Share this project


Share this project

Sui Generis is an original open world RPG for the PC featuring dynamic story and physics based gameplay.
Sui Generis is an original open world RPG for the PC featuring dynamic story and physics based gameplay.
Sui Generis is an original open world RPG for the PC featuring dynamic story and physics based gameplay.
6,931 backers pledged £160,055 to help bring this project to life.

Recent updates


Da54a96b4e97b6b643b2a26e07a19cb3 original
6c6fd954d6aca9cee8c0ddf84a197ebb original
Dfff6c9b151987a741c6be4085c205b3 original

Exanima 0.6 Released



Beneath the surface of our apparently fairly typical medieval setting there is something else. Now we begin to unveil it. It has always been our goal to create a special brand of fantasy, one that is familiar yet different, where the wondrous and fantastical hold up to pragmatic scrutiny. Function rules over form, plot and player convenience never get in the way of believable fiction.

We tell the story through many things and encourage the player to investigate. Every detail, no matter how apparently small or insignificant, must make sense and support it. This creating something fantastical, original and realistic at once has proven quite challenging, it took a lot of iterating and rejecting to be able to create this unique setting and make every small part of it fit.

We know some of you have been waiting for something more wondrous and visually impressive, crossing the portal in Exanima should satisfy that desire. Be warned, you'll meet some nasty things down there and surviving will be harder than ever. This is a mostly temporary situation though, a nice (and spectacular) challenge for now, but its role will change significantly as some new mechanics and many new maps are added.


Mixing physics with even simple animations is a difficult problem, nevermind those of a functional lifelike human. Throw in a player who demands precise and responsive control and you're really asking for a lot. This problem has been eating up most of our development time since we started experimenting with it almost 4 years ago. It has been a huge and often fruitless struggle. We've learned a lot though and our animation system has really evolved, now when we try to improve things our success rate is pretty good.

Every once in a while we take our patchwork of improvements and things we've learned and rebuild them into something better. With this update we've really turned things around.

It would be easier to make a list of what we haven't improved, and that would be a short list. We've rebuilt our IK system, improved footwork, added dynamic stance adjustments, rebuilt virtually all our "animations", made turning twice as fast, all movement snappier and more decisive, walking and running are much more reponsive, we introduced more fine grained control over upper body movement, improved articulation physics, fixed many combat mechanic and input bugs and made all sorts of other improvements and tweaks.

Not to blow our own trumpet, but the results are great. We think we've finally developed this into something not just fun and somewhat quirky, but just exceptionally good. Sure, there are still things to add and there is always room for improvement, but this is the core of it. We have actually gone out of our way to keep the fundamental gameplay essentially unchanged, so don't expect it to be completely different. All movement is still all about momentum and not just simple inputs, actually more so than before. This is central to the gameplay and will always require a lot of finesse (and practice) with the controls.


One of the things we've been focusing on recently is getting our A.I. system to a more complete state. When we talk about A.I. we mean it in the literal sense, Artificial Intelligence, not scripted behaviours with complete lack of circumstantial awareness. Our goals for A.I. are very broad in scope but at the core of all of it there's a sort of artificial brain that behaves in quite an organic way. Getting very dynamic and yet and natural behaviours is quite tricky and we try get these things right in the foundations.

A.I. characters establish individual and group relationships, they have moods, emotions and react to a great many things happening around them. They remember events, characters and features of the environments that they discover. Players and other NPCs are indistinguishable and treated in the same exact way. You will notice much more detailed and realistic behaviour in general.

We've also started adding much more detailed low level behaviour. You will see NPCs flee from combat, set up ambushes, wait for opportunities, fight eachother and more. These are not prescripted behaviours with simple triggers, but things naturally arising from circumstance and a very detailed simulation.

This is a complex system with many moving parts that we still plan to expand on greatly. It will no doubt take some time to tweak the countless fluctuating parameters to a point where they're behaving as well as they should. While this is part of a much broader system that we're working on, already in this form it creates some very dynamic and amusing situations.

Note that your actions are now more important in determining the outcome of an encounter. As an example if you run straight towards someone they may feel threatened and respond, if you stop and fight you will confirm their suspicions, but if you just run past they're unlikely to give chase, and next time you meet they may not consider you a threat. There's no fixed rule though, some may see you running as a weakness and an opportunity. Making enemies can be very dangerous, whereas friendly NPCs may even help you in a fight.


Our standards of quality have been consistently improving throughout development, which inevitably leads to a certain disparity between things developed later and ealier. Recently we've been revising many of our older assets, bringing them to up to par with the rest. We're also introducing circumstantially increased zoom levels and in game zoom has been increased for higher aspect ratio displays. Many core assets have been greatly improved and we've hugely increased the zoom in characters views. These improvements don't only concern graphics, we've also revamped many sound effects and how they interact with physics.


With the new permanent save point for the portal added and some build diversity becoming possible, it was important to allow you to create multiple characters at once. You can now start many new games and go back to any one of them when you like.

The Continue option now brings you a new screen where you can review all your characters and choose which one to play. You can view each character, look through their inventory, their skills and read their personal journal.

This is also where you can manage new global experience earned since you last played the character. Newly available global experience will be displayed and automatically invested in any skill techniques you were training, any remaining experience can be invested in new techniques of your choosing.

We've done everything we can to allow you to keep your current save games, but there have been extensive changes to content and formats so there will be some issues.


Armor is finally no longer a matter of more is better, but presents a tradeoff and an investment as well as having a new layer of meaningful diversity. Heavier and more rigid armours are now more cumbersome which will affect your character's movement in many subtle but still important ways. Your character doesn't just move slower but differently, in ways that are realistic and convey added weight and stiffness. You can be effective even when heavily encumbered, but in some situations you will undoubtedly be at a disadvantage, with the correct training however this can be avoided.


We've introduced the first armour skills, those that are most meaningful for the current state of the game. There are 3 ranks of Manoeuvering in Armour which allow you to overcome the encumbrance effects of increasingly heavy armours. Deflection allows you to take better advantage of your armour, it effectively increases how much of your body your armour is able to protect and reduces vulnerability in gaps and weaker areas of armour.


Items now come in various qualities and conditions. We've introduced over 50 specific quality modifiers with various effects which improve gear diversity and randomisation. This gives many items that were previously just better or worse new roles, particularly with the introduction of the encumbrance system. The quality of items is not only reflected in their properties but also their appearance.

Item quality does not currently apply to weapons, this will be part of a larger upgrade to weapons with a procedural system for much greater weapon variety and meaningful effects. With this we will also introduce many new weapons and types.

Many completely new items have also been added throughout the game.


You should of course be able to fight with no weapon equipped and we've now introduced basic unarmed fighting. You can punch with your left and right, do uppercuts and either straight punches or hooks depending on how you move the cursor. This turned into some very fun boxing combat, which does require a new level of finesse and precision with the controls. With the introduction of the new arena mode we will include unarmed fights which we're sure will make for hours of solid entertainment.


A long overdue graphical overhaul of the user interface is finally here. We've added support for nicer, proportional fonts and upgraded all shading and textures. It's a fairly superficial change, but one that was quite labour intensive, we do think it adds a lot to the game's overall presentation and atmosphere.


Each character now has a journal, currently accessed with 'J'. You can write notes on your progress, what you've pieced together of the story or anything you like. We're considering generating entries from your character's perspective as you discover various things, but some players have mixed feelings about this. Let us know what you think.


There have been countless improvements and fixes to almost every part of the game since the last major release. Here's a list of some specific fixes for well known bugs or things that weren't broadly covered in the above wall of text:

  • Cursor locks to full screen windows
  • Added a checkpoint earlier in the game
  • Improved locational damage mechanics
  • Improved loot randomisation
  • Fixed characters being unable to step in certain places
  • Improved camera obstacle avoidance behaviour
  • Improved pathfinding
  • New shading and material effects
  • Fixed "exorcist" bug
  • Fixed strongbox bugs


This update was supposed to be about getting some more content in, and it was supposed to happen a lot sooner. The level of care we're putting into every aspect of the game has grown a lot, at some point we thought that with how much everything has improved, the more fantasy aspects of the game also needed some more love. A decision was made to expand on our underworld assets and create something more unique, that differentiated itself better from the rest. This also made sense from a longer term productivity and workflow point of view at the time.

Unfortunately we ran into some problems. One of our team members who was core to developing the new assets found themselves in a position of being unable to work much. We initially responded by working on bringing other aspects of the game forward, but the situation got worse and we just found ourselves with a lot more work on our plates.

We got through this little crisis in the end, things are back to normal now, the update has shaped up very well and we've made great progress on many fronts. We've got a lot more content lined up for Exanima, but the assets for this were mostly completed before even its first public release. Delays like this one should not happen again.


We will continue to complete and add features and content at an always faster pace, and at this point I think we can safely say that the days of improving things are almost entirely behind us. The list of features and things we need to do to support them is rapidly shrinking, from something rather daunting to something that looks much more manageable.

The arena mode, which was born as just a combat test, has proved extremely popular amongst players and in the next update we will expand on its features. Fights will be randomised, you will bid into fights and earn money to invest in better gear or even mercenaries to fight by your side. There will be skill progression similar to the story mode and some other features besides. These are great additions and quite simple to make. The arena mode is also a great way to introduce and test multiplayer features which we hope to add soon.

It has been a long and ardous journey so far, especially if you consider that we built everything from the ground up and taken on board every bit of advice and feedback. We don't know how much credit you take as backers and supporters of this project, but you should really take plenty. You made this happen and it's fantastic!


Bare Mettle

Update #36


With the prelude released we've been taking on board a lot of new feedback and criticism. The physics and general complexity of the game are a big part of what make it interesting but can also make things a little difficult. Not everyone embraces change but we've done our best to filter the impatience of some from the genuine concerns of others. Tripping over too often in dark cluttered environments, fighting your own character when opening doors, some difficulty in precisely controlling your character when they are also at the mercy of physics and many others are legitimate issues that we've been striving to improve.

With our latest release we've addressed many of these issues, made some important further advancements in our animation system and generally improved and fixed many things. The response has been very positive and we think the game has now overcome its major shortcomings and the difficulties brought by its innovative features. Now we can once again move to making some real progress. Our latest release of the prelude does already bring some important new features.


We've completed our advancement system and the basis of our skill system. Our aim with the advancement system is to support and make viable any play style and to discourage grinding or repetitive things. We want you to play normally and keep doing what you want. Experience is awarded for every little thing you do and everything you see and discover. Nothing grants experience more than once and the world is fully persistent so essentially your characters must always experience new things. Experience is not given in large chunks but in usually minute quantities and in a very detailed way. Your character will gradually absorb this and learn from it over time. In Sui Generis there is also an element of occasional practice that is still designed to not reward you for stubborn repetition.


The skill system has undergone a lot of revision over the course of development. We've stuck to our fundamental design but where our actual skills were initially closer to a more typical RPG system we felt that Sui Generis had gained a strong identity that did not support something so simplistic. All our skills are now designed to have meaningful and unique effects on characters and to complement rather than overlap with the already well established physics and player skill elements.

There are 7 major skill categories: Close Combat, Ranged Combat, Shields, Armour, Insight, Concentration and Meditation. Each of these has 5 possible levels of expertise beyond Inept: Aspirant, Novice, Adept, Expert and Master. These levels are achieved by training a Technique for a maximum of 5 per skill. There are a total of 8 Techniques to choose from in each skill for a total of 56 techniques. Your character will have a total limit of known techniques to further diversify builds, you will be able to forget certain techniques and train new ones in their place however.

The current skills work with the most important close combat mechanics. They model basic combat training well and diversify characters and tactics without affecting the simple control scheme and the nature of the combat.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


An RPG needs its moving parts and environment interaction. In Sui Generis however it is not enough to play some animations and run some scripts. Everything that moves must be subject to physics and interact with everything else realistically; scripts are obscure to AI, prone to being too rigid and unable to account for truly dynamic conditions.

We've added some important features to our physics engine to implement all sorts of mechanical behaviours and devices that are able to gracefully deal with meddling physics and players. In the latest Exanima release you can see levers, buttons, pressure plates, portcullises, trapdoors, pits, fire traps and puzzles. The important thing is however that you can jam portcullises, push levers or lock them into place with objects, push buttons and plates by leaning or dropping things on them, cross pits by laying planks across them and even divert the flow of fire. This opens up many possibilities that we've only just begun to explore and gives the world that consistent functional behaviour that we're so keen on.

One of the core design concepts behind Sui Generis is that everything carries meaning. We use what we call "conceptual types" which describe every little thing in the game world, what it is, what it's used for, what its qualities are and how it behaves. Everything must operate by a well defined set of rules without exception and this information can be understood by AI which is then able to make connections and reasoned assumptions. A tool isn't a generic object, it's something with real applications within certain activities and professions. A mechanism isn't just an obscure script, but a functioning thing allowing any NPC to potentially understand its workings and purpose.

All these things are created through simple graphical interfaces and well defined but flexible rules with complexity emerging from design and dynamic behaviours.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


With the release of the prelude we were rushing to get many things in a fully functional and polished state but recently we've been catching our breath and looking again at the big picture. We've been making steady progress on many fronts and now we're looking at everything that still needs to come together in the future and making sure that everything for Sui Generis is still on the right track.

With many core and other assets developed to satisfaction we've had a little more breathing room. One of the first things we did is take many assets we would have used, saved them for Sui Generis and taken the time to create new unique things for both games. The underworld plays a very important role in Sui Generis and the deeper you go the more strange it becomes. What you currently see in Exanima is intentionally unremarkable but that will change. It is this contrast that brings our low fantasy setting to life and makes discovery all the more exciting. Developing original designs that are true to the game's unique lore is the biggest challenge we've faced artisitically. Having now invested some more time in it we're very happy with how it has evolved. Sorry, no screenshots here because we want you to experience it properly!

All in all things are going very well. We've put so much effort into getting all these innovative features first off the ground and then to flourish. We've stayed true to our goals and gone beyond, succesfully achieving much more than we thought we would. It's great now to be working on this wonderful game and focus almost entirely on features and content. The only major development goal still ahead of us is completing the AI and dynamic event system for Sui Generis. With a solid foundation and what we've already put behind us we're striding ahead with confidence.


Bare Mettle

Exanima Released


Exanima is now available for download to all our backers. You can download it directly from us or you can redeem your Steam keys which should have been sent to you between yesterday and today. If for whatever reason you did not receive you keys by email you can access them from your account page on our website.

Here is a link to Exanima on Steam:

Before we say anything else, please when you play the game please do take the time to read the quick reference guide found in the control settings. This game is quite unique and you will need some basic information on how to play.

Hopefully by now you have some idea of what to expect from Exanima. It is set in Sui Generis's Underworld some 20 years before the main game takes place and emulates what a long delve into its depths will be like. It is not complete yet, many features of SG are not ready to be included but a lot of it is very close, you can expect frequent major updates to the game. It does already provide a complete and compelling experience and thanks to our amazing and attentive alpha and beta backers it is in a very functional and polished state.

Some major features and content updates are coming very soon. Following is a list of the more important things you can expect to see added to the game as development continues:

       • Per session and global character skill progression

       • Large non-linear main game following early content

       • Build and permanently save characters by completing early content

       • New encounters, items and environments

       • Ranged combat and new close quarter manoeuvres

       • Numerous moddable thaumaturgic powers

       • More complete arena game modes featuring outdoor arenas

       • Complex NPC interactions and dialogue

       • Cooperative and competitive LAN multiplayer

The game also features an Arena mode where you can try your hand at combat against various and increasingly more skilled (in terms of AI) and better geared human opponents. The combat was incredibly well received by players so far and we know many have spent hundreds of hours in the arenas alone. It has a become a larger development focus than anticipated, a huge amount of work has gone into improving every aspect of it and developing AI that can challenge even a skilled player. At its core the combat system seems fairly simple but the controls and physics provide huge freedom and depth, it has often been described as being the closest a game has come to real combat. It can be incredibly rewarding and the skill cap is virtually infinite but it does take some learning to begin with.

Check out our new gameplay trailer below or just go dive right into the game!



Bare Mettle

Exanima Greenlit on Steam


Exanima was greenlit with this Monday's batch of games. The process went incredibly well, we had a hugely positive response with 87% voting "yes, I would buy this game" compared to an average of 30% in the top 50 out of over 1700 games. We also had an impressive 1500+ comments on our Greenlight page. Things are looking good for Exanima.

Link to Exanima's Greenlight page.

A huge thank you to everyone who voted for us and helped by spreading the word!

We plan to release Exanima on Steam some time in April, there is a bit of preparation involved and we're working on a launch trailer. Naturally we're also working on adding new content and features to the game. All our backers will receive a copy of Exanima with the launch and if for any reason the Steam launch should take longer than expected we will anyway release the game to you.


Bare Mettle

Greenlight Exanima!


Exanima is now on Steam Greenlight. Visit our Greenlight page which includes some nice new screenshots of the Exanima beta and please vote yes! We need a lot of votes to get Exanima approved so spread the word.

Here's the link to our Greenlight page:


Bare Mettle