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