A change of pace
I thought I’d post something a little bit different today. I didn’t want to bore you too much with technical details on Caveman Craig 2, as that’s pretty much all Tim and I have been doing for the past week or two – refining and refining to prepare for BETA stages.
So instead, I thought I’d have a think about what happens [i]after[/i] Caveman Craig 2.
We don’t want to milk the Caveman Craig series too much – we’ll get bored, and so will you guys! Also, we all know how terrible and disappointing it is when our favourite movies have crappy sequels. We don’t want the same thing to happen with the CC franchise. That said, I don’t think we’ve exhausted all our potential. An online Caveman Craig would be a lot of fun, particularly with the gameplay mechanic that CC2 has. Anyway.
Below is a poll! I’m interested in what you’d like to see us do next. You can tick multiple answers if you like.. e.g a topdown shooter & massively online game.
Ultimately, we would love to be spitting out unique and fun games every month or two while working on larger projects throughout the year. And we’d love for you all to be along for the ride – so what do you want us to do?
I’m tired and about to go to bed.. thought I might post an update though while I’m still thinking about it!
We’re making good progress.. Tim’s sent over a large number of the sounds we’ll use in-game, and I’ve been developing a bunch of scripts designed to handle and workaround the terrible design of Game Maker’s in-built sound engine. Most of the scripts deal with sounds that need to loop.. like struggling caveman sounds or the sound of leaves being pulled when you harvest fruit. The scripts make sure that the sound is only played once at a time, and pans it in the average spot between all the requested positions. Example, if 1 caveman is being eaten on the far left side of the screen, you’ll hear the sound being played in the left speaker. But if another caveman starts getting eaten from the far right side, the sound is centred – but still only played once.
The result of this, comparing from the original game, is two things:
-> Positional audio / stereo panning
-> No sound glitches with looping sounds, this was present in CC1 and CC:SE.
So far it seems to be working really well. Hopefully the way it deals with data structures isn’t going to mess with the performance too much. I’m yet to test this.
We are pushing to get a (private) BETA release out soon. Sounds, tutorial, and some general tweaking have been the last things to do before this can happen. We are also looking at design concepts for a new Caveman Craig website to promote and reflect the new look that CC2 will bring.
Stay tuned for an exciting pre-order deal! The time is near..
What’s left to do?
Tim and I are very excited to see the project which has been in on-and-off development for the past 3 years finally on its way to being polished and finished.
Having contact with our fanbase via this blog has been really helpful in keeping us motivated and understanding what you want to see in Craig’s rebirth.
Despite the amount of work we’ve done, and despite how the game looks in screenshots and tech videos, there is still a lot to go. We are, as any game studio would be, a little behind schedule but there are good reasons behind this. We don’t want to cut corners to meet self-defined deadlines, and so we have spent much of the past few weeks going over some of the core gameplay elements and redoing large parts of them so that the game is essentially more enjoyable.
This is in part why we are yet to offer a release date – we want to meet and exceed expectations. We want to perfect the game, and that is at the expense of committing to announced deadlines.
So, what’s left?
We are still tweaking and introducing new ideas to the main “conquest” gametype to make it fun, challenging, and unique. There are going to be at least 5 ‘other’ gametypes which need to be put together, too – although these will take significantly less time to do.
The HUD is looking very polished, however there are still lots of small bits and pieces to tweak and add. When we do get around to adding the new gametypes, we will need to adapt some parts to accommodate changes in the game mechanic. Some work on fonts and small images like the cursor or indication icons still need to be done.
On the bonuses/”XP rewards” front, we have about 10 existing in the game, many of which still need tweaking and fixing – another 25 need to be added once Tim has put together the sprites and resources for them. I’m looking forward to seeing which XP rewards get used most, and how people use them to get a strategic edge over the enemy.
The whole main menu structure / look needs to be put together, although most of it has already been planned on paper.
Tim needs to finish off the animations for the remaining enemy tribe leaders. There’s a lot of voice acting to be done, in addition to all the sound effects.
I need to create a save/load script (The gameMaker inbuilt one won’t likely do), a tribe statistics window, a tutorial, and mod/expansion capabilities – this is not a priority, but it will be used to allow for small patches, new dinosaurs or cavemen skins, and new levels without having to release an updated executable (which at this point is almost 50mb in size).
Ricky will begin core work on the soundtrack in just a few days. We hope to show some teasers of the main theme soon =)
Finally, there’s the non-technical side of things.. marketing, contracts, distribution negotiations, pre-orders.. Lots of discussions to be had and lots of work to do.
As always, we’ll keep you updated and in the loop! We’d love to start blogging about some new project ideas soon!
On track for release soon!
We are powering through this game now and we’re as eager to have this game out as much as you are!
You can see here the official Caveman Craig 2: The Tribes of Boggdrop logo and title (click on it for a chunky huge version).
Keep an eye on our blog for some crisp screenshots coming this week. We’re also hoping to announce a release date and a pre-order deal soon.
Suddenly, cavemen. Thousands of them!
Only the most fanatic of you all will ever get close to this number (~60) of cavemen, I’d expect.. unless you cheat of course.
On a technical note, I still had a full 40/40 framerate! .. Well, until I bought the ‘triple rock’ bonus and a river of rocks streamed through the terrain wiping out every dinosaur in sight.
Caveman Craig 2 – XP Rewards
We wanted Caveman Craig 2 to have plenty of material for those with strategic minds to chew on, while retaining the simplicity and casual feel of the original Caveman Craig. It’s a hard balance to keep.
Part of this is our new “XP rewards” system. Unlike the previous games, Caveman Craig 2 doesn’t just throw random bonuses at you as your tribe grows. Instead, Craig can earn experience points by basically ‘doing things’. As he hunts animals, drags carcasses, preparers food, and teaches cavemen, his XP will grow steadily. Big XP is earned for doing things like saving cavemen, fending off the enemy tribe, or stealing their carcasses.
Your XP can then be spent on a large number of rewards in the ‘rewards catalog’ – including the mammoth and his rock throwing pal (shown above), pet dinosaurs, and many others including our favourite rewards from Caveman Craig and Caveman Craig: SE.
Some rewards are cheap, others expensive. It’s up to you to choose your strategy. Will you spend all your XP on pre-trained cavemen & food resources? Or will you save up for something that will crush your enemy?
Only a few more days until our special Caveman Craig: Special Edition coupon code expires.
Enter the code; GROK in checkout to receive 40% off.
Direct link to checkout HERE.
Work begins for alternative platforms
Tonight I began work on the mobile version of Caveman Craig 2. We hope for the mobile version to cover iPad, iPhone/iPod (retina only, sorry guys), and Android.
In both marketing and actual gameplay, there will be some large differences between Caveman Craig 2 for desktop platforms (Win/Mac) and Mobile (iOS/Android). The mobile version of Caveman Craig will focus on the survival style of CC: Classic, offering two main gametypes – one pushes you to grow your tribe as fast as you can to survive against increasingly difficult waves of dinosaurs, and the other is a slower paced, growth gametype in which you need to grow your tribe as large as you can. The enemy leaders that Tim has been introducing you to over the past months will be present in the mobile version.
There are quite a number of technical differences to consider too between mobile platforms (and to a smaller degree, the desktop platforms). Most prominent is the resolution and DPI differences. The iPad is the easiest to consider – it has a 1024×768 resolution, which is our target resolution for the desktop version too (the desktop version can dynamically increase the width for widescreen). If it weren’t for the control and gameplay differences, we could almost do a direct port to iPad with the desktop version!
It gets more difficult with the retina display – at first glance, the 960×640 resolution doesn’t sound so difficult to adapt to, as it’s not that much smaller than the iPad resolution. But with such a humungous DPI, at native scaling, Craig is absolutely tiny on the retina display! Too much screen real estate will be taken up by sky and sun, which is just silly. So for retina, we will be upscaling the game to 150% – there will be very little sacrifice of visual quality with this.
Android gets even harder to work out, and we’re still working out final details. Android runs on so many different devices that there’s no 1 good setting. We have been advised a ‘one size fits all’ resolution of 850×480 (from memory), and at this point we’re going with that. Android also runs on both slow and fast devices, so CC will have a very different experience and frame-rate based on the device you play it on.
So, yes, there’s a lot to work out before the mobile version really comes together!
The desktop version is of course making progress, too. We are just finishing up the last dinosaurs and tweaking their behaviour. They’re all quite unique from each other and some can be a lot of fun to try and take down! Tim did a great job with the animation. I’ve been spending some time working on the extensibility of Caveman Craig 2 – this is mostly for our benefit (allowing us to distribute patches and updates without you having to redownload the entire game), but there’s some potential for modding / customisation on your end, too. We are trying to make it very easy to add custom content, including:
-> Scenery (backgrounds & terrain)
-> Custom Player Skins
Unfortunately, the dinosaurs and rewards/bonuses would require some GML knowledge and understanding of how the game engine is coded. We may however offer ‘template dinosaurs’ for you to make your own. We’ll also likely release official content.
Ricky has begun work on the main theme music for the game, although I’m yet to hear anything.. so stay tuned!
Special Offer for Caveman Craig: Special Edition!
To celebrate the soon to arrive Caveman Craig 2, for June ONLY we are offering 40% off the normal $4.99 (US dollars) price for Caveman Craig: Special Edition.
To get this frankly over-generous deal, enter the coupon code GROK when purchasing. So if you STILL haven’t bought the special edition, highly acclaimed as an essential improvement for CC fans, OR if your friends still haven’t purchased a copy for themselves, now is the time!
Tim posted an exciting progress report for Caveman Craig 2, which you can see here: http://cavemancraig.wordpress.com/2011/06/02/things-to-look-forward-to/
Things to look forward to…
There is plenty to get excited about as we continue to develop Caveman Craig 2!
I have almost completed all the animation for the vast array of dinosaurs in the game. There will be over 12 different prehistoric beasts, including this huge Stegosaurus (shown in the pic). The original Caveman Craig had about 4 dinosaurs (and the special edition includes the Dilophosaurus). Some dinosaurs will be seen more frequently than the others, but one thing we know is that the T-Rex will be more terrifying than in the original game!
Another thing to be excited about is the new website, which is currently in development too. There will be a tonne of info, pics and other exciting news to come with it. No date is set for this yet, but stay tuned.
Rhys and I have also been talking about other games we can develop after CC2 hits the (virtual) streets. We’ll always keep you informed on this blog as to what exciting Parabox games will be coming out.
In the meantime, if you haven’t already got it, Caveman Craig: Special Edition is still available in our store at www.cavemancraig.com – This is tonnes better and smoother than the free version we have on YoYo Games, and has a heap of extra features.