Firaxis staffers weren’t allowed to work on XCOM: Enemy Unknown until they’d made it through the original X-COM.
“There were some people on my team who weren’t familiar with the original, and of course everybody on our team had to play the original. When you start on our project, you have to play for a week,” lead designer Jake Solomon told Rock Paper Shotgun.
“I just said if you can’t make it to Cydonia at the end of your week you can just not bother coming in.”
The context for Solomon’s comment was a discussion of the rabid, lasting fanbase of the late 1990’s tactical games, which reacted strongly and negatively to the announcement of 2K Marin’s shooter of the same name, and more charitably to Firaxis’s hyphen-free effort.
“Certainly the passion is not a surprise and I have no problem with that,” the designer said.
“I know that some people are passionate about this aspect or that aspect and that’s not a surprise, I mean that’s not a surprise for me who plays the original game still till this day. I don’t think any of us are bothered if people say like ‘oh, I don’t agree that they did this or did that’, I mean all it tells you is that you have something that I think people feel strongly about and that’s certainly, I know it sounds silly, but it’s certainly better than the alternative, right? I mean you release something and you say like ‘these are the things we’re doing’ and there’s deafening silence, as a designer that’s never particularly good.
“For those that didn’t have that understanding of how the game continued to live on on the internet through the wikis, I think it was quite a shock to see how strongly people reacted to the idea of remaking XCOM, so that was actually kind of fun to see,”
“It’s just the sort of thing where it’s fun to have people who not only feel strongly but can then pull out some pretty obscure math to back up their point, so…I don’t know, it’s nice to have that and then the opposite.”
RPS published this massive interview as a three parter, and it’s rife with gameplay details and other interesting intel. Dig through the whole lot here.
XCOM: Enemy Unknown is expected in northern autumn, on PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.