CryoFall game designer Valentin Gukov speaks with GamingBolt about the multiplayer survival title.
Sci-fi multiplayer survival title CryoFall recently went into early access on Steam, and early reception for the game has been very strong. Combining its unique longform progression mechanics and engaging survival gameplay with strong multiplayer elements, a great setting, and strong art design, it’s already looking like it can turn into something special, if this is the direction the developers keep heading in. A while back, we sent across some of our questions about the game to developers AtomicTorch, hoping to learn a bit more about it, how it’s going to grow in the coming months, and what plans the developers have for its future. The following questions were answered by CryoFall game designer Valentin Gukov.
NOTE: This interview was conducted in April, 2019.
"Having the game be 2D allowed us to focus on mechanics and gameplay first rather than getting bogged down for a long time creating complex 3D assets. It also makes modding much more accessible to anyone interested in doing so, as you don’t have to be a 3D artist to add new content."
What caused you to select the art style you did for the game?
Having the game be 2D allowed us to focus on mechanics and gameplay first rather than getting bogged down for a long time creating complex 3D assets. It also makes modding much more accessible to anyone interested in doing so, as you don’t have to be a 3D artist to add new content.
What’s the extent to which the map editor will be featured? What kinds of tools are you giving players?
The map editor available to players is the same that we use ourselves, allowing users to create game worlds with as much complexity as they choose. Additionally, both the editor and the game itself are completely open source, so we expect a lot of community-created content! In fact, there are some quite impressive mods out there already.
How helpful has the game’s launch in an early access state been to you as developers so far?
The game was available in open alpha before release, so we were able to polish it for early access, but the actual launch was definitely a great help, as far more new players have joined. In fact, we just released an update a few days ago where I’d say 99% of the changes were driven by direct player feedback in early access. So it is absolutely incredibly useful to us.
"I think our separation of game technologies and recipes into tiers helps discourage griefing in this regard. Basically you cannot craft raiding tools until you reach tier 3 in the game, at which point you have very little to no incentive to attack newbies."
What kind of PvP rebalancing are you looking at in the future?
We’re adding separate PvP and PvE servers in our May update. This will allow us to offer players who prefer more peaceful and relaxed gameplay a place where they can feel comfortable to build and trade together without making unnecessary restrictions or adjustments on those who enjoy a true PvP experience. So we can implement all of our wildest fantasies to allow super exciting engagements and brutal fights on PvP servers without interfering with the ability of players on PvE servers to be creative, explore the game world, unlock many of its technologies (from primitive stone hatchets and such all the way up to high-tech plasma rifles and bionic implants), etc. without worrying about attacks from other players. CryoFall was designed to allow many types of play styles, and these new updates mean that goal can finally be realized.
What is the timeline for the PvE server introduction?
As mentioned above, we are hoping to introduce support for separate PvP and PvE servers in the May update. It will bring quite a few changes to the balance on both sides. We can’t wait to see how people react to all of the new content and mechanics!
(Editor’s Note: The PvE servers went live on May 16th.)
A common sentiment among players about the game appears to be regarding the PvP griefing. Ahead of the PvE servers, are you introducing any anti-griefing changes?
We of course listen to all the feedback we receive from the community, and while we know that griefing exists, we work actively to try to develop ways to prevent and discourage it. One of the ways we will address it will be by providing character protection for four hours when starting off. This should allow players to have a solid foundation in place with some weapons and armor. That said, we have observed that the majority of players are extremely friendly and supportive overall, even those who generally lean toward PvP.
I think our separation of game technologies and recipes into tiers helps discourage griefing in this regard. Basically you cannot craft raiding tools until you reach tier 3 in the game, at which point you have very little to no incentive to attack newbies. So people who can engage in raiding and real fighting generally only engage people at their level or above. Although you can definitely be killed at any time and shouldn’t let your guard down on a PvP server, we see much more fighting between clans or advanced solo players rather than between beginners.
"We are definitely open to explore other platforms in the future when the game is closer to completion, but while it is still in Early Access we want to focus all of our efforts on PC version. I’m personally quite fond of Nintendo Switch, but it’s definitely too soon to say anything concrete yet."
How do you plan to add to the endgame? Do your foresee further eras added to the game?
Oh, we definitely have grand plans for that in our heads! But we’re trying not to get too far ahead of ourselves. For the time being, we need to finish everything we have planned for the immediate future, and then we can continue expanding the game with more and more end-game content, which will be fun for both PvP and PvE players! You can always follow our roadmap to see all of the upcoming features.
Do you have any plans to launch on other platforms down the line?
Absolutely! We are definitely open to explore other platforms in the future when the game is closer to completion, but while it is still in Early Access we want to focus all of our efforts on PC version. I’m personally quite fond of Nintendo Switch, but it’s definitely too soon to say anything concrete yet.
The PS5 specs were recently revealed in an interview with Wired. What are your thoughts on that?
While new technology is always exciting, at the moment we’re focused on making CryoFall the best possible experience on PC, so we don’t have any major thoughts on those reports at this time.