With this updated take on the concept, Gollop is aiming to both capture nostalgia in former Chaos fans, while also modernizing the idea for a fresh audience. "The core mechanics of the wizard battles are almost identical to the original game, and there will be a 'classic Chaos mode' which closely matches the workings of the original game," he explains. "The presentation has been remarkably spruced up, but still keeping the mono-color themes of the creature." New features including a massive single-player mode in which you explore the Realms of Chaos, and various online multiplayer modes including tournaments, rankings and co-op play. Now into his 30th year creating strategy games, Gollop has seen the genre evolve rapidly. Of modern strategy games, he says that many fall down from the very beginning of development. "I think the biggest problem is an inadequate preproduction phase where the core gameplay has not been proven with an effective prototype," he reasons. "The key for building a good prototype is to 'find the fun' quickly and test it regularly with people who haven't been exposed to it before." "Too much focus on design and planning without something testable and provable is definitely the biggest mistake, in my view," he adds. "It's probably no surprise that I am not a big fan of large game design documents, especially early in the development cycle." Which modern strategy games does he enjoy, then? The latest XCOM team will be happy to hear that the man who started it all is quite the fan of the updated series. "I think the latest XCOM stands out as a remarkable triumph for turn-based strategy games," he says. "Apart from this I can't think of any direct influence on my latest work. I have taken an interest in some of the rogue-like games, such as Hoplite and 868-HACK. I am also intrigued by Spelunky with its random levels and daily challenge. Chaos Reborn will use a lot of procedurally generated content, which is to some extent inspired by these games."
"I did learn a lot, working for a big publisher, but it wasn't exactly my most creative period."
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30 years of creating strategy games with X-COM's Julian Gollop
For 23 years, Julian Gollop worked for himself, and created what he wanted. After a brief 6 year stint at Ubisoft creating games for other people, he's now ready to get back to doing it for himself again.