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FRONTIERS - Explore, Discover & Survive in a massive, relaxing open world that emulates the tone of classic first person RPGs.
FRONTIERS - Explore, Discover & Survive in a massive, relaxing open world that emulates the tone of classic first person RPGs.
4,574 backers pledged $157,381 to help bring this project to life.

February Update!


Hello everyone! Let's kick this off with another beautiful screenshot of one of my favorite locations - the totally revamped Willowpeak. Remember how play-dough this place used to look? I'll refresh your memory:

After three major revision this is what it looks like today:

Ahh. Don't you just want to live there? Here's a hi-res version.

Final Book Kit

If you pledged for a book kit, keep an eye on your Kickstarter inbox. The final kit will be sent out within 24 hours. It's a major step back in terms of complexity (I axed the standalone program thing and went web-based) but a major step forward for flexibility, formatting and (eventually) translation into different languages.

Get this - that's the very last kit. They're all done! Can you believe it's been five months since the first kit was released? I can't. (Seriously it feels like two months tops. It's freaking me out.)

Beta News

Plans for the beta are firming up. I'm not going to mention any dates or deadlines - I've learned my lesson there - but I will say that a beta release is officially an active goal, not just 'something we'll eventually get to.' I've spent the last two weeks mass-building main quest assets - structures, characters, books, letters, etc. Meanwhile Given is taking everything we've learned about terrain generation and applying that know-how to the creation of our final endgame landmasses. Once that's all wrapped up I'll be releasing one final alpha to stress-test distribution, followed immediately by the long-awaited beta. That's right, you'll get a main quest right out the gate!

Would You Like To Know More?

I consider it my responsibility to keep everyone entertained with info & trivia while you all patiently wait for the final game. Partly because I dislike it when Kickstarter projects vanish into the mists after a few months and partly because I feel it's the least I can do.

But I'll be honest, I'm running out of stuff to say in these updates. That's not because nothing interesting is going on - it's a 24/7 madhouse in here. It's because I'm losing perspective.

What do I mean by that? Imagine that you're a reporter in the middle of a tornado. There's no lack of excitement - you're in a 300mph wind funnel of death! - but you can only relay so many variations of 'STUFF IS FLYING AROUND REALLY FAST AND BOY IS IT LOUD' before it starts to sound boring. On this project it's some variation of 'I BUILT SOME ASSETS AND SOLVED SOME PROBLEMS AND BOY AM I BUSY!' Maybe you find this info riveting - or maybe your eyes are glazing over. I have no way to tell from inside the storm.

So help me out! What are you curious about? What are you NOT curious about? I'll gladly talk your ear off as long as I know someone wants to hear it. Would you like to know how I stay hydrated while I work? (Trickier than you might think!) Or maybe what third party tools I like to use? How many assets I create in a week? How I motivate myself? What Steve likes to eat for lunch? (The fact that I'm only half-joking about that last one should illustrate how out-of-touch I feel.)

Or hey, maybe you're content with no chit-chat at all! Just the facts ma'am and the rest is for the birds - that works too. In any case, I am at your disposal.

Taverns & Shops & Inns & Recipes & Plants...

There's one thing I DO know you'll want to hear about - your in-game assets! Along with the main quest assets, I've also started building everyone's custom content in earnest. Your shops, taverns, inns, engineer structures and so on have been bumped up the priority queue and they're looking fantastic, if I do say so myself. Once again I'd like to thank everyone for taking your submissions seriously and giving them appropriate (and inventive) names & descriptions. I haven't had to ask for a single name or concept to be modified.

I'm also continually reviewing everyone's recipes and plants, and I'm finding those equally fun. I can't promise there won't be revisions there because I haven't processed them all yet, but I'm loving everything I've seen so far.

I was warned repeatedly that giving backers direct input like this was dangerous and potentially a major time sink but so far you've proven the naysayers completely wrong. (They know who they are. Neener neener, told you so! Hehe :D)

Alright that's all for now, catch you next month!

Steel Hayze, Dean Thrasher, and 54 more people like this update.


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    1. Missing avatar

      Marcin on March 18, 2014

      As a programmer I'm pretty curious on your process of iteration. The two images at the top of this update would be a great topic for a news update, for example. How exactly did you get from A to B, why did you decide to address that in particular (was there a terrain pass, taking a break from something else to address visuals - and if taking a break, from what? :) - etc, and what tools did you use?

    2. Missing avatar

      Nick Hustak on March 12, 2014

      I'm just happy to see updates on a regular basis, even if it's just to say 'We're rocking and it's going great'. It's looking great and I look forward to playing it!

    3. Missing avatar

      saluk on March 5, 2014

      That mountain looks bomb. Thanks for the update!

      The tornado reporter analogy is appropriate. But know that as long as we still know that there is a tornado, it's not terribly annoying on our side to just say "The tornado is still spinning!" But specifics are also helpful. Which town is the tornado located in now? How much damage has been done so far in the tornados wave of terror? How many cows are currently located within that tornado?

    4. Jesse Dylan Watson on March 3, 2014

      Gosh, if this game plays even half as well as it looks, it's going to be an instant classic.

    5. Lars Simkins Creator on March 3, 2014

      Good stuff. Thanks for the input everyone.

    6. Netzbummler on March 3, 2014

      Beautiful. This is shaping up more and more to something that Oblivion never was for me.

    7. zerodogg on March 2, 2014

      I'd also be interested in hearing more about the technical stuff. Engine work etc. In particular hearing about multi-platform support would be interesting. Hearing about your toolset and libraries in use would be interesting as well.


    8. Missing avatar

      cordell melgaard on March 2, 2014

      Great update. I hear way too many stories of how dev teams breakup AFTER the KS campaign is done. It's nice to know things are still progressing. As far as what I'm curious about....Interface. I have seen some really great concept games become almost unplayable because of the terrible interface.. Too many clicks, or not intuitive or problems with bag space. In an exploration game storage space is probably important. Can you talk a little bit more on how that will be handled and the interface vision?
      We have all played the backpack tetris and sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.
      thanks for listening.

    9. Jani Jereb on March 2, 2014

      What?! What does Steve like to eat for lunch?! Don't leave us hanging like that!

    10. Aaron McCaskey on March 2, 2014

      Awesomeness content reaching critical mass....coolness rivaling that of a motorcycle riding grizzly bear..... So intense.
      Great job Lars, keep it up.

    11. Missing avatar

      Sami on March 2, 2014

      There's always the fear of a project going down the drain for whatever reason - Illness strikes the team, everyone gets bored with the work, aliens attack the office - so us backers are always reassured by reports of progression. The best kind of update is just a simple one that gives an overview of what were the main points of focus last month and how did the team progress with all of that. It dissolves the hidden fears about the project developers running away with the pledge money, which is always a danger in crowdfunded projects. I tend to skip over a lot of the updates I get from KS, and mainly browse them over to see if any delays are announced and what kind of progress was made. Come to think of it, that's exactly the kind of reports I'd love to get at work... No gimmicks, just steady progression.

    12. ShadowTiger on March 2, 2014

      That was a completely fantastic update. Thank you so much for being more of a "person" and a bit less of a developer. Perspective from the Developer AS a person is worth more than gold these days.

    13. Missing avatar

      Zarosio on March 2, 2014

      love the updates. I second news on spellmaking and crafting. Also would love to see some more screenshots even if it is just of a couple of different buildings or maybe of one of the main towns. It looks like it is coming along great.

      One thing I am curious about is mod support will you be including a set of mod tools similar to skyrim or seeing as its all unity would it be relatively easy to edit or use already made tools?

    14. Bob Gabel on March 2, 2014

      I love your updates! I really like to hear all the technical stuff as well. You might have this feeling of, "But I dont want to overwhelm you with lingo," but I like it a lot when you cover the tech stuff. It feels more genuine for sure. Keep shouting about stuff flying around man!

    15. Missing avatar

      Victor Tombs on March 2, 2014

      I enjoy all your updates Lars and I am prepared to read anything you have to say.

      Like Sacah, I too have limited time to follow the developments on the forum but I have always enjoyed your candid approach when keeping us in the loop. I also enjoy your sense of humour. Really pleased you are still full of enthusiasm. :)

      Thanks for the new images. I am looking forward to visiting my in-game properties and if that image of the buildings is anything to go by I am not going to be disappointed.

    16. gandalf.nho
      on March 2, 2014

      The montain is looking fantastic. And regarding the book kit, what is the final deadline for sending our texts to be included in the game?

    17. Missing avatar

      Rick on March 2, 2014

      I love that last update Lars, just like all the ones you did before. There is rarely a Kickstarter Project where I feel so much in touch as I do here. (Xia might be the only exception there...)
      Besind seconding the Motion of Hearing more about Multiplayer (where is it at? What are your thoughts? How will it actually look like when it's there?) what I would really love to hear are Topics revolving around brewing, crafting, spellmaking, ... I am sure that you put a lot of thought in every combination of items that you made into a recipe, I would love to hear (only on samples of course... We still want to explore things ourselves afterall...) what those look like and why you put things together the way you did.
      Don't know if that made sense... (Don't even know if that sounded English...)

    18. Sacah on March 2, 2014

      I don't really find time to keep up to date with the forums, but I imagine there is a bunch of new threads there each month. Maybe a few forum regulars could collate a list of interesting threads and a brief summary of each that could be included in the monthly KS update.

      A screenshot is always good, though given this is an exploration game, obviously we want to find a lot of things ourselves, so just some generic screenshots, or a teaser of a key location you have started, mid-way, finished working on.

      And lore, not sure if this game will take you through all of the history in-game, or if there is some lore you could start introducing into these updates to get people understanding the world and history before they get dumped into the game.


    19. Scott Jackson on March 2, 2014

      Things I am curious about(sorry if its too much):
      -How is multiplayer coming along (even if its just early planning)?
      -How much leg work is already done with Unity Engine in terms of multiplayer?
      -What are some community forums, developer websites etc. that you get help, inspiration, and motivation from (or just personal enjoyment)?
      -Worthy 3rd party tools and for what do you use them for?
      -Your a special effects artist, why and how did you learn coding, self-taught, school, both, just C#?
      -Other than money/personal needs/community, how do you motivate yourself to work on things your not particularly excited about, especially when you've already worked on it and annoying problems arise?
      -Does your lifestyle (types of food, drinks, etc.) help with the above question?
      -How do you stay focused on the boring tasks, (internet is so distracting!)?
      -What are some games you play/enjoy, old and new?

      Thanks Lars, glad to hear from you. Let me know if I'm pestering you too much!

    20. Lars Simkins Creator on March 2, 2014

      Alcaray - I'll give you a hint. It was the first land mass that settlers spotted after their arduous mass migration.

    21. alcaray on March 2, 2014

      Willowpeak... Willowpeak... So where are the willows? Or maybe it was named after somebody with the last name of Willowpeak? But wait... willows don't grow on peaks so why would anybody be named that? (streamside woodland biome, if I recall from college biology 42 years ago)

    22. Nathan Allworth on March 2, 2014

      Looking awesome! Been stoked for this game since IndieGogo. Thanks for the update.

      Not strictly on topic, but when did you realize you wanted to make a game in the spirit of open-world/Elder Scrollsish exploration type genre thingy? (An absolute disaster of a sentence, I know.)

    23. Lars Simkins Creator on March 2, 2014

      >As a programmer I'd be interested in some of the more technical stuff

      That reminds me, you might enjoy this AI devlog:

    24. Lars Simkins Creator on March 2, 2014

      >I'd rather you not have to spend heaps of time on updates if you don't really want to and if it's slowing down the real work.

      The only thing that slows me down is video updates. I'm pretty stingy about doing those. Written updates hardly make a dent.

      >maybe you enjoy writing the updates

      I do, actually. I love talking about the project. I just want updates to have maximum appeal & impact, you know?

    25. Missing avatar

      Cam on March 2, 2014

      Pretty much everything that you mentioned sounds interesting. As a programmer I'd be interested in some of the more technical stuff, but a) that might not appeal to everyone, and b) it can be really time consuming to write up. Which brings me to my second point. I'd rather you not have to spend heaps of time on updates if you don't really want to and if it's slowing down the real work. I think as backers we've all been able to see that you're both able and committed to deliver this project, so no one is going to freak out if you go fairly quite for a couple of months in the interests of getting through everything as quickly as possible. On the other hand, maybe you enjoy writing the updates as a bit of a break from dev wok every now and then, and they're also probably useful to you as marketing material. I know the screenshots above make me excited! Just as long as you don't feel like you *have* to do lots of updates just to appease backers :)

    26. Lars Simkins Creator on March 2, 2014

      >Honestly I am happy to hear even the tiniest things.

      Good! But I want specifics. I'm not looking for reassurance - I really do need some guidance for content.

      So provide guidance.


    27. BorisKourt on March 2, 2014

      Honestly I am happy to hear even the tiniest things. :) Really glad to hear that everything is a 300mph madhouse of productivity!

      Can't wait to explore and help build this crazy world.