Post news RSS Frozen Synapse: new video and a mini-announcement...

We show you the current state of the game and let you know what's going down...

Posted by on

I tend to start all of these posts by telling you how busy we are: nothing has changed really!

After all of your feedback on the backgrounds recently, we went back to a more pared-down style. Here's a video showing exactly what the game looks like right now (EDIT - ha ha, just watched this back and realised that Robin had the green text images in his version from when we were testing them - I can now confirm that the text will be WHITE as per your wishes! Please ignore all green text!):


I can now confirm that when you pre-order the game, you'll get immediate access to the beta and you can start playing straight away. You'll be able to purchase this early pre-order direct from us.

Although a lot of the game isn't fleshed out yet, and a couple of major features are in flux, the game *is* fun to play right now and we're hoping our early pre-order customers will be able to get into things ok. That's why we're working on some changes to the UI and a tutorial this week in preparation for the pre-order launch.

I should be able to give you a date very soon!

One of the core mechanics that we're working on at the moment is aiming. This is something that we got a lot of feedback on from our recent testing, and decided to go with a new system.

In Frozen Synapse, the bread-and-butter unit (the machine gunner) fires automatically by default when he sees an enemy. However, if you tell him to aim in a direction, he's better prepared and has a greater chance of winning the encounter.

Here's how you used to have to aim:

1.) Left-click on your plan to indicate WHEN you want to start aiming
2.) Right-click and issue an order to indicate WHERE you want to aim
3.) Right-click on your plan and issue an order to indicate when you want to stop aiming

This is both less annoying that it sounds, and still actually fairly annoying. So we've scrapped that.

The difficulty is that aiming has both two temporal components (start and stop aiming), and a spatial one (where am I aiming). Here's how we solved it...

1.) Left-click anywhere on your plan
2.) An aim target appears close to where you selected - if you want to aim, you can then drag this to aim anywhere you want

That's it! Aiming is now super simple thanks to a neat bit of design from Ian. We're now working on how best to get you to stop aiming (should this be generated automatically, should it just be an order that you place from the right-click orders menu, should it somehow be built-in to the "aim target" etc. etc.)

These kind of changes are surprisingly difficult to make - they require new design, new bespoke code, new art and new testing - they're very hard to to do quickly. However, we thought that aiming was so important that we absolutely had to get the new system in for the pre-order release: we hope that everyone is going to like it.

I don't normally blog about control-system / game mechanic stuff because it's difficult to convey what is actually going on unless you've PLAYED the game! However, I hope that was an insight into how we're taking your feedback - we plan on doing that right through until the game is feature-complete. It's tough, but that's how we want to do things.

Please come and visit the Facebook page for unbelievably frequent updates.


(This button will take you straight to our IRC chat room where you can talk live with the developers of Frozen Synapse!)


(Please track our updates! We try to make each one as amusing and informative as possible. Remember, don't click this button if you are already tracking - it will make you stop tracking! This is the opposite of what we want!)


(If you join our mailing list, we will use it only to send you important Frozen Synapse and Mode 7 Games updates. These will be very infrequent and guaranteed to be interesting! We will never, ever give or sell your precious juicy email to any naughty people - promise).

Comments
Lyx
Lyx

Hmm, i'd need to test it to be sure, but my first thought is that left-clicking is so simple and usual that one may do it unintentionally. When i try to imagine it, it seems especially confusing that wp-setting and aiming are on the same button, with the only difference being singleclick or doubleclick. It also seems to me that aiming is something more "special" than waypoint setting. Anyways, as i said i'd need to try it. I do think that aiming via just one button click may work well, but i'm unsure if the current mapping of buttons is a good idea.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Mode7Games Author
Mode7Games

I think you've misunderstood a bit actually.

You click to select a point on your plan; the aim handle appears next to the "I've selected this point" indicator. You then click and DRAG the aim handle in the correct direction - it's very hard to do this by mistake.

This is one of the reasons I don't talk about gameplay stuff on here - much better conveyed by actually DOING it!

We've been playing a lot with this today - it's A LOT better than the previous aim order system, so we're sticking with it. It'll go into the beta and we'll test it.

Reply Good karma+1 vote
Murdouken
Murdouken

Is this game coming to Steam? I'd rather own it on steam than from your website so if it is I'll hold off on buying it.

if it is coming to steam, you might want to make it so you can activate keys on steam when the release comes so that people who buy from your website don't have to rebuy it when it comes to steam.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Mode7Games Author
Mode7Games

We would love to have the game on Steam - it's not up to us.

It'd be great if you could let Valve know that you want the game to be on there - there's a thread over at the Steam forums about that - Forums.steampowered.com

Reply Good karma+1 vote
xXMaNiAcXx
xXMaNiAcXx

Free keys plz :D

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Mode7Games Author
Mode7Games

Lulz

Reply Good karma+2 votes
kingsqeerel
kingsqeerel

Murdouken raises an interesting point; I would much rather be able to own this fine piece of entertainment on Steam. I am looking forward to be able to pre-purchase, I can't wait to play!

Reply Good karma Bad karma+2 votes
Mode7Games Author
Mode7Games

Thanks - again, it'd be great if you could help galvanise the Steam community to express an interest in the game.

Forums.steampowered.com

Reply Good karma+2 votes
KerenskyTheRed
KerenskyTheRed

The pre-order and beta are open to those of us outside of Europe too right? I live in the USA.

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Mode7Games Author
Mode7Games

Yep, it'll be worldwide.

Reply Good karma+2 votes
KUB3ISM_GAMEWORKS
KUB3ISM_GAMEWORKS

Great stuff :)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
spikespiegel115
spikespiegel115

Sorry i've been out of the loop for a couple of days trying to finish my own tiny, inconsequential game prototype for a piece of coursework..still lots to do=S

You're right, describing the mechanics without seeing them IS confusing! I didn't understand your description of the previous aiming system at all, but no matter because the new system sounds a lot simpler. From the video, when you set the waypoints for the first unit you don't appear to choose an aiming direction, presumably then the unit just aims in the direction it's facing? This already sounds like a great system, I can easily think of a myriad ways I can put it to use. If I get a chance to try the game i'll give you some thoughts on cancelling aiming.

Really looking forward to the opening of pre-orders and the chance to participate in the Beta. Pick me! Pick me!

P.S. That green font is SCARY. I'm glad you went with white=)

Reply Good karma Bad karma+1 vote
Post a comment
Sign in or join with:

Only registered members can share their thoughts. So come on! Join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) and join in the conversation.