So for every action - and there are over 100 TYPES of actions - there will be an animation, and an animation object in hand, and zero or more animation objects on the ground.
And some actions such as cook, make, gather, repair, etc will use different objects in hand and on the ground, depending on whats being made, gathered, repaired, etc.
And the Learn action will required animations and objects in hand and on the ground for each skill in the game (about 50).
so every object (about 300) will have a make or find animation along with an animation object in hand and animation objects on the ground list. every object will also have drawing information, and a fixup translation and rotations for placing it in an avatar's hand. the fixup for each object will need to be determined experimentally in the modeler. the fixup locates the object with respect to the avatar's "weapon bone". its required because the size of an object at its "grip point" and its required orientation can vary.
and every action (about 100 types) will have an animation along with an animation object in hand and animation objects on the ground list - or use those for an object or skill.
and every skill (about 50) will have a learn animation along with an animation object in hand and animation objects on the ground list.
All the basic animations are in the game and hooked up for all actions. But actions that work with different objects (make, cook, etc), and learn, which works with different skills, all use the same animation for the moment.
i hope to make maximum effect of asset reuse. but the first thing i tried was drawing reeds in hand when gathering reeds, only to discover that i need a new asset (handful of reeds) because the best existing one (bundle of reeds) simply didn't look right. I decided to do that one later
so this item on the todo list is going to take a LONG time. its pretty much the last major thing left to do on the game project.
beyond that i'm down to adding better graphics, more actions, skills, and objects that were thought of late in the project, more animal types (i have no modern animals or sea creatures yet), and high level things like mini-games. Other nice things like a target browser.
so mostly nice features, add-ons, eye candy, and gold plating, but nothing that must absolutely ship in the first release.
which means, once i get the animations done and finish play testing and polishing, it should be ready to go! finally!