Frozen Synapse Postmortem

Frozen Synapse Postmortem

I wrote about the entire dev process on Frozen Synapse for Gamasutra here. Thanks to everyone at Gama for letting us write on there – it’s always very cool.

7 Responses to “Frozen Synapse Postmortem”

  1. Hawk:

    The article is written in a way that feels like you are done and over with FS, ready to focus on something new. I hope the fact that you’re putting effort into an auto-updater means different.

    I know there is DLC in the works, but from what I’ve read it’s not going to be very extensive. Although FS is a *very nice* game on its own, there is a whole list of features and improvements wanting to be implemented, which could make FS even more of a gem on my computer.

    Either way, good luck making a new game that’s more fun than FS (although FS fills a very particular niche and does so very, very well).

  2. Paul:

    Hi Hawk,

    Could you let me know your specific concerns about both the game and the DLC? I’d be interested to know.

  3. Hawk:

    This is what I’ve gathered about the upcoming DLC: new music (yes!!—not that I’m not happy with the current soundtrack, it’s fantastic!), new mutators, a new unit, and a new game mode.

    Okay, when I wrote my comment above I wasn’t aware of that there would be a new unit and a new game mode, and that changes my mind about it. If what I listed are all the changes in the DLC then I think it’s a good-sized DLC!

    But there are many other things that I really want—most of all UI improvements and features to make certain things less cumbersome to do—and I’m worried whether they’ll ever be added.

    For example:

    I’d like to be able to pause a simulation or outcome at any point and analyze specific moments in time. The automatic playing behavior and lack of timeline-scrubbing makes that difficult.

    Sometimes when I create a waypoint, the path-finding algorithm fails and creates extra waypoints in a huge distance from a corner, and I have to manually place the waypoints around the corner and delete redundant ones. It would be nice if the algorithm always worked perfectly.

    Sometimes I need to play around with a wait-order’s duration, but have some orders at the end of that duration. Whenever I reduce the duration by a split second, even accidentally, those last orders are gone. If the orders “sticked” to their position, this problem would be solved.

    A new feature could make LOS-checking easier, by showing the LOS of a unit in all 360 degrees of direction, instead of only in a straight line to where the cursor is. This could be made by showing a semi-transparent overlay originating at the unit’s position that is interrupted where ever there are obstacles in its path, kind of like the lighting effects in rooms. Better yet, that overlay could be activated like a toggle so that it shows permanently, and I could move waypoints around while seeing how my adjustments are affecting LOS.

    P.S. LOS-checking for ducked units would be a neat little improvement too.

    I can think of more, but there must be a limit on how much I can write in one blog response…

    I would be happy to see any of these or other improvements added to the game, whether it’s in the DLC or not. I realize that, as indie developers, you probably can’t do all of them, maybe not even half. But I hope you do anyways!

  4. Paul:

    Thanks Hawk – some good ideas in there – I want to do a UI tweaks pass at some point so will come back to this then.

  5. Sogeking99:

    I love Frozen Synapse, me and my friends play it every weekend.

    Something I would love to see one day is a game that is like Xcom, but has frozen synapse combat. What do you think? Is that a very realistic wish?

  6. Paul:

    Thanks for this – we get this sort of thing a lot.

    We decided against that direction because it’s hard to see how FS’s combat would be compatible with things like upgradable units, player-controlled unit compositions, and any outputs from an X-com-like strategic metagame,

    To make it work with FS, you’d basicallly have to land the player with a load of effectively meaningless decisions that would end up creating the random situation in each level. We never want to give the player meaningless decisions.

  7. Hawk:

    Thanks for your consideration, Paul.

    I respect you guys for communicating so well through this blog (and the forums).