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Saurian DevLog #3

Now you’ve all settled down after the new playables reveal, it is time for another DevLog. The programmers are still busy integrating all their separate systems into one project, but bare with us on this as it is the first major step towards the final game coming together. In the meantime, here are some art, science, and music updates to tide you over.

Chris L.
Sometimes things go well, sometimes not so much – those horsetails (Equisetum) are a good example. The normal (unfertilised) ones came together so quick – I did a ‘let’s see if this will work’ pass and it worked so well they were nearly done. Even the fertilised seedpod was easy – sculpt, bake, done. The withered ‘leaves’ however caused me no end of grief – seriously, those tiny leaves took almost as long as everything else; but I wanted to make sure they were accurate and high quality (even if I might be the only one to know). You might also have noticed a change in the images since last time – normally while working we keep our images a little rough-and-ready since we’re just keeping each other up to date, but I wanted to nail down a more solid way of presenting these foliage assets. Roughly 5 different programs later, I think I have it. In addition to reminding me that I do good work, it will help everyone visualise the end product, which can be hard at times when we’re slogging through the details of everything.

In-game models of Equisetum horsetails and the laurel (not fig) “Ficus” planicostata by Chris Lomaka.

In-game models of forked ferns (Gleicheniaceae) by Chris Lomaka.

And in my spare time, I’ve finished up these Toxochelys hatchlings (think prehistoric leatherback turtle). Cute or tasty, you make the call.

Toxochelys hatchlings by Chris Lomaka. (NOTE: this is a posed render, not game footage)

Since early September I’ve been assessing the remaining sound design that still needs to be recorded/made until the end of the year, in order to keep my schedule in check, whilst at the same time helping to keep everything organized on my end, with a nice list that I can cross check whenever I wrap something up. Yes, I make lists, deal with it. Soon, I’ll start to take care of any sound that our fauna will produce, including scratching, eating, impact sounds from combat, biting, amongst other actions.

Triceratops threat call for Saurian by Francisco “Xico” Godinho.

Soundtrack wise, a good number of atmospheric music has been produced that will be played on important events, signaling progress on Saurian. A couple more combat songs have been produced as well, with two more already in development, so that the player can have a nice selection available when we reach early access. The planning and recording of certain instruments for exploration music is already underway as well, some of them played by our own beloved AI programmer and dairy products connoisseur, Henry Meyers.

Combat Track for Saurian by Francisco “Xico” Godinho.


Some new information was published recently that affects some of our animals, particularly our Pachycephalosaurus. This comes at an optimum time as RJ was already working on our growth stages for this animal. The first of these publications was a study on the head-striking potential of the related pachycephalosaur Stegoceras by Eric Snively and Jessica Theodor. As well as confirming head-striking behaviour in these animals, which will affect how they behave in the game, the paper also included details on the possible integument (skin) covering of the dome, proposing a covering of hard cornified pads similar to some hornbills and head-butting mammals. This falsifies the croc-skin like covering on our model and will require modification. This is fine as RJ also noticed the skull shape in our Pachycephalosaur is not quite right in the current model so will need to be adjusted anyway.

Proposed modifications to Saurian’s Pachycephalosaurus by Tom Parker.

The next relevant study to appear was an examination and life-restoration of the Liaoning Psittacosaurus specimen revealing some interesting details about cerapod morphology we can include in our animals. This includes interesting scalation patterns such as raised groups of pigmented scales, large scales on the limb joints, and bird-like feet lacking scutes. The animal also has rows of larger, rectangular scales on the underside and tail (as in Triceratops). Perhaps most interesting is the presence of a large flap of skin, called a uropatagium, extending from the leg to the tail. The animal also preserves skin pigmentation, revealing colouration and showing that the animal was counter-shaded specifically for camouflage in forested environments. These features were all insights we figured would be interesting to include in our designs.

That’s all for now, we’ll see you in the next DevLog!

  • Boghren on September 28, 2016

    Am I the only one to think about Asian Middle Age combat with “Combat Track for Saurian by Francisco “Xico” Godinho”. ? It makes me think about Genghis Khan hords for example … ^^

  • mrplcole on September 17, 2016

    I wouldn’t mind the raised bumps, underbelly scutes, lack of tarsal scutes, dome, and patagiums, as long as they’re a smooth transition and don’t look like wing membranes, but the tail looks a little too skinny too me. I’ll miss the rhino like skin though.

  • SolarPenguin on September 17, 2016

    You said pachy likes to hid in dense forests. I did see any dense forests in the gameplay. What will they be like?

  • Damien Goldbrooke on September 17, 2016

    So, if I may ask, would you like to get in contact with big YouTubers (Such as Pewdiepie or Markiplier) in order to promote your video game to a wider audience? If not, would you consider it?

    • SolarPenguin on September 17, 2016

      I would, poodiepie craps on a lot of games and they never see the light of day again.

    • Estemmenosuchus on September 17, 2016

      Not pewdiepie… Anything but pewds…
      Big(ish) youtubers like GamingBeaver, BestinSlot. And coutless other smaller youtubers have covered the game.

      • NublarRex on September 20, 2016

        Ditto no Pewds he might destroy the game like with bear simulator.

      • Santannah on September 22, 2016

        Anthomnia is a great choice too 🙂

        • nonavian on October 9, 2016

          I love Anthomnia! Very honest and always gives games a chance to show their best attributes… if Markiplier was more interested in dinosaurs, he might have, but I’m not sure there’s a big chance there. Still know that a LOT of people and YT’ers will play this when it’s done. =)

  • Thiago Chagas on September 17, 2016

    Do carotenoids degrade faster than melanin?

  • Anonymous on September 16, 2016

    I have several questions. Please answer them if you can. I hope I’m not annoying you.
    1. I read that when dromeosaurs extended their arms, their hands would supinate (rotate to face upward). Is this true and will that be featured for Dakotaraptor and Acheroraptor?
    2. So, at least a few small ornithischians had a uropatagium? Why? In modern animals, only flying or gliding animals seem to have them.
    3. I read that Tarbosaurus had a Jacobson’s/ Vomeralnasal organ. Will that be in game for Tyrannosaurus, maybe for detecting pheromones during mating season?
    4. Will the Brodavis have teeth? It was a hesperornithiform after all. (But the teeth and the hard part of the beak should not overlap
    5. And also, did Brodavis have an alula? It an important part of bird flight.
    6. Atmospheric animals (like Brodavis), will we be able to eat them?
    7. Will there be air scents or only ground scents (like sniffing and tracking a scent on the ground, and from the air)?
    8. Will some animals have enhanced hearing and will this affect gameplay?
    9. Will the reptiles (including dinosaurs/birds) have nictitating membranes?
    10. So in the final version of the game, we will be able to customize our animal’s color. Is this hereditary? Can any babies we have inherit our colors/hues/markings/albinism etc?
    11. Will we be able to give our dinosaur character a name?
    12. Can you recognize other dinosaurs? Like if you mate and have babies, could you name the mate and babies and if we live long enough, maybe see them again? (We could reunite with our virtual dinosaur families…and it could be heartwarming…or disastrous…)
    13. Will we have wounds/scarring? If another animal bites/scratches us, will it leave a mark? Can we break out arms/legs? There will be collisions right? (If you run into a tree, rock or animal, you will get hurt and not just pass through it right)?
    14. I read some things about Dakotaraptor: that it’s arms were more adapted for grabbing than flapping, that it basically sacrificed grasping for running (could not grasp as well as other dromeosaurs because it’s feet were more adapted to run, so it couldn’t use raptor prey restraint as well as its relatives). Thoughts? Will these be in game?
    15. Gameplay footage shows Dakotaraptor jumping from a tree and falling to the ground. Wouldn’t this actually hurt it?
    16. Will theropods have a lot of stamina because of their avian respiratory systems? Maybe if they couldn’t catch up or ambush their prey, they could simply follow it until it is too tired to go on.
    17. Will we have to sleep, or else get too tired to go on?
    18. Will we be able to test our own hypothesis about dinosaur behavior in game?
    19. Will their be risk of overheating or freezing to death? What about drowning? Can you dig a hole? Will mammals and lizards run into burrows to try to avoid predators?
    20. Will there be frogs in game? Insects? Parasites?
    21. Will the dinosaurs show different body language in response to different things? Will at least some of this body la gauge be based on birds (neck feathers raised in aggression, eye pinning due to excitement, etc.)?
    Thank you for working hard on this game. Have a nice day.

    • nonavian on September 22, 2016

      (Not answering questions since I’m buying the game) Those are really good questions, some of them I was wondering about as well. However, not counting the outdated Wikipedia information (never reliable), aren’t avians in their own group, apart from reptiles? Birds (modern birds, specifically) are not known to be cold blooded. Sure, they lay eggs, but so does the platypus. The only ‘scales’ that most bird have are the scaly skin on their legs/feet. Could you please explain this to me if I am wrong?

      • Anonymous on September 22, 2016

        It is explained by cladistics. Even if an organism possesses different traits than its ancestors, it is still part of its ancestors’ group. For example, dinosaurs are descended from reptiles and thus they are reptiles. Birds are descended from dinosaurs and thus they are dinosaurs and furthermore reptiles. Also some reptiles (like mosasaurs and dinosaurs) are thought to have been warm blooded. The living leatherback sea turtle is capable of having a more or less constant body temperature, it’s not truly warm blooded but close. Dinosaurs were probably warm blooded. There is evidence for this. Some studies suggest that they were in between cold and warm blooded. We are not entirely sure, but the most bird like ones like raptors were probably warm blooded.

        • Anonymous on September 22, 2016

          Nowadays organisms are classified not by physical traits but by their relationship to one another.

  • Exzhero Legend on September 16, 2016

    Music reminds me of an old wild west movie. nice touch when your hunting or running for you life. =)

  • Henry Ford on September 16, 2016

    Did you use LSystems to model the plants? I am interested because I grow plants in the computer, and l systems are a useful way of drawing plants and was wondering…..

  • Anonymous on September 16, 2016

    So it seems you are going to update whenever new discoveries are made? Awesome! Thank you for your dedication to science.

  • Screwyoumimus on September 16, 2016

    Why is the tail so thin?

    • babehunter1324 on September 16, 2016

      With the exception of the base the tail vertebra were very thin so in the re-design they decide to stick closer to the skeletal structure.

      That said some thick tailed lizard had relativelly thin tails so the previous reconstruction was at least possible.

    • NathB$ on September 16, 2016

      Probably because pachycephalosaurus didn’t have a thick tail.

    • Garrus on September 16, 2016

      Because that is a quick sketch based on GSP’s skeletal.

  • Hunter1324 on September 16, 2016

    Great job as per usual. Looking forward to see the redisigned Pachycephalosaurus and maybe Triceratops too.

    One think I’m not too sure is the flippers in Toxochelys, the babies seem to have forelimbs comparable in size to juvenile leatherback’s but for what I’d seen adult individuals had considerably smaller forelimbs than those of adult leatherback’s. Did the size of the forelimbs change depending on the species within Toxochelys.

  • Cameron Dillon on September 16, 2016

    I tried to click on the triceratops sound and it isn’t working for me. I then tried for the Dakotaraptor noises on April 13th aftermath and it does work, but not the triceratops for some reason. I wish I can listen to it, the tyrannosaurus and Dakotaraptor were amazing, I really want to know what a triceratops would have sounded like

  • Garrus on September 15, 2016

    Super Yummy Baby Turtles! Super Yummy Baby Turtles! Super Yummy Baby Turtles! Meals in a half shell!

    • Wolff Jaw on September 16, 2016

      XD they’re the worlds most toughest, food to eat. The. Bigger eats the younger gets devoured. One bite then two then three, those baby turtles don’t get no slack. *back to chorus*

  • Khalil Beiting on September 15, 2016

    Amazing as always you guys! I’m especially loving the Trike noises. Speaking of noises, I was wondering if you guys (or anyone here in the comments) knew of any animal sound designers who could help me out for a little project of mine. It’s essentially a Mesozoic field guide and one of the things I was adding into it were the calls of various animals. Can anyone help me out? It wouldn’t take up a lot of time.

  • Vinicius on September 15, 2016

    That Triceratops call is amazing! loved the Music, too! can’t wait to see and hear more things from you, guys! congratulations for the excelent work!

  • Joshua Lowrie on September 15, 2016


  • Eggsandham on September 15, 2016

    It all looks awesome, love that trike threat sound and the music is consistently exciting. Can’t wait to try it!

  • Drey2071 on September 15, 2016

    I’m unbelievably eager to check out the game. I’m willing to wait, as I’m hoping for a monumental success for you guys.

  • Yvan Osorio on September 15, 2016

    This is gonna be amazing!!

  • NathB$ on September 15, 2016

    I can’t wait to get the game!

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