During last week’s GDC, Revision3’s Adam Sessler got to sit down with two pretty notable figures in gaming. Jake Solomon, the director/producer of last year’s really good XCOM: Enemy Unknown got to sit down next to Julian Gallop, co-creator of the original X-COM: UFO Defense twenty years ago. For both Solomon and myself, the thought of being next to the creator of our favorite game of all time was a pretty elevating experience.
I won’t spoil the minutiae of the video, but the two creators are very cordial and respectful of each others’ work. Gallop admits that they couldn’t release a game like his X-COM today because of the game’s density and untutorialized learning curve (the game shipped with a pretty hefty instruction manual). Both also agree that a proper X-COM game is turn-based because there’s simply no other way to make permanent decisions so incisive. I’m not happy that the new XCOM excised the freedom and granular decision making that the original had in favor of accessibility, but I still have to give mad props to Solomon for being the guy to take the challenge on.