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Unofficial Tabletop X-Com Game Given Away 36

eebe writes "It's a common complaint that modern games are never as good as the games we all played when we were younger. Sequels never seem to do the original justice, and remakes never get finished. What Paul and myself have done is take one of the best games of all time, X-Com: Enemy Unknown (UFO Defense for the Americans) and turned it into an unofficial, freely downloadable / printable tabletop war game, 'X-Com: Tactical'. What better way to spend an evening sending your Chrysalids against your friend whose troops are only just walking out of the Skyranger?"
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Unofficial Tabletop X-Com Game Given Away

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  • I can't decide which this is....

    Crappy remake??

    Crappy Sequel??

    HELP! Im surrounded by crap games of the 21century, please send me back to the land before Xbox! ^_~
  • formula (Score:3, Funny)

    by Sparr0 ( 451780 ) <> on Thursday June 03, 2004 @07:52PM (#9330880) Homepage Journal
    1) Make cool game
    2) post story on /. with link to site
    3) put micropayment donation links on site
    4) Prof^H^H^H^H^H wonder why the payment counter stays at 0
  • by cybermancer ( 99420 ) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @08:04PM (#9330947) Homepage
    The X-Com concept, trademark and copyright belongs to Infogrames Interactive. We do not intend to infringe on any IP owned by Infogrames. This game is fan work and was designed for fun not money.
    Interesting notion since it appears that the game is made up of graphics, concepts and characters from the game how they don't intend to infringe any IP owned by Infogrames. Curious if they even bothered contacting anyone for permission or if they are operating on the better to beg forgiveness then seek permission premise.

    I see this a lot, where someone obviously creates a derivitive work, but then puts a little disclaimer on it and hopes for the best. Now IANAL, but someone could create something like this for personal use without muich worry, but it would seem that distributing it online, with a contributions link, would be crossing the fair-use line.

    Whatever the outcome it looks like a lot of effort was put into this, and it may actually be fun to play. I wish them the best, and hope they don't need a legal defense.

    • While you're probably right, the game is so old, that I highly doubt there is any financial loss for Microprose caused by this activity - quite to the contrary this may actually re-generate some interest in the game and cause some sales.

      So while you're right, they may be betting on Microprose realizing they only have to gain from it.
      • Can you still buy it from Infrogrames(Atari). They didn't even have the much later Magic games last time I checked their list of software. I have all three tactical games, and love them (X-Com and Covert Action were my first computer games-before I owned a computer). And they are still two of my favorites.
    • For sure, I think i will be grabbing it before the lawyers hit the place, though I am not sure I will ever be able to convince anyone to play the game with me.

      What the world really needs, is for that x-com mod for silent storm to make its way into the world....
    • by eebe ( 225768 ) on Friday June 04, 2004 @02:29AM (#9332668) Homepage
      I grant you that some of the images come from the game. Most of these are also freely available on websites around the world.

      Maps were entirely created by hand by Paul. You can't just cut and paste an isometric image into a topdown view.

      Legalwise it wasn't really an issue. We just wanted to play the game. If Infogrames has a problem then we will deal with that then, but I really don't think a game that they no longer sell would cause them to much grief.
  • wait a second (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 03, 2004 @09:13PM (#9331361)
    I read the rules after my first post of excitement and my opinion has changed a little.

    Don't get me wrong, I applaud the effort here, but these guys need to think about how to design a board game a little rather than just use the same mechanics that the PC game used. This is just all too complicated to be entertaining, having to keep track of time units for individual units? All of these opportunity fire rolls and intricate stat tracking? No way is even the most hard core diehard X-Com lover going to be able to tollerate this long enough to get through an actual game.

    The best model for an x-com table top game would be the sometimes out of print games workshop game "necromunda" it was a squad based game, hand to hand and fire combat, it covered movement, line of site and all of that far simpler than these rules do. Hell the game even featured an xp and skill advancement system and used 3d terrain. It would simply be a matter of generating stats for the x-com weapons and units, and it was a hell of a lot easier to play.

    I mean really, I want to love this thing, but I just can't look past such bad game design.
    • Keeping to the game mechanics was, I grant you, one of our goals. Remaking 40K with Xcom units did cross our mind, but where is the fun in designing that. Plus creating miniatures would have cost a bundle.

      I may be a little biased with what I say, but the learning curve is not much more steep than most tabletop RPG's. If you can figure out how D&D or paranoia works then the rules to this aren't that much more difficult.
      • If you've never looked under the hood of the X-Com game engine, you'll not realise just how much complexity there is. The 'engine' in X-C:T is vastly simpler.

        You would have much more trouble with ripping off 40K rules wholesale than with making rules inspired by a game no longer being sold. Games Workshop has a colourful history of pursing people who use their material, even for personal use.


      • Remaking 40K with Xcom units did cross our mind

        Games Workshop allready did a boardgame which plays very much like X-Com, it's called Space Hulk [].
  • by baywulf ( 214371 ) on Thursday June 03, 2004 @11:51PM (#9332097)
    My eyes have full screen anti-aliasing when I remove my glasses. No more jaggies!
  • It's good to see a remake of the XCom game in boardgame form... I've wanted to see one for years.

    My own wargame system, of which Target: Earth [] is the first in the series (to be printed this summer, hint, hint ;-), is based very much based on the tactical-simulation-like mechanics of XCom - Time units, detailed RPG-like stats (but using D10 for simplicity), flexible unit actions (not the unrealistic move-shoot-charge of others) and highly customisable infantry and vehicles; as opposed to the more game-li

  • Xcom lives (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Jon Peterson ( 1443 ) <> on Friday June 04, 2004 @04:24AM (#9332940) Homepage
    Two of the original X-com developers have created a little game with very similar game-play, primarily to be a turn based network game. It's not nearly as grand in scope as X-com but if you liked the battles, you'll like this:

    • Yes,

      Laser squad nemesis is fantastic. Check the link in my sig for more informtion and a link to a video of LSN in action.

      As a gamer who doesnt get a great deal of time to game anymore I find it fits in with my free time perfectly.

      Beware though, it can be fiendishly difficult, especially playing people in the upper echelons of the league. (I've always wanted to use the word echelons...)

      The best bit though is that you play against a real live human.

      If anyone wants to get going with a free game against
  • "Never" is a stong word. Many sequels meet/beat their predecessors:

    Zelda III: A Link to the Past

    Final Fantasy II and III (aka IV/VI)

    Super Mario Bros 3/Super Mario 64

    Grand Theft Auto 3

    NHL '94

    Metroid Prime/Super Metroid

    Civilization II

    King's Quest V/VI (my personal favorites)

    Worms 2

    Command & Conquer: Red Alert

    Day of the Tenticle (Maniac Mansion II)

    Warcraft II

    Sim City 2000

The trouble with the rat-race is that even if you win, you're still a rat. -- Lily Tomlin