DGC Ep 083: Julian Gollop Interview

Welcome to this special bonus interview episode of Dev Game Club, where we welcome Julian Gollop into X-COM Base Provolone for a chat. We delve into the genesis of the game, how a publisher saved the game and itself, and many other topics surrounding the development of the game. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Podcast breakdown:
0:41     Gollop Interview
1:05:50Next time

Issues covered: Julian's ludography, genesis of X-COM, adding isometric rendering, Microprose's demands of the Gollops, interceptions, bolting on a strategic layer atop the tactical model, having more intelligent aliens and reverse engineering, men in black not making it in, intrapublisher competition, tabletop boardgaming and influence, miniature wargaming, simultaneous movement games, division of labor, geoscape rendering, going to the pub with the producer, getting canceled and not knowing about it, being developed under the radar, QA standing up for the game, working in-house, seeing through the cruft, advancing the alien agenda (mission counts), scaling difficulty, game not being played through before ship, small QA team, adding a difficulty scaling system last-minute, the save game bug, enjoying a simulation of intelligence (of an alien nature), how the alien tech tree works, deployment tables for mission types, save-scumming, theorizing about the difficulty curve, difficulty as draw and happy accidents, "When gamers were gamers," QA as a critical team element, explicit research goals, research as storytelling, procedural generation of level tile placement, descriptions of Phoenix Point, 4X with a declining population, explicit story, the Phoenix Project.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: 2010, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Mythos Games, X-COM (series), Laser Squad, Lords of Chaos, RebelStar (series), Codo Technologies, Laser Squad Nemesis, UbiSoft, Snapshot Games, Microprose UK, Stephen Hand, Civilization, Gerry Anderson, UFO (TV series), Thunderbirds, Space: 1999, Alien Liaison, Timothy Good, Bob Lazar, Squad Leader, Sniper, SPI, RoboRally, John Reitze, Martin Smiley, Spectrum Holobyte, Chris Blohm, Final Fantasy IX, X-COM: Apocalypse, Phoenix Point, Dark Souls, John Broomhall, HP Lovecraft, Cthulhu, FIG, Fallout, Tim Cain, EA, Sid Meier, John Carpenter, The Thing, Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, Link Between Worlds, Wasteland II, The Evil Within.

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TimYK: 43

Phoenix Point

UFO television series

Next time:
Silent Hill 2 - check Twitter for how far we'll go

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub