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X-com Wishlist


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#1 pizzathehut

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Posted 27 January 2008 - 08:22 AM

Game Informer recently reported that the X-COM license has been acquired by 2K Games. Im sure many of you know that 2K re-released TFTD on Steam, and, due to its surprisingly high number of sales (despite being the less popular of the original set of games), GI has listed the probability for a sequel true to the original games at 99%. Those who subscribe to GI are well aware that the magazine maintains an extensive list of informants within the game industry and are likely being fed information. Otherwise, the 99% likelyhood rating is rather silly to assign considering that KOTOR (a much larger success commercially) was only granted an 85%. In my excitement I dusted off every X-COM title I owned and played through them again. From this, I have derived the following wishlist:

1- Keep the game turn based. While real time is novel and new, the tactics really boil down to simple damage output formulae. Number of shots per second * damage = general output. General output * percentage of enemy resistance = Final output. Outfit all members of squad with highest final output weapon. By removing the need for seconds, you make the weapon choice a tactical choice. The movements of the sqaud are no longer based upon whether or not you have a higher damage output than the enemy, but whether or not you have the right tool for the job on hand.

2- Expand on the "Trainings" offered in the UFO: Afterlight game. I thought the trainings added somthing extra to the game. A bit more depth to the soldiers that made loseing them even more heart-breaking. These trainings could offer endless customization in a turn-based game! Here are some of my thoughts for specific training:
A- Tactician= Must have the rank of an offcer (lieutenant or higher. A watered down/pre-req version may be available to sergeants). While in the Tactical game, the tactician could spot terrain which would provide a bonus to soldiers while it is not in contention (i.e. only your soldiers or allied soldiers are on said terrain). While in the effective range of the officer, snipers may have greater range while on top of a hill, grenadiers may be harder to hit while running through a forest, or heavy weapons specialists may not be effected as much by taking more than one shot in a turn because they are using an obstacle as a bi-pod. This would also make it worthwhile to pull high ranking officers out of the landing craft and put them in the line of fire.
B- Spotter= Snipers are more likely to see distant enemies when accompanied by an appropriately equipped "spotter". In real life, spotters convey distance, wind speed, and a myriad of other information to the actual trigger man such that the man behind the trigger can focus on hitting the target. In these wolf packs, snipers could be highly effective at pinning down enemy forces until assault teams can arrive. Especially since distant enemies and their movements are being tracked by a dedicated spotting unit.
C- Combat Engineer= Planting explosives on key choke points might make enemies think twice about rushing your positions. Engineers can demolish walls, plant breaching charges (blow a door open rather than open it and remove the opportunity for a reaction shot ;) ), and even blow a bridge out from under a pack of chryssalids. A dynamic environment coupled with tactical explosives would open an entirely new avenue of tactics to players.
D- Veteran= This training is earned and represents that a soldier has participated in many missions and seen just about every horror war has to offer. They are less effected by the death of comrades, the loss of mission objectives, and disgusting creatures which hail from god knows where. There are two sides to this coin, a long term veteran who does not get promoted may also be less effected by Tactician bonuses.

3- LET US CHOOSE PROMOTIONS! I dont want Sydney "Shoots friend in back" Johnson in charge of tactical operations. For god sakes... let me choose who leads the squad based on their abilities and how they can promote my style of play! A highly accurate officer would confer accuracy bonuses (for snipers). On the other hand, a fast moving officer could grant extra time units (perfect for assault and recon teams). Further, a psionically inclined officer may grant a little extra psi "juice" or whatever to the soldiers in his/her command.

4- Chain of command for co-operative/competitive online play. Each player controls their own individual soldier. Your soldier reports enemy locations to a higher authority, and that authority to the next highest, and so on all the way to the overall commander. The overall commander can see the entire battlefield (everything the lower troops see) and plots out suggested actions for you to take. You then choose what to do specifically. Perhaps if you move to the location and spot a couple more troops, you would alter the following events rather than following the plan. If a soldier in the chain of command is killed, everything beneath him is removed from the sight of your overall commander for a turn or two (until a battlefield promotion is made.) While officer's may have better stats, access to weapons/armor, better equipment, etc. you also make yourself a target by choosing the officer role.

5- Allow for the co-ordinated use of multiple landing craft/landing sites. I want a two-pronged attack... maybe a three pronged attack. A terror operation in Chicago would certainly encompass more than three blocks... and would require more than 14 troopers to thwart. Landing in one spot in full force allows you to concentrate your push, but it also puts you farther from some objectives. Along with this, allow us to choose between some landing sites. If a transport is full of grenadiers and assault squads, I want them right in the thick of the action as fast as possible. My long range/engineers can land a bit further away to set up fall back points, secure areas, and set up booby traps.

6- An AI that makes use of all the same tricks that are available to players! I would love to see two engineer squads stumble upon each other as they try to booby trap the same bridge. I want to see alien assault teams storm a hill top to wrestle control away from my HWP.

7- Customizeable tech trees. The tech tree should follow a general progression, but further research into laser weapons may yield a Laser Rifle V2.0. Each successive version of a technology is better in some RANDOM way (better range, damage, ammo capacity, realod time, durability, etc.). Also, each level of a technology yields diminishing results (so you cant pump all research into one weapon and have a super godly pea-shooter). This would open up wider strategies for those who have been unable to capture intact alien weaponry. If you cant get a hold of those plasma rifles, make your M16's pack a little extra punch in the mean time. This would also add replay value as each game could be played differently by simply investing further into a certain line of techs. NOTE: Code should be used such that research will not yield the same benefit achieved on the last research. If you get additional range on the first go, you will not get it again on the second. This would prevent players from over-powering a single value and prevent continuously getting the one bonus you dont want.

8- Nation's respond to alien invasions and assist X-COM. Why is China, with its absolutely massive standing army, just lying back and watching 30 aliens rampage through densely populated cities? Allied nations should send whatever assistance they can muster. Perhaps, they may even offer to air strike or bombard for you provided you complete secondary objectives. If your interceptors can clear a path for Stealth Bombers....... oh the fun one could have watching Miami, and that damn chryssalis, get blown sky high. Conversely, you could try to save a defecting nation (and bring them back to your side) but on those missions the nation's would be working against you!

9- KEEP THE CHRYSSALIS! Its the BS unfair unit we all love to hate. EVERY X-Com player has a story to tell about how one damn chryssalis derailed EVERYTHING. And Im willing to bet we would all gladly re-live through every single horror story just to get a glimpse of an X-Com sequel.

10- Allow an option to choose an initial base set up. We could opt to take a penalty to starting cash to place our own facilities the way we want them. The starting layout in the original X-Com games was insanely stupid. Oh yeah... lets put all the entrances of our base on the outermost edges... and lets arrange them such that if we are attacked... well be completely surrounded from the get go. Even a hastily constructed base would be better than that!

11- A GOOD manual which explains details. I dont care if its printed or in PDF on the DVD/CD/whatever. I cant stand it when a game ships with an incomplete manual that has you scouring forums to clarify what the heck somthing does. This applies to all games, but it really is a pain in the donkey at times. For example, In Madden football there are many stats. Among them are Strength, Run blocking strength, and run blocking footwork. How do strength and runblocking strength differ? How does footwork effect performance and does a high strength off-set a low footwork? Do the stats effect independent performance situations? Couldn't tell you because the manual doesnt make any mention of these things. In fact, there is not a single shred of explanation for ANY of the stats. Dont just give us numbers... tell us what the heck they mean so we can actually take interest in character progression rather than play a guessing game. "hhmmm... I think tony needs more TU's to fire more times in a turn?". Of course a player who has been through this before knows that SPEED will decrease the percentage of total TU's a soldier needs to fire. Adding more TU's allows for more movement... adding more speed will allow him to fire more efficiently. Would be useful to know such things.

Thats all I can write at the moment... more is coming after sleepy time. Your thoughts are welcome.

#2 Guest_Azrael Strife_*

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 07:16 AM

Rather old information, X-Com has been owned by Take-2 for a loong time now.

#3 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 05:23 PM

very Verryyyy old info.

And Im sorry to say, but by stating that you want these special units and not wanting an option for real time, you are really just Command and Conquer'ing up the game, thus Ruining it. :P

Realtime has the capabilty of being tactical.

Special units ruin this.

Everyone has the same abilties, so that you can make your Own tactics, rather than having to rely on special units.
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#4 dteviot

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Posted 28 January 2008 - 10:35 PM

Perhaps not news to the hardcore here, but an item dated 2007-12-04
Ken Levine will stay on in 2K Boston and is starting on a new X-Com game called Project X
Saving the world from the scum of the universe is hard work. Especially when you have to create the scum to begin with.

#5 mastermike569

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Posted 16 February 2008 - 05:56 PM

Perhaps not news to the hardcore here, but an item dated 2007-12-04
Ken Levine will stay on in 2K Boston and is starting on a new X-Com game called Project X


Holy Poo Poo, I wonder why all the employee's were fed up working with Ken, but he's supposedly making a new X-Com game, is this a good thing or a bad thing I wonder, other than the fact that a new x-com game is possibly in the works. I am creaming my pants at the news of that which somehow slipped past my radar.

#6 Gimli

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 02:58 AM

Oh, you posted this here as well? :P Well, as I said on the 2K forums, GDC is tomorrow so maybe we'll hear something.

#7 Guest_Azrael Strife_*

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 05:49 AM

Perhaps not news to the hardcore here, but an item dated 2007-12-04
Ken Levine will stay on in 2K Boston and is starting on a new X-Com game called Project X


Holy Poo Poo, I wonder why all the employee's were fed up working with Ken, but he's supposedly making a new X-Com game, is this a good thing or a bad thing I wonder, other than the fact that a new x-com game is possibly in the works. I am creaming my pants at the news of that which somehow slipped past my radar.

That's because you don't read enough at StrategyCore :rolleyes:

#8 mastermike569

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Posted 17 February 2008 - 04:22 PM

Oh, you posted this here as well? :P Well, as I said on the 2K forums, GDC is tomorrow so maybe we'll hear something.

LOL good to see you again on here. Again, excited to see what turns up at GDC.

Perhaps not news to the hardcore here, but an item dated 2007-12-04
Ken Levine will stay on in 2K Boston and is starting on a new X-Com game called Project X


Holy Poo Poo, I wonder why all the employee's were fed up working with Ken, but he's supposedly making a new X-Com game, is this a good thing or a bad thing I wonder, other than the fact that a new x-com game is possibly in the works. I am creaming my pants at the news of that which somehow slipped past my radar.

That's because you don't read enough at StrategyCore :rolleyes:

Well at least that gives me some direction to find out what the dealio is with Ken :D , thanks for the tip.

#9 NRN_R_Sumo1

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 11:57 AM

What is GDC exactly? Some sort of gamers convention?
Me: Magic Eight Ball, do alien beings inhabit the earth?

Eight Ball: For the love of God, would you stop jiggling me! How can I predict the future when I'm about to throw up?!

#10 Gimli

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Posted 18 February 2008 - 01:44 PM

Game Developers Conference. I'm a bit surprised that you never heard of it, but oh well.

#11 Guest_Azrael Strife_*

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 09:31 AM

Me neither, I always thougth daddy dev put a small small seed in mommy dev's belly and two years later a new game was released.

Of course, there are exceptions... poor baby Alliance..

#12 mastermike569

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 11:57 AM

Me neither, I always thougth daddy dev put a small small seed in mommy dev's belly and two years later a new game was released.

Of course, there are exceptions... poor baby Alliance..


LOL that game was more like a coat hanger abortion from Hasborg.

#13 NKF

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Posted 20 February 2008 - 12:21 AM

Just for those interested, I was asked to pass these links to articles with references to the X-Project along:

http://news.filefron...lve-ken-levine/
http://www.dvhardwar...ticle23652.html
http://www.shacknews...article.x/45797
http://www.eurogamer...rticle_id=73145
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/?p=668

I've been hiding under a rock most of the year (and previous years, come to think of it), but I hope this succeeds if it is well under way. I suppose I shouldn't get my hopes up too high considering the sordid repeating history of previous official X-Com projects. Of coure, the one thing we'll always have is a glimmer of hope.

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#14 mastermike569

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Posted 21 February 2008 - 11:49 PM

Just for those interested, I was asked to pass these links to articles with references to the X-Project along:

http://news.filefron...lve-ken-levine/
http://www.dvhardwar...ticle23652.html
http://www.shacknews...article.x/45797
http://www.eurogamer...rticle_id=73145
http://www.rockpapershotgun.com/?p=668

I've been hiding under a rock most of the year (and previous years, come to think of it), but I hope this succeeds if it is well under way. I suppose I shouldn't get my hopes up too high considering the sordid repeating history of previous official X-Com projects. Of coure, the one thing we'll always have is a glimmer of hope.

- NKF


Thank you for those links, its always good to hear new xcom news since the well has been so dry for some time now.