About this project
EDIT 10 - Amazing. $150,000 raised, 300% funded. We were in the region of $125k two days ago, and we were wondering whether we'd hit the Soviet Town or not - but we've got that and gone another $10k further (and we're still going)! You guys have been fantastic.
EDIT 9 - We've hit the Soviet Town tileset at $140,000 with 13 hours left to go! To make the last few hours more exciting, we've tweaked the stretch goals again - tileset-specific AI soldiers have been moved to $150,000 (300% funding and a nice round number!)
The remaining stretch goals can be seen with the other historical edits at the bottom of the page!
1 October, 1979: Unidentified forces arrive in Earth orbit, presumed of extraterrestrial origin. Panic spreads globally when attempts at communication fail, and efforts to repel invaders scouting the upper atmosphere are met with heavy losses and little success.
Only a single successful interception occurs, conducted by modified aircraft that appear at least partially resistant to the extraterrestrial weaponry. Following this victory, a clandestine organisation known only as the ‘Xenonauts’ establishes communication with the major world powers and claims responsibility, demanding both funding and authority to operate within their territory and airspace in exchange for protection.
For humanity, a glimmer of hope remains – if they can withstand the attacks long enough unravel the secrets of the alien aggressors, the Xenonauts may find yet a way to defeat the alien invasion. Should they fail, millions of years of human history will be brought to a close in mere months…
Strategic Map: Take command of Earth's defense on the strategic map, building and managing bases across the globe. Deploy your interceptor aircraft to track and engage the alien craft as they appear, and research captured alien artifacts to unlock new battlefield technology and reveal the secrets of the alien menace!
The strategic level of the game contains the high-level management of the game, controlling the finances of the organisation and balancing expanding your defences to new areas against protecting the areas you already cover. This is where you build or hire and equip your aircraft, vehicles and soldiers used in the other parts of the game.
Aerial Combat: Battle alien craft in fast paced pausable real-time air combat, with squadrons of up to three combatants on each side. With numerous different interceptors and over a dozen alien UFO types to battle, the air combat is a major addition to the old X-Com formula!
The air combat is triggered when human aircraft and alien UFOs meet on the strategic map. Each aircraft is individually controllable and carries the equipment issued to it on the strategic level. If destroyed in combat, it is lost forever - so be careful!
Ground Combat: Control Xenonaut strike teams on ground missions in old-school turn-based combat! Arm your soldiers with a variety of weapons and tackle numerous types of aliens on the battlefield, each with unique abilities and posing a different challenge. Your troops are persistent and level up with time, assuming they live that long - the aliens are dangerous enemies and casualties are frequent!
Each mission is dynamically generated (based on the events of the strategic map), with fully-destructible battlefields generated in a semi-random layout. There are various types of mission, from recovering the crashed UFOs shot down in the air combat to clearing out alien terror sites. You might also find yourself attacking an alien base, or desperately defending your own against alien attack.
Success in a mission allows the player to recover the corpses of the alien units and their equipment, as well as any surviving UFO components. These unlock new research projects on the strategic layer of the game, allowing the player to build new weapons and equipment to use on the battlefield!
All this probably sounds familiar to some readers – Xenonauts is a spiritual successor to the classic X-Com strategy games. We are aiming to take the original mechanics and update them for the modern age, making them easier to use and more in-depth without changing the fundamentals. All the classic features are present and accounted for – things like turn-based combat, destructible environments, soldier permadeath and large squad sizes (you’ll need them)!
Don't just take our word for it, though - you can download our latest development build at the link below and make your mind up for yourself:
There's still plenty of work to do done on the game, a lot to do with the interface and usability, but we hope it is advanced enough for you to see what we are shooting for for the final game!
Xenonauts has been in development for almost three years already, and has been available for pre-order for the last 18 months (please see the FAQ if you have already pre-ordered the game). We are planning to release the game this year. Why are we doing a Kickstarter?
The answer is simple - we want to make Xenonauts as good as it can be! We have raised enough money through our existing pre-order system to finish the game, but there are a lot of cool little touches that we want to implement but we simply don't have the resources to justify spending our time on. This is a shame - it's always the little touches that make a game memorable!
Xenonauts is also an incredibly complex game and contains vast amounts of content. We only have three full-time team members (the project lead, one artist and one coder) and they don't even live in the same country, instead working together in a virtual office. Everyone else on the team works with us part-time, around other jobs - the ones that pay the bills. This causes a lot of delays, bottlenecks, miscommunication and stress.
Despite the difficulties, we are nearing completion of the game using this model. However, getting the key team members together full time and in the same place would allow us to respond to bugs and issues more quickly, and finish the game faster and to a higher standard (and with less damage to our collective sanity).
The key message is this: if the Kickstarter fails, Xenonauts will still be released and will be a good game. If the Kickstarter succeeds, the game will be better and finished more quickly because of it.
There's plenty in it for you too - as well as ensuring you end up with a great game at the end of development, we're offering a whole bunch of rewards to people who pledge to support Xenonauts (check the FAQ for full details for each one)!
- A digital copy of Xenonauts on release, with full access to the development builds and beta in the meantime.
- Pre-Order forum medals for the official Xenonauts forums!
- Desktop wallpapers for your computer!
- A full-size A3 Xenonauts wall poster!
- A limited-edition black Xenonauts T-shirt!
- The Xenonauts Art Book, a full-colour 48-page book featuring selected artwork taken from the project and the stories behind them!
- The chance for in-game soldiers to spawn with your name, nationality and even your face!
- Special thanks in the game intro / outro credits!
Full details on these rewards are available in the FAQ section below.
So, you're excited by the game and excited by the rewards you can get for donating - what exactly is it that we want to spend the money on?
It's difficult to say exactly what additional features would end up in the final game, because sometimes new features don't work very well and have to be removed again. But these are some of the ideas we'd like to explore:
- New UI
- Animated battlefield tiles
- High quality research-screen art
- Combat suppression mechanics
- Soldier medal system
- Battlefield motion detector
- UI art updating to reflect game progress
- Intro / Outro movie (in the monochrome painted style of the Homeworld cutscenes)
- Encouragement for modders (eg. our Soviet Weapons pack)
However, the most important benefit is unlikely to be directly visible in the final product - having the team working together much more closely. The more money we can raise, the more we can move towards a traditional studio setup.
Working remotely with part-time team members didn't pose too many difficulties when everyone was working on separate elements of the game, but as we've started tying things together bugs and features frequently overlap across several different areas. This makes it essentially impossible to work to any meaningful deadlines.
Having access to more money won't magically make all of our problems disappear, but it will fix a lot of them. It will let us experiment with the cool ideas listed above (amongst others) and should allow us to have a much smoother beta phase and game launch, resulting in you getting a more polished product with fewer delays.
The support the community has given this project up to this point has been fantastic, so a big thankyou goes out to anyone who has already pre-ordered the game or helped out along the way.
- We would be incredibly grateful for the chance to make Xenonauts as good as it can be, as it has been a labour of love for everyone on the team for the past three years and we've love for it to deliver on the vast promise it has!
- $75,000 - Dedicated level designer! - ACHIEVED!
- $100,000 - Indoor missions! - ACHIEVED!
- $140,000 - Soviet Town terror mission tileset!
- $180,000 - Military Base terror mission tileset!
- $205,000 - Tileset-specific friendly AI soldiers!
- $230,000 - Motion detector!
- $255,000 - Soldier Memorial screen!
- $280,000 - Vehicle combat experience!
- $305,000 - Pilot portraits & callsigns!
- $330,000 - Proximity grenades!
- $355,000 - Tall grass!
- $380,000 - Human psionics and blaster bombs mod!
EDIT 8 - 24 hours left to go! There's been a bit of a surge of interest in the project in the last day or two and we're in reach of our $140,000 stretch goal (Soviet Town tileset). This is great, as it's something we weren't confident we'd hit earlier in the week! Huge thanks for the support, let's see how high we can push things in the final day!
EDIT 6 - I have done a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) for the next few hours, if anyone wants to chip in with questions!
EDIT 5 - Wow! We've got into six figures now (and achieved our Indoor Missions stretch goal)! You can also see a preview of the female soldiers and read about what we've been working on in Update 7!
EDIT 4 - We've added boxed DVD copies and second digital copies (to give to a friend) at the $50 mark, and anyone who has already pledged at $50 can choose those as rewards too. See Update 6 for full details (includes a free preview of our Art Book)!
EDIT 3 - Stretch goals have been announced as a result of YOUR voting! See Update 5 for a full list of what will be going in the game, and when! Here's the truncated list:
EDIT 2 - A list of exactly what is going in the game as a result of the money already pledged can be found here, in Update 4!
EDIT 1 - WOW! Fully funded in just over two days! Thanks guys, you are incredible. Xenonauts will now have a DRM-free version at release, and Premium Preorder ($30+) and above will also get a free digital novella by Lee Stephen! More details in our Updates tab!
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