Funded! This project was successfully funded on November 29, 2012.

Update #27

Combat Alpha Release

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Yesterday evening we released a first version of the combat alpha. Over 1200 people now have access to it. This very early release is under NDA but it will be lifted soon, we just want to get some early feedback and solve any major issues before it goes public. Anyone with access to the insider forum can view discussions where people have also posted screenshots and videos.

So far the feedback has been very positive. Some people are finding the controls tricky but they seem to be quickly getting used to them, it is a very unique control system. The combat system in general seems to be greatly appreciated. We've had really excellent feedback on graphics, sound, music and various features.

Performance and compatibility are better than we expected, very few people have had compatibility issues and we're getting amazing performance on even very low end systems. This being a first ever alpha release of both game and engine there are of course a few issues but we're quickly solving them as well as making major gameplay adjustments based on the feedback we're receiving. We've already released an updated version with numerous fixes and changes.

This is a huge milestone for us, we've actually shipped a working game even if it is very limited for now and the whole thing has gone very smoothly. The amount of work required to get so many things to this complete state has been staggering and overall we've really made some fantastic progress. Our workflow and tools have greatly improved as a result of this too. Now we can work on adding important features while also receiving continuous feedback (and testing!) and generally having a more meaningful interaction with our backers.

Finally we'd like to thank our community for their patience (we were almost a week late!), support and just generally amazing level of maturity. It's a truly humbling and rewarding experience. Thank you!


Best,

Bare Mettle


Update #26

A Quick Update

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At the moment we're working hard to get everything packed up and presentable for players and distribution. This involves many things such as compatibility, finalising distributed file formats and file structures, menus, character creation, splash screens, in game music etc. and generally cleaning everything up as we're coming from a development-tools-and-game-in-one setup. This doesn't seem very exciting but for us seeing it all put together and presented as an actual game really is. Some of these things are very important and we have to make sure we do them right, changing our file formats later when we've finalised a lot of content could be a problem, for example.

After announcing the postponement of the game we felt we had breathing room to develop some important features and improvements that we couldn't be sure we'd have the time to add and are better done sooner than later. Because we weren't sure we'd be able to add some of these features we've never really promised them or been specific about them. We've been wanting to make a development video or two about these new features but we're not finding the time to do this with getting a first build out of the office. We will make some new videos to go into more depth about these things but here's a quick breakdown of some of the more important improvements and features:

  • Procedural materials for apparel that allow items to be made from different fabrics and other materials, possess unique variations, be dyed in different colours and have dynamic dirt and wear. This allows for endless unique looking items, greater customisation options and many implications for gameplay and AI.
  • Procedural character texturing that allows us to add more unique detail and effects to our characters.
  • Finalised and improved models for both genders and all physiques taking advantage of new features.
  • Complete overhaul of sounds.
  • Reworked post-processing for a more vibrant overall apperance.
  • Torches! These work as dynamic lights with new dynamic fire effects, you can grab them off walls and even use them as weapons.
  • Various animation and combat fixes, including one that caused a perpetual swinging/swaying motion that gave characters a "puppets on string" feel.


We're still aiming to release a first playable version by the end of the month. This very first version won't be the prelude as such as there's still a few things we need to finalise to get the content working properly. You will be able to try out character creation and combat against a number of opponents and with different gear. Once this first version is out we will be rapidly releasing new more richly featured versions. We look forward to getting your feedback about it all!

Best,

Bare Mettle


Update #25

Postponement

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With less than six months left until our planned release date we can see that we're behind schedule. We thought it best to communicate this now rather than later. We also want to reprioritise current development goals in a way that is more satisfying for you and easier to manage.

Rather than rush to release something incomplete or just keep you waiting we thought to release a prelude which only requires a subset of the game's functionality while we take our time completing features properly and fleshing out the game world. While quite different in scope from the final game this will still be a very enjoyable game in its own right. Besides building a small independent plot (which ties in with the world's lore) no work would go into this that isn't required for the main game and most of the team will be working on other aspects of the game anyway. What it will allow us to do is bring a number of core features to completion first and continue developing others and the world without trying to do everything at once.

We have a somewhat atypical development process in that rather than pile on playable content we develop large complex systems that can deliver content more efficiently and drive it more meaningfully. It's never as simple as add a new character, animation, dialogue or object; everything is part of big unified totality that must support all aspects and instances of those things. We've seen how this can be frustrating for our backers because until these systems are complete there's not much to see. This is fundamental to our design though, we want everything to be playable and interactive in many ways, not just one; we want a reactive and dynamic world that feels real, where there's depth and substance to everything, not just surface. We also believe this is a good strategy for a small team like us working on a project of this scale, our limited resources don't really allow for a more brute force approach.

Much of what we're aiming for is very ambitious and without many precedents but we've been consitently achieving the ambitious goals we set for ourselves. What we weren't prepared for when we set our release date is the difficulties we would encounter in the Kickstarter campaign and the level of quality people were demanding on every front. We assumed that as an indie team trying to do things differently some things would be forgiven. This critical response has driven us to achieve higher quality standards than we were originally aiming for and this has been very time consuming. This is obviously just a natural result of not developing a game behind closed doors but opening ourselves to frequent feedback. We weren't prepared for this and we've probably been putting too much effort into pleasing all our fans. When you want more and better we wholeheartedly agree, this for us is the game, not just a game. As we've said before, our intent has always been to deliver a game and then continue to improve it and expand it after release, providing these improvements and new content as free updates. Many of these improvements have taken a higher priority than anticipated. Sometimes it has been counterproductive to make premature improvements to unfinished things but often feedback has led us to significantly upgrade important features that would have been difficult to change later.

Our current goal is to complete a playable version of this prelude and release it to our alpha level backers. We've come up with a simple design that should give it great replayability and make it a good platform to experience and test many aspects of the game. Keeping it separated from the bulk of the main game content should also provide an unspoiled and more exciting experience when it is released. Also planned for this prelude is the ability to duel your friends on LAN with characters you build in the single player experience. The prelude will be set in the underworld and some years before the full game's plot takes place. It will be story driven but without the more dynamic event system and NPC interaction which we are still developing.

We're going to take our first and only holiday over Christmas to visit friends and family and we plan to release an alpha version of the prelude in February. As we continue work on the main game we will also be adding completed features to the prelude. More complete versions of the prelude will be released to beta and then all backers more or less in line with our original release date plan.

We hope that you can forgive us for this delay and that you know we are fully committed to making this game as good as it can possibly be.

Best,
Bare Mettle


Update #24

Running improvements and combat controls

41 comments
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Many people found the poor running motion in our latest video quite distracting so we made an immediate effort to improve it. There also seems to be quite a lot of confusion about how the combat works so we made a new, more detailed explanation of the controls as they are in their current state.

There is a lot of room for improvement in the animation system in general and inevitably it draws people's attention. While we do want to continue improving animation we're currently focusing on other aspects of the game.

You may notice that at times the characters seem off balance and recover somewhat unrealistically. While this is relatively easy to improve in a way that would look better in a video it would also take away control from the player by causing involuntary steps and shuffles. We're prioritising gameplay, better to have something that's fun to play and not just nice to watch! That said we can probably improve this but again we don't consider it a priority right now.


Update #23

New Public Video

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Somewhat later than promised, here finally is a new public video!

During development it's easy to dismiss many glitches and other issues due to things being unfinished and as you know we are developing all technology in house. As we endeavoured to make this video we became determined to solve every issue we encountered rather than avoiding them or using temporary workarounds. We are after all making a game, not just videos. The game is now very stable, the perfomance is solid and we removed every glitch we could find.

While the game still deserves many tweaks and improvements, and we want to continue improving it almost indefinitely, we feel we've reached a good level of quality and functionality. We've avoided showing some aspects of the game that we don't feel are complete enough yet but we tried to convey the spirit of the game in the video's narrative. Hope you enjoy it!

Despite our efforts the Youtube playback of the video is not very good, you can download a high quality smoother version of the video here:
Direct link: http://sb1.baremettle.com/SuiGenerisPAG.mp4
Torrent (faster): http://cdn1.baremettle.com/SuiGenerisPAG.mp4.torrent

Best,

Bare Mettle


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