This past week or two have been big ones for me – working every weeknight and all through the weekends to keep on schedule. I’ve been playing with the new lighting engine of choice – a modified version of prettylight by Nik Sudan. It looks even better than in Caveman Craig 2, and has the added benefit of a gaussian blur shader which we’ll use sparingly for a layer of polish. It looks especially pretty in the main menu, as we blur the background scene when the menu elements appear.
Each level has added unique charm. The new level, originally to be part of DLC, set at Dudu Forest, works a little more like Survival mode as far as dinosaurs go. Rather than having a director ‘unleash’ groups of dinosaurs at chosen intervals to provide a crafted pace like most levels, dinosaurs are spawned at random, at any given time. I call it “frenzy” mode, and it will be an option when playing custom games, another feature we’re adding.
We had a lot of feedback about the ending of Caveman Craig 2. The final challenge, in which you lead the other tribe leaders into battle with a family of T-rexes, was an unexpected change of pace from the rest of the game. It was fun, though perhaps implemented poorly. In the new update, the T-rex challenge will become part of the final conquest level against our furry friend, Steve. It’s heaps more fun because you can enlist your entire tribe to take down the nest together, and strategise accordingly.
There’s still a lot to do, and my next big job is to implement Steam leaderboards. The current plan is to include leaderboards for each Conquest level, plus the mini-games. I’m not a big fan of global leaderboards, where seeing the number 1 player in the world only discourages you from bothering to even try. So we’ll be focusing on comparing scores with Steam friends only.
How do you measure how well you played a Conquest level? How quickly you finish it? How much damage you inflict? There are many different ways to play each level , and we want to encourage you to play the game in different ways and be rewarded for it. Each level will have a few standard high score measurements, but there’ll be some unique challenges as well in each level.
Our Steam update is nearing a private BETA release, the commencement of which will be flagged by a Caveman Craig re-launch Party, scheduled in a couple of weeks time. Before we initially released Caveman Craig 2 in 2012, we ran a testing party for a private group of friends. It proved very helpful in ironing out bugs, getting feedback, and generally prepping the game for final release.
With the amount of changes Tim and I have made over the past couple of months, we decided that another testing event was in order. With the use of Steam’s API, testing with a larger group of people is especially necessary to see how well everything works with regards to leaderboards, achievements, cloud sync, and so on.
Soon after the re-launch party, we hope to announce a release date and some more official details about what you can expect in Caveman Craig for Steam.