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Storefront logo of Xenonauts
|Programmer(s)||Sergey Kovrov, Gijs-Jan Roelofs, Laszlo Perneky, Giovanni Frigo|
|Genre(s)||Strategy, turn-based tactics|
Xenonauts is a strategy turn-based tactics science fiction video game developed and published as a maiden title of London-based independent game studio Goldhawk Interactive. Inspired by 1994's UFO: Enemy Unknown (X-COM: UFO Defense in North America), the gameplay involves the player taking the role of the commander of a clandestine organization known as the Xenonauts in an attempt to defeat an alien invasion of Earth in the alternate history year 1979. The game was released on June 17, 2014 for Microsoft Windows. Ports to Mac OS X and Linux were initially based on the Wine compatibility layer, until native ports became available in September 2015.
The game retains the fundamental mechanics of the early X-COM games, in this case considered to be a real-time global air control and strategic management and research component of the game, coupled with turn-based ground combat where the player controls a squad of soldiers and vehicles against the alien forces on a tactical scale. Soldiers develop their attributes through combat experience, and terrain in the ground combat maps is destructible.
- An improved air combat model (in real-time with pause mode) that allows combat between up to three aircraft/UFOs on each side.
- Soldier equipment loadouts being saved between missions and the ability to change the weapon loadouts of ground vehicles.
- The starting position of infantry and vehicles can be arranged inside the dropship (at first a troop transport helicopter).
- The inclusion of a directional cover system in ground combat.
- Friendly local military and law enforcement NPCs present in ground combat.
- Alternative victory conditions for ground combat missions (rather than just simply eliminating all alien forces).
The development of Xenonauts began in 2009. The game is heavily influenced by the X-COM series but is described by the development team as neither a remake nor a clone, but rather "a re-imagining". It is marketed as a Cold War-era based "planetary defense simulator" answer to 2K Marin's The Bureau: XCOM Declassified, which at the time had alienated many fans due to its FPS-based gameplay.
In November 2010, the project launched a revamped website and announced that they were accepting pre-orders, the benefits of which included early beta access and a discounted price over planned release pricing. A provisional release date was set as Autumn 2012. A public game demo was released on May 8, 2012. Its Kickstarter fundraising project managed to raise $154,715 from 4,668 backers.
Xenonauts for Windows reached beta and launched on Steam Early Access in June 2013. A tentative release date of the end of 2013 was announced in September 2013, although the developer conceded that the title might be delayed until early 2014 if additional polish was required. It was released on June 17, 2014.
In 2015, Goldhawk Interactive hinted that they were designing and prototyping a sequel. In February 2016, Xenonauts 2 was officially announced. The game is being developed in the Unity game engine, making use of 3D graphics. The developers announced plans to release the game in an early access phase.
Shortly after the release of the stable version Goldhawk Interactive allowed selected members of the community to access the source code. This resulted in the community edition of the game (Xenonauts:Community Edition, X:CE), which continues development of an independent branch of the game, adding new features and bugfixes. The 1.5 version of Xenonauts incorporated a large number of these changes. As of October 2016, X:CE still keeps releasing new versions, even though the official game is in maintenance mode.
- Ported to OS X and Linux by Knockout Games.
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- [dead link]
- "Community Coder Program!". Goldhawkinteractive.com. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
- "What is Xenonauts: Community Edition & how do I get it?". Goldhawkinteractive.com. Retrieved 2015-07-09.
- "Xenonauts: Community Edition 0.34.2". Goldhawkinteractive.com. Retrieved 2016-10-16.