Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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KickStarter Phoenix Point, the next game from X-COM creator Julian Gollop

Discussion in 'Strategy Gaming' started by Infinitron, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Grotesquegender: ⚧ Arcane

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    800 000 dollars?
    this project needs at least three times this sum :(
     
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  2. ArchAngelgender: ⚧ Magister

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    This project is not run by Fargo from 'murica. Don't worry.
     
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  3. luinthorongender: ⚧ Learned

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    So what you're saying is, he has exactly the money he needs? To quote the Polygon interview:

     
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  4. luinthorongender: ⚧ Learned

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    As mentioned by Julian in his War of the Chosen livestream, Phoenix Point has some news with Fig update 28 (yeah, I skipped a few since they were basically links to the blog posts):

     
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  5. Shaewarozgender: ⚧ Prophet

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    I seem to have been living under a rock recently. I just noticed this game today.

    So do I understand correctly that this is another XCOM without time units??? WTF Julian?
     
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  6. UnstableVoltagegender: ⚧ Snapshot Games Developer

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    Phoenix Point uses a hybrid system. For the most part, soldiers are limited to 2 standard actions per turn but have a spendable resource (Will Power) which can be used to chain situational follow-up actions. You can also move, tile by tile, one at a time without consuming the action (also, if you move/dash and reveal an enemy, the move will be interrupted allowing you to use the remaining movement points to change your destination (or take action).
     
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  7. TalesfromtheCryptgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Thanks! What, in your opinon, are the advantages of your system over a traditional time units/action point system used in the original X-Com or Jagged Alliance 2?
     
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  8. UnstableVoltagegender: ⚧ Snapshot Games Developer

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    There are some players (not all) who find the Time Units to be a little cumbersome (and of course, we do have to try and appeal to a wide audience). Our system hopes to reduce the reliance on counting tiles and mathing out Time Units for actions. We're relying on a more modern, simplistic interface (closer to that of nuXCom) to give players their options at a glance, and keep up the pace of gameplay.
     
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  9. TalesfromtheCryptgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    How is the trade-off between more accurate shot/higher time unit cost and less accurate shot/lower time unit cost handled in this system?
    In the original X-COM in one turn you could perform, for example, 2 auto shots (low accuracy) or 1 aimed shot (high accuracy).

    Do you have something similar in your system?
     
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  10. Shaewarozgender: ⚧ Prophet

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    I appreciate the fact that you have come to this den of thugs to breach the gospel of Gollop. RPG Codex is not an easy place to market modern reboots of classic games. You will probably find that the majority of people here will not agree with your decision to dumb down the original's brilliant time unit system.

    Wouldn't it be possible to implement both the time unit system and a more streamlined dummy version? First you design the game based on time units and them you add a mode in which units can accomplish approximately the same amount of stuff in a combat round without calculating time units. This sounds like an obvious choice since it pleases both the fans of the original XCOM and the nuXCOM fanbase. It would require some extra work, but it would also greatly extend the lifespan of the game.

    As it is today, I don't think you differentiate your game enough from the nuXCOM games and will have a hard time trying to improve it's formula. Your game will end up looking like a cheap imitation of the nuXCOM instead of being the rebirth of an old classic.

    Why not simply aim to make the best XCOM game out there instead of trying to decode what the mainstream audience wants? Indie games like Minecraft and FTL never made any market research to find out what mainstream gamers want, yet they became huge successes simply by being great games in their own right.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017 at 7:39 PM
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  11. UnstableVoltagegender: ⚧ Snapshot Games Developer

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    Having both systems with the option to choose does sound great - but implementing it isn't that straightforward. There are both mechanic and balance issues that revolve around how the turns work - so in effect, the game would be completely different between both methods. On top of that, the UI would also have work differently.

    We're a smallish team on a tight budget with a large project ahead of us, and not much time to get it all done. I can tell you that lots of time and discussion have gone into how movement/turn mechanics work and is also still an ongoing thing. However, remember that we're not trying to remake X-Com or XCom here. This is an original IP that draws from both.

    Personally, I would love a TU based game (I've told Julian directly). But then, I'm not a game designer, so what would I know ;)
     
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  12. ArchAngelgender: ⚧ Magister

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    I doubt you can do both. As soon as TU system lets you do one more shot than 2 action system you need to lower damage of all weapons to compensate. But then you get into problems of what if players now move more and shoot once instead of shooting twice for the expected damage game was balanced around?!
     
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  13. Shaewarozgender: ⚧ Prophet

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    Well you can simply let players take two shots in the dummy version as well if they don't move that turn. There's a way around these issues, I'm sure. The game doesn't need to be balanced the same way for both versions - the dummy version enemies can have less HP, for instance. It's just a matter of making it work. I head the same excuse during the development of the nuXCOM. It's just an excuse to make development less demanding and time-consuming.
     
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  14. ArchAngelgender: ⚧ Magister

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    NuXcom has much worse design problems than 2AP. Much bigger problems with nuXom are lack of ballistic system, lack of real inventory and not being able to target and destroy anything.
    This game will have none of that.

    Also one of the biggest complains with nuXcom 2 AP was that you could not move a bit and only had to go all the way and also the pod system. This game will have none of that.

    TU or 2AP in the end only comes down to average DPS and if that comes from one attack or multiple ones. All these other things are more important.
     
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  15. Shaewarozgender: ⚧ Prophet

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    These are all matters of execution. Sure, they are harder to implement than simply copying all of the nuXCOM's mechanisms. Balance doesn't have to be the same with different versions - you make the player choose one combat mode in the beginning of the game, "classic" or "modern". Each mode has different balance and slightly different interfaces.

    Of course this wouldn't be straight-forward. It would be a challenge. But the end result wouldn't be merely a mediocre game. It would be unique. It would be memorable.
     
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  16. Shaewarozgender: ⚧ Prophet

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    What can I say? I agree wholeheartedly. I guess my suggestions were mainly things that I needed to get off my chest after I saw yet another opportunity to recreate a beautiful classic squandered like this.
     
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  17. UnstableVoltagegender: ⚧ Snapshot Games Developer

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    Once again, as I have already stated, we're not trying to "re-create" anything here. We always knew that the design decisions would not please everyone (but that would always be the case, no matter which system was used). We have a simulated ballistics system, physical object cover system, old-school (multiple) base building (which is also represented in the tactical missions), a 4X style strategic layer with exploration, diplomacy and trade. We have evolving and adaptive enemies configurations and procedurally generated maps. There's quite a lot we're doing that are very different from nuXCom.
     
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  18. mwnn85gender: ⚧ Educated

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    All the games which feature the nuXCOM system tend to play virtually the same i.e. player bunkering their units behind magic cover and taking potshots and/or spamming abilities in a very static environment.
    Clearly designed with console limitations in mind first.
    I'm seeing the same system used in virtually every strategy tactical game released nowdays - nuXCOM, sanctus reach, various RPG's, etc.

    I don't have too big of an issue with the lack of time units; Firaxis weren't brave enough and I'm expecting certain budgetary constraints here.
    At least we can interrupt our own action and/or move one tile at a time - not dissimilar to the time bar system from ToEE / Underrail.
    If bullets can "miss" but still hit something then that's two features which are better already.

    Without an inventory system, stances and classless units to manage - I don't think time units are needed.
    They could add certain terrain tiles which are harder to cross and/or climb.

    Ultimately UFO/TFTD recreates a battle; many soldiers, logistics, fog of war, LoS, flares, smoke, shot types, elevation, cover, etc - such a clever game.
    Modern games recreate a quick skirmish - like something from Necromunda/Mordheim.

    I'm expecting battles in Pheonix Point to be puzzle like.
    Getting in cover, a round of overwatch fire, killing the most dangerous target, disabling a creatures special ability/mutation, using special abilities and hopefully a bit of flanking.
    I'm not expecting something Jagged Alliance-like.
    In nuXCOM leaving units out of magical cover is typically a death sentence - that's probably the biggest issue I have with those games.
    Harebrained Schemes could've done something more with Battletech but it's essentially the same formula.

    Not sure if combat can be simplified even further than the nuXCOM system?
    If so it would be catering to complete morons.
    I would've preferred battles with numerous units per side (10+), time units and mass destruction.
    UFO/TFTD battles scale really well and don't feel laborious or complicated to me - thanks to the lethality of the combat.
    I've not completely lost faith - I'm sure this will be something more complex than Firaxis' babies first xcom.
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2017 at 8:38 PM
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  19. UnstableVoltagegender: ⚧ Snapshot Games Developer

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    Missed shots will still hit something (unless they path off the map with no obstructions). In other words, like the original X-Com, they'll hit whatever they hit. Bullets will also damage and chip away at cover. So hiding in one spot isn't going to work for long. Phoenix Point will also have inventory management, more similar to the original X-Com.
     
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  20. Make America Great Again Alienmangender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    Counting tiles... you know, you could just have added a colorful visual aid to limit that, like one option in OpenXcom.

    [​IMG]
     
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  21. mwnn85gender: ⚧ Educated

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    Destructible cover objects are welcome as are stray shots.
    That should make everything much more dynamic.
    Have to wait and see how the inventory works and how it ties into the class system.
    Since the soldiers have been divided into classes I'd expect the choice of equipping maybe two different weapons in battle, for example?
    I wouldn't expect to be able to load a basic grunt with a machine gun, rocket launcher and tons of grenades aka Rambo.

    You'll know this; we've all played UFO over and over.
    iirc the buttons on the bar will leave you with enough TU's for a snapshot/aimed shot/autoshot after any movement is done.
    I think the general issue is that the average person now has such a small attention span that they can't handle anything that resembles math, involves management or anything much more difficult than hitting a giant button labelled shoot perhaps with a percentage displayed.
    I expect we'll see plenty of complaints just about the unfairness of the combat or missing 95% shots.

    Don't blame them really.
    Get it up on STEAM/GOG, major consoles, maybe even portable versions on the Play & Apple store, etc.
    Maybe Jullian will get a big hit at last.
     
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  22. Zombragender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    Blech, I like X-Com, but I don't want or expect a new "real X-Com 2 wink wink". Just like I didn't want Wasteland 2 to be the "real Fallout 3 wink wink". And I definitely don't want them to try to make two different games with a toggle just so X-Com fans can feel cozy; that's always dumb. Make one good game. Phoenix Point is its own thing, and it looks great; why can't we be happy with that?
     
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  23. Shaewarozgender: ⚧ Prophet

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    I'm perfectly happy with the way things are - there are countless games I can enjoy and waste my time on. This just won't be one of them, unfortunately.
     
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  24. Make America Great Again Alienmangender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    I kinda want "real X-com 2", even if Phoenix Point might be enjoyable.
     
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  25. ArchAngelgender: ⚧ Magister

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    Xenonauts 2 might be that.
     
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