Xenonauts January Update!
Hello everyone, time for an update on our progress on Xenonauts. First thing to do is to apologise for not writing an update since September, as I didn't actually realise it'd been this long until this morning when I sat down to do this update. It's been far too long.
V20 Stable has been released recently and is available on Steam, with Mac / Linux builds out on Desura and the Humble Store. This contains a lot of advances over V19 Stable, but the big one is the new UI that this Kickstarter paid for. The general reception to it has been excellent and I think it was a really worthwhile visual improvement. The full changelog is fairly extensive and can be found here.
Regarding Kickstarter rewards: I began work on the art book a couple of months ago, but it's (possibly unsurprisingly) turned out to be an enormous amount of work and so I've hired a graphic artist to do the layout work for us, which should save a lot of time and is nowhere near as expensive as I thought it would be. We expect to have that done by the end of the month, at which point we'll be able to order all of the rewards as soon as the game is ready and we can burn the DVDs for the physical copies.
In terms of overall progress, we're currently working on the final parts of the game. I'm working on balancing the final mission ready for the art to be added to it, my colleague is finishing up all the remaining maps (there's now only alien base maps left to do) and we have a couple of small UI screens left to update - the month end funding screen and the mission-end debrief screen. All that should be done by the end of the month.
Once they are complete, the game will be in a state where we could release it. However, balancing is an ongoing process (optimisation too, to a lesser extent). We've spent a lot of time on it recently, trying to make the gameplay experience as fun as possible for the player. This isn't just numbers balancing - for example, we recently removed our old reaction fire system and replaced it with the old system from X-Com because we felt our system wasn't up to scratch.
I'm not going to promise a release date because I don't know exactly when the game is going to "feel" ready for launch. It's a difficult balance, as if we release the game too early then it won't be as much fun as it could be, and if we release it too late then it's extra time spent in development hell. We're well aware of the dangers of both and we'll do our best to avoid them.
So by the end of this month I hope to be able to say to you that the Kickstarter rewards are set up and ready to order at the click of a button, and the game is "complete" subject to final balancing. Thanks for your patience!