A little history

OpenXcom is old. It might not look it, after all, it’s only been around for like… 4-5 years? I didn’t remember to write down the exact date (protip: write down the date of all your projects in case they become smash hits). But boy, has technology progressed in those few years. When I started, there was no SDL2. No C++11. No GitHub. Managed pointers were a mere illusion (or I probably just didn’t know about them). A lot has changed in game development, to the point our codebase can look positively arcane to newcomers. I don’t blame you. Every decision at its time made perfect sense, but after a while you start questioning what 5-years-ago you was doing.

So a lot of people ask, how did it all begin? How did we get this far? How does a project like this just happen?

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Community round-up

For those new to OpenXcom or even X-COM in general, Ivan Logovich has started a terrific tutorial series covering everything from setting up to playing the game, so check it out if it all feels too intimidating for you:

Plus I’m always updating the wiki as questions come up. If something’s not clear, feel free to correct it or ask us.

I also wanna give a shoutout to a bunch of other cool projects:

  • OpenRA – A free remake of various classic Westwood strategy games such as Command & Conquer and Red Alert, fully playable and includes multiplayer support! If you were ever an RTS fan in the 90s, be sure to give this a shot.
  • CorsixTH – Remake of Theme Hospital, an absurd hospital management sim, still in development and requires the original files, but fairly playable.
  • OpenTTD – Greatly improved free remake of Transport Tycoon Deluxe, boasting lots of extra features and options, integrated mod support and multiplayer. Probably one of my biggest inspirations on how to add features to an oldie without breaking the gameplay.
  • Isomer – An open-world isometric survival game, currently up on Greenlight. Give them some support.
  • And don’t forget all the X-COM-likes on our sidebar!

Finally, regarding our expanding platform support:

Unix users – We now support over 7 distros! Good job guys, though I’m sure someone will still come along and ask “b-b-but where’s my distro?”. Well, there’s only one way to fix that. In particular, BSD support has been lacking, and Haiku is still on 0.9.

Mac users – Things aren’t looking so good for you guys. There’s some serious issues with your builds, but we have no Mac users on the team, so they’re really hard to track down and fix. We’d really appreciate it if you could help us test and debug the builds on the forums, so we can get a proper stable download out.