22nd November Announcement:
There actually hasn't been a long period since the last update. Even those game studios which have the most contact with their communities release less frequent updates than we have in the past.
However, given that our main forums are currently down, I thought it was time to release some more information.
As many of you have guessed, the project has had its share of 'development hell'. This was to be expected. A project like this is an extensive undertaking. It requires developing new technologies for properly implementing the animals (ie. finding resource efficient, effective and accurate ways to render AI, animations and interactions in a game engine). It also requires developing new gameplay concepts that can mix authentic animals and much smaller quantities of enemies than in conventional shooters, with other elements such as exploration, intense action, and deeper game dynamics. Challenges faced even include things like developing a firm understanding of the animals being modelled (including asking some questions rarely considered in the palaeontological community).
With challenges comes growth. The loyalty of our team to this project is incredible. We have developed some animations which rival the best in the industry (including the BBC), produced some of the most accurate renderings of animals to date (eg. Sauropelta above, is perfect - excepting three small details) and developed novel gameplay concepts which are as feasible as they are revolutionary (No, I'm not telling!).
Due to limitations in the way animations were implemented in CryEngine2 and the inaccessibility of the AI system in the existing SDK, a release for Crysis is relatively unlikely. Development at this point is focussed on ensuring that we have all the pieces in place to produce an optimal implementation of animals in our game engine of choice. As a result we are moving to a smaller, closed team and won't be developing game assets until this task is complete. Trust me, when our tech demo is complete you will hear our roar.
Some additional information:
Recruitment - If you have exceptional dedication and are interested in contributing to the project - we are still accepting applications. However, with the exception of coding and animations, most other types of work will be suspended until the tech demo is complete. Of course, the upside is that you can send in your applications without expecting to have to do any work for the near future. Of course, people with LUA scripters, those with C++ knowledge or experience as animators can be busy almost immediately.
Forums - If you are wondering why the official forum is down, the answer is fairly simple: Since we are working with a smaller, more focussed team, it doesn't make sense to have an extensive forum. However, you'll be happy to know that it is backed up and will be returning to service eventually. Until then, please direct inquiries to e-mail or the comments section & forum on the Moddb site. Our main website's forum links will soon be modified to redirect here.
Who's posting - In case you were wondering: Jonas Weselake-George, also known as "Avimimus" formerly working on a number of areas (especially in coordinating research). I am currently taking over as project leader. Nick Gregory (ie. "Smiley" / "Smiley Nick") is relatively busy at the moment - but in good health, and will be returning in a few months. We are much indebted to his efforts to bring this project about and ongoing support remains an integral part of this project.