Questions and Answers from Julian during UnstableVoltage Livestream

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  • Last Post 19 July 2017
UnstableVoltage posted this 08 July 2017

OK, it has taken me well over 3 hours, but I have finally collated and typed up the questions and answers from the stream. If you would like to watch the stream which is approximately 1 hour long, you can find it here -

The stream has the full unabridged stream chat overlayed on the video. If you would prefer to just read the Q and A, they are presented below. JG is lead designer Julian Gollop and AS is lead writer, Allen Stroud

Q: If you ally yourself with Anu, can you get one of those blimps?

JG: Yes, you can get vehicles from other factions.

Q: The level in the demo is quite flat. Is there a plan to include more verticality?

JG: Yes. There will be multilevel terrain and buildings.

Q: The animations (soldiers specifically) aren’t final, right? They look very stiff, especially coming off of XCom 2

JG: Animations aren’t final by any means.

Q: Will there be MECHs?

JG: Well, there will be automated weapons platforms.

Q: How will return fire work? Will all enemies get a free shot at you every time you fire at them?

JG: Some weapons can allow return fire so long as the character has the ability to do it. Return fire is usually much less effective than your normal fire.

Q: So return fire is a speciality that will have to be acquired?

JG: Yes.

Q: Return fire does half-damage, right?

JG: At the moment, it’s half.

Q: Julian, you didn’t get the stretch goals with naval bases and underwater missions, but could they appear in the future as DLC if the game will be successful?

JG: They could be DLC, yes.

Q: Where did the name Phoenix Point come from?

JG: Phoenix Project is the name of the organisation. Phoenix Point is the name of the base you control at the start.

Q: What do you think the biggest weaknesses of the new XComs are?

JG: Too damn difficult!

Q: What practical benefits does being part of the Phoenix Project organisation grant compared to being a group of random scientists, soldiers and engineers who found a haven?

JG: Your first long-term objective is to find out what happened to the rest of the Phoenix Project cells.

AS: The factions have very clear technological and ideological differences.

Q: Will we be able to create mod for Phoenix Point?

JG: Modding support will be added shortly after release.

Q: I’ve been wondering how many more stories are going to be made. I’ve been absolutely loving them.

AS: There are three more stories in the box to be released. There are two stories that will be written later.

Q: Are big creatures like The Queen (or things like vehicles) going to damage cover etc. they walk/drive through?

JG: The large creatures will be able to specifically attack cover to get at you.

 

Q: Julian, will you be at E3 2017?

JG: I will be at E3.

Q: I did worry about the similar interface, UI etc (to XCOM) – are there copyright concerns?

JG: The interface is not the same as XCom. For a start, you select a weapon to show action icons and shoot zone. The shoot zone of the pistol is much large than the sniper rifle.

Q: Does damage in excess to what is needed to disable body parts still do overall damage, or is it lost?

JG: Yes, damage to body parts in excess is still taken from general HPs.

Q: How many “boss-type” aliens will there be? Not including the city size aliens?

JG: Too many! Boss type encounters will happen often, but not most missions.

Q: Is there an option to remove the reaction camera after shooting The Queen? Or at least reduce it? I can imagine that would get tiring fast.

JG: We only just implemented those action cams. It needs a lot of work.

Q: How much of the game is completed (in %)?

JG: Completion % is about 15%

Q: Will bosses change in response to your tactics like the common grunts, or are they fixed?

JG: Yes, bosses have multiple mutation variations.

Q: Will there be an officer system?

JG: There won’t be an officer system.

Q: Will I be able to write backstories for soldiers in game?

JG: Yes, you will be able to write bios.

AS: We’ve been having discussions on the soldier backgrounds. If you want to write them, we want to make sure you can fit them into the mythos.

Q: Is there a plan for any kind of specialised ammunition in the game?

JG: Yes, there will be specialised ammo.

Q: For that matter, will weapons track ammunition usage in the final game?

JG: Weapons will track ammo usage.

Q: Are all soldiers equal, or will there be a commander or commander skills?

JG: Yes, there will be commander-like skills.

Q: Can you move by double-clicking on a tile, or does it require you to click the tile, then the move button?

JG: You can double click a tile to move there.

Q: Is there going to be a “medic” specialist class? Someone that can stop bleeding and stabilise the wounded?

JG: There will be a “technician” class – has medic equipment and other support equipment.

Q: Will there be inventory micromanagement, like in the original X-Com?

JG: There will be a proper inventory system.

Q: We already know of the effects of disabling arms and legs – what happens with disabled heads and torsos?

JG: Disabled head removes willpower and perception. We are considering persistent mental and physical traumas; especially after playing Arkham Horror card game.

Q: How many vehicles are planned?

JG: We don’t know how many vehicles we can manage yet.

Q: Will there be weather & day/night cycles and will these have any impact on the effectiveness of your squaddies?

JG: There will be day/night/weather effects.

Q: Will you be able to permanently alter soldiers, ie. give them artificial limbs, eyes, other implants (or mutations)?

JG: You can give artificial limbs and other enhancements, based on New Jericho tech. You can mutate soldiers based on Anu tech.

Q: Geoscape: Will we be able to construct/conquer multiple bases and expand our influence in the old X-Com way?

JG: You can have multiple bases.

Q: Will the bodies of dead enemies be persistent? Can you cover behind dead enemies?

JG: Covering behind dead enemies will be a thing with our new “realistic ballistics” system.

Q: Will the game support 4K resolution?

JG: There will certainly be 4K support.

 

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UnstableVoltage posted this 08 July 2017

Q: Will Phoenix Project have some exclusive tech – all the interesting tech seems to come from the other factions?

JG: Phoenix Project has exclusive tech – some of which is dependent on finding the other Phoenix cell locations.

Q: How does the low/high cover system interact with the physics bullets?

JG: A realistic ballistics system has a major impact on the cover system. We will be implementing ballistics next, so you will get to see how it works soon.

Q: Full cover seems sparse. Is that intentional?

JG: Full cover is sparse on the Queen map.

Q: So, I guess most of the missions are also generated in the old-school style by discovering them in your bases range? And are not arbitrarily generated by the game?

JG: The strategic level of the game borrows much from 4X games. Especially Master of Orion! Not to mention Alpha Centauri.

Q: Will the enemies be able to specifically target bits on our soldiers that would explode, fuel tanks, grenades, rocket launchers etc?

JG: Yes, the enemy can target specific things on your body/equipment.

Q: Will there be an option to “auto resolve” missions, or will the player have to manage each one?

JG: Not sure about auto-resolve yet.

Q: Here’s a lore question. Is there going to be an occult side to the game or is it all science(-fiction)?

JG: It is science fiction. With a healthy dose of cultish beliefs and practices.

Q: Are you planning to have fixed or per-class stat improvements when you level or a point-based system that we can customise?

JG: It will be a point based system with a skill tree.

Q: If the enemy shoots and destroys, say, a flamer’s fuel tank, is it a guarantee that you’re going up in flames or just a chance?

JG: Just a chance.

Q: Is there going to be a trophy room, to hang the heads of the aliens you’ve killed?

JG: Trophy room could get rather large with all the different mutations.

Q: How will customisation work? If you get new armour, could you still wear the old one as cosmetic?

JG: Armour is based on components that cover various body parts – a bit like X-Com: Apocalypse. Realistic ballistics system will be based on X-Com: Apocalypse algorithms.

Q: Would be it possible to pick up shot-off shield arms to use as semi portable cover?

JG: Interesting idea!

Q: Will there be a “UFOpaedia”?

JG: “UFOpaedia” will be a thing.

Q: The layout of the bases are vertical (new XCom) or horizontal (old X-Com)?

JG: Bases are old X-Com style.

Q: How often (considered 80% optimal play) will people die on “normal” difficulty? Should we consider our troops to be cannon fodder that rapidly develops but rapidly dies, or should we care?

JG: There will be less of a cannon fodder effect.

Q: Will there be a mechanism to maintain a sense of urgency (ala XCom countdowns on Geoscape), or will the player be able to take things at a pace that suits them?

JG: The mist slowly enveloping the globe will keep you on your toes.

Q: When can we hope to see the base layout in the Geoscape?

JG: We haven’t done any UI for the base construction yet.

Q: How detailed will the Havens economic & political model be? Eg, could a haven be impacted if the aliens of a rival faction cut their supply lines?

JG: Yes, there will be an economic model that can cause knock on effects.

Q: Will there be mist “killing” tech in the Geoscape?

JG: Synedrion develop mist repelling tech.

Q: So the mist…. Is it like a dead zone? You go into it and die? Or is it just a way to show alien territory?

JG: Can’t reveal too much about the mist. In battle, your soldiers will be spotted if they enter the mist, and they will suffer various……effects, shall we say – unless they have the right protective gear. The alien mist tends to stick to lower altitudes. Mountains are relatively safe places. Also, there are substantial parts of the world under water. The darn aliens melted the ice. The spread is partially dependent on terrain elevation.

Q: What about stealth?

JG: Stealth system is a major focus of development for September.

Q: Will there be parts of the world which are sunk? Because if the ice melts, the water level rises and stuff, and if yes, will there be Atlantis like cities? Human cities which are sunk?

JG: Many human cities would be under water, yes.

Q: If underwater missions come as DLC will some of the missions be in underwater cities?

JG: Underwater missions could be in cities.

Q: So, are there any other classes than Grunt, Heavy, Sniper and Technician?

JG: There are 3 base classes and 5 specialist classes. Soldiers usually start in the 3 base classes, then they can add 1 or more specialist classes. You can recruit high level soldiers.

Q: I have backed the bronze level with early access. When is the early access due?

JG: Early access will start early next year.

Q: How many different mission types are planned right now?

JG: I can’t remember how many mission types we have yet. But there will be a number of specialist “story” missions which have a unique scenario and objectives.

Q: Is there going to be a character pool like in XCom 2?

JG: There will be a character pool.

Q: Will explosions be able to blow limbs off?

JG: Yes, explosions will be able to blow limbs off.

Q: Since this game looks so much like new XCom, I fear that the Geoscape is also downsized to mere pushing the button, an event pops up, and you can do either action A, B or C. Not actively hunting UFOs.

JG: No. The strategic game is like a 4X – independent AI controlled factions, Havens, leaders.

Q: Is there more than one type of Behemoth? More than one means of taking one down? Will there be seaborne Behemoths/Leviathans?

JG: We have considered more than one type of behemoth – but it depends on funding/resources, as always. For now, there is one.

Q: Will these alpha build demos be available to backers?

JG: We will be making builds available to backers from January.

Q: Any plan for alien hives or bases?

JG: There will be alien bases.

Q: Are the placements for the factions random? And will they be friendly or hostile when you encounter them?

JG: The initial world setup has a lot of random factors.

Q: We’ve seen Crab people, what other animals do you have in mind to be mutated?

JG: We have designs for alien designs incorporating large land mammals such as elephants, lions, giraffes.

Q: Is the location of Phoenix Point itself random at the start of each campaign, chosen by the player, or always in one place?

JG: You will be able to choose your base location from a set of available positions – generally all high altitude, well defended places.

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Grimlock posted this 11 July 2017

Thanks for taking the time doing this, UnstableVoltage.

Right now I don't have the time to watch the whole video but I can take a look to the text from time to time to read all the information.

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Anton posted this 14 July 2017

I've got one eye on the sea and one eye on the video and one eye on.... D:

Dark_Ansem posted this 16 July 2017

Thanks a lot for all this. Favourite!

CaptainGeneral posted this 17 July 2017

Does multiple bases mean more than one team? One thing I didn't like about the newer xcoms was you only had one. In the originals you felt like it was a global effort that expanded rather than the single platoon/single base thing of the newer ones. Just seemed like a lack of redundancy for the sake of it.  

91stCataclysm posted this 19 July 2017

CaptainGeneral said:

Does multiple bases mean more than one team? One thing I didn't like about the newer xcoms was you only had one. In the originals you felt like it was a global effort that expanded rather than the single platoon/single base thing of the newer ones. Just seemed like a lack of redundancy for the sake of it.  

 

Hard to tell, since on the one hand we're told that filed personnel won't be semi-disposable cannon fodder (which would imply a single, primary team) but on the other hand with multiple bases and time-sensitive missions (for example: eliminating a leviathan before it tramples a certain haven) multiple teams would make sense.

 

I think that they'll probably have a small pool of manpower (compared to the original x-com) organized into per-base strike teams, so in the end your "standing forces" are much larger than new X-Com but spread out.

woah77 posted this 19 July 2017

That's not exactly true. We're going to have a medium pool of manpower, where losing a guy will hurt you. But you'll have enough units to rotate your team around and have spares in case someone gets injured.

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