There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes at Bit-Gamer that most readers aren't ever aware of. Believe it or not, the staff here have social lives and the need to unwind after a long day of playing gameswriting about playing games doing proper work. That's why, after we recorded a podcast with Frozen Synapse developers Mode7 Games, we went out to the pub afterwards and had a few drinks. We spoke about many things, including the overwhelming number of questions we'd received from Bit-Gamer readers, but which we hadn't had time for in the podcast.
It was at this point that, perhaps spurred on by several pints of Banana Bread Beer, Mode7's Paul Taylor volunteered to answer all the remaining questions, no matter what they might be. Here, he's kindly followed through on that promise by rattling off some quick-fire answers, some of which you probably shouldn't take entirely seriously...
Joe Batsford: Ok, so who are you guys? No, seriously, I have no idea.
Paul Taylor: We're Mode 7! No, seriously! We have no idea either.
Eddie Man: Where did the idea of Frozen Synapse come from?
Paul Taylor: Ian Hardingham, Frozen Synapse's Lead Designer, was playing a lot of Laser Squad Nemesis in around 2004 and he came up with the idea of making a more defined tactical game that focused on some specific elements. That idea became Frozen Synapse.
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John Morrison: For smaller indie studios is it worth coding or producing for multiple systems, such as PC, PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360? Or are the consoles difficult to release for?
Paul Taylor: Different indie studios have different approaches and solutions. Consoles can pay off big time if you have the right game; equally some people spread themselves too thinly and take huge risks. It's a difficult balance and you have to find the one that works right for your game.
Theis Bjerre-Christensen: Have you got any other ideas for great, small games that you can jump in and out of?
Paul Taylor: Not right now, sorry!
Leo Bien Durana: How'd you come up with that awesome game title - 'Frozen Synapse'?
Paul Taylor: People seem to really love or hate the name. I came up with it while sitting in my girlfriend's house in Cambridge, being bored, watching Saturday night TV and writing names down in a notebook. Be glad the game isn't called Ion Channel or Psychoff Cyberwar, because those were just some of the other options!
Frozen Synapse in action
Danelle Razer Vivier: How many people does it take to develop your games?
Paul Taylor: There are three of us in-house, with a few external contractors that we use for specific tasks.
Sara Smith: If you had to sum up why I should take an interest in Frozen Synapse in five words or less, what would they be?
Paul Taylor: Truly tactical. Ponies. Your Mum.
Andrew 'Foss' Foster: Which is heavier; ham or blue?
Paul Taylor: The gravitas of your attempt at surrealism outweighs them both.
Paul Fletcher: Being such a small developer, how do you compete in a market swamped by behemoths like EA or Activision Blizzard? Or do they not appear in your space at all?
Paul Taylor: You have to target very specific niches to compete against the big boys. I wouldn't say they're “not in our space” - indie games need attention in the same way as AAA games and we have to compete with them to get that. It's just that we just use different weapons to the big publishers in our pursuit of the same goal.