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Progress Report: March 2014

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Norman Barrows


Few progress reports, but lots of progress:

All Improved animal animations done - even the new bunny_attack animation! . The improved animations really bring the animals to life. Sometimes i'll be testing something and its like really being back in a paleolithic world.

Took some time out to finally give Skyrim a thorough evaluation. Oblivion was a major influence on the design of the original version of Caveman. I came away quite pleased with where Caveman is vis a vis Skyrim. Obviously i don't have the manpower to match them in graphics special effects or human generated content. OTOH, I found the changes between Oblivion and Skyrim to be evolutionary, not revolutionary. And it still suffers from the same design flaws as Oblivion (hard coded levels, hard coded spawn points, nothing to spend money on, rat in a maze level design, etc) plus new ones brought on by trying to add random encounters w/o thinking through the consequences (dragons, vampires, etc kill all the merchants!) and therefore not having a complete and balanced model/simulation (new merchants move in to replace those that die). Guess that's what happens when you try to add simulator type stuff to whats basically a level based shooter and don't think like a sim developer.

Spent some time (about week) playtesting and tweaking. Surprisingly little needed to be tweaked.

Implemented encounter ranges based on terrain elevation and vegetation cover.

Did final (?) improvements of caveman models.

Implemented all animations for 3rd person view:
walk, run, and sprint - forward, back, left, and right.
sneak stand
sneak walk - forward, back, left, and right
climb mode stand (hang on) and walk (climb)
weapon ready
attack animations

graphics left to improve:
falling snow
prairie terrain
savanna terrain
cloud and sky brightness (both are a little dark right now)

this will bring all the graphics up to the minimum level acceptable for first release of this major new version of the game.

then there are a number of additional game play features to add, from interacting with snow, to taking rafts upstream, to high end stuff like raiding and inter-band rivalry, mating and offspring, etc. But these largely require just code, which i can kick out much faster than graphics. All the design work and rules have been worked out already, its simply a matter of typing it in. And for that i have Cscript, my secret productivity weapon.
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