Frequency of Updates

Tony

Moderator
For those who don't follow the Steam forums here's a recent post from Madoc:

It can take us a long time to update the game, and I understand the wait can be tiresome. There is only ever one reason why we don't release something, and that's because we're still working on it. We work incessantly, but we're a tiny team and utterly committed to making the best and highest quality game we possibly can.

We don't hype, we don't advertise, we don't spoil anything before it's ready. We don't just work to release any update to appease people. We don't cut corners, we don't produce low quality or simplistically styled assets, we don't copy what other developers have done before us, we have built and designed this game and all the tech behind it entirely from scratch. We're here to do big things with this game, to the very best of our ability. We are constantly exploring new territory and pushing to break new ground with everything we do.

If you know us, if you know our game, then you know this is true. It takes time, but we deliver work that is done with great care and passion. This is not the behaviour of someone who doesn't care about or has abandoned their creation.

We are not a big studio of hundreds with a big budget, we're just a handful of people barely getting by. "Making a game takes time", but not all games are equal in this regard. We've developed our own engine, our own content creation tools, we're doing things no one has attempted before and therefore no one knows how to do. We only deliver high quality, detail and polish. All this takes an exceptionally large amount of work, effort, time. We do this because we care about making something truly special, if we were doing all this to sell a game and make some money then we'd truly be complete idiots.

Maybe you don't care about the extra effort we make, but just like many hate our game unless they stick with it long enough to appreciate it, you may find this true of our development effort. Exanima is still evolving, in a big way. We are not just adding content here, we are making huge additions and improvements. There is much that we have been working very hard on, the current state of the game really does not reflect what it will become.

Exanima is going to be a much, much larger and more complex game than we originally planned, it was supposed to be a small dungeon crawler, but it is now to be a richly featured game with an impressive amount of content. The arena mode, an unplanned addition in its entirety, will also be getting substantial additions. I'm sorry that we can't do it faster, but I hope that you will in time appreciate how much we've done.

On a different note, we are currently focusing on pushing out the very next update. We have perhaps been spreading ourselves thin by working on many major aspects of the game at once, but while still working towards the end goal of the completed game, we are packaging up a small chunk of that for you to experience in the short term.
 

Hengun

Insider
Any ETA on the next update? Are we talking days, weeks, months here? I don't mind either way, but I'd like to manage my expectations.
 

Tony

Moderator
Any ETA on the next update? Are we talking days, weeks, months here? I don't mind either way, but I'd like to manage my expectations.
Bare Mettle are currently trying to get the next patch ready for closed beta testing before the public build is released. Madoc mentioned this should happen in the near future but I am not going to give a specific date/estimate since if it's wrong people claim BM have lied to them.
 

Philomorph

Supporter
I love the devs' enthusiasm. I don't love, however, the mission creep that has delayed the game for 4 years now. And the funny thing is, the budget and studio size actually seems irrelevant, because the same thing is happening with Star Citizen, which has a thousand times the budget and a hundred times the staff. Both projects grew well beyond what we backed on KS. I would have been very happy with the "small dungeon crawler" here, and the cool space-sim that my guild could run on their own server (something SC promised that has fallen by the wayside with mission creep).

Of course if all the hopes and dreams of both teams pan out, then I'm sure I'll be extremely happy with those results too. It just makes it hard for me to back future video games via crowdfunding, because you never know when the devs are going to decide their mandate has changed and they'll need just a couple more years to realize the dream we didn't expect to get for our $10.
 

Tony

Moderator
To be fair, Bare Mettle have already delivered more than $10 worth of content with Exanima. If there was no playable game out by now I'd be very concerned about the project(s), but since both Bare Mettle and Star Citizen have playable builds released (that are constantly being expanded upon when progress is made) it's clear that development hasn't been abandoned for either project.

Game development is a pretty unpredictable process and that is doubly true for ambitious projects like Exanima/SG and Star Citizen where the developers are innovating and doing things which haven't been done before. If you're concerned about something taking longer than expected and consider this to be unacceptable I'd suggest not backing a project before it's released since there are no guarantees. Being able to take the time to finish a product rather than being forced to release an incomplete mess by a publisher (that only care about maximizing profits) is one of the benefits of crowdfunding.
 

Jimmini

Member
I think Philomorph has a good point. In my opinion, this is one of the very few things you could actually critize BM for. He/she never said the game was abandoned, but that it is being developed to a standard way beyond what the initial plan was, which is true. Whether that is a good or a bad thing depends on the individual. Personally I don't mind, since I rather have an exceptional game for which I have to wait longer, rather than a "merely" good game sooner. That game development is somewhat unpredictable isn't a secret, but that isn't the same thing as making a conscious decision to make things better and make more of it, compared to what the fundraiser was for (which was for Sui Generis, not Exanima, btw.).

What makes matters slightly confusing is that the initial goal for SG was to release it in a basic (but complete) state and improve on it afterwards, but it became clear that many people wouldn't appreciate that, so the plan changed (which I think is understandable). In retrospect, it maybe should have been made more clear what their goal was.

A similar situation then played out once Exanima was made available, with tons of people criticizing the animations (among many other things), so a lot of effort was put into making them better. The unavoidable result of that was that they traded in the criticism of one group of people with that of a different one. But again, since the result is a better game, I find it very hard to complain about it.

But yeah, if you really don't like the possibility for such things to happen, it's probably better to not back games at all.

TL;DR: Game development is hard, and not just the actual work.
 

Avramovic

Supporter
Dude. Tony.

It's okay to be apologetic of a 4-man team who is developing their own engine and game mechanic on its own without any outside help, but don't compare SG/EX to Star Citizen and ships that cost 29.000,00 USD. I mean, Jesus H., Roberts and his merry band are the last people you want to defend or compare to.
 

Jimmini

Member
SG and SC have a lot of similarities. They're both highly innovative crowdfunded games with lots of bespoke technology and attention to details; their Kickstarter projects' start date is only two weeks apart; both take much longer to develop than initially planned because the quality standards have risen immensely; they both have a smaller side-project that somewhat acts as a basis for the main project; both are in a similar situation development-wise as they need to create complex systems before dedicating to content creation; both are highly simulated, interactive and immersive, with focus on emergent gameplay and player freedom in a large sandbox world while avoiding artificial mechanics. Even the abbreviation of their names look nearly identical lol. They're obviously polar opposites in terms of marketing and resources, but their ambitiousness is quite similar I think. Also, while it's never nice when game content is being offered for real-world currency, I don't understand the drama with those ships in particular; but that seems irrelevant to the topic anyway.
 
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