April 5, 2013
Hello everyone. It’s been over two months since our last update, but they’ve been a busy two months. The reason why this update has been a little delayed is that I’ve been holding off writing it until we hit a particular milestone, which happened this week.
Two big bits of news: Xenonauts has now hit beta, and we should be launching on Steam Early Access in the next 4-6 weeks.
I need to qualify that statement by saying that beta, to us, means this: you can now play the game from start to finish, and we’ve shifted our focus from adding new features to fixing up bugs, balance and generally improving the user experience of the game. It’s NOT a beta in the AAA sense of the word, where it’s basically a finished project being given an extended public demo.
Therefore if you want a polished experience, you’ll still have to wait a little longer. The current game does still have bugs and crashes in it, it doesn’t have great balance and there is still some placeholder art and research descriptions. We’re working hard on fixing all of these up, but that will only be complete at the end of the beta.
If you want to check on our progress, a good time to do it may be when we launch on Steam Early Access. We’ve been speaking to Valve about this and we should be doing so in 4-6 weeks, at which point everyone who has ever purchased a copy of Xenonauts will receive an email from Desura containing your Steam key(s).
We’ll be releasing a new demo of the game to celebrate the event, containing roughly 1/3 of the game. If you want a taster of our progress without spoiling the final game, you might want to give that a try (we’re hoping to have the vast majority of the crash bugs fixed for then). Naturally, if you don’t mind playing through a beta game, the full version will be available to play as well.
The largest remaining missing component of the game is the updated UI – though perfectly functional, the current UI is quite ugly. This is being worked on in a separate branch of code and will be merged after the Steam launch. The other things that were holding us up before (e.g. the AI) have largely been completed in the meantime.
As always, the latest and most detailed information is on our forums – but we’ll be posting more updates here to keep backers updated on our Steam launch as it draws closer.