XCOM Interview

Rock, Paper, Shotgun interviews Jonathan Pelling, asking the Creative Director at 2K Marin about XCOM, the upcoming first-person shooter based on the classic strategy series. They discuss the game's story, art style and other sensibilities. And we hereby award this Q&A the Dick Cavett Linguistic Trophy for the opening question: "More story-focused than the peripatetic original plan; is this because you’ve got people like Jordan Thomas and yourself on board and you’re trying to make use of people who are much more used to telling stories, rather than something stochastic or random?"
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17.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 30, 2011, 10:09
17.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 30, 2011, 10:09
Jun 30, 2011, 10:09
 
Learn to accept change when it leads to good things and stop being petty about it.
I've said 100 times here that interest in the X-COM series, which was never an enormous financial success and is virtually dead, will lead to the creation of a new X-COM game. Who cares if it's set in the 60s instead of 1999? The truest X-COM sequel took place far into the future with flying cars.

Who says this change is good? Comparing financials between now and then is not very conducive to discussion either, its difficult due to many factors. Your argument falls flat on its face anyway, if XCom wasn't successful then the franchise wouldn't be so valuable. Besides, this game isn't XCom. It's just a different game with the XCom name.

Maybe it will be a good game in its own right and maybe not but there is little doubt that its changes are too drastic to use the name. Maybe if it was XCom: Blah Subtitled Game they could get away from the easy criticism but when you choose to "reboot" a franchise and basically move away from nearly every gameplay mechanic that fans of the franchise were used to then you open yourself up to justified concerns and criticism.

Just because all change isn't bad doesn't mean it's good either. Let's be blunt here, they are taking a valuable property and trying to make a game fit with a modern console generation. It's the equivalent of Hollywood's constant rebooting of old franchises which sometimes works and sometimes fails horribly. You try to make it sound like some noble, artistic notion when in reality its just business bullshit which is fine but don't ask the consumer to understand or give a fuck.

This comment was edited on Jun 30, 2011, 10:18.
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16.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 30, 2011, 06:29
16.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 30, 2011, 06:29
Jun 30, 2011, 06:29
 
Ok Beamer, sure fine whatever. I was just trying to explain why someone who loves the original would be aghast with the "reboot/remake".

We are all very aware of your conforming opinion on this, and pretty much every subject.

Whats wrong with being angry about someone taking advantage of something you loved and adored? In this case its related to the use of the XCOM license.
I have a nifty blue line!
Avatar 46994
15.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 30, 2011, 06:18
15.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 30, 2011, 06:18
Jun 30, 2011, 06:18
 
But then you find out that only one of the original members is back and the new album is nothing like the old stuff, its overproduced and sounds like Black Eyed peas....


But none of the original members are in this band and, while it sounds completely different, it also sounds completely badass. It's worth noting that the original band made the follow-up album they wanted and it wasn't very good.



Learn to accept change when it leads to good things and stop being petty about it.
I've said 100 times here that interest in the X-COM series, which was never an enormous financial success and is virtually dead, will lead to the creation of a new X-COM game. Who cares if it's set in the 60s instead of 1999? The truest X-COM sequel took place far into the future with flying cars.


I'd also like to take this time, again, to point out that all the X-COM clones have sucked. JA/2, Silent Storm and to a lesser extent Incubation have been the best fully turn-based tactical combat. Frozen Synapse looks great, too, but isn't fully turn-based. However, I'm totally ok with its method. Real-time-with-pausing kills me. This is turn-based-with-real-time which I like less than true turn-based but I've been eager to see this method done well.
14.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 30, 2011, 04:14
14.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 30, 2011, 04:14
Jun 30, 2011, 04:14
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Jun 29, 2011, 15:49:
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jun 29, 2011, 13:07:
That said, FUCK XCOM. These developers come off as completely lost in the interview. Alien invasion in 1962.. that will reshape the world utterly. They can't answer a single alternate history question. X-Com was an international organization, XCOM is apparently some American guys in hats, no base building, no intercepts, 3 PCs Mass Effect style (their words) instead of 8+, real-time not turn based, etc.

This...thing, has no relation whatsoever to X-Com.

SO FUCKING WHAT?

Jesus.

Say you like a band. Really like it. Like you were a huge fan and went to see them play at least three times....

Suddenly this band disbands. Naturally you would feel quite sad about that.

Then one day, many years later the band announces that they are reforming. How would that make you feel? Pretty great right?

But then you find out that only one of the original members is back and the new album is nothing like the old stuff, its overproduced and sounds like Black Eyed peas....

Now how would THAT make you feel??
I have a nifty blue line!
Avatar 46994
13.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 29, 2011, 22:08
13.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 29, 2011, 22:08
Jun 29, 2011, 22:08
 
StingingVelvet wrote on Jun 29, 2011, 15:49:

SO FUCKING WHAT?

Jesus.

The obvious response: So don't call it XCOM...

As for the mention of other X-Com clones, yes, I've played most of them, they are mediocre at best. For some reason every X-Com clone game is either full of bugs or has some horrible balance issue or something, or maybe it's just nostalgia getting in the way, but none of them are quality successors to the original.

X-Com clones:
1)UFO series: Aftermath, Aftershock, Afterlight(all buggy)

2)UFO Extraterrestrials(Unrelated to the UFO After* games, acceptable but almost a direct clone)

3)UFO Alien Invasion(freeware, open source, might be good before I die of old age, this one is the real long term hope, to be honest)

4)A couple of completely freeware or so low budget indie ones that are unplayable or have been in perpetual development

X-Com adaptations, aka what I would have wanted XCOM(2012) to be:

Silent Storm series (arguably awesome, but the developer is gone now)

Fallout tactics( actually a great game, but sort of a ripoff of FF Tactics too)
Avatar 54863
12.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 29, 2011, 20:23
12.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 29, 2011, 20:23
Jun 29, 2011, 20:23
 

Agreed. I'll give it a chance, but certainly not the day it's released. Maybe after a demo and some reviews.

I think the most telling bit was the use of "micro-managing" as a dirty word. COD style FPS games have their place, but the industry really needs to get past this idea that FPS is always the best way to let players experience the world they've created.

Also, every game can't be a blockbuster that appeals to the entire age-range of a demographic. This game had the potential to update all aspects of the original XCOM, but it seems like a vague nod to the theme and some arbitrary team management is all we're gonna get.
11.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 29, 2011, 19:11
J
11.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 29, 2011, 19:11
Jun 29, 2011, 19:11
J
 
WyldKat wrote on Jun 29, 2011, 18:04:
This isn't XCOM, it's Madness Men in Black!

nin: This forum is headed for a disaster of biblical proportions.
Blue: What do you mean, "biblical"?
xXBatmanXx: What he means is Old BBS, El Presidente, real wrath of SysOp type stuff.
Avatar 45926
10.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 29, 2011, 18:04
10.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 29, 2011, 18:04
Jun 29, 2011, 18:04
 
This isn't XCOM, it's Mad Men in Black!
9.
 
XTATIC
Jun 29, 2011, 17:57
9.
XTATIC Jun 29, 2011, 17:57
Jun 29, 2011, 17:57
 
i dont give a flying fuck about joy
8.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 29, 2011, 17:07
nin
8.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 29, 2011, 17:07
Jun 29, 2011, 17:07
nin
 
The combat was only one part of what made X-Com great. Handling the R&D, manufacturing, base building and logistics made you feel that you were actually waging a war against the aliens and not just a series of random battles.

And gas stations and rocket launchers! Oh, the joy when I first figured that out!
7.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 29, 2011, 16:45
7.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 29, 2011, 16:45
Jun 29, 2011, 16:45
 
Vulkan wrote on Jun 29, 2011, 16:41:
Somebody please just slap on some aliens in Frozen Synapse and call it X-Com 2011 or whatever.

The combat was only one part of what made X-Com great. Handling the R&D, manufacturing, base building and logistics made you feel that you were actually waging a war against the aliens and not just a series of random battles.
"The future's so bright I gotta wear shades!"
6.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 29, 2011, 16:41
6.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 29, 2011, 16:41
Jun 29, 2011, 16:41
 
Somebody please just slap on some aliens in Frozen Synapse and call it X-Com 2011 or whatever.
5.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 29, 2011, 16:23
Dev
5.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 29, 2011, 16:23
Jun 29, 2011, 16:23
Dev
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jun 29, 2011, 13:07:
This...thing, has no relation whatsoever to X-Com.
Good thing there are alternatives out there for someone who wants x-com like gameplay. Some of the commercial games in the past have come close.

Upcoming there's a few projects, including a free/open source one, and another that's a paid alpha (doing the payment model of minecraft), and probably others I'm forgetting. You know, someone should start a site dedicated to x-com like games, blogging the news about them.

Edit: Here's a nice list of a bunch of past and future x-com like games
http://www.llamalicious.com/xcom/future.html
4.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 29, 2011, 15:49
4.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 29, 2011, 15:49
Jun 29, 2011, 15:49
 
MoreLuckThanSkill wrote on Jun 29, 2011, 13:07:
That said, FUCK XCOM. These developers come off as completely lost in the interview. Alien invasion in 1962.. that will reshape the world utterly. They can't answer a single alternate history question. X-Com was an international organization, XCOM is apparently some American guys in hats, no base building, no intercepts, 3 PCs Mass Effect style (their words) instead of 8+, real-time not turn based, etc.

This...thing, has no relation whatsoever to X-Com.

SO FUCKING WHAT?

Jesus.
Avatar 54622
3.
 
this is supposed to be well-known or something
Jun 29, 2011, 14:57
3.
this is supposed to be well-known or something Jun 29, 2011, 14:57
Jun 29, 2011, 14:57
 
XCOM NUKEM FOREVER!!
2.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 29, 2011, 13:16
2.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 29, 2011, 13:16
Jun 29, 2011, 13:16
 
Ugh..
Slow tears well everytime I see this travesty.
This is not X-Com, this is... I don't know what.
It's depressing. That's what.
Avatar 13202
1.
 
Re: XCOM Interview
Jun 29, 2011, 13:07
1.
Re: XCOM Interview Jun 29, 2011, 13:07
Jun 29, 2011, 13:07
 
Peripatetic - adj. - walking or traveling about; itinerant (dictionary.com)

Peripatetic is not mutually exclusive from being story-focused.

That said, FUCK XCOM. These developers come off as completely lost in the interview. Alien invasion in 1962.. that will reshape the world utterly. They can't answer a single alternate history question. X-Com was an international organization, XCOM is apparently some American guys in hats, no base building, no intercepts, 3 PCs Mass Effect style (their words) instead of 8+, real-time not turn based, etc.

This...thing, has no relation whatsoever to X-Com.

Avatar 54863
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