Do It Yourself: Frontiers Is An RPG-Sized Exploration/Survival Game Made By Just One Person


The idea behind Frontiers is that it’s the RPG-sized exploration and survival game that Lars Simkins has always wanted but could never find, so he’s making it himself. He hasn’t got a team behind him, and his experience as an VFX artist would only get him so far before he hit some major stumbling blocks, but that was never going to stop him. On the Indiegogo page for the game, where he’s looking for $80,000 to finish Frontiers off in the next six months, he says that the dream started when he played The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall all those years ago.

He says of the two-decades-old RPG:

“Yes, it was uglier than a monkey’s armpit and controlled worse than a bumper car on a frozen lake. But it also created the feeling of a world that lived on even after I’d stopped playing, and that feeling still sticks with me all these years later.”


It’s this feeling that he’s aiming to recreate in Frontiers, and to do that, he’s been crafting a world that’s larger than the one in Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion last he checked, and there are still regions to add yet. I must reiterate that he’s done this by himself because it’s such an impressive achievement. Of course, given that the focus of Frontiers is on exploration and survival and Lars has deliberately left out the complex systems and other finnicky parts of RPGs, the world is going to lack the depth that these big games tend to have. But that’s also the point.

What you will find upon playing Frontiers are plenty of structures with many hidden rooms to explore, all of which play into the game’s detailed story that comes with the usual arcs and conclusion, though you can carry on playing afterwards if you wish. Or never reach the end of the story at all and go off on your own free will!

“Discover ancient mysteries, live off the land and fight deadly creatures, all in a beautiful, massive open world.”

Other than exploring, your other primary concern will be survival. To ensure you can keep going from day to day, you’ll have to live off the land by hunting, fishing and picking plants, some of which are hallucinogens, so expect some wobbles. There’s also a crating system in place, as well as a “lite RPG system,” in which you simply get better at skills that rewards exploration and not grinding.

Lars hopes that the funding obtained from the Indiegogo campaign will allow him to finish the game by January 2014. If he doesn’t get it, then the game may be abandoned and never see the light of day, which would be a shame. Planned features include co-op multiplayer, which would be a huge plus for the game, most likely, mod support and character-built and owned structures within the game’s world. If you’d like to help Lars see his dream through to the end, then support his Indiegogo campaign and consider voting Frontiers up on Greenlight.

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