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Frontiers Dev Stays Clear Of “Early Access Disasters,” Game Out “When It’s Done”
Independent developer Lars Simkins released an involved update video for ambitious project Frontiers, pegged as a one-man Elder Scrolls revival. It’s a lengthy talk about the past, current and future development foibles of the grand scheme, but it’s worth it to get an insight on how huge Simkins’ goal is.
Its first and most important point is that the clip eclipses the current release date, originally set by its Kickstarter campaign for somewhere around this time. Despite being a person who likes deadlines, Simkins now states the game will be done “when it’s done,” which is developer speak for telling people to stop asking when it’s done.
Additionally, the developer states that it’s not foreseeable that the game will miss out on a 2014 release in any way. It is, however, not a release date that is set in stone for the end of the year.
Further on in the video, Simkins states that Frontiers has scalability issues. Hotfixes that get reapplied would eventually crumble as a solution, leading to a new way to approach the project.
Some of the problems noted include artificial intelligence (AI), which works even in dozens of numbers, but would not work in a rare case of hundreds of AI on-screen. Another element that needed to be rethought was hand placing furniture, even with structure templates.
Now, Frontiers will make use of a random placement system, designed with several modifiers, such as region and such, to ensure that items spawn in the right place.
At the end of the video, Simkins also mentions not getting the Frontiers name sullied with Steam Early Access titles. In the clip, the developer mentions:
After the string of Early Access disasters I have witnessed, I decided to stay well clear of that.
Preorders will stay available on the site, but there’s an addendum there as well. Simkins hammers on the point that a preorder does not come with any sort of bonus, as the developer isn’t a fan of that model.
Frankly, preorders aren’t always the best model, certainly not if the one-man operation already has to make sure Frontiers releases for its backers and those waiting on the game. Let’s concentrate on getting this puppy done.