Note: Not to be confused with HappyMatt12345.
Frictional Weekly (real name Matthew) is a YouTuber and a modder known for changing nicknames every year or two and holding the record for the longest actively developed Amnesia mod of all time (7 years as of 2023). While generally a positive presence in the community, the trials and tribulations of his projects and his self-seriousness earned him a bit of a meme status.
He has been known as:
- Fritional Daily
- Frictional Weekly
- Frictional Horror
- Cosmic Horror Network
- Cosmic Horror
- His full legal name
- Cosmic Horror Network (again)
- Anatomy of Fear
Matt also occasionally makes music (some of which he uses in his mods) and even had a separate channel for it for a while, but it holds little relevance to this wiki.
The exact events described in this article were reconstructed as accurately as possible, but some details are murky and might be incorrect. Some events might be slightly out of order. This is mostly due to the fact that Matt seems to periodically go over his Internet activity and delete or hide everything that he’s not happy with. For a recent example (March 2023), his YouTube channel has been purged from all but the most scripted videos, leaving only 21 videos public. As a result, several of the sources this article is based on have long been unavailable.
To first address the elephant in the room, Matt has a history of issues that are rather serious. Those will not be discussed in more detail than he currently presents himself, even if he disclosed more information about them in the past.
As he puts it himself on his website:
I could go on about my past trauma, but literally, everyone has some sob story, so I’ll save you from that mess. To say the least, these dark, macabre, creative outlets have been incredibly cathartic for my severe mental issues and trauma, such as my life-changing schizoaffective disorder that has left me jobless (after years of busting my ass working).
Matt mentioned multiple times that some of his activity was driven by obsessive behavior, but many of the major decisions were thought through – even if he later considered them to be huge mistakes. Regardless, it would be unfair to make fun of actions influenced by mental illness, so this article has to be presented only in a state-of-fact manner.
Matt mostly makes horror game design analysis videos, gameplays as well as derivative content such as lore videos or “top 10” / countdown videos. Long-winded explanations about his rebranding shenanigans are also a staple, as well as meandering thought dumps in general. Like most YouTubers who have played Silent Hill 2 and 3, Matt puts music from those games in almost every video.
Tech demo yearly
For a time, Matt’s main body of work was news and analysis videos about Frictional Games and even called the channel “Frictional Weekly”. Throughout this period Matt oddly focused on the Penumbra tech demo, and after a time his frequency of posting fell, this earned him the fan nickname “Tech Demo Yearly”. He also had a second channel for gameplays, called Frictional Weekly Gaming.
At the time, the FG fanbase had varying enthusiasm for him, some citing that the Frictional Weekly channel is about Matt himself rather than FG.
At one point Matt decided to turn FW into a team effort and started to host a guy called Seth. After a while the channel rebranded as “Cosmic Horror Network” and then just “Cosmic Horror”.
At a certain point Matt decided to take a break from making content. Later on he handed off the channel control to Seth and decided to start his own personal channel (called with his full name at the time), with one of the reasons being that the subscribers still expected him to focus on FG. The channel was personal at first but slowly transitioned back to the usual stuff that Matt makes.
Matt soon realized that his new channel had a fraction of the following that FW had.
He contacted Seth to hand the original channel back, but Seth declined as he presumably was not fond of handing over a few (dozen?) thousands of subscribers he got for free.
Seth made some half-assed excuses about why Matt is not coming back and later shifted the focus of the channel almost entirely to
lazy shit-tier content reading creepypastas.
Both channels were later rebranded, with Cosmic Horror becoming Seth’s “Midnight Researcher” and Matt’s channel reusing the original name of “Cosmic Horror Network”. Over the next few months, Seth would purge a vast majority of Matt’s contributions to the original channel. Despite all the above, these two have remained friendly, as exemplified by Matt later appearing on the old channel and Seth being a moderator in Matt’s server.
Matt would later rebrand his channel yet again and admit that “Anatomy of Fear” is likely not the final name of his channel.
Matt has been actively working on his mod Metus since mid-2016. The mod development started with an early version (a.k.a. “episode 1”) which was later labelled as a demo, and subsequently got “remastered” some time after. Matt has also started a few small mods since creating the Metus demo, but only one of them seems to have been finished (Black Eagle Castle, which has been deleted).
The mod fluctuated between being the 2nd part to the demo and also being a full standalone title that covers both the original and the new content. Additionally, Matt has briefly talked about further installments despite being still far from release of the mod.
The development of Matt’s magnum opus, Metus, goes back as far as 2014 with him making “some Penumbra-inspired levels for fun” in Amnesia. He would later cobble them together to form a custom story called “Metus” which was released in March 2015. The reception was really mixed (5.6/10), with many saying the mod is too short and that many aspects of the mod were simplistic. These earliest versions of the mod can be seen on Archive.org here. A blog entry mentions that Penumbra assets were removed and the screenshots look like regular, non-modern Amnesia maps.
Matt started development on the continuation immediately after, with “Metus - Continuation” being already up in March 2015 (snapshot here). The mod had a demo which is not available anymore. It is unlikely that “true” Metus stemmed from this mod, as “Continuation” was still created with vanilla TDD assets only. The page was later archived, likely due to Metus getting a completely different continuation.
Mod page confusion
Circa July 2016, a new mod called “Gone” appeared on Matt’s ModDB, with modern maps in screenshots and a description reminiscent of the first “true” draft of Metus. Interestingly, several areas shown off in the screenshots would later reappear in “Metus Episode 2”, marking the first half of 2016 as the most likely time when Matt began development on Metus as its known today.
A bit inexplicably, the first Metus mod received a makeover in August 2016, bumping the download version from 1.1 to 1.2 and now boasting screenshots in a modern setting instead of the original vanilla TDD ones. Matt commented on this thusly:
I’m updating the mod to make the story and gameplay make more sense. I’m also thinking of doing a second chapter to this mod! Download will be available in a day.
- “Metus: Episode 2 - Fear of the unknown”
- “Metus 2 - Fear of the unknown”
- “Metus: Episode 2 - Confusion” (early 2017?).
- “Metus (Remastered)” (early 2018). It is worth noting that since this period, Metus became both a remaster and a continuation of the original mod/demo. To add to the confusion, the demo also got remastered around this time.
Simultaneously, the original Metus also got renamed a few times:
- “Metus Ep. 1 - Get Out” (early 2017)
- “Metus” (late 2017)
The last snapshot of Episode 2 is from May 2018, hinting that this mod page was deleted sometime after this date. What follows is a bit confusing, but it seems that Matt managed to change the page URL (when changing titles of mods normally, the URL remains the same) of the original Metus page several times, as the same comments appear on all of them and their image URLs use the same mod ID. The page was retitled to “Metus Tech Demo”.
Finally, sometime in 2023, Matt retitled the page to just “Metus Demo”, quite possibly after reading an older version of this very article, which mentioned the mod “not really being a tech demo since that would entail adding new mechanics to the game”.
The current Metus page seems to be a new mod page. This paradigm shift can be summarised as follows:
- The original page got renamed to “Metus (Tech) Demo” and hosts the remastered version of the 2015 mod (or the 2016 revamp, to be precise).
- The development page for the “true” Metus mod used to be “Metus Episode 2”, which got deleted and replaced with just Metus now that the URL was freed up.
The new page was later retitled to Nails (earliest mention we found was September 2020), including the URL, and remained as such at least until May 2022. Currently the mod is back to being just “Metus”.
Unfortunately Matt frequently deletes old articles, so there is very little data left about Matt’s reasoning and the specifics of the various creative directions the mod went through.
After a year or two of work, the character of the mod came under a heavy influence of the Silent Hill series, with surreal sections being added. Many of them had one-off themes (e.g. mushrooms, abandoned village filled with roots) and some of the levels were made with vanilla Amnesia assets only. This approach turned the mod into a patchwork of incohesive art styles.
Many of these maps consist of somewhat simple rooms and corridors, which feature very few details. It is worth nothing though that Matt’s creativity with the themes of those levels was quite impressive and they were much more unique than the usual mansionbase spam coming from the community. The puzzles featured in the deleted mod trailers were also quite original, although a few of them were rather contrived (e.g. requiring an item to retrieve a key which is clearly within an arms reach).
In March 2017, Matt commented:
Metus 2 (so far) has 43 maps being worked on with much more planned. The Metus 2 folder is already 1.47gb and contains 10,827 files and 752 folders. Expect an incredibly long, immersive, freaky as hell mod. Expect Metus 2 to be another lengthy mod like Final Revelations.
…on the Metus Ep. 2 page, hinting that at this point in time the mod was already a massive amalgam of many types of maps.
Matt’s work methods have later shifted noticeably towards stream-of-consciousness map creation:
Additionally, this work ethic resulted in copious amount of content being made:
It is worth nothing that the above might have been said largerly about the many already existing maps mentioned earlier and did not imply another huge swathe of maps being made.
As can be deduced from the above, Matt did not have a plan for the mod and made little progress towards actually finishing it during this time, instead just expanding it by inserting new maps in a presumably nilly-willy manner. The story itself has gotten one or two major rewrites at this point and in all likelihood, levels and texts from them were now living together in the same mod. Later on, Matt even briefly admitted (almost directly) that he gave up on making the mod have sense, although this has likely changed afterwards.
Despite the attempts at refactoring the mod which will be described shortly, the development might have proceeded in a similar manner to the described above, as Matt could be seen streaming map creation for hours at an end. This is however hard to confirm, as his streaming content and channels seem completely gone now.
In 2019 Matt announced that he was nearing the end of development and that there would be no more updates before release:
This release did not happen however, as Matt finally realized that the mod is a huge mess, which he wrote about in a (now lost) blog update.
The intended course of action was to cut lots of the badly fitting content and reshape the story into something more tangible. That did not come into fruition either though (at least not entirely, or not yet), as the newest (2022) description of the mod plainly states that
this is not a “coherent” story pieced together […] in chronological order.
Along with the announcement of revamping the entire mod, Matt also announced that he will revert it from being a Full Conversion to being a Custom Story.
He said that this change was caused by technical reasons (mainly bugs) and because users have an easier time installing Custom Stories. However, that’s largerly misguided for the following reasons:
- FC is actually the least buggy when configured properly. Matt’s issues likely stem from using assets which weren’t put in the mod folder.
- Converting to CS is unlikely to fix all the bugs but very likely to introduce new ones
- FC doesn’t have to be harder to install when configured properly
- In fact it can be even installed the same as CS (when configured properly), and only has to be launched differently
Furthermore, this decision cripples the mod in certain areas:
- Using CS will remove all the custom GUI made for the mod
- Using CS will force the 18th century lantern (which probably doesn’t fit well considering the generally modern setting of the mod) rather than the custom flashlight used previously
As mentioned before, in early 2020 (or possibly even sometime in 2019), Matt rebranded the mod to “Nails” and heavily advertised this new name in ModDB and YouTube updates. Matt has commented on this change as such:
The rebrand came with a slightly different creative direction and Matt intending to change the story into a psychological thriller of sorts, trying to bind the numerous level themes together.
It is hard to tell to what extent this rewrite succeeded or failed, but the video explaining it got deleted and the mod was rebranded back to “Metus”. The new 2022 description indicates that at least parts of the rewrite were incorporated into the current story.
Future of the mod
It seems unlikely that Matt will abandon the project after so long, however there is still no end in sight. With David Lynch joining the roster of Matt’s inspirations, it can be predicted that the mod is going to remain unapologetic about its disjointed structure and plot.
Unless Matt solidifies his vision and plans an ending for the mod, its development can go forever. While the active development seems promising, Metus is a cautionary tale about planning game dev projects. Additionally, Metus is taking so long to finish that when it does, it might not have an audience to play it, considering that the modding community is basically dead already.
As of Halloween 2022, Matt took a break from developing Metus to make a short mod.
As of March 2023, that mod has not been announced or even mentioned again. There haven’t been any updates about Metus either. For the last 2 months Matt has focusing on his new gaming channel, AnatomyOfFearGaming.
It was later discovered that the mod actually had a ModDB page, but got archived very quickly. The mod was called Siren’s Song and it seems it was active only for a few days, with the screens being uploaded on the 9th of November 2022 and the last comment being posted on the 13th. Links:
- Siren’s Song on ModDB
- Snapshot on Archive.org (with old description)
- Snapshot on Archive.org (latest)
In a comment on the Metus mod page, Matt has indirectly addressed this mod’s brief existence in a quite harshly self-critical way:
I also made the mistake of announcing mods that weren’t anywhere near being finished, due to just being excited to talk about it, and I get that’s immature and conceited.
As of July 2023, Matt seems to have quit streaming. He deleted his Twitch channel and his YT channels don’t host any archived streams anymore. He has also removed almost all social links from his video descriptions.
Sometime in the Summer of 2023 Matt made another major revamp of the mod’s premise and presentation on ModDB, likely after Matt has read this very article (which he admitted directly to one of the admins). The mod received major clean-up in several departments:
- Most comments have been deleted/hidden
- Most screenshots and videos have been removed, and remaining/new screens are much more cohesive
- The mod description has been simplified to a short paragraph which is close to the early versions of the mod
It can be theorised that this is accompanied by Matt restructuring the mod itself to be more cohesive and focused. Overall, the mod seems to be back to the direction it took in its “Nails” era.
There was also a wave of spam from some salty moddbtard complaining about the TBD status. Matt has responded with an interesting comment (Archive.org snapshot) which sheds some light on his approach to the mod:
I do, however, acknowledge the mistake of not creating a roadmap before starting the project, which never had a definitive starting point. I get that’s a terrible idea and deserves criticism.
I still plan to finish this despite its messy development or meme status in parts of the community, and I’ve had a lot of fun along the way regardless.
What is it that keeps this page up? Is it “undeserved” pride or ignorance in its negative perception from others? It’s simply a fun hobby for me. Sorry if that sounds cheesy or unsatisfying, but it’s the simple truth.
You’re treating Metus like it’s intended to be some Skyblivion-type project, which in part makes sense due to my past excessive enthusiasm for Metus. In reality, this has been a time-killing hobby that I’ve just had fun putting together while marketing it too seriously. I get the work may not reflect my past overhyping.
This comment shows a few interesting things:
- It proves that Matt has definitely read this article, with “meme status” being a direct quote
- He seems to have heeded the advice/criticism contained within (Hi Matt, we hope it wasn’t too harsh, keep on keeping on)
- Matt seems to have more fun with just making maps than with slaving over getting a mod to a publishable state
Perhaps the real Metus was the friends we made along the way
- Archive of Matt’s 2022 website:
- Video where Matt discusses some of his history on YT (already removed because of course)
- YouTube channel
Old Metus cover arts datamined from ModDB: