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Video: An art direction autopsy of Firaxis' XCOM: Enemy Unknown

At GDC 2013, XCOM: Enemy Unknown art director Greg Foertsch digs into the art design process of doing a big-budget remake of a seminal title like the original X-COM: UFO Defense.

Developers working on game remakes, remasters and spiritual successors face a tricky problem: How do you replicate or improve upon a seminal title while accurately recreating the feel of the original game?

At GDC 2013, XCOM: Enemy Unknown art director Greg Foertsch explained how the Firaxis team set out to redefine a genre and innovate on what people expected from a turn-based strategy game, while maintaining the core design mechanics that made the original X-COM: UFO Defense great.

His hour-long session was an in-depth look at the art design process of a successful remake that explores the game's visual timeline, from the initial pitch movie to the final product, and all of the adjustments in between.

If you missed it in person, you can now check out Foertsch's talk in full over on the GDC Vault's new YouTube channel.

About the GDC Vault

In addition to this presentation, the GDC Vault and its new YouTube channel offers numerous other free videos, audio recordings, and slides from many of the recent Game Developers Conference events, and the service offers even more members-only content for GDC Vault subscribers.

Those who purchased All Access passes to recent events like GDC, GDC Europe, and GDC Next already have full access to GDC Vault, and interested parties can apply for the individual subscription via a GDC Vault subscription page. Group subscriptions are also available: game-related schools and development studios who sign up for GDC Vault Studio Subscriptions can receive access for their entire office or company by contacting staff via the GDC Vault group subscription page. Finally, current subscribers with access issues can contact GDC Vault technical support.

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