UFO: Enemy Unknow/X-COM: UFO Defense
Nick Gollop, Julian Gollop
John Reitze, Martin Smillie
showed a demo of Laser Squad 2 on the Atari ST to Microprose in 1991.
The idea was to produce a sequel to Laser Squad but with much neater
graphics using an isometric style very similar to Populous. They liked what we
had done so far, but they explained that they wanted a big game. I
said "what do you mean by big" and they said "well,
you know BIG". They also said that it had to be set on earth, like
Civilisation or Railroad Tycoon, because people could relate to it much more.
So we went away, scratched our heads and thought about it. Then we came up with
the idea of adding on a grand strategic element to the game, very firmly set on
earth, in which the player managed an organisation that defended the planet against
UFO incursions. I bought quite a few books on UFOs for research purposes so that
we could give the game an even more authentic basis.
project started reasonably well with myself and Nick designing
and programming, while the art was to be done by John Reitze
and martin Smillie at MicroProse. Soon we had some problems
because Microprose did not understand our game design and
they asked for clarification. Several documents later we
were not much better off and I had wasted a lot of time.
Certain creature types were removed, including the Men
In Black and others added. Then the whole project
was nearly axed when MicroProse made some cutbacks due to
financial difficulties. Everything proceeded reasonably
smoothly for a while until Spectrum Holobyte acquired Bill
Stealeys shares in the company. Our producer was made
redundant and the game was nearly axed again. Finally we
had to spend a couple of months working very long hours
at MicroProse in Chipping Sodbury to get the game finished
by the end of March in 1994.