11 bit studios, creator of This War of Mine, has finally revealed what kind of game Frostpunk, it's next title, will be. Whereas in This War of Mine you controlled a shelter of four or five people, in Frostpunk you will govern the last city on Earth.
In very simple terms, Frostpunk is a city-builder. You build and expand a city using the endless expanse of ice around you to turn into steam to power your machines. An example of the kind of city you can build can be seen in the new CGI trailer.
But describing mechanics barely covers half of it, for Frostpunk is a game about the lengths you will go to in order to ensure humanity survives on a frozen world. Just as This War of Mine tested your morality with impossible decisions, so too will Frostpunk - only this time on a societal scale. What will you sacrifice for the greater good?
Or, as senior lead designer Jakub Stokalski said on the phone last week, "What are people capable of when they are pushed to the limits?
"If you look at references for survival in extreme environments, things like Amazon expeditions and crashes of planes in deep mountains where people didn't have anything to eat and they have to eat something... It gets pretty grim.
"We don't shy away from that."
If Frostpunk doesn't shy away from, presumably, cannibalism, where else dare it go? It adds up to a story and predicament marketing manager Karol Zajaczkowski believes "will tear your heart apart".
"Frostpunk is not one of those city-builder games like SimCity where you have problem with crime and you build three police stations and that solves your problem," he said. "No, that won't happen in Frostpunk. You have to make decisions and deal with the consequences. We don't want people to face very simple tasks."How a tiny studio invented Diablo, and the action RPG 'All the technology we built was based on a single screen grab from X-Com.'
Story won't be laid on thick as in an role-playing game but eeked out from clues as your horizons expand. And as they do, so too will the dangers you face.
"When you think that the weather is the only thing that can harm you in Frostpunk: it's not," he said. "There are different layers, there are different elements of the game. Weather is like the first player on that screen but there are others and you have to be cautious about all of them."
Tonally Frostpunk will be similar to This War of Mine, then - a serious game exploring morality in extreme circumstances. But in terms of scope, "it's a much bigger game". This War of Mine was built by 12 people; Frostpunk is being worked on by 60.
11 bit plans to show Frostpunk in action around E3 time, in June, and the plan is to release the game in the second-half of the year. On PC. Whether consoles will follow is a decision for later.