This game is a design mess

Hello, i would like to express my concerns with the direction the game is taking. I've tried it, played it for over 40 hours and i've come to the conclusion that the design of the game is extremely flawed.

Let me begin with the main concern, the mapdesign and objective.
I tought it was clear, after the many terrible indie games that failed with this mechanic, that searching for keys in a map is not an enjoyable experience. I don't know who's idea this was, but the only games in which you have to look for keys are ugly 0 effort horror games from 2012, which everyone hated and made fun of. Why, with such a track record of "competitors" to analyze, you decided this would be an enjoyable experience for the players? The very moment when someone has to open google in order to progress with your game, you have failed as a designer.

And then we get to puzzles. You filled your game with puzzles and invisible buttons. This is the exact same problem, except worse. You made maps which are unenjoyable and boring to explore,is this supposed to be an enjoyable experience? This is not hard, this is frustating.

You made it so saving is not an option for anyone, you didn't even THINK about putting in a system to make players who don't want to put up with the whole start all over again enjoy the game.
You made it so getting defeated would take you 3 hours to get up, which just gets you killed again WITH NO WAY TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

And even worse, in 6 YEARS you didn't even try to fix these design flaws. You didn't look at any reference for your game, you didn't intensively test the game to find ways to make it approachable.

All you have is a decent combat system and animation system, which surprise surprire, better developers are improving using AI to generate the animations.
Fix the design of your game, or someone else will do it for you.
 

Jimmini

Insider
There is exactly one key required to progress in the entire game, and it's clearly presented on a well-lit table. I didn't need to open Google to progress once.

The only area with puzzle-like elements is the one in the first level, which is completely optional. It will likely be made shorter at some point though. I found them quite enjoyable, but there are no such puzzles in any other part of the game.

The game is saved constantly. You can even close the game with Alt+F4 and it'll be saved. Besides that, there are checkpoints after each of the first four levels (the first level even has two). If you mean manual loading and reversing time at will, that would make everything you do in the game completely inconsequential. There will be an option to play dead in the future, to mitigate getting knocked out repeatedly.

You can call them design flaws if you want, but that doesn't change the fact that it's just your opinion. The developers are sick to death of modern game design, which usually doesn't entail more than following some marker on the screen and doing what you're told to without any fear of consequences whatsoever. That's something they avoid at all cost. If you don't like that, you'll have to find a different game I'm afraid, because that won't ever change.

I haven't seen any other game that allows even remotely the same freedom in combat as Exanima does. I would love to be proven wrong, but I don't see any other developers attempting anything like this any time soon.
As for animations, there are some games with physics-based stumbling animations, and others with some very wonky implementations mostly for comedic effect, but that's it. Machine learning, which I assume is what you meant with AI, isn't going to generate completely procedural animations for arbitrary terrain like Exanima does any time soon either.
Having said that, animations are not what the game is about, so in the unlikely case that someone else would do it better, it wouldn't matter. Combat is also simply one way to interact with the world among many, and was never meant to be what the game is all about (although it has been improved a lot due to popularity).
 
Last edited:

Midcal9

Member
Hello, i would like to express my concerns with the direction the game is taking. I've tried it, played it for over 40 hours and i've come to the conclusion that the design of the game is extremely flawed.

Let me begin with the main concern, the mapdesign and objective.
I tought it was clear, after the many terrible indie games that failed with this mechanic, that searching for keys in a map is not an enjoyable experience. I don't know who's idea this was, but the only games in which you have to look for keys are ugly 0 effort horror games from 2012, which everyone hated and made fun of. Why, with such a track record of "competitors" to analyze, you decided this would be an enjoyable experience for the players? The very moment when someone has to open google in order to progress with your game, you have failed as a designer.

And then we get to puzzles. You filled your game with puzzles and invisible buttons. This is the exact same problem, except worse. You made maps which are unenjoyable and boring to explore,is this supposed to be an enjoyable experience? This is not hard, this is frustating.

You made it so saving is not an option for anyone, you didn't even THINK about putting in a system to make players who don't want to put up with the whole start all over again enjoy the game.
You made it so getting defeated would take you 3 hours to get up, which just gets you killed again WITH NO WAY TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT.

And even worse, in 6 YEARS you didn't even try to fix these design flaws. You didn't look at any reference for your game, you didn't intensively test the game to find ways to make it approachable.

All you have is a decent combat system and animation system, which surprise surprire, better developers are improving using AI to generate the animations.
Fix the design of your game, or someone else will do it for you.
I got 517 hours so get good casul.
 

Billy

Member
I have to agree with all of you experienced players, but although this guy is wrong about everything, he does represent a problem which the developers will have to face at some point. This game is absolutely amazing, it's unique and it doesn't try to follow trends in popular games, and that's what makes it so special. But this does make it rather inaccessible to new players who just don't get it through their heads that it's not Dark Souls, it's not Skyrim, and it won't be fun if that's what they expect to find. I think that Bare Mettle should emphasize this on their Steam store page a little harder. They should still tell people that the game is a blast and has a totally unique feeling that they won't find anywhere else, but a little more warning to buyers would certainly reduce the number of blockheads who buy this beautiful game only to come on the forums to complain that it's unique.
 

Saetheer

Insider
40 h game time, still stuck trying to find the key. Oh boy, he sure is up for a challenge later, if he manages to progress.
 
Top

Home|Games|Media|Store|Account|Forums|Contact




© Copyright 2019 Bare Mettle Entertainment Ltd. All rights reserved.