Community and ConsolesBT: Frozen Synapse features a rather striking and stylised, but also simple art style and with a few interface tweaks we thought it may port well to consoles. Is that on the cards, or are you strictly limiting yourself to PC?
We'd love to be on consoles: there's certainly some perceived resistance to certain kinds of strategy titles; I don't know how real that is.
Essentially, we do need to get some meetings going and talk to acquisitions people – that's something I'm going to work on soon, and if anyone is interested they can feel free to get in touch. That said, we're definitely sticking to our guns on the PC release – that will happen first and be our first priority.
BT: You’re a indie developer, based in the UK and you’re working on a tactical strategy game that features a TRON-like aesthetic. Is there any rivalry going on between you and Introversion at all? Frozen Synapse seems quite similar to what we know about Subversion…
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PT: Frozen Synapse
is, by coincidence, roughly in the same aesthetic space as Subversion
, but it's a totally different game in almost every other way; it's scarcely even in the same genre. I think this will become more apparent when the public gets hold of some more info about what Introversion are doing with it.
I think the relationship between Mode 7 and Introversion right now is much more mutual appreciation than rivalry. Our approaches are so divergent, and we both know that the marketplace is more than big enough for the both of us.
To illustrate that, I'm going to recommend that you buy their game. Seriously, it looks great: support what they're doing and buy their game when it comes out. You also should be looking at Monaco
by Pocketwatch Games
: that's another totally different take on this whole “tactical” thing.
BT: As a small developer you’re obviously going to be quite vulnerable to the threat of piracy. Is that something that worries you, or do you think the issue is overblown in the face of console gaming?
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I know that this upsets indie developers a great deal. We have some mechanisms in place, but nothing that is going to offend people who have bought the game. We care much more about our paying customers than we do about anything to do with piracy: we want to keep their experience as good as possible. It completely amazes me that bigger companies don't share this philosophy: it's like screaming obscenities at a naughty child in a supermarket; it doesn't do anything and it just makes everyone else stare at you.
I do ask anyone who is considering pirating the game to think twice and buy it: as I've said before, you are directly hurting us personally and diminishing our ability to make good games in the future. This is just a message to those people who care about such things, though I'm aware that a lot of pirates don't. Frankly, I'm not interested in them.
BT: Are you finding it hard to spread the word about Frozen Synapse to consumers and compete with the larger publishers and the overcrowded indie scene?
Definitely. It's very frustrating when you know you have a good game and you can't get coverage on certain sites for no good reason.
I just keep working on it every day, doing all I can and taking every opportunity that comes my way. We believe in this game, we think it can go all the way and I'll happily talk about it to anyone who will listen!