Prehistoric Kingdom is a zoo management game that gives players total control over the creation of their extinct animals and themepark.
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March 31

DevLog #3 - March



Greetings, everyone, and welcome to this months development update!

The team has been busy working on new Early Access material and beginning the process of rebuilding our core systems and foundation to improve upon our user experience and ensure that Prehistoric Kingdom is ready for new features and content. Much love and effort is being put into crafting a unique gameplay experience that will feel challenging and rewarding for tycoon veterans and new fans of the genre.



On March 4 we released the Jurassic Patch to our pre-alpha demo and were simply blown away by the sheer creativity that our community has shown us! While there were issues reported on our Discord server and Steam forums, we took note and pushed out a hotfix as quickly as possible to address the majority of large issues that our players were experiencing with the AI and other things.

For our OSX community, we’re pleased to announce that the demo is available on Steam for you to play around with! We’ve learned a lot over the past few months, and we cannot wait to get the full game into everyone’s hands.





March was extremely successful as we managed to achieve everything that originally set in February. While certain components will be continued through the next few months, here’s a glimpse at what’s to come!





Architecture Setup

For the last two weeks our programmers have been working on Prehistoric Kingdom’s architecture to improve the game development process by redesigning all of our systems to be future proof. This entails things such as creating new user interface prefabs, loading systems, and making the addition of new buildings or animals to the game as easy as possible. By going through the laborious process of rebuilding old systems from the demo, we can greatly improve the functionality, performance, and feeling of the game.

This enhanced approach to our workflow means that programming conventions and general engine work within Unity should be far more comprehensive and welcoming to each team member when working with the game’s deep and complex systems.



During March we looked deeply at the game’s art style and aesthetics to recognise trouble spots regarding consistency and how we can make Prehistoric Kingdom both look great and run well. In the future, we have plans to redo some of our older creatures and art assets to bring them up to par with recent additions to our growing catalogue of models, textures, animations, sounds, and designs.

Shader Updates

Something we’ve wanted to look into for a while now is a revamp of some of our custom shaders in Unity. While it’s certainly not finished, we’ve been testing out a decal system for body damage when an animal has been attacked or wounded. In conjunction with this change, our animals will look far more detailed than previously seen before.

It’s not perfect as we’re still experimenting, but so far the results have been promising:



Similar effects can be applied for to visually assist features like disease. We gave our Tyrannosaurus a quick skin inflammation to test it out:


Issues like skin inflammation will play a vital role in maintaining an animals health. More diseases will be revealed in the future!



Mediterranean Isle & Tropical Wet Foliage

Our resident level designer, programmer, and tree connoisseur, Victor, has been up to some ever so lovely things recently. Now that we’re looking to improve our art assets and quality wherever we can, here’s an early look at our Mediterranean Isle inside World Machine. It’s not quite ready to go in-engine yet as we won’t be touching maps for a while, but we can’t wait to see what it looks like once it’s there!



If you haven’t caught our daily streams (check out our Discord server for notifications, hint hint) Victor has also been growing a collection of our Tropical Wet plants, trees, and general foliage assets.



Building Concept Art & Models Preview

We recently added a concept artist to help out with building designs and realize our expansive list of structures that will be featured in the game. Here’s the first look at some of our buildings:


The Fast Food Kiosk is a small building for your guests to purchase meals and drinks set by the player. It’s been designed so that visitors can access cashiers from four different sides depending on path access, meaning that the kiosk can be placed both within a plaza or on the side of a pathway and still be fully functional.


A Restroom is required for when your guests need to, you know… go. The internal trash can and recycling bin mounted to the outer wall along with solar panels attached to the roof makes this building worthwhile even when alongside its larger counterpart.


The Animal Nursery is the birthplace for all of your prehistoric animals before moving them out into the park. We felt that the original design didn’t quite fit its purpose and opted for a larger modern aesthetic. Additional foliage and greenery will be added in-engine.


The Thermic Modulator alters the temperature of an exhibit while retaining the chosen climate. To keep its design relatively hidden from guests, its outer texture adapts to the ground texture beneath it.

Buildings are something that the team has wanted to see for the longest time and we hope that you’re just as excited as we are to reveal new building types each month. Remember to supply your structures with sufficient water and electricity, or else you might just find yourself in a predicament!



UX/UI Improvements

While not strictly linked to the graphic design side of development, our UI designer has been working with our programmers to ensure that the future of Prehistoric Kingdom is as nice to play with as it is to look at. A smattering of concepts were created during March to compliment the on-going game plan and feature design, as well. The interface for selection, demolition, animal selection, and terraforming have been finalized along with some tweaks to existing sets to name but a few.


Expanding upon our previous two state cursors from the demo to cover a wide range of activities!

Besides a handful of other improvements such as new mouse cursor states and button feedback/responsiveness, we’ve added a collection of charming phrases during the loading screen to make waiting just that little bit less tedious. We might even throw a few easter eggs in there – who knows?


Loading screen backgrounds will change depending on the map. All 50 Early Access animals can be viewable as the animated creature based on chance.


A small sample of the 20+ game-related phrases and easter eggs. Revolutionary? Nah. Neat? Definitely.



New Creatures

That’s right – even more animals to show! These critters might not come as a surprise to those who have been following the live streams but here are the new creatures (and alternate skins) of March. Say hello to Ankylosaurus magniventris, Baryonyx walkeri, Carnotaurus sastrei, and Edmontosaurus regalis!









Alt. Skins & Concept Art

Last month we showed off our Pachyrhinosaurus. Today we’re revealing its two alternate skins; Pachyrhinosaurus canadensis and perotorum!



Alternate skin designs for Carnotaurus, Deinonychus, Edmontosaurus, and Styracosaurus:






And finally; artwork for Prenocephale and all the remaining mammals!




Base Mesh Completion

With the conclusion of our last livestream, the remaining Early Access base meshes have been completed! All of our beautiful animals will be moving onto sculpting, texturing, rigging, and animation over the coming months.





Terraforming is a key part of any great zoo building game which is why we’re looking into completely overhauling the system currently implemented within the pre-alpha demo. The details provided here may be altered as development continues, but here’s the general idea of what we’re looking at.

Terrain Editing

With the user interface getting an extreme makeover, we would like to focus our terraforming systems around voxels due to the hundreds of creative possibilities that can be accomplished with them.



Up to three different water colours can be chosen (“salt”, “fresh”, or “muddy”) when painting water into a paddock. This is complimentary feature the main tools – raising, lowering, flattening, and smoothing the terrain.

We’ll do our best in researching and implementing a voxel terrain system due to the ability to freely sculpt caves, arches, and overhangs from the terrain. The creative power that comes with something like this has the potential to be truly amazing, so we’ll be sure to report back on our progress in the next few DevLog’s.

Climate Painting

Climate painting in Prehistoric Kingdom offers deep customization for hardcore builders as well as simple tools for players who would rather not get into the detailed side of exhibit design.



Players will have the option to paint both ground textures and make use of the ‘Quick Design’ tool simultaneously, enabling or disabling the automatic placement of rocks, ground clutter, and foliage during the painting process. Rocks and trees can be individually placed by lowering the brush size to its minimum value or painted directly onto your terrain through increasing the size and intensity of your brush.

Overall, terraforming will feel far more integrated into the game. Some of you may recall having to use a separate foliage removal tool instead of demolition when experimenting with the demo. Not only will trees, rocks, and clutter behave like the rest of the structures and objects in the game, but their functionality will be, too. Clicking painted objects will activate the editing gizmo – allowing for a more streamlined exhibit building experience.

___

And that concludes March’s DevLog!



We will be continuing our daily streams as well as posting a few more times a month on our social media pages so there’s less of a content drought in between blog posts. With that said, we hope you enjoyed reading and we shall see everyone in April!


___

If you would like to check out our past blog posts, you can head to the official one here!
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March 13

BugFix Update for Jurassic Patch

Last week's release of the Jurassic Patch was extremely well taken, and we were humbled by it. Everyone showed off their limitless creativity by building magnificent parks and reserves, and watching the new and old animals alike wander around and display their behaviors.

However, we do acknowledge that it wasn't without fault. To this extent, we took some time to fix some of the more immersion-breaking bugs to make the whole experience that much more enjoyable during the wait for Early Access. Furthermore, we polished some of the new behaviors and added that little extra detail on top of them.

Patch notes are as follows:
Audio
  • Eating sounds for carnivores have been added
  • Drinking sounds for all dinosaurs have been added
  • Fleeing dinosaurs now vocalize to the herd
  • Reduced volume range for Camarasaurus vocalizations
  • Volume pitch for infants adjusted

AI
  • Dinosaurs will no longer teleport out of their enclosures
  • Dinosaurs will now react to threats even if they are eating/drinking/resting
  • Dinosaurs will now sleep. This is a separate need from resting and will slow down hunger/thirst while increasing health and energy
  • Dinosaurs should no longer get stuck in a state until they die
  • Dinosaurs should no longer get stuck turning
  • Dinosaurs should now react better to vehicles
  • Dinosaurs should no longer glitch into the air
  • Moving a dinosaur will now reset its state in case it does happen to get stuck
  • Carnivore aggression has been toned down
  • Carnivores should have an easier time grabbing infants
  • Dinosaurs will now look around and vocalize while resting
  • Dinosaurs can no longer be placed where there is no navmesh. They will now appear red until moved somewhere valid
  • Various other improvements to AI and related systems

Animation
  • Animals will sometimes yawn when resting
  • Animals will shake after exiting water
  • Animation stutter has been reduced
  • Attack animation syncing has been improved somewhat
  • Animals don't reset when time is paused anymore

Building
  • Gate bug where gate cannot be deleted is fixed
  • Various bugs that prevent placement of new buildings have been fixed
  • Paths no longer affect the navmesh. Dinosaurs can now walk on paths
  • Rocks will now affect the navmesh so that animals will path around them
  • Reduced game lag when placing a building
  • Fixed bug when moving an animal after deleting the nursery it spawned from
  • Fixed various bugs that could result in being unable to place or click on buildings

Dinosaurs
  • Allosaurus body size has been modified
  • Camarasaurus has learned to swim
  • Camarasaurus now has significantly more health
  • Camarasaurus now has additional attacks
  • Camarasaurus can now properly deal damage with its tail
  • Camarasaurus can now threaten predators
  • Camarasaurus body size has been modified
  • Dryosaurus can now graze
  • Gallimimus can now preen themselves
  • Gallimimus can now graze
  • Stegosaurus can now graze
  • Stegosaurus should now properly use its tail for self-defense
  • Triceratops can now graze
  • Tyrannosaurus now pants when low on energy
  • Tyrannosaurus has a new random idle animation
  • Velociraptor can now dust bathe when resting
  • Velociraptor can now preen themselves

Misc.
  • Camera will no longer fall below terrain
  • Vehicles will now properly collide with trees
  • Improved overall game performance significantly for CPU bound machines
  • Reduced game hiccups when loading a dinosaur or building for the first time
  • Pathfinding improvements
  • To better support trackpad users, Zoom In (R) and Zoom Out (F) keys are now incremental zoom instead of absolute. To mimic old functionality and snap to the closest zoom press Shift+R, to the furthest zoom press Shift+F.

UI
  • Animal counter will now properly reflect animal count and exclude dead animals
  • Animal statistics (i.e. body weight) are now correct

The AI is still being fine-tuned and is not perfect, and as such there are still a few small issues which we may or may not address in a small, final bugfix patch. Some of the known issues are:
  • animals can glitch in and out of the ground when filling their needs
  • turning animations aren't always perfectly synced with the object
  • carnivores can be overly aggressive when in packs, resulting in unnecessary herbivore slaughter, though to much lesser extent than previously

That said, we hope you'll keep enjoying the game, and as always, have a great time with the new build!
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About This Game



Prehistoric Kingdom is a zoo management game that gives players total control over the creation of their extinct animals and themepark.

Become the ultimate tycoon by taking charge of your very own prehistoric zoo; designing unique exhibits, hiring the required staff, and ensuring the safety of your guests. Choose from a wide roster of classic and lesser-known extinct creatures, each with their own detailed growth process and individual needs.

Extensive Creative Tools


Make use of an array of creative tools to build the park of your dreams: curved, interactive paths and fences, a fine assortment of buildings fitting many visual styles and modular placeable decorations. Customization has no ends!

Create enormous mountains or deep trenches with Terraforming! Edit the terrain height, paint lush vegetation, rocks, and ground textures from our eight climates, and make rivers or ponds with the water brush.

Wide Range of Extinct Animals


There are many extinct animals in Prehistoric Kingdom, and choosing which ones to breed in your park is entirely up to you! The game features scientifically accurate prehistoric creatures, each one with its own distinct growth process, behaviour, and unique looks.

Unrestricted Management


Lead your zoo to success: experience challenging, detailed, and enjoyable management mechanics that will immerse you even more in the very world that you built.

  • Get the science up to standards: unlock animals through fossil hunting, and research new services and buildings with Science Points!

  • Take care of your park: ensure a steady income by catering to your audience, plan your creation ahead by shipping resources and materials, employ workers for various tasks around the park, while keeping everybody's safety and health in check adopting different security measures.

Different Ways to Play


The fun doesn't end here! Prehistoric Kingdom features 4 unique game-modes!

  • Campaign:
    Traditional tycoon gameplay! Extract DNA, research new technology, battle against the weather and natural disasters, and efficiently manage your finances to build the prehistoric park of your dreams.
  • Scenario:
    Select a mission from a diverse range of premade scenarios - from capturing rampaging animals, to ensuring the quality of themed exhibits!
  • Sandbox:
    Go wild with freedom! Sandbox features unlimited resources, customizable settings, and unlocked content to let players build whatever they want from the get-go.
  • Staff Mode:
    Get up and close with the creatures of Prehistoric Kingdom, taking the role of a keeper within your park.

Demo features

System Requirements

Windows
Mac OS X
    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 64bit
    • Processor: Intel i5-2300/AMD FX-4300
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GTX 560 (2 GB)/AMD Radeon 7850 (2GB)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7/8/8.1/10 64bit
    • Processor: Intel i7-4770/AMD FX-8350
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GTX 980 (4GB)/AMD R9 380 (4GB)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Minimum:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.9+
    • Processor: 2.3 GHz Intel i5
    • Memory: 4 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 640
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Mac OS X 10.9+
    • Processor: 2.6 GHz Intel i5 or higher
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: Dedicated graphics card
    • Storage: 2 GB available space
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