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Frontiers Interview at Worlds Factory

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Frontiers Interview at Worlds Factory

Interview - posted by Crooked Bee on Sat 13 July 2013, 18:38:12

Tags: Frontiers; Kickstarter

You may recall Frontiers from one of our Kickstarter round-ups. It's an exploration-focused RPG inspired by Daggerfall. Since we lasted posted about it, Frontiers has been more than fully funded -- it's currently at $120,000 with just 3 days left to go, and quite a few stretch goals have already been achieved.

So here's the latest interview about the game to help you get a better idea of what it's trying to do and whether it may be your thing:

You said that exploration is the main focus of the game, but there’s a big question to be asked here – do you plan to reward it with actual powers, items, skills etc. or do you intend it to be a reward in itself? Because for some that would be enough, while others are always looking to get something out of their invested time, so they probably wouldn’t like to spend a lot of time exploring some land and getting nothing in return.

Rewards are essential. My first thought when I started working on it was the most obvious thought – remove *everything* not directly related to exploration. But I found that this resulted in the most boring game imaginable. There’s the urge to see what’s around the next bend, but that’s not enough on its own – over time I found that exploration has a lot more to do with choices than I originally thought – while walking in the woods I’d pay close attention to what interested me about one direction vs. another, and I found that I was always making calculations.

Can I get back before it’s dark? Will my boots hold up to that mud? That’s when I started introducing survival elements into the game, and the fun started to reappear. The trick is knowing when to stop, and knowing what kinds of choices facilitate exploration vs. stifling it. I think a lot of the choices developers made in the TES series stifled exploration.

Closely tied with exploration is the survival aspect. You stated that survival elements in Frontiers will be “engaging and fun without being oppressive”, but practically speaking, what will happen to those who do not manage to stay fed & warm in the game?

They’ll suffer a bit, and they’ll have to be more careful, but they won’t die unless they’re on hardcore mode. The thing I wanted to avoid was what I call ‘alarm clock’ survival, where everything’s fine until BEEP BEEP you’ve got to feed yourself, and the game stops being fun until you do. I’ve tried to focus on rewards instead of penalties – being smart about food doesn’t just hit snooze on the alarm clock but actually gives you tangible bonuses. I’ve also tried to tie survival mechanics into other mechanics like magic and crafting so that staying fed and warm don’t feel disconnected from the rest of the game.

Regarding combat, you mentioned how stealth and magic would help those players who’d rather avoid it. Would it be possible to go on in the game and perhaps even complete the main storyline using a non-lethal approach? Also, is there a skillcap or can players just become masters of everything after playing enough hours?

Yes, you can avoid combat altogether if you like. That was key for me, because it was combat above all else that would frustrate me when trying to explore in Elder Scrolls games. I enjoy a good hardcore RPG as much as the next guy but come on I just want to see that waterfall! Similarly there are no skill caps. The more skills you learn and use, the more opportunities you’ll have to explore the world. No limitations.​

Full interview here.
Spotted at RPGWatch

There are 30 comments on Frontiers Interview at Worlds Factory

Pierre Begue wants money for his sequel.

TARGET: $5,000 USD

RAISED: $1,074.05 USD (21%)

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