQ, and we’re happy to announce that last month saw the release of Closed Beta V5 and the subsequent V5.1 Hotfix patch. This build contained several major new features including the new tactical combat UI and saving / loading, plus a whole lot of fixes for issues that were previously affecting the gameplay experience.

We’re currently expecting Closed Beta V6 to release in just under three weeks on the 26th June. This update will introduce some new artwork, some major upgrades to the air combat, and further work on the tech tree and alien progression. If all goes well the first Soviet Town terror maps may also make an appearance.

The first thing to talk about is the new artwork. A few months back we started to take on some new artists to help us paint the final artwork for the game and some of this is now starting to trickle in – you can see the first of the UFO paintings above, the inventory tiles for some the new weapons have been added, the new strategy UI background art is taking shape, and so on. Each new piece of art is another step closer to completion so it’s certainly nice to see it arrive!

To accompany the new artwork we’re also doing further work on the tech tree and gameplay progression. Quite a few new variants of our existing aliens have been created (e.g. now UFOs contain lightly equipped noncombatants rather than an entire crew being soldiers) and elite variants of the basic aliens with more powerful weapons begin to spawn as the game progresses. We’ve also redesigned several of the UFOs and added several new props to their interiors so they look a bit more exotic.

The big improvement we’re working on on the code side is a big upgrade to the Air Combat. We’re adding some new mechanics that make the air combat deeper and more interesting, but we’re also setting the combat up so it can play out automatically like it does in the first Xenonauts (although you can still pause the combat to issue detailed move and fire orders at any point) so the simple battles require a lot less clicking. These updates should make the interceptions far more enjoyable than they are right now!

The next build is also going to include some smaller new features, too – for example the Crash Site airstrike mechanic from the first game, and the central soldier management system that prevents you assigning soldiers to multiple activities that should be mutually exclusive (going on a ground mission, going on a Strategic Operation, being wounded, etc.)

There’s more things I could talk about, but this post is already too long – thanks for reading, and hopefully you’ll be hearing from us again on the 26th June!

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