Should you start the game baseless?

I think one of the flattest feelings in BB5 comes from the lack of things to do at the PP base. When I started the game everything was already built and established, I couldn’t see any point to me engaging with it as it already gave me everything that I needed.

I wonder whether in the final game you should start in a position where you’re just 6 guys in a Manticore, you’ve got a clue to where that 1st base is, so it’s not a random goose hunt, but then you have to find it, and when you do it’s going to be in pretty bad shape and require all the components to be built that we’re currently taking for granted.

I did in game find base 2 whilst playing PP, but it was unequipped, which made it potentially more interesting, but given that base 1 already had everything I needed, and that base 2 was very close to it, and also covered by mist, I again didn’t see any point to doing anything with it.

To which, I wonder whether different bases should have some unique structure that can only be built for that base? Or whether they should all be a bit smaller/more facilities be available so that you can’t just build everything in one place.

And, I wonder whether PP bases should all be initially located well away from the mist, unless there’s specifically a reason to put one inside of it as opposed to it being a random, unluckly placement.


I think that first few missions should be tutorial about how you find with 2 of your troopers a base entrance, and they are joined by another 3 guys. Then you are given task to take that base from freely roaming enemies and restore it to functional state.


That would be a nice concept generally, when you find a base it’s already occupied and you need to try to take it whilst inflicting minimum damage to the structure.

While in TFTD you started with a really basic base and a lot of free space for whatever you want:

In PP you just have about 4 free space for small buildings, no really upgrades of your base possible (and needed?).
It would be nice if Bases where more different and possible larger. In X-Com Apocalypse you could buy very small to very large Bases and they look all different.

Your ideas sounds very good, but the idea to start completely baseless and have to search the whole world for a base would be boring! If you have like 3 unexplored sites around you and one of it would be a base, that’s ok.

I was thinking more that it might be a couple of jumps away, you’d see where it was, and it’d be close, but the game would send you through a couple of scavenger sites in order to get there - Like Yokes says, possibly make use of those sites in order to introduce the game via tutorial.

That way it could even be a section of the game that an experience player might choose to skip if they preferred to, as someone new to the game that discovery of your 1st base would be a big impact moment.

Mutant Year Zero does this really well, the opening missions and wondering what could happen when I reached The Ark had me totally gripped.

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I didn’t play TFTD, but I did play Apocalypse, and from what I remember it was a similar setup.

One thing that UFO Afterlight does really well IMHO is the base screen. You have room to expand, but limited spaces in different areas of the base and you’re constantly having to weigh up who will be best placed where.

Remember the TFTD base, difficult to pick an harder to defend layout. In apoc if you received a base under a palace better restart and hope in one under an hangar or two alien bombs will crash the palace and the base with it.

If you start without the tutorial the base will be immediatly accessible but will not have everything built and just in need of repair and you first strategic choice will be what to build: food for trading or the grenade launcher; the ? around are usually a couple scavenging and a couple settlements

Having to search even first base will just exacerbate the randomness of finding the second one; suppose to start here in Mexico and nearest one is in Chile or in Alaska, you cannot even fight until you find it apart the fact, easily solvable eliminating the link need, that you need the satellite link to scan area


The idea of a tutorial to discover the first base is really cool but I do not like the screen of the base in PP.
With graphiphes capabilities, they could make us a cooler thing than photos.
I do not know if what I just wrote is really English ?? :en pensant: :en pensant:
A screen where you really have the feeling of managing a base.

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However snapshot structures tutorial is up to them, though I would prefer to be able to start immediately at the base with subsequent playthroughs.

Mutant isn’t really a valid comparison as it’s a story driven game without strategy layer and you don’t really have a base as such.

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I like the idea when you start with literally nothing. The more development and progression in the game, the better.

Which isn’t something that you’d know either way prior to reaching that base.

I’m not suggesting for a minute that PP as a whole should play like Mutant Year Zero. However any game of any genre can include story elements, and placing them at the start of a game is an effective hook.

In fact in general, any game can borrow concepts from any other, and they frequently do whether from within the same genre, or outside it.

Genre itself is an artificial concept imposed by mainstream publishing and marketing, one of the big advantages that Snapshot have in publishing independently is that they’re not constrained by industry norms and expectations, they can step outside of those norms however they wish.

Like any artform how the game starts is important and should start in a way that would set the tone and communicate what kind of game it is, how the gameplay will look like. Comparing a character focused story driven game to a systemic strategy game is just out of place IMO. Might as well compare it to God of War.

PP might as well start from introducing tactical combat, depending on what Snapshot wants players to focus their attention at. Whenever scripted introduction like in XCOMs is necessary - I don’t think so, people should be familiar with the genre enough to pick up on basic stuff - permadeath, aliens etc. But adding an opening scenario, which isn’t relevant to how the rest of the game plays feels like meandering around before starting the actual game sounds like a waste of time. If PP needs a skippable tutorial before starting the game proper - then sure, but game should hook on what the game is, rather then try to promise different experience before morphing into something else entirely.

Would Civilization, Crusader Kings, Europa Universalis or Stellaris be better if they had inserted a story driven thingy before game proper begin?

Well first off, I’ll repeat the fact that I’m not making a comparison, and I’m also not suggesting that PP should be like Mutant Zero as a game as a whole. What I am doing is making use of an example of something which is done by another game and that IMHO is done well. I can use UFO Afterlight if you want a closer example, but I didn’t feel that that game’s storytelling was as strong in that game, so I went with Mutant Year Zero instead as I felt that that game really nailed it. That and the thread topic is ‘Should you start the game baseless?’ and in Mutant Year Zero you start the game baseless, a situation not dissimilar to the one being suggested in the thread.


Is just silly.

Mutant Year Zero is a turn based strategy game just as is PP, they’re not that far off, and again in context, the specific situation is very similar to that being suggested.

Well PP isn’t any of those game either, but from what I recall Crusader Kings II did introduce story elements into its tutorial.

But are you saying that because a story doesn’t fit to a couple of games in the 4X genre that you could name as examples, then no other games that have the concept of involving strategy in them somewhere should ever suit having a story?

We can all site individual examples of games in an attempt to reinforce a point; Lords of Midnight was strategy and also included a story, there you go, but so what? Should now every other strategy game play like Lords of Midnight because someone played that first and it’s closed their mind on the genre as as whole? Should strategy games only be playable in 1st person and be controlled by keyboard with no more than 8 colours on the screen? Because that’s what strategy games are right? Maybe no game ever should be allowed to do anything different to those games that we’ve already played and we should all be happy still playing Space Invaders?

We’re discussing what PP does or doesn’t need. Not Mutant Year Zero, or XCom, and certainly not God of War… I’m sure that snapshot are capable of picking up the suggestions given no matter what source has been used to explain them, and I’m also sure that they’re capable of deciding whether those suggestions will be of benefit to their game or not.

PP already has quite a lot of lore established, to which I don’t think as a whole, that the devs are entirely against storytelling.

Shocking! A story driven game, with limited written characters, with whom we spend entire game, with handcrafted locations and enemy/item placement, cutscenes and scripted barks does story-telling well. Does it sound more like GoW or PP? That is what makes Mutant engaging. Not that they don’t start at the Arc. [which isn’t even a fitting analogy for PP base, as it is a place which acts more as a McGuffin to fight for, like home Vault in Fallout1, and you don’t have interactions with it for majority of the game - in Mutant focusing on Arc makes little sense as it is in the background for the majority of the game, unlike our heroes - therefore we focus on heroes when the game starts]

Is it a good idea to make players play a mission from Mutant before player can play PP, even if they don’t share design throughout the rest of the game?

It’s not about having/not having good storytelling, it’s about implimenting story in a way, that enhances, not contradicts, gameplay.

To see what I mean see “Hades”. A roguelite game, which traditionally has little or no story. “Hades” is full of it. But not by implimenting levels designed after Bastion. It finds its own way of presenting characters and developing story in a way that is natural and takes advantage of game’s systems and gameplay loop.

PP should strive for something similar, not for a prologue chapter ripped from a different genre of game with different structure, strenghts and design. Perhaps you enjoyed scripted story missions of FiraXCOMs (DLC missions). I found them jarring with the rest of the game, and believe them to be bad designed, outside tutorial purposes.

However, Snapshot designes tutorial is of little concern to me as long as it’s skippable and/or doesn’t slow down consequent playthroughs.

Some great ideas in this post guys. I like the idea that we start by looking for, then are setting up our first base. What better tutorial than starting it from scratch ourselves. Like has been mentioned above, it feels like the current starter base is ‘what more is needed?’ than ‘how do I build’.

Agreed, hopefully this is one of the things that gets a touch up before release. Looking at the actual base rooms in a top down layout is so much nicer and less cluttered.

And for a 3rd time… I’m not saying that Phoenix Point should be the same as Mutant Year Zero, or do things in the same way as Mutant Year Zero.


do not get angry, I’m just saying that the idea of a tutorial with a mission to discover the first base is excellent. Making the game more complicated is not good.


To find a empty base seem kind of daft. If not the first base is the last one Ph.Project built and not finished. Since I believe they built them for a purpose. Different layouts, dont really work here since the enemy tunnels through everything. What I wonder, do we stay in a base that got tunnelled, do we do patch work afterwards? or does the game just magical repair and pretend it did not happen until nxt attack. Would not a tunnelled base have less protection against the plague/red cloud? Each base you find should have a story, if you find a base not really built, then a story why its not finished etc.

Definitely game needs a proper introduction, and I don’t mean a cinematic but something you had mentioned above: some heavily narrated tight gameplay before the right game begins.
I don’t know why some of you are so against it: don’t you remember BB3? We had main characters known from novellas and it was told somewhere that they are part of main story - I felt back then this mission was a part of some tutorial, even if not story-driven yet. To be honest I would find that strange to not having any story elements or dialogues during the game while having such a rich story background prepared earlier by talented writers?

I do remember it. It was a nice demo presenting tone and gameplay in a way which isn’t repsentable of actual game, as such demos often are.

I am not against story, but I don’t think implimenting scripted linear bits have a place in a game like PP. XCOMs experimented with those ideas with tutorial and DLC missions, but outside of skippable tutorial I didn’t think it worked at all, as it clashed with the rest of the game. Story in XCOMs was rather daft though.

There are more interesting way of tackling story telling - I am pretty sure factions leaders are to be voiced so it is possible they will have more to say. Have characters respond to what you do, have lore be presented in research and discription, even include story bits within level generation in some way. There is lots of stuff one can do, without a mandatory linear bit, before game proper begins. PP was supposed to be simulationist strategy/tactics game, and trying to cram a story driven adventure in there, even in small bits, just sounds like a misguided idea to me.

I might sound like I have stronger feeling on the subject then I actually do. I just find those ideas unlikely and like to unecessarly overexplain myself.