Frozen Synapse. The Samaritan response to Earl Grey going cold during CS 1.6 matches. A dignified serving of tactical WEGO that kept the brew hot and the neurons firing. It was the firearm surgery of Counterstrike, but field-stripped to core components and removed from the Hindbrain for proper turn-based deliberation. Every action you’d pull in a regular realistic shooter could be replicated in fastidious detail. And ruminative sipping.
Mode 7 Games’ co-founder and lead designer of Frozen Synapse 2 Ian Hardingham has been putting together a string of video dev diaries as the sequel nears closed beta release. This unfettered access has been an invaluable window into the direction and progression of Frozen Synapse 2, so if you’re curious as to how one goes about crafting a cyberpunk SWAT simulator, there’s plenty to chew on.
The biggest feature to grace Frozen Synapse 2 is its dynamic city. No longer are players set to run linear campaigns. Every aspect of the game is nested in a living, breathing urban jungle. AI factions, shadowy corporations, territory control; the works. It feels like a glorious collision of Syndicate and Chaos Overlords, and can’t but help think there’s a little of both inspiring this new direction. But even more exciting is how this complex addition is also being crafted for multiplayer.
Ian explains how a single player game can transition seamlessly into real-time multiplayer; though shucking PBEM specifically in grand strategy mode, simulated encounters, AI factions and all the nitty-gritty you’d want keep players busy throughout. It sounds rich as heck, and while I’m slightly sad the grand strategic mode can’t accommodate parentcore PBEM, you’d have be liberal with the Persuadatron to keep me anything other than intrigued.
If you want more details, you can follow Ian Hardingham and human calendar co-founder Paul Kilduff-Taylor on the Twit or via YouTube. I’d also like to give special mention to their gaming news and analysis podcast, Visiting The Village. Worth a subscription in this age of crufty, meandering aural junk-mail.