The Stormgate content just keeps on coming! Frost Giant hosted a Reddit AMA on June 16, answering a ton of questions about the game.
We’ve highlighted some of the juiciest questions & answers below and you can find all of the answers in the Reddit thread, which we’ll link to below.
Stormgate Map Design and Diversity
We kick things off with u/demiwraith asking about maps, and level designer Aaron Larson providing a detailed response. He explains what they’ve learned about maps from Starcraft 2 and states that Stormgate maps will be more diverse, both in terms of layout and map mechanics (like the existing light forest).
It’s a lengthy response, but well worth reading, so make sure to check it out here.
What Exactly is Stormgate’s Art Style?
User u/Augustby asked about one of the most talked about Stormgate topics – the art style. Some say it’s great, others complain it’s “cartoony”, “too Fortnite”, or “like a mobile game.”
Frost Giant’s Art Director Jesse Brophy dubs it as “Stylized Realism” and gives a small explanation of their art style:
“Stormgate’s art is definitely stylised, but “cartoony” doesn’t seem like the right word for it, and I’m not sure “painterly” quite fits either. How does the art team describe Stormgate’s art style?
I would best describe our art style as “Stylized Realism” with the number one goal being readability. Unreal is a beast of an engine and we could easily throw tons of polygons at it and make Stormgate an overly detailed game. But, if everything is overly detailed, nothing is. You have noise. That is something we are constantly trying to avoid. Giving players the ability to quickly read what units are on screen so that the art never gets in the way of gameplay, that is our north star.” -JesseB Reddit.
Can We Keep The Chickens?
The Stormgate pre-alpha isn’t even out yet, but the community already has a favorite character – the chicken. U/Ttyybb_ asked an important question – What are the odds of keeping the chickens?
In devastating news for chicken fans, associate level designer Kaizen confirmed the chicken will be getting replaced in creep camps going forward. However, it could still have a future in Stormgate:
I’m so glad you guys love these chickens as much as we do! I had so much fun giving her and her friends(!!) their fantastic wardrobes. As fearsome as these pre-Alpha temp hires are, I hope you’ll find their replacements as DELIGHTFUL as we do. Still, who knows what the future holds for these dudes? If they aren’t creep camp critters, what would you love to see them as?
How Do The Trees and Light Forests Work?
Moving back into gameplay, u/Slarg232 enquired about the environment in Stormgate, specifically the trees. Here’s what gameplay engineer Ben Cahill had to say about how they work so far:
“Hi there! At this moment destroyed trees do not come back. So new paths that get created on the map by destroying trees are permanently there. This has led to some funny back door moments.
There is also a difference between the trees that are part of a light forest and the heavy forest, the difference is the spacing in the trees. The light forests are placed in a way that units with a small radius can fit through. This is done through tooling so we have control of the spacing. But right now a tree is a tree.” – frost_swifty Reddit.
Will Stormgate Units Have Armor and Attack Types?
In a more technical question, u/__AlexS__ asked about armor and attacks in the game. Lead co-op designer Kevin Dong went in depth, confirming the armor/attack system will be similar to Starcraft 2 and much simpler than Warcraft 3’s.
This means that units will likely have just a few armor and attack types (e.g. light and armored), and armor will grant % damage reduction. Again, there’s a lot of detail here, so make sure to check out the first reply and the follow up.
Will Stormgate Have Randomly Generated Maps?
User u/MarcDaKind asked the team about randomly generated maps, rather than the traditional Blizzard RTS static maps.
Ben Cahill confirmed that it’s “a topic that we have talked about and are excited to think more about in the future” -frost_swifty Reddit.
Stormgate Esports Plans and Funding
Esports proved to be one of the most popular topics, with three different posts covering esports-related questions. Frost Giant’s senior esports manager Trevor Housten covered the plans for Stormgate Esports in detail.
In short, things are very much in the planning stage, however, there are some key things Frost Giant are working on. One of the most important things is that Stormgate esports should be sustainable for players, teams, and organizers.
Frost Giant will work with partners to host esports events, providing official event licenses to select parties. In terms of funding, the team believes in crowdfunding models like Dota 2’s battle pass, so we’ll likely be able to directly support event prize pools.
Last but not least, the team also wants esports to be approachable to all and will aim to integrate it directly into the game client. There’s quite a lot to this topic, so make sure to check out the first, second, and third Frost Giant replies.
Will Stormgate Have 3D Unit Portraits?
It seems that 3D unit portraits are currently not on the cards:
“I love 3d portraits. I was fortunate to have made many on SCII. That being said, they are a massive undertaking. It would take me roughly 5-7 days to quick concept, if one did not exist, usually on a post-it, model, texture, light and camera a portrait. Our animator would do the rigging and animation. I am sure there was even more that occurred I did not know about. Because of this we are going to be starting out with static portraits but I fully understand animated ones are great. There is a world where we add 3d portraits later.” -Jesse Brophy Reddit.
A question that everyone undoubtedly wants the answer to – When Infernals?
Tim Campbell confirmed that Frost Giant are “planning to share more about the Infernal faction later this year.” -Tim Campbell Reddit.
Stormgate Rollback Netcode Development
U/lemindhawk asked about one of the most innovative features of Stormgate, rollback netcode, and lead server engineer Austin Hudelson was quick to respond with some positive signs.
Austin stresses that the feature is still very experimental, however, “Based on our EXTREMELY EARLY tests, turning on rollback for unit positions really smooth things out alot in scenarios where there is packet loss between the client and game server.” This spells good news for just about anyone who plans to enjoy online games with other players.
This is another question with quite a detailed response, so make sure to check it out.
Which Staff Member Is The Best Stormgate Player?
Getting down to the really important details, u/Drinksarlot asks about the reigning Stormgate champion on the team. The answer is what most fans would likely expect:
“Let’s just say that we have an employee discord we use that helps our team find people of their skill-level to play together. It ranges from 0 to Monk.” -Brett Crawford Reddit.
Stormgate Server Scaling
Last but not least, u/CopperplateDoes came in with a more technical question regarding servers. Once again Austin Hudelson was there to provide a detailed response:
“Some details I can share RE managing servers and scaling. Our game servers are setup to auto-scale, we are partnering with a cloud platform called “Hathora” where we provide a dockerized version of our game server, and rely on their platform to spin up a new server instance in a specific datacenter on demand, and we have rules to shut down game servers once the load has decreased.
So if a top streamer runs an event that is 10x our concurrency, our system will automatically spin up 10x the number of game servers. Currently we are able to provision a new game server and connect a client to it on demand in under 10 seconds. (game servers won’t be the only thing that will have scaling concerns, but it’s one we are ready for!)”
That’s about it for our highlight. You can find the full list of questions and answers on the in this post (thanks to u/_Spartak_) and, as always, make sure to wishlist the game on Steam if you haven’t already!