Thaumaturgy is the last major system we needed to make Exanima's planned content work and make it feel like a complete game. It's Mind now, Force is next. Mind is by far the most challenging form, and with the gameplay systems, mechanics, UI, controls etc. done adding force will be a blast! :#
We do still have some big items on our roadmap, like multiplayer and to a lesser extent ranged combat, but none of that is needed to finally start making Exanima feel like a complete game with purpose and structure, to take advantage of the foundations we've been building and improving.
Thaumaturgy is here, and we're starting with Mind. This adds a whole new dynamic to the game, new tactics, strategies and builds. Mind is all about influencing and controlling the actions of others, necromancy and more.
Our concept for thaumaturgy is not just a collection of abilities that do very specific things, but a way of interacting with the world. It encourages creative problem solving, situational use and synergies. You should also pay close attention to the world and its characters, not just what your own abilities do in isolation.
With thaumaturgy also come the Insight and Concentration skills, with 16 techniques in total.
We did run into some last minute issues, so note that one of the core powers and some mods and minor mechanics aren't currently working. We decided to patch those in over the next few days rather than keep you waiting.
At this point we only have a few specific things we want to improve. In this update we're introducing a sort of better "AI" control over how tense each virtual muscle should be at any time. This creates generally smoother motion, removes a lot of jittery moments and improves physics interactions with characters. Importantly, it also offers a bit more control over motion using physics. As we've tightened up the animations over time, they lost a bit of their physics feel, and this brings some of that back.
We've also improved how characters negotiate uneven ground, stairs etc. Characters are better at remaining balanced under harsh conditions in general, resulting in less tripping and generally more responsive control when in difficulty.
NEW FIRE EFFECT SYSTEMWith new features we're adding to the game we needed a better way to simulate fire that is more versatile, better performing and looks better under different conditions. Currently only some newer assets use this system, but we'll gradually replace most of our fire with it. There's a lot of cool things we'll be able to do with this new fire in future.
NEW CREATURES AND FEATURESWe've taken another step in simulating more than the basic human form and now we're able to add extra body parts, or take them away. No, this doesn't mean we've added dismemberment and quadrupeds (yet), but it is an important step for our character assembly an motion systems. We are going to be doing a bit more with this in the near future.
ENCUMBRANCE REVISITEDThis has been on the way for a while. We've been changing encumbrance values on armour to be more realistic and balanced. The largest changes concern full plate armour, but also which areas are encumbered. You should no longer want to wear chain under full plate, and alternatives to the heaviest armours aren't simply worse in every way.
The aim is also to make the upgrade path to the best armour a bit more considered than just always replacing whatever you have with something better. You'll have to consider your armour as a whole a bit more. We've also introduced a set mechanic, whereby pieces of armour that were designed to fit together will encumber you a bit less when combined.
Major changes in Exanima 0.8:
- Mind Thaumaturgy, with many core powers and various mods
- 2 new skills, Insight and Concentration (16 new techniques)
- Two new large interconnected areas to explore
- New encounters
- Support for new body structures and character types
- Improved character physics and animation fluidity
- Improved character balance and negotiation of uneven ground
- Improved undead animations
- New fire effects
- Rebalanced skill progression
- Many AI social and behavioural improvements
- Combat AI improvements
- New AI visibility and detection mechanics
- New ground rendering features
- Armour encumbrance value rebalance
- Armour set bonuses reduce encumbrance of pieces designed to fit
- Improved clipping with armour for weapons resting on shoulders
- Item description texts have full formatting
- Undead no longer take wound damage
- Improved loading times and initial performance
- You can now follow characters by clicking on them when spectating in arena
- Performance improvements
- Many bug fixes and small improvements