Game stability?


#1

As a huge fan of the XCOM series all back to the original beginning, I can’t figure a better gameplay I’d want.
I’m 44 yo, so FPS-games lost my interest many years ago.
While graphics were more primitive in the 90’s, the stability of the games was great, and I’ve spent lots of hours being well entertained in my fights for Earth.
Unfortunately both the latest XCOM and XCOM 2 suffered great instability, and I can’t tell you how frustrating it was, when days and weeks resulted in a crashed game I couldn’t finish.
As I understand it, people can “buy” a fix for the XCOM 2, but it sounds like the buyers were pretty much left in the dark.
So while “Phoenix Point” should be a logic buy, I’m having second thoughts, as long as I’m not assured, that something has been done to prevent such issues in that game.


#2

Hi Guus,

I’m not sure what we can say to you here. Obviously, we want our game to be as stable, bug free and as optimised as possible.

We had nothing at all to do with XCOM or XCOM 2. Phoenix Point uses a completely different engine to XCOM/XCOM2. With this in mind, I don’t think it would be fair to judge the potential performance of our game based on another made by a completely different developer.


#3

Phoenix Point is by Snapshot. The recent XCOM games are by Firaxis, so I don’t think you can hang whatever stability issues you’ve encountered in EU or X2 at Snapshot’s door. :stuck_out_tongue:

With that in mind, the backer build we’re getting tonight is in a pre-alpha condition and, as the community managers and (most) youtube demo-ers have taken great pains to point out, stability issues are part and parcel of a game this early in its development cycle.

For what it’s worth to you, I never had a crash while playing either of the Firaxis XCOMs, expansions included; and that’s with 550 hrs in EU and 600ish in X2 (that includes the long load times that I hear some folks were cursed with, which I never saw. I feel for you). Maybe it’s your system, at least in part.

Edit: beaten to it by the CM. :smiley:


#4

That’s the only right way to go about it either way, there’s no need for petty “he said she said”-battles between different franchises – Phoenix Point has so many unique strengths and features that it should be judged on its own merit and not as “that XCOM clone”, which it clearly isn’t.

From what we’ve seen so far in terms of demo gameplay, that one level ran very, very well indeed, given that it is all still **pre-**alpha stage gameplay, and especially given the fact that actual polishing and optimization passes aren’t on the schedule until at least advanced beta stage in development, it looked really, really good.

Can’t wait to try it out for myself tomorrow, and of course to eventually enjoy the final game! :tophat:


#5

One thing I would like to add to this is that you can not expect a unfinished game that has not been optimized yet to be optimized, that is generally near the end of development and odds are that it will have the issues you are concerned about during the pre alpha and alpha stages for sure and most of the beta stage. If you are worried about game crashes and weird random frame drops I might suggest waiting to play the game until near or at release.

No guarantee that it won’t have similar issues but at the same time you can not judge a finished products performance based on code a year or more from completion that has not been optimized… and before you say “but the ETA is Q4 of this year, that is only 6 months away” remember that is just a tentative date and you never know exactly how long development times will take because you can not predict game breaking bugs and what bugs are generated from fixing those bugs, while it would be fantastic if they hit the mark dead on always assume that there will be some unforeseen hold up because it is better to expect later and possibly be pleasantly surprised if it doesn’t take longer then it is to expect earlier and be disappointed when that time frame is missed.


#6

While Phoenix Point isn’t related to Xcom, I can tell for me (Linux Port), as long as I did not using cheats the Games xcom2 (>450 Hours ingame) is really good stable. I can remember 2-3 Crashes, thats all


#7

I actually found Firaxis games to be rather stable, although Xcom 2 had framerate issues at launch. these improved greatly as time passed though.

On the other hand, rose tinted glasses aside, OGXCOM had major bugs when assaulting alien bases, interesting stat overflows would happen on occasion and a number of other crippling bugs (that’s not my nickname for Chryssalids btw).


#8

Thank you for the answers.
Well, first of all I didn’t know about the different game developer, because Phoenix Point was compared to XCOM, and it is so close in graphics and gameplay, that I feel excused on that perception.
I’m of course happy to learn, that it’s an entire different developer, because I don’t want to invest money in another lost cause, so with your answers I feel much more comfortable.

Thank you everybody.


#9

Not a problem. I believe the confusion comes from the fact that our studio is owned by Julian Gollop, creator of the original “X-Com” from 1994, not the Firaxis “XCOM” remakes. Though it is really easy not to realise the difference. We will do our very best to deliver a game that performs to your expectations.


#10

Well, yes, us home computer children do remember when games were optimized and fixed and not rushed just for $$$. Yes, they were less complex, studio were smaller, but so were the profits.

I do member well how buggy F-axis game was, it used to exit and have sooo many bugs. It took almost up to Enemy Within release to make it stable and bug free.

Dont worry this time its done by guy who did Laser Squad, Lords of Chaos and XCom: Enemy Unknown (we ll use that name to distinguish it from F-axis mess which I now call Enemy Within as final release of game)


#11

And that is exactly what bad reboots do. People think SYNDICATE is bad FPS, not great Xcom like but real time strategy. That Xcom is only that Enemy Within reboot, and not Xcom: EU 1994.

And truth is that Fireaxis Enemy Within is bad clone of Xcom EU in terms of pliability and strategy elements.


#14

Well, Gus, back in the day we had two great boons as far as stability went.

  1. Less complexity, games back then just had way less mechanical bits that could go wrong. No shaders, less code, models were often sprites, etc.
  2. More homogeneity - There were way less systems, types of systems, and manufacturers than we have to account for now.

Neither of those can ever really get changed back, but developers both soft and hard have gotten WAY better at compensating for them over the years.

Hey, at least we now have the ability for patches to be distributed super quickly and to be iterated on rapidly. Back in those days, if there was a hard crash in the code, it could take ages to find it, fix it, and then distribute it. In some cases, it never was. Some cases, it was only fixed by fans with modern distribution a decade later.

I’d say we’re a lot better off now than we were then.


#15

Definitely a lot better off. Rose tinted glasses make people forget that some of those games were shipped during the ancient times of Dos based, plug and pray systems.

Wasn’t it fun to have to setup different memory parameters for different games and having boot disks allocating the proper amount of paginated/extended/consecrated(!) memory?

Setting up the proper I/O ports, IRQ and DMA channels everytime you wanted to use your wonderful SoundBlaster card with a new game was just as lovely.

OG XCOM games were also riddled with their own bugs. Finishing OGXCOM with the crippling display bug in alien bases that more or less forced you to go blind, making sure that you didn’t interrogate stuff out of order in TFTD because otherwise crucial researches would never trigger and you couldn’t finish the game at all, was also an endless source of fun!

Good old times my ass. I sure had a blast back then but it wasn’t all puppies and kittens!


#16

God, I had forgotten about setting up ports and irq numbers.