Frost Giant Studios may be a new kid on the block as they were founded in 2020 but in actual fact, the team comprises some of the most experienced veteran game development leaders who helped create some of the best-selling PC games of all time.
The founders of Frost Giant Studios are Tim Campbell, President and Game Director and Tim Morten, CEO and Production Director. Both gentlemen have worked on an impressive list of games and most notably Blizzard Entertainment’s Warcraft III and StarCraft II.
This is why it comes as no surprise that the very game that Frost Giant Studios will be releasing is a Real-Time Strategy (RTS) game, Stormgate, that is heavily inspired by the aforementioned Blizzard titles.
The game was unveiled on June 10 with the world premiere of its cinematic trailer that is bound to give you a whopping hit of nostalgia if you are a fan of StarCraft.
Starting with a Solid Base
The Warcraft and Starcraft games were huge hits due to the gameplay mechanics and seemingly endless amount of strategy and styles of play seasoned players could devise. Other than that, fans also loved the characters and lore that came with each title and Stormgate looks to continue that tradition as it will have story-driven campaign missions that can be played solo or with a friend.
With Stormgate, Frost Giant is looking to establish a new universe of characters, factions and stories for gamers to discover. The game takes place hundreds of years in the future on a post-apocalyptic Earth, where humans are on the brink of extinction after an event known as the great calamity that was caused by the demonic Infernals. These demonic invaders are now pouring out through portals known as Stormgates and hellbent on claiming Earth for their own.
As of this time, Frost Giant has only unveiled two factions, the mech-riding human resistance and the Infernal host, but mentioned that they will definitely add more to the fray as new campaign chapters are released. The team has also indicated that new chapter releases will be accompanied by in-game events that include balance changes, new units, cosmetic content, and new esports seasons.
Tuning it to be Mechanically Sound
Aside from the little tidbit that they shared about the story, Frost Giant also shared the work that has gone into making Stormgate a game that the most hardened RTS fan or newbie to the genre will want to spend hours in. The foundation for this is the custom-developed simulation technology, SnowPlay, that ensures players will enjoy crisp, responsive gameplay with smart pathfinding and rewarding unit control.
Stormgate is also built using Unreal Engine 5, which means it will feature HD visuals in 4K so you will be able to see all the minute details the design team have put into the character models and environments. Another advantage of using the Unreal Engine 5 is that it will be able to support hundreds of unit models in epic, large-scale wars across a variety of maps and tilesets.
Another detail that most RTS fans will be happy to know is that Stormgate will come with an in-game editor, which is essentially the same tools used by the team so that they can create their own maps and maybe even new modes a la DOTA or the many iterations of Tower Defense games. The in-game editor is said to be an extremely creator-friendly ecosystem where creativity and effort will be rewarded.
Making it All Work Together
Seeing as gaming has now become a social activity for so many gamers all over the world, Stormgate will also lean quite heavily towards social and cooperative play. Firstly, to make the game highly accessible to gamers new to the RTS genre, Frost Giant are implementing various methods to eliminate unnecessary complexity such as an improved onboarding experience that is bolstered by comprehensive learning and spectating tools.
Another method of making the game more approachable is by streamlining the user interface by eliminating unnecessary inputs and adding features such as automatically assigning units to control groups. A lot more streamlining is still in the works and will definitely be shared in the coming months.
Frost Giant has also said that Stormgate is the first truly social RTS and what this means is that there will several ways for gamers to play it together. This includes a 3vE co-op game mode, where three players band together to take on increasingly challenging AI openings. This mode will feature meta progression, unique and powerful leader characters, and various ways to customise your army’s capabilities.
Obviously, you can’t have a social game without the more competitive side of things and Frost Giant is gearing Stormgate up with next-generation esports features. In addition to traditional high-skill ladder matchmaking, competitive tournaments will be accessible directly from within the game, ranging from the local grassroots level all the way up to professional events.
Getting it in Gear and Ready to Go
While there is still quite a way to go until Stormgate is complete, Frost Giant Studios has shared that Beta testing for the game will open in 2023 and if you are interested, you can sign up for it at playstormgate.com .
Stormgate will be coming to Windows PC via Steam and you can already add it to your wishlist. The game will be free-to-play and the team has promised that it will never be pay-to-win. If you do however want to support the team and the game, you will only need to purchase additional optional content.