Frost Giant Studios’ debut mixes Starcraft with Diablo

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Frost Giant Studios, co-founded by former Blizzard real-time strategy masterminds Tim Morten and Tim Campbell, has finally unveiled the trailer for its first game. storm gategoing into beta next year on Steam. The trailer gives a glimpse in the feel of this upcoming real-time strategy recap.

That first look was just a teaser, though, so I sat down with two key collaborators at Frost Giant, the author Mickey Neilson and Deputy Artistic Director Jonathan Ryderto delve into the game’s backstory and learn how Frost Giant intends to follow in Blizzard’s footsteps without repeating its mistakes.

Low-Fi Sci-Fi

The first moments of storm gate Trailers evoke the feeling of star ship. It’s got the ghostly shade of blue of a holographic projector, the subtle murmur of an AI assistant, and the thunderous arrival of a chunky sci-fi mech suit. However, rather than settling for a purely retro aesthetic, the trailer blends modern, high-resolution art with the gritty, lived-in feel that defines it star ship Franchise. This carries over to the game itself, which is based on Unreal Engine 5.

“When it comes to design and art, when we see something futuristic, whether it’s a vehicle or a doodad on the map, you should be able to tell the function of that thing just by looking at it,” says Neilson.

The human technology in storm gate is defined by bulky armor, pouches, and useful but imperfect holograms. Guns shoot bullets, not lasers, and armored suits fly the old-fashioned way: with a rocket pack. Not only does this capture the feel of early Blizzard titles, but it does the inspirations of this studiolike the tabletop war game Warhammer 40Kthe extraterrestrial franchise and the cult 1997 sci-fi film Starship Troopers.

That’s not to say Frost Giant’s approach is stuck in the ’90s, though. Frost Giant associate art director Jonathan Ryder says the team is updating the low-fi aesthetic by guessing the implications of recent scientific breakthroughs.

“MIT created something these bacteria that can generate electrical charge in a battery‘ Ryder says. “So we thought, what would 50, 60, 70 years of innovation in this field look like if we applied it to clean technologies?” This speculation helps the team break the rules of physics without relating it to reality to lose.

The trailer also reveals the Infernals, Stormgate’s distinctly different second faction. These creatures take inspiration from another Blizzard franchise, Diablo, and bring an unexpected dose of high fantasy. However, this seems to contradict the speculative realism of the human faction storm gate hopes to keep Infernals rooted in the same logic by drawing a line between sci-fi and fantasy.

“They’re using magic, so there’s always these questions,” says Neilson. “How much of it is artifact, or how much of it is innate? Sometimes magic and science get together a bit. When you cast a cold spell, does it draw from the moisture in the air to create that spell?”

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