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Saurian DevLog #2

Welcome to our second DevLog! This week the programmers are hard at work on the back end so we’re doing a bit of an art-side special. Lets get into it:

Alongside my regular administrative and scientific research/consultant work, recently most of my focus has been in writing the Hell Creek: A Field Guide to the World of Saurian book that we offered as a reward on our Kickstarter. Most recently I have finished up writing profiles for all the Hell Creek flora and the last few animals. Recently I was able to correspond with palaeontologist Clint Boyd, who has published several noteworthy studies on Thescelosaurus. This gave the the necessary fuel to finish this animal’s profile, as well as allowing Chris M. to create it’s profile image. I will provide it’s profile here for you now as a little sneak peak of what to expect from the guide book:

Thescelosaurus neglectus
Length: 3 meters
Weight: 90 kilograms
Lived: 66mya
Diet: Herbivore

Order: Ornithischia
Family: Thescelosauridae
Subfamily: Thescelosaurinae

Wonderous Saurian
The small herbivore Thescelosaurus is the most common non-avian dinosaur at Hell Creek. It is the most diminutive of the herbivores in the area, rarely exceeding 4 meters in length. This leaves the animal as a common prey item for many carnivores. These animals roam the river deltas, sticking close to water sources. Thescelosaurus are actually solitary living animals, but can often be found in congregation simply due to their sheer abundance.
Adult Thescelosaurus possess a row of bony plates underneath the skin on the flanks of the body. These are involved in territorial conflicts between males where the animals engage in flank-butting behaviour. Although too large to engage in the burrowing behaviour of its more ancient relatives, Thescelosaurus uses its strongly curved claws and powerful forelimbs as scratch-digging tools to unearth nutritious roots and tubers. They show a special fondness for the rhizomes of horsetails.

Concept art of Thescelosaurus by Chris Masna, to be included in the Hell Creek field guide.

Chris M.
I’ve been doing concepts for the last few remaining trees (below), and started creating leaf and bark textures for the modellers to use. I also worked with Tom to refresh our Thescelosaurus (above), and added the ontogeny.

Concept art of the basal cedar tree, Fokienopsis by Chris Masna.

Fokienopsis leaf texture by Chris Masna.

Over the past 2 weeks I have continued the environment art crusade. Though there is nothing substantial to show on that front, I can show you some work on smaller animals that will litter the game world. These creatures will be there mostly for ambience. Small creatures flying and crawling around are really going to make the world feel alive.
This is an ornithurine, a small bird that will be hanging around the waterways of Hell Creek. Hopefully I’ll be able to show some more exciting stuff next blog post.

Render of an unnamed Hell Creek Ornithurine by Jake Baardse.

And with that I hope you’ve enjoyed our little art special. We’ll have another DevLog in a fortnight. In the meantime, next week we’ll be posting a different sort of announcement to tide you over until then.

  • not a weaboo on October 3, 2016

    Yo, that ‘Hell Creek: A Field Guide to the World of Saurian’ legit sounds so awesome; when will it be released, and where could it be purchased??

  • Santannah on September 22, 2016

    (as a carnivore/omnivore)Can you eat any small creature or bug u see? (depending on what and how small you are)Are they all interact-able?

    • Thiago Chagas on September 17, 2016

      his updated artwork*

  • Anonymous on September 3, 2016

    Will there be different calls that mean different things (example call 1: go away call 2: danger from above call 3: danger from the ground call 4: mating call etc)?
    I thinks you mentioned something like this but I want to be sure. Thank you for taking time out of your day to answer our questions.

  • Anonymous on September 3, 2016

    Also, what about gastroliths/grit? Birds and crocodiles swallow them for digestion, and at least some have been found in dinosaurs. Could that be in game?

    Also, birds, crocodilians, and even Komodo dragons are known to exhibit play behavior. When interacting with other dinosaurs, (nest mates, parents, mates) will there be a play option (play fighting, chasing, tossing leaves around?)

    Also, crocodilians eat fruit and kites eat honey. So maybe carnivorous dinosaurs should occasionally supplement their diet with honey or nuts or something?
    Also, there is a bird called the megapode. Megapodes make a nest out of sand and compost, and let the rotting plants heat their eggs. The young are born developed, and require no parental care. Perhaps some dinosaurs could do the same (like Dakotaraptor?)

    • Anonymous on September 6, 2016

      I have some questions, please respond to them when you can
      1) So, on your Tyrannosaurus, the underside of the tail is scaly right?
      2) And also, as there is a patch of scales from probably the thoracic religion of Tarbosaurus, well
      2a) where is the thoracic region, is it the ribs/underside area?
      2b) If the above is true, then shouldn’t your Tyrannosaurus have a scaly underside instead of naked ostrich skin? But then again, compsagnathids seem to vary in scaliness, so, I’m confused?

  • Anonymous on September 3, 2016

    Also there is evidence from the brain of T. bataar of a Jacobson’s Organ (maybe for detecting pheromones in mating season?). Will this be in game for Tyrannosaurus?
    My last question about those scale impressions was about where exactly is the thoracic region and are there scales there on your Tyrannosaurus model?

  • Anonymous on September 3, 2016

    I have a few more questions
    1) I heard that, since Dakotataptor is more adapted to run than other dromeosaurs, it could not use raptor prey restraint as well as others of its family. And according to wikepedia, it’s sickle claw had a lot of slashing strength. I also heard that it’s arms were more adapted for grabbing than flapping. Thoughts?

    2) I read that there is a small skin impression showing scales, possibly from the thoracic region of T.bataar.

  • Mamenchi on September 3, 2016

    Hello, creators of Saurian, I’d like to ask you a few questions; the first is about Anzu, here’s a quote from your description of it:

    “Perhaps Anzu’s most unique skill is its ability to mimic the calls of other dinosaurs in the ecosystem, a handy tool for both attracting prey and bluffing potential threats.”

    Well, nobody knows what sounds dinosaurs made, so how can this be a realistic feature? I know about the Lyre Bird, which is probably the bird that inspired you, but comparing that to a dinosaur like Anzu seems a little too much to me. Unless of course you gave it this feature just for the sake of entertainment and to create more variety across the various species of the ecosystem.
    But in that case please, inform the players about what is really “real” in the game and what you chose to put to make the game more interesting.

    There are other things of course that I could cite, like Denversaurus’ prolongued parental care for both sexes: is there actually evidence for that?

    Then I wanted to ask you if there will be sauropods in the ecosystem. Seeing a baby sauropod hatch, and then survive until it grows up to become immune from attacks should be interesting. And maybe see the adults try to protect younger individuals in the center of the group, like footprints SEEM to show.

    And one more thing: if Anatosaurus gets chosen, will the babies of this species stay in the nest and get fed by the adults, like some findings about Maiasaura suggest for this types of animals?
    And if yes, does that also mean that we would witness congregations and migrations to the right nesting site and fights between mothers for the right spot, like so many reptiles do today? And what will the role of the male in this situation? Will it contribute, or only the females get to take care of the babies?

    I hope you can answer this questions, thank you very much!

    • lucas s on September 11, 2016

      that would be very interesting to see mamenchi, but dinosaurs are more closely related to modern day birds i think

    • Pryftan213 on September 12, 2016

      Anzu’s vocalizations are speculation, it’s not as if the devs intentionally chose to depict something that is inaccurate for the sake of making the game more interesting.

      There are no sauropods from Hell Creek, but there will be LOTS of them if there is a Saurian: Morrison Edition.

  • Gordy G on September 3, 2016

    Quick question, weren’t Brodavis, Avisaurus, and Cimolopteryx goingbto be in the game?

  • johny on September 3, 2016

    collect funds am really dissapointed at the fact that they dont collect the funds its furstrateing waiting around so pleasease pay atteion

  • Zocker00014 on September 2, 2016

    Hi Saurian Team.
    Unfortunately I missed the Kickstarter campaign. Will it be possible to buy the Pre-Release Access in your shop and will I be able to read the stuff wich is only for backers? It would be realy nice if you could answere these questions.

  • Anonymous on September 2, 2016

    I am also wondering
    Will the animals be able to leave scat/droppings? Predators could track them down that way, and it would make the game more realistic.
    In one of your Twitch streams scent trails were discussed. I have an idea. There is a game called Wolfquest. It’s a wolf simulation game, in Wolfquest if you press a certain key it switches to “scent mode”. The scent marks and scent trails of other animals are colored depending on their species, so you can follow or avoid other animals ( So maybe Saurian could implement something similar (but not the exact same, don’t be copycats) maybe you cloud make it even more realistic by making wind affect scents (wind blowing from you towards your prey can send your scent to the prey and it runs away).

    • Garrus on September 3, 2016

      Garrus, Discord mod here. We’re not including feces because, well… ARK: Survival Evolved muddied the waters on this. It doesn’t really add too much to our gameplay, and extant archosaurs don’t really use feces or the like for marking the boundaries of their territory- they tend to use vocalizations and physical force to defend it. I cannot speak for prey tracking.

      We actually have shown scent in pre-KS streams; at the time, it looked like wildfire.

      Please correct me if I got anything wrong Tom.

  • sam on September 2, 2016

    That’s a Purple Swamphen damn giant chickens!

  • Winged Porpoise on September 2, 2016

    My opinion on the pachy headbutting thing is they racked their heads against each other’s

  • Anonymous on September 2, 2016

    I also read somewhere that your Tyrannosaurus model has incorrect proportions. Is that true? I hope not. And if it was, you would fix it right? Thanks.

    • ruby on September 2, 2016

      im pretty sure that was for the old t-rex model

    • Screwyoumimus on September 2, 2016

      I think the old one had Sue’s proportions, where the new one has Stan’s. They changed it because Sue lived earlier and not 66 mya

      • Garrus on September 3, 2016

        You are correct!

  • Anailaigh on September 2, 2016

    Awesome guys i am glad to be a backer! Camt wait to see ark: survival evolved have some real competition!

  • Nettle on September 2, 2016

    Couldn’t find a better place to ask; why are tyrannosaur chicks being raised by the males? Is this just extrapolation, since I’m pretty sure it was the case with dromaeosaurs, or do we know more about tyrannosaur nesting than I think?

    Also, will dromaeosaurs be able to climb? I figure adult Dakotaraptor would loose the ability, considering their size.

  • Vinicius on September 2, 2016

    That’s a lot of work ‘-‘ loved that Thescelosaurus ontogeny!

  • Varanus on September 1, 2016

    I was hoping on a reveal of the poll results but this is more than fine

  • Anonymous on September 1, 2016

    Excuse me, Saurian team, but I have some questions. Please try to answer them if you can.
    1) What evidence is there of plates under the skin of Thescelosaurus?
    2) The Thescelosaurus running animation on YouTube had quills like a Pssitacosaurus. What happened to those?
    3) Why are the teeth in the upper jaw of Thescelosaurus exposed? I thought you previously said that dinosaurs teeth were probably covered?
    4) Are you sure that both the upper and lower jaw of Thescelosaurus had a beak? Looking at the skeleton on Wikipedia, it seems like only the lower jaw has a large beak. I also heard that a beak and teeth cannot exist together (like, one part of the jaw can have teeth, another has a beak, but teeth cannot just be growing out of a beak. (
    5) Also, the current hypothesis seems to be that dinosaurs ancesterally had feathers/fuzz, considering the discovery of Kulindadromeus and Tianyulong, feathered ornithischians. And apparently feathers are good at both cooling down and warming up the animal, so something the size of Tyrannosaurus with feathers would not overheat (unless it was really hot, like a desert or drought, of course). But Hadrosauroids are big too, and they don’t seem to have feathers ( or at least not a lot, maybe some thin filaments between scales) So, would the feathers of Tyrannosaurus be more like an elephant’s hair, (as in, tiny and not very noticeable when looking at a live animal)? And why don’t Hadrosauroids and Sauropods have a lot of feathers if they are good for cooling down as well as warming up?
    6) On your Tyrannosaurus and Thescelosaurus, the babies seem to replace fuzzy areas with scaly areas as they grow older. How? Are the feathers growing between scales, and then fall off to reveal the scales underneath?
    8) How fast will adult Tyrannosaurus be? Some estimates say 18 miles per hour, others say 20,25 etc.
    9) I also heard about a (possibly damaged) Tyrannosaurus tissue sample showing bare skin like an ostrich, near the leg. But on your model, that area seems to be feathered. Why?
    10) you said in game Pachycephalosaurus would head butt, right? But I heard that there is controversy about weather they butted heads, or just flanks, and that if they headbutt they could hurt themselves.
    11) I heard that adult Dakotaraptor could not climb trees. Thoughts?
    12) I heard that Caudipteryx had scales on the undersides of its fingers. Will Anzu have scales on the underside of its fingers?
    I hope you answer these questions. Thank you and keep up the great work! Have a nice day.

    • Tomozaurus on September 2, 2016

      Hi Anonymous, good questions!
      I will answer them in order below:

      1. The direct preservation of plates under the skin of Thescelosaurus.
      2. They were removed.
      3. The teeth on the upper jaw of Thescelosaurus are exposed because, as you note in your next question, there is a beak on the lower jaw (as well as the upper jaw) and so there is therefore no tissue on the lower jaw (no “lower lip”) to cover the teeth.
      4. There is absolutely a beak on the upper jaw, as confirmed in our correspondence with Clint Boyd. It does not at any point overlap the teeth. Take a close look at the concept art.
      5. Non-Saurian related question.
      6. Neither our Tyrannosaurus nor our Thescelosaurus replace feathers with scales as they grow.
      7. (no question)
      8. Like all our animals, Bryan (animation) will animate them in a way that feels natural and checks out with our bio-mechanics correspondent and they will run as fast as that animation allows.
      9. Our Tyrannosaurus model very clearly has naked skin like an ostrich on its leg.
      10. Current evidence, suggested by impact legions on their domes, suggests that at the very least they were hitting their heads consistently against something hard. From this is is fair to hypothesise they were hitting domes together.
      11. Adult Dakotaraptor could not and will not climb trees.
      12. The pads of Anzu’s hands will have scales.

      • Anonymous on September 2, 2016

        Thank you so much. For question number 6 I mean, in the artwork it looks like the baby Tyrannosaurus is mostly fuzzy other than the lower tail area, but on the adult, most of the belly area and most of the tail are featherless. What happens in between? Were those feathers growing between scales and fall off later? Thanks.

        • Garrus on September 3, 2016

          Hey, Garrus, Discord mod here.

          Nope, no scales there; the parts where the feathers are lost represent bare skin.

  • Hunter1324 on September 1, 2016

    “The small herbivore Thescelosaurus is the most common non-avian dinosaur at Hell Creek. It is the most diminutive of the herbivores in the area, rarely exceeding 4 meters in length.”

    Weren’t Leptoceratops and Sphaerotholus (if it is indeed a valid taxon) smaller?

    • Nick Turinetti on September 2, 2016

      Neither Leptoceratpos or Sphaerotholus were found at Bone Butte, the location we are basing Saurian’s initial release on.

      • Eda on September 10, 2016

        Aw, so no Leptoceratops?

      • Palaeotaku on September 18, 2016

        Does it means no Leptoceratops in game?

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