I Want Every Game To Be Made In The Sui Generis Engine

Yeah, and they're terrible at screenshots.

I’m not sure how that will work for driving games or football managers, but people can work around it. I was being very impressed by the lovely-looking Miasmata earlier, there with an engine written by just one guy. And the same is true for Sui Generis. But this engine looks like it might be the sort of thing licensed by anyone wanting to make an RPG in the near future. Using technological magics, Madoc Evans has created a physical system that allows 3D objects to automatically behave according to their shape – complex objects can be entangled with each other seemingly without clipping, or revealing invisible limits. Then with dynamic lighting, on-the-fly terrain modelling and procedural generation, there’s a combat system of the likes I’ve never seen.

Of course, I’m no pioneer. Adam mentioned this one in last weekend’s Katchup, but you try finally getting around to watching the video, having a website, and not posting about it. You can see the Kickstarter here.

There are five people in the team – Bare Mettle Entertainment – with a big project in front of them. And their Kickstarter certainly isn’t racing toward its big goal of £150,000. After over a week they’ve etched out nearly £20k, and it will take a significant amount more attention for this to get funded in time. However, as I watch this I do wonder if they might not find themselves making some money either way. What’s not adequately shown in the video is the game they want to make. We can see how they want to make it, and it’s damned, damned impressive. But it’s unclear what vision and passion for an RPG tale they have. That might not be helping them here. But if this technology is easily used by someone else, then surely – SURELY – a big name RPG maker is going to want this tech?

However, they clearly do have a game in mind, and that’s been appearing in their updates. Although it doesn’t sound, perhaps, all too original. You’re some ordinary joe, exiled from your village into the mysterious world, where you find you’re not so ordinary after all. There’s a big bad evil escalating, and you’re the only one with the power to stop it. So it’s an RPG then. They promise the story will be dynamic, with multiple outcomes, and… well, yeah. That’s of concern, I think – that in response to requests for details, we have instead had the most generic outline for all RPGs that have ever existed. It doesn’t mean they don’t have a brilliant story to tell, of course. But that they’ve not been able to articulate it at this point isn’t a strong point.

There’s some “pre-alpha” footage to be seen here, but again it only shows the tech looking amazing, rather than anything that you could identify as of their game.

But dammit, I want to play a game in this technology. Whether it’s theirs, or whether an Obsidian or a CD Projekt comes along and says, “Here, have all our money,” I’m not too fussed at this point. I just want to throw tables at benches, and have sword fights with that skellington.


  1. kristian says:

    Another kickstarter with almost 0 information of the actual gameplay. Yeaaaaah.

    Well atleast this isnt one of those “remember, remember, remember the games of your youth”-type of kickstarters.

    • Stardog says:

      Did you even watch the video, or were you just born blind?

      • TychoCelchuuu says:

        Did YOU watch the video? All we know is that there will be fighting and spells. Will the player character be very resilient, like in the demo when the guy got smashed 18 times and still got up? Will the player character be fairly fragile, like in Dark Souls or The Witcher 2? Will spells be a crucial part of gameplay for every character or something that only wizards use or optional? Will combat be mostly loot based or skill based or stats based? Is it going to be a dungeon crawler or a more story-based RPG? Are they going to randomly generate a new map each time you play or is it going to be a static world? etc.

        • WrenBoy says:

          I watched the video and was blown away. This prompted me to read the “About the Game” section of their kickstarter where I learned the answer to almost all of your questions:
          – There are no classes so magic is not restricted to wizards only.
          – There are no levels, but there is a more natural progression system based on skills and thaumaturgic powers. Though there are powerful items, even an old rusty sword can be effective in the right hands.
          – It is not about running around killing hordes of enemies in order to collect experience points and numerous items. It is about exploring a world and being involved in major events there. Much of the time combat situations will be occasional yet meaningful.
          – The game world has been “carefully designed”.

          Its worth a read, especially given the quality of the video. The story is pretty light but the game mechanics and their vision for the game seems well fleshed out to me. I honestly dont get the negativity.

          • kristian says:

            Don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the beautiful tech they’ve built, but when I read through the contents of the kickstarter that huge update #3 wasn’t up and there was no information about the gameplay itself.

            Now that they’ve made that effort, explained the story and the gameplay I’m actually considering to give them some money.

    • SPRlmao says:

      Fund this all of you hipsters so I can play

      • Hahaha says:

        This and also “But dammit, I want to play a game in this technology. Whether it’s theirs, or whether an Obsidian or a CD Projekt comes along and says, “Here, have all our money,” I’m not too fussed at this point. I just want to throw tables at benches, and have sword fights with that skellington.”

        The more engines the better in my book.

    • Ich Will says:

      Here’s my view – yes, they have not shown much actual game and what they have written is uninspiring, however, this is not a huge studio run by industry veterans. This is a very obviously talented person hoping to break into the industry. I am kickstarting him, not this game. The game may not be worth the money I pledged, the game may suck, but if it gives him some experience and insight as to how to put a game together, hopefully his next project will be great. What he has shown has proven to me that he has the potential to make an awesome game and I want to help that happen, even if this game is not it.

      And the game may be good, let’s not forget that! This is why I have backed this project but didn’t back OSRPG or Elite 4.

      • Rise / Run says:

        That, good sir, sounds more like what Kickstarter is conceptually about that some pre-order system. That said, I’m sort of on the fence about whether or not I’m gonna contribute…

  2. VileJester says:

    Thank you John, I couldn’t agree more !
    And I don’t understand why the game isn’t already funded, come on people just watching the videos will prove you that this game is ahead of it’s time.
    Hopefully this article will help the kickstarter getting some momentum..

    • megazver says:

      It’s not funded already because there is no evidence of even mediocre writing so far. It’s all “tech tech tech oh and uh *vague, generic description that fits every rpg ever*”.

      They need an actual writer to write the posts. (And also the game.)

      • Cytrom says:

        If its gonna be an ‘action rpg’, they dont really need a story… other than “kill everything that is not you by clicking on them a lot”.

      • Mr.Bats says:

        No writer? Seriously? It’s fucking insulting

      • VileJester says:

        I don’t care, the tech alone is enough of a proof for me to believe that these guys are competent, and that they deserve money for their hard work, would it only be to thank them for trying to be pioneers at pushing gaming technology further. (i hope this sentence makes sense, english isn’t my native language…)
        But yeah maybe it shouldn’t be “marketed” as a game yet.

        • Sentient Waffle says:

          Seems to me they should market this to game companies instead of game consumers.

          Tech might be fun to play around with for a few minutes or hours, but without good writing, an engaging world, good characters and so on, it will get boring very, very fast.

          • VileJester says:

            Well yeah I agree, but that’s probably why they need £150K in the first place : to hire a bunh of competent people and craft the actual game.

          • Runs With Foxes says:

            The story in Tetris just wasn’t engaging at all and I got bored really quickly.

        • Stardog says:

          More Kickstarter whiners as usual. Just ignore them. They all expect a near-finished game as per usual. Maybe there weren’t enough pointless t-shirts and keyrings in the rewards.

          You’re funding the damn game. The game doesn’t exist yet. Queue more self-entitled whining in reply to this.

          • Ich Will says:

            There is nothing self entitled about not wanting to kickstart a game and there is nothing self entitled about explaining in a reasonable way why you are not going to kickstart the game, in fact it actually helps the devs as, if they happen upon this conversation, they can put some effort into the lacking areas if they wish.

            And before you call me names, I have pledged for this game.

          • dontnormally says:


      • enobayram says:

        Why can’t people accept this game with what’s truly amazing with it? The tech tech tech. Yes, that is probably what this game is going to contribute, but isn’t that a big part of the gaming world? Even if all else ended up like a mediocre RPG, this game would still be unique.

        • Captain Joyless says:

          Accept the game? What game? THERE IS NO GAME. They want money so they can make the game.

          All you have is some very, very, very pretty videos. Those might make you want to fund the game. But let’s not pretend there is a game yet.

  3. cronach says:

    Amazing. And the level editor reminds me of Populous.

  4. mangrove says:

    The fights kinda remind me of link to youtu.be

    • dontnormally says:

      it is a duplicate comment on purpose, you machine

  5. Echo Black says:

    I think the reason it’s not getting funded (fast) is that it’s riding the tail end of the Kickstarter wave. A lot of stuff got funded but little has been shown for it to date. If I had to guess, I’d say people are a bit more stingy/cautious at the moment.

    Still, this is to me the most interesting of the bunch. Realistic physics-based Diablo sounds like a very strong concept to me, and the early footage is exciting enough.

    • mooken says:

      Also concerning is the lack of a release date (or at least when I read it earlier today). 2013 release? 2014? 2015? It’s all rather vague, unfortunately.

  6. TomEllinson says:

    Who cares about the game!?


    …Now apply this to space, please.

  7. Kelron says:

    Some of that fighting looks more like Sumotori Dreams than heroic warriors. Still very impressive.

    • Salt says:

      I came looking for someone to mention Sumotori, and I was not disappointed.

      They’ve managed to wrangle their dynamic animations to look slightly less absurd, but I think they’re going to end up facing significant problems in terms of balancing weapons, spells and the player’s own tactics. There will inevitably be ways to “cheat” the physics system and destroy enemies with a well placed bowl of apples. Fun the first time you discover it, but those kind of glitches are likely to be endemic to the game and are going to do very odd things to the designer’s attempts to implement balance and progression.

      There’s a reason why Sumotori is a joke game rather than being the replacement for Street Fighter.

      • rei says:

        I think movie choreographics may have influenced what you think fighting should look like. In any real mortal struggle I expect there to be a whole lot of stumbling and flailing and it’s not going to look like Street Fighter, so that’s only a good thing here.

        • AngoraFish says:

          this speaks the truth

        • Lemming says:

          I was just about to say this. It’s amazing how many comments on the KS don’t get that, however and are saying the fighting looks a bit ropey.

        • Salt says:

          Maybe I spend too long around rigid body physics systems. But to me it looks like motorised physics ragdolls trying to fight, rather than two (un)living things fighting.

          The painstakingly evolved systems used in GTAIV and Force Unleashed are still probably the best in the industry for physics-based dynamic character animations. But even if they were able to reach that level there would still be those fundamental problems of building a combat system based directly off the results of the physics simulation.

          By necessity they’ll have to bodge it a bit just to allow high level weapons to do more damage simply by virtue of being a Broadsword of +15 Slaying rather than because of the weapon’s physical characteristics. Unless their muscle control AI is amazing, fighting anywhere that isn’t a flat open field is going to result in hilarious chaos as characters trip over themselves and fall down stairs. Amusing at first, but very likely to get in the way of anything like standard CRPG mechanics. If they embrace that, they could create something totally new and very interesting, but it sounds like they’re looking to build a much more traditional CRPG experience. I suspect the result will be that they tone down the physics based animation quite a bit.

    • simoroth says:

      Sumotori Dreams is the Citizen Kane of games.

      This project must not fail.

  8. Miltrivd says:

    I’m just 5 minutes into the video, but this is overkill. I don’t think we are ready for this! It’s too awesome, I’m genuinely excited what a talented writer and game designers could bring to life with this, a proper continuation for the CRPG genre and who knows what more.

    Character animations/physics seem to need a bit of work since right now they look like string puppets, but is a minor detail compared with the effects of force and (fucking hell!) real collision.

  9. derf says:

    This looks great! However, I’m a bit concerned about precisely how the combat will feel, as it seems that an encounter could quickly turn into an aimless slog-fest.

  10. Quatlo says:

    I’ve always said that procedural gen is the best way to cut on your expenses. Also, I love details like those thunders, they add to immersion a lot.

    I can’t wait for someone to remake Die By the Sword with this.

  11. Wizardry says:

    The combat looks to be all spectacle and no strategy. The first rule of RPG design is to have turn-based combat. This game failed at the first hurdle.

    • Echo Black says:

      They seem to be going for an action RPG with this, kinda like Diablo

      • PodX140 says:

        This is Wizardry you’re talking about, those are not RPG’s in his books. And to be fair, they aren’t really RPG’s at all, more of action games with player progression, but no real ability for roleplay.

        • zeroskill says:

          Thus they be called “Action RPG’s”…

        • Lone Gunman says:

          If an RPG is defined by being able to role play then almost any game could be considered one. I can pretend to be someone else in almost any other game. Now I await for some angry replies :p

          • Harlander says:

            You’re not wrong in the strict sense, but in general it’s best not to water down terms until they can’t be used to distinguish things.

    • PodX140 says:

      Not all RPG’s must be turn based wizardry (knew you’d show up for this post if any, you’ve been missing), there’s nothing stopping it from being real-time. May I point to NWN as a reference?

      • Brun says:

        Or even Baldur’s Gate (while technically “turn-based” behind the scenes, the combat was automated and streamlined to a point where it felt real-time).

        • Wizardry says:

          Indeed. And it was all the better for it…


        • TychoCelchuuu says:

          NWN and Baldur’s Gate are actually bad examples precisely because they are turn based. Just because they trick you into thinking they’re real time if you don’t pay any attention doesn’t mean they would work as actual real time games.

          I disagree with Wizardy but there are definitely good reasons to think that if you want to have statistics and combat tactics play a huge role in combat, making your game turn based is the way to go.

      • x1501 says:

        Exactly. I love turn-based old school RPGs as much as the next guy, but saying that turn-based flow is somehow essential to good RPG design is just crazy. The first rule of tabletop RPG design, perhaps, but not all RPG design in general.

    • GameCat says:


      Turn-based combat in story-driven games have immersion-breaker ratio equal to attack of pink zombie-pandas in middle of realistic World War II movie.

      • x1501 says:

        Hey, you. Stop giving Hollywood any more crazy ideas. The last thing I want to see is a bunch of “FDR: Zombie Panda Hunter” movie posters being plastered all over the damn city.

        • Phantoon says:

          I’m so sad I missed FDR: American Badass.

          • x1501 says:

            If it is any consolation, you can still catch a showing of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter in selected mental institutions near you.

      • Cooper says:

        Really? Because XCOM, Civ, and coutnless RPGs would disagree.

        Unless you mean “get in the way of the stories devs want me to sit down and passively pay attention to”

        As opposed to “the kinds of stories games with inetresting mechanics can help me to create and tell for myself that are impossible in other forms of media”

        • GameCat says:

          Nope, I just want “direct” control over my character (like in Gothic or Dark Souls), not just clicking on the ground to make my hero walk into that direction or clicking on enemy to fight him, or clicking over everything to make it works.
          Also I want to rely on my manual skills, not some dice-roll-everything-you-do bullshit. It’s good for “pen and paper” RPGs, not video games.

          Sorry, I had to write this down.

          • Ich Will says:

            I can’t exactly argue with your taste, but please allow me to talk about player skill vs dice rolling. I find games which rely on only player skill do not make for good RPG’s (Though they make for great games a lot of the time). If you are a very skilled player at melee fights, you can win fights with a mage character. This means all the drawbacks of being a mage (you suck at melee) are nullified by your personal skill and yet you still get all the advantages that comes with your selection (awesome magic). Now if there is some dice rolling, it removes the players skill and makes it all about the characters skill, the character you are supposed to be playing.

            Do you see what I’m saying?

          • Xardas Kane says:

            No, because you are twisting and turning an argument to suit you. To keep it short, there is no way in hell you are going to beat an Orc in Gothic 2 Gold without any melee weapon training. Which basically nullifies your argument.

          • Ich Will says:

            Me? I have to ask because I wasn’t arguing. I was stating my opinion and opening up the floor to some interesting debate. To someone who isn’t you.

            But to try to sooth your confrontational approach to me and include you in this conversation, does Gothic 2 not have some form of dice rolling? because I distinctly remember that it did.

          • GameCat says:

            It’s even worse in first Deus Ex, where special agent (!) without stats in pistol skill have worse aiming than medicore cop who’s practicing at shooting range few times per month. Stats-bullshit.

            At least System Shock 2 got it right. Perfect balance between player skills and his character’s stats.

          • Ich Will says:

            @GameCat – I certainly don’t think every stat based game is automatically a better RPG than one without, What I’m saying is that for a game to be a good RPG, it needs to disconnect the players personal skill at certain game mechanics from the characters skill. Stats and random rolls is one way to do that but certainly not the only way.

            Why do I believe this? Because if you allow the player full control and allow the players skill at the game to be important, that player is never playing a role. He is playing himself. He can never play a fighter if he sucks at melee and he can never play an archer if his mouse isn’t accurate enough (I use a trackball due to rsi for example) which is fine and fun, but not playing a role. In a true RPG, I can play a fighter who’s skill is better than mine! I can play that archer and not cripple myself! I dunno, I am interested to hear other peoples opinions, it will probably boil down to different people having different ideas as to what an RPG is or isn’t.

          • Soon says:

            There’s not a massive difference, ultimately. Depending on the player, that wizard could be a blithering idiot who doesn’t know which way to face in battle, or a tactical genius with profound knowledge of every opponent. And that’s going to affect how successful they are. That can also be overcome, but not in many ways that make an exciting game.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            Please enlighten me. WHere exactly do you roll dice in Gothic 2? And I do consider that a RPG, you can actually roleplay in that one :)

          • Ich Will says:

            The most obvious one was the random chance for critical hits. But there were many, many more – the entire combat model relied on random number generation vs percentage chance i.e dice rolls.

            I also consider gothic 2 an rpg, you can roleplay in it I agree, but that is because of the stats and dice rolls!!!

      • jrodman says:

        But this doean’t appear to be a story-driven game, and many RPGs are not story-driven games. So, not really a problem.

    • LionsPhil says:

      I don’t really see much evidence that this is going to be a good RPG.

      But I want this tech to get shared around like a headcold during fresher’s week. That’s great physical, dynamic, biff-pow.

    • Poliphilo says:

      How terribly wrong you are. If RPG purists such as yourself would spend half as much time demanding complex, deep and rewarding games as they did fetishising game mechanics like turn-based combat then more RPGs today might actually be worth playing, instead of endlessly regurgitated Tolkien fan-fiction with a design scope so narrow you could discover new subatomic particles just looking at the box’s big-breasted or big-boned sword-wielding characters. One of planet’s earth little ironies being that we actually call this most unimaginative of stuff “fantasy games” whereas as a genre it’s second only to military entertainment complex manshoots in being shallow and utterly forgettable entertainment.

      This definitely looks like a step in the right direction though, several steps actually, but as usual, I’m sure it’ll be ignored by “purists” the world over for the most pedantic of reasons.

      • jrodman says:

        Well, I see your point, but turn-based mechanics really do lend themselves to the genre and the depth, so I think you’ve gone a bit overboard here.

        I am personally tired of every game wanting me to invest my personal skill into it. I have games for that, I would prefer more variety.

      • Wizardry says:

        This is like bitching about first person shooters being first person and not experimenting with other view points.

  12. Lucretious says:

    This engine looks revolutionary for all CRPG’s. I love it. The actual game, from what we’ve seen? As everyone says, looks dull.

  13. InternetBatman says:

    The tech looks amazing, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be desirable to a third party with their own tools and knowledge base.

    On another note, all these “people making their own RPG” stories are making me attempt to learn programming again.

  14. Cooper says:

    “Our weather and time of day systems are total overkill for an iso game”

    No shit. As is everything else in the video up to that point.

    I get the feeling from this (and from the description of their game) that the team is largely coders who want to build tools. From which they’ve thought it’d be neat to have a game made with.

    Not people who desperately want to make a game because they have a vision they want to see made real…

    • Unaco says:

      They’re not coders… or they weren’t when they started. Madoc Evans, the project lead, learnt coding to make the game, and to code up the tools etc for building the game. Here he is responding to a comment from the last Katchup…

      link to rockpapershotgun.com

  15. Stardog says:

    Can you put a link to their kickstarter in the article instead of trying to defraud your advertisers?

    • John Walker says:

      What the bloody hell did that mean?

      • Stardog says:

        It means we have to give you another page view by clicking through to another article, which you sell, I suppose.

        • Lambchops says:

          But . . . there is a link to the Kickstarter in the article, right where it says “you can see the Kickstarter here.”

        • Unaco says:

          Or you could Google Sui Generis (the KS is the 9th hit). Or go through the Bare Mettle homepage, which is linked.

          Yes… a link to the Kickstarter would have been good (it’s in now, obviously). But I don’t think you should attribute to malice (or attempts to defraud advertisers) that which can easily be attributed to incompetence (sorry John). Simple explanation is John forgot the link, or didn’t think to put the KS link directly in… not that he had some devious scam to increase RPSs ad revenue.

        • John Walker says:

          I linked to the game’s website, which has a big clear Kickstarter link on it. If you really think that we’re conspiratorially trying to inflate page impressions from internal linking, then you have just put more effort into the idea than we ever have. And that’s not how advertising payments work – the ads are sold in advance of publication, not based on how many views they receive.

          But, you know, fucking accuse us of fraud if you want to.

          • jrodman says:

            Once upon a time, people did pay for ‘impressions’, then some mix of that and ‘click throughs’. I believe that/those models are long dead though.

            Something similar must be operating on some sites though. You know, the ones where they take a text that would fit on 3 printed pages and string out through 10 html pages of 3 paragraphs each, surrounded by advertisements with a little ‘more’ link at the bottom.

        • Ich Will says:

          EDIT – See Johns Comment above. Why don’t you have a steaming hot mug of “Shut the Fuck Up” before you throw baseless accusations around next time. Or, you know, get some meaningful evidence.

        • Sleepymatt says:

          Thanks for not just deleting this John, I’m sure you were sorely tempted. This way I can add another idiot to my ignore list, which is indispensable!

  16. povu says:

    I wouldn’t mind if this game doesn’t turn out to get much depth in story, choices & consequences, etc. There’s Project Eternity and Wasteland 2 for that. But those guys don’t have fascinating engine technology.

    I want to see what can be done with this engine, if it turns out to play like a Diablo-esque action RPG but with a special combat system and less monsters at a time, and there isn’t that much of a story, that’s perfectly fine with me.

  17. Jiblet says:

    Money duly thrown at screen.
    I need to fight that skellington more than I need to feed my children… right?

  18. smeaa mario says:

    Despite the fact that there is no concrete sample or idea of a game in place, I should say that the engine itself is quite fascinating. The combat mechanics are -well, I will go on and say it despite the fear of getting stoned to death- look revolutionary to me. Imagine what could be done by combining stats and the realistic fighting dynamics. Agility giving you better and balanced movements while wielding a weapon and enough level of strength allowing you to use a flamberge (and your character barely carrying around but unable to even swing it, probably falling down due to the weight when an attempt is made, because of lack of sufficient strength). The fight with the giant was really interesting. Very much what such a fight would turn out to be. I mean the giant absolutely owning the hell out of you, ignoring that tough tincan armor of yours. Taking it down would be exactly the challenge it is meant to be.

    Well, I don’t know. I totally like what those guys have done with the engine. Some actual conceptual details and ideas for the projected game would still be nice to have though.

  19. phelix says:

    Heh, the combat reminds me of Die By The Sword.

  20. Jimbo says:

    It would be perfect for Bar Brawl ’13.

  21. subshell001 says:

    This is the kind of engine that Dwarf Fortress needs to be run in.

    • dreadmullet says:

      I was thinking of something similar when I watched the pre-alpha video. Imagine if something like Dwarf Fortress’s combat (axe someone’s arm off and then beat them to death with it!) were implemented into this engine. I’d buy that game in a heartbeat.

    • zeroskill says:

      Well even if it should, that’s technically impossible. My PC struggles to run Dwarf Fortress (in later stages when things go crazy) properly as it is.

  22. Bill says:

    The tech does look impressive, but really I think the art style lets it down a lot. The environment in particular is pretty undetailed, and generally the lighting whilst technically on par is quite stark, and unimaginative. I hope they improve in this area.

    Also drunk man with swords.

  23. JBantha says:

    That first fight was so clumsy it was realistic.

    • SuperNashwanPower says:

      Agreed. The fighting looks kind of amateurish. I don;t mean the animation / engine is amateurish, I mean it looks like two amateur fighters having a scrap.

      Replace maces and swords with handbags when you watch it back.

      • Ich Will says:

        I wonder if as your character progresses, your balance improves, your stance steadies and your hits become more precise, that would be really nice!

        • Lacero says:

          I think the semi-drunk balancing is inherent in the solution for using physics for this stuff.
          I also think it’ll get away with it, it works well and feels really physical even when you’re not playing.

          • SuperNashwanPower says:

            The impacts do look really ‘weighty’. The bit with the bloke knocked to the ground and getting whaled on sort of triggered a bit of a wince in me, I must admit.

  24. UncleLou says:

    Extremely impressive, and I disagree fundamentally that any of this (except maybe the sky) is a “waste” for an isometric game.

  25. hypercrisis says:

    Agreeing with a lot of people here. Something needs to bridge the gap between RPGM and UDK, this looks like it could be that thing.

  26. perfectheat says:

    Very nice. When playing Diablo 3 I was thinking why there hasn’t been more games where your weapon doesn’t go completely through your opponent on every blow, without severing limbs, and here it is. Would be great if weapons could get stuck in flesh or between armor so you have to take heavy step backwards to pull it out. Looking forward to seeing more of this.

  27. kalirion says:

    Very impressive technology. The tables/chairs collided and fell as if they were made of styrofoam, but I’m assuming that’s something that can easily be adjusted by changing a few numbers in the object properties.

    I’m curious as to just how that combat is controlled though.

  28. Mist says:

    All my ‘knowledge’ of swordfighting comes from Hollywood & other games, but I didn’t like the look of the fighting. Looked like uncontrolled flailing about (it didn’t help that I didn’t really follow how the player was controlling the action).

    The tech is nice but not necessarily spectacular. Dynamic lightning and physics have existed for a long time. AFAIK stuff like preventing clipping is just a question of how much computing power you’re willing to use. The guys at Bethesda/Valve/etc can give you pixel-perfect physics, multiple dynamic lights, etc in large scenes with many actors, but it would cripple the framerate. Maybe these guys have written much more efficient algorithms, but the stuff seen in these clips is no evidence of that, imho.

    • fish99 says:

      TBH as soon as you go isometric the graphical and computational demands drop 95% and you don’t even need to implement LOD, then you can throw many times the amount of detail at the screen, or have way better physics, or both. So they couldn’t make the game look like that and make it first person, or indeed any view where you can see a long way.

      Having said that, Bethesdas engine has a very basic LOD implementation and isn’t a good example for discussion. We’ve already seen much better results achieved with, for instance, the avalanche engine (Just Cause 2, The Hunter). It’s a shame Bethesda don’t just license a good terrain/LOD engine.

  29. tungstenHead says:

    I can’t tell whether it’s because the animations are amateurish or because of a limitation of the engine, but that looks hilariously wrong. The characters seem to be floating torsos and the legs just shuffle around underneath them to keep the body at the same constant height. It ends up looking like a fight between magical marionettes. It’s definitely near the bottom of the uncanny valley.

    • Premium User Badge

      Ninja Dodo says:

      100% physics-driven movement always looks like this. See also Endorphin.

      Only since RDR and Max Payne 3 Rockstar have started to make some progress with this kind of thing, and even that’s only because they’re using a hybrid physics/keyframe/mocap approach. I’ve seen some demos of the new Hitman that also looked promising (using AI & physics to determine what pre-made animation to play or mix).

      It does look like it could be a lot of fun to play with, and maybe they can reduce the puppet-like look of the movement with some tweaking and/or blending with authored movement.

      • SuperNashwanPower says:

        I would agree with this. I love martial arts and the movements of fighting, and I guess I’ve been spoilt by all those mo-capped games we’ve been spoiled by. I don’t know. Maybe some WIBBLEH COMBAT will be just what the game doctor ordered.

      • PopTart says:

        I hope the tech continues to improve; I was fairly wide-eyed watching that video, but it looked like two dudes fighting with ropes tied around their waist, hanging from the ceiling.
        Otherwise v impressed.

  30. pier says:

    Having real physics is cool and all, but will that help immerse the player in the game? Having some objects collide perfectly gets old real quick. After the first few dozen times you don’t notice it anymore… at least I don’t.

    Challenging gameplay, original art, fresh music, good story, great characters and an interesting plot is what really makes a difference IMHO. Content is king.

    • Ich Will says:

      “After the first few dozen times you don’t notice it anymore”

      Until you go back to a game without it!

      Hehe, I don’t actually disagree with the main thrust of your point though :)

      • Pier says:

        Yes… that’s quite true. Games must have modern technical elements to not feel old.

        I perfectly understand the joy of the developer having accomplished this enormous feat… but an engine is not a game.

  31. blind_boy_grunt says:

    rpg people really are the grumpy old man of the gaming-neighbourhood

  32. Madoc says:

    If you believe that some big studio can make a better game with our tech, well sir, you are sorely mistaken. Indeed not everyone is some ordinary John, we are uniquely qualified to purge this evil from the land.

    • Xardas Kane says:

      I suggest getting off that high horse. You’re not winning me over with this attitude. The truth is so far I’ve seen a great tech demo and the most generic summary, art and music one could’ve imagined. I personally need something more convincing to back you.

      • WrenBoy says:

        To be fair, if I had made what must have been a colossal effort to get to this stage of development, I would somewhat resent the suggestion of handing it over to someone else just because I did too good of a job.

        EDIT – Although I notice that the amount pledged has increased by about 25% since this post appeared so I wouldnt complain too much if I were Madoc.

        • Xardas Kane says:

          I get the point, just not the way he made it. Or maybe there was a joke in there somewhere that I missed. shrug*

          • WrenBoy says:

            A small parttime development team usually cant afford someone whose trade is the clear communication of your team’s products and capabilities but you can often see that such teams could do with such a person.

            Basically PR swine are the unsung heros of the gaming industry.

          • Xardas Kane says:

            You gave me a good laugh, mate. Eversince Oblivion and the masterfully orchestrated PR campaign that game had it’s this exact thought that been imprinted on the back of my head, so I can do nothing but wholeheartedly agree :D

    • xao says:

      Of COURSE some big studio can make a better game with the tech. So can a small studio. Even an excellent initial offering is likely to be improved via iteration.

      To be honest, at this point I don’t really care about the quality of Sui Generis itself. If it’s great, that would be fantastic, but I’m backing it because of the tech you’ve created. I’m more excited by the prospect of a leap forward in the quality of item interactions in a game than I am by any single game built around it, no matter how good. Your engine has the potential to be revolutionary.

  33. SuperNashwanPower says:

    Looks like a combination of Dark Souls and friday night in Aberdeen when everyone is drunk and fighty. Wobbly knees / flaily combos :) Needs a bit of tweaking I think, at the moment the animation makes the NPC’s look like they don’t really know what they are doing. However, the impacts are much more wince-creating as it really does look like a human body getting mashed.Coming at this more from a martial arts fan than a gamer admittedly.

    Also, 2nd video – is that Guybrush Threepwood at 0:31?

  34. Pathetic Phallacy says:

    Screw RPG! Give me this engine in a new Total War or melee style RTS game!

    That Sui Generis illustration is bloody terrible.

    • Pier says:

      Indeed… that logo made by a developer … designer facepalm.

  35. Arcanon says:


    I really like the tech, but the combat and run animations are in a really poor state at the moment (pre-alpha, I know). Also, while I like the idea of realistic fighting, they must not forget to make it FUN or at least satisfying, ala Dark Souls maybe. But that kind of dynamic fighting would work best in Third Person IMHO, isometric combat usually lends itself better to the “click an icon in the skill bar and something happens” kind of combat.

    So what kind of gameplay are they going for here? The Dark Souls kind of melee combat in Isometric view, the classic old school RPG combat with action bars with fancy physics or something else entirely? That’s a pretty important thing, it’s what the player will be doing for THE ENTIRE GAME, it’s the first thing they should focus on, and then MAKE A VIDEO OF IT (assuming of course the drunken flayling isn’t what they are really going for).

    How can I support your game if I don’t know what it’s really about?

  36. DeathCarrot says:

    Impressive considering it’s by one guy, especially since he made it from scratch rather than going with existing middleware. Having said that, there’s nothing here you can’t do with any relatively recent engine.

    Per-polygon collision detection and response tends not to be used because it’s a lot of valuable CPU/GPU time for something that you can do quicker by making an approximate collision mesh using optimised primitives. If you want more accurate collisions, make a more accurate collision mesh.

    The character animation with fully simulated joints sounds great in theory but tends to result in inconsistent animation and takes up a lot more resources than skeletal animation. In a game like Overgrowth it’s great and can really make a fantastic combat system, not so much in an ARPG where you’re considerably more limited in terms of input.

    Again, I don’t want to downplay their project and the engineer’s undeniable talent, but it’s certainly not better than what CD Projekt and Obsidian already have at their disposal.

    • InternetBatman says:

      Five people are involved.

      • DeathCarrot says:

        I meant to say the engine itself, i.e. what this article seems to be about, was programmed by one guy.

  37. Mr Wonderstuff says:

    I got an ‘Into the Shadows’ vibe from this – 10 points to anyone who knows what I am talking about ;-)

    Oh and he looks really drunk – deliberate? Doubt it.

    • jrodman says:

      Yeah, I remember that from when it was a “Cascada VR Section” concept.
      Kind of illustrative of some of the hurdles demoscene guys have trouble with when transitioning to game development.

  38. VanishedDecoy says:

    Would be cool if both Chivalry Medieval Warfare and War of the Roses adopted this engine.

  39. ffordesoon says:

    I’m not sure I get it. There are flashes of brilliance here. The animation is tremendously impressive, especially for procedural stuff, but “impressive” is the only word that springs to mind. Not, for example, “fun.” Everything’s so slow and dull. Couple that with the generic writing and art, and I don’t quite understand how this will translate into a game I want to play. I understand that it’s a pre-alpha creation from an inexperienced developer, and in that regard, it’s stunning. But as with those “target render” videos they show occasionally at E3, everything looks so seamless that I don’t understand what I’ll actually be doing with my hands while those pretty animations are wobbling about. For all I know, my role will be to hold the left mouse button while I watch a couple of dudes fight. Which would be boring.

    I will back it, but I’d imagine that’s the biggest reason for the sluggish funding. Rather ironic, really; if we gamers get shown something seamless, our immediate instinct is to go, “Where are all the seams!?”

    It occurs to me that this seems ideally suited to an upgraded version of Vagrant Story’s combat system, now that I think about it. I’m not sure if that means anything to anyone here.

  40. Dark Acre Jack says:

    It’s not the engine so much as the amount of time the developer has put into adding layers of detail that aren’t the norm. Good job one guy, it takes a lot of temerity to spend time making an engine when you could be spending that time making a game.

  41. CrazedIvan says:

    Screw the game, where can I get my hands on this engine?!

  42. SonicTitan says:

    But what if you could talk to these physics?

    Honestly, this is a perfect example of the tension between mechanics and content. The engine is obviously impressive (though these days I’m not sure how much stock to put into the term “immersion”), but I am so bloody tired of generic fantasy worlds. I mean, sick to DEATH of it. I don’t care what genre the game is, but make the content something compelling. Is it too much to ask for something I can believe in again?

  43. Spoon Of Doom says:

    When this was mentioned in the Katchup the other day, I read the name, glanced over the text and thought “yet another fantasy RPG with a generic name. I won’t even bother watching the video or looking at the Kickstarter page”.
    Then I scrolled down to the comments where people mentioned how amazing it looked, which made me curious enough to watch the video. And holy shit, does it ever look amazing! I really want this tech out there, even if the actual game ends up bad. But they’re not doing themselves any favours with the name and the generic outline of the story and gameplay.

  44. MDefender says:

    The footwork could use some fine-tuning but the combat was incredibly interesting to look at. There’s a physicality to it you’d normally only get from watching the real thing.

  45. Slinkyboy says:

    I WANT THIS ENGINE!!!! Funded.

  46. pilouuuu says:

    Oh, shut up everyone who’s complaining about the game. Obsidian asked for money and they showed maybe one or two conceptual illustrations. This guys made a freaking engine! And a better engine than what AAA studios have. This looks much better than Skyrim. And I wouldn’t mind a game that is not a full fledged RPG, just like Skyrim, but on this engine. C’mon! Leet’s fund this game, you silly complainers!

    • tro says:

      they really do have to work on their description of the game and the updates on their kickstart tho.
      it’s really dry and dense at the same time, and doesn’t really convey anything as fun as how it looks like to hit the skeletons with a sword or let that giant knock u around.
      i hope that they already kinda suspect their own shortcomings there tho, and that the kickstart is about being able to pay someone who can breathe some life into all that and flesh it out a bit more.
      cuz that really is the one negative thing that really sticks out.

  47. tro says:

    this looks so rad! i love that the fighters look drunk and clunky. i also like the slower pace of combat. i’d love to see 30 little slow, drunk guys like that, stumbling around a battlefield, whacking each other with farming tools and other household objects.

    the fight with the giant was amazing, this is so what i’ve always wished CRPG’s would be more like, but never really realized it exactly til watching this. the giant overwhelmed that poor little drunk guy, being a giant actually meant something in that fight. where as in other CRPG’s a giant is basically the same as any other opponent, just with a lot of stats and some kind of knockback effect, if anything.

    and actually thinking of it, i can’t exactly say what made that combat feel so much more tangible than what we usually get. i mean the giant hits the guy and he falls down, so it take the guy a certain amount of time to get back up, basically. as far as game mechanics, that’s pretty much the same thing as a knockback effect. but there was something rad and exciting about watching it. maybe playing it is different. i had my money on the giant the whole time anyway.

    one of the big hurdles in getting to the ‘next level’ of CRPG’s, i think, is to really capture these kind of traits in the enemies u are fighting. not just size, but special attacks too, the things that make a monster feel unique outside of just an accumulation of stats. i mean it’s true that in the pen and paper equivalents, these things are built into a monster from a collection of stats, but u have the blank page of your imagination to start from.

    i love this tho, probably the first kickstarter i’m gonna support in any way, cuz i feel like this engine is, in some way, a step in that direction. i’m not picky about graphics and stuff tho, when someone earlier was pointing out some faults about the lighting effects, i seriously have no idea what that means. something like half life 2 still amazes me, cuz i really was raised more on games like Baldur’s Gate and that level of technology.

  48. Alehr says:

    This is hands down the most impressive tech demo I’ve ever seen. Something about the fight in that dungeon, the lighting, the movement, the physics, gave me this eerie feeling like I was looking at baldur’s gate, but suddenly all the pre-rendered sprites had come to life.

    Unbelievable engine tech, and this article articulated exactly what I was thinking while watching the video.

  49. Arkhonist says:

    This made me jizz, then cry. Everyone saying this doesn’t look any good don’t have a clue what a HUGE advancement this engine is compared to others. I actually don’t give a flying fuck about the game, the interesting thing here is actually the engine, kind of like Wolfire’s Overgrowth. If I could support the engine instead of the game and get a copy of it, I would throw my money at them instantly.