30 January 2021

The Frontier's Tragic Fallout

 Fallout The Frontier has been pulled from the Nexus Mods website.

The Frontier was an ambitious mod, nearly 15 gigs in size, adding Portland, Ore., to the New Vegas storyline. Variants of established factions -- the NCR, the Legion and the Brotherhood of Steel -- were represented and the fascist Enclave would be an antagonist as well.

The mod featured some really cool things: Drivable vehicles, a helicarrier type vessel and an orbital battle station as well.

The mod was released little over two weeks ago -- it crashed Nexus' website as players downloaded it.

Then, there were problems. As noted in an Eurogmaer article:

"The mod team was already facing criticism for containing "fetishy" content. Many of the complaints were centred on the companion character America, and in particular, a line of dialogue that allowed you to turn her into a slave. America also had a line describing the rather horrible condition of her feet, which is apparently appealing to some people. Both of these lines are now being removed from the mod.

"The team had already removed other controversial scenes, including an "on the nose" line calling the Enclave fascists, and a skill check to have sex with a deathclaw (yes, really). The latter interaction, tgspy told me, was a wild wasteland encounter that was disabled in a hotfix due to its "incomplete state". Prior to last night's events, tgspy told me he felt he "[didn't] believe any fetishes were brought into the mod in the first place", arguing the content being highlighted as fetishy "already existed in the old games", and telling me it was unlikely the mod would be tweaked further as a result of the complaints. Recent developments appear to have changed the team's mind."

And, another side quest involved Lizard people living in Portland's sewers -- and having a need to use drugs and procreate with humans.


They went there.

I was bummed.

Then, one dev who called themselves ZuTheSkunk shared "deeply disturbing" pedophilic content on their personal artist accounts. The other devs banished ZuTheSkunk from the team and their Discord channel and disavowed him in social media.

I've been looking forward to this mod for years. As an Oregonian, I looked forward to seeing Portland and the Pac Northwest being featured in it.

I watched the demos and loved seeing the Vertibirds, tanks and Mad max-style vehicles in action. A flying aircraft carrier? Cool. Things like that have been a staple of the old SF pulps and the US military attempted it via the Macon and other airships during the 1930s. Given the retrofuture background of the game, yeah, it worked for me.

The space station? Orbital weapon platforms have been on the drawing boards for a long time and, again, works for me.

I was really looking forward to it.

A friend of mine has been streaming the NCR Exiles story arc and it's fun to watch -- I have the mod download but health issues have risen so I haven't felt like gaming. That said, i liked what I saw.

Then I heard about people upset with the Enclave branded as fascists. Well. Damn. They are. Get over it. I figured it was like those Wolfenstein idiots a few years back.

Then I heard about the Deathclaw sex. Cringy, yes. What the hell, devs?

The Lizard people. They've been a staple of SF/fantasy for years and it seems natural that we have Lizard men joining aliens, mutants, robots and androids roaming the Wastelands. And . . . a wasted side quest. It has potential and it's a shame the devs squandered it.

America. It seems that Odinsword has some issues. Yes, the Fallout games have featured slaves before and mods as well. It was a mess from the beginning.

ZuTheSkunk. As problematic as The Frontier was, all of those things could have been taken care of via updates. It happens. But, ZuTheSkunk's deplorable behavior was the last thing The Frontier needed. While I have issues with some of the devs' creative decisions and poor writing, I feel sorry for what's happened. For over seven years, I waited for this mod; New California left me cold and I had hopes The Frontier would be fresh and exciting.

It was just that. But, ZuTheSkunk screwed up and added to the mod's woes. Devs had left the team. Voice actors want their parts cut from the mod. Lead dev Tgspy wants to excise the problematic segments and upload a "final" version to the Nexus.

And, last I heard, walk away from it.

It's a sad coda to something that could have been special.

Once The Frontier's final version has been uploaded, I hope creative modders will jump in and add some cool stuff to it. Of course, it's to be expected, there will be some bad mods made for it too.

Time will tell.

I still have The Frontier on my gaming 'puter. I haven't played it and I really don't know if I will. I might wait for the "final" version to hit the Nexus.

I just don't know yet.

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