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Developer Blog: Frozen Synapse's Singleplayer

Posted on 31st Aug 2010 at 12:03 by Mode 7 with 6 comments

Mode 7
We’ve just started work on the single player campaign mode for Frozen Synapse. Although the core of the gameplay is about two players trying to outwit each other, we’ve known from the outset just how important single player is for a strategy game.

A lot of strategy fans have an aversion to multiplayer; they like the sedate pace of singleplayer and the ability to immerse themselves in strategic decisions without the pressure of competition. Indeed, in this interview with RPS , the Gollop brothers talk about how a lack of single player hampered their turn-based strategic epic Laser Squad Nemesis.

Despite the fact that we tend to focus on multiplayer, we’re big single player fans at Mode 7. Personally, I’ve always loved the immersive narratives in classic PC games like Wing Commander and Terra Nova.

The question is: how can we marry that sort of epic scale with a generative approach to level design? It may well not be possible!

Developer Blog: Frozen Synapse's Singleplayer
Click to enlarge

Our first port of call is to focus on the gameplay. At the moment, our basic single player AI doesn’t make for a particularly compelling experience, but before we invest time in refining it, we need to establish what the core game mode will be. We’ll decide how player will fight before we polish who they will be fighting.

Ian has been experimenting with Extermination, our core multiplayer game mode, and working on what changes or additions might need to be made to it in order to translate it effectively to singleplayer. We’re also thinking about how to throw in some surprises; we want to stick to our maxim of throwing the player immediately into an interesting situation.

Once we get the heart of the game right, we’re sure the rest will follow. Our fans have requested a huge amount of aesthetic additions - from bomb disposal to...ponies - so we’re going to work on those things which match up to the gameplay most effectively!

Personally, I really want that feeling of commanding a squad with my actions having consequences for an overarching campaign, so hopefully we’ll be able to create something suitably immersive. I’ll keep you posted, but if you’ve got any requests or thoughts of your own then be sure to sling them in comments below and we’ll do our best to respond!

Paul Taylor is the Joint Managing Director of Mode 7 Games, makers of Frozen Synapse, an upcoming PC strategy game.

6 Comments

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GravitySmacked 31st August 2010, 13:52 Quote
Excellent news!
Oggyb 31st August 2010, 15:28 Quote
Ponies eh? I can imagine an outdoors night time campaign where you have to cross a farmyard full of jumpy livestock or something!
WildThing 31st August 2010, 15:44 Quote
Great news, keep up the good work! ;)
barrkel 31st August 2010, 22:27 Quote
I don't think strategy fans have an aversion to multiplayer; rather, strategy done well (i.e. turn-based) requires some thought, and waiting for your opponent to think can interrupt the flow quite badly in a multiplayer game.
runadumb 1st September 2010, 03:22 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrkel
I don't think strategy fans have an aversion to multiplayer; rather, strategy done well (i.e. turn-based) requires some thought, and waiting for your opponent to think can interrupt the flow quite badly in a multiplayer game.

Agreed, this is why such games would really suit mobile gaming to. Like on a Android, Iphone or WP7 device. Would be fantastic if you could continue the same game cross platform to.
The future
Stelph 1st September 2010, 11:39 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by runadumb
Quote:
Originally Posted by barrkel
I don't think strategy fans have an aversion to multiplayer; rather, strategy done well (i.e. turn-based) requires some thought, and waiting for your opponent to think can interrupt the flow quite badly in a multiplayer game.

Agreed, this is why such games would really suit mobile gaming to. Like on a Android, Iphone or WP7 device. Would be fantastic if you could continue the same game cross platform to.
The future

Yep also agree, actually the best device would probably be a tablet as the extra scren space would really help in a strategy game. Looking forward to the new flurry of android tablets that are coming out, and hopefully the developers will port ths over quite soon after release (tho id prefer them to concentrate on finalising the game/release first and port after!)
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