Developer Blog: Hello World!

Written by Mode 7

July 6, 2010 | 10:09

Tags: #behind-the-scenes #determinance #developer-blog #frozen-synapse #strategy

Companies: #indie #mode-7

My name's Paul Taylor, and I co-own an indie dev studio (that's code for three guys in a small room) called Mode 7 Games. We've been making games and doing various other projects together since 2005.

Our current title is called Frozen Synapse - it's a squad-based tactical game that people seem to like!

I handle everything that isn't development, as well as working on any art direction, audio and writing that's required. My co-conspirator Ian Hardingham handles design, code and the overall direction of our stuff.
Developer Blog: Hello World!
Frozen Synapse is currently in beta

Our first project was an action multiplayer sword-fighting game called Determinance. Ian started this off when he was at university: he'd done a lot of work in the Torque engine due to his unhealthy obsession with Tribes 2, and realised that he wanted to make games for a living.

Torque seemed the natural place to start for him, as flying around in Tribes was one of his favourite gaming sensations. So, that's how we ended up with one of the world's only flying sword-fighting games!

A respected games industry consultant once told me that a flying sword-fighting game was a bit like a chocolate hot dog: two things that are nice in isolation but should never be combined. A lot of people did enjoy the game very much, but it was too weird for most gamers and hence got bashed fairly thoroughly. Personally, I still like it!

Frozen Synapse in action

There's no doubt that making Determinance was one of the best things we could possibly have done. Finishing and releasing a game takes you from a wannabe to someone who actually has valid experience - an important distinction.

With Frozen Synapse, we tried to narrow down what we wanted to accomplish in the game to a few elements which we knew we could do well. Translating the experience you want to have into an actual game takes a lot of iteration, so we've spent two or three years on and off just getting things into a form where we're happy for other people to start playing in a beta format.

In this blog, I'll be taking you through our week-by-week experiences with making the game and also sharing some of our thoughts on the current state of the games industry. We hope you'll be interested in the exploits of a tiny UK developer, but if you can't wait and want to ask us questions now then post in the comments below!
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