Last year was rather full of improvements, notably on the AI area, and some of them are not merged yet. I know this for certain, and even can prove it (as long as those videos are reachable...):
* a video of a bot reaching chasm's plateau
* a video of a crawling and climbing human bot
* dretches climbing the BIG ladder in parpax
* another dretch one, another ladder, with less difficulties
If you don't recognize Parpax here, it's normal. This is because Viech released a new version of it.
Those are the spectacular stuff which are not yet merged, and if you watched the videos, I'm certain you can understand some of the reasons. The other reason is that, for each climbable area, manual work is required, and that's something we'd prefer avoid by automating the placement of the connections.
There are many more changes on AI which were merged, still from by betterai mod. I could list those, but it would take more than a few lines.
There are also HUD improvements in preparation, to help making the game more obvious to newcommers and old users as well, there's are pending gameplay changes (increasing the area on which a granger can put out fire and prevent it to go back is the one I'm waiting for the most) and a lot of bugfixes.
Note that I can't list the gameplay changes for a good reason: while I play rather often (minimum 1H every 2 days, I'd say, often more) and contribute, I don't focus on those. As others said, every contributor focuses on few aspects, for various reasons, between the personal interest, the technical skills, the time...
Overall, I think the AI changes makes bots feeding a lot less, thus making the game more fun to play with low player count. Usable default bindings which were done before 0.52.1 are also a very nice thing, aliens able to devolve makes aliens playable without a dedicated builder, which is also a very good addition. Granger is also now useful to it's team for more than building, since it can play the role of a trapper, ...
Oh. And, why do I contribute to unvanquished's code while there are "no players"?
The answer is easy: because I play it :)
The current player base is, indeed, not big, but it exists, some are strong, some are newcommers, some are average, and that's fine.
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Spammers or trolls, yes, but people might stumble on that thread, and since there is not much news reaching the outside of github/#unvanquished-dev, I thought it was not such a bad idea to put some stuff here
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