DGC Ep 078: X-Com (part two)

Welcome to Dev Game Club, where we are beginning a series of episodes about 1994's X-COM: UFO Defense. This week, we talk about terror attacks, game tension, gratification, and a bit of base management. Dev Game Club looks at classic video games and plays through them over several episodes, providing commentary.

Sections played:
A few hours past the first ground mission

Podcast breakdown:
0:38 Segment 1
41:18 Break
41:47 Feedback

Issues covered: managing the clock speed, difficulty of the game and having to get better, failure screens, terror attacks, meeting different alien types, starting over again and getting more ground missions, learning the dynamics of covering one another, being unable to understand line of sight, infiltrating an UFO, contributions to tension, researching tech tracks, being unable to capture an alien alive, the use of radar dishes, recruiting scientists and soldiers, base building, the research loop and discovering what's out there, weapon lists, no storage of time units, energy costs, soldier stats, deep management, saving mid-ground mission, AI difficulty balance towards fairness, developing difficulty more towards numbers changes than behavioral ones, real-time flight combat, finance game, QAing a game like this, QA and developer skill and having trouble identifying how difficult to make your game, gratification of mastery or partial mastery, pin and fork moves in chess, fire propagation, learning how to use grenades, losing bodies and artifacts to grenades, alien deployment curve, tutorials, incorporating lessons without folks knowing they're being taught, underestimating tutorial building time, taking your time to build skills over multiple small levels, layering in simulation.

Games, people, and influences mentioned or discussed: Twilight Zone: To Serve Man, The Naked Gun, TIE Fighter, Fallout, Cryptosporidium-137, Destroy All Humans!, Nintendo, Ultima, Super Mario World, Julian and Nick Gollop, Reed Knight, Darren Johnson, John Yorke, Half-Life, Halo, Republic Commando, Starfighter, System Shock 2, charles F. george, minatorrent, Final Fantasy IX, Nickname_Placeholder, Aaron Evers, Ducky Shirt.

BrettYK: 1
TimYK: 73

Next time:
Play six months

@brett_douville, @timlongojr, and @devgameclub