From the creators of This War of Mine, Frostpunk seeks to evolve the traditional city builder and introduce morality and grim consequences.

Polish developer 11 bit studios made a name for itself with This War of Mine, a survival game in which you lead ordinary civilians in a war-torn city. It brought a grueling yet touching element to the survival genre and now 11 bit studios is attempting to do the same in the city building genre. At its core, Frostpunk is a city builder in which you build and expand a city as you use the icy environment to run steam-powered machinery.

But it’s also much more than that, it introduces the human element, which is often neglected in games such as this. “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,” says marketing manager Karol Zajaczkowski. “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.”

It seems that, in addition to being a presumably functional city builder, Frostpunk will explore rather grisly scenarios. “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,” Zajaczkowski continued. “We don’t shy away from that.”

Zajaczkowski claims that Frostpunk will “tear your heart apart” because of its somber tone and focus on morality, tough choices, and being forced to make sacrifices for the greater good. Unfortunately, there’s no gameplay footage, but the CG trailer does convey the game’s tone and art direction. There’s no firm release date yet, but 11 bit studios expects to ship the game in the second half of 2017.

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