I added the ability to draw weapon-in-hand to the skinned mesh test routine. It can toggle between weapon types, and uses the game's built-in matrix editor to position the weapon with respect to the hand bone. The test routine is used to determine the fixup transform for a weapon, which is then added to the database info for that weapon type.
It now draws all 65 or so different types of weapons in a skinned mesh female's hand.
A fixup transform for male meshes is next. Male and female meshes share almost identical skeletons, so just a single fixup for male vs female skinned mesh is required to make all the weapons draw in a male skinned mesh hand as well - IE move everything down and right a bit to account for the difference in the male and female hand meshes. These fixup transforms are roughly the equivalent of positioning a weapon bone for each skinned mesh in the modeling software, and transforming all weapon models in the modeling software so their grip point is at the origin, then drawing the weapon at the weapon bone with no transform. Unlike your typical shooter, not every weapon in Caveman has a uniform type and size of grip, such as a pistol grip or sword handle. so tweaking on a per weapon basis is really required to get the best possible fit.
Then comes the remaining attack animations. One hand attack is already done. spear thrust, bow attack, and a few others still need to be made. It looks like I can even share animations between male and female skeletons. It also looks like I need to clean up the skin weights a bit on the male meshes - the upper arm influences the ribs area. I thought it was from using the female attack animation, but its just a weight tweak issue, not an animation sharing issue.
I'll need to make a version of the skinned mesh textures for use with the existing 1st person attack animations - a simple copy/paste type operation in paint.net or gimp.
I also need to make some improvements to the startup resolution autodetect code. Right now its selects the resolution with the highest horizontal value that supports A8R8G8B8, and assumes 24bit depth buffer support is available at that resolution - which may not be a safe assumption in rare cases. I've only had two people report such issues.
And then its time to release beta 21. Beta 20 has already expired, so at the moment there is no beta available for download. Beta 21 should be ready in a couple of weeks. In order to get beta 21 out sooner, it will not draw armor or equipment, and won't have action animations. those will all be included in beta 22, which will probably take 2-3 weeks from the time beta 21 is released.
And then comes skinned mesh animals....