Translations for our friends around the world.

Author Topic: Exanima  (Read 14102 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Asid

  • HAVOC
  • *
  • Posts: 26026
Re: Exanima
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2021, 11:47:42 PM »
Company Emblems
13 DEC 2021

The new company creation screen for arena. A wide selection of backgrounds and designs with colouring provide a lot of choice and variation.

The emblem generation will also be used for designs on procedural shields, banners and tabards in future.



funny
0
informative
0
Thanks
0
No reactions
No reactions
No reactions

I stand against Racism, Bigotry and Bullying

Offline Asid

  • HAVOC
  • *
  • Posts: 26026
Re: Exanima
« Reply #31 on: December 19, 2021, 11:52:17 PM »
Exanima 0.8.3
Sun, 19 December 2021



Procedural weapons, massive update to arena mode, new graphics, new user interface and much more.

The game has undergone extensive changes and received many updates on the beta branch over the past year or so, but it's finally time to bring it all into the main branch again. There's really a lot to cover here even if we just focus on the big stuff, so please bear with us.

ITEMISATION CHANGES

Exanima for all its physics and realistic approach to armour and weapons is still an RPG, itemisation is important, and loot is the carrot in a game with a lot of stick. But the usual approach of ever increasing tiers with unlikely bonuses has no place here. So what can we do to keep us interested in finding new items, to make them feel special and us invested in them?

We have been finding ways to make items as unique and mechanically interesting as possible while remaining grounded in reality. Procedural methods and detailed properties to guide them allow us to do that. This has big gameplay implications, and can also be leveraged in many ways to create a much more realistic and immersive game world.


PROCEDURAL WEAPONS



Every weapon that was previously a fixed item like "the poleaxe" is now being replaced with a "factory" that can generate a certain type of poleaxe. This is a large collection of different hafts, langets, bolts, axe heads, rear spikes, top spikes, guards and queues which can be randomly combined to make a unique poleaxe with unique qualities and features.

This alone can generate sometimes billions of combinations for a single weapon, but that's just the start, there are also variable deformations. The same haft type can vary in length and thickness, spikes can have varying lengths, curves and tapers, an axe head varies in the angle, curvature, width and length of the blade and has different hole patterns cut into it and so on and so forth.

These things give every weapon a unique shape and characteristics. These have important implications with physics, both in terms of collisions and inertia (how the mass is distributed), which is very noticeable. They all handle and behave differently.

That's not all. Each item is made and textured with unique generated materials. Different parts of the same weapon might be made from different metals, woods etc. The quality of those materials also varies, and so does the condition.


All these weapons are generated from the same one handed falchion factory:



The end result is that there are practically infinite weapons, each has its own characteristics and varies in quality, condition and appearance. Part of our objective was also to make weapons more realistic, and indeed the new weapons both look and behave much better.

This already makes weapons so much more interesting, but there is a lot we can do now. We are working on giving each weapon different grips and orientations it can be used in, giving more purpose to its unique features and more meaningful variety for weapons in general. We are actually building weapons from individual components now, this is detailed information we can use to improve how they behave too.


ITEM GRADES AND QUALITY



Much of the new procedural itemisation doesn't only concern weapons, but everything else too. Previously items could vary in colour and had a few fixed modifiers such as "rusted" or "superior". Now all items use procedural materials and factors like quality and and elegance affect the choice between different types of fabrics, leathers, buttons, coatings, paints and finishes. All materials have varying quality with visible differences.

Build and material quality are accompanied by traits, which may be material specific. These are things such as heavy, light, reinforced, hardened etc. which further modifies the item's base properties.

Finally you have a third independent factor, which is condition, adding wear and rust to items and affecting how they perform in various ways. Condition does not degrade over time, however in story there is now a way to improve the condition of items you find. This means that the many old rusted items in the game which were previously all junk, might now be diamonds in the rough, worth taking a closer look at. Items of particularly good quality and having desirable configurations or traits are something you can invest resources in.


NEW RENDERING ENGINE

You're probably wondering, but why? The game looked fine, this was a truly massive undertaking and not something we wanted to be doing at this stage in development. There were various things we had to or wanted to improve, but individually they did not justify making a totally new rendering engine. However, already deep into the work with procedural items, we started running into serious problems we had no control over, and with great reluctance we finally accepted that if we didn't do this and do it now, we'd just be wasting time and energy and the game would have an uncertain future.

We're going to explain the problems we've solved with the new renderer, as well as some important benefits that came with a fresh design and take on every part of rendering.

Compatibility and driver issues
became a serious problem, particularly as we worked on our new procedural systems. Exanima has a unique and unusual rendering engine, and the things we were trying to do just weren't being properly supported by GPUs, and we couldn't expect them to. We really tried to find workarounds, but everything failed and a drastically different approach to rendering was the only fix.

Driver CPU bottlenecks
have always been a problem, but over just two years we'd lost a huge 30% performance to driver updates as they moved away from our less trodden path. With GPUs and monitors advancing very quickly, while CPUs mostly just get more cores, this was becoming a very serious problem. With our new rendering engine we were able to literally triple framerates or even better in the more CPU bound cases.

Our material system
, while competent, was very difficult to use. Artists were faced with choices that required a physics degree and a calculator. Complex materials were also resource intensive. In practice either due to complexity or for the sake of efficiency, things rarely looked as they should. Our new material system is much more streamlined, easy to use and efficient, it removes the uncertainty and makes high quality materials simple and cheap, with lots of support from our tools.

A hard light source limit
was an issue with our old renderer, particularly with multiplayer on the horizon, where we'd have less control over how many lights would be in one place at once. The new renderer is still a forward renderer, but isn't strictly limited in how many lights it can handle.

Global illumination
(GI) or indirect lighting is a fundamental part of rendering. Without it shadows would be black voids rather than just dark. Exanima's dark environments require at least a basic version of this, but our solution wasn't great. It didn't scale well to large open spaces, didn't support much verticality; while indirect light didn't pass through walls, it ignored everything else, even doors, resulting in very flat and weird looking areas of shadow. It also performed very poorly for moving lights, once again an issue for multiplayer and a limitation in general.

This is a notoriously difficult problem to solve. Baked solutions can't deal with dynamic objects and lights and are a huge burden on content creation; ambient occlusion only darkens corners, it doesn't deal with actual light and darkness; other solutions tend to be cumbersome and slow, with extreme hardware requirements.

We were able to come up with our own GI solution which solved all our problems and drastically improved the game's visuals. Our solution is completely real-time dynamic, blindingly fast and works in any situation, whether it's a dark little room or a valley viewed from a tower with the open sky above. It captures even small details adding lots of depth and doesn't care how many objects or lights are dynamic, it just does its job.

Here's what things would look like with no GI at all:



Read on: https://steamcommunity.com/games/362490/announcements/detail/5612046175808103529

funny
0
informative
0
Thanks
0
No reactions
No reactions
No reactions

I stand against Racism, Bigotry and Bullying

Offline Asid

  • HAVOC
  • *
  • Posts: 26026
Re: Exanima
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2022, 10:22:16 PM »
Weapon Component Effects
Mon 21 March 2022

New detailed weapon properties allow us to give each part of a weapon more unique functional roles, diversifying weapons and their behaviour with impacts more. We're also introducing support for some important new combat features and skills.

funny
0
informative
0
Thanks
0
No reactions
No reactions
No reactions

I stand against Racism, Bigotry and Bullying

Offline Asid

  • HAVOC
  • *
  • Posts: 26026
Re: Exanima
« Reply #33 on: July 17, 2022, 04:37:25 PM »
Exanima 0.8.4
Sun, 17 July 2022



Big combat changes, general improvements and some arena goodies.

Since our last update we've made some major improvements to core gameplay systems and many incremental changes and additions based on feedback and our own goals. There's also some nice late content additions for arena. Our next update is entirely story focused, so we wanted to wrap all this other stuff up and get these very important changes out now.

The highlight of this update is the most major changes to combat yet, as well as some smaller, but still very important ones. The combat is faster, more responsive, more solid and realistic, many lingering quirks have been properly addressed. These are transformative changes and we're excited for what it brings to the combat and what it allows us to do going forward as we finalise more skills, itemisation and gameplay features.

We've been through a lot of major development hurdles, making our own engine, tools and complex unique game systems, exploring with players the implications of these fundamentally different approaches and how we can make the most of them. With the game being in uncharted territory it's hard to imagine a time when it won't seem like things should or could be improved, and constant community feedback and requests ensure our to-do list is always growing. The major content goals for the game are now few however, and our road map to 1.0 includes a whole lot of gameplay and quality of life additions, many of which we've now covered here. We will continue to improve the game after full release, but it's good to check some of those boxes.


NEW COMBAT MOVEMENT SYSTEM

Movement and footwork are the foundation of the entire combat and probably the single thing we've iterated the most on. Making the movement physics driven, reactive, somewhat realistic and responsive to the player all at the same time is something we've always battled with, without a clear idea of what might ultimately be possible.

For a while now we've been trying to figure out how to fundamentally change the movement so that it's not limited to a fixed step pattern and returning to stance before moving again. If characters could move freely and without pausing the combat would be much more dynamic, faster paced and responsive. Our plan looked promising, and we decided this was too important and had to be attempted.

These things don't always work out, we've a hit a few dead ends in the past, but this was a huge success on many fronts. You can now change direction, cancel movements or continue moving without waiting for the previous movement to complete and without pausing between steps. There is also more granularity to how far you move based on inputs. In order to support this we had to also work on the dynamic footwork and animation systems, making for better balance, control and cleaner animation under all conditions. These changes combined offer a level of control we previously didn't think we could achieve.

This is a massive change for combat, with huge implications. We have also had to do significant work on the AI to adapt it to this, and tried to make it more engaging and tactical in the process. It will likely take you some time to learn how to make the most of this new movement and everything it allows. As with everything, you do need to work in harmony with the physics and body motions. We've been having a lot of fun testing and polishing these changes with the help of our Discord community, they've been met with very high praise and we're really excited to see the combat evolve in such a big way.


WEAPON AND DAMAGE MECHANICS REWORK

We recently introduced procedural weapons, but this was an important first step of a larger itemisation and weapon mechanics overhaul. In this update we've got a huge rework of how weapons work, the damage system, armour mitigation, how everything interacts with physics and more. We've added a lot of detailed data to weapons to describe their features and how each part of a weapon should behave, there's many new weapon and weapon part classes and subclasses.

This allows a much more detailed model for how weapons behave and supports many new and future features. Weapon are more diverse and balanced with specific advantages and uses, various long standing issues with the damage system were properly solved, there's support for new itemisation features and skills and generally brings important improvements to gameplay and realism.

There was a big focus on more realistic physical behaviour of weapons, but always with the goal of improving gameplay and balance, playing to the specific strengths of different weapons, breathing new life into some underperforming weapons and categories. There have also been improvements to core physics, character animation and attack mechanics to support this. Some weapons can now also be dynamically flipped to strike with the reverse side, something which will be extended to more weapons and different grips over time.

Beyond the immediate improvements, this new platform with very detailed weapon data combined with component wise procedural generation allows us to do much more still going forward. The goals is to give weapons ever more mechanical differences, techniques, motions and gameplay features that distinguish them well beyond what stats can do.


CONTROLLER AND STEAM DECK SUPPORT

Despite the lack of proper support some of you were already using controllers and it's a frequently requested feature. Steam Deck support was also requested and we worked on Proton compatibility, special UI scaling, control schemes and various input and performance optimisations with surprisingly good results.

Exanima is a game that does not naturally lend itself well to controller input, some aspects of interaction by necessity remain cursor based, but we developed dedicated control schemes for all core gameplay and user interface. The game can be played fully on controller and it's quite a fun and different experience.


Cumulative changelog for version 0.8.4:

   Weapon mechanics and damage system rework
   New combat movement system
   Two new arena environments
   Remastered courtyard arena
   Nine new armour pieces making two full sets
   New procedural weapon: glaive
   Velvet procedural material added
   Detailed physics data for different parts of weapons
   Specific behaviour and damage from different parts of weapons
   Many new weapon and part subcategories with different behaviour
   Haft types with different behaviour and sounds
   Reworked weapon damage and armour mitigation mechanics
   Major slash rework with hewing and cutting damage
   Some weapons can now be flipped to strike with the reverse
   Improved thrusting mechanics
   Improved remise behaviour
   Core physics engine improvements
   Animation system improvements
   AI combat improvements with adaptive behaviours
   Smart overhead targeting based on cursor relative to opponent
   Dynamic swing height adjustment, preventing very low or high swings
   Improved edge alignment control
   Improved greatsword handling
   Added fading feature for objects obstructing the camera
   Improved camera obstacle avoidance behaviour
   Improved cursor behaviour for look function
   Smart selection for small objects and inventory icons
   Steam Deck support, performance, UI and control optimisations
   Proton and Linux GPU driver compatibility fixes
   Full controller support via Steam
  o   Dedicated movement and aiming controls
  o   Feathered object and UI cursor interaction
  o   Full menu and UI navigation and interaction
  o   On screen keyboard support
   Controls to quick cast a selected power
   The roster can be rearranged via drag and drop
   The roster is now colour coded
   Shop items are neatly and persistently arranged
   Shop items displayed from newest to oldest
   Shop stock rotation rate increased
   Arsenal tabs can now be scrolled
   Arsenal correctly scales to different aspect ratios
   Brushes can now be used from inside the arsenal
   Added a confirmation prompt for forfeiting tournaments
   Performance improvements

Best, Bare Mettle

funny
0
informative
0
Thanks
0
No reactions
No reactions
No reactions

I stand against Racism, Bigotry and Bullying

Offline Asid

  • HAVOC
  • *
  • Posts: 26026
Re: Exanima
« Reply #34 on: March 07, 2023, 09:19:46 PM »
Procedural Copper Alloys
06 March 2023

Different qualities and conditions of our new procedural material for copper alloys like bronze or brass, finally completing our lineup of dynamic materials. Note that we're just using this armour as a spoiler free object to show the effect, but it will be used for various new remastered items in the coming update.


funny
0
informative
0
Thanks
0
No reactions
No reactions
No reactions

I stand against Racism, Bigotry and Bullying

Offline Asid

  • HAVOC
  • *
  • Posts: 26026
Re: Exanima
« Reply #35 on: June 19, 2023, 08:55:41 PM »
Thaumaturgy Domain Wheel
19/06/2023



The new UI element which allows selecting thaumaturgy domains and shows your Potential and how much is invested in each domain.

funny
0
informative
0
Thanks
0
No reactions
No reactions
No reactions

I stand against Racism, Bigotry and Bullying

Tags: