Unlike the studio’s past games, Project 8 will be more about celebrating.
11 bit Studios is known for critically acclaimed titles like This War of Mine and Frostpunk. They’ve been commercially successful as well, with Frostpunk selling 1.4 million units in a year. Speaking to Eurogamer at Digital Dragons 2019, the developer revealed its next title, codenamed Project 8.
Taking consoles into consideration from the beginning, Project 8 is currently between pre-production and post-production. Marta Fijak is the lead designer, but this won’t be “sad and depressing” like the studio’s previous games. Instead, it will have a more celebratory tone while maintaining the developer’s signature style.
“People sometimes look at This War of Mine and Frostpunk and the common denominator for them is sadness, a kind of depression. But for me, this is not true,” said Fijak.
“The common denominator for those games is meaningful experience. One tells a pretty important story about what happens to civilians during war; the other says how far will you go to ensure survival. And the next story we are doing, it’s also meaningful. It has that core, important question, which for me is important in my life. We don’t live in a bubble.”
Fijak continues by stating, “This one is not sad and depressing. This is a celebration of one of the parts of our experience – celebrating that thing which, in my perspective, is really important for humans.
“Of course, we are a mature company so it’s not like Peggle and happy and rainbows. There are takeaways, there are questions I hope you will ask yourself after playing the game, and it will show you a new perspective on life.”
How Project 8 will go about conveying its message is a “whooooooole different cup of tea”, as per Fijak. “For the story we want to tell right now, those Frostpunk [city-building] mechanics aren’t the best ones to express what we want to say and make you feel the things we want you to feel, so we changed it – more than slightly!”
It will also be 11 bit Studios’ most ambitious project ever, but won’t be a “huge 80-hour monstrosity that will be your new hobby. We want to give you a thing you can experience and take something from.”
As for when it releases, 2021 seems like good bet. Until then, Frostpunk will receive two more story scenarios, the first out in Autumn and the second by 2019 end or early 2020. This is on top of the game coming to Xbox One and PS4 later this year.