Frostpunk’s steamy city in the snow teased

As you might have heard, the folks who put together the civilian survival management of This War of Mine are working on a chilly follow-up called Frostpunk [official site]. It’s set in a permanently wintry world where humans cling to life thanks to steam-powered machinery. We haven’t been able to discover much about it (and that will still be the case by the end of this post) but developers 11 Bit have at least graced us with a new trailer, offering a glimpse of where humanity has made its last stand against the nippiness.

A city! It looks very Midgar, doesn’t it? We’re still no clearer on exactly what you’ll be doing in that steamy metropolis, but it’s a good bet is that there’s some more people management. Here’s the blurby blurb.

Become a leader of a steam-powered City, the last bastion of humanity. Oversee your society, manage resources and make difficult, ambiguous choices. But whatever you do, always remember: The City Must Survive.

11 Bit have also previously said that “its core revolves around empathy & decision-making rather than optimization and resource management” and have described it as “society survival”. So, less giving some food to Maria instead of Larry? I’m guessing there’s still going to be at least some of that.

Alec played This War of Mine and said it was like managing The Sims but under siege, which may or may not have been the feeling they were going for. I played some myself and found it good at depicting a senseless war in which you have everything to lose but no reason to fight, even if many of the mechanical cogs and management elements created a basic survival game that felt slightly removed from that message.


  1. brucethemoose says:

    Mmmmm, I’m a sucker for the whole alpine aesthetic. It’s why I liked Skyrim far more than I should have, among other things.

  2. Sound says:

    I’m down for this premise and gameplay.

    But I question it’s use of the -punk suffix. Using it like this is meant to denote a social commentary built into the experience. A separation and conflict among subcultures, classes, institutions, etc. I don’t see any hints of such a thing here.

    • Faxanadu says:

      It’s because Froststeam or Steamfrost would have sounded dumb. So they had to take the other half.

    • April March says:

      You’re right, but I think the suffix of ‘punk went out of the window when steampunk first got famous. I love it, but out of its first works very few were ‘punk in the way cyberpunk was ‘punk. I think it was only around last decade that steampunk started worrying about stuff like what would happen if Victorian social mores could spread around the world at information age speed. But the harm was done, and ‘punk changed meaning to be pretty much shorthand for alternate history that affects all of society due to anachronically fast development of technlogy. That’s what it means when you say clockpunk, dieselpunk or stonepunk. I don’t like it either, but that’s language for ya.

      • syndrome says:


        besides, the original punk movement is so dead since 1980, its true meaning has been lost in time. humanity obviously doesn’t believe in self-organizing, anarchy, and/or the world without power centres. that’s the reality regardless of the underlying reasons. in turn, steampunk embraces the historical Victorian England milieu, which ironically, couldn’t be more centralized in terms of power.

        • hungrycookpot says:

          To be fair, those were pretty stupid ideas, they just sounded hardcore and awesome because we were 18 years old.

          • Sound says:

            Which were stupid? The fetishizing of Victorian England? Or the ideas that Punk stood for?

            I’d argue that some of the animating pressures and ideals for Punk are still very much alive, modern, relevant, and are often eminently reasonable and plausible. The outward shapes have changed, as have some of the ideas about best-practice(for lack of a better term), but not the impulses that originally motivated it, and the human reactions that are provoked. When a people feel crushed beneath others in their own society, punk is quite alive.

            Either way, if “FrostPunk” doesn’t find some way of defining it’s social struggles, I’m gonna be real disappointed.

          • syndrome says:

            if you ask me, it was the yuppie culture that gradually and systematically destroyed punk, then took over the society of solemn greed.

            as a side note, “motivational” corporate hr structure (nicely depicted in gtav caricature, through life invader missions) is what happens when you place a millenial inside the overgrown yuppie culture system that tries to hide its roots. somehow they now need to emulate that disordered casuality from the mid-70’s. in contrast, punk was genuine, but short-lived.

    • Michael Fogg says:

      If the game is some sort of colony management sim with hard survival choices I see it’s likely these themes will be built in. How do you divide the meagre resources etc.

  3. April March says:

    Huh, a fantasy city management sim from the makers of This War of Mine? I wouldn’t bet on that being where they went next…

    *watches trailer*
    *majority of runtime is spent showing two people dying, one of them because he tried to save the other*

    Nevermind, this is exactly where I’d have thought they’d go.

    Alternative post:
    Man, talk about a cold open.

  4. moisan4 says:

    A game trailer with absolutely no gameplay in the trailer. Yawn.

    • ZippyLemon says:

      ‘I have a dream’, bellowed Doctor King, ‘that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.’

      And moisan4 answered. ‘Boooooo! Show us the oasis!’

      • moisan4 says:

        Your fallacies in logic are astounding.

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        Martell says:

        That earned a gut laugh from me.

        As for the trailer, it sets the stage. Here’s the concept, here’s a heap of atmosphere, and now you’re wondering who/what/where/why etc.

    • skyturnedred says:

      Management games have such thrilling gameplay for trailers.

      • moisan4 says:

        Thank you, for making my point for me. If you can’t make a game trailer look interesting enough using actual gameplay footage. Then how can you make the actual game interesting enough to play?

        • hungrycookpot says:

          Some people aren’t ADHD kids who need flashing lights and loud noises to entertain us. Have you ever read a book? Seriously asking. It’s kind of like that.

  5. MrBehemoth says:

    Lara Croft would totally have survived and raided that ship wreck.

    • FeepingCreature says:

      To be fair, Lara Croft basically operates on this logic:

      Player: So she’s dead, right? She couldn’t have survived that fall, right?

      Game: Nope.

      This fall is not particularly worse than the shit that happens to Lara in the games (at least, the cutscenes). It’s just that it’s not happening to a main character.