Use this space to cheer the creator along, and talk to your fellow backers.
Have a question?
The crickets have had time to evolve into a nuclear variant that are so much more loud it makes the long amount of time between responses... seem even longer!!! :P
"Lars, you do not want to move forward and work on something fresh and more enjoyable than this? I feel bad about you holding on to something you started years ago and not being to evolve into something better."
Lars, I would be interested in you answering that as well. Out of everything ppl on Steam & here have mentioned... your state of mind is the most important. After all you are the only reason this project exists.
I think it is slightly insane to still work on this project and game. It is a video game, it was delievered and well it was not as shiny as expected or as wished. But it still was just one of many "fund my game idea" campaigns.
Lars, you do not want to move forward and work on something fresh and more enjoyable than this? I feel bad about you holding on to something you started years ago and not being to evolve into something better.
Make a deal with those 15 people who spent way too much on this project and then just let it die peacefully instead of trying to reanimate dead horses for years and years. It is dead, Jim. Yes, I did not spent a big amount of money but I definetely got something out of it. Besides this was one of these campaigns that really cared about regular updates, insights and news - which was way more than the big majority of the campaigns I funded. So well, in my point of view it was even an success, although a small one. Let loose and move on.
Hopefully you just answer them =)
Honestly I am kind of glad the way things are going w/ the project. I hope you choose your family over everything. I feel like you gave it a good enough shot for the $$$ you raised. KS was never about creating a final gem product, delivered on schedule blah blah blah. We definitely helped make your vision possible and you have done a heap of good work for it.
If this project ever gets in the way of your family... that would be tragic IMO. I would honestly rather you officially “pause” things instead of trying to keep at it in this tense and busy environment. Getting at it later, like when your daughter is older, wouldn't be the end of the world in my eyes. It is kind of upsetting to imagine you not being with your baby and working on the game instead. Especially when you have a successful career so you can provide for your family. I know I seem like a ridiculous nerd or whatever... but I'm just trying to be real. Hope the best for this project.
If anyone else shares JL's follow up questions let me know which ones you're curious about. I'll check back in a day or two and respond where there's community interest.
Thanks for the update. I like the new look of Frontiers, pixel art is great. Hoping the simplified scope makes it possible to be completed. Honestly wish you had done this at the beginning of Frontiers... I think the pixel and less real-looking art makes it seem more rugged, interesting and fitting to a fantasy environment. The update contents itself was rather technical and had too much jargon in it for me... but I appreciate the info. Perhaps less detailed updates would be quicker/easier to assemble and you could do them more often? That way you wouldn't have to do as much work to inform us.
I'm still worried about the state of the project for a number of reasons. You constantly worry of “social media fires” as a reason to take a step back and not get involved in the community. I think your prolonged absence is becoming a flash point for negativity after all this time. It may be prudent to start showing up periodically outside of normal update posts.
You have a community manager who was supposed to take this pressure off you. They have done nothing of the sort. As a result the social media fires are-a-blazin' and Steam isn't exactly a happy place for Frontiers. Frontiers still has a community even if you don't make other AAD games. From a good business standpoint, shouldn't your team focus on Frontiers community so it doesn't burn itself down?
About Rob's duties specifically... he didn't even handle my key request that you forgot about and took an extra couple of months to fill. So I really don't get what he actually does... I read what you say but I'm not convinced he actually does any of that (or exists).
The positive feedback loop isn't a moot point. Especially since you are saying you have much less money now than you anticipate and will continue to do everything yourself. While saying doing everything yourself is one of the projects largest downfalls. You could say that is also a moot point as well since we have no other choice... but that is way different than what you said in 2015/2016. The tone and feel of the environment here is changing for the worst, I fear.
I have some additional questions I would like you to answer:
+Can you make a more specific comment about the money left for the project?
+How much money is coming in from other AAD games & Frontiers?
+Is it actually possible to finish the game in say... 10 years?
+If you have to are you going to spend your own money to finish Frontiers?
+Is is possible you would ever scrap Frontiers and say it can't be completed? If so, what type of thing would need to happen for you to call it off?
Did anyone else just get spammed by Tapatalk?
I'm still working on an update that goes over most of these questions, and more. It will also have an overview of FRONTERS' new look. I'll post it as an end-of-year update.
I'll post my main questions before my actual response. That way you know what I'm driving at instead of wondering where I'm going.
Will the new Unity upgrade be compatible with all the old tools for backer content?
If not, will you remake the tools?
Do you plan on reaching out again for backer content?
Is there still a deadline?
Why hasn't Rob made an appearance to try and take pressure off you?
Does he no longer work for you?
What are your plans with future employees?
Is the positive feedback loop based on incoming revenue still attainable?
Based on historic dev blogs, news posts, updates and live streams you handled everything yourself. Do you plan on continuing to do everything yourself?
Do you think handling everything yourself is negatively impacting the project?
You're welcome. Although I still feel the same way as in my last post... I am sorry I was so heated. A big reason: you act like I was the one forcing you to misuse your time. That isn't the case. You are misusing your time. Why didn't you simply ignore the inquiry like you had all the others? If you really thought I deserved a conversation you would of simply responded to the private inquiry and made it easier on yourself. Hopefully this post can begin that conversation; which we will now have in public.
Some examples that you use your time poorly: I asked for a Steam key back in July and you just got it to me in October (I had to remind you … even after the Oct 3rd issue). Another example is the lack of soundtrack, high-res game art for backgrounds, backer created content and free assets related to the game. We don't need a “finished game map” to have a good high-res concept art for desktop; soundtrack is already awesome. You have no content management system to distribute these things. You appear to have no mechanism to fulfill backer related content anymore.
Technically per KS policy you have to make “a good faith effort” to provide rewards (https://www.kickstarter.com/help/faq/kickstarter+basics#faq_41860). Backer made content is a reward as well and you haven't sent out any other messages to assemble content. You sent out a final version of the tool for books on (March 2, 2014). There has be zero additional follow up (3+ years). I suspect other reward tiers are the same. Some rewards will need you to directly interact w/ individuals at length and can't be done with a simple tool. From what I can see a good faith effort has not been made past the initial creation of the backer content tools.
Thank you for reading and I am eager to try and help Frontiers stay on course by asking the tough questions. Thank you in advance for your response.
@JL - Thanks for your questions, and for your directness. I take both as a sign that I'm overdue for another proper update. I'll get to work on one.
I'll add one more thing to hopefully make you see how foolish you have been.
You hired Rob in Nov 2016. He is also a ghost. I've never actually seen Rob. Wheres Rob?
"Rob's got a ton of energy and a great attitude, and I'm thrilled he'll be taking some of that social / marketing pressure from our over-burdened shoulders." Lars, Nov 2016.
So if you hired someone to take on the social & marketing pressure... WHERE ARE THEY? Why do you keep blaming me for wasting your time when you literally hired a guy to do this type of thing for you? He got your game on Humble Bundle recently and you keep posting about him. Yet he is doing nothing for your community as a community manager.
@Lars, I'll start out by saying that I think it was in bad taste to take a private inquiry and make it public in this way. I am only dissatisfied because of the distance growing over the years... not recently. Things like your lack to fulfill major project goals like releasing assets to devs who initially supported you. You previously acknowledged this has nothing to do with a finished game. People asked almost two years ago and you said you were on it, but you never released them. All they wanted were some Trees and stuff.... but following through isn't even really the problem...
You could of said one sentence of “No, I'm busy and things are fine but your efforts are noticed! <3” months and months ago. I would of said “<3 yey” back and given you your space. I herd nothing back and the project seemed more like a gashcrab scam as you move onto other projects to “pay for your first.” All while being a ghost on your flagship title. I don't feel lost to your life. I feel like you lost your integrity as a dev to remain transparent and talk to people.
You sent that major long KS news post about not buying the game. You post three paragraphs here. You don't have time? What made you think I wanted something more than a heads up? Perhaps your distance and lack of engaging your community made it difficult to figure out. I appreciate you but I have no sympathy even with your life changes. Having a child is amazing and busy but it is no excuse. As if I somehow asked for this and you aren't the unreasonable one with responsibilities on the line being overly distant.
You could of solved everything when I first reached out again by saying something like, “I am super busy, I can't do much. Please have no expectations <3.” Yet you were a ghost, a developer in a cave... alone “creating”. There is no social media fire. You have nothing but love on Steam sprinkled with a few haters, C'est la vie. You made these choices Lars. Nothing in your life explains away being so distance from the community. If you posted a screenshot once a month of progress that would of satisfied everyone and “put out the fire.” Yet you create mountains out of molehills and make more excuses. Another sign of a cashgrab scam project making immense excuses while they “work real hard on the game despite insane life obstacles.” You are making this difficult on yourself bro.
Further annoying you didn't address my inquiry. What about the refund? I spent months and months sending positive support. I send a terse private message about a refund and you come zooming to KS to put this in public? And you still didn't address whether or not you will provide a refund. I want one. I want closure on this project and to walk to the other way. Give me my $40 back so my wife stops getting mad at me for wasting time on this project and getting stressed over it. I have a life too dude and I am also affected.
@JL - I was genuinely touched by your efforts to reach out, but you have to realize that I have no emotional energy for you. I'm the father of a newborn baby, I work full time, I have a wife, and of course I'm working on a taxing game project. The fact that you've consistently lost to these parts of my life when competing for my attention says nothing about you personally, or about my enthusiasm for the project. It's simply math.
This is also why I haven't responded to direct requests for beta testing. It takes energy to meet with, coordinate with and communicate with a new beta tester, regardless of how motivated or helpful they are. I simply don't have that energy. It's not personal.
If you still want to help, there's a favor I would ask - don't take away what little time I have by interpreting these choices in the worst possible light. Put another way - my wife generously took several shifts with the baby this weekend so I could concentrate on finishing the new save game system. That sacrifice gave me four uninterrupted hours to work. The thought of spending those hours putting out fires on social media makes me feel ill. Neither of us wants that.
Lars posted a big update on Aug 11 2017 about the game on Steam. He told people "not to buy it" because it isn't in a good state. The only indication as to when you should “buy it” again was “in a while.”
He is essentially play-testing and designing the game in a cave with no input from anyone. If he is getting help he certainly isn't being transparent about his design obstacles as I'm used to with the crazy beard and long rants in his old streams. I've tried to offer to play-test for new builds a number of times but he never responds to that directly, but he responds.
I honestly feel like Lars has given up on the project with how much I've tried to reach out. Wasn't this project community driven before? Now there is like nobody on forums, Steam forums or anywhere doing any constructive play-testing or content analysis. Again... when I tried to offer people, and Lars, seemed to ignore it. All I know is this game isn't easy to give support to. Lars even says buying it is a bad idea. He won't respond to closed-beta requests or anything. Truly a bad sign in my opinion.
Karen, check your mailbox (including your spam box): there should be a message from Lars containing a Steam code. You just have to enter it in the Steam client (＝program) in "Games", "Activate a program on Steam".
I hate to be "that person", but I backed the game and never downloaded it. Now I don't remember how to get it without re-paying for it on STEAM, and I can't manage to find the answer in the FAQ or Updates. Help please?
I thought I had training, but I was wrong... oh so wrong... lol
Congratulations! I hope you have trained to function under constant lack of sleep ...
Baby is born! And I'm finally coming up for air for the first time in about 6 weeks. I'm posting an update tomorrow.
Any updates? I would like to know what's going on a bit more frequently.
So I got the email from backerkit and clicked through it but not sure what it was for. I got my steam key a long time ago and the backerkit didn't ask me anything just showed me all my old answers.
Ugh, kickstarter titles making their way to indie bundles within a short time period post-release is a little annoying, yet completely understandable.
Games that are literally still in Early Access (IE: Not finished or even released yet) making their way to bundles for chips is just a slap in the face to us backers that really makes me want to cease supporting the KS model entirely.
Wonder if we'll be offered anything extra in light of this.
Currently available in the Wild Frontier bundle on Humble Bundle:
>but ... did you work anytime for Blizzard?
No but I've dealt with the folks at Valve from time to time - maybe 'Valve Time' has rubbed off on me.
Congratulations on the baby.
but ... did you work anytime for Blizzard? Your "soon" and Blizzard's "soon" seem to be based on very similar concepts of time ... (and place?).
Great to hear you're still alive and kicking and the project is coming along slowly but surely. And congrats on the new life, not sure if that's already kicking though :) Keep it up Lars, respect for your continuous dedication to finish this!
You should know by now, everything takes 5x longer than expected! :D New update posted.
Though honestly, by now I had expected to hear from Lars ...
I don't think that will happen (money-back) ... and I'm ok with that. Backing a one-man computer game show on KS has its risks and you should be aware of them (game might never come out, might come out bit be abandoned soon, might go into a totally different direction you do not like ...).
While I am not really very enthusiastic about the game we have at the moment, I have to hand it to Lars: he is really trying ... and that's all I can expect for my money here.
January and still no update. I want my money back.
New update coming soon. Stay tuned.
Why is Lars rad? See below.
Jeff - better PM me and we'll work it out.
This is what i got from humble,
We received a request to resend your Humble Bundle orders.However, we do not have any orders on record for this email address.
I used my kickstarter email (i double checked), i ain't got no key waiting for me
Just posted a new update.
Jeff, you should have a key waiting for you. Check out the update called 'Instructions' for info on how to retrieve it.
Jeff ... not sure, but I have the game (beta or whatever) on Steam ... I do not think I backed on a higher level, so didn't everybody get it?
Any chance of just releasing the beta that you put out so long ago to everyone? including us lower end backer who were supposed to the game when released. I consider this project dead, and overall has left a bad taste in my mouth for the whole Kickstarter thing in general, but I think the least you can do is send the beta to everyone.
Working on one but I'm having trouble settling on a major topic. Suggestions are welcome.
So, any chance for a quarterly update schedule?
Poul - glad you still find the updates interesting after all this time. Honestly, the backers have been great and very understanding. Sure, people hound me for progress, but it's generally done in a positive, encouraging way, not with pitchforks or torches. I mean, look at Giorgio - he's obviously not satisfied but he kept it totally civil. So it's definitely stressful but I'm glad that nobody's making it worse than it has to be.
This newest update was very interesting. I tend to lose interest in updates on kickstarter projects I back after a month, maybe. Then they only serve to sometimes remind me that "oh yea, I backed this thing".
Just want to say that I find it great to hear how you're now actively developing other games, doing creative work (even if it comes with the stress of support (I know, I'm a webdev)), and delivering exciting games in the VR medium. A friend just recently bought the Vive, so maybe I'll try out your VR games at his house :)
I don't mind at all that Frontiers may or may never be what it was. I can understand the distress that comes with working on a project for ages and never releasing it, or cancelling for that matter. I can't imagine the stress put on you, though, by all the backers clamoring about delays, refunds and what not.
I just wanted to add that I find it fascinating and great that our backing this project ended up in you starting a business that has since created multiple titles, become a first-wave VR developer and launched titles for both. I hope it all works out for you! Best of luck and don't let the stress get you.
Giorgio - No worries.
Lars: thank you for your answer. I know what being a backer means, and I knew it THREE YEARS AGO (july 2013) when I backed a project with "estimated delivery was JANUARY 2014".
I knew the risks. In fact I don't "ask" for a refund. Other project creators with similar delays have chosen to refund their backers. But you have every right to not do it. I just have the right to forget this project and to add its emails to my ignore list.
I wish you all the best. Farewell.
Cosak & Alicia - thanks for your patience, I'm working on another update right now. Should be posted soon.
Giorgio - This question was asked in the comments of a recent update - rather than c&v I'll just link you to the comments: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/railboy/frontiers-explore-discover-survive/posts/1467684
If that doesn't address your concerns feel free to comment again, or to contact me directly.
I know that this is not covered by Kickstarter rules, but I think that we have been really patient, even too much. Would be possible to ask for a refund?
I am truly and genuinely not trying to be pushy here, I'm just curious: do you think release will be in 2016, or are you currently expecting more of a 2017 timeline? Either is fine (2018 might be too much for your own sake); I'm just trying to figure out my upcoming games schedule and got curious about where Frontiers will land.
Sorry to be that kind of guy but... any news since your April's Fool prank? Any update on Frontiers' status? :/
m-hartung - Thanks for saying that. But I'm in a much better place with FRONTIERS lately. It's still teaching me new things and opening new doors for me. (I wouldn't have started dev streaming without it, for instance.) And I'm learning more about legacy code and maintainability every day, which is valuable stuff. If it ever truly becomes a burden with nothing to offer maybe I'll re-think things, but until then I'm okay soldiering on and doing little projects on the side to support it.
Also: gotcha! Heheheh.
My first thought was: "Wow, finally he does it. He steps on towards something new. I am really glad for him." Then i realized that this was a small prank and I felt somewhat sorry for you Lars.
In my option you really should abandon this project!
For your own sake and your own carreer. Take everything you learned from it, bury it and go the next step towards something new.
I don't care if I ever got a good game out of it. Hell, I even forgave Tim Schäfer for disappointing me that much with Broken Age which was way for a loss than this project ever was. I enjoyed your videos and thus I feel I have been paid.