I’ve also noticed we get a lot of views from all sorts of countries I can’t even begin to comprehend. Maybe you’d like to help spread X-COM around the world and contribute a translation or soldier names for your country?
Wow, it’s been quite a week hasn’t it? I quickly put out a release and leave the website half-updated, figuring it’d give me a break as I needed to make way for university work, and before I knew it the website was bursting with activity. It’s like I had invited you all to dinner, but you show up early so everything is still dusty, my clothes are all over the floor the roast is on fire. And aliens burst through the bathroom and catch me with my pants down.
Anyways, first things first. Thanks to everyone who’s been spreading the word, especially Alec Meer and Phil Savage who wrote very nice articles about us and really helped boost our views. Usually I manually contact every press site and get nothing, but this time it all just happened organically. It really shows how much I don’t get this fancy Web 2.0 you kids are using. On that note, I should point out all the globe icons on the right that people miss. They take you to our various contacts/social networks! Try them! And if you have better ideas on how we should be using them let us know.
The website has now been fully updated to reflect all the new information and how the project has grown since its early days. Gone are the days when this was a mere one-man project!
- The About page has been completely revamped to cover all the new questions you guys have, and the Screenshots page has new content highlighting all the cool extra features, so if you still have doubts, check them out.
- The Downloads page now has fresh Windows and Mac OS X builds, as well as various Linux distros I never even heard of, so no platform is left behind. Thanks to all the port maintainers for getting them updated fast.
- To deal with all the new people reporting new issues, we now have a proper fancy Bug Tracker. Please, please, if you experience any problems, let us know! Don’t just mention it “just crashes”, sigh at the first bug you run into, and leave it at that. We can’t fix the problems if you don’t tell us about them! Also the Forum is a much better place for discussion than just commenting on the latest news post.
- By popular request, you can now Donate to the project. OpenXcom will always be free, but a lot of people expressed interest in giving us a little something for our troubles, so now you can.
Finally for everyone experiencing scrolling bugs and other issues, try the nightly builds and see if they solve your problem. And if you really want to increase the Battlescape viewport you can try increasing the baseXResolution but it’s highly experimental.
That should cover most of your issues, but I figure I should also answer some of the bigger debates here:
A lot of you still seem confused what OpenXcom’s real purpose is. Put simply, it’s a love letter to the hardcore fans of X-COM. The ones that don’t mind dusty graphics and a baffling interface, as long as they still get the gameplay they’ve always loved. It takes away the need for DOSBox, gets rid of all the nasty problems, makes it more accessible to more platforms, and tops it all off with various improvements to make sure you can keep on playing the original as long as you want.
It’s not meant to be the one remake to rule them all or a spiritual successor. I think we got enough of those, thank you very much. If you wanna mod it as such, that’s up to you.
As for why it’s 0.9 as opposed to 1.0, well, that’s just to give us some breathing room. It’s “feature-complete”, yes, but there’s always plenty of bugs that pop up when these things come out. And we’d actually like to take the time to go back and fix and refactor and improve everything, instead of keep on rushing features, before it becomes too messy to handle.
But we already have the original X-COM, there’s even patches like XcomUtil and UFO Extender, what more do you need? Isn’t it just kinda redundant and pointless? Maybe. Maybe.
Let me tell you this. How long have you been an X-COM fan? Been in the community? How many dozens of remakes have you seen flash past before your very eyes? I’ve seen a lot, for years and years. I remember when EDF was still new and fresh, and I was even part of the Xenocide development team at one point. But in the end, what’s the universal constant?
“It’s just not the same as the original”, everyone says. “They changed the gameplay too much, it’s not as challenging, it’s just not the same”, they say. “Why doesn’t just take the original and fix it up, instead of constantly screwing up the formula?”.
Well, that’s what we did. We took all the combined knowledge of the original X-COM community, and made something out of it. A fixed, improved, open-source version, for all to try. And we didn’t make another overambitious unfinished abandoned project in the process, and disappoint the community once for. That’s what OpenXcom is for. Maybe you’re happy enough with UFO Extender and XcomUtil. That’s fine. We’re not really trying to beat them, specially since it’s really hard to reproduce features just from looking at them and hoping we get it right, since everyone who develops these things vanishes into the ether leaving nothing to go on behind.
Maybe that’s not enough for you, you want a brand new HD state-of-the-art spirital successor remake-type thing. That’s fine, too. I like remakes. But I’d rather let someone else do that. I can tell you, from experience, reproducing X-COM from scratch is one hell of a challenge, and I imagine that’s where most fall apart once they realize this. But now they’ve got a stable open-source codebase to start from. They don’t need to worry about reproducing X-COM all over again anymore, they can focus on the important part, making their own unique vision and interpretation of it, making their own remake. So maybe we’ll see a lot more bold successful remakes now. At least I hope so. The series has a lot of potential, and it’d be great to see a lot more choices and variations for people to try, instead of the string of projects left to rot.
Apparently a lot of people are having this reaction when they play OpenXcom. That they wanna go back to the “easier original X-COM”. Let me put this bluntly. What in the actual fuck. I don’t wanna live on this planet anymore.
First, we can’t just port the original AI wholesale, we don’t have the source code. We had to write AI from scratch based as closely as possible to X-COM’s design. You can’t just turn a switch on and off to make it different, it’s a really complex system, and everyone has a different view on what consists “challenging”.
Second, “easier original X-COM”? Really? I never thought I’d be alive to hear such a statement. I don’t know what X-COM you were playing, but I can go back to the original and get half my squad killed on my first crash site on Beginner in a snap. Perfect visibility, ruthless aim, brutal reaction shots, that’s how it’s always been. In all my years as an X-COM fan, the original has been highly lauded for its brutal punishing difficulty, and every other remake has been massacred for “just not being difficult enough”. And now this. Maybe it’s different times, I heard people even had trouble playing the new XCOM on Normal. But for me, once X-COM is “easy”, I will never return.
Yes the AI is better. It no longer decides to just wonder aimlessly or get stuck inside some building somewhere. You can no longer reload the same game ten times until your shot finally hits. That didn’t seem like it was worth reproducing. I dunno, I haven’t seen any veterans have any trouble playing the game, a bunch of them have beaten it already. Maybe you just need to brush up on your tactics. Psi is still totally overpowered though, go nuts.
Oh yes, fully playable 0.9 is officially here! Spread the word! Tell your friends! Get rid of all your old versions and saves, this one is gonna top them all! If you’ve been using the Git builds, then changing the save version to “0.9″ should still work.
Currently only Windows downloads are available, other platforms/versions will follow, in the meantime you can build from the source. Here’s the full changelog:
- Intro cinematic.
- Game can now be completed, game over screens for winning and losing.
- Randomizer for “New Battle” mode.
- Your settings in “New Battle” mode will be saved for next time you play.
- New translations: Ukrainian, Bulgarian, Portuguese (Portugal), Spanish (Latin American), Danish.
- New soldier names: Italian, Hungarian.
- Aliens progress their equipment levels, races and aggression over time.
- Added “Alien Weapon Level” button in New Battle menu.
- Added “Right Click to Delete” function in save/load menus.
- Added various display filters to the game, including HQX and various OpenGL shaders.*
- The game can be dynamically resized to a new display resolution when in windowed mode.*
- The default windowed mode position can now be edited in the configuration file.*
- Modular Ruleset support.
- Added “Controls” menu.
- Added “Advanced Options” menu.
- Added button to Restore Defaults to options.
- Pause Game on Loss of Focus.**
- Live alien capture and interrogation.
- Psionic training.
- Hyper-wave decoding.
- Alien base handling.
- Scoring for both aliens and Xcom.
- Funding nation decision making.
- Multiple dogfight handling.
- Graphs screen.
- Base Defense screens.
- Full research tree.
- Alien UFO Mission Generation.
- Alien retaliatory attacks on Xcom bases.
- Show radar-range lines on the globe after pressing R key.
- Show funds above the time.*
- Added the number of soldiers allocated on craft equipment screen.
- Custom initial base layout.* (requires a new game to take effect)
- Building Queue: Can place buildings next to uncompleted buildings.*
- AutoSell Production state for a manufacturing project by a right click on the increase button.*
- Allowed multiple items to be produced per hour when very large numbers of engineers are assigned to a project.*
- Upper limit for alien captures per containment facility.* (visible on Base Info screen)
- Captive aliens can now be sold in the same manner as dead aliens.*
- Can transfer crafts while airborne.*
- Increase/decrease buttons now respond to mouse wheel scrolling when the cursor is above them.*
- Allocate Scientists and Allocate Engineers screens now respond to mouse wheel scrolling.+
- Debug mode now enables drawing of country and region borders.
- Battlescape melee unit AI.
- Unit conversion for chryssalids and zombies.
- All missing units implemented, both alien units and xcom tanks.
- All missing items implemented.
- Psionic attacks implemented.
- Units dual wielding single handed weapons is now represented on the battlescape.
- The game now dynamically replaces sprite colours in order to represent soldier ethnicity and hair colour.
- Equipment loadout saving.
- Show more stats in inventory view.*
- Proper A* pathfinding.
- Battlescape RMB scrolling changed to MMB, renamed to Drag-Scroll, improved.
- Landing Ufos/Ground Assault missions.
- Ruleset support for multiple-stage missions.
- Certain units now “Yell” when engaging another unit.
- Enemy unit stats and armour are now affected by difficulty.
- Grenade explosions now properly credit the previous owner of the grenade with the kill when a unit dies.
- Units can now “fall” off edges by walking off the side of a roof or platform, and other gravity-related features are implemented.
- The game now centres on the active soldier when the player closes the inventory screen.
- Reapers can now reaction-attack soldiers that move into a tile adjacent to them.
- Aliens will attempt to avoid areas where other aliens have died, except in base defense missions.
- Various AI improvements.
- Debug mode now has tile colourisation to represent AI evaluations.
- Debug mode now has a time-slowing feature, which can be used for graphical or voxel debugging.
- Alien Bases can now be neutralized by destroying the control room.
- Mission can be won by mind-controlling all remaining units.*
* These features are disabled by default but can be enabled in the advanced options menu or by editing your configuration file.
+ These features are enabled by default but can be disabled in the advanced options menu or by editing your configuration file.
** These features can be altered by editing your configuration file.
- Updated translations.
- Added support for more Unicode letters.
- Fix for extra mouse buttons.
- Various cursor
- related bugfixes/improvements.
- Support for Haiku folder paths.
- Fix for 8 KHz WAV file (in SAMPLEx.CAT) playing.
- Fixed various memory leaks.
- Fix for a crash bug involving an edge case where several craft were sent to intercept a single UFO.
- Adjusted the length of the date column on the saved game screen to allow room for translated text.
- Research consumes items properly.
- If necessary, craft will now always rearm after refuelling.
- Fixed error in great circle calculation.
- It is no longer possible to assign armour to a soldier while they’re away from the base.
- Up/down buttons now need to be held for a quarter-second before they increment by more than one.
- Items are no longer removed from stores when they are researched.
- Cut off input to dogfight screens when your craft is destroyed or the UFO decides to disengage.
- “New research available” popups should now only display the first time you research a technology that will unlock a new branch of research.
- Fixed: Can’t dismantle ANY facility if some of the attributes is overflowed!
- Fixed: Busy people weren’t getting paychecks
- Fixed radar detection calculation.
- Battlescape buttons are now unavailable during alien turn.
- Fixed bug in map generator regarding nodes outside the map.
- Improved map generation of alien base assualt missions.
- The player no longer reveals the tile an alien is standing on when they detect an alien on an unrevealed tile.
- The camera resets after non-reaction shots.
- Camera now correctly centers on explosions, and properly detects explosion visibility.
- Projectiles are now visible when they fly above an unrevealed tile.
- Fixed various display bugs with projectiles.
- UFO walls can no longer be seen through from certain angles.
- Reaper Corpse tiles now arranged correctly.
- Doors should no longer close on top of large units.
- Players can now recover large unit corpses if the northwest piece is intact, as per the original game.
- Units on stairs will now correctly reveal tiles on the level above.
- Opening doors now uses time units correctly.
- Fixed strange spawn behaviour.
- Undiscovered aliens are no longer factored into pathfinding.
- Applying stun damage to unconscious units increasing the time they will remain unconscious.
- Stun damage should no longer damage items.
- When units are auto-equipped for battle they will now assign as many items to their belt slots as will fit instead of stopping after 1.
- Motion scanners now detect motion on all different levels in addition to the level of the scanning soldier.
- Various bugfixes for large units.
- Various psi-related bugfixes.
- Various clipping issues fixed.
- Various pathfinding bugfixes/improvements.
- Various sound-related fixes.
- Ethereals can now fly as intended. You have been warned.
- Added some more robust behaviour around what happens when a unit is forced into an occupied tile.
- Fixed a bug where items with unlimited ammo would weigh twice as much as they should.
Boy, that was a rough ride wasn’t it? Pardon the dust, still trying to work out all the kinks, but didn’t wanna leave you all in the dark forever. You know how these things go, you promise a thing, technical issues arise, yada yada yada.
But here it is. The wiki has been updated, and we have a Twitter now to complete the social circle. However the subpages still all need to be redone, and the new version 0.9 (yes, 0.9) will come shortly. Watch this space.
It’s been a long time hasn’t it? I don’t usually keep track of project anniversaries because I wasn’t smart enough to register the exact date this all started (protip: use a repository from the start so you’ll at least have a start date saved). But I’m pretty sure it’s been around… 4 years since I first started. How time flies, how far we’ve come from a one-man team to a… crazy-man team. I’d like to take this time to thank everyone involved. Everyone in the community, all the developers, modders, translators, testers, suggesters, supporters or just pains in the butt. I’m sure this wouldn’t have come this far without you.
Boy, OpenXcom sure has… changed all these years. Yet something remains. Something has been the same since the start. This website. I never really paid much attention to it, its purpose was just to convey news to you guys. But over time I’ve realized just how terrible it is. It’s ugly, it’s tiny, it’s cluttered, it’s a nuisance. It doesn’t convey anything, people keep missing obvious instructions and information, it’s not doing its job. I can’t even customize the menu or properly fit Youtube videos on it. The project has definitely outgrown it. I need something that you look at it and it just says “that’s X-Com”. So like most things, I decided to take matters into my own hands and put this prototype together:
I’ll be honest. It fulfils my design goals. It’s bigger, clearer, more readable, and the “Geoscape look” does give you X-Com vibes. But… I dunno, I’m not a designer. At all. I’m a programmer through and through. And I can’t help but wonder because of how stubborn I am, if I’m just wasting hours messing with HTML/CSS on something vaguely competent when a professional designer would put something together in minutes.
Same thing with the logo. I really like the skull-and-crossbones = OX motif, it’s distinct and it works really well as a scalable game icon. It looks good to me. But maybe I’m secretly infuriating every actual designer ever with my total incompetence?
What do you guys think? Keep pursuing my crazy design sense? Or any of you out there would do a much better job taking over website design duties and putting up with me and my stubbornness? If you’re interested feel free to email. And don’t just go “oh the website doesn’t matter, keep programming away” because look at this website. Look at it. Then look at any other game website. Yeah. Come on. Really.