Good AI tops the poll, and this is slightly, but pleasantly, surprising. For me it is always important, but I also want enemies to have distinct behavioural traits and a bit of unpredictability (i.e. randomness) thrown in.
A large variety of mission objectives comes second, and this is understandable. This is one of the key mechanisms which can make missions interesting over the long stretch of a campaign. I also want missions to have a meaningful context in the wider, strategic level of the game - and I want them to have their own unique stories. It’s a tall order, but clearly a high priority.
Fully destructible environments rank 3 in importance. It’s great to know that people still want to blow stuff to bits. I was a little disappointed that in XCOM 2 I could barely raze one building to the ground with a squad of grenadiers. I want to see structures toppled crushing monsters beneath them. I want enemy cover obliterated. I want mass destruction to be a possible strategy - at least in some situations. Bring it on.
At number 4 the mutation system for the aliens is a key new and unique feature, so I am pleased that this is rated so highly. But, as they say, the devil is in the details. We have a basic system working already and it is already proving interesting. However, we found that it is important to convey visually in some way all the key abilities that an alien may have, and to let the player get used to a certain type before mutation occurs. You will be able to name the alien mutant variants yourself, by the way, which can help with your battle field assessments e.g. the next time you come across ‘vomiting b*****d’ you know not to get too close to it.
Multi-level terrain at number 5 is a mild surprise, especially given the difficulty of navigating a more vertically complex map. We will have to strike a balance between interesting topology and usability here. Good level design is key.
For the 6th most important feature It’s great to see value attached to interesting story elements and plot twists - and you can be assured that with the extensive world building we have been doing with our writing team (Jonas and Allen) you will not be disappointed on this score.
It’s nice to see base defence missions ranked high at number 9. I missed this with the new XCOMs. In Phoenix Point your bases can be attacked by other human factions, not just aliens. Furthermore, the aliens will steal technology from you and other human factions. This should spice things up a bit.
Pleasantly surprising for me was the desire to have a more detailed economic system. Phoenix Point has some distinct 4X like elements to the strategic side of the game. The human factions gather resources, build structures, establish new havens, build tech and enter into alliances. From the player’s point of view, exploration, resources and diplomacy are important. I am very excited by developments in this part of the game.
The bottom end of the table reveals that you clearly want the focus to be on a PC based, single player experience. It would definitely be wise of us to place our limited resources in this direction.
Finally, thanks for your support - and look out for some major news very soon.
We have started a fiction series based on the world of Phoenix Point. Check out our website here: