Frostpunk: Console Edition – Radial-Driven Design of Gameplay and Controls

Frostpunk

Hi, Kuba here, lead designer of Frostpunk, a multi-award winning strategy game from 11 bit studios coming to Xbox One on October 11. A one-of-a-kind society survival game where heat means life and every decision comes at a price. I’m proud to say that with its complex strategic gameplay, demanding challenges and rich story, Frostpunk extends its unmatched survival experience from PC to Xbox One.

Frostpunk

The game mixes steampunk with frozen postapocalyptic setting and the player’s goal is to build and reign the last city on Earth. Heat means survival so the generator is the life-saving heart of our society. Radial shapes surrounding it have been established to be a pretty important factor of Frostpunk design process. Let me go a bit more into details.

Frostpunk

The basic idea was to have a large, circular crater with a center-placed steam generating machine on the frozen-to-the-bone ground. Buildings are growing around the generator in circles too, streets are circular, and we got radial heat areas around the generator (heat is life in this game) so radial-based UI of Frostpunk: Console Edition, which was built from a scratch, is a very natural extension of the design philosophy behind the game itself.

Frostpunk

We build a solid part of the UI around the circles. Command Hub, the main “area” of the menu screens, is a circle with a few smaller ones placed on its perimeter. Those lead you to the other tabs like City Info, a panel with essential information about the state of your society, or building options.

Frostpunk

All building categories are also put onto circles and serve as separate sub-menus. Like for example healthcare facilities, coal-related constructions or the ones serving people’s needs like tents and bunkhouses. Players can easily and intuitively navigate between them and have all the essential options at a reach of their thumbs.

That was especially important while bringing a game from that genre to consoles. While re-designing those elements we not only make a complex strategy a smoothly playable experience on the console but embrace consistency of radial design that lays at the foundations of Frostpunk. We’re honestly proud of what we’re achieving with console adaptation of our game. You will be able to build the radial city in the frozen wastelands yourself too already on the October 11!