Posts Tagged ‘Snapshot Games’

X-Com spiritual successor Phoenix Point is doing $100k per month in pre-orders

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Snapshot Games, lead by David Kaye and X-Com creator Julian Gollop, is a runaway success. Or at least I would think $100k a month in pledges would give a game studio some breathing room. But Snapshot isn’t sleeping at night. The prevalence of cheap games and promotional bundles has the studio spooked because, while this is a time of incredibly bounties for consumers, not every game can have the financial safety net of, say, Sea of Thieves. This makes creating a game of the scale of Phoenix Point exceptionally perilous.

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Phoenix Point is so much like XCOM it scares me

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The mutant spider queen ripped through another building and I knew my team was dead. This didn’t bother me, I’ve played enough of nu-XCOM to accept the loss of humanity’s last hope. But there’s something more unsettling than being impaled by a large arachnid in Phoenix Point. Its the game’s uncanny and unnerving resemblance to its XCOM cousins. It’s like seeing a doppelgänger of your mate suddenly appear behind him, walking to the bar. You sit there stuttering, looking over his shoulder, wondering who’s really sitting in front of you. Read the rest of this entry »

Watch Julian Gollop play his XCOM-like Phoenix Point

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I was at the PC Gamer Weekender last week, and my highlight had to be lead Phoenix Point developer (and X-COM: UFO Defense co-creator) Julian Gollop commentating as I played the game on the show floor. He appeared behind me part way through the demo – just as I moved a unit one tile too far, and managed to alert six angry crabmen to my presence at once. He told me I was doomed, but 20 minutes later that last crabmen had fallen and I emerged victorious.

If that all sounds very XCOM, that’s because it absolutely is. Phoenix Point swaps out aliens for horrifying sea-life based pollution monsters and throws around some interesting new ideas, but it’s very similar to XCOM at its core. It’s about sending small teams of soldiers to fight that threat using turn-based tactics, while orchestrating the broader fight on a board-game like strategic layer. That similarity is no bad thing: as you’ll see in the footage below of Gollop playing his game, Phoenix Point is shaping up rather nicely.

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Phoenix Point is now crowdfunding: we spoke to Julian Gollop about standing out in a post-XCOM world

The original X-COM (UFO: Enemy Unknown), Julian Gollop tells me, “succeeded in spite of itself”. I asked him how he felt about the game now, twenty three years after its initial release, and particularly about the way it’s often placed on a pedestal. He didn’t expect it to be a success and certainly didn’t think he’d be making a game heavily based on its legacy almost a quarter of a century later.

Yet here we are. The crowdfunding campaign for Phoenix Point [official site], a sci-fi horror strategy game about an alien onslaught, has just begun. Gollop is back where many people feel he belongs, and this time round he seems extremely confident in his game’s design.

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Phoenix Point teases horrors, recruits X-COM composer

Phoenix Point [official site], as I explained in detail last year, is a very exciting proposition. It marks the return of Julian Gollop, creator of the original X-COM, to alien-themed strategic combat, but it’s far from a nostalgia project. With dynamic factions taking sides in the war, a strong horror element and procedural monstrosities, it sounds fascinating.

A new teaser trailer gives very little away, but does arrive alongside news that John Broomhall, composer of X-COM’s superbly creepy music, has joined the team as audio director and composer, and that Jonas ‘Talos Principle’ Kyratzes has joined the writing team.

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Order: New Chaos Reborn Mode Reduces Randomisation

Julian Gollop might be returning to strategic and tactical extraterrestrial combat with Phoenix Point, but the designer of the original X-COM has already rebooted one of his creations from yesteryear. Chaos Reborn [official site], based on 1985’s Chaos: The Battle of Wizards, is a game about lobbing spells at opposing mages, with an emphasis on summoning creatures to do turn-based battle. The game has been out of Early Access for a while but an update has just landed and it’s a big one: a new (optional) Law mode has been added, which removes most of the probability checks that are central to combat and casting.

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Multiplayer Misrule: Chaos Reborn Gets A Demo

Newborns are gross and… I had planned to start this post about Chaos Reborn [official site] now having a demo with some kind of gag about how reborns are surely even grosser, so it’s probably better to be visiting the game a month after launch. Then I remembered that reborn dolls are A Thing and just so uncanny and now I’m too distracted looking at those eerie little effigies while admiring the artistry and… I wish Pip were around this morning to talk me down out of this. Chaos Reborn has a demo now, okay, and a new update recently hit too.

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Julian “Mr X-COM” Gollop’s Chaos Reborn Is Out Now

Just a PSA, as we already mentioned this a few weeks before it happened: Chaos Reborn [official site], the successfully Kickstarted remake of/sequel to classic Spectrum wizard-bothering strategy/bluffing game Chaos, has left Early Access and gotten a full Steam release. Much as I can’t help but include “OMG made by the guy who invented X-COM” excitements in any coverage, I really should stress that Chaos Reborn is a clever and tense game of magical battles in its own right.

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X-COM Creator’s Chaos Reborn Is Born This Month

I’ve started to feel a degree of sadness when games leave early access and embrace a full release. It’s like watching your kids get older and go to college – there’s that point where, one day, their growing up is done. You know who they’re going to be. There’s pride, sure, but all the what-ifs are over and done with. Julian Gollop’s turn-based wizard-battler Chaos Reborn [official site] (currently on Steam Early Access), for instance, is no longer a great unknown – the X-COM co-creator’s latest (and first independent) game will be released on Steam at the end of the month. It’s not that its journey is over, but the guessing and hoping stage is. That great question which has floated around PC parts for years – what would it be like if Julian Gollop made a new game? – is answered.
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Chaos Reborn: Singleplayer Campaign Impressions

Slow and steady wins the race. No wild promises, but plenty of apparently practical plans for the future, has long been X-COM creator Julian Gollop’s approach with his Kickstarted comeback, Chaos Reborn [official site] (currently on Steam Early Access). While it sadly doesn’t seem to attract quite the same adulation/scrutiny as other returning 90s devs’ crowdfunded career reboots, what it has done is reliably get on with things, meeting its initial promises one-by-one. So here we are with the first components of its singleplayer mode – perhaps the strategic wizard-battler’s biggest break with its multiplayer-only, Spectrum ZX past. On the one hand, that’s probably what X-COM fans want more than anything (other than a true blue X-COM follow-up, of course). On the other hand, what is chess without a human opponent? All depends on structure – how can a series of disconnected, turn-based battles with random spells be made into a meaningful campaign?

Important note – I’ve chosen not to resummarise Chaos Reborn yet again, so please read this or this if you’re entirely unfamiliar with it.

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Chaos Reborn Adds Multiplayer Throwback Mode

Remember Chaos Reborn [official site]? That turn-based wizard-on-wizard combat game from X-Com co-creator Julian Gollop? Successfully Kickstarter-funded last year, it’s just now got itself a major hit of multiplayer in the form of a new “Classic Chaos” mode.

Which by any other name is essentially Chaos Reborn for fans of minimalism. Here’s how it works: Each player controls a wizard outfitted with a standard staff and gear, along with a random grab-bag of spells. In anticipation of the mode’s release, the team has introduced a separate league competition specific to Classic Chaos players.

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Chaos Reborn Conjured Onto Early Access Next Week

In a bit of a pickle there, aren't you?

X-COM creator Julian Gollop making a reimagine-o-sequel to another of his olde turn-based tactical games sounds like something we’d post about all the time, but how much is there to say between the end of a Kickstarter and the inevitable early access launch? For the seven months since our last post, Snapshot Games have worked on Chaos Reborn, and now they’re almost ready for that next step. Chaos Reborn will launch onto Steam Early Access on December 9th, announces a colourful new trailer filled with monsters, wizards, and wizards attacking monsters.

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