The components that make up FS and FE are simple, yet the way they all combine together results in a complex interplay that often gets ignored in reviews and discussion due to the "blind" nature of the games. How do you decide what stays in the system and what gets dropped?
That's really a design question for Ian, but it's always just a combination of a core design and iteration. Ian has a very clear idea of where he wants the game to go from the start, in terms of the dynamics of it and also the feeling he wants to get from the gameplay. He'll then implement a basic system and play the game against Robin, our tester and Level Designer. They'll discuss it and he'll make changes. After that, he'll broaden it out to playing in a wider group and take more feedback then usually add things / pare back until he's happy that his original idea has been fulfilled. It's a process that's very specific to him and it seems to work!
I find FS very unique...and thats why I love it so much Ty Mode7David Chun
Absolutely love your music, Paul! You are, hands-down, one of my favourite electronic artists. Just curious: what are some of your go-to synths/effects when producing?
Wow thanks - that's really nice of you! I actually wrote a big thing this weekend that contains lots of info about my setup and working methods. http://www.gamasutra.com/blogs/PaulTaylor/20140421/215873/Electronic_Music_for_Fun_Games_and_Profit_A_Complete_Beginners_Guide.php
Do you guys plan any other DLC for FS?
Possibly - we are actually talking about it at the moment
This may sound completely crazy, but did you every consider adding a melee component to Frozen Synapse? Like when two soldiers are close to each other the game would shift to a Toribash-style fight? I think that would be awesome
Hahah that is awesome! I think there was a little bit of discussion about further micro mechanics but we just felt that would over-complicate the game.
All time favourite games?
For me, Deus Ex, Streets of Rage 2, Starcraft 2, Wing Commander and Privateer; Ian would probably say Thief and Tribes 2
Which tools do you guys use for development? How long did FS take to make from conception to final product?
It took around 4 years. We used the Torque 2D game engine, which is C++ -based. At the moment we still use Torque and our artists generally work in Blender.
Any word on when the iPhone version of Frozen Synapse will be released?Rico
Later this year
How many Starcraft references will be thrown into the titles of your upcoming ensnare album? Also what race do you play?
Uhh...quite a few! I play Terran very badly in Gold League.
Do you ever plan on producing any more ridiculously epic trance like your One Step Behind the Mankind remix? That song might be my favorite trance track of all time, definitely top 5.
Wow thanks! Yeah...that was kind of an odd period musically for me. I don't have any plans to do anything like that at the moment but anything's possible. I'm actually focusing more on the electronica side of things right now and a couple of recent tracks I've done have been fairly epic - you may like those when they eventually come out.
Was there ever any plans to start an official FS tournament? The nature of the game clearly invites to it... and what about FE?
We talked about it a few times but this kind of thing tends to be better if it comes from the community, at least initially. If you're running a community tournament for either game then do get in touch with me and I'll see what we can do to help.
Any plans to translate Frozen Synapse and/or Frozen Endzone to other languages?
Unfortunately FS was made in the least localisation-friendly way possible - the text is all over the place and there's some stuff baked into images etc. so this has always been a difficult proposition. I'm not completely ruling it out though - it would be good to do it at some point.
What/Who are your biggest influences when it comes to music? Do you get inspiration from movies, video games and art as well?
Boards of Canada, Plaid, Vangelis, BB King, Gareth Emery, Ben Gold, DJ Gammer, Jesper Kyd, Bit Shifter, Monodeer, Deadmau5 and also I listen to a fair amount of just random radio-friendly pop music when I'm doing boring tasks or driving!
Inspiration from other media...not really, if I'm being honest. I actually used to think about that kind of thing a lot more when I was younger - particularly when I was at university - but these days it's more of a practical thing for me. I don't really apply a lot of theory to what I'm doing and I think other types of art are better at having a theoretical influence on you. That might change in the future though!
Out of curiosity, where do you get inspiration? I've been trying to come up with a decent idea for ages now. I just can't get anything out of my head.
For games or for music? For games, our lead designer Ian is really influenced by a lot of older stuff - mid-90's PC games in particular - and also more modern stuff like the current wave of roguelikes, "big sim" games like Dwarf Fortress and all kinds of other stuff. Music-wise, I really like just sitting down at a keyboard and playing random chord sequences - something pretty much always emerges from that for me. Other than that I listen to huge amounts of older electronic music as well as just Radio 1 when I'm driving around - I tend to find that makes me want to make music.