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Status report 3-17-2016

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Norman Barrows

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Major changes to Caveman v3.0 since the August 2015 release of beta 21:

ENCOUNTERS: (encounters and treasure now scale to party size AND level, not just party size)
* regular and quest encounter number appearing now scales based on party strength (numbers AND combat skills), so you get tougher encounters at higher levels of experience.
* regular and quest encounter treasure quantity scales with number appearing - which is now based on party strength (not just party size).
* quest treasure quality now scales with party strength.
* time of day now affects encounter chances.
* remaining resource levels in a map square now affect encounter chances in that map square.

COMBAT:
* hit location and damage by body section, including cripppling, and its effect on combat, movement, and all actions.
* modeling of critical hits.
* modeling of bleedout, including a new "staunch wounds" action.
* check follower health and and check pet health actions (shows dmg by section, bleeding, etc).
* separate weapon hotkeys for each bandmember.
* new orders: alarm! (IE battlestations, we're under attack), stop what you're doing (stop current action).
* new action: automatically walk around and pickup ammo. super nice when you have dozens of arrows lying about after a combat.
* you can now change weapons while attacking. you just have to start the attack over with the new weapon, thats all.
* option to switch to bandmember when they get an encounter if they are not the current bandmember (IE the one the player is currently controlling).
* new skill: combat defense. works in lieu of hp increasing with level. refects you getting better at defending yourself.
* new combat move: dodge. quickly moves you fwd/back/left/right.

AI:
* new land predator AI.
* new defend location AI (used by quest encounters).
* new pack hunter AI.
* new domesticable wild animal AI (used by dire wolves).
* new follower AI
* new pet AI
* new combo defend/maintain distance AI - maintains distance from stronger animals, stands its ground and defends against others.
* respond to missile fire by animal type (all of a type attack or flee, not just the one fired upon).
* animals flee from campfires.
* graze behavior (wander, stand, flock, migrate) for pets.
* improved (but not perfect yet) AI for avians vs cliffs.


BUTCHERING ANIMALS:
* re-balanced amount of meat, hides, tendon, etc from animals. amount of meat, bone, hides, etc on an animal is now based on animal weight. all animal types now have a weight. the heaviest being Stegodon (a type of mastodon) at 28,000 lbs.
* individual tracking of meat, hide, bones etc left on a carcass (and thus available for harvesting). also tracks meat quality - and meat on carcasses spoils over time too.
* butcher actions now take a short amount of time, and yield one unit of resources, and continue until you can't carry any more or there are no more resources. it used to take a long time (like a week for a single caveman vs a mammoth carcass!), then give you everything at once.
* multiple band members can now butcher the same carcass simultaneously.

QUEST GENERATORS:
* implemented 20 of 50 planned quest generators.

NEW OBJECTS:
* teepee - basically a portable hut.
* bedroll - basically a portable version of bedding.
the teepee and bedroll combined with the travois means you can now take your entire camp with you.


ACTIONS:
* you can now build huts and lean-to's in caves.
* new dialog option: greet caveman
* new dialog option: exchange news - added in anticipation of adding fame and / or reputation to the game. exchanging news is how fame/reputation will travel.
* added ability to abandon quests you no longer wish to pursue.
* success or failure sound effects and messages for all actions upon completion

TRADE:
* re-balanced trade value of items
* traders now have limited quantities of inventory and money.

SIMULATION:
* max band members increased to 50
* max active animals increased to 500
* water stat goes down faster in hot weather.
* band members now stop most actions if their mood drops too low.
* improved domestication of dire wolves.
* local temperature now affects rate of food spoilage.
* tracking of resource depletion in a map sqaure on a per type basis, instead of as one generic resource.
* resources now replenish continually over time, instead of being totally depleted for a while before instantly replenishing to 100%.
* wild vegetables and poison plants are now found in more types of terrain.
* ability to exchange items with your travelling companions. includes tracking ownership, yours vs theirs. and NO, you can't take their stuff!
* gifts to NPCs now appear in their inventories.
* automatic transfer of liquids with containers finally works correctly.
* rafts have now been fully implemented. collision checks, AI, actions, etc - everything works with rafts now. during testing, it was very cool sailing across the ocean on a raft with one other band member, one companion, and my pet dire wolf, and seeing a new shore for the first time.
* friendly cavemen now have a chance to come up to you and initiate various dialog actions when you encounter them.

SKINNED MESHES:
* better animations
* correct materials
* correct pitch relative to the 3pv camera
* drawing of equipment

TUTORIAL:
* added making a wood spear to the tutorial - the stone knife object became a cutting tool, which is no longer a weapon.

OTHER:
* numerous minor adjustments and fixes to game balance - god is in the details!

a long period of time was spent addressing the question of "what to do when you're high level?".
the traditional solution of "Build a castle, raise an army, conquer the world!" from classic Dungeons & Dragons doesn't really work that well with a stone age setting.
turns out, its not "what to do when you're high level?", its "what to do when you've done it all?" (IE used up all the content in the game).
players need a continual supply of compelling new content appropriate for their level, not that hard in classic D&D, given an obliging DM. somewhat harder to do in video games (free high quality DLC to the rescue).
regular and quest encounters and treasure that scale to player's level provides content of appropriate difficulty for the player's level.
the ability to generate 50 different types of quests (compare to two for Skyrim's radiant quest system) will help keep things from getting repetitive too quickly.
a quest editor is also planned, along with some number of quests made with it, such as one or more optional story line campaigns. this will allow users to create and share their own quests. which may provide another possible source for compelling new content appropriate for the players level (since quest editor quests -IE number appearing, and treasure quantity and quality- will also scale automatically to player level).

WHATS NEXT:
* the ability to build a castle - caveman style. IE wood, dirt, and stone wall objects.
* multi-band settlements (proto-villages) - ask you allies to move next door.
* making the player seek out a wide variety of foods so they don't just stockpile and eat nuts all the time (for example). eating the same thing all the time will nuke your mood. maybe your stats too if mood isn't enough motivation.
* there are still a number of new actions, objects, and animal types still to be added to the game.
* misc features such as browsers for object types, animal types, and actions.
* multi-band gatherings
* mini games:
- stick and hoops (similar to lawn darts)
- chunkey (hit the thrown ball with the spear)
- non-lethal combat
- archery competitions
- and of course "rock", as in rock-paper-scissors. but its the stone age, so its before they invented paper and scissors, so they just have "rock". pretty boring game actually - always ends in a tie! .
* boss monster and boss caveman encounters for high level players.
* final graphics

and then it will finally be time to release. smile.png


there is currently no beta demo available. the public beta was a smashing success, with only two users reporting issues, one related to startup resolution detection, and the other unrelated to the game (corrupt UAC file interferes with install/launch, causing the dreaded BEX error). as a result, the startup resolution detection code has been beefed up to explicitly check caps, instead of assuming that caps which should be there are there.

I may run a semi-private beta for folks interested in providing feedback on gameplay. not sure at this point. if anyone is interested in something like that, PM me. you can never have too much feedback - whether you're talking games or guitars! . (yeah, i play the electric guitar).
.


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