Xenonauts Stretch Goal Poll & Voting!
EDIT - actually, as several people have pointed out, my sums are a bit dubious. The cost / shipping of the reward accounts for about half of the increase in each level above a $30 pledge, but the donations as massively weighted towards the $20 / $30 tier so we'll recieve a higher % overall (though that will fall if people up their pledge). Maybe 70-75% of the amount pledged?
We'll look if that means we can make the tilesets a bit cheaper.
OK, time for a new update! This one will explain in detail what new features have already been confirmed for the game, and allow you to vote on the stretch goals!
First, I need to stress that the demo on our page is an alpha version of the game. There are several major elements which are not in it, but have always been planned. You do not need to request these features from us – you were always going to get them, even if the Kickstarter had failed:
- Currently we have the Industrial, Farmyard and Western Town tilesets in the game. There will also be Desert, Tundra, Xenonaut Base and Alien Base tilesets in the game.
- The map randomisation code is already functional, but level design is time consuming so we’ve not put too much time into it yet. There will be many more maps in the final game.
- The demo has three alien species in it. In the final game, there are at least nine. Each alien species has up to nine different ranks / variants (though some only have one). Thus, there will be a lot more alien types in the final game.
- The AI is not finished either. Aliens will be a lot smarter in the final game.
Next, let’s talk about what you guys have already achieved! As a result of hitting our 100% funding goal on Kickstarter, we’ll definitely be implementing the following features:
- The new UI design will be rolled out across the whole game (ideally with the background art updating as you research new technology)
- Soldier combat medal system
- Battlefield suppression mechanics
- Animated tiles
- DRM free release of the game
We’re still looking at implementing more of the features listed on the front page, but we can’t confirm them for definite yet. Although it is very tempting to think we’ve made it big when you see the amount of cash that has been donated, the unpleasant realization has hit us that once we take into account Kickstarter / Amazon fees, plus the costs of manufacturing and shipping all the backer rewards, we’re not likely to be left with more than 50% of the total money raised for development purposes.
The new UI will consume most of those funds – it’s a lot of art, management time and will involve recoding the layout of almost every single screen in the game. We definitely think it will be worth it, though – it should make the game vastly more immersive and we’re really happy we’ve raised the funds to be able to add this in.
Next, stretch goals. These are the new features we’ll add to the game as the Kickstarter hits higher and higher levels – improving the experience for everybody!
These will come at $75k, $100k, $125k, $150k, $175k and $200k. We’ve set up a poll so that you can choose which features you most want to see in the game, with the top voted feature coming in at $75k and the next most popular one coming in at $100k (and so on).
Also, we’re in the process of costing out boxed copies. There’s a lot of interest in them, but we need to make sure that we’re not going to be losing money if we offer them! There’s a question on the poll where you can register your interest if you do want one.
OK, without further ado, here’s the available stretch goals. Vote for your favorites on the poll here: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/CBDTVPS
- Mac / Linux port – The game will be ported onto Mac / Linux platforms for release, and hopefully for beta too.
- Female soldiers – We’ll add female soldiers to the game, with 25-30 female portraits and modified Basic Armour soldier art. Battlefield sprites will remain unisex.
- Soviet Town terror tileset ($40k) – the current terror tileset is an American town. To fit with the Cold War theme, we’ll put in an alternate tileset for the Soviet bloc countries using Soviet-style architecture.
- Military Base tileset ($40k) – this tileset would allow us to put military terror sites in the game, where aliens have attacked a military base and you are sent in to deal with them.
- Indoor missions – these would be missions where combat squads are sent into large buildings or into underground bunkers to clear out an alien strike team. We can mostly re-use the Xenonaut Base tiles for this, so this will be a $25k item.
- Reaper (Chryssalid) Hive tileset ($40k) – in addition to the normal alien base missions, we will add Reaper (the Xenonaut equivalent of Chryssalids) Hive missions to the late-game. These would feature “nodes” that spawned infinite numbers of Reapers until destroyed. Yes, I have been playing Space Hulk.
- Tileset-Specific NPC Allies – we do have friendly AI soldiers in the game, but only one type. This would add different variants – police on the Industrial tileset, farmers with shotguns on the Farm tileset, mujahedeen with AK-47s on the Desert tileset etc.
- Vehicle Combat Experience – soldiers level up with experience, vehicles do not. This would allow vehicles to increase their stats (not armour / health) by a maximum of 15% with combat experience.
- Pilot Portraits and Callsigns – at the moment, the aircraft are just aircraft. This would give each aircraft a pilot portrait and a callsign, so they seem less expendable. These pilots will not level up with experience.
- Human Psionics and Blaster Bombs – We’ve removed these from the game due to balance reasons, and we will not put them in Xenonauts. This stretch goal would bundle the game with a developer-made mod that allowed people to put them back in.
- Memorial Screen – This would be a tab on the UI which allowed you to view a list of all your dead soldiers, including the location and time of death, their portrait and number of kills etc.
- Proxy Grenades – These are fun. This would add a secondary fire function to all advanced grenades (Alenium grenades upwards) that allows them to be used as proxy grenades.
- Motion Detector – This would be a one-hand soldier item that, when equipped, will display a coloured overlay on the battlefield to show any AI movement in previous turn within range of the soldier holding it.
- Hire a Level Designer - we will add a lot more map variation to the game before release, but we don’t have a devoted level designer. This will let us hire one.
- Tall Grass – There’s waist-high grass in X-Com. This would put it in Xenonauts too, complete with the ridiculous (yet amusing) fire mechanics from the original.
The goals that involve the creation of a new tileset cost $40k instead, so if one proves most popular then it will arrive at $90k instead of $75k. This is because tilesets are surprisingly large and are EXTREMELY time consuming and expensive to make – they’re the most expensive component of the game by some distance.
Given we’re only going to get about 50% of the money pledged after KS fees and the costs of manufacturing and shipping the rewards, there’s no way we can put an extra tileset in the game for a $25k stretch goal, I’m afraid. (EDIT - turns out my sums weren't quite right, and we're looking to see if we can reduce the tilesets to $30-35k)
If you want to know why, it’s basically because you need a lot of tiles to make a convincing tileset that doesn’t repeat, and every single tile has to be modelled in 3D and rendered out, then hand-painted in three different variants (undamaged, damaged and destroyed) to support destructibility. Plus all the ground maps have to be painted too. It’s a LOT of work. We don't mind putting new ones in, but we can't afford to lose money on them!
Again, the survey is here – fill it in so we know what you guys want to see in the game!
pledged of $50,000 goal
seconds to go
May 8, 2012 - Jun 10, 2012 (33 days)
Pledge $20 or more
Standard Pre-Order: A digital copy of Xenonauts on release (retail price $25), plus access to our development builds and beta testing until the game is complete! This also includes a special silver forum medal for our forums.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Premium Pre-Order: As above, but includes a spangly gold forum medal, a digital copy of the Xenonauts soundtrack, official desktop wallpapers, plus a lengthy digital write-up of our development diary on release.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Premium Pre-Order plus one of: a T-shirt, poster or digital copy of the Xenonauts Art Book. Please add $10 for international shipping if selecting the poster or T-shirt!Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Premium Pre-Order (as $30), plus a phyiscal copy of the game. This will be a standard black DVD case with a colour printed back and front, containing a 20-page manual and a printed DVD copy of Xenonauts. Please add $10 for international shipping.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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A Premium Pre-Order (as $30), plus an additional Premium Pre-Order copy of Xenonauts to give to a friend!Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Premium Pre-Order, plus a physical softback copy of the Xenonauts Art Book (see FAQ for full details of the book - it's awesome)! Please add $10 for international shipping if required.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Premium Pre-Order, plus two of: T-shirt, poster, digital copy of Xenonauts Art Book. Please add $10 for international shipping if required.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Premium Pre-Order, plus softback Art Book and one of the $50 rewards (t-shirt, poster, physical DVD copy or a second digital copy to give to a friend)!Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Premium Pre-Order, plus limited-edition hardback physical copy of Xenonauts Art Book. Please add $10 for international shipping if required.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Premium Pre-Order, plus backer name will be added into the pre-generated soldier name database and will appear in the game as a soldier! (see FAQ for full details)Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Premium Pre-Order, plus limited edition hardback physical copy of Xenonauts Art Book OR backer name will be added to pre-generated soldier name database, plus one of the $50 rewards (poster, t-shirt, physical DVD copy, second digital copy for friend)! Please add $10 for international shipping if required.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $125 or more
Premium Pre-Order, plus limited edition hardback physical copy of Xenonauts Art Book and backer name will be added to pre-generated soldier name database! Please add $10 for international shipping if required.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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Premium Pre-Order, plus limited edition SIGNED hardback Xenonauts art book, plus poster and T-shirt. Backer name and nationality is also added to pre-generated soldier name database, and soldier portrait may be selected from the existing in-game portraits. Please add $10 for international shipping if required.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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70 backers All gone!
As $150, plus our character artist will do a portrait of you from a photograph to accompany the soldier bearing your name. See the FAQ for full details. Please add $10 for international shipping if required.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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11 backers Limited (4 of 15 left)
As $200, plus you will recieve five (5) digital copies of the game to do with as you will plus your name will be added to the a special "With Thanks To:" section of the game credits. Please add $10 for international shipping if required.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
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2 backers Limited (3 of 5 left)
As $500, but you will recieve ten (10) digital copies of the game and your name will also be added to the "Special Thanks To" section displayed in the intro credits that will be played over the game intro movie. Please add $10 for international shipping if required.Estimated delivery: Oct 2012
Pledge $5,000 or more
0 backers Limited (1 of 1 left)
As $1000, but Xenonauts Project Lead Chris England will fly out to meet you for lunch (available anywhere in the US or Western Europe). We'll also let you off the $10 international shipping, as we're nice like that!Estimated delivery: Oct 2012