I had the opportunity to meet with 11 Bit Studios about their upcoming game Frostpunk, the next title from the This War of Mine developers. Frostpunk is a city management game where exploration plays a key role, with everything working towards one goal: survive.
Frostpunk takes place in an alternate 19th century where the world has mysteriously frozen over and, as far as you know, the only group of people surviving happens to be you and the people living around the Generator. The Generator is a massive tower that creates heat, forming the center of your growing city. Heat is the underlying mechanic as keeping people warm where the live, sleep, work, and more is vital when one day it can be -20 and the next -40.
While surviving through gathering food, building shelter, and providing heat is of the utmost importance, the contentment of your people plays a big role as well. There is a happiness and hope meter to manage, where certain conditions (like lack of shelter) or certain decisions will affect the meters one way or another.
People are the backbone as they are the workforce towards surviving. They do the gathering, the building, the scavenging—everything. The more you get, and you can find more, the better off you’ll all be as the more resources you will be able to acquire. There are different classes of people too, with their own abilities. There are children, your general workers, engineers, and more.
11 Bit stressed that this was more than a city management game with a survival emphasis. Creating a society and populace with its own set of beliefs, its own culture, is important as well. As the leader, various problems will be brought to your attention and you can decide what to do with them, while considering the potential consequences.
More broadly, you have the power to enact laws that have great effect. For example, the one shown to me was enacting a law allowing child labor. Desperate times call for desperate measures in Frostpunk, but the populace has their own thoughts on them as well. They understand the necessity of the choice, but it can still effect their overall mood and hope. Of course, there are some unforeseen consequences that can crop up. Sent the children to work? Well, now one got injured and you get the choice of sending them back to work or letting them have time off to recover. Depending on the situation you are in and your own personal philosophy you have chosen to take in the laws you are enacting, you could go either way. There’s no wrong answer really, it’s all about the context of the decision.
That society management is huge as the people can react violently if you go too far. So, it seems players will have to be careful if they want to be an authoritarian with little care for the comfort and well-being of their people.
In addition to the laws, which have sweeping effects, Frostpunk also has a tech tree where you can research new buildings and more. That seems to be where the progression of your city will begin, slowly evolving overtime as you go down the tech tree. It is here too, as well as in the laws, you can forge a path based on your decisions with multiple ways to play.
The other portion of the gameplay, which I only saw briefly, was the exploration. Most of your time is spent looking at your city, managing it and making decisions. But, there is a whole world outside your city, so you have the option of sending out scouting parties to check out different areas. This is where, I was told, the secrets of what happened to the world and why, among answers to other questions, will be found. It’s also where people can be rescued and other things acquired.
Frostpunk features a main story to go through and will also feature scenarios you can take on to challenge yourself in different ways in the game.
Keep an eye out here at TechRaptor for an upcoming interview we have on Frostpunk as well!
Frostpunk releases sometimes this year on PC.
If you want to know more about this and other announcements happening at E3 then be sure to check out our E3 2017 Coverage Hub.