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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August 1

DevLog #7 - July



Welcome to July’s development update!

This month’s update is a little shorter than usual, but nonetheless we’ve been working on some neat things that we’re quite eager to show off. Let’s get right into it, shall we?



As it tends to do around this time of year, a few of us got caught up in family and personal matters that needed to be tended to. While we experienced some unexpected speed bumps, we’re hoping to make up for lost time by pushing out the first handful of playable builds to our VIP backers as soon as possible. Below is our updated development schedule that better reflects the current status and internal goals.





There’s not too much to show on the programming front this month as we’ve been busy working on setting up our island and integrating it with our voxel terraforming system along with a host of fancy things like water shaders and yes, improved foliage performance. Voxels can be rather experimental on the scale that we’re working with, but the team is doing its best to ensure that it all comes together in the end!



For July we took to working on transferring concepts into 3D models and developing both new and older animations to our most recent standards seen in previous blog posts.

Building Concept Art & Models



The Sauropod House is the largest shelter available for housing animals in Prehistoric Kingdom, holding up to two-three fully grown sauropods at a time. Equipped with internal washbays and soft haystacks, your gentle giants are sure to feel right at home.

Back in March we first showed our new Nursery design which has since been updated to bring it up to scratch with our more recent building textures and style.



Animation

For July’s assignment, our animators completed the basic animation sets for the ceratopsian rig and bison (as first seen in May’s update). Meticulously watching over dozens of real world references from modern day relatives the team hoped to capture the many nuances and physical movements that are to be expected from the bison family. We’re extremely happy with how both the sets came out, and we hope you enjoy the new ceratopsian cycles!

https://youtu.be/ri76DLOOBgY

https://youtu.be/lcT07tDqbeA

Since switching over to a more generalised retargeting system, we swiftly revamped the hadrosaur animations to look far more alive with added weight and movement to their body.

Check out the new and improved run and walk cycles below (yes, we misnamed the first clip, but it’s not our fault – it’s the sneaky post-production, we swear)!

https://youtu.be/rk5b1Cpm0kI

https://youtu.be/mTFa-AkYWjU



Park Map

Inspired by real world zoos, the park map features a fullscreen stylised view of your island – showcasing all structures, animals, and infrastructure within your park.



It was important for us to retain as much open screen space as possible for players to take quick screenshots with while also offering a quick way to jump to each exhibit and check its total internal area with a quick glance.



The team’s composer has written another ambient track to play along with your busy paths, various construction sites, and roaring attractions. Genetic Wonders is a musical love letter to one of our biggest influences and inspirations. Using some classic scales and techniques, fans of paleo-media should feel right at home when this piece begins to appear.

https://soundcloud.com/byronmckay/genetic-wonders



New Creatures

July reveals some of our most colourful and unique animals making their way into Prehistoric Kingdom’s Early Access. Prenocephale prenes, Tenontosaurus tilleti, Thescelosaurus neglectus, and Lambeosaurus lambei; welcome to the park!









Finally, we would like to present all of our Early Access ornithopods! Aren’t they gorgeous?



From left to right: Edmontosaurus, Iguanodon, Dryosaurus, Thescelosaurus, Ouranosaurus, Tenontosaurus, Lambeosaurus, and Parasaurolophus.

Ontogeny Sequences

After our lovely keepers have returned from their studies, we have concluded that tiny ankylosaurs are best ankylosaurs. This month we’re presenting our favourite little moss rock, chub duck, honkboi and… noodle ... face?









Alt. Skins

As we begin to approach the end of alternate skin reveals we’ve got a handful of classic creatures with some rather splendid designs.











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And to finish it all off, during July we had a small resurgence of texture mods for the pre-alpha demo thanks to KroftyFennec’s awesome Allosaurus and Triceratops skins based on the work of a certain Fred Wierum and Saurian. Neat, right?











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And that concludes this month’s DevLog! It’s shorter than our last few, but we are aiming to come back with even more news, images, and gameplay updates. We tried experimenting with cutting down on the amount of text per blog post to make it more accessible, so be sure to let us know what format you prefer.

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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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June 30

DevLog #6 - June



Welcome to June’s DevLog!

We had an absolute blast this past month with some great progress across the board. All hands were on deck during June as we continued to chug along at a steady pace, making some very exciting advancements within programming, art, and game design. Without further ado, let’s get right into the development update.



June set us up with some great progress on building mechanics and terraforming, allowing us to finally start showing off the new systems (hurray!). Please keep in mind that everything shown here is a work in progress and is subject to change throughout the game’s development!

Fence System

Prehistoric Kingdom’s clever programmers have created the first rudimentary attempt at the spline-based fencing system. There’s not too much to say about it at the moment as it’s still being worked on, but the first stages of freeform and two-step placement is in.

Snapping angle and the rotation angle all works with the expected lovely curves that is made available through splines.



This progress on the fencing systems has made the team giddy at the thought of soon working on monorail building once all the kinks have been worked out…

Terraforming Demonstration

All of the basic tools are up and running so now it’s a matter of adding and refining terrain textures as well as hooking it up to construction in order to flatten surrounding land. It’s still a work in progress, so please excuse any wonky graphical artefacts. Here’s a look at some of the tools in action:



As you can see, Prehistoric Kingdom’s terraforming allows players to freely sculpt the terrain through a variety of methods and tools; the world is quite literally your canvas.



Players are able to paint the terrain freely by selecting ground types from the Climate Painter with the option of automatically painting rock or dirt in correspondence to the height of the terrain.





A cave sculpted out of a mountain.

Create natural archways, land bridges, mountain ranges, and even “volcanoes” by digging out mountain tops!



Unsurprisingly, the art team has been working hard at bringing the assets of Prehistoric Kingdom to life. For June, we’ve got a hefty assortment of goodies to show off.

Building Concept Art & Models

In this update we’re taking a closer look at the structures directly used by animals and guests including shelters, amenities, and attractions.



Science Monument

Placed as a decorative object, the Science Monument increases the land value of the immediate area. Key decorations and statues like Monument buildings help pretty-up your park and act as core locations for guests to hang out.



Large Wooden Shelter

The wooden shelter is a large structure capable of housing most animals throughout their life cycle. Whilst quite basic in its material, this building will appease the majority of your creatures in its modest simplicity.



Metal Viewing Platform

Harkening back to real world zoos, the metal viewing platform is a staple of any park due to its ability to get guests up close and personal with extinct creatures without getting caught in harm’s way. This beautiful attraction offers the chance to entice nearby critters to investigate the tiny mammals jumping around on the other side of the glass.



Tropical Wet Island

After quite a bit of anticipation, this is how the tropical wet island looks from a distance! With players being able to terraform archipelagos from the seafloor, we can’t wait to see what everyone does in the future with our creative tools and map landscapes.


16km² of pure island goodness.

As you can see by the remnants of the large crater towards the north of the terrain, this island’s origins are volcanic – sprouting a small chain of archipelagos in its wake from the seafloor. The landscape is quite versatile, featuring cliffs, mountains, flat building space, and lakes.

We’ll be sure to show off more of our vegetation for this climate very soon, but until then, make sure to keep your plants on!



Both exciting and conversely terrifying, there’s very little interface designing left to do for the game. Of course there’s going to be tweaks as the project develops, but all of the base drafts and UI sheets for the first pre-alpha are eagerly waiting to be brought to life inside Unity.

Until we begin working on the second pre-alpha (which we are extremely eager to work on!) most of the interface work is going to revolve around polish and visualising in-game features.



Two words: editable signage. Ever wanted to name and theme areas of your park with custom signs and billboards? Look no further! Much to the dismay of long time zoo building players, a lack of editable signs and decorations in past titles has been sorely felt.

In Prehistoric Kingdom, however, the Edit Properties window on select decorations such as the vertical marina banner and the horizontal banner offer a range of bespoke graphical designs that can be swapped out by the player to better match their own park. Special decorations like the editable themed sign even feature a text editor that will display whatever is written into the input field. Cool, right?



To help get players right into the action, you’ll be greeted with small popups that provide a brief description of certain game features, mechanics, and interface explanations as you progress through the game. These can be toggled off permanently at any time, so rest assured that experienced tycoons don’t require unwanted help.



Sound Design Preview

Our sound designer whipped up a special new soundscape preview featuring some more familiar faces. Can you guess all the animals? Let us know on our Discord server!

http://prehistorickingdom.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Soundscape_-_Ice_Age.mp3?_=1

Music

The team’s lovely and very humble composer (who is definitely not in charge of writing our devlogs) wrote a new track that will play alongside the ambience of your park’s bustling environment. Exploring the Park incorporates world instruments within our traditional orchestral setting, making use of rainsticks, bongos, congas, and African shakers to expand the sonic scope of Prehistoric Kingdom’s music. We’re super happy with how it turned out, and we hope everyone’s looking forward to hearing more from the soundtrack in the future.

https://soundcloud.com/byronmckay/exploring-the-park



This month marks the long awaited redesign of our Allosaurus fragilis in all of its fearsome Jurassic glory. Alongside our carnivorous “friend” three new animals are ready to be shown off: Coelophysis bauri, Sauropelta edwardsorum, and Guanlong wucaii!









Ontogeny Sequences

Our laboratory hatched another four new babies this month (they grow up so fast…) and we’re not sure if seeing baby dinosaurs will ever not be completely adorable. For June, please enjoy our little spike nugget, noodle-neck, two angry lizard boys.









Alt. Skins

Much to the pleasure of our creature design concept artist, all Early Access animals finally have their alternate skin patterns, colors, stripes, and dangly bits designed for our texture artist to realize on the 3D assets.

Since there’s a total of 150 skins going into the game (excluding all genetic mutations like albino and melanistic variants), we have officially only revealed around 91 up until now and will continue to trickle them out over the next few months.















Resource management in Prehistoric Kingdom was first seen in its most basic form back in 2015 with the original tech demo and has been a staple part of our park construction and management since.

Reading about our gameplay plan isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but with our road map laid out in our last blog post we felt that discussing one of the largest components of the game was extremely important.

Your Island and You

The first thing to understand is that almost every map in Prehistoric Kingdom offers a gameplay challenge due to the weather patterns that correspond to the climate. Although some climates such as semi-arid don’t suffer from drastic changes, others like subpolar and tropical wet maps experience blizzards and violent seasonal thunderstorms that must be considered to effectively build the ultimate park.

One our biggest design philosophies is to ensure that players feel engaged and like they can influence the world they’re building directly. Stay on top of your park and its environment and you’ll be rewarded with efficiency and successful profits. Ignore the needs of your guests and you’re doomed to fail.



Generating Power

In Early Access, players will be able to construct six utility buildings that are used to generate power and water for your park:



Each of these structures offer a positive and negative trait within their role as a producer in your park, with the negatives often directly correlating to weather or their effectiveness over time as the park expands in its scope.

Due to the sheer size of maps in Prehistoric Kingdom, specialised utilities like water towers and solar panels can be placed in areas without high amounts of wind or surface water to maximise player building flexibility.



Making Connections

All major structures, amenities, attractions, and infrastructure require a connection to electricity and water. As the space available for building on our islands and mainland is extremely large, the second pre-alpha will introduce underground piping and cables to setup infrastructure beneath the terrain.

To avoid micromanagement and monotony, pipes are automatically constructed beneath pathways as players build and expand their park. Originally we had discussed power lines and water pipes as separate objects but felt that it would take away from the aesthetics by having large, ugly pylons decorating exhibit sides and land space.

For players who want the freedom to place infrastructure pipes separately from paths, they can be freely drawn out at anytime to connect new power sources to the grid!

Disaster Strikes

So, your park is thriving and electricity production is off the charts… but you didn’t check the weather forecast.

Once a thunderstorm hits the island or mainland, structures like the wind turbine will automatically shut down to prevent damage to the rotor. Depending on how the player is equipped to respond to this situation, there are a multitude of potential outcomes that are influenced by park layout, security, and back up utility buildings. Everything you’ve worked for is suddenly at risk in the blink of an eye, but there’s still a few options to pursue during this scenario:

  • Whilst not as effective in poor lighting conditions, an array of solar panels may just keep your park above water while you wait out the storm. They’re not as cheap to maintain as wind turbines, but guests are also less disappointed by the sight of them.
  • The Water Power Plant is expensive and has a high upkeep, but allows the player to push through the rain and lightning while pumping water and electricity from one location. It’s the most expensive option, but almost guarantees consistency.
  • Setting the park into emergency mode while the storm passes may effect ratings, but will ultimately protect guests from unexpected danger in the event of a power outage. Send your patrons to the security bunkers and hope for the best…

Remember, a cloud-free day keeps the danger away!*

*Safety on cloud-free days not guaranteed.

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And to finish it all off our good friends over at The Isle made this awesome crossover piece featuring their own animals and designs! How cool is that?



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Another month, another development update.

We’ll be back again in July to show more progress on the project. Keep an eye out for our mid-month updates, and be sure to follow us on our social media platforms if you haven’t already!

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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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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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