Sometimes an in-joke is too good to not share. Tom Francis (of Gunpoint and Heat Signature fame) is playing around with some new concepts for his next game. One of them, Tactical Breach Wizards, is a running joke from his days as PC Gamer turned real.
Four modern-day mages with kevlar-lined robes and scoped tactical wands, fighting urban crime one room at a time in XCOM inspired turn-based combat. What's not to like?
Right now, only a few pieces of concept art and rough gameplay outlines exist, all of which you can see on Tom's blog here. You owe it to yourself to at least check out the proposed abilities of the four character classes. If you don't at least get a smirk out of the Tier One Pyromancer's spell list, I don't want to know you.
The combat as described in the pitch is already quite distinct from XCOM, with a focus on planned and triggered breach-and-clear tactics not entirely unlike Frozen Synapse, minus the guesswork thanks to alternating (rather than simultaneous) turns. Also interestingly, you'd be working through a building one room at a time, rather than splitting your group and exploring a massive complex where enemies could be hiding around every corner.
As with his previous two games, there is also a minor preoccupation with defenestration, with both the Elemental Sharpshooter and Close Quarters Battlewitch seeming designed specifically to knock people out windows in spectacular fashion. I wonder if that'll become a running theme in all of his games?
I can see this working pretty well, especially if the abilities you get to play with are just esoteric enough to feel properly magical, despite the militarized police aesthetic. There's no promise that Tactical Breach Wizards will ever be a finished game, but the concept and art was too good to not share, and Tom is letting people sign up to his mailing list to get access to early prototype builds as they roll out.
Disclosure: Tom Francis has just started writing a column for us.