Update #1 – Public Builds Available!

T he development team here at Goldhawk Interactive has been quietly working on Xenonauts-2 for over a year now, and we’re proud to announce (on our new revamped website) that you can now download and play it for free. We’re only going to be doing this for a few months and it won’t net you a copy of the finished game, but you can follow our progress through the early stages of development for free!

A few quick points before I talk in more detail about our plans:

  • If you are at all interested in Xenonauts-2, please sign up for our mailing list.
  • The current free build is an early version of a single combat mission. We’ll add in the strategy layer and more combat content in the next few months.
  • You’ll need GOG Galaxy to play the free builds, as we’ll only be launching on Steam Early access when we enter the paid stages of development.
  • Full instructions on how to obtain the free builds can be found on our forums here.

Why release builds of the game for free? The short answer is that our community is providing us a service just by playing the game and giving us feedback on it. The feedback of people who aren’t willing to pay $25 for an Early Access game is just as valuable as that of anyone else. We want to know now if specific things in the game really annoy players, or if our game runs badly on specific hardware combinations – if we only find that stuff out after release we’ll wind up with bad reviews and angry customers. If you’re interested in Xenonauts-2 then please come play it and give us some feedback on our forums – it’s cool if you don’t want to pay for the game while it’s still in Early Access, your thoughts are still really helpful.

Of course, if you do want to support the project while the game is still in Early Access, that’s even better! You get a cheaper copy of the game and the funding we receive during development all goes towards making the final product better, so it’s a win-win situation for everyone. Please sign up for our mailing list here and we’ll let you know as soon as we move into the paid stage of the project. It should only be two or three months from now (dependent on how fast development goes) and the team will be very grateful for your support.

Let’s talk a little about Xenonauts-2. We’ve written a page on the planned changes in X-2 that covers this in more detail, but here’s a few quick facts:

  • The game is not a chronological sequel to the first game but involves similar events occurring in a parallel universe – this means we’re free to tweak anything in the first game that we think needs to be improved.
  • We’ve moved to Unity3D, which allows us to make a much better looking and much more stable game.
  • The core ground combat mechanics (e.g. Time Units) will be retained, but we’ll make an effort to explain them better.
  • The strategy layer is going to be changed more – the intent being to add more strategic choice to the game.
  • Ground combat maps will support greater randomisation, allowing more long-term replayability.
  • We’ll put more effort into the story this time around; the Chief Scientist will make a return but will no longer be the only character with a voice.

So, our intention is to make the sequel a more attractive game that has less bugs, a better story and a number of gameplay changes that (hopefully) fix the major deficiencies of the first game. Sound like something you want to be a part of? Come join us on our forums and give us your thoughts.

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