Posted on March 24, 2014, Mike Sharkey X-COM Creator Julian Gollop Wants a Mobile Laser Squad Nemesis
Julian Gollop wanted randomly generated maps in the new XCOM, too.
Gollop, creator of the original X-COM, is currently trying to Kickstart his new project, Chaos Reborn, and he took to Reddit for an AMA. That’s where he mentioned the randomly generated maps, answered oodles of questions on all things X-COM (and XCOM), and much more.
“I really enjoyed it,” Gollop said when asked what he thought about XCOM: Enemy Unknown. “I think Jake Solomon and the team at Firaxis did a really good job. It was tight and focused with never a dull moment. I like the character progression system a lot. On the downside I was disappointed that there weren’t randomly generated maps and the Geoscape was largely irrelevant.”
What do you think of the new XCOM’s difficulty and the overall trend in the industry to make less challenging games?
“That’s a toughie. There are some things about the new XCOM which are clearly better – a better tutorial, a better interface. The old complex X-COM had a slightly different approach – the aliens had their agenda which progressed no matter what the player did. Things were more systemic and less scripted. I still prefer this approach, but its just not seen in any AAA game these days, let alone the new XCOM.”
Ever think of returning to isometric, turn-based strategy?
“Actually yes, although this is a little known story. After the first X-COM I was so worn out by the development that I wanted to do something in a new direction. I proposed an X-COM style game based on a kind of Lovecraftian Chthulu mythos set in the 1930s with cults, portals into a parallel world and Nazis. Microprose said that horror games don’t sell. However, some elements of these ideas did make it into X-COM Apocalypse.”
His favorite games of all time? Master of Magic, Fire Emblem, Civilization 2, Lords of Midnight, and Advance Wars.
Why is he updating his 1985 ZX Spectrum tactical strategy game Chaos: The Battle of Wizards with Chaos Reborn? And is there a chance he’ll return to another one of his classics, Laser Squad?
“I wanted to return to indie gaming, and I wanted a project that inspired me. Chaos was one of my favourite projects, and I think it has endured surprisingly well. Many people want me to revisit Laser Squad in some way, so it is something I will consider – but no firm plans yet.”
How about a mobile version of Laser Squad Nemesis?
“I would really like to do this, yes. I have great fondness for Laser Squad Nemesis, although a large part of it was the community of players who contributed so much – maps, tournaments, etc. I agree that it could work well on tablets too. You might be right about it being ahead of its time.”
Dream game project, money is no object?
“I would like to create a future universe which is entirely procedurally generated – including characters, story line, technology and worlds. It would be a sort of RPG with strategy, politics, economics, culture, and everything. Undoubtedly there would be some threat to yourself or your world, which you had to overcome, but it would be different each time you played it. Hmm, a bit on the ambitious side.”
Thoughts on Early Access?
“Early access can really help developers get their project finished, which might not otherwise get any funding. It’s a two way street though. I think developers need to be very careful to offer something of real value if they are actually charging money for it. They must ‘find the fun’ quickly and it must be present from the earliest release. In my view rough graphics and functional interfaces are acceptable, but buggy, incoherent gameplay isn’t.”
And there’s much more. Gollop really took the time to try to answer everyone’s questions. Kudos.
Also, can we please get that XCOM-style, Lovecraftian Chthulu mythos, set in the 1930s with cults, portals into a parallel world and Nazis game made immediately?