When asked by PC Gamer if X-Com Enemy Unknown, the remake of the popular PC title X-Com: UFO Defense, would be using some sort of console driven UI, as shown in screenshots, in the PC version of the game, Jake Solomon’s answer contained six no’s, “No, no, no. Nooo. Oh man, no. I wouldn’t do that to you, are you kidding me? No.” Apparently there are plans for a custom designed UI, exclusive to the PC version. Whew, I have to say, when I saw the screenshots I was worried that they would use some sort of global, watered-down cross platform UI. I’m glad to see that Firaxis, Enemy Unknown’s developers, are more emphatically against it than I am.
I’ve been following Enemy Unknown‘s development for a while now (here and here), but it looks like Firaxis has more good news about this eagerly awaited remake. According to lead designer Jake Solomon there are special plans in the works for the PC version of the game. The PC version is planned to have a “unique” UI, separate from what we have seen in the screenshots. This is a big relief for fans who may have been afraid that cross platform development might taint the PC version, but Firaxis seems to be as adamant against attempting such a thing as anyone. And that’s not all they have planned.
According to Solomon, the team at Firaxis also has plans to allowed easy integration for user mods. While this feature will not be part of the initial release version of the game, it is something developers are planning for down the road, “It won’t be anything that we’re committing to for release, but it’s very very easy using Unreal titles. I write almost all my game code in the scripts, and that’s very easy to give to people.”
It appears as though Firaxis is really doing everything they can to preserve the core gameplay of this beloved franchise, giving players the tools to make changes organically, instead of forcing them. This is important, Firaxis is banking on the fact that the remnants of the old X-Com community will spark and form a new X-Com community for the 21st century. If they do, the community will most likely reward them with creative input, unique mods and endless piles of content.