Coffee Diary 7/3/22


Hey Exanimates,

We've been building the new weapon format and trying to cover everything we might need it to do. This potentially includes quite a lot of things affecting not only itemisation, but combat and animations, world building and more. These are not all features we're going to implement now, but in order to support them we need to to have a good idea of what they are and how they will work.

By now you probably know about planned grip changes and weapon flipping. This means things like using a longsword one handed, or holding a poleaxe with a wider grip, or flipping it around so you hit with the hammer or spike on the back of the head instead of the axe blade. Not all weapons can be used with different grips or flipped, some can do both. This means introducing some totally new combat motions, and we'll probably introduce new grips incrementally. A somewhat related change is the introduction of bashes and some related mechanics, holding alternate attack will be used not only for thrusting, but also bashing with the right mouse button. For longer swords and some other weapons this will result in a "half sword" grip while held, also changing how you defend.

There are quite a lot of core weapon mechanics that we also want expand and improve. Something we definitely want to do is have more precise and consistent "damage zones" for weapons, the new component assembled weapon system gives us a lot to work with here. We still want it to be fairly forgiving, but improved. We also want to give different parts of weapons different impact sounds for better feedback and immersion. We also would like to model slash damage as hewing (think axe) and cutting (think sword), to improve it mechanically. The upcoming Draw skill technique also deals specifically with cutting, or for other weapon types hooking, which needs its own weapon properties and mechanics. Another thing we're looking at is improving Remise, possibly with new weapon properties defining how likely a weapon is to bind on impact or glance off to allow a remise.

With the introduction of procedural weapons and orbs we wanted weapons you find to feel more special, and to have an investment mechanic for your gear. Feeling like your items are special and something you've worked towards is one of our favourite aspects of RPGs. Procedural weapons are great, and they still have a lot more to offer, but while the orbs are a nice addition, we don't feel we're there yet. We're looking at ways to further enhance or customise your items to make it feel more meaningful. We're also looking at more special abilities, mechanics for socketed items that tie into customisation and sets or pairings. We always try to approach these things as versatile systems with a greater scope.

With procedural weapons there's some things to finalise. One of the key changes is making it so that individual weapons store information about how they were generated. This allows us to not only generate random weapons, but also design specific weapons by hand, as well as create similar weapons that might have been mass produced or are part of an outfit, but still vary a little. By extension this allows us to keep expanding the weapon factories by adding new components without compromising existing weapons that players own. We want to add more materials and more randomisation of materials, as well as the ability for players to apply dyes and other agents to weapon parts.

We also want to add more detailed and varied descriptions for procedural items, possibly describing notable traits and maker's marks. On that topic, we want to use the procedural item system to give specific smiths their own styles and regional trends.

There's a lot to cover here, but we think we've gone into enough depth with everything to commit to something. Our goal is ultimately to have the support for these features in place so that we can develop them without breaking compatibility with existing content and save games.

Have a great week!
-the BM team


After you said that... I didn't even realize about how much I needed customization in Exanima.

It's going to be


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