Xenonauts-2 November Update

As we enter November Xenonauts-2 is progressing well, but before I talk any more about our progress I want to apologise for the lack of updates. I’ll make an effort to do better in future, but if you haven’t seen an update for a while you can always check our latest build releases here or check to see if we’ve posted recent updates on our Kickstarter page or on our forums.

The last update here was talking about the release of Closed Beta Build V5, and our latest release on the Experimental Branch is now up to V9.2. A lot has changed in the plast five months but the biggest change has been a reversion to the more complex strategy layer seen in the first Xenonauts. As we approach Early Access our focus has been on turning what we have into a playable game, which means has meant cutting the ideas that were not a clear improvement over the first game.

As such, we ran a Kickstarter poll about whether people would prefer the side-on single base in the older versions of X2 or wanted to return to the top-down multiple base system from the first game, and the community was overwhelming in favour of the multi-base system. This is now in the game, along with the air combat mechanics from the first game. We spent quite a while experimenting with a new turn-based air combat system but ultimately we couldn’t make it better than what we had in X1, so we’ve switched that back too.


These changes have been a good thing in the context of the project, but it is also important we ensure that Xenonauts 2 does not end up being too much like the first game. So in this update I’ll highlight one of the new systems that should make the game more interesting – the modular armour system. This is also a good excuse to show off some of the updated designs for our armour, as we’re keen to make the soldiers in the game a bit more “military” in appearance than they were in the first game.

You can see what we mean in the image above, as the two leftmost figures represent the starting Tactical Armour and the heavier Combat Armour variant, whereas the figure on the right shows an upgraded version of the armour that uses alien materials. The later armours have also been reworked to look more military and I think people will prefer their style over what we had in the first game!

Our forums have a longer post on the planned Modular Armour system, but the basic idea is that each armour has a series of upgrade “modules” that you can switch out on each soldier depending on how you want to customise them. You can give your soldiers Heavy Armour if you want to increase their survivability, but this reduces their carrying capacity. You could give them a Rebreather that makes them immune to gas / smoke damage at the cost of slightly reducing their Accuracy, or equip them with a jetpack that allows them to move vertically if you think they can spare the weight. More exotic items can be researched and unlocked too, such as visors that increase Accuracy but reduce your overall Armour.

You can freely mix and match this equipment depending on the soldier or the mission (e.g. you might not want a Jetpack inside an underground alien base), which gives you a lot more flexibility than was present in the first game.


No firm date has been set for our Early Access quite yet, but we’re looking at January next year – about eight weeks from now (including the festive season). There’s a lot of work left to do to polish the game up but we’re now in the happy situation where I can sit down and properly play the campaign (instead of just testing features), which means the usability and game balance are improving quickly. Now almost all of the “big” features are functional we can devote our energies to fixing up the small things that have been holding back the gameplay, so soon we’ll hopefully have a fairly decent game for you all to play in Early Access!

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