Phoenix Point - All News
Thursday - March 14, 2019
Phoenix Point - AMA with Julian Gollop
The Reddit AMA with Julian Gollop about Phoenix Point and the Epic Games Store decision.
56 points 10 hours ago
A lot of backers choosed a higher tier to get access to the first two DLCs. Do those get the difference back or at least some other compensation?
LEAD DESIGNER 11 points 9 hours ago
The living weapons / chitin armour is actually a single DLC pack, and will remain exclusive to backers. You will also get at least 3 DLC packs free over the course of the year.
63 points · 10 hours ago
Question: Backers who backed the game from China can't even install the Epic Launcher, since Epic Games actively blocks the Launcher there. Why do they have to wait 1 year now because you decided that?
How could I, as a backer, even play the game in China? I could easily do it via GOG or Steam.
Business Guy-17 points · 9 hours ago
We're looking into our options for China right now, and hope to have something to share on that topic soon.
Epic does not, so far as I'm aware, have a 'workshop' like Steam does. Does this affect the sense or extent to which PP will be mod-friendly,
and can you clarify further yet how modding is expected to be facilitated?
LEAD DESIGNER 11 points 9 hours ago
We will be supporting some limited modding post-release, but it will not come before the first major DLC.
We don't know yet what modding support Epic will be providing in the future, but we will provide a custom solution if necessary.
LEAD DESIGNER 26 points 9 hours ago
Phoenix Point will be DRM free, and will run without the Epic Launcher. You can uninstall it after downloading or updating, and the game will run fine.
You can even add it to your Steam library manually. All backers will get at least 3 major DLC packs throughout the year. If you only want to play on Steam/gog.com, you will get a Steam/gog key after the exclusive year has ended which will include all the DLC up to that point. Yes, we did expect some people to be upset by the Epic deal, and we did not make this decision lightly. We have enough resources to release the game, but the Epic deal will help the game enormously in terms of quality and post-release content. It helps give our employees security and gives them the confidence they can get the job done, despite the stress and high expectations.
9 points · 9 hours ago
"Major" DLC? Are there going to be "Minor" packs that backers do not have access to? (Disregarding Pre-order bonus such as living armour)
LEAD DESIGNER 14 points 9 hours ago
There will be some free content updates as well.
40 points · 10 hours ago
I'm looking at getting a refund, because I do not want to support the Epic Game Store and their exclusivity purchases such as the one that just happened with Phoenix Point.
Why are you unable to provide the refund via the payment method? I'm sure I'm not in the minority of being uncomfortable with handing my bank account information over to a third party.
19 points · 10 hours ago
Because we are offering refunds to anyone who purchased from the Fig campaign (almost two years ago) until today,we literally can't refund via original payment method because too much has elapsed in many of these cases.
After extensive research and testing of a number of methods (including PayPal), this is the most efficient way for us
to process a significant number of refunds to people in many different countries around the world.
They have a 9.2 rating with TrustPilot (https://www.trustpilot.com/review/transferwise.com) and
we use them ourselves to transfer money to pay studio salaries every month.
18 points · 9 hours ago
I think it's fair to say that the marketing for this game so far has suggested an experience that will in some ways fall closer to "old" than "new" xcom, as a tactical or strategic experience. Is there any element of the design direction in X-COM: UFO DEFENSE and its direct sequels that you would say was a mistake? Anything you're trying to avoid in this new game, when it comes to how players will react to it?
LEAD DESIGNER 21 points 9 hours ago
Good question. There were certainly big problems with the original X-COM - lack of tutorials, poor interface, lack fo feedback,fiddly inventory management. We are taking a few lessons from modern XCOMs, while keeping and improving on some stuff in the old ones. Phoenix Point also takes some ideas from X-COM Apocalypse, with multiple human factions and agendas. I want it to have more of a simulation / sandbox feel, but with some strong story lines from each faction.
20 points 10 hours ago
Free DLC - with the new influx of money, will the missed funding goals from the Fig be implemented as part of the free DLC? The sea missions, floating bases etc?
LEAD DESIGNER 22 points 10 hours ago
Yes - all the proposed DLC from the Fig campaign will be implemented, plus more.
We plan at least 3 major DLC packs which include new missions, storylines, aliens, equipment etc.
Backers who ordered the living weapons/armour sets will get those as an exclusive DLC pack in addition.
We will be supporting the game with extra content as soon as possible after release and throughout the following year.
We are definitely in it for the long haul.
11 points · 9 hours ago edited 9 hours ago
Epic games hate blah blah all that, but besides the hate, I still have genuine questions.
Will there be an action cam similar to Xcom2s? I loved seeing a close of up of my soldier or an alien getting blown away, I would at least like the option.
How many voice lines will you be adding, mostly for aliens, because if I hear that alien say that damn line one more time while he shoots me i'm gonna flip.
Would it be possible to add some old time war weaponry and such? I know its all futuristic and stuff but if there are rag tag teams in cities I would imagine they don't get the top of the line gear.
Ragdoll physics, this is small thing to me but I think they go a long way in making the game just have that feel, will you be improving them? For example reactions to multiple shots, even after death etc. This is also another reason why I loved the action cam in Xcom2, even though it didn't have the best physics.
Action cam tho pls.
LEAD DESIGNER 13 points 9 hours ago
Yes absolutely - there will be plenty (you will also be able to turn them off if you wish).
The aliens will have quite a few more barks in BR4, with more yet to come. Soldiers will also get them.
The independent havens have soldiers that look like bandits with rough looking weapons. Still from the future though.
Yes, we will be improving them, during our polish phase. The environment destruction will also be getting a major overhaul.
Tuesday - March 12, 2019
Phoenix Point - Epic Games Store Announcement
Phoenix Point will be exclusive to the Epic Games Store.
Thursday - February 28, 2019
Phoenix Point - Information @ PC Gamer
PC Gamer collected some Information about Phoenix Point:
Phoenix Point: release date and everything we know
The X-COM successor's release date info, gameplay trailer and detailed info on the game's combat.
Ever since Julian Gollop, designer of the original X-COM games, teased Phoenix Point three years ago, details about the minutiae of its systems have released practically every week via blog posts, narrated playthroughs, and our own hands-on time with it.
It means that even though we're still months from release, there's a ton of information out there about Phoenix Point, including how combat works, what enemies you'll face, how you'll customise your soldiers and build your bases.
But don't worry—instead of having to trawl around the internet for little bits of info, we've collected everything that's important in one place. Here's everything we know about Phoenix Point.
Phoenix Point's release date: when you can expect to play it
Phoenix Point currently has a release date of September 2019. It was initially supposed to be out last year, but was delayed until June 2019, and then recently pushed back again to give developer Snapshot Games more time to “test and polish the gameplay”.
Saturday - February 23, 2019
Phoenix Point - January Update
Retcon Raider sums up the recent news about Phoenix Point.
Snapshot Games has been relatively quiet over the past few weeks, but that doesn't mean we don't have anything to talk about! It's once again time to look at all the latest news about Phoenix Point!
This time we'll just be looking at things like release dates, the Phoenix Project, and a few other planned features. Consider it an appetizer before we finally get our hands on Backer Build 04 in March!
I backed the Phoenix Point crowdfunding campaign on Fig, but I'm not otherwise affiliated with Phoenix Point or Snapshot Games in any way. I just love talking about interesting RPGs and strategy games - especially the ones with in-depth lore!
Tuesday - February 12, 2019
Phoenix Point - Interview @ PC Gamer
PC Gamer has interviewed Julian Gollop about his new game Phoenix Point:
Phoenix Point is X-COM creator Julian Gollop's vision of a grand strategy game
We speak to the creator about how his new turn-based game is coming together.
The permafrost has melted, unleashing a terrifying alien virus. An eerie mist rolls across the planet, compelling people to wander into the ocean, where they emerge as hideous, mutated monsters. The world is a mess, and in turn-based strategy game Phoenix Point, it’s your job to clean it up.
“When the game starts in 2047, most of humanity has been killed, abducted, or transformed into alien monstrosities,” says lead designer Julian Gollop, who is best known for creating the original X-COM series. “But there are a few isolated groups that have managed to survive.”
“The Phoenix Project organisation you’re the leader of is very diminished,” he says. “You’re being attacked on all sides by various different powers. But out of the ashes of the devastation of the virus, which comes to be known as the Pandora virus, there comes a number of charismatic leaders who claim their factions will be able to rebuild the world and make it better.”
Julian Gollop has been making strategy games for decades, from Laser Squad and Rebelstar Raiders in the ’80s, to bringing the legendary X-COM series to the world’s attention in the ’90s. That’s the old X-COM, with a dash after the X, rather than Firaxis’ recent (and equally superb) reboot, XCOM. But Phoenix Point seems to be bigger, grander, and more ambitious than anything he’s done before, and I ask what inspired him to start the project.
Wednesday - February 06, 2019
Phoenix Point - Release Update
Phoenix Point's release date has been pushed back to September to allow time for iteration and testing.
The following is a brief announcement from Creative Director, Julian Gollop on the release date for Phoenix Point.loading...
Hi! I’m Julian Gollop, the creative director on Phoenix Point and the CEO of Snapshot Games.
I’m going to get straight to it - we’re delaying the release of Phoenix Point by three months, to September 2019.
I realize this is going to be disappointing news for a lot of people, and I’m really sorry about it.
Even though the game is on track to be content complete much sooner, the extra time will give us the chance to test and polish the gameplay much more extensively, and I think that the end result will be well worth it.
We didn’t take this decision lightly, but I think this investment of additional time and resources will help the game live up to your expectations.
Our next backer release will be out in March with a large amount of new content - details to follow shortly.
I realise we are asking for a little bit of more patience from you, but I am sure you won’t be disappointed with the product of our intensive labours.
So once again, I would like to thank all our backers for their patience and support, and I look forward to getting your feedback to backer release 4 in March.
Thursday - January 24, 2019
Phoenix Point - Player Facilities
The latest update for Phoenix Point takes a look at player built facilities and shows off some concept art.
Phoenix Point - Access Granted
Happy New Year!
Ok, so it’s almost the end of January and this is the first update of 2019. There’s been a lot of design and implementation happening over the last three weeks with a large amount of that going into the Phoenix Project bases themselves.
The Phoenix bases play a very important role in both terms of narrative and gameplay. From the title base, Phoenix Point, down to all of the other bases you will discover and reactivate as you explore the world - it is vital that we really nail these player controlled facilities.
Phoenix Project bases tend to be built in hard to reach, hidden or otherwise fortified areas - underground or deep within mountains. The Phoenix Point base, currently the only known active Phoenix base in the world, sits high on the mountainside. This height above sea level protected Phoenix Point from The Mist and the creatures that came with it.
As you would expect from any subterranean base, tunnels and facilities have to be carved into the rock itself.
Player built bases are a key feature we’ve been planning for since the start of development. Your starting base and any additional bases you discover will already exist and have their own facilities already in place. You, as the player, will be able to add more or demolish existing facilities. Not only is this important strategically, ensuring you have the correct facilities for your needs, but also important tactically.
If your base should come under attack, you will need to defend it. The tactical defense missions will take place in the bases and the layouts which you constructed. You will need to defend them while attempting not to cause any serious damage to your base and equipment.
The framework for Phoenix Base layout
Even though the above image is currently lacking textures and props, the layout system for bases is already up and working mechanically. A mixture of single-room facilities and connecting corridors, bases will also have multiple levels and raised walkways. Danger can come from above as well as around every corner.
Tuesday - January 15, 2019
Phoenix Point - December Update
Retcon Raider looks at all the developments around Phoenix Point up until this point.
My oh my, it's 2019 and that means we're just 6 months away from Phoenix Point's official release date.
Truly, these are interesting times! Today, I thought we'd take a quick look back at the tail-end of 2018 to see what we missed over the holidays.
At least, I assumed it would be quick - but it turns out we actually missed quite a bit! Serves me right for skipping the November update video...
Monday - December 17, 2018
Phoenix Point - Julian Gollop Interview
Julian Gollop was interviewed by Wireframe and asked about Phoenix Point, X-COM, Rebelstar and more.
Looking back through your games, there's a clear throughline from Rebelstar Raiders to Phoenix Point. What's interesting is that you're constantly refining and finding new ways of improving what you've done. So is that like a game in itself, for you, to improve on those ideas?
Yeah, even going back to the original Rebelstar, I had the idea that you had these characters - even though it's a squad-based tactical game - these were characters in a universe and they had a story. There was something bigger and wider and more meaningful going on. Obviously, that was developed quite substantially with the first X-COM game, though with Phoenix Point it's definitely developing it even further, of course. You have soldiers who can develop uniquely in different ways, and as with X-COM, your more powerful soldiers are the ones that you really try to protect and make sure they don't die.
On the other hand, they're really powerful, so you need to use them. But also, on the wider, strategic level, I'm quite obsessed with the idea of linking things at multiple levels in the game, so Phoenix Point has a strategic level which has different factions with their own leaders. Those leaders can have personalities, objectives and agendas which direct their strategic level. You as a player are intervening in this world in ways you can choose, but nonetheless will continue without your intervention.
You touched on this in X-COM Apocalypse, which had multiple factions and alliances and hostilities between them, but it's much more fleshed out in Phoenix Point.
So at the story level, were the factions created to fit the story, or did you write the story to accommodate them?
Yeah, so the original story of the world was created early on. Then we brought in our writing team, which fleshed it out considerably - the world fiction, the backstory of the game - that became quite detailed and interesting. Phoenix Point is a near-future science fiction-style game, and it has certain horror elements in it, I guess, also - certain Lovecraftian horrors in some respects.
Friday - December 14, 2018
Phoenix Point - Mailbag #1 with Julian Gollop
Julian Gollop answers questions about Phoenix Point from the community.
Lead Designer of Phoenix Point, Julian Gollop, answers the first wave of questions from our Facebook comments in this first Mailbag video.
Thursday - December 06, 2018
Phoenix Point - The Designs of Anu
A new update for Phoenix Point looks at the designs of Anu.
The Designs of Anu
As Backer Build Three for Phoenix Point has now been released, work is well under way on new content for future builds. Thus far we have only shown Havens for one of the major factions, New Jericho. We now turn our attention to The Disciples of Anu - the cult-like followers of an ancient god of the same name.
While the images we have to show at this stage are in the form of concept art, the infrastructure which has been put into place already in crafting the New Jericho Havens allows us to turn these concept drawings into fully textured 3D environments in a relatively short time.
Unlike New Jericho who had the luxury of converting their old military bases into Havens, or using their experience and resources to construct new ones, The Disciples of Anu live by simpler means.
The Disciples’ living areas within the Havens are essentially slums - with housing put together from whatever materials they can get their hands on. As the Disciples embrace the changes brought about by the Padoravirus, its mutated vegetation and tendrils are left to grow wild around their structures.
Monday - December 03, 2018
Phoenix Point - Backer Build 3 First Impressions
Any Button Gaming shared their impressions of Backer Build 3 for Phoenix Point.
Overall, it’s a well-developed game for this stage. To make the game even better I would recommend speeding up the AI’s turn. Players don’t like waiting for the computer to think. Add a tutorial to assist new players. Not all players will have played strategy games previously. It would be great to know if you have to defeat all enemys or if they have a base you can destroy in each battle. A tutorial would also help with how the missions work into the game. To me they seemed like side missions that I didn’t have to do if I didn’t want to. It would also be interesting to have the option of playing online and battling other players instead of the AI. At this stage the game is definitely playable and in a better development spot then I’ve seen with other games, however I look forward to seeing where the developers take the game in the future.
Sunday - November 11, 2018
Phoenix Point - Backer Build Three
Snapshot Games have outlined what features to expect from Backer Build Three for Phoenix Point.
Backer Build Three
With Backer Build Three just around the corner, we're taking this time to run you through some of the features and changes to expect to see. At the time of writing this, finishing touches are being applied. As a result, the released version may vary slightly from this update in appearance and features.
According to our Twitter and Facebook surveys, the thing most of you have been waiting for. The Geoscape strategic layer is where everything comes together. We still have a lot of features and functionality to add, such as the events system, base management, research & development, but the basics are there to move from mission to mission.
On the Geoscape, you can explore the map to find scavenging sites, Havens, alien nests and abandoned Phoenix Project bases. You will be able to save and reload your progress from the Geoscape screen.
You will start with one base, one transport and a squad of 4, plus an Armadillo APC. You will have to carefully explore the points of interest on the map to discover the various different locations. Your transport only has a limited amount of fuel, affecting the distance it can travel. You can use resources to build refueling stations at certain locations to extend your range, or use resources for an emergency refueling. That latter is less expensive and useful if you have nowhere to build a refueling station, but it's a one off boost. Plan your exploration wisely.
As you uncover the various locations around the map you will reveal scavenging sites which you can clear for resources. Faction and independent Havens which may come under attack. In the above image we can see an independent Haven being attacked. The closing circle around the Haven icon shows us which way the battle is currently going (in this case the Haven ais winning) and will tick down as the battle nears its conclusion. If you arrive there fast enough, you can help defend the Haven in exchange for resources and reputation.
You will also find new Phoenix Project bases which will increase your range and squad capacity, along with giving you another transport and allowing you to hire soldiers for the food resource.
Additionally, alien nests will start to spawn on the map if you wish to take the fight to the enemy!
From the Geoscape screen you will also be able to access the squad roster.
The Squad Roster
The roster will allow you to see all of your available soldiers (and vehicles) at a glance, along with their class, status, current loadout and which facility or transport they are assigned to. From this screen you can reassign your available units to different locations or access their gear loadout.
From the loadout screen you can reassign your starting equipment between your soldiers along with any additional items you have recovered from previous missions. You can re-equip armor, weapons and additional consumables.
In the previous Backer Builds, all battles took place in one variety of New Jericho Haven. Backer Build Three sees the introduction of more variety: Run-down and dilapidated scavenger sites, neutral Havens and a variety of different New Jericho Havens. In addition you will also see alien nests for the first time!
A Haven defense mission
We have added the first implementation of The Mist to the tactical missions. Spawned by certain enemies (such as the Mist Sentinel), The Mist will slowly start to crawl across the map. In the final game The Mist will have a variety of effects. In Backer Build Three it blocks your line of sight and gives the enemy vision of any units you have in contact with it.
New Enemy Types
Speaking of Sentinels, we have two main new enemy types in Backer Build Three. We have the aforementioned Sentinels which currently come in three varieties. We've already given away the purpose of the Mist Sentinel. We will let you discover what the others do for yourself. Sentinels are usually dormant until they become aware of your presence. They take a single turn of preparation before using their main ability. Use this to your advantage.
Mindfraggers are fast little buggers. They will scuttle across the map and attempt to latch onto any unsuspecting soldier, taking control of them. Your Technician has an ability to remove them, so try to keep him safe. In an emergency you can always attempt to shoot them off........ it isn't recommended.
New Class Abilities
Several new abilities have been added to the 4 classes included in Backer Build Three. These open up more tactical opportunities which might get you out of a pinch. Be warned, such abilities can take their toll on the soldier using them, greatly reducing their Will Power.
Below: The Heavy's new "Rage Burst" ability which consumes a high amount of Will Points to unload an entire magazine of ammo between two target points.loading...
After Backer Build Three is delivered, we will be updating our roadmap and starting to reveal the next stage of development with things you can look forward to in Backer Build Four.
Friday - November 02, 2018
Phoenix Point - Official Trailer
A new gameplay trailer for Phoenix Point.
The Official Trailer for Phoenix Point, the upcoming tactical combat and strategy game by Julian Gollop. You can find more information about Phoenix Point on our official website https://www.phoenixpoint.info Available for pre-order now with instant access to our development builds with the Luxury Digital Edition and above.
Saturday - October 20, 2018
Phoenix Point - Alien Bases
The latest from Phoenix Point talks about Alien Bases.
Much of the tactical combat in Phoenix Point takes place within human controlled Havens. These will not be the only places where combat occurs. There will be scavenging sites, your own bases to defend and enemy bases to attack, where the Pandoravirus mutates and grows its reinforcements.
Finding and destroying these aliens lairs will be fundamental to your success in the game. One of the main design goals for these enemy bases was to give them an organic appearance.
The approach we decided to take for things such as ladders and walls, was to use the remains of other creatures. Above, you can see a variety of different creature spines and carapaces which can be placed as ladders. Having a variety is also important. Having multiple copies of an identical ladder is a man-made environment is fine - but in an attempt to keep things looking organic and “natural”, we wanted to try and avoid some repetition.
The Pandoravirus ladders also need to keep regular spacing and dimensions so that they will all still work with the climbing animations (it wouldn’t be efficient to require separate climbing animations for different ladder types). In addition, we need different variations depending on height (1 floor, 2 floors etc). With a ladder you can just extend it and add extra rungs. That doesn’t work quite so well with a spine!
There are three main differences with the enemy bases to make them feel more organic and less “man-made”.
We’ve tried to avoid making the maps square. This gives more opportunity to build maze-like environments where you will have different options for taking cover, breaking line of sight and flanking your enemies.
We want the maps have a more “indoor” feeling to them. While some of them will still technically be outdoor maps, the claustrophobic feeling remains the same. Adding to the first point, this allows for more winding and twisting corridors.
We have made all of the props and features in the maps organic. We want to remove as many man-made elements as possible from the Pandoravirus environments. Many things which are required mechanically for your units to interact with (such as ladders) need to be reworked to be more organic.
Wednesday - October 10, 2018
Phoenix Point - Behind the Scenes
A behind the scenes look at goings on at Snapshot Games while they work on Phoenix Point.
Behind the Scenes on Phoenix Point
Last week I (UV) took a trip to the studio in Sofia. Whilst there, I had the opportunity to walk around the entire studio and look at what each and every developer was working on. Below is a summary of my tour, along with descriptions of what everyone is working on.
This is by no means a complete list as everyone was very busy and I wasn’t always able to catch everyone sitting at their own desk. It does however highlight the size of the team and how all of the parts come together as a whole.
Sunday - September 16, 2018
Phoenix Point - August Development Updates
Retcon Raider looked at over 100 promotional images for Phoenix Point and broke them down.
August was a rather odd month for Phoenix Point. With Backer Build 3 less than two months away, Snapshot Games threw over 100 new promotional images at us!
Thursday - August 30, 2018
Phoenix Point - The Origin of Species
Retcon Raider looks at the fiction of Phoenix Point. This episode focuses on 'The Origin of Species'.
With The Briefing #6 right around the corner, it's finally time to get back to analyzing the last batch of official Phoenix Point fiction! It's been a while, but today we'll be easing back into things by taking an in-depth look at "The Depths of Civilisation #3", by Allen Stroud. This story represents the third and final essay written by Randolph Symes, a long-time member of the Phoenix Project. Neatly blending fact and fiction, this story leaves us with more questions than answers - but also gives us plenty to talk about!
Friday - August 24, 2018
Phoenix Point - Arming the Factions
A new update for Phoenix Point shows off some of the arnaments you can expect to wield into battle. Screenshots at the link provided.
Arming the Factions
In order for the factions of Phoenix Point to effectively fight the Pandoravirus (and each other), they require some serious hardware. The character team has been working to provide each faction with a number of different weapons. As Phoenix Point takes place in the near-future, after the Third World War, weapon technology has moved on from today. While many of the weapons in Phoenix Point are inspired by modern and real-world weaponry, everything within the game has a custom design.
Initially the different factions use weaponry based on different technology. New Jericho for example, as you may have seen in the Backer Build, use Gauss-based weapons. The Phoenix Project on the other hand use more traditional ballistic-based equipment.
Wednesday - August 01, 2018
Phoenix Point - Geoscape and Development Roadmap
Snapshot Games have announced that backer build 3 for Phoenix Point will feature the geoscape, but due to it being a big update will release in November.
Since the first Backer Build of Phoenix Point was delivered, we've had fantastic feedback and reactions from our backers.
With the second release, we introduced vehicles and a new character class.
With Backer Build Three we want to take a major leap forward. We're going to be adding the Geoscape strategic element of the game.
Listen to more details from Julian, himself.
Also: we unveiled the Development Roadmap today. Check it out!loading...
As adding the Geoscape and associated mechanics is such a large step in the development, it will take us a little longer to do than the usual Backer Build release schedule allows.
You can expect Backer Build Three to be available at the start of November. We can assure you that you will not be disappointed with the results.
Thursday - July 26, 2018
Phoenix Point - Distinguished Havens
A new update for Phoenix Point shows the progress being made on Havens so far. Screenshots and concept art are shown at the link.
Havens are one of the largest and most important design elements in Phoenix Point.
Havens are the last remaining "safe havens" for humanity after The Mist started to roll inland from the sea. Usually built in mountains and other high areas above the reach of The Mist, these Havens are where the major factions call home and operate from.Throughout the game, many battles will take place in the NPC Havens of New Jericho, Synedrion and The Disciples of Anu. You will help to defend them from enemy incursions, set up forward operation bases and even infiltrate and steal from them. In addition, there will also be Havens that are independent from these factions. A major consideration for the design team has been to make each faction's Havens look unique.
Each of the factions and the independent Havens will have their own unique look and style. You will be able to tell who the structure belongs to from the design of the buildings, the colour scheme and the items and furniture that populate them.
Each Haven is further broken down into different zones, each with their own unique buildings and props. Our current Backer Build for example uses the New Jericho Industrial zone. There will also be things such as Residential, Food Production, Military and so on.
Saturday - July 07, 2018
Phoenix Point - RPG Codex Interview
Julian Gollop has been interviewed by the RPG Codex about Phoenix Point.
We've been told that at the end of Phoenix Point, the player's force will not consist of dozens of captains - that you've come up with a different way to handle soldier ranks. Could you tell us more about that?
Characters will have a basic character level which represents how skilled and experienced they are. This is used to unlock abilities in the skill tree of the character's class (or classes). There will not be military style ranks.
What character stats are going to be in the game and what will they affect? Will they increase by use like in X-COM, or only if the character levels up?
Current stats are endurance and willpower. More will be added, although it is not yet decided which ones. They won't level up organically by use, but through leveling up. However, the available training facilities at a base will be a significant factor in both stat progression and skill acquisition.
You've said in the past that classes in Phoenix Point will be more flexible than in Firaxis' XCOM. Can you tell us more about these hybrid classes and how they're going to work? Also, what classes are in the game? We've heard about the Assault, Heavy, Sniper, Technician (New Jericho), and Infiltrator (Synedrion) classes. Are there any more that we're not aware of?
Disciples of Anu have three additional classes - beserker, mutog handler (or beast master) and priest. Phoenix Point have the 'operative' class which is multi-skilled. Basically classes represent skill sets or specialisations (or in some cases mutations). A character can train in a secondary class, gaining access to new skill trees. All these classes may be available to the player, either through directly recruiting a soldier from other factions or by gaining the technology and training facilities for a class, making it available to all the player's roster.
Thursday - July 05, 2018
Phoenix Point - Video of Backer Build Two
Unstable Voltage streamed himself playing backer build two of Phoenix Point.
Disclosure: I am an employee of Snapshot Games, developer of Phoenix Point. Anything I say should be considered bias. This is my personal YouTube channel.
Just over 100 minutes of the new Backer Build Two for Phoenix Point.
Wednesday - July 04, 2018
Phoenix Point - Backer Build Two Released
@PCGamesN Phoenix Point has made Backer Build 2 available to its backers.
Update, July 3: Phoenix Point's new backer build is out, and you can get 15% off of your purchase.
Phoenix Point’s second backer build is out today, giving early purchasers a playable taste of the upcoming strategy game from X-COM creator Julian Gollop. If you can’t wait for the game’s full release next year, you can buy into early access with the Luxury Digital Edition, and get 15% off by using the promo code LUX15.
Thursday - June 28, 2018
Phoenix Point - Backer Build Two July 3rd
Phoenix Point backer build 2 has been detailed and will release July 3rd.
Backer Build Two
We are pleased to announce that Backer Build Two is scheduled for delivery on July 3rd. If you're already a preorder customer with the Luxury Digital Edition or above (Digital Extras Edition for Fig backers), look out for an email from Xsolla some time on the 3rd with your unique download link. Versions will be provided for PC, Mac OS and Linux.
Backer Build Two is currently undergoing rigorous testing. The following list of features are planned for Backer Build Two but are subject to change.
Something which many people have been waiting for is the addition of the fourth class, the Technician.
The Technician comes with his own set of skills and abilities.
The standard equipment for the Technician is an Assault Rifle (which means he can return fire), a grenade and his Mech Arms.
The Mech Arms allow the Technician not only to heal injured team mates, but also to repair damaged limbs.
Tech Heal Gif.gif
In addition, the Technician's Mech Arms can be used to deliver a brutal melee range attack on an enemy that will also stun them.
Tech Zap Gif.gif
The Technician also has another trick up his sleeve (well, technically it's on his back), a deployable turret.
Turret Deploy Gif.gif
Once deployed, the turret acts as a static weapon platform armed with a PDW. As an agile weapon, this also allows the turret to return fire.
Turret Fire Gif.gif
The turret will also be able to drop its PDW which can then be picked up and used by other units.
Next up with have the New Jericho APC - the Armadillo. The first drivable vehicle to be included in Phoenix Point.
In order to use the Armadillo you must first get one of your squad inside to drive the unit, via the access hatch on the rear of the vehicle. There's additional room for carrying extra squad members too.
Enter Vehicle Gif.gif
The Armadillo has a large movement range, and can drive cleanly through most obstacles. It's a large unit though, measuring 3x3 tiles - so there are some places it cannot reach!
APC Move Gif.gif
Armed with a roof mounted turret, the Armadillo is capable of taking targets down at range. While lacking the armor shredding capability of the Heavy's LMG, it still packs a punch and has unlimited ammo.
APC Shoot Gif.gif
The Armadillo is also capable of unleashing a devastating ram attack that can flatten several enemies at once. Travelling at high speed in a straight line, you need to choose your path carefully.
APC Ram Gif.gif
The vehicles in Phoenix Point have a lot of armor and health, but they can still sustain damage. Don't worry though, your new Technician has you covered!
Tech Rep Gif.gif
Of course, the vehicles are very powerful. You may feel that this will make you future missions very easy. Remember though, as you adapt, so does the enemy!
Queen Spawn Gif.gif
You didn't think we were going to make it that easy for you, did you?
Queen Idle Gif.gif
Other changes and features
We have updated the aiming system to give more detailed information about the damage your shots are likely to do, along with the effects of disabling a body part.
You will now find under the options menu a checkbox to enable the free camera.
This will allow you to rotate the game camera freely and not lock you to 90 degree turns.
We have also added 2 new base maps for the procedural generation system, and improved map lighting.
A host of other additions, quality of life improvements and bug-fixes have also been made. You will be able to find a complete list of changes and additions in the documentation supplied with Backer Build Two and on our forum once the build goes live.
Friday - June 22, 2018
Phoenix Point - Interview @Gamerant
Gamerant interviewed Julian Gollop about Phoenix Point.
When the aliens develop strategies to counter your own, is there a point at which they might get too powerful? How are you balancing this issue?
Balancing partly comes from the fact that the aliens are responding to your battle victories, rather than pursuing a fixed advancement. They don’t care too much if they are winning, but will go through mutation processes if they are losing.
What are some of the challenges you’ve faced during the development of this game?
The procedural generation of environments and aliens is a big challenge, as is the character customisation system. Also, we are setting high goals for the production quality, which is always hard work.
Can you tell us a bit about what we can expect from boss fights in the game?
The boss monsters are a bit like battleships with multiple weapons systems and defences, and a whole variety of AI behaviours. They will usually be quite unique and memorable. One interesting thing is that the monsters are persistent characters with a specific lair, and if they survive a battle they will get stronger and strike again.
Thursday - June 21, 2018
Phoenix Point - Good Guys and Bad Guys
A new update for Phoenix Point shows off the good guys and bad guys with some new art.
Good Guys and Bad Guys
Since our last update, the team has been busy working on Backer Build Two, fixing bugs and adding more content and functionality.
The Good Guys
So far our demo and Backer Build have only showcased 3 classes from the New Jericho faction. Our reasoning for this is that our New Jericho models were in a more complete state and we wanted more time to work on the others before showing them.
The Technician class has so far been absent from our NJ lineup. This is mainly due to some unique mechanics that the Technician has (such as their turret and exosuit arms). These all required extra animation and programming which we didn't want to rush through just to have them included in the first Backer Builds.
The Technician, now with his un-deployed turret stowed beneath the power pack of the exosuit.
Not only does the Technician have a deployable turret which requires its own set of animations and unique mechanics, but they also have some unique attacks of their own.
A Technician melee range attack using the exosuit
The art and animation teams are also busily working on the other factions. The Phoenix Project, the player faction, is one of the most anticipated. We have shown some concept work for them in the past, but now we have fully textured models.
The Phoenix Project Assault class
We're also working on the Alien Chitin Armor set which will be usable by The Phoenix Project in the Luxury Edition DLC
The Alien Chitin Armor set
Sticking with the Good Guys, (if New Jericho are the "Good Guys"), we're also working on animations for the Armadillo, the New Jericho APC.
Everyone in the back has just spilled their coffee
The Bad Guys
So far we have shown the Crabmen, the Queen, some concept work for the Chiron and the Queen's larva. In this update, we're going to be looking at some developments on some of those creatures and also take a look at two new creatures.
Let's first have a look at the progress on the Chiron.
A selection of different Chiron mutations
As the Chiron has a very beetle-like carapace, this provides the perfect opportunity to use some chromatic blue and purple colours. We are very conscious not to just make everything in muddy shades of brown and grey, which is so easy to do in a post-apocalyptic setting.
Next we have the Queen.
The Queen with a heavily armored carapace
Back in April at EGX Rezzed, Julian did show off some new mutations for the Queen as part of his presentation, though they were untextured models at that point. Above, you can see the Queen with heavy armor (both undamaged and damaged versions).
We said that we had 2 new enemies to share with you. So here they are!
Firstly, we present to you The Siren.
A small selection of the Siren mutations
The Siren has undergone some major changes since her early concepts. Along with having some pretty nasty attacks of her own, the Siren also has a number of support abilities to help her allies and hinder your own troops.
For something completely new and never seen before - The Juggernaut!
Just one variation of The Juggernaut
The Juggernaut is one of the heavy hitters for Team Pandoravirus. While we don't wish to spoil too much about the Juggernaut, they have a number off different and unique ways to attack. Some of them might really surprise you.
Friday - June 08, 2018
Phoenix Point - May Development Updates
Retcon Raider details the May development updates for Phoenix Point.
May was a big month for Phoenix Point, thanks in large part to the new Backer Build - but we've already talked about that. So what else is there to talk about?
Well, not a whole lot, but we did learn at least a few new things about what the developers have planned. Who knows? I might have even scrounged up some information you haven't heard yet!
I backed the Phoenix Point crowdfunding campaign, but I'm not otherwise affiliated with Phoenix Point, Snapshot Games, or Julian Gollop in any way. I just love talking about Phoenix Point!
Tuesday - May 15, 2018
Phoenix Point - Release Announcment & Backer Build 1.2
A new release date for Phoenix Point has been announced as well as the imminent release of backer build 1.2.
Release Announcement + Backer Build 1.2
Message from the CEO
When we launched our crowdfunding campaign for Phoenix Point in May 2017, we hoped that the game would be well received. But what has happened since has been phenomenal, with increasingly strong pre-orders and great press coverage. People’s expectations are higher, our team is growing, and Phoenix Point has become a bigger game. In order to realise this potential we need to push back the target release date to June 2019.loading...
I believe we can create a game with high production values that will make a huge splash on launch. In order to achieve this we need to continue to expand the team and maintain our focus on quality. To be honest, this has been a slower process than I wanted, but I felt that we needed the best talent that we could find. I am glad to say that we now have 35 great developers in our Sofia studio, and as a consequence of our recent, excellent exposure we are attracting offers of help from game developers around the world.
For our backers who have pre-ordered the luxury digital edition we will commit to a new Backer Build at least once every two months up to the point of release.
I hope you will support our decision, which I believe is in the best long term interests of the game, and on behalf of the whole team we would like to thank all our backers for their support and faith in our vision for this ambitious and exciting project.
Backer Build v1.2 (PC/Mac/Linux)
Within the next day, we will deploy Version 1.2 of our Phoenix Point Backer Build. This version includes numerous bug-fixes and quality of life improvements. Version 1.2 also includes the Mac and Linux builds. We would once again like to apologise for the delay in delivering the Mac and Linux builds, but hope you understand the decision we took not to release them until the major technical issues had been resolved.
As with Backer Build One, you should receive an email from Xsolla (firstname.lastname@example.org) with your unique download link to the builds. Please add the email address to your whitelist to ensure that the email doesn't land in your spam folder.
All distribution is handled by Xsolla. If you do not receive your email, please contact Xsolla support to assist you - email@example.com or via http://help.xsolla.com
The servers can come under load during the downloading process, so if you're unable to download the files instantly, please wait a short time and try again.
Backer Build v1.2 Release Notes
- Added basic options screen with sound controls, buttons to quit and button to disable the gamepad
- Fixed various problems that caused the game to become stuck and not able to continue
- Fixed various map passability problems
- Fixed a bug causing the queen not to attack if she moved in her turn
- Fixed an issue causing the first person targeted shots to be fired in the wrong direction
- Improved the AI behaviour of the crabmen gunners
- If you have a gamepad that's not compatible with the XBox Game Controller (XInput controller) you may have strange camera behaviour (e.g. camera goes constantly in one direction). Use the options screen to disable the gamepad input.
- [Linux] Intro movie is disabled
- [Linux] When typing in the issue reporting tool each letter appears twice. Just type your report in an external tool and use ctrl + v to paste it in the box.
- [Mac] You can't open the game guide from inside the game. It is packed as a .pdf file in the build .zip file
- [Mac & Linux] Small graphical glitches (Z fighting) on some locations on the map
Monday - April 30, 2018
Phoenix Point - Backer Build One
Phoenix Point backer build one will be available 12am PST on Tuesday, May 1st.
Content and Feedback
Backer Build One is a pre-alpha build of the tactical portion of the gameplay. It contains the demo map which you may have seen from the previous events that we attended. It also includes procedurally generated maps.
In Backer Build One you will play as the New Jericho faction, controlling 2 Assault soldiers, 1 Sniper and 1 Heavy. The Backer Build includes the free-aiming system introduced at EGX Rezzed and the inventory system which we have not yet showcased.
A help document is included with the download detailing key-bindings and some gameplay tips.
Should you encounter any bugs within the Backer Build (and you will), please submit a bug report. When you encounter a bug, just hit F12. The game will capture the current screenshot. You can click on the screenshot in the bug report. This will allow you to draw on and highlight any issues on the screen. You can also submit your name or email address along with a title and description of the bug. When you send the report, all of this information along with anonymous system data such as hardware configuration and the game's logs will be sent directly to the Snapshot Games QA team.
For more detailed discussion about any bugs encountered, or to leave general feedback - please visit the Snapshot Games Forum
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some of the questions most frequently asked about the Backer Build, with answers.
Can I stream or make YouTube videos of the Backer Build?
Yes you can. We just ask that you make it clear that you're playing an "in-development" build.
Does the Backer Build contain any of the campaign or strategic layer?
Not at this point. The Backer Build is currently only tactical combat missions. We will be updating the Backer Build approximate once every 2 months with additional content. However, we wish to hold back much of the story and campaign elements so not to spoil the narrative before general release.
Can I still get access to the Backer Build after it has released?
Yes. Even after the build has gone live, our pre-order packages will still contain access to it.
How long will the Backer Build last?
We haven't currently set an end date for the Backer Build. We will continue to add new content until close to release. If this changes we will make an announcement in good time.
Why doesn't XYZ work like this? / Why haven't you implemented XYZ?
The Backer Build is still a very small portion of the overall game. Many mechanics, abilities and features have yet to be added at this stage. Nothing in the Backer Build should be considered as the final version. If you wish to talk about detail of specific design choices, we've provided a handy feedback section on our forums.
Sunday - April 22, 2018
Phoenix Point - Gameplay Demo
ChristopherOdd played through the gameplay demo for Phoenix Point which will be apart of the upcoming player Alpha.
Phoenix Point is the new strategy game from the creator of the original X-COM series. It features turn-based tactics and world based strategy in a fight against a terrifying, alien menace. 👇🏻 MORE INFO DOWN BELOW 👇🏻
Monday - April 16, 2018
Phoenix Point - Julian Gollop @EGX Rezzed
Julian Gollop presented Phoenix Point at EGX Rezzed recently.
X-Com creator Julian Gollop demonstrates new Turn-Based Tactical Game, Phoenix Point. -- EGX Rezzed gathers together the best PC, indie & console games for your enjoyment. With a strong focus on indie titles, in many cases you'll be able to chat with the game creators as you play. We also have presentations from world-renowned game designers, the GamesIndustry.biz Career Fair, tabletop games and loads more. -- Watch live at https://www.twitch.tv/egx
Sunday - April 15, 2018
Phoenix Point - Free Aiming Explained
A new video from UnstableVoltage explains how free aiming will work in Phoenix Point.
Disclosure: I am an employee of Snapshot Games - developer of Phoenix Point.
I present a quick overview of the work in progress free-aiming system for Phoenix Point.
Phoenix Point is the new Turn-Based tactical game by X-Com creator, Julian Gollop. Set for release late 2018, with pre-alpha access coming around April.
Thursday - April 05, 2018
Phoenix Point - Interview with David Kaye
Gamesindustry interviewed David Kaye, co-founder of Snapshot Games, and asked him about Phoenix Point.
With its upcoming game bringing in $100,000 a month in pre-order revenue alone, you would think that developer Snapshot Games is sleeping easily at night.
But it's not.
"If there's one thing that keeps us up, it's that there are so many services that are launching and giving games away," explains David Kaye, co-founder of Snapshot, the studio fronted by XCOM creator Julian Gollop and creator of the XCOM-alike Phoenix Point.
"And they're not just giving away old games, but fairly new ones. Between Steam sales and services like Humble Bundle and all that stuff, there is so much... If you want to play a really good game, there are great indie games that are not very expensive. There are games that were full price a little while ago that are now almost free. Deus Ex: Mankind Divided didn't come out that long ago, and it's basically free now.
"Things like Game Pass... You can play Sea of Thieves for just a few quid. Microsoft and others are launching these services where you pay $10 a month and you can play some amazing new games.
Tuesday - March 27, 2018
Phoenix Point - Backer Build One
A new update for Phoenix Point announces Backer Build One will be available April 30th. There is some creature art in the update if your curious.
Backer Build One
We're back! We know it's been a little while since the last update, but everyone has been working hard behind the scenes.
First off, we have a release date for Backer Build One: April 30th.
This is a month later than we had originally planned, and we're really sorry for the delay. While every effort was made to meet our original Q1 estimate, we wanted to make sure we could deliver the best possible version. One of the reasons for the delay is to implement the inventory system. We feel that this is a key mechanic for Phoenix Point, so wanted it to be included with Backer Build One.
Back in February, Snapshot Games attended the PC Gamer Weekender show in London. Guests of the show were able to meet with Julian and other members of the team, along with having the chance to play our tactical demo. The demo is a small taste of what there is to look forward to. A single scenario were guests got to try their hand at Phoenix Point, taking control of the New Jericho faction in defense of a Haven. There were unfortunately some features that we weren't able to squeeze into the demo in time for the show (such as the Technician class and the drivable vehicles) but we are working to get them included for next time.
If you weren't able to attend PC Gamer Weekender, you can watch a play-through of the demo below.loading...
In April we will be attending EGX Rezzed, also in London. The show dates are Friday April 13th to Sunday April 15th. Snapshot Games will be there on all three days with the demo build. If you're attending, seek us out and try it for yourself.
Tickets for EGX Rezzed are still currently available, but running low. Get your tickets here.
One of the features we're most excited about in Phoenix Point is the mutation system. Each enemy (including the boss creatures) has the ability to mutate and throw new challenges at the player. Enemies will have a variety of different heads, torsos, arms, legs (and various other limbs) that can be used together in different combinations. Each different body part will provide different skills and abilities to the enemy, along with some straight up statistical modifiers such as increased speed or armour.
For each creature, each body part will have a distinct look. Following the philosophy that players should be able to distinguish and identify different units from their models, the different mutations will have a lot of visual variety.
Wednesday - March 07, 2018
Phoenix Point - First Impressions
Game Watcher checked out Phoenix Point:
Hands-On Impressions with the successor to XCOM
We loved both of the Firaxis XCOM games, and will gladly take another, but they certainly lacked a bit of the strategic depth that characterized the earlier X-Com games. Now series creator Julian Gollop, and his team at Snapshot, are attempting to marry the straightforward playability of XCOM: Enemy Unknown with the depth of X-Com: UFO Defense. Can they succeed? Guess we’re going to have to play to find out… so we did just that.
Put simply, Phoenix Point feels like XCOM: Enemy Unknown… but improved, in every way. All the little annoyances are gone, such as now being able to correct movement and changing weapons no longer costs a turn. The over-simplicity of XCOM has been toned down, so bullet trajectories now matter and Overwatch is more useful but can no longer be spammed thanks to the introduction of Willpower.
But, at the same time, Snapshot have wisely kept the straightforward, easy-to-use control system and gameplay that made XCOM so popular. Anyone can play Phoenix Point and have a good time, as there are no barriers for entry and you can cleanly see and control your entire squad without confusion. Yet there is depth and subtlety to Phoenix Point and its various systems, so we a feeling that it’ll be easy to pick up, but difficult to master – which only the best games are. Phoenix Point’s release date is still far off, but we can’t wait to see more of it.
Tuesday - March 06, 2018
Phoenix Point - Campaign Guide
PCGamesN reports on the Phoenix Point campaign and what you can expect from it.
Before you can eradicate the aliens you must learn as much as you can about them. You can talk to the other havens who will “give you intel about the aliens and also the location of their hives,” Gollop tells us. But that will only reveal so much. To work out what makes them tick you are going to have to take some alive.
“If you recover an alien you can research its individual body parts to work out what its function is,” Gollop explains. The function of a limb may appear obvious but studying it can also reveal its weaknesses. For instance, if a crab evolves a shield it is plain that it blocks bullets, but in researching it you can learn its limitations - such as the fact that when it is deployed, the crab is locked in that direction, leaving it vulnerable to flanking moves.
Your scientists will also suggest research to invent that may help to counteract particularly powerful mutations. The example Gollop gives is of a poison-spitting ability, “which is quite nasty,” he adds. When you first encounter it, you don’t have anything in your arsenal to counteract the poison’s effects, but if you can catch a spitter and study it then you can develop antivenoms and armour to protect your soldiers against it.
Sunday - February 25, 2018
Phoenix Point - Stage Presentation
Julian Gollop presented Phoenix Point on stage at the PC Gamer Weekender.
Check out the full Phoenix Point stage presentation from the PC Gamer Weekender 2018
Monday - February 19, 2018
Phoenix Point - Pre-Alpha Demo Gameplay
Phoenix Point was recently demonstrated at the PC Gamer Weekender.
Disclosure: I am an employee of Snapshot Games - developer of Phoenix Point.
I play through the tactical combat pre-alpha development demo of Phoenix Point, first revealed at the PC Gamer Weekender in London in 2018. This gameplay is intended to give an idea of the mechanical workings of Phoenix Point. With a year of development time remaining, please remember that this is a work-in-progress build, and as such should be considered incomplete an liable to change.
** Some minor sound desync issues are the result of frame drops during recording.
The desync was not present during play.
** Phoenix Point is the new Turn-Based tactical game by X-Com creator, Julian Gollop. Set for release late 2018, with pre-alpha access coming around April.
For more information, visit the website: http://www.phoenixpoint.info
Monday - February 05, 2018
Phoenix Point - Q&A with Julian Gollop
Julian Gollop answers more questions about Phoenix Point on Facebook. There is no summary available at the moment.
Wednesday - January 24, 2018
Phoenix Point - Q&A with Julian Gollop
Recently Julian Gollop was interviewed on Facebook Live. You can watch that video here and get a summary of the Q&A. (Make sure to click on the question to see the answer)
Why is it not turn-based?
Phoenix Point is turn-based.
What’s the release date?
We are releasing at the end of the year. We will probably also have an Early Access release. We will also be releasing a pre-alpha version to our Luxury Digital Edition pre-orders and backers at the end of March, possibly the beginning of April.
The original X-Com had many more simulation elements (procedurally generated levels, full bullet physics, destructible environments, soldier inventories etc). Can we expect similar in Phoenix Point?
The answer is yes, yes, yes, yes, yes and yet me yes.
Talking about the Geoscape mode – why is it not turn based?
We are sticking to the real-time mode with pause ability that was in the original X-Com because that’s what most players will expect.
Will there be multiple different races or just loads of crabmen?
There will be lots of different alien varieties and they will all mutate.
Monday - December 25, 2017
Phoenix Point - Christmas Update
Phoenix Point's Christmas Update has news on the demo and the upcoming Alpha.
Phoenix Point Demo, Plus a Special Christmas Gift
So here we are, fast approaching the end of 2017. As promised, one final development update as the studio and development team take a few well deserved days of rest over the holiday. Be sure to keep reading through to the end for a special Christmas gift from the team at Snapshot Games.
Phoenix Point Demo
If you have been keeping your eye on any of our social media channels, you will have probably seen mention of a Phoenix Point demo being presented at PC Gamer Weekender in February. Over the last two months, the development team have been working even harder than usual to put together a demo which we can showcase at expos and events.
The environment team have been working on some internal props for the demo
One question which has been asked a lot; "Is the demo going to be the same as the backer pre-alpha build?". The short answer to that is no. As this demo is designed to show what the end product is expected to be like, we're creating a small section of gameplay, a single mission. This mission is designed to be completed in a short amount of time (after all, it is going to be playable by the visitors to these events, and we would love everyone to get their turn!)
The big difference between the demo and the pre-alpha is the level of polish. All of the fine details, refinement, optimisation and general "polish" are normally completed towards the end of development (we want to make sure we're completely happy with how everything works before we spend lots of time to make it shiny). For the demo, the team have started to polish the assets which will be included. It still won't quite be on the same level of the completed game, but we want to have this showcase looking as good as possible. As always, the demo is still an in development build and the quality may not be that of the final product.
The backer and pre-order pre-alpha version will be an ongoing, constantly updated build. It will have more content than a single mission, but it will lack the initial polish of the demo. The pre-alpha and the demo are being developed simultaneously as the assets, user interface, sound effects and gameplay programming are all core elements of the game which will be used in both places.loading...
The Crabmen themselves have also evolved significantly
The pre-alpha access is available to all of our Fig backers and pre-order customers who chose the Digital Extras Edition and above. If you haven't pre-ordered Phoenix Point, you can still do so at our store and select a package with pre-alpha access, currently due in Q1 of 2018.
PC Gamer Weekender Demo
The demo we will be showing at The Weekender is going to be quite special. You will get to play as a squad of New Jericho soldiers (who are not normally a playable faction in the campaign) in defense of one of their Havens. We're not going to say more than this, as we'd like the experience to be a surprise for those of you who can attend. What we will add, is that this mission will contain characters and events that you may be familiar with, if you've been reading our short stories.
If you're able to attend The Weekender on Saturday February 17th, Julian himself will be giving an on-stage presentation including playing through the demo.
The PC Gamer Weekender takes place at the London Olympia Centre on the weekend of February 17-18th. Tickets are currently on sale for as little as £12.99 - and you can use the discount code chr1stm4s to receive 20% off until midnight on January 5th.
If you're not able to come and see us at The Weekender, do not fear! We will be attending many more events world-wide in 2018. Follow us on social media, or sign up to our newsletter to stay informed.
The Stories of Phoenix Point
As we've already mentioned the short stories which have been written to set the scene for Phoenix Point, one of our lead writers, Allen Stroud, is currently part of an ongoing Kickstarter project himself.
Allen has a story featured in 2001: An Odyssey in Words. An original anthology honouring Sir Arthur C. Clarke's centenary year where every story is precisely two thousand and one words long.
Allen Stroud (Ph. D) is a Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror writer, best known for his work on the computer game Elite Dangerous and its official fiction. His latest book, The Forever Man was published in 2017 by Luna Press.
Allen is editor of the British Fantasy Society Journal and Revolutionaries; the roleplaying game set in the War of Independence from Make Believe Games
Allen is Chair of Fantasycon 2018.
His website is: http://www.allenstroud.com
You can find the Kickstarter campaign for this here.
A Christmas Gift
The exchange of gifts has long been a Christmas tradition. Our gift for your this year is Volume #2 of The Briefing: our latest ebook containing a selection of Phoenix Point short stories written by Allen Stroud and Jonas Kyratzes.
This edition contains many new, never seen before pieces. We really hope that you enjoy them, and that they sustain your excitement over the holiday. You will receive The Briefing 2 very soon if you're subscribed to our newsletter. If you haven't already done so, you can sign up here.
Merry Christmas everyone! See you in 2018!
Friday - December 01, 2017
Phoenix Point - Haven Design and Map Generation
The latest update for Phoenix Point is a large one and shares Haven Design and Map Generation details.
As a little bonus this month, and maybe as an early Christmas present, we're going to share with you something new. In the last update, we revealed the New Jericho vehicle. This time, we're delighted to show you The Phoenix Scarab ATV.
Development on the Scarab began in 2025 with the objective of providing secure all-terrain transport for crews heading to remote Phoenix bases scattered around the world. The fuel cell powered vehicle would be fully automated with a contained atmosphere capable of accommodating eight personnel for a week without exposure to the outside. Radiation proofing and graphene mesh armour promised amazing levels of protection. The first units were produced in 2027, as Phoenix Command struggled to secure the secrecy and integrity of remaining bases after seizures by state actors in 2023, and the failed organisation wide activation of 2025. Due to the world crisis leading up to World War Three, only a small number were actually produced. In 2032 Scarabs were released to AI control to defend themselves, and as of March 2047 the whereabouts of most of them are still unknown.
Building the Maps
While some of the maps within Phoenix Point will be hand-crafted, most will be procedurally generated. What this means, in the simplest terms, is an algorithm takes a selection of premade assets and assembles them based on a set of rules. This gives a different result every time, but helps to ensure that objects and buildings still work correctly. For example; buildings should always be placed so that external doors face a path or road (and of course, to make sure they do actually have external doors!). Buildings with two or more floors should always have at least one staircase, or some other means to access the higher floors.
First, we design a number of map layouts. These allow us to set the size of the map, the road and path layout, and the positions for any cover or buildings. The algorithm then places a random variation of the correct building type and of the correct size on each of the pre-allocated building spaces. Buildings can be made up of smaller, modular buildings for even more variation.
Below is a short video showing how the different building components can be swapped out to produce different maps. As is the case here, building sections can even be placed within or on top of other buildings.loading...
Not only does Tzani's script scramble the placement of props, but even the items found on shelving are randomly placed!
All of these elements are coming together to make some great looking environments. Even in this early stage of their development, with only a minimal amount of polish. Just add lighting, a little fog and a few particle effects....loading...
Sunday - November 26, 2017
Phoenix Point - Free DLC
OnlySP reports that the upcoming turn-based strategy game Phoenix Point will get a free DLC at launch:
XCOM Creator’s Phoenix Point Getting Unmet Stretch Goal as Free DLC
Phoenix Point, the upcoming turn-based strategy game from XCOM creator Julian Gollop, will receive free DLC following its initial release.
The DLC in question will be the Floating Phoenix Base that was set to be unlocked at $850,000 during the initial Fig campaign. In the main game, players will be able to set up a land-based operation, while this DLC will enable sea exploration, allowing players to explore the source of the alien incursion more effectively.
Snapshot Games made the announcement to celebrate the milestone of having acquired more than USD$1 million through its ongoing crowdfunding and investment campaign. Alongside this announcement, Snapshot Games also revealed that the studio’s staff has doubled in size since the project began its crowdfunding campaign, with Gollop saying, “we have added some tremendous design, art and technical talent to the team.”
Wednesday - November 01, 2017
Phoenix Point - New Jericho Faction Development
Phoenix Point has a new update that focuses on New Jericho Classes, Weapons and Vehicles.
New Jericho Classes, Weapons and Vehicles
There are a lot of different things being worked on by the development teams at Snapshot Games right now. We wish we could show them all to you, but some will have to wait until next time.
In this update, we're going to take a look at some new designs for soldier classes, and some redesigns on existing models.
A lot of work is currently being done on the New Jericho faction. There's still some concept work happening, and some "first pass" 3D models are starting to form.
One of the important considerations when designing the look of characters is to make them distinct. The aim with Phoenix Point is to make each class (or enemy archetype) easily identifiable from their silhouette, regardless of faction.
Even though each design is different, the class is still identifiable from its silhouette.
Wednesday - September 27, 2017
Phoenix Point - Interview
PC Gamer interviewed Julian Gollop about his new game Phoenix Point:
How X-Com's creator is reinventing his masterpiece in Phoenix Point
Julian Gollop discusses his new game, and how X-Com became its own sub-genre.
X-Com creator Julian Gollop and his studio Snapshot Games have raised over $750,000 on crowdfunding platform Fig to make Phoenix Point, a game that looks like a perfect match for anyone who's enjoyed Firaxis's recent XCOM efforts. Set on a mostly destroyed Earth in 2057, you lead part of an organisation called the Phoenix Project, and are tasked with saving the last pockets of humanity from aliens and an encroaching mist that mutates every living thing it touches.
In doing so, you'll ally with one of three different conflicting human factions (or maybe more). Plus, with a strategic layer that borrows more from 4X games, it's a very different proposition to Firaxis's recent titles—but no less exciting.
In this interview, I asked Julian to talk me through how they approached the game's tactical and strategic layers, enemy types and X-Com's growth into a sub-genre of its own.
We've seen early footage of what a battle looks like in Phoenix Point. Can you give us an overview of what you're trying to achieve with the game?
What I want to do with Phoenix Point is create a very rich and systemic game world that has a lot of dynamic interactions on a strategic level, not just on the tactical level. So one of the things I'm doing with Phoenix Point is taking something I did before, actually, with X-Com Apocalypse, where you had a city with different factions with different resources, and they had relationships with each other, and you could raid them, help them, or so on. So in the world of Phoenix Point, in its post-apocalyptic setting, humanity is basically fractured but there are three strong factions, and they're trying to expand and take control of things.
Sunday - September 24, 2017
Phoenix Point - The Evolution of the Genre
Julian Gollop talked at EGX about the evolution of the game genre from Laser Squad to Phoenix Point and his ambitions for the later.
Legendary game designer Julian Gollop explains the history behind the development of Laser Squad through X-COM and shows how Phoenix Point evolves the genre further along with his ambitions for the game. -- Watch live at https://www.twitch.tv/egx
Thursday - August 31, 2017
Phoenix Point - The Geoscape
An update on the Geoscape, Ballistics and more for Phoenix Point. There are some screenshots illustrating the Geoscape at the link.
Geoscape, Ballistics and More!
One of the most eagerly anticipated aspects of Phoenix Point that people have been waiting to catch a glimpse of is the Geoscape. The good news is, we finally have something to show you. The Strategic Layer team have been working hard to start assembling all of the pieces. There are some very interesting things to cover regarding the strategic layer, and you may have heard some already.
As always, please remember that Phoenix Point is still in early development, with over a year of development time remaining. Anything you see in these early updates should not be considered final or representative of the quality for the finished product. Many UI elements are still placeholder, and textures tend to lack shaders and general polish.
What you've all been waiting for.........
At the start of the campaign, you have a single base: Phoenix Point. You also start with a single aircraft, which has its travel distance limited by its fuel supply. In the example above, the range of the aircraft is shown by the two-tone orange circle. The centre, lighter circle is the safe distance for making a return trip. The outer, darker circle means a one way trip. You won't have enough fuel to return unless there is somewhere else where you can refuel.
Within your travel range, you can see a number of question-marks. These represent unknown points of interest and could be a number of things;
They could be one of the many isolated Havens spread around the world (there will be approximately 100-200 to discover per game). These could belong to one of the 3 major factions, or they could be independent Havens. Some of these will be extra special, as you may run into some of our Immortalization Edition backers here, as creating your own Haven and its leader is one of the perks for supporting Phoenix Point at this level. The major factions could be your allies or your enemy. Your actions and diplomacy throughout the campaign will decide this. Independent Havens will likely be willing to offer you precious resources or personnel in exchange for protection.
It could be an inactive base belonging to The Phoenix Project. These bases will offer somewhere for you to refuel your aircraft, and may contain new technologies for you to utilize, or facilities to aid your war effort.
They could be scavenger sites. These places are a rich source of much needed supplies and resources, and may even have the odd vehicle lying around which you can repurpose. Be extra careful though; these sites are generally overrun with alien creatures.
It could be a mysterious alien built structure. What is their purpose? How did they get there? That is something better left for your discovery.
Probably the most terrifying, it could be a colossal alien Behemoth, roaming the land and devouring all in its path. You must risk great sacrifice to stop these mighty beasts at all costs as even Havens are on their menu.
Early on in the campaign, the Phoenix Project are an isolated group, coordinating from their only base, Phoenix Point. Your first priorities are to explore your surroundings. Make contact with potential allies, find resources, establish refueling stations for your aircraft. The exploration phase of Phoenix Point is inspired by great 4X (eXplore, eXpand, eXploit, eXterminate) games such as "Masters of Orion" and "Stellaris". Some places you will just discover as you explore the globe, trying to uncover what is left of humanity. Other points of interest on the map will only be revealed to you through elements of the narrative.
You will also be pleased to know (if you haven't worked it out already from the temporary interface) that the Strategic Layer runs in real-time, with the option to pause or speed up the passage of time.
Monday - August 28, 2017
Phoenix Point - Has Realistic Ballistics
Julian Gollop announced on Snapshot Games forum that realistic ballistics is functioning for Phoenix Point.
We have implemented a 'realistic ballistics' system which works in a similar way to the original X-COMs. It does make combat quite fun. Each bullet has a separate trajectory and damage whatever it hits.
Snipers can make headshots against enemies who think they have good cover
Heavies can unleash a hail of 12 bullets with their machine guns - but they are not likely to hit - but then they do frequently blow away any light cover
Assaults fire a burst of 6 bullets normall, but 4 with overwatch, and 3 with return fire.
Range is a very significant factor with this system since there is an inverse square deterioration in accuracy with distance (as in real life).
For the interface, we have created a first person view with a couple of probability circles - one for 50% of shots expected, and one for 75% of shots. It allows the player to judge the enemies cover visually, and accurately.
It's simple and definitely makes fire-fights tense. There are some issues though
- Cover is basically WYSIWYG - therefore it is difficult to give the player much info about cover unless he is able to 'see' from different positions. There are no numbers worth displaying. A cover system similar to new XCOM doesn't work.
- It's would be difficult to give the player meaningful data about expected outcomes from an attack. We could show 'average expected damage' mayber, although it's not easy to calculate.
- Firing from a first person view all the time would slow the pace of the game. It's not important if the optimum target point is always calculated, but that's not easy. At the moment the player can adjust the precise firing position with the mouse (in the future, you would be able to click on a body part to aim at it, but that's only useful if your accuracy circle is not too big).
- Soldiers do crouch down next to low cover - but their precise pose is very important because it would determine how much of their body might be exposed above the top of the cover.
- Stepping out from cover to shoot exposes soldiers completely - to overwatch or return fire. A partial step-out pose may fix this. Similarly, popping up to shoot from low cover also exposes the soldier to return fire - again, maybe fixed by a special pose (depending on weapon).
- There is no simulation for the difficulty of shooting a moving target, which has always been something that bugged me about turn-based games. There may be a way to do this, but I don't know what it could be.
Overall, I like the visual/naturalistic feel of the shooting, but it might not be everybody's cup of tea. You can expect a video demo of it soon.
Sunday - August 06, 2017
Phoenix Point - Early Character Models
A new video log series has started for Phoenix Point. The first one for August looks at early character models.
In the first development VLOG of August, X-Com and Phoenix Point creator Julian Gollop takes you on a brief tour around the art an animation department of Snapshot Games to see how some of the early models are shaping up for Phoenix Point.
Phoenix Point is a squad focused turn based tactical game with 4X strategic elements. Phoenix Point was successfully funded on Fig in Jun 2017 and is scheduled for release in late 2018
There's still time to back Phoenix Point, and there are many physical and digital backer rewards to claim: https://app.crowdox.com/projects/1002...
Wednesday - July 12, 2017
Phoenix Point - Pre-order Store & Forums are Live!
The latest update for Phoenix Point announces that the pre-order store and forums are now live.
The Phoenix Point pre-order store is now live.
We have been working with CrowdOx to get our pre-order store up and running. If you wish to back Phoenix Point but haven't already done so, now is your chance. The pre-order store offers a large selection of our original backer tiers. For those of you that have been asking for PayPal support, there's good news. Our pre-order store does support PayPal.
Visit our pre-order store and secure your copy!
Snapshot Games Forums are up and running.
Our new forum is now live and waiting for you to sign up. Here, you can keep apprised of all the latest Snapshot Games and Phoenix Point news, engage with other Phoenix Point enthusiasts and chat with the developers.
Retcon Raider's Informative Videos
A community member and Phoenix Point backer has been making very informative and thought provoking videos revolving around the mechanics and lore of Phoenix Point. If you haven't done so already, visit his YouTube channel for some fascinating theories on Phoenix Point.
Wednesday - June 28, 2017
Phoenix Point - The XCOM remake influence
PCGamesN asked Julian Gollop how the XCOM remake influenced his design for Phoenix Point.
"You have to remember that the original X-Com was released in 1994, aeons ago," Gollop says. "Obviously a lot has progressed, not just in terms of graphics, but in usability and how games teach players."
The original X-Com, he points out, came with a chunky manual, and an equally heavy text description of how to play the game. Phoenix Point, by contrast, will be born into a world where Firaxis have figured out ways to make turn-based tactics more presentable and accessible.
"But actually," Gollop adds, "the underlying mechanics are still drawing from the original 1994 game."
Sometimes these mechanics are pretty much invisible. Take movement as an example. In X-Com you spent time units: two for moving straight, four for kneeling down, or five to take a snapshot (the attack from which Gollop's new studio, Snapshot Games, takes its name). Taking a turn was an act of addition.
Monday - June 19, 2017
Phoenix Point - The Fiction of Phoenix Point
Retcon Raider looks at the fiction of Phoenix Point.
Monday - June 12, 2017
Phoenix Point - At E3
Snapshot Games has a new update about Phoenix Point and what to expect next.
Phoenix Point Comes to E3
Julian travelled to Los Angeles on Sunday to head up some business meetings at E3. On Tuesday, Snapshot Games will be teaming up with Alienware and a new, zero latency streaming service called Caffeine. Julian will be streaming the developer build of Phoenix Point LIVE from E3. The stream will take place at midday PST (3pm EST / 8pm BST / 9pm CET).
You can check out this new service at www.caffeine.tv from your browser, or download the interactive app on iOS.
We suggest you create yourself an account in advance of the stream if you'd like to participate in the chat, or alternatively you can sign in with your Twitter account.
Feel free to follow the official Snapshot Games Caffeine channel to receive a notification when the stream goes live at www.caffeine.tv/snapshot
Friday - June 09, 2017
Phoenix Point - Funded!
Phoenix Point has been funded on Fig and is still available for slacker backers. Slacker backers will still count toward the announced stretch goals.
We're There - Thank You All
All of us at Snapshot games would like to thank our backers and investors for a remarkable crowdfunding campaign. Well done!
This will allow those who missed the campaign to pledge for some of the digital rewards we offered during the campaign.
Slacker Backer pledges will count towards our stretch goals.
What's Next for Phoenix Point?
We are now busy recruiting new members for our team, with 4 confirmed appointments already - all due to start in July. The Fig campaign has helped immensely to attract some very talented people. The aim is to reach around 30 developers before the end of the year. You can rest assured that we will be able to build a super team here at our Sofia studio.
The team will be focussing on several areas of the project over the next three months
- Realistic ballistics system for combat
- Destructible environments
- Faction haven structures
- Humanoid animation and mutation systems
- Strategic game systems and geoscape view
We will shortly be setting up an official Phoenix Point discussion forum.
In the meanwhile, please check the Phoenix Point subreddit for discussions - developers will be there!
We will keep you updated on our progress every monthy with videos, concepts, interviews, Q&As and more.
Tuesday - June 06, 2017
Phoenix Point - Boss Battle Gameplay
Snapshot Games founder and CEO Julian Gollop, who's also the original creator of X-COM, walked IGN through a battle on an abandoned oil rig against several alien foes, including the intimidatingly massive Alien Queen.
"Return fire is a very important concept in Phoenix Point," Gollop noted, as firing upon the enemy often results in a retaliating attack by the opposition. Likewise, "Will Points" are a key part of the gameplay, as executing special actions with your troops require you to spend some of your points.
Saturday - June 03, 2017
Phoenix Point - Game Demo Video Monday
Phoenix Point is in its final 5 days, althrough there will be slacker backer available. In anticipation of the final countdown the game demo video has been released for media outlets and will be up Monday. The update in the meantime has some animation from the game demo and some art of an underwater alien structure.
Six Days to Go!
There's only six days to go before the end of the campaign! Where's the game demo video? That's what everybody wants to know. The good news is that we made it. The bad news is that you will have to wait a while to see it. We have given a major media outlet exclusive first showing of the video, which will appear on Monday. This will give us some great exposure for the final few days of the campaign. But, don't despair, we have a few snippets for you in the animations below.
There is a new story for you here:
Saturday - May 27, 2017
Phoenix Point - New Stretch Goal
Having achieved the first stretch goal of having vehicles a new stretch goal has been announced for underwater missions at 1.2 million. Phoenix Point has 12 days remaining to achieve its goals.
New Stretch Goal - Underwater Missions
We are pleased to announce our new stretch goal for underwater missions, which will be achieved when we reach $1,200,000 in pledges and investment. With this major new feature, you will be able to take the fight to the home territory of the alien mutants. Equip your soldiers with special underwater armor, weapons and vehicles and head into the depths of the oceans. There you will fight unimaginable horrors and breach the huge, alien structures growing up from the sea floor. You will discover the origin of the mist that has enveloped the earth in its deadly embrace.
This represents a major addition to the game with a whole raft of new content and a new type of battle experience. It's a big stretch, but if fits perfectly with our ambition for this game.
Wednesday - May 24, 2017
Phoenix Point - Soldier Classes
Phoenix Point is getting very close to the first stretch goal and has a new update about soldier classes. A demo will be available by the end of May and will feature body point targeting.
A Better Class of Soldier
There have been quite a few questions about character development in the game, specifically - do we have soldier classes and how do soldiers improve? Phoenix Point will use the concept of soldier classes, but they are not rigid classes, rather they are skill disciplines with certain types of specialisation.
There will be three ‘base' classes in which all soldiers start:
- Marksman - tends to have good perception
- Assault - tends to have good mobility
- Heavy - tends to have good endurance
Then there will be five specialist classes. These represent more refined, interelated skill groups, although there may be some crossover with other classes. Any base class soldier may acquire a specialist class if the right training and technology is available. A specialist class will also offer at least one unique skill depending on the base class origin.
Here is an example of a specialist class we call the ‘infiltrator.' The main abilities for this class involve stealth, evasion, reconnaissance, booby traps, target designation, close quarters combat and scaling difficult terrain. The infiltrator will normally be equipped with stealth weapons which include crossbows, silenced guns, blade weapons, gas grenades and proximity mines. The armour technology is built for evading detection and agility. Helmets tend to be the most sophisticated element, with 360 degree vision systems, rebreather apparatus and comms systems. Grappling gear, ultra-thin climbing lines and retractable climbing spikes on hands and feet allow for navigating highly vertical terrain. One possible loadout includes a ‘drone hive' - a backpack loaded with miniature drones which can rapidly spread out in all directions for highly effective reconnaissance.
All of the main factions have technology that is relevant to build equipment and skills for an infiltrator, but Synedrion have the most advanced tech in this area. Disciples of Anu will have some mutations which can be highly beneficial to this role.
Friday - May 12, 2017
Phoenix Point - FAQ Update
There are two new additions to the Phoenix Point FAQ:
How will the shooting work? Will it have more realistic ballistics simulation?
Currently we have a system similar to modern XCOMs. We will soon prototype a more simulated ballistics system, but we have to solve some interface/feedback issues. The player needs to have a some idea of what kind of damage might be expected from a particular position. The cover system will obviously be different, and it also needs to integrate with the hit location system. We have a plan, so we will see how well it works.
How will stealth work? Aside from silenced weapons like the crossbow, are there any other mechanics?
We have a design for this, although it is not currently implemented or tested. The system is based on detection ranges based on a character’s perception attribute modified by equipment and abilities. Various abilities and tech may reduce those ranges. You will be able to see detection ranges for known enemies. Normally, using a weapon will make a character spotted, but stealth weapons negate this.
Is the map randomly generated?
The battle maps will be generated using randomly selected, pre-designed components as in original X-COM and XCOM 2. We will add variable positioning of obstacles, such as barriers and vehicles. Additionally, locations may have already suffered significant battle damage before your squad arrives, creating more of an appearance of a war zone.
How will research work? Will there be a UFOpedia like classic X-COM?
Research will be based on a tech tree which will be revealed as the game is played. Each of the factions possesses some unique tech at the start of the game, and they will engage in their own research and development. You can acquire their tech, and there will be some unique options for the player based on combined tech from two or more factions. There will be a UFOpedia style database which you can access any time.
What are the estimated system requirements?
We cannot say for sure yet, but we realise this is a concern for many players. The requirements definitely won’t be too onerous, and there will plenty of options to optimise performance to run on lower end machines.
Saturday - May 06, 2017
Phoenix Point - Interview @ RPGCodex
The RPGCodex has interviewed Julian Gollop about XCOM and Phoenix Point:
RPG Codex Interview: Julian Gollop on Phoenix Point
You designed one of the most enduring games of all time in X-Com and with that has come a good measure and respect for the Gollop name. However, you never really threw your name into the spotlight, a la Sid Meier, Tim Schafer, Warren Spector, etc. Did your ‘name’ get signed away to Microprose or did you simply prefer to stay out of the limelight?
I had no specific intentions with regards to either being in or out of the limelight. I just wanted to make games.
Speaking of names, are there any people who have had a large influence on you and your game design recently or in the past?
Blimey. In the past there would be boardgame/RPG designers such Gary Gygax, Greg Costikyan, Marc W. Millar, and then computer game designers such as Mike Singleton, who made the excellent 'Lords of Midnight', and Sid Meier, of course. Recently Jake Solomon and Ananda Gupta for their work on the new XCOM series.
Can we expect procedural design approach for both battlescapes and the geoscape?
There will be significant random elements in both the battle maps and the strategic map.
There’s an argument between 2-AP and Time Units. On Reddit, where the poll for this debate ranked low on importance, you said, “There was a slight preference towards Action Points - but the biggest vote was in the middle. I am not sure how to interpret this.” This leaves the question somewhat up in the air. However, I believe the style of the game itself will inform the decision here. XCOM1/2 used the 2-AP system, but it also implemented ‘ability’ usages, sticky cover-shooting, boxy maps, and other boardgame-like elements that seem to benefit from simplified move/shoot sequences. A TU-system, though my personal preference, would not have worked in the Firaxis versions of XCOM, nor do I think the 2-AP system would have worked well in X-Com, all things being the same.
So the big question: Time Units or 2-AP or a mix? Lot of folks chomping at the bit to know this one, ha.
It seems to be a really contentious issue. At the moment we have a nominal 2 action system which is extended by two things. Firstly, if an enemy becomes spotted during movement, then movement is halted, allowing the player to react by either moving or firing. Secondly a range of special actions can extend the number of things a character can do in a turn. These cost 'will points'. Overall its more flexible than modern XCOMs, but still keeps the pace of the game relatively high. My concern with a pure Time Unit system is that it can result in the most optimally effective play being very slow, and ultimately a bit boring. There may be other ways to solve this, and we will experiment some more without a doubt.
Thursday - May 04, 2017
Phoenix Point - Monster fights to come
Phoenix Point continues to make progress towards its stretch goals and has come out with a new update on Monster Fights and the Immortalization reward.
Immortalization, Mermaids and Monster fights to come
Many of you have been asking for some in depth game play footage. The good news is that we are going to show you some. The bad news is that it will take a while to get ready. The reason for this is that we want to show you a monster fight, and how awesome it can be, but we are in the middle of implemention right now. It will show how team coordination, body part targeting and monster knowledge can defeat the most impressive opponents you will face.
Please check the update FAQ here. There are new entries on will points and immortalization.
There is a new story on the website:
Recruiting by Allen Stroud
Some of you have asked to see more detailed renders and artwork. You can check out Phoenix Point art, as well as other creations by two of our team members here:
Jonas has written an interesting blog piece on Gamasutra:
How does the Immortalization reward work?
We have had a few questions about this, so here is a detailed overview of how it will be implemented.
You will work with our art team, writing team and design team to create a key NPC in the game.
You will create a haven leader - this means designing the face, the name, the bio and the personality of the character. The face can be after your own likeness, for which you will have to supply frontal/side photos of your head. Our art team work with you to create this and make it impressive.
Haven leader characteristics include aggression, guile, technocratic, diplomatic, charismatic, and so on. These characteristics interact with many systems in the game.
Your haven leader can be a member of a faction, or an independent leader. You will be able to define your character’s attitude to other factions (if independent). If your leader is a member of a faction it may have a high rank or key role, depending on the faction.
You can name your haven. You can define the layout of your haven, its structures and facilities and its tech. This must be within the confines of game world plausibility. However, your leader and haven will definitely be considered one of the major havens in the world.
Your leader may have any gender, race or nationality - but note that haven locations are partially randomized. You can specify a general area that your haven might be located, e.g. coastal, in Africa, deep inland, etc.
In the game, players interact with haven leaders in various ways. Haven leaders will request assistance against the aliens or other threats. They will propose alliances (if independent). They will suggest trades of goods or technology. They may also act independently, attacking other havens or making their own alliances. They will attempt to develop their havens and tech.
Tuesday - May 02, 2017
Phoenix Point - Stretch Goals
Phoenix Point is nearing its goal with just 3K remaining and has posted some ambitious stretch goals.
First stretch goals
$650K Drivable Vehicles in Tactical Battles
Deploy vehicles to tactical battles for carrying troops and providing heavy weapons support. They can also be used for retrieving equipment and materials in raid missions, and for safe evacuation of soldiers and civilians in danger. There will be multiple construction options and a variety of weapons turrets available.
$850K Floating Phoenix Base
A floating fortress which can travel by sea and conduct air operations inland from coastal areas. Such bases will be exposed to danger from seaborn mutants generating some tense defensive missions, but the additional strategic flexibility of such a base will greatly help in mid to late game. It will also allow the player to discover some of the most well hidden secrets of the alien agenda, deep inside the mist.
Saturday - April 29, 2017
Phoenix Point - Alien Living Guns and Synedrion
A Fig-update for Phoenix Point - learn more about alien guns and a third race:
All Work and (Some) Play
Wow, we are closing in on our funding goal very rapidly. There have been a lot of questions about the game so we are going to update the FAQ heavily over the next few days.
There are also some very interesting discussions on the Phoenix Point subreddit.
Alien Living Guns
The alien living guns are genetically engineered creatures which can be used by human soldiers. The mystery as to their origin will form the basis for some very special missions.
FAQ update: The chitin armor and alien living guns will be made available as part of a DLC which will ship 3 months after game launch. Fig backers can get exclusive early access to these items at game launch for a discounted price. They are available with the Luxury Digital Edition and above.
The third faction to be presented in our updates is a radical, techno-ecological group. They possess advanced tech and some unique approaches to the alien menace - but they are not easy to deal with.
Thank you for rhe info, henriquejr!
Thursday - April 27, 2017
Phoenix Point - Discussion with Julian Gollop
@UnstableVoltage they talk to Julian Gollop about Phoenix Point.
I talk with Snapshot Games CEO and creator of the original X-Com about Phoenix Point - his new X-Com style, Lovecraftian inspired tactical strategy game, currently up for funding on fig.co
Background music by John Broomhall
Wednesday - April 26, 2017
Phoenix Point - There is no 'Plan B'
"There is no Plan B. We do not have an alternative plan," Gollop said. "This is an all-or-nothing, make-or-break decision for the studio. But I'm pretty confident we're going to do quite well."
Much of that confidence came from Fig's Backstage Pass program, which allows a group of investors with previous experience on the site an early peek at campaigns and the chance to back them early. The Phoenix Point campaign tested particularly well in this program, with about 30% of people who checked out the campaign going on to back it. That confidence appears to have been well-founded. Within a single day of launching, the game is just over 60% of the way to its goal, with $309,000 in pledges and investments.
"We had approached publishers and investors," Gollop said of the decision to crowdfund the game. "We looked at every possible opportunity we could think of, and for various reasons, we turned down a couple of these other offers. Some of the interest we got from some big publishers was there, but ultimately they didn't want to go ahead with the project, so coming back to crowdfunding seemed like a logical step for us. We would be in control of ownership and the IP in particular for the long term."
Tuesday - April 25, 2017
Phoenix Point - Interview @ Rock Paper Shotgun
The original X-COM (UFO: Enemy Unknown), Julian Gollop tells me, “succeeded in spite of itself”. I asked him how he felt about the game now, twenty three years after its initial release, and particularly about the way it’s often placed on a pedestal. He didn’t expect it to be a success and certainly didn’t think he’d be making a game heavily based on its legacy almost a quarter of a century later.
Yet here we are. The crowdfunding campaign for Phoenix Point, a sci-fi horror strategy game about an alien onslaught, has just begun. Gollop is back where many people feel he belongs, and this time round he seems extremely confident in his game’s design.
And that, I think, is the major difference between Phoenix Point and other XCOMs and XCOM-likes past and present. It’s intended to be a game in which systems interact, overlap and allow players to observe them and react to them, while encountering factions and entities that make up and are reacting to those same systems. In that way, it has much in common with my beloved but flawed X-COM: Apocalypse and I can’t help but see it as a continuation of some of the ideas in that game. It’s about time.
The most enticing loose thread I find to pull on involves a game that never saw the light of day. As we talk about the long wait for more XCOM-like games, Gollop tells me about a project he pitched at MicroProse immediately after UFO: Enemy Unknown.
“It was set in the 1930s and you controlled a team of occult investigators. Portals were being opened bringing paranormal entities in the world, and you had to fight all kinds of different supernatural creatures. And Nazis.”
The Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense: Enemy Unknown? Maybe once this next alien threat has been repelled.
Friday - April 21, 2017
Phoenix Point - Survey Results
Snapshot Games published the results of their Phoenix Point survey:
Phoenix Point Survey Results
Here are the results of the Phoenix Point survey. There were 1861 replies. Thanks to everyone for participating. I will be doing an analysis for the next newsletter.
Question / Importance (1-5)
- How important is it for the aliens to have a good AI in tactical battles? 4.6
- How important is it to have a large variety of mission objectives 4.4
- How important are destructible environments? 4.4
- How important is it for to have a mutation/evolution system to generate a large variety of aliens? 4.2
- How important is multi-level terrain (e.g. multiple floors in buildings)? 4.2
- How important is it to have interesting story elements and plot twists? 4.0
- How important is it to have a large variety of weapons and equipment compared to modern XCOMs? 4.1
- How important is it to have procedurally generated battlefields? 4.0
- How important is it for you to fight tactical battles to defend your base from alien assault? 4.0
- How important is it to have extensive skill trees for each character class? 4.0
- How important is it to have other human factions to trade/ally/fight/interact with? 3.8
- How important is it to have a detailed resource / economic system? 3.8
- How important is it for the shooting to have a more realistic model for hit probabilities? 3.8
- How important is it to have a wounding system that can disable different body parts? 3.7
- How important is a detailed geoscape reminiscent of the original X-COM? 3.7
- How important is it for the game to feature fights with huge monsters? 3.7
- How important is it to have modding? 3.6
- How important is it for soldiers to have inventory management in battle? 3.5
- How important is it to build multiple bases around the world? 3.5
- How important is a modern Lovecraft/Cthulhu style theme and story? 3.5
- How important is it to have a stealth system and stealth abilities for soldiers in battle? 3.4
- How important is it to have drones/mechs/mini-tanks in tactical battles? 3.4
- How important is a Time Unit (Action Point) system in tactical battles instead of a 2-action system? 3.2
- How important is it to have larger squad sizes (8 or more) in battle? 3.3
- How important is it to have less RNG dependent shooting compared to the modern XCOM? 3.2
- How important is it to have a detailed air interception system? 3.2
- How important is it to have a soldier class system instead of flexible soldier development? 2.6
- How important is co-op multiplayer (e.g. some kind of horde mode)? 2.4
- How important is it to have a pod activation system as in modern XCOMs? 2.4
- How important is it to have controller support on PC? 1.9
- How important is PvP multiplayer? 1.7
- How important is it to have a console version of the game? 1.6
Thanks to all of you who took part in our survey. Now I want to share the results with you and discuss some of the interesting points.
Good AI tops the poll, and this is slightly, but pleasantly, surprising. For me it is always important, but I also want enemies to have distinct behavioural traits and a bit of unpredictability (i.e. randomness) thrown in.
A large variety of mission objectives comes second, and this is understandable. This is one of the key mechanisms which can make missions interesting over the long stretch of a campaign. I also want missions to have a meaningful context in the wider, strategic level of the game - and I want them to have their own unique stories. It’s a tall order, but clearly a high priority.
Fully destructible environments rank 3 in importance. It’s great to know that people still want to blow stuff to bits. I was a little disappointed that in XCOM 2 I could barely raze one building to the ground with a squad of grenadiers. I want to see structures toppled crushing monsters beneath them. I want enemy cover obliterated. I want mass destruction to be a possible strategy - at least in some situations. Bring it on.
At number 4 the mutation system for the aliens is a key new and unique feature, so I am pleased that this is rated so highly. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. We have a basic system working already and it is already proving interesting. However, we found that it is important to convey visually in some way all the key abilities that an alien may have, and to let the player get used to a certain type before mutation occurs. You will be able to name the alien mutant variants yourself, by the way, which can help with your battle field assessments e.g. the next time you come across ‘vomiting b*****d’ you know not to get too close to it.
Multi-level terrain at number 5 is a mild surprise, especially given the difficulty of navigating a more vertically complex map. We will have to strike a balance between interesting topology and usability here. Good level design is key.
For the 6th most important feature It’s great to see value attached to interesting story elements and plot twists - and you can be assured that with the extensive world building we have been doing with our writing team (Jonas and Allen) you will not be disappointed on this score.
It’s nice to see base defence missions ranked high at number 9. I missed this with the new XCOMs. In Phoenix Point your bases can be attacked by other human factions, not just aliens. Furthermore, the aliens will steal technology from you and other human factions. This should spice things up a bit.
Pleasantly surprising for me was the desire to have a more detailed economic system. Phoenix Point has some distinct 4X like elements to the strategic side of the game. The human factions gather resources, build structures, establish new havens, build tech and enter into alliances. From the player’s point of view, exploration, resources and diplomacy are important. I am very excited by developments in this part of the game.
The bottom end of the table reveals that you clearly want the focus to be on a PC based, single player experience. It would definitely be wise of us to place our limited resources in this direction.
Finally, thanks for your support - and look out for some major news very soon.
Thursday - April 20, 2017
Phoenix Point - Fig Campaign
OnlySP reports that Phoenix Point uses Fig to get crowdfunded:
XCOM Creator to Crowdfund Next Project, Phoenix Point
Julian Gollop, one of the creators of the original X-COM series, is taking to Fig to crowdfund his next strategy game, Phoenix Point.
At the moment, access to the Fig campaign is limited to those who have already supported a project on the platform, and Gollop is aiming to raise $500,000 to bring the project to life. Phoenix Point has already been in development for over a year, first being announced in March 2016, with the first media emerging in June last year.
The game will follow closely in the footsteps of X-COM, being described as featuring “turn-based tactics” and “world-based strategy.” Also as with X-COM, Phoenix Point will take place in a near-future version of Earth, though rather than an alien invasion, the enemies are the result of a mutagenic virus that emerged alongside the melting permafrost. While these beasts will control the sea, players will control the sky and the two sides will do battle for control of the land.
Thank you for the info, Farflame!
Thursday - March 23, 2017
Phoenix Point - Julian Gollop AMA
On Reddit Julian Gollop did an AMA focused on Phoenix Point.
We have been developing the game for 10 months now and I have a lot to talk about - however, I can't talk about everything since we are still in discussion with several parties about potential funding for the project. I will do my best to answer everything though.
That's a mammoth question-and-a-half! Phoenix Point has several standout features - such as procedurally generated aliens, large scale monsters. However, I think the biggest difference is in how the world works. Phoenix Point is definitely more 4X-like - with exploration, discovery, expansion, diplomacy. The human factions are just as important as the aliens. They have resources, tech - and secrets - which would be valuable to you. I am taking some inspiration from X-COM Apocalypse here - but applied to a world scale. The aliens and human factions would do stuff - events would happen - even if the player doesn't intervene. This is something I have been wanting to implement in a game for a long time. I am also really happy about the modern Lovecraftian vibe the writing team are creating.
There will be a faction rather similar to the Cult of Sirius in Phoenix Point.
Hi Julian, How have you planned to strike a balance between meaningful and diverse variation of mutated forms without creating an overwhelming number of perks and buffs to remember? Forgetting one vertebrae-centipede is immune to fire, or is capable of infrared vision compared to its vanilla cousin, and so on. Best of luck on the project funding!
Good question. A specific alien does not have a large number of abilities and generally the aliens will retire old versions completely before introducing new mutations. At any time there won't be a lot of different mutations around. The basic evolutionary rule the aliens use is that if a particular alien is not performing well, it will be mutated. If an alien is performing well, then more of them will be deployed - until the player figures out how to deal with them.
The current system we have is something a bit in between. There is an implicit AP system, but the presentation looks like the modern Firaxis XCOM with an 'action zone' and a 'dash zone'. The action zone may be bigger or smaller depending on the weapon or equipment chosen. Your moves can be interrupted on spotting an enemy or taking a hit - and you can react as you see fit. A major feature of the system that a character's 'willpower' rating gives you will points, which you spend on certain special actions. There is also a hit location system with disabling wounds to different parts of the body having different effects. This is quite cool actually - especially when you shoot an alien's gun or shield of its wounded arm.
Thursday - March 16, 2017
Phoenix Point - Teaser Trailer
Mercy spotted this teaser trailer for the strategy game Phoenix Point:
Phoenix Point Teaser Trailer
Phoenix Point is the new strategy game from the creator of the original X-COM series.
If you like X-COM you should take a look at this Deep Rising audio-music-comic at StrategyCore.
Thursday - June 30, 2016
Phoenix Point - Julian Gollop @Eurogamer
Julian had a chat with Eurogamer at E3 recently to talk about Phoenix Point, the latest game in development from Snapshot Games.
Saturday - June 18, 2016
Phoenix Point - Julian Gollop Interview
Gamewatcher has interviewed Julian Gollop about Phoenix Point:
We chat with XCOM designer Julian Gollop about his new spiritual successor Phoenix Point
All we’ve seen of Phoenix Point so far has been a screenshot and a few bits of concept art, but the mere concept of an XCOM successor from the man who designed the original has us very excited. We got the chance to sit down with Julian just before E3 to discuss his upcoming title.
GameWatcher: XCOM has certainly been your best-known game, and a very well-loved game. Why is it now, some two decades later, that you’ve decided to come back to that concept?
Julian Gollop: Because everybody keeps asking me about it. [laughs] Even while working on Chaos Reborn, which is basically a reboot of a more obscure game that I did back in 1985, which is not really known outside of the United Kingdom. I think everybody was interested still in the original X-COM, and obviously since the Firaxis reboot of XCOM they were interested in my thoughts on that. XCOM is still a thing, basically. I think, in a way, it has become its own unique little subgenre of game, which various small indie studios have tried to get involved with. For example, Xenonauts, by Goldhawk Interactive, is one example. Not the only example. And because Firaxis’ XCOM was so successful, it will no doubt spawn some other games in that genre.
So I feel fairly confident that I can create my own game in this genre which I sort of helped create, really. Because I think there’s obviously a lot of players who are really interested in this style of game. Including me.
Wednesday - June 15, 2016
Phoenix Point - Every Detail
Phoenix Points' finer details have been explored by Rock Paper Shotgun.
...Phoenix Point [official site] is the new tactical-strategy hybrid from Julian Gollop, the creator of the original X-COM, and we met yesterday to discuss its procedurally generated alien threats, simulated human factions and much more. Here's the world's first in-depth look at the game.
This is more than a remake of X-COM, that's clear from the start. While the turn-based tactical combat looks a great deal like Firaxis's take on the series, with destructible terrain and entirely procedural levels, the strongest and most exciting ideas in Phoenix Point might well be in the strategic layer, which combines elements of grand strategy with the lurking horror of Stephen King's The Mist. Phoenix Point may be humanity's last hope. An isolated settlement of survivors in a world that has gone to hell, it's a peak rising above a tide of horrors that are threatening to consume what remains of humankind. Your task is to lead the ragtag band of people who have made Phoenix Point their home, at first ensuring that they survive by gathering food and other resources, and later by fighting back against the threats that surround them.
The game is set in 2046 and the last pockets of the human race are hiding in havens, scattered around the world. That's because something went terribly wrong a couple of decades ago, when the melting of the permafrost released a long-dormant alien virus into the oceans. That virus is capable of mutating any species it comes into contact with, which leads to an initial wave of horrific aquatic creatures, reminiscent of Terror From The Deep, and eventually makes its way onto land.
The virus spreads under the cloak of a mist that you'll be able to see spreading across the map. It plays a part in tactical combat as well as on the strategic Geoscape layer, and I'll go into more detail about that later, but right now it's best to think of it as both a cover system and a literal fog of war. It hides creatures and protects them, and represents both the presence of the alien hordes and a form of corruption that they're spreading across Earth.
Part Dali, part Cronenberg, the aliens of Pheonix Point won't just be unknown on each playthrough, they'll be uncanny. And when Gollop uses the word "giant", he's not talking about a beefy Muton. Pointing out a skittering monstrosity that seems more claw than flesh and could probably lob a small building at your squad, he describes it as "a tiddler". Later, when he shows me the first example of a mission in action, the sequence ends with an oil rig being assaulted by something emerging from the deep that seems almost large enough to devour the entire structure.
It's more reminiscent of Dagon's attack in Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth than anything I'd expect from X-COM and the Lovecraft quote that opens the presentation makes a lot more sense in the context of these gargantuan horrors. This is a game about biological horror but the virus is cosmic in origin and, I suspect, some of the late game developments will focus on that element.
"I don't want to give too much of the plot away right now but there are several endings," Gollop explains. "If you choose to, you'll learn some interesting things about how the world came to be as it is. The virus has been on the earth for thousands of years and determining its origins is one of the important mid-game objectives that could provide a possible solution."
Thursday - June 02, 2016
Phoenix Point - First Screen
PC Gamer shows the first screen of the tactical turn based game Phoenix Point made by XCOM Creator Julian Gollop:
The first screen from Julian Gollop's Phoenix Point emerges
Along with plenty of artwork.
There it is: the first screen from Phoenix Point, the mysterious game of turn-based tactics teased by Julian Gollop in March. The full reveal will take place at E3 in just under two weeks.
Sunday - May 29, 2016
Phoenix Point - Raising Funds
@Linkedin Julian Gollop published a post about Phoenix Point. In it he outlined Snapshot Games history and a quick pitch for the project. Snapshot will be at E3 in June so expect to hear more news then.
We are in the process of raising finance for funding the project and I am interested in talking to:
Investors - who can enjoy a share of the revenue
Publishers - who can support the game's release
Games Journalists - who want to know more about the game
Please get in touch. Both myself and the president of Snapshot Games, David Kaye (founder of Gaming Insiders) will be at E3 in June - so let's hook up!
Thursday - April 21, 2016
Phoenix Point - Lore Tease
At the Phoenix Point website some new lore has emerged providing a backdrop for the events of the game.
I never thought the world would end like this. I grew up in the nineteen eighties. I lived through Reagan, Brezhnev, Bush, Gorbachev and the rest. In those days and the days before we believed in a nuclear Armageddon. East against West, Soviets versus Senators where both sides built enough weapons to destroy the Earth many times over. But the world couldn't hold its breath forever. The dollar defeated the bomb and we learned to get along, provided we could smell profit in it. Oil, gas and coal became the fuel of nations. We took out spades and picks to the ground and dug out the heart blood of the land, letting it fill the bellies of our cars, our trucks and our planes. Our machines drank and drank, sending us far from terra firma to feed our addictions. All the while, great black clouds spewed into the sky, bringing about an end we could never have predicted. While the one percent lined their pockets and pretended ignorance, the rest of us bent our backs. We drilled the seabed and found black gold. We bored beneath our homes and tore up forests to fuel the greed of the rich, all the while blind to our fate. As we burned this world, so the sun burned us, melting the poles, raising the oceans, bringing smog and filth to the air for our children to inherit. In the ash, dust and fog, we didn't see them before it was too late. They came from the sea ...
Wednesday - April 06, 2016
Phoenix Point - Teaser
Phoenix Point have come out with a teaser revealing a bit about monster design intentions and their ambition for them.
Phoenix Point features large scale monsters
Your soldiers can target specific parts of a monster to achieve different effects. The Crab Queen has a black mist ejecter in its abdomen. If it is disabled the queen will no longer be able to eject mist which summons reinforcements and gives them cover. Shooting out its face will send it into a blind frenzy, rendering it unable to direct attacks or movement.