Tim Morten Series G Podcast: Game Design & Creating Stormgate

tim morten series g interview

Frost Giant CEO Tim Morten starred on the Series G podcast on December 7, covering all things game design and, most importantly, Stormgate. Let’s take a look at some of the key talking points of the Tim Morten Series G podcast. 

How Game Design Has Evolved Through The Years

The podcast kicks off covering game design in general. This highlights the experience of both Tim Morten and the Frost Giant team heading into Stormgate. Game design has really evolved, going from using a “phone book” of rules and ideas in game creation into involving the community during the development process.

Nowadays, it’s far more common for games to include “feedback loops” (obtaining feedback from community members and outside sources multiple times) and this is exactly what Stormgate is doing – being built for the RTS community with feedback from the community. 

What Stormgate Aims To Achieve

Tim then goes on to describe the goals of Stormgate. The overall aim of the game is to make a game that is both beginner friendly, but also has a very high skill ceiling that RTS fans are used to. 

Things like campaigns and co-op PvE modes go a long way to help new players enjoy the game in a way that isn’t intimidating. So there’s no doubt that Stormgate will feature a ton of both. 

Additionally, Tim talks about the common experience of new players being introduced to RTS by their RTS veteran friends. There is a goal in mind to create ways for both new players and veterans to play together and both have a good experience. 

The Infernal Hosts are one of Stormgate’s playable races.

A Focus on The New Player Experience in Stormgate

Another key highlight of the Series G podcast was a discussion about the overall new player experience. Tim Morten explained that many completely new players are incredibly confused by RTS as most of the buttons don’t do what players would expect them to do. For example, WASD aren’t movement keys and scrolling the mouse wheel generally puts players into the fog of war where players just get stuck on the black screen.

This has led a key focus of Stormgate to be on the new player experience. The team is experimenting with ways to intuitively help players figure out the game. Tim gave an example on this – “smart command cards” which could be used to help users know what to do next. For example, an option could be that selecting the main building also suggests grabbing a nearby worker to construct something. 

Concept art for Stormgate’s Infernal Host workers.

Early Stormgate Concepts and The Impact of Community Feedback

The juiciest details came near the end of the podcast. Tim touched on feedback and how it has affected Stormgate development. 

The team has been in communication with popular community members and RTS experts for a long time. At first, they received a lot of feedback that “RTS was too solitary” and initially decided that Stormgate “would only be played socially” – meaning there would be no single player modes like 1v1 PvP. 

However, later feedback changed this completely, as most people said that they still want the 1v1 experience, but an improved social element would be massively welcomed. This has led to Stormgate, being set on 1v1 PvP as well as social game modes like co-op, 3v3, and 3vE. 

Last but not least, Tim also added that the team is consistently listening to feedback, most interestingly noting the comments of Stormgate’s initial reveal in June, which includes feedback on the graphics and sound. 

Some fans were disappointed with the “cartoony” graphics of Stormgate, so it’s possible we may see some adjustment when the next reveal comes around. 

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