What's taking so long?

Roryn

Member
If you saw the new balance system in action, I think you'd see that it's not only necessary, but extremely cool.

Here's an example of it being extremely cool.

 

gumshoe

Member
It depends on how strict you're willing to use that term. As you continue to work on a large project you can always get lost in the details, especially if you're very pedantic. I know very well how this conversation will go, we will always go back to ground zero when you will say "issue X arose and devs do their best", but in a way you could apply it to any issue that they encounter, it would always apply as long as the devs do something.

Regardless of what is actually going on there, I still do not have anything tangible, not even a promise of when something new will come out. Yes I know, giving even that to me is pointless because no one knows anything and devs do their best. But it doesn't actually help. Do you get my point? We've go nothing.

Suppose that the testing of the new level would uncover some new bugs and it would take another..1 to 3 month to fix them. What then? Nothing. You just wait. No accountability, no boss who would have any power or leverage over you. And this is Exanima we are talking about here, The Sui Generis is more of an Unobtanium right now.
I think the key takeaways here are these:

BM should never have run the kickstarter, as it set an expectation and people paid to support that, and

If it wasn't for early access the game would be considered vapourware by now, particularly Sui Generis (which the KS was for and is the product we're really waiting for).

Kickstarter is a curse like that. Thankfully we have Exanima through early access and it is updated, if infrequently. The major concern is that as it takes sooo much additional time for every enhancement to Exanima, it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume Sui Generis is still 5 years away (Inc. Backer rewards, Mac/Linux version, Etc) and that is not very fair to those that supported the kickstarter with an estimated 2014 release.

I think in all honesty if BM had the cash they would be best to refund the kickstarter backers and open up a new early access for Sui Generis once meaningfully progressed to sell well enough.

We're in early access, we expect bugs, let's get the next update out :)
 

Roryn

Member
What has changed? I see no difference, I would like to know. :)
The wobble is much reduced -- look at the torso and weapon. Also Look at the footwork when they're being thrown or knocked down, and most importantly notice what they do when they're knocked out/killed.
 

Jimmini

Member
BM should never have run the kickstarter, as it set an expectation and people paid to support that
Except that without the Kickstarter campaign this whole thing wouldn't have been possible. It depends on the individual backers whether they are okay with the large postponement or not. Personally I wouldn't mind. But that's really the only thing they could complain about, since they will get what they backed, and much more.
If Bare Mettle wanted, they could have gotten Sui Generis out by now, but they chose to not rush and do things properly from the beginning, instead of releasing it in a rather bare bones state, like they originally planned.

The major concern is that as it takes sooo much additional time for every enhancement to Exanima, it wouldn't be unreasonable to assume Sui Generis is still 5 years away
Except that the work required specifically for Exanima is almost nonexistant. The enhancements you are talking about are made to the engine, not to Exanima, and all the assets will also be used in Sui Generis. How long it will take until we have Sui Generis is anyone's guess. We don't know how much they are currently and have been working on it's content.

Bare Mettle said:
The game is late, this has absolutely nothing to do with the prelude. An intermediate goal is always hugely beneficial to productivity, if anything we should definitely have aimed to do a prelude sooner. There's nothing separate about the prelude at all, it's a small slice of the game, even the environment is part of the full game and anyway we can churn out these environments at lightning speed. There are no assets and no functionality that won't be used in the full game. Yes, we've listened to criticism too much and are putting a huge effort into meeting peoples' very high expectations of the game. Developing a game with thousands of poeple nitpicking at every detail of it before we had a chance to really get started is not something we were prepared for. Ultimately though it has driven us to extremely high quality standards and dealing with issues as early as possible, in the long run it can only be a good thing. Guilty as charged, we really care and we are doing everything we can to please you. You see a great many developers releasing small slices of a game before the full game actually. I don't see where this idea that the prelude is something else comes from. Solving every major issues has to do with technology and game functionality. These apply 100% to any current or future release of the game. Letting issues pile on is a recipe for disaster. This update was almost entirely about how we've prioritised getting the full game's functionality working rather than taking half measures for the prelude. Again, virtually no work at all is going into the prelude that doesn't support the full game, we've specifically ensured that everything was done to fit the full game instead of just the prelude. This is an extremely complex and ambitious game, getting a slice of it out there before we try to dish out the whole pie was in retrospect an essential strategy.

As for the balancing improvements, Madoc said they are not even worth testing currently, as they aren't working as intended yet. That video isn't representative of the final result (hence why Tony named it "experimental").
I don't think it will be very obvious in combat anyway. Madoc even made sure to not touch the combat stuff, as it already works well. He did however make other improvements to how animations work, so the controls should feel snappier overall. The big advantage of the new balancer is that it allows characters to regain and better retain balance, where they previously just fell over like a sack of potatos.
 

gumshoe

Member
Except that without the Kickstarter campaign this whole thing wouldn't have been possible. It depends on the individual backers whether they are okay with the large postponement or not. Personally I wouldn't mind. But that's really the only thing they could complain about, since they will get what they backed, and much more.
If Bare Mettle wanted, they could have gotten Sui Generis out by now, but they chose to not rush and do things properly from the beginning, instead of releasing it in a rather bare bones state, like they originally planned.
Indeed, without Kickstarter this perhaps wasn't viable (I am still glad we have Exanima though!), now it seems just barely viable instead. It's running on the determination and persistence of the BM staff, we're well past Kickstarter funding I imagine and so failure at any time is an ongoing risk.

There was no option when backing Kickstarter that said 'pledge if you're ok that it might take ~10 years for the complete product.' People pledge on the info there, it's not individually tailored. Now of course Kickstarter is a gamble for any product in the first place and there are no contractual conditions to refund on non-delivery etc, but not everyone is old enough or savvy enough to understand the 'catches' and you could understand people being upset in getting caught out there.

Except that the work required specifically for Exanima is almost nonexistant. The enhancements you are talking about are made to the engine, not to Exanima, and all the assets will also be used in Sui Generis. How long it will take until we have Sui Generis is anyone's guess. We don't know how much they are currently and have been working on it's content.
That's my point, Kickstarter was for Sui Generis, and it's still 'anyone's guess' six years later. I don't want to dismiss the good work so far; BM did deliver (the excellent) Exanima in 2014 and have been working on it since as we (mostly all) know, but will Sui Generis ever come to be? We must keep the faith.

As for the balancing improvements, Madoc said they are not even worth testing currently, as they aren't working as intended yet. That video isn't representative of the final result (hence why Tony named it "experimental").
I don't think it will be very obvious in combat anyway. Madoc even made sure to not touch the combat stuff, as it already works well. He did however make other improvements to how animations work, so the controls should feel snappier overall. The big advantage of the new balancer is that it allows characters to regain and better retain balance, where they previously just fell over like a sack of potatos.
This kind of thing (emphasized) is the scary bit for Sui Generis. The current update has become extremely delayed for the continual engine improvements and tweaks and yet just now there is mention of core engine things not close to testing. When does the engine hit 1.0? What is the scope now for Sui Generis? Is there even one? What resources do BM expect to need for completion? These are all continual risks for those waiting patiently for such a unique and impressive (but extremely ambitious it seems) concept.

We shouldn't argue just for the sake of it, but the extremes of 'it's vapourware' and 'stop complaining and just wait' don't help address the genuine concerns or encourage more interaction from BM.
 

Jimmini

Member
failure at any time is an ongoing risk
I highly doubt that. They mentioned they have enough money to at least finish Exanima (presumably from the sales of Exanima so far), at which point they are going to advertise it and I think will surely sell enough to be able to finish development of Sui Generis, maybe even hiring people.

Sure, no one knew it was going to take so long at that time, but besides the people who are frustrated by it, I also read from many people who actually appreciate it that the developers take their time to do things properly, which is what I meant to say. While I do think they have a somewhat valid reason to be angry, it ultimately doesn't help in making the thing they backed appear sooner though.

Even though we (and the developers) still don't know when it will release, I don't think there is any reason to believe that it will never happen. Like you said, they did good work so far and they are continually making progress towards a release. What more could someone demand? (Except posting something on Kickstarter sometimes, which they said they will, probably when the next Exanima update is out afaik.)

Bare Mettle didn't deliver Exanima yet, and currently it's barely representative of what it will be. You could now make the point that this is a bad sign, not even the prelude of the actual game being ready yet, after four years of development. But that is irrelevant, since Exanima is meant to be a testing ground (even though it's a full game in its own right) for the mechanics of Sui Generis and everything they do is progress towards it.

The engine will probably hit 1.0 when Sui Generis releases. The version number doesn't matter though, since they will keep making improvements to it, even after the game's release. There are still a lot of things planned in terms of functionality. I think it's enough for the tools to be in a state that allows the ones responsible for the content to be able to do their job, which they can.

Edit:
It's an unusual game for today's standards, in the sense that the technology is responsible for a lot of the content/experiences that players will get. Usually you'd have a complete engine with standard functionality which you use to present your limited handmade content which players see and interact with. But in this case the engine functionality is a much bigger factor than usual on what the game will be like, since there is a big focus on emergent gameplay. For example the AI, which the players will interact with, has a huge impact on what players will do and see, so development focus has to be directed appropriately much at it. Then there are physics-based animations, which among other things result in basically limitless ways fights can play out and it's something many players will spend a lot of time with, so that too is important to get right. Since it's also fundamental to how players move, you want to make sure that it works well in a lot of circumstances. In other games you don't have to worry about such things, since they are mostly content-driven and standard functionality is enough (and even desired).
 
Last edited:

teje1997

Member
The wobble is much reduced -- look at the torso and weapon. Also Look at the footwork when they're being thrown or knocked down, and most importantly notice what they do when they're knocked out/killed.
Now you say I see the footwork is improved. But can't realise the little details, everything seems more smooth. :D
 

DoubleDHZ

Member
Having them work on a single patch for over 15 months and then it's not even an increase of the minor version (0.6.7.7 vs 0.6.5.4)? That's something in between disheartening and disturbing. It's just a number, I know, but usually that number is supposed to tell you that something changed. Doesn't look like much has changed.
 

Midcal9

Member
Bare Mettle didn't deliver Exanima yet, and currently it's barely representative of what it will be. You could now make the point that this is a bad sign, not even the prelude of the actual game being ready yet, after four years of development. But that is irrelevant, since Exanima is meant to be a testing ground (even though it's a full game in its own right) for the mechanics of Sui Generis and everything they do is progress towards it.
It kind of is, mainly because, as I have pointed out earlier, people tend to give up on such projects when they get older and at this point I do not know if Madoc will be around in 5 years working on sui. I do not know how long can it possibly take to complete this game. Now, in a way, maybe if I were being very positive about this project it would reinforce the illusion the devs themselves have which will in turn reinforce their own motivation, but that's not the kind of person I am.

Exanima is a testing ground and so far it;s going very slow. That's all I see, factually. Can you dispute that by giving me an objective piece of information? do you know how long could it potentially take for them to complete exanma? do you know why it took them so long and still takes them so long that the new sub level is still not in the testing phase?
 

Jimmini

Member
people tend to give up on such projects when they get older
That's quite a generalization. Lots of projects would get abondoned if all it would take is for people to get older. Madoc has dedicated almost his entire life to make Sui Generis. I don't know why you think he would just abandon it, especially after accomplishing so much (what others haven't been able to in the entire history of video games), but to me the mere thought is simply ridiculous. It would require something much worse than age for that to happen, in my humble opinion.

Whether Exanima is a testing ground doesn't matter, and whether it's going slow is debatable. If you simply compare it to other games, you won't get a very meaningful idea of how fast development is going. Like I said, Exanima and Sui Generis are heavily dependent on complex technology and even the content is very elaborate, and by taking those things into consideration I would say development is going quite fast. Since the new level (don't know what you mean with "sub level") is supposedly more elaborate than the previous ones and introduces new types of terrain, which in turn has implications on character movement and related systems, I'd say it's not surprising at all that it takes some time.
 

Midcal9

Member
That's quite a generalization. Lots of projects would get abondoned if all it would take is for people to get older. Madoc has dedicated almost his entire life to make Sui Generis. I don't know why you think he would just abandon it, especially after accomplishing so much (what others haven't been able to in the entire history of video games), but to me the mere thought is simply ridiculous. It would require something much worse than age for that to happen, in my humble opinion.

Whether Exanima is a testing ground doesn't matter, and whether it's going slow is debatable. If you simply compare it to other games, you won't get a very meaningful idea of how fast development is going. Like I said, Exanima and Sui Generis are heavily dependent on complex technology and even the content is very elaborate, and by taking those things into consideration I would say development is going quite fast. Since the new level (don't know what you mean with "sub level") is supposedly more elaborate than the previous ones and introduces new types of terrain, which in turn has implications on character movement and related systems, I'd say it's not surprising at all that it takes some time.
Your words have no substance. None.

Madoc is in his 40s, for how long do you think he can keep it oup until life will catch up to him? I highly doubt he's a multimillionaire who lives in a 500k euro house and can support himself without an effort for the next 5 to 10 years. I also know that people tend to change based on how old they get, it is predominately brain chemistry driven. And Madoc is not the only one, there is still a team of people, how many of them can keep up when the task at hand only tends to get larger with every year?

I do not know. Do you know? I asked you what you know, not for your drivel about how complex and relative to X the whole thing is. WHAT DO YOU KNOW? To quote Putin's joke, I need names, places of birth, residences etc. And don't tell me you don't get what I'm getting at. I don't need to hear about complex technology and revolutionary approach, save that for someone else.
 

Jimmini

Member
Fine, have it your way then. I'm not going to have a discussion about brain chemistry with you, which for whatever reason every of your discussions end in.
You said progress is slow, I explained my view on how it's not. If you expect some kind of proof that it is or is not "slow", whatever that means, then I'm afraid you're out of luck.
 

Tony

Moderator
I do not know. Do you know? I asked you what you know, not for your drivel about how complex and relative to X the whole thing is. WHAT DO YOU KNOW? To quote Putin's joke, I need names, places of birth, residences etc. And don't tell me you don't get what I'm getting at. I don't need to hear about complex technology and revolutionary approach, save that for someone else.
I know that Madoc is as passionate as ever about making his dream project a reality and his level of excitement is increasing as progress is made since BM are steadily achieving their goals (many times exceeding their own expectations or what they thought was even possible - an example being the current state of the motion synthesis). Now that Exanima is getting close to having all of the features, mechanics and assets created that are required to finish Exanima this has also increased his desire to see it finished since it will be Bare Mettle's first official release as game developers.

Less than a year ago Madoc mentioned he eats, sleeps and breathes game development and one of the few other things he does on a regular basis is physical exercise so that nobody will be able to prevent him from working on the game ;).

Why is the patch taking longer than expected to release publicly? I mentioned some of the reasons previously such as more issues were found than expected which required additional work (unforeseen NPC companion issues, complex AI issues, etc.). Also, some of the optimizations that were going to be done at a later date ended up being worked on now such as the dynamic movement balancer improvements so characters can better handle all types of uneven terrain (which is present in the reworked early levels and also in the upcoming post portal level).
 

Midcal9

Member
I know that Madoc is as passionate as ever about making his dream project a reality and his level of excitement is increasing as progress is made since BM are steadily achieving their goals (many times exceeding their own expectations or what they thought was even possible - an example being the current state of the motion synthesis). Now that Exanima is getting close to having all of the features, mechanics and assets created that are required to finish Exanima this has also increased his desire to see it finished since it will be Bare Mettle's first official release as game developers.

Less than a year ago Madoc mentioned he eats, sleeps and breathes game development and one of the few other things he does on a regular basis is physical exercise so that nobody will be able to prevent him from working on the game ;).

Why is the patch taking longer than expected to release publicly? I mentioned some of the reasons previously such as more issues were found than expected which required additional work (unforeseen NPC companion issues, complex AI issues, etc.). Also, some of the optimizations that were going to be done at a later date ended up being worked on now such as the dynamic movement balancer improvements so characters can better handle all types of uneven terrain (which is present in the reworked early levels and also in the upcoming post portal level).
Yes, I know that Madoc does his best and a lot of issues came up with the introduction of the new stuff which affected the older stuff. I also know that the longer they work on the game the more stuff gets done. Issue number one, what if as they time goes along, and they will introduce more levels to Exanima, more issues will come up and it will take even more time to get them done? Well, that's a silly question right? You'll need more time!

But that's the thing that keeps coming back at me, Madoc seems to be working on a far greater project than he is. Are you in the test stage of the new post portal level atm? Can you even tell me if you are and if so how it goes so far? What of other planned levels?

What of sui, how long will it take you guys to complete that project? Years, now?

"brain chemistry with you"

The older people get the harder it is for them to immerse themselves in making pc games. Our age affects the way we look at the world, the way we "live it" in our mental world of appearances. IE the older he gets the harder it will be for him to make an immersive game. Really old folks make games like Fable.
 

Tony

Moderator
But that's the thing that keeps coming back at me, Madoc seems to be working on a far greater project than he is. Are you in the test stage of the new post portal level atm? Can you even tell me if you are and if so how it goes so far? What of other planned levels?

What of sui, how long will it take you guys to complete that project? Years, now?
Nope, post portal level isn't being tested yet since Madoc needs to finish the dynamic movement balancer first since the level contains uneven terrain and stairs, etc. As far as the rest of the levels go all of them have already been created in the dev build and they just need fleshed out.

Sui Generis should develop much more rapidly due to having all of the difficult work already done by the time Exanima is finished and focus shifts to SG -- the devs will be focusing mostly on content creation rather than engine/tool/technology development like they have been thus far; creating content is dozens of times faster than developing new technologies.
 

gumshoe

Member
Nope, post portal level isn't being tested yet since Madoc needs to finish the dynamic movement balancer first since the level contains uneven terrain and stairs, etc. As far as the rest of the levels go all of them have already been created in the dev build and they just need fleshed out.

Sui Generis should develop much more rapidly due to having all of the difficult work already done by the time Exanima is finished and focus shifts to SG -- the devs will be focusing mostly on content creation rather than engine/tool/technology development like they have been thus far; creating content is dozens of times faster than developing new technologies.
With the way scope for features and enhancements seem to be managed for Exanima (I.e. Not at all), I'd be careful setting an expectation that development will move faster for SG. Especially as this has been stated every time a feature is 'almost done'... Until the next one pops up and must be done too...

Ultimately, I hope BM with SG set a more frequent release model and set the expectation that things will be broken at times, keep giving feedback. The gaming community is pretty familiar with WIP games now and many (I assume) would happily play test SG warts and all as it goes along, rather than wait for long periods of uncertainty.
 

Midcal9

Member
Nope, post portal level isn't being tested yet since Madoc needs to finish the dynamic movement balancer first since the level contains uneven terrain and stairs, etc. As far as the rest of the levels go all of them have already been created in the dev build and they just need fleshed out.

Sui Generis should develop much more rapidly due to having all of the difficult work already done by the time Exanima is finished and focus shifts to SG -- the devs will be focusing mostly on content creation rather than engine/tool/technology development like they have been thus far; creating content is dozens of times faster than developing new technologies.
Do you know what has to be finshed for the update and how long can it take for those things to get done?
 

Jimmini

Member
I think it's quite normal for developers to make improvements to their game until they're mostly satisfied with it. Should they ignore that players can't use the stairs in the upcoming level, or that they constantly fall into the abyss because their character can't handle steep terrain?
Like Tony said, by the time Exanima is done, all big parts of the engine will be done too already, which was the entire point of making Exanima.
There will be no public early access of Sui Generis, although backers may get some test versions.
I may be wrong, but I have the impression you don't quite understand yet what the purpose of making the prelude actually is.
 

Tony

Moderator
Do you know what has to be finshed for the update and how long can it take for those things to get done?
Most of Bare Mettle is working on finalizing the post portal level while Madoc is working on getting the dynamic balancer functioning under all conditions. Madoc was originally planning on helping the team finalize things in the post portal level to get the patch out sooner but after some internal testing concluded it was necessary to work on the movement balancer instead. These are the last two major things necessary for the patch to be publicly released (the other minor issues such as fleshing out the companion's behaviors, adding more dialogue, etc. can be polished after the patch goes public). I can only guess at how long it'll take based upon what Madoc has mentioned but I'm hesitant to do so since I don't want to give people false hopes.
 
Top

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




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