Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are in our third in a series of episodes about 1994's X-COM: UFO Defense. We wrap up our discussion of the game, covering save-scumming and difficulty, and talk about some pillars and takeaways. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.
Just as much as we could fit in
0:39 Segment 1: X-Com finale
42:24 Segment 2: Pillars and feedback
Issues covered: the terror mission that kicked Tim's butt, getting under your skin, "super-gratifying," difficulty curve a bit too steep, quitting the game early, interceptor trouble, plasma clips, the United States pulling out, powered armor, aliens I have seen, experimentation and determining enemy behavior rules, negative connotation of save-scumming, fairness, save-scumming to survive, aggressive play, discovery and save-scumming, setting up the second playthrough, smoke inhalation, planning around the 88% shot, forcing improvisation, figuring out elevations and other rules for line of sight, pacing and rhythm and controls, waiting on research and manufacture, endless learning curve, sending out the rookies to die, how medkits work, motion scanner use, the first two turns, flanking more, chain reactions, multilayered interdependent systems at the tactical level, having to deliver on the tactical combat, alien autopsies, player-driven stories, escalation of the game, invasion story to counter-invasion story, wish fulfillment of being a government bureaucrat, "they said yes to a lot of things," generosity in game design, scaling generosity because it's a sim, why games didn't incorporate time in calculations, Bad Designer No Twinkie, modding in games, unique ability of games to mod, why Vagrant Story is so good, restoring Brett's blog, horror games,
Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Alien, Metal Gear, Casablanca, Blade Runner*, Laser Squad, Temple of Elemental Evil**, Troika, Arcanum, Final Fantasy Tactics, Mario + Rabbids, Far Cry 2, Rogue Spear, Rainbox Six, Zelda: Link Between Worlds, Ghostbusters, Rube Goldberg, Republic Commando, V: The Miniseries, Morgan Gray, Super Mario World, Nick Faulhaber, Dungeon Keeper, Ernest Adams, GamaSutra, Joao Vitor Bispo Galvao, Planescape: Torment, OpenXCOM, System Shock 2, Firaxis, Just Cause 2, Skyrim, Thomas the Tank Engine, Patrick Holleman, Losstarot, Kotaku: Splitscreen, Final Fantasy XII, Vagrant Story, Yasumi Matsuno, Dark Souls, Devil May Cry, JQ (yes, that's my real name), Resident Evil, Don Delillo, Zero K, Emily Ruskovich, Idaho, Hideo Kojima, Drop 7, X-COM: Enemy Unknown, Silent Hill 2, Clock Tower, Fatal Frame, Crimson Butterfly, Amnesia, Condemned: Criminal Origins, SOMA, Cthulhu.
*Yes, I flubbed the quote, it has been quite some time.
**It was 2003 (not 2004) and I was close: it was D&D 3.5.
Kickstarter for Reverse Design, Volume II: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/144457690/reverse-design-volume-two
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