Is this a one man project now?

Don Kanaille

Insider
Well, as the title says. This game has been dormant for a long time now, and while I´m not super up to date on everything (actually lost track of the game due to the long hiatus), from following the forums and releases on Steam it seems that basically Madoc is the only one really involved in developing this project. While I´m sure he pours his heart and soul into it, one man alone will probably never live up to the ambitions of this game. I remember back in the day when the game was released on Steam, the extra money was supposed to hire more people and the like. But I´ve not seen or heard anything from anybody besides Madoc. While what has been done so far is already quite groundbreaking as far as I can tell, Madoc working alone would certainly explain the current update schedule.
Let´s face it, for this game to have a satisfying development phase and a realistic full release date, updates like the latest one would have to roll out every one or two months, not once every 1.5 years. And I have no idea how long the actual Sui Generis would take once the "prelude" Exanima is actually completed.
Don´t get me wrong, I´m not mad or anything, I certainly got my money´s worth out of Exanima from the fun combat alone. But still, despite the quality of updates, it feels to me like this once seemingly decently funded endevor is now one guy´s passion project he hustles in his spare time, probably from his garage. While that would still be admireable, I would at least like to know what we´re dealing with.

I respect Madoc and his work a lot, but one man cannot do everything and I already presumed this game dead at least twice by now due to the lack of updates and official communication. If I definitely knew that this is just what Madoc can deliver on his off days from his day job instead of a development team falling into years long silence for no apparent reason, I at least wouldnt despair when it takes another year of silence for the next update.
 

Tony

Moderator
There are currently 6 game developers (7 if you include Brendan but he does mostly administration stuff, runs their site/store, legal stuff, finances/taxes, etc.), the newest hire being Sheng (aka Zetheros) who created most of the new armors and weapons. All of the devs listed on the KS page are still working on the game as well as Luke (who was hired on during the KS campaign so not listed there).

Madoc still works on the game(s) 14+ hours a day, 7 days a week while only taking a few days off per year and he's done so since the KS ended in 2012. If you missed the thread Madoc posted on the insider forum a while back about the official Bare Mettle Discord server I'd recommend joining it since nearly all the devs are there on a daily basis while working on the game.

Once Exanima is finished then progress on Sui Generis should be much quicker for two main reasons:

1. they'll likely have additional funding to hire more developers/level designers once Exanima releases and they start to promote the game

2. they'll have most of the engine functionality, tools, core game mechanics and thousands of assets created so they can focus mostly on adding content/level design rather than building everything from scratch.
 

Don Kanaille

Insider
Well if there is half a dozen people working on this game, one has to wonder why not one of them could get life sign of this game out to the public at least once a month, and I don´t mean "come visit us on the discord or our private streams", I mean an official post. It doesnt have to be much, maybe 3-5 sentences or so on roughly what´s going on.

I´m glad to hear Madoc can still work full time on this. I really hope the funding keeps him afloat, I woudlnt want him to suffer ramen-induced scurvy for the sake of a game.



Once Exanima is finished then progress on Sui Generis should be much quicker for two main reasons:

1. they'll likely have additional funding to hire more developers/level designers once Exanima releases and they start to promote the game
I hope this works out. The thing is, Exanima is technically already released on Steam and GOG, and already had the push it got from that. It´s gonna be pretty challenging to get this game proper recognition once a full release is ready to roll out. After all, I heard the same reasoning for the kickstarter campaign and then for the Steam release, and it didnt seem like the development went speeding from there either.


2. they'll have most of the engine functionality, tools, core game mechanics and thousands of assets created so they can focus mostly on adding content/level design rather than building everything from scratch.
Yeah, I know the idea. The thing is, I remember updates from over two years ago where they stated that "most of the ground work for Exanima was done" and that from now on they could focus on adding content. But that didnt really happen.
For a vaguely informed outsider like me, it seems they just keep rebuilding and redeveloping huge chunks of the engine over and over, and it seems less likely as time goes on that they are ever going to hit the sweet spot where the underlying systems work well enough that content can be the main focus. And I imagine that, even with all systems in place, a game the scope of Sui Generis would still take quite a while to finish just from building the world, the playtesting, and such.



I love this game, and I want it to suceed. I really hope they can get the basics down soon. I know Madoc and the others are perfectionists and want this game to be the best it can be, which I admire greatly. But, it feels to me, for this project to have a chance, they´ll eventually have to make tough decisions on when the engine is "good enough" and then move on to so called "content" so we can finally have completed maps, ranged combat and especially thaumaturgy, which is, after all, quite a focal point of the lore and the world building.

Also, BM, don´t make it harder on yourself by making this game look dead when it really isnt. Even if you cannot get a patch out by the month, knowing you´re still on it feels so much better than checking your forums once a year and seeing that nothing official has been written in the meantime. Many of the fans here are like your dear grandmother: Even if you cannot come to visit us all the time, give us a call here and there so we know that you´re doing well and that we are still part of your life :)
 

ZaratanCho

Insider
Plans change ;d

They have went with making all the framework and systems full on SG primed. Including the AI, which took the longest.(then there are other new systems like the balancer and new terrain system) It's the most important part for making what they want a reality and the biggest hurdle. I'm sure a lot of people greatly underestimate how complicated it is.

You won't see updates like this one every 2 months, that's to be sure haha

No extremely complex AI framework to be developed from scratch now. Looking at the update on surface content level can be very deceiving to the amount of work done. Though to be fair there are tonnes and tonnes of new assets and tile sets packed in the update. Several completely new armour sets, weapons(some 130 new items). New level is all new assets as well, pretty much(should have all they need in terms of assets to finish off all the remaining levels)

In terms of content such as new levels, more dialogues and lesser features(thaumaturgy, cloth physics, more skills, proc gen weapons).. it is possible, even likely, to see such updates every 2-3 months. A lot of those already have work done on them and are fairly simple to do in comparison to what has been worked on for the current update.

On top of stepping over the AI hurdle Madoc has upgraded some of the dev tools and created new ones to significantly streamline and ease certain aspects of their work.

Always knew the AI work is coming, only didn't expect it this soon ;d But that's good. No point at even trying to guess when SG will be ready. Better to avoid estimates ;d Overall things seem to be going well from what i can tell though.

If you thought Madoc was doing this all alone now and on his off days.. you must see him as a god like being at the least ;d High praise i'd say ;d
 

Don Kanaille

Insider
If you thought Madoc was doing this all alone now and on his off days.. you must see him as a god like being at the least ;d High praise i'd say ;d
I pretty much see him as eternally dedicated to this project. The lack of official communication plus the fact that you see hardly anybody from the official team besides him made me believe for a while that funding had run dry and that Madoc was probably risking his mental health and financial career trying to keep this somehow afloat with weekend crunch work. Kinda like Overgrowth, if anybody knows that game.

I have no background in game development, so I probably can not fathom how much is truly going on with this game. Which is why dropping a word here and there would mean so much to us uninformed.
 

ZaratanCho

Insider
Yeah i get that. So it happens when they start working on something really difficult. Madoc goes silent and focuses fully on it. He has more than enough on his plate as it is. It's not that easy to maintain good communication but they are working on that and Tony does great work on that front. Communication is also a bit spread out through different channels, steam, discord - most communication is there nowadays(probably since it appears these places get the most traffic).

Main element was this update taking so long. When they used to come out more often communication wasn't that much of a problem.

Things should improve, KS is due an update in particular as well ;d

True, they don't have much of a budget but they use it very sparingly(Madoc hadn't even been getting a salary up until recently setting that up). Finalizing Exanima, at least content wise, is not that far off. For sure have enough to get there. When that happens and with some actual promotion certainly a lot more sales will happen.

On a bit of a side note.

Praise Zetheros(Sheng)
 

-Tim-

Insider
This kind of thread would be better suited for the insider forums, but I guess no one cares anymore.

In terms of content such as new levels, more dialogues and lesser features(thaumaturgy, cloth physics, more skills, proc gen weapons).. it is possible, even likely, to see such updates every 2-3 months. A lot of those already have work done on them and are fairly simple to do in comparison to what has been worked on for the current update.
[...]

Finalizing Exanima, at least content wise, is not that far off. For sure have enough to get there.
I admire your faith. I'll believe it when I see it.
 

Don Kanaille

Insider
I thought the insider forum was for discussing stuff that wasnt released to non-insiders yet, like beta builds or official posts made only to insiders.
 
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