Exanima 0.9


Project Lead
It's finally here, our biggest and grandest update yet. We go deeper still into the underworld on the heels of a recent disturbance to discover its source. Explore a huge new area to discover its secrets and face formidable foes therein. Unlock new powers as you traverse redesigned locations and seek out hidden places and new and updated items. New gameplay and storytelling mechanics and a slew of improvements provide the best Exanima experience yet.


The Force thaumaturgy domain is here adding a variety of new powers that change how you approach the game. Force is all about physics which is Exanima's forte and we've worked hard to make this something special not just in terms of physics, but also effects, AI interactions and all those things that give Exanima that extra depth and unique gameplay.

With Force introduced there are now very meaningful build choices. Both domains are accessible, you can specialise in either one or be a hybrid, more skills are implemented and come into play both in terms of requirements and making the most of Force, with the balance of combat and mental skills also being more important than ever.

The thaumaturgy UI has been updated to support all this and other new mechanics. An important mechanic we're introducing is Potential for the scaling of powers, which while still not complete, already provides new story elements and objectives, and will support more build variety and strategic elements. There is also a new Mind power unlocked through the Revelation skill technique.


A huge new area is included in this update, the largest one yet, packed with new and unique features and taking advantage of how our engine has evolved to support more complex environments. This is an important area in terms of lore, progressing the story and featuring some special new encounters.

The first 3 levels of the game have received a big overhaul, with lots of unique features, details and many new secrets to find. New items have been introduced as early as the first levels, and many items throughout the game have been completely overhauled and adapted to our procedural system. The procedural systems itself has also been updated and improved, important new materials have been added giving new variety to all items.


We've developed an all new pathfinding system to improve movement, AI, support more complex level design with more verticality and layers and more interactions with the environment. This new system is dynamic and 3D, based on the actual shape of objects, this means for example a table is a completely different obstacle when flipped on its side, or could even be used as ramp. You can walk on any surface and create new paths that even the AI can understand, you can walk over and under things and AI can navigate complex environments with multiple layers.

Player movement in general is also improved, it is more fluid as there are no more artificial obstacles and everything is accurate to the shape of the environment and objects. You will no longer get snagged on corners or stopped in places that you should be able to cross.


There have been some important additions and improvements to how you're able to interact with objects. We know this could feel fiddly and unintuitive, and we've made many improvements to solve these issues.

Objects will no longer snap back to their original position when you try to place them in an invalid position, but rather will move to the last valid position you defined. You can still cancel the movement to snap objects back to their original position by pressing the right mouse button. Placing objects over voids is also much easier, it now always works intuitively without having to target something with the cursor.

There is a new way to move objects triggered by holding Interact when picking them up. This will physically drag the object with the cursor rather than select a new target position. This is useful for making smaller adjustments to an object's position, but importantly can also be used to drag objects with you as you walk using the movement keys. Dragging of bodies and now objects has also been made much more intuitive, accepting position inputs even if they're outside of your interaction range.


In a game with as much physics as Exanima, and especially with the introduction of Force, it was important that general impacts could deal damage, not just ones tied to combat actions. This was something we attempted before, but had to abandon because it behaved too unpredictably. This time around we've developed a stable and detailed damage system for general collisions and various core improvements to our physics engine support it well.


A new, but long planned, feature we call the "narrator" is an important new tool in story and gameplay. This is of course text based, it provides information, feedback and special interactions to the player. It comes with various new important scripted events and lore exposition, but we still have many more uses for it in future.


Exanima features a unique AI system where characters aren't scripted to do specific things but are driven organically by emotions and other mental states. They can become distracted, curious, agitated, concerned, angry, scared, surprised etc. by varying degrees and can form specific relationships with every other character they encounter. So far this has all been limited to responding to other characters, but now we have rebuilt it on a new framework that allows AI to perceive, understand and engage with anything in their environment, with lots of new tools to guide their decisions and behaviour.

This was important for intelligent interactions with things like Force powers, and we made some core improvements along the way, but it is the foundation for many new AI behaviours that also extend far beyond combat situations. This is a particularly important step for Exanima's 0.95 update, which will focus on more NPCs with more complex behaviours.

There have been various other specific improvements to AI, high level tactics and importantly the ability to use special abilities and powers, which will feature more and more in the game. In general though AI is important to us as we think it's fundamental to a compelling and immersive experience. We will always continue to improve and expand on it.


We've hit some major development milestones with this update and as always we've added that extra depth and attention to detail with everything, which is what makes Exanima special. Exanima is built on our own custom engine and we have done much work on physics, AI, graphics and much more to support these new features and to provide an ever improving, more immersive gameplay experience.

We have polished a great many aspects of the game and we have worked hard to build and update systems that may not always add much immediate value, but support the constant evolution of the game and the many features we still want to add. The pieces are coming together and we are focusing more and more on content and features as this platform we've built becomes solid and complete.

Note that due to the very extensive changes, current story saves will be wiped. Arena saves will be converted and should result essentially unchanged.

Changelog for version 0.9:
  • Force thaumaturgy, with 11 new powers and more to come
  • Huge new area to explore, new lore, encounters and items
  • Big overhaul of first 3 levels
  • Over 50 new and remastered procedural items
  • Multiple thaumaturgy domain mechanics
  • New Mind power through revelation mechanic
  • New 3D pathfinding system with dynamic paths
    • Allows for multiple overlapping layers of depth
    • Walk on any surface without artificial obstacles
    • Create dynamic paths that even AI can understand
    • More fluid and accurate movement
  • General impact and fall damage system
  • New "Narrator" gives information, feedback and special interactions
  • AI can now use powers and special abilities
  • Important AI general tactics improvements
  • Many AI behavioural improvements
  • Improved object interaction
  • New drag object interaction mode
  • New procedural materials and item features
  • Improved item description systems
  • Item captions are now coloured to indicate quality
  • You can now play dead after recovering from unconsciousness
  • Big performance improvements
  • Core graphics engine and material improvements
  • New "ultra" shading setting with specular GI
  • Improved dynamic "death animations"
  • Various improvements to footwork and character motion
  • Important fundamental physics engine improvements
  • Greatly improved loading times
  • Greatly improved latency with vsync enabled
  • Improved selection and interaction with small objects
  • Brushes can now also clean weapons
  • Core physics engine improvements
  • Huge number of fixes


Bare Mettle


I'm stuck at home all weekend on-call and have been desperate for something to occupy my time with. Thanks guys!!!


I'm addicted, the force thaum is too much fun and the level redesigns look incredible. Can't wait to experience the whole new level and bash some new heads


strange, but after patch 0.9 the game stopped working, it just freezes on "bare mettle screen"
upd: -force-dx9 helped
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