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Julian Gollop launches $500,000 crowdfunder for X-COM spiritual successor

UPDATE: And it's funded!

UPDATE 02/05/2017: Phoenix Point, the spiritual successor to the original X-COM, has now been successfully funded. It's taken just under seven days for the project to meet its initial target of $500,000, with a mix of crowdfunding from fans and investors.

"We would like to thank all our backers who have made this project possible," states the latest update. "Now we are going to make an awesome game for you."

As is usually the case with crowdfunding campaigns like this one, Snapshot Games has since revealed a couple of additional stretch goals. Should the project reach $650,000, the final game will include driveable vehicles and if it gets all the way to $850,000, players will be able to build floating bases on the geoscape. You can find more details on the project's FIG page.

There's currently 36 days of crowdfunding left.

ORIGINAL STORY 25/04/2017: X-COM creator Julian Gollop has launched a crowdfunding campaign for his next game, Phoenix Point.

Gollop hopes to raise $500,000 to expand his studio, Snapshot Games and fund development of Phoenix Point, which is pitched as the spiritual successor to the 1994 turn-based classic.

Rather than return to Kickstarter, which Gollop used to raise money for his previous title Chaos Reborn, the designer is now working with Fig, home to successful crowdfunders Psychonauts 2, Pillars of Eternity 2 and Wasteland 3.

"We went with Fig because they're pretty well-focused on video games, which is really cool," Gollop told Eurogamer. "Kickstarter has been somewhat taken over by tabletop and board games these days."

Although Phoenix Point promises to recapture the spirit of his original series, Gollop has some new ideas he's keen to introduce: large-scale monsters, warring human factions spread across the globe and an action system that takes elements from both the original X-COM and the Firaxis reboot.

However, the most exciting feature being discussed is the alien's evolution system. If an alien unit is being consistently beaten in combat, it'll trigger a random mutation, perhaps improving the unit's melee capabilities or improving its defence against certain weaponry. If that mutation proves successful against the player, the alien forces will start deploying more of that unit type as a result. This idea sounds ambitious, but has the potential to act as a self-regulating difficulty slider if it works. Sounds brilliant.

"It's definitely a big step up from Chaos Reborn," said Gollop. "We want to expand the team here, there's nine of us at the moment, and we would like to expand to at least double, if possible. Maybe more, depending on how much we raise."

The team plans to launch the game by October 2018, we're told, although an Early Access version will be made available at the beginning of next year.

We've spoken to Gollop in some detail about Phoenix Point and what to expect from his next game, should it reach its funding goal. If you want to hear more, join me in the video below.

Oh and if you're a fan of the original X-COM, you might want to look out for our next episode of Here's A Thing on Thursday.

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