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Xenonauts 2 - August Development Update

Discussion in 'Game/SP News & Comments' started by RPGWatch, Sep 12, 2023.

  1. RPGWatch

    RPGWatch Watching... ★ SPS Account Holder

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    [​IMG]The August development update for Xenonauts 2:

    [​IMG]

    Xenonauts 2 August Development Update!

    August was a busy month for us here at Goldhawk, and we've spent it hard at work improving Xenonauts 2! Here's what we've been up to over the past four weeks.

    New Versions:
    Last month we continued to patch and improve our existing build (Milestone 1), culminating in us releasing v1.32 onto the standard Steam branches and v1.33 onto the Experimental branch today. We've fixed a lot of crashes and other bugs in that time, but also addressed wider issues like adding options to change the duration of timed missions and fixing the memory leaks affecting performance.

    We've also begun working on our next major update, Milestone 2. A very early build of this is available on our new "Prototype" branch, and if you want to give thoughts on our changes then please read this (long) post which explains what we're trying to achieve and how you can access the build. Early feedback is always appreciated!

    Finally, I want to talk briefly about loading times. We did investigate these last month but any substantial improvement to load times would involve changing the format of the save, which would break existing saved games. We'll therefore be working on load times this month as part of our work on Milestone 2 (as saves from Milestone 1 will be incompatible with Milestone 2 anyway).

    Expanding the Team:
    Part of the reason for our relatively slow progress on Milestone 2 has been the expansion of our team over the past couple of weeks. Our small team size has left us in a situation where we've collected a lot of useful gameplay improvements / suggestions and bug reports from the community since release, but we've only been able to tackle the most urgent of these.

    Given we already work long hours, the only way to make a serious dent in the task lists was to get more manpower. We've therefore hired another full-time programmer (an old friend that worked with us on the original Xenonauts) plus two highly experienced part-time programmers to help out. Many thanks to anyone that applied for the position after reading our last update - we really appreciated so many enthusiastic people reaching out!

    Furthermore, we've also brought on some new people to help with QA, game design and level design. You should start to see new maps appearing this month, and we are now aiming to reply to all community bug reports on a daily basis.

    Overall, this should dramatically increase the speed of our work over the coming months. However, the hiring process sucking time away from other tasks is why Milestone 2 has ended up a bit behind schedule.

    Modding Tools:
    Another thing we worked on last month is the mod loader and Steam Workshop integration for Xenonauts 2, which is now nearly complete. However, to make modding viable we also need a standalone tool to allow users to easily edit the game files.

    We've already done the backend work for this tool, so the remaining task is to create a GUI that hooks into this and displays the information in a sensible way - but as the dev team is focused on the game itself right now, it'll probably be a few months before we could start work on that.

    However, it seems like there is some interest among our playerbase for creating an open-source community mod tool that does exactly this, and we're looking at how we as developers might be able to support that (as it would be a win-win for everyone). If you're potentially interested in contributing, there is more information in this thread.

    That's everything for this development update. As always, thanks for reading and we'll be writing another update once September is over!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 12, 2023
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