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Xcom - André Galvão's Vision

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#1 Flaser



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Posted 23 June 2004 - 05:38 PM

André Galvão has written a superb novel based on the X-COM series.
(link below)
XCOM - Unkown Menance

The novel suffers from ocassional poor grammar and spelling, since the writter is a forigner, however - and what a however this is! - his fiction is immersing, complex and very serious.

For starters, all of the major secret services are given their own part and you start to wonder wheter it's amatour fanfiction or a Tom Clacy book you're reading.
Moreoever this atmosphere of spying is backed up by an equally strong line of politics (...and not the democrat/liberal bashing) with a clear criticizm of our own governments.

Finally X-COM itself is immersly realised with several characters, with their own set of traits who make the group memorable.
This X-COM is far from a written version of the game - most of such writtings suffer from the feeling that they're just a backdrop to the game, without cohesion or can't rid the thing from the feeling of being 'just' a game.

André manages, to make the game seem like a backdrop compared to the novel, where each aspect of the game is given a life of its own, and he has the guts to go beyond that and infuse the whole story with a mixture of our own life....

One word summarizes the whole: breathtaking

....(if only someone had the time to help him, go over the whole and correct his grammer it would be PERFECT).

What does this have to do with Xenocide?
Why do I contribute this the way I do?

I've been a lurker, and observer of the project for a couple of months now.
I've read several post v1 tips and ideas. While a lot of stuff was probably already mentioned, a lot of other stuff is completely unrelated.

Reading this novel had such an impect on me that I though just taking a look at its implementation of X-COM could give some insight and broader picture on what to do with this immerse tactical/strategiv simulation.

Give a face to the Nations, let them have a secret service, their own agenda in the council, with X-COM and the Aliens.
They could even be treated as another X-COM, meaning they try to do their own interception and ground operations.
Differences between X-COM and them:
They have a huge, but not so effective Radar network
Their armies are huge, but they lack the ability to mobilize fast enough, and the technology too - so although the aliens are superior compared to X-COM they should be in a hurry to dust off before the real amry arrives. - Of course such an event could be also an excuse to start the mass invasion, read the novel you'll get what I mean (the laser canon part).
They want to gain as much control over X-COM as possible, at the end of each month a Master of Orion like diplomacy meeting should take place where YOU as Commander will have to converse and convince them to give more money, or just plainly not to quit the project.

A more thorough implementation of the X-COM charter: each nation contributes to X-COM with their personel and monthly funding, and can exit the charter at any time.

A country shouldn't only quite when it gets inflitrated - they should also quite if they feel they aren't protected, or the othersget more out of the charter than they do. (the USA or Russia could be a candidate since they give most of the money, and later on they may think they can protect their borders on their own). They could quit just to start their own X-COM project and keep whatever technology they retrieve for themselves, or they are patriotic bastards who think they k0w how to do better than anyone else.

Countries that are in the project share their intelligence and technology with you, as well as their personal (researhers, soldiesrs ect.) - this should actually influence your recruiting pool. They also allow you to use their facilities as bases. If a country is really on good terms with you they may give you full controll over their own military and interception.

However the actual personal of X-COM while it's active are idependent of any national influence - NOT quite true, make it so, that the colonel leading each base will have some national tendencies, and your management could either gain their trust (by protecting their coutry, by preventing losses on their base, supplying their base, or just plainly visiting their base and raising the morale) - or fear that they will remain loyal to the country they came from.

If a country exits X-COM and you have a base their - which the government has knowledge of - you'll have to defend it or bully/convince the leaders of the nation to leave it alone OR evacuate.

The Ufopedia in unavailible to any nation since their eventual resignation could compromise X-COM's mission.
However the nation's don't think so....hence the need to protect you base from THEM.

X-COM operates under a complete Media Black-Out, since the governments are unprepared and incapable of the mass hysteria and uprisings that could take place uppon the admission of the Existence of Hostile Exaterrestial Life.

You also have to prevent Terror Attacks since they're a no.1 leak to the media. If the govenments admit their exitence it'll lower the attachment of all countries to X-COM, moreover some countries may collapse.
If all of the countries collapse you're dead.

X-COM can still attempt inteceptions over countries that quit, or originally hostile countries (such as North-Korea), however you'll have to be carefull not to get caught by the local country, and not just the aliens.

If X-COM's existance is revealed to the public, that will have varying results - the public's reaction in each country is a separate entity from the government's relatiuonship with X-COM.
Depending on the losses suffered, the achievments of you and the government, the public can eithr side with X-COM, the Government or the Aliens. In the later 2 instances the country Exits the charter and will activly hunt you from now on on their territory.

Both of these Media Events are worldwide.

You shouldn't have to build all of your bases, moreover you shouldn't be able to build bases at all when starting the game, instead you'll be given a number of top-secret millitary facilities all over the globe (like Area-51) with different capabilities.

So you start with a more or less world-wide network of bases - and a load of trouble since most bases are not up to your requirements.

There should be bases or facilites with purly millitary or research/manufacturing capabilities.

The Aliens are already out there! Beside waging war in the air and ground, you'll also have to oversee the monitoring and inflitration of other nations by your own man - you'll have to win over the leaders of other secret services (...and be carefull one of them could be a hybrid!) to find out who are the alien agents....

...and beside the aliens there are traitors among the human race! An Illuminate has taken several key positions in the governments, and they aided the aliens in their secret activities in exchage for power over their own race when the ivasion takes place - although some of them think of it as the only method to save some semblance of the current human race.

As for hybrids - yes, the alien's agents as well as the Illuminati's own creation are half-man, half-alien hybrids (they are actually still humans by most aspects and can pose as such) who were bred to do their bidding - however they don't like to do so...you may win over them, after all they are being absolutly exploited more than anyone elso on the planet. They are also excelent psi-kers.

#2 Hobbes


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Posted 24 June 2004 - 08:43 PM

Well, thanks :)

But the real question is: what didn't you like in the novel? (besides the lousy grammar, I know)?