Quick Status Update

Tony

Moderator
Madoc made a new post on the Steam forums discussing the latest status of things:

"I've been crunching like crazy since the update has gone into beta, this is the first time I feel like things are calming down a bit, so I thought I'd take a little time to tell you how it's going.

In terms of new features everything's in place and seemingly working well. We've been doing several patches a week since going into beta, sometimes multiple ones in a day, and the beta guys have been doing a great job with testing and reporting issues, thanks!

Going into beta testing, and the generally higher level of activity on discord, brought on a fresh wave of feedback, not only regarding new features, but also pre-existing aspects of the game, and countless issues we weren't aware of. As usual this led us to spend a lot more time polishing and improving things than we thought we would. So, We've also been addressing a lot of quality of life issues and making improvements to many aspects of the game that didn't quite seem up to par anymore.


As you know this update introduces a first NPC companion, a completely new and very complex AI system, and dialogue. After adding the companion in beta we thought we'd be fleshing out their behaviour and dialogue, but inevitably we spent most of our time so far focusing on the core aspects of companion gameplay. As you know, Exanima is a fairly complex game to play, and this is no different for an NPC attempting to be the player's equal.

So, for now, the focus in terms of companions has been on making the little the companion does as good as possible, rather making them do more. However most of the work done in all this time has been geared towards supporting varied and dynamic NPC behaviours. This is something that we definitely want to expose, however we think we can add this gradually now rather than further postpone the update. It is a primarily content driven system, so now we're left with the relatively easy task of taking advantage of it.


There is a tonne of stuff in this update besides this, and right now we're just finalising the newest level for the public release. This new level is visually much more elaborate than previous content, but in terms of fuctionality there's nothing that hasn't already been tested. This is one of two new levels, the other being very different from other content and presenting us with many unique technical challenges, which is already complete and tested. The first 3 levels of the game have also been extensively reworked.


The work done for AI behaviour was by far the biggest development hurdle ahead of us. It is in reality where our most ambitious goals are, but we fell far behind with it as we worked to improve core aspects of the game that were more immediately important to an active playerbase. We've been a bit dismissive of all this, and vaguely hoped to work on it gradually, but in reality this needed a huge cohesive effort to become a reality. Moving forward we only have relatively much smaller things to tackle. In terms of assets we've also very nearly completed everything needed to make Exanima content complete, and we've also greatly expanded and improved our development tools, allowing us to make much better content much faster.


That's already turned out a bit longer than I expected, so I'll stop here for now. To sum up, the update is very close now. I think you'll be very pleased with just how much the game has improved across the board. If there's something you want to know more about please ask, it's not very easy for me to understand what you'd like to know about."
 

Trapsmith

Member
I'm glad to hear they are close on the update.
I hope the magic system is implemented and, if they are going to have it, ranged combat. With the mechanics behind this game, I fear that implementing these systems will cause serious rework in areas the team considered complete. It would be wise to have those system issues locked down before proceeding to companion AI, or development could be plagued with the need to rework previously developled code.
Complex AI in the physics system based active environment, implemented with intelligent pathing and the like, would be very time comsuming. I am also interested to see how it is implemented.

Do we have word on how they plan to release the update? I purchased the game through GOG, which I prefer to support. I'm not sure if both Steam and GOG will have the update at the same time, or if there is a wait on one or the other. Either way, I'll keep checking back.
 
I'm glad to hear they are close on the update.
I hope the magic system is implemented and, if they are going to have it, ranged combat. With the mechanics behind this game, I fear that implementing these systems will cause serious rework in areas the team considered complete. It would be wise to have those system issues locked down before proceeding to companion AI, or development could be plagued with the need to rework previously developled code.
Complex AI in the physics system based active environment, implemented with intelligent pathing and the like, would be very time comsuming. I am also interested to see how it is implemented.

Do we have word on how they plan to release the update? I purchased the game through GOG, which I prefer to support. I'm not sure if both Steam and GOG will have the update at the same time, or if there is a wait on one or the other. Either way, I'll keep checking back.
I also purchased the game through GOG. Unfortunatelly the GOG updates are always late. Currently GOG version is lacking the latest patch.
I will be no surprised if GOG delays the update for a week.

If the magic and ranged system are implemented I will purchase the game again from BM directly to avoid the GOG version.
 

Tony

Moderator
Bare Mettle send GoG all of the updates and it's up to the GoG staff if/when they release them. Usually the GoG staff test the updates before making them available on their site; how long they spend testing a patch before they upload it isn't known. I am fairly certain GoG will eventually post the upcoming patch after BM send it to GoG since it's not only minor bug fixes but rather it includes a significant number of improvements, new mechanics and new content/levels.

Thaumaturgy (magic) has been worked on over the past year but it's not quite ready yet so it'll be included in the patch after next; it's required for the story progression. Ranged combat hasn't been worked on yet and is still a low priority since it's not required to finish the story content but it will be added eventually.
 
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