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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.

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Update #36

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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.

ADVANCEMENT SYSTEM

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.

SKILL SYSTEM

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

MECHANISMS, TRAPS AND PUZZLES

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

GENERAL PROGRESS

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.

Best,

Bare Mettle

Exanima Released

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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: http://store.steampowered.com/app/362490

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!

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Best,

Bare Mettle

Exanima Greenlit on Steam

40 likes

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.

Best,

Bare Mettle

Greenlight Exanima!

29 likes

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:

http://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=412380198

Best,

Bare Mettle

EXANIMA BETA RELEASED

51 likes

This update is about the beta launch of Exanima but first we think we should address the elephant in the room. Why the lack of updates? What's happening with the game's development?

Let's be honest here, when we came to Kickstarter we didn't know what we were getting into, not so much in terms of development but everything else. We were excited about making the game and naive about many realities. We saw ourselves as indie devs promising to do a lot of cool new things that people would share our enthusiasm for. Our plan was to focus on the game's most unique qualities, release it and then continue work on it indefinitely after release, improving and expanding it. What we soon realised is that most people were not so willing to forgive a few flaws for the sake of the game's virtues. We would be subject to harsh criticism on all fronts and where we showed ability and quality these would only serve to make them expected everywhere. Sui Generis does not present itself as a humble game and expectations were sky high.

Our focus almost immediately shifted from just developing the game to improving everything and responding to criticism so that people would not prematurely dismiss the game. It is a very unconventional game, one that can't be described with what are usually the biggest selling points. It's unfamiliar and people don't know if they want it, they will more easily compare it to what they know and fixate it on flaws rather than understand its unique potential. This was further reinforced by our first alpha releases, our alpha backers were in large part people who believed in and understood the game but a lot of people who knew less about what they were getting into and what the game aimed to achieve were, at least initially, not as impressed.

Does this mean we've bowed to criticism and let it change our game? No. We've listened to what meant improving on what we already had, whether it was making animations more fluid and lifelike, controls more responsive, armour designs more realistic or whatever reflected our own desires for the game. It seems there's endless room for improvement and as something approaches perfection any flaws only become more apparent. For a small team with limited resources working on such an already ambitious project this has proved to be a gargantuan challenge and incredibly time consuming. Doing things well just takes a lot of time and some of Sui Generis' more ambitious and experimental features are incredibly difficult to do "well".

Is this overall a bad thing? We think not. Without so much scrutiny and feedback early in development the game would never be as good. It has evolved from something experimental and rough around the edges to something very refined. But it has been taking a lot longer. It has had the unfortunate consequence that with the game being constantly subject to new iterations and dramatic improvements we became reluctant to show it in its incomplete state. Recent months have also been a constant cycle of feedback and us making improvements, something that is not very meaningful to those that haven't experienced the game. Our insider forum is a busy place where there is constant and meaningful interaction with us developers, now we are opening the gates to this interaction for all of you.

WHAT IS THE EXANIMA BETA?

We call it a beta but really this is more indicative of what tier of backer has access to it than anything else. We've reached a level of quality and functionality that we're happy with, we've used our alpha testing period to refine core gameplay and weed out all the bugs we could find. Exanima is a prelude to a game that is still in development and our focus has been on getting the most fundamental things right and solve any issues before we start piling on more features.

The purpose of Exanima is to give all of you something to play and provide feeback on as we complete development of Sui Generis. It is also designed as a standalone game that we can release to raise further funds for the final stretch of development. It is designed as a slice of Sui Generis. It is set in the same world some 20 years earlier, it tries to convey the existence of this world beyond it and the events taking place at this time are of some importance. You could see Exanima as what a long trip into the underworld in Sui Generis might be like, we have been faithful to it in every regard.

Despite all of this it is important to remember that while Exanima could be seen as a slice of SG as an actual game it doesn't have much in common with it. It's made from the same ingredients but follows a completely different recipe. More importantly we've prepared the finest dough and baked it to perfection but we're still adding the final icing that will make it taste delicious.

Given the kind of criticism we've been subject to in the past this could be considered risky. We've been accused of focusing too much on technology and not enough on the game, an accusation that frankly we consider utterly ridiculous. In order to make exactly the game we wanted we had to develop all the technology, games are made with technology and it's all about the game. This means a lot of very large scale development goals are the reality we are confronted with. Implementing the complete gameplay front-end to this is hugely important, perhaps more important than anything else but considering what we actually had to do and implement, it is trivial. We're not saying the design of the gameplay is trivial, only its implementation.

We are as you know including all the trappings of an RPG, it is a genre that we love, we are crystal clear on what we want here and it's something we take very seriously. But we've often described ours as "world first design", what we want above all else is a world that feels real and is incredibly dynamic with an unprecedented potential for emergent behaviour. This includes complete interactivity, realistic and functional behaviours, meaning attributed to every single thing, AI making real decisions rather than following rigid scripts, physics, lighting and basically just everything being part of a real functional world rather than being symbolic of it.

So, while we hope that Exanima succeeds in conveying at least the spirit of SG please bear in mind that it is far from feature complete, there are many details and big gameplay features still missing that are hugely important to your enjoyment of the game. Despite this the game does already provide a very enjoyable and rewarding experience. More features will be coming in fast, just in the past two weeks we've added a really large amount of new and important content and features and made countless improvements. Expect the game to improve dramatically in the near future. We've been battling giants all this time and now we're just breezing through development.

In past updates we've also talked about the care we were putting into many things such as interaction, animation, the inventory system, sound, combat AI, pathfinding and many other things. Now you can see how serious we are about doing all these things right. It's easy not to notice these things but that means we've done our job well.

Finally, please note that the game has a very steep learning curve and does not yet include a tutorial. Be sure to read the user guide accessible from the main menu, experiment with the game and learn to play it. There's a lot to the game that is not immediately obvious so take your time in discovering it.            

GAMEPLAY VIDEO AND NDA LIFTED

We've put a quick gameplay video up so you can all see some of the game in action. This is not a trailer intended to demonstrate features but just something to give you some idea of its current state. The footage is actually a bit out of date, but you should be seeing more recent and complete videos from players as this version is not under NDA.

 
                          

To download your copy of the Exanima beta use the following link:

http://www.baremettle.com/sg/login/

Best,

Bare Mettle