Mesozoica - A full featured dinosaur theme park tycoon simulator in which you focus on the construction and management of your dinosaur wonderland. From choosing your starting company to your prime attraction, everything lies in your hands.
Recent Reviews:
Very Negative (18) - 16% of the 18 user reviews in the last 30 days are positive.
All Reviews:
Mixed (269) - 46% of the 269 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date:
Jan 2, 2018
Publisher:

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Early Access Game

Get instant access and start playing; get involved with this game as it develops.

Note: This Early Access game is not complete and may or may not change further. If you are not excited to play this game in its current state, then you should wait to see if the game progresses further in development. Learn more

What the developers have to say:

Why Early Access?

“We have been working on Mesozoica as a project for the past three years. What we found is that with additional features we add to our build, our code becomes more complicated and bugs arise from that new code. We feel that since we are still adding additional side features, we can't classify the game as a "finished product." It's with this in mind that we feel Early Access is the ideal title for us moving forward. This gives us the flexibility of being able to add more to our game while also being very clear and consistent with our community about the state of the game. It's essential to us that we remain transparent with anyone interested in the game.”

Approximately how long will this game be in Early Access?

“The goal would be to remain in Early Access until all additional features have been implemented and well tested. Due to the nature of Early access and the flexibility it gives us we would be hesitant to move to "Full Release" until we are satisfied and have verified that all features have been added successfully and function at a high level. If an estimate is needed for an official timeline, an expectation of 2-3 months adding additional code and content would be around the expected period to remain in Early Access. A note to keep in consideration is that we were funded via Kickstarter in 2015 and have been working on this game since late 2014. We have been through a closed alpha testing stage and are fully aware of the risks of development and the delays that come with it. This being said if we don't meet our milestones we will not advance the project to full release. We feel that we can only successfully push the game to a finished state once and we want to do it correctly.”

How is the full version planned to differ from the Early Access version?

“We have two additional system loops we want to add to the three we currently have operating to create a system of progression. One of the circuits is an employee management loop which includes a quest system that inspires player customization before the game has even started. The goal with this is to introduce narrative and tell a story while also providing a fun way to customize your park. The second loop is an additional sequence to a current progression system under our "dinosaur management" branch. Breeding and self-sustaining populations are a massive goal and something we absolutely will seek complete for the final game. These two features alone add complexity to the day to day actions of the player in the game and add another layer of complexity/management.”

What is the current state of the Early Access version?

“We are currently undergoing closed beta testing with our Kickstarter backers. This state is primarily a reviewal period that has been going on for the past month. The game is at a reasonably bug-free and complete state with significant content already in the game. With 40 creatures planned each yielding their GOAP designed AI structure combined with over 500 skins for those animals, we feel the current state can be classified as Early Access. Our amount of content is unique for the indie scene, and the amount of work put in by the team merely to review content, speaks to our dedication to not releasing something we want to take back. Our several year development timeline also has significantly given us an advantage of experiencing the trials of development to ensure that we successfully move out of Early Access when ready.”

Will the game be priced differently during and after Early Access?

“We feel that as we add more content to the game via our modular building system, that the value of the game goes up incrementally over time. This being said: we have no plans on increasing the cost of the game. Content is a massive part of the game, and we have established workflows to continue to provide content regardless of the price increase as well via free updates designed at engaging our community. Expect more animals and more creatures and new staff at a bare minimum.”

How are you planning on involving the Community in your development process?

“We have a modular building system which allows players to upload and download pre designed blueprints using our system and directly import them into their game while being in-game. It's imperative for us to continue to engage a very active modding community with ways they can get involved and produce community content that will be a free source of material for the players of the game. We also have a dinosaur skin designer feature that will allow players to edit textures of animals in game planned down the pipeline to further commit to engaging players and the community.

A note for this section includes our multi-platform dedication to communication with fans and our community. We have community admins on Discord (running our server), on our official Facebook group (running discussions) and our official Facebook page running official announcements and answering questions. We have set up a very structurally stable platform to engage our community, and we have their attention.”
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Recent updates View all (14)

April 1

Progression of and managing your park

Hey all!

Our Lead Designer found the time in between development to elaborate on our progression and management features that are coming to Mesozoica! Have a read and let us know what you think. We greatly appreciate your feedback as we want Mesozoica to be as fun as possible for everyone.

First of all, our game has had a rough launch in which we stumbled upon tons of problems with the game. A major issue that was widely agreed upon was the lack of park management and the urge to actually keep playing.

Back when we first started developing our core systems we focused entirely on making something that you could feel in awe with. Our dinosaurs are the main attractions but yet, they lacked something very important. Personality and life.

Identifying the issue

Starting up Mesozoica now provides you with an empty map, a way to get dinosaurs and the ability to build using our modular building system. All of this kind of shows us what the game can be but after a couple hours the game felt dull and you basically felt as if you saw everything. There is no way to generate more cash, get personal with your dinosaurs or even progress. Spamming the black markets would eventually give you all the dinosaurs and that's about it. In our opinion this is a huge issue which needs to be fixed.

Tackling the issue

A while back we mentioned that we are going to offer you, the player, the opportunity to pick a company for which you will work and from which you will take contracts and objectives. The company that you pick when starting a new game eventually dictates the way you go through the game and build your park.

By limiting your starting dinosaurs and amount of cash you as a player will start out "humble". Exploring the opportunities that those starting dinosaurs will give you will make sure that you get a more personal connection with the animals you create.

Directly linked to the company is your Board Confidence level that will be influenced by accepting and completing contracts that are built up out of singular objectives given by your company's higher ups. Each completed contract will give you a reward in the form of cash and XP. XP will directly improve your Board Confidence level and a higher Board Confidence level will unlock more dig sites and thus unlocking more dinosaurs to expand your park.



By getting better and more impressive dinosaurs in your park you will attract more visitors and earn more cash and will be able to keep expanding your park.



This of course, gives the game a story and path to follow which you can follow as closely as you want. And of course, a sandbox mode will still be included for those that want their dinosaurs to roam free without any limitations ;)

Management

Lastly, our management side of the game is getting an upgrade as well, as it will now be more important to keep track of everything in your park. From visitor wellbeing to dinosaurs getting sick and keeping your burger joints profitable. All through our new updated GUI that will make your life a lot easier within Mesozoica.



Please, give us your feedback on the above. Expect more info later this week so stay tuned!

Matthew

98 comments Read more

March 25

Welcome back - The future of Mesozoica

The purpose of this small blurb is to quickly and effectively explain the updates and the exciting news ahead for Mesozoica. The big topics that we are sure you want to see are TERRAFORMING, BETTER OPTIMIZATION, MORE AND BETTER SOUNDS and finally the news that were investing a great deal of the profits from the game into getting us help that we could have never received without your purchase/support. We are well aware of the impending release of several Jurassic related franchises and we have invested into creating something that Universal wouldn’t touch. A risky endeavor in which focus on creating a world in which the player decides the fate of the setting and in which they create their own story.

Thank you for the patience and understanding, this is our baby as much as it is yours and were not stopping after a rough launch.

First of all, thank you for giving this a read. Even if you are someone who has bought the game and refunded it/hasn’t bought the game it means a great deal to us that you’d follow along with our progress as a project.

The objective of this long post is to highlight what has kept us silent for a long period and hard at work. While from the outside it may look inactive, the inside gears have been churning. Let's take a look at what has been worked on and changed for the upcoming update to Mesozoica.

Foliage System

The Problem as defined by the Community

Previously we were using the build in foliage system that Unity provided. The problems we were facing with this system was that it was very heavy on the overall performance of the game and that it was extremely performance heavy to edit and adjust it on runtime. This made it so we weren't able to fully implement and finish terraforming. When terraforming the performance hit was so magnificent that at times it could take 5 - 8 seconds for the game to respond again. We found some workarounds that reduced the freeze to around 2 seconds (still not acceptable) but this meant that the game was becoming heavier overall. Eliminating the freezes completely meant that we had to remove the ground foliage (grass) and that didn't sound like a realistic solution. The only real solution we could find is not using the default unity foliage system and creating our own.

The downside to this was that creating such a system was going to be a very time consuming task, but in our eyes a necessary investment of time. Thank you for allowing us to take our caffeine addiction to unhealthy levels and get this investment of time completed.

What we fixed and what it does for YOU!

Creating a foliage system is very hard because you are dealing with rendering a lot of objects. We are talking about a couple hundred thousand, maybe even a million small objects in your screen, and this on top of everything that was already in the level like buildings, dinosaurs and other scenery. We have looked into many possibilities and systems that were made for other games and came to the conclusion that the only possible way to render so many objects was to cluster them into large batches. Using a special technique we were able to even render a lot of batches at the same time instead of rendering them separately. The performance difference gained from this technique on the CPU can best be visualized in a graph:



In this graph you can see how taxing the rendering of a number of objects is on the CPU. The higher the draw calls the heavier it is. You can see that our solution only uses a few draw calls to render a very large amount of objects compared to the default way of rendering (Note that this technique only takes a great deal of stress away from the CPU, the GPU will still have to deal with a lot of geometry as normal. So this is not a magic solution that allows us to render everything we want in insane quantities).

Even Though this sounds awesome in terms of performance gained, it would not have been game development if this didn't have its downsides. Using this technique meant that we had to come up with a lot of creative solutions to still reach the level of diversity and freedom as that you would normally have if you treat everything as a seperate object.

Another requirement was that this system had to be very performant when it comes to making edits on runtime like terraforming and even removing and adding grass. This needed to be kept in mind during the whole development of the system and using our imagination we managed to move a lot of the runtime editing tasks that would normally be performed on the CPU (very heavy since the cpu is slow at handling large amounts of data) to the GPU (a lot faster cause of the way a GPU processes data).

These are a couple of the problems and solutions we had to deal with when we were creating this system, and the reason this task was such a nightmare.
As an extra for the technical people among you ill quickly list the things we have done to gain performance and if your not sure what these things mean, do not worry and feel free to skip this list:

  • GPU instancing
  • Generating batches
  • LOD system
  • Distance culling
  • Frustum culling
  • Careful memory usage

While it we can focus on the fact that it may or MAY not run Crysis the changes made also have visual updates as well. Simply put because of the performance gain we are able to render a lot more foliage. This results in denser and better looking ground foliage, show in the image below:


On the left you can see our new foliage system with 2 layers: Grass and rocks. On the right you can see our old solution with a grass layer. Here is a larger version of the image https://ibb.co/iq5JvS

We hope you can see the difference in quality. The difference should be noticeable compared to the right image. To go even further to highlight this advancement we have recorded a small video to better highlight why we have invested so much time into the task. (please excuse the fps, we have not spent any money on upgrading our work rigs) : https://streamable.com/og0dn

With a focus on the long term we have laid the foundation with several new features that allow us to build better and more efficiently. To go into detail on these items we have boxed out the items of importance.

Layers

In our new system we can add as many layers of different foliage as we see fit. This way we will be able to create ground foliage for complex jungle terrains, etc:



As an example i made a comparison image between a single grass layer and a grass and flower layer:



Precise wind settings

Our wind simulation is very fast and can be tweaked in great detail. We added the following settings for artists to tweak:

I made a video showcasing the result of tweaking these settings in engine (sorry for the low fps video my pc did not like the recording software):

https://streamable.com/mvtl9

Perlin noise distortion

Based on perlin noise randomness we have been able to add nice looking randomness to the scale of the foliage. This can be tweaked per layer with a lot of freedom:


On the left we set the strength of the perlin noise to 50% and on the right its at 0%. We can also change the size of the noise to make larger or smaller patches

Random scale and rotations

To add even more variation we added the possibility to randomly rotate foliage based on perlin noise and a min/max range

Fake occlusion

To make the foliage look more grounded without a performance hit at all we managed to fake ambient occlusion for foliage:



Summary

Well that was a lot of information about the foliage system, lets summarize it quickly to get a overview of what this new system means for the game:

  • Allows us to implement terraforming
  • Denser and better looking ground foliage
  • Complete artistic freedom to create stunning looking environments

Terraforming

Terraforming is a very important feature that allows you to shape the landscape of your park the way you want to. Previously we weren't able to fully implement this feature like i explained in the previous section of this article.

Our new terraforming system allows players to:

  • Raise terrain
  • Lower terrain
  • Flatten terrain
  • Create lakes and rivers

I made a small in engine video of the terraforming system for you to enjoy:

https://streamable.com/j11a1

As you can see the functionality behind the terraforming system is fully implemented. The task remaining is to make sure the terraforming works together with all the other systems. For example the terraforming should raise the dinosaurs and visitors up and down if you brush over them. And we have to figure out a way to make sure that you can't mess up your buildings and paths with terraforming.

UI

Upon the release of the early access version of Mesozoica we got quite a lot of complaints about how our UI is very confusing and hard to get used to. WE have heard your voices about the UI and we took them very seriously and decided to completely make a new UI from scratch. To make sure we are doing it right at once we are developing our UI in iterations. We are currently working on iteration 4 and throughout the iterations the UI changed alot for the better.

We are going over all the different iterations to show you how the UI progressed:

Iteration 1

The first iteration was the initial setup of the UI. This version was meant to layout the base of the UI. Unfortunately we forgot to take pictures of the UI iteration progress so we had to look back in our chat history and could find some images (they aren't the best quality though).



So let's look at what we changed in our new UI design. Compared to our previous design that was mainly build up out of small windows, we wanted to make our UI more consistent in terms of layout, therefore we chose to use a static toolbar at the bottom of the screen that is used to open the side window you see on the left. We also added text to the right side of the buttons in the toolbar to make them easier to understand. The issue with our last UI was that we had a lot of icons that didn't really make sense, using text fixes that. On the left in the toolbar you the information that should always be available to the player, for example the amount of money you currently have and the dinosaur/visitor count.

To make sure that the large sidebar isn't in the way of your view we are going to offset the camera center when the sidebar is open:


This way the UI is never in the way of what you are trying to look at.

Iteration 2

In our second iteration we wanted to blend the UI more with the game since we felt like the UI was to separate the the game itself. After trying out a couple ideas we came to the conclusion the blurring the game behind the UI and making the UI a bit transparent was the best solution. To make sure we could realise this without a significant performance hit we played with the idea in engine and came up with a performant way to blur the game behind UI elements. After that we went back to the drawing board to update the UI based on this idea. This is what we came up with:



Iteration 3 / 4

In iteration 3 and 4 we basically tried to design all the remaining windows and make sure all the information that should be available to the player is there. Let's look at a couple images from the UI (these images are NOT from ingame but are design concepts):











Iteration 5

For iteration 5 we want to involve the fans. We made a Google Form that you can use to comment on our UI design so far:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfrpb9APEwoGkdQbLVx_ZFJer-L3loONfJ3RmS2ebrK4WEnzQ/viewform

Based on these comments we will make iteration 5 and showcase the result once its updated.

Sound

We have been working on improving the sounds of our dinosaurs and visitors. We started with the dinosaur audio since we felt like that was the most important task. Previously our dinosaurs only made sounds on events like attacking or intimidation, this of course is very unrealistic since animals of that size almost always make sounds. Think about sounds like: footsteps, breathing, growling, etc. We made a list of audio that every dinosaur should have:

  • One shot growl(s)
  • Ambient breathing loop(s)
  • Action audio
  • Intimidation
  • Attack
  • Get hit
  • Drink
  • Eat
  • Sleeping
  • Get Hurt
  • Footsteps

We think that with these audio files per dinosaur our dinosaurs will feel a lot more alive and natural. We put together a demo video with the new sounds:

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1E0iZEaKJmkuZWuvdSBFU5Kobn-tzZ8oa/view

We also put some audio on soundcloud to showcase audio:

https://soundcloud.com/user-640734854/mesozoica-dinosaur-calls-demo

We encourage you to comment on the audio here:

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSfMefS9Rif64Zyd4N09mHvGO677McZIFBX7KOJqDH73KoYp8Q/viewform

All the audio for the dinosaurs is created and ready to be implemented once we find the time. Next we will work on audio for our visitors, we will go over this in future posts.

Concept art

We decided to hire a concept artist since we felt that the experience and atmosphere that Mesozoica currently has was lacking. Because we felt that it was impossible to make a drawing with enough attention payed to both the dinosaur and visitor side of mesozoica we decided to split it up and make 2 drawings, with one drawing focusing on the dinosaurs and one on the visitors. After we found a concept artist we did a lot of polls to make sure we understand what our fans want in terms of experience and atmosphere. This document was the result of that:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=17Hi_2_-tW-vV4vc2kOIMroZphHxpPdKe

Based on this document our concept artist came up with this sketch:



Even though this sketch nails the atmosphere we felt that the camera angle and position were to close to the ground and dinosaurs. Based on these instructions our concept artist came up with this new sketch:



This was a lot better, however we asked that he showed a bit less path and a used a wider field of view for the final image. Base upon the instructions and the last image the concept artist went and painted the final image and here it is:


https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/407637136649748500/426762359592189964/dinosaur_section_updated2.jpg?width=2265&height=985

We feel like this is exactly the look we should aim for in the future since it nails all the aspects of our poll document.

Now that we have the dinosaur concept art done we are currently working on the concept art for the visitors. Here is an image of the current state of the visitor/building image:


https://media.discordapp.net/attachments/407637136649748500/427132427132076052/sketch.jpg

So what are we going to do with this concept art? In the past we have been struggling with not having a visual reference of how our game should look and feel. We kinda were working in the dark because we didn't have the funds to hire a concept artist. Now that we have funding from the early access we have the opportunity to visualize how we want our game to look. With this concept art we are going to try to change the look of our game to match the concept art. This may mean that we will have to create (note that we don't have the fundings yet to hire artists to make all of this, so we hope that we can find people that are willing to help us out of love for the project or that we raise enough money in the future to realize all this):

  • New terrain
  • New nature assets
  • New buildings and modular pieces
  • New fences

Visitor concept art

Beside the concept art for the atmosphere and buildings we decided to invest in creating concept art for new visitors. Currently we feel that our visitors are lacking personality and believability and the first step in solving this is designing how we want the visitors to look by creating visual reference. We will tell more about the concept art for the visitors in future posts.

Testing

Looking back on the past we decided that we need to have longer test periods to avoid buggy releases. Previously we released versions that were tested just for a day, and that is way to short. Our now policy on releasing is that we don't release versions that havent been tested for at least a full week until no more game breaking bugs are found. This may take more time but should result in higher quality gameplay down the road.

Future plans

We quickly went over what we have been doing, but now let's talk about our future plans. Our short term goal is to update our game by adding the system discussed in this article, so:

  • Terraforming (Done)
  • Creating rivers (Done)
  • New foliage system (Done)
  • Smoother dinosaur movement (Done)
  • Bug fixes

As you can see we the only thing left for the new update is making sure the new system are correctly implemented and done cause bugs by testing. We need a couple days to make a testable version of the game. After that our minimum testing period of a week starts. Based on how the testing is going the release date of the next update will be determined. To avoid missing release dates we will determine the next update date once the game is running stable and we can pick a date with confidence.

UI update

After the upcoming update the UI is next. We will based on the designs made, create a whole new UI system. This will make the UI look alot better and the game easier to play. Details on the new UI update will come after the upcoming update. In the meantime we will keep iterating through our UI until we are all satisfied with the way it looks.

Investments

As mentioned previously in this article we are investing heavily in concept art since we feel like concept art is the first step in fixing the visual problems of our game. You might wonder why invest in concept art and not in programmers, animators, modelers, etc. Well based on the amount of money we raised during the early access period of mesozoica we decided what is possible and what is not possible with the money we raised. We rather pay for resources that we would never have access to and spend more time ourselves working on the time heavy work than invest in quick/cheap ways to speed progress. We felt like the visitors were the biggest visual problem (apart from the AI which we are going to fix ourselves). Meaning we are going to invest in:

  • Concept art for visitors / atmosphere and buildings
  • 3D modeler for visitors
  • Animator for visitors

Hoping that the new updates and investments will raise enough money for future investments to realize the atmosphere and building concept art.

Polls

We also want to let you know that we are well aware of that the fans want improved. We did polls on this subject and can be seen in this document:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1rl_QgiE5IgSCMjak0r42rmMTu_8JD6TW

We aren't sure yet what and when we are going to tackle subjects, but we want to start with the biggest ones and work our way down.

Thank you,
Mesozoica


62 comments Read more
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About This Game

Mesozoica - A full featured dinosaur theme park tycoon simulator in which you focus on the construction and management of your dinosaur wonderland. From choosing your starting company to your prime attraction, everything lies in your hands.



Animals: From the Mesozoica to Cenozoic era, prehistoric animals such as the Tyrannosaurus Rex and lesser known Mamenchisaurus will be waiting for you to adopt them into your park.

Babies: Every dinosaur starts out as a tiny little critter, bonding you to your dinosaur from the start. Watch it go through it’s life stages and explore your world.

Control: By taking control of your animals you can experience what it’s like to be a dinosaur! Attack, eat and drink to keep your dinosaur’s needs in control.



Modular building system: Let your imagination run wild with the modular building system, in which you can create reusable blueprints to use in your park. Nothing is too crazy, amaze yourself!

Blueprints: For those who want to jump straight into the game, a wide range of blueprints will be available to use, so you can focus on what you think is important to you.

Customize: Almost everything in Mesozoica can be customized to your liking, may it be color, texture or size! You can really make the park of your dreams.



DNA System: With over 14 animals in the game you can use the state of the art world map to find, purchase and extract DNA from dinosaur fossils. Next to the wide range of dinosaurs there are more than 140 skins ready for you to explore!

Black market: Don’t want to wait and have better things to do than digging? For the right price you can purchase your fossils straight from the black market, guaranteeing success.

Dig site: The old fashioned way of getting dinosaur DNA. Select your favorite digsite, send your digging squad and wait for them to find your new dinosaur!



Community creations: Get creative and use the modular building system to build, share and download blueprints made by the community and Mesozoica developers, giving you more freedom in your own park.

Import: Download other blueprints from your friends and import them into your park, giving you more content in a breeze.

Export: Created a beautiful dinosaur exhibit? Export it and send it over to your friends, allowing you to share your creations with the world!

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows 7 (SP1+)/8.1/10 64bit
    • Processor: Intel i5-2300/AMD FX-4300
    • Memory: 8 GB RAM
    • Graphics: nVidia GTX 560 (2GB)/AMD Radeon 7850 (2GB)
    • DirectX: Version 11
    • Storage: 10 GB available space
    Recommended:
    • OS: Windows 7 (SP1+)/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: 10 GB available space
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