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Frozen Synapse: Soundtrack Edition

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Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

Sweep up a Dustforce demoOnlive and the IGF are spooning for a fortnight. The sensual lovers are celebrating the Indie Gaming New Year by giving you access to 30 minute demos of 16 IGF finalists. The alphabetically sexy list of games is: Atom Zombie Smasher, Be Good, Botanicula, Dear Esther, Dustforce, English Country Tune, Frozen Synapse, FTL, Lume, Nitronic Rush, Once Upon a Spacetime, POP, SpaceChem, To the Moon, Toren, and WAY. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Aren't you glad to see this picture again?

They said it would never end. And then, on Saturday, it did. We’ve been posting our series of chats with the many splendid finalists in this year’s Independent Games Festival over the last couple of months, and, with the exception of English Country Tune (dev was worried about sounding boring), Mirage (dev didn’t reply) and Fez (dev wouldn’t confirm the possibility of a PC version) we managed to get mini-interviews with all the PC/Mac indie developers in the running for a gong.

In case you missed a few, didn’t understand what the hell it was all about or just like looking at neatly-ordered lists, here’s the complete series for your relaxed perusal. It’s a fascinating and diverse bunch of games in the finals this year, and if nothing else, it’s a rare chance to see what 18 different developers would say to the monsters in Doom if only they could talk to them.

(more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Craig Pearson)

Finally! I'll no longer lose every single game! The year is 1999 and the crazy chaps at Epic Games have just came up with the concept of mutators, little mods that you can use to tweak game types. But just as they’re about to implement it, a cheap-looking wibbly effect appears in front of Cliffy A (Cliffy B is a clone) and a mysterious figure steals his PC! Mark Rein enters the room, asks what smells all wibbly and allows a distraught A to tell him what he’s crying about. “Is that all? We have backups.” But he kills A for showing weakness. And thus the Unreal Tournament series’ mutators survived. But what of that mysterious time-traveller? I have figured out who it is: step forward Mode7′s Ian Hardingham. J’accuse! (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

The crayon house is this year's Gary Barlow

In 2010, we ran a series of cheerful chats with (almost) all of the lovely indie developers whose PC games had been nominated as finalists in that year’s Independent Games Festival. In 2011, we forgot. In 2012, we haven’t forgotten. We’re the best! So, here’s the first: Ian Hardingham and Paul Taylor from Mode 7 Games, whose high-speed turn-based strategy game Frozen Synapse is in the running for both Excellence In Design and the Seamus McNally Grand Prize. Read on for what went right and wrong with their game, how they feel about their IGF rivals, what comes next and their answer to the most important question of all.>

(more…)

PC Gamer






We elevate the Total War games beyond simply being good strategy games because we believe they’re story-engines: that not only do they offer deep and difficult decisions about how to paint the map your colour, but they also entertain you with your own genius.



Shogun 2 is a spectacular return to form. Partly, it’s the period: a time in Japanese history when heroes and villains rise and fall. Partly, it’s the technology: there’s little in PC gaming that can match the drama of a full speed cavalry charge. But mostly, it’s because the game creates interesting drama. The time when you had to rush an army home to fend off a betrayal from your neighbour clan. The time when you hid an army and engineered an ambush. The time when your veteran clan leader dismounted, and held the line while thousands of peasants rolled into the front gate. That time when… you’ve got the stories. You remember.



Highly recommended: Frozen Synapse and Starcraft 2: Wings of Liberty.
PC Gamer
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'Tis the season for increasingly excellent indie bundles. The LittleBIGbunch sale has gone live now on Get Games. It contains the excellent turn based strategy, Frozen Synapse, plaformer Explodemon, Serious Sam Double D, Munch's Oddysee and New Star Soccer. You can use the payment slider to decide how much cash you want to lay down (or write the number into the payment box), and then decide how your payment gets divided up between the developers and GamesAid.



If you're on the hunt for more great deals, the rumoured Humble Indie Bundle 4 went live earlier today. That includes Jamestown, Bit.Trip Runner, Super Meat Boy, Shank, and NightSky. If you pay more than the average donation, you'll also get Cave Story+ and Gratuitous Space Battles. Buy both packs and you'll have plenty to play over the Xmas holidays.
Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

Sorry, but can't bring myself to write BIG in capitals every time.

“What did you do during the great bundle wars of Winter 2011, daddy?”“I posted about them, sweetheart. I posted about them all. I… I’ve seen so much. I’ll always carry that with me.”

We already know about pay-what-you-want charity bundle LittleBigBunch, but until 2pm today we weren’t able to so much as look at its website. Now we can, for it lives and is live. It’s a grand old package of PC games – Frozen Synapse, Explodemon, Serious Sam Double D, Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee and New Star Soccer 5. A pleasantly varied package, I’d say. (more…)

Rock, Paper, Shotgun - contact@rockpapershotgun.com (Alec Meer)

MAKE IT STOP. But in a way that remains beneficial to charity.

Today I feel like the Sisyphus of games blogging. “You believe you have completed your trial of posting about a pay what you want indie games bundle, mortal? You fool. For now you must immediately post about another one! Ahahahahahaha. Yes, there are worse circles of hell to be in, but I trust you’ll agree this one is slightly annoying.”>

Oh well, c’est la news-vie, non? LittleBigBunch – due next week – ups the charity factor, as it’s orchestrated by sterling industry philanthropists GamesAid. And it’s got some pretty cracking contents. Frozen Synapse! Explodemon! Serious Sam Double D! Oddworld: Munch’s Oddysee! New Star Soccer 5! (more…)

PC Gamer
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Frozen Synapse developer Paul Taylor, from Mode 7, wrote a "mini-postmortem" at Games Brief on how business and design considerations influenced the game's development and marketing. He explains why Mode 7 gambled on a higher price point (for an indie game) and discusses how Frozen Synapse is at once limited by being pay-once, but how it would likely fail as a free-to-play game.



He writes, "Pay-once is the most maligned business model out there right now: I would suggest that even the most hardcore entrenched old-school developers have been won round by the raw data that free-to-play games have generated, so pay-once is in decline."



However, he also points out that a game like Frozen Synapse does not lend itself to F2P, and that Synapse's target audience of hardcore gamers is "averse" to F2P models. He also admits that designing for "pay once" let Mode 7 design a game that was "not based around restricting the player's access to content."



"I’m yet to hear a sane scheme for an F2P Frozen Synapse," Taylor concludes.



The whole piece is worth reading for an interesting description of how Mode 7 used a paid-beta to switch to full-time development, Steam's critical importance, and why Mode 7 is being very cautious about expansion and porting. While the core team has moved onto another project, because Taylor says they do not want to stagnate, they have also brought a new team member aboard to work on DLC and tweaks for Frozen Synapse.



Paul joined us on Three Moves Ahead a few months ago, and he addressed a few of these topics in some detail, as well as the importance of Frozen Synapse's curious fiction and single-player campaign.
Kotaku

Frozen Synapse is Headed to the iPadThe award-winning turn-based tactical game Frozen Synapse is being ported over to the iPad, the developer Mode 7 said yesterday, expecting the game will hit the iTunes App Store in 2012.



Mode 7's Paul Taylor said the studio also is "looking at better ways of updating and supporting the game on its current platforms," and that fans should "expect some new things in the New Year" as well.



Currently available for Windows and Linux PC and Mac, Frozen Synapse has been an indie delight this year, pushing more than 300,000 in sales and well regarded enough to get its own Humble Bundle.



Mode 7 said Frozen Synapse for the iPad will enter a beta soon, with a price and final release date to be announced next year.





You can contact Owen Good, the author of this post, at owen@kotaku.com. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook, and lurking around our #tips page.
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