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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.

EXANIMA BETA RELEASED

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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

eric & jaclyn, God Hates Games, and 49 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Tony Birch on

      @Magnnus... All backers will get access to the game after it is officially released on Steam (their current plan is to do this sometime in April).

    2. Missing avatar

      Magnnus on

      @Kaeroku
      I'm not saying we should get access before the beta teir. I'm just asking what the devs plan for us is. It's in the best interest of the game for it to be well tested, and fresh testers are an important aspect of testing. All the official testing teirs have access now. I think it's reasonable for the release teir to get access before the games public release (and after the beta teir gets access).

    3. Marcelo Gittermann on

      Well written! Looks really good. I have full confidence in you and your vision of the game. I can only speak for myself but I want to say, take your time and don't rush. I'm not in a hurry :)

    4. Fawzi Menkhour on

      Congratulations on reaching this milestone. Good luck with future development and releases!

    5. Missing avatar

      Godewijn on

      How incredibly awesome that looks :D

    6. Missing avatar

      Kaeroku on

      @Magnus: The tier you backed at indicates you will get a digital copy on release. Asking for any more than that isn't fair to other people who paid for different rewards. Don't try to wave an entitlement flag to guilt trip developers who are making you a great game into giving you more than you paid for. It isn't good for them, it isn't good for the community, and it doesn't reflect well on you.

    7. Jeremie Lariviere
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for the update; I'm looking forward to trying this beta!

    8. Missing avatar

      Magnnus on

      When can people who backed at the $10 expect to get access? Considering the original kickstarter said the game would release a year ago, I think we should get access before the general public.

    9. Contemplar on

      I have always stood by the idea that it is better for you to take the time you need, rather than rush it and end up with an inferior product. In the case of kickstarter projects, the vast majority understand that estimated release-dates are often complete guesses that are overshot, and that development is something rife with constant set-backs, delays and re-invention, especially in the case of smaller teams, more-so when trying to feel their way towards something new.

      While videogamers can be awfully vocal (and have a certain slice that can often be over-entitled, needlessly angry and very pushy), it is often best to take them with a pinch of salt. It is far too easy to take that vocal minority to represent a larger group, and in trying to satisfy them you would severely hurt Sui Generis. There is a big difference in listening to criticism, taking on board concerns, and being pressured by unreasonable demands. I hope that you keep your footing amidst any such hostilities, because I imagine it can be quite disheartening to receive.

      While your updates aren't frequent, you do occasionally put out backer updates to keep us keyed in, and I hope that most of us understand how involved game development can be. You have been honest from the beginning, and you haven't sugar-coated anything (although you have apologised an awful lot where it didn't seem necessary!). Sometimes the anger or impatience is actually a compliment in disguise, as it is born out of the subtle hype for wanting to play what you're making. Some people just aren't very good at communication or self-control I guess?

      Exanimus is looking great, though I'll have to wait for 1.0 release-day to try that, haha. The part that has always drawn me to this project is the underpinning system, and how it would allow for a more organic experience. While there has been some discussion about how health bars run counter to this, I'm of the opinion that functionality also plays an important role, and sometimes little sacrifices have to be made to keep things playable and easily interpretable. As a long-time gamer, just seeing the little touches here and there leave me satisfied that this game is definitely worth waiting for. I hope you won't let the grouching weigh too heavily on you, because while the work you do is invisible to us on a day to day basis, there is no doubt that anybody in software development (much less working without a large, established team!) trying to push for something fresh must either be a masochist or an idealist. Maybe both, haha.

      Don't worry. We've got your back. ;)

    10. Tony Birch on

      I've already sunk a countless amount of hours into playing the alpha and beta versions released so far. Even in its current state the game is very fun and engaging so I'd say Bare Mettle is on the right track. If such small, incomplete fragments can keep me entertained for numerous hours then I can't wait to see what the full game is like! :) Great job so far, Bare Mettle!

    11. Missing avatar

      Kaeroku on

      It's important to me that you guys hear this: from the beginning you promised a new, unique, ambitious game and you stated from the outset that you would be focusing on technological challenges to ensure you could deliver on your promises. And as far as I can tell, that is what you have stuck to.

      Anyone criticizing you for doing exactly what you said you would needs to find their way to the door. You guys are awesome. I sincerely hope that a vocal minority expressing dissatisfaction with no real justification has not been the source of too much trouble for you guys - I for one backed for the exact things that you demonstrated at the outset, and fully hoped and expected that those would be the things you would evolve into a complete game.

      I'm glad to hear that despite the challenges those are the things you've been sticking to. And I will say - I'm glad your radio silence has been lifted. Six months is a long time to go without hearing anything about a project I've been anticipating so highly - but at the same time, every communication from you has been clear, specific, and detailed, and I appreciate that greatly. Further, your response rates are high to community inquiries, and so even with long breaks between updates, you have never left me feeling out of the loop or ignored. These things all contribute to an excellent experience as a supporter of your project, and encourage me to continue offering support and feedback of a positive nature.

      Thank you for what you're doing. I really hope to see this come to completion soon, and it looks like you guys are on top of it. Please keep up the good work.

    12. Kjell Ims on

      The video looks amazing. I don't care if things take time, and different game-play is what I thought we all signed up for! -I've had access to the alpha access, but didn't have time to tool around... now I'm thinking is a good time for me to check this out.

      Also, you should all be so very very proud of what you have accomplished!! The systems you have built are amazing, and will enable some really unique game play! -I have to admit I was worried that the drawn out development time would either a) burn you and your team out; or b) you would run out of money for rice and bread while you finished it.. I'm happy to see you having a new way to get some extra money in while what you have is shaping up so nice looking!

    13. Missing avatar

      L.D Libra on

      The video got me so excited. This game looks wonderful. Great job team.

    14. Andrew Griffiths on

      I backed at £10 Reward Level, just donated an extra £10 on Bare Mettle website using PayPal, donation credited to my account straight away, I upped my reward level and Beta Download was available straight away. Downloaded, installed and running first time. Just had my 1st try in the Arena, combat is going to take a little getting used to. But to me that was the whole point of this game, it is something a bit different, so I'm off to practice now.

    15. Esoba on

      Nevermind. Tried again after a few minutes and I got on.

    16. Esoba on

      404 Error for me as well

    17. Everton Patitucci on

      I got the 404 less than five minutes ago, posted the comment here, retried and it seems to work, so I would guess it's an intermittent issue.

    18. Everton Patitucci on

      Same here, 404 on download link.

    19. Missing avatar

      Jeff on

      Woohoo! Downloading :D

    20. Thomas R. Moen on

      Wow, that video looks awesome. :)

    21. Paul Jackson on

      You guys have done an amazing job with this game!

    22. Missing avatar

      Michael Smith on

      Just upped my pledge as this is looking really nice. Looking forward to giving the beta a go tonight.

    23. Nine
      Superbacker
      on

      Keep the awesome work up and don't take all that critic to your heart. It will take as long as it will take. As I see that you keep quality high, will benefit the game a lot.

    24. Damon English
      Superbacker
      on

      Took me a few minutes to realize doors open by clicking and dragging...

    25. Lucian Primislas on

      Wow, the music is stellar. Really makes the mood.

    26. Missing avatar

      Gary Warner on

      Is there any way I can downgrade to the £20 tier from the £30 tier?

    27. Missing avatar

      Gary Warner on

      Just re-read the £30 backer wording and feel jipped! Still, my own fault for not reading properly. Could've saved myself a tenner and got beta access :(

    28. Alexandre MANGIN on

      I just realised that as a £30 backer, I didn't have access to Exanima unlike £20 backers. :-(

    29. Avram Eisner on

      This looks awesome! I don't see the user guide in the main menu.

    30. Missing avatar

      deleted on

      The author of this comment has been deleted.

    31. Missing avatar

      Sleet
      Superbacker
      on

      Thanks for the update, guys, I really appreciate it! Examina sounds like a great idea, and I hope it can help you get all kinds of great feedback from it.

    32. Zach Wulf on

      In 2012, I was excited to back Sui Generis.

      In 2013, I was anxious for what was to come.

      In 2014, my hype settled down and I started to temper my expectations.

      In 2015, I've strapped in for the long haul.

      You guys are clearly setting out to make one of the most ambitious games ever. Consider me a card-carrying member now. I've drank the Kool-Aid, I'm wearing the robes. It doesn't matter how long this is going to take anymore. 2017, 2020, let's do it. I'm all in.

    33. Missing avatar

      B+P-Snegge on

      I have downloaded the EXE but can't install it. I try to do so in a Windows 7 (64-bit) virtual machine because my host system is Linux. When I run the installer and click 'install' I immediately get a pop-up that asks me if I really want to cancel the installation. If I click 'no' I get back to the screen where I can choose the install path. If I click 'yes' I am informed that nothing on my system has been changed and the installer exits.

      Is there something I'm missing? I would love to give the game a try.

    34. Tony Birch on

      Beta is available to all who have backed at a tier level that includes beta access. After beta testing is done the game will be available to all backers.

    35. Rex Schrader on

      How do I get a login/password to download the beta?

    36. Missing avatar

      Teemu Hirvonen on

      Man, that looks absolutely fantastic.

    37. Devon Mullane on

      Show some love, it's awesome!

    38. Adam Coggins on

      Nice catch, Michael. I was scratching my head until you pointed out the extra spaces in the link. Downloading now.

    39. Alex Dickie on

      So, is the backer beta just for those who pledged at the £20 level and up? I don't have an option to sign up using my Kickstarter email address.

    40. Donald M Pollack on

      Sad face for still not getting to play it yet, but happy face at an excellent video!

    41. HaikenEdge on

      Just to be explicitly clear, only backers who backed at the £20 level or higher gets access to the Exanima beta, yes?

    42. Svenn on

      Looks like there was just a bunch of extra blank space after the URL. Deleting that fixed it.

      What tiers get access to Exanima?

    43. Svenn on

      Download link gives a 404 error.