Posts Tagged ‘Jake Solomon’

Time Unit: X-COM vs XCOM / Gollop vs Solomon

By Alec Meer on April 2nd, 2013.

I say ‘vs’, but the reality of this meeting between the 20th and 21st century masters of X-COM is that they repeatedly seem on the verge of embracing each other, rather than trading blows in a bitter row about time units and action cameras. Rev3Games arranged for original X-COM co-creator Julian Gollop to meet Jake Solomon, the lead dev on Firaxis’ XCOM remake, the result being this rather delightful recording of their seventeen-minute exchange.
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Firaxis’ Jake Solomon Post-Mortems XCOM: Part Two

By Alec Meer on January 15th, 2013.

In this concluding part (the first one is here), we discuss boardgame influences, commercial success, what XCOM might mean for the future of strategy, the need for realism within science-fiction, and why XCOM wound up rather buggy.
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Firaxis’ Jake Solomon Post-Mortems XCOM: Part One

By Alec Meer on January 14th, 2013.

'Tell us everything, mutie!'

With Firaxis’ de-hyphenated, largely very well-received remake of the legendary, incomparable, enormous-haircutted X-COM now out there saving the Earth from the worst scum of the universe for several months, now seems the time to sit down with its enthusiastic main man Jake Solomon. What went right, what went wrong and what comes next? As per recent tradition, we had a very long chat.

Covered in this first part – the base, the skills, the missing element of surprise and what they’ve learned if they ever do this again. Edited out to spare you the horror: his Punch & Judy-style impersonation of an Englishman.
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Hidden Marketing Movement: XCOM

By Adam Smith on October 4th, 2012.

Very soon now, XCOM will launch. Much like a Skyranger emerging from an underground base it will cause people to point at it and go ‘ooooo, that’s spectacular’, of this I am sure. But unlike a Skyranger it won’t fly to a petrol station, unload a group of frightened human beings and then return home hours later with an empty hold and a pilot with a lament for fallen soldiers on his lips. Or maybe he just whistles nonchalantly and says he dropped them off at a party or at a beach resort. One without lobstermen. To celebrate the impending release, here are two videos. One uses footage of the game to make it look like a different game, while the other features lead designer Jake Solomon going undercover to sell the game. That’s the one to watch.

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XCOM Enemy Unknown: The Final Chatdown

By Alec Meer on September 10th, 2012.

After something in the region of 30,000 words across four interviews, the odyssey that is my series of chats with XCOM: Enemy Unknown lead designer Jake Solomon finally comes to an end. While my battered transcribing fingers are inordinately relieved about this, I’m strangely sad otherwise – it’s been fascinating, and no matter how the finished game actually turns out, one thing I have no doubt of is that Solomon is yer bona fide X-COM superfan with only the best of intentions for the remake he’s heading up at Firaxis.

In this last part, we talk about the Guile haircut, how the alien AI works, which obscure aspects of the game he’s most proud of, soldier/armour customisation and bagpipes.

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Interview: Firaxis On XCOM’s Secret Origins

By Alec Meer on September 7th, 2012.

Not content with a mere three interviews with the lead designer of Firaxis’ upcoming X-COM remake XCOM: Enemy Unknown, I recently settled down for a fourth lengthy chinwag with the effusive Jake Solomon. In this first of two parts, we talk about the difficulty of describing the essential X-COM/XCOM experience, why people shouldn’t immediately start playing in Iron Man Mode (or perhaps why they should), what’s yet to be revealed about the game, some of the near-catastrophic mistakes made during its creation and how designing boardgames/arguing with Sid Meier might just have saved it.
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Firaxis Talk XCOM, Redux: Bases, Ammo, Skills Explained

By Alec Meer on March 28th, 2012.


Just in case my three-part, 15,000 word interview with Jake Solomon, lead designer on Firaxis’ XCOM: Enemy Unknown, wasn’t enough for you, here’s a follow-up chat with the effusive main brain behind the X-COM remake. This time, we’re finding out about how much soldiers’ special abilities define the game, what’s been done to ammo and why the perception that this new version only has one base isn’t quite right.
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Time For A Change: Firaxis On XCOM, Part 3

By Alec Meer on February 3rd, 2012.

In the third and final (for now) part of my enormo-chat with Firaxis’ Jake Solomon, head brain on XCOM: Enemy Unknown, the official remake of the legendary X-COM, we get into the nitty-gritty. To whit: why throw out time units, how the replacement system works, modding support, difficulty, soldier classes, country funding, Julian Gollop, ‘ZCOM’ and why he feels this new game has to bear the X-COM name.

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Death & Chrysalids: Firaxis On XCOM, Part 2

By Alec Meer on February 2nd, 2012.

I used to build my first base in Antarctica. That wasn't very clever of me.

In this next chunk of a mammoth chat with XCOM: Enemy Unknown‘s lead designer at Firaxis Jake Solomon, we talk Chrysalids, the death and critical wounding of your soldiers, the fanbase, why min-maxing X-COM’s not all it’s cracked up to be, the base, the geoscape and which of the original game’s aliens didn’t make the cut…
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Know Your Enemy: Firaxis On XCOM, Part 1

By Alec Meer on February 1st, 2012.

You were much cuter when you were younger

They did it. They really did it. As we unexpectedly discovered last month, Firaxis are remaking/reimagining the original X-COM, the 1993 title that is quite rightly often hailed as the greatest game ever made. Recently, I had a long, fascinating and genuinely reassuring chat with XCOM: Enemy Unknown‘s lead designer and evident fellow X-COM gonk Jake Solomon – in this first of three parts, he talks how, why, when, the response to the controversial XCOM shooter, Cyberdiscs, whether it’s being simplified for console, 2K’s infamous ‘strategy games aren’t contemporary’ comment and missing hyphens.
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