The State of Early Access - Update #06

As we approach the finish line, it is time for a State of Early Access! Last time, we gave you a heads up on some of the major features still on the way, as well as a few mysteries. Today, we are ready to go over our full plans, from v0.9.3 leading up to Farthest Frontier leaving Early Access with v1.0!

We are planning a total of 5 more major patches before we will consider the base game content complete and can start our post-release journey with free updates and paid expansions. This may sound like a lot, but we want to get features out to you as soon as they are ready. We are aiming for a Fall release window for v1.0. Above all else, we want you to have a polished experience!

Below is an outline of the major features we have in store for you, so you can always expect MOAR surprises as we sneak in improvements!

Note: everything you read here is a preview and is subject to change before release. We are liable to do MOAR. Nothing is set in stone, until it is!

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Performance


Before we dive into what each individual update will bring, we should cover the topic that is likely on everybody’s mind: performance. As you may have heard, we made a new hire back in December that is focused exclusively on the game’s performance. This effort is now bearing fruit, starting in v0.9.3. As we reported a few weeks ago, our internal tests had results in up to a 100% improvement in framerate in huge (2000+) settlements. While results will vary based on your individual system and the settlements you created, we expect most players will see significant improvements.

Now that major changes to the core game are wrapping up, you can expect optimization to be central to our efforts. The v0.9.3 optimization pass is only the first step to improving the game’s performance. We will continue to squeeze every frame out of the game we can all the way up to v1.0 (and likely beyond). We will also be looking into optimizing memory utilization and load times. So, stay tuned!

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v0.9.3


As we mentioned before, v0.9.3’s focus is on performance, but that is not all you can look forward to. We made some significant changes to the game’s balance that we feel will enhance your experience.

The overall time scale has been adjusted. At 1x speed, each game day will take 8 seconds, up from 5 seconds. We found that, as we balanced the game over the years, it became difficult to balance villager productivity and needs against the limit of how fast we can make them move around (before it looks ridiculous, and some of you might argue things have already gone too far) and how much distance they can cover in a day. Increasing the length of the day will provide much needed flexibility, result in less villagers accidentally dying of exposure, and provide a more relaxing 1x pace for those that currently find the game to be a bit frantic.

We have significantly increased the radius of desirability bonuses, giving you increased flexibility in how you lay out your settlements, and the same was done for maximizing entertainment and spirituality bonuses.

We hope you enjoyed the combat overhaul and new animals added in v0.9.2. V0.9.3 also includes continued improvements to combat, with rebalanced archers, updated raider behavior, and new controls for military companies that will let you quickly deploy your forces without having to track down your military buildings or resort to control groups.

The Barracks and Cavalry Stable will have a Retreat to Barracks button, which will command their troops to immediately return to garrison and ignore all existing threats.

All this comes on top of many bug fixes for your pressing issues. Barring unexpected delays, we expect v0.9.3 to go live in early July, but you can jump into the public playtest right now!

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v0.9.4


Hot on the heels of v0.9.3, we have v0.9.4, which will enter public playtesting shortly after v0.9.3 is live. This update is focused on endgame progression, with the introduction of tier 5 housing and the tier 2 Bakery. Unlike past production building upgrades, the Bakery will require a high desirability to turn it into a Pastry Shop. This plays nicely into the desirability improvements we are making in v0.9.3. The Pastry Shop will produce one of the luxury goods you can use to upgrade your Shelters to tier 5, so your citizens will definitely be glad to have one around!

The impressively-sized tier 5 manors are really going to distinguish your endgame settlements on their path to becoming sprawling frontier cities.

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v0.9.5


As soon as v0.9.4 cools off, we are going to waste no time getting v0.9.5 into your hands with several gameplay and quality of life improvements. If you have been waiting for a minimap, this will be the update for you. We will combine the minimap with our raider warning mechanic to give you a better indication of where threats are coming from, so that you can deploy your troops where they will be most effective.

In addition, farming management is going to get a whole lot better with a new tab on the Town Center window: the Crop Summary. In the crop summary, you will have a complete overview of all of your fields, so that you can perfect your crop rotations and find overlaps that could result in the catastrophic spread of crop diseases. This will also be an easy way to quickly jump to all of your fields, regardless of where you placed them.

V0.9.5 is also going to further incentivize exploration with the introduction of salvage sites. Much like raider camps and excavation sites, salvage sites will be spawned randomly around the map. These will be the remains of past expeditions and settlements that failed where yours succeeded. Your villagers will be able to break these sites down to recover valuable resources, potentially even discovering some relics!

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v0.9.6


With v0.9.6, we are going to look into not only polishing the simulation, but also put more control into your hands. Villagers will have some spoken VO and spend their well-deserved idle time relaxing and interacting with your settlement’s many structures. Less wandering about aimlessly and more visiting market stalls and praying at altars! We are aiming to make your settlements feel more alive and lived in, rather than focusing solely on optimized logistics and treating your villagers like disposable cogs in the machine (which they totally are, but do not tell them that).

While we have our vision for a standard Farthest Frontier experience, we want to make sure that you are having fun your own way. As such, in v0.9.6, you will also find greatly expanded custom game options. We are looking into the following customization settings:

  • Creative Mode (if you want to just build, disregarding all building requirements and costs)
  • Toggle animal and raider attacks independently (if you want pacifist mode, but with wolves and bears, this will be for you)
  • Toggle desirability (for those that want absolute freedom in their settlement’s layout)
  • Toggle spirituality (for those that do not with to play with religions)
  • Toggle villager diseases
  • Toggle crop diseases
  • Toggle resources and their density
  • Toggle wolf rain
  • Moar?!

Alongside these options, we will be looking into enabling manual shelter upgrades, for those that would rather have complete control over when their settlement upgrades.

Lastly, v0.9.6 will introduce Achievements and Steam Trading Cards (and all the Steam swag that comes with them). There might just be some extra motivation to playing with the Ark of the Vengeful Dead besides wanting a challenge…

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v1.0


For the final Early Access update, we want to celebrate with some big additions: victory conditions and the rumored tech tree!

The tech tree is going to vastly expand your options for customizing your settlements and optimizing their production, development, and military. Your towns will earn knowledge points for constructing milestone buildings and will earn additional points by having scholars perform research in the new Academy building. We currently have around 70 different technologies in development, so you can expect a wide range of possibilities!

Finally, we want to cap off your experience with the introduction of (optional) victory conditions. For those that achieve the pinnacle of success in the frontier, you will be able to construct one of several grand monuments to commemorate your people’s journey from humble pioneers to a flourishing city. These victory conditions will not be the end of your settlement though. You will be able to keep growing and expanding for as long as you like. We feel that it would be nice to have some big goals to aim for though, especially for new players just joining us!

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So there it is, our complete feature set! Barring something unexpected, these are all the major features that will be shipping with Farthest Frontier later this year. We are immensely proud of how far the game has come since Early Access began less than 2 years ago and we hope you are enjoying being on this journey with us. We again thank all of you for not only leaving feedback and ideas, but reporting bugs and issues. Farthest Frontier is becoming the best version of itself thanks to your participation. We cannot wait to get v1.0 into your hands!


Town Showcase


Some of our recent favorites, from the internet for the internet:

By safe

By Isaac

By Subhasis_Banerjee

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Share your best right here on our forum!

28 Likes

Really impressive, thanks for this big update!

I only hope that the Tier 2 (brick version) rat catcher and basket shop are included under the “MOAR” definition. :sweat_smile:

6 Likes

really happy to be part of this journey, amazing team and very interesting game!

2 Likes

Aw, no wolf rain. :cry:

4 Likes

All sounds good, definitely looking forward to seeing the tech tree in action. I’m excited for 1.0.

2 Likes

Awesome work, you guys. Looking forward immensely to the 1.0 drop and all of these delicious new features.

Didn’t realize how badly I needed the Crop Summary window until you conceived it into existence just now. Now, I simply cannot go on until I have it!!

Sounds absolutely great! Thanks for the detailed roadmap!

1 Like

Looks great, I’m really impressed with your communication. Definitely need wolf rain.

Can we expect a hotfix to put chicken back in?

the game doesnt load fully load after new update :C it stays in the loading screen, even if i start a new town it stays loading and it gets so stuck that it doesnt even let me open my task manager to end the task.

Tier 2 rat catcher. They could give the rat catcher some rat terriers as assistants.

3 Likes

I am thoroughly stunned that some people find the game too frantic. I had hoped you originally meant to accelerate the simulation a bit, but oh well. Maybe more speed controls instead?

You are all amazing. It’s a pity that there aren’t more development teams like yours in the world. Such interaction with the community… I support you."

4 Likes

Looks awesome! Keep up the good work guys!

So so so excited. Please include a rework for the terrible terrain flatting tool - we beg of you. Love this game!

5 Likes

update to this message, now that i was able to load the game my FPS went down to the 50s with 200 pop again… seems like the patch went away on its own.

Maaan, i honestly cant wait this game is so much fun and i know we should let you do your thing with all the time you need but please hurry :cry: feed my addiction

Seconded! And it’s not that hard to improve significantly really.

Will we have patrol function, instead they just sit in barrack?
It will be cool if we have torches for them at night too.

1 Like

Please tier 2 rat catcher, it would be cool if they could have a cat or something that speeds the process or something like that

3 Likes

Amazingggg. Been waiting for some new updates, so I can jump back into the game! 800h played so far and counting!