Exanima 0.8.5 beta test


Project Lead

We've made extensive changes to major game systems to support some new and upcoming features and content, we've also made several important engine improvements and fixes. This test release is to make sure everything works as intended, get some early feedback and tune the new systems for the upcoming major update release. We will continue to update the test branch with some additions, further improvements and in response to feedback over the next weeks. Note that as a test build there will be some unresolved issues and incomplete features, it is strictly for testing and early feedback, it is not a preview for the full update and does not include the new content.


The most significant change in this test is a major overhaul to a more advanced and complete pathfinding solution. This doesn't only affect how AI navigate the environment, but also player movement.

The new pathfinding system is based on 3D maps with multiple layers and various more detailed information, rather than a simple 2D map dictating where you can and cannot go. These maps are fully generated on the fly and support dynamic updates. This means you can now walk on any surface you're able to access without artificial restrictions, and the exact shape and orientation of objects matters. For example, you can walk on top of a table if you can get on it, or over it if you flip it and so on. You can create dynamic paths by say putting a plank over a gap and AI can now understand this too. AI should also understand specific elevation and the importance and danger of drops of different heights etc. These multiple layers mean we can now introduce more verticality and complexity to level design.

Some further improvements have been made to player movement in an effort to make obstacles feel less "sticky" and movement more responsive and smoother.

Every part of pathfinding and movement is new; this is quite an open ended problem that concerns many aspects of AI behaviour, it's not about finding the shortest path between two points, but making intelligent choices, tactical decisions and is a low level component of many basic interactions. There's a lot to evaluate and we may need new solutions to new problems. We are aware of a few things already and will be making some improvements over the coming days, but we're generally looking for feedback on anything that you think seems odd or needs improvement.


The AI behaviour system was completely overhauled, not really to change existing behaviour, but to support more interactions, specific behaviours and overcome some limitations and issues with the old system.

Although we tried to make some general improvements along the way, we deliberately tried to replicate existing behaviour, even some things that are perhaps a bit odd and we intend to review. This is in an effort to separate intentional changes from implementation errors, as the AI functions on a delicate emotion system that has already undergone a lot of tuning. What we're hoping to see is AI behaving essentially as it did before, so if you see it diverge significantly from what you expect from previous versions, this is the sort of thing we'd like to see reported. Once we've established the baseline we can look at introducing some actual changes and additions and move the discussion to what can be improved.

Golem behaviour has received some important fixes, but there were a number of issues and some improvements to make, so let us know what problems you encounter with golems.


After the recent big changes to combat movement we felt movement was just a little too snappy, particularly when changing directions, in a way that didn't seem very realistic and was perhaps a little detrimental to the flow of combat. We've made some experimental changes to make movement somewhat smoother. This however does not represent a final version of movement, as some general changes to physics that are in the works mean we will have to tune movement again.

We have also fixed a very long standing issue with leg mechanics that could cause many issues from just jittery leg motions to sudden somersaults, other unlikely acrobatics and, since the most recent update, legs to enter a permanent broken state. These issues should hopefully no longer occur and negotiating very uneven ground should generally work better.

Brief changelog for Versions 0.8.5 Beta:
  • New multi-layered 3D pathfinding system

  • New AI behaviour framework

  • New thaumaturgy UI supporting multiple domains and Potential mechanics

  • Significant graphics performance improvements

  • Physics performance improvements

  • New "ultra" shading setting with specular global illumination

  • Global illumination quality improvements

  • Fixed some unbalanced lighting on Steam Deck

  • Fixed latency issues with vsync enabled

  • Experimental combat movement changes

  • Fixed some graphical issues with new AMD drivers

  • Improved cursor selection for small objects

  • Improved cursor selection for inventory items

  • Fixed a bug causing Confusion to have unintended permanent effects

  • Fixed dialogue closing after every player response in many cases

  • Many important bug fixes

Please use our Discord server (https://discord.com/invite/Z5aV2bF) to report any issues and give feedback, you will find a thread dedicated to test builds called "Testing - Experimental" in the #Exanima channel. To access this test version you must use the Experimental Steam branch by first entering the beta access key: BMXATestAU01


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