Train2Game news: Mode 7 Games on Steam, indie development and free-to-play

Frozen Synapse by Mode 7 Games is published through SteamTrain2Game students should find this Gamesbrief guest post by Frozen Synapse developer Mode 7 Games very interesting.

The bulk of the post sees developer Paul Taylor take a look back at how both business and design influenced the design and marketing of their turn based tactical title.

As previously reported by the Train2Game blog, Mode 7 Games have argued that getting onto Steam is essential for an indie PC game developer. Taylor reiterates that this was vital to the success of Frozen Synapse.

“Steam’s position in terms of digital distribution right now is well documented; having seen the results, there is no doubt in my mind that aiming to create a game which would stand up against other titles on there was the right thing for us to do in this instance.” he said in the Gamesbrief post.

Taylor also suggests that release timing was an element in the success of Frozen Synapse, with Mode 7 Games releasing it in a quiet time for PC releases. His advice to indie developers is to avoid releasing titles during busy periods, such as the run up to Christmas.

“The end of May turned out to be a fairly quiet time and a good time to launch for us: I’d just suggest that indie devs focus on avoiding busy periods (e.g. Christmas and late June to early August) when they’re shaping up for launch.” wrote Taylor.

The Frozen Synapse developer also discusses the growth of Free-to-play, but insists that the ‘pay-once’ model was right for their game.

“Pay-once is the most maligned business model out there right now:I would suggest that even the most hardcore entrenched old-school developers have been won round by the raw data that free-to-play games have generated, so pay-once is in decline.” said Taylor.

“I’m yet to hear a sane scheme for an F2P Frozen Synapse – I don’t think that a free-to-play game along similar lines would be impossible; however I have not heard any viable suggestions for how we could have done it with this game, the game we cared so much about making.” he added.

The Gamesbrief post certainly makes interesting reading for Train2Game students and it can be read here.

Gamesbrief examines the business of games, and Train2Game students can watch an insightful interview with website founder Nicholas Lovell here on the Train2Game blog.

Lovell also spoke in-depth to the Train2Game blog last year, providing useful advice about indie and social game development.

So Train2Game, what are your thoughts on Mode 7’s post-mortem of Frozen Synapse? Will you take the advice on board?

Leave your comments here on the Train2Game blog, or on the Train2Game forum.

[Source: Gamesbrief]

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