I think the AW engine is a reasonable fit for this genre because they are at the opposite ends of civilisation. Apocalypse World is set 50 years after civilisation ends, and a primeval setting occurs an untold time before the first true civilisations rise. There are similar themes and issues - savagery, scarcity, and the chance for larger-than-life characters to have a real impact on their surroundings.
So far I've just started mulling things over, and throwing some ideas into a document for later fleshing-out. I started with a brainstormed list of Playbooks:
- Thunder Hunter - specialises in hunting megafauna.
- Beast-Dancer - trains large dangerous pets.
- Archer - hunts at a distance, from the shadows.
- Shaman - wields spiritual influence.
- Chieftain - responsible for the tribe.
- Lorekeeper - draws on tribal and ancestral memories.
- ??? - gathering and scouting.
- Warrior - specialised in fighting other people.
- Trapper - sets snares, pits, logfalls, builds stuff.
I also came up with a list of Stats, although they're pretty much just reskinned copies of the Apocalypse World stats. I suspect this may be because, at their heart, both settings are so similar. I may end up modifying some of the Basic Moves, though, which will alter the flavour of the game a little.
- Savage - brutal, violent.
- Wild - instinctive, unrestrained.
- Draw/Allure? - personality, charisma.
- Keen - senses, intellect.
- Lore - connection to the ancestors.
I'll post updates when I get around to working on the Moves or the Playbooks. I'll also need to work out the best way to represent dinosaurs and such.