2K Marin Explains How The Bureau: XCOM Declassified Came About
The Bureau: XCOM Declassified wasn’t always a third-person squad-based shooter. It began life as a first-person shooter, and its transformation into what it is today came gradually.
Taking part on a Reddit “Ask Me Anything” thread, developers of 2K Marin explored the topic of the game’s inception, with Lead Narrative Designer Erik Caponi saying that there were members on the team who did not feel that making a shooter out of XCOM was a good idea.
“Game development is a process. You don’t have an idea, plonk it down, and then build what you had in your head. You try things. You see what works. You put stuff on the screen and see how it plays. It’s something that non-developers don’t realize. For everything you see on the screen in a shipping game, there was a ton of stuff that was tried and thrown away,” he said.
“So, the interesting thing about the history of the earlier version of The Bureau, is that you guys got to see behind the curtain a bit and see some of that sausage being made. The game (and full disclosure, that version of it was before my time here), was announced too early, before the process had really been seen through to the best and most credible version of the game.”
“In 2010 and 2011 the devs were still fine tuning the concept for what an XCOM shooter really is. It’s hard to consistently tell fans what to expect of a game when the concept for that game is still being baked,” senior product manager Nik Karlsson added.
The developers stated that once they figured out that the game wasn’t an FPS, they had to set out and tell the world about what it had become.
“Once we knew The Bureau was a very challenging, very tactical, very calculated third-person shooter we went to work telling the world about it. I feel like we’ve finally overcome the education hurdle that was in front of us, for the most part people understand that this game is no longer a FPS, and it’s no longer a detective game, it’s a tactical third-person shooter that’s reflective of the core XCOM tenants.”