The world of Frostpunk is frigid, brutal, and uncaring. As you build up an outpost in the middle of nowhere, you will face a never-ceasing onslaught of crises, including an angry populace, dwindling resources, and the dawn of a new ice age that makes it nearly impossible to survive.
Like a grizzled survivor who has returned from the frontier a changed man, I’ve seen and done things I hope you never have to experience. Hundreds died during my reign – some from the weather, others from starvation – and I’m not proud. But I hope to pass on the lessons I’ve learned to hopefully make your leadership turn more successful than my own.
Check Your Heat Map Often
Heat is a precious resource when an ice age is setting in, so you need to monitor it often. If buildings get too cold, they cease production. If homes succumb to cold weather, your medical facilities may buckle under the stress of the sickly. This is why it’s important to always keep an eye on the temperature of your buildings. Once you install heaters in buildings or steam hubs, you have another layer of control over what buildings get warm.
Optimization can save you a lot of coal, so if you notice your city is glowing with warmth, turn a few heating elements off to preserve your precious stocks for when you really need it. You can also set steam hubs to run only during working hours, which is a great way to save energy when they are placed by places of employment.
You Can Upgrade Pre-Existing Buildings For Less
When you unlock facility improvements like the bunkhouse, house, or steam upgrades to your resource-gathering operations, you don’t need to place them on a fresh plot of land. If you build directly on top of the older building, you actually re-use the resources it took to construct the original, which drops the resource price significantly in some instances.
It’s Okay To Leave Buildings Empty
Frostpunk’s inhospitable world is indifferent to your min-maxing plans. Sometimes you just need to cease resource gathering on one material to throw workers at an urgent problem. If your medical posts are overflowing, pull some engineers off a project where you are running a surplus and squelch the sickness for a while. Once things are under control, you can return them to their original duties.
Pay special attention to medical posts at all times. If things are going well and your population is healthy, you may have workers sitting around twiddling their thumbs with nothing to do. If that’s the case, transfer them to another job until the need inevitably arises to employ more doctors.
This yo-yo approach to workforce management also means it’s smart to build more resource buildings than you may need at the time. If supply demands suddenly surge, it’s nice to be able to quickly open a new mine, sawmill, or thumper that has been waiting to be put to good use.
Keep Workshops Busy
Workshops are vital buildings that allow you to research new technologies, which is the best way to improve your efficiency. You should always make sure you have enough resources to put your researchers to work immediately after they complete their previous task.
After you get your beacon set up, you have a lot of tantalizing options. I recommend improving your hunting and exploration right away, then transitioning to researching the coal thumper, sawmill, and steelworks so you can scale up quickly. After that, you should heavily invest in heating technology to deal with the impending ice age.
Coal Thumpers Need Gathering Posts
The coal thumper produces more coal than the mines do, but it also requires more people to work the operation. The tutorial glances over this, but if you want your thumper to be at its maximum effectiveness, you need to pair it with two gathering posts. As you upgrade your thumper, you will need to increase the number of gathering posts around it as well.
Enact Only The Laws You Need
The book of laws extends in many directions, from forcing amputations and child labor to eventually declaring you an untouchable supreme ruler. All of these are at your disposal, but you are under no pressure to make the more egregious ones a part of your leadership platform.
Two laws I highly recommend enacting off the bat: Emergency Shift and Extended Shift. These aren’t permanent modifiers, but you can use them when things get tough to pull you out of a vortex. When a serious ice storm is on the horizon and you need to make multiple improvements to your heating infrastructure, having your research workshops work 24 hours straight can be a lifesaver. The same goes for extending shifts of coal workers when infrastructure improvements leave you at a resource deficit.
Never Leave Workers Idle
When your citizens leave work for the sick bay, the natural inclination is to replace them with new workers at vital facilities like the various coal operations. This means when they come back from sick leave, they won’t have a job assignment. Whenever you see an idle worker, which are indicated on the population widget at the bottom right of the screen, find them a new home.
Build Several Resource Depots
When things are going well, you may end up hitting your storage cap for a particular resource. Rather than sitting comfortably against the cap, unless your workers are desperately needed elsewhere it’s better to build resource depots and continue the gathering operation.
Queue Construction During The Day
Workers return from their jobs each night, but they don’t head straight to bed. If construction needs to be done, they tackle it during the evening. To make sure new operations are built quickly, place the new structures on the map before the work day is over. If you are in a pinch for time, you can also assign idle workers to construction projects during the day as well.
Keep Buildings Close To Each Other
When designing your city, try your best to build right next to your other dwellings. The reason is twofold. One, you only have so much room to build, so wasted space could come back to haunt you. Two, if you leave gaps, this creates places where the cold can penetrate your city and necessitate the addition of another steam core.
Optimize Your Scouts
You can form several teams of scouts to explore the area surrounding the city. They often find vital materials for your community to use, but don’t rush them home immediately after a discovery. If they are in a busy area where they could investigate several sites quickly, this is a better use of time than having them trek back and forth every time.
Steam Cores Are Invaluable
The one resource you cannot produce in your city is a steam core, which are used to build factories, automatons, and the higher level resource-gathering buildings. Take these whenever your scout teams find them. Because of their scarcity, think about their application before spending resources to make sure you are improving your operations in the best possible way.
At a certain point in the game, you’ll come across abandoned mines that can either be harvested for supplies or re-opened by establishing an outpost. These outposts are lifesavers, as they can deliver vital supplies on a daily basis. I particularly recommend opening the coal mine, which delivers 800 units of coal a day. As your city grows and the temperature drops, you’ll need it.
Your Citizens Need Entertainment
Dissatisfaction can lead to revolt, so it’s important to bring some levity to your people’s lives. You can do this primarily by instituting new laws that allow fight houses, public houses, moonshine, and even brothels (though the last option also slowly drains hope, so be careful).
Automatons Are The Best
Seriously, the more steam-powered robots you can get to work your city, the better. They are our superiors. Unlike lazy humans, automatons can work 24/7, never get sick (though they sometimes break down), never revolt, and consume coal rather than food. Whenever you discover one during expeditions, send it back to your city and put it to work in one of your facilities. You can also create them in a factory, but the cost is steep. That said, the more robots you have working vital operations, the better.
Do you have other tips? Share them in the comments section below.
How To Get A Pet Dog In Skyrim
A wife or husband is all well and good, but sometimes you just want the unwavering affection of a canine companion. Skyrim includes a number of wild wolves and foxes, but you have to know just where to look if you want to find one of the hardy and loyal domesticated dogs of the region. We’ll show you the different places you can find a dog, and how to make him into a permanent pet in whatever place you call home.
Apologies in advance for the camera-captured screenshots.
If you plan to keep your dog for the rest of the game, start out by purchasing a house. The easiest and earliest option for most players will be Breezehome in Whiterun. You’ll need to have completed the early part of the main story quest that occurs in Whiterun before the house becomes available, after which you can purchase the abode from Proventus Avenicci, the Jarl’s steward. The house costs 5,000 gold, and you’ll be looking at several hundred more gold to decorate the interior.
Alternately, acquire any other home in the game.
Next, it’s time to pick out your dog. There are three options, but only two of them are regularly available.
The first (and our favorite) option is Meeko. Meeko the dog lives at a place called Meeko’s Shack. You can find the little cabin west of Morthall and south of Solitude, as marked on the map above. Inside the cabin you’ll find a dead Nord, who looks to have died peacefully in his sleep. Unfortunately, he’s left behind a loyal dog named Meeko who now has no master. Meeko will regularly sit and wait by his former master’s bedside, but occasionally will run around in the nearby forest. If he isn’t present when you arrive, just use the wait system for an hour or two, and he should show back up. Talk to Meeko, and he’ll happily accept you as his new human friend.
If the story of Meeko is just too heartrending for you to handle, you should head over to Markarth Stables, marked on the map below. There you’ll find a man named Banning willing to sell you a war dog named Vigilance for 500 gold.
Your third option is less of a sure thing, and you’ll just have to wait for it to happen. Various events in the world will include a character named Stray Dog. In one instance, we ran across a Stray Dog fighting a pair of wolves. If you help out and the dog survives, you can talk to the dog to make him a follower. In another instance, a Stray Dog joined in to help with a dragon attack, and we had him join us after the dragon was dead.
No matter how you get your dog, you now have a choice. You can keep your dog like any other follower in the game, and he will fight at your side until he either dies or you tell him to leave.
Instead, if you’d like to keep your dog as a permanent pet, travel (or fast travel) with your new canine back to your owned house. Enter the house, pick a comfortable spot for your dog to hang out, and ask him to wait there.
Your dog will stay in your house and wait for you for a time, but you’ll eventually get a message that your dog has gone home. However, because you’ve given him a nice warm place to stay (and because we don’t think he can open doors) he’ll consider your house his new home. From then on, when you return to the house, your dog will be waiting for you when you arrive. We tested this option of acquiring your dog as a permanent pet multiple times, and in every instance, the dog would remain in the house no matter how long you were away from home.
Don’t worry. We’re confident that your housecarl feeds him on a regular basis.
IMPORTANT NOTE: Having your dog wait for you at home can regularly result in a bug where you can’t interact with the dog anymore. He’ll remain in the same area of your house where you last told him to wait. This shouldn’t be a problem, but you should make sure and have him wait in a place where he won’t be in your way when you’re passing through.
Avatars Aang And Korra Announced For Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl
Everybody’s favorite pair of Avatars have finally been confirmed for the roster of Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl, just days before release. Both Aang and Korra will be bending all kinds of elements against the likes of Ren and Stimpy, Danny Phantom, and Patrick Star.
While Aang can utilize bending techniques for all four basic elements in the show, his moveset in Nick Brawl focuses on what he knows best: air bending. Aang is suited to aerial combat using these bending techniques and excels at mid-air combos and incredible mobility. Some highlights of his light and strong moves include his Strong Up attack “Rising Wind Kick,” which propels Aang into the sky diagonally, and his light neutral “Staff Spin” can hit surrounding enemies on either side of him. Aang’s Air Strong attacks make him float a little, so they’re good to use while trying to get back to a platform safely.
Aang’s special attacks make use of his glider for flying upward, can ride on a ball of air, and use a prolonged spinning staff attack for trolling opponents on the edge of a stage. When Aang has taken 100% or more damage, the spinning staff becomes “Avatar State” which surrounds him with a sphere made of Earth, Wind, Water, and Fire, damaging anyone it touches. Check out the full move breakdown above.
On the other hand, Korra has been training to use all four elements since she was very young and has a better grasp of incorporating them into her moves. This prowess is most evident in her strong attacks, which have two variations each depending on whether the attack button was tapped or held. Charging a strong attack brings out an elemental flair to add a devastating effect to her martial arts.
Korra’s special attacks propel her to where she needs to be while dealing out some punishment to those in her way. “Bending Leap” is her neutral special, which charges a super punch that sends her flying horizontally. Down special move “Landslide” lets Korra skate across the ground, turning up rocks in her wake. The same move in the air performs a flaming downward dive kick, great for getting in for follow-up offense. Korra’s full breakdown can be seen above.
Now that most of the Nickelodeon All-Star Brawl cast has been revealed, who are you looking to play as in the platform fighter? Are you planning to deliver sugary justice with Powdered Toast Man, or is the tricky CatDog more your style? Let us know in the comments!
AEW’s Aubrey Edwards On Her Journey Through Game Development, Pro Wrestling, And AEW Games
All Elite Wrestling’s Aubrey Edwards is one of the toughest and most popular referees in pro wrestling today. Her penchant for not taking any nonsense from stars like Chris Jericho has made her as beloved as the wrestlers themselves, but before she was laying down the law on AEW Dynamite every Wednesday on TNT, Aubrey Edwards (whose real name is Brittany Aubert) spent 10 years helping bring digital worlds to life in the game industry.
During her time in the industry, she worked in a variety of roles for several studios, most notably as a producer for the Scribblenauts franchise. With the recent announcement of AEW’s first foray into video games, Aubert finds herself back in the world of game-making, combining her two dream jobs into one. I sat down with Aubert to talk about all things games, including how she fell in love with the medium and what she accomplished during her tenure. She also clarifies what AEW Games is and what her involvement entails.
AEW fans who have paid attention may have heard Aubert express her love of gaming in interviews, but that side of her life is often a quick talking point in more wrestling-centric discussions. So what types of games does she enjoy?
“I’ve actually been playing video games much longer than I’ve been watching wrestling,” says Aubert. “I started playing video games as early as I can remember. My house was always very much a video game household. There’s pictures of my mom playing Duck Hunt pregnant with me. I played Sonic the Hedgehog with her when she was pregnant with my sister. I played NBA Jam with my dad, so it’s like gaming’s always been a big part of just my life in general. So when I was growing up I played Ocarina of Time in 1998 and was like ‘Oh man, there’s people in an office somewhere who made this thing! That’s something that I could do for a living.’ So from that moment on, I’m like ‘I’m going to make video games, and that’s gonna be what I do with my life!’”
In her youth, Aubert adored JRPGs such as Final Fantasy VII, X, and Kingdom Hearts (“The original one, before the story got really wacky,” says Aubert) but her taste shifted as life got busier. In college she fell in love with the shorter indie experiences. Aubert cites Braid, for example, as one of her all-time favorites. “My favorite game in the last year that I’ve played is Untitled Goose Game just because it’s only four hours and you get to be an a–hole goose. It’s fantastic.”
Since the wrestling business requires constant travel, the Switch has been Aubert’s “savior” for satisfying her gaming fix. She considers herself a Nintendo kid and is a huge fan of The Legend of Zelda and Pikmin franchises in particular. It speaks to her general affinity for colorful games that emphasize lighthearted imagination over hardcore violence. “If it’s cute, adorable, and has bright colors, I’ve probably played it,” she says.
Scribblenauts And Other Ventures
Aubert chased her game-development dreams by attending DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA, earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. Upon graduation, she spent the next decade working in a variety of studios in both development and producer roles.
Her longest tenure at a studio came at 5th Cell, where she worked on the Scribblenauts franchise for more than six years. Given Aubert’s love of whimsical games, the studio seemed like a perfect fit.
“I guess that’s part of the reason that drew me to the franchise in the first place,” she says. “I was a Nintendo kid growing up, so hearing that 5th Cell was continuing to make Nintendo games and they were making something that was cool and unique and had never been done before, I was like, ‘Well, yeah, I know I’m going to apply here.’”
Photo Credit: Luis Yepez
Aubert served as a tool programmer for the first Scribblenauts, moved up to the role of producer for Super Scribblenauts, and, finally became a lead producer on Scribblenauts Unlimited, a launch title for the Wii U. Additionally, she oversaw development of the game’s iOS port. Helping bring Maxwell’s adventures to life for so long has penciled a permanent spot for the franchise in Aubert’s heart; she even has a Starite tattoo on her arm.
After leaving 5th Cell, Aubert moved on to WG Cells (a division of Wargaming) to work on a few mobile games, but Wargaming shut down her branch before any of those projects saw the light of day. She moved on to City State Entertainment, a studio made up of Mythic Entertainment alumni, to help launch its West Coast studio. Aubert then moved on to Vreal, a now-defunct VR game-streaming platform. Despite helping to develop a functioning alpha build, the studio eventually ran out of funding and Aubert was laid off.
Losing two jobs out of four began to sour Aubert on the industry, “I hadn’t actually shipped a game since 2012 outside of a couple early alpha versions of things, so it kind of just wears on you a little bit.” says Aubert.
Thankfully, an unexpected opportunity appeared in the form of pro wrestling. Not only did it provide a welcome change of scenery, but eventually served as a roundabout way back into game-making.
Photo Credit: Scott Lesh
Finding Pro Wrestling And AEW Games
Aubert became a fan of wrestling in 2011, kicking off an obsession that led to Aubert learning how to referee in 2017. Though she still worked in games full time, Aubert refereed on the indie wrestling circuit as a hobby on weekends. Thankfully, as her love for the sport grew, so did the opportunities; Aubert even had a brief stint in WWE as one of the referees for the 2018 Mae Young Classic, a women’s wrestling tournament (she officiated the infamous bout in which Tegan Nox blew out her knee against Rhea Ripley). When All Elite Wrestling formed in 2019, the fledgling organization approached her with a full-time gig.
“Eventually it ended up growing very large,” Aubert says. “It kind of just got to the point where I said, ‘I can keep going with this games thing full-time, or I can chase this AEW thing.’ Because at that point it’s early 2019, we’ve got Double or Nothing coming up, no one really knows what to expect. But they’re talking about changing the world, and that always sounds like a really fun thing. So I took a risk, and I left games, and I joined AEW.”
Photo Credit: James Musselwhite
When Aubert joined AEW, she quickly gained a following for not only being one of the few female referees in mainstream wrestling, but for her penchant for keeping the men in tights in line no matter how imposing they are. AEW has gained a passionate fanbase, and a video game was among the first things that diehards begged for once the company got rolling. Their wish came true and then some when the company unveiled AEW Games in November (via a satirical press conference) with three games in the works: a No Mercy-inspired console game and two mobile titles.
Of course, given Aubert’s background, it was a given that she would be involved with AEW Games.
“At some point or another, someone found out that I had a tech background,” Aubert explains. “And I sent my resume to various executives at our company and they’re like, ‘Oh, you worked on games for a very long time.’ So when the conversation about AEW Games started to come about and [started] to actually develop games, it was kind of a no-brainer that I be involved with that.”
Aubert is primarily focused on overseeing AEW Elite General Manager, a mobile game that allows players to book shows and manage the roster. However, she has her hands full assisting production for all of AEW’s titles in a role that combines her experiences as a hands-on developer and producer.
“It’s almost like a hybrid role.” Aubert says. “I’m doing development things in the way that I’m working with art and making sure that all of our characters are represented properly, that our brand is represented properly. I’m working with the team to work on different features and follow the game design that we’re building with this game. I’m currently writing some narrative stuff for tutorials and whatnot. So I’m doing a lot of random day-to-day development stuff, but at the same time kind of acting as that publisher role as well, working with marketing and trying to figure out what our timelines are there and working with budgets and all these different things.”
We still don’t know much about AEW’s mysterious console game; right now, Aubert can only tell me she “can’t wait to talk about it.” Since Aubert became a wrestling fan much later in life, she didn’t grow up playing beloved classics such as WWF No Mercy. That’s why she’s made it a priority to dust off the N64 and study No Mercy to figure out what makes it click. “We really want to make sure that what we’re making is what wrestling fans want. So as someone who makes games – and this has always been the case – if I’m building something and we’re trying to hit a particular vibe or a particular market, it’s my job to do the research to make sure we’re achieving that.”
Photo Credit: Steve Yu
Wrestling and game development are two very large and often tumultuous animals. When I asked her to describe the differences, Aubert pointed to how adjusting to feedback is one of the biggest.
“With games you’re building something for potentially years, and then the fans get to play it when you’re done with it.” she explains. “You get to see this amazing reaction to what it is that you made. With wrestling I get that multiple times every Wednesday. That we have a group of people that are telling a story and, 15-20 minutes later, we know exactly how that story was perceived, and even in the moment we get the fan reaction to something. Are they liking it, are they not liking it? And that’s something that is completely unique to any other performance media.”
By combining her passions into one, Brittany Aubert has proven that following your goals (especially if they involve interests you genuinely enjoy) can lead to dreams being realized in ways you often can’t predict.
“I always wanted to announce a video game in development on a stage,” she says. “That had been one of my goals in games forever. So I only needed to leave games and join a wrestling company in order to pull that off.”
You can watch Aubrey Edwards in action on AEW Dynamite every Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on TNT and listen to her talk wrestling as the co-host of the AEW Unrestricted Podcast.
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