Scary thought: We almost lived in a world where a tactical wizard-on-wizard RPG from the creator of X-COM would never have been. Julian Gollop's Chaos RebornKickstarter campaign teetered between nabbing the public's monetary thumbs-up or the eldritch maw of oblivion as it entered its final week of funding earlier this month, with Gollop himself tweeting the "nail-biting conclusion" of the drive's dwindling hours. At the 34-hour mark, the campaign's Summon Moneydollars spell finally reached the $180,000 goal, climbing over $210,000 in funding by the timer's end.
Tactical game-wizard Julian Gollop wants to recreate Chaos, the tactical game about wizards. To do so, the X-Com creator has summoned up a Kickstarter, asking for $180,000 of crowdfunded support. That Kickstarter is now in its final week, and with only $135,000 raised, Chaos Reborn's chances are uncertain. So how do you secure some last-minute interest in a game? You let people play it.
75 more games have been given the big green thumbs up that means they're allowed to be on Steam, as announced on, well, Steam a couple of days ago. It's a list that includes the recently announced (Frontiers) and the long-overdue (I Get This Call Every Day), while reminding me that Catacomb Kids is a thing that I need in my life. You can find the full list here.
For strategy gamers, Julian Gollop is a name of hallowed reverence. His Belt of Achievements includes pre-millenium classics such as Laser Squad and Chaos. Most notably, he created the X-COM series of turn-based tactical alien fragging and directed 1994's X-COM: UFO Defense—widely considered one of the best strategy games ever made. The franchise spent some time in the engineering bay before returning in 2012 with Firaxis' excellent Enemy Unknown, but Gollop has lately turned to crowdsourced funding with a small team to develop his multiplayer wizard-em-up reboot Chaos Reborn. In an AMA (Ask Me Anything) thread on Reddit last weekend, Gollop answered questions on his take of the current state of strategy games, alternate funding, and the rise of early access.
As Kickstarter reboots go, I suspect Chaos Reborn might be attempting to resurrect one of the oldest games yet. The original Chaos was released in 1985 - meaning it came out three years before inXile's similarly revived Wasteland. Julian Gollop, best known as the creator of X-Com: UFO Defense and/or UFO: Enemy Unknown, is now casting Kickstarter necromancy on his classic ZX Spectrum turn-based fantasy strategy.
Some PC Gamer readers may recognize Julian Gollop's name from our previous interviews with the developer. If you don't, his PC game development credentials should impress you: he designed 1997's X-COM Apocalypse and directed 1994's X-COM: UFO Defense, aka UFO: Enemy Unknown, aka the original X-COM. In 1985 he also made a turn-based tactics game for Games Workshop called Chaos: The Battle Wizards, which he now wants to remake with your help on Kickstarter.
As Julian Gollop told us yesterday, now that his most famous creation - XCOM - has been remade, his obsession with replicating it has gone. Instead, he's flashing back even further to a game so old very few readers will remember it; one of the missing links of gaming, Chaos. Gollop's Chaos Reborn will be out some time in 2014. At GDC we talked with him about the game's origins, the changed mechanics and the new meta-game he's introducing.
Julian Gollop wrote a new entry in his work blog today detailing the asynchronous and regular multiplayer modes of Chaos Reborn, the remake of his 1985 ZX Spectrum classic Chaos: The Battle of Wizards. The basic bones are in place—account creation, map layout, and even a shiny "End Turn" button—but lots of work remains before we're able to scoot across hexes to blast each other with fireballs.
It's been a while since we last checked in with Julian Gollop's Chaos remake/sequel/remaquel Chaos Reborn, and in that time he's outlined a detailed feature list, shared his thoughts on wizard vulnerability (that's a band name right there), and even uploaded an early version of the map/terrain editor for our edification. You can grab it here if you fancy messing around with the program Gollop's using to make Chaos Reborn's maps (albeit with basic placeholder graphics at the moment).