Frostpunk 2 Interview – Nvidia DLSS Support Confirmed

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Our interview with 11 bit studios discussed the team's reliance on Unreal Engine 5, the day-one Game Pass launch, and more.

Story Highlight
  • Frostpunk 2 arrives on all major platforms in July.
  • 11 bit studios recently discussed the game with us in an interview ahead of this release.
  • During the interview, we went over key themes, Nvidia DLSS support, and more.

Frostpunk 2 is a refreshing take on city builders. Set three decades after the original’s events, it pits humanity against a threat far greater than natural disasters.

11 bit studios is placing politics and internal conflicts at the heart of the experience. At the same time, the environment remains a threat that cannot be ignored, leading to a dynamic that demands careful balance between these two mechanics.

We recently had the opportunity to speak with Technical Director Szymon Jabłoński, discussing the world, difficulty balance, upscaling technologies, and more.

Frostpunk 2
Frostpunk 2 Features An Elaborate Voting System
You confirmed AMD FSR 3 for Frostpunk 2 last year. Do you have plans to adopt Nvidia DLSS 3 as well?

Szymon Jabłoński: We have chosen AMD FSR3 as our default upscaling technology because it best aligns with the art direction of our game. However, we aim to provide players with all available technologies.

This includes DLSS and XeSS, which will be accessible upon the game’s release. We do not wish to limit players in any way.

Frostpunk 2 is coming to Xbox Game Pass at launch this year. How has this agreement helped the game? What are your thoughts on subscription services in general?

Szymon Jabłoński: From a technical perspective, it was instrumental in designing and implementing various systems to ensure compatibility with the console version of the game, such as preparing the save system for the PlayAnywhere architecture.

The last release had a reputation for being one of the more difficult survival/city-building games on the market. Has that feedback shaped the second game’s difficulty curve? Is the sequel more welcoming to newer players?

Szymon Jabłoński: You could say that the difficulty in Frostpunk stems from its design and this time, honestly, the tension is even higher. Alongside the challenges of survival, gathering resources, securing food, producing heat, and expanding the city—we introduce social and ideological complexities with the appearance of factions.

With humanity having tamed the weather to some extent, citizens now contemplate various futures, and as the Steward, the player must navigate through these differing needs and beliefs. Frostpunk 2 is a fully-fledged sequel with significant changes, presenting even hardened Frostpunk players with entirely new challenges.

However, in the Utopia Builder mode, which is essentially the next iteration of the Endless mode from the first entry and available for preview with the Beta, players can choose a difficulty level, making it an ideal place for newcomers to learn the ropes.

How did the addition of voting on laws impact the sequel’s development compared to the original? Did the team approach other mechanics with a different mindset due to the new voting elements?

Szymon Jabłoński: To properly convey the meaningful story of humankind’s development into society and their burgeoning ambitions in the post-apocalyptic world, we required a larger scale than in the first game. Now, weeks and months pass instead of days as players construct entire districts rather than individual buildings.

It is also reasonable to assume that once people settle down in a place and begin to adapt to their circumstances, political intrigue will arise. We aimed to illustrate that once tyranny subsides and people desire a say in their future- their conflicting nature will surface.

Can you discuss the balance between the threat to society from internal conflict and external dangers like the hash nature in Frostpunk 2?

Szymon Jabłoński: Of course, the frost persists. The icy weather still prevails, claiming lives as the scarcity of heat remains a pressing concern for the entire city. We’ve adapted to our circumstances, learning to better anticipate the forthcoming conditions as humanity always does.

However, the new, potentially even deadlier threat is human nature. As many stories teach us, when natural forces fail to extinguish us, human nature often poses the greatest danger. The weather in the Frostpunk universe has shaped various beliefs, with some factions advocating adaptation to current conditions while others look toward further development.

Nevertheless, the cold remains a tangible adversary, requiring careful resource management to endure the relentless blizzards.

Can you tell us a bit about post-launch plans? Do you have a content roadmap in mind already?

Szymon Jabłoński: We have already announced our plans to work on DLCs for the game. However, the rest is still to be determined. At this moment, we can say that we are aiming to release it on XSX and PS5 soon.

Frostpunk 2 is one of the many games built on Unreal Engine 5 today. What aspect of Unreal Engine motivated you to make the switch?

Szymon Jabłoński: In 2020, we came to the realization that we are not just a technology company but rather an entertainment company with a focus on creating great, idea-driven games. This sparked a significant process within the company, which we refer to as the technology transformation period.

As a result, we made the decision to create our games using state-of-the-art tools rather than developing and implementing such tools internally. With the help of Unreal Engine, we were able to restructure the team, collaborate with external developers, and explore cross-development possibilities.

In essence, it wasn’t the features of Unreal Engine 5 that prompted us to change, but rather the potential of the entire ecosystem in the context of team and company scaling. Today, we are confident that this was the best solution for 11 bit studios and the Frostpunk 2 team.

Many Mac players enjoyed the original Frostpunk. Can you discuss any challenges or considerations regarding bringing its sequel to the Mac platform?

Szymon Jabłoński: We don’t want to restrict ourselves, and although nothing is set in stone yet, we always consider all the available options and possibilities to reach as wide an audience as possible.

What were the key inspirations and themes that shaped the world of your latest survival city-builder?

Szymon Jabłoński: The first game drew inspiration from various external influences, such as stories of survival in frozen conditions, like the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 in the Andes, and how such experiences shaped people’s psyche, as well as famous Arctic expeditions.

This doesn’t mean that Frostpunk 2 lacks robust research in terms of design tied to the era, for example. However, we had such solid foundations with the first entry that, this time, it was more about expanding and enriching its lore than adding new influences.

What’s your personal favorite detail or feature that you're most excited for players to experience once the game arrives worldwide?

Szymon Jabłoński: It’s a tough question because the team created so many breathtaking features. I think my personal favorite will be the procedural city, the scale of it. Having worked on Frostpunk 1, every time I see the scale of Frostpunk 2, it’s just amazing to witness the progress we’ve made as a team.

If you could live in the Frostpunk 2 world for a day, what would you do, and how would you survive?

Szymon Jabłoński: I’m not a big fan of the cold, so I think I would try to find a place with a heat source and just try to survive the day in this harsh environment. 😉

Do you plan on introducing mod support for the game?

Szymon Jabłoński: We know the community was constantly asking about mod support for the first game, and we weren’t able to fulfill their requests.

Unfortunately, at this point, I cannot confirm or deny anything, but bear in mind that this time, the game is based on Unreal Engine, which is a more common and well-known technology than the in-house engine that powered the first game. This makes a lot of things easier.

Frostpunk 2 Will Be Immediately Playable Through Game Pass

Following the recent marketing, Frostpunk 2 is confirmed to be arriving on the 25th of July.

The game is headed to all major platforms, with 2 million wishlists paving the path for success on Steam alone. A Beta is also available now, so the months leading up to launch should be exciting for all fans.

To conclude, we would like to thank Creative Director Szymon Jabłoński for the interview. We wish the Frostpunk 2 team the best of luck and hope to learn more about their game soon.

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