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Saurian DevLog #1

As we at Saurian work towards our planned early access release in January, we decided it would be a good idea to keep you, the fans, updated on our progress. So for this purpose we will now be putting out these “DevLogs” every 2 weeks. In each DevLog, a few of the Saurian team members will provide a little explanation of what they have been working on along with some images. We now have our BackerKit set up so people who missed the Kickstarter can donate (you can find this here). Voting for the two additional playable dinosaurs are still coming in, we will reveal these results to backers once all votes are in. For the team, finances post-Kickstarter are being sorted out and all hands are on deck pushing towards release.

Jake
Over the last month or so, the art team has been making an effort to pin down a complete list of environment assets needed for the initial release on early access. For the most part I haven’t been working on the usual fauna (which will resume in force down the road) but have been helping Chris with the variety of flora needed to finalize our map for the game.

Completed bases for the Dakotaraptor growth series. These models lack alpha planes, which will add volume to the feathers as well as details such as the wings and tail-fan.

However, I have also been focusing on completing the ontogeny series for Dakotaraptor, which will be very necessary for the development of its gameplay. The models in this render lack any alpha planes which will add important details like wings and break up the silhouette to sell that fluffy feathery look. This whole process was recorded as part of our weekly live streams. You can watch saved replays on our twitch page and join me for a stream every Friday here.

Erin
Using an Unreal-turned-Unity plugin called LAM (Landscape Auto Material), we have been able to achieve a smooth 50-60 fps experience on high quality settings in a dense, mock-Hell Creek type forest. LAM will enable us to make an even better Hell Creek environment than what was shown in our Kickstarter video and previous showcases while being even more efficient and performant. It achieves this by reducing draw calls (a main performance eater when lots of vegetation comes in to play in video games) by “batching” them into groups, so the engine doesn’t have to keep track of every piece of vegetation as an individual, while allowing them to remain interactable (collisions and such).”

Map screenshot from performance test build. Please note that the final game will look much nicer than this. This map was not artistically designed and reperesents a test of how thick we can get the foliage while maintaining high levels of performance.


Henry
I have been busy programming code underlying the diverse array of family dynamics our animals will exhibit. In the screenshot below I’m testing out my code with a family where there are parent-child bonds and sibling bonds. Animals with bonded family units will constantly be evaluating whether or not to stay within a certain distance of their bonded family members, or going off on their own to deal with their needs or other animals. This system is still in its beginning stages, but I’m stoked about it anyways, and you should be too, because there ain’t no fam like dino fam! (P.S.: Those “baby” Pachycephalosaurs are just adults that have been shrunk down, but real super cute baby Pachys are on their way!)

Parent-Child bond programming test. Vector lines indicate an animal’s intended path. As you can see, the raptor is targeting the “juvenile” pachycephalosaurs, who are attempting to stay behind their parents. The adult pachycephalosaurs will attempt to get in between the threat and their brood, as well as attacking the predator.


Chris L.
I’ve been finishing out the common small trees. I made some new dead branches for all our trees, so eventually I’ll have to go back and incorporate them into the canopy trees already done.

Sculpt of the tree Dryophyllum subfalcatum from the walnut family (Juglandaceae).


Sculpt of the laurel shrub Marmarthia pearsonii.


Thank You!
We hope you’ve enjoyed this first DevLog, thank you all for your continued support as Saurian comes to fruition. Continue to follow us on our social media for more updates as we complete the game. As we said, more DevLogs will be coming every second Thursday to keep you undated on the inner workings of Saurian. Thank you!

25 Comments
  • HeartOfUtah on September 2, 2016

    The work on the trees are FANTASTIC, when i first saw them i tought u guys just took a picture of a real tree but then i noticed the textures xD good work on the plants guys!

  • Melvin van Zantvliet on September 1, 2016

    Wow! That looks amazing guys!
    Can someone tell me how breeding will work in Saurian? Will you take care of your hatchlings? And if you are the male, do you care for them too? How is courting going to work? Does the game end after you have kids?

  • Sam Broadbent on August 31, 2016

    Wow, looks great! The little Pachycephalosaurs are pretty darn cute. =)

  • Super Pachy on August 28, 2016

    Yes wonderfull but where are the Googly Eyes on the plants 🙂

  • Ragna.Indominus on August 25, 2016

    OMG you will have a early access in January???? I CANT WAIT FOR IT!
    Im so hyper to play this game. I hope I can get a good pc till then x.x so I can enjoy the awesome graphics of this game!It looks soooooooo pretty and for now it seems like what I am hoping to be a DINOSAUR game. Like The Isle. I mean its a great game but as soon as they said they will add humans in there it was for me like: Nope… If you say its a DINOSAUR game why would you add HUMANS?!?!
    It seems interesting tho since the cannibals are more like monster creatures not humans. Tho, I am not excited for everyone playing as human to kill every dino…-.-

    So… SAURIAN looks like you really have to start as hatchling and grow up to an adult or even an elder! Thats what makes me soooo etreme excited for this game. So far you really do a great job! Every single member of this game. The enviroment looks fascinating, the dinosaurs are so realistic and the atmosphere is just like it should be. I hope you will get the reward you deserved for all your effort.

    Good Job! <3<3<3<3

  • Falcolf on August 22, 2016

    That forest is so beautiful, I really can’t wait to go for a romp in it!

  • MW on August 21, 2016

    Hi Saurian Devs! As much as I adore all of your amazing dinosaur artwork I’m really excited to hear about some the work that is being done on dino behavior in the game. Having the virtual dinosaurs interact with each other in a way that is interesting and pleasing is hugely important IMO and deserves time in the spotlight as well!

  • Pluma on August 20, 2016

    I can hardly believe no one has stated the main fact of Saurian. It’s the first of its kind! The first simulator that went as far as going to the life beneath your feet to the beasts in the skies. The first true simulator that actually simulates life as a dinosaur, not as we want it to be, but as it was. In other games, dinosaurs are pushed out of proportion to please the community. In Saurian, it’ll be as it was, using modern technology to achieve the dream that is to be a dinosaur.

  • Gavin Casey on August 19, 2016

    The Animal Family Dynamics Look Fascinating! We Could Have A Very Realistic View Into Prehistory With This Game. So Hyped!

  • Garrus on August 19, 2016

    Garrus from the Discord here. No, multiplayer will not be in Early Access. Neither will any of the other stretch goals. Development will focus on them only once the base game is complete.

  • Cross on August 19, 2016

    You know, I never pre-ordered a game, but this, man… This game is pure awesomeness, and the every 2 week update looks pormising! 😀 So thank you making this!

    By the way, I heard about this game in a random review of another game. In the past I was searching for these type of games but coulnt find any. It should get more attention somehow!

  • Ecfor on August 19, 2016

    I started to think this Blog was dead after “the name game” post. I’m glad I was proven wrong.

    This looks great so far, I’m really eager to try the alpha some day :3

  • Andre Marin on August 19, 2016

    MARRY ME SAURIAN!

    • AGV on August 20, 2016

      Whoa, that’s alot of people yo marry
      I’d stick to one, like Gerry!

  • Crow on August 19, 2016

    Everything is looking fantastic, and I am absolutely excited about the family dynamics! It might make hunting difficult, but it adds a really interesting part to the game.

    • Turtledragon on August 22, 2016

      I’m all for making hunting difficult, it’s supposed to be realistic right? Plus making hunting difficult will mean that every hunt and every single prey counts and failing a hunt or not could mean life or death. I think making hunting difficult could help minimize wasting, as well as random killing and other pointless killing in multiplayer. And having hunting difficult will make it more tense and exciting when hunting. 🙂

  • Hum on August 19, 2016

    This is such a good idea oh my gosh. I’m so thrilled to see anything Saurian and the promise of bi-monthly updates about your progress is positively delightful. I don’t really have anything constructive to say beyond, “my goodness, I’m so excited,” and other such gushing, but I felt the need to say something simply to reassure that this is, indeed, a fantastic idea and I will be waiting excitedly for each DevLog to be released.

    I lied, I do have to specifically state that the flora density has me extremely excited. I have no idea how my aging machine will handle the load in comparison to more modern computers, but the mere possibility of seeing such lush foliage is wonderful. Everything here is wonderful. You all blow me away.

  • Henry Ford on August 19, 2016

    Question.
    Did you use L-systems to draw the trees. ? I have an interest as I used to simulate plant growth and am interested in seeing what has happened over the last few years.

    I look forward to getting eaten by some wandering dino…….

    H

  • FutureGamingYT on August 19, 2016

    I just wanted to say I can not wait. So far everything has been outstanding, I’m itching to play and so are a few of my friends. You are all doin amazingly on this game.
    I can’t wait to see how this game develops when it is released as early access.

  • Dylan on August 19, 2016

    Man, you guys are no joke! I’m so proud and happy I’m funding a game that’s a real labor of love. Keep up the good work, and no rushing for our sake! Make the game perfect for you guys and you alone. We trust you.

  • theyrecirclin on August 19, 2016

    Superb progress, guys. I’m sure we’d all be grateful for the opportunity to see all the progress you’ve been making. It’ll make waiting a lot more pleasant!

  • Gadzooks on August 19, 2016

    Will there be multiplayer for the early access?

    • ruby on August 19, 2016

      no, as they said in their kickstarter + blog, they would need these components to establish early access for the game:
      -A fully realized game world featuring polished, final game assets
      -One feature complete dinosaur (Dakotaraptor), fully playable from hatchling to adult
      -A vibrant, functioning AI ecosystem
      -Pre-release and ongoing optimization efforts to ensure maximum access
      We will not consider entering Early Access until we can guarantee this list. We feel that an early access release allows us to mount a realistic, achievable Kickstarter campaign that will fully cover the core of Saurian’s gameplay and features. We will then be able to utilize income from sales to continue pushing Saurian to completion.

      so basically they said they need to get the actual game complete before they can start adding the stretch goals

  • classified on August 19, 2016

    byoutiful

  • Turtledragon on August 19, 2016

    Wow thank you so much for doing this! It’ll give everyone something exciting to look at while we wait for the Steam early access and things like that. I love the early map, it looks great and I can’t wait to see how nice it’ll be in the final game! I don’t understand how that family programming part works, but it looks amazing. I’m excited to see the Pachy life-cycle.
    Those trees look wonderful! Will Dakotaraptors be able to climb those trees, or are they too heavy? Those Dakotaraptor models look great, I can’t wait to see them done and colored. Will you be discarding the Dakotaraptor model and animations from the kick starter video, cause that one is great and I hope it won’t go to waste if you do decide to discard it. So excited for this game! 😀

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