X-Com Apocalypse is a strategy game, and the first game project I worked on as a professional programmer.
I worked on it as part of the Mythos Games team between 1995 and 1997.
X-Com Apocalypse was implemented in C and Assembler for PCs with SVGA graphics, using DOS/4GW.
The main areas of the game I remember working on were:
- The collapsing terrain system. This was the biggest technical challenge for me.
The feature was my idea, suggested as a solution to the problem of destructible terrain
leaving floating unreachable sections of the map, resulting in stalemate situations.
The Gollop brothers doubted it was possible at all, but considering the alternative
was removing almost all destructible terrain, they gave me time to experiment.
The results speak for themselves. Video:
Demolishing a building in X-COM Apocalypse.
- Implementing the "Equip Agent" drag & drop / paper-doll UI.
- Implementing the movement of the general population around the city-scape "transport tube" network.
- Implementing the system that governed the shifting allegiances of the different organisations within the city.
- Implementing the terrain generation for the alien dimensions. This work built on lessons learnt developing "Landcap",
a fractal landscape generator I built while I was at college and released as shareware.
The intent was for there to be multiple alternative dimensions in the end game, connected by portals.
The player would discover a sprawling network of alien civilisations, and each play-through the end-game would be present
the player with a unique network of worlds, with each having it's own algorithmically generated landscape.
Microprose killed it due to QA costs, and the game shipped with the human world connecting directly to the alien homeworld,
using a map generated off-line.
- A command line tool for processing from source art to various in house image/sprite file formats.
We didn't have a network in the office. Source code changes was shared by passing floppy discs around.
We had back ups, but no version control.
I used the Brief text editor, make, & batch files.
X-Com Apocalypse is still available on Steam.
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