Unpopular Opinion: I don’t want endurance mode to be endless.

qEiXYY5i9vTHbyYYthsPGh 1200 80 1024x643 - Unpopular Opinion: I don't want endurance mode to be endless.

Although endless mode is a highly-desired content in a lot of single-player game, it requires a tremendous amount of effort to make it interesting. Frostpunk is designed to provide immersive experience using clear set of goals (aside from its atmosphere), and there will be a point where there is no more new contents to be introduced. I simply don't see a way how the game can be intriguing at day 1200.

Instead, I think endurance mode can be a great opportunity to be a "challenge" mode. What if you have a finite resources with no definite endpoint, but difficulty that gradually becomes harsher until it becomes impossible to survive? What if the scenario is designed to survive as long as you can before everybody dies?

There are couple of examples for this type of challenge mode, but my personal favourite is "In Utter Darkness" in Starcraft 2 trilogy. Players are asked to survive as long as they can against constant pressure that slowly becomes stronger over time, and everything boils down to getting as much score as you can before you die. Despite having a predefined scenario with finite contents, players are motivated to give multiple tries to achieve a better score than before.

– For reference, most people die between 2500 and 5000. 4700 in brutal is my personal best from a dozen of try.

Presumably, developing this sort of challenge mode wouldn't take as much effort as making an endless mode. Instead of designing several new tiers of researches and alternative buildings +α, most of the effort can be spent to design disturbances that will limit the player's options. For example:

  • Avalanche covers half the shelter with removable snow.
  • Rupture from the ground makes part of the map permanently unusable.
  • Extinction of local wild animals either makes hunting unavailable or require more travel time.
  • Extremely deadly and infective outbreaks, and you are forced to banish huge amount of population or watch even more become gravely ill.
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Furthermore, challenge mode can appeal to playerbase of all expertise. Even new/casual players won't mind giving a try or two (like other scenarios), and hardcore fans will get to have a playground to experiment with everything until they're content – I'm looking at you masochists doing no death run on Survival mode.


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