XENONAUTS 2 : Strategic Planetary Defence Simulator
The acclaimed Xenonauts franchise continues with another deep and complex strategy game inspired by the classic X-Com titles!
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Fri, July 20 2018 1:59 PM UTC +00:00.
Update - Thanks so much, everyone! Fully funded in 8.5 hours and over 300% funded so far! With the community voting finished, the final order of the stretch goals is set as:
- #1 Modular Weapons (£50,000 - UNLOCKED!)
- #2 Geoscape Situations (£75,000 - UNLOCKED!)
- #3 Locational Injuries (£100,000 - UNLOCKED!)
- #4 MARS Weapon Platform & Sentry Guns (£150,000 - UNLOCKED)
- #5 Additional Community Edition & Modding Support (£200,000)
- #6 Weather Conditions (£250,000)
Glad to see you made it, Commander. We got the helicopter away from CENTRAL with a dozen or so survivors, our Chief Scientist included - although naturally he spent the entire flight complaining that we'd rescued his lab assistants instead of his research notes.
That's where the good news ends, I'm afraid. The political situation is continuing to worsen - NORAD is reporting something with Soviet transponder codes buzzing the Eastern Seaboard, but I know for a fact the Soviets don't have any jets in the area. If we let the aliens run around unopposed for much longer we're going start seeing mushroom clouds on the horizon...
We'll have ATLAS Base online by the end of the day. In the meantime, you need to figure out a strategy for rebuilding our organisation, bringing the political situation under control and defeating a vastly superior foe that we know almost nothing about. Best get started, eh? There's coffee in the pot.
XENONAUTS-2 is a "strategic planetary defense simulator" that puts you in charge of a clandestine military force attempting to protect the planet from extraterrestrial invasion. It is the sequel to the acclaimed Xenonauts, successfully Kickstarted way back in 2012!
We are building a hugely complex strategy / tactics game that gives you total control of your organisation all the way from the command staff in your base down to the troops on the battlefield. The formula will be familiar to anyone who has played the classic X-Com games from the 90's (or the modern reboots), but Xenonauts-2 expands those foundations to create something deeper and more distinctive!
The action takes place in the modern day - but in an alternative timeline where decades of alien interference has prevented the end of the Cold War, leaving NATO and the Soviet Union teetering on the brink of a catastrophic nuclear war. Can you hold humanity together long enough to end the alien threat forever?
Xenonauts-2 is not a chronological sequel to the first Xenonauts but rather an updated portrayal of similar events. The game is in development on Windows PC and is expected to launch on Steam & GOG in late 2018; we will hopefully natively support Linux and Mac on release but cannot yet offer a firm promise of this (please see the FAQ for further details).
We've been developing Xenonauts-2 for three years now and the game is in an advanced state. If you want to check out how things are progressing, you can download a free demo of a single tactical combat mission at the link below. Bear in mind this is still an alpha; expect it to improve a lot before release!
Ah, Commander - so good of you to finally make an appearance. I will refrain from commenting on the (pathetic) attempts of Military Division to defend my laboratory, as I was still able to collect sufficient data during the extraterrestrial attack to validate my theories.
The aliens are indeed using a form of matter translocation to deploy their forces. Although I hardly expect you to understand the science, I have now devised a method of tracking the quantum waveform deformation caused by this process to within a ten mile radius.
One would hope that providing this organisation with the exact time and location of these alien incursions would be sufficient to allow our soldiers to finally begin collecting the samples and specimens I need to proceed with my work on ENDGAME ... but my experience thus far has taught me to expect otherwise.
The Geoscape is where you control the Xenonaut campaign against the extraterrestrial invaders. Alien UFOs and ground teams will conduct hostile operations all across the globe, threatening your funding regions and bringing the world ever closer to nuclear war - that is, unless you stop them!
Your interceptor squadrons can challenge UFOs in the skies and the soldiers stationed at your base can respond to ground missions, but they cannot be everywhere at once. You will need to choose your missions carefully, maintaining control of the strategic situation whilst also ensuring you recover enough of the alien technology and materials to advance the cause.
The alien forces will grow steadily stronger as the invasion progresses, but so too will you. You will gradually learn more about your opponents and develop exotic new weapons, equipment and aircraft to aid you in the fight ... but can you hold out long enough to complete ENDGAME? Or will the Xenonauts see Earth consumed by nuclear flame?
The soldiers at your command on the Geoscape are persistent staff who gain combat experience and skills in battle - assuming they live long enough! As well as being deployed to deal with ground missions as part of your strike team, your soldiers can now also be deployed into funding regions as Field Agents.
Field Agents give you a way to influence regions directly - increasing your Relations, rooting out alien infiltrators, covering your organisations' tracks, etc. This is vital work, but it is a highly dangerous occupation in a world riven by paranoia - even before the aliens start getting involved!
The Geoscape has been significantly expanded since the first game with the intention of giving the player more choices to make and offering them more freedom. Field Agents are just one example of this - if you're interested, there is more detail on the other changes here!
The US built ATLAS back in the sixties as part of Project Iceworm. They didn't bother telling the pesky locals - after all, they might have objected to housing American nukes on their soil. Needless to say, ATLAS was abandoned in a hurry less than a decade later and its existence remains classified at the highest level.
That's all rather convenient for us - it's much easier to borrow something if nobody knows it exists. I had a backup command room and a cache of emergency supplies installed a while back, but unfortunately there's no getting around the fact that our new home is a derelict missile silo full of 60s-era junk. Expect fixing her up to take some time.
In the meantime, I hope you're fine with cold showers, cold food and... well, cold everything.
The loss of CENTRAL Base leaves the Xenonauts operating out of an abandoned missile silo in a remote area of Iceland - but you will need to reclaim and rebuild ATLAS if you are to create a global organisation capable of defeating the alien menace!
ATLAS is where you house the soldiers, scientists and engineers that serve your organisation. Each of your staff can serve in a variety of roles dependent on what structure they are assigned to - e.g. a scientist becomes a researcher in a Lab, and a doctor in a Medical Room.
The simulation of your base is deeper than the first game - not only are you juggling living space and working space for your staff, but power capacity, storage space, food consumption and much more. Fresh supplies and new staff are flown to ATLAS by your helicopter, but this prevents it from deploying combat troops - so time your supply runs carefully!
ATLAS is also where your research and development efforts occur. Your scientists study recovered alien technology and draw up designs for all kinds of battlefield equipment for your engineers to build - assuming you've built the facilities and recovered the alien materials they need to do so!
The tech tree is much wider and more varied than in the original game. We're adding new types of "development" research that improve and upgrade existing equipment (keeping it relevant for longer), working hard to make the different tiers of gear more distinct from one another, and generally trying to add more "game-changing" items that keep the combat feeling fresh and novel throughout the campaign!
If our resident brainboxes really do have a way to track the ETs ... well, we might just be able to turn this war around. The tiltrotor can land our troops almost anywhere they want, but we've never had enough intel to locate the aliens before they vanish back to wherever they came from.
I don't much rate our chances against the assault team that hit CENTRAL this morning, so we should keep a relatively low profile until we've figured out a way to even the odds ... or at least until we've built some defenses that that might help us survive an attack on ATLAS.
The aliens must have some soft targets we can take advantage of - I suggest we lay an ambush and try to bring something back for Research Division. At least then we might find out what we're dealing with...
Deploying a team of soldiers against the aliens on the Geoscape begins a turn-based tactical battle where you are given direct control of your soldiers and tasked with achieving the mission objectives - which could be anything from capturing a downed UFO to capturing (or eliminating) a troublesome VIP!
These missions are a deep and challenging tactical experience. We have retained the Time Unit system from the first game that gives you a huge amount of freedom in how you choose to interact with the battlefield (virtually all of which is destructible). We're giving the player even more tactical possibilities this time around - for instance, even the hulls of crashed UFOs can now be breached using the right equipment!
The effectiveness of your soldiers depends heavily on what you equip them with - and there is an expanded variety of different weapons and equipment to pick from. You will need to choose your loadout to suit the mission at hand - clearing the confined spaces of an alien base may call for heavy armor and shotguns, but you may find sniper rifles more valuable if a crashed UFO has come down in an open desert!
All of these battles are dynamically generated based on the strategic situation - e.g. if you shoot down a Scout UFO in an Arctic region, you'll be presented with a ground mission where you can attempt to capture a downed Scout UFO in a polar environment!
There are a wide variety of missions and environments for you to experience as you wage your global war against the aliens, all rendered in a high-fidelity 3D recreation of the classic isometric visual style. We are focused on minimizing map and mission repetition in order to maximise replayability - we want this to be a game you can pick up and play for years to come!
The alien species you face on the battlefield are deadly foes that each pose a different set of tactical challenges. We are working to imbue them with more character for the sequel, giving the returning faces a visual upgrade and updating their combat mechanics to ensure they feel unique!
If you are interested in reading more about the changes we have planned for the ground combat, you can do so here.
We can't risk dealing with funding regions directly, Commander - too many infiltrators. We rely on a network of individuals willing to 'misplace' things in the name of the cause ... a few crates of supplies, the odd helicopter, maybe a few million dollars here and there.
There's risks, of course - mostly revolving around getting murdered by aliens - but someone has to do it. Each individual person plays only a small role, but everything we do relies on their collective support. Our backers are just as much a part of this war as we are.
We're a small team working on a really big idea - and we need your help!
So far we have been able to fund the development of Xenonauts-2 from the sales of the first Xenonauts, but we simply don't have enough money to include everything we want in the game. Instead of trying to raise money from publishers, we're turning to the people who have always supported us when we needed it most - our fans!
Raising additional funds would allow us the breathing space we need to properly polish the game up before release. Some of this will be spent on adding cool new features and neat little touches to the game, but we'll also use it to ensure there is an extended period of community playtesting that will allow us to iron out countless balance issues, bugs and usability problems.
You can see all the cool rewards available to backers to the right of this page. As well as getting access to the game on Steam or DRM-free on GOG, higher tiers give players digital copies of the soundtrack and access to our closed beta.
Those willing to back at £35 or above can put a custom soldier in the game with their own name, nationality and a unique portrait created from our free Portrait Generator tool (see FAQ for full details). This soldier will appear in your starting squad every game!
Those willing to back at the highest tiers can have a custom portrait painted from a photo by our portrait artist. You can see an example of the results above, painted from a still in our Kickstarter video!
As we're asking for your help to add extra features to the game, we thought we should let you choose the order of the stretch goals!
For the first week of this Kickstarter, we will be running a vote to set the order of the stretch goals, with the most popular features becoming the first stretch goals!
- £50,000 - Stretch Goal Choice #1 (unlocked by hitting our funding goal!)
- £75,000 - Stretch Goal Choice #2
- £100,000 - Stretch Goal Choice #3
- £150,000 - Stretch Goal Choice #4
- £200,000 - Stretch Goal Choice #5
- £250,000 - Stretch Goal Choice #6
These are the features that you'll be able to vote for - click the link if you're interested in more detail on what each one involves!
- MARS Weapon Platform & Sentry Guns
- Locational Injuries
- Orchestral Soundtrack Recording
Additional Xenonauts-2: Community Edition / Modding Support
- Reaper Hives
- Weather Conditions
- Geoscape Situations
These are all features we'd like to experiment with, so we may implement some of them even if they don't make it as a stretch goals - this vote is just to let us know the ideas you think are most exciting!
"We had a bad day at the office today, folks. Let's all take a moment to thank the big man up in the sky for watching over us. You know who I'm talking about ... SKYRANGER's got your back!"
- Removed from ATLAS noticeboard
Thanks for taking the time to check out our Kickstarter! We were hugely grateful for all the support our community gave us while we were developing the original Xenonauts, and your money and feedback made a massive part in making the game what it was. We hope you will support us for a second time and allow us to deliver a worthy sequel!
We will of course be sending out regular Kickstarter Updates as development on Xenonauts-2 continues, but you can also sign up for our mailing list here if you want to hear about our future projects!
Risks and challenges
Although there's always an element of risk with any Kickstarter project, Xenonauts-2 is more than a collection of promises and ideas - it is already a functioning, playable game! The funding we seek is simply to improve and expand the game, making this a far less risky proposition than many other Kickstarters.
The team here at Goldhawk Interactive have also already proved we are capable of delivering on our Kickstarter promises when we shipped the original Xenonauts back in 2014. Hopefully we'll be delivering on a second set of promises soon! :)Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!