Monolithic (yet huggable and surprisingly good dancers) gaming culture chaps EDGE have an interview with Julian Gollop, the original creator of the XCOM series. With the upcoming reboots exciting and enraging fans in equal measure, the man who made the terrifying tactical turn-based treat has a lot to say on the new XCOMs: “It was a bit disappointing from my point of view and for many fans of X-COM. When from out of the blue we heard that Firaxis are doing a turn-based version, it’s as if 2K are trying to cover all their bets.”
It’s an interesting interview because he’s looking at it from the same perspective as the fans. He’s not involved, he claims, only learning about it from the announcement: “I would have liked to have been, because in a way I’ve been trying to remake that game for so long, without much success”, he tells EDGE.
It’s not just fans that look at the screenshots and attempt to extrapolate potential pitfalls, but Gollop’s discerning view brings some anecdotal tales of various tricky design problems that the XCOM team face: “It’s difficult to see how the camera works from the screenshot, but disorientation is a problem. In Valkyria Chronicles it worked fine because you have a strategic map view that I thought worked well; I didn’t find Valkyria Chronicles very disorientating. It is an issue – I don’t know how [Firaxis is] doing their camera control but it’s one thing they need to get right if they’re going to get accessibility correct.”
Of course, the original games are hardly the most accessible, and it’s the main issue Gollop hopes developers Firaxis take on: “This is the major thing, but it doesn’t mean you have to dumb anything down in the sense that the full complexity of the game would be eventually revealed to the player as he learns all the systems. That was one thing that was difficult about the original UFO [X-COM was known as UFO in the UK]. It put you there and forced you to make decisions straight away without much idea of what you were supposed to be doing!”
Via EDGE Online.