Don't forget about the "FUN" factor

The game seems to be coming along nicely but I’m concerned about adding too much. IMO, what made X-com so fantastic was how easy it is to get right into and have fun without being too overly complicated. What do you all think about that subject?


Both agree and disagree. I like Firaxis’ XCOM but I also remember original X-com games offering more strategic depth and freedom. And it’s great that Phoenix Point is planned to be similar game in terms of that depth/freedom. Game still has no proper tutorial or game entry and that could be the reasons why it seems too complex for some people. But that’s likely going to change.

Yeah, I’ve been thinking about the ammo situation. There’s nothing worse than setting off on a mission and finding you haven’t got ammo, or haven’t manufactured/packed it. Some kind of warning would go a long way… Either before or after a mission.

For me this is the kind of micromanagement I could do without. It’s the role of a quartermaster not a general.

Unless ammo is so rare that you have to think twice before packing it… But then ammo would have to be such an invaluable asset to make that level of micromanagement enjoyable.


It’s a balance act. Firaxcom is easy to get into but lacks staying power. Original UFO can be intimidating but entertains to this day as it gets more interesting as you continue playing.

As people are familiar with basics of xcoming a couple more hurdles won’t hurt. Whenever systems will end up fun, deep or engaging remains to be seen.

There will be such a warning. It’s already in our development build.


Think you know that sometimes you load your weapons just before the mission to discover they are not loaded when you are in the field?

It would be just a little annoyance were not that:
-until level 5 assault you spend an AP to reload, at turn one isnt a big issue usually but sometimes you have enemies in sight;

  • there is a very limited space in the backpack and starting with weapon loaded and 2 magazines is different than starting with just one because the weapon is empty

I think a happy medium between the original XCOMs and the reboot XCOMs would be ideal. Or rather, having control of many of the same things without unnecessary micromanagement and a cumbersome interface.

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Xenonauts, an indie game with a very basic graphics, was a good compromise beetween realism and playability

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I prefer games to have complexity, that to me is ‘fun’ :slight_smile: I’ve often found that the time where I enjoy a game the most is when I’m learning how to play it, the perfect game for me is one where I never fully get to the bottom of things, the challenge of always feeling that there’s something new to learn will keep me coming back for more. (Chaos Reborn was a case in point, when playing a human opponent there was always some new trick to be learnt).

I think there is a difference between complexity and micromanagement however.

How I’d split the them is to say that X-Com apocalypse for instance had a complex faction system with around two dozen factions that you had to interact with and for the large part try to keep onside. That to me is complex in that way that I look for in a game.

Having to reload ammo before going into your next missions is what I’d class as micro management, and that it just a PITA.

One of the advantages that modern TBS games have over older games is the possibility to cut down on that micromanagement. Things like inventory management should be easy, it shouldn’t at all be fiddly or a chore. Stacking items, right clicking to remove items, being able to easily compare alternatives, automatically reloading ammo should pretty much come as standard.

One of the disadvantages that often seems to arise however is that complexity of gameplay is sacrificed. Often this is in favour of higher quality graphics. Things like showing each inventory item as a icon rather than just listing them, there being less inventory items available than there could be otherwise because each one needs more dev resources to be designed. And this extends to things like map sizes, number of in game factions, variety of terrains, number of different units.

Being wowed by graphics makes a great impression for sure, pretty graphics do make people stop and take a look at a game, but for me personally, in a TBS they’re not necessary, I’d rather have deeper and, with that, more engaging gameplay.


I agree, but pretty graphics is important for marketing, even if TBS games already have some solid fanbase. And even if some superb engine isn’t so important in those games, other things like animations are - no matter whether game is played in real time or not.

A bit of eye candy is good; playing XCOM APO with all his bugs and his very basic graphic is just for old guys like me that love retrogaming, were not just to feel younger, but also for me playing The Witcher Wild Hunt is better

About details like inventory management and similar we have to think that games interfaces are written to be played on consoles and then ported on PC. A console player, the mayority of players that buy games, cannot manage a list inventory and 20 different hotkey shortcuts to do the simple and common tasks.

The very day i bought Skyrim and Fallout 4 i went to nexusmod and downloaded the inventory manager mod that some betatester had ready for release day, playing with the original one is something that will drive me mad after a few hours, having to make 3 mouse click to change the kind of arrows isnt something i like.

Back in topic what really matters in a game is replayability, being able to have fun playing the game even after you finished it on impossible level just because you can do a different start, play a different class or, why not, bed a different companion.

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And that’s why I sometimes miss the times when games for PC were designed specifically for PC in mind :wink: