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Jean-Luc

Phoenix Point - Gollop's new X-Com-like.

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Ow.  I remember that they were experimenting with different system.  Wish they stick with 100% hit.  If that's too much I'd be equally happy to see 95%...

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It's over with a total of $765,948 of which roughly 320k are investments. Hopefully it's enough to produce something that might be called finished and hopefully sales are good enough to round up them aquatic stretch goals. One advantage is that dev expenses of working in Bulgaria will be much lower compared to Western Europe and beyond.

Slacker backer is also a thing so it's not too late to get in on it: https://www.fig.co/campaigns/phoenix-point

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On 8.6.2017 at 11:04 PM, Jean-Luc said:

One advantage is that dev expenses of working in Bulgaria will be much lower compared to Western Europe and beyond.

Well it all depends on the organizing matters in reality: You could for example setup a non-profit studio if your legislations and other arrangements allow you to do so; this way you could also keep the wages low enough, or maybe even work as a "marginalization-prevention"-organization; not far fetched of in the current economy (especially with the planned / hoped "basic income"-implementations).

(( I know this is very off-topics, but the chance to include some inputs was far too tempting to me. ))

 

In the end, as I already mentioned "organizing", it primarily comes down to handling the expenses: Anything can be made expensive / unreasonably-bloated.

"Almost Human Ltd." ( of "Legend of Grimrock"-fame ) and "Enormous Elk" ( of "Unreal World"-fame ) are two example Finnish-video-game-development-teams that almost work  in "shoe-string"-budget, or at least (seemingly) started with little amount of savings.
And even today they seem to as "non-profit" as they possible are able to.

(A video showing "Almost Human"-team setting up their low-budget'ish stupio:)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lbOX35sBl78

 

Then you have "Reto-Moto" with their "Heroes & Generals"-multiplayer-game with seemingly really huge (back-end-)infrastructure, at least when comparing numerous other similar games in the current market; we're talking of large databases or storage-bases for the replay-files, a rather large amount deticated-servers or datacenters hosting the battles, etc.
And yet this game is one of the very few on the market to be a genuinely "free-to-play", as in the content is available to all players even if no one else is paying it for you
(E.G. no "ransom"-items sold like for "slots").
True this game didn't start as "full-on-free". And some argue this in-game-store should be to be expected; fact still is it's very rare to see nowadays, especialy for a game of this caliber
(especially in market where "multi-billion"-studios claim they'd go bankrupt if they would host the gameplay-sessions themselves, and thus lob the responsibility on the players...).

(( To some extend, you could add "Mind-Ark" with their "Entropia Universe" do their "One World"-tech. But this game is more a "glorified-online-casino"; it can be still really fun though even if you don't give them any money, since you can for the most part freely explore the world regardless. ))

 

Let's not forget all these Japanese indie-devs that have been around like ever "always": Very high quality games that most of times cost some pocket-money because these works are more of passion.

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There is a quite lot more I could possibly add. But I'll let this topic "recharge" for another more on-topical-situations.

But a summary is that hopefully they'll just handle the expenses and other resources well enough to make a good game.

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Edited by Pave

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Most indie dev teams essentially do run themselves as a non-profit during the development process; they minimize their costs and spend all their available funds on making the game as good as possible. The part that comes when they run out of money and release the game is where any profit happens!

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On 5/29/2017 at 7:37 PM, Sheepy said:

Yeah.  I backed Xenonauts and other games on kickstarter, and I would back Phoenix Point if it were on kickstarter instead.  I have heard of Fig and it sounds like good for me since I backed nothing but games, but I am not as interested in game or crowdfunding as I once was.

Fig's pretty okay, considering how Wasteland 3 was campaigned there.

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Geoscape & Ballistic Update: https://phoenixpoint.info/blog/2017/8/29/geoscape-ballistics-and-more

Interactivity with the geoscape should feel a lot more rewarding thanks to all the different point of interest but this is the best part.

Quote

 

However, Phoenix Point is going back to the original X-Com roots. A physical projectile will then be simulated from the shooter to the target following a trajectory which can deviate slightly depending on the weapon type. Even a shot that drifts slightly wide can still hit its intended target, with a higher chance to hit closer targets. Stray shots can also hit other enemies besides the intended target, or even friendlies if they get in the way. Stray shots (and those deliberately aimed) will also be able to destroy certain cover types.

Speaking of cover; the cover in Phoenix Point is dynamic. Instead of cover just being "low" or "high" with a fixed stat modifier, the cover in Phoenix Point will be a physical barrier, which will vary depending on the size and shape of the object being used as cover. The physical simulated projectile will then have a chance to hit the cover, unless it can find a way around or through it to reach its target.

 

That's how you do it, that's the Jagged Alliance way. :)

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Be interesting to see how that pans out. If it doesn't generate a lot of complaints when the game is released I might consider moving to a similar system for future games - but in general I've always thought that people want to be able to properly evaluate their options before making a decision, rather than having to eyeball it (and then hope that the reality in the game logic actually matches up with what the player's eyeballs are seeing).

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4 hours ago, Chris said:

Be interesting to see how that pans out. If it doesn't generate a lot of complaints when the game is released I might consider moving to a similar system for future games - but in general I've always thought that people want to be able to properly evaluate their options before making a decision, rather than having to eyeball it (and then hope that the reality in the game logic actually matches up with what the player's eyeballs are seeing).

I expect most Gollop fans are of the old school variety and the push for this kind of system has been pretty strong. I'd say the thing to watch for is what kind of interface improvements they come up with to improve transparency. 

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16 hours ago, Chris said:

Be interesting to see how that pans out. In general I've always thought that people want to be able to properly evaluate their options before making a decision, rather than having to eyeball it (and then hope that the reality in the game logic actually matches up with what the player's eyeballs are seeing).

Valkyria Chronicle get around that partially by making all "hit" rounds hit the center.  That means your accuracy % stat is the guaranteed hit chance (assuming you aim correctly), and "miss" will be distributed evenly in the aiming cone - the bigger the enemy the more miss turn into a hit.

It should also be noted that VC's accuracy is make up of two parts: soldier's accuracy stat, and weapon's cone degree.  Accuracy is relatively low (~10% at level 1 to ~40% at level max), but powerful (=wide) weapons still has high effective hit% if you are really close (up to 100% if you can fill the cone).  As a result, soldier class (weapon) selection and tactic (how to get close) is generally regarded as more important than stat grind.

Edited by Sheepy

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This game is still more than a year out, but I've been amused by some of the subtle changes in wording in more recent (mostly fluff) articles/interviews about it.  One that really stood out to me was talking about aliens "randomly" getting new attributes/evolutions as opposed to how that had initially been phrased as being reactive to counter whatever tactics you were using.

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Mutations were always intended to be random until something comes up that works at which point they stabilize. Once the player adapts their tactics the mutation deck starts shuffling again. I don't know whether the system will work out but the stated intent hasn't changed so far from what I've seen.

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A fairly long narrated demo showing off a mission and explaining some of the mechanics: 

Have to say this is shaping up really well. 

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Snap Shot Games, has provided a link to down the next incarnation of this game, and it plays out very well, in the ground combat, but you do not get a sense of being in the game when you are flying around to find the ground combat sites. This is not like the game above, as the game interface, has changed a bit?

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i backed this game with soldier roster edition.

the only thing i am complaining about is - Julian/ the team is releasing too much spoilers.

i understand the developer need to update the backers about progress and cool stuff they're making, at the same time attracts more customer.

still, i am very reluctant to read, to see, so many advance item even before installing the demo.

what is the fun of reading the whole UFOpedia first? if you got what i mean. hahaha.

 

 

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Ok, so I've spent a week of free time on Phoenix Point.  Feels refreshing.

The strategic layer is almost a realtime 4X.  Actually keeps me busy.  I find myself switching flight plan, production, and research frequently.

The free aim systems work very well with body part damage.  It makes facing important - without taking away all round vision.

The simplified action point system is better than expected.  All non-movement actions use either 25%, 50%, or 75% of all action points, weapons included.
It allows me to think in big actions + fine movements, instead of calculating TUs.  It speed up the combat without the limitations of Firaxis xcom.

There are flaws, of course.  Bugs aside, the lack of manual leaning is annoying, research and diplomacy is "pick one side to be friend with, and be hated by the rest".
Despite the issues, and the fact that I don't personally like the post-apocalyptic feel, it may be the closet to my ideal xcom yet.

Edited by Sheepy

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I was thinking to test it, but after they made it for 1 or 2 years only for Epic-Store I´m waiting for Steam-Release.

Same with MechWarrior 5. :mad:

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Steam can use a competitor, and I don't mean Origin or Uplay.  Thus I signed up to Epic just after a week or two.  Now I have 47 games on my Epic library not counting DLCs, mostly given for free.

As a bonus, epic store does not have mandatory DRM, and I heard that Phoenix Point does not come with one.
It helps that Epic provided Snapshot the money it needed to improves phoenix to its current state, too.

The game itself can use some bug fixes and rebalance, though, so waiting a bit won't hurt.  XCOM 2 was nice (if you don't mind timed everything) but DLCs and mods make it better.
That said, I think PP's base game is much more solid and interesting than XCOM (2).  This is potential for a very complicated game lol.

Edited by Sheepy
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Having played PP for a while now, I can see how a Mercator map is probably going to be better for X2 than a geoscape. It's a pain in the bum to keep track of 2 manitcors and a tiamat, especially when the game comes off pause whenever you issue instructions to any of your aircraft. How the fetid skies DLC is going to work I dunno. 

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On 12/11/2019 at 10:02 AM, Sheepy said:

Steam can use a competitor, and I don't mean Origin or Uplay.  Thus I signed up to Epic just after a week or two.  Now I have 47 games on my Epic library not counting DLCs, mostly given for free.

As a bonus, epic store does not have mandatory DRM, and I heard that Phoenix Point does not come with one.
It helps that Epic provided Snapshot the money it needed to improves phoenix to its current state, too.

The game itself can use some bug fixes and rebalance, though, so waiting a bit won't hurt.  XCOM 2 was nice (if you don't mind timed everything) but DLCs and mods make it better.
That said, I think PP's base game is much more solid and interesting than XCOM (2).  This is potential for a very complicated game lol.

Agreed, after having many convos with an Indie game dev I know about Steam and EGS My "Damnit I dont want anything to do with them" has turned to "Hell i'm not buying off steam if i can help it!"

Still don't like the exclusive deals but I understand fully why devs are agreeing to them now.

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The game is absurdly broken in the AI's favor if you don't use strong ability combos, and absurdly broken in yours if you do. Either way it's not even close to fair and makes 90% of stuff irrelevant.

But I like the game. The real weapon aiming adds a lot of strategy, like complex cover, deciding whether lower chance to hit is worth a chance to disarm, dealing with your wounded soldiers. The geoscape has a bit too much loot and too little diplomacy, but I think it's the best one yet in an XCOM-like, there are lots of genuinely different base and diplomacy strategies even if they're not balanced. If hard-working modders get their hands on this game it will be incredible because all of the problems are balance/lack-of-content. It does fail to deliver on its promise of enemy diversity and adaptive AI, often each race has less variants than X-Division, and it frequently makes nonsense decisions with its free actions, although it understands cover well.

Edited by Bobit

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I think Phoenix Point's alien variations are much better than Firaxis XCOM and Xenonauts, if we consider only the base game.  Worms and tanks, sentinels and big bad boss.  The counters for goo Chiron, explode Chiron, and worm Chirons are pretty different.  If that is not enough, you are practically required to fight human factions with very different team compositions.  On the variation front I consider it on par with Apoc and UFO, if not better.

Abilities are less varied/interesting/balanced as XCOM 2, which is sad.  Like you said, either you abuse your abilities and cheeze your way through the missions, or be faced with impossible odds.  Which something dent the variations - whatever it is, either stealth snipe or dash shotgun.  Ironman is very difficult now with cascading kills common on both sides, and solders too hard to replace.

Still, there is lots of content.  There is a lack of information, lack of balance, lack of upgrade path, lack of research and event visibilities, lack of diplomacy options, lack of Phoenix Point identify... but they are not lack of content.  We got a dynamic globe with faction relationships, raids, events, procedurally generated maps, vehicles and doggies, armour parts with modules and mutations, and plenty of weapons (with equal amount of damage types).  Many weapons are suboptimal given the state of the game, yeah, but that is more a balance issue than a content issue.

No, it is definitely not a game for the faint of heart in its current state.  But for a base game it is very rich.  I certainly didn't expect to see Mutogs and multiple endings.  Looking forward to balance patches and DLCs.

Edited by Sheepy

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