X-Com: The Truth Is Out There article on The Escapist

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#1 Gimli


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Posted 07 March 2008 - 07:41 PM

Alan Au of The Escapist has recently written an article on X-COM. And while most fans won't find a lot of new information, its purpose was to make it accessible to the casual reader who may not be familiar with X-COM.


X-COM: UFO Defense (aka UFO: Enemy Unknown, or often just "X-Com") is regarded as one of the all-time classic videogames. IGN rated it as the best PC game of all time in their 2007 list of favorite games. Even so, the X-Com franchise as a whole is plagued with mediocre sales, tepid reviews and general apathy from gamers who continue to rave about the original almost 15 years after its release. This strange dynamic underscores one of the great mysteries in the modern gaming world: What is X-Com's secret to success?

Also, be sure to check the comments section. You'll find Stephen Goss, lead designer of X-COM: Terror From the Deep, posting there.

Spotted thanks to Sorrow on the XComUFO forums

#2 NKF


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 01:00 AM

If there wasn't the article limit, a few snippets of my own mad deluded rambling would've showed up in that. :D Seriously though, it would've been interesting to see what the developers and other fans had to say about what made the game so interesting for them.

Heh, even now I cannot exactly say what it is that makes the series so special.

NKF, narrow minded fuddy duddy who refuses to let go of the past and will not accept anything newer than 1979.

#3 Gimli


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Posted 08 March 2008 - 10:03 AM

Well it looks like I could get the quotes, but I may not be able to post them publicly. Depends on Escapist's good will. :D

#4 Zombie


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Posted 21 April 2008 - 01:33 AM

Wow, guess I completely missed this somehow. :)

It's nice to see that the author of the article got input from both Nick Gollop as well as David Ellis. Too bad Stephen Goss wasn't able to add his insights though. Some good points were brought up in the article, but the discussion made some as well. For instance, people always talk about wanting a spiritual successor to X-COM, but even if that would happen they still might not be happy as the game would have to recreate the emotional involvement. Therefore, any remake would have to be an emotional successor as well. That could be tough.

Can a "true" X-COM successor ever be made? Sure. Can it be done by an independent group with no ties to the original game? Sad to say, probably not. What we need is Julian and Nick Gollop back at the helm along with David Ellis. Give them complete control over every aspect. And for christ sakes, let them complete the darned thing. Don't cancel it. :)

The one thing you cannot do is satisfy proponents of both Real-Time and Turn-Based combat. This was attempted in Apocalypse and didn't quite live up to expectations. Sorry to say it has to be one or the other. Besides, if you spread yourself thin by splitting efforts between the two combat types, neither will be completely polished. By focusing on just one, you can perfect it and reduce the bugginess.

Fan involvement is also a necessary part. You need the insights of the fans to provide suggestions and to play-test the betas to catch errors. A big issue is also the game specifications. If it can only run on the latest and greatest computers, only those with a system powerful enough can play it. It is completely possible to create a game that isn't taxing to both video cards and processors while still utilizing better graphics. :)

- Zombie

My X-COM Patch Kit For UFO Defense | Emergency XCOM Meeting spoof on YouTube

JellyfishGreen said:

Zombie: Empirical data's your only man, when formulating a research plan.
A soldier's death is never in vain if it makes the formula more plain.
A few dozen make a better case for refining that third decimal place.
They call me Zombie because I don't sleep, as I slowly struggle to climb this heap,
of corpses, data points, and trials, but from the top - I'll see for miles!

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