Azrael, on 30th January 2006, 6:43am, said:
I never said it was a bad thing.
Eh, I guess I misread it.
but miss the main points of X-Com.
What do you think those are? I've long felt that new X-Com styled games lack something, some crucial cog in the machine, but I've never been able to put my finger on it. I think it may be due to the utter expendability of your troops. Even after getting flying suits in the original game, more often than not, your troops would still
die to a well-placed heavy plasma shot. Throughout the game, until the advent of psi-amps at least, you had to be really careful with your troops, lest your flying suited uber-commander be killed by some punk sectoid with a plasma gun.
That's how it should be, I think. That's what I think the problem with AM/AS is, and what may be the problem with UFO:ET. Soldiers are too tough. Another thing I'd like is if all these UFO: <insert name here> games nixed that UFO part. It makes some silly Europeans think it's related in some way to UFO: Enemy Unknown, which it isn't. At least us Americans know it how it is. There's X-Com, and then there's... not X-Com.
I fear that unless Slaughter manages to convince these jackasses who now own X-Com rights to make a new X-Com game, Xenocide is the only game that will truly make X-Com live again (though with different names
Well, if anyone has a shot at it, it's this coalition that Slaughter has constructed. I feel that one of the reasons (besides general corporate dickery,) that all previous attempts to ressurect X-Com have failed is because it's just a sort of pie in the sky request from an isolated fanbase. Like "Hey, Atari/Take 2/Whoever, could you pretty please make a new X-Com game? Sure you'll have to find a developer, a good developer mind you, and pay for a niche game out of your own pocket, but hey, us fans really want a new X-Com"
The point being that there are many X-Com fans out there, but we're for the most part isolated. There's the Strategycore guys, the Xcomufo guys, and there isn't much real cooperation between them, at least not the kind of cooperation that this sort of endevour would require. What it really needs is a plan from a unified fanbase, with support from a competent developer and the creator of the original game. If Take 2/Atari/Whoever owns X-Com this week feels that they'll make a profit, they'll probably let Nival and Julian handle the development. It's the job of the fanbase to convince them that they will indeed make a profit.
(Actually, to tell you the truth, I'd be willing to buy X-Com even if it was the same as X-Com: Ufo Defense but with spiffier graphics.
That being said, Slaughter's hand is already much better than your average X-Com fan's. He's got the support of Nival, Julian (weren't there two Gollops though?), and he's got what seems like one of the larger X-Com fanbases (Strategycore nee XTC) on board. If someone posted the relevant thread on Xcomufo, I imagine that he'd get the support of the population over there, too. I remember them being as rabid about X-Com as I am.
But, even still, the X-Com fanbase isn't really big enough to ensure the Execs will see a new X-Com as being worth the investment. At best, it'll be an uphill climb. Were that Bill Gates was an X-Com fan.
Something that's slightly related that I want to express my opinion on is packaging. Let's say this game gets made, and it is the kind of thing that blows all previous X-Com games right out of the water. With a nuclear torpedo, no less. But, only X-Com fans will know the name and buy it. Average Joe Gamer will have to be enticed by the box enough to pick it up, and then realize how good the game is, such that he wants to pay the ~$50 price tag.
I remember back many years ago. I was trawling a Buck-a-Book within a reasonable distance of my house, looking at the games. (They actually had several good games there, which I picked up, including X-Com and the original Master of Orion.) Anyway, I noticed the title 'X-Com: UFO Defense,' and given the sci-fi wanker that I am, I picked up the box and looked at it. It seemed to appeal to my every sensibility, commanding squads of troops, research, manufacturing, killing aliens and taking their stuff... it was marvelous. Of course, my mother refused to buy it unless I learned to tie my shoes first (I used those fancy curly laces, because they looked snazzy.) Within the night, I was tying my shoes and playing my new game.
Now, fast forward to December 22, 2005. I go to my college's local EB specifically to pick up UFO: Aftershock. I've been following this game for awhile, and I was really excited. (What I was less excited about was starforce, which still scares me, but anyway...) I searched out the name on the PC game shelves. Fortunately, I found one, the last copy they had. Heck, it was only thirty bucks, too! I smilied, paid for the game, and went to find my mother (who was bringing me home from college for intercession.) She asked me "Why are you so excited?" I smilied and held up Aftershock. She looked at me with a quizzical exp
ression and said "Cufo: Aftershock? What, is that related to Cujo?" She was serious. To her, the UFO: Aftershock logo looked like it had a giant C right in front of the UFO. Now, I realize this is just a border, but when I looked at it, I could easily see what she was talking about.
My point is that while an X-Com fan is likely to follow the development of the game and pick up any box with the word 'X-Com' in the title, Average Joe Gamer needs to see something that will entice him. The box has to have something interesting and eye-catching on the cover to draw customers in, while the back is what will hold the real meat. I feel that many people would buy the game if they just read the back and saw all the wonderful features that a new X-Com game (or heck, even an X-Com remake) has going for it. The problem is that they just pass over X-Com in exchange for generic FPS #202. One way to change that is to make the box eye catching. (But please, don't make it eye catching through the usual tricks of putting a half-naked female on the cover!
The box should be clear and conscise. No logos that are easily misinterperated (like the Aftershock one,) and no misleading advertisements. At its core, this is a game about an elite military unit that kills aliens, takes their stuff, and then kills the aliens with their own weapons. The box should reflect that, while reflecting the global strategic elements.