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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June 1

DevLog #5 - May



Welcome to May’s DevLog!

This month we continued to chop away at the game’s enormous amount of art, make some great progress with the programming side of Prehistoric Kingdom, and art (as we’ve all come to expect). As per usual there’s some big topics of discussion, so let’s get right into it!



June will be extremely exciting for us as we finally and properly integrate terraforming and get started on our refined building systems. All other departments? Business as usual! We’ll be continuing to work on the same tasks listed in last month’s DevLog.



Terraforming Progress

As to be expected the terraforming that we want to achieve for Prehistoric Kingdom is quite difficult as it’s untraditional to most game engines. However, while we continue cooking up the adaptive terrain shader, link up everything to the UI and work out the expected kinks, we’ll leave you with some extremely exciting and early looks at the structures that can be sculpted by players…





May has undoubtedly been an exciting and fantastic month for the art team with all the new stuff being worked on and prepared for the first pass on the building systems and animal additions that will be coming up in conjunction with our first Early Access pre-alpha for VIP Backers.

Building Concept Art & Models

Buildings! Lots of buildings! Next to the creatures it must be said that we really love working with our concept artist and modeller to bring the architecture and structures of Prehistoric Kingdom to life. For May we took a focus on the infrastructure and guest amenities that will inhabit your park.



Gift Shop

The gift shop is your guests’ favorite place to purchase prehistoric-themed souvenirs and assorted gifts. Do not fret, as we will make sure the balloons and the dino-present statue look as cute as possible when it comes to the ingame model.



Food Stash

Coming in a variety of food groups, the Food Stash is recommended for small or medium sized creatures. Its vertical design is useful for constructing a paddock with tight spaces.





Ranger Station

Responding to emergency situations, the Ranger Station houses a car, transport truck, and helicopter to subdue escaped animals and carry guests to safety.





Central Hub

The Central Hub is a large building designed to educate guests about the park and its prehistoric inhabitants. As this structure is categorised as an attraction, it draws crowds to its rooftop theatre and viewing deck. To really push the attention of detail in Prehistoric Kingdom you’ll see a few information signs popping up around your park to breath a little more life into the world.

Dynamic Animal Physics

We’ve always wanted to take our animals just that little bit further and today we’re happy to announce that creatures will be featuring dynamic physics to better simulate fat, flesh, fur, and feathers in ways that we simply couldn’t before.



Our Brachiosaurus, for example, features a large fleshy fat deposit running down the majority of its neck. Thanks to this new system we’re able to properly simulate the unique area of the animal’s body and have it constantly react and adapt to its movement; regardless of animation.

An even better area to look at would be how feathers will move on our floofier friends such as the Gallimimus. It’s a far less rigid movement and helps to envision how we imagined these critters moving with fluffy integument.







Animation

With fifty creatures currently learning how to walk we stepped back for a moment to assess how we were going to cover such a vast range of animals in the most effective way possible. For us, this means setting up shared rigs that are built around the main family groups going into the game.

While similar species and genus will retain the same general movement style (which was to be expected even with personalised animation sets), we’re making individual changes on a per animal basis to ensure that nothing looks off or imperfect compared to related genuses. As a whole this allows us to put way more detail into base animations and ensure that they are the best they can possibly be for the project. It’s extremely important to note however that certain species may feature distinct animations and actions that are unique only to them, so there’s no need to worry about everything looking the same. Apart from that it’ll make adding future content additions that much more easier.

You can take a look at some of the newest animations for our Tyrannosaurus (large theropod rig) and Baryonyx (spinosaurid rig) below.

https://youtu.be/Zm45tnSI__s
https://youtu.be/SkJXW_F26qc
https://youtu.be/Q7r24RhE7wI
https://youtu.be/rRQI0J1j518



Nothing super crazy to show here! UI for this month was mainly focused on management, options menu, and bringing our old save/load menu up to scratch with the newer style.







New Creatures

This month we’ve got some classic faces appearing fresh off the back of their concept art. Give a warm welcome to Bison latifrons, Iguanodon bernissartensis, Parasaurolophus walkeri, and the fearsome Acrocanthosaurus atokensis!









New Skins

Since last time you saw our favorite big cat, we went ahead and made several improvements to both the mesh and the textures of Smilodon. We worked predominantly on the feline’s face, bringing its proportions closer to what the animal probably looked like. Moreover, the model now features shape-keys (sets of geometry data that can smoothly transition to each other) that allow it to close its eyes (like all the other animals we have), but also retract its claws, yawn, show aggression, and even display pregnancy! Exciting times for mammal lovers, indeed.



Ontogeny Sequences

May gave us some time to revisit a familiar face and incubate some new hatchlings and babies to show off to everyone. This time it’s a lizard boi, demon gecko, duck thing, teetho, and a little moo-moo. We’re proud of our naming conventions.











Alt. Skins

Much like April we focused on pumping out a wide variety of skins across a number of animals. While there’s again too many fit neatly into one post, here’s some of our favourites!



We’ve gone ahead and decided to improve our Tyrannosaurus by giving it an additional scaly design, moving the feathered Highlands look to its floofier cousin Yutyrannus.



Allosaurus also received some much needed love this month with a complete animal overhaul that will greatly improve its body proportions and overall look in the future. You will see more of the updated model in future posts.

Like we did for Tyrannosaurus and the following Acrocanthosaurus, we removed some of the feathered designs, favoring more likely scaly designs. In the case of Allosaurus, scales are all that remain, with the two previous feathered skins having left us to join feather heaven.

















Our projected release roadmap is expected to span over 2018 and 2019 to deliver a valued product to our backers and fans alike. Currently, we’re looking at the following structure for how we present and develop the game. Please note that is a rough outline and does not detail every specific item and piece of content!



Pre-Alpha 1 Creation (Q3 2018)
The first official private pre-alpha for VIP backers will set the basis for Prehistoric Kingdom’s creative gameplay. Terraforming, revised fencing/path systems, 17 animals and a brand new map provides a thorough look into the games tone and atmosphere.

Pre-Alpha 2 Management (Q1 2019)
Core and expanded management features such as visitors, finance, security, and resource management will be integrated alongside new animals and buildings.

Alpha Progression (Q2 2019)
Released to Kickstarter backers who donated to appropriate tier levels, Alpha introduces progression aspects to gameplay as well as overlay tools and shaders that will help provide information about your exhibits and park.

Beta Backer Testing (Early Summer 2019)
Beta presents itself as the very last large scale testing of Prehistoric Kingdom before being pushed to the store platforms. Featuring the majority of animals, buildings, systems, and features that will be available within the live game, we’ll be working together to squish as many bugs as possible!

Early Access Launch Public Release (Summer 2019)
Prehistoric Kingdom will be available to the public on Steam and the Crytivo store.

We want to be as transparent as possible with everyone and outline our current development plans so that all of our backers and fans can understand where we’ll be headed. If plans or the schedule changes for whatever reason, we want everyone to be on the same page so that no one feels left in the dark or like they don’t know what’s going on behind the scenes. At the end of the day, it’s a big game. Hopefully this provides a little bit more clarity, and we cannot wait to show more. Features or dates may shift back and forth but in the end it’s to bring the absolute best that we know we can!

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That’s it for May!

Thank you for reading this month’s DevLog and make sure to join us once again in June for another exciting update! Feel free to follow our social media platforms below to stay in touch and never miss an announcement.

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If you would like to check out our past blog posts, you can head to the official one here!
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May 1

DevLog #4 - April



Welcome to April’s DevLog!

This month we had a heavy focus on the art side of Prehistoric Kingdom’s development – spending most of it on buildings, sounds, music, animals, animation, concept art, and designs for the remaining alternate skins. Some team members were busy with their personal lives, but in the end we pulled through just in time for another update – how about that?



Our tasks from last month will be carrying over into May as they’re quite large and will require a lot of time to be dedicated to them.





For the most part programming during this part of the development cycle is pretty boring. Unfortunately we’re going to have to wait until next month to start showing the terraforming in action as most of the work has been done in the back-end, but there’s still some things to talk about.

For starters, our new camera is feeling great! It’s more responsive, flexible, and overall feels way more polished. With our new camera system we’re aiming to make following animals feel way more dynamic and personal as well as respond better when building.



The artists in the team have been working madly this month to keep chipping away at all the art assets required for the game, both for buildings as well as animals. While we can’t show everything as it will spoil some pretty cool things that will be coming up Soon™, here’s a look at some of the best parts of April’s development.

Building Concept Art and Models

The collection of buildings and structures of Prehistoric Kingdom continues to expand as we delve further into security, animal care, and guest amenities.



Food Stash

The Food Stash is a basic feeding structure that is suggested for small-medium animals. Don’t worry, however, as the food items going into the game will not be as large or odd as they are in the concept art – this is only to clearly illustrate the contents of each basket type. While most animals will be satisfied by basic plant feed or red meat, more specialised creatures may require fruits, fish, and insects!



Ranger Station

From the Ranger Station, trucks and cars can be dispatched to transport guests to the safety of protective bunkers, as well as carry staff to the last known location of an escapee. A small helicopter based atop the structure makes this building highly advised when wrangling dangerous animals who aren’t afraid to get a little defensive.



Fast Food Kiosk

With a customizable menu and pricing options for guests to choose from, the Fast Food Kiosk works perfectly on the side of a path or in the middle of a plaza due to its multiple entrances.



Emissive maps allow us to create lights, signs, and other objects that mimic their real world counterparts (not to mention it makes buildings look awesome at night). Speaking of which, check out all those illuminated screens and surfaces!

Animation

This month we took the time to begin animating our Edmontosaurus to experiment with new ideas and work on bringing our dinosaurs to life. A handful of other creatures also received a helping hand in learning how to walk but they’re not quite ready for their public debut. It’s still a work-in-progress, but please enjoy the first look at the walk and run cycles for our Edmontosaurus.

https://youtu.be/SQFFMpuLJRE
https://youtu.be/SLZQgDd07_Q
https://youtu.be/zNLLyTdNkks
https://youtu.be/mHTcrlNOx0Q

One of the other neat things we worked on was setting up a system that allows us to dynamically move the eyelids of an animal through animation or inside the game itself. This means that animals will feel just that little bit more alive by being able to close their eyes while sleeping, threatening, and blinking at random intervals. You can see this in action with a few of the animations above.



Status & State Icons

In our original August demo our status pointers for building resources looked something like this:



To better support the evolving complexity of Prehistoric Kingdom they’ve been revised to not only look better but also provide a quicker visual response to the player with colour information. While the icons themselves will be implemented in a way that doesn’t make them obstructing or annoying in-game they can be disabled from the options menu for players that are looking for less of a helping hand.



New Building, Path, and Fence Toolbars

Continuing the theme of upgrading, revising, and overhauling, the three building toolboxes have gotten some much needed love. We experimented with a few different layouts to greatly improve upon the design featured in the demo, and we hope that you enjoy the first look at the new tools and building options coming in Prehistoric Kingdom. For us, we want customization, creativity, and flexibility to go hand-in-hand when building the park of your dreams.


Building icons are not representative of fence types. Sorry Timmy, but you can’t use toilets as fencing for your Tyrannosaurus.

Players can select objects to be placed on top of paths automatically through enabling the Path Objects window. From here you can pick between bins, seating, and even change the color of lighting that’s placed at a frequency determined by the player. We aren’t 100% on the design and layout yet, so don’t be surprised if it’s changed the next time you see it.

For those with a keen eye, you might have spotted some scary looking sliders to control how paths and fences are built. We’re going to go into a detailed breakdown of what they do once our spline-based fencing and path solution has been implemented, but the main thing to take away is that players will have an extremely precise amount of control in regards to the curvature, angles, and placement of both fences and paths.



Sound Preview

Our sound designer has created the main soundsets for all 50 Early Access animals which includes our dinosaurs and mammals. While individual calls, roars, and grunts will be showcased in our upcoming animation previews, please enjoy this short soundscape that was designed using five of our animals! Can you guess what they are?

http://prehistorickingdom.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/PK_Soundscape-Example.mp3?_=1

Music

This month our composer started working on some new themes that will reoccur throughout Prehistoric Kingdom’s soundtrack. Two other pieces were written in April, but enjoy the first look at one of the herbivore theme variants going into the game. It has more of a whimsical quality that is sure to compliment the player as they release their first large herbivore into its paddock!

https://soundcloud.com/byronmckay/gentle-giants-herbivore-theme



New Creatures

Most of April ended up being dedicated to pushing out the last of our alternate skin designs as well as setting up some ontogeny for a handful of animals. Before we get to them, however, say hello to Ouranosaurus nigeriensis, Oviraptor philoceratops, Miragaia longicollum, and our revamped Styracosaurus albertensis!






Ontogeny Sequences

With a new batch of critters come their ever-adorable life stages! This month it’s a glimpse at a tiny crocodile, rhino, and… a duck?





Alt. Skins and Concept Art

We got through a lot of new skin designs this month. As we’d like to save some for the next DevLog, here’s half of the recent concept pieces done during April.











This months gameplay discussion is more conceptual in its explanation as most of the art and mechanics behind it are yet to be complete. With that said, those of you that enjoy reading about our ideas and understanding the game will enjoy this one!

Shipping and Storing

Large and infinite quantities of food is not something that just magically appears, right? Especially not on an island in the middle of the ocean or in an isolated part of a mainland continent. For an enormous zoo or theme park housing extinct animals that are a multitude of sizes you’re going to need to ensure that animal feed is shipped to your park on a near monthly basis (depending on how many creatures you own).



On an island, a Shipping Harbour is placed to transfer food from the mainland to your park. From here you can check the current food stock, order more, and check the remaining time until your shipment arrives. If a player is using the mainland to start their prehistoric zoo the same system applies but now with a Shipping Depot instead of the harbour. More trucks, less giant cargo ship.

By default the Shipping Harbour and Depot have storage facilities built into them, allowing for a small but suitable amount of feed to be kept inside to help out with the early game. With an ever expanding list of hungry creatures to be satisfied, however, any excess food is going to need to be stored in an external Storage Warehouse. For players on smaller and more challenging maps or those with a mass-overpopulation of animals, this provides an interesting balance of space, population, security, and money management that should be considered to efficiently run your park.

Feeding Time



Food can be accessed by animals in two ways; placing feeders in their exhibit or by finding plants/carcasses in the world (let’s hope you have more plant life available in your park than corpses, yeah?).

By default feeders placed inside an exhibit by the player are empty. Instead, the food type is automatically assigned and filled based on the animal groups that are dropped into the paddock to cut down on the time needed to try and find a specific type of food dish. Pick a design that works best for the paddock, animal size, and aesthetic that you’re going for! If for whatever reason you don’t like the assigned food type it can be manually changed by selecting the feeder and editing its properties to closer fit what you had in mind.

All food dishes are refilled by keepers who must travel on foot or by vehicle to reach the exhibit. A keepers experience will directly tie into how an animal will react to their presence, so technology such as automated feeding cranes may be a wiser implementation when dealing with the more… ravenous bunch.

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That’s a wrap! Thanks for reading April’s DevLog. Make sure to keep an eye out for our frequent Twitch streams, join our Discord, and follow our social media accounts to keep up to date with the game (links down below).


___

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