Phoenix Point – Julian Gollop Interview

Now that Phoenix Point has received its final update, PC Gamer brings us this interview with Julian Gollop where the veteran developer discusses his latest attempt to create a worthy successor to X-Com and the things he’s learned along the way.

Here’s an excerpt:

“It is very difficult to get it right first time,” says Gollop. And I must confess, we probably didn’t in this respect, in terms of the difficulty progression of the game. Because Phoenix Point is less structured in the progression than, say, modern XCOM, it makes it even more difficult. On the one hand, we want to get the player to explore and experiment with stuff, and for different things to happen if they do different things. But on the other hand, we don’t want to overwhelm the player and make them feel like they’ve been cheated. The game has got unfair advantages, it just doesn’t feel fair. So yeah, it is a difficult balancing act. And we made so many changes along the way to try and address that. And I think the game is in a much better place.”

One thing that became clear from the feedback is that, as well as the hardcore players who are hungry for a challenge, “there’s probably a bigger group of players who are looking more for an experience, looking to experience the story or looking to experience character development”. RPGs and strategy games have long had a close relationship, but it’s even more evident now, and there’s increasingly an expectation that certain RPG mainstays will also show up in squad-based tactics games.

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Val Hull
Val Hull

Resident role-playing RPG game expert. Knows where trolls and paladins come from. You must fight for your right to gather your party before venturing forth.

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