Exanima 0.6 Released

Sgt. Floris

Member
1 and 1/2 years later and we still haven't reached Exanima version 0.7. I can't shake the feeling that I have been hustled somewhat by the developers. While I certainly got my money's worth of playtime, with 214 hours, I still don't think the game is at an acceptable stage where the devs are allowed to ask money for it. There is barely any gameplay. While the little gameplay that is actually available is very good, it's not good enough to justify asking money for it. A lot of features that were promised during the kickstarter, and also on the Steam store page, are still not available in the game as of yet. I have lost all confidence in the devs in terms of them being able to ever deliver an even remotely finished Exanima, let alone Sui Generis.

I must say though that the devs have made significant progress since the first released version of Exanima, in terms of both gameplay and story. With all this being said, the devs could have accomplished way more with the time that has passed since this first release and with the amount of money they have received as of today (Kickstarter sales, Steam sales and sales from their website).
 

Tony

Moderator
1 and 1/2 years later and we still haven't reached Exanima version 0.7. I can't shake the feeling that I have been hustled somewhat by the developers. While I certainly got my money's worth of playtime, with 214 hours, I still don't think the game is at an acceptable stage where the devs are allowed to ask money for it. There is barely any gameplay. While the little gameplay that is actually available is very good, it's not good enough to justify asking money for it. A lot of features that were promised during the kickstarter, and also on the Steam store page, are still not available in the game as of yet. I have lost all confidence in the devs in terms of them being able to ever deliver an even remotely finished Exanima, let alone Sui Generis.

I must say though that the devs have made significant progress since the first released version of Exanima, in terms of both gameplay and story. With all this being said, the devs could have accomplished way more with the time that has passed since this first release and with the amount of money they have received as of today (Kickstarter sales, Steam sales and sales from their website).
The devs could have done a lot of things differently such as completely ignoring community feedback, etc., but they didn't. Instead they chose to actually take into consideration community feedback and improve the game much more than originally planned (better animations, more diverse locations, etc.) and add more features than originally planned (the new arena mode with progression, the improved terrain, the improved dialogue and NPC interactions which will support SG and not just Exanima, vastly improved dev tools, etc.). They're doing more than originally planned yet they do not have additional resources (neither funding nor additional developers - the funding they have is barely enough to pay for basic living expenses such as food and some of the devs have even had to take on additional work just to pay the bills... so far they've made zero profit and have had to invest their own personal funds).

All of the remaining levels in Exanima are already created and now they're working on the mechanics required to flesh out the remaining levels and finish adding content (such as thaumaturgy, dialogue, more in-depth NPC interactions/roles, etc.). BM are getting very close to having all of the mechanics and art assets necessary to complete Exanima in place and they've spent additional time to ensure the mechanics will support not only Exanima but SG as well. This wasn't the plan originally but they decided it was better to spend the time and do it once rather than redoing everything a second time after Exanima is completed and focus shifts to SG.

Claiming that BM could have "accomplished way more with the time that has passed since this first release and with the amount of money they have received as of today" is a bit presumptuous. Bare Mettle have devoted their lives to creating their dream game(s) and wasting time/money definitely isn't something they're keen on doing. It's actually rather impressive how much they've accomplished with so few people and so few resources; they're doing many things which haven't been done before even by massive development teams with nearly unlimited resources. Madoc already works 14+ hours a day, 7 days a week and has taken less than a week off from game development in the past 5 years. He basically eats, sleeps and breathes game development and I don't know of anyone who works harder than he does. The reason they've been able to continue development for as long as they already have is due to being very frugal with their funding and investing it wisely (the devs get paid less than a janitor would make for a salary and it doesn't even cover all of their living expenses). Yes, they could have made different decisions such as cutting out features, releasing buggy content, ignoring community feedback, etc. which would have sped up the process but none of these are good options (in my opinion) and I'm glad they are taking the time to do things properly.

In short: BM are making significant progress despite the lack of updates recently. Most of the things they are working on are huge in terms of what it'll allow gameplay-wise and they've already implemented all of the remaining areas in Exanima -- it's just those areas can't be released until the supporting mechanics are also in a playable state since they're required to finish the content in those areas. In the next update we'll see dialogue mechanics, another location in the story mode with almost all new art assets which will utilize the improved terrain mechanics, new NPC interactions, etc. In the update following that thaumaturgy mechanics will be introduced as well (significant progress has been made on thaumaturgy already).

Likewise, the recently improved dev tools allow BM to create new things much more quickly and to experiment more than before by simply clicking a check box or moving a slider rather than manually doing 50+ steps in order to achieve the same thing. This will save the team massive amounts of development time and allow them to be more creative at the same time. Madoc has mentioned he wants to revamp the first three levels in order to include new game assets which were created after the first three levels were released and to also include natural terrain elements which are now possible after the terrain system overhaul.
 

Sgt. Floris

Member
The devs could have done a lot of things differently such as completely ignoring community feedback, etc., but they didn't. Instead they chose to actually take into consideration community feedback and improve the game much more than originally planned (better animations, more diverse locations, etc.) and add more features than originally planned (the new arena mode with progression, the improved terrain, the improved dialogue and NPC interactions which will support SG and not just Exanima, vastly improved dev tools, etc.). They're doing more than originally planned yet they do not have additional resources (neither funding nor additional developers - the funding they have is barely enough to pay for basic living expenses such as food and some of the devs have even had to take on additional work just to pay the bills... so far they've made zero profit and have had to invest their own personal funds).

All of the remaining levels in Exanima are already created and now they're working on the mechanics required to flesh out the remaining levels and finish adding content (such as thaumaturgy, dialogue, more in-depth NPC interactions/roles, etc.). BM are getting very close to having all of the mechanics and art assets necessary to complete Exanima in place and they've spent additional time to ensure the mechanics will support not only Exanima but SG as well. This wasn't the plan originally but they decided it was better to spend the time and do it once rather than redoing everything a second time after Exanima is completed and focus shifts to SG.

Claiming that BM could have "accomplished way more with the time that has passed since this first release and with the amount of money they have received as of today" is a bit presumptuous. Bare Mettle have devoted their lives to creating their dream game(s) and wasting time/money definitely isn't something they're keen on doing. It's actually rather impressive how much they've accomplished with so few people and so few resources; they're doing many things which haven't been done before even by massive development teams with nearly unlimited resources. Madoc already works 14+ hours a day, 7 days a week and has taken less than a week off from game development in the past 5 years. He basically eats, sleeps and breathes game development and I don't know of anyone who works harder than he does. The reason they've been able to continue development for as long as they already have is due to being very frugal with their funding and investing it wisely (the devs get paid less than a janitor would make for a salary and it doesn't even cover all of their living expenses). Yes, they could have made different decisions such as cutting out features, releasing buggy content, ignoring community feedback, etc. which would have sped up the process but none of these are good options (in my opinion) and I'm glad they are taking the time to do things properly.

In short: BM are making significant progress despite the lack of updates recently. Most of the things they are working on are huge in terms of what it'll allow gameplay-wise and they've already implemented all of the remaining areas in Exanima -- it's just those areas can't be released until the supporting mechanics are also in a playable state since they're required to finish the content in those areas. In the next update we'll see dialogue mechanics, another location in the story mode with almost all new art assets which will utilize the improved terrain mechanics, new NPC interactions, etc. In the update following that thaumaturgy mechanics will be introduced as well (significant progress has been made on thaumaturgy already).

Likewise, the recently improved dev tools allow BM to create new things much more quickly and to experiment more than before by simply clicking a check box or moving a slider rather than manually doing 50+ steps in order to achieve the same thing. This will save the team massive amounts of development time and allow them to be more creative at the same time. Madoc has mentioned he wants to revamp the first three levels in order to include new game assets which were created after the first three levels were released and to also include natural terrain elements which are now possible after the terrain system overhaul.
You can keep writing walls of apologist tier text, that doesn't change the fact that there hasn't been a meaningful update since may 2016.
 

Tony

Moderator
You can keep writing walls of apologist tier text, that doesn't change the fact that there hasn't been a meaningful update since may 2016.
And you may keep ignoring what's right in front of you but it doesn't change the fact that BM are still working as hard as humanly possible and haven't wasted time or funding; they're making great progress with the limited resources they have.
 

Sgt. Floris

Member
And you may keep ignoring what's right in front of you but it doesn't change the fact that BM are still working as hard as humanly possible and haven't wasted time or funding; they're making great progress with the limited resources they have.
That's not even a reply to what I said, you're just repeating what you said in your previous (and many other previous posts not in this thread might I add). You probably don't have a right reply to my post anyway since, deep down, you know that it's true. Thanks for driving my point home.
 

Tony

Moderator
That's not even a reply to what I said, you're just repeating what you said in your previous (and many other previous posts not in this thread might I add). You probably don't have a right reply to my post anyway since, deep down, you know that it's true. Thanks for driving my point home.
Actually, I did respond to what you said. You said "there hasn't been a meaningful update since May 2016" and I responded with "if that's what you believe then you must be ignoring what's right in front of you". The new terrain system added in one of the recent patches (after May 2016) required some of the most significant improvements to the game engine since development began and it was a major hurdle to overcome. Most of what the developers work on is not obvious in the updates we get since they can only release content that is in a playable state (which is perhaps less than 10% of what they've been working on).

There's also been dozens of other major things added to the game and worked on since May 2016 as well. Game development isn't a magical process and saying you feel hustled because a game which is still in development isn't completed yet (and therefore lacking content/features) is a bit silly. If you only want to play a completed product then wait until it is out of development to purchase it rather than complain about the incomplete game being incomplete, especially when the game is still actively being worked on by passionate devs who have devoted their lives to making the best game they possibly can.

Bare Mettle are actually delivering more than originally promised since both Exanima and SG have grown in size and scope and backers of SG get Exanima for free; the devs are taking the time to implement everything promised in the KS days plus more rather than cutting features out in order to meet a deadline. Yes, it's taking longer to develop than originally planned but as I explained above their plans have changed quite drastically since the original estimate was given so this should not be surprising.

And claiming that $15 isn't worth 214 hours of gameplay is simply mind boggling to me. If I get 214 hours out of a game I'd willingly spend $60 on such a game (most $60 games offer much less). Actually, you said you got your money's worth but they shouldn't be allowed to sell the game in its current state, which makes even less sense. If you got your money's worth it means the game is worth buying in its current state and that you haven't been hustled (since you got your money's worth already and you knew you were purchasing an incomplete game before doing so - it was not advertised as being a completed game). And how are Bare Mettle supposed to develop a game without paying for living expenses? You'd prefer they beg a publisher for funding? They tried that route before crowdfunding and publishers would only give them money if they neutered the game into something completely unrecognizable... no thanks.

Giving constructive feedback is helpful but complaining just for the sake of complaining...? Not so much. I'm sure everyone would love it if the game were to be released right this instant but no amount of complaining or false accusations will magically make this happen.
 
I think what he's talking about is why we aren't seeing more smaller scale updates and not just long waits between massive content dumps. or something along those lines
 

Tony

Moderator
I think what he's talking about is why we aren't seeing more smaller scale updates and not just long waits between massive content dumps. or something along those lines
Hmm but he said nothing of the sort:

"there hasn't been a meaningful update since may 2016"

-(this is a false accusation since there have been significant/meaningful updates and smaller scale updates would not fit into the category of 'meaningful updates')

"With all this being said, the devs could have accomplished way more with the time that has passed since this first release and with the amount of money they have received as of today"

-(a false accusation; as I pointed out previously: Madoc already works 14+ hours a day, 7 days a week)

"While the little gameplay that is actually available is very good, it's not good enough to justify asking money for it."

-(he says this after mentioning that he got his money's worth already from the current content by playing for 214 hours)

"I have lost all confidence in the devs in terms of them being able to ever deliver an even remotely finished Exanima, let alone Sui Generis."

-(a complaint after admitting the devs are still working on the game and making significant progress)

"You probably don't have a right reply to my post anyway since, deep down, you know that it's true."

-(he mentions this after I just got done directly addressing all of his points... However, if he were to actually say something true I'd be the first to admit it since it'd be a nice change of pace ;) )


These don't lead me to believe he's simply asking for smaller, more frequent updates but rather he expected the game to be done by now and he's upset that it's not so he's complaining about the current state of the game. However, when I gave an in-depth response as to why things are the way they are he simply ignores it and continues to complain *shrugs*. This is why I mentioned previously that complaining just for the sake of complaining and making false accusations isn't very helpful.
 

Peasant135

Member
---snip---
As impressive as is it to observe your rethoric skills, I fear you're wasting your time. Obviously he has made up his mind about the matter. I can only humbly suggest to arrange your answers into F.A.Q section of this site to prevent further... misunderstandings.
 
As impressive as is it to observe your rethoric skills, I fear you're wasting your time. Obviously he has made up his mind about the matter. I can only humbly suggest to arrange your answers into F.A.Q section of this site to prevent further... misunderstandings.
Dis^
 

Muska

Member
I understand this project is something slow to develop.

I understand it very well, what I don't understand is why in hell is so difficult to dedicate some words once a week for us. Like yay guys how is it going we are still working on blablabla, be patient, we also made a rework on balbalbala animation and the progress on bliblibli is going as spected, slow, but going. That would be more than enough to keep us w8ing for their words every week, also would make the game stop looking as an abandoned project to many people who come across and see no dev announcements here since 2015, and only like twice a year on steam. It really looks bad.

But don't misunderstand my words, I know this is hard project, is just that, more communication is what I wish, here and on steam.
 

Tony

Moderator
The devs are aware that communication is sparse but they prefer to work on the game rather than talk about working on the game. Also, they post update information usually here: http://www.baremettle.com/forums/index.php?forums/updates-release-notes.24/ (last one from Feb 2017 so definitely more than once or twice a year). The devs are also usually found on their Discord server where they occasionally discuss things with people. The announcements forum was used mostly when they didn't have a playable build out yet.
 

Tony

Moderator
I don't think pointing out the last update being Feb. 2017 makes the already sparse communication look any better
2017 doesn't look better than 2015 for the last update? I'd say that's a fairly significant difference. I was pointing out he's looking in the wrong spot if he thinks 2015 is the most recent since there have been dozens of announcements since 2015 in the subforum I linked above. Madoc alone has posted nearly 100 times on this forum since 2015 (not including the Steam or GoG forums where he's also been active) and he's also on their Discord server nearly every single day.

Like I mentioned previously, the devs are aware that communication is sparse (and I'm not denying that it is) but there's a difference between being abandoned and being sparse. Sparse communication signifies Bare Mettle are working on the game rather than talking about working on the game. People are already complaining about how long it's taking to develop the game yet they request the devs further delay the game by talking about it more rather than working on it...? Doesn't seem like the best way to invest their limited resources (of which time is one of the most valuable since every team member already has to multi-task like crazy due to the small size of their team). I fail to see how diverting more of their already very limited time towards talking about the game rather than actually working on it is a good idea, I just see it causing further delays.
 

gumshoe

Member
This old question again...

See Tony, your response basically admits Bare Mettle practically bit off more than they could chew. All the description of the 'pain and suffering' just reinforces that.

Generally in circumstances such as this people would be rightly concerned that the game may just disappear one day if it gets too much for Bare Mettle (not an entirely unlikely event based on your description), But...

Sometimes games come along where the devs are so committed and the quality of the WIP game so strong that it is destined to succeed. I believe, as do most fans here that Bare Mettle will get there, that the game will be remarkable and unique, but it does take a little faith.

A similar situation is that of Grim Dawn, and if you read their '$1Mil sales' post (http://www.grimdawn.com/forums/showthread.php?t=53868 - lucky them!) you can see how close to failure such projects can be, even when destined to succeed.

One thing they did well though the whole time was engagement through monthly (and now still bi-weekly leading to their first expansion) updates and teases. Worth it for customer satisfaction, excitement and keeping posts like the above at bay ;)

Keep up the good work, we all want the project to succeed. Just beware though Tony sometimes you actually increase worry by pointing out all the risks, rather than the intention I assume of encouraging empathy for the team.

I'm very eager to see/play the fruits of all the recent work you described, sounds extensive!
 

Tony

Moderator
See Tony, your response basically admits Bare Mettle practically bit off more than they could chew. All the description of the 'pain and suffering' just reinforces that.

Generally in circumstances such as this people would be rightly concerned that the game may just disappear one day if it gets too much for Bare Mettle (not an entirely unlikely event based on your description)
Hmm, perhaps I wasn't very clear with my previous posts. I was trying to point out that Bare Mettle are very passionate about creating their dream games and are willing to work as hard as necessary to make them a reality, regardless of whether or not they're making a profit while doing so or whatever other struggles they must overcome along the way. As long as they can cover basic living expenses then development will continue (which hasn't been an issue so far thanks to investing their very limited funding wisely). What they're creating has been a dream of theirs for quite a long time and they've been planning it for decades -- it's not just something they'd give up on, especially when they've already made significant progress and have invested so much into it already; the devs have basically dedicated their lives to it since the KS campaign ended.

Bit off more than they can chew...? I definitely wasn't implying this. Yes, BM have revised their plans along the way based upon community feedback, new ideas, etc. but they're still making significant progress regularly and the games have grown larger in scope rather than having to cut-out or remove features. Basically, they're succeeding at delivering even more than originally promised but they've decided to polish the game more as they go rather than rush out a rough-around-the-edges early build which is lacking features and then later polishing it post release (which was their original plan during the KS campaign).

Keep up the good work, we all want the project to succeed. Just beware though Tony sometimes you actually increase worry by pointing out all the risks, rather than the intention I assume of encouraging empathy for the team.
I prefer to be open and honest rather than fluff things up; yes, there are risks involved when an indie game developer creates a game, especially when they don't have a reputation established yet. However, so far BM have been quite successful and I don't foresee any issues with Exanima reaching full completion (it's getting very close since most of the mechanics will soon be in place to finish it - as I mentioned previously: all of the remaining levels are already created and just need fleshed-out once the supporting mechanics are in a playable state). I wasn't attempting to encourage empathy - although a bit of understanding wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing - rather I was trying to say development is going well and the sparse communication of late is nothing to be worried about, it just signifies the devs are getting a lot accomplished :).
 

Tony

Moderator
okay I think this is getting to the point where we need mods for the mods because this is not even about 0.6 or 0.7
Great idea! Perhaps post it in the "thoughts and ideas general" thread so you don't further derail this thread (if you're actually concerned about such). Although quite a bit of what I posted above actually does apply to what BM are working on for both 0.6 and 0.7 versions of the game.
 

Sgt. Floris

Member
The devs are aware that communication is sparse but they prefer to work on the game rather than talk about working on the game. Also, they post update information usually here: http://www.baremettle.com/forums/index.php?forums/updates-release-notes.24/ (last one from Feb 2017 so definitely more than once or twice a year). The devs are also usually found on their Discord server where they occasionally discuss things with people. The announcements forum was used mostly when they didn't have a playable build out yet.
What happened to listening to community feedback? Clearly the community wants the devs to talk more about what they are doing (not just on Discord mind you, also the forums). All the community gets are excuses on why the devs aren't going to do exactly that. Still you are amazed that people are getting nervous because of the slow progress and almost non existant communications?

One of the foremost things a company, especially a new company like Bare Mettle, needs to think about is image. How does the consumer view us and our actions as a company? I can already tell you (and I have made this abundantly clear in the past), that I am not satisfied with the way things have gone in the past and with the way things are going now. It also seems that some other people (on this forum and on Steam, just look at the reviews lately and here) are also not at all happy.
Shouldn't Bare Mettle be adressing these problems? I guess you could say they have, altough I think guilt-tripping (it's been really tough working on the game, almost no resources etc.) someone into being quiet is not an effective way to adress the problems at hand.

It looks really bad when developers do this to customers who have given their money and also put their faith in the devs to deliver a finished game, only to be chastised by the devs because the customer doesn't like the way things are going.

I think all in all the devs, and also you Tony, should've put some of those ''limited resources'' towards taking a course in public relations.
 
Last edited:

Jimmini

Member
I think you should stop acting so entitled. People already get more than their money's worth with the current state of the game. The price has been explicitly set to reflect the current state and not the one of the finished game.

You also seem to grossly underestimate the amount of work necessary to develop a game, especially one that isn't just clicked together in some pre-made engine using some asset store, but is being developed from the very ground up and an amazing amount of care is being put into every detail.

If you would actually read what the developers write you should be aware that the game is as far from being dead as possible. Demanding them to waste their time writing regular updates about the development is not resulting in the game being released earlier either.

The community is not the one to decide what a company has to do. Let the developers themselves decide what they deem a priority. They do have very limited resources and they do work tirelessly to make the game as good as possible. Though a bit of understanding for their situation would be nice, the only person guilt-tripping here is you.

Also, telling Tony what to do is beyond presumptuous, not least because he is doing all this in his spare time, even politely answering to people who ignore everything that is being said and continue to demand things like they would own the whole company by having purchased something from them for a few bucks.
 
Top

Home|Games|Media|Store|Account|Forums|Contact




© Copyright 2019 Bare Mettle Entertainment Ltd. All rights reserved.