We visited Firaxis recently to gather as much classified information as we could on their upcoming XCOM remake, Enemy Unknown. We talked to lead designer Jake Solomon about how exactly the PC version will differ from the console release. Firaxis told us that, in addition to a unique PC interface, they’re planning to make XCOM: Enemy Unknown modder friendly.
“The idea is that there is the ability for modability,” said Solomon. 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.”
The Civilization games have strong modding scenes. With the release of Civ 5, the devs included a built in map creator to make it easier for fans to make their own campaigns. “We have a great legacy of that at Firaxis,” Solomon added. “Of course that’s what we want. We want to make a distinct experience for the different platforms.”
The separate PC UI will be part of that. The XCOM: Enemy Unknown screenshots that have been released so far have shown lots of Xbox controller command prompts, we asked if the PC build would use a similar system.
“No, no, no. Nooo. Oh man, no. I wouldn’t do that to you, are you kidding me? No,” he said. That’s six noes there, folks.
“We have a team that’s doing the PC UI, and there are some elements where it can make sense to use the base, like when we have menus and things like that, but our tactical UI is a standalone PC tactical UI.”
“And so we have a PC tactical UI that we’re working on that is distinct, because obviously mouse driven with a tactical game – being able to select objects of interest – as opposed to a gamepad, where you’re cycling through objects of interest. No, no, we definitely have PC and we plan and we have UI that’s unique.” Thank goodness for that.