Long War Studios is the formal studio of the team behind the now famous Long War mod to XCOM Enemy Unknown. The mod radically changed the game by expanding the systems, difficulty and choices; creating one of the most in-depth mods we have ever seen. With the studio officially up, I had a chance to talk to them about the creation of Long War and the future of their studio.
A recent conversation I had for a podcast (which won’t be going up for some time I’m afraid) reminded me of one of my favorite games of recent years and possibly of all time. XCOM Enemy Unknown was Firaxis’s take on one of the most popular titles for PC gamers and they managed to create something that evoked the spirit while going in a new direction. While it’s not perfect by any means, the design decisions and streamlined approach are worth discussing.
Today’s post returns to an important point I’ve talked about before — Feedback and how it relates to learning and not just in video games. In the past I’ve talked about the differences in abstracted systems like strategy games vs. real time systems like in fighting games. But a recent conversation that will be a podcast soon got me thinking about how it’s not the type of mechanic, but the time it takes for the feedback that impacts learning.
The Civilization series from Firaxis and Sid Meier have been one of the long standing foundations of PC and turn based strategy game design. With Civilization Beyond Earth, the series for the first time moves off of planet Earth and explores the world of Science Fiction. But despite the new coat of paint and locale, the game can’t escape the orbit of Civilization 5, for better and for worse.