Hello! Here’s what’s happening “under the hood” of Frozen Synapse right now…
Quick Work Shout
If you’re an experienced freelance coder and you’re interested in working with us (initially on a non-games project), please do drop me a line with your CV (paulmode7 at gmail dot com).
Ideally, you’ll be able to drop into the office in Oxford one day a week, but we’ll look at people who are further afield. UK-based would be good, but I’m currently just looking to broaden our network of freelancers in general.
Very strong C++ is essential; Torque experience is beneficial.
Hopefully, you’ve seen substantial improvements to server speed and continued to experience very high general uptime recently.
Ian and I met today to decide various things – we’re currently looking at usage patterns for the servers to come up with our long-term solution. The reason that this is taking us a while is that it’s quite a complicated problem, and rushing in a bad solution is not the right way to approach it.
Work is going on right now to improve the capacity and speed of each individual server; we’ll make an announcement about the eventual solution as soon as we can.
As I mentioned, you should see ongoing server improvements to the existing situation, while we’re figuring all this out.
Many of you have asked for a separate soundtrack product – that’s going to come out as soon as humanly possible – I really expect that it will be out next week. This has been held up by a few factors beyond my control, but it is incredibly close to being out.
There will definitely be a patch coming out within the next few months – we’ll be working on the list for that shortly.
There should be additional content available to purchase for Frozen Synapse; we hope to have something out this year…not announcing what that will entail until we finalise plans.
Other platforms are being actively considered right now.
We’ve been really happy with the launch of Frozen Synapse, now the servers are in a stable state.
The critical reaction has been huge (9/10 from Destructoid, Eurogamer and Edge; 95% from bit-gamer; other very high-scoring reviews from many other sites; comments like “best indie game of the year so far” from Honest Gamers). …this has been far in advance of anything we’d hoped for.
Writing for Penny Arcade was completely amazing and something I’ll never forget.
Mentions on blogs we love like Dubious Quality, being name-dropped in news posts about other strategy games, being wrapped up into amazing company with other fantastic indie games, being in a national newspaper (The Independent) and on a national radio station (BBC Radio 5, on the Game On segment…not sure when that airs) are things that get a whole new group of people to notice you, and that’s really cool. Also my mum was proud, and that’s important!
I want to say thanks again to everyone who has covered the game – I’d like to give a quick special shout to TotalBiscuit who did an absolutely amazing job of presenting the game – just so cool.
We’re genuinely just glad people like the game so much – it was our childhood dream to make a “90% game” one day, and that’s now been realised. That’s the kind of thing you look back on in your life and say, “I was part of that.”
Commercially, the game has lived up to our expectations, and then some – we’ve made enough to keep working on the things we want to work on: we’re doing well enough to make sure FS hits its full potential and then start up the next game.
I think there’s a bit of an assumption that if an indie game has a good launch that the money-hats immediately are donned and that everything is, in some way, completed: that’s only true if you’re Notch! This is really just the beginning of the journey for FS in my eyes.
The future of Mode 7 as a “real company” has been cemented: this is the right path and now the goal is to stay on it, making sure we do justice to our community.
Loud vs. Quiet
We’ve been a bit quiet because we wanted to make sure our existing community are happy and that things are working ok. With the new updates we’re preparing, we’re confident that the situation is in hand.
We don’t tend to announce specifics on things very early (as anyone with us from the beta will know) – there tend to be gaps and then a lot of announcements at once. This is a conscious decision by us, as we want to be certain of things before we say anything in public.
However, you should see a lot more coverage of the game around the place soon, and we expect the community to keep on growing. We want to celebrate the incredible support we’ve received so far for our crazy indie game!
You are really great
Part of me – and this is slightly silly – was concerned that we’d lose the nice vibe around the beta when we got a lot more users. In fact, now things have settled, the opposite has happened: we now just have a much larger community of nice people.
We’ve tried REALLY hard to make sure you get fast and good support if you have any kind of problem. In fact, today, I’m working on a system that will help us get responses to you even faster. It’s really important to me that everyone is able to get the game working in the way they want, get their key out to a friend etc.
It’s now a lot harder for me to communicate directly with everyone in the community at once, and we’re working on this.
Minor bugs (i.e. bugs which don’t stop you from playing the game) need to be posted in the forums.
So do feature suggestions / ideas / thoughts about other platforms etc.
To be considering new features, or doing a bugs pass, we have to be in a specific mode of thinking. We really want to hear about these things, but we have to take them in at our own pace at specific times. If you mail me with a bug or feature suggestion, there’s a good chance it will get swamped in the huge amount of email I receive every day.
My priority on email, as it should be, is support. If you have a serious support problem, you can email me and we will try to get you sorted out as quickly as possible. To maintain that process, the forums have to be used for the correct things.
I hope you guys can be understanding about this – it’s a question of priorities. We definitely still want to hear from you about all your thoughts on any topics, but the Forums help us keep that organised.
Other communication means:
If you want fast, regular updates then do follow me on Twitter – if you ping me on there, and I’m around, I’ll try and get back to you. Again, I’m not likely to reply quickly if you say something like, “It’d be really cool if there was a unit that did X and Y” – just stick that in the forums and we’ll read it when we’re thinking about such things.
Twitter is for the day-to-day updates – I might occasionally let slip about what we’re working on; I’ll flag up interesting coverage of the games and things that’ll happening. I’ll probably also rant irrelevantly about my love of watching competitive Starcraft from time to time – sorry about that.
Facebook is also really useful to us, and if you use that particular social outlet, please do become a fan. The community there recently voted that only I be allowed to make posts, so it’s a place to get updates and comment on specific things we’re doing, rather than an open forum to discuss the game.
If you want to send me a nice message, talk about business or press, or you really want immediate direct attention for something, I’m still here on email.
SUPPORT: support at mode7games dot com
ANYTHING ELSE: paulmode7 at gmail dot com
Cheers! So many recommendations and the growing community are what really keeps the game alive – that’s down to you and we appreciate it.