Julian Gollop had his important ideas in the ‘80s - and ever since has worked to hone just one or two designs to perfection.
The truth is that X-Com was just the high point of a design doc Gollop has been writing since Rebelstar Raiders in 1984, and was still rewriting for Ghost Recon: Shadow Wars in 2011.
Chaos is another of those ideas. First published on the ZX Spectrum by Games Workshop in 1985, it’s a game Gollop believes never reached its full potential. Hence this Kickstarter campaign for his first independent game in a long time.
Remember the bits of X-Com that couldn’t be planned for? The all-or-nothing, percentage-to-hit risks you took, with dramatic consequences?
Chaos Reborn is dramatic consequences: the game - an arena-based tactics game about spellcasting and deception. Gollop would also like it to be a single player RPG about conquering a procedurally-generated world.
Gollop and team have an online multiplayer prototype working, and working well. They say it’s “highly tactical”, “fast paced” and “great to play”. But it’s missing two thirds of its spells, most of its graphics and all of its animations. If they reach their relatively modest $180,000 goal, they reckon they can have all that and the campaign mode finished for the spring of 2015.
The magic combat system sees wizards summon strange and sometimes mythical creatures in droves, moving them directly about the board. Arenas are procedurally generated, and tend to keep player occupied for 10 to 30 minutes.
Wizards will buff, debuff and fire off aggressive spells as they go - as well as keep a wary eye out for illusions. While some enemy creatures are real, others are no more dangerous than the British dummy tanks used in World War I.
The single player mode will make even more extensive use of procedural generation, providing new realms to explore every day. Efficiency in combat and exploration will be the key to success. There’ll be levelling, a compelling loot system, and coop capabilities - Gollop has plans for a comprehensive guild system.
It’s a strong pitch - but are you interested in what Gollop does when he’s not refining X-Com?