Elder Scrolls-Like Frontiers Still Looks Great, But Delayed

By Nathan Grayson on June 23rd, 2014 at 11:00 am.

No one tell that cliff it's not a tidal wave. You'll only make it sad.

Frontiers is set to be massive. Primary creator and one-man wunderkind Lars Simkins’ goal is to construct a gigantic, fully open world that looks sort of like The Elder Scrolls III: Morrowind from the right angles. The focus is on exploration, but what you end up doing – whether it’s engaging in the main quest or becoming a literal crocodile hunter – is completely up to you. And now there are also hang gliders! An open fantasy world with real verticality? If it’s an interesting world, count me in.

Last year Frontiers hauled in $157,381 on Kickstarter, but – despite a previously planned 2014 release date – Simkins and co have decided not to rush. It’ll be done “when it’s done,” which is a frightening thing to hear with KS games, but this one does look to be making steady progress despite a number of lapsed deadlines. Videos below.

And here’s a video explaining the delay, among many, many other things:

It all boils down to this:

“If you look at the backers’ calendar, you can see what’s left; it’s not a trivial amount of work. I’m not going to set a new deadline, either. I’m just going to say — this is hard for me — I’m just going to say that it’s going to be done when it’s done.”

Simkins plans to update much more frequently from now on, especially since he’s no longer imposing arbitrary deadlines. Problem is, sometimes you need arbitrary deadlines to Get Shit Done, so it’s really hard to say with this one. Simkins seems incredibly dedicated, but good intentions don’t turn half-finished frameworks into bounteous lands of quest, coin, and animals that are like real animals only big and sometimes prone to wearing pants (which are sometimes made of animals like them, which is weird).

I really, really hope Frontiers lives up to its massive (in many senses of the word) potential.

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14 Comments »

  1. dee says:

    oh no he’s cute

    • P-Dizzle says:

      Oh no you completely ignored what the article was about and instead focused on his “cuteness”. Sexism still rife on RPS :(

  2. meepmeep says:

    Not publicly releasing a deadline does not mean that a deadline does not exist, just that it may be preferable to keep that deadline secret until such time there is reasonable confidence that it will be met.

    • Crainey says:

      That is very true. Although an internal deadline is a lot more flexible than one publicly stated, it carries less weight. In any case, while I’d like something to keep them honest (especially in the case of Kickstarters which I have backed), I’d much rather developers take the time needed to properly finish the game.

      • Shodex says:

        Better to moan about a delayed game and get a finished product later, then to get an unfinished product now.

        Skyrim could have used a delay or two, but they were too eager to get that “cool” 11/11/11 release date.

  3. Ravenholme says:

    It’s worth noting that a lot of the delays have been down to Unity not being set up to do open worlds, so they’ve had to do a lot of engine-hackery/wizardry to get around things like hardcoded texture file limits, and especially for incorporating seasonal variations of the textures.

    Their backer updates make for great reading and are entirely transparent on why the game has been delayed to “When it’s done”

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      JamesTheNumberless says:

      It’s a problem that a lot of people have with Unity. it’s not set up at all to do a game with a lot of dynamic content (open world or otherwise) but the combination of using sensible modern programming languages, targeting every platform under the sun, and having a really good general architecture give it a lot of positives. Unity is probably the most powerful tool out there for a very specific kind of game, one with a lot of 3D assets but a relatively small scope, that must be cross-platform.

    • Railboy says:

      Wow those graphics knock FRONTIERS on its ass, IMO. How are you generating those landscapes?? Your tumblr page doesn’t give much technical info.

      • dvoid says:

        tnx =)
        Terrain is generated from fractals, but also based on a blueprint-map to get some control over it ( where to put contintents,ocean etc). There might be more info on Tigsource http://forums.tigsource.com/index.php?topic=27052.0 but i dont update that as much as i used to. I might try to write some more technical stuff on the blog in the future.