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New Playable Animals: Vote Results!

So our backer survey is over and I’m sure you know what that means: votes for the two new playable dinosaurs are in and we now know the winners.

During our Kickstarter campaign, one of our stretch goals was for the addition of two new playable animals to the Saurian roster, but with a twist: our backers would help us pick which animals these would be. We allowed our backers to vote for one omnivorous dinosaur (either Anzu or the ornithomimid) and one herbivorous dinosaur (either Anatosaurus, Ankylosaurus or Denversaurus), the winners of these two categories would each be added to the game down the line as playable species with full growth cycles and unique gameplay (Note: all 5 animals will still appear in Saurian as AI).

So now for the part you have all bee waiting for. Your new playable omnivore will be…

Anzu wyliei

Concept art of adult Anzu morphs by Chris Masna.

Anzu is the jack of all trades in the Hell Creek ecosystem. As an omnivore, Anzu is able to take advantage of both high quality vegetation and small prey items, particularly the eggs and hatchlings of other dinosaurs. Males are larger and much flashier than females, resulting in both sexes occupying a slightly different niche from one another. While not the fastest dinosaur in Hell Creek, Anzu’s first choice in dealing with threats is still to run. 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.

and your new playable herbivore will be…

Ankylosaurus magniventris

Concept art of adult male Ankylosaurus by Chris Masna.

The beefcake of Hell Creek, Ankylosaurus lives a largely solitary life. Ankylosaurus is a very territorial animal, and tolerates other members of its species only during breeding season. While eating is a full time job, Ankylosaurus gains significant benefits from eating specific plants, and therefore must range widely and defend choice plots of foliage, not only from each other, but from other herbivores as well. While adults are rarely bothered by predators other than Tyrannosaurus, young ankylosaurs are vulnerable to many Hell Creek predators due to their still forming armour, and must either hide from predators or seek shelter in the company of more intimidating targets.

Both of these animals will now get full life-cycles from hatching to adult and will be playable in Saurian, in addition to appearing as AI. We are particularly excited about working with palaeontologist Victoria Arbour again to help us bring the ontogeny of Ankylosaurus to life. Note however that, like our other stretch goals, both animals will not be released until after the core game is complete, with T. rex, Triceratops, Dakotaraptor and Pachycephalosaurus all completely implemented.

Pie charts showing spread of backer votes for playable animals.

Above is the final analytics from the backer poll, displayed as two pie graphs. As you can see, neither vote was particularly close. The dev team have actually known the results for a while as both the eventual winners had commanding leads early on and had the vote won long before all results were in. This may come as a particular shock to some as many of our die-hard fans, represented primarily by our Discord community, showed a strong preference for Anatosaurus as the playable herbivore. This to me shows a very interesting commentary on demographics, with our (probably) more palaeo-savvy core audience preferring the hadrosaur while our broader community very clearly preferred the more well-known and arguably more charismatic ankylosaur. Both demographics seemed to be in agreement on Anzu over the ornithomimid however, which personally I find a little sad as I like it the best of all of them.

That’s it for now, I’ll let you all mull this over and the Anatosaurus supporters get over their shock. We’ll see you all next week for DevLog 3.

– Tomozaurus

  • HeartOfUtah on October 17, 2016

    In multiplayer(if that was added yet) would probably be just as The Isle, a bunch of people that herd up with any other dino players, KOS and killing for sport. I do see many people in the comments that seems to go for a accurate gameplay but still someone out there will probably go for carebearing.

    • Chaze on November 22, 2016

      You clearly don’t understand the mechanics of saurian how do you kill for sport if you have to grow from a baby to a fully grown dinosaur

    • JJ Giesey on July 3, 2017

      Saurian will have a lot different multiplayer for saurian, saurian will have a max 10 to 15 players per server, it will still be AI dominated, and there will not be a chat box, the only way to communicate with other players is using forms that are outside of game like discord, and there won’t be tags, the only way to talk to other players is by body language, and you really won’t be able to tell apart players from AI unless you’re very patient and study them very closely.

  • Gwen Fontcuberta on October 12, 2016

    I’m super sad about Antano not winning. I would have enjoyed having at least one social dinosaur in game, but I guess Anky will be better for casual players? I honestly think anky won because people know what it is.

    • Nicolas on November 9, 2016

      Yeah I’m totally on ur side ! I’m not sure but maybe (hopefully) they are gonna add more playable dinos over time !?

    • luuk on January 28, 2017

      what are casual players doing in saurian

    • JJ Giesey on July 3, 2017

      Anatosaurus wasn’t a permanent resident, so how would we ever be able to implement that in a game where you’d have to go outside of the map for it?

  • Timothy Volov on October 4, 2016

    I really want a Kaprosuchus in the game. He’s just too good of a dino not to put him in. The perfect mix between Croc and Leopard. Think on this devs.

    • Anonymous on October 4, 2016

      This game is about animals of the Hell Creek formation in North America. Kaprosuchus is not known from this formation so it won’t be in game. Also Kaprosuchus is not a dinosaur, it is closer to crocodiles. Maybe someone else will make a good simulation game with Kaprosuchus.

    • Brent on November 7, 2016

      Saurian takes place in the late Cretaceous of Montana, Kaprosuchus lived in the early Cretaceous of Nigeria. Putting it in this game would be like having a game set in the African Savannah but with a random reindeer for no reason.

  • Santannah on September 30, 2016

    I’m wondering if there are mating seasons? Or can u have a baby anytime you want as long as you find the opposite gender to you?

  • TheRaptorMovies on September 29, 2016

    I am glad they added Ankylosaurus. But this brings a question to mind, Will Ankylosaurus and Triceratops
    stand their ground against a T-Rex? Will T-Rex be too OP, and kill herbivores very easily? I asked this because In some games T-Rex can “3 bite kill a Herbivore” and the Herbivores are weak..I just hope there is a fair fight between a Carnivore and herbivore.

    • Dagger on September 29, 2016

      We know you refer to the Isle. But in Saurian, they would be going for a realistic approach, probably making the Triceratops stronger then the Tyrannosaurus. For 1 Tyrannosaur was usually outmatched if it didn’t sneak up un a triceratops, but Tyrannosaurs travel in groups.

  • LostGosling on September 14, 2016

    Pfft, I voted for Anato and Ornithomimid, so neither of my choices won. XD Ah well. I really do like Anzu though (I admittedly had a hard time choosing xP), so I’m excited to see it developed more! ouob

    Anky’s okay, but I think Anato would have been a very nice large herbivore option; as it stands T-rex is our biggest playable.

    Seconding what wolfredbane said, and along the same vein as what Thiago Chaga mentioned, making the others payed dlc down the road (even if a few years off) would be a cool option. I’d definitely be buying me some Ornithomimus, and maybe Anato as well. >D

    But anyway, keep up the fabulous work Saurian Team!
    I can’t wait to see the life cycles for the new guys. *u* <3

  • NublarRex on September 12, 2016

    Now I’m a little curious if Anzu isn’t fast then how do we escape predators could we climb trees or is it strictly terrestrial.

    • Nikolai Raevsky on September 14, 2016

      Anzu is fast. It just isn’t as fast as some of the other dinosaurs in Saurian.

  • Hurp on September 12, 2016

    Anky is my fav dinosaur, but damn,its way too overrated. I wanted to vote for it, but eh its a bit cliché so i thought i’ll just vote for anato. Welp,i love something new, and being an anato is probably fun for a gameplay, but since people voted for ankys because they are popular and not knowing that its slow as hell.. eh well,i just realized that ankys are slow. so i’ll just play as anzu.Nah, i want to play as the beautiful dakotaraptor.. and aquatic creatures if you devs plan to bring them in.

  • Johan Peeters on September 10, 2016

    Didn’t know where else to put this, as there are nof orums yet to my knowledge and i can’t post on kickstarter, but is there any progress yet on fixing the PayPal issue? I still keep experiencing this : “For all those who would like to use PayPal, it has been noted that some users are being redirected to survey recovery page after using the above link, even though they are already logged into their BackerKit accounts, thereby preventing from using the PayPal method.”

    Was just wondering if any progress has been made on fixing it, i would love to support the game…

  • Anonymous on September 10, 2016

    Also, it was mentioned that the game will try to incorporate enchanted senses of sight and smell of animals into gameplay, but what about hearing? Could some dinosaurs hear better than people? Also, in bull elephants, there is a period where they become seemingly enraged because of increase in natural chemicals, called musth. Could some dinosaurs go through something like this? What about ultraviolet vision? Some birds can see in ultraviolet. Thanks.

    • John Keane on September 13, 2016

      How would they do this? Humans cannot see ultraviolet, so it would all just appear as white anyway. A computer screen cannot magically make us see colors beyond the visible spectrum.

  • Anonymous on September 10, 2016

    Also, what about mates? When you find a mate, what will it do? Will it follow you around and help you hunt? (If monogamous)? Will some dinosaurs be Polygamous? I expect in Tyrannosaurus the female will leave the male to raise the young by himself, like ratites, but what about the others? Will Dakotaraptor be monogamous and occasionally help with hunting? Will Anzu be polygamous like a pheasant?

    • not a weaboo on September 18, 2016

      Apparently you can interact with the AI NPC’s, so it’d make sense that your mate would cooperate with you in your dinosaurs life; in the one of the DevLogs, the Pachycephalosaurus player and mate helped each other in defending their young from a Dakotaraptor. And Dakotaraptor will occasionally hunt in unorganized mobs, so if they were to pair up and mate, it’d probably be convenient of them if they could hunt together as well.

      As for breeding behaviours and parenting, well, I don’t believe its all announced yet, but what I’ve gathered so far:

      Pachycephalosaurus will mate for life and pairs will raises their chicks together, as well as Denversaurus. Since Anzu males are larger and more colorful than females such as modern day pheasants and grouses, like you said, they will likely be polygamous with the females raising the chicks. Female Triceratops will be the only parental-care givers, so it’s likely to assume they’d be polygamous too. As for Dakotaraptor, its was mentioned to be quite solitary and give very little parental care to their hatchlings, so my best guess is that adults are serially monogamous (staying together for only a limited time). Ankylosaurus I believe are polygamous with neither parent looking after the young, and the ornithomimid is either monogamous or polygynous. And like you said, the Tyrannosaurus is polyandrous just like modern day ratites, only the male raising the hatchlings.

      Hope this helps. Again, this isn’t all confirmed, just a best guess based of what we got thus far.

      (If anyone who knows something or is perchance on the team could answer/confirm any of this, that’d be awesome.)

      • Anonymous on September 26, 2016


  • Anonymous on September 10, 2016

    Modern birds, crocodiles, and even Komodo dragons have been reported and observed playing with objects or each other. In game, will the dinosaurs play with each other? There could be a play option so you can play with a sibling or mate (chasing, play fighting, tossing leaves, etc.) real animals play, so it could be a nice feature. Also, what about nest building? Will you build a nest out of sticks and dirt, or just bury eggs? Thanks.

  • Poppo on September 9, 2016

    lmao the amount of salt from Anato fans is insane

  • Anonymous on September 9, 2016

    Anzu is beautiful. Excuse me, but I have a question about your Tyrannosaurus. Please answer when you are able. Thanks.
    On the underside of your T.rex, is it scales or bald skin? Because apparently there is a scale impression from Tarbosaurus showing scales probably from the thoracic area ( So if it is just bare naked skin, wouldn’t that be inaccurate? Or are the scales just on the belly too small to see? If you are using phylogenetic bracketing, shouldn’t there be scales down there?

    • Nick Turinetti on September 10, 2016

      The tail of our Tyrannosaurus has very fine scales, consistent with the skin patches found associated with “Wyrex” and pictured in our T. rex infographic. The bare areas of our Tyrannosaurus‘ torso are naked skin. The apparent scale impressions from Tarbosaurus are, as mentioned, from a damaged skeleton that are impossible to verify if they actually belong to the animal or might be from being trampled by other dinosaurs, which the skeleton apparently also showed signs of. You can learn more here:

      • Anonymous on September 10, 2016

        Thank you. But where does it say trampled? It said destroyed by poachers. And if it was trampled by another dinosaur, then why would the trampling dinosaur leave skin impressions? Wouldn’t the trampling dinosaur have to die right afterward to leave skin impressions? Or would it be shedding skin onto the trampled carcass?

        • Anonymous on September 10, 2016

          I found a link saying that the specimen I told you about was stepped on by a hadrosauroid ( And I thought about it…and the integumentary of the model makes sense…and I suppose can be considered accurate at the moment. Thanks. But I have a very important question… Will you continue to update the game as new discoveries are made? Please answer if you can. Thank you.

  • Deven on September 9, 2016

    Anzu and Anatasaur

  • IKnowDino on September 9, 2016

    Are you saying that we’re not “paleo-savvy” since we like Ankylosaurus better than Edmontosaurus?? 😛

    But in all seriousness, Anatosaurus did look awesome too. I can’t wait to chase herds of them around as T-rex in VR!

  • CWCJ1018 on September 8, 2016

    Will you guys think about maybe we should have some seriously biggest saurpod such as alamosaurus 😮😮 those can length over 140f and weight around 100t

    • IKnowDino on September 13, 2016

      Probably not, since there haven’t been any sauropods found in Hell Creek

      • Ethan on July 6, 2017

        Alamosaurus did not live in hell creek but the game is adding the two medicine formation so they might add in others
        But not yet. I would love to play as a giant sauropod like alamosaurus, I wonder how it would beat the heck out of rex 😄Teehee

  • Grace O'Donnell on September 8, 2016

    Wow, I’m surprised that Ankylosaurus had such a commanding lead. I voted for him thinking he’d be outvoted by Anato based on the sheer amount of talk about Anato. I actually voted for both winning dinos!

    I voted for Anzu because, at my core, I wanted at least one playable dino to feature bright, beautiful colors, and the artwork for Anzu sold me on that. In addition, I’m not too keen on the whole social dynamics gameplay of the ornithomimid – I prefer being solo and not having to micromanage social links with AI or other players.

    And, since Anzu fit the “colorful playable dino” bill, I felt better voting for Anky over Anato, who again had the social aspect I wasn’t too interested in. Plus, we really didn’t have the “all-or-nothing roaming tank” playable dino yet, while I see Anato being much more like Triceratops, social aspect notwithstanding. Triceratops is not heavily armored; it has a frill and offensive horns. But Anky is armored, and that armor is everywhere. And with that devastating tail club, not many predators will want to mess with an adult.

    • Estemmenosuchus on September 14, 2016

      Anatosaurus wouldn’t have been like trike. Trikes were mostly solitary, females occasionally group together for protecting the babies. Anky’s play style is more like male triceratops, I feel that male triceratops already fits the Lone-Armoured-Tank play style already, I voted for anato.
      So far, we have nothing resembling anatosaurus’s play style, like social dynamics (not just loose bonds during hunting) and hardcore herding.

  • Paula on September 8, 2016

    Neither of mine won, but at least the suspense is done with. Still looking forward to the release, though. I do like the idea of DLC for the others.

    Now I just have to get my sheets together and get my gaming rig built, ’cause there’s no way my laptop is going to be able to handle this beautiful beast!

  • NathB$ on September 8, 2016

    I vote for Anzu and Anatosaurus, but I’m really happy of seeing ankylosaur as a playable. After Anatosaurus, ankylosaur is my second choice and I’m so excited to play as the really cool moking jay that Anzu is😄

  • Thiago Chagas on September 7, 2016

    Why can’t you make all of these playable in the future and just give attention to anatosaurus/edmontosaurus and the ornithomid after you are finished with ankylosaurus and anzu?

  • Chef Dinosaur on September 7, 2016

    We made it! Anky for President! Would’ve slightly preferred the Ornithomimid over Anzu, and even though Anky was my first choice I’ll always be sad not to get Anatosaurus in there as well.

  • IIZTREX on September 7, 2016

    Ahhhh man. I voted for anato and ornith. Well I guess that I have the unpopular opinion

  • Wolfredbane on September 7, 2016

    NOOO Anato! Any chance you’ll make playable Anato as Paid DLC? I’m sure many of us will be willing to buy it.

  • Firefly on September 7, 2016

    I voted for Anato, but the skeptic in me was worried the social dynamics would be hard to pull off in a way that felt realistic versus programmed, so there is that. Although Anklo sounds rather a lot like triceratops.

    Glad Anzu made it however :3

    PS: we should totally get a sauropod!

  • Pterandon invisibile on September 7, 2016

    Great! I love the idea to have Ankylosaurus in the game. I even more would love to fly as Pteranodon, as in “Nanosaur”. Maybe … for a DLC?
    One crucial question though: I really hope there will be a *First-Person view*? Including physics, for example slower/faster head turning, movement etc., thus feeling the weight of “you” as a Saurus.

    Third-Person only would make the effect very unimpressive and arise feelings of “couch potato X-Box consumerism” for which I feel much too old, to be honest.

    • John Keane on September 13, 2016

      Is pteranodon in this game? I know there is a species of quetzalcoatlus that is similar in size to pteranodons, but I don’t think that pteranodon is in the game.

  • babehunter1324 on September 7, 2016

    Of course the Ankylosaurus won, in spite of the fact that’s it’s gameplay is nearly identical to Triceratops prorsus, same camouglage while you are young, same individualist gameplay style. Half the weight and worse offensive armament.

    When it is released and people complain about getting stomped by fully grown Tyrannosaurus rex while playing it I’ll know I will be the one who got the last laugh.

  • Eusthenopteron on September 7, 2016

    I’m glad that Anzu won, but I was hoping for Anatosaurus (and cast my vote accordingly) since I felt Triceratops already had the “armored herbivore” role covered.

    I wonder if the vote would have been closer without Denversaurus in the running, or whether all those people would just have voted Ankylosaurus and made it even more of a blowout.

  • Spiritstrike on September 7, 2016

    WEEEHHH! I wanted to live the life style of a hadro in a herd! *loud wailing*

    Oh well… picking Rex over everything else. *grumbles*

    It’s fine, devs, its your game. But you cannot imagine how disappointed I am.

    • Pteranodon invisibile on September 7, 2016

      *”It’s fine, devs, its your game.”* – Sorry to intervene, but you are unjust there, Spiritstrike. Devs even made a poll which one should be in-game. Accusing them of patronizing (in a way) would require quite the contrary behaviour on their side: Dictate all and everything OR just decide against the players’ votes. In fact I find it quite commendable that a dev team asks their customers about such parts of the game.
      I for my part am greatly happy with Ankylosaurus, since I feel it’s playstyle will be very different from Triceratops. But these are just my feelings, as yours are yours.

      • Hunter1324 on September 7, 2016

        Back in the day the Hunter Primal steam page was filled with requests to add Spinosaurus and Allosaurus in the game in spite of the fact that the game end out having 4 carnivorous species out of 5 and the only herbivore being Triceratops, resulting in a boring, very repetitive gameplay.

        The point being, that the word of a majority can be just as flawed as the thoughts of a single individual. In both cases the best known and more “cool” option won while mostly overlooking the gameplay aspect. Proof of that? Just re-read the entire description of the gameplay mechanics for Ankylosaurus and Triceratops. Now say with a straight face that it will be “very different from Triceratops” or at least more so than Anatosaurus.

        I guess there’s one upside to this, it gives me more reason to play as Pachycephalosaurus when I inevitably get bored of playing catch the tail while defend myself against Tyrannosaurus or hide in a bush as a juvenile of either species.

        • Matt doge on September 8, 2016

          Jezus christ Hunter! Have a little faith in the developers will you, I mean my god!

          • Hunter1324 on September 10, 2016

            I have faith on the developers. But not in the community, the results of this poll are just one of the reasons.

  • churunga on September 7, 2016

    I voted for Anzu because he seemed to be a well rounded creature able to survive no matter what happened to the preferred food source. I voted for Anky because it is my favorite creature of this period and I believe would be interesting to play because it is by itself so much.

  • Niko on September 7, 2016

    I’m over the moon that Ankylosaurus won and just Can’t wait to play as one of my favorite dinosaur in hell formation as a baby and hitting Rexs in their femurs.

  • André on September 7, 2016

    No Herders!!! Why are we such individualists!!
    Thanks Saurian for creating this amazing game, however I will be expecting Anato/Orni DLC’s in due time. I’ll be fine with paying for my duckbill.

  • Turtledragon on September 7, 2016

    Yay I’m happy the results came in! 😀 I am very pleased Anzu won, and while I am happy to play as the box-turtle like Anky, I admit I am much more disappointed than I had imagined to know that I won’t be able to play as the amazing Anato. ;-; I thought for sure Anato would win, as did many others, and I had expected it. Oh well, I am still happy that Anky won, as they are cute with interesting mechanics. I just wish we could play as all of the canidates. RIP cool social mechanics the Anato had to offer. 🙁 But who knows, maybe if this game gets very popular and earns a lot of money, it is possible they could include more playables in the future like Anato. But even if Anato and the others never become playables, I will still love Anky and will mind less about no Anato when I see how adorable the Anky is in the game. ^^

  • Johnelle DiTonno on September 6, 2016

    I’m super glad that at least one of my votes won! Anzu will be awesome! Too bad that folks angled for that Anky, though. I figure it’s probably because it’s a well-known dino and humans like to gravitate toward the familiar. Still, the family dynamic of the Anato would have been a really neat gameplay mechanic to work with.

  • ChickenFetus on September 6, 2016

    I hope that, since neither Anato and Denver won, that at least the idea of complex herd dynamics, albeit to a lesser degree, is retooled for other animals.

    For example, having female Triceratops or female Anzu group up with each other while raising chicks the way certain birds (such as turkeys, like the flock outside my house currently) and certain ungulates do. Perhaps having hierarchy or strong relationship connections within these groups.

    It would also serve as another way to differentiate game play between sexes since the males live alone (though bachelor groups of young males would also be cool, especially if older more solitary males put them in their place).

  • Vinicius on September 6, 2016

    Omg both my picks won! can’t wait to play with them!

  • Kirara on September 6, 2016

    Ahh I totally voted for Anato because I thought the family dynamics sounded interesting, but I figured Anky would probably win anyway.

    • Johnelle DiTonno on September 6, 2016

      I hear you. I voted for Anato for the same reason, but Ankylosaurus is a well-known dinosaur and a trademark of human nature is to gravitate toward “what you know”.

  • Exzhero Legend on September 6, 2016

    I am sending a BIG shout out to Team Saurian… You all are doing an Excellent job.
    Keep up the good work =) And make sure you keep the coffee flowing and midnight oil burning. Go-Team Saurian… Go-Team Saurian – Goooo.

  • Jeff on September 6, 2016

    Ornithomimus for life! Lol, oh well, it’s nice that the anticipation is over. Keep up the good work Saurian team!

  • Spinosaurus Aegyptiacus on September 6, 2016

    Oh very awesome results choices, and very beautiful too.

  • Devinsaurus (Devin Nathaniel Bell) on September 6, 2016

    I always wanted to played as Anzu! 🙂 I also voted Denversaurus, however the larger Ankylosaurus is fine with me. 🙂 Wish the Hell Creek ornithomimid, Anatosaurus and Denversaurus will also be playables as DLCs after its release next year.

  • Hobbes the Tiger on September 6, 2016

    I bet the only reason people voted for the ankie was because it was cool and popular, and not because its gameplay would be fun.

    • Niko on September 7, 2016

      We still have Triceratops

      • babehunter1324 on September 7, 2016

        No Trcieratops is not going to be a heard animal.

        Males are going to be solitary and females will at best from tiny groups like modern White Rhinoceros, the biggest ammount of associated Triceratops individuals we had found is three juveniles that apparently were moving as a group and died at the same time. Compare that to the associations of hundreds of fossils of Chasmosaurus or Centrasaurine Ceratopsids we had found which were real heard animals. Same with the age segregated heards of Shantungosaurus found on Xingezhuang Formation.

    • John Keane on September 13, 2016

      At least we’ll have packs of dakotaraptor, albeit they kill and eat each other and it’s more like a temporary alliance than a pack. I think it would have been cool to see dakotaraptor in a true pack, working together to take down large or fast prey like the way African wild dogs bring down impalas. It’s still going to be pretty cool to be dakotaraptor though.

  • Nathan Altenbern on September 6, 2016

    I voted for Anato but I’m satisfied with Anky. 🙂 The choice was really tough to make; they’re both really cool animals.

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