We are Frozenbyte, a game development company mainly known from our Trine series. Our latest addition to the series did not go as expected, and we had to make quick turns or face extinction. Now we are trying to make a comeback with Shadwen, which is a completely new type of game for us.

Joining this AMA are:
- Lauri Hyvärinen (Design Director, CEO, /u/laurifb )
- Maija Koivula (Writer, /u/MaijaFB)
- Anna Narinen (Lead Gameplay Designer, /u/AnnaFB)
- Riikka Saarinen (HR & Community manager, /u/RiikkaFB)
- Juho Ruuttunen (Senior Animator, /u/JuhoFB)
- Joel Kinnunen (Vice President, /u/JoelFB)
- Niina Manninen (COO, /u/fb_niina)
- Kai Tuovinen (Marketing Manager, /u/KaiFB)

Most if not all of us held same positions during Trine 3 and Shadwen, so it's safe to ask questions regardless of which game is in question. And feel free to ask us about our other games, game development in general or anything you like to know!

Get our newest game's demo from www.shadwen.com!

Proof: https://twitter.com/Frozenbyte/status/703235808468312064

Edit: It's 2AM here and we're going to sleep now, so might not be answering questions for some time. We'll probably continue again tomorrow though.

Comments: 2372 • Responses: 13  • Date: 

Captain_Enizzle2538 karma

My impotence coincided with the release of Trine 3. I believe the two are directly related. So if you guys can fix Trine, can you also fix my penis?

KaiFB3956 karma

Interesting theory! What if it's the other way around? Get in touch if you start seeing "growing" results again and we can see if the game has improved.

_NUDE_TAYNE_1602 karma

Just wanted to say good on you for being so humble about Trine 3. The title of this AMA says a lot.

Also, what is the best sandwich?

KaiFB1158 karma


_NUDE_TAYNE_602 karma


KaiFB522 karma

High five!


Failed our fans with Trine 3?

I have this game and i think that it's absolutely amazing :)

KaiFB462 karma

Thanks, glad you liked it, Jesus? :)

DNAtaurine239 karma

How do I make my friend stop being an asshole and killing everyone with wizard platforms?

KaiFB419 karma

Play in unlimited mode and select the wizard as well. Then just outbox him/her.


Do you guys get to play many games or are you sick of gaming after a day of work? If you do still play a lot, what are you playing right now?

KaiFB116 karma

Games are good for relaxing after work so I do fire up Dota2 and cs:go pretty much every day. Also we had an awesome Frozenbyte Civ 5 tournament last weekend, so been playing that quite a bit too lately.

With more time to spare, I'd be playing more RPG stuff like Pillars of Eternity and Divinity:Original Sin, but usually it takes a xmas holiday or something like that to get into them.

aP1atypus27 karma

Wait you guys are doing Shadwen?? That demo was AWESOME! Seriously, guys, if you see this go check out their Shadwen demo. One of the best stealth experiences I've had in quite some time, and the only reason I'm actually commenting here. It's a bit different and the stop-time mechanic may seem strange at first, but it's really a great system and opens the game up to more puzzle-like options as well.

Question: How low are you actually going to let the Shadwen release price go? Will Shadwen have mod/custom map support?

Just from playing the demo, I believe that giving players a custom map tool with a proper workshop on Steam would be phenomenal!

KaiFB16 karma

Great that you enjoyed the demo! The price can go pretty low, but not to zero of course.

We will have workshop/modding/custom map tools: https://twitter.com/ShadwenGame/status/703239813978300416

PimpNinjaMan23 karma

I've heard good things about the Trine series but never played it. I just wanted to say I love getting to know and follow specific developers and see them as people. The simple fact that you admitted to "failing your fans" has made me feel like you are open to criticism and acknowledge the pitfalls many game developers face. Seeing posts like yours and the recent Naughty Dog "controversy" where they used Assassin's Creed concept art from Ubisoft in their story trailer and immediately owned up to it by saying "we fucked up" gives me hope that humans are still making games rather than cyborgs in suits.

Do you think you would have done better had you just halted production on Trine 3 completely and released something without the Trine name attached (like Shadwen)? Also, what advice would you give to other developers who tend to sound like politicians when they blame setbacks and failures on things out of their control yet still ask you to buy the game?

KaiFB15 karma

Depends on what time in production we would have halted. But as Lauri mentioned in one of the other comments, we were initially working on something else than Trine 3 after the latest Trine 2, and we halted that to make Trine 3. So halting Trine 3 after that would have been totally crazy.

In hindsight it's really tough to speculate if another title would have worked better. I guess Shadwen will shed at least some light on the matter when it comes out.

I don't like giving advice to other developers, everyone does what they think is best, but of course doing everything you can to prevent the setbacks is 1000% better than apologizing about it afterwards, whichever way you end up doing it.

ninarkia10 karma

My question is for Kai: Boyfriend, when dafuq are u coming home? :D

KaiFB12 karma

Not now honey. I have to internet.

KythWhyz4 karma

Why a female protagonist for Shadwen?

KaiFB37 karma

Male characters were too difficult to animate.

Boxwizard3 karma

I feel like I should ask a question as my name is ridiculously relevant to your Games, though I admit the name came before the game... hold on...

Where's my royalties as the OG Boxwizard? I'll accept compensation in letting me be a cameo in your next game, just a voice dialogue or otherwise.

I also really liked Trine and Trine 2(I admit lack of reliable friends kept me from finishing them though.) What have you learned from your previous games that you think benefits you the most in producing future titles?

KaiFB6 karma

Ooh, the honorable Boxwizard! If we make a new Trine game in the future, I'll make sure your name will be mentioned. Edit You're -> your :D

croog243 karma

Do you think one of the driving factors of the failure was due to more game development or business end related politics? Or a combination of both? How do you go about solving those kinds of problems as your company grows?

P.S I think this AMA clearly marks you guys as a successful and respectable team. You aren't afraid to admit your failures and reach out to those of us, who ACTUALLY buy and play your games, to see how to make it better. Well done!

KaiFB3 karma

Personally I think the communication was the biggest issue. While the game was short due to production problems, if we'd been more up front about it, the situation could be a lot different.

For future projects we're a lot more open with our marketing and communications (e.g. the shadwen demo version!), and the development methods have been refined a lot.

nivh_de2 karma

What is a Trine? Never heard about that, greetings from Germany.

KaiFB7 karma

Greetings! Trine is a magical artifact that sweeps people away on adventures and empowers them with heroic abilities :)