My thoughts on backer build one

Hello, I’m glad to be a part of this community as much as I was enjoying playing backer build one today :slight_smile:
I’d like to share with you my thoughts on it, grouped into categories to make things clear.

Things I LIKE so far:

  • Music is a placeholder I know, but what a cool placeholder it is! It’s atmospheric and don’t get tedious at all. I would like to hear more of it in full version.
  • Graphics are nice and clear. I can’t wait to see some more terrain types and aliens.
  • There is no percentage in hitting chance, instead we have no dmg/possible dmg/likely dmg indications. Great and fresh approach.
  • Free aim is cool addition enhancing our decisions
  • Evolution of 2-points AP system known from XCOM. Love it. And red lines indicating which enemies my soldier will see after his moves. It is huge improvement.
  • Will point system. It is very important to have these in reserve. It could be indicated by flashing (or something else) when soldier getting low on them.
  • UI, mostly. Nice and clear: AP bar, available actions, weapons&equipment wheel


  • Maps are rather small (comparing to moving range of units). I know there will be more variety in terms of their sizes, though.
  • Return fire. There were situation where I sneak behind shielded crabman to hurt him much. And I did, but in return he shot me to death. I couldn’t do nothing, I felt punished. Don’t know how to defend my soldiers against it. Not sure if it’s even possible? I don’t know what purpose of return fire is in terms of mechanics? Obviously it is great feature for our assaults to have but aliens seem to be too powerful: shooting them from behind wouldn’t be as rewarding as supposed to be…
  • Crates are nice addition but I would like to see them as something more rare and special, especially if our soldiers could pick up some stuff from dead enemies.
  • Bosses. Not sure I like the idea of big-as-buildings aliens who will occasionally break in and ruin my tactical approach to the mission. I hope these meetings won’t be too frequent. I like to see some stationary bosses though in places like alien bases/hives. And instead of too many tough bosses I like idea of tough units (like Lobstermen, Tentaculats, Chryssalids) much more.
  • Specific body parts damages. It 's not cool when my soldier has right arm injury and can’t use his primary weapon, especially when medkit can’t fix it.
    Like in return fire, this is something I can’t defend my soldiers against of.

Things I DON’T LIKE so far (knowing this is a build version and many things will or could change):

  • Fortunately there are no alien pods, but still right at the beginning of their first turn aliens are showing themselves in numbers, acting like they are already alarmed by player’s presence. It takes away tension and a thrill of exploration.
  • Both sides have very long sight range. Again, it takes away tension and a thrill of exploration and makes almost all the aliens visible right at the beginning of the mission.
  • Aliens sometimes act strangely and like to move a tile next to my soldier just to show him their back (and making an easy target of themselves). I’m sure AI will change much, though.
  • Grenades. Throwing them has serious limitations and I’m not sure why. If the vision of my soldier isn’t obstructed why can’t I throw this wherever I want (in a range of throw, of course)?

Things I would like to see improved (as much as these which I don’t like):

  • Inventory. Great to see this again although I’m pretty sure it is placeholder? It would be nice touch to have our soldier figure on the inventory screen. also spaces divided by different body parts like in original. Not to mention soldier’s stats and other things to read about.
  • UI: Red portraits of enemies visible. It is not too convenient right now as I must aim at each target separately too see where I have biggest hit chances. These chances could be shown under their portraits as well.
  • I miss wide range of moves of soldiers: kneeling (when I want to, not only in cover), crawling, facing in one of 4 directions, even strafing.
  • I miss the decisions of how I want to spend my ammo and how to shoot to increase my hitting/damage chance (aimed shot, snap shot, auto shot) although it could be difficult to implement in 2-AP system.
  • I miss limited cone of view

Please comment if you like. This post isn’t about nitpicking. I have some concerns but I am also very happy to have this game in production and hope that Snapshot will bring us worthy and scary X-com successor! Hopes are very high :slight_smile:


I’m pretty sure the crates are a placeholder just to demonstrate the idea of finding items in the field, and in the full game they’ll be largely replaced by corpses

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And I would like to take inventory from my dead soldiers. Or inventory fall to ground after death. It’s a pity when soldier get 3 ammo clip from box, he is killed, and ammo disappears.

I think this will be solved in final version of the game so soldiers could pick up almost everything not nailed to the floor :slight_smile:

Now I want to pick up the nails too ~.~

I too would like to loot corpses - lets not waste equipment.

In the original xcom games your could put the actual corpse in your backpack too - I used to challenge myself to bring everyone home for a proper burial. While I don’t think they should fit into a backpack, recovering corpses could be a cool morale-building mechanic if the devs get bored and want to add something like that. Or if they want to go darker and make it a “whelp, people have to eat. sorry Bill…” type of mechanic I could be down with that too :grinning:


I agree with almost all of OP’s points. The exception would be the point about alien pods. While I think it would be nice to see maybe one or two alien patrols with multiple units in one map I think the majority should be free standing solo units.

I would quite like to see more logical placements of enemies too. It might be difficult with it being randomly generated maps but, for example, having a crabman with a ranged weapon on the guard towers. Perhaps even something more complex like 5-6 crabmen gathered around some sort of food pile eating but without weapons. Then when they spot you they try to run to a nearby weapon depot so there’s an element of urgency in trying to kill them before they can arm themselves and outnumber you. Then again, this would really put a strain on ammo resources…

Speaking of ammo resources, it would make sense if each soldier had a melee weapon as backup for when they run out of ammo. At the moment, if they run out of ammo they’re useless. They should at least have batons or swords or something so that they can at least deal damage, even if they have to do a suicide run at the enemy to land it.

I’m hoping the ‘between missions’ gameplay will be added fairly soon as there’s very little to do in the demo at the moment other than replay, essentially, the same mission but with a different lay out. Levelling up soldiers and upgrading equipment, or even being able to bring customised load outs and team formations would be nice.

So far though, it looks great. Being a pre-alpha there’s really not any game there yet so I’m seeing it more as a ‘proof of concept’, and as that it looks awesome.


As far as alien patrols/pods go…

I think some “patrols” could be neat. but i think most of the crabs lying in wait would be better and more immersive, just depending on the location and where your at. Good example, think of the “zombies” from The last of Us, or the fishmen from PotC Deadmans Chest. Where they are crusted onto the wall, and rip themselves from it and attack you. Or could have some of the crabs that can dig into ground like those pitfall spiders who jump out when you get too close.

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I think the alert level of the aliens, eg: their knowing your position, would realistically be based on what sort of transport you use/how many people. I mean, if 16 heavily armed soldiers landed next to you in a jet plane, for example, you would probably know a rough location of where they are so the aliens probably would move towards them. Maybe a stealth ship or something would combat this?

Thanks for response! But you misunderstood my point about alien pods - I don’t like them at all and don’t want to see them in this game: I meant that even without having pods game actually behave like having them. I’ve slightly corrected this point to be more precise and clear :slight_smile: Occasional enemy patrols (but not automatically triggered pods) would be neat, though.

@AxieGamer you may be right, but element of surprise was always important to overcome alien forces in tactical missions. In original X-Com aliens were often scattered and finding one of them didn’t trigger all nearby units right away. This is where realism can’t be too high, otherwise game will be too difficult.
I don’t like the fact that first alien activity in backer build is always the same and starts with triggering few aliens in lines of sight of my soldiers. In the end it looks like AI is randomly spawned rather than actually patrolling the map.

I think it can be a really great concept to add depth and variety to the game.
I understand how it can be frustrating though since by some bad luck a mission could become impossible. Especially true in pre-alpha since the only thing we play for is the completion of a single mission.
That could become a better experience if

  1. The mission is still possible even though u get injuries. It is ur job to deal with the odds.
  2. There is a macro/strategic layer in place and knowing when a mission needs to be evacuated (again dealing with bad odds) is crucial and evacuating most mission is not a big deal in the grand schemes of things even though not ideal.

I like the Idea that we get our guys damaged even if its permanent in some ways. I think it adds immersion, storytelling and depth to the game.

As I mentioned in another post, I see injury mechanics as interesting as well but for now it feels just too punishing and unfair.
Knowing that backer build is far from being balanced though, I believe devs give us some tools to mitigate or reduce effects of disabled limbs in the final version of game.
Backer build 1 is all about single mission, without strategic layer or loadout options to prepare our soldiers for different situations. And we have only 4 soldiers available so obviously limb injuries are even more significant and troublesome now.

Some cool points in this thread! A couple of comments.

Really agree with this! It feels odd when your soldier has an injured limb and can do nothing to attack-delay an enemy. There should be a melee option - even if very weak, it would at least make sense thematically/add “drama”.

Agree with this too. Still, I think that in the final version you should be able to plan for or counteract limb injuries - I am 90% confident that Julian said (somewhere, cannot find the source) that New Jericho is supposed to have a “technician” unit with the ability to heal limbs. So I guess that the dev team does not see injured limbs as something you cannot deal with within-mission.

Anyhow, I quite like the fact that damaged limbs force you to be creative in the way you use your injured units - e.g., an injured gunner can be a “grenadier”, or run to supply crates to get items for the healthy team members.

The game as a whole is really great. The new mechanics are nice and play out really well, you gun getting broken is annoying but it can be dealt with. Graphics are nice and the game runs really smooth, a little rag doll issue at times but that happens in most unity based games. And dont try throwing grenades in a building lol.

Positioning is everything and i really like that, having to circle round to avoid shields etc.

The map size is very small, but pre alpha backer build, so I expect much more expansive maps to come as time passes.

My only real issue so far is difficulty, as in its just not difficult. Lose first ever game, at which point you learn the mechanics and how to take out the big boss with ease and from then on its pretty easy to do. The boss is zero threat after that first game and you figure out how to effectively take it out of the game in 2 rounds.

I can see them adding more difficulty to the game as time passes though, greater enemy density, bosses that don’t have such a huge weakness, tighter more restrictive pathways around much larger maps to limit lines of sight much more.

I think you’re right in that it would work well along the lines of OG x-com, because there you had a sense that you were hunting; finding the aliens at the crash site. But you were also being hunted: the aliens don’t know your location immediately, but the AI basically would inch forwards in a direction until it spots you, fire and then get back into hiding itself. For me this always created a good balance as there were plenty of moments where you feel vulnerable, without being too WALL OF CRABMEN DEATH sort of thing


@AxieGamer, totally agree with you. There are no alien pods in PP so I think it will be more like OG X-com than new Xcom in the end. Comparisons to those games are unavoidable.

I must admit I’m a bit disappointed with backer build demo as it looks exactly like the demo from EGX Rezzed - and I expected something more, something new. I know that the primary goal of this build was to let us experience ballistics system and free aiming. That’s cool, and even if I would like to experience rather slower paced missions in a spirit of original X-com than regular firefights I’m sure that with future builds many positive surprises and improvements are yet to come.

I didn’t get my gun broken yet (well my heavy’s missile launcher broke once but it was out of ammo anyways) so I didn’t really experience that myself but that could be really painful. Maybe instead of outright making it unusable, it could just start malfunctioning? Like if someone’s gun got shot, it could start jamming when shooting or when reloading, like in Fallout New Vegas. And maybe it could even break if it got shot even more times. Just something in between a gun being fully functional and broken would be nice.

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Yeah, I agree. Removing the gun entirely would also dig into your resources once the home base is implemented. Maybe instead of randomly jamming it just fires less shots, becomes less accurate, does less damage, etc. Then the gun could be repaired back at base using some sort of crafting resource.

I was actually digging through the files looking for the files but they don’t seem to be in a format easily identified as a music file so I can’t see them :frowning: