11 Bit Studios, the people behind the frigid strategy game from 2018 Frostpunk, want to do more than bring the game to consoles. They want to make it better.
Frostpunk Project Lead and Senior Lead Designer Jakub Stokalski spoke in a recent interview with Destructoid. In it, they explained their vision for the game’s console-based future.
“We always knew we wanted to bring Frostpunk to consoles, even when we were doing the PC version. Our resources are not unlimited so we focused on getting the PC version right. But at the same time, as soon as that game went out and did very well for us, we came back to this console project and started working on it. The first prototype wasn’t that great in the sense that we just locked in the controller and tried to go the easy way. Turns out it’s a lot of work to actually make it look and feel great on console and we really did not want to short change our approach.”
Translating an RTS from PC to consoles isn’t easy. Aside from the limitations in console hardware, the controls between mouse/keyboard and controller are worlds different. A mouse and keyboard offers a fine level of detail to their controls. People can make precise actions with incredible speed. They needed a way to offset the loss of this with controllers.
“We wanted even more flexibility and precision with the controls, so we now use stuff not really present in the PC version like the express menu.
. . .
We always had a hunch that a circular city design might be a boon when working with a controller, and we were able to do things with the game like top-down mode and precision mode that enables you to be really, really confident about where you’re placing your buildings without having the pressure of worrying about moving it a bit left or right.”
While they can work hard on better controls, they can’t help the limitations of the hardware. As such, don’t expect 4K support or anything from the PS4 or Xbox One. The odds of it coming to Nintendo Switch in any capacity is extremely unlikely, as well.
“It’s a demanding game. And we’re fighting to get it running on this hardware and the Switch, as amazing as it is, is still a much weaker console basically.”
Frostpunk is expected to release on PS4 and Xbox One before the end of summer. The console version of the game will contain all existing DLC up to that point. Until then, you can find the game on Steam for $29.99.