What's taking so long?

Discussion in 'Announcements' started by Madoc, Aug 22, 2017.

  1. Madoc

    Madoc Project Lead

    Messages:
    1,066
    We've been focusing on work and as usual we've neglected to keep you properly updated. I'm going to make an effort now to give you a brief overview of what we've been working on.


    As you well know we've been adding content at a slow pace, with only 5 of Exanima's 14 levels/maps released so far. This is not however because just creating more environments is time consuming or difficult, but because we need to progress the game's core features to properly support further content and the story.

    When we released Exanima we rapidly fell into a cycle of constant refinement in response to feedback. We spent an enormous amount of time reiterating existing features and trying to improve what was already there, rather than moving forward with the features that were still missing. This is a cycle we've been determined to break, but it has already left us with a huge amount of work that has yet to be tackled. We also find ourselves wanting to develop a solid and already sophisticated foundation for new features, immediately building things to higher quality standards, in order to avoid wanting to revisit previous work yet again.

    We've taken all the feedback we've received and endeavoured to build new content to new standards. We're trying to break free of the sometimes monotonous environments, to involve the player more directly in the story and do many other things besides. The game has grown greatly in size and scope since the initial release, involving some very substantial additions and refinements. What was born as a relatively small and simple dungeon crawler has been evolving into a large and complex game, incorporating more and more of the features and world of Sui Generis.


    The upcoming update brings the first part of a large non-linear environment that will make up the rest of the game's content. We're using new environment building features and we're adding a lot more intricate and unique detail. We have improved both visual quality and variety in our level design.

    In order to do this we had to make substantial additions to our level building tools, and we've also created some new advanced tools for general asset creation. These tools allow us to make higher quality visuals while hugely boosting our productivity and avoiding many pitfalls that have caused us to waste a lot of time in the past.

    [​IMG]
    Part of the new in engine tools which allow us to create higher quality assets with ease and work much more efficiently as a team.

    With these important additions to what we're able to do, we've also been revisiting the early game content, taking advantage of new environment building features, introducing new unique elements and re-mastering key assets.

    [​IMG]
    An example of what we're able to do with the new level design features.

    [​IMG]
    Re-mastered assets and much improved ground detail and variety thanks to the new features.


    Perhaps the most important addition coming to the game is dialogue and NPC companions. You may have someone by your side to share in your misery, and perhaps even carry that damned torch. This will introduce important new gameplay dynamics and provide an avenue to better expose the story and your own involvement in it.

    While perhaps most of this could have been done with simpler methods, we've tried to build an important foundation for NPC behaviour and dialogue that has many applications within the game, and many more to explore and build upon. This has been the biggest obstacle towards a release as we are attempting something quite ambitious and there was much work to be done spanning AI, dialogue and authoring tools, even a native OO scripting language. In the long term, it is one of our most important goals to create NPCs that have believable dynamic behaviours with meaningfully diverse interactions.

    With this complete overhaul of the AI we're not only trying add more sophisticated behaviours for intelligent NPCs going forward, but also tackling old issues and adding depth and variety to even the most basic encounters.


    While we're not quite ready to include it just yet, we have also been working on Thaumaturgy. We will be adding up to a final total of 6 forms of thaumaturgy, with many powers and related skills. Mind is the first, as it is central to Exanima's plot. It also ties in with a lot of the work we have been doing with AI.


    There will of course be many new items and various refinements to the game in general. We are not comfortable with giving you a release date for the update just yet, but we are at the end of a gigantic endeavour and doing our best to piece it all together and wrap it up.

    (We're trying to avoid spoilers of the new content, but I will continue to add screenshots here that I think are appropriate)
     
    Cooper Holt, Espadon, Fawz and 29 others like this.
  2. Don Kanaille

    Don Kanaille Insider

    Messages:
    471
    Thanks for the update, Madoc. After checking the forum earlier today, I was a bit shocked to see how long it had been silent. Great to see you´re still on the ball! Looking forward to the next update.
     
  3. Eagle-Beak

    Eagle-Beak Member

    Messages:
    1
    Thanks for the update. I added Exanima to my wish list years ago, but decide to wait a while before purchasing. Today I decided to go back on check on the progress . . . and at first it seemed that the project was dead.

    Conveniently you posted this just a few minutes before I decided to check the forums here on your main website. I am glad to see that such a truly unique project is still alive. I look forward to seeing the final product someday.
     
  4. Wisphet

    Wisphet Member

    Messages:
    27
    Thanks for the update! It's really good to read some news on the development. Keep up the good work, can't wait to try out the new content!
     
  5. ChildrenofMana

    ChildrenofMana Member

    Messages:
    41
    Great Work!

    The engine tools look amazing.

    I wonder if we can climb these rocks in the future.
    Thank you so much for taking your time to communicate and post some screen shots, I am looking forward to see Exanima with all the planned content.

    Cheers to your efforts BM!
     
    Wisphet likes this.
  6. Casey Gonabadi

    Casey Gonabadi Insider

    Messages:
    2
    Glad to hear Sui Generis is still being diligently worked upon. Thanks Madoc, as long as the game is still on the way, I say take your time. I'm still a proud backer!
     
    Shalani and Chase like this.
  7. Uxigadur

    Uxigadur Member

    Messages:
    5
    Thanks for the update and great job!!!
     
    Shalani likes this.
  8. Scifer

    Scifer Member

    Messages:
    9
    Please give us a console we can play with :rolleyes:
     
    Snoopbear likes this.
  9. Snoopbear

    Snoopbear Member

    Messages:
    93
    I too would love that, but I do believe I read somewhere that they intentionally exclude it from the public build.
     
  10. gugand

    gugand Member

    Messages:
    52
    I think is not easy develop the game engine for more than a platform. Expecially for a such small team as BM are.
     
  11. JoeysLucky22

    JoeysLucky22 Insider

    Messages:
    20
    Really looking forward to trying out these new features! Your team is doing an excellent job with high quality beta releases.

    I hope you guys have enough funding to be in development for so long... Really want to see this game get more attention!
     
    kevipants likes this.
  12. Elaxter

    Elaxter Insider

    Messages:
    358
    They mean a developer's console, like what appears famously in the Elder Scrolls/HD Fallout series.
     
  13. gugand

    gugand Member

    Messages:
    52
    hahahah. Ok, sorry for misundersting.
     
  14. Sgt. Carras

    Sgt. Carras Supporter

    Messages:
    1
    With the unestimated help of our giant ogre-like demons, sure you can :D
     
    ChildrenofMana likes this.
  15. FrontierPsycho

    FrontierPsycho Member

    Messages:
    8
    Looks great! Looking forward to it.
     
  16. Marc

    Marc Insider

    Messages:
    81
    Just seeing some verticality in the game with that rockface gets me unreasonably hyped with possibilities even after all these years:D Madoc posts always deliver, keep up the great work!
     
  17. Rezz Atrana

    Rezz Atrana Member

    Messages:
    1
    Ah, very nice to read! Thanks for the update, cannot wait to see the new as well as revisited content.
     
  18. Pengman19

    Pengman19 Member

    Messages:
    48
    Any new updates for 2018?
     
  19. Tony

    Tony Moderator

    Messages:
    1,810
    The next Exanima patch is currently undergoing closed beta testing and will be released publicly once the major bugs are tackled (likely a matter of weeks).
     
  20. dzelziic

    dzelziic Member

    Messages:
    8
    Hello everyone ^^

    Its from steam forum:
    http://steamcommunity.com/app/362490/discussions/0/1621726179575319632/?ctp=3

    Bare Mettle [developer]
    [​IMG][​IMG]
    To clarify, combat became far too much of a focus in terms of development, since the moment the first playable builds were released. Clearly the combat is what appeals most to many people, and what the community has been most vocal about, but the constant improvements to combat and animation put everything else on hold for far too long. It was never our intent to make an entirely combat focused game, but an immersive RPG with many other qualities. Right now we're focusing on getting other parts of the game up to speed, without these other features we were completely unable to further the story and release more content.

    In order to continue the game's story and release the remaining levels we need dialogue, more complex NPC behaviours and thaumaturgy. This is now basically complete and we can look at actually finishing the game. Certainly while implementing these features, particularly the AI and behaviour stuff, the future applications in SG were a strong focus, which is largely the reason why the update has been taking this long.

    Besides this, I think you'll find the general improvements to both existing and upcoming content are quite substantial.

    Combat and related elements is something that will continue to be worked on, and we have some very interesting plans for these features. In general, even once Exanima reaches a point where it can be considered complete, it will continue to receive improvements and benefit from the work being done for SG.
     
    Fawz, Marc, Pengman19 and 4 others like this.

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