Frostpunk announces vague flurry of post-release content rock, paper, shotgun gas in back trapped

Frostpunk has quite a fandom here at RPS. Even if the game hadn’t been good, we would still have given it coverage because we enjoy going Full Mr. Freeze with headlines like “ Frostpunk ventures out into the cold” and my personal favorite “ There’s snow hope in this new Frostpunk trailer” which I’m borderline mad about. Look, I’d never do anything like that in my headlines. Luckily, we don’t have to keep talking about wordplay, because Frostpunk’s tremendous sales out of the gate mean post-release content isn’t stuck in a freeze.

There’s a lot to love about Frostpunk. Xalavier Nelson Jr reviewed the game for RPS and I really cannot overstate what an excellent, funny, bleak, good bit of games writing it is. It sold me completely on picking up a copy of the game ASAP while also hitting on some of the more complicated issues the survival world-building sim faces. I can’t remember the last time I read a review twice in a week, so like, highest recommendation here. (Although a real missed opportunity for a This Child In Mines joke. Sorry Xalavier. Sorry everyone.)

The devs put up an announcement on Steam yesterday with some vague information on what happens next. You can read the entire thing here, but the major takeaway is that they want players to know (thanks to great sales numbers) that 11 Bit Studios is getting directly into expansions for the game.

First out of the gate is some bug/crash fixes, obviously, and then getting into endless/sandbox modes. For folks hitting issues with getting the game to load at all, or flaws that are too big to ignore, they’ve released a robust Support Guide. Beyond that, if you’ve got a cool idea you’d like to see in the game, feel free to share it but, you know, understand that this is an indie team working to fully stabilize the game right now — so please don’t be pushy about your neat proposition.

11 Bit Studios also promise to release a less vague roadmap to all of this work in the near future. You can pick up the game on Steam right here. I’m looking forward to seeing how the game expands and continues to hurt my feelings in a super engaging way.

I rather liked Frostpunk, until I finished the first episode and was hit with the ending clipshow. Man that pissed me off to no extent. Made me feel like the entire game was set up, just so they could hit me with that heavy handed bullshit moral speech about how I’m an evil monster for using the only tools they gave me.

In terms of gameplay, I think it’s bullshit you’re not allowed to rescind/revise laws. Law student rant here. Laws aren’t this monolithic unchanging thing. They change/are revoked all the damn time. Now the final one, sure, let that be set in stone. That’s the point the game tries to make, I get it. But all the other ones? Child labour makes sense at first until you get enough workers. Why not let me set up a school or something later? But no, you’re already locked in. Makes no sense that you can’t reverse that decision.

It only makes sense because the dev is dead set on ‘teaching’ you this moral lesson about how it’s better to let humanity go extinct then do something that, if the situation wasn’t so fucked, would be considered bad. Which would work better if it wasn’t set in the 1880’s. It feels mean-spirited. You’re forced to choose between losing the game and picking the only options to increase hope that they give you. Which they then condemn you for.

Back to gameplay, this game desperately needs some sort of overlay which lets you see which buildings are which. And you should be able to build over streets and otherwise fill up the tiny open spots that the city generates. And maybe a menu screen which shows you which buildings are operating at what efficiency level, and allowing you to turn heaters on and off without finding the specific building that’s not working in a mass of building that basically all look the same. Some normal user friendly stuff.

I mean, to me it does make some sense why you can’t go back on laws later. The reason is momentum. In the case of laws, it’s in the form of culture. Look at prohibition in the 30s. Look at it now, with pot. Even when the vast majority of the people consider a law irrational, even when it hurts far more people than it ever helped, it often prevails or is slow to be overturned because ideas about it are culturally ingrained and practical facts about it make some people lots of money. You say laws are overturned all the time but I’d ask for examples of what laws and exactly how often. I’m sure as a law student you know more examples than I do, so understand I’m genuinely curious about that statement, since on a gut level it seems flat wrong to me, but I’m willing to be corrected on that… Just, anecdotally, I can’t think of a single law I know of being overturned. Even super emotional and controversial SC rulings like Roe v. Wade (which I don’t mind admitting I support and hope is never overturned) can’t get reversed, in spite of the widespread and well funded vitriol against it, because of precedent and the value of the initial ruling. Like I say though, I am genuinely curious to hear about examples, since it may well just be a thing a layman wouldn’t know about.

That all being said, as far as game mechanics go, I think you probably should be able to at least try to reverse your own laws, even if entrenched interests give you some resistance and potentially stymie your efforts. I guess that’s a whole lot of AI I’m talking about now.