Frozen Synapse SP Campaign Released

By Quintin Smith on May 6th, 2011 at 8:30 am.

I had a typo of 'Frozen Snaps' while writing this and wanted to keep it in but didn't

Give me 1,200 words. I’m going to make you pre-order something you’ve never even heard of,” began Kieron’s preview of turn-based tactical squad combat game Frozen Synapse.

If you haven’t read it yet, now’s the time to blow the dust off and take a look. With the game’s release just around the corner, developers Mode 7 have today released the game’s 55 mission single player campaign into the open beta that’s available to all pre-order customers. Yes, fifty five.

Semi randomly-generated, in these levels you will “escort VIP’s, assassinate nefarious scientists, rob banks, conduct honey-trap operations, defend confused philosophers” and more, AND Frozen Synapse are offering 30% off the asking price of £17 to all new pre-order customers, which actually gets you two copies of the game (so, two Steam activation codes and two sets of beta access). A really funny press release has the full details. Amazing. This is an indie developer Doing It Right, people.

Hello,

[Hello! - RPS]

Oxford-based indie devs Mode 7 are proud to announce that their simultaneous-turn-based tactical opus Frozen Synapse has entered the horrendous torture pit many developers describe as “final bugtesting”.

Also, it now has an exciting single player campaign…

“We always wanted Frozen Synapse to have a big single player component. This was inherently daft, given the fact that we’re a very small team, but we’ve done it now. We’re very pleased with the results!” ejaculated Joint Managing Director Paul Taylor, quotably.

The single player campaign features missions where you escort VIP’s, assassinate nefarious scientists, rob banks, conduct honey-trap operations and defend confused philosophers, among other things. There are 55 glorious missions in total.

Bullet points for fun and profit:

- The game is set in a near-future city named Markov Geist; various factions vie for power there, from the corporate behemoth Enyo:Nomad to the dangerous cultists of the Blue Sunlight Foundation.

- Do factions ever do anything other than “vie”? They’re just vying all over the shop. Dammit, I’ve wasted a bullet point now.

- Each mission has a defined set of objectives but takes place in a semi-randomly-generated level, so replaying brings unexpected delights

- Once generated, every iteration of each mission is unlocked, meaning that if a particular random configuration tickles your fancy, you can replay it ad infinitum

- Every mission has dynamic dialogue which responds to the player’s actions

- New special units, civilians, friendly AI units, laser tripwires (as requested by the community!), unique single player mission types, rapping hackers, an in-game dossier which allows players to delve into the backstory and a full musical soundtrack all feature in the current pre-order version

All this…and money off as well!? We must be INSANE AT THESE PRICES!!? We must abuse punctuation!!?

To get 30% off the pre-order, all human beings have to do is use the code STANCHER during the order process at http://www.frozensynapse.com

Final release date will be announced very soon.

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80 Comments »

  1. Teddy Leach says:

    I’ve not got round to playing the single player yet, but I sure do love Frozen Synapse. Plus, apparently my name’s going to be in the credits even though I haven’t contributed anything to the game other than my money.

    • Bravadowaffle says:

      Oh wow, this game looks amazing! Hooray for X-Comm style games coming back into popularity!

      We are working on a team based tactical strategy game as well, though it’s for iOS devices and Macs called RoboArena. It’s inspired by X-Comm, RoboSport, and RoboRally and will be a more family friendly take on the tactical strategy games genre. You can check us out on Kickstarter if you want: RoboArena Kickstarter Campaign Love to hear your opinions!

  2. Squishpoke says:

    Shame that I have to wait on my new debit card to come in the mail.

    • iLag says:

      …or you could just find someone to buy the game, split it with you, and work out the payment without a debit card. Try the Data Smuggling Ring (or maybe even the Kindness Club?) on the forums.

  3. fuggles says:

    I’ve seen so much of this I am actually surprised it is not out. Looks really limited as a game, so hopefully a demo will be out at some point.

    • Gnoupi says:

      It might “look” limited, but it has a great tactical depth, from what I experienced. And surprisingly not so complex in its interface.

  4. DiGi says:

    Why they need so much info during registration? Real name?! Address?! :-(

    • Gnoupi says:

      You need such information for most digital downloads you will purchase. Steam, Direct2Drive, BMTMicro, impulse, they all require that amount of information to sell you your product.

    • Premium User Badge

      James G says:

      I believe it is required by the card verification services. Its why other online retailers require both shipping and billing addresses.

    • DiGi says:

      Yes – “Card verification services”. But I want pay using Paypal. I hope that PSN cause learn companies to not asking necessary informations.

      It is digital download, they don’t need to know my real name and my address. Email is enough.

    • Lasre says:

      It may be in some cases that they take your address manually so you’re aware that they have it – because PayPal will give it to them anyway. https://www.paypal.com/ipn

    • Delusibeta says:

      In my experience, PayPal also wants all of that. So, I don’t see your arguement.

    • d32 says:

      Delusibeta, don’t try to pretend you see no difference between entering your personal data into one site and throwing them at each site on the web.

  5. Icarus says:

    Yeah, I’ll be springing for this as soon as I get paid this month.

  6. WMain00 says:

    I don’t know whether to buy this or not. It looks…interesting…but i’m not sure whether I want to put £17 down on it.

  7. Vexing Vision says:

    I haven’t gotten around to play in a long, long while, but Frozen Synapse is one hell of a game.

    I’m Shephard, and this is my favourite turn-based real-time resolution isometric multiplayer shooter.

  8. Jonathan says:

    I really ought to get round to giving this a go. Too many things to play, damnit!

  9. Turin Turambar says:

    Damn, the elevator mission is hard… :(

  10. Premium User Badge

    phlebas says:

    Exciting stuff!
    The big question though: is the coupon also valid for 30% off the awesome bundle with Determinance and extra music and goodies?
    The answer is yes!

  11. oldasadlo says:

    jesus, i have bought this like a year ago. it has not caught my attention for too long, but now, where is that code? where is that code?

  12. 3lbFlax says:

    I’m in! I just wanted to state that to record that posts like this have an effect and are always welcome.

  13. Zanchito says:

    I think I still have my “gift copy” around. I bought the game LONG ago, but have played only like a couple of times. Too little time! :( It was really nice, though, reminded me of Laser Squad in a minimalistic way.

  14. Eraysor says:

    Bought this a ridiculously long time ago, love it to bits!

  15. 3lbFlax says:

    Just played my first skirmish SP game, and I loved it. Lost horribly, one machine gunner trying to stay ahead of two rocket launchers on the other side of the map blowing up everything around me. But in terms of gameplay, if you like Rebelstar / Laser Squad (which I do, of course) it seems tremendously comprehensive. Impressed.

  16. Premium User Badge

    tomeoftom says:

    That press release is delightful

  17. Xocrates says:

    Stupid question: Why is the only pre-order option a two-pack?

    Why am I forced to get an extra copy that I don’t want or need while I would be a lot happier paying less and only get one?

    Heck that way if I recommend the game to a friend they actually end up making more money.

    I know they’re trying to be nice and all, but it does seem rather silly.

    • Auspex says:

      Well when it was multiplayer only I think it made sense as a lot of these indie games kind of die without players look at Plain Sight. I suppose if people are buying it purely for the single-player it maybe makes less sense. I know I gave my free copy to my cousin who would never have bought it but has now played it much more than I have.

    • bookwormat says:

      “Why am I forced to get an extra copy that I don’t want or need while I would be a lot happier paying less and only get one?”

      Or maybe £17 is the price for a single copy, and they just give you the second one for free? You can really view this one way or the other. The fact that they offer you £17 for two copies does not mean that their price for a single copy for £8.50.

      My advise is to just check what you want to buy and what it costs you to get it. Don’t think too much about the “sales” aspect in these offers.

    • Xocrates says:

      @bookwormat: I know that. Doesn’t change the fact that I’m effectively buying two copies.

      And by the way, the reason I’m mentioning this it because I can’t justify spending 17£ right now, so it seems really weird that if I did I would essentially be buying the game twice.

    • trjp says:

      Yesterday, in Morrisons, I was forced into buying 16 yoghurts because it was £3-odd for 8 or £2 for 16.

      My fridge is now mostly yoghurt BUT you don’t hear me demanding they sell me 8 for just £1 because that would be

      a – a waste of breath
      b – make me look like a cheapskate

      You are doing that…

      I could, of course, have sold 8 of them to someone at the checkout or that I know – a sentient creature would learn from that…

    • Xocrates says:

      @trjp:

      1) You weren’t forced to buy the 16 pack, you chose to.
      2) I never demanded anything. In particular I never demanded half price.
      3) I know I look like a cheapskate
      4) My problem is exactly that I don’t have anyone to sell the second copy to.
      5) All this amounts to is that I’m unwilling to pay 17£ for the game, not because I think it’s an unfair price, but because I can’t justify affording that at this point.

      There’s a reason I pointed out I was about to make a stupid question, you know.

    • Premium User Badge

      James G says:

      But it’s not £17, its £11.90 if you use the 30% off code.

    • Rii says:

      @trjp

      /em does some back-of-the-hand calculations

      Goddamn that’s some cheap yoghurt.

    • trjp says:

      Once I found the space in my fridge, it was a DAMNED fine deal I can tell you!!

  18. Premium User Badge

    Richard Beer says:

    Done and passed on to all my PC-gaming chums for them to pre-order too.

    Another successful RPS endorsement.

  19. Schmitzkater says:

    If I’ve bought -or preordered- the game about a year ago, is it still possible for me to register it on Steam?
    When I get the Email with the download link as Steam activation code it just says: “invali” , which looks like a cut off invalid.

    • Omroth says:

      Hey Schmitzkater.

      You will indeed be able to register on Steam. We’re just setting up that right now which is why the weird emails are going out – I’m sorry about that.

      Steam registration should be set up by next Friday.

      Ian

    • Premium User Badge

      lasikbear says:

      I just assumed the Steam registration code was really really short.

    • Schmitzkater says:

      Right, okay. I didn’t even know that there was to be Steam integration, so I could hardly be let down.
      (Also: Yay, Steam integration!)

  20. malexmave says:

    I just preordered and like the game a lot. My only problem is that, even if you are playing SP Campaign or Skrimish, once you loose your net connection, the game goes back to the login screen and you loose your progress. Why do I have to stay logged in for SP? I hope this get’s removed in the final game, because my network card is having some problems at the moment ;-).

    • PaulMode7 says:

      Sorry about that – that’s just a bug and it’s now been fixed. Fret not!

    • malexmave says:

      Glad to hear. I am having a metric ton of fun playing this game ;-)

  21. Towercap says:

    Frozen Synapse is brilliant. Minimalistic, competitive, very cerebral. Worth every piece of eight.

  22. PaulMode7 says:

    You are a lovely person and deserve ALL BISCUITS.

    • Kwix says:

      No one told me of the potential for biscuits, i will start a pc review blog forthwith

  23. Jimbo says:

    Finally, a game where I can defend confused philosophers.

  24. Premium User Badge

    Sinomatic says:

    “multiplayer simultaneous-turn-based tactical game”…..Am I correct in thinking that you could play a game of this like an email based sort of thing?

    I ask because it seems like it could be great to play with people I don’t get the chance to be online at the same time as. And with people who get freaked by the pressure of multiplayer and would like plenty of time to mull over their turn.

    • Dominic White says:

      The default mode is basically PBEM – you have a log of active games with various people, and once you’ve issued your orders, you just wait for the next notification on it.

    • Premium User Badge

      Sinomatic says:

      Thanks, good to know.

      Definitely on my list of ‘things to buy when I’m not utterly skint’ now.

  25. Duality says:

    I had been eyeing this up for a while. Now purchased.

    • Dominic White says:

      Likewise. Lack of a campaign mode to slowly ease me into things was what was stopping me.

      So me and my brother just split the cost on a 2-pack.

  26. ColOfNature says:

    Bought this over a year ago and hardly played it at all. I dug it out yesterday and it’s even better than I remembered! My name’s the same in the game, feel free to challenge me!

    • Premium User Badge

      JB says:

      Hi Col, I believe you offered me some games yesterday (I’m digital_pariah ingame). Now I’ve got to grips with the game (to a certain degree!), I’ll be up for it!

  27. bazbarrett says:

    I bought this on the strength of my love for turn-based gameplay, played the first two SP campaign missions, seems pretty damn awesome. Lots of annoying little things outside the main game (why won’t people let me have any character I want in a password, a space is really too much?), but the game itself seems really solid.

  28. squareking says:

    I am incredibly not good at this game. I love it.

  29. man-eater chimp says:

    Is the £17 price for 2 copies, or for 1 copy with another coming in for free. I’m asking as I don’t really have the money nor the time (exams) to play any new games at the moment but this looks like such a fantastic game I do plan on getting it at some point…

    Basically will it still be £17 for a single copy when it comes out full retail?

    • trjp says:

      I don’t know but I’d be surprised if they pissed-off every pre-orderer by offering the full game for less…

      I suspect £17 will be it’s list price – the pre-order ‘offer’ is a free copy to give away – but I don’t know this, I’m only guessing.

      As it’s going to Steam you might get an initial 10-20% off that and it will, in due course, be in a sale for £4 ofc.

  30. paulsoaresjr says:

    It appears to play like Laser Squad Nemesis, ie players issue turn-based orders and then submit to a server that then processes the results…?

  31. Uthred says:

    Read article title and rememberd I wanted to buy the game mentioned, went and bought game, came back and read article, at the bottom of which was a coupon to get 30% off the price of the game. FUCK. Essentially I paid six quid in idiot tax.

    • gerafin says:

      No no, you DECIDED not to apply the coupon, in order to further support an awesome indie studio. I… erm… did the same thing.

    • Uthred says:

      Ah yes that what I did, its tough being an altruistic man of leisure

  32. MythArcana says:

    Unfortunately, this thing is tied to Steam and that’s where I finalize my purchase decision.

    • Dominic White says:

      I didn’t even know it was activatable on Steam until I was five missions into the campaign. It runs completely independently of it. What are you talking about?

  33. Vinraith says:

    Dominic’s right, it’s DRM-free. It activates on Steam as a bonus, not a requirement.

  34. lamzor says:

    just FYI.
    i hate playing 1v1 online MP. so far, FS is 1v1 only.
    there are plans to implement 2v2 and more later.
    http://forums.mode7games.com/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=1704
    i think im gonna buy it, wait and hope :)
    PaulMode7, care to comment/update?

  35. Premium User Badge

    Lambchops says:

    Looking forward to playing around witht he single player. The multiplayer is something I’ve dipped in and out of from time to time (the system of turns means that I can casually enjoy a game without worrying about time limitations) and found it rather fun (even though I’m rubbish), so the chance to hone my skills in some single player actions should renew my interest in it once again.

  36. Shadowcat says:

    I just tried starting the campaign in the beta, but it wanted to go online after I’d been through the mission briefing, even though I’d told it at the start to stay offline. It seemed to pretty much lock up when it couldn’t do it, and that’s as far as I got. That definitely needs fixing before release!

    I also had issues ALT+TABing between windowed mode and full-screen mode.

    • Omroth says:

      Shadowcat, we were having a server issue at the time, my apologies. Fixed now.

    • Shadowcat says:

      You mis-understand. Your having a server issue is entirely irrelevant when the game is supposed to be offline, as directed. The primary bug is that the game attempted to go online in the first place. The secondary bug is that it locked the game up when it couldn’t access your server (which in my case was less about your server, and more about my firewall). Please fix?

    • Shadowcat says:

      Okay, I’ve just tried that again and paid more attention to what that connection actually was, and I see that in fact it only talks to localhost. Reading more about the game, it forks itself in order to run the AI as a separate process, and then communicates with the other process over a tcp/ip connection. I’m guess that this approach allowed some reuse of the multiplayer netcode when adding in the single-player component.

  37. Squishpoke says:

    This game is rather brilliant, much better than I anticipated. Even the campaign has a decent writer behind it, and is occasionally hilarious. :D